District hires firm to finish sewer

Stanley Consultants of Phoenix was hired on a contractual basis by the Camp Verde Sanitary District to finish what another firm started.

The district employed the new firm to replace Moore & Associates, fired by the district last month for failure to make progress on a sewer expansion project.

The district will expect Stanley to go to work immediately on the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant and to connect to the treatment plant the area annexed in 1993 from west of Interstate 17 and the Arizona 260 interchange.

The district has access to a Rural Economic Community Development loan in the amount of $4 million to accomplish its objective.

District officials assert time is of the essence and the district is dedicated to “fast tracking” the project. According to Chairperson Suzy Burnside, the new engineering firm will be on board as soon as the contract is finalized, anticipated to be within the month.

The district paid the former engineering firm approximately $190,000 since its contract was signed on May 4, 1996, said Burnside. The new board lost patience with Moore’s lack of production, terminating the contract for nonperformance.

Moore was provided no further compensation.

Fees for engineering services with Stanley will be negotiated based on RECD’s loan to the district. The fees will be based on a percentage of the net construction costs. The final figures will be available when the contract is reviewed, Burnside said.

It is expected the new firm will take a closer look at what has been accomplished to this point. It is unknown at this time how much of the previous engineering data can be adapted.

"It’s takeover engineering,” Burnside said. “The engineer has an obligation to look at the existing proposal and decide if this was in the best interest of the community or go with the board’s proposal of gravity to greater serve the community and eliminate future costs of operation and maintenance.”

Stanley will partner with a well-known local firm, Shepherd-Wesnitzer, in its work on the project.

Ten Arizona engineering firms submitted proposals to the sanitary district. The proposals were opened Feb. 16 and a final decision was made by the board the following Monday. The board used expert volunteer consultants in its selection process. They were Drew Swieczkowski, hydrologist from the Arizona Department of Water Resources; Lee Hixon, of Environmental Biomass Services; Gail Hackney, Pima Community College; Jeff Holzmeister, an engineer with Premier Engineering; plus the district’s plant operators, Gene McIntyre and Jack Blum.

“We are laymen trying to act in the public’s best interest. It doesn’t make us experts on hydrology, systems’ operation and interface with professionals or agencies. We tried to pick experts to advise us,” Burnside explained.

Burnside said Stanley was selected because of its references, its work with sewer agencies, its adequate staffing necessary to meet deadlines and its rapport with the advisers.

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