City Council approved $84,000 in contracts Thursday to train staff and citizens in economic development and to inventory existing structures to “assess their viability” for economic development.
“I’m happy we are moving forward. Everyone (on the council) wants to work on getting more jobs,” council member Dale Louderback said.
Beavercreek-based Geneva Analytics LTD will be paid $69,318. In return, the city will get a “robust” business retention program, an inventory of buildings in the city, and staff and citizen training. The consultant will be meeting with area busineses as part of the program.
Centerville-based Imagine Nation will provide marketing research and a marketing plan for the city for $14,700. Both contracts were approved 6-0 with council member Jeanne Mills absent.
Both contracts have benchmarks the companies are expected to meet. On Thursday, council amended the proposed contracts to a 30-day notice for contract termination rather than the proposed 90-day notice.
When the contracts came before the council on July 25, Vice President Wesley Smith asked that they be tabled because the council only received the contracts minutes before the meeting.
That sparked an angry response from council members John Caupp and Louderback. Caupp said he was upset because nothing was going to change for the two weeks the issue would be tabled. Louderback said he “was satisfied with the agreement since day one.
A sometimes heated discussion followed that included discussion of the background of one of the principals of Beavercreek-based Geneva Analytics LTD, questions about why council was received the contracts so close to the meeting and why there was no competitive bidding for the contracts.
Council policy is for any project of more than $25,000 proposed by city staff include at least three Request For Proposals sent to possible contractors. However, the economic development project came from the council. Geneva Analytics and Imagine Nation had approached the council and provided a presentation and proposal. The council chose not to seek other proposals.
On Thursday, council President Michael Engle echoed Louderback’s positive statement. “The staff and council did a very good job in working through all of this,” he said. Engle added that in the future council should hold to “the RFP process to provide the city with the most flexibility.”