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Engineering

Dear Editor:

Two years ago I was elected to PAWSD board. 40-plus years professional engineering experience. The first question I asked PAWSD was how professional engineering services were paid. The previous 10-plus years engineering services contracts were local no bid awards. PAWSD paid a huge percent fee of the “construction cost plus engineering design cost plus environmental costs.” One might call that double dipping.

Lets be clear Colorado state statute does not mandate competitive bidding for professional services — accounting, legal and engineering. Construction contracts over $60,000 yes. The manager shortly after his arrival established a formal contract and procurement procedure — see PAWSD website.

PAWSD put out nationally, a request for qualification for comprehensive engineering services to design sewer pipe line from Town to PAWSD plant with a request that the firm set up a Pagosa office. Local firms did not bid. Five bids were received — two firms quoted 15 percent fee, two quoted 10 percent fee. Bartlett and West quoted 7 percent fee, they won.

Reality is PAWSD for last 10-plus years paid more than double what Bartlett and West quoted. Bartlett is a top national full service water and waste water engineering firm. Bartlett opened an office here; engineers brought their families and bought Pagosa homes.

Subsequently PAWSD requested, nationally, bids for “On Call Engineering Services.” Of the three local firms, Bartlett was the only bidder. I recommended that PAWSD extend their current contract for six years because of their excellent demonstrated service at very competitive cost. Additionally PAWSD is set to lose five or six of their most experienced people in the next five years so PAWSD needs continuity to continue to provide excellent service that we have experienced under our new professional manager, Ed Winton.

Allan Bunch, Roy Vega and I voted for the contract extension. Church/Walsh voted no with Church claiming in that public meeting that I was taking vacations paid by Bartlett. Bartlett owner who was present was incensed by the slander of his professional character.

Walsh and Mike Church take exception because Bartlett has supported PAWSD issues in public meetings that don’t fit their narrative.

Figures don’t lie. Liars can’t figure. Flyer for Hansen and Mclver — Bunch never supported a 32 percent rate increase; there were discussions for months as to best rate option to meet mandated state financial requirements; we voted a 4.4 percent rate hike.

$25M for a pumping project — really. No study has been done — a real number would be $7-8M ($3-4M for pump station plus $2.5M for seven mile waterline). The six mile water line to Town, now under construction, is $2M. Walsh’s $25M plus project is typical Walsh. In our public board meeting, when challenged, Walsh stated he embellished numbers for effect.

Allan Bunch never claimed water loss only costs 1 percent. That I believe is a Ramberg rant.

Vote for the candidates with integrity.

Burt Adams

This story was posted on April 24, 2014.