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Saratoga County, through its Purchasing Department, is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to prepare an Economic Development Strategic Plan. Interested firms should submit seven (7) copies of their proposal, along with an electronic copy in PDF, by 5:00 pm, Monday, July 22, 2013 to the Saratoga County Administrator, 40 McMaster Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Firms interested in responding to this RFP should submit a “Letter of Interest” to the County Administrator’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, July 8, 2013 to ensure they are a registered bidder. Any amendments to the RFP or changes to the RFP process will be communicated to the registered bidders. Introduction The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit proposals from qualified consultants to prepare an Economic Development Strategic Plan (“Plan”). The primary objectives of the Plan are to (1) provide a framework to guide economic development efforts throughout Saratoga County over the next five to ten years; (2) recommend an appropriate organizational structure to lead economic development activities in Saratoga County; and (3) advise the County on the steps needed to create this structure, and provide strategic guidance on the staff, funding, and other resources necessary to support the organization and implement the countywide economic development program. Background Information Saratoga County is located in New York’s Capital Region and is one of five counties in the Albany‐Schenectady‐ Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. Covering appropriately 840 square miles, it is comprised of two cities (Saratoga Springs and Mechanicville), nineteen towns, and eight villages; the county seat is based in the Village of Ballston Spa. A portion of northwestern Saratoga County lies within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. Over the last sixty years, the County has experienced consistent population growth, aided in part by the completion of the Adirondack Northway (I‐87) in the 1960s. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Saratoga County had a population of 219,607 in 2010, an increase of 9.5% over the 2000 figure of 200,635. Saratoga has long been one of the fastest growing counties in upstate New York. Many people have chosen to live in Saratoga County because of its high quality of life. Despite continued population growth, unemployment rates in Saratoga County are well below state and national averages: 6.1% in April 2013 compared to 7.3% and 7.1% for the state and nation, respectively. Household income levels also exceed state and national averages. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the median household income (MHI) in Saratoga County at $67,186, 118% of the state MHI and 127% of the national MHI. What was once a bedroom community for people commuting to jobs in adjacent counties has also, over the last few decades, become a focal point for economic growth. Saratoga County has a stable and diverse economic base. Agriculture remains a vital component of the County economy, especially in its rural towns. In 2007, farms in Saratoga County covered approximately 75,660 acres divided among 650 farms and agricultural products had a market value of $58.3 million, with the largest share in dairy production. Most farms are family owned and operated.
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Tourism is also a major contributor to the local economy. The historic Saratoga Race Course attracts millions of visitors each year. In addition to world‐class horse racing, the City of Saratoga Springs is known for its mineral springs, the arts, and a vibrant downtown. Other attractions in Saratoga County include a state park, a video lottery gaming facility, a renowned performing arts center, museums and historic sites, golf courses, farmers’ markets, and numerous special events. The County has experienced tremendous growth in the local hospitality industry, with nearly 1,400 hotel rooms added to the existing stock between 2000 and 2006 alone. Other key industries in Saratoga County include manufacturing, distribution, retail, education, and health care. An important and growing segment of the local economy is the technology sector, anchored by the $4.6 billion, two million square foot GlobalFoundries microchip manufacturing plant in the Town of Malta. Arguably the largest economic development project in the U.S., GlobalFoundries commenced production in January 2012 and now employs more than 2,000 people at an average annual salary of $87,000. A new $2.1 billion research center under construction at the GlobalFoundries campus is expected to increase employment to 3,000 by the end of 2014, and the company has started pursuing the necessary approvals for the construction of a second “chip fab” in the future. This past May, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors announced that it would not renew its annual contract with the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), a private not‐for‐profit organization that has been marketing the area to new businesses on the County’s behalf since 1978. In its heyday, SEDC’s accomplishments included the Ball plant, State Farm regional headquarters, and Target distribution center. Its past president was a driving force behind the attraction of GlobalFoundries in the mid‐2000s. Aside from GlobalFoundries, however, the 1,400‐acre Luther Forest Technology Park sits