The four firms selected as finalists to produce a comprehensive master plan for Lafayette Consolidated Government are making their pitches until 4 p.m. Thursday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on West Vermilion Street downtown, and LCG is streaming the presentations live on the web at http://www.lafayettela.gov/ComprehensivePlan.asp. Acadiana Open Channel is also broadcasting the event.

Twelve planning firms from around the country responded to a request for qualifications LCG issued last October; the four finalists were recommended to City-Parish President Joey Durel by a 25-person committee that analyzed the responses to the RFQ. The four firms chosen are Coral Gables, Fla.-based Dover, Kohl & Partners; Fregonese Associates of Portland, Ore.; Goody Clancy of Boston, Mass.; and Philadelphia, Pa.’s Wallace Roberts & Todd. Each of the firms has extensive experience in city planning; some of them have produced comprehensive plans for cities along the Gulf Coast including in Louisiana.

The proposals submitted to LCG will address such issues as transportation, land use, infrastructure, cultural preservation and housing. At the request of Durel, the City-Parish Council has tucked away $400,000 each of the last two years as a down payment on what is anticipated to be a total cost of roughly $1.2 million to pay the winning firm to produce the plan, which will be based in part on a comprehensive plan — Lafayette In the Next Century — already undertaken by LCG in coordination with citizen- and professional committees. (Durel is expected to budget a third $400,000 installment for the comprehensive plan in the next fiscal year budget.)

The Center for Planning Excellence in Baton Rouge has assisted LCG in the issuance of the RFQ and in other aspects of the planning process

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