Wednesday, March 27, 2019

City Engineer Pehl Poached by Centurion Planning?

City Engineer Russell Pehl will leave public service to work for David Alexander, the former office manager of KSA Engineering and co-founder of Centurion Planning and Design. 

On August 7, 2018 San Angelo's City Council approved hiring Centurion Planning and Design for airport planning services. 

The regular agenda item stated:
Awarding RFQ AP-01-18 Professional Services- Airport Planning Services to Centurion Planning and Design, LLC in the amount of $826,334 for Task Order 1, budgeted for purchase FY2018, and authorizing the City Manager to execute any related documents.
Since then the City hired Centurion for three more projects:

1.   Professional consulting services offered pursuant to RFQ AP-01-18 “City of San Angelo Professional Services-Airport Planning Services”, required for ancillary airport land use development strategy and planning for various undeveloped properties located at the San Angelo Regional Airport—Mathis Field, relating to proposed development of a business and industrial park at the airport for $120,991.

2.   Planning and design services for a hangar and related infrastructure improvements to municipal airport property utilized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (CBPAMO) for $46,435.

2.   Additional professional engineering and surveying services required by TXDOT on permit applications for driveway access to a portion of the Remainder of Block 1 San Angelo Gateway Addition Section 1 of the San Angelo Business and Industrial Park, for a sum not to exceed $7,500.
Centurion is a Civil Engineering firm with offices in San Angelo, Texas and Lee's Summit, Missouri.  It's LinkedIn page showed five employees.  Centurion's website highlights two employees.

While at KSA Engineering David Alexander did work for the City of San Angelo.  Alexander worked on the airport renovation and expansion.  He also designed the reconstruction of Martin Luther King Boulevard.

As recently as November 2017 Centurion's founders worked for the City on an airport project as KSA Engineering staff.  Ten months later Centurion won an $826,334 contact for airport planning services and then received three more engagements from the City of San Angelo.

Pehl made three presentations to City Council as City Engineer on March 19, 2019.  The city's public information webpages do not yet mention Pehl's pending departure. 

The City's Engineering Department had to contract out millions ($) in work due to low staffing.  How much more work will Centurion receive after poaching City Engineer Russel Pehl?

Update 4-30-19:  After weeks of silence the City announced new City Engineer Lance Overstreet.   The press release stated Pehl would work for a private sector engineering firm.  It failed to mention the firm does significant work for the City of San Angelo.  Let's hope Overstreet does a better job of answering City Council questions than he did with the water collection agency change.

Update 11-8-19:  Centurion Engineer Russel Pehl spoke before the COSADC board on a turn lane project at the Business Park.  Centurion landed a $2.1 million engineering project for Chadbourne Street (prior to Pehl's leaving city employment).

Update 12-15-19:   City Council will entertain a $36,000 economic development incentive for Centurion for office expansion and the addition of up to 6 new jobs.  The Development Corporation approved the incentive on 11-20-19.

Update 8-29-20:  One year ago Centurion received up to $13,000 to craft a presentation for United Airlines and travel with airport staff to present their proposal.

Update 11-17-20:  The City is looking for a new City Engineer.  The current City Engineer Lance Overstreet presented to City Council today but made no mention of his leaving or future plans.

Update 6-8-23:  It took the city over two years to find Lance's replacement.  Russell Pehl's LinkedIn page shows his position with Centurion ended in January 2023.

1 comment:

PEU Report/State of the Division said...

City Public Information Officer Anthony Wilson failed to mention the firm Pehl will join has significant engineering business with the City of San Angelo. His story came 33 days after my report on Pehl's move.