City eyes tapping firm for water study

JOHNSTOWN – City officials will choose a firm to handle a study into local creeks and their drainage problems.

Over the course of two hours, members of the Common Council heard from Greenman Pedersen Inc. and Barton & Loguidice. Each is angling to be picked by the city to perform a study of several creeks throughout the city.

The firms’ presentations came about after a request for proposals was sent out for a hydrologic and hydraulic study of Comrie Creek, Hale Creek, Hall Creek, Caleb Creek and their watersheds, in addition to a study of the drainage issues on Glebe Street and East Fourth Avenue.

Flooding has been reported in the Comrie Creek area over the years, and city officials hope to gain some engineering expertise from a firm to address future problems.

City Engineer Chandra Cotter said neither study is intended to fix the drainage problem.

“It would identify the problem areas for us; it wouldn’t even correct them yet,” Cotter said.

Both firms presented their methods and what each firm would offer. B&L, based out of Albany, would handle the study themselves, but GPI would subcontract with Ferguson & Foss to handle any survey work that may need to be done. B&L also offered some help to search for grants, but GPI said they were working with the firm Grant and Essential Management Services to help with grant writing.

The firms submitted different bid amounts to the city. According to Cotter, B&L’s estimated cost is $41,000, while GPI, a national company with offices in Albany and Babylon, Suffolk County, is seeking more than $60,000.

City Treasurer Michael Gifford said the city has funds to pay for either study.

Cotter suggested the board select GPI, stating the agency would invest more time into the project, is willing to help out with searching for grant funding for the study and for future projects, and has worked with the city many times.

“Overall, their presentation and their proposal is more along the lines I have been looking for,” Cotter said.

The Common Council would have the final say in which company receives the project, however.

Mayor Michael Julius thanked the two firms for their presentations. The council discussed the matter, but did not come to a conclusion Monday night.

A third firm, Erdman Anthony of Latham, bid at $108,860 for the study, but is not being considered due to the cost, Cotter said.