An updated contract with CDM Smith Inc. will save Fort Smith $1.4 million for consultation and improvement of project management services and digital applications as the city works toward consent decree compliance.

“One of the tasks I was given when I got here was to take a look at all these large contracts that were put in place,” said Jerry Walters, utilities director. “That’s what myself and my staff did. By reviewing the requirements that were left in the contract and reviewing what our requirements are from this point forward, we decided to go ahead and revise the contract.”

The adjusted contract was approved Tuesday by the city’s board of directors at its regular meeting. It was revised more than two years after its previous agreement was approved by the board on March 1, 2016.

Walters said the original contract was worth about $8 million, and the city has spent $5.1 million. This meant Fort Smith had a balance of $3.5 million, but the amendment makes the city’s balance only $2.1 million, reducing the cost by $1.4 million.

The department reconfigured the contract to include what it believed were the essential programs and services for the city, Walters said.

CDM Smith will provide improvements and support to the city’s usage of specific digital programs that track and complete projects related to the Water and Sewer Improvements Plan — the plan outlining Fort Smith’s compliance with the consent decree.

According to the agreement, the company will provide oversight and support in the department’s usages of the Computerized Maintenance Management System, Management Information System, Hydraulic Model and Water Distribution System Model and e-Builder Program Management Information System.

CMMS is one of the department’s primary systems, and CDM Smith will provide improvements and support to the program. It will assist in planning and strategies related to the use of the program; collect data based on city assets; quality control and data review; the implementation and continued usage of the program; and any additional training that may be required.

“This is a very important program for us,” Walters said. “(This) is a city program for us that we enter all the work orders into and track all the work orders, so when somebody comes and asks us about a work order that was completed a year ago, we can look it up, find it and tell them the status of it.”

The department will receive additional support for its other programs and processes, including system evaluation, data monitoring, training and recommending changes to enhance effectiveness.

The new contract will take effect Oct. 1 and is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019.