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Request for Proposals (RFP): Community Design Charette: Battle of Ridgefield Consensus Planning

Issue Date: September 13, 2021

Due Date: September 27, 2021

Contract Contact: Sharon Dunphy, Ridgefield Historical Society, bor.grant@ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org

Table of Contents

    Overview

    The Ridgefield Historical Society (RHS), in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), seeks to contract with a professional planning firm, qualified individual, or team to carry out the objectives of an American Battlefield Protection Program Grant, administered by the National Park Service. The tasks associated with the scope of services are intended to engage the community in a discussion of the Battle of Ridgefield (Battle) and what steps should be taken to honor and celebrate Ridgefield’s important role in our Nation’s founding. 

    Sealed proposals will be received by RHS for furnishing the services herein listed. Responses to the RFP can be hand delivered or mailed to the address provided at the end of this document, but all submissions must be received by 4:00 pm on September 27, 2021. 

    Background

    In December of 2019, the Battle became the subject of intense interest with the unanticipated discovery of human remains in the basement of a historic house. The house sits adjacent to a plaque that reads, “In Defense of American Independence, At the Battle of Ridgefield, April 27, 1777, Died Eight Patriots, who were laid in the Grounds, Companioned by Sixteen British Soldiers, Living their enemies, dying their guests. In honor of service and sacrifice, this memorial was placed for the strengthening of hearts.” Four skeletal remains were removed. All of the recovered individuals are characterized as robust young men.  Jacket buttons are currently being conserved, but have not been positively identified with either British troops, Continental Soldiers, or the militia, but all other evidence suggests that these men were casualties of the Battle. 

    Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian stated, “There’s nothing quite like looking down on the skeletons of three men hastily buried in shallow Revolutionary War graves to focus one’s attention on questions of war and patriotism and what — then and now — it meant and means to be an American.” RHS and SHPO would like to take this moment of intense public interest to create a stewardship plan for the battlefield. For the past year, RHS has been working with Heritage Consultants, a cultural resources management firm, to better understand the battlefield: its extent, its integrity, the various components of the Battle, and establishing a context for the recently identified remains of the soldiers. The Battle was the only inland engagement of the Revolutionary War fought in Connecticut and is now believed to be the only Connecticut location where fallen soldiers have been recovered from a battlefield. The three parallel skirmishes that took place on April 27, 1777, covered approximately one-third to half of the entire town, and therefore, impacts all Ridgefield residents. 

    Scope of Services

    The currently requested services will consist of two public participation workshops to create a long-term plan for honoring the Battle and preserving the battlefield. The battlefield study area extends from south to north for approximately 6 miles along Wilton Road West, Main Street, and North Salem Road, encompassing the center of town. RHS is soliciting statements of qualifications and proposals from teams of professional planning, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design consulting firms to facilitate a public workshop and provide preliminary planning and design services based on input from the public workshop. Ideally the workshops will occur during the late spring or early summer of 2022. The consultants should plan the meetings in a format and time intended to reach the largest amount of interested residents. For the purpose of the proposal, please plan for  in-person events but the consultant is encouraged to offer alternative engagement mediums or activities in light of the current pandemic.  

    RHS is assisting the Town with understanding how the community wants to celebrate the Battle. The 250th anniversary of our country’s founding will be coming soon, so the charette should include discussions of town celebrations, tourism opportunities or limitations, permanent preservation and interpretation of the battlefield, and long-term stewardship concerns. RHS can assist the consultant with assembling relevant stakeholders. In addition, a Cultural Resources Management firm, Heritage Consultants, has been assisting RHS with better understanding the nature and extent of the battlefield. Staff from Heritage Consultants will be available to supply technical information regarding their recent work.

    A formal report should be written detailing the public planning workshops conducted and their outcomes.  A description of the event, number of people in attendance, the public’s major concerns and suggestions should be documented.  An outline of a plan for the future should be documented which may include programs, activities, historic designations, funding priorities and preservation goals. Any additional work should be documented and the outcome summarized.

    Deliverables

    • Facilitate and lead two large public planning workshops to insure efficient and productive use of time;
    • Act as “educator and facilitator” during break-out sessions and possibly walking tours of the study area; and
    • Prepare a final report summarizing the work completed including the number of events, workshops, descriptions of the events, number of people who attended each event, major concerns voiced, ideas achieving consensus, and a plan for the future. Deliverables shall be professional and comprehensive to allow the Town to implement programs, activities, or funding priorities revealed during the public planning workshop.

    Notes

    • It is expected that the consultant will work collaboratively in completing these tasks. This will include working with volunteers to increase productivity. 
    • Any product, whether acceptable or unacceptable, shall become the sole property of RHS.
    • All project deliverables will be due no later than August 1, 2022. 

