Stories indexed with the term ‘RFP’

County to Start Negotiating with Humane Society

Generating considerable debate at the Washtenaw County board’s Sept. 19, 2012 meeting was a resolution related to animal control services. But it passed on a 10-to-1 vote, with dissent from Alicia Ping. The resolution, brought forward by Barbara Bergman, directs county administrator Verna McDaniel to begin negotiations with the Humane Society of Huron Valley toward a new contract for services. It further states that if McDaniel doesn’t believe sufficient progress is being made by Oct. 30, then she’s authorized to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to seek bids from other organizations.

The issue of how to handle animal control services for the county has been a contentious one, dating back to budget cuts proposed in 2011. The county currently contracts … [Full Story]

Greenbelt Group Briefed on Land Link Idea

Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission meeting (Aug. 2, 2012): The main presentation at this month’s meeting focused on land link programs – efforts to connect potential farmers with landowners who want to sell their farms.

Archer Christian

Archer Christian is the newest member of the Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission. She is also development director for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center. (Photos by the writer.)

Bridget Callahan, an intern with the Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP) and a University of Michigan community-based research fellow, gave the report, describing how a land link program might relate to the city’s farmland preservation efforts. Callahan’s research included surveys of farmers statewide, and a focus group with eight people involved in the Tilian Farm Development Center in Ann Arbor Township.

Also during the Aug. 2 meeting, GAC chair Dan Ezekiel noted that the current contract with The Conservation Fund, which manages the greenbelt program under contract with the city, ends on Dec. 31. Catherine Riseng volunteered to work with city staff in developing a request for proposals (RFP) for a new contract. The Conservation Fund, which has been awarded contracts for this work since the greenbelt program was created, is expected to bid on it again. Ginny Trocchio is the nonprofit’s local staff member.

In updates during the meeting, Trocchio reported that a Sept. 22 greenbelt bus tour will focus on the eastern portion of the greenbelt, and its connection to the Superior Greenway. And Ezekiel told commissioners that he’ll be a guest on the Aug. 22 Issues of the Environment, a talk show broadcast on WEMU.

Commissioners absent from the August meeting included the city council representative to GAC, Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5). The only meeting he has attended this year was in April. As he did not run for re-election to the city council, there are only three remaining GAC meetings – in September, October and November – before Hohnke leaves the council and the commission. [Full Story]

City Issues Skatepark Request for Proposals

The city of Ann Arbor has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the design of a skatepark to be built at Veterans Memorial Park. [.pdf of skatepark RFP] The goal is to solicit proposals for a consultant to handle design and oversee construction of the skatepark, which will be located on city-owned property. The roughly $1 million cost of the project will be paid for through a combination of private donations – primarily solicited through the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark – a $300,000 state grant, and up to $400,000 in matching funds from the Washtenaw County parks and recreation commission. The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation is acting as fiduciary for the project.

The deadline … [Full Story]

Work Session Called on Conference Center

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, a committee appointed by the Ann Arbor city council and charged with reviewing proposals for future use of the Library Lot – the top of the Fifth Avenue underground parking structure – met for the first time since November. The expected result of Tuesday’s meeting had been that the committee would move a proposed hotel/conference center project forward to the city council.

And that’s what the committee voted to do – specifically, to recommend to the city council that a letter of intent (LOI) be signed with Valiant, the developer, which could eventually lead to a development agreement. The city council will receive a presentation on the letter of intent at a work session on Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Washtenaw County Board room at 220 N. Main St.

David Di Rita of The Roxbury Group

David Di Rita of the Roxbury Group addresses the Library Lot RFP review committee. Left in the frame in the background is local attorney Tom Wieder. Right in the frame is Vivienne Armentrout, a former Washtenaw County commissioner and author of the blog, "Local in Ann Arbor." (Photos by the writer.)

In the draft of the LOI unveiled at Tuesday’s committee meeting, the city and Valiant would try to strike a development agreement no later than four months after the signing of the LOI, with construction to start 15 months after the signing of the development agreement.

Attending the committee meeting on Tuesday was David Di Rita of The Roxbury Group, which has served as a consultant to the committee. In November, Di Rita had delivered a report to the committee recommending Valiant’s proposal over a similar project proposed by another developer – Acquest.

