Assembly members issued a request for proposals for the Gateway Project Design Review during a Dec. 4 meeting.

Mayor Mark Schaefer said the assembly intends to have a peer review of any design plans.

“A ballpark figure might be $100,000 out of Port Development money. It needs to happen. It’s like buying insurance as far as I’m concerned,” Schaefer said.

The RFP has proposals due by Jan. 12 and notice of award by Jan. 23, but assembly members Gary Hanson and Tim Cochran suggested that the timeline be extended as the holidays are near.

Cochran said the issue was discussed during a Dec. 3 Port Commission meeting.

“Port Commission asked me to say something about needing to push this [back] and give some more time. That’s not giving peer review much time to do anything. I think we should push it [back] at least a month,” Cochran said.

Borough Manager Scott Hahn asked if they had told Gateway Project manager Chad Gubala about the extension.

“I know with this project there are so many moving parts. There are so many critical paths and if things don’t line up it could be a big problem for him,” he said.

Cochran agreed and said he would speak with Gubala about the timeline.

Hahn asked that he be allowed to decide whether the municipality has the time to extend the deadline.

“I’d have to check with Chad and KPFF and ask how a delay would fit in with the entire engineering construction plans,” Hahn said.

Hahn said he thinks the assembly is worried about the timeline because they expect there to be some kind of review by Port Commission or by assembly, but said that’s not the case.

He said the bidders will present questions, and it will be up to him and Gubala to provide the answers by the 29th.

“It’s not like there’s a meeting time where we’re going to sit and chew the fat. It’s just not that kind of event in projects,” Hahn said.

Assemblyman Steve Burnham Jr. said RFPs are normally issued by the borough manager, and said it’s a courtesy that they get to review it.

“I think we could just not oppose it and let him do what we discussed,” Burnham said.

Cochran asked that Port Commission be kept in the loop so as not to be caught off-guard.

Assembly members agreed to allow the manager to issue the RFP and make the necessary changes discussed.

“I appreciate the thought on let’s make sure that we have the time to do it, but let’s not delay it unnecessarily either,” Schaefer said. –EG