Homeowner Asked to Cut Costs on a $241K Grant???

70K Was Spent by the Borough of Sea Bright, Before Breaking Ground!

On March 19, 2012, we had another meeting scheduled at Borough Hall. We sat there staring at the Builder, while we waited for the Engineer of T&M Associates and the Borough Administrator — both of whom were particularly late. It really sets the tone and speaks volumes of their overall lack of respect to us or their dedication to our project.

Cutting Costs

The main focus of this meeting? They were after us for more money before the project began. The Project Manager actually asked us, “what can you do to cut costs?” Do without windows, doors, etc. One example of this: they were removing an outside entryway and were trying to be cheap and not replace with a window, which would match the existing set along the wall. We were already doing the prep work that was supposedly included in the bid. He said he would credit us back with our work and shift the numbers around. There was $241K available for this house! A sizable amount in this Grant for what we were getting done. We could have had a new house built here, for this dollar amount — and all they were doing is lifting it and adding back our utility room. That should have been our final red flag!

Increased Insurance

The Borough Administrator insists that we call our insurance company for an increase in our Homeowner’s Policy for this 4-6 week project. Needless to say we’ve had to keep the increased coverage for 8 years.

The Height of the House

Once again, we revisited the height of the house, as we wanted to pay for the maximum allowable height. The Engineer looked surprised and acted as if this was the first time she heard about this. She immediately called Councilman LoBiondo for reassurance. Where was her head at? Be present, listen and take notes!

Renting a Vacant Lot

We discuss the vacant lot diagonally behind our house, that we would rent and insure, for the contractors to use. This would help out the workers and spare our neighbors. The builder said he would not be using it, so don’t bother renting it. He said he will park in the Municipal lot, along with the other workers. UPDATE: THEY ALL PARKED IN THE VACANT LOT! 

The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party.

John C. Calhoun

Author: Laurie