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RFP for East Feliciana Parish

East Feliciana Parish Economic Development

EAST FELICIANA PARISH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Comprehensive Plan for East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

On behalf of East Feliciana Parish, East Feliciana Parish Economic Development District (EFPEDD and hereinafter "Client"), is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) to professional planning consultant teams for the creation of a Parishwide Comprehensive Plan (hereinafter "Parish Plan") and two small area plans for the towns of Clinton and Slaughter (hereinafter "Town Plans"). The client wishes to lead a transparent and fair selection process that results in obtaining a solid, creative, and multi-disciplinary planning consultant team that will educate and lead the Parish in promoting its rural character and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.

This RFP outlines the following:
 Project introduction
 Project oversight
 Work Plan and deliverables
 Proposal Requirements
 Overview of the selection process

I. Introduction

A. THE COMPRENHENSIVE PLAN
East Feliciana Parish was awarded Community Development Block Grant funding through the Comprehensive Resiliency Pilot Program. This $10 million federal pool of funding assists in providing comprehensive nonstructural recovery to Louisiana communities; enables communities to be proactive in addressing risk; and seeks to develop the appropriate suite of pilot solutions which range from innovative resiliency planning and development of forward-thinking land-use plans and zoning ordinances to code enforcement and staffing ramp-up.

Planning for resiliency and long term sustainability is the Client's goal. Community resiliency is the capability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back in the face of turbulent change. East Feliciana Parish aims to create a Parish Plan that will provide a guide for change, opportunity, resiliency and sustainability for the next 20 years.

This Parish Plan should guide future land use, public investment and development decisions in order to protect natural resources and enhance quality of life. The development of a Parish Plan that will allow East Feliciana parish to make public investment decisions from a position of strength is acknowledged as an exciting opportunity as well as essential for parish-wide improvement. The Parish Plan will be a "blueprint" for the future of this community based on the desires and vision of the Parish's residents. Furthermore, the Parish Plan will focus on appropriate economic development, protection of the agriculture and timber industry, housing, mobility, rural character protection, historic and cultural preservation, and parks and recreation. The Client desires a Parish Plan that will provide guidance for all decisions regarding the physical, economic and social environment in the Parish. This will be the first planning effort that the Parish has undertaken.

A Plan may be developed with the guidance of a professional planning team, but it is created, owned and championed by the community and its members. East Feliciana Parish's leadership believes that a successful Plan is one that will be widely understood and embraced by the public, described in a document that will interest and engage ordinary citizens, and easily accessible via a variety of "old" and "new" media. The consultant team is expected to create a widespread education, outreach, and communication plan specific to East Feliciana Parish and all its municipalities.

In addition, the consultant team will work with the Planning & Zoning Commission to review the existing zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations for coordination with two small area plans to ensure that there is a cohesive set of documents and guidance for future decision-making.

The total project budget for the Parish Plan and two small area plans for the towns of Clinton and Slaughter is $300,000. This is a lump-sum budget and shall include all expenses.

B. OVERVIEW OF THE PARISH
Planning Area
Located in the rolling hills and piney woods approximately 30 miles north of Louisiana's capitol, Baton Rouge, and approximately 65 miles south of Natchez, Mississippi, East Feliciana Parish is a sparsely populated parish known for its sleepy, small, historic southern towns, timber and agricultural lands, one stop light, families representing many generations, and a scattering of "newcomers." East Feliciana Parish is a 456 square mile rural parish that is home to an estimated 20,970 residents. Of these parish residents, 7,840 live in incorporated towns or villages and 1,600 are inmates at the Dixon Correctional Institute (US Census, 2009). Between 2000 and 2009, the Parish's population declined by an estimated 1.8 percent.

East Feliciana Parish contains five small incorporated municipalities, located ten to fifteen miles from one to another, including: Town of Jackson (pop. 4,010); Town of Clinton (pop. 1,870); Town of Slaughter (pop. 980); Village of Wilson (pop. 650); and Village of Norwood (pop. 330) (U.S. Census, 2009). While the Parish Plan will focus mostly on the unincorporated area of the parish, the consultant team is expected to hold educational meetings in all the incorporated municipalities and coordinate with the surrounding regional planning efforts. Efforts such as housing, roads, transportation, mobility, historic and cultural preservation, and resiliency shall all be coordinated with incorporated municipalities and neighboring communities. For the two small area plans, the Consultant is expected to work with leadership and citizens of Clinton and Slaughter to identify the needs and formulate a Town Plan.

