Park City consultancy deal includes $185-per-hour rate for former City Hall staffer
Onetime transportation planner works for firm tapped to assist municipal government
A former City Hall staffer is a key figure in an agreement Park City leaders reached with her current employer for services related to the municipal government’s transportation planning, a deal that identified a $185-per-hour billing rate for the onetime municipal official.
Alexis Verson worked for City Hall for approximately two years ending in October. She had been a senior transportation planner for the municipal government. She left the Marsac Building for a post with Horrocks Engineers. She has worked at that firm since October, according to an online resume.
The Park City Council in mid-April authorized an agreement with Horrocks Engineers through 2024 at a cost of no more than $145,000. Officials tapped the firm for project-management work and to assist in grant writing.
The Horrocks Engineers submittal to City Hall seeking the deal identified Verson as the project manager for the firm’s work for the municipal government and attached the $185-per-hour rate to her role. She is one of 10 people listed by Horrocks Engineers as likely to have assignments related to the Park City contract.
The billing rate of $185 per hour includes markups for overhead and other business expenses, meaning the individual will not earn the full amount, according to the municipal government.
City Hall provided a prepared statement regarding the agreement with Horrocks Engineering and the role of Verson in response to a Park Record inquiry.
The statement indicated Park City’s transportation planners prior to the current agreement developed a pool of consultants within the bounds of the municipal government’s procurement policies. The existence of a consultant pool is an efficient way to pursue capital projects in transportation and “locks in competitive pricing for a three-year period,” the statement said.
City Hall said Horrocks Engineers was selected out of 11 consultancies based on it being determined to be “the most qualified firm to provide project management and grant writing support.”
The municipal government said Alex Roy, a senior transportation planner at City Hall, has been assigned to manage the contract. Roy recently arrived at the Marsac Building and his time with the municipal government did not overlap with Verson’s tenure.
Park City ethics rules prohibit a former staffer from representing another entity in business with City Hall in a matter in which they held a policy-making role or served as a manager for the municipal government unless authorized by the City Council.
The rules are designed to eliminate the prospects of a conflict of interest and to ensure a former staffer with knowledge of the municipal government amassed during their service cannot use that knowledge to their advantage in post-employment dealings with City Hall.
The statement from City Hall regarding Verson indicated she did not hold a managerial or policy-making role during her tenure, meaning the ethics rule does not apply to her in the case of the agreement with Horrocks Engineers.
The online resume notes Verson assignments during her time at City Hall included design work on a park-and-ride lot, improvements to bus stops, updating a transportation master plan and issues related to pedestrian-bicyclist access and circulation in Old Town.
A Horrocks Engineers representative did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
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Park City officials on Tuesday are scheduled to reconfigure a key stretch of road in Old Town. The alteration involves the section of Park Avenue between the 9th Street and Deer Valley Drive intersections.