By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Rainbow MWD begins process for replacing headquarters

 

Last updated 7/13/2020 at 3:57am



The Rainbow Municipal Water District is hoping to fund the replacement of its current headquarters building through the sale of land, and a request for qualifications to provide development study services resulted in that study services contract was awarded to MasterCraft Homes Group, LLC.

Rainbow's board voted 5-0 June 23 to award the contract and in the absence of board authorization for additional compensation, the contract will be for $122,324.

The MasterCraft scope of work includes receiving information prepared or compiled by other consultants; MasterCraft will review the accuracy and completeness of each report and will make independent recommendations to the Rainbow district once the reports have been received and analyzed. The $122,324 amount does not include the task of addressing miscellaneous client requests, and Rainbow will be billed on a time and materials basis for any such requests.

"We're interested in finding a way to replace our headquarters building at little or no cost to our ratepayers," said Rainbow general manager Tom Kennedy.

The Rainbow Municipal Water District headquarters property consists of four separate legal parcels. The headquarters building itself was constructed in the early 1970s, and sale of part of the headquarters land would help to cover the cost of a replacement building. The headquarters property totals 34 acres, and the district believes that no more than 14 acres are needed for district operations. Rainbow's five-year plan calls for the first capital expenditures for the new district headquarters during fiscal year 2022-2023, although funding in the 2018-2019 budget allowed the project planning to begin.


The potential interest in purchasing part of the headquarters property will be contingent upon resolution of a general plan amendment which would allow commercial or residential use. "MasterCraft will be doing market analysis and figuring out what kind of land use changes are needed," Kennedy said.

Three milestones will lead to Rainbow decision points which will allow for changes in plans or even to stop the development vision should any fatal flaws be identified. The first milestone will be the completion of a marketing study which will provide information about cost-effective uses for the land which can be marketed. The second milestone will follow the due diligence review of the property which will include an appraisal. The final milestone will be after the soils investigation process is completed, which will determine if geotechnical and soil conditions will allow feasible development.


Reviewing the marketing study to be prepared by Reeb Development Consulting is the first task in the scope of work. That study will include a site review and analysis, economic and demographic trends, commercial trends, residential market trends, overall market demand analysis, and land transaction and land value data.

The second task will be the site appraisal. Michael Frauenthal & Associates will conduct a market appraisal for the property in its existing condition. The appraised value will be updated once a specific use has been selected.

The due diligence review of the property will be the third task. Michael Baker International will provide that review before the work is reviewed and analyzed by MasterCraft. The due diligence review will include a site visit, project research, a zoning review, data and document reviews, an entitlement review, information on the floodplain and development impact to the site, a traffic vehicle miles traveled estimate, information on biological constraints, and a summary of those due diligence efforts for future entitlements.

Geosoils will conduct the soils investigation, which will be the fourth task. That will include studying the nature and extent of the existing materials, obtaining liquification and densification data and settlement characteristics of the site's soils, determining engineering properties of the soils, and an evaluation of potential seismic activity and other hazards for the general site.


The administrative facility review, which will be the fifth task, will be performed by Blackstar Contractors, Inc. Blackstar will review the concept study report for the administration facilities, and the review will include a review of the design and layout of each option, identification of construction constraints and alternative layouts, value engineering of three different options to provide cost savings, and a review and analysis of the viability to reconstruct the existing facility.

The sixth task will be the finance task and will be performed by DFP&G. Opportunities to finance the construction of the administrative facilities will be investigated. Rainbow's May 26 board meeting included approval for the district to join the Statewide Community Infrastructure Program of the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, and while use of SCIP bond financing was envisioned for new development projects or property owners upgrading or rehabilitating existing infrastructure Rainbow's membership in the SCIP would allow the district itself to use that means of financing for its own facilities. Other bond alternatives will also be reviewed.

MasterCraft will be the primary consultant for the final two tasks which will provide services necessary to direct, manage, and analyze the reports submitted by each consultant. The seventh task, although not necessarily chronologically, is ongoing project management which involves coordinating meetings with the district, consultants, and the county to facilitate the reports. The eighth task, miscellaneous client requests, is also not necessarily sequential and could include additional research, preparing exhibits and graphics, and reviewing other aspects of the project.

Three companies responded to the request for qualifications by the March 30 deadline. District staff members evaluated the three proposals before sending those to the district's Engineering and Operations Committee, which recommended that two firms be interviewed May 6. The panel which conducted the interviews unanimously recommended that MasterCraft be awarded the contract.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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