The majority of Tuesday’s meeting time was taken up with Di Rita delivering introductory remarks – a self-described “soliloquy” – and walking the committee through the main points of the draft LOI, or responding to committee member questions.

In his introductory remarks, Di Rita distinguished between the idea of analyzing the financial viability of a specific proposal – which he stressed that The Roxbury Group had not done – and the overall economic validity of a concept.

Key points in the draft LOI are the idea that Valiant would pay for the acquisition of development rights on the property, but could use part of that payment for the design and financing of the conference center. The city of Ann Arbor would own the conference center, and would not be held liable for its maintenance and operation costs, unless Valiant were to cease holding the management agreement. The city’s ownership could, according to the draft LOI, possibly implicate payments by Valiant to the city in lieu of taxes. The draft LOI also calls for reserving no fewer than 350 daytime parking spaces in the underground parking garage, currently under construction, for the hotel/conference center.

In addition to committee members, more than 20 people attended the meeting, filling the fourth floor conference room of city hall. Attendees in the audience included Ward 1 councilmember Sabra Briere; Ann Arbor District Library director Josie Parker; and AADL board member Nancy Kaplan. Several people who attended have expressed objections to the hotel/conference center project, based on either the substance of the proposal itself or the decision-making process.

Related to complaints about the decision process, the meeting began with an adamant request from local attorney Tom Wieder to be allowed to address the committee, which was denied by the committee’s chair, Stephen Rapundalo. [Full Story]

Potential Bidders Eye Huron Hills Golf

About a dozen people attended Monday afternoon’s pre-bid meeting for those interested in responding to the city of Ann Arbor’s request for proposals (RFP) seeking a public/private partnership for the Huron Hills Golf Course.

Doug Davis, Doug Hellman

Doug Davis of Miles of Golf, left, and Doug Hellman of KemperSports were two of about a dozen people who attended Monday's pre-bid meeting for the Huron Hills Golf Course RFP. (Photo by the writer.)

Anyone who plans to submit a response to the RFP was required to attend the meeting, which lasted 30 minutes and was followed by a field trip to tour the course. Among those attending were Doug Davis and Chris Mile of Miles of Golf, Doug Hellman of KemperSports, Joe Spatafore of Royal Oak Golf Management, and William Arlinghaus of Greenscape.

Also attending were several citizens who have publicly opposed the RFP process, including Ted Annis, Nancy Kaplan, Myra Larson and Paul Bancel. Some are involved in the citizens group Ann Arbor for Parkland Preservation (A2P2).

The meeting, led by city parks manager Colin Smith, was a chance for potential bidders to ask questions or request additional information. The deadline to submit proposals is Oct. 29. [.pdf file of Huron Hills RFP] [Full Story]

School Board Issues RFP for Search Firm

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education meeting (Aug. 23, 2010): At a special meeting held Monday, the school board approved a request for proposals (RFP) from professional services firms to assist them as they search for a new superintendent. The RFP was released to search firms and posted on the AAPS website [.pdf of RFP]. The district’s current superintendent, Todd Roberts, has resigned, and will be leaving the district by mid-November to move closer to family and to become chancellor of the North Carolina School for Science and Math.

Christine Stead and Deb Mexicotte

Christine Stead and Deb Mexicotte discuss a draft of the RFP from search firms to help with the hiring of a new superintendent. (Photos by the writer.)

Board treasurer Christine Stead had offered to draft an RFP for board review at the last regular board meeting. Monday’s meeting was an opportunity for the rest of the board to review her work, and suggest changes. Most of the recommended changes were accepted without objection, but others led to some reflective discussion that revealed priorities for the board.

One of the changes made to the RFP was to add a pre-bid meeting for the purpose of answering clarifying questions about the RFP. The pre-bid meeting will be held on Friday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m., at the Balas Administration Building, 2555 S. State Street. Any interested bidders are invited to participate in person or via teleconference. The deadline for submitting responses to the RFP is Friday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m.

