A grant award totaling $39,000 was approved during Thursday evening’s regular meeting for Kodiak High School students to complete the addition of a conference room for the borough.
The grant gives $15,000 to the Kodiak High School Career Technical Student Organization for student stipends and organization funds. The other $24,000 is for the purchase of materials and equipment needed to complete the conference room addition.
Assembly member Louise Stutes objected to funding the project, stating that it would be a good project under different circumstances.
“I would rather see the $39,000 go toward getting a project manager for the high school building project,” Stutes said.
Assembly member Dave Kaplan pointed out that the project would be a great hands-on lesson for the students.
“I see this as an enhancement project for student certification,” Kaplan said. “In the long run it benefits Kodiak by teaching students the trade.”
Assembly members Tuck Bonney and Chris Lynch agreed with Kaplan.
Assembly member Mel Stephens pointed out that funds for the project were not figured into the 2012 budget.
The grant award passed 4-2, Stephens and Stutes opposed.
Another issue that divided the assembly was the approval of a change order for the landfill expansion.
The project now requires a water treatment plant to treat runoff from the landfill. The borough has been working with engineering firm CH2M Hill on the project since 2007, and the new change order would give the contractor an additional $743,000 for the new designs and services.
Stephens objected to the approval because the original contract was for about $392,000 and was supposed to be completed already. The contract has had approximately 10 changes since it was created.
“It leads me to wonder whether or not we’re getting our money’s worth,” Stephens said. “We should consider a separate contract and investigate a fixed fee.”
The current contract allows for payment on a time and materials basis, rather than a maximum fee.
“I think a three-quarter million change order is outrageous,” Stutes said. “If we need new designs let’s send them out and get a bid and a firm price.”
The other assembly members just wanted to keep the project moving with the same contractor.
The change order passed 4-2, Stephens and Stutes opposed.
The borough assembly will have its next regular meeting on April 19, and will start talking about the 2013 budget.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.