Tyrone urged to seek engineer

Firm would design sewer plant digester, oversee project

TYRONE — This week at a Borough Council meeting, consulting engineer Kevin Nester of GHD encouraged council members to publish a request for qualifications, seeking an engineering firm to design a proposed $6 million to $10 million sewer plant digester, then oversee permitting, bid advertisements, contract awards and construction.

He would like GHD to do the job, but Pennvest, the state agency that may fund the project, recommends the RFQ because of the size of the project and because the funding would include federal money.

“I think it’s a very good idea,” Nester told council.

The borough should choose the firm best suited for the job, not necessarily the one that will do it most cheaply, he said.

He suggested a formal ranking of candidates, then negotiation of a deal and, if negotiations fail, a move to the firm that’s next in line.

Nester has been helping the borough manager prepare the RFQ.

After the meeting, Mayor Bill Latchford said he understands that there could be better qualified companies for the digester job.

But he’d be worried a little about dealing with some other firm than GHD because of the unfamiliarity, he said.

GHD has done “wonderful things” for the borough with water, sewer and other projects, he said.

Most of the environmental clearance applications have been submitted for the digester project, Nester said.

He is nearly finished with the preliminary engineering evaluation/uniform environmental review, he said.

He recommended that a public meeting be held on the proposed project in August.

An advertisement for that public meeting would set a public comment period of

30 days, during which the uniform environmental review would be available, he said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.