Archive for Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Decision near on engineers for city plant

Council to hear presentations from four firms about designing wastewater treatment facility

February 7, 2007

The process of choosing an engineering firm for the design of Basehor's wastewater treatment plant is moving along as scheduled.

City Administrator Carl Slaugh said requests for qualifications were sent to 12 engineering firms in the area last month and nine firms responded.

A committee including Slaugh, Dustin Smith, City Planner Gene Myracle, City Superintendent Iris Dysart, council member Joe McAfee, City Engineer and Dave Lutgen from McAfee, Henderson and Strick, was formed to evaluate the qualifications and rank the firms.

"Qualifications we covered were the engineer's experience, the company's experience and how that company has worked with projects similar to what we currently have and what we have proposed," Slaugh told council members Monday night.

The timeline given from each firm also was evaluated, along with the firm's goals and interactions with other agencies and staff. The committee spent three sessions, he said, reviewing the qualifications and going over the logistics of the rating matrix, which used a one- to five-point scale with five being the highest rating.

The firms were ranked by the committee as follows:

  • Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A. (PEC)
  • Archer Engineers
  • Larkin Group
  • Burns and McDonnell
  • Wilson and Company
  • Bucher, Willis and Ratliff
  • Shafer, Kline & Warren
  • BG Consultants
  • Olsson Associates

"All nine are well qualified to do the work that we have proposed," Slaugh said. "They all have offices in the area between Kansas City and Topeka and have worked on projects in our area. What we need to do is pick a firm that is more ideally suited for what we intend to do."

While it was assumed that the council would pick the top three firms selected by the committee to give presentations at the work session next week, there was some debate over the rankings.

"My number one pick is Burns and Mac," Council member Bill Hooker said. "I also think we should put a lot of emphasis on Larkin because they are current with our system."

"Why did we have a committee if we're just going to sit here and say I want this guy and I want this guy?" Mayor Chris Garcia said. "They spent three meetings on this. If you all want to take time and read through all of these, knock yourself out, but I think it's a waste of time."

"I think the council has the obligation and should have a choice," Dysart said.

Slaugh said that even though the council may select one of the firms as their top choice, once cost comes into play, their choice may change.

"We know Burns and Mac is a reputable firm," Slaugh said. "But their price is going to be a bit higher."

Council member Terry Thomas pointed out that there was only about one point separating the third- and fourth-ranked firm and the council voted, 5-0, to select the top four engineering firms -- PEC, Archer Engineers, Larkin Group and Burns and McDonnell -- to give presentations at the Feb. 12 work session.

A final pick is set for the Feb. 22 council meeting, Slaugh said.

Garcia also thanked the committee for its work in ranking the nine firms.

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Agreed, 4-1, with Keith Sifford opposed, to deny the requirement for annexation of the Glenwood Estates subdivision into the city as a prerequisite for connection to the city's sanitary sewer system.
  • Tabled, 5-0, the request by Leavenworth County to allow a sanitary sewer connection by the Glenwood Estates subdivision and Glenwood Ridge Elementary School as soon as line construction is complete.
  • Approved, 5-0, the condemnation ordinance for the Buehler Property.
  • Tabled, 5-0, the setting of a date for a public hearing on the revised Falcon Lakes Special Assessments until more information can be obtained.
  • Approved, 5-0, the appointment of Roger McDowell to the Planning Commission.
  • Met in executive session for about 30 minutes to discuss personnel matters.

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