Township committee to fund improvements to Middletown Arts Center

MIDDLETOWN — Township committee members have awarded a $431,000 contract to a company that will undertake renovations to the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church St.

At a meeting on September 6, committee members passed a resolution awarding a $431,000 contract to George Koustas Painting and Construction, West Long Branch, for renovations to the arts center.

According to the Middletown Arts Center website, the facility is facing a loss of revenue and needs $165,000 to cover its operating costs.

Deputy Mayor Rick Hibell said the arts center was damaged by flooding and affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The arts center has had a tough time with COVID-19, and without space downstairs, it’s harder for them to operate,” Hibell said. “I hope to see (the renovations) done in six months. It’s a good thing to get (the arts centre) up and running as it should be.

In other cases, committee members authorized the purchase of two 2022 Ford Bronco Sport SUVs for the Department of Public Works (DPW). The vehicles were purchased from Nielsen Ford, Morristown, for $60,785, according to a resolution.

Committee members also authorized the purchase of a Hamm tandem roller for the DPW. The tandem roller was purchased from JESCO Inc. at a cost of $62,099.

And, committee members authorized two increases totaling $346,077 in a contract with Jads Construction Co. of New Jersey for the 2021 road and drainage improvement program. According to a resolution, the contract originally totaled $2.27 millions of dollars. The revised amount is $2.61 million. The increase was due to unforeseen circumstances encountered by Jads Construction Co. and the township, according to the resolution.

Finally, committee members passed separate resolutions awarding $240,000 as the not-to-exceed amount for a contract with Sodon’s Electric, Inc. for on-call electrical repair, service, and maintenance; and $200,000 for a contract with Magic Touch Construction Company Inc. for on-call plumbing repairs. Officials said a not-to-exceed amount was not established when the contracts were awarded to those companies in May.

William E. Bennett