Pear Tree Beach upgrade progressing, RFP approved

Pear Tree Point Beach Park

The Request for Proposals for professional design services for the Pear Tree Point Beach Park improvement project has been approved.

At Wednesday’s Pear Tree Point Beach building committee meeting, members announced that the RFP that went out for review after the Nov. 14 meeting has been approved. It was signed by town administrator Kate Buch and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.

The newly-formed, all-volunteer building committee is charged with overseeing the upgrading of the beach. The upgrades were part of last year’s comprehensive master plan put forward by Parks & Rec.

The town is now accepting proposals from qualified professional architectural design firms to evaluate and assess current conditions, and develop a professional design for improvements and upgrades to facilities at Pear Tree Point Beach.

The RFP is now on the town website and in the Darien Times’ Nov. 29 issue.

Parks & Recreation Director Pam Gery said that in the meantime, behind the scenes, she will be gathering different firms that she has sent RFPs to in the past, for similar projects. She referenced the town’s Weed Beach project as an example.

Gery added that she would like to give as many people the opportunity to bid on the project as soon as possible.

Members discussed whether it’s necessary to have the RFP come back to them for review, but decided it’s not. They said the scope of the RFP would just be an update.

They decided, however, to ask Jeremy Ginsberg, the town’s Planning & Zoning Director, to take a look at it.

In addition, Gery is going to be working with Ed Gentile, Director of Public Works, on the selection process.

“As we get closer to the interviewing process and the criteria that go along with it, we’ll have a really clear picture at that point,” Gery said.

“Their background, their experiences along the water, are huge,” she said.

Committee chairman Michael Sgroe said the goal would be to establish “at least some kind of short list of objective criteria that we can score against, some way to compare against.”

The next Pear Tree Beach Building committee meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 12. There is no meeting on Dec. 5 or 19 as previously discussed.

At the previous building committee meeting, some Pear Tree Point Beach neighbors expressed concern with the scope of the project. They cited impacts like traffic, flooding and quality of life.

The neighbors were advised to attend, and attended, a Parks & Rec Commission Special meeting, as the building committee’s scope was limited to executing its approved plan. They were told changes or input on the plan would need to be directed from outside the building committee. The Darien Times will have coverage on that additional meeting shortly.

sfox@darientimes.com