East Feliciana Parish is comprised of an almost evenly racially mixed, economically diverse population. According to the Client, the median age is 37, yet there is a prevalent aging population. With less than a dozen small industries, the largest employer is the State of Louisiana, with two facilities, Dixon Correctional Institute and the East Louisiana Mental Health System which all draw employees from as far as Baton Rouge and Mississippi. Timber is also a long-standing industry in the area.
East Feliciana Parish, bordered by the state of Mississippi to the North, St. Helena Parish to the East, East Baton Rouge to the South and West Feliciana to the West, is a beautiful area of Louisiana that reflects the true charm and grandeur that is the South. East Feliciana Parish is located in the heart of Louisiana's Plantation Country and is renowned for its scenic beauty comprised of unsurpassed country drives through the rolling Feliciana hills and its historic landmarks. "Feliciana" is the inspired Spanish word for "Happyland."
The historic and quaint towns of East Feliciana Parish were settled in the early 1800's. Some of the South's best examples of Greek Revival, Victorian and Carolina style architecture exist in these communities offering visitors the chance to connect to America's antebellum history. The East Feliciana Parish Courthouse, built in 1840, and Lawyer's Row are National Historic Landmarks in East Feliciana Parish, and there are hundreds of historic buildings scattered throughout the Parish (most privately owned), 28 of which are on the National Historic Register. The Historic Town of Clinton is home to the growing and successful Main Street shopping district and Clinton Community Market.

Parish Government
East Feliciana Parish operates under a "Police Jury" form of government. The Police Jury form of government is similar to the commission form common at the county-level in other states (Police Jury Association of Louisiana, 2010). East Feliciana's Police Jury is comprised of seven district representatives, including the Police Jury President. The Parish Police Jury is directly elected by Parish residents, and the Police Jury President is then elected by his peers to President each year. Each of the towns has their own mayors and aldermen.

While the Police Jury supports this planning effort, the East Feliciana Parish Economic Development District is funding and managing this project. EFPEDD is a political subdivision set up by State Statute LRS 33:2740.62 for the purpose of master planning and economic development. EFPEDD will work with the Police Jury and Town Mayors and Councils to implement the Plan. In addition, the Parish Planning and Zoning Commission reviews all development and rezoning requests within the Parish's unincorporated areas to insure that they are in compliance with the Parish Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. While there is currently no existing Parish Plan or planning department, funds have already been allocated to hire a staff planner to help coordinate this planning effort, as well as implement the Parish Plan once it is complete. The towns of Clinton and Slaughter have existing planning departments that will be coordinating the planning effort for the creation of the small area plans. Both Clinton and Slaughter have zoning and/ or subdivision regulations.

Parish-wide Priorities
In order to determine the issues, needs, and desires of the Parish residents, the Client held five publicized public meetings, numerous (open to public) town council and community committee meetings, and over 25 meetings with stakeholders in the five municipalities and throughout the Parish. During these meetings, several priorities were identified including:
 The possible increase of traffic into East Feliciana Parish towns due to the John James Audubon Bridge, to be completed in late 2011, and the various roadway improvements that are currently underway. The Audubon Bridge will connect Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana Parishes at a point two miles north of East Feliciana and will provide a new east-west linkage between I-49 and I-55 via La.10. The eastern leg of the John James Audubon Bridge will terminate at U.S. 61, and options should be explored to reconnect the route with La.10 (Zachary Taylor Parkway) for travel east through East Feliciana Parish. U.S. 61, with five miles through East Feliciana Parish, is being widened from two to four lanes. La.10 is being improved to a wider two lane highway with adequate shoulders. These improvements are to be explored for potential economic development and cultural tourism opportunities for the community and in connection to the other parishes along the Parkway.
 The need for economic development and assuring that any new development is compatible with existing land use and development patterns.
 The potential for cultural tourism, historic site tourism and possible agri-tourism.
 The desire for local and regional connectivity in all practical areas such as: community resiliency, economic development, roads, transit, corridors and gateways, historic preservation, parks, and recreation and tourism.
 Inadequate roadway infrastructure and infrastructure condition in the rural areas.
 The need for diverse housing types, such as rental units, and the lack of workforce housing availability.
 The lack of health and human services availability.
 The protection and enhancement of rural character and improvement of aesthetics in the municipalities and Parish.
 The balance of private property rights and protection of property value as planning occurs.
 The challenges of the existing low tax base that currently limit the funding, location and maintenance of existing public services and infrastructure, and future expansion capabilities.

