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Ridgewood Targeting Habernickel Opening in October Despite Contractor's Woes

Village found the project's contractor, R. Vernieri, in default after significant construction delays.

After suffering major fiscal woes, Oakland-based R. Vernieri Contractor Inc. is no longer involved in the , village officials said Tuesday.

Despite the project's contractor going belly up and in the process of auctioning assets, work at Habernickel should continue uninterrupted, according to Village Manager Ken Gabbert.

Gabbert said separate contractors will be taking over various elements of the project after the village issued an order of defiance on Aug. 8 to R. Vernieri.

Work performed by R. Vernieri had abruptly stopped this summer, prompting Ridgewood to take legal action. The situation should not impact the village financially, Gabbert said.

R. Vernieri did not respond to requests for comment.

Procured with a series of Open Space grants in 2004 for $7 million, the  to a recreation facility includes numerous upgrades, including a new parking lot, walking path, playground, and a transformation of a grass field — currently used for youth soccer, golf clinics and lacrosse — into a mixed-use field with 100 yards of multi-purpose space, as well as the 60-foot baseball diamond.

The project in the last few years. Ridgewood is targeting a ribbon cutting on Oct. 21, Gabbert said.

A "punch list" containing 15 items, including the fertilization of the field, fencing and the removal of tools must still be completed, he said. Wood at the playground must also be replaced.

Bergen County Superior Court Judge Michael Koppelman ordered the assets of the contractor be auctioned off, records show. The auction will take place in Wayne at AJ Willner Auction Yard on Sept. 11.

barbara August 31, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Who decided to place the baseball diamond fence behind home plate facing cars driving on Hillcrest Road? When a ball is hit hard, this poses a risk to drivers having their windshields smashed or pedestrians being hit while walking on the newly created sidewalk. Oh how I miss the bucolic nature of horses munching grass on the field before the Village installed a "family park" that consists mostly of a baseball field for the RBA. Again, the sports enthusiasts won out over the sorely needed passive park where citizens could go for a place to sit and read a book without hearing the noise of baseball bats and screaming fans. So much for a "park" and welcome our new "baseball field". I guess Ridgewood residents need to head over to Wyckoff or Glen Rock to enjoy some peaceful nature in a quiet park without the noise of town sports.
Marcia Ringel September 01, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I used to drive out of my way to look at the horses.

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