From Edgewater Residents John Beltrone and K. Xerxes Steirer:
Dear City Council,
We wish to communicate a growing concern regarding the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued over the holidays. As City Council, we ask that you represent the community and allow Edgewater citizens to contribute to this very important piece of the project which will impact all of us well into the future. Edgewater citizens feel the costs and impacts of our Civic Center have been hastily finalized in the latest RFP. Fast-tracking this project risks building a Civic Center that does not reflect the values of our city. We ask that on February 2nd, Council votes down the latest RFP and reissues a community oriented RFP with revised language. We offer the following reasons:
RFPs typically allow a four to six week response time. This procedure ensures that City resources garner the best job bids available. However, the Edgewater RFP was released over the holidays and with a compressed timeline of 23 days. These concerns were voiced by one bidder as noted in the RFP Question 1-10-17:
“We would request that the RFQ due date be extended to evaluate the answer to these questions. With the RFQ being posted the Friday before Christmas and only 3 days from question submittal due date to RFQ submission, we feel that an extended schedule would benefit everyone to understand the project more clearly.”
The City denied this request stating, “The deadline is set for this RFP/RFQ.”
The current language in the RFP states “design shall mandate use of the 2012 International Building Code, and construction to a LEED silver level (without a requirement for LEED certification).” This language lacks assurances over the quality of the building, which will result in a Civic Center that only meets a minimum of Edgewater’s needs. Cutting corners on quality in the short term will increase costs in the long term. The most critical design step is the RFP, where goals are set and guarantees are written. The RFP should mitigate risks associated with the long term operating and maintenance costs and also uncertain future tax revenues.
No Input from Edgewater Citizens
Although the RFP calls for community-oriented design services, the proposal has already mandated the most meaningful design elements which neglect guarantees for energy efficiency and environmental design. Rushing the RFP risks constructing a building that does not optimally allocate community resources and denies community voice during the most critical point in the design process.
We ask that you vote down the latest RFP on February 2nd. Doing so will provide Edgewater citizens opportunity to communicate the desire to include energy cost savings and design mandates for the building and provide sufficient time for competition and quality bids.
K. Xerxes Steirer, Ph.D., Ingalls Street, Edgewater
John Beltrone, CPA, Eaton Street, Edgewater