Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 13, 2020
The Marina RFP Evaluation Committee (MREC) of the City of Fernandina Beach convened for their final session at the City Golf Course Clubhouse the morning of August 13, 2020 to review their individual and combined rankings of bidders hoping to replace Westrec as the City Marina manager/operator. Following a discussion of their rankings of the four contenders, the MREC unanimously agreed to recommend Oasis Marinas, LLC as the first place firm and Founders 3 Marina Management as the back up, should the City not be able to come to terms with Oasis.
City Airport Manager Nate Coyle chaired the 4-member MREC, which also included City Attorney Tammi Bach, City Comptroller Pauline Testagrose, and Marina Advisory Board member Coleman Langshaw.
Five proposals were received in response to RFP 2020-02 on April 30, 2020: Coastal Marina Management, Founders 3 Management, Mobius Marina Management, Oasis Marinas, and Safe Harbor Marinas. Each firm had an opportunity to make a presentation in person or via Zoom before the MREC on August 6.
Coastal Marina Management withdrew their proposal on August 6, 2020, leaving the MREC with the task of evaluating the remaining four proposals on the basis of criteria set out in the RFP: technical capabilities (30 points), previous experience (30 points) and the financial component (40 points). Oasis Marinas received the highest total points in each category. Only rater Coleman Langshaw failed to rank Oasis Marinas as his highest scoring firm. He ranked Founders 3 Marina Management as his first choice, scoring it 2 points higher than Oasis Marinas.
MREC members provided detailed explanations for their individual rankings and ratings for the benefit of the few audience members in attendance, as well as for the record. An audio record of the proceedings will be available from the Clerk’s Office.
City Attorney Tammi Bach explained that the MREC had considered not only the RFP responses, but also references and citizen input. She added that the original Stantec evaluation of the firms’ financials had been based on the FY 2019/20 Budget year, during which the City Marina was not fully operational. She therefore gave that report less weight, as did other raters.
MREC Chair Nate Coyle said that all the bidders were technically qualified at the base level. However, he found Oasis and Founders 3 more innovative in their marketing approach. He used a very detailed evaluation process and dismissed criticisms that Oasis financial projections were “pie in the sky” based upon his review of their prior experience.
Coleman Langshaw said that the financial aspect was not his prime focus in evaluating the firms. He said that staff training and hospitality or concierge services for transit boaters were high on his evaluation. He looked to see firms integrate their operations with local businesses in the surrounding area.
Comptroller Pauline Testagrose, as expected, concentrated on the financial criteria. She found that there were many fees in some of the responses, and she closely analyzed the bid responses to make sure that she could compare “apples with apples” in evaluating the financial information the firms provided.
The combined evaluations are reflected below.
The MREC recommendation will be presented to the Marina Advisory Board (MAB) at the MAB’s August 24 meeting prior to presentation to the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) for consideration at the FBCC’s September 1 Regular Meeting. The MAB, which has previously supported continuing the City’s contract with Westrec, will also hear a presentation from Westrec at the August 24th meeting. Westrec, currently covered by contract with the city, did not submit a bid response to RFP 2020-02.