City extends contract with riverfront consultant

The city of Columbus has extended a contract with an Indianapolis consulting firm to assist with its riverfront project.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission on Monday agreed to extend its contract with CORE Planning for $96,100 until Oct. 31, 2018. The firm was originally hired in May 2016 for a maximum of $90,000 for 50 weeks of work to assess the downtown riverfront in Columbus.

Columbus is looking to develop the city’s riverfront between the Second and Third Street bridges to improve the quality of life for residents and to draw more visitors to the city. The city is working with Hitchcock Design Group, which was hired by the city in December at a cost not to exceed $299,000, to develop designs for the riverfront area.

Money for the consulting firm’s work comes from the city’s Central tax increment financing, or TIF, district, said Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director. CORE Planning will provide project management services to the city and will assist with preparing for public meetings on the city’s behalf, Pope said.

In addition, CORE Planning will assist with bid documents and soliciting contractors for the first phase of the riverfront project, according to information provided by the city. The firm’s services also includes the coordination and technical review tied to the design of the first phase.

The public also will get a look at designs being considered for the city’s riverfront project during a Nov. 8 meeting at the Hamilton Center, said Don Trapp, who oversees the city’s riverfront committee. That forum will also allow the public to provide input, Trapp said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or