What does it cost to hire Meyer Engineering for a splash pad in AP? $49,900, logarithmically speaking

If we learned nothing else at Thursday’s Council meeting, it was determined how much it cost to engineer a splash pad in Ascension Parish.  If you’re part of the taxpaying public…


That’s a different question than; what’s it cost to be given the no-bid contract to perform the engineering of a splash pad?

Whether that splash pad is built at St. Amant Park, or behind the Dutchtown Library; even when the cost varies by $70,000…It costs $49,900 to engineer a splash pad in Ascension Parish.  And it has nothing to do with the Louisiana law mandating all municipal contracts over $50,000 go out for bid.  See, what it is, is…it’s logarithmic.

Meyer Engineer’s Ray “It’s logarithmic” Hartley

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  That’s what it is… logarithmic, according to Meyer Engineer’s Ray Hartley whose company is on the receiving end of two contracts on Thursday’s agenda:

(8) Approval of Contract with Meyer Engineers for the St. Amant Park Splash Pad (Design Services) A/E Project No. 20-2506D (Joan Shivers, Purchasing Director)

(9) Approval of Contract with Meyer Engineers for the Dutchtown Library Splash Pad (Design Services) A/E Project No. 20-1406C (Joan Shivers, Purchasing Director)

A logarithm, according to The Google, is “a quantity representing the power to which a fixed number (the base) must be raised to produce a given number.”  Ray Hartley is right, it is logarithmic, since the “given number” in these two contracts was $49,900.

“It’s logarithmic,” Hartley explained to a suddenly cost conscious Councilman Bill Dawson, he of the $50,000 payment for CSRS to “write an RFQ.  “If it’s higher construction cost, it’s a lower percentage.  That’s how it works.”

As long it all comes out to $49,900…Indeed, that is how it works.  The costlier construction job used 8.48% while the other employed 10.77% in the logarithmic calculation.

“It smells.  The whole thing smells,” Bill Dawson would conclude.  “It’s a joke…We’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re getting a lump sum price for this engineering work when we don’t get another bid,” he went on.  “Crazy.  To come up with these two numbers, being the same numbers, when these projects vary by $70,000 on the construction is, again…I don’t think it’s a competitive bid.”

But it’s logarithmic; don’t you see?

Good enough.  Neither Dawson, nor any of his colleagues voted against it.