Mount Holly seeks strategic planners

By: Scott Baughman//February 10, 2016//

Mount Holly seeks strategic planners

By: Scott Baughman//February 10, 2016//

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Mount Holly has issued a request for qualifications for a new strategic vision plan. The town will have a pre-submittal conference where interested firms can ask questions at 10 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex, 400 E. Central Ave.

The deadline for full submissions is 2 p.m., Feb. 26.

The project will update a plan that was originally crafted in 2003 and then updated in 2008.

“Our original idea was to update the plan every three years, but that proved to be too costly,” said Greg Beal, Mount Holly planning and development director. “And then, coming out of the recession, there wasn’t much activity in Mount Holly so it wasn’t necessary to update it. Now we feel updating it every five to seven years is appropriate, so it’s time.”

The city is asking for a multidisciplinary planning team that has experience in land-use planning and design, economic development, transportation planning and bicycle and pedestrian systems planning, according to the RFQ document.

Also, applicants should have demonstrated experience with public involvement, including conducting public meetings, social media, online processes and surveys and public facilitation techniques. And they should also have demonstrated experience in visually communicating recommendations through the use of tools, such as Photoshop.

Beal said the city is emphasizing greenway planning and making good use of the riverfront sections of Mount Holly.

“Planning for the riverfront is a quality of life issue for our town,” he said. “The proximity of the U.S. National Whitewater Center shows that riverfront is one of our greatest natural resources. Mount Holly controls a lot of that land going North through the purchases of over 200 acres of land in 2006 through the Cleanwater Trust Fund.”

Sections of the project include creating a small area land-use plan for Mount Holly’s historic downtown and riverfront areas, including the riverfront between River Street Park and Tuckaseege Park.

Beal said the town is eager for an outside expert to come and give an unbiased opinion on how best to plan for the future, with an eye toward transportation projects and pedestrian-friendly development.

“I can give my opinion, the City Council can give their opinion but we need someone outside to come and really get into some of the community wants and desires,” he said.

Packages submitted should include two sections, one describing the team applying and one section describing the work and professional history of the team including experience and litigation history.

Interested firms should submit 11 bound copies and one electronic copy of their proposal. Responses may be hand delivered, mailed or delivered by courier. Faxes and emails will not be accepted. After the packages are evaluated, a selection committee will recommend a firm in March on a date to be determined and the City Council will award the project on April 1.

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