mostly unoccupied. While SEDC provides services to its many member organizations, County leaders have come to recognize that a membership‐ driven organization may not be the ideal organization to drive an economic development program that should serve the entire County. It is Saratoga County’s intention to engage proven experts to develop a world‐class Economic Development Strategic Plan and identify an appropriate organizational structure to execute that blueprint beginning in 2014. Input will be sought from stakeholders representing every community and a broad array of businesses, industries, and institutions. The Board of Supervisors is eager to create an economic development effort that is worthy of the unique opportunities and advantages that we have at our fingertips in Saratoga County, and one that will position the County for strong economic growth in the future. Scope of Work Saratoga County is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to prepare a county‐wide Economic Development Strategic Plan. The Plan will provide a framework to increase the tax base, promote investment, and create jobs in Saratoga County’s cities, towns, and villages over a five‐ to ten‐year period. It is expected that the Plan will identify appropriate strategies for economic development that capitalize on Saratoga County’s assets and present a detailed plan of action for moving forward. In addition, the Plan will evaluate options for and make recommendations regarding the economic development organization to implement the plan. The scope of work below outlines the tasks necessary for the preparation of the Economic Development Strategic Plan. In responding to the RFP, firms and project teams may suggest additional services or alternative approaches with justification, as long as they meet the County’s defined objectives for this project.
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A. Scoping Meeting / Review Materials Upon contract execution, the consultant will meet with a project steering committee made up of representatives from the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development Committee. The purpose of this meeting will be to share information and discuss details of the scope of work and timeline. Committee members will present a general overview of recent economic development activities in the County and a list of local/regional economic development partners and their general function. The consultant will also be provided with relevant previous reports, plans, and other materials for review: e.g., economic development studies and marketing strategies; information gathered during a past “Assets and Needs” assessment; the comprehensive plans of each municipality in the County; the Capital Region Economic Development Council’s Strategic Plan; annual reports of the Saratoga County Industrial Development Authority, Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, chambers of commerce, etc. The consultant may suggest additional materials that should be compiled in advance of this meeting. B. Stakeholder Outreach The consultant will develop and implement an outreach plan to solicit input from key stakeholders. Stakeholders are expected to include, but are not limited to, County Supervisors, business leaders, economic development and tourism organizations, chambers of commerce, workforce investment boards, educational providers, and state economic development officials. Methods of outreach may include interviews, roundtable discussions, workshops, and focus groups, as well as a project website. Consideration should be given to hosting an economic development “workshop” or “summit” to present information and get ideas from the public or groups of stakeholders. C. Economic Analysis The consultant will conduct an analysis of economic data to evaluate the state of the local/regional economy and the impact of various industry sectors on Saratoga County. The analysis should identify issues, trends, and opportunities, including industries with significant growth potential in the County. D. Evaluation of Economic Development Assets and Resources The consultant should also review and evaluate the resources that support, or can potentially support, economic development and growth in Saratoga County, such as: Real estate (industrial/commercial sites) Labor force Educational institutions Infrastructure (water, sewer, telecom, energy) Transportation (air, rail, interstate) Business climate factors (e.g., regulatory environment, taxes) Quality of life factors Economic development organizations / partners Policies and incentives
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E. SWOT Analysis Using the output of Tasks A‐D as a starting point, the consultant will prepare an assessment of Saratoga County’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) as they relate to future economic development. The analysis should summarize findings that will serve, in part, as the basis for the development of goals, strategies, and actions. F. Interim Presentation Upon completion of Tasks A‐E – or at the approximate halfway point of the strategic planning process – the consultant will meet with the project steering committee and provide a brief presentation on the status of the project and key findings. It will also provide an opportunity for the consultant to share preliminary ideas regarding recommended strategies, obtain feedback from committee members, and ensure that the project is on track before drafting the Plan document. G. Development of