The facade program in downtown Emmetsburg is moving forward. Emmetsburg City Council approved hiring Invision architectural firm for the facade project.
Community developer Steve Heldt explained the selection process to members of the City Council at their meeting last week.
"We had three proposals from architectural firms and the Council of Governments provided a checklist to score each proposal," Heldt said. "This is a federal grant and we were given a list of requirements of what we should be looking for as we rated the firms.
"One of the reasons these guys were hired was Mark Nevenhoven works for them and so does Tonia (Sorensen) Householder," said Heldt. "Two Emmetsburg High School graduates work for this firm and they both expressed an interest in coming back and working in downtown Emmetsburg. Enough people on the committee felt that having two local people have the option to come back and work in their hometown, we felt we'd get the best bang for our buck with two local people."
Invision, located in Des Moines, was hired at a fee of $67,200. Two other firms submitted proposals: Cannon Moss Brygger Associates out of Spencer and RDG out of Des Moines.
The three firms were scored on ten points: geographic location of the firm; familiarity with the Community Development Block Grant program; experience associated with this type of historic revitalization project; references from other clients; personal experience and technical qualifications of those most likely to be associated or working on this particular project; proven ability to finish projects on schedule and to stay within established budget; special services offered by your firm, which are associated with this type of project; evidence of the firm's integrity and compliance with public policy; firms familiarity with working in Emmetsburg; is the firm a small or minority-owned business.
Heldt explained that there is a lot of detail in the faade program, including getting the State Historic Preservation Organization approval on windows and doors.
"It's a federal program, and a lot more detailed project. We have to follow those guidelines," he stressed.
Heldt also explained that the fee is not a closed end bill. "We will start with 25 buildings. If some pull out, we may have to start over again. Two or three may drop out and we'll have to add two or three. It will affect the cost. It's on a sliding scale and nobody knows for sure who will finally participate. And we don't know what the State Historic Preservation Organization will say about the windows and doors. Businesses have been told that the historical integrity will be maintained."
In other business, City Council members approved the low bid of Dan Cooper Builders of $14,955 to construct the temporary clubhouse/cart shed at Five Island Golf. There were two bids submitted, the other from Buhrow Construction at a cost of $19,200.
Council members accepted the sole bid of $517 for the airport garage. The bid was submitted by Paul Kauten.