07/01/08 — Consultant fees worry park panel

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Consultant fees worry park panel

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 1, 2008 1:46 PM

Members of the Stoney Creek Park Alliance say initial estimates of the cost of consultant fees are too high.

The alliance met last week to discuss a proposal by the engineering firm of Kimley-Horn of Raleigh to design and prepare construction documents for Phase 1 of the park.

They were not pleased with the numbers.

For permitting, the listed fee in the proposal is "hourly $10,000," and for limited construction phase services, the fee is listed as "hourly $12,000."

"I hope that's a typo," Alliance Chairman Dr. Peter Roethling said.

Master plan validation services are listed as "hourly $7,500," and environmental coordination services are listed as "hourly $2,000."

City Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw said she believes that the services that have "hourly" listed for the fees are services that are based on hourly rates and the monetary value listed after is a cap for those rates, but she said she will make sure that is correct.

"We don't know what their hourly rate is or how many hours they will have into it," she said. "We just know what the estimated cap is."

Kimley-Horn also proposed charging $800 per alliance meeting, $2,000 per public meeting and $1,800 per internal client meeting.

The cost of having two Kimley-Horn representatives at the three upcoming community forum meetings on the park would cost the alliance $6,000.

"Do we necessarily need them there?" Roethling asked.

"No, it's just if people had a technical question, they would be the ones to answer it," Mrs. Shaw replied.

"Well, we could just write down their questions and information and tell them we will get back with them," alliance member Sissy Lee-Elmore said.

"We could tell them we need to do that to cut down on costs," Roethling said.

Councilman and alliance member Bob Waller asked Mrs. Shaw to also look into negotiating with Kimley-Horn and possibly lower the cost charged to attend meetings.

The proposal also stated that the firm would charge a lump sum fee of $50,000 for construction drawings and a lump sum fee of $3,500 for bid phase services.

Alliance members wanted the design firm to include a picnic shelter in the plans -- one that wouldn't necessarily look like every other shelter in other parks but would fit in with the nature feel of the park -- as well as an amphitheater and community gardens.

And, just in case a lake or pond feature was in the park's future, they wanted Kimley-Horn to designate the best area for it so that they wouldn't put something there only to tear it up and out later.

Roethling suggested that the firm also look into the connection of the park with the greenway system as well as the entrance on Elm Street and how to make that better.

Mrs. Shaw said she would speak to Kimley-Horn about all of the alliance's concerns and bring back the proposal to them at the July 15 meeting before going forward. She said she will also have several city departments look over it as well as the city attorney before taking the proposal to City Council.