With a winning bid of $79,970, McMahon Associates was awarded a contract by the Natick Board of Selectmen on Aug. 26 to conduct a feasibility study for a new MBTA station in Natick Center.
The MBTA Station Advisory Committee had recently made the same recommendation.
McMahon has worked with many government, public and commercial and private sector clients. It offers a wide range of transportation consulting services.
Selectman Richard Jennet, Jr., said he was concerned over the procedure in which the cost was determined.
"I find it ironic we determined the amount at Town Meeting to make it public record," he said. "Is there any other way to accomplish this without setting us up for a fixed number?"
Chair Carol Gloff answered, "No."
"I share your frustration," she said.
Selectman Joshua Ostroff said not having a fixed dollar amount could have kept bidders away from the project.
"I think if we had not had a dollar amount, there might have been hesitancy from bidders," he said. "There would have been unknown if the town could come up with the money."
Residents approved $80,000 for the study at Town Meeting.The study will take six to eight months. Residents will have an opportunity to comment during the study and provide alternative plans.
Ostroff said this project hopefully will grow into a larger one for a new, accessible commuter rail that connects to the planned rail trail.
The contract will run through June 30.