NORWALK, Conn. – The National Golf Foundation has been selected to analyze the feasibility of a golf school – a.k.a. the driving range – at Oak Hills Park.
The Oak Hills Park Authority on Friday voted unanimously at a special meeting to endorse the choice they said was made by Director of Management and Budgets Bob Barron. NGF was one of two competitors who responded to the request for proposals (RFP) that was put together by Barron and Purchasing Agent Gerald Foley.
OHPA will pay $21,000 for the analysis, which will go straight to Barron.
Both NGF and Golf Property Analysts were interviewed Monday, OHPA Chairman Clyde Mount said.
“They were both very qualified. I think both could have done a good job,” Mount said. “But one of the main concerns was the RFP was not a clean RFP from the folks from Philadelphia. There were some discrepancies in there, some boilerplate things that shouldn’t have been included. (Barron) felt that, because of that, he was worried about the type of report he would get. See, when you’re doing an RFP you put your best foot forward. They made simple mistakes. … That was his main concern with that particular firm.”
“Both of the firms that responded to the RFP were very qualified, but NGF had more direct experience, the lowest price, some great references, and the most professional presentation,” Barron said in an email. “Specifically, NGF provided five driving range or practice facility projects that they have worked on in recent years and I was able to reach three of these clients for references and they all strongly recommended NGF. Golf Property Analysts’ bid came in at $22,000 and NGF’s was $21,000.”
There were no questions asked by OHPA members meeting in the office at the park, or participating by phone.
Mount said the other concern was that OHPA had used National Golf Foundation data in forming its master plan.
“That was a little bit of concern, but I think we’re all past that,” Mount said.
Golf Analysts would probably have used NGF data in its study anyway, Mount said.
“Barron made the selection thinking that are going to be best suited for what he wants to have to make case, or not make a case,” Mount said.
“Please make your readers aware that, although the OHPA is paying for this consulting contract, that the RFP was developed by, and the RFP responses were reviewed by, and the vendor selection was made by city personnel,” Barron wrote. “And, at the conclusion of NGF’s consulting research, their findings will be delivered to me. These findings will influence my recommendation to the Mayor on whether or not the OHPA’s capital request for the development of the driving range should be included in his recommendation for city capital projects for the upcoming FY 2016-17.”
The report should be delivered in early December, which is perfect, Barron said, as that would be right before capital budget requests need to be made.