Falls Awards Contracts for Municipal Building Project, Announces Temporary Move While Construction Begins
After discovering that errors had been made in the process of reviewing the bids for the municipal building renovation project, the Falls Supervisors called a special meeting to rectify the situation, award contracts and move forward with the long-awaited construction.
The governing body in May had rejected the construction bids for the municipal building and rebid the project because of “a fatal defect.” However, officials realized there had been “some confusion over the bid bonds,” according to Supervisors Chairman Jeff Dence. During the board’s special meeting last week, the Supervisors voted unanimously to rescind the previous rejection of the bids and issue notices of intent to award municipal building construction contracts. Supervisor Jeff Boraski was absent.
The board voted 4-0 to award the general construction contract to Rycon Construction in the amount of $19,230,000. The Supervisors voted unanimously to award the electrical construction contract to the Farfield Company in the amount of $3,749,000, which includes the fire alarm alternate of $205,000; and award the plumbing construction contract to Myco Mechanical, Inc., in the amount of $2,343,000. The board also voted 4-0 to award the mechanical (HVAC) construction contract to Boro Construction in the amount of $4,679,495.
The fiscally responsible board is prepared with the finances needed to fund the project. At its meeting in May, the Supervisors authorized issuance of $20,055,000 in bonds to cover the municipal building construction costs.
Because Falls received a “very strong rating” of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service, the township realized a savings of municipal bond insurance and was able to secure a 3.31 percent interest rate from Bancroft Capital, LLC of Fort Washington, according to Christopher Gibbons, Concord Public Financial Advisors, Inc. founder and principal.
“It’s indicative of the township’s financial position,” Gibbons said of the rating, which led to frenzied bidding among underwriting syndicates. “There was a lot of competition for these bonds.”
The bond was expected to be $22 million, but the high rating helped cut costs, Gibbons said. Since the funds would not be needed immediately, Gibbons suggested investing money in the meantime. The investment would generate $630,000 which could be earmarked for the municipal building project, Gibbons said. Falls will contribute $15 million from its general fund toward the project.
Gibbons estimates annual debt service at approximately $2.5 million over a 10-year term. The bond would be repaid by December 2033, he said.
In a related matter Falls officials said Thursday effective Friday, July 28, township administration will temporarily relocate to 430 Lincoln Highway, Suite 225 in Fairless Hills (the social security administration building) as construction begins on the existing municipal building. Township staff will be able to serve residents seeking walk-in services at this location.