Furthermore, Parish citizens attribute the Parish's rural status to a high standard of quality of life, and they place high values on the East Feliciana's natural beauty, historic and cultural heritage, rural character, unique environmental characteristics, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities.

II. Project Oversight

A. CLIENT
EFPEDD is a 13 member board that raised funding and is the Client for this planning effort. The EFPEDD Board is comprised of two Police Jurors, including the current Police Jury President, two School Board members, one Mayor [or Mayor's representative] from each of the five Parish municipalities, one representative for the District's State Senator and one representative for each of the two State Representatives, and two at-large members. Mary Jo Salmon will be the EFPEDD Project Manager and point-of-contact throughout the project. The consultant team chosen should update the EFPEDD Project Manager each time they are in East Feliciana Parish. The Client has also secured funding to hire a Staff Planner to assist with this project and the resulting implementation projects.

B. STEERING COMMITTEE
The Steering Committee will be appointed by the Client and will be representative of a cross-section of Parish residents, key stakeholder and/or professional groups, Parish Police Jurors [or appointed Juror representatives], and Parish department Staff members. The 20-25 member Steering Committee will consist of individuals who are committed to the community and who can provide broad policy direction on the future physical development and quality of life for the Parish.

The mission of the Steering Committee will be to facilitate, provide recommendations for, and oversee the preparation of the Plan for the Parish. The Steering Committee will be the "sounding board" for the consultant team. By representing the broad interests of the community, the Steering Committee will help to facilitate the formal review and adoption process. The selected consultant team will interact with the Steering Committee throughout the planning process.

C. EAST FELICIANA POLICE JURY
While the Client is leading this project, the Police Jury must be engaged, involved, and updated on the project throughout the planning effort. In addition, the Police Jury will be responsible for reviewing and adopting the final Plan. Therefore, their engagement throughout the process is paramount. Although the Client is financially supporting this planning effort from money raised from Parish citizens and businesses, state and federal grants, the Police Jury also contributed some public funding to this effort.

D. EAST FELICIANA PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION
The consultant team will work with the Client and the East Feliciana Planning & Zoning Commission to review the existing ordinances and determine what supports the Plan and what does not. The consultant team will also meet with the Planning & Zoning Commission periodically throughout the planning effort to keep them abreast of the process and progress.

E. CENTER FOR PLANNING EXCELLENCE
As a representative of the Client, CPEX will facilitate the consultant team selection process. Therefore, respondents may contact CPEX only during the RFP and selection process. Please see Section V.C. Submission Point-of-Contact for contact information. Once a consultant team has been selected, Mary Jo Salmon and Audrey Facine with EFPEDD will be the project points-of-contact.

III. Work Plan and Description of Deliverables

Responses to this RFP should include a Work Plan that follows these basic steps:
 Define an outreach, education and public participation strategy
 Define existing conditions and develop a "vision"
 Develop a detailed Plan
 Create an implementation strategy with policy recommendations and action items

The steps are further described below.

A. OUTREACH, EDUCATION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION PLANNING
The establishment and creation of the Plan should depend upon extensive public participation and leadership throughout the planning process. Due to the lack of land-use planning in most Louisiana communities (including East Feliciana Parish), it is vital that an educational component, explanatory and visual, be incorporated into every stage of Plan creation regarding the planning process and putting Smart Growth to work in rural communities.

Public input is a vital part of the planning process. It instills a sense of community pride in and ownership of the Plan, thereby leading to a greater desire to implement Plan goals and objectives. Therefore, this participatory planning process should engage residents, senior citizens, neighborhoods, parish youth, industry, small business leaders, civic leaders, neighboring parishes, and other stakeholder groups including those from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The support and engagement of East Feliciana citizenry has been demonstrated through their private donations to assist in funding this planning effort.

The consultant team will develop a Public Participation, Education, and Outreach Plan that describes how they will engage and inform Parish and Town residents about the Parish and Town Plan processes and deliverables. The Work Plan contained in responses to this RFP must outline outreach and education methodologies as specified above. The consultant team should describe a process that gathers information in a variety of ways, utilizing: focus groups, surveys, agency leader interviews, stakeholder meetings, and/or other methods deemed appropriate by respondents. The consultant team shall also utilize all appropriate social networking tools, as identified by the Steering Committee. The Client does anticipate the consultant team will create a website for the Plan. The consultant team will manage the website throughout the process and turn it over to the Client once the Plan is complete.

