In the short term, the town board agreed to extend the 2006 contract with 2007 rates for three months, which may be extended on a month-to-month basis thereafter.
The town first offered an open invitation to other firms on Dec. 13 and has since extended the solicitation of bids for the consulting position through Jan. 12 due to the holiday season.
"The consultant advises and consults with town officials," said Kevin King, comptroller for the town of Malta. King noted that a portion of the consultant's job relates to planning and zoning, while other aspects of the job deal with the town's roadways. Ideally, the new consultant would also be able to prepare and review the comprehensive master plan as well as the townwide Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS).
"There is some work that may not be able to be done by another company," said Sausville, referring to the GEIS. Sausville suggested that an agreement between the town and CHA could be worked out in which they continue to work on certain town matters.
Town Attorney Tom Peterson noted that the GEIS is a very detailed document and, while other firms could come in to the job and complete the necessary work related to GEIS issues, it might prove to be costly to the town as the new firm would have to take the time to be brought "up to speed" on the document.
Sausville said all applications received by Friday, Jan. 12 will be evaluated and reviewed, but he did not have a time frame for when a new engineering consultant would be in place. ""