The only other official business conducted at Monday’s meeting was the passing of a motion to entertain Roberts’ suggestions for interim staff, which he will bring to the next board meeting. [Full Story]

Public Turns Out to Support Huron Hills Golf

Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission meeting (Aug. 17, 2010): About 30 residents attended Tuesday’s PAC meeting, many of them speaking against the city’s plan to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the Huron Hills Golf Course. Several expressed concerns about what they see as the city’s attempt to privatize the course, which they described as a beautiful, beloved parkland asset. Some said it made no sense that Ann Arbor supported a greenbelt millage to preserve open space outside the city, while selling development rights to parkland it already owns within the city.

People attending the Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission

About 30 people attended the Aug. 17 Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission meeting. Prior to the start, city councilmember Mike Anglin (far right) talks with Nancy Kaplan. Standing at the left is William Newcomb, a member of the city's golf task force, talking with PAC chair Julie Grand. In the foreground are Sandra Arlinghaus and William Arlinghaus. (Photos by the writer.)

The issue drew two city councilmembers to the meeting – Sabra Briere (Ward 1) and Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) – as well as former and current council candidates Sumi Kailasapathy, Jack Eaton and John Floyd. Councilmember Mike Anglin, who serves as an ex-officio member of PAC, also attended. Former planning commissioner Sandra Arlinghaus and her son William Arlinghaus both spoke to PAC, urging them to widen the scope of the RFP so that it might include more creative possibilities, like a location for cremains.

A couple of people also spoke in opposition of the Fuller Road Station project, citing similarities with the Huron Hills situation. In both cases, they said, the city is attempting to use parkland for other purposes. The Fuller Road Station is a proposed parking structure and bus depot, which might someday include a train station.

During deliberations, most commissioners voiced support for the RFP, noting that the golf course – though doing better – is still losing money. [The accounting method used to determine how the golf course is performing financially was a point of contention by some speakers during public commentary.] Several commissioners pointed out that the city is under no obligation to accept any of the proposals that might be submitted. And Colin Smith, manager of parks and recreation, emphasized that the city would retain ownership of the land – there are no plans to sell Huron Hills, he said. He also noted that the RFP calls for proposals to be golf-related.

The plan is to issue the RFP on Sept. 3, with responses due at the end of October. A selection committee will review the proposals and make a recommendation to PAC, probably in December. City council would make the final decision on whether to proceed with any of the proposals. [Full Story]

Park Commission Asks for Transparency

Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission meeting (June 15, 2010): A temporary venue change led more than two dozen people to the Community Television Network studios for this month’s PAC meeting.

Colin Smith, Tim Doyle

Colin Smith, left, the city's parks and recreation manager, talks with Tim Doyle, who was attending his first meeting as a new park advisory commissioner. Doyle replaced the position formerly occupied by Scott Rosencrans, who did not seek reappointment. (Photos by the writer.)

The main agenda item was consideration of two resolutions regarding Fuller Road Station, and many people who attended the meeting were there to address commissioners on that topic – most of them protesting the use of city parkland for what will, at least initially, be a large parking structure and bus depot, built in partnership with the University of Michigan.

Park commissioners have expressed concerns about the project, and resolutions were crafted to address those issues, including a possible financial loss to the parks system and a lack of transparency in the process.

At several points during deliberations, Christopher Taylor – a city councilmember and ex-officio member of PAC – defended the process, indicating that while it was a misstep that PAC wasn’t formally asked for input, there had been many opportunities for public participation.

PAC ultimately approved a resolution that asks city council to make available a complete plan of Fuller Road Station – including any significant proposed agreements, such as what the university will pay the city for use of the structure – allowing sufficient time for a presentation at a televised PAC meeting before council votes on the project. The resolution also asks that staff and council ensure the project results in a net revenue gain for the parks system.

Several other speakers during public commentary addressed the issue of Huron Hills Golf Course, and expressed concerns that the city would seek to privatize it. During his manager’s report, Colin Smith told commissioners that a draft request for proposals (RFP) regarding Huron Hills won’t be finished until August at the earliest, and will be brought to PAC for review before being issued by the city.

The meeting also included a presentation by Molly Notarianni, the city’s market manager, with an update on the farmers market and public market activities.

Tuesday’s meeting was also the first for PAC’s newest commissioner, Tim Doyle. Doyle was recently appointed by city council to replace Scott Rosencrans, who did not seek reappointment. In welcoming him, PAC chair Julie Grand joked: “You picked a good one to start.” [Full Story]