Council to vote on consultant's contract

To help evaluate conference center proposals

The Jefferson City Council is expected to take action Monday to authorize a contract with a facilitator for a conference center.

The council plans to suspend the rules Monday to allow for both the introduction and approval of the contract with Johnson Consulting, a firm out of Chicago, for $28,750. The money for the contract will come from lodging tax funds reserved for a conference center.

In April, the council directed staff to issue a request for proposals, or RFP, to seek a facilitator to help advise them during the evaluation phase of the conference center selection. The scope of services includes facilitating staff evaluations, public evaluations and evaluations by experts in the field and invited stakeholders, as well as providing a presentation of proposals, recommending methods of evaluation for the council and facilitating the council to a final decision.

City attorney Drew Hilpert said the city received four responses to the RFP and Johnson Consulting was not the low bidder. Hilpert said the lowest bid of $25,000 was not selected because staff didn’t believe the firm had the qualifications or experience needed.

In late February, the City Council voted to make public the names of developers who have submitted proposals for a conference center and the sites they selected.

Ehrhardt Hospitality Group, based in Hannibal, has proposed the facility at the West McCarty Street site; Drury Development Company, based in St. Louis, submitted a proposal for the West McCarty Street site, the old Missouri State Penitentiary site or any other site that meets city requirements; and Farmer Holding Company, a local developer, has proposed the facility at the Capital Mall.

The developers’ proposals are expected to be made public in a presentation June 6 at City Hall. The council hopes to make a final decision on the proposals by July 1.


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