ALAMOSA — With an updated comprehensive plan under its belt, the city of Alamosa continued city planning with the approval Wednesday night of a firm to conduct a downtown design plan.
The council authorized the city manager to sign a contract with MIG, headquartered in California but with an office in Denver, to conduct the $200,000 study.
Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks reminded the council that the downtown design is an outgrowth of the updated 2017 comprehensive plan. The city is receiving half of the funding through a Department of Local Affairs grant for $100,000, matched by $100,000 in the city’s 2018 budget.
The city created an advisory council, which requested and reviewed proposals for the downtown design plan and ultimately interviewed the top four from among the 11 companies submitting proposals, Brooks explained. Serving on the advisory committee were Brooks, Dan Vaughn and Mark Wright from the city staff, Councilors Charlie Griego and Kristina Daniel, planning commission members Chris Lopez and David Mize, business owner Carol Demlo, Kyra Burke from the Alamosa Chamber of Commerce, Kale Mortensen with the Alamosa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shirley Atencio representing ASU as well as a business owner and Evert Brown representing TSJC.
Brooks said strengthening the connections between the downtown and ASU and TSJC is one of the goals of the downtown design plan, so in reviewing potential contractors, the advisory committee considered applicants’ backgrounds in working with universities and looked at how well the companies might work with the Alamosa dynamic and how well they appeared to work within their own company as a team.
MIG rose to the top in meeting those standards, with many of their team members having worked together for more than 20 years, as well as presenting an overall balanced proposal, whereas some of the other companies were more focused on one aspect of downtown design such as economic development or streetscapes, Brooks explained.
She said it is also important for the company to work well with the Colorado Department of Transportation, since Alamosa’s main street is also a state highway, and recommendations for changes in Alamosa’s downtown area could affect that roadway.
Vaughn said that in checking MIG’s references, they came highly recommended. He shared photos from some of the company’s past projects such as Longmont and Golden. He and Brooks said in the communities in which MIG worked in the past they made sure community members were involved in design process.
In addition to MIG’s proposal for $200,000, which the city approved, proposals were received from: Britina Design Group, $200,000; cai, $139,355; Design Workshop, $199,768; DHM Design, $192,995; Egret Ox, $172,174; Logan Simpson, $176,273; MRWM, $188,213; Norris Design, $160,000; SE Group, $200,000; and Winter & Company, $210,760. The four the advisory committee interviewed were MIG, SE Group, DHM Design, and Design Workshop.