Local News

Tusayan Hires Stilo’s Engineer

July 4, 2014

The company that has been doing the lion’s share of engineering for Italian developer Stilo in Tusayan has been hired to do engineering services for the Town of Tusayan. The Town Council made that decision at it’s June 25th meeting.

The other company seeking to provide those services was Shephard-Wesnitzer Inc. (SWI). They have been in business for more than 24 years, they are based in northern Arizona, and they have done work for Flagstaff, Sedona, NAU, and Jerome. The company (pictured here) is also well versed in government contracts, water issues and block grants.

Despite that impressive resume the Town Council decided to go with Woodson Engineering, although Councilman Bill Fitzgerald said he favored SWI’s presentation which he described as detailed and very well presented. However, Fitzgerald was the lone council member favoring SWI and the decision was made to go with Woodson.

Woodson, which is also based in northern Arizona, has the pre-requisite qualifications, but there is also an enormous conflict of interest. As long as Woodson is working for Stilo and its controversial and environmentally damaging development project, how can they evaluate a project for Tusayan that happens to come from a deep-pocketed client?

If that happens the Town promises to hire an outside firm to evaluate Stilo matters. Of course that would not be necessary if Mayor Bryan and the Council had listened to Fitzgerald, or anyone else who sees the potential conflict of interest.

This is not to say Woodson is a bad firm, but it would be more practical to hire an engineering firm without ties to Stilo or its business partners. One could also make that argument with respect to the Town Council.