Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

DATE: FEBRUARY 3, 2004

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO PREPARE A CITY NATURAL HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN

RECOMMENDATION

Authorize staff to solicit Request for Proposals (RFP’s) for professional consulting services to prepare a City Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan as required by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

BACKGROUND

The residents of Southern California were recently reminded of the high cost of natural disasters during the wildfires that raged in four counties during October 2003 and the earthquake that shook the Paso Robles area in December 2003. As usual, in the wake of these two natural disasters, the Federal government is providing massive assistance to the affected local governments and private property owners through various forms of financial aid. However, the Federal government appears to no longer be willing to pay for disaster damage that is repetitive or could have been easily prevented by pre-event actions to reduce the overall damage.

To encourage local communities to engage in more pre-disaster mitigation planning, Congress passed the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. This law requires every local, county and state government to prepare a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP). The process includes the following steps:

  1. Conduct an assessment of the natural hazards that pose a threat to the jurisdiction;
  2. Determine the potential financial impact of these hazards;
  3. Create a plan to mitigate these hazards; and
  4. Implement the plan to reduce the impacts of natural disasters.
  5. To meet the Federal compliance standards, considerable City resources will need to be devoted to preparation of this plan. Unlike Emergency Operation Plans, which are often written by small staff groups, a HMP will most likely involve all City departments, but also local school districts, community organizations and special districts that overlay the City, such as the sewer district. Public participation and hearings are also required components of the plan that must be documented.

    Unfortunately, due to a delay at the State Office of Emergency Services (OES), local jurisdictions have less than one year to comply with this law. Completed plans are required to be submitted to State OES and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by November 1, 2004. Failure to comply will result in the loss of post-disaster mitigation grant funding from FEMA for any natural disasters that may befall the City after this date.

    DISCUSSION

    Due the extremely short time frame to complete the required process and limited in-house staffing resources, staff is recommending that the City engage the services of a professional consulting firm to perform the bulk of the work. Fortunately, the Los Angeles County Disaster Management Coordinators (DMACs) have taken the lead to assist the local cities by preparing a framework plan that includes much of the required boilerplate that will greatly assist in the process. After reviewing the Federal law and the materials prepared by the DMACs, staff has concluded that the process required to prepare the Hazard Mitigation Plan is very similar to the one used to prepare a General Plan or an Environmental Impact Report. Therefore, rather than limit the search to firms that specializes in emergency preparedness, which are in high demand these days, staff recommends that the search be broadened to include planning consulting firms. A draft of the Request for Proposals is attached for the Council’s reference.

    FISCAL IMPACT

    The City has $65,885 remaining in the Emergency Preparedness program’s Professional/Technical Services account for FY 03-04, which are available to fund the preparation of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. In addition, staff recently received notice that as a result of the Federal disaster declaration for the October fires, Federal grant money is available for all of Los Angeles County, even if there were no fires in the local community.  Some of the money available is for hazard mitigation planning.  Therefore, staff plans to apply for federal grant money for the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Depending on the cost estimates received in the responses to the RFP, these Federal grant funds could be used to augment the project budget or offset the cost to the City’s General fund to comply with this federal mandate.

    Respectfully submitted:

    Carolynn Petru

    Assistant City Manager

    Reviewed,

    Les Evans

    City Manager

    Attachment: Draft Request for Proposals

    City of Rancho Palos Verdes

    Request for Proposals for Consulting Services to

    Prepare a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP)

    February 3, 2004

     

    The City of Rancho Palos Verdes is requesting proposals from qualified consulting firms to provide professional services to prepare of a Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan in accordance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

    BACKGROUND

    The Robert T. Stafford Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) established the basis for federal assistance to state and local governments impacted by a significant disaster or emergency. The Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) has primary responsibility for administering this type of assistance.

    The residents of Southern California were recently reminded of the high cost of natural disasters during the wildfires that raged in four counties during October 2003 and the earthquake that shook the Paso Robles area in December 2003. As usual, in the wake of these two natural disasters, the federal government is providing massive assistance to the affected local governments and private property owners through various forms of financial aid. However, the federal government appears to no longer be willing to pay for disaster damage that is repetitive or could have been easily prevented by pre-event actions to reduce the overall damage.

    In 2000, the Stafford Act was amended by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K). The amendments are intended to reinforce the importance of hazard mitigation planning at the local level. Most significant to state and local governments are the amendments regarding pre-disaster hazard mitigation planning. The DMA2K adds a new "Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program" to the Stafford Act, which will provide grants to local governments to assist in the development of local mitigation plans and for the implementation of mitigation projects. In order to receive funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, the City must adopt a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NHMP) by November 1, 2004.

    PROJECT DESCRIPTION

    Under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, the City is required to adopt a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan by November 1, 2004. The purpose of the NHMP is to ensure that the community has established goals and objectives, in additional to a well thought out process, for mitigating future damages before approving development projects. Failure to comply will result in the loss of post-disaster mitigation funding from FEMA for any natural disasters that may befall the City after this date. Due the short time frame to complete the required process and limited in-house staffing resources, the City is seeking to engage the services of a professional consulting firm to perform the bulk of the work necessary to complete the NHMP.

    The overall planning process includes the following components:

  6. Conduct an assessment of the natural hazards that pose a threat to the jurisdiction;
  7. Determine the potential financial impact of these hazards;
  8. Create a plan to mitigate these hazards; and,
  9. Implement the plan to reduce the impacts of natural disasters.

