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Montague Cable Advisory Committee
mik - Sun, Aug 21, 2005, 12:00 A
RFP as of 2005/8/19
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR PROGRAMMING, MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF PEG ACCESS IN THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE

September 6, 2005

MONTAGUE, MASSACHUSETTS


I. GENERAL INFORMATION AND OVERVIEW

The Town of Montague, Massachusetts (hereinafter ’Town’), acting by and through its Board of Selectman, will receive sealed Proposals for the operation of the Town’s local access cable TV station, the Designated Access Provider.

Sealed Proposals must be submitted at or before (insert date)


Montague Board of Selectmen
Montague Town Hall
1 Avenue A
Turners Falls MA

Proposals received after the specified submission time will not be accepted. Sealed envelopes containing Proposals Forms must be clearly marked in accordance with the Instructions to Contractors.

Completed Proposal with all required materials must be submitted with all responses.

Complete instructions for filing Proposals are included in Sections IV and V.


The Town reserves the right to waive any informalities in, or to reject any and all Proposals if it deems it to be in the public interest to do so.

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

On August 25, 2003 The Board of Selectmen of the Town of Montague granted a ten-year License to Comcast of Massachusetts/Virginia, Inc. (’Comcast’) to operate and maintain a Cable Television System within the corporate limits of the Town of Montague. In part, the License provides for payments by the Licensee for Public, Educational and Government programming, management and operation in the Town. Specifically, the license provides a License Fee to the Town equal to five percent of Comcast’s Gross Annual Revenues ($85,609.09 in FY ’04). Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 166A, Section 9, all License Fee payments by the Licensee are payable on a quarterly basis to the Treasurer of the Town of Montague, though the Town may make provision for payments to be made directly to the Town’s Designated Access Provider. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Town for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period. Equipment purchased by the Town or the Designated Access Provider under the terms of the licensed capital payments is the property of the Town. An inventory of existing access equipment and a schedule of capital payments are available on request.

The License further provides that it is the sole responsibility of the Montague Board of Selectmen to select the Designated Access Provider. Pursuant to the terms of the Contract, this Designated Access Provider shall provide Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access Programming to Subscribers. The Designated Access Provider will be responsible for the quality of the audio/video signal up to the cable system insertion equipment. Comcast will provide, maintain and align all RF/Fiber-Optic/Digital equipment used to insert, transmit or distribute PEG access signals over the cable subscriber network.


III. PURCHASE DESCRIPTION/SCOPE OF SERVICES

A. The Town seeks a qualified, responsible and responsive provider , hereafter referred to as ’the Provider’, to operate a local access cable station and its operations in accordance with requirements set forth herein.


The proposed organization must:

B. be a 501(c)(3) corporation and must furnish evidence of this including by-laws, and membership on board of directors.

C. maintain a studio in Montague.

D. demonstrate a strong commitment to providing PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming to the local service area.

E. be responsible for programming free from censorship

F. be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers

G. make the studio available on a fixed schedule

H. provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen regarding activities, income and expenses. The report shall include all capital expenditures and a current inventory reflecting equipment purchased and retired and expenditure of resources

I. be responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of technical quality of all programs

J. maintain a log of programming available to the general public

K. maintain a written complaint/compliment file available to the general public

L. broadcast all Town Meetings, all Board of Selectmen meetings and, as determined by the MCAC in consultation with the provider, other important government meetings or public hearings

M. maintain a library of recent and current local access programs

N. provide and maintain a community calendar as a PSA

O. make every reasonable effort to encourage Montague-based programming.

P. allow for Montague residents to be represented on the Board of Directors.

IV SUBMISSIONS:

Each Proposer must include the following information in its application:

A. a mission statement.
B. an organizational plan.

C. a 3-year business plan that demonstrates allocation of resources, a capital plan, and a financial plan including a line-item first-year overall operational budget. Proposer will also include a detailed line-item operational budget specific to Montague with specific detail regarding expenditures for staffing, program development, community involvement and proposed community training.

D. job descriptions.

E. personnel policies.

F. a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns

G. a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis customer/community satisfaction.

H. a proposal for enhancing basic funding through grants, underwriting, etc. Any history of acquiring grants for public access purposes should be included.

I. a detailed inventory of present equipment in working condition that could be used for local access purposes and/or what equipment the organization plans to purchase over the first three years to enhance community programming.

J. a proposal demonstrating how the organization intends to conduct training workshops in the community facility; what the topics will be; and a proposed schedule for these workshops.

K. a statement describing how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming including outreach to the community and schools. This statement should include specific strategies and programs to recruit and involve the community and schools, and to broadcast local public meetings.



V. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

A. By submitting a Proposal, the Proposer agrees that:

1. the Proposer has read and understands the RFP (Request for Proposals) and associated documents, and the Proposal is made in accordance therewith.

