Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Bethlehem Township Balks at 2.5% Increase in Engineering Fees

Comm'r Marty Zawarski
Bethlehem Township Commissioners unanimously tabled a proposed rate increase in engineering fees at their December 3 meeting. The Pidcock Company, which provides engineering services, has proposed a 2.5% rate increase next year, under which the hourly rate for professional services would vary between $48 and $108 per hour. Its current rate schedule has been in place since January 2011.

"With the state of the economy, I can't see that the engineer raised its bills at this time," complained Commissioner Martin Zawarski. He also groused about the mileage being charged, noting that Pidcock is located near Route 309, a forty mile round trip from the Township. "There are very, very good engineering firms within ten minutes of here," he observed.

Rather than outright reject the proposed rate increase, Commissioner Michael Hudak suggested reaching out to Pidcock to ask for an explanation. "We don't really know why a rate in crease is being proposed," added Commissioner Phil Barnard.

"I'm on the fence with this, noted President Paul Weiss, who would also like to hear from Pidcockk

Although he went along with tabling the pay hike, Commissioner Tom Nolan cautioned that changing township engineers is a "monumental task." He added that most of their fees are charged to developers, not the Township.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the engineering firms and legal firms are sucking way too much money out of the local governments budgets.

Zawarski has a poor excuse in distance traveled and most likely has in his side pocket, a friendly engineering firm looking out for his best interest, wink, wink...

Anonymous said...

Really Zawarski? You are still going with the "this economy" song and dance? At some point, wages need to be raised and fees need to increase. Now cut something or raise taxes - do your jobs. You couldn't build fast enough several years ago. We only get out of a bad economy when people stop holding money close to the vest....

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:36, Do you have any basis at all for the slur you have cast on Zawarski's integrity? Is there anything wrong with asking a Twp engineer to justify his fees? i call that doing his job.

Anonymous said...

The Township should really look into this. Pidcock discourages reasonable development by inflating their fees that developers can't absorb. Sure, the Township passes through most of its costs to the developers. But I know developers that will go out of their way not to have Pidcock involved.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Mr. Zawarski is going to bat for fellow builders and developers who think that the township's engineer is too rigid and thorough, thereby costing them more money. However, a professional, well run municipality like Bethlehem Township, with much accountability to its residents, depends upon a highly skilled, competent engineering consultant.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of great engineering companies that will charge a reasonable rate. Piddocks have their reputation and I have mine. Raising taxes is not the answer. Controlling cost is the answer. By having a more responsive friendly engineering firm will not hurt the township at all. if you have a problem with me or what I believe in, google my name and call me instead of posting here and sounding smart. To think one is doing this to help his competition is way off base. I do not hide and will share my wisdom and intent as to why I make the decisions I do. I have lived in Bethlehem twsp since 1960 and this is my home that I care about, more than you can imagine.
MZ

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the delay in responding but can't at my govt employer.

@10:47 Basis, you want a basis for my slur? What slur? He's a developer and the wink wink is standard practice in the developing basis.

@MZ, so Piddcock is not responsive friendly is your opinion? Is your next door neighbor an engineer that can be in the building in 10 minutes?

As long as there is the ability to post anon, I will and the life of this blog will continue.

You are in it for you, you said so yourself...

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:36, 4:19, I wanted a basis for your slur and you have provided it. You believe Zawarski is looking to steer the business to his next door neighbor. I'll ask. He's an elected official so is subject to greater scrutiny concerning his official actions.

My own belief is that Pidcock is an exceptionally well-qualified firm. I know some of the people there and have seen Pidcock himself before Bethlehem Planners. he's very sharp. But I think Zawarski would be remiss if he just accepted a rate increase without getting an explanation.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure NZ has our best interest ahead of his own.

Anonymous said...

Zawarski did and does build sprawl. Having a builder/developer on any elected Board is a formula for trouble. Lots of luck to Bethlehem Township with its builder influenced Board. It would only be natural for this type of Board to make it easier for developers and builders. Wink, wink.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Wink, wink."

Something in your eye?

Anonymous said...

Not in his eye he has a wild hair growing in his butt

c said...

Gotta strongly agree with you here Bernie.