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Thread: RFPs and costs for a small village plan

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    RFPs and costs for a small village plan

    To the private planners out there: do you have ready reference to any RFP responses that you might have written, for completion of a comprehensive plan for a small town of village with a population of about 3,000 to 5,000? I'm looking for an estimate of staff time estimated for completion of such a plan; senior and junior level planners, administrative staff, and maybe other expenses.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Yes, I do. Total project cost which includes deliverables should be between $12,000 and $18,000, but more than likely right around $16,000.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Wanigas is close, but it can vary depending on the level of detial in your scope and the amount of resources already available.

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    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    I agree with both of the above posts. We typically respond to RFP's with budgets of between $10,000 for a down and dirty updated plan and around $15,000 for the development of a new plan, or something with more meat.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    On the other side, some communities in this area that are over 30,000 population and starting with little are paying in excess of $200,000 for their new plans.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    This is all great information!

    Do you have any idea about time breakdown - staff hours for such a plan? State law prohibits us from making a profit on planning services; we can only charge for staff time, which is considered our salaries plus 50% for benefits.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Dan

    These prices seem cheap, maybe it goes by geography but most of the towns out here seem to want there consultants to provide everything in GIS format and generally do not have an up-to-date (if at all) GIS database. When I was working for another town further south of here the Economic Development Study ran $25k and the LCP ran about $50k. UMass Dartmouth did the GIS separate from those two reports. The town had about 15,000 people and not a lot of land area when compared to its neighbors. Conversely, it did contain significant coastal waterfront resources and issues.

    Here in Dennis, the traffic section of our LCP ran about $18k alone. This did include a counting program and capacity estimates on most major roads for present and future conditions.
    Planning is much like acting, as my old theater professor used to say, "If you sin, sin boldly, only you know if you are ad libbing." I follow this adage almost daily.

  8. #8
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I know it's a different animal, but our just completed Master Plan (cheap plug: http://www.londonderry.org/page.asp?Page_Id=696) ran us about $60,000 for our community of about 25,000.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  9. #9

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    I was one of the cheapest consultants in the West, and while I did very successful small town plans for as little as $7,000, I never came out ok financially for anything less than about $30,000. The difference in my experience and the estimates of $12-15k others are suggesting, probably lies in the commitment to citizen participation, which most consultants will not make, but I insist on. All of my small town plans involved dozens of staffed public meetings, including kickoff events, educational forums, staffed citizen advisory task forces, listening posts on drafts, etc., over at at least 14-15 months. If you want a really good CP campaign run by consultant, it will cost more. You also have to be quite cautious in retaining a firm. None of the large firms I have worked with are that good at public process, although sometimes they will form a partnership with a good facilitator, and that can be successful.

    In terms of time, here is a typical breakdown for me on a really thorough small town plan. This does not include travel time.

    Same Page and Kickoff Events - 16-20 hours
    Socioeconomic Profile - 20 hours
    Current Land Use Inventory - 20-40 hours (depends on size, volunteer help, quality of assessor's records)
    Public Facilities Inventory - 30 hours
    Fiscal Impact Analysis - 40-50 hours (depends on their record-keeping)
    Natural Resource Inventory - 30-40 hours (could be more if the town is large in geographic terms)
    Educational Forums - 12-20 hours
    Rural Character or Other Design Studies, if necessary - (30-60 hours)
    Policy Development - 80-100 hours
    Adoption Process - 20-40 hours (varies wildly, depends on how well you have dealt with the local militia)

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