Ocoee seeks engineers to design new master stormwater system for downtown

The city of Ocoee is seeking a professional engineering firm to design a new master stormwater system that will be a major element of its Downtown Redevelopment Plan, according to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued on Tuesday.

This new master stormwater system will support anticipated new development in the city's downtown. Developers will be able to tie their projects in to the pond instead of having to supply all retention area on their own sites. 

Area around the future City Hall complex east of Bluford Avenue will already have its stormwater retention designed by S&ME, Inc. The firm hired for this contract will focus on future development areas west of Bluford Avenue, bordered by the railroad further west.

Total construction cost for this scope of work is estimated at $3.3 million, part of the $45 million capital investment program anticipated by the city for its downtown. 

An impact fee may be implemented in the future by the city for developers to support the cost of that system, but that hasn't been determined yet, said Michael Rumer, Ocoee city planner. 

The new pond's surrounding area will also be amenitized and made into a walkable park. Because of that, city staff wrote the RFQ to focus requirements as much on design as engineering and function of the system.

The chosen engineering firm is expected to have experience in design of master stormwater management facilities for use as public parks, including design as natural systems with emphasis on the public realm in an urban environment, using a combination of native vegetation and hardscape.

The pond will need to be dug, likely somewhere between Franklin Street and Oakland Avenue.

Pegasus Engineering produced a feasibility study last year for the city that forecasts an $8.29 million total project cost for the new downtown stormwater pond and related infrastructure. 

In that study, Pegasus anticipated the project to start within four years, and highlighted floodplains and private land acquisition as potential challenges. 

Concurrently, Ocoee chose a design for its new City Hall in December and is preparing criteria for a two-part application process for design-build contractors. 

Applications are due by March 6 at 2 p.m. to Ocoee's Purchasing Department at City Hall. 

Full documents for RFQ no. 1803 can be found at the city's Open Bids webpage within DemandStar. 

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