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Wind turbine permit fees, temporary storage costs BRSA $268K more

“Expenses beyond original scope,” said Robert Fischer, executive director of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority, at meeting Monday.

The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) approved an additional $268,000 in available funds for unforeseen expenses related to the wind turbine it plans to install on its property in Union Beach.

The funds, approved through a change order request at the BRSA’s regular action meeting Monday night, are available for distribution over the next five months.

The company contracted by the BRSA to complete the transportation and assembly of the turbine, Conti of Edison, was originally alotted $343,000, according to Robert Fischer, the executive director of the BRSA.

However, expenses resulting from delay costs, such as storing the turbine in Newark, and permitting costs, such as engineers working to establish the transportation route for approval, are higher than anticipated, according to Fischer.

The municipalities who are directly affected by the transporation route gave the BRSA and its contractor, Conti of Edison, a list of requirements that had to be checked off before the county transportation pemits are issued to allow the overweight and oversized components of the turbine to be transported to the BRSA property in Union Beach.

The requirements include a video inspection of storm and sewer pipes in Union Beach and Keyport. They also include the submission of new drawings demonstrating how the trucks will make turns on narrow roads without damaging private property.

During the meeting, Commissioner Kathleen Parsells of Union Beach asked why these requirements were not in the contract from the beginning. According to Fischer, the contract required the BRSA to pay for any work done by the contractor in relation to obtaining the county transportation permit.

This means the money will not be paid out until the work is done, said Fischer.

“Invoices (for work done) have to be submitted to substantiate each one of those claims,” said Fischer.

Fischer said many of the project’s fixed costs are easily determined, such as $9,000 monthly rent for storing the turbine components in Newark for several months. The components cannot be transported until the BRSA receives legal clearance, and Fischer said the BRSA included extra funding in the change order request to store the components until April.

Fischer said that the BRSA was caught off-guard by the requirements, since they did not have to do the extensive inspections to transport the turbine components to Newark.

“Those conditions now have created these costs that are a change order to the original contract because it was not anticipated at the beginning that we would have to video-inspect the sewer pipes that are being crossed over, because these trucks came all the way from Iowa, Texas, and Florida and none of those sewer pipes were ever inspected.”

The BRSA is a government agency that handles the raw sewage of Union Beach, Holmdel, Keyport, Hazlet, Keansburg, Matawan, Aberdeen and parts of Marlboro, by transporting, treating and disposing it. The agency is installing a wind turbine to offset its energy costs, but faces opposition from Union Beach elected officials and local residents.