The Beaumont City Council has approved a one year contract with the engineering firm based out of Houston called "Lockwood, Andrews, and Newnam.”
It's a 650,000 dollar contract to conduct studies on the city's sewer system. LAN will conduct studies on the sewage system to figure out a way to fix its issues after Harvey and determine a price tag for an entire of the city. However, the decision to use LAN was made with some doubts.
First, city council had to consider a civil lawsuit that was issued by the Michigan Attorney General earlier this year against the engineering firm.
Next, LAN had wanted a three year two million dollar contract. However, Councilman Mike Getz says that the contract would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. Also,
Getz says that no request for qualifications were made before deciding that the company would be the best fit for the job which according to section 22.04 of the Texas government code, is required by law. Getz says this was simply a recommendation from the city's Public Works Director and not based on qualifications.
“The thing I hear the most from people is late night phone calls about sewage coming up out of a toilet or out of a shower and that is just devastating,” said Getz. If this project helps us to get a handle on those storm sewage overflows, it might be money well spent.”
The first phase will cost the city 650,000 dollars. Beaumont city council will vote later next year on the continuation of the project with the same company.