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UTILITY AND TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTOR October 2013

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RECIPIENT OF THE WILLIAM FEATHER MEMORIAL AWARD AND

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ 07080

20 I NORTH ROUTE 73

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, NJ 06095

(908) 561-9000 •

(656) 767-5900

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


C&HAGENCY

~ ROBERT BRIANT, SR. As HE IS INDUCTED INTO THE NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME

JACK CALLAHAN AND GEORGE THOMPSON LARRY GARDNER

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RECIPIENTS OF THE WILLIAM FEATHER MEMORIAL AWARDS

JOSEPH WALSH FOR HIS DEDICATION DURING HIS TIME AS UTCA PRESIDENT

BEST WISHES FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT C & H AGENCY C &H A GENCY Exclusiyely serving contractors' insurance and bonding needs for over 40 years 783 North Riverview Drive· Totowa, New Jersey 07512 P.O. Box 324· Totowa, New Jersey 075 11 PHONE 973.890.0900 • FAX 973.890.9038 • E-mail: info@chagency.com

www.chagency.com Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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President’s Message As the year progresses we find our Industry still in need of funding with no apparent means in sight. With politics getting in the way of current funding levels and what should or should not be funded we face a mounting challenge. As new elections arrive, politicians are weary of making any changes that can affect re-election efforts. This year as an association we will have to find ways to help the Legislature make good decisions relative to our industry. We will initiate polling studies relative to the cause of future long term funding ideas. The competitiveness of New Jersey depends on the ability for its business’ to deliver products and goods in a timely fashion. Also, ease of transportation can drive the cost of goods up or down based on the ease of delivery to market. Moving employees to jobs is an important factor as companies decide to stay or leave our state. Hopefully we can attract more with a robust highway system and ultimately create more jobs and lower taxes for the residents of our state. To compete with New York and Philadelphia on each side of us can and should be an easy task. New Jersey with its Highways, Ports and Airports should be in a great position to keep our state as a top prospect for growth. Since we need help for this type of funding, we will need to have better communications with our labor partners with whom we work. With their help we can also work on legislators to achieve or goals for industry funding. The past year went by fast and Joe Walsh kept the pace as he initiated future plans for the UTCA such as staffing changes. With the passing of Bob Sr. this left a large gap that needed to be filled. Bob Jr.’s plate was filled almost immediately with his appointment to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Board of Directors as well as the top leadership role as Chairman of the Clean Water Construction Coalition. These two Positions and organizations are very important to the UTCA as they bring major funding to our State. With Joe Walsh’s leadership, along with Bob Jr., we were able to acquire Dennis Hart who can help lead these state efforts so Bob can continue his work with the two Organizations successfully. Once again, thank Joe for his efforts in labor negotiations throughout his term. And thank the J. Fletcher Creamer Company for his service to the industry last year. We will look forward to his continued service on the Board. At this year’s 2013 Convention I would also like to recognize the William Feather Memorial Award winner George Thompson from Tilcon for his service to our Industry. George has a long and rich history and we are glad to add him to this distinguished

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list of past award winners. Also recognized was the Larry Gardner Memorial Award winner Jack Callahan and his years associated with our organization and members. Jack has been an active member serving on many committees and working for many of our members. We would also thank him for his years of service and continued support. We had a very special Induction into the Construction Industry Hall of Fame this year. The award was presented to The Briant Family. Carole, Bob’s wife of 54 years and his son Bob Jr. accepted on behalf of Bob Briant Sr. We can’t say enough about the contributions that Bob Sr. has made to our industry and would like to thank the Briant family for their service also. The construction equipment dealers are a huge asset to our Industry. We count on them for their support, knowledge and expertise of our industry to serve our needs and keep up with the latest technology. Jesco has continued to be a leader supporting customers from large to small with John Deere heading up the lineup of many manufacturers they work with and support. They move into the 5th decade in business and continue to grow to the needs of the marketplace with dealerships in multiple states on the east coast. I would like to recognize the UTCA staff and the Tropicana for another great and successful convention. More than 1100 people attended the event and were treated to an inspirational keynote address from ESPN analyst Merril Hoge and very interesting exhibits from our vendors. The annual PAC Auction raised approximately $37,300 for the association’s Political Action Committee, Constructors For Good Government. I would like to thank the UTCA Board of Directors for their confidence and support in me as I begin my term as UTCA President. I look forward to the coming year in providing service to this industry and this great association.

Best regards,

Harry Chowansky

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


OCTOBER 2013 Volume XXXVIII, Number 5

Contents Features

Published Bimonthly During 2013 Office Address: 1670 Route 34 North Farmingdale, NJ 07727 Mailing Address: PO Box 728 Allenwood, NJ 08720 (732) 292-4300 FAX: (732) 292-4310 www.utcanj.org Publisher: Robert A. Briant, Jr.

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9 13 19 21

Editor: Michael DeVito

35

Editorial Contributors: Michael DeVito Evan Piscitelli Dan Neville

42

Advertising Manager: Helene Nasdeo

56

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Photographer: Michael DeVito Cover Photo: Image Up Production/Graphics: Lauren Hagan Helene Nasdeo Circulation: Helene Nasdeo Printed By: American Plus Printers Affiliations: ARTBA Clean Water Construction Coalition Water Infrastructure Network UTILITY AND TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTOR (ISSN 0192-4843) is published six times a year by the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey, 1670 Highway 34 North, Farmingdale, NJ 07727. Periodical postage paid at Farmingdale, NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to UTILITY AND TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTOR, PO Box 728, Allenwood, NJ 08720.

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Annual Convention Featured Merril Hoge And Awards To George Thompson And Jack Callahan Surety Underwriting Tips Year-End Balance Sheet Planning Is A Self-Funded Health Insurance Plan Right For Your Company? CJ Hesse Completes Ocean County Airport Project Bringing The Transportation Investment Conversation To The Kitchen Table Caution: Rising Sea Levels & Disastrous Weather Ahead JESCO Begins Fifth Decade In Business Clean Water Construction Coalition 2013 Efforts & 2014 Challenges New & Improved Basel III Rules Enable Community Banks To Conduct “Business As Usual” Valuing Your Company

4 4

4

40 19

Departments 2 25 28 51 70

President’s Message Legal Dig Accounting Corner Legislative News Labor Relations

42

Cover UTCA President Harry Chowansky presents the 2013 William Feather Memorial Award to George Thompson.

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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ANNUAL CONVENTION FEATURED MERRIL HOGE AND AWARDS TO GEORGE THOMPSON & JACK CALLAHAN Harry Chowansky Inducted As President And The Late Bob Briant, Sr. In The Hall Of Fame UTCA’s 48th Anniversary Convention, conducted last month at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, attracted approximately 1,100 people over the three day event. Those in attendance at the Friday Luncheon program heard ESPN football analyst Merril Hoge provide his insights on the National Football League as well as his battle with cancer.

attempting to secure as many bills as possible in a 30 second time frame. Ransome Cat sponsored the coffee and pastries that were available in the exhibit hall on Friday morning.

Rich Raczynski receives service award from Bob Briant, Jr., left and Joe Walsh.

ESPN football analyst Merril Hoge provides keynote address.

The annual convention opened on Thursday morning, September 19 with a golf outing at Ron Jaworski’s Blue Heron Pines Golf Club. That evening convention attendees and exhibitors participated in a “Foods Around The World Reception”, sponsored by Foley, Incorporated, which attracted a large crowd where attendees enjoyed the variety of food and drinks. UTCA’s convention exhibit this year included displays of goods and services of approximately 95 firms and was available to attendees during Friday and Saturday. The popular “Money Booth” in the exhibit area, sponsored by the Kennedy Companies, continued to generate excitement for viewers and those who were in the booth

The Friday Luncheon opened with a presentation of the 2013 Larry Gardner Memorial Award to Jack Callahan of Cohn Reznick. Callahan was selected for his many years of service on association committees as well as his support of the association. A gathering of past winners of this award were also assembled for a group photo. During the luncheon, Merril Hoge spoke to the crowd about his years as an NFL player and now as an ESPN football analyst. Hoge’s appearance was sponsored by Penn-Jersey Machinery and Tilcon. During the luncheon, UTCA presented the President’s Service Award to Richard Raczynski, who recently retired as chief engineer for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Previous winners of the Larry Gardner Memorial Award are pictured at the recent convention. Joe Walsh presents the Larry Gardner Memorial Award to Jack Callahan. 4

C & H Agency sponsored the Friday President’s Reception at the convention, as they have done for many years. The event Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


continues to serve as one of the highlights of the convention and draws a large crowd with a wide variety of food and drink. Tropicana staff continues to provide exemplary service for this event. Following the President’s Reception, UTCA conducted its PAC Auction Party, which featured more than 100 items in the “silent” and “live” phases of the auction. Long-time UTCA staff member Michael DeVito once again served as the auctioneer for the event, and he was assisted by volunteers and members of the PAC Auction Committee which is chaired by George Helmer. The two United Airline International Business First Class tickets went for $4,800 in the live auction. This year’s auction raised approximately $37,300 for UTCA’s political action committee.

Ed Nyland is pictured with Bob Briant, Jr. and Carole Briant during the induction of Bob Briant, Sr. into the Construction Industry Hall of Fame.

Tim Watters of Hoffman Equipment presents grand prize to Bryan Schmalz.

