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.

ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes for September 18, 2020

Meeting Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting
Day/Time: Friday (2:00 pm – 3:00pm)

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

Unable to Attend:

Rob Faulkner, CHA


  1. Meeting Minutes: The meeting minutes from the last meeting were accepted.
  2. Assigned Scribe for Meeting: (DOT even months/ACEC odd months) – Chris Mulleavey
  3. Topics for Discussion:
    • Partnering Meeting Oct. 2, 2020 – Agenda Discussion
      • Bill O. mentioned training needs to acquire PDH’s have been difficult due
        to Covid restrictions. ACEC mentioned that there are a number of
        websites on-line that provide this service to engineers i.e. RedVector
      • Not a lot of ideas for additional agenda items other than standard updates,
        Bill O. will also mention some issues they are dealing with for electronic
        submissions in that consultants are password protecting their documents as
        file as file size limitations. ACEC suggested that they develop specific
        guidelines to be used for consultant electronic submittals.
      • Michelle M. suggested mentioning Everyday Counts Six is being rolled
        out soon by FHWA.
    • Winter Conference Jan. 15, 2021 – Agenda Discussion
      • The conference is planned to be virtual at this time
      • Bill O. will reach out to Kevin Nyhan for environmental topics, mentioned
        Permit requirement updates and MS4 as possibilities.
    • Tech Conference April 2021 – Discussion
      • Hope to have conference in person but will have backup plan for virtual
        meeting. Bill O. and Alex K. to get the committee together to start
    • Consultant Selection Manual – Update Status
      • No change from last meeting Bill O. working out kinks for on-line version
        and then submit to Contracts sub-committee for review of updates.
  4. Status of Subcommittees:
    • Consultants Contracts Subcommittee (Darren)
      • Standardized Scope of work/Fee Matrix: Darren reviewing with
      • Darren thanked Loretta for volunteering staff to write up sections which
        will speed up the process. Working on Part A will review at next meeting
        scheduled for Oct.1, 2020 then onto Part B.
    • Bridge Subcommittee (Loretta)
      • Design Manual Update -Held meeting Friday Sept. 11.
      • The Updated Manual is being reviewed internally.
      • Estimating Committee is developing a guidance document for estimating
      • The Bridge Sub-Committee notes can be viewed on-line at the NHDOT’s
    • Design-Build Manual (Loretta)
      • Is complete and going through internal review process. Once complete
        will be posted on NHDOT’s website for consultant’s use.
    • Highway Subcommittee (Jim Marshall)
      • Design Manual update – Committee will be meeting in 2 weeks, working
        on design submission checklists and aligning them with standardized
        scope, design manual chapter 8 revision is with Policy and Records then
        onto FHWA.
      • “Working on Design Report to document from beginning to end”
  5. LPA Topics (CR W.):
    • DOT managed on-call solicitation out also evaluating Pre-Qual list that
      Municipalities can utilize for consultant selection for LPA.
    • Working on a lot of procedural processes in the background for LPA.
    • Planning on LPA training virtually in the November/December time frame.
  6. Other Items:
    • Question raised from Mike L. regarding proper invoicing around the DOT Fiscal
      year ending. Bill O. That the only fiscal year ending that needs to be adhered to is
      the DOT’s which ends June 30th. The DOT cannot pay an invoice the spans two
      Fiscal years. Ie. June 30 is the stop then new Fiscal year begins July 1.
  7. Next Meeting – Thursday, October 16, 2020

ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes for July 16, 2020

Meeting Location: NHDOT Commissioner’s Conference Room/Zoom
Day/Time: Thursday (8:00 am – 9:00am)

In attendance:

Bill Oldenburg, NHDOT (Chair)
Mike Long, MJ
Ted Kitsis, NHDOT
Alex Koutroubas, ACEC
Michelle Marshall, FHWA
Chris Mulleavey, HTA
Rob Faulkner, CHA
Darren Blood, GM2
Keith Cota, NHDOT
Marty Kennedy, VHB (Scribe)
Loretta Girard Doughty, NHDOT
Jim Marshall, NHDOT
CR Willeke, NHDOT


  1. Meeting Minutes: The meeting minutes from the last meeting were accepted.
  2. Assigned Scribe for Meeting: (DOT even months/ACEC odd months) – Marty Kennedy
  3. Topics for Discussion:
    • COVID-19 Contract Addendum Language
      • The Department had begun distributing a Special Contract Provision for
        COVID-19 that states that any disruption, delay, or other impact associated
        with COVID-19 was foreseeable and therefore does not excuse the
        Consultant’s performance under the agreement.
      • Bill explained that language came directly from the AG’s office. This was
        primarily about contractors suppling goods to the state, but the term
        “Consultant” was inserted into the document.
      • Consultants’ concern is that although the language protects the state, it does
        not protect the consultant. The language puts the consultant in a position of
        being responsible for meeting a schedule regardless of whether the
        Governor was to invoke a workplace shutdown order.
      • Bill agreed language was one-sided and agreed to take concerns back to
        AG’s office.
      • More discussion on this to come.
    • Discuss SW Cole Question – Geotech sub that does Design and CE&I on same project
      • Regarding the Department’s policy that the same firm can not do both the
        design work and the construction inspection on the same project, SW Cole
        asked the Department if that policy pertained to subs.
      • Following some discussion, Bill felt that it was permissible for a
        subconsultant to do work on both the design and CE&I as long as they
        where overseen by someone else – the Prime.
    • CE&I Field Rate
      • Following up on a discussion from last month’s meeting on whether a field
        overhead rate must be used for construction inspection, Bill checked with
        Audit. Doesn’t appear to be a major issue. There was some discussion that
        an office rate can be used if there was no field office or if the inspector
        regularly works out of the consultant’s regular office. Most use office rate
    • Construction Services – Part C Agreement?
      • Under Part A consultant’s surveyor records existing ROW. Under Part B
        consultant’s surveyor prepares acquisition plans. How does the Department
        pay the consultant to place bounds when it can be many years later until the
        work is done?
      • Currently there is no opportunity for the designer to assist or respond to
        questions if an issue arises.
      • May consider an on-call for PE at beginning of Part C that would cover
        survey, shop drawing reviews, etc.
  4. Next Meeting: Discussed changing the day of our monthly meeting because Bill has
    another regular 9:00 am meeting and our meetings always get cut short and we rarely get
    through all agenda items. Following the meeting, the date of our regular meetings was
    changed to the 3rd Friday of the month at 1:00 pm. Our next meeting is scheduled for
    Friday August 21st.