After a series of sales pitches Thursday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts by four finalists vying for a contract to produce a comprehensive master plan for Lafayette Consolidated Government, an advisory committee chose Wallace Roberts & Todd, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based planning firm.

The selection opens the door for City-Parish President Joey Durel to begin negotiations with the firm. The four finalists — Dover, Kohl & Partners, Fregonese Associates and Goody Clancy were the other three — were graded by the advisory committee during Wednesday’s presentations. Each has extensive experience helping cities develop master plans for growth. If Durel and WRT fail to reach an accord, Durel has been authorized to negotiate with the second-place firm, Fregonese.

The contract to produce the plan is expected to cost roughly $1.2 million. Durel has budgeted $400,000 each of the last two years as down payments on the contract; a final $400K installment will be budgeted in the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget this fall. The selection process was aided by the Center for Planning Excellence in Baton Rouge.

The comprehensive master plan will encompass everything from downtown revitalization to transportation, drainage and other infrastructure issue for the future growth of the parish.

Acadiana Open Channel will rebroadcast Wednesday’s presentations at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 28. on Cox 16 and LUS 4.

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