ANDERSON 'continues on' IN ENGINEERING

June 20, 2002 12:00 am
‘With my broad background and with a number of subconsultants, I will be able to provide a wide range of services and a high level of professional engineering.'— Steve Anderson ().
‘With my broad background and with a number of subconsultants, I will be able to provide a wide range of services and a high level of professional engineering.'— Steve Anderson ().

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

It's not "starting over" but "continuing on" with what he has been doing for the past 29 years, said Steve Anderson of La Grande.

Licensed as a civil engineer in Oregon, Washington and California and as a structural engineer in Idaho, he has split with the company he started here 29 years ago — the firm of Anderson Perry and Associates. The company does civil engineering, surveying, natural resource management, materials leasing, among other things.

A lot of clients are governmental entities, including the City of La Grande.

Anderson has opened his own firm, which he calls Anderson Consulting Services.

Anderson, 60, started the La Grande firm 29 years ago and sold 50 percent to Howard Perry two years later. The firm now has more than 70 employees working out of offices in La Grande, Baker City and Walla Walla. Forty work out of the La Grande office.

Perry will continue to serve as president.

"We created a lot of jobs for young engineers and brought in $6 million a year," Anderson said.

"Now, with my broad background and a number of subconsultants, I will be able to provide a wide range of services and a high level of professional engineer expertise at very competitive rates," he said in an interview at his home on Oak Street, where he will have an office for now.

He has been actively involved in both engineering and construction in Northeast Oregon since 1969. He said the initial focus of his new

La Grande-based firm will be to assist clients with the development of planning, feasibility and rate studies and to provide technical advisory assistance to public and private owners, attorneys and other consultants with project development, financing, consultant and contractor selection and contract negotiations.

Other services will include complete project planning, design, and construction engineering services on small projects, dispute resolution and mediation of claims, and professional testimony.

He will offer similar services from a branch office in Ketchum, Idaho. He and his wife, Sharen, have had a home there for 20 years.

"I won't have any problem keeping busy," Anderson said. "I intend to continue to work as long as I feel like working.

"Because of the ‘non-compete' relationship with Anderson and Perry, I probably will limit my activities the first couple of years and then decide how much I want to grow, how many employees I will have.

"I like to have challenging work that taxes my abilities every day. I like to do project development, the most challenging work I can find.''

Projects he has developed include the sewer and water systems for the Wallowa Lake County Service District and the two-city John Day/Canyon City sewer and water system. He has worked for other area sanitation districts.

Anderson has done some work for Boise and is interested in the design-build contracting concept now being used by some governmental agencies.

"Project development is my biggest fort, doing things like feasibility studies," Anderson said.

After years in the management end of the business, he said he's "getting my feet back on the ground, getting back in the production mode."

He enjoys the marketing aspects of the business and is busy sending out brochures and marketing letters to inform possible clients of his new company, he said.

Anderson had a good-paying job in 1973 working as a project engineer and construction superintendent on the Ladd Canyon segment of Interstate 84 and "fell in Love with La Grande," he said.

"I liked the stability of the town, the fact that there was a college here; I liked the economic diversity. It was not a railroad town, nor a prison town, but a diverse one. We have Boise here, ODOT region headquarters, the Forest Service. There are different companies here, such as those that manufacture trailers. Of all the Eastern Oregon towns, this is the most stable.

"I decided to live here, and I don't intent to quit. If my business does take off, I'll find an office downtown."

His hat is in the ring to become vice president of the American Consulting Engineers Council in the fall, he said.