Regarding Agenda Item B-9 for Reno City Council 8/14/19
I have grave concerns about granting further contracts to the HDR engineering firm.
HDR Engineer Michael McMahon testified for the city and against the neighbors in the Lemmon Valley Class Action suit on June 19. He’s a hydro-meteorologist who testified that the rainfall in the winter of 2016 was the worst on record. His testimony didn’t hold up under cross examination. His methods were sloppy and didn’t support his conclusions. He didn’t even want to agree to points he’d made in his deposition.
HDR Engineer Mark Forest testified for the city and against the neighbors in the Lemmon Valley Class Action suit on June 20. He testified as an expert hydrologist. His runoff calculations assumed that only 18% or rainfall would run off of developed properties. The Truckee Meadows Regional Drainage Manual indicates that 65% of rainfall runs off of developed properties. Forest did not review or corroborate his work with anyone. Forest did not know that the retention basins specified by Reno for new developments were never built. He was glib in court and was admonished by the judge.
Reno and HDR lost. The case they made was not credible. But, Reno paid HDR $325,000 to support the case against the neighbors. So, HDR’s engineers are either dishonest or incompetent. I can’t discern which. But, there is no reason to be confident that the Reno taxpayers will be well served by their services.
The “Reno Good Old Boy Network” is a euphemism for “quid pro quo”. Giving HDR a new contract at this point looks like Reno is paying off a partner in malfeasance.