Lincoln to hire Farnsworth Group as city
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[December 13, 2014]
LINCOLN - Tuesday evening, city
administrator Clay Johnson recommended that the city hire Farnsworth
Group to fill the position of city engineers. The city engineer
position had been dissolved in 2013 at the recommendation of former
temporary city administrator Sue McLaughlin.
At that time, it was recommended that the city create the
position of Public Works Director that would offer oversight of the
city street department and sewer services, as well as serve as the
The city hired one such person in November of 2013. Muzaffar Lakhani
was with the city only a few short months, then resigned. Since that
time, there has been no official city engineer or public works
This year in November, Johnson spoke to the council about returning
to having a city engineer. He said that economically it was a better
situation because hiring a public works director meant paying out an
annual salary plus other related costs. He said that hiring an
engineer would be more economical because payment would be based on
The council agreed with Johnsonís recommendation and the city sent
out Request for Proposal letters to various firms who might be
interested in the position.
Tuesday evening Johnson reported that there had been three firms
respond to the RFPís. Interviews had been conducted with all the
firms, and of the three, Farnsworth seemed to be the best fit for
When asked about the fee structure, Johnson said the fees would be
spelled out in the contract. He said that looking at all three
firms; the fees were comparable.
Farmsworth Group, which has offices in throughout Illinois plus
California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Texas and
Wisconsin, is no stranger to the city of Lincoln.
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The group, most often represented by Steve Smith, has been
involved in economic development projects throughout the area.
The group was instrumental in bringing utility aggregation to
Lincoln and Logan County. They have been involved in the
downtown redevelopment projects and are the official engineers
for the Lincoln Grand Eight Theater project currently under
On Tuesday evening, Smith was in the gallery for the discussion.
At the end of the night, he thanked the council for considering
his firm and said his firm was looking forward to serving the
city of Lincoln in this capacity.
The council is expected to approve the recommendation at the
voting session to be held December 15th.
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