Northwest NEWS

November 29, 1999

Local News

City rejects CH2M Hill proposal

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--The City of Woodinville has decided to save $300,000 by not contracting with engineering firm CH2M Hill to finish surveying and creating the city's comprehensive Surface Water Management (SWM) plan. In September, CH2M Hill submitted a $386,000 estimate for the project, which exceeded the City's $300,000 budget for the project, according to Director of Public Works Mick Monken.

   At their Nov. 15 meeting, Monken told the City Council that his department could finish the survey and create the SWM for $200,000 by utilizing some outside consulting and using four to five interns to do much of the system inventory work. CH2M Hill had also planned to use interns for the inventory, said Monken.

   Councilmember Randy Ransom questioned whether Monken's staff could accomplish the same work as CH2M Hill. Monken responded that he has a long track record of success using a similar approach in other cities, and that the same level of service his staff could accomplish would cost $500,000 if done by CH2M Hill.

   Monken acknowledged that it would take his staff close to two years to do the work CH2M Hill could do in six months, but said the State Dept. of Ecology (DOE) has agreed to a two-year extension on their deadline for submitting the plan--until Dec. 31, 2001.

   "The DOE has indicated they will approve this proposal, so this is no longer a timely matter," said Monken. "Doing this project in-house will increase my staff's workload in that area, but lighten the workload in others. In the long run, by doing the inventory and preparing the plan in-house, our staff's maintenance capabilities will improve through a greater knowledge of the city's surface water system."

   "Based on your excellent success record on the projects you've done so far, I recommend that we accept your proposal, Mr. Monken," said Mayor Don Brocha. The Council unanimously agreed and voted to direct City staff to proceed with the preparation of the SWM strategy plan.