2. the Proposer is familiar with Federal, State, and local bylaws, rules and regulations that may in any manner affect cost of services under or performance of any Proposer.

3. the Proposer agrees that the Proposal Documents are sufficient in scope and detail to indicate and convey understanding of all terms and conditions for performance of any Proposer (the Proposer Documents will include this Request for Proposals and any addenda issued).

4. the Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if in its sole judgment and discretion the evidence submitted by, or the subsequent investigation of, such Proposer fails to satisfy the Town that Proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the Contract documents.

B. Failure to examine the RFP, and any or all Exhibits, will not relieve any Proposer from any obligation under the Proposal as submitted.

C. Proposers shall promptly notify the Chief Procurement Officer in writing via fax 413-863-3231 of any ambiguity, inconsistency, or error which they may discover upon examination of the RFP.

D. Proposers requiring clarification or interpretation shall make a written request via fax 413-863-3231 to the Chief Procurement Officer at least ten (10) days before the date herein set for the submission of Proposals.

E. Interpretations, corrections, or changes in the RFP will be made by written addendum. Neither the Town nor the Chief Procurement Officer will be bound by any oral representation..

F. Addenda will be mailed by the Chief Procurement Officer via regular mail, to every individual or firm on record as having received a RFP. Proposers must provide information including Name, address, phone number to the Town.

G. Copies of all addenda can be examined at the same location listed in the Legal Notice Advertisement For Proposals for examination of the RFP.

H. Proposers shall respond to this RFP by submission of a Proposal Packet marked PROPOSAL FOR THE OPERATION OF A LOCAL ACCESS CABLE TV STATION SERVING THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE.’ Submissions that do not comply with these terms may be rejected.

I. Proposals by corporations shall be executed in the corporate name by the president (or other corporation officer accompanied by evidence of authority to sign). The corporate address and phone number and state of incorporation shall be shown below the signature.

J. All names shall be typed or printed below the signature.

K. Timely delivery of Proposals at the location designated shall be the full responsibility of the Proposers.

L. Any Proposals received after the time and date specified shall not be considered.

M. Any Proposal may be withdrawn by the Proposer or his duly authorized representative by written notice received by the Town at the address for receipt of Proposals specified in the Request for Proposal prior to the time scheduled for the opening of such Proposals or authorized postponement thereof. No telephone or telegraphic Proposal, change in Proposal, or withdrawal of Proposal will be received or recognized. A Proposal may be amended or modified only by withdrawing the Proposal and resubmitting another Proposal prior to the time for opening Proposals.

N. Each Proposer shall execute an affidavit on the Proposal form provided, to the effect that the Proposal is in all respects bona fide, fair and made without collusion or fraud with any person. As used in this paragraph, the word ’person’ shall mean any natural person, joint venture, partnership, corporation or other business or legal entity. Failure on the part of the Proposer to observe this provision shall be cause for rejection of this Proposal.

O. Each Proposer shall execute an affidavit, substantially in the form provided with the Proposal form, to the effect that, pursuant to M.G.L., C. 62C, S. 49A, he or she has complied with all laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts relating to the payment of taxes. Failure on the part of the Proposer to observe this provision shall be cause for rejection of this Proposal.

P. Insurance certificates indicating coverage for public liability, property damage, and worker’s compensation insurance, in accordance with Contract requirements (Exhibit J.), must be filed by the successful Proposer within thirty (30) days upon the signing of any contract. The Town shall be named as an additional insured in all policies held by Proposer. Certificates shall be from insurance companies qualified to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in a form satisfactory to Town Counsel in his sole judgment.









VI. RULES FOR AWARD



A. The authorization to award a contract for an initial period of three (3) years will be made by the Montague Board of Selectmen in 2005. Upon such authorization, the contract will be awarded to the successful Proposer and will be administered by the Board of Selectmen. Annually, within 90 days of the anniversary of the contract , the designated provider will take part in a public performance evaluation overseen by the MCAC. The purpose will be to determine whether the provider is performing its duties in compliance with the contract.

B. The contract will be awarded to the responsive and responsible Proposer with the most advantageous proposal as determined by the ranking of proposals based on the Comparative Evaluation Criteria. This analysis will be conducted by a selection committee chosen by the Board of Selectmen. The final determination will be made by the Montague Selectmen. Final award of the Contract is at the sole discretion of the Montague Selectmen. The Town, in its sole judgment, reserves the right to reject any and all Proposals if it deems to be in the public interest to do so. Any Proposal which is not prepared and submitted in accordance with all requirements of the Proposal documents, or which contains erasures, alterations, additions, errors or irregularities of any kind may be rejected. The Town reserves the right to waive any and all informalities as to form. Matters as to substance shall not be waived. The Town reserves the right to deem any such omission which is not an omission of substance as an informality for which such Proposal will not be rejected, and to subsequently receive such information or data prior to award of the contract.

