ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes for December 18, 2020

Meeting Location: NHDOT Commissioner’s Conference Room
Day/Time: Friday (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)

In Attendance:
Bill Oldenburg, NHDOT (Chair)
Mike Long, MJ (Scribe)
Ted Kitsis, NHDOT
Alex Koutroubas, ACEC
Darren Blood, GM2
Marty Kennedy, VHB
Loretta Girard Doughty, NHDOT
Chris Mulleavey, HTA

Unable to Attend:

Jim Marshall, NHDOT
CR Willeke, NHDOT
Rob Faulkner, CHA
Michelle Marshall, FHWA


  1. Meeting Minutes: The meeting minutes from the last meeting were accepted.
  2. Assigned Scribe for Meeting: Mike Long
  3. Topics for Discussion:
    • Escalation Rate
      • Further discussion was held regarding the establishment of an escalation rate on
        consultant salaries for next year. ACEC provided data accumulated from 27 firms
        (almost all have current contracts with NHDOT). Information was provided to
        Alex anonymously and the average salary increase from 2019 to 2020 was
        approximately 3.5%. Last year’s rate was taken from US Bureau of Labor
        Statistics Data which seems somewhat coarse and not entirely reflective of our
        industry, especially in southern New Hampshire as it is influenced by the Boston
        market. Using that data again would provide a rate of 2.25%. Bill suggested
        using that rate plus 1% and after some additional discussion it was agreed that he
        would propose that to the front office for approval.
    • Sub-Consultant Self-Certification Form
      • Bill asked if this form, which requires subconsultants to certify as to whether they
        are required to have an indirect cost rate (audited overhead rate) review based on
        the current contract value, could be moved along for possible implementation.
        ACEC’s concerns had been expressed in the previous meeting and through email concerning when a contract is actually complete for a subconsultant. With that in
        mind, Bill will move the form along for any additional internal Department
        comment and implementation.
    • Winter Conference
      • There will be no winter conference as in past years. Instead, a town hall type
        forum will be held with the Commissioner will be arranged, sometime around the
        middle of January.
    • April Technical Transfer
      • The Technical Conference will still be held in 2021, but it is being planned as a
        virtual conference due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference
        sub-committee is going forward with a plan to do it over a five day period with
        presentations each day. The technology on how to do this with a large audience
        has been discussed with SNHU. More to come on this in the near future.
    • Committees
      • Contracts – The committee is making progress on a standard scope of
        work and in fact, a standard for environmental assignments is very close to
        completion. Christine Perron from MJ provided McFarland Johnson’s
        “standard” and this was used as an initial template. The committee met
        and reinvigorated the process in other areas.
      • Bridge – No meetings recently, although Loretta noted that the
        Design/Build Manual has been reviewed and is almost complete and ready
        for publication.
      • Highway – Jim was not present today, but it was noted that a meeting was
        held recently and that the minutes from that and other meetings have been
        posted to the website.
      • LPA – CR was out and there was no update in this area.
  4. Other Items: No other items were discussed.
  5. Next Meeting – January 15, 2021
American Council of Engineering Companies of New Hampshire

December 2020 News

ACEC-NH Engineering Excellence Awards

The deadline for the 2021 ACEC-NH Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) is January 8. You can learn how to submit an entry on our website.
Today more than ever we need strong participation in this program. The engineering community must continue to showcase to our clients, the public and elected officials that our firms are hard at work throughout the pandemic.
For more than 30 years, NH firms have entered their most innovative projects and studies into this competition.

NH Legislature Returns

On December 1, the new House and Senate of the NH General Court will be sworn into office in a socially distanced manner at UNH.
Lawmakers have already filed almost 750 bills for the 2021 Legislative Session. We expect well over 1,000 before the filing deadline.
Here is an initial list of bills ACEC-NH has identified as of interest to our members.
The ACEC-NH Public Relations Committee has created a new infographic that will be sent to all NH Legislators in January.

Membership Report

We are pleased to report that ACEC-NH’s 2020-2021 membership renewal/retention rate was over 97%. This includes retirements and M/A activity.
In addition, we are pleased to welcome to two new member firms:
BSC Grouprecently opened a Manchester office on Dow St. The company immediately joined the Council as a full member. BSC Group is a multidisciplinary consulting firm committed to supporting New England’s economic growth through the provision of engineering, planning, permitting, landscape architecture and ecological services. Kelly O’Neill is ACEC-NH’s lead contact for the firm in NH.
CSA Environmental Consultants LLChas joined ACEC-NH as an Affiliate member. They specialize in small community water systems, onsite sewage disposal systems, stormwater compliance and wetland delineation and permitting.Chris Albert who recently started his own business with this new firm will be the contact for ACEC-NH.

Upcoming Events

Did you know ACEC-NH hosted 17 in person and virtual meetings in 2020? View the entire list with attendance figures.
ACEC-NH has one remaining member event in 2020, our Virtual PAC Bingo and Raffle at 4pm on December 10. Please join us and have some fun while supporting business advocacy for our profession and industry.
Events Coming in 2021:
  • Marketing Roundtable
  • Meeting with Eversource
  • Update from NHDOT Commissioner
  • Update from NHDES Commissioner
Please watch our website, social media and your inbox for more information in the coming weeks!

Biannual ACEC-NH Member Firm Survey

We encourage all members who haven’t yet taken the survey to do so by December 7. Please provide us with feedback to help us serve you better!
What does the future hold for AEC, your career, and your firm?
Join us in helping to uncover the ways engineers and architects—and engineering and architecture firms—prefer to work and how those preferences may change moving forward.
You can also receive a copy of the comprehensive research report, as well as a chance to win a set of Bose headphones valued at $250

Committee Updates

The ACEC-NH NHDES/CQI committee is meeting every third Friday via GoToMeeting. You can view the meeting schedule including topics here. If you would you like to appoint a representative to this meeting, please contact ACEC-NH.
The latest approved NHDOT CQI committee meeting notes are now posted. The committee has continued to meet on a monthly basis.
Local Municipal Government
ACEC-NH continues to be active within the NH Public Works Association. You can view the latest approved meeting notes here.