To meet the federal compliance standards, considerable resources will need to be devoted to preparation of the City’s plan. Unlike Emergency Operation Plans, which are often written by small staff groups, the planning process for an NHMP should include a local mitigation planning team, composed of City staff and consultants, community representatives, local business leaders, local school districts and special districts. Public outreach and hearings are also important required components of the NHMP.

Fortunately, the Los Angeles County Disaster Management Coordinators (DMACs) have taken the lead to assist the local cities by preparing a Planning Guidebook that identifies the planning process and tasks, as well as a Draft Framework Plan that includes much of the required document format and boilerplate language that will greatly assist in completing the process. Both of these documents are attached for reference and will be available to the selected Consultant in electronic format.

SCOPE OF WORK

While the process outlined below is not mandatory, the City proposes to use the following template to develop the NHMP:

  • Organize Resources and Prepare to Plan
  • Identify Hazards/Conduct Hazard Analysis
  • Identify the Problems
  • Set Goals
  • Identify Possible Activities
  • Select Best Activities and Develop an Action Plan
  • Prepare the Draft Plan
  • Seek Public Input
  • Finalize the Plan
  • Adopt the Plan

Attendance at Steering Committee, City Council or other Public Meetings is required and integral as part of the project.

PRELIMINARY PROJECT SCHEDULE

The federally mandated deadline for the completion of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is November 1, 2004. The City expects that this will be a complicated project that will require extensive review by City staff, decision makers and the general public. In order to attempt to complete this process by the deadline, the City proposes the following preliminary schedule for the preparation and review of the NHMP:

March 2004 Organize Resources and Prepare to Plan

April 2004 Identify Hazards/Conduct Hazard Analysis

May 2004 Identify the Problems and Set Goals

June 2004 Identify Possible Activities, Select Best Activities and Develop an Action Plan

July 2004 Prepare the Draft Plan

August 2004 Seek Public Input

September 2004 Finalize the Plan

October 5 or 19, 2004 City Council Adoption of the Plan

November 1, 2004 Submit Plan to State Office of Emergency Services (OES) and FEMA

FORM OF THE PROPOSAL SUBMITTAL

The Consultant's proposal must include the following information:

  • The Consultant’s understanding of the project and a description of how the Consultant will approach the project with specific milestones and deliverables.
  • The names of the Consultant's project manager and key personnel who are to be involved, their titles, and hourly rates for their services, including any sub-consultants.
  • Resumes of individuals to be assigned to provide the services requested with emphasis on similar services that they provided to other agencies.
  • A statement of any possible conflict of interest the consultant may have in providing the requested services.
  • A detailed cost estimate including cost of reimburseables. The estimate should be as specific as possible minimizing variable costs to the greatest degree possible.

  • The mark-up for reimbursable expenses.
  • A detailed time schedule for completion of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, realizing that minimizing preparation time is a high priority.
  • A statement that the Consultant is agreeable to execute the enclosed City-Professional Services agreement, to provide proof of insurance as noted in the agreement and to obtain and maintain a City Business License for the duration of the consultant services.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes will require the firm selected to provide insurance upon entering into an agreement with the City, and proof thereof as follows:

  • Workman's Compensation, in accordance with State Law

  • Automobile Liability Insurance in the amount of $1 million

  • Professional Liability Insurance in the amount of $1 million

Supplemental Conditions of an Agreement

Please note that the responses to this Request for Proposal are subject to the following conditions:

Submission of a proposal shall constitute acknowledgement and acceptance of all terms and conditions hereinafter set forth in the RFP unless otherwise expressly stated in the proposal.

Any firm submitting a proposal understands and agrees that the City shall have no financial responsibility for any costs incurred by a firm responding to this RFP.

The Consultant, by submitting a response to this Request for Proposals (RFP), waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP. The City may choose to interview one or more of the firms responding to this RFP.

The selected firm shall be required to enter into a written agreement with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, in a form prepared by the City Attorney, to perform the prescribed services. This RFP and the proposal, or any part thereof, may be incorporated into and made a part of the final agreement. However, the City reserves the right to further negotiate the terms and conditions of the agreement with the selected firm. The agreement will, in any event, include a maximum "fixed cost" to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

As of the issuance date of this RFP and continuing until the time for submitting a proposal has expired, the City will provide relevant information and access to City facilities and documents as necessary for firms to familiarize themselves with the requirements set forth in the RFP. Access to City facilities shall be during normal business hours and will require at least twenty-four (24) hours advanced notice.

DELIVERY OF PROPOSAL

Three (3) copies of the proposal shall be delivered no later than 5:30 PM on Monday, March 1, 2004 to the City Manager’s Office, City of Rancho Palos Verdes, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, Attn: Carolynn Petru, aicp, Assistant City Manager.

DISCRETION

The City reserves the right to reject any or all proposals or to request and obtain, from one or more of the consulting firms, supplementary information as may be necessary for City staff to analyze the proposal pursuant to the consultant selection criteria.

Request for clarification of the information contained herein shall be submitted in writing, addressed to Carolynn Petru, prior to 4:30 PM on Friday, February 20, 2004. Responses to any clarification questions will be provided to each group from which proposals have been requested. Such requests for clarification should be kept to a minimum due to the short response time for proposals.

The City may require consultants to participate in interviews or additional rounds of more refined submittals before the ultimate selections of a consultant team are made. These rounds could encompass revisions of the submittal criteria in response to the nature and scope of the initial proposals. If deemed necessary by the City, consultant interviews are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 1, 2004.

If you should have any questions regarding the proposed project, please feel free to contact Carolynn Petru at (310) 544-5203 or via e-mail at carolynn@rpv.com.