Homeowner Appointed as an Agent for the Borough! So What Happened?

NJOEM (Kathy Lear) and the Deputy Attorney General (Carl Wyhopen) who indicated that the Owner as an Agent for the Borough can Contract the Services

After receiving notification of the award, on December 15th 2010, we signed the Grant, along with Mayor Fernandes. Upon signing the grant, based on our accepted application, we were confident that there was an excess of funds and that monies could be returned to FEMA. That same day, Maryann Smeltzer, the Borough Administrator, sent the following e-mail to T&M associates:

Jackie: attached find Grant Agreement which we received on Monday, 12-13-2010. This agreement is currently in attorney review. Since our contract with Tetra Tech is now complete, I am asking you to provide a proposal for the engineering services that will be necessary to see this project through to completion. If you need to review my file please make an appointment to come in and do so.

The Grant application indicates that the Borough will review progress and invoices as well as the following:

The Borough of Sea Bright is committed to support the implementation of this activity. It is important to note that the Borough Administrator has been active in the development of this grant project and is knowledgeable with all aspects of the project. The Borough administration staff will provide adequate resources to oversee the grant administration by securing funding for the project and providing guidance to the home owner as they manage the project. The Borough Administration and the homeowner have executed a consultation agreement summarizing the disclosure on the project (attached). Upon receiving notification of grant funding for this project, the Borough administrator will initiate a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement with the property owner to ensure expectations and milestones are met and to ensure accountability in the expenditure of funds. The agreement will specify the roles and responsibilities of both the property owner and the Borough of Sea Bright, the amount of funding available, costs that are eligible and ineligible for reimbursement under the grant, and specific dates under which the grant funding is available. The property owner must sign a statement stating that they will not convert the areas below the lowest floor to livable space for human habitation and assure that the area allows for the free flow of water during flood events. The agreement will also specify that the property owner must hire experts to prepare all needed construction drawings, must obtain all necessary permits and pre-project review approval (including building permits), and must hire and oversee the contractors that conduct the work. The property owner must also agree to maintain a flood insurance policy on the structure. Throughout the process, the Borough of Sea Bright administrator will remain available to provide technical assistance to support the project process and will provide staff to manage the grant and submit all necessary progress reports and billings. The purpose of this project will elevate the structure 2 feet above the BFE and it will be physically implemented as follows. To accomplish this elevation, the existing porches and 120 sf of the slab based portion of the structure would be demolished. Utility services would be disconnected and the main structure would then be raised and placed on cribbings for support. The existing foundation and crawl space would be demolished and back-filled, then helical pilings would be driven into the ground. On top of the pilings cement footings would be poured. A block and rebar wall would be built on top of the footings to a height of 8 feet above grade or 2 feet above BFE, as per municipal regulations for free board. Block walls would be built adhering to local building codes for construction and flood ventilation. A slab would be poured within the block walls. Damage to floor joists and sills would be repaired. The house would then be lowered on the new foundation and secured with hurricane strapping. The previously damaged portion of the home, along with the porches and their roofs, would be reconstructed. Reconfigured egresses would be finished along the stairwells. Mechanical services and equipment would also be relocated and reconnected. Outside, the grade and landscaping would be restored and block wall finished with plaster to be aesthetically pleasing, conforming with neighboring homes and local building codes.

Regarding paragraph 11, Tetra Tech spoke to NJOEM (Kathy Lear) and the deputy Attorney General (Carl Wyhopen) who indicated that the owner as an agent for the Borough can contract the services, but must comply with all local ordinances etc. as noted in paragraph 9.

end of letter

Based on what the grant application indicates I would need a proposal from you. If you need to look at the application, let me know. The Borough will then set up an engineering escrow account for this matter.

I am copying the homeowner so he is aware that engineering costs will be deducted from this grant.

That government is best which governs least.

Thomas Paine

Author: Laurie