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Entranco takes over plant expansion

Local engineering firm RH2’s plans to complete the expansion and upgrade of the Port Orchard Wastewater Treatment Facility were flushed away Monday when the Port Orchard City Council voted unanimously to award the second part of the contract to Entranco Engineers, based in Bellevue.

On the recommendations of Dick Warren, an engineering consultant hired by Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel last August, the council decided against the original contract with RH2 prepared by former City Engineer Larry Curles in favor of a contract that provided the firm with an initial $400,000 to begin construction management.

When RH2 had spent approximately $300,000, the contract would again be presented to the council for review, as it was Monday. The council would then decide whether or not to award additional funds, a process some councilmembers believe will rightfully keep expenditures in the hands of the city.

Councilmembers had very little to say before the vote.

“We knew that the city was going to act on our contract Monday night, but we didn’t hear anything,” said RH2 regional manager Paul Gilligan.

According to Gilligan, he wrote an e-mail to Public Works Director Alan Lobdell on Tuesday asking about the status of the contract. He had his answer by nightfall.

The contract was awarded to Entranco Engineers for $837,513. The City of Port Orchard was not going to extend its contract with RH2 Engineering.

“We knew that there was a lot of discussion going on, a lot of chatter,” Gilligan said. But after a meeting with Lobdell and Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel on Feb. 2, Gilligan said he felt they had resolved their contract differences.

“We were under the impression on the second that our contract was going to be extended,” Gilligan said. “Obviously, that was not the case.”

However, Gilligan said neither he, nor RH2, have any hard feelings.

“The city has a right to hire anyone they want to do their work,” Gilligan said. “It’s as simple as that.”

As for whether city officials were wise in switching contractors in the middle of such a large-scale project, Gilligan was professionally neutral.

“I can’t comment on that,” Gilligan said. “I know it’s a complicated project. We wish (the city) well and hope it will be a very successful conclusion of the project.”

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