    Proposal Requirements

    Contract Period
    RHS intends that this contract shall expire on August 31, 2022.  
    Contract Award
    RHS reserves the right to award this Contract in a manner deemed to be in their own best interests. This RFP is not a contract and, alone, shall not be interpreted as such. Rather, this RFP serves only as the instrument through which proposals are solicited. RHS will pursue negotiations with the highest-scoring proposal. If, for some reason, RHS and the initial proposer fail to reach consensus on the issues relative to a contract, RHS may commence contract negotiations with other proposers. RHS also may decide at any time to restart the RFP process.
    Stability of Proposed Prices
    Any price offerings from proposers must be valid for a period of two years from the due date of the proposals.
    Amendment or Cancellation of the RFP
    RHS reserves the right to cancel, amend, modify, or otherwise change this RFP at any time if it deems it to be in the best interest to do so.
    Proposal Modifications and Expenses
    No additions or changes to any proposal will be allowed after the proposal due date, unless such modification is specifically requested by RHS. RHS, at its option, may seek proposer retraction and/or clarification of any discrepancy or contradiction found during its review of proposals. Proposers are responsible for all costs and expenses incurred in the preparation of proposals and for any subsequent work on the proposal that is required by RHS.
    Payment Schedule
    A payment schedule will be developed after contract award and will be tied to the completion of specific project milestones.

    Selection Criteria

    A selection committee will review and score all proposals. RHS reserves the right to develop a short list of candidates to interview prior to selection or request additional information, including references. The following information, in addition to the requirements, terms and conditions identified throughout this RFP, will be considered as part of the Selection process and are listed in order of relative importance.

    1. Soundness of the proposal to meet the scope of work and produce the deliverables
    2. Qualifications
      1. Experience in conducting planning charettes
      2. Professional qualifications of staff 
      3. Demonstrated ability to manage and administer projects of this nature
    3. Value

    Instructions to Proposers

    Proposal Schedule
    • Bid Posting Date – September 13 – September 27, 2021
    • Inquiry Period – September 20 – September 22, 2021
    • RFP Due Date – September 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm
    • Contract Award Date – October 18, 2021
    • Deliverables Due – August 1, 2022
    • Project Completion—August 31, 2022

    During the period from your organization’s receipt of this RFP, and until a contract is awarded, your organization shall not contact any employee of RHS or the State of Connecticut for additional information, except during the inquiry period and according to the manner described below.

    Inquiry Period
    Questions for the purpose of clarifying the RFP only will be accepted via email and must be submitted to Sharon Dunphy at bor.grant@ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org no later than 4 p.m. on September 22, 2021. RHS will provide written documentation of all submitted questions and post responses on our website by the close of business on September 24, 2021.
    Sealed Proposals
    Proposals must be submitted in a SEALED envelope or carton, clearly marked with “RFP Battle of Ridgefield,” the date, and the name and address of the proposer. All proposals must include at least three original documents and an electronic copy of the proposal (on disk or drive) in the sealed package. The envelope must be clearly marked “SEALED PROPOSAL DO NOT OPEN.” Any material that is not so marked may be opened as general mail and result in invalidating the proposer’s submission. Facsimile, emailed, or unsealed proposals will not be accepted under any circumstances. Proposals received after the deadline will be rejected.

    Submittal Requirements

    Applicable Content
    Project narrative on how the consultant proposes to meet the scope of work, produce the deliverables, and demonstrate qualifications.
    Consultant Information
    1. Name of firm or individual and primary contact information
    2. Summary of qualifications, including resumes of key staff assigned to the contract, demonstrating qualifications and capabilities relative to this project. 
    3. Brief business history outlining length of time in business. Alternatively, individuals should provide a similar history outlining years of experience.
    4. Project Summary for a project that most closely matches the current RFP.
    Value
    The cost proposal should represent an understanding of the requirements of this RFP and the ability to perform the described tasks in an efficient and effective manner. The evaluation of the cost proposal will be based on the realism and completeness of the information provided in the response. A not-to-exceed maximum budget that includes all direct and indirect costs for each task shall be submitted. The labor categories, rates, and estimated hours should indicate which hours are to be completed by the prime contractor and/or subcontractors. Value of contract $10,550.00.
    Delivery
    Responses to the RFP can be hand delivered or mailed to the address provided, but all submissions must be received by 4:00 pm on September 27, 2021. Sealed proposals will be received by RHS at 4 Sunset Lane, Ridgefield, CT 06877 according to the directions specified above.

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