Request for Proposal: Park System Plan Update

Request for Proposal for Park System Plan Update

View RFP for Park System Plan Update

Request for Proposal Timeline

Selection of a professional planning firm for services to update the Oakdale Park System Plan is expected to follow the schedule below. It may be revised if necessary.

RFP Released October 30, 2023
RFP Questions Due (via email) November 8, 2023 by 4 PM
RFP Questions Answered (posted on City's website) November 10, 2023 by 4 PM
Proposals Due (via email) November 20, 2023 by 4 PM
Shortlist of Candidates for Interviews November 22, 2023
Interviews Tentatively November 27
Anticipated City Council Contract Approval December 12, 2023

Proposal Contact Information

Prospective responders may direct inquiries/questions via email (no oral questions will be entertained) to: 
Hannah Dunn, Community Development Specialist
City of Oakdale

All questions are due no later than 4 PM on November 8, 2023. Responses to the questions will be posted on this page. 

The contact person listed above is the only individual who can be contacted during the RFP process. Responding firms are prohibited from communicating in any other manner about this project with any other City Council Members or City employees. Other means of communication may disqualify the submitting firm.

RFP Questions and Answers

Question: What is the City's budget for the proposed scope of work?
Answer: The City does not have a specific budget that can be shared for the scope of work, though cost is an important factor that will be considered when selecting a firm. RFPs can identify ways to keep costs down.
Question: For Task 4, will the City provide past operational costs to operate and maintain the park system to the Consultant for reference? Will this information be broken down by park and/or by quantity of area and type of operation and maintenance?
Answer: Public Works staff will work with the consultant to identify existing benchmarks based on current practice. The City will rely on the consultant to help develop a better plan going forward.
Question: The last bullet under Task 4 in the RFP states that initial priority improvements and cost estimates for projects to include in the 2025-2029 CIP needs to be identified by April 2024. Is there flexibility with this timeline? A large part of the work (inventory / assessment / analysis, community engagement, and planning recommendations) won’t be ready in April based on the project start date and the season of park use during the first few months of the project.
Answer: The CIP process begins in April. Therefore, initial priority improvements and cost estimates will need to be identified by then. However, refinements can be made over the following months.
Question: Task 7 of the RFP states that meetings with Consultant will be held once every week on average. Will the City consider proposals that suggest these meetings be held less frequently?
Answer: Proposals can suggest a less frequent meeting schedule. The intention in the RFP was that weekly check-in meetings with the project manager would ensure that the project stays on track. If at any point progress is slow or there is nothing to report, a weekly meeting can be cancelled. Weeks that the selected firm meets with the project management team (which will be monthly as necessary), a meeting with the project manager will not be held.
Question: Do you expect the work to include updates to the Open Space Stewardship Plan, or should this project effort focus specifically on the park system?
Answer: An update to the Open Space Stewardship Plan is not needed, though stewardship practices for the open space and natural resources that are part of the current park system (and new parks proposed for the future) should be implemented into the updated Park System Plan.
Question: What file format will the past plans, reports, and inventory and assessments be provided to the consultant? Since this is an update, do you anticipate some of those past materials will still be valid?
Answer: The file formats of past plans and reports are varied, though many are PDFs. Raw data for the 2022 Oakdale Inventory and Assessment engagement is not available and is in PDF format. The City has some GIS files that can be used as a starting point. Some of the past materials will still be valid but not all. 
Question: Are there any proposal formatting guidelines e.g. page limit, text size?
Answer: There is not a specific page limit or text size. Balancing breadth and depth should be used as general guidance. City staff would like enough details to understand the proposed scope of work but proposal lengths should not be excessive.
Question: If a budget has been established, does that budget also include Task 3 Option A or B and Task 5 Option A or B - OR would those Options be considered “in-addition” to the established budget for the Park System Plan Update?
Answer: The City is trying to get a sense of cost difference and added value for Task 3 (Option A or B) and Task 5 (Option A or B). The cost estimates and outcomes will influence whether the City proceeds forward with the tasks and if so, which options to pursue. The City would find the resources necessary to proceed with the tasks.
Question: What type of in-person engagement have been most successful for the City and/or Recreation Department in the past few years?
Answer: Targeted engagement has worked well for the City in the past, especially going to the group that is being targeted. For example, during the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan, City staff and consultants went to Tartan High School for a targeted engagement event with students. This resulted in high engagement numbers. Additionally, having booths at already established events has been beneficial. More traditional, open-house events have not worked as well.
Question: What types of online engagement have been most successful for the City and/or Recreation Department in the past few years?
Answer: Online surveys promoted via social media (primarily Facebook), the City website, the Oakdale Update newsletter, the Mayor’s weekly Monday Morning Minute video series, and email listservs has been a successful engagement strategy in the past. The City also has experience with Zoom public meetings. 
Question: In addition to Summerfest, what community events would be ideal for in-person engagement?
Answer: The City hosts weekly Farmers Markets from June to October in the City Hall parking lot. Touch-A-Truck and Family Fun Flatables are annual late-summer events for kids that also provide opportunities to conduct in-person engagement. Additionally, the Parks and Recreation Department has the ITS Truck and Pop Up Park program that brings recreation programming to different parks throughout the summer. In-person engagement efforts with kids and families during this programming might serve as an ideal opportunity.
Question: Would quarterly attendance at meetings of the Parks and Recreation Commission, coupled with monthly written project updates for the Commission and Council, be acceptable OR did the Commission want to meet with the consultant monthly?
Answer: Four meetings with the Parks and Recreation Commission is a reasonable estimate. Attendance at meetings with other commissions may be necessary, though it is likely that City staff can present at these meetings. Four meetings at key milestones with City Council is a reasonable estimate.
Question: A large amount of the upfront analysis work has been done. To what degree do you want this park system plan to replicate that work vs. rely on the existing documents?
Answer: The existing documents should be a starting point to expand upon. There are gaps in past efforts and some data is outdated. Therefore, this update is intended to fill the gaps and reanalyze outdated data.
Question: Is the City anticipating utilizing the Met Council’s population projections or should the project team anticipate developing projections?
Answer: In general, projections from the Oakdale 2040 Comprehensive Plan (Met Council data) will be used in this project. Staff will supplement and provide updated information on recent developments.
Question: There are a number of stakeholders identified for outreach. Clearly all input should be considered, but will the decision making authority rest with the Park and Recreation Commission? The City Council? City Staff?
Answer: The City Council is the decision-maker. The Parks and Recreation Commission is an advisory body to the City Council. The role of City staff is to help steer the project. Some of the work may be more operational in nature and will therefore not need to go before Council for approval.
Question: The RFP has identified equity as a key priority. Does the City have established relationships with traditionally underrepresented groups that can be leveraged for public engagement? If so, what are they?
Answer: The City currently does not have any formal relationships with traditionally underrepresented groups. There are contacts with the School District and other groups in Oakdale that would be useful in establishing deeper relationships. The selected firm could offer support in growing relationships and developing new ones.
Question: The RFP has identified equity as a key priority. Does the City anticipate a need for translation services for any materials?
Answer: In the past, the City has typically provided translated materials upon request. There is a likelihood that some materials will need to be translated into Spanish and Hmong. If during the engagement process there is a need to provide other translated materials, the City will evaluate.
Question: Which firms was the RFP sent to?
Answer: The RFP was posted to the City’s website. It was also sent to the League of Minnesota Cities and the American Planning Association to be posted on their ad marketplaces. Additionally, City staff forwarded the RFP to various firms that specialize in parks planning.