Engineer’s payment rate restored by close St. Charles Council vote

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 20, 2000

HAHNVILLE – An attempt to restore engineering rates for Shread-Kuyrkendall & Associates squeezed through a narrow vote by the St. Charles ParishCouncil Monday.

At the Nov. 20 council meeting Shread-Kuyrkendall’s rates were slashed 20percent, as another extension to their capital outlay and drainage program management services was approved. At the same time, Hartman’s wasextended for the wastewater program management, but without the rate reduction.

Councilwoman Dee Abadie urged the council Monday to either cut Hartman Engineering by 20 percent as well or raise the rate for Shread-Kuyrkendall and Hartman only 10 percent.

“Why are their rates identical? Could it be collusion?” she asked.

Public Works/Wastewater Director Steven Fall pointed out that even though Shread-Kuyrkendall and Hartman were part of Parish President Albert Laque’s transition team, that played no factor in their selection to do any work in the parish.

“My one criteria for engineering selection is qualifications,” Fall emphasized.

He added their rates are not out of line, and both are cheaper than most.

Councilman Brian Fabre complained, “We didn’t negotiate these rates; they were shoved down our throats.”Councilman Terry Authement likewise complained, “I have a problem with an engineer being a program manager and doing projects in the parish.”Nevertheless, the approval of restoring the engineering rates for Shread- Kuyrkendall was approved in a 5-4 vote, with Lance Marino, Fabre, April Black, Clayton Faucheux and Desmond Hilaire voting in favor.

In other matters, Councilman Barry Minnich was voted council chairman and Clayton Faucheux vice-chairman for 2001. Minnich succeeds TerryAuthement, the chairman for the past two years.

“I’m glad for a break,” Authement said after the meeting.

The next St. Charles Parish Council meeting is set for Jan. 9.

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