The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

City Hall doesn’t help itself on the consultant-bashing front

In City Hall, Floods on January 30, 2009 at 10:33 am

City Hall might have done a little better job on the timing of amendments to its contract with one of the city’s principal consultants, Sasaki Associates Inc., Watertown, Mass.

The contract includes at least 10 other professional firms that are working alongside Sasaki in the development of the city’s flood protection system and, now, on a neighborhood planning process.

The Boston-area firm has been a presence in Cedar Rapids since the June flood.

These things cost money.

That was clear in mid-December when the City Council amended Sasaki’s earlier contract with the city, adding $2.487 million to it and bringing the total to $3.943 million.

There was a news item about that.

Well, again this week, the council amended the contract, adding another $300,000 to it. The new amendment brings the total to $4,243,736.

The council agenda noted that total contract price in December. This week, the council agenda just noted the $300,000 figure.

Life was much different in the spring of 2008 when the City Council held a competition among riverfront design teams and selected Sasaki to create a downtown riverfront improvement plan for the city. Sasaki had done such work in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and many other places, and as council member Pat Shey pointed out at the time, Sasaki had just won a first-place design award for its work at the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics.

The cost of the Sasaki contract at that time was $150,000. Then the June flood arrived.

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  1. $4.2m divided by $150/hr of Sasaki and their subs staff time means that from June 13th to today (166 working days) they must have had 21 people working on this project 8 hours per day 5 days per week for every week since June 13th. Seems high??

  2. Jim, higher math is always appreciated.

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