Crystal Lake Park District Hires Burke Engineering to Review Watershed Manual

The Crystal Lake Park board hired the firm offering the lowest price to review the city’s watershed manual.

With prices ranging from Christopher B. Burke Engineering’s $6,600 to one coming in at $18,000, the board also selected the firm that would complete the work in the least amount of time.

Burke said it could complete the review in two weeks.

But, besides cost and speed, the Burke firm got highest marks from at least four of the board members. It was also the recommendation of Park Director Kirk Reimer and Park Planner Ann Viger.

“I put all my stars by them,” said Commissioner Candy Reedy.

“So did I,” Dave Phelps added.

Two, Michael Walkup and Eric Anderson, thought the only non-engineering firm in the running—Conservation Designs—would be better.

Walkup did so because “the manual seems to be going in the opposite direction (from conservation design). Engineers tend to think you can engineer a solution (to anything).”

“I agree with Mike,” Eric Anderson said. “It needs more of a conservation design. That was my top choice.”

“I would like to go more with engineers overlooking engineers,” Jerry Sullivan contributed, while agreeing, “The whole idea of it is conservation.

“Are we not seeing things in this manual that could affect us on conservation matters?” he asked. “I would go with Burke.”

“I’m a big fan of engineers,” Richard Sexton said.

During the discussion, Sexton explained that he had found it hard to believe a previous comment made by Walkup about McHenry County College’s wanting to start construction so soon, but now did.

“These guys are looking to stick a shovel in September,” Sexton said. He observed that being able to come back in two weeks with a review of the watershed manual was a good idea.

The vote ended up unanimous in favor of the Burke firm.

After the expression of board opinions, Park Director Reimer pointed out, “The council has put this on hold, too.”

“They were trying to get this through in an ordinance form (but a couple of councilmen brought up concerns).

“I was pleasantly surprised that they were concerned.

“Going (into) that meeting, I thought it was a done deal.”

(See McHenry County Blog articles on the Crystal Lake City Council meeting on September 4, 2007, here and here.)

“(Burke’s price) was far less than we were expecting,” Board President Mike Zellman observed.

“It was the lowest,” Reedy pointed out.

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Wouldn’t it be something if the review could be accomplished before the next Crystal Lake City Council meeting?

Mayor Aaron Shepley announced that the watershed manual would be on the agenda and public comments welcomed on Tuesday, September 16th.


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