Berlin Stormwater Project Moves Ahead

BERLIN – Stormwater improvements in the area of Cedar Avenue, Maple Drive and Pine Street will move ahead following approval of a contract last week.

The Berlin Town Council voted unanimously to approve a more than $434,000 contract with Barker’s Landing Excavation for the project.

“We did check the references because we weren’t very familiar with them,” said Jane Kreiter, the town’s director of public works and water resources. “They have done this kind of work before in the upper shore. They’re trying to expand down to this area.”

The bid from Barker’s Landing Excavation was nearly $100,000 less than the bid submitted by David A. Bramble.

Darl Kolar of EA Engineering Science and Technology, the town’s stormwater consultant, said Barker’s Landing Excavation had included an extensive list of references in its bid.

“It looked like they included every project they worked on in the past three years,” he said. “It shows they have confidence in full disclosure.”

Following the council’s approval of the contract with Barker’s Landing Excavation, Town Administrator Laura Allen asked for approval of a modification to the town’s contract with EA Engineering. Since the town entered into a contract with EA Engineering for on-call stormwater management support services in 2010, the contract has been modified eight times. Since the original $20,000 contract, the town has spent $413,500 with the company.

The contract modification she presented Monday, for $47,500, was approved unanimously.

In an interview after the meeting, Allen explained that EA Engineering handled the myriad of stormwater tasks associated with projects in town.

“The staff at EA have a wide variety of skills and abilities we do not,” Allen said.

Allen said creating a town position to manage stormwater would be difficult because the amount of work and details of stormwater projects varied. EA Engineering, however, has an array of employees who have the knowledge to handle whatever comes up in Berlin. Allen said the amount the town spent with the company each year depended on how many and what types of projects there were.

“What they’re doing is ongoing programmatic work,” she said, adding that the town paid the company specific fees for specific services.

In the future, Allen said she would be working with EA Engineering to develop a specific allocation to include in the town’s budget in the spring.

“The plan going forward is to synchronize the modification request with the budget request…,” she said. “In the budget process we’d be putting a plan together for the stormwater work.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.