The association wishes to thank those firms that contributed items to the auction, those individuals that purchased items and the companies that sponsored the PAC Auction Party. These sponsors included Atlantic Concrete Products, Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC, Earle Asphalt, High Steel Structures, JESCO, M.L. Ruberton Construction, South State and Vianini Pipe. Special kudos to committee chairman George Helmer for his continued efforts in making this event a huge success! The 2013 UTCA Construction Safety Awards were presented at the convention’s Saturday Breakfast. This year’s recipients included AmQuip Crane Rental, Orchard Holdings, Almasi Contractors, Creamer Environmental, Petillo, Inc., Vollers Excavating & Construction, The Napp-Grecco Company and Joseph Jingoli& Sons. The safety awards were sponsored by George Harms

Ron Powell, representing the Toys For Tots program, presents a special award to Bob Briant, Jr. recognizing the efforts of Bob Briant, Sr. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

Construction. The breakfast program also featured the presentation of the traditional manhole cover by Campbell Foundry to outgoing President Joe Walsh in recognition of his year of service. NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson also addressed the attendees at the Saturday Breakfast. He provided a review of the Department’s 2014 fiscal year construction program which is expected to exceed $1 billion. Following the breakfast, the Commissioner also met privately with several UTCA Board Members. The breakfast closed with the drawing of “his” and “her” watches and a Kindle Fire Wireless Reading Device by Joe Kent of Construction Risk Partners which sponsored the drawing. Bryan Schmalz was the winner of the watches, while William Vansay, Jr. received the Kindle. Following the drawing, attendees returned to view the exhibits. The exhibits closed with the grand prize drawing for a trip to St. Maarten which was sponsored by Hoffman Equipment. The winner of the grand prize was Bryan Schmalz. During the Saturday Dinner at the convention, the late Robert Briant, Sr. was inducted in the New Jersey Construction Industry Hall of Fame with his family in attendance. Bob Briant, Jr. gave a poignant speech in honoring his father’s 40 years of service to the UTCA and the industry in general. At the dinner, Joe Walsh was recognized for his year of service as association president, and Ron Tobia, UTCA’s Labor Counsel, inducted Harry Chowansky as UTCA’s new president. Following

Harry Chowansky, left, makes a presentation to Joe Walsh. 5


The popular band “The Nerds” provided music and entertainment again this year for the Saturday Dinner program. Once again, the convention supported the “Toys For Tots” program in collaboration with the U.S. Marines. Numerous contributions of toys and money were provided by attendees to support the program. As usual, the UTCA staff was able to conduct a stellar event, with special thanks to Helene Nasdeo and Lauren Hagan who handled the registration and other important duties in such an outstanding manner. Michael DeVito, COO for UTCA, took charge of the overall convention duties. The Saturday Dinner Reception at the convention was sponsored by Binder Machinery, Komatsu America Corporation, Wirtgen America and Takeuchi. As in past years, the experience at the Tropicana, food drinks and service were exceptional with special thanks to Joe James, Director of Catering and Convention Services. UTCA Labor Attorney Ron Tobia inducts Harry Chowansky as the new UTCA president.

his induction, the new association president thanked everyone for their support and reviewed his agenda for the upcoming year. The evening program concluded with the presentation of the 2013 William Feather Memorial Award to George Thompson, who recently retired as president of Tilcon, NJ. The award represents his achievements during his long career in the construction industry and his support of UTCA. The award is named for Bill Feather, an influential South Jersey contractor who provided extraordinary service to the association prior to his untimely death.

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2014 Annual Convention Is Scheduled For September 18-21, 2014

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


For over 20 years,

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Congratu lations JACK CALLAHAN recipient of the 2013

LARRY GARDNER MEMORIAL AWARD

GEORGE THOMPSON recipient of the 2013

WILLIAM FEATHER MEMORIAL AWARD

BOB BRIANT Induction to the CONSTRUCTION HALL OF FAME

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


SURETY UNDERWRITING TIPS YEAR-END BALANCE SHEET PLANNING

By: Carl Bloomfield The Graham Company

Another summer is in the rearview mirror. The kids are back to school and before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. Business owners and financial managers have just a few more months to impact the financial results of their organizations. Your year-end Financial Statement is critically important to the Surety Underwriting process. Throughout the year, your surety sees your interim financial information and they make judgments based on somewhat of an incomplete picture of your company’s financial status. It’s the year-end statements that have the most impact and long lasting effect on your Surety program. Therefore, you have to plan ahead to be sure you are doing the right things in these remaining months which will reflect well on your Balance Sheet at year-end. Here are some tips: 1. CASH: Remember that “Cash is King.” A high cash balance on your yearend financial statement will always leave a favorable impression with your Surety. Therefore, do whatever you can to maximize your cash position. 2. Equipment Purchases: There may be tax reasons to buy new equipment before year-end. However, you have to weigh the negative effect these purchases may have on your working capital which could reduce your surety line. If it is possible to wait to the following year to purchase equipment, this will improve your working capital for your year-end statements. 3. Pay-off Related Party Receivables: If stockholders or affiliated companies owe you money, try to collect it before year-end. A surety gives you no credit for these “soft” assets in arriving at “analyzed” working capital. This means your bonding capacity is cut by some multiple of the outstanding, related party receivables. 4. Over/Underbillings: Generally, sureties like to see Overbillings. It suggests that your organization has strong project controls in place and that you manage your cashflow on jobs well. On the other hand, Underbillings might be a sign of problems even if there is a perfectly good explanation.

Therefore, before year-end be aggressive in getting projects billed and resolve matters that might be creating billing problems. 5. Prepaid Expenses and Inventory: We refer to these as “soft assets”. Unfortunately, you don’t get full credit for these types of assets, and the surety discounts your working capital as a result. This has a multiplied effect on your bond line. Therefore, don’t be pre-paying your expenses or buying inventory in the last month of your fiscal year. 6. Timing of Payments: It’s always good to have a reputation for paying your bills on time. However, there is also an argument for holding payables at year-end until one day into the New Year. Remember, your Balance Sheet is a snapshot of one day in time. Holding payments by one day provides a better year-end picture of cash and liquidity. 7. Bank Line: Dependence on your bank line for routine cash flow is not something a surety ever wants to see. Even for the regular user of a working capital line of credit, being out of the line at year-end paints a better picture of your business. Therefore, being aggressive in collecting money in the last month of the year, in order to pay down your line, is wise. As mentioned in Number 6. Timing of Payments, extending payables a short time at year-end as a way to reduce the balance on your bank line, should also be considered. 8. Dividends: Delaying the payment of dividends until after the year-end means better equity and a stronger working capital position will be displayed on your year-end statements. Although a surety will always consider what happens in the months subsequent to your year-end, a better yearend picture becomes part of your documented history that is tracked from year-to-year-to-year. 9. Bank Covenants: In today’s tough banking environment, loan covenants are reviewed very closely. Non-compliance of even a minor covenant can trigger reactions

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

that are detrimental to your financial stability and your surety credit worthiness. Therefore, you need to understand ALL of your covenants and project your compliance before year-end. Otherwise it will be too late to get your company in compliance. In the past, it always seemed that banks could waive their own requirements which has lulled many of us into thinking they will do it again. However, these days, the banks are not being nearly as flexible. 10. CPA Firms: The name and reputation of your CPA Firm on the Accountant’s Report is just as important as what is in your Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Statement of Changes and Footnotes. A qualified CPA with construction experience and a strong reputation can make a very positive difference for you when it comes to the amount of surety credit your company is afforded. These 10 tips may seem like “window dressing” and in many respects they are. This advice is not designed to mislead your surety or any other user of your financial statements. It’s simply a way to make your annual resume look as good as possible. It is the same process that Surety and Insurance companies do to make their yearend statements look good for the stockholders and the credit rating agencies. The most important thing to remember is that your year-end financial statements travel with you forever. It’s a documented part of your history, so it is okay to dress it up. Also remember that your surety company and agent want to help you as best they can. The better your year-end financial statement, the better able they are to get their reinsurers to provide support. You can’t make a bad company look good, but you can make a good company look better and that is what these tips will hopefully do for you. About the Author: Carl Bloomfield is a Producer at The Graham Company, one of the largest insurance and employee benefits brokerages in the Mid-Atlantic region. Bloomfield is responsible for new business development in the areas of Property & Casualty insurance, Employee Benefits and Surety. He may be contacted at cbloomfield@grahamco.com 9


CARBRO CONSTRUCTORS CORP

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Congratulations Jack for a well deserved honor! We have 'co unted on' your hard work, integrity and friendship since the beginning, and hope to continue for many years to come. God Bless You. Congratulations and Best Wishes to Harry Chowansky, George Thompson, and Jesco on your accomplishments!

From your friends,

Joe and Anthony Caruso

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True & .Associates INSURANCE· SURETY· BENEFITS

Congr ,rtulations Georg

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Will""" Feather

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Jack Call han Larry Gardner remorilll Award recipient

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"Advising for todtlY, insuring for tomorrow" 12A leigh Street Clinton, NJ 08809 90Q.-713-6711

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Congratulations To Our Dear Friends Joe Walsh And

Harry Chowansky Outgoing and Incoming Presidents From

NITEDf

/CRANE RENTALS INC

Timothy H. Shinn President

111 North Michigan Ave. Kenilworth, NJ 07033

Phone Toll Free (800)356-6260

12

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


IS A SELF-FUNDED HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN RIGHT FOR YOUR COMPANY?

By: Nancy Damato, RDA Benefit Services

As we approach 2014, employers are looking for ways to maintain a quality group health plan, while at the same time, gain control over heath care expenses.One option to be considered is a Self-Funded Health Plan that can be customized to meet the needs of employees.These plans are available to groups with as few as 5 employees. Employers have the flexibility to choose the benefit options that best fit their needs. This means the plan design can continue to fit the group and their budget year after year.With this type of plan, there is also a new level of transparency related to claims and the opportunity to offer wellness initiatives to the group’s participants. Features of self-funded group health plans include: Pre-determined costs * Maximum self-funding cost for the year is determined up front- and it’s guaranteed, subject to enrollment and benefit changes. * Employers pay a flat monthly bill that includes an installment towards the claim fund, the premium for the stop-loss insurance and administrative fees. * Protection from large, unexpected claims through the stoploss insurance. * Various plan designs options—with a choice of deductibles and out of pocket limits.

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

* *

Plans with or without office visit co-pays and Rx co-pays. Traditional Plan designs, as well as those compatible with Health Saving Accounts (H.S.A.s) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (H.R.A.s). * Administration handled all in one place, including billing, claims and COBRA. Predictable Cash Flow * Employers will never have to pay more in a given month than they’ve planned for. * Any month, in which claims exceed the current balance in the claims fund,the insurance company advances to the claims fund the extra funds the group needs for that month. Potential for Cash Back at the End of the Year * If a group’s actual claims expenses for the year are less than the amount set aside in the claims fund, the employer gets money back. Self-funded plans are a worthwhile option for small employers and are an option not to be overlooked. To learn more about these plans and if they are right for your group, please contact Nancy Damato at ndamato@rdabenefits.com or call 855-693-0772 (toll-free).

