Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Saskatoon City Council rushes through River Landing "Parcel Y" EOI process

The following letter was submitted to Saskatoon City Council for its June 25, 2007, meeting.

June 25, 2007

Dear Mayor Atchison and Members of City Council:

RE: Item F1 - EOI Selection and RFP for River Landing Parcel “Y”

I would like to submit the following comments for city council’s consideration.

The first EOI for Parcel “Y” was issued December 6, 2004 with a deadline for submissions of February 11, 2005. The EOI was open for a total of 68-days.

The second EOI for Parcel “Y” was issued May 1, 2007 with a deadline of June 15, 2007. The EOI was open for a total of 46-days. This is 22-days shorter than the first.

Even after taking into account the Christmas holiday in 2004 the first EOI was open significantly longer than the second. City administration’s report does not address why the most recent EOI was so much shorter than the first.

The first EOI ended Feb. 11, 2005 with city council making its selection 24-days later on March 7, 2005.

The second EOI ended June 15, 2007 with city council scheduled to make its selection 10-days later on June 25, 2007.

It appears the administrative committee had considerably less time to evaluate the most recent EOI submissions. Administration’s report does not explain why.

To assist the City in marketing the land for the first EOI, city council at its meeting of November 15, 2004, approved the awarding of a contract with Colliers-McClocklin. The primary task of the realtor was the exposure of the land to prospective purchasers, the promotion of the development opportunity, and to encourage responses from the private sector.

For the second EOI it appears the City did not hire an outside firm to assist with marketing the land. According to administration’s report “The City engaged a local marketing firm to develop the theme, layout, and placement of print advertisements in daily newspapers including.”

The City itself “produced and distributed a sales brochure, and distributed mailouts and emails to prospective developers.”

On March 7, 2005, during the first EOI, City Council received an administrative report that states: “Colliers-McClocklin…distributed nearly 1,500 emails to prospective developers and hotel owners,” and “Twenty-five EOI were distributed and 15 firms officially registered. Senior staff from Colliers-McClocklin met with or contacted each of these proponents on a continual basis.”

The June 2007 report from administration for the second EOI does not provide this type of information. What is not known are how many emails to prospective developers were sent out, how many EOI were distributed or how many firms officially registered or whether any of the proponents were met with or contacted on a continual basis. The report also does not address why the City chose not to hire an outside firm to market the Parcel “Y” property. In the end only two proposals were received as opposed to four the first time around.

Administration’s report does not address the advertising error in the EOI notice that appeared in the May 5, 2007, edition of the StarPhoenix. The words “destination attraction” and “public” were missing from the advertisement. It is not clear whether this was corrected for subsequent advertisements that were placed in various newspapers.

For the first EOI, Colliers-McClocklin, and Gwyn Symmons of CitySpaces Consulting Ltd. served on the administrative committee as consultants to the review. It appears there were no outside consultants on the administrative committee for the second EOI. The administration’s report does not address why this change was made.

With regard to the current EOI evaluation process and the 100-point scoring system city administration’s report states: “While the proposals will be displayed for public review and comment, the evaluation will be conducted by the administrative committee based on this allocation.”

It is extremely disappointing that the city continues to place such a low value on public input. Why bother displaying the proposals for public review and comment if it is only going to be ignored?

Thank you for your time.


Joe Kuchta
Saskatoon, SK


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