More Open Space Delays

In what could be good news, or bad, there is yet another delay in an open space plan as the Freeholders have put the project out for re-bid.

Concern over cost is delaying the hiring of a consultant to help set Cumberland County’s long-term open space and recreational goals.

The Board of Freeholders will advertise two new requests for proposals from experts in the field next month, Freeholder Director Louis Magazzu said last week.

One bid proposal this spring will call for a study to be done, and paid for, over a two-year period.

The other new proposal would be for a study to be done in one year.

A spending limit would be set at $80,000, however, in an effort to pressure likely bidders from the first round to come down in price, Magazzu said.

The move comes after the board rejected a dozen offers received from a bid solicitation in late 2009.

Everyone appreciates the $80,000 spending cap, and I wonder why that wasn’t considered during the first bid process? Was Lou hoping all of the bids would come in at inflated figures, forcing a stalemate?

The consensus of those of us from MWatch, as well as the experts we have talked to prefer a one-year plan. Dragging the process out for two years defers potential matching funding further and eliminates the short-term advantages of that much needed money.

The article in the Daily Journal indicated that proposals that focused on creating a county parks system were eliminated. That causes me to believe that the requests for proposal were poorly written. When requesting a proposal, if the county Freeholders had a certain direction in mind, why did they not dictate that in the official requests?

The bad news, yet another delay; the good news, the organizations can hone their proposals and sharpen their accounting pencils, saving the taxpayers money.

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