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GEORGE THOMPSON William Feather Memorial Award

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Congratulations! George Thompson William Feather Memorial Award - Recipient Jack Callahan Larry Gardner Memorial Award - Recipient the late

Robert Briant, Sr. New Jersey Construction Hall of Fame - Inductee

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

15


• Asphalt • Bridges

It is truly fitting to posthumously recognize

Robert Briant, Sr. into the NJ Construction Hall of Fame.

• Environmental

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betterment of our industry were monumental.

• Foundations

His hard work, dedication and wisdom elevated

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UTCA to a national recognition of excellence, second to none.

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Congratulations to the Bob Briant family for • Runways

accepting Bob ' s posthumous induction into the

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NJ Construction Hall of Fame.

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Your friends, The D' Annunzio Family

Partnering/or Quality Results and Lasting Relationships For mont ,nlormation caA: 1·732-574-1300 01' III on the .... at ' * - dannunziocorp.cam 136 CentrallWe • Clark, NJ 07066 Fax' 1-732-574-1244

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D'ANNUNZIO & SONS, INC. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


Sage Scholarship Col/ege Award in honor of Robert A. Briant, Sr.

As a tribute to Bob Briant Sr., who was a strong believer and supporter of education, two annual scholarships are being established in his name, as part of the UTCA of NJ Sage Scholarship/College Tuition Benefit Program .

• • Participation in the UTCA of NJ Sage Scholarship/College Tuition Benefit Program-at no cost to the employer or employee-is required to be eligible for these scholarships. • Employees can receive additional scholarship rewards through a 5% match of their 401-K/ 403-b retirement account balance.

• Employees also have access to Voluntary Benefits, including Life, Disability, Cancer, Critical Illness and Accident insurance for themselves and their family. • Employers should consider these benefits a great addition to their company's compensation package to attract and retain key employees .

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We invite you to contact Evan Piscitelli at the UrCA office, 732-292-4300 or Nancy Damato, RDA Benefit Services, LLC, 855-693-0772 or ndamato@rdabenefits.com, for more details. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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1433 Route 34 South, B1 Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Phone: 732-557-6100 Fax: 732-736-8900 www.northeastremsco.com Email : info@northeastremsco.com

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Congratulations to

Mr. Harry Chowansky ureA President

Mr. Robert Briant, Sr. Induction to: New Jersey Construction Industry Hall of Fame

Mr. George Thompson Recipient of: William Feather Memorial Award

Mr. Jack Callahan Recipient of: Larry Gardner Memorial Award

Jesco Congratulations on 5 decades of successful years in business

The entire Northeast Remsco Construction,

Caldwell Marine International, Huxted Tunneling Organization wishes to extend our Congratulations

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18

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


CJ HESSE COMPLETES OCEAN COUNTY AIRPORT PROJECT 3600 Foot Runway Completed In One Day Last month, long-time UTCA contractor member firm CJ Hesse completed a project at Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township which included completion of a new runway and the expansion of existing taxiways. The new runway at this local airport will provide for safer arrivals and departures for airplanes and is the first new runway completed with FAA funding in 25 years.

linear feet of drainage pipe which ranged in diameters of 18 inches and 48 inches. Construction continued on taxiways B, L, M and A. On taxiway B, CJ Hesse completed a new section which was located between existing sections of the taxiway. The existing section of taxiway B was also milled and rebuilt. Approximately 200 feet of new taxiways were constructed on L and M, while taxiway A was completely rebuilt.

CJ Hesse paving operation at Miller Airpark.

In February of this year, CJ Hesse enlisted the services of Downes Tree Service to complete clearing and grubbing of approximately 34 acres on the 186 acre site. To compensate for the area that was cleared, the County of Ocean, which is the project owner, has pledged to preserve 485 acres in the Pine Barrens. CJ Hesse forces then began an extensive filling and grading procedure in which approximately 100,000 yards of dirt was redistributed. During the earthwork activities, another subcontractor, Caruso Excavating, installed approximately 2000

Tri State Erosion Control performs hydroseeding duties. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

Aerial view of the site.

By September 2013, construction began on the 3600 foot runway. The CJ Hesse team was able to complete this portion of the work in one, eight hour shift! The first step involved placing a six inch stone base on the re-graded property. A two and one half inch thick layer of base asphalt was then installed and this was followed by an additional one and one half inch layer of surface course. To complete this work, CJ Hesse utilized two transfer machines, two pavers and two rollers. Additional construction on this project took place on the existing runway which was milled down by three inches and leveled to match the taxiways and intersections of the new runway. Traffic Lines is the line striping subcontractor on this project while Tri State Erosion Control provided hydroseeding services. Kubiac Electric was the electrical subcontractor to CJ Hesse and also has a separate contract with Ocean County for additional lighting at this site. Stone was provide by Trap Rock Industries while Brick Wall Corporation supplied the asphalt. Leading the CJ Hesse operation on this $5.8 million project were John Cogliano, project manager, Larry Kiesel, assistant project manager, project superintendents Bryan Oakes and Rich Corbet, and paving superintendent Tony Cogliano. The resident engineer for this project was Steve Howe of C & S engineering, while Rick Harner served as the representative for the Federal Aviation Administration. Representing Ocean County were Dave Mckeon and Ryan Allen. 19


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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


BRINGING THE TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT CONVERSATION TO THE KITCHEN TABLE

By: Peter Ruane, ARTBA CEO & President

Many Americans have little idea about how much money they personally pay every month to maintain and improve the roads, bridges and public transit we use. But 75 to 80 percent of them say having safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is at least, if not more, important to their personal livelihood and well-being than good cable, cell phone, internet, water, sewage and household electricity and natural gas services. These were the key results in a national Ipsos Public Affairs survey—recently commissioned by ARTBA as part of the “Transportation Makes America Work” campaign—that aimed to gauge public sentiment about the role of transportation in daily life, and relative to other modern necessities we routinely rely upon. ARTBA’s initiation of this first-of-its kind opinion research is no accident. It is the outgrowth of the key recommendations in the ARTBA Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) report approved by the board in 2011. The traditional political arguments of “job creation,” fixing “structurally deficient” bridges, “preventing 34,000 annual highway deaths,” and explaining the perils of traffic congestion have not been resonating in the current political environment. An interstate bridge collapses and there’s a collective political yawn. As a result, the SPC report, among other things, called for changing the industry’s message and putting forth a new “value proposition.” The survey is the latest in our ongoing efforts to reframe the transportation debate with the public and elected officials. Among the other notable poll findings: * Nearly 8-in-10 (78 percent) said driving a motor vehicle is “very” or “extremely” important to our ability to conduct our daily lives. Twenty-one percent (including 34 percent of low income respondents) say the same about using public transportation; *

Nearly 9-in-10 (88 percent) said transportation infrastructure is important to maintaining a strong U.S. economy;

* 83 percent said our transportation network is important in ensuring national defense and emergency response capabilities; * And no matter where we live—whether rural or urban—71 percent agreed growing traffic congestion in U.S. metropolitan areas is making products we buy everywhere more expensive because congestion increases transportation costs for businesses. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

*

74 percent agreed that “investing in transportation infrastructure should be a core function of the federal government.”

However, the survey did reveal one major disconnectbetween the perceived value of transportation mobility and an individual’s personal investment in the infrastructure that provides it.When asked the question how much theirhousehold pays each month in gas taxes (the primary means of financing highway and transit capital improvements), 40 percent of respondents said they “didn’t know.” In fact, according to FHWA data, the average U.S. household paid $46 per month in gas taxes in 2011—the most current year available. Another 24% estimated they pay more than double that amount, which in some cases is likely an overstatement, as this would involve buying enough gas to fuel a household’s cars for nearly 5,400 miles per month, while federal data show the average household with one or more cars drives just over 2,100 miles per month. U.S. Commerce Department 2011 data show the average household spends about three-and-a-half times more each month for household electricity and natural gas service ($160) than we pay in state and federal gas taxes. We also pay three-and-a-half times as much monthly, on average, for landline and cell phone service ($161) and nearly two-and-a-half times as much for cable and satellite television, radio and internet access ($124). The bottom line is that this research helps bring the transportation investment conversation down to the kitchen table level, rather than talking about trillion dollar needs. If system beneficiaries— the public and U.S. businesses—invested in transportation infrastructure in line with what we routinely pay monthly for other necessary services, we would see reduced transportation costs for business, faster commutes, and safer, smarter, more durable roads, bridges and transit. It’s the industry’s job, collectively, to try and convince everyone it is an investment worth paying for. We are off to a good start, too, because following the public release of the survey results, we have received scores of inquiries for the survey’s results and crosstabs from state DOTs and other industry groups interested in helping communicate the “new language” on the value of transportation investment. We encourage all ARTBA members to join us in changing the conversation! Get the full survey results at www.tmaw.com. ### The preceding article has been reprinted with permission from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). UTCA is an affiliate of ARTBA. For more information, visit www.artba.org.

