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City awards $2.5 million to water consultants

Monument St sinkhole

Fixing the sinkhole on the 2300 block of East Monument Street last November.

Photo by: Mark Reutter

The Board of Estimates today approved $2.5 million in fees to consultants working for the bureaus of water and solid waste, including for design work done on the East Monument Street sinkhole.

At a meeting lasting less than six minutes, the board headed by City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake awarded $1.8 million to EBA Engineering to provide “on-call” material testing and inspection services for the water bureau for the next two years.

The board also agreed to tack on $500,000 to an existing $3 million contract with KCI Technologies to provide inspection services for the city’s Quarantine/Millennium Landfill in South Baltimore.

A third consultant – Moffatt & Nichol – was paid $189,000 for design and inspection services needed to restore the collapsed storm drain tunnel that opened up a large sinkhole on East Monument Street last summer.

The cost of fixing the sinkhole has risen to $8 million, city budget director Andrew Kleine said today – or $1 million more than last fall’s estimate, which in turn was double the original $3 million estimated. (See here for detailed look at the project.)

Monument Street was reopened to traffic in December, five months after the sinkhole appeared.

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  • MarylandEsquire

    Clearly, in such brief meetings, they have discussed these issues prior to the meeting.  Why doesn’t the Brew consider filing complaints under the Open Meetings Act?

    • baltimorebrew

      The Brew attends the BOE “pre-meeting.” Very little of substance goes on.

      The pre-meeting typically starts when the mayor appears about 8:50 in a side room. Harriet Taylor, the assistant comptroller, recites any contracts or other spending items where a “protest” has been lodged. A protest requires the item to be taken off the board’s “routine agenda” to permit a direct appeal by the protester at its public session.

      Other than a few procedural questions, typically by City Council President Jack Young or City Solicitor George Nilson, the pre-meeting ends within minutes of starting. There has not been any substantive discussion of pending contracts except last June when City Comptroller Joan Pratt angrily voiced her objections to the mayor’s Digicon VOIP phone contract (which the board then approved in the public session).

      The pre-meeting once was closed to the press. After The Sun filed a protest, the session was opened (with two media chairs provided), and now very little is aired there.

      –MR

      • MarylandEsquire

        You might be interested in this information:  http://www.igsr.umd.edu/VLC/OMA/class_oma_intro1.php

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