Goals and Strategies Based on the research, stakeholder feedback, and SWOT analysis, the consultant will identify the economic development goals and objectives that Saratoga County should pursue over the next five‐ to ten‐year period. The consultant will then translate these goals and objectives into specific strategies. Strategies should be specific and detailed, with expected outcomes clearly defined. In generating strategies, the consultant is encouraged to propose innovative ideas for addressing particular challenges and capitalizing on opportunities for economic development in Saratoga County. These may be based on the input received during the stakeholder outreach process, “best practices” in use by other successful economic development entities, and/or the consultant’s professional experience. The goals and strategies will serve as a roadmap for the future efforts of the economic development organization and its local/regional partners in attracting new businesses as well as retaining the businesses already located in Saratoga County. H. Action/Implementation Plan The consultant will develop an action/implementation plan that identifies and prioritizes the specific actions necessary to implement the economic development strategies. It should identify the responsible organizations (including partners), time frames, and funding requirements, as well as anticipated impacts. In addition, the consultant should recommend performance metrics to be used to evaluate the progress of implementation efforts and make adjustments as necessary. I. Economic Development Strategic Plan The consultant will provide a completed Economic Development Strategic Plan to the project steering committee and the full Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for adoption. The Plan will include goals, objectives, strategies, and actions for economic development in Saratoga County. At a minimum, the Plan must address the following specific issues and concerns:
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Organizational Strategy: The structure of the economic development organization is a critically important element of the Plan. The consultant should analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various options and provide a recommendation. The organization should not be a department of County government. How should the County go about creating this entity, and what structure should it take? What are the costs associated with establishing the organization and supporting its annual operations? Provide specific recommendations regarding the composition of the board, staffing and recruitment, annual budget and sources of funding, roles and responsibilities, etc. Partnerships and Collaboration: A desired outcome of the Plan is to get diverse entities to work together more effectively. The consultant should identify areas in which partnerships and collaboration will help Saratoga County achieve its economic development objectives. This could include key partnerships with government, private, or non‐profit organizations that will enhance the success of Plan implementation. Recommendations for improving communications and encouraging collaborative efforts would be helpful. Target Industries: What types of businesses or industries can the County realistically support, given existing assets? Are there specific “high benefit/low impact” businesses or industries that fit Saratoga County? Based on the research and analysis, stakeholder feedback, and other tasks, the consultant should identify 6‐8 industries that should serve as the primary focus of economic development efforts in Saratoga County. The consultant should also discuss opportunities for specific areas of the County that have not traditionally been addressed by economic development organizations. Marketing Strategy: What messages and activities should be used to inform and influence business leaders and site selectors outside Saratoga County, especially those associated with the target industries cited above? How can we reach key decision makers? The consultant should provide recommendations both for general marketing and for marketing specific sites, such as Luther Forest Technology Park.
An executive summary of the Economic Development Strategic Plan should be included. Deadlines and Format The Economic Development Strategic Plan must be completed by early December 2013. Therefore, the consultant is expected to produce the draft document by Monday, November 18, 2013. This will allow sufficient time for review and comment, public meetings, and the preparation of a final Plan for adoption by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. All deliverables, including presentation materials and final documents, should be submitted to Saratoga County in electronic format and should include clear, descriptive and concise narratives and color graphics. In addition to electronic copies of each document, the consultant will also be expected to produce and submit to Saratoga County at least ten (10) hard copies of the draft document and thirty (30) hard copies of the final document. Proposal Requirements Consultants submitting qualifications should demonstrate appropriate knowledge and expertise within the field of economic development, including five (5) or more years of experience preparing economic development strategic plans at the municipal and/or county level; and a proven track record of providing professional services to clients in identifying and addressing economic development opportunities.