21


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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


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Congratulations to the Briant Family For this great honor

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


By: Steven Brawer, Association Legal Counsel

Legal Dig From The Thrill Of Victory To The Agony Of Defeat Attending a bid opening and learning that you were the low bidder on a hotly contested project is usually one of the most exhilarating experiences a public contractor can enjoy. In most cases the low bidder happily reaps the reward of a hard-earned job when the bid results are read out and he or she finds out that his/her price was lower than anyone else’s number. Sometimes, however, that elation can quickly turn to despair if the successful contractor discerns that there may have been a mistake in its bid. Such was the case recently on a multi-million dollar sewer job in Pequonock when Lucas Construction determined that its $12.1 million proposal was over $5 million below the $17.5 million it intended to bid because one of its junior estimators used preliminary numbers instead of final figures in formulating the bid and the error was never picked up as the proposal was being finalized. The contractor realized there was a problem when a total of seven bids were opened and it learned that its price was nearly $4.6 million below the second low bid. A review of the proposal revealed the source of the mistake and

prompted Lucas Construction to immediately request withdrawal of the bid pursuant to a section of the Local Public Contracts Law that permits such relief where it is demonstrated that it would be “unconscionable” to enforce a contract based upon the errant bid and the contractor can show that “the mistake occurred notwithstanding the fact that the bidder exercised reasonable care in preparation of the bid.” Significantly, the Lucas Construction bid not only was substantially lower than all the other proposals received but it was also well below the design engineer’s estimate. Despite this important consideration and the self-evident fact that the contractor would suffer a sizable loss if it performed the job at its bid price, the Township Governing Body unanimously rejected Lucas Construction’s withdrawal request and determined to hold the firm’s feet to the fire. This decision apparently was based upon the recommendation of the Township Manager, who said that he didn’t believe the company had proven that due care had been exercised in the bid’s preparation or

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

that it would actually be “unconscionable” if the Township enforced the bid. As a consequence of that action Lucas Construction has initiated legal proceedings to obtain relief from its bid error in the hope of avoiding what could be a devastating financial loss. Even considering the windfall it might obtain, it is difficult to understand why a municipality would take this position and immediately put the company performing such an important project (and its principals) under severe economic pressure. Any savings which the owner expects to receive undoubtedly will result in a difficult job for all concerned, not just the contractor, and will come at the expense of a firm that clearly was the victim of a substantial but unintentional error. Hopefully the court will agree that, under the circumstances, justice requires that Lucas Construction be granted the relief which it seeks.

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Accounting Corner

By: Lynn Conover Curchin Group, LLC

Why All Family Businesses Should Start Succession Planning Today Succession planning is likely the most common topic presented by family business advisors and other experts, but for a good reason. It is something every family business should do and yet less than 70% of them make it to the second generation. In part, this is due to lack of a plan. Succession planning may seem overwhelming and too large and complex to approach. However, there are steps your family business can take today keeping in mind the many reasons as to why this should not be put off any longer. The “good” reasons family business owners have for postponing succession planning. There must be some convincing arguments to not start succession planning because so many family businesses forego this important step. Most of the reasons are very human and subjective which usually crop up when the subjective nature of family mixes with the objective nature of business. Following are some of the imagined roadblocks: * There is a lot of work to be done and simply not enough time to spend on planning for the future. There are concrete issues that need solutions now. * Owners feel they are immortal, or at least do not wish to acknowledge the possibility of death, injury or temporary absence – unforeseen or otherwise. * There is plenty of time to think about succession planning as retirement is decades down the road. * The mere idea of letting go of one’s creation, the source of one’s identity, is sometimes too much to bear. * Putting into words the power and privileges some family members may receive, while others may not be included to the same extent or at all, is a recipe for family feuding. * Everyone in the family is uncomfortable talking about mortality, money, ranking and other topics that are part of a succession plan. 28

The good reasons family business owners should start the succession planning process now. Despite the arguments against planning listed above, a step back and an objective view can assist family business owners in seeing that a succession plan can actually prevent most of those issues, as well as help with others. Here are some solid reasons to accept the need for a succession plan and to start it now rather than later: * Time spent working on a succession plan today is a great time-saver in the long run. It also fixes many of the problems caused by not having a plan. * Family business owners, like the rest of us, are not immortal. Accepting this fact will help with the realization that the business needs to be run when (not if) something temporarily or permanently happens to the owner. * Planned retirement may be decades down the road, but see the immortality reason above for a reminder that anything can happen. Retirement planning is still planning and it must be done in advance in order to build the necessary wealth for financial freedom when the time comes. * If the family business founder truly loves the creation that became the business and wants to see his or her values and mission maintained in the long run, a succession plan can set up parameters, requirements, and indicate in writing what is most important to the business. * Family members may fight over terms in a succession plan, but they are also very likely to fight when there is a need for succession and no written plan. While handling family infighting has its own causes and solutions, spending time to plan for the future and to give a heads-up to the family is more likely to prevent many skirmishes.

*

Uncomfortable discussion topics such as money and mortality are natural. But these are common business topics that must be addressed. So, buck up and focus on the good of both business and family. * Having a plan means there will be the opportunity to train successors, whether or not they are family members. Osmosis is not the best training method. * Loving one’s family and not wanting to worry them with these details while dealing with possible angst and grief caused by a transition is a reason for a succession plan, not against it. * Careful planning, including estate planning with the succession plan, may help preserve family wealth and avoid some taxes. * If it turns out that no one in the family wanted to be the successor and the business would have to be sold, the value of the business would be higher if planning occurred and different possibilities were taken into consideration. First steps to starting a succession plan. Once the acceptance of the need of a succession plan has happened, the planning should commence without haste. A few starting points below can help the family business owner to begin this important process” *

*

Gather key advisors (e.g. accountant, lawyer). Also, if the family business does not have any, now is the time to consult with a family business advisor. The professionals who have helped other family businesses with their succession plans can save precious wasted hours and avoid mistakes that a non-professional may make. Start the communication process with the family. Discuss expectations and desires of all involved members so planning will take these into consideration.

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


*

Put emotions aside, and focus on the needs of both the family and the business. Keep in mind that no one succession plan will work for every family business. There is no “cookie cutter succession plan. Succession planning is a complex subject. Smooth leadership transitions do not always come easily. Following are some suggestions to ensure a smooth transition of leadership for your family: * Start early; this means when your children are young. Most business owners do not plan for their transition to retirement. Either they don’t feel the business can continue without them or they believe in their immortality. They may be afraid to face life without their most trusted possession, the business. If a business owner is in this position, it is never too early to start. If they are young and the business is successful, the owner should consider gathering the key advisors and start the planning process now. Remember that nothing is etched in stone. The plan can and should be fluid and anticipate the unanticipated. * Figure out what you want and how to be secure in retirement. What an owner may want is to stay in business until some circumstance prevents them from continuing. That is probably not good for the continuity of the business. It also may not coincide with what the spouse wants. First they need to figure out what they want and decide how to get there. Often, the issue is that as an owner and his or her spouse age, they realize that unless they continue in the business they cannot maintain the kind of lifestyle they both want. To avoid this situation, even while they are toiling away running their business, they also need to pay attention to building the necessary wealth for the financial freedom they need when it is time to move on. * Determine what your kids want. It is not always what you think or want. Let’s also not assume the oldest son or daughter is the logical choice to take over running the business. If an owner thinks of Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

*

*

their family business as a means by which his or her family can achieve its dreams, then they are on the right track. An owner should have discussions about his or her own dreams and thought about the business with all family members as early as possible. At the same time, allow family members to discuss their dreams and desires as well. Many of us do not know what we want to do when we graduate from college, and the assumption that we want to join the family business, either immediately or even not at all is, at best an incorrect assumption. So be patient and have these ongoing discussions with the family. Communicate (be transparent). Great communication helps any relationship, and we know that many families in business suffer from poor communication. Effective communication is not limited to letting others know what you think. It also means listening to others and appreciating “Determine what your kids want” for a reason. While communication is critical among employees, advisors and business associates, the most important discussions take place with the family. Communicate often, and be transparent about desires, needs and expectations and those around you will likely do the same. Set the business up for transition. A strategic plan that reflects the family’s values and mission are important to continuity. Take the time to include key employees, advisors and family members in the process. If there is a board of directors, family council and other advisory body, get their approval. Review it regularly, making changes as necessary. If there is a plan to sell the business in five to seven years, you need to ensure to maximize the value for the eventual sale. The same mindset is also true when transitioning to the younger generation, with a slight variation. Position the business for continued success under new leadership. Maximize its position in the marketplace, flexibility, asset mix, etc.

*

*

*

Prepare your employees for transition. Most likely, there are probably some employees who have been with the business for a very long time and are loyal, dedicated and hard working. Some may even view themselves as the successor. In the strategic planning process, it is important to ensure that they understand and buy into the vision and desires about the company. The worst thing that can be done is to surprise them by announcing the unmentioned decision that a son or daughter is about to be the successor in the business. In setting up the business for continued success, this step can go miles towards undoing all of that other good work and planning. Choose and train your successors.The successor may or may not be a family member. Keep an open mind and choose the best person for the role. The successor may also not be limited to one person. The strategic plan mentioned earlier will anticipate who will succeed the owner and when. The children of the owner may not be interested in succeeding him or her as the CEO, or they may not be capable. If the best choice is a non-family member it does not mean that the business has to leave the family’s control. If there are two children who are capable of running the business, how can it be set up so both of them succeed? When choosing a successor, be open to different options. Once the choice is made, then make sure the successor is properly trained. What type of degree should they have? What type of experience in the business is necessary? These are some of the questions that should be considered and addressed as part of the process. Who will have ownership and why? This is a major question for the family with no easy answer. Should ownership be split among all of the siblings or just those in the business? Should it be limited to the eventual CEO or president? If not done properly, this could that 29


create tremendous turmoil in the family, which will likely have a negative impact on the business. Earlier, I discussed the importance of communication. It is important for everyone in the family to be transparent with each other about their expectations, needs and desires. This will go a long way towards ensuring a good outcome with ownership. * Consider a board with non-family members. While the owner may have run the company on his or her own for many years without the advice and consent of others that may not work with the successor. Consider expanding the board of directors to include some nonfamily members. It should be done before the owner leaves so the successor grows into the concept and accepts it. Include key advisors and members of the management in the process, as well as the successor. Inclusion is the

30

*

first step in the buy-in process. Outsiders will bring in a different perspective and experience. They also do not have the bias associated with being a family member, nor do they bring in the family clutter that often gets in the way of making decisions. They will also most likely require greater accountability from the management team. It is another piece to the puzzle that may provide the departing owner with more piece of mind as he or she exits. When it is time to leave â&#x20AC;&#x201C; leave. For the sake of those that are left behind, when it is time to go, give them the wherewithal to run the business. Do not give constant advice, do not undercut their efforts and do not stick your nose in where you should not. In other words, give them a chance. Be supportive of the successor. Offer timely advice and mentor them, but let them run the business.

