Moving forward in his effort to curtail unnecessary and inappropriate spending at state boards, commissions and authorities, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has exercised his eighth veto since taking office.
Yesterday, the Governor vetoed five professional services contracts approved by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority at its February 23, 2010 meeting.
“The New Jersey Turnpike Authority decided to approve contract costs that ignore New Jersey Administrative Code guidelines for negotiating fair and reasonable fees,” Governor Christie said. “We simply can no longer tolerate this unreasonable spending and must hold these agencies accountable for their actions.”
Governor Christie’s veto concerns the award of five contracts: $2.34 million to Churchill Consulting Engineers for supervision of construction services for certain guiderail improvements and pavement restoration contracts; $980,000 to Hill International for supervision of construction services for construction of the Holmdel Motor Vehicle Maintenance Facility and installation of the PNC Bank Arts Amphitheater improvements; $476,000 to KS Engineers, P.C. for supervision of construction services related to certain contracts for sign panel replacements and overhead variable message sign support structures fabrication; $735,200 to Dresder Robin Environmental Management, Inc for operation, maintenance and compliance monitoring of environmental remediation systems at the Montvale and Vauxhall service areas on the Garden State Parkway; and $545,000 to Hatch Mott MacDonald for operation, maintenance and compliance monitoring of environmental remediation systems at the Brookdale North and Brookdale South service areas on the Garden State Parkway.
The fees ranged from 11.5% to 84% higher than the fees proposed by other highly-ranked firms competing for the contracts.
“The Governor's action reinforces the kind of change that I've been working to bring to the Turnpike since the new administration took office,” said Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson.
No veto power was exercised as to any other actions taken by the Authority at its meeting on February 23, 2010.