Public meetings will be held throughout the unincorporated areas of the parish, as well as in each municipality. In addition, representatives from all five municipalities will be included as stakeholders during the outreach efforts. The Client expects the Consultant to outline more focused outreach and education efforts for the Towns of Clinton and Slaughter.

B. DEFINING EXISTING CONDITIONS AND DEVELOPING A VISION
Using existing plans, projects, and data (both public domain and Parish-provided) as a starting point, the Work Plan contained in the RFP response must describe how the respondents will synthesize community input collected above to describe existing conditions and interactively outline a broad, consensus "vision" for East Feliciana Parish. The selected consultant team will be asked to review and build upon the following plans, projects, and initiatives. The work plan should describe how each of these would be incorporated.

Existing Plans
The documents below reflect completed planning efforts in East Feliciana Parish. These documents should not be seen as a restraint, but should be used as a reference point that will be refined, added to, improved upon and/or revamped through an inclusive and participatory planning process.
 Existing East Feliciana Parish Code of Ordinances (hard copy available)
 Existing East Feliciana Parish Subdivision Regulations (hard copy available)
 Existing Town of Clinton Code of Ordinances and Subdivision Regulations (hard copy available)
 Existing Slaughter Code of Ordinances and Subdivision Regulations (hard copy available)
 Zachary Taylor Parkway Plan (hard copy available)
 Clinton Main Street Plan ( hard copy available)
 Jackson Historic District Plan (hard copy available)
 Town of Jackson Master Plan, partially implemented (hard copy available)
• Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and linked websites at < jacksonlouisiana.org > and

Ongoing Projects and Initiatives
The following projects or studies will impact the parish and should be considered and incorporated during the development of the Plan:
 Tax Assessor GIS Parcel-Level Data-Police Jury, Fire and School Board Districts; Town maps; Zoning maps. (hard copy available)
 Pictometry Mapping of Parish
 911 Mapping Data (currently transitioning to GIS)
 East Feliciana Parish Water and Sewer Line Map (hard copy available)
 East Feliciana Emergency Operations Plan( hardcopy available)
 East Feliciana Hazard Mitigation Plan ( hardcopy available)
 USGS Water Resource Fact Sheets for the 64 Louisiana parishes (http://la.water.usgs.gov/)

Neighboring Parish Comprehensive Plans
Two neighboring parishes, West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee, have recently completed Comprehensive Plans. In addition, the City of Zachary has recently completed a Comprehensive Plan and "Visions of Zachary" Study. These plans, along with any planning efforts taking place in St. Helena Parish, should be reviewed for regional coordination opportunities.

Regional Plans in Rural Communities
The process and deliverables should also consider the following principles and existing plans:
 Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities (http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/301483/P...)
 Smart Growth Best Practices (www.smartgrowthamerica.org/sghowto.html)
 The Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan (www.louisianaspeaks-parishplans.org/)
 The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit (www.landusetoolkit.com)

C. DEVELOPING THE PLAN
The Work Plan must describe the development of a Plan that consolidates and coordinates the following elements, based on issues and trends in East Feliciana Parish identified by project stakeholders, and rural Smart Growth Best Practices (see Section III.C below). The development of the Plan elements must be grounded in an open and transparent public process.

The Client has established the following elements to serve as a guide for the Plan development. The consultant team is welcome and encouraged, however, to suggest creative or innovative additions or modifications to these components. The Work Plan should also describe which of the described elements would be separate sections, and which might be combined.

Economic Development
This element will address goals, actions, and policies that strengthen the Parish's rural economy and, in turn, fund the implementation of future planning goals. This element will focus on the unique attributes of business districts within the Parish and municpalities, and evaluate underutilized commercial and retail facilities. In addition, this element should describe how to capitalize on the increased exposure of the Parish due to the new bridge, as well as its unique cultural, historical, and natural characteristics. Projected employment, ratios of employment to available housing units, and commuter traffic should also be discussed and evaluated.

