Town hires “on call” engineers for infrastructure projects

by Geoff Fox

Hancock officials unanimously awarded RK&K the contract to be the town’s “on call” engineering services during multiple upcoming projects.

The town-received bid from three firms -RK&K of Keyser, Stahl Sheaffer of Morgantown, W.Va., and Thrasher of Oakland, Md. There was no fixed cost attached to the bids since they will be for “on call” services.

Town officials went with RK&K due to the relationship already cemented in the engineering of the new wastewater facility.

Mayor Roland Lanehart, Jr. noted that fact and how RK&K has helped the town secure grant money since the two sides started working together.

Town Attorney Ed Kuczynski told town officials because the contract would be an RFP, they didn’t have to take the lowest bid and could make their decision based on past working relationships.

On Monday, Town Manager Mike Faith said with RK&K being involved with the wastewater facility, it makes sense to stay with the same firm.

He said one of the bids did not provide an hourly rate. Because of that, he said officials could have voted on which company to award the bid or table it on the technical terms of the bids.

Faith said the bids would act as a “housekeeping” type thing where if a project needed an engineering inspection, RK&K can provide that service.

Faith said the town could go to a cheaper engineer if RK & K’s price is too expensive for individual inspections.