Category Archives: CMX Engineering

What Were They Saying Before The Decision To Cancel The Sports Complex

I went back to my archivist to see if he could grabbed me some audio clips of what everyone had to say about using the bonded funds for the artificial turf fields for other uses.

He sent me 5 clips of Township Attorney Brian Nelson,Township Administrator Tony Mercantante and Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger stating that the bond money has to be used for recreation or turf fields. These clips are from Committee meetings on February 1st, March 1st and March 15th .

Nelson and Mercantante address a person’s question concerning whether or not the bond for the turf fields could be appropriated for other use during the February 1st meeting.
Scharfenberger adds his two cents in the following three sound bites, the first two of which are from the March 1st Township Committee Workshop meeting where he is heard saying that the money for the turf fields could not be used for other projects but could be appropriated for a different facility. He later stated that the turf fields were part of Green Acres and there for needed to be discussed at an official public meeting that would be scheduled for the end of March.

The last clip is from the March 15th Township Committee meeting and is of Mayor Scharfenberger announcing that the resolution that would give the go ahead for CMX Engineering to finalize plans and proceed to mark up project bidding specifications for the sports complex at West Front Street was being pulled, but they were going to move ahead with the field at WFSP anyway just not with all the amenities.
Then all of a sudden at the informal March 23th Neighborhood Meeting at Croydon Hall, Gerry Scharfenberger announced that himself and those members of the Township Committee that were in attendance that evening came to a consensus decision to cancel the turf project all together due to concerns over state aid figures that he had just been informed of, and because of this the Township would recall the bond and return the money to the lender.
Using the decline in state aid as a cover story for cancelling the turf projects was just a convenient excuse on Scharfenberger’s end. Both he and Pam Brightbill, had been telling everyone for months prior to the meeting that the bonded funds for the turf fields had no impact on the budget and based on the article that appeared in the Independent, the Township knew a week earlier about the state aid cut, which they had been talking about for the past few Committee meetings anyway.
So will the audio shine anymore light onto the shady dealing that go on down at Town Hall? Not really, but they do give a little bit of insight into the thinking of for what and how the money that was bonded for the turf fields in 2006 could be used for even if it was contrary to the actual language of the bond ordinance.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Brian Nelson, CMX Engineering, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Neighborhood meetings, the Independent, Tony Mercantante, West Front Street

RedBankGreen: MIDDLETOWN FIELD DEBATE HEATS TO A BOIL

Reporter Dustin Racioppi from RedBankGreen.com also attended last nights Middletown Township Committee meeting, I think his article did a better job at capturing the overall atmosphere and feelings that were present in the room, more so than what was published in the Asbury Park Press. He also has a few good pictures worth checking out.

Below is his take on how things went last night:

Podium pounding. Yelling. Fingerpointing. The only things missing from Monday night’s Township Committee meeting were pitchforks and torches.

To say the least, the residents are getting restless.

About 200 of them turned out to hear how the town intended to go forward with contentious plans to upgrade two athletic areas to artificial turf and add more fields to them in order to accommodate more sports. Many came to voice their concerns, some to give the committee a stern talking to and others just to grandstand.

It wasn’t for naught.

Because of a potential sale of the project’s engineer, CMX Engineering, the committee decided not to move forward just yet in finalizing plans to upgrade fields at Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park.

The governing body also nixed its plans to add lighting, a public announcement system and concession stand at West Front, which have long been a bone of contention among neighbors.

Still, a certain level of outrage remained concerning West Front.

A number of residents in the Lincroft section of town — at least 400, if you go by signed petitions gathered by resident Mary Mahoney — are against the town’s plan in one way or another. Some believe that although the committee resolved not to add the amenities now, it may try to do so in the future.

A seemingly larger number are still angered because they’d rather see Trezza Field, the longtime home of Pop Warner’s Chargers, get the improvements.

Originally the committee wanted that, too. But plans drawn up by T&M Associates to add baseball fields, multi-use fields and parking to Trezza Field proved to be an unwise choice for the town, primarily because of limited space and surrounding wetlands, said Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger. As a result, the focus shifted to the fields at West Front Street.

