Paris City Council to meet Tuesday to OK contract for infrastructure improvement plans

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra.com

The Paris City Council is expected on Tuesday to authorize city manager John Godwin to sign a contract with a Longview-based engineering firm to develop a 10-year, $50 million program to fix the city’s deteriorated infrastructure.

Last Monday, the council chose KSA Engineers over two other companies — Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols and Hayter Engineering of Paris and asked Godwin to begin contract negotiations.

city manager John Godwin

Rather than suggest a maximum it is willing to pay, the council told Godwin to negotiate terms and call a special meeting for the council to sign off on the deal.

On Friday, the city manager called that special meeting – for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the city council chambers at 107 E. Kaufman St.

“I’ve actually been to the Texas Municipal League conference in Grapevine, and they were there too, so I met with them (KSA officials) the last two days in a row,” Godwin told eParis on Friday.

“We haven’t finalized anything yet. We’ve gone back and forth with different things — changes in their original suggested scope of services,” the manager said. “I’m trying to reduce what they suggested as to cost, and the best way to do that is just refining the scope of services.”

The cost for KSA’s services is expected to be about $250,000.

“Their original price was $298,000, and I’m trying to get it as low as I can,” Godwin said. “It’s going to be over $200,000. I’m not sure where that will be when we get done.”

One of the priorities that the council expressed on Oct. 15, when officials of the three companies made their pitches, was the need for the “winning company” to begin immediately and have the first phase of the plan — Year One, 2013 – in place by the end of December.

The council already has $5 million committed for work in 2013 and wants to begin that work in January.

KSA is a company of 160 employees based in Longview with nine offices in Texas. KSA has indicated it can begin work on Nov. 26 – a week from Monday – if a contract can be agreed upon and signed immediately.

The company told the council on Oct. 15 that by dedicating 20 employees to the Paris project – headed by team leaders for streets/drainage, wastewater, water and environmental/public outreach – KSA could have the first-year plan ready by the end of the December and the complete 10-year plan finished in six months.

 

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About the Author
Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.