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June 3, 2020

2/19/2020 12:52:00 PM
Mayor opts for new engineering firm to handle the city's work
Councilor Trent Wisner and Jack Kelley, l to r, talk to Tim Hunt after the City Council meeting last week when Mayor Mike Ochs announced HWC is now the city’s engineering company. Baron Wilder looks on.—Staff Photo by Barbara King
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Councilor Trent Wisner and Jack Kelley, l to r, talk to Tim Hunt after the City Council meeting last week when Mayor Mike Ochs announced HWC is now the city’s engineering company. Baron Wilder looks on.—Staff Photo by Barbara King

FPBH, a local firm that handled city engineering business for over a quarter of a century, has now been replaced by New Albany's HWC Engi­neering.

North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs announced his decision to hire HWC, noting it was "just a change" and that he has "seen what he's (HWC) has done in the past."

HWC will be represented here by community liaison Tim Hunt, who grew up in North Vernon and graduated from JCHS in 1975. He is the son of Kay Brown and the late Robert Malcom Hunt and the stepson of the late Charlie Brown.

"I'm both flattered and excited about the opportunity to come back and work for North Vernon. It's my hometown. It's a blessing," said Hunt, who now lives in Sellersburg.

The HWC rep has for a while now been a regular at the City Council meetings as HWC did the design work for the Stellar Commu­nity Project, the new city pool, Tripton Park and, most recently, the Buckeye Street/Hwy. 50 repaving project.

Hunt is not an engineer, but the business development manager for HWC. In that capacity, he acts as the community liaison between the city and HWC.

"The city won't be disappointed with our level of care," he said of the new responsibility.

The city's former engineering firm was paid an average of $134,944 per year for their work the last two years.

Hunt said HWC has proposed a $5000/month retainer. Any work over that amount would have to be approved by the city.

The liaison explained there will be a transition period to work out services and that a meeting with the city's department heads will take place "to walk through what the new processes will be and how we'll assist in the departments' decision making."

Hunt, who has worked at HWC for five years, described his company's role as one of "providing city officials and department heads with the right information to make their own decisions. Our goal is to give the options and to help make the decision.

"I think the city will be well pleased with our services and the options we will provide."





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