Town board schedules public interviews with consultants under consideration

February 6, 2009
by Christine Yeres

In Tuesday’s work session the town board decided to narrow the number of candidates who responded to its second RFP for a study of alternative public uses of a portion of the Reader’s Digest property to three. Their bids ranged from $125,000 to $150,000.  Nine consultants responded to the RFP; the first RFP drew only one response, and a bid of $250,000.  The board will interview representatives from two of the three firms on February 9 at 7:00 p.m. and from the third firm on February 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the conference room at town hall. The two meetings are open to the public.

This second RFP made clear that research already performed need not be repeated and that the town’s own planning consultants, F.P. Clark Associates, as well as the town’s own planner, Lincoln Daley, will be partners in the work. The RFP describes the site, its natural and man-made features and developer Summit-Greenfield’s proposed plan. It specifies existing documents and studies with which consultants should familiarize themselves and states the board’s expectation that the consultant “will attend two public meetings with the Town Board and two community/stakeholder meetings to fully explore and discuss the proposed development program.”

Specifics for the consultant to consider

According to the RFP, the town board expects the consultant to consider three possibilities as priorities:

1. Ownership of the Wallace Auditorium for general municipal and public performances with an evaluation of the facility being converted to a performing arts center;

2. Development of a multi-purpose playing field(s) with the possibility of lighting; and

3. Studio space for New Castle Community Television.

The RFP then lists several additional alternatives as “under consideration by the Town Board in no specific order of priority:”

Relocation of the Recreation Department staff offices or other municipal uses;

Open space preservation with public access;

An indoor Recreation Center, which would include a pool, basketball courts and space for teen programs; and

The adaptive re-use of building(s) 500, 600 and 700 for municipal use.

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