ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Hammontree & Associates is no stranger to working in Belmont County and Eastern Ohio.
Charles Hammontree, the Chief Executive Officer of the company that has been around since 1966, explains that while the main office is located in North Canton, H&A has been a major player locally.
Now, it will have a base of operations in Belmont County as H&A recently opened an office in St. Clairsville.
"We've been working in the area the last 30 years or so," Hammontree. "We do a lot of the bridge inspections, we've probably designed over 50 miles of water lines."
Hammontree personally designed the Monroe County Industrial Park in Woodsfield.
"With the customers in the oil and gas industry now active in the Belmont County area, it was a good time to establish a physical office there, complete with local engineers and technicians," Hammontree added.
The chief engineer of the office will be St. Clairsville native Kenneth D. Davison, P.E.
A graduate of The Ohio State University, Davison spent 35 years with the West Virginia Department of Highways, working as a planning and design engineer as well as assistant district engineer, working out of the Moundsville office.
"Ken was a referral and when I found out he was available, he interviewed and we met each other's expectations," Hammontree said. "We like our senior staff to be active in the community and Ken lives in St. Clairsville."
Hammontree & Associates is a full service civil engineering firm, also offering environmental services.
Given the impending explosion of gas well sites locally, plus the firm's previous experience in the industry like the gas play in East Canton during the 1960s, H&A is poised to have a full plate of work for the forseeable future.
It's that experience, including working with the Department of Environmental Protection, that's been extremely beneficial locally as the gas play continues to expand.
"We are very intimate with the rules and regulations from the beginning," Hammontree said. "The DEP saw that our plans met their standards and requirements so there wasn't as much of a learning curve and we've been fairly active since the beginning."
The new office is 3,300 square feet, located one block from the Belmont County Courthouse on 104 Newell Ave.. It will be designed to "better serve municipal customers and customers in the energy exploration and production industry."
Hammontree explained his staff has increased in size by 46 percent since 2010, including 21 new associates at the home office in North Canton.
Now that increase will continue into St. Clairsville, which will serve as the base of operations for the shale play.
"We're excited to be in the St. Clairsville area," Hammontree said. "I look for St. Clairsville to become a major hub in our business and cover the Southeast corridor of the shale play for us.
"This industry has helped replace the drop in residential and commercial development."
For more information, call the local office at (740) 695-7237 or visit H&A online at www.hammontree-engineers.com
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com