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September 2014

21

Village consultant involved in merger

Village of Sussex — Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH), the Minnesota based consulting engineer firm that has been helping village officials with the planning and design of the reconstruction of Main Street, has announced its intent to merge with another Minnesota based engineering firm that is well known in Lake Country.

Yaggy Colby Associates of Rochester, Minn., which has provided consulting engineering services to about a dozen local units of government in Lake Country and maintains an office in the City of Delafield, is expected to join SEH, of St. Paul, Minn., in June when it will become a division of SEH with the title SEH-Yaggy. Company officials anticipate Yaggy Colby will become fully integrated into SEH in the following year.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said he does not know details of the merger agreement, other than those that have been made public, but he does anticipate the merger will impact SEH's work on the Main Street project.

SEH, along with another civil engineering firm Ruekert-Mielke, have been the primary consultants on the first phase of the multimillion dollar project to rebuild Main Street from Maple Avenue east to Waukesha Avenue.

The firms have been responsible for developing conceptual design alternatives for village officials and the public to consider and disseminating information and conducting public meetings about those design alternatives, Smith said.

The firms' proposals to include a series of roundabouts in the reconstruction, along with widening the street to allow turn lanes, and reconfiguring the iconic triangle intersection at Silver Spring Drive and Main Street, generated a firestorm of controversy during hearings conducted during the summer of 2011.

Village trustees have rejected the idea of installing roundabouts and significantly widening the street, but have not yet made a decision on whether to reconfigure the Silver Spring Drive-Main Street intersection.

Smith said the first phase of the project is completed and the village is negotiating with SEH about its potential involvement in the second phase of the project which would entail developing more detailed design and construction plans and assisting the village is preparing to seek bids on those plans.

Mike Court, who manages Yaggy Colby's Delafield office, said he expects the merger with have a positive impact on the Lake Country region.

He said he does not anticipate any of the approximately 25 full time employees in Delafield will be laid off. He anticipates the Delafield office will become a Southeastern Wisconsin regional headquarters for SEH, although he expects the company to continue to maintain a presence in Milwaukee, where it now has an office.

Court says the two companies are merging because each company has strengths in public and private sector engineering that can compliment the other company.

He said Yaggy Colby, because of its local reputation, can help expand SEH's markets in Southeastern Wisconsin and can assist its new parent company in residential real estate development, zoning and land use planning.

Court added that SEH's marketing capabilities as well as their engineering skills in aviation, water quality, and electrical engineering can benefit Yaggy Colby.

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