MEEKER I Meeker’s Urban Renewal Authority (MURA) opened the Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) received for the Meeker Adventure Center project Tuesday. Ten RFQs came in before the July 10 deadline. Unfortunately, none of the RFQs were from entities qualified to serve as the general operator for the center.
Without a general operator, the board has to either reevaluate the ownership structure for the project or reissue the RFQ in hopes of attracting a qualified general operator.
Board members and some members of the public in attendance expressed their displeasure to Kelby Bosshardt of Better City, the consulting firm working to facilitate the project.
“I feel like you’ve blindsided us by not telling us you don’t have a general operator,” said board member Steve Overton.
Bosshardt said, via conference call, they had been in discussion with a potential general operator and expected
to receive an RFQ from them, but the RFQ never arrived. “A group had indicated that they would submit with a caveat,” Bosshardt said. “The intent was not to blindside anyone, this is just the way these things go.”
Town attorney Melody Massih and Bosshardt reminded the board that the RFQ is simply a fact-finding mission, the first in several steps.
“There were other companies that were interested that decided to pull out because of the big fish in the pond. That’s unfortunate,” board member Wendy Gutierrez said. “We have a room full of people here with the same puzzled look we’re wearing. We were told we weren’t building this without having someone who has the financial backing to do it.”
“That’s still the case,” Bosshardt replied. “We don’t see this as a failure, we see this as efforts toward success. Part of that is fact-finding through RFQ. We’re not recommending that anything proceed until the board is comfortable.”
The board agreed to redefine the scope of the project and reissue the RFQ looking specifically for a general operator, they also agreed to notify the respondents soon to let them know their RFQs have been received and will be included in consideration.