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City to Seek Additional Bids for 29th Street Firehouse Project

Business Administrator Mike Dattilo expects to have bids for council by the second council meeting in March.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Ocean City Council tabled a resolution that would’ve set the wheels in motion to replace the 29th Street firehouse at its meeting Thursday night at the library.

The resolution would’ve authorized a contract between the city and Czar Engineering for plans, specification, contract and construction for the firehouse that suffered extensive damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

But members of council were concerned with the $92,350 price tag that went along with the project.

Czar Engineering has worked with city officials since the days following the storm.

“They’ve worked with us examining scenarios and dealing with FEMA,” Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said.

He added that the price is roughly 10-12 percent of the total cost of the project, which could come out to about $1 million.

“It’s a high number, but the percentage is reasonable,” Dattilo said.

Councilman Scott Ping questioned why the city’s engineers couldn’t take on the project.

“We can’t put more on the people we have in house,” Council President Anthony Wilson said. “ … Czar worked with FEMA, so for that, I think we owe them.”

Councilman Peter Guinosso suggested going out to bid, and that became the consensus.

“I appreciate everything Czar’s done, but we have to get other prices,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said. “If the quotes came in and they’re similar to what Czar is charging, I’d be in favor of Czar. I’m not against paying a little more for better quality, but I would like to see side-by-side bids.”

Ultimately, council voted unanimously to table the resolution and put out an RFP (Request for Proposal). Dattilo said he try to have a couple of extra quotes for council by the March 27 meeting.

He also reiterated that he felt the proposal was fair.

When broken down by item, construction documents make up $57,100, while schematic design accounts for $14,200 and administration comes out to $17,650. Outside of $3,400 for closeout, each item for the rest of the project costs $250 or less.

Czar Engineering was established by Lamont Czar in 1993. It is based in Egg Harbor Township, and has worked on the Flanders Hotel, the Atlantic City Convention Center, the Revel and the Water Club at the Borgata, among other multiple municipal and residential projects locally. It is also licensed to operate in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

Frank February 28, 2014 at 12:26 AM
Anthony could you at least get the photo correct. The photo is not the 29th Street firehouse!
Frank February 28, 2014 at 12:29 AM
Anthony - OCNJDaily has the correct photo.
bob smith February 28, 2014 at 07:18 AM
Does anyone even know the plans for the 29th street firehouse? You certainly can't replace the building for $1 million. Please don't tell me they are going to just repair the original bldg.
Oceancity Resident February 28, 2014 at 07:34 AM
Let's be clear. The 29th street firehouse is a cinder block building. It does not need to replaced. It is easily fixed and should have been fixed long ago. To me it is disgusting and shameful to see the city trying to take advantage of Hurricane Sandy to get a new firehouse that was on someone's wish list long before the storm. If anything this fire house should be shut down.
CleanOC February 28, 2014 at 07:40 AM
Time to fix it and move on!!!!
Big c February 28, 2014 at 05:47 PM
My home was severely damaged by sandy. I am a second homeowner, and never needed an engineer before. Butch Czar was recommended to me by a city official. He was more than I could of hoped for. He helped me deal with the insurance, and rebuild my home. Very professional, fair, and prompt. I would highly recommend him.
oclocal1 February 28, 2014 at 07:47 PM
In response to ocean city resident! Shut down are you crazy! That house can respond north or south when the other need the support in A matter of minutes! And also is there in seconds to there coverage area! I hope you never need them but I know living one block away year round they are there!
oclocal1 February 28, 2014 at 07:48 PM
And yes Frank this new editor seems to be confused on many ocean city issues
Frank February 28, 2014 at 08:48 PM
oclocal1 - this Editor is obviously overwhelmed and uninformed.
OC4EVER February 28, 2014 at 10:54 PM
BIGc - a city official recommended Czar? Isn't that unethical? if I was an engineer I would be very upset that I didn't get a recommendation from the city. Maybe Czar gives kickbacks for the recommendations.
Big c March 01, 2014 at 04:02 AM
Oc4ever the recommendation came standing in the street still in flood water. I don't know what is unethical about helping someone. I commented because this article sounds like Czar did something wrong. Just giving my opinion about his performance. Also I did try to contact other engineers to get quotes, one responded, and I did not hear from two others.

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