Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Backs Free Hand for Administrator

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Backs Free Hand for Administrator

Article excerpt

A majority of the St. Charles City Council has agreed to let the city administrator continue to have a free hand in selecting professional consultants for developing plans for a $28 million convention center project.

The council voted 6-3 to let Mike Miller continue to have wide latitude in choosing companies that provide professional services such as overall design, architecture and other skills to the project.

The decision, in effect, lets Miller continue to deal with Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, the consulting company that has been the city's consultant on convention-center proposals since 1991. The city and Convention and Sports Authority announced last month that they would jointly spend $28 million to develop a convention center on 14 acres south of Interstate 70. Two weeks ago, city officials passed two bills to spend $4.3 million for the land for the project. The project includes a 128,000-square-foot convention center and a 250-room hotel. A developer, Robert Kaplan, and LHM Inc., a hotel management company, will provide separate financing for the $25 million hotel. Councilman Rory Riddler, 1st Ward, told the council Tuesday that the convention center project was too costly to let Miller operate under provisions that allow him to let contracts without competitive bids. "On a project of this size, we should be looking at several firms and their qualifications across the board and allow our normal bidding procedures to take effect," said Riddler. Miller said the council enacted the ordinances more than seven years ago giving administrators latitude in acquiring professional services quickly. "I would remind the council we have not changed the professional service provider since the council began working on a convention center in 1991," he said. "Professional service providers, in general, don't bid against each other," Miller said. …

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