by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner –

Last Tuesday at the March 7, 2023 regular meeting between the Pass Christian Board of Alderpersons and the Mayor, City Engineer Bob Escher notified the city that his last day with Compton Engineering was Friday, March 10, 2023.  Officials reported a recent merger between Compton and Neel Schaeffer engineering firms.  Shortly after, the board voted to terminate all city contracts or projects with Compton Engineering and approve the city services to Covington Civil/Environmental Engineering, LLC where Escher would begin working.

Due to the lack of information provided to the city at the current time, Pass Christian City Attorney Malcolm Jones advised the alderman they could terminate the contract at this moment in time.  The city had numerous contracts with Compton that were preparing for bids and grant money to be used for upcoming projects, including the 2024 ARPA and GOMESA funds Pass Christian will use.

“Hurricane Ida projects we are just getting started with, so it’s a good time to make a change with the contract,” expressed Jones, who was providing the lists of projects the board of aldermen could terminate and follow Escher to a new engineering firm.  “We’d have to go through a procurement process with a need to advertise, use a selection committee, and final approval by the board.  We’d have to start over and it’s a could time to appeal.  The other projects we have, as the ARPA funds and GOMESA projects were approved to be given to Compton.  Due to the fact that we haven’t started, if you want to make a change, the time is now.”

Alderman-at-Large Kenny Torgeson asked Jones about the merger between Compton and Neel-Schaeffer, which he responded that he was not clear yet on who or what would be in charge.  Furthermore, the city attorney stated that if the board wanted continuity with someone they have worked with and to follow Escher, now would be the time for change.

Thus, the Pass Christian Board of Alderman voted unanimously to terminate contracts and projects with Compton Engineering and approve Covington Civil/Environmental LLC with Escher being in charge of these projects.   Escher has been the city engineer for Pass Christian since 2007.

This action forces the city to come up with new requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for quotes (RFQ) when bidding these contracts or projects with federal or state funds.