Request for Proposals

Background Analysis for a Comprehensive Plan

City of Erie

Erie, PA

Posted: 04/12/2013
Submittal Deadline: 05/15/2013


The City of Erie is requesting proposals from qualified consultants to provide professional services to complete a Background Analysis for the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Services will include an inventory and gaps analysis. The selected consultant will be responsible for:

• Completing an inventory of the current City, County and surrounding area plans, strategies, and existing research;
• Identifying existing gaps in data collection, mapping and programmatic overlays; and
• Identifying opportunities for cooperation and coordination between the City, Authorities, and community partners in the development of a future Comprehensive Plan.

A. General Project Description:

Awarded contractor shall inventory various plans throughout the City and bordering municipalities. Consultant shall make careful surveys, studies and analyses of housing, demographic, and economic characteristics and trends; amount, type and general location and interrelationships of different categories of land use; general location and extent of transportation and community facilities; natural features affecting development; natural, historic and cultural resources; and the prospects for future growth in the municipality.

Consultant shall provide an initial assessment of work requested and shall meet with City staff to agree upon and assure a complete understanding of the assignment, timelines, scope of work and costs.

The following outline describes key components to be provided by the Consultant. The Consultant is expected to be familiar with and follow the guidelines of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247 of 1968, Article III Comprehensive Plan.

B. Proposal Submission

1. Five (5) copies of sealed proposal must be submitted by 2:00 p.m. on May 15, 2013 to:
Sid Goldstein, Purchasing Agent
City of Erie
626 State Street, Room 305
Erie, PA 16501-1128
(814) 870-1281

Proposals will be publicly opened and accepted at the DECD office at 2:00 p.m. on May 15, 2013.

All parties are bound by the deadline and location requirements of this RFP.

2. Proposals must be in a sealed envelope and marked “Consultant RFP for Erie Comprehensive Plan – Phase I” on the outside. Submitter’s name and return address must appear in the upper left hand corner.

3. Proposals must be mailed or hand delivered. Faxed or electronic proposals will not be accepted.

4. City is not liable for non-receipt of RFPs sent by ordinary mail or delivered in person to any other City employee or Office other than the Purchasing Agent in Room 305.

5. Proposals will be handled confidentially during the pre-award process.

6. City will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by the bidder in connection with this procurement.

7. All proposals shall remain effective subject to the City’s review and approval for ninety (90) days from the deadline for submitting proposals.

C. Request for Information

Direct questions to Dave Deter at (814) 870-1277 or; or Cyndie Zahner at (814) 870-1271 or no later than May 10, 2013.

D. General Conditions

1. No verbal instructions or verbal information to bidders will be binding on the City. The written specifications will be considered clear and complete unless written attention is called to any apparent discrepancies or incompleteness before the opening of the proposals. Should any alterations to the specifications be made, written addenda will be posted on the City’s website, mailed, e-mailed, and/or faxed to all bidders. These addenda shall then be considered to be part of these specifications.

2. Submission of a proposal will be considered as conclusive evidence of the bidder’s complete examination and understanding of the specifications.

3. The City reserves the right to a) reject any or all proposals, b) request additional information c) accept the proposal considered most favorable, d) waive minor irregularities in the procedures or proposals if it is in the best interest of the City, e) negotiate with proposers to establish variations from the original proposal(s), including proposed cost, which may be in the interest of the City.

4. Award will be made to that responsive/responsible bidder whose proposal, conforming to specifications, will be most advantageous to the City, price and other factors considered, such as delivery time, quality, services, etc. The award may or may not be made to the firm with the lowest cost.

Proposers are encouraged to add to, modify or clarify any of the scope of work items it deems appropriate to obtain a high quality plan at the lowest possible cost. All changes should be listed and explained. However, the scope of work proposed at minimum must accomplish the goals and work outlined below.

5. The City shall have the right, without invalidating the contract, to make additions to or deductions from the items or work covered by the specifications. In case such deductions or additions are made, an equitable price adjustment shall be made between the City and the Vendor. Any such adjustments in price shall be made in writing.

6. Bidders requesting additional information and/or clarifications to the bid specifications shall submit the inquiries to Dave Deter, Assistant Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development, City of Erie, 626 State Street, Room 404, Erie, PA 16501-1128, in writing. Responses to questions received after May 10, 2013 are not guaranteed. See paragraph 1 above for additional clarification.

7. The bidder will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or handicap. The bidder will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. Bidders will take steps to ensure employees are treated during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Such action shall include but not be limited to the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, layoff or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, including apprenticeship.

E. Format of Proposals:

Submissions should be made in the following format:

1. Letter of Transmittal.
2. Executive Summary.
3. Consultant firm’s experience, including CP experience and knowledge of Federal, State and local code and regulations.
4. Key Personnel to be utilized on this project and their expertise in developing Consolidated Plans. (Provide resumes as Appendix at the end of proposal).
5. Narrative addressing the Consultant’s understanding of the scope of service/activities to be provided.
6. Timeline.
7. Detailed cost breakdown of services to be provided, including estimated time per activity, wages, travel, copies, etc.
8. Certificate of insurance.