It has been said that the best transition is the one that nobody notices. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even better if the departing owner can say goodbye and feel comfortable that he or she did everything they could to ensure the future success and viability of the enterprise. Contemplate what it takes to getlevel of comfort and then figure out how to do it. That is all part of a well written strategic succession plan. Then it is time to ride off in the sunset in comfort, peace and contentedness. About the Author: Lynn A. Conover, CPA, CFBA is a tax partner with the Curchin Group, LLC. As a Certified Family Business Advisor, she provides an integrated suite of tax services that encompass consulting and compliance, financial advisory, tax and estate planning, business consulting and personal wealth management. Ms. Conover can be contacted at 732-747-0500 or lconover@curchin.com.

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


Congratulations To Harry Chowansky Incoming UTCA President

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CAUTION: RISING SEA LEVELS & DISASTROUS WEATHER AHEAD Sandy Task Force Calls For “Smarter” Rebuilding Strategies By: Chris Colabella, President, CIS The federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force released a In New Jersey, many of the recommendations cited were comprehensive plan it says will ensure the region hit hardest by implemented before the report was released in August. These Sandy will be rebuilt in a way that makes it more resilient and better include the creation of new flood-protection standards for major able to withstand future storms. According to the Hurricane Sandy infrastructure projects built with federal money, and the promotion Rebuilding Strategy, in essence, it’s not going to be enough to be of a sea-level modeling tool that will help builders and engineers “stronger than the storm;” New Jersey is going to have to be smarter, predict where flooding might occur in the future. too. New Jersey may be ahead of the It’s been almost one year since curve in some respects; officials here Hurricane Sandy ripped through New are clearly heeding bad weather Jersey. Undeterred by the shear mass predictions. Regardless, the Task of work ahead, construction companies Force’s overriding message should be from near and far dug into crumbling heard loud and clear: New Jersey needs infrastructure at every corner. They better planning tools and standards for cleared major roadways like Rt. 35 in storm-damaged communities. Key Monmouth County which were report recommendations: buckled and blocked. They began to revitalize sleepy shore towns such as * Developing a more advanced Ortley Beach and Sea Bright, left in electrical grid; shambles with half-razed buildings and * Planning for more hazard sand drifts. They took on major mitigation; projects like complete boardwalk and * Making infrastructure more infrastructure rebuilds in larger, more resilient to future storms by using well-known hot spots like Belmer and “green” materials to manage storm Asbury Park. water and mitigate flood damage; and In spite of a federally funded $25 * Allowing multiple towns to work million tourism campaign launched in together to address common the spring to announce that the areas challenges that often demand a hit hardest by Sandy would be “open regional response. for business” this summer, a report These suggestions, and many compiled by the Asbury Park Press others, will likely be put to use sooner estimates that New Jersey beach rather than later now that Seaside Park revenue could be down by as much as and Seaside Heights, devastated in $4 million this year over last year. That early September by the boardwalk fire, are once again looking to could very well be because many businesses weren’t able to reopen rebuild. in time for the 2013 summer season. The bottom line is that all eyes must be on making sure that plans Regardless, even with the Sandy cleanup far from complete, we are in place to help residents stay in and repair their homes and know the Jersey Shore is well on the way back to its Glory Days. In businesses in an effort to revitalize local communities and strengthen the meantime, New Jersey planners and construction companies local economies. are already focused on the looming truth: winter is coming — and Some of the more personal recommendations listed in the report weather experts predict more storms and increased risk of flooding include: making sure renters (especially important along the Jersey along the Jersey Shore. Shore) have access to property recovery resources; providing The harsh weather predicted along the Eastern Seaboard — thanks specific assistance to individuals who are of lower income and to rising sea levels — means that towns, especially those still reeling those with special needs; and streamlining the information and from Sandy, should assume floods are going to happen more application process for obtaining recovery funds— if and when frequently and must plan appropriately. This is the information the next weather disaster strikes. President Barack Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force All of these recommendations may be sorely needed, but they used to create the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy. The report won’t come cheap. A National Academy of Sciences’ report, Disaster outlines 69 specific recommendations the Task Force members say Resilience: A National Imperative, noted the potential impact of planners and construction officials should follow as they continue rising sea levels, warning “significant investment is required to to rebuild and restore. Any construction along the New Jersey mitigate the losses of human life, risks to human health, and coastline, the report strongly suggests, must be done with future economic and social costs.” climate changes in mind. Continued on Page 67 Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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CONGRATULATIONS Harry Chowansky for your induction as the new President of the UTCA. Jesco for commencing your 5th decade in business. George Thompson for receiving the William Feather Memorial Award. Jack Callahan for receiving the Larry Gardner Memorial A ward.

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Congratulations and Best Wishes to the UTCA Convention Award Winners

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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JESCO BEGINS FIFTH DECADE IN BUSINESS Firm Continues Growth And Expansion In the early 1970’s, Lou Robustelli and his wife Terry founded a new firm that would become one of the region’s leading construction equipment dealerships. Jersey Equipment Sales Company, which is now known as JESCO aligned with the John Deere Company in 1972 to become the exclusive dealer of John Deere products in New Jersey. The newly-formed company opened its first dealership in

JESCO founder Lou Robustelli with current company president Jon Robustelli.

Greenbrook, NJ after purchasing the assets of Jersey Tractor Company. While initially employing 19 people during their first year in business, Lou and Terry continued to build a firm that would eventually employ approximately 250 workers at 12 different locations by 2013. Lou’s accomplishments over the years were recognized in 2000 when he received the annual Larry Gardner Memorial Award at the UTCA convention, an award given to the associate member of the year. In 1982, JESCO constructed its new headquarters in South Plainfield, NJ, where the firm is still currently situated. Two additional locations in Lumberton and Fairfield would later be opened in New

Pictured above from the left are Anthony Falzarano, Vice President of Sales, Ken Pesta, Signature Account Manager and Eric Paterno, Sales Manager. 42

Jersey. Lou and Terry’s son Jon managed the Lumberton location and was eventually elevated to the role of Vice President for JESCO. In July of 2005, Lou Robustelli stepped down as President of the firm and was succeeded by Drew Robustelli, Jon’s brother who later transitioned the position to Jon.

Left to right: Randy Hartman, North East Regional Service Manager, Andy Falco, Regional Rental Manager, Steve Cabbell, Regional Parts Manager and Dennis Casey, Corporate Products and Support.

In his short tenure as president of JESCO, Jon Robustelli has steered the firm through a period of extremely successful growth and expansion. One of the first decisions that Jon made was to focus on the BOMAG Roller and Indeco Hydraulic Breaker product lines. This allowed the firm’s sales force to present a diversified line of equipment to its customers. The product line was further expanded to include Hitachi Construction and Mining Equipment, BOMAG Paving and Milling Equipment, Hydrema Multi-Tip Dump Trucks and Genesis Demolition Tools. In 2006, JESCO added a compact equipment division to respond to the increase in light equipment sales in New Jersey.

JESCO equipment operates on a project in Brooklyn. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


In the last few years, JESCO has expanded beyond the borders of New Jersey with the acquisition of Nortrax’ Beacon, NY facility, allowing JESCO to become the exclusive dealer of John Deere Construction and CWP line as well as Hitachi Construction Equipment in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and the Five boroughs of New York City.

Garden State Parkway project is shown above.

Not long after the Nortrax acquisition, JESCO discovered another growth opportunity in the Mid-Atlantic region with the acquisition of Standard Equipment of Frederick, MD. The acquisition consisted of 5 total locations allowing the company to offer John Deere Construction and the CWP line among other brands to its customer base in the Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC region. Drew Robustelli is now Vice President of JESCO Mid-Atlantic and overseas the day-to-day operations for this region. In 2011 JESCO saw another opportunity to expand their footprint and diversify by adding another quality brand to their product offering. The Northeast Underground/Ditch Witch Northeast acquisition gave JESCO the rights to become the authorized Ditch Witch dealer for the northeast region as well as two store locations, one in Shrewsbury, MA and the other located in Holbrook, NY. The Ditch Witch territory includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey as well as Central and Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, New Castle County in Delaware and Cecil County in Maryland. The addition of Ditch Witch products in conjunction with their current product offering gives JESCO the ability to fully support the utility, construction and maintenance, landscape and irrigation, environmental and municipal markets. JESCO has remained focused on expanding its equipment offering in an effort to provide customers with a wide variety of equipment to meet their project needs. To increase their paving and road maintenance product offering, JESCO added the LeeBoy and Rosco product lines for the central and northern New Jersey region. The LeeBoy equipment line includes a wide variety of pavers while Rosco equipment includes asphalt distributors, chip spreaders, pothole patchers, water trucks and three powerful broom models. On the industrial side, JESCO became the authorized dealer for Doppstadt products for New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The Doppstadt product line provides volume reduction and screening equipment as well as shredders, grinders, sorting stations and whole tree chippers. Most recently, JESCO became the full-line BOMAG equipment distributor, from tampers and plate compactors to road building Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

equipment and landfill compactors for contractors in the Hudson Valley and Long Island in New York, nearly the entire state of Maryland, and the states of Delaware and New Jersey. JESCO will also offer the new BOMAG milling machines, pavers and reclaimer/ stabilizers. Cris Robustelli, Drew and Jon’s brother, heads up the company’s IT department. With the ever-growing advancement in the age of technology, this department provides a vital service to its customer base. One of the areas of growing technology that is offered is called Telematics. With this technology, the hardware component is integrated into the machine’s electrical system. This allows for the monitoring of location, functions, hours, fuel information, alerts and other important machine data. The data can be accessed by customers via computer on a 24 hour basis. Through John Deere, JESCO can also offer Topcon products which allows for grade control technology on all Deere machines. To service its clientele, JESCO employs a team of seasoned construction industry veterans. Anthony Falzarano serves as Vice President of Sales, Ken Pesta is the Signature Account Manager and Eric Paterno is the firm’s Sales Manager. Greg Blaszka, Vice President of Finance, has been with the firm for approximately 38 years.