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Proposals should include the following sections, in this order: 1. Cover Letter Each proposal should be accompanied by a cover letter dated and signed by the person authorized to sign any contract that may result from this RFP. For project teams comprised of two or more firms, this letter would be provided by the lead consultant. Please include the name, telephone number, and e‐mail address of the person the County should contact with any questions on the proposal. 2. Company Profile A brief description of the firm or project team submitting the proposal, including their full business name and type of organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship), number of years in business, services provided, and contact information for each firm with telephone and fax numbers, mailing address, and e‐mail address. 3. Qualifications Qualifications and experience of the firm or project team, including: A concise narrative discussion of why the firm or project team is uniquely qualified to prepare the Economic Development Strategic Plan for Saratoga County. Resumes or narrative biographies of the primary individuals expected to work on this project, their anticipated roles, relevant expertise, and any professional licenses or certifications. Detailed descriptions of assignments completed by the firm that are similar in scope to the services requested in this RFP. Experience in corporate site selection, business recruitment, and/or marketing. Please cite any work experience with municipalities or counties within New York State. In addition, a list of ongoing contracts/projects with current status and projected completion dates should be provided by the firm (or lead consultant). 4. References At least five (5) references, including the contact names, telephone numbers, and e‐mail addresses of client organizations involved on relevant projects completed by the firm. References should be from within the last five years. 5. Technical Approach/Scope of Work Provide a narrative statement demonstrating an understanding of the overall intent of this RFP, as well as the methods and approaches to be used to complete each task. Include a description of how proposed deliverables will meet the objectives of this project and the requirement described in the scope of work. Indicate any proposed alternative approaches or additional services that would add value to this project. 6. Project Schedule A schedule outlining the sequence of work and the anticipated completion dates of major tasks. Final Plan completion must occur no later than early December 2013.
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7. Cost of Services Provide the firm’s or project team’s not‐to‐exceed cost, inclusive of all labor and expenses, for completion of this project. Please state assumptions clearly. The total cost should also be broken down by major work tasks. 8. Examples of Completed Work Samples of work for a minimum of two (2) projects: final reports, executive summaries, technical memoranda, or other work products related to the professional services requested in this RFP. These documents may be provided electronically on a CD or flash drive. Please do not submit any additional collateral material such as brochures, articles, etc. with your proposal submission, as these materials will be discarded. Submission Instructions To respond to this RFP, interested firms should submit seven (7) hard copies of their proposal, along with an electronic version of the proposal and required work samples on a CD or flash drive, by 5:00 pm, Monday, July 22, 2013 to the Saratoga County Administrator, 40 McMaster Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Proposals received after the deadline will not be accepted. It is the sole responsibility of the firm or project team to assure that its proposal is received by the date, time, and location specified. Evaluation Criteria All responses to this RFP will be reviewed by a selection committee. One or more firms will be invited to make oral presentations regarding their proposals. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Criteria Weight Proposed scope of work and overall approach 30% Qualifications of the consultant, including individuals assigned to project 25% Experience with similar projects / references 20% Proposed schedule / ability to complete project within the specified time frame 15% Cost of services 10% Total 100%
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Project Timeline The preliminary timeline for consultant selection and project delivery is as follows: Activity Date Deadline for submission of proposals July 22, 2013 Committee evaluation of proposals Late July‐early August 2013 Interviews with selected consultants Early August 2013 Approval of consultant by County Board of Supervisors August 20, 2013 Anticipated project start date August 21, 2013 Draft Economic Development Strategic Plan due November 18, 2013 Final Economic Development Strategic Plan due Early December 2013 Formal adoption of Economic Development Strategic Plan by County December 2013 Board of Supervisors General Information Insurance Requirements Insurance requirements are attached. A signed Indemnity and Insurance Agreement and a copy of your Certificate of Insurance must be returned with your proposal. Letter of Interest Firms interested in responding to this RFP should submit a “Letter of Interest” to the County Administrator’s Office at email@example.com by Monday, July 8, 2013 to ensure they are a registered bidder. Any amendments to the RFP or changes to the RFP process will be communicated to the registered bidders. Technical Inquiries Inquiries of a technical nature should be submitted in writing by fax or e‐mail to the County Administrator’s Office. Questions will be accepted until noon on Friday, July 12, 2013. Saratoga County Administrator 40 McMaster Street Ballston Spa, NY 12020 Tel: 518‐884‐4742 Fax: 518‐884‐4723 E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please place ”Economic Development Consultant” in the e‐mail subject line) The questions and responses will be forwarded to all interested registered parties receiving the RFP. Interpretations, corrections, or scope changes made in any manner other than in writing will not be binding. Upon mailing, any addendum/clarification will become part of these specifications to the same extent as though originally included herein and will become binding upon all vendors submitting proposals.
