Night Of The Living Consultants

In case anyone was wondering what the answer to The $95,400 Question No One Asked is, the answer appears to be: $282,100.

Last night council heard an excellent presentation by Houseal Lavigne Associates, LLC of Naperville, IL. While the council was just being presented with an overview of what services and capabilities Houseal could bring to DG, there were several comments and questions from council members that show they are serious about getting going on:

  • TCD3
  • Strategic Planning
  • Comprehensive Use plan
  • Branding

Houseal is already working with the village on the Downtown Pattern Book, a document still in paste up form, but that looks very well thought out and comprehensive in it’s own right (see The Planner’s Progress). John Houseal, while having worked our Planning Deaprtment, made a presentation more or less as a cold call, showing what his company could do, and how they could do it.

In particular, he zeroed in on the Total Community Development 3 discussions, and the Comprehensive Plan that has laid fallow for over 45 years. These are areas that his company and DG staff have talked over, and that Landseal can be a pretty big help with.

It looks like North Start Destination Strategies will be hired by the village at $95,400, to handle branding. There was discussion about Lyle Sumek Associates, Inc., who has acted as strategic planning and team building facilitator/moderator in the past, and may continue for another $25,000 this year.

The green sheets on Houseal call for Comprehensive Plan services for $111,700, and TCD3 services for $50,000. Houseal appears willing to tie those two, maybe, together with branding and planning, depending on what council decides. In the bargain, those three consultant groups may interface with Downtown Management, DG Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Economic Development Corporation, to sort out needs, desires, turf, all kinds of potentially interesting things.

That brings the total for outside consultants help for figuring out who we want to be, where we are going, and where we should be going, to $282,100.

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2 Responses to “Night Of The Living Consultants”

  1. Senior Grover Says:

    Hasn’t it occurred to our “leaders” that if they fix our streets and reduce our flooding, fix up areas that need fixing up, that will do it? We’ll be happy, business will want to be here. Quarter million dollars so some few people can be pestered by surveys and most all of us ignored as usual. How much did TCDtwo cost to do, and why can’t the village employees do our comprehensive plan? I hear there’s crowing about not being able to spend ten million dollars on a 3 or 4 million dollar fire station. Then they turn around and spend money on lobbyists, and on consultant after consultant. Penny-wise and dollar-foolish.

    The only consultant they should hire is one to tell them which village employees are wasting our time and money so they can be shown the door. They all have jobs to do and it’s not hiring consultants to do their work for them.

  2. markthoman Says:

    A bit of bait and switch. You know streets and flooding are #1 and #1 with me, but consultants can provide an outside perspective. I thought the presentation by Hauseal really hit on our most pressing need: an up to date Comprehensive Plan. A good way to pave that way is the TCD3: the village should tailor some group topics specific to that need, and seed those groups with one or two mavens that can move the process along to a meaningful product that can be used in the Comp Plan.

    A Comp Plan has to be more than a land use plan for the next 30 years.


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