ESTEVAN - Estevan city council is moving forward with downtown revitalization efforts.
Council approved a bid from George Harris Collaborative for design work on enhancements to the downtown area during its meeting on Monday night.
In a report, city manager Jeff Ward noted that earlier this year, council started working with the group 13 Ways, led by Doug Griffith. This consultation work included the development of a strategic plan as well as ideas to be presented for a downtown revitalization project.
Through discussions with Western Diversification, it was proposed that the city submit a proposal for funding related to conceptual design and consultation.
That application was subsequently approved and the city received funding. By completing this work, city council and the community could come together and finalize a design to be the cornerstone of infrastructure funding in the future.
The estimated cost for the design work from a consulting firm was $150,000, plus tax.
Proposals were evaluated for their identification of a strategy for public consultation; relevant work experience and 3D design examples; knowledge and research of the downtown area of Estevan; and any outside of the box ideas to complete the project.
Submissions were reviewed by economic development co-ordinator Rick Sadick, city manager Jeff Ward, city clerk Judy Pilloud, and Mayor Roy Ludwig.
George Harris Collaborative was one of 10 companies to bid on the project.
“After reviewing all RFPs as a committee, it was determined that George Harris Collaborative Inc. provided the most comprehensive submission. Extensive background research had been completed on the city as a whole,” Ward wrote to council.
Current opportunities and issues that already exist downtown were researched, identified, and addressed in the proposal, Ward said, and the three-dimension renderings were of the highest quality and the committee felt they would be best suited to properly illustrate the potential for Estevan’s downtown core.
“There were a substantial number of referenced projects that would align with the outcomes required by the City of Estevan. The project team’s experience was extensive, and the outline of community engagement road map was comprehensive and clearly defined, and would fit appropriately within the funding period.”
Councillor Lindsay Clark asked about timelines for the project. Ward replied there would be initial consultation phases that will happen with city council, which will be in person or via Zoom. Then there would be a site selection to view the downtown core.
“They would want to get any site mapping through 3D rendering, so at that time they’ll be mainly talking to the downtown businesses, but then there would be multiple ways for community engagement, such as online surveys. They’re going to request a website be constructed for public feedback, and that should happen through … January,” said Ward.
By the end of February, they will have a final design that council and the public can view, so they can start requesting infrastructure funding.