A John Deere loader is pictures above.

JESCO has been named a top dealer by both BOMAG and Indeco and was recently one of 6 John Deere Dealers in the country to receive the Onyx Dealer Award from John Deere for excellence and performance. Jon Robustelli and the JESCO team have been very active members of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association. Jon serves on the PAC Auction committee and many of his staff members have volunteered to assist at this event. JESCO is a major sponsor at the annual UTCA convention and participates in many UTCA functions. It is a safe bet that this firm will successful for many decades to come. Since 1972, JESCO has been supplying contractors and municipalities with a wide range of quality construction equipment including John Deere, Hitachi, BOMAG, Hypac, Indeco, Genesis, Hydrema, LeeBoy, Rosco, Ditch Witch and Doppstadt. JESCO has three New Jersey offices conveniently located in South Plainfield, Fairfield and Lumberton, New York branches in Beacon and Holbrook, as well as locations in Delaware, Maryland and Shrewsbury, MA. With one of the broadest equipment offerings and largest rental fleets in the area, a massive parts inventory and a full fleet of service vehicles, JESCO ensures that it is always available to meet the changing needs of its customer base. For more information, please log onto www.jesco.us. 43


44

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


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Legislative News

By: Evan Piscitelli, Legislative Director

Federal and State Update Armed with a catchy YouTube video, and traditional suit and tie press conference photo op, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster came out of the gates swinging. His mission, as described in a creative whiteboard demonstration that effectively dumbs down the need to address water infrastructure to the kindergarten level, is to get this crucial legislation into conference with the Senate before Christmas. If you decide to visit YouTube, you can watch as an artist skillfully demonstrates how inaction will quickly ruin the average personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daily routine while eroding the competitiveness of our country abroad. While the message alone is powerful, perhaps the simplicity of someone drawing us all a picture of the problem, coupled with some nifty time lapse videography, will finally get the law passed. The bill is the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), its reauthorization now six years in the making. Representatives from UTCA have met with Congressmen as well as key Congressional staff in charge of authoring the legislation throughout the past year, including a trip to D.C. in late August specifically to get a

progress report and add some new thoughts on the issue. It goes without saying that the country relies on its waterways and ports to sustain our economy and quality of life. Critical to that end is the work of the Army Corps of Engineers, and more specifically, the water related capital projects under its jurisdiction. Many important projects in New Jersey are funded this way, and many more will be funded in the future under H.R. 3080 should it clear enough political hurdles to make it to the White House. WRRDA is not simply about funding. The bill is intended to make several reforms that will propel projects to approval, funding, and completion much more quickly. It has become commonplace for the Army Corps of Engineers to take between ten and fifteen years to complete a study on a potential capital project. Red tape and an inefficient review process are the main culprits for this absurd waste of time. H.R. 3080 will eliminate unnecessary studies, consolidate anything that may be duplicative in nature, and end the practice of sequential reviews where one governmental agency has to wait for the other to finish its work before it can get

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

started. Environmental reviews under this proposal will also be streamlined. The projected benefit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a review period reduced to three years with hard deadlines in place to hold our government to it. The United States Senate has already completed its preliminary work on similar legislation creating the need for a conference committee, made up of House and Senate members, which will have to come to an agreement on the final product. An area of concern in the Senate bill centers on a financing component known as WIFIA - another mechanism for states to secure funding for important capital projects. House Republicans will likely be forced to at least draft, and potentially include from the outset, a WIFIA proposal that may either be made part of WRRDA or considered as a stand-alone bill, since the issue was dealt with in the Senate version. UTCA, in connection with the Clean Water Construction Coalition, have Continued on Page 57

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THE FIRM THAT'S ON AFIRST BASIS WITH THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY At any moment, a range of legal and business issues can challenge construction companies, and the need for specialized legal servi ces is especially important. Lowenstein Sandler's experienced Construction Law

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CLEAN WATER CONSTRUCTION COALITION: 2013 EFFORTS and 2014 CHALLENGES

By: Bryan Esposito, Federal Advocates, Inc.

The Clean Water Construction Coalition (CWCC), founded on December 2, 2005, is an organization of 27 construction associations in 22 states to raise the national awareness in Congress and the Executive Branch to the fact that water is a unique and precious resource that is necessary to sustain life – human, animal and plant. As such, it is important for agriculture, transportation, flood control, energy production, recreation, fishing, and municipal and commercial uses. Past national surveys have found that nearly 9 in 10 Americans say that federal investment to guarantee clean and safe water is a critical component of our nation’s environmental well-being. Recognizing this, and that our national water infrastructure is aging, deteriorating, and in need of repair and replacement, and that, as a nation, we are not investing enough in our clean water infrastructure to ensure that we will continue to keep our waters clean, the CWCC remains committed to advancing various federal opportunities to promote funding for our nation’s water infrastructure. Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to summarize the Coalition’s 2013 efforts to date and its 2014 goals. Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA) The Coalition supports enactment of the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 and to that end continues to very closely with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. On May 15, 2013, the Senate passed S.601, its version of the bill. The legislation authorizes projects with completed Chief of Engineers reports that have been referred to Congress by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works by the date of enactment. Currently, this represents 18 projects that address all of the major mission areas of the Corps of Engineers including flood risk management, navigation, hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, and environmental restoration. The bill also contains various reforms to increase flexibility for non-Federal sponsors of Corps projects and accelerate project delivery. These include codifying a Corps initiative to finish new feasibility studies in less than three years, improving the environmental review process while maintaining environmental protections, and creating two pilot programs to expand the local role in project implementation. In addition, the bill establishes a new program to promote levee safety and improves inland waterways project delivery and addresses the growing surplus of funds in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by ensuring all revenues will be spent for port maintenance without impacting other important Corps of Engineers projects. The legislation also establishes a 5-year innovative project financing pilot program (WIFIA- see below) that is modeled on the successful TIFIA program. This new pilot program will provide loans and loan guarantees for important flood control, water supply, and wastewater projects. Lastly, the legislation includes a provision that requires the Corps to provide Congress with a complete list of all uncompleted, authorized projects and creates a Commission to identify projects for deauthorization. The Commission will hold public hearings and solicit comments to make final recommendations to Congress. Congress will have the opportunity to disapprove the deauthorizations proposed by the Commission. Given Senate passage, the Coalition has now focused it attention to the House of 56

Representatives where Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) announced plans for the Committee to consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013 in September. The Committee leaders’ plans also received the support of Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor. Shuster said that the legislation will contain no earmarks and will make major reforms to increase transparency, accountability, and Congressional oversight in reviewing and prioritizing future water resources development activities. Timing of Committee and Floor action remains unclear as there are only nine legislative days in September and Syria, appropriations bills/a continuing resolution, the debt limit and immigration reform will take precedence over everything else. A bipartisan draft of the bill is ready for markup, subject to resolving a few minor issues. Water Infrastructure Financing Innovations Authority (WIFIA) As noted above, the Senate version of the WRDA bill establishes a 5-year innovative project financing pilot program (WIFIA) that is modeled on the successful TIFIA program. This new pilot program will provide loans and loan guarantees for important flood control, water supply, and wastewater projects. In the House, the Republicans on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have drafted a WIFIA proposal that may either be made part of WRDA or considered as a separate bill with the possibility of attaching it to WRDA on the Floor. Two issues of concern in the WIFIA draft (the complete text of which we have not seen) is the $20M de minimus rule on project size and the application of Treasury prevailing interest rates to projects. For both, the Coalition has suggested that the Secretary be given the authority to deviate form the general rules assuming a given project meets certain conditions/ criteria. The Coalition supports enactment of a WIFIA program that includes its suggestions and serves as a supplement to the existing SRF’s. FY14 Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water SRF Appropriations The Coalition continues to pursue the highest possible FY14 funding levels for the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water SRF’s. Included in the President’s FY14 Budget is $1.095B for the Clean Water SRF and $817M for the Safe Drinking Water SRF. Of the funds requested for the CWSRF, not less than 20% are specified for green infrastructure projects. Of the funds requested for the SDWSRF, not less than 10% are specified for green infrastructure projects, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities. From both SRF’s, up to 5% of the funds are specified for various section grants and between 20-30% to be used for forgiveness subsidies. In all, the funding levels proposed for both programs in the President’s Budget are significantly lower than his FY13 Budget and the FY13 enacted levels ($1.451.8B for the Clean Water SRF and $908.7M for the Safe Drinking Water SRF). Accordingly, the Coalition continues to focus its FY14 funding efforts on the Congress and primarily the Senate Appropriations Committee. In addition, given the realities of the Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


current appropriations situation, the Coalition supports a Continuing Resolution as it will ensure at least the FY13 funding levels. Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water Reauthorization The Coalition continues to pursue expeditious enactment of a Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water SRF Reauthorization Bill. Staffs of both the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have advised the Coalition that after enactment of WRDA the Committees may then turn their attention to the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water reauthorization effort. In fact, House Republican staff has drafted a version of a Clean Water reauthorization bill drawing of some of the content of the Bishop bill (see below) and including authorization levels that mirror recent and historical appropriations. The plan is to find “a window of opportunity” between final enactment of WRDA and reconsideration of the next highway bill. Pending that, the Coalition supports legislation to reauthorize both Funds. Key Legislation The Coalition continues to monitor and support legislation of interest/benefit to it by seeking cosponsors and encouraging congressional action. An example of such legislation is H.R.1877 the “Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act.” On May 8, Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY) introduced a bill that would amend the Clean Water Act to establish a Federal trust fund to finance improvements to publicly owned treatment works. The bill would authorize $13.8 billion over five years for the Clean Water SRF. The SRF monies would be available to states and municipalities to build publicly-owned treatment works, repair or replace decentralized wastewater treatment systems, reduce water demand through conservation efforts, manage non- point source pollution, and adopt energy conservation measures. Another $600 million would be authorized over five years to assist municipalities in managing storm water through green infrastructure and other approaches to controlling runoff from urban areas. The bill would also establish a WIFIA program and would require state or municipal governments Continued on Page 73 Continued from Page 51 advocated for two key changes should this component become part of the House deliberations. These amendments include the removal of the $20 million minimum project size that was required by the Senate in order for a project to qualify to receive funding, and the application of Treasury prevailing interest rates to projects. Many smaller yet equally important projects may not reach such a high threshold, and handcuffing interest rates may be harmful when rates escalate. UTCA and the Coalition have suggested that the Secretary be given the authority to deviate from these rules in certain circumstances to create greater flexibility for states to be eligible for this WIFIA money. As evidenced by the press conference, legislative action on WRRDA has been to this point a bipartisan effort. While passage of the bill itself is important, the work that is being done in Congress on this bipartisan basis may be just as significant. The Committee’s attention must quickly shifty to transportation funding and successor legislation to MAP-21. This era of strong cooperation will hopefully continue to characterize work on WRRDA as it will likely set the tone for this next major undertaking. Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

57


58

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


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63


Crisdel Group Congratulates the FoUowing: Harry Chowansky as 2013/14 UTCA President George Thompson - Recipient of the William Feather Memorial Award Jack Calla ha n - Recipient of the Larry Gardner Memorial Award To the Briant Family - For Robert Briant, Sr being inducted into the NJ Construction Hall of Fame. Jesco Inc. - For your 5th decade in business.