Future Land Use Element and Map
In addition to usual issues considered in a Plan Land Use Element, the Land Use Element of the Parish Plan will incorporate a strong community design component. This element should provide residents with the intended uses, location, density, scale, and design aesthetic of future development and redevelopment areas prior to consideration of future development proposals. The Land Use Element will therefore identify community objectives for the undeveloped areas of the Parish, as well as those available for future redevelopment. Future development and redevelopment should be encouraged and directed towards existing towns and communities and align with the principles of rural Smart Growth.
The consultant team is encouraged to propose a process based on alternatives analysis and selection. Creative and interactive methods should be proposed for soliciting both residents' and developers' input, and channeling this input into realistic alternative scenarios for consideration by the public, EFPEDD, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Police Jury. Multiple land-use alternatives should be developed and tested by the consultant team. One of the alternatives should consider full build-out based upon current zoning and projected population. Use of techniques such as "charrettes" or other public forum methods should be considered to achieve this objective. The consultant team will need to ultimately reach a realistic consensus on a preferred alternative or alternatives for various development areas in the community.

Transportation and Mobility Element
Transportation impacts have historically driven many determinations about land use in East Feliciana Parish. The Transportation Element will provide important input into the definition of a preferred land use alternative. A full range of transportation policies shall be considered, addressing multi-modal opportunities and design elements of arterial, collector, and local roadways. Since transportation deals with both the movement of people and goods, the Transportation Element should also address the parish's freight rail connections. The need for alternative modes of transportation should be considered.

Infrastructure Element
The consultant team should utilize available information supplied by the Parish to prepare a comprehensive inventory of infrastructure resources, including water, sewer and drainage facilities. Using this information, this element should identify certain portions of the Parish that could be candidates for future expansion in the various infrastructure categories. Finally, this element should identify a strategy of short- and long-range infrastructure objectives in a Capital Improvements Plan.

Parks, Recreation and Open Space Preservation
This element should identify deficiencies in current recreational resources and describe how the Parish can create connections between existing and future parks and open spaces.

The Critical and Sensitive Areas, including parish natural resources and water features, should be identified, and the goals, policies, and action items related to open space conservation and agricultural and timber land preservation should be put in place to protect them. Opportunities through intergovernmental cooperation to further expand open space and greenway connectivity with adjoining jurisdictions should be encouraged in the Plan.

Resiliency
This chapter shall address goals, objectives and policies linking land use and development to hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, and recovery in an effort to prevent or dramatically minimize business, housing, and infrastructure damage from future natural disasters. This element shall be developed in consistency with the Parish's Hazard Mitigation Plan and incorporate resiliency planning into the Parish's five municipalities. Community resiliency is the capability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back in the face of turbulent change.

Housing
There is extensive undeveloped land in the Parish, yet much of this land is under private ownership with the intention to keep it intact and undeveloped. In addition, a large portion of the parish's land is owned by either the state (state hospital, Veterans Affairs, Dixie Correctional Institute, LSU, etc.) or by timber companies. Therefore, the community must use the rest of its land wisely and be encouraged to be responsible stewards of their natural resources. The housing element provides an opportunity to set policies that encourage a range of housing products in East Feliciana Parish. The Parish also has the opportunity to address workforce housing and integrate housing products with various densities. Alternate land use scenarios will provide an opportunity to evaluate under-supplied residential product types and densities. This element shall be supported by charts related to population and housing.

Rural Community Character
Where redevelopment or new development is discussed, the character of that development will be directed in a manner which results in compatibility and integration with the community vision. This element will set out policies that address community gateways, community image, the integration of major roadway corridors, and the preservation of community cultural and historic attributes. Compatible development densities, particularly for residential development, are an important focus of this element. This element will serve as a vehicle to direct the on-going use of existing design standards and guidelines as well as proposed standards for historic preservation or redevelopment.

Implementation and Funding/Financing Strategy and Matrix
The Parish and Town Plans must include an Implementation Matrix which identifies policies, actions, and tasking, as well as a realistic consideration of how to pay for each recommendation. An understanding of the availability of grants available to parishes and municipalities for implementation must be demonstrated, and creative funding alternatives must be provided.
The implementation strategy should identify high-priority/catalyst projects. The implementation strategy should include a projected timeline and benchmarks for measuring success.

The implementation strategy should include, but not be limited to items such as:
 Recommendations on staffing needs and qualifications
 Recommended training practices for Planning & Zoning Commissioners, staff and Police Jurors
 Recommended Capital Improvement projects
 Recommended "low hanging fruit" projects for immediate implementation/community buy-in
 Review of existing zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations for East Feliciana Parish and the Towns of Clinton and Slaughter and provide recommendations on standard processes for reviewing/approving development.

