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Elyse Coffey
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RELEASE: November 10, 2011

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MVC Breaks Ground in Mercer County on Latest Infrastructure Investment

Agency project to bring over 100 jobs, help boost local economy and raise overall customer experience

BakersBasin Ground Breaking
From L to R: Councilwoman-elect Cathleen Lewis, Councilwoman Pam Mount, Councilman Mike Powers, MVC Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez, Bakers Basin Agency Manager Mike Penyak, Mayor Greg Puliti, Tom Zeiders (Dandrea Construction), Labor & Workforce Development Assistant Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, MVC Deputy Administrator Rick Miller and Tom Perrino (Spiezle Architectural Group)

(LAWRENCE TWP.) – With the goal of enhancing agency performance and improving customer service for Mercer County customers, Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez today broke ground on what will become the MVC’s seventh modernized super agency. The infrastructure project, which will bring over 100 jobs on site, will replace the existing, 1950s-era Bakers Basin Agency on Route 1.

Joined by state and local officials, including New Jersey Labor & Workforce Development Assistant Commissioner of Labor Planning & Analysis, Dr. Aaron Fichtner, Martinez noted the significant customer service role these newer facilities play in strategic locations around the state. Each are equipped with an operationally advantageous floor plan, expanded parking and the ability to adapt to offer more services, as needed. He also highlighted the state’s overall goal of linking performance to budgeting for projects such as this as a means of demonstrating accountability of dollars spent.

“The MVC is taking a performance-based approach to this infrastructure project and other key initiatives,” said Martinez. “We are focused on advancing only those initiatives that aid in the delivery of core motor vehicle services and will continually improve our performance level as a government agency.”

Once completed, the new Bakers Basin Agency, which is slated to open in late 2012 on the same state-owned site as the existing agency, will be the largest of all the super agencies at more than 12,000 square feet. The expanded floor plan vastly improves upon the antiquated, 1957-constructed building and will provide expanded service counters and customer waiting areas, as well as space for regionalized training. The project will also include the construction of a road test field house for management of the site’s driver testing services and an office area for the inspection station.

The 21-month project, awarded to Dandrea Construction of West Berlin, NJ, will bring approximately 125 jobs to the site, which includes construction, electrical, plumbing and paving. These are workers who will eat, buy gas and shop in Lawrence Township and the surrounding communities. Not only will the project be a boost to the local economy, it will also help the local construction industry that was hard-hit by the recession.

“While the construction industry has been slow to recover in these tough economic times, we saw some modest job growth in the industry during six of the past eight months. Projects such as this promise to continue the trend of putting more trades people back to work,” said Harold J. Wirths, Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In addition to the service and economic benefits of the new Bakers Basin Agency, the facility design will provide environmentally-friendly aspects such as sensor-controlled light and water fixtures, a white, light-reflective roof, floors made from recycled materials and more natural light features to reduce energy costs by up to 50 percent and maintenance costs by 30 to 40 percent.

“While similar in design to our other recently-constructed super agencies, the new Bakers Basin facility goes one step further in addressing the wants and needs of our customers by providing a larger and more comfortable waiting area,” said Martinez.

The Bakers Basin Agency is a full-service MVC location providing agency services, inspections and driver testing. In 2010, the facility processed more than 301,000 customer transactions, 20,000 road tests and nearly 112,000 vehicle inspections.