F. Scope of Services

1. Assist the City in the development of a project steering committee and facilitate steering committee monthly meetings to review overall project objectives, discuss how findings to date contribute to project outcomes and deliverables, make adjustments when appropriate, and review overall project objectives, timeliness and progress of tasks listed below.
2. Obtain the most recent photometry and base mapping.
3. Meet with Erie County Planning and determine how GIS themes will be organized to be most compatible with local agencies.
4. Obtain/review existing research plans/studies for the City and bordering municipalities including, but not limited to:
• Current City and County plans, studies, strategies, including Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing, Housing Market Analysis, etc.
• State, regional and local water-shed plans, restoration and protective strategies
• Land use plans and strategies that may preserve/improve wetland and protect waters/coastal area
• Destination Erie Regional Vision, analysis of trends and conditions
• Western PA Port Authority Plan
• Transportation Plan
• Community Action Plan
• Housing Authority
• Downtown Master Plan and related transportation studies
5. Prepare a document summary for each planning document reviewed summarizing data available and major findings.
6. Devise a stakeholder interview form to document interviews and interview appropriate stakeholders. A preliminary list of potential stakeholders follows:
• Public Authorities (9)
• Council of Governments
• Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership
• Community Foundation
• Erie Downtown Partnership
• Neighboring Municipalities (Millcreek & Lawrence Park Townships, Wesleyville Borough)
• PennDOT
• Erie MPO
• Economic Development Corporation of Erie County
• Erie Neighborhood Watch Council and organized Watches – SNOOPS, Little Italy, BEST, etc.
• Economic Research Institute of Erie (Penn State Behrend)
• Local Universities
• Manufacturers Association
• Small Business Development Center
• United Way of Erie County/Erie Together
• WRT/Destination Erie
• School Districts (3) serving four municipalities
• Major employers
7. Interview other stakeholders deemed appropriate.
8. Provide stakeholder interview documents to steering committee for review.
9. Once the available data is known and gaps identified, the consultant will begin gathering demographic and systems data to be compiled with base mapping.
10. Compile a summary of findings/observations to be reviewed with the Steering Committee, edited, and distributed to project partners (steering committee, all funding partners, and neighboring municipalities). All appropriate data necessary to create future Phase II strategies in the following areas must be compiled:
• Mineral Resources
• Land Use
• Coastal and Port
• Transportation
• Community facilities and utilities
• Housing
• Recreation/Municipal Services
• Economic Development
• Community Development
• Natural and Historic Resources
11. Based on discussion with project partners and information gathered, Consultant will draft the vision/goals for the comprehensive plan. The vision and goals statement will describe how the plan will meet these, other functions, and how the plan would incorporate/integrate with existing capital and operational plans. The draft will be distributed to the steering committee for review.
12. Refine the vision/goals in preparation for Steering Committee to begin drafting a scope of work for Phase 2.
13. Compile results of stakeholder interviews, planning document reviews, mapping and recommendations for coordination of programs and planning between participating public entities.
14. Assist in hosting a public education seminar:
• Highlight benefits of comprehensive planning and use case studies of communities that found success after an effective comprehensive plan process.
• Explain local process and how current efforts are proceeding.
• Facilitate a panel discussion.
15. Obtain/consider public comments for Background Analysis report draft.
16. Complete a draft for steering committee to review and comment. Distribute to Project Partners. Revise as necessary.
17. Provide final report with:
• Existing planning document review summary
• Stakeholder meetings summary
• Base mapping/data analysis
• Existing trends summary
• Conditions by MPC Category
• Local Goals, Objectives, and Opportunities in preparing a comprehensive plan
• Scope of work for Phase 2 Consulting services
• Immediate opportunities for coordination/cooperation between agencies
• Phase 2 potential funding sources.
Note: All work must be performed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and with Phase II in mind. Phase II must consider: land use, housing needs, transportation, community facilities/utilities plans; interrelationships among various plan components; short/long range plan; implementation strategies; proposed development and neighboring municipalities; natural/historical resources protection; reliable supply of water; possible energy conservation; and identification of areas where growth/development will occur.

G. Proposal Evaluations

Proposal will be evaluated as follows: (Incomplete proposals will not be considered.)

1. Demonstrated experience with Scope of Services; (20%)
2. Ability to perform services, (20%)
3. Understanding of Scope of Services; (20%)
4. Rates/pricing; (20%)
5. Federal/State/local code/regulations knowledge; (10%)
6. General response to invitation. (10%)

The City’s policy is to promote the opportunity for full participation by minority/women’s business enterprises (“MBE” & “WBE’s”) in all programs. The City will assign a weight for socially/economically restricted business participation for each RFP. This weight will be included as one of the criteria for selection. In addition, all participants in this RFP should be advised of notice of requirements for affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities are applicable. (Executive Order 11246)

For further clarity see complete RFP at