The most common pre-emptive criticism of any plan is, "It will just sit on a shelf and gather dust." In order for these Plans to avoid this fate, the Parish and Town Plans shall include an aggressive and rational work program or strategy for implementation of immediate and long term goals with specific steps and actions that conform to the objectives and visions as described in the Plans.

D. DELIVERABLES
All responses to this proposal should outline deliverables to the Client. The final deliverables should include, but are not limited to:
 Five (5) reproducible hardcopies, a print-ready PDF file, and an original editable version of the plan documents for East Feliciana Parish, Town of Clinton and Town of Slaughter., which shall be inclusive of several items listed below
 A Future Land Use Map, created in accordance with the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit
 All maps addressing geographic components shall be delivered in GIS shape files and dxf files (the Parish will retain all shape and dxf files) to be incorporated into the parish's existing GIS system
 An Outreach, Education, and Communication Plan for the Parish and Town planning efforts
 An interactive educational and outreach website to discuss the Plan as well as receive public input during Plan development. While this website should be a stand-alone site, a link will be added to the EFPEDD website. It will be designed, maintained, and updated by the consultant team, with input from the Client.
 A quarterly newsletter created by the consultant team, but printed and dispersed by the client to update the public on the planning process
 A Strategic Implementation Strategy with measurable benchmarks, including an Implementation Matrix listing key policies and action items with potential state and federal funding streams

The respondent's Work Plan must incorporate descriptions of all deliverables to be created during the planning process. The Work Plan should also describe the specific processes for creating and providing each deliverable to the client, including necessary inputs, client/stakeholder/public review, as appropriate, and means for inclusion in final documents. Please indicate in the RFP your firm's ability to deliver all map data in GIS format.

E. PROJECT SCHEDULE
The overall timeline for the development and adoption of the Plans shall be 16 months or less. The applicant is required to submit a project schedule showing key task target dates, including public meetings and hearings and estimated task duration indicating that this requirement will be met. Variations from the timeline should be discussed in the Work Plan. In addition, staff hours should be allocated by task.

The Plans and all associated maps and drawings should be in forms that are economically reproducible, easily updated by and Parish and Town staff (final map must be compatible with as Assessor's mapping and programs), and easily accessed and understood by the public. All deliverables (files and databases) included in the Plans will be given to the Client for ownership and future use.

IV. Proposal Requirements

A. DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS
Proposals must be received no later than Monday, January 10, 2010, 4:00pm CST. Packages shall be mailed or hand delivered to: Center for Planning Excellence, Attn: Tara Titone, 100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801. Digital or email submittals will not be accepted.

B. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must submit eleven (11) identical copies of a thoughtful, clear and well-organized proposal package that demonstrates the required Consultant Qualifications and addresses the needs outlined in the Work Plan. Submittals should be printed on letter-size (8 ½" x 11") paper. Preprinted materials should be referenced in the submittal and included as labeled attachments. Include a Table of Contents for the proposal and give page numbers for each part of the proposal as well as for any separate attachments. The table of contents should reflect the outline below. Chapter tabs and double-sided pages are preferred, but not required. Work samples may be included on separate CD-ROM.

The proposal should include the following items:
1. Statement of Interest
Provide a statement of interest and your firm's understanding of the work. The letter, written on the firm's letterhead, shall cite the individual who will be the primary point-of-contact for the parish for matters relating to the proposal and shall be signed by an individual with the authority to commit the firm to the project. The letter shall include a narrative description of the strengths brought by each team component. The letter should also include full contact information (name, address, telephone, fax, and email address), and be signed by an authorized officer of the company.

2. Firm Profile and Background
Consultant teams should demonstrate knowledge and experience in the following areas and including subcontractors (if any):
 Basic knowledge of East Feliciana Parish, including local decline and regional growth issues, as well as familiarity with current plans for East Feliciana Parish.
 Producing Plans that support preserving and enhancing rural character and quality of life in rural areas.
 Long-term visioning through public participation. Explain the methodology in defining the community's vision.
 Consensus building, particularly working with diverse interest groups.
 Experience in building economic development plans that integrate land use, transportation, floodplains, environmental conservation, hazard mitigation and disaster resiliency, economic development, affordable housing, and implementation strategies.
 Demonstration of past planning activities that involved multi-jurisdictional coordination. Development of long-term implementation strategies with measurable benchmarks.
 Background in the creation of subdivision regulations, landscaping, signage, resiliency planning, and land use and zoning ordinances. Consultant team will be expected to produce the Future Land Use Map using the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit as a guide for policy implementation.

3. Staff Qualifications and Organization
Include qualifications and expertise of only key consultant team members who will be assigned to the project. Include subcontractors (if any).
 Provide an organizational chart showing the roles of the lead firm and each consultant firm or individual. Describe the proposed project assignments and system/structure of authority and communication between principals, the project manager, and key professional members of the lead firm and sub-consultant(s).
 Describe project management, risk management, and quality assurance and control methodologies.
 Provide qualifications and experience of the principals and key professional members of the consultant team that will be involved in the project. Highlight their experience with similar projects and specific issues relevant to this project.
 Highlight experience in Louisiana-based planning initiatives.
 Provide the number of years sub-consultants have worked with the lead firm.
 Provide a statement of staff availability.

4. Firm Experience
List between three and five projects performed by the lead firm that are most similar and relevant to this project and that have been completed within the last seven years. List the projects beginning with the most related project. Include at least three projects that have been or are now being implemented. Provide the following information for each project:
 Summary of the proposed project start dates and end dates and the actual start and end dates, with reasons for extensions if any;
 Summary of the proposed project budget and the actual project budget with reasons for increases if any; and
 Documentation regarding the current stage of project implementation.
 Include comparable work product(s) for the prime firm and all sub-consultants. Sample work products may be submitted in Adobe .pdf format on a CD-ROM. If a disc is included, please provide one per packet to ensure that each Selection Committee member is able to view contents.
 Include references for at least three of the projects listed above for the lead firm. At least one reference should be in the implementation stage or beyond. The references shall include: name of day-to-day liaison during the project, and the representative's current telephone number and email. Please do not provide more than five references and all must be for the lead firm. If a sub-consultant has at least 40% of the project scope and budget, please provide three additional references for that sub-consultant.

5. Proposed Methodology and Work Plan, including Scope and Deliverables
Describe the methodology and work plan intended to implement meet the needs described above for the planning process including:
 Planning philosophy and/or general planning methodology in developing the East Feliciana vision.
 Technology and media resources to be used in public participation strategy
 Detailed Scope of Work and Deliverables
 Project phasing and schedule
 Staff assigned, by hours and phase

6. Proposed Budget/Cost Proposal
Applicants shall provide an estimated lump sum (flat fee) amount, inclusive of all labor and expenses. The cost proposal shall be based upon hourly rates for assigned staff, which shall be described and broken down by project phase.

7. Additional Information
Provide any additional information that may better describe the proposer's qualifications, additional services available, or other benefits to the Parish.

V. Selection Process
Professional services for the Parish are procured in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 39:1481-1526 as well as HUD's Community Development Block Grant requirements. Selection of the most highly qualified respondent will be made on the basis of demonstrated competence, qualifications, and budget compliance as determined by the Client, based upon the proposal submitted in response to this RFP, any supplement requested by the parish and any subsequent meetings with finalists.

A. EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS
Consultant Team Selection Committee
A Selection Committee will be established by the Client. This 9 member Selection Committee, comprised of Parish residents, will represent the demographic composition of the Parish and various stakeholder groups. Some of the Selection Committee members may have contributed private funds to this Plan effort. The Selection Committee will review and discuss the content of the proposals, short-list three to five firms (which will be invited to give a public presentation), and finally submit a consultant team recommendation to the Client. The Client will make the final selection based on the recommendation of the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will dissolve upon the selection of a consultant team.

The Client has hired the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) to facilitate the Selection Committee's selection process. However, CPEX will not participate in selection discussions or vote on the proposed firms or submissions.

The Selection Committee will review proposals based on the below criteria, in accordance with CDBG Federal Procurement guidelines. The consultant team should demonstrate knowledge and experience in the following areas, which will be scored as described:
 Basic knowledge of East Feliciana Parish, the region, and the identified target areas (5 points max.)
 Producing Plans that support preserving and enhancing rural character and quality of life. Using Smart Growth Principals in rural areas, when appropriate (10 points max).
 Experience in Economic Development planning for rural areas (15 points max)
 Capturing long-term visioning through public participation (10 points max.)
 Experience in consensus building, particularly with diverse interest groups and/or in rural communities (10 points max.)
 References (10 points max).
 Demonstration of past planning activities that involved multi-jurisdictional coordination (5 points max.)
 Development of long-term implementation strategies with measurable benchmarks (10 points max.)
 Background in the creation of subdivision regulations, landscaping, signage, resiliency planning, and land use and zoning ordinances. Consultant team will be expected to produce the Future Land Use Map using the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit as a guide for policy implementation (10 points max.)
 Cost estimate within allowable budget, competitive with industry standards, and provides greatest value to East Feliciana Parish in terms of service and qualifications (10 points if budget met, +1 point if under budget, -1 point if over budget)

Total points possible = 100

B. IMPORTANT DATES
The following dates are intended to provide a guideline for this process, and are subject to change:

 RFP available November 24, 2010
 Pre-proposal Meeting* December 03, 2010
 Deadline for questions** December 15, 2010
 Deadline for proposal submission January 10, 2011, 4pm
 Notification of short-listed firms*** Week of January 31, 2011
 Short-listed consultant team interviews Week of February 21, 2011
 Announce award Mid March, 2011

* The Pre-proposal Meeting will begin at 10a.m. CST, Friday, December 03, 2010, via conference call. The purpose of the meeting will be to respond to consultant teams' questions about the project and the procurement process. Meeting minutes will be issued to consultant team leads via email and meeting attendance is not required. To participate in the conference call, e-mail Tara Titone at [email protected] for details and phone number. Per ADA, those who need to request additional reasonable accommodations may do so via email to Tara Titone.

**All questions that occur after the Pre-proposal Meeting must be emailed to Tara Titone at [email protected] and will be distributed to all consultant team leads that send Tara their email address.

*** Each lead firm will be notified during the week of January 31, 2011, whether they have been eliminated or short-listed. If firms are short-listed, they will be asked to make an in-person presentation during the week of February 21, 2011, in Clinton, Louisiana.

C. SUBMISSION POINT-OF-CONTACT
Respondents shall restrict all contact and questions regarding this RFP and selection process to the individual named herein, below. Questions concerning terms, conditions and technical specifications shall be directed in writing to:
Center for Planning Excellence
Attn: Tara Titone, Project Manager
100 Lafayette Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
[email protected].

D. GENERAL NOTIFICATIONS
Respondents and their agents are strictly prohibited from lobbying members of the East Feliciana Police Jury, EFPEDD, East Feliciana Parish Planning & Zoning Commission, parish/ village/ town staff members, Selection Committee members, CPEX staff and CPEX board members at any time and stage in the application and selection process. Failure to comply with this clause shall be grounds for rejection of their RFP as non-responsive.

The Client will not accept any proposals that are delivered by facsimile or electronic mail (e-mail). Late proposals will be returned to the respondent. The Client reserves the right to accept or reject proposals that do not contain all elements and information requested in this document.

The selected consultant team is prohibited from switching out key staff members without receiving approval from the Client.

The Client notifies all possible respondents that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied any benefits of, or otherwise be discriminated against in connection with the award and performance of any contract on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, sex, age, ethnicity, or on any other basis prohibited by law.

All proposing entities shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are encouraged to provide a written statement within submitted proposals and any subsequent contract in which the entity certifies that it is an equal opportunity employer, that it does not discriminate in its employment practices or delivery of services, and that it will make every effort, when economically feasible to subcontract with socially or economically disadvantaged persons and businesses (as defined in Louisiana R.S. 39:1732).

The Client reserves the right to reject any and all submissions, to waive any and all formalities outlined in the RFP and in the selection process and generally to make the award that, in its judgment, will best meet the objectives stated in this RFP. The Client reserves the right to request additional information and/or clarifications from any or all respondents to assist in its evaluation process. The Client reserves the right to request changes to the consultant team composition. All dates in the RFP are subject to change at the discretion of the Client, and notice of any changes will be provided to all respondents.

This RFP does not commit CPEX or the Client to pay any costs incurred in the submission of a proposal or the costs incurred in making necessary studies and designs for preparation thereof, or contract for service or supplies.

Published: The Watchman Newspaper ¬¬¬November 24, 2010, ¬¬¬December 1, 2010, and ¬¬¬December 8, 2010. Advertised on East Feliciana Parish Economic Development District's (EFPEDD), Planetizen's and American Planning Association's (APA) websites on November 24, 2010 to January 10, 2011

Published on:
November 25, 2010 - 4:26am
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