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City’s recreation plan moves forward
January 16, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Members of the Gering Recreation Committee have narrowed the field for hiring a consultant to assess the city’s recreation facilities and needs.

Last year, the committee issued a Request for Qualifications/Proposals. They were seeking a company to assess the city’s existing recreation facilities and potential for future projects, such as the proposed sports complex that has been discussed for the past 10 years.

Four proposals were received, but all of them would cost significantly higher than the estimated $15,000 – $20,000 the city initially wanted to spend for the work. But as committee members developed more areas they wanted to be assessed, more criteria were added to the Request for Proposal.

Committee members scored the four proposals late last year and during their Monday afternoon meeting, recommended the top three for interviews.

Member Justin Allred said he was struggling with some of the estimates that came back in the $85,000 range or higher. He said he couldn’t support hiring a firm that would cost so much more than the committee had intended to spend.

“If we have about $400,000 set aside for the entire project and have to spend $80,000 just to get a study done, that seems to set us back,” Allred said. “I think the funds could be better utilized, although a study needs to be done.”

Gering City Administrator Lane Danielzuk said there was wording in the RFQ/RFP that allows the committee to forgo any of the proposals, based on cost alone. But terms and conditions of the agreement could be negotiated once a firm is selected to do the work. Consequently, it’s important to interview more than one consulting firm.

Committee members decided to take the next few weeks to develop questions they want to ask each consultant during an interview. They tentatively agreed to set the morning of Feb. 11 to conduct one-hour Internet video Skype interviews with all three finalists.
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