The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved entering into a contract with Snyder and Associates Engineers, for design, and construction engineering services associated with the City’s 2013 Street Improvement Program. City Administrator Doug Harris said the Design Services will be for a lump sum of $88,800. Bid services will cost $2,500, and construction engineering services will be billed hourly, but not to exceed $78,450. The grand total for the contract package amounts to $169,750. Harris says that represents 9.6% of the estimated construction costs.
Mayor Dave Jones explained why the City didn’t follow the normal course of action, and call for bids on the services needed. He said “Generally, engineering fees are 15-to 18-percent” of the total project cost. Snyder and Associates has agreed to keep their fees at 9.6-percent, which results in a savings to the City for the $2-million dollar street project over the next two-years. He said also low interest rates make this the prime time to get some good bids through Snyders for those projects.
In other business, the Atlantic City Council discussed and agreed to refer for further review to the Community Development Committee, the offering of Tax Abatements and/or rebate programs as a means to inspire home owners to rehabilitate their properties, and revitalize neighborhoods in the City. Mayor Jones said there would be a cap on amount of the abatements, which are designed for the average citizen, and not developers. He says the City has a Minimum Maintenance Code which requires homeowners to fix their properties up, and this is a tool designed to help them do just that, while at the same time getting a break on their taxes “down the road.”
Jones said he’d like to get the process underway in January so the Council has something to approve by April. Councilman Steve Livengood said the City’s bonding attorney answered a lot of questions the Council had about putting together a policy on Tax Abatements, and, Councilman Shaun Shouse said what’s being discussed now is consistent with what the City’s TIF Task Force has recommended.