Since then, residents have decried the plan, saying it will increase traffic and otherwise alter the area’s quality of life. And at the meeting, Allen Vrabel tried to prove that T&M was wrong, when he took his five minutes of the public comment portion to break out a schematic drawing from an unnamed engineer and pass out copies of it to the crowd showing that the fields will fit at Trezza with sufficient parking and without impinging on wetlands.

The crowd erupted with hoots and applause.

“What you’re proposing is like putting a square peg in a round hole on West Front Street,” Vrabel said. “These can go out to bid tomorrow.”

Vrabel’s comments opened up the gates for the public to skewer the committee, which took it with aplomb — particularly Scharfenberger, who got an earful from Barbara Thorpe.

Thorpe, who scolded Scharfenberger for not paying close enough attention to her, argued that now isn’t the time to spend the estimated $2.5 million on these upgrades.

“Your priorities are all screwed up,” she said to Sharfenberger. “I don’t know what planet you come from or live on, but you are oblivious.”

The $2.5 million to support the field upgrades comes from money set aside in a 2006 bonding package, and is specifically approved for the fields, Committeewoman Pamela Brightbill said.

More pressing at the moment, though, is the fate of CMX. Scharfenberger said he’s not sure of the specifics or how a sale could potentially affect the timeline of the field work, but said the town is looking into it.

“There’s lots of variables. We’re sort of in limbo right now,” he said.

Scharfenberger said the committee is going to also look into the feasibility of Vrabel’s proposal.

“We’re going to look at this very seriously. We wanted to put (more fields) at Trezza, but conditions, as we explained, precluded that,” Scharfenberger said. “We’re going to consider everything that is viable.”

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Filed under CMX Engineering, Lincroft, Pop Warner, RedBankGreen.com, sports complex, Trezza Field, West Front Street

CMX Engineering: Firm That Is Doing Work On Lincroft Sports Complex Tackled For a Loss; Shutting Down Operations As Of May 11th

Very courious development in the issue over the Lincroft Sports Complex, CMX Engineering, the firm that Middeltown hired to do the engineeering work and develope bidding specs for the turf field projects at West Front Street Park in Lincroft and Croydon Hall in Belford is going out of business as of May 11th this year and it has left many that oppose the field project scratching their heads.

Could the reason why the Township is so hell bent on ramming through the fields over residents concerns and comments to the contrary, be because they have a timeline with CMX to finish the intial work so that the sports complex can be placed out for bidding?

If so, why would the Township even hire a company that they new was going out of business to do this type of work in the first place ? After all Monmouth County knew back in January that CMX wasn’t going to be around long enough to finish work for them so they didn’t give them a contract to design intersection improvements at Memorial Drive and Evergreen Avenue in Neptune City and Bradley Beach.

There are many questions that need to be answered at Monday night’s Township Committee meeting and I know that people will be out in force that night looking for answers so the Mayor better have answers because it may turn out to be a “lynching”

Here is an excerpt from today’s Asbury Park Press on the closing of CMX Engineering:

“…In years past, the company was dogged by controversy.

In 1990, Stephen DePalma and the company were indicted on bribery charges. The state charged that DePalma and then-Woodbridge Mayor Joseph DeMarino paid $5,750 to a Carteret councilman in exchange for an engineering contract. Both DePalma and DeMarino were acquitted.

In 2005, the company announced that it would no longer make corporate political donations after it gave more than $875,000 to state- and county-level campaigns between 2000 and 2004.

In February 2009, founder Howard Schoor was sentenced to two years’ probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $7,500 fine after he admitted paying off an Ocean Township official.

Company officials have said Schoor has not been associated with the company on a daily basis since 1996. He retired from the firm in 2005.

Still, CMX has had a presence at the Jersey Shore for years and has contracts or provides engineering services in roughly a dozen municipalities in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

CMX and its predecessor formerly had extensive contracts with the Monmouth County government, but business was reduced to a trickle in recent years.

In January, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved an $88,844 engineering contract with CMX to design intersection improvements at Memorial Drive and Evergreen Avenue in Neptune City and Bradley Beach.

The contract was never executed, a county spokesman said.

“We have been notified this was coming,” spokesman William K. Heine said. “There are some open purchase orders currently, and we are working with county counsel to determine what if any deliverables are due to the county to be paid for….”

Read the full article >>>Here


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Filed under Asbury Park Press, CMX Engineering, Lincroft, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex