Month: November 2020

Employee Spotlight: Amy Chase

Amy Chase, Marketing/Proposal Coordinator and Bird Mom

1.  What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner?
The position got me interested, but the company culture made me really want to be a part of the team. Hoyle, Tanner is a great company with even better people.
2. What’s something invaluable you’ve learned here?
The entire process for municipal projects was a foreign concept to me prior to working here, so that knowledge is something invaluable I’ve learned. I’ve gained new appreciation and respect for how towns get funding, fix roads and bridges, and develop our infrastructure.
3. What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
Christmas time. I have learned that Christmas is much more than decorated parties and holiday festivities – it’s also a time to build something enormous and crush the competition.
4. What’s the coolest thing you are working on?
Everything in marketing is cool, but anytime I can do something creative is coolest. Right now I am working on rebranding with the rest of the marketing department, which has been a fun process.
5. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this week?
We got some new furniture! A reclining couch and matching chair that the cats can’t wait to get their claws into.
6. How many different states have you lived in?
2 – Massachusetts and New Hampshire
7. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is a tough question because I love food and have many favorites, but for the rest of my life? I’d never get sick of tacos.
8. What kind of pet do you have and how did you choose to name it?
I have two cockatiels named Leo and Lucy, but there was no rhyme or reason to their names.
9. What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
Sports Illustrated magazine once named Billerica in the top 50 towns country-wide for sports and recreation.
10. What are three things still left on your bucket list
1. Visit Europe
2. Buy a house on the water
3. Somehow be included in a top-secret mission for NASA.

Not all the items on my bucket list are within reach, but I’m going to shoot for the stars.
11. Name three items you’d take with you to a desert island.
1. Sunscreen
2. A Treehouse
3. A Jet Ski

12. What characteristic do you admire most in others?
Humility, compassion, and an open mind.
13. How old is the oldest item in your closet?
I have a watch that has been passed down to me by my grandmother. I’m not sure how old it is, but much older than me!
14. Words to live by? Favorite quote?
“You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.” – This is something my mom would always say to me. It’s a reminder to put a little faith in the universe and not to overthink what I can’t control.
15. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian and work with animals until I heard a story of a girl in town who got a pet skunk. When I learned they had a vet de-skunk the skunk I switched careers.
16. If you were to skydive from an airplane what would you think about on the way down?
Am I being murdered? Because there’s no way I’d willingly jump from a plane.

Right-of-Way Acquisition in 7 Steps

Right-of-Way Process Graphic with arrows

Right-of-Way acquisitions in civil engineering encompass a lot of detail. According to Betsy Bosiak, land acquisition specialist at Hoyle, Tanner, it can take a little under five years to learn everything there is to know about Right-of-Way.

Betsy has shared her knowledge to answer common questions about the acquisition process. For those who may not know what Right-of-Way is, it’s the act of acquiring land or easements to complete a project. It could be anything from a homeowner’s land that needs drainage services near a road to getting new land to build a medical office. Each state has to follow certain federal guidelines, but the individual states do have specific criteria for Right-of-Way processes.

Betsy has shared about the acquisition process in New Hampshire (one she tried not to get into too much detail about because of its sheer power to overwhelm). In 7 steps, here’s a breakdown of she shared:

Before Final Design:

  1. Know the basics. First and foremost, Right-of-Way acquisition is considered a part of the final design process, depending on the size of the project. Yet it’s also important to realize that many items occur concurrent with plan development. The types of Right-of-Way are Easement and Fee. Easement acquisition is when the property owner gives easements to allow the use of land. Today, however, the most popular acquisition is fee-based; land is purchased for the project to be completed.Types of Right-of-Way
  2. Determine what’s already there. It’s vital to determine the existing Right-of-Way by checking existing plans, historic documents, property surveys, deeds, and existing ground conditions.
  3. Make a plan & be specific. To actually acquire land for project use, there needs to be a project scope, preliminary design, final design, and recording all plans.
  4. Determine the type of acquisition: Fee Taking (buying the land), Temporary Easement (using it for the time of construction), or Permanent Easement (the land is yours forever, but the State or Municipality has easement rights).
  5. Explain the impacts. You actually need to explain to the landowner the intended impacts to the property. Public meetings, meetings with officials, and meetings with landowners are a critical part of the process. As Betsy suggests, keep records of what everyone says so that there’s no confusion later in the process.

During Final Design:

  1. Determine appraisals. Even after the landowner meetings, the land is still not ready to be built upon. In fact, the next step in the detailed acquisition process is Land Value Appraisals. Once that’s complete, a written offer is made to the landowner. If the landowner does not agree, it’s back to the negotiation table.Right-of-Way Appraisal Graphic with 4 types
  2. Acquire the needed property rights. The property owner has agreed to the written compensation. It’s time to prepare the deed or easement document, and with a notary, sign the document. Save all written records and notes and make copies of each. The land is officially available for project construction.

The Right-of-Way acquisition process is no simple matter (though it was explained in layman’s terms here); and it can take anywhere from 1-6 months depending on acquisition complexity. Betsy recommends documenting files for each landowner and making multiple copies of these documents for reference.

Have Right-of-Way questions? Talk to the specialist: Betsy Bosiak.