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Request for Proposals - Professional Services Agreement For the Blackfeet Tribe - Capital Improvement Plan

January 17, 2018View for printing

The Blackfeet Tribe is seeking proposals for professional services to complete a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The Blackfeet Tribe received a $25,000 grant award from the 2018 MT-ICED Program to complete a comprehensive five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The Blackfeet Planning Department is accepting Proposals up to the closing date of January 31, 2018. BACKGROUND:

The Blackfeet Reservation, home to the largest Native American population in Montana is the third largest reservation encompassing approximately 1.5 million acres. It lies along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains on the Canadian border, and is the eastern gateway to Glacier National Park in Montana. The major communities within the reservation include Browning, East Glacier, Heart Butte, Seville, St. Mary's, Babb and Starr School. Major highway access is through the U.S. Highway 89 (north/south) and U.S. Highway 2 (east/west). Air travelers will take pleasure in viewing the magnificent landscape on the way from the Starr-Browning Airstrip, Cut Bank International Airport, Kalispell-Glacier Park International Airport, and Great Falls International Airport.

The CIP will be an instrumental part of maintaining the quality of life for the Blackfeet Reservation community members to enjoy. The projects and programs identified in the CIP focus on a number of areas such as facility improvements, facility purchases, facility construction, parks and recreation needs, utility improvements, water/sewer upgrades in delivery system, solid waste equipment needs, telecommunications, roadway improvements, landscaping, parks, traffic signage, and street-scaping to attract tourism opportunities. Projects and programs move through a life cycle of planning, implementation, and completion with the intent of making Tribal Government more efficient and responsive, as well as improve our communities. The Annual CIP budget will include for all categories of capital projects by program/department for the next five years (2019-2023). The cost for each capital project incorporates both direct construction costs, direct equipment purchases, indirect costs such as design, project administration, and debt expense for options to finance plans, if applicable.

Project Purpose: The Tribe's CIP will provide many benefits including: Allows for a systematic evaluation of all potential projects at the same time. The ability to stabilize debt and consolidate projects to reduce borrowing costs. Serve as a public relations and economic development tool. A focus on improving and preserving the Tribe's reservation-wide infrastructure while ensuring the efficient use of public funds. An opportunity to foster cooperation among departments and an ability to inform other units of government of the Tribe's priorities. A listing of the capital projects (i.e., buildings, parks, public works and utility systems) or equipment to be purchased. The projects ranked in order of preference with a written justification for the project. The plan for financing the projects. A timetable for the construction or completion of the project. Maintain a complete set of financial statements for the project and annual budgets.

The Planning Department and the Contractor will meet with the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (BTBC) to define the criteria for what kind of projects or equipment are to be included and organize a process for developing the plan. What is defined as a capital project or capital purchase may vary generally, they will be tangible items that have a life expectancy greater than one year.


Proposals Due: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Contract Date: February 14, 2018, depending on completion of contract documents. Following the selection of the most qualified firm, a final professional services agreement including budget, schedule and final Scope of Work will be completed with the contractor. The Contractor must adhere to all Tribe's Plan of Operations that includes Finance and Procurement Policies and Procedures, TERO laws, Ordinances, and Resolutions. The agreement is subject to the review and approval of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council.

Final Capital Improve Plan must be submitted to the Planning Department by: August 31, 2018

Number of hard copies: 10 hardcopies and one electronic copy deliver to:

Blackfeet Planning Department Attn: Cheryl Reevis, Planning Director Blackfeet Tribe PO Box 850 Browning, MT 59417


l. (Relevant Work Experience) A statement about the firm that describes its experience. A list of similar projects completed by the firm with references for each such project, including the contact name, address, and telephone number.

2. (Qualification of Key Project Team Members) Provide a list of competencies and resumes of the principle and all professionals who will be involved in the work.

3. (Overall Project Approach) Approach Statement regarding the anticipated approach for this project and a scope of work outlining and describing main tasks and work products.

4. (Completeness of the Proposal) Overall project schedule, including the timing of each work task, cost estimates, recommendations, funding opportunities available, etc.

5. Identification of any information, materials, and/or work assistance required from the sub-contractor or organization you anticipate working with for this project.

6. A not-to-exceed total budget amount with estimated costs for each major task in the Scope of Work.

7. A final presentation to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (BTBC) with 10 hardcopies of the final document is expected. The Planning Director will coordinate the scheduling of the final presentation with the contractor and the BTBC.


Establish a Capital Improvement Planning Committee to work with the contractor (i.e., Econ. Dev. Comm. Chair, Treasurer, Legal, TMWC, Solid Waste, Land Dept., Transportation Dept., Facilities, Planning, Procurement, Siyeh, Designated Business Owner, County Commissioner, Housing, BEO, I.H.S., B.I.A, banker or accountant ) Take Inventory of Existing Capital Assets Evaluate Previously Approved, Unimplemented or Incomplete Projects Assess Financial Capacity based on annual budget for program, financing, grants Solicit, Compile and Evaluate New Project Requests Prioritize Projects with justifications Develop a Financing Plan Identify other resources for surplus equipment State, Federal, Private Adopt and Update Annually a Capital Improvements Plan Monitor and Manage Approved Projects within the CIP Develop Project Schedules (Matrix) for Annual Update Existing/Ongoing Capital Programs A classification system, itemization and explanation for the project expenditures

Some relevant criteria might be: How well the projects contributes to the health or safety of residents. If the project fulfills a need. If the project is legal under local, state, and federal laws. If the project is in line with other governmental goals. How much of the community the project will help. How much the project is desired by the public.


