Update on Veterans Community Park Construction
Posted: September 16, 2019
The construction of Veterans Community Park on Calais Road was temporarily suspended as a result of the project’s general contractor, Abraham Construction, LLC closing their operation due to financial insolvency.
The township, upon learning of Abraham Construction, LLC’s decision to close, immediately filed a default claim against the company’s surety bond posted by Selective Insurance. Under the terms of the bond, the surety is responsible for funding of the outstanding financial obligations of the defaulting contractor and ensuring the satisfactory completion of the project.
Since the declaration of default, the township has been working closely with Selective Insurance on the actions necessary to move the project forward. The next steps in the process include the execution of payment agreements for subcontractors and suppliers (owed for goods or services provided in support of the project); the remedying of any substandard work by the contractor; and ultimately the execution of a tender agreement with the surety company to allow for the completion of the remaining work under the contract. Under the timetable provided by Selective Insurance, it is anticipated that the tender agreement will be finalized in early October.
Under the terms of the tender agreement, Selective Insurance will hire a “completion contractor” to take over the project construction. This will allow the project to proceed without the township having to go out to bid for another general contractor. At the time the work was suspended, Abraham Construction, LLC had completed approximately half of the project. Under the tender agreement, Selective Insurance is also obligated to pay the township a cash settlement to cover any financial obligations resulting from the default of the primary contractor. It is anticipated that between the funds the township has yet to release on the project, and the costs to be covered by the surety company, no additional municipal funding will be required to complete the project.
The new park will feature an amphitheater, a 1/4 mile paved, lighted walkway loop, a community garden, picnic pavilions, pickleball courts, paved and natural trails, a bathroom facility and multiple open areas for passive recreation and public events.
The project is being funded from the Randolph Township Parks & Recreation/Open Space Trust and required no increase in the voter enacted tax which supports the trust. The construction of the park was originally expected to be completed by fall 2019. In light of the contractor’s default, the project’s completion date has been pushed into 2020.
The community’s patience and understanding is appreciated as the township works towards the successful completion of the project. Additional statements regarding the project, and efforts to complete, will be released as warranted. Residents with questions about the project may contact the township manager’s office at 973.989.7060.