Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - February 9, 2016
REVISED February 9, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #40

Manatee County Aquatic and Recreation Complex


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Melissa M. Wendel, CPPO, Purchasing Official,  x3104

Robert Eschenfelder, Chief Deputy County Attorney, x3750

Charlie Hunsicker, Director of Parks & Natural Resources, x6001

Action Requested
Approval for the Purchasing Division to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and marketing of an Aquatic and Recreation Complex with additional ancillary uses, which may include accessory lodging and possible use of additional property.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Manatee County Procurement Code, Section 2-26.

Background Discussion

On September 9, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners approved the County issuance of a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation for the financing, development, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and marketing of a first quality Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

Generally, the Board of County Commissioners are not tasked with authorizing approval to issue an RFP; however, this item was brought forward in consideration of its public significance.  The Board of County Commissioners was asked whether it agreed with seeking proposals in response to a competitive RFP and subsequently unanimously voted to allow the RFP to proceed.

Based on that vote, Manatee County issued Request For Proposal 15-0248MW, Manatee County Aquatic and Recreation Complex.  This RFP sought competitive proposals for the financing, development, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and marketing of a first quality Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

The objective of the envisioned Aquatic Complex, to be located on County-owned property within Tom Bennett Park adjacent to Interstate 75 in Bradenton, was to offer a recreational amenity to the community and to promote tourism through the provision of a destination which attracts families and compliments other developing programs within the County, which in turn promotes local economic growth.

The Request for Proposal resulted in the receipt of two proposals.  An evaluation committee consisting of Dan Schlandt, Deputy County Administrator, Charlie Hunsicker, Director of Parks and Natural Resources, and Melissa Wendel (Chairperson), Purchasing Official, was formed to examine and evaluate the proposals in accordance with County requirements and sunshine law.  Upon performance of its duties, the evaluation committee arrived at the unanimous decision to recommend the County commence negotiations with Manatee Lost Lagoon Development, LLLP.  The County Administrator approved the recommendation, authorizing the commencement of negotiations between Manatee County and Manatee Lost Lagoon, LLLP.

During the course of negotiations, Manatee Lost Lagoon Development, LLLP, informed the County that in order to ensure the financial viability of the project, it desires to pursue additional ancillary use of the land, while continuing to include a water park feature. 

The Purchasing Official, with the advice of the County Attorney’s Office, determined that such a change would be too substantial a departure from the original solicitation, and that a new RFP contemplating this possible additional use of the land would need to be issued.

This opportunity would be available to all potential proposers including Manatee Lost Lagoon, LLLP.  The proposer has considered the option of discontinuing negotiations and submitting a proposal in response to a revised solicitation document and has confirmed to the County that it would like the County to pursue this course of action.

The new competitive RFP solicitation document would allow for additional ancillary uses including the development of an accessory lodging and the possible use of additional property and utilization of the existing stormwater pond which was not originally contemplated in the current RFP.  It otherwise will be consistent with the initial RFP as relates to the water park feature.

The RFP will confirm that to the extent any given use of the land or adjoining land governed by the Florida Communities Trust grant terms, the proposer would bear the full expense and burden of obtaining all relevant needed approvals for same before construction could begin.

The new RFP will be released within thirty (30) days and, to ensure full transparency and promote competition, will be posted on mymanatee.org.  In addition, attempts to notify those firms who showed an interest in the previous solicitation will be made.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
The advice of the County Attorney's Office is incorporated into the Background/Discussion

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Site Maps.pdf