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Saratoga County reserves the right to reject any or all responses to the RFP, to advertise for new responses, or to accept any response deemed to be in the County’s best interest. Expenses incurred in the preparation of proposals, presentations, and other incidentals related to this solicitation are solely the responsibility of the respondent. Process Inquiries For inquiries related to the RFP process, please contact: Catherine M. Shrome, Director of Purchasing 50 West High Street Ballston Spa, NY 12020 Tel: 518‐885‐2210 Fax: 518‐885‐2220 E‐mail: email@example.com
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INDEMNITY AND INSURANCE AGREEMENT
IT IS HEREBY AGREED by _____________________________________________, the PROFESSIONAL, as follows:
PROFESSIONAL’S LIABILITY INSURANCE
The Professional shall purchase and maintain such insurance as will protect him from claims as set forth below, which may arise out of or result from the Professional’s operations under the Contract, whether such operations be by himself or any subcontractor or by anyone employed by any of them or anyone for whose acts the Professional may be liable: claims under workmen’s compensation, disability benefit and other similar employee benefit acts; claims for damages because of bodily injury, occupational sickness or disease, or death of his employees; claims for damages because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, or death of any person other than his employees; claims for damages insured by usual personal injury liability coverage which are sustained (1) by any person as a result of an offense directly or indirectly related to the employment of such person by the Professional, or (2) by any other person; and 5. claims for damages because of injury to or destruction of tangible property, including loss of use resulting therefrom. Certificates of Insurance acceptable to the County shall be filed with the County prior to commencement of the work. The County must be named and included as an additional insured under the Professional’s general liability insurance. Proof that the County has been named as an additional insured on the Contractor’s general liability insurance must be provided in the form of an additional insured rider to said policy, or by other proof acceptable to the Saratoga County Attorney The Professional’s Comprehensive General Liability Insurance and Automobile Insurance shall be in an amount not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) for injuries, including accidental death, to any one person and subject to the same limit for each person, and in an amount not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) on account of one occurrence. The Professional shall provide proof of Professional Liability Insurance in an amount not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence and Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) in the aggregate in the form of a Certificate of Insurance. The County is not to be named as an additional insured on the Professional Liability Insurance policy. If required by the provisions of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law to maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Professional’s employees, the Professional shall provide the County with proof of such coverage. The above insurance is not, and shall not be construed as, a limitation upon Professional’s obligation to indemnify the COUNTY. Any request for a waiver from full or partial compliance with any of the above insurance requirements shall be subject to the approval of the Saratoga County Attorney upon a demonstration of good cause therefor. 1. 2. 3. 4.
All documents submitted shall be subject to the approval of the Saratoga County Attorney as to form and content.
The Professional shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, at all times indemnify and save harmless the COUNTY from and against any and all claims and demands whatsoever, including costs, litigation expenses, counsel fees and liabilities in connection therewith arising out of injury to or death of any person whomsoever or damage to any property of any kind by whomsoever, to the extent caused in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the negligent acts or omissions of the Professional, any person employed by the Professional, or anyone for whom the Professional is liable, while engaged in the work hereunder. This clause shall not be construed to limit, or otherwise impair, other rights or obligations of indemnity which exist in law, or in equity, for the benefit of the COUNTY.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the PROFESSIONAL has set its hand this _____day of _____________________, ________.
SIGNATURE______________________________________________ NAME & TITLE______________________________________________
INSURANCE - PROFESSIONAL
RFP-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN
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