NEW JERSEY

64

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

NEW YORK METROPOLITAN

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


The Value of Experience

Innovative Use of Reinforced Earth速 Systems

Six Flags Great Adventure Lions Den Exhibit Jackson, New Jersey

Reinforced Earth systems are a viable solution to a wide range of applications, including public and commercial facilities, waterways and dams, industrial and mining, and railway structures.

800.446.5700 ReinFORCeD eARTH" Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

www.reinforcedearth.com 65


Dear George,

MAY THE ROAD RISE TO MEET YOU. MAY THE WIND BE ALWAYS AT YOUR BACK. MAY THE SUN SHINE WARM UPON YOUR FACE MAY THE RAINS FALL SOFT UPON THE FIELDS AND UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, MAY THE LORD HOLD YOU IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.

Thanks for your support, friendship and patience.

GOOD LUCK!! JOE & NICK

Established 1946

Paving Contractor 150 Anderson Avenue Wallington, NJ 07057

66

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


NEW & IMPROVED BASEL III RULES ENABLE COMMUNITY BANKS TO CONDUCT “BUSINESS AS USUAL” By: Wm. J. Ruckert, III The Provident Bank Earlier this summer, U.S. regulators announced sweeping changes to the rules governing how banks do business, and it is good news for community banks and their business clients, including those in the heavy construction industry. As part of the original Dodd-Frank Act that was enacted in 2010 to prevent a financial crisis like the one that occurred in 2008, a detailed set of standards—known as BASEL III—held banks to very rigorous lending standards, specifically regarding capital and liquidity requirements and leverage ratios. See details here: http://www.bis.org/bcbs/basel3/b3summarytable.pdf Basically, what this meant was that smaller, community banks like Provident that lend to small-to mid-sized businesses would have been subject to very restrictive standards that would essentially have hindered them from entering or staying in the market. For example, under the 2010 law, let’s imagine that a contractor came to Provident and asked for a $X million loan to support the purchase of new excavation equipment (using existing equipment as collateral). Even if the bank found the business to be eligible for the loan and had money to lend, it would not be allowed to process the loan unless it had an additional $X million in “tier 1” (or relatively low-risk) capital specifically set aside in reserves to cover the loan. This is only one of the three criteria that could nullify this particular loan. Multiply this scenario across numerous loan applicants and you can see where this can be very constricting for a bank with just over $5 billion in deposits. Considering the 2008 crisis, these requirements make sense on paper, but in reality, only those banks with the most robust coffers would be able and eligible to process such loans. Yet, in an ironic twist, the largest banks rarely set their sights on such relatively small accounts. In this imaginary setting, therefore, both the bank and the contractor lose the opportunity to conduct business and ultimately drive growth in the local economy. The new standard that was signed into law in July, however, changes the requirement by issuing a “grandfather” clause that allows banks with less than $15 billion in assets to continue lending generally as they had done before, reserving the strictest requirements for the largest banks that were at the center of the fiscal crisis. So, where does all this leave us (and you)? Community banks are now in a very good position to kick-start their local economies by supporting the small and mid-size businesses that are ready to build, grow or expand in the new economy. Businesses with plans for growth or expansion in 2014 should approach their local banker in Q4 of this year and discuss the particular lending requirements that apply and determine their company’s eligibility for a loan or line of credit. Here are three questions contractors should ask themselves before the end of the year so they are ready for 2014: Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

1. Has my bank been supporting my financing needs over the past three to four years? 2. Have I been meeting with my banker regularly over that time frame? 3. Has my bank offered any new financing ideas or solutions for me to consider? Continued from Page 35 Citing that ominous assertion, the Task Force’s report countered: “Every dollar we spend today on hazard mitigation saves us at least $4 in avoided costs if a disaster strikes again. By building more resilient regions, we can save billions in taxpayer dollars.” The recommendations in the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy look great on paper. Going forward, New Jersey needs to be in a position to act, not react, to storm damage. It’s up to our construction industry to design, plan and build a smarter New Jersey with the ability to withstand and recover effectively from future flood-related disasters. About the Author: Chris Colabella is the president of CIS, Inc., parent company of CIS Leads and C-Source, the construction industry’s premier local lead service. Learn more about CIS, which is celebrating 20 years in business, or schedule a free demonstration of CIS Leads, by calling 800-247-1727 or visit www.cisleads.com.

67


& INOUSTRIAL SUPPLIES

BAYWAYLUMBER & Industrial Supply Service & Quality Since 1929 Over 1 full city block of inventory. We specialize in those hard to find items and odd sizes. FULL LINE OF CONSTRUCTION GRADE LUMBER HARD TIMBERS. SEWER SHEATHING. PROTECTION CATCH PLANK OSHA PLANK. LAGGING. BRIDGE PLANK. PLYFORM HIGH DENSITY OVERLAY. PLYWOOD. BOOM SERVICE AVAILABLE LARGE INVENTORY OR FIRE RETARDANT & PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER & PLYWOOD FLEET OF TRUCKS, VANS, FLATBEDS FOR SAME DAY SERVICE

Complete Line of DrywalJ Supplies and Accessories: Shaft Wall. Metal Framing. Structural Steel Durock-Dens Shields "We Offer a Complete Line of Products, Service and Quality Under one Root" 400 ASHTON AVENUE. LINDEN , NEW JERSEY 07036 Tel 908-486-4480 Fax 908-486-8610

www.baywaylumber.com 68

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


Creative G

Inc.

A FULL SERVICE MARKETING AGENCY

In Memory of

ROBERT BRIANT

SR.

"Bob waS an infegral parr of the success of my business in fhe early days. He was help/ul, happy to connect people and ne/work ". IlVil/ allvoys remember how pleasant and friendly he was every lime we spoke. " J OANNE STOKES, P RESIDENT, STOKES CREATIVE GROUP, INC.

(formerly J.M.S. Visllal Communications)

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

69


Labor Relations

By: Jill Tobia Sorger, Esq. & James Y. Lee, Esq.

What Should An Employer Expect When The United States Department Of Labor Investigates A Violation Of The Fair Labor Standards Act? The Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) of the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) is authorized to initiate various types of legal actions in order to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C.S. §201 et. seq., usually violations of minimum wage and overtime pay, keeping certain payroll and employment records, and limiting the number of hours worked in a week. These legal actions may include: suits to recover unpaid minimum wage and/or overtime compensation, plus liquidated damages; injunctive relief to require both retroactive and future compliance with FLSA violations from employers; a “hot goods” action which prohibits the shipment of “tainted goods” in interstate or foreign commerce by obtaining a temporary restraining order; a civil lawsuit to recover unpaid monetary penalties if the employer failed to dispute any penalty assessments by the DOL or the employer has exhausted its administrative right to appeal; and administrative hearings before an administrative law judge. Although the DOL has the ability to bring employers into court, the DOL usually prefers to negotiate a settlement to ensure compliance. A thorough investigation, negotiation, and candidness with the investigator are the most efficient means of securing compliance and payment of back wages. Commonly, DOL investigators will try to resolve the matter “administratively” rather than through costly and time-consuming litigation. Why is an employer selected for a WHD investigation An investigation is usually initiated by the filing of an anonymous complaint from an employee. The complaints are confidential; the name of the employee, the nature of the complaint and whether a complaint exists are all confidential and non-discoverable. The WHD selects certain types of business or industries, usually in a specific geographic area, to conduct random investigations, such as low-wage industries where the frequency and egregiousness of violations are common or where employees are vulnerable to violations, such as child-labor industries. The investigators and their supervisors at the WHD operate under established litigation policies and priorities. Varying discretion by the investigators and their supervisors is used to determine types of cases to litigate. Among the types of cases that the WHD target for litigation include: 1. Repeat FLSA offenders after previous investigations; 2. Falsification or concealment of business financial records, or misrepresentation of facts; 3. Refusal to achieve prompt compliance after the investigation; and 4. Refusal to pay back wages A repeat offender employer can usually avoid litigation if the calculated back wages are not substantial and the employer has not falsified or concealed records or misrepresented facts. This officer employer must still fully cooperate with the investigation, 70

