Members of the Downtown Development Authority awarded a one-year consulting agreement to Wondergem Consulting Inc. for strategic planning and communication services last week.
But they did so without a contract or even a term sheet outlining the agreement. A total cost for the consulting services wasn’t listed. Nor was there mention of bids being solicited for the contract. According to the Downtown Development Authority Act of 1975, though, bids are not required for contracts.
“I think Wondergem, as a group, understands the DDA because of who their clients are,” said Jay Fowler, DDA executive director.
Wondergem Consulting, headed by president Tim Wondergem and located downtown, offers advice and direction to the Convention and Arena Authority, the Grand Action Committee and Kent County, among its list of clients. The company also has a lengthy history of involvement with the arts community and has worked with the Downtown Alliance.
“They have strong institutional knowledge of downtown,” said Joseph Tomaselli, DDA board member.
DDA Counsel Dick Wendt is expected to put together an agreement between the DDA and the firm. The contract will likely run through June 30, 2010, and the total cost for the services is expected to not exceed $3,500 per month or $42,000 for the year.
Wondergem Consulting will help board members document and communicate the DDA’s accomplishments since 2006, evaluate how the district’s environment has changed, collect data from key stakeholders and set up the panel’s strategic planning sessions that are expected to take place throughout the fiscal year.
Casey Wondergem, Tim’s father and a retired communications specialist, previously served on the DDA.