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FIRST ON 3: The City of Wilmington's proposal to hire Ripken Design to manage ballpark project

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Just one day after Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Atlanta Braves announced they had secured private financing to build a new baseball stadium in Wilmington, City Manager Sterling Cheatham has drawn up a proposal to hire Ripken Design of Baltimore, MD, to manage the city's baseball project manager.

Below is a cut and paste copy of the proposal that Cheatham is expected to present to City Council Tuesday, according to the meeting's agenda that was online Thursday. The agenda posted on the city's website was pulled late Thursday afternoon. The website was updated to say the agenda "will be posted before noon on Friday."

The proposal also suggests the council approve spending another $55,000 from next year's fiscal budget on top of the approximately $150,000 it set aside this year to do due diligence to hire Ripken Design.

The company is owned and operated by Baseball Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother Bill.

4/17/2012
City Council
City Hall
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

At their February 21, 2012 meeting, Council authorized the expenditure of up to $123,500 in Fiscal Year 2012, for professional services related to the successful negotiations of a contract that would permit the development of a baseball park in Wilmington. Since that authorization, staff has solicited proposals from firms capable of performing a specified set of services designed to assure the feasibility of any proposals associated with the development of a ball park. The employment of a baseball project manager is in the best interest of the City for a number of reasons, not the least of which is there is no on-staff expertise to appropriately analyze the feasibility of building a baseball park in the community. The project manager will act as an extension of the City staff in developing and analyzing all of the aspects that accompany the development of a minor league baseball facility.

We received 10 proposals from various firms. Six of those proposals were found to be compliant with the circulated request. The firms that supplied the compliant proposals were interviewed by a team of staff members, each of whom had particular interest or expertise that will be helpful in the event that a ball park is constructed in Wilmington. Team members included Amy Beatty, Tony Caudle, Richard King, Debra Mack, and Ron Satterfield. Proposals were evaluated on a number of factors including, but not limited to: experience with similar projects; experience with municipal projects; stakeholder input; market analysis; feasibility analysis; knowledge of minor league baseball; ability to meet timelines; and, DBE/WBE/MBE representation.

Based upon our analysis and the interviews with the respondents, the staff advisory team recommends that the City enter into a contract with The Ripken Design of Baltimore, MD. We found this team to provide the most cohesive approach to the project. They bring to the table a great deal of experience negotiating baseball contracts as both a team owner and a client representative. These factors will be especially important given the abbreviated time frame within which we are working. We were especially impressed with their proposal as it pertained to site analysis and stakeholder input. In order to accomplish the scope of services as requested by the staff and responded to by the prospective firms, we shall need to move a portion of the money that had previously been allocated for this project in O1a-1 the upcoming fiscal year (FY 2013) into the current fiscal year budget. The movement of these funds reflects the accomplishment of project objectives in a more abbreviated timeline than was originally envisioned. We are requesting the movement of $55,150 into the current fiscal year budget for this project. We do not anticipate having to use all of this year's allocation, but there are additional services, such as those associated with outside legal counsel, that may still be required as we proceed through this process.

Attached are three items. The first is a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with Ripken Design for the provision of baseball project management services. The second item is the draft contract for the provision of service. Ripken representatives have reviewed the draft contract and have indicated their concurrence and ability to provide the scope of services within the prescribed time frame and budget. The third item is a budget ordinance to appropriate $55,150 of estimated Fiscal Year 2013 funding for feasibility and project management.

Ripken also provides a Community Website about the project if requested for $14,800. Ripken develops the website and performs all maintenance for 6 months. Passage of the attached Resolution is recommended.

Respectfully submitted,
Sterling B. Cheatham,
City Manager

O1a-2
Resolution City Council
City of Wilmington
North Carolina
Introduced By: Sterling B. Cheatham, City Manager Date: 4/17/2012
Resolution Awarding Contract for Baseball Project Management Services to Ripken Design of Baltimore, Maryland and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute Said Contract on the Behalf of the City of Wilmington
LEGISLATIVE INTENT/PURPOSE:
WHEREAS, on February 7, 2012, the Wilmington City Council did hereby authorize the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. regarding the pursuit of a public/private partnership to plan for, finance, develop and construct a ballpark in the City; and

WHEREAS, on February 21, 2012, the Wilmington City Council authorized the expenditure of up to $123,500 for professional services such as legal, appraisal, feasibility, project management and financial advisory costs related to the successful negotiations of a contract that would permit the development of a baseball park in Wilmington; and

WHEREAS, the City of Wilmington has solicited and received proposals from private sector firms for the provision of project management services in association with the development of a baseball park in Wilmington; and,

WHEREAS, City of Wilmington staff members have reviewed and interviewed candidate firms in order to evaluate their potential effectiveness to provide the requisite baseball project management services.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

THAT, the Wilmington City Council authorizes the award of a contract for the provision of baseball project management services to Ripken Design of Baltimore, Maryland and, in doing so approves the necessary contract, substantially in the form and content attached hereto as Exhibit “A” and incorporated herein by reference, but with such minor changes, modifications, additions, or deletions as necessary to clarify and define the rights and obligations of the parties
hereunder.

The City Manager is authorized to execute said contract in a form approved by the City Attorney. Execution of the contract shall constitute conclusive evidence of the City’s final O1a-3 approval of any and all changes, modifications, additions or deletions from the form and content of the contract attached as Exhibit “A”.

Bill Saffo, Mayor
Adopted at a ____________ meeting on ______________, 2012.
ATTEST: APPROVED AS TO FORM:
Penelope Spicer-Sidbury, City Clerk City Attorney
O1a-4

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