(Belleville mayoral candidate Dallas) Cook promises to eliminate the positions of city engineer and GIS planner/coordinator and instead “hire an outside engineering firm to do a better job for less money.” I am appointed yearly so my job is on the line every year.
I had been working for IDOT for 15 years and could easily stayed there to finish my career, but I saw big things happening in Belleville and I wanted to be a part of the positive change. Over the last 12 years, the city has accomplished over 75 million of roadway, bridge and drainage projects.
One of the duties of a city engineer is to document and inspect projects to make sure they are built according to the plans and specifications. Using the number above the average is approximately $6.25 million per year in projects. A consultant engineer can charge 6 percent to perform the documentation and inspection duties. This one task would cost the city $375,000 in engineering fees. The total budget of the engineering department is a little over $290,000. You are already in the hole on this one task. The hourly rate of a consulting engineer working in a city engineer capacity is typically three times my hourly rate. When you hire a consultant engineer, you not only pay the engineer, but also take on the company’s overhead and liability costs.
Dallas Cook is simply throwing stuff against a wall hoping it will stick with an uninformed voter, which is both naive and irresponsible. Don’t be fooled.
Tim Gregowicz, Belleville city engineer