PART 1 - Accepting Project Proposals

1. Establish a planning committee. Create a committee of representatives of the major departments or local government organizations that will be involved in carrying out and funding the projects outlined in the capital improvement plan. This committee is usually comprised of members of designated tribal departments and community representatives. One member of the committee should be designated as the planning manager. This person will organize and direct the efforts of the other committee members and consultants. You may also want to include some engineering consultants to assist with providing cost estimates and estimating the feasibility of construction projects.

2. Ask for project submissions. Tribal programs/departments, and entities will be invited to present proposals for capital improvement projects that are currently a part of the tribal budgeting process. Capital improvement projects are any public improvements requiring large, one-time expenditures, like the renovation of a public park or building. Proposals for projects should include a justification for the project, a description of the project, estimates of the initial and maintenance costs, and suggest sources of funding. These projects usually include repairs to buildings, parks and pools and improvements or new additions to schools, public places, city streets, and local government buildings. The planning committee can create a standardized proposal form to make sure each proposal is submitted in the proper format and contains all required information.

3. Reassess existing projects. The committee should also investigate capital improvement projects that have already been completed and those that are currently underway. This includes discontinued or abandoned projects. Look at those projects that have been completed or abandoned and check if there are additional funds leftover that can be applied towards new projects. In addition, check on the status of projects currently underway and assess whether or not further financing is required. If so, some of the proposed funding for the new capital improvement plan may have to be redirected towards these projects.

4. List the submitted capital projects or purchases. Draft a list of capital projects or purchases to be discussed and prioritized by the committee. These should include ongoing projects from previous plans and submissions received for new projects. The final projects will be selected and prioritized later in the capital improvement plan development process.

PART 2 -Selecting Capital Improvement Projects

1. Evaluate available finances. These are the funds that the Tribe can draw from for renovations and local improvement projects, including those listed in the plan. Each project's planned completion date will depend on when the project costs can be allotted from the Tribe's assets. Gather information from the treasurer, accountant, and/or whoever is in charge of the Glacier and Pondera Counties finances. With their help, the committee can calculate the funds currently available for capital improvement and those funds that will become available over the life of the plan.

The future assets of the Tribe should be calculated using projections of current trends in revenues, expenditures, and debt payments.

2. Calculate the estimated costs for each project. Each project must be assigned a value to be included in the capital improvement plan. This figure will include costs for material, equipment and labor. This value will determine the year the project will be completed and how much of the municipality's budget is allotted to it. In addition, the committee should consider future maintenance, operational, or staffing costs involved with the project.

3. Review submitted projects for potential impact. Projects should be examined by committee members and scored using a set of pre-defined criteria. These criteria will assist the committee in choosing the projects most relevant to the well-being of the reservation communities.

4. Prioritize projects. Assign the list of capital projects in order of completion based on the needed funds, the urgency of the project, and the project's scores according to the committee's criteria. For example, repairs to dangerous roads or hazardous buildings in the community will be prioritized first in the interest of public safety. Strategically spread out large projects throughout the plan's time frame. This will avoid unnecessary strain on the Tribe's budget. It will also allow for time to alert the public about construction or road closures.

PART 3 - Preparing the Capital Improvement Plan

1. Plan funding. Outline the allotment of capital assets and public funding according to the prioritized list of projects. The plan should include the source of the funding as well, whether it is from a government grant or from the Tribe's own funds. Be sure to include any donations or funding from local charitable organizations being used to fund public projects.

2. Outline project timeline. The project timeline will show project progress goals and allotted project expenditures for each year of the plan. This should also include a summary of where the financing for each project is coming from. This timeline may or may not also require reauthorization by the local government for future years. The entire amount of a project's initial construction costs should be allotted to the starting year, even if the construction takes longer than one year. Funds still unspent after the first year are carried over to the next year but are not then made available to other projects.

3. Include other project-related documents. For the purpose of explaining each project more clearly, especially to community residents, the capital improvement plan should include additional explanatory documents or exhibits for each project. These can include photos, maps, graphs, digital renderings, blueprints, or other representations of the project. In addition, a simplified timeline may be presented to give a clearer idea of the project's major milestones.

4. Present the plan at a BTBC meeting. Explain the finalized capital improvement plan and budget at an open BTBC meeting or economic development committee meeting that is open to the public to review improvement plans with community residents. Allow them to ask questions or voice concerns. This gives residents an opportunity to be aware of future developments in their community.

5. Adopt the capital improvement plan. The selected projects, plans, timelines, and financing summaries are then compiled and presented for approval to the elected officials. Modern visualization technology helps when presenting this capital improvement plan, with all of its individual capital projects, studies and equipment purchases, in an understandable and user-friendly manner. The governing body conducts hearings, workshops, and other outreach efforts to insure all stakeholders and interested parties can provide feedback. Once this is done, the committee should submit it to the BTBC for a vote to finalize the plan and formally adopt it.

Performance indicators and project development milestones should be developed for the recommended capital plan for subsequent reporting purposes. Project management and performance indicator systems are important capital budget implementation tools.

The Kickoff Meeting:

Informational meetings with all stakeholders will be scheduled: BTBC, Tribal programs, departments, BIA, I.H.S, BCC, Public Schools, community members, local merchants, Glacier and Pondera County government officials, funding agencies, and the core CIP Committee. The purpose of the meetings are to explain the CIP and encourage public involvement for prioritizing projects in each community.

It was explained that the CIP will identify the Tribe's future capital improvement needs, help set priorities, assess available funding, and determine which capital improvements will be able to be funded over the course of the next five years. The recommended CIP will be presented to the BTBC for their approval after public hearings are held in each community.

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Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. Full copyright retained by the original publication. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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