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ARCHIVED  July 1, 1997

Steady hands guide Rocky Mountain Consultants

LONGMONT — From working on a tunnel project in Mexico City to designing cabin restorations in the Rocky Mountains, a Longmont consulting firm has grown steadily over the last 25 years to become one of the fastest-growing companies in Northern Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Consultants, a civil engineering and environmental-planning firm, started out focusing on water resources and now provides consulting services to private industry and governmental agencies.

Last year, the privately held company did about $10 million in revenues, up 7 percent from the previous year.

In recent years, the company has grown steadily at about 5 percent annually, said Don Deere, chairman of the board.

“We’re sort of like the tortoise and the hare. We’re the tortoise,” Deere said.

While some engineering consulting firms have been hard-hit as federal contracts dry up after the environmental boom of the late 1980s and early ’90s, Rocky Mountain Consultants has maintained a steady, controlled growth during that period, he said.

“We’ve grown with the market and didn’t over-expand,” Deere said.

The company employs 115 people, and employment may increase by 5 percent in the next year, Deere said.

The company is privately owned by 10 principals in the firm. The number of owners has fluctuated between eight and 12 over the years, Deere said.

“As some retire, we bring on new ones,” he said.

Besides its corporate headquarters in Longmont, the firm operates offices in Englewood at the Denver Technological Center and in Estes Park.

“We do work in that area (Estes Park) and jobs for Fort Collins and even a Grand Lake project,” Deere said. In the past, the company has done cabin-restoration designs near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Deere, whose expertise is in designing dams and reservoirs, said the company works primarily in Colorado.

However, he’s currently working on the final subway section of the Washington, D.C., Metro Transit tunnel and is also involved in a tunnel project in Mexico City.

“Our basic work is government and private industry. We work for municipalities and with infrastructure development of water treatment plants, waste-water treatment, sewage, and roads,” he said.

“We do a lot of water resources planning. It’s important that cities have enough water to withstand major droughts,” he said.

“We’re doing comprehensive plans for towns along the Platte River,” he said. In towns like

Fort Morgan and Evans, the consulting firm works to help the municipalities plan a reasonable

growth pattern for commercial and residential expansion.

Earl Smith, public works director for the town of Evans, said Rocky Mountain Consultants

has worked with the municipality since the early 1970s on various projects.

“They did a master drainage plan for the city. We never had one before,” he said.

The firm also helps manage the town’s water resources. “We don’t have the expertise to do

that,” Smith said.

Other clients of the firm have included the Colorado Attorney General’s office and the

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The firm also works with the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District using an

innovative technique to build gravel reservoirs near Greeley which are less expensive than

conventional reservoirs.

Forest Leaf, water resource director for the district, said Rocky Mountain Consultants has

designed slurry walls around gravel pits for the agency.

“We want to use these structures as reservoirs,” he said. The consulting firm trenches

around the gravel pits and seals them off, he said.

The Conservancy District covers 400,000 acres in northeastern Colorado.

On the federal level, the consulting firm handles hazardous waste cleanup for mining sites

and cleanup of streams and rivers.

In Idaho, Rocky Mountain Consultants is working for the National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service in a five-year cleanup program of the

Blackbird Mine, a copper and cobalt mine.

“It’s just water management and control,” Deere said. “We’re controlling how the water is

routed across those old mines. Sometimes you have to treat it. Our role is in oversight for that

one.”

For private industry, the company works with home builders to design land subdivisions.

“We lay out drainage, sewers, streets and do land planning,” Deere said.

In northern Colorado, Melody Homes is a major client, he said. The company also does

consulting work for Centenniel Water & Sanitation District in Hylands Ranch.

“We recently did the drainage and infrastructure for the new Amgen facility in Longmont.

We did the local engineering for it,” he said.

Rocky Mountain Consultants also has done environmental work for the Public Service

Company.

LONGMONT — From working on a tunnel project in Mexico City to designing cabin restorations in the Rocky Mountains, a Longmont consulting firm has grown steadily over the last 25 years to become one of the fastest-growing companies in Northern Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Consultants, a civil engineering and environmental-planning firm, started out focusing on water resources and now provides consulting services to private industry and governmental agencies.

Last year, the privately held company did about $10 million in revenues, up 7 percent from the previous year.

In recent years, the company has grown steadily at about 5 percent annually, said Don Deere,…

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