Peters council begins talks with company to create development plan
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Saying they wanted a creative team to guide them through a new comprehensive plan to steer development for the next 20 years, Peters council members on Monday voted 6-1 to begin negotiations with LSL Planning Inc.
With offices in Michigan, Indiana and Georgia, the firm advanced an "impressive" proposal before council members during recent interviews, Councilman James Berquist said.
"I really liked some of the out-of-the-box thinking," he said.
The firm was recommended among 15 companies which offered comprehensive planning proposals by the township planning staff and planning commission members.
Several council members balked over the estimated $163,000 cost, including Councilman Gary Stiegel Jr., who voted against hiring the company.
The township had budgeted $100,000 for the plan, and had received several proposals under the budgeted amount.
However, township Manager Michael Silvestri said LSL proposed finishing the project in 13 months, versus 18 months for competing firms, and had proposed devoting around 1,110 man hours to the project -- more than other companies.
Still, he said township staff members would try to negotiate a lower total cost with the firm before a final proposal is ironed out.
Municipalities are required by state law to develop new comprehensive plans to steer development every 10 years. Mr. Silvestri said he wanted a firm which could help the township come up with realistic strategies to stay the financial course even after the township is fully built out.
Council members said they also wanted a firm which was committed to engaging the community and public outreach efforts.
"This has to engage the entire community," said Councilman Robert Lewis.
First Published May 14, 2012 11:30 pm