The Redevelopment Agency awarded a professional services contract of $135,500 to The DavidHenry Agency for advertising and marketing consulting services that will include brochures, video, a website and app touting the city’s redevelopment efforts over the past decade and a half.
The resolution passed by a 5-1 vote at the May 2 meeting, with Paul Sefranka the lone dissenting commissioner. The cost seemed high and the agreement was too broad, he said, questioning whether the project went out to bid. “It doesn’t narrow the focus on what will be spent.” The project was awarded through a professional services contract, which does not require a public bid. The Westfield-based agency has previously worked with the Redevelopment Agency in planning the city’s 150th anniversary celebration.
City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier said a committee of Chairman William Rack, Commissioner Matt Dobrowolski, and Agency Secretary/Director of Community Development Cindy Solomon met several times this year to determine marketing efforts. The agency may not do all the items listed below but Solomon said they hope to complete many of them by November, and the firm will be paid for each task when completed.
The three-page project agreement (which had no fewer than five spelling errors or typos — Pages 19-21 in this link) lays out a “15-year celebration of the Rahway Redevelopment Agency’s efforts,” explaining the vision and commitment to accomplishments.
The largest expense appears to be $40,000 for an 8- to 10-minute video-based program that will include four days of production, scripting, story-boarding and other production and editing tasks. Other expenses include:
*$18,000 — Folder/brochure with inserts content, layout, print/production.
* $18,000 — Website for Redevelopment Agency incorporating “new branding, layout, content, design, social media integration, programming and hosting for 12 months ($500/year thereafter)”.
* $17,500 — Interactive project development app.
* $15,000 — Design and production of trade show booth (League of Municipalities), along with media rental and logistics to be determined.
* $8,000 — Series of four press releases over six months — “celebration release, event release, interactive/demo release, other” — that will include media distribution, tracking and reporting.
* $8,000 — Review social media pages to set up, connect with other city and state organizations, developers and others, and write copy, setup content and train staff to manage ongoing.
* $6,000 — Print/production of folder/brochures.
*$5,000 — Posters for placement in stores, City Hall and other areas.
Among the projects cited in the agreement are “Riverwalk, Hotel Indigo, the train station, Dornoch, library,” among others, which have “created jobs; brought in new tax revenue; attracted new developers, retailers and other key businesses; increased the aesthetics and environment; built comradare (sic) and pride with the city’s residents, and set the stage for future planning and development.”
The agency proposes a communications program to extoll the successes of the past 15 years to “encourage participation and support of similar programs” in the future,while building awareness, thanking those who have helped make initiatives successful, and sharing projects in “a modern cutting-edge way that draws people into the redevelopment spirit and participates with future projects.
In recent months, Pelissier has talked about compiling a redevelopment portfolio, identifying new construction and promoting the tax assessment and property taxes generated by projects, which can be presented to prospective developers and trade shows like the League of Municipalities. It would demonstrate redevelopment’s history and activity, he said, showing that it’s more than just one or two projects.