Though Constellation of Starke officials were able to personally complete and submit a Letter of Intent that granted them access to the finalist round of the Stellar Communities Designation Program, they’ve recently sought out a consultant to provide additional guidance.
After reviewing information from two different firms, the consultant selection committee submitted a recommendation to hire DLZ to assist with the Regional Development Plan(RDP) process.
In their service proposal, DLZ offered to assist with preparation for the Regional Development Plan (RDP).
That process will reportedly include the creation of a draft and final RDP, which must include a budget and leverage matrix, a Stellar research investment spreadsheet as well as a steering committee matrix. They will also provide assistance with the final presentation.
The decision to select this firm did not come without extended deliberation. County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler sent out requests for proposals to multiple different companies.
After weeding out the companies who were already working with other regions in the Stellar Communities program, the two remaining firms were DLZ and HWC.
Each of those companies submitted proposals as well as draft contracts. HWC offered a service fee not to exceed $34,500 while DLZ officials said their cost of services was estimated to be $25,000.
Some of the reasons that the selection committee chose to go with DLZ was because of the attention to detail that was displayed in the submitted documentation as well their closer proximity.
Ritzler also mentioned that DLZ has access to their own architects and additional resources so they will not have to hire out subcontractors.
He added that DLZ has worked with HWC in the past so he thinks they’ll work well together as HWC continues to provide assistance with the municipalities’ individual comprehensive plans.
Ritzler noted that it could be beneficial to have more than one set of eyes working with the communities on this process. It will provide a broader perspective overall, while still allowing each agency to focus their energy on their respective tasks.
When the Constellation of Starke Executive Team met last Thursday, they approved the recommendation to hire DLZ, with a unanimous but conditional vote. The attached condition indicated that the submitted contract could be amended slightly before final approval.
The consultant committee will meet with DLZ Program Coordinator Jodi Coblentz on Tuesday to discuss the proposed amendments. She is also being asked to attend a meeting later in the week to strategize with the executive team about the next step to take.