achieve prompt compliance, and pay the calculated back wages. Depending on the situation, these back wages may also be negotiated provided other concessions for compliance are made by the employer. However, there will still be a civil monetary penalty assessment and the WHD may require the employer to sign a stipulation of compliance, the breach of which will include additional monetary penalties. The WHD will certainly file legal action in a U.S. District Court if the employer falsifies or conceals records or misrepresented material facts. Such cases also may lead to the DOL filing criminal charges against the offending employer pursuant to the FLSA. Criminal case are prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice. Criminal charges may result in fines of $10,000.00 and/or imprisonment for no more than six (6) months. The employer may be able to negotiate with the DOL to refrain from filing criminal or civil charges by agreeing to swift compliance with the FLSA, paying back wages and a monetary penalty, and signing a stipulation of compliance. An employer who disputes the findings of the WHD investigation may elect to have a U.S. District Court decide whether FLSA violations occurred and whether current practices of the employer must be modified. An employer’s refusal to comply with the investigator’s directions on compliance will result in civil litigation being filed by the DOL Office of the Solicitor. When an employer agrees to achieve compliance with the FLSA, but refuses voluntary payment of back wages owed, civil litigation is a possibility. The amount of back wages owed will determine the likelihood of civil litigation. If the amount of back wages is insubstantial, and none of the other “potential litigation” elements are present, DOL is ordinarily inclined to close the case and mail notification letters to affected employees. Even though DOL has not pursued a “refusal to comply” case through the U.S. District Court, civil money penalties may be assessed (if violations were repeated or willful). When the WHD re-investigates the employer and further FLSA violations are found to have been committed, a civil money penalty assessment is guaranteed to be assessed against the employer. The DOL will often prefer not to file a lawsuit if there is doubt in its result, such as when there is an unsettled question of law. This is why it’s important to discuss whether your company’s payroll practices are in compliance with the FLSA with your legal counsel. The WHD District Director mails notification letters to affected employees (advising them of their right to sue for back wages, liquidated damages, court costs, attorney fees, etc.). FLSA.litigation by DOL generally extends back three years. The statue of limitations period will ultimately be two years if the court does not find that the violations were willful. Ways to avoid a WHD investigation and/or compliance lawsuit It is important to ensure that you are in compliance. If you are Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


unsure, discuss compliance of the FLSA with your legal counsel. If you are prepared for an investigation, there will probably not be any assertions of violations. If FLSA violations are asserted by an investigator: 1. Listen carefully to the investigators’s findings and recommendations while recording precise notes. You will not receive a written report of the investigator’s findings. 2. Request the investigator cite to specific statutes and/or regulations supporting the investigator’s position and request copies of such statutes and/or regulations. 3. At the conclusion of the conference, you have four options: 1. • Refuse to comply; • Agree to comply; • Request an extension of time to consider refusing or agreeing to comply; or • Request to schedule a “second level” conference with the WHD District Office management.

While considering your options, remember to your time wisely while evaluating your situation. The first step should be to confer with your legal counsel who specializes in employment law. Inform your attorney that you require prompt assistance in determining

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

whether or not you agree or refuse to comply. Because you have not agreed to comply, Keep in mind that you have not yet promised the WHD that you will achieve compliance; under the circumstances, litigation can happen quickly. The above concerns an employer’s probable options when future compliance is in question. The same options are available when the dispute concerns payment of back wages. The employer should focus on cooperating with the investigation and not leaving the impression that the employer are refusing to pay back wages, but that you question the validity of asserted facts, application of the law, or accuracy of computations. If an employer and his/her advisors prepare compelling arguments and present then to the Assistant District Director, there is a possibility that back wages will be reduced. The issue of owed back wages will not be dismissed unless the employer persuades the WHD District office management that the investigators erroneously asserted violations. Advice for Contractors Investigators do make mistakes and/or the DOL has targeted your company’s industry for FLSA compliance investigations. Investigators sometimes fail to consider all the facts or thoroughly research the law. During the investigation, do not hesitate to ask questions, request time to consider your options, or seek professional counsel with an experienced employment attorney. Even when a case meets one or more of the “potential litigation” criteria, the WHD may opt to decline litigation in order to conserve its resource or for the reasons previously mentioned. Civil money penalties (if warranted) will be assessed, and employees will be notified (via letters) of their private right to sue. The time required to address a WHD investigation is a better alternative than a very inconvenient, time consuming, and expensive civil litigation for the employer. The settling of any compliance issues with the DOL precludes the probability of collective action suits by other similarly situated employees. If you have any questions regarding your company’s potential risk for a US DOL Investigation, you should contact your experienced labor law counsel to discuss.

71


NJ'S ROAD TO GROWTH

STARTS AT STAVOLA. Construction Aggregates 1/ HotlWarm Mix Asphalt 1/ Recycled Produ cts Asphalt Contracting Services II Real Estate Development

Congratulations To JESCO Jack Callahan George Thompson and

The Family of Bob Briant, Sr.

~ STAVOLA

~

72

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


VALUING YOUR COMPANY Knowing Your Worth Makes It Easier To Plan Ahead By: Jay Gilston, CFBS, Emerald Financial You’ve built a successful family business, accumulated a nice retirement nest egg and put together a comprehensive estate plan. But if you don’t have a workable succession plan, there’s likely to be a big hole in your planning. “A lot of people confuse succession planning with estate planning,” says Dr. Edwin Hoover, a family business advisor based in the Chicago area. “They think that if they have an estate plan, they’re all set.” The two processes, however, are very different. The estate plan is all about an individual deciding who gets what when he or she dies. The succession plan is all about the survival of the business. That makes succession planning a group process since all parties need to be at the table. “Business owners who are used to doing things on their own often find this very frustrating,” Hoover says Moreover, family dynamics with the accompanying psychological and emotional issues can make succession planning a complex process. It can also be a treacherous one. According to the Family Firm Institute, only about a third of family businesses successfully navigate the transition to the next generation. The reason: poor planning, unresolved family conflicts or the lack of estate preparation, says Hoover. Good planning takes time. Hoover, for example, recommends, starting 10 years in advance of any expected change in management. That provides ample time for the family, the business, the new management and the outgoing owner to work together in crafting a successful transition. Of course, sometimes an owner decides it’s better to sell, particularly if none of the kids are interested in taking over. Before putting the family’s full service car wash on the market, for example, Karen Colcagno and her husband asked all three of their kids if they had any interest in taking over. They didn’t. “They were bursting with ideas of their own,” says Calcagno. “We ended up finding a great buyer.”

Now a business coach and founder of the Advantage Family Business Center, Calcagno says money from the sale was used to buy a building which family members now manage together. “A lot of people don’t think of that as succession,” she says. “But it conserves the family wealth and creates a more even playing field for the kids.” Good communication is a critical part of the succession planning process. People need to make sure that family members, business partners and employees all understand the plan. “The person who owns the business is the one who makes the ultimate decision,” says Hoover. But the future success of the company will depend on the people who are taking over. That means the details of the transition need to be clear to all involved. It is the funding, however, that provides the glue needed to make a succession plan work. Life insurance is commonly used to make sure that kids in the business aren’t favored over those who choose other professions. Insurance can also fund buy-sell agreements in case of death or disability and may supplement retirement income.* Too often, owners never get around to funding their succession plans. Others don’t pay enough attention to the funding details, while still others put their plans in place and forget to update them as things change. The result: family members and business partners may find they have insufficient financial resources to actually implement the plan. Succession planning is an ongoing process, as Calcagno has discovered. After the sale of the family car wash, her husband created a business of his hobby restoring vintage Corvettes. Now he has 10 buildings filled with classic car parts, but no one yet in line to take over the business. “We haven’t come to a conclusion about how that should be managed,” Calcagno says. But it’s definitely on the list.

Continued from Page 57

highest possible FY15 funding levels for the SRF’s in both the President’s budget and the FY15 appropriations process as well as supporting a robust highway bill which would produce much-needed jobs. Investments in water infrastructure provide significant economic benefits to the economy and enjoy a strong return on investments. The U.S. Conference of Mayors notes that each public dollar invested in water infrastructure increases private long-term GDP output by $6.35. The Associated General Contractors of America estimates that one billion dollars invested in water infrastructure can create over 28,500 jobs. In addition, the Department of Commerce estimates that each job created in the local water and sewer industry creates 3.68 indirect jobs in the national economy, and each public dollar spent yields $2.62 in economic output in other industries. This is a highly leveraged federal investment that results in significant job and economic benefits for every dollar spent. It is critical that the Federal government remains a reliable partner in meeting the nation’s clean water needs and CWCC is committed to pursuing a viable partnership.

to award all contracts for architectural, engineering, surveying, and other design services for projects funded by the legislation with the Federal qualifications-based selection (QBS) process under the Brooks-Architect Engineers Act of 1972. 2014 Goals Next year’s Coalition goals depend, in part, on what happens this year with respect to some of the issues. Fort example, if WRDA and/or WIFIA and/or Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water SRF’s reauthorization do not get done this year, then efforts will continue next year. The same may be said of the uncertainty that underlies the FY14 Appropriations. If a Continuing Resolution is adopted this year, then its duration will determine what if any Coalition action is required next year. Two issues that will definitely be of focus next year notwithstanding what happens this year are the President’s FY15 Budget/FY15 appropriations process and reauthorization of MAP-21, the multiyear mega highway bill which expires September 30, 2014. Again the Coalition will be pursuing the Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

73


KNOW WHAT'S BELOW

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EX CAVATION - DEMOLITION BLASTING IF YOU DIG - YOU CALL!

IT'S THE LAW! FOR FREE T RA INING CALL 732路394路3000 74

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


DALEGROUP INSURANCE & BONDS

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To learn more, please contact; Ed Beaulieu / 973437-9623 1ebeaulieu@safegatesolutions.com l or visit www.safegatesolutions.com

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

75


much is my business worth?

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Jack Callahan, You hiSve cluntions - we have solutionsl

Recipielll of Ihe Larry Gardller M emorial Award

The Construction Advisory' Team at Emerald Financial Areal of ExpertiH::

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76

Dependable Service

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New Bedford, MA 02740

www.jmahle.com

(508) 994-2652 Pax: (508) 990-0974

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


www.psabenefits.com 800-572-8859

We design, build and manage employee benefit programs • • • • •

Prevailing Wage Plans 401 (k)fPension Plans Hour Bank Medical Plans Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans

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One Entin Roa d, Unit 8, Clifton, NJ 07014 Ph: 973·249·0900 • Fax: 973·249·0988 Website : www.layoutinc.net Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

77


78

Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013


• •

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CO. L.LC

RENTALS AND BALES

Kiely Equipment Co., LLC 700 McClellan St., Long Branch, NJ 07740 BBB.KIELY.BB www.kielyeq.com

Distributors of:

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

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Utility and Transportation Contractor, OCTOBER 2013

Utility and Transportation Contractor October 2013 Magazine