C. An award is expected to be made within approximately thirty (30) days after submission of Proposals in a notification sent by registered mail. If the Proposer to whom the award is made fails to execute a Contract and return it to the Town within ten (10) business days, the Town may, at its option, determine that said Proposer has abandoned the contract and an award may then be made to the next recommended Proposer.

D. Proposers may be investigated by the Town to determine if they are qualified to perform the requirements of the Contract. All Proposers shall be prepared to submit within ten business days of the Town’s request, written evidence of such additional information and data necessary to make this determination. The Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if the evidence submitted by, or subsequent investigation of such Proposer, fails to satisfy the Town that the Proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the contract.


VII. QUALITY REQUIREMENTS


A. The Proposer must be a not-for-profit corporation

B. The Proposer must submit a plan that meets all of the requirements as specified in this RFP.

VIII. COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

1. Montague Community Representation
Highly Advantageous: Applicant is based in the Franklin area and has a clear provision for allowing 50% of its board members to be Montague residents.
Advantageous: Applicant is based in the Franklin/Hampshire area and has a clear provision for allowing 30% of its board members to be Montague residents.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not based in the Hampshire or Franklin area, and does not have a clear provision for allowing at least 30% of its board members to be Montague residents.
2. Experience with PEG Access Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least three years’ experience in the following areas:
· Producing local programming for PEG access in the Franklin/Hampshire area or similar communities.
· Involvement in Montague community-based or community-oriented organizations (this may include applicant’s organization, if applicable) producing local PEG programming
Advantageous: Applicant has between one and three years’ experience in the areas listed above. ff
Not Advantageous: Applicant does not have at least one year of experiencein the areas listed above.

3. Organizational Strength
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation for at least five years. A majority of applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for at least three years. Applicant can show a three-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly. Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.
Advantageous: Applicant has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation for at least two years but less than five years. At least 30% of the applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for at least three years, and a majority of them have been with the organization for at least one year. Applicant has at least a one-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly. Applicant can show at least a one-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not incorporated or has been incorporated for less than one year. A majority of applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for less than one year. Applicant has no history of having produced clear and detailed financial statements on a regular basis. Applicant has less than a one-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources
4. Organizational Plan
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused mission statement, organizational plan, and business plan, and these documents strongly support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.
Advantageous: Applicant has submitted a mission statement, organizational plan, and business plan, and these documents support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.
Not Advantageous: Applicant’s submitted mission statement, organizational plan, and/or business plan are vague and/or incomplete and/or do not support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.

5. Technical Qualifications

Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least three-years experience in cablecasting and can demonstrate the consistent ability to provide a high degree of technical proficiency in all aspects of cablecasting, including providing reliable visual and audio signals, maintaining equipment and a facility, and providing technical support to producers.

Advantageous: Applicant has at least two-years experience in cablecasting and can demonstrate that it is has some capacity to provide a reasonable degree of quality in the technical aspects of cablecasting, including generally reliable visual and audio signals, generally maintaining equipment and a facility, and providing limited technical support to producers.

Not Advantageous: Applicant has less than one-year experience in cablecasting and/or cannot demonstrate an ability to provide for the technical aspects of cablecasting.


6. Local Services
Highly Advantageous: Applicant operates a studio or similar facility in Montague for at least three years, and it is open to the public at least 30 hours per week on a regular basis.
Advantageous: Applicant operates a studio or similar facility in the Franklin/Hampshire area , and it is open to the public at least 10 hours per week, but fewer than 30 on a regular basis.
Not Advantageous: Applicant has not operated a facility in the Franklin/Hampshire area , or has operated one for less than one year.

7. Community Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused proposals for monitoring community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, along with proposals for workshops. Applicant’s submission strongly demonstrates a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services.
Advantageous: Applicant has submitted proposals for monitoring community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, along with proposals for workshops. Applicant’s submission demonstrates a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services.
Not Advantageous: Applicant’s proposals for monitoring community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, and its proposals for workshops are vague and/or incomplete. Applicant’s submission does not clearly demonstrate a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services.


Contract Provisions

The corporation or individual(s) whose proposal is selected as the most advantageous proposal will be expected to enter into a contract with the Town.


A. Payment for Services -- As provided in the license between the Town of Montague and Comcast, the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague will receive operating funds available for PEG access services ($85,609.09 in FY ’04) on a quarterly basis. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period between the Town and Comcast. Accountability for use of these funds is addressed under reporting requirements.

B. Term of Contract -- A three-year contract, with a five-year option to renew (subject to positive performance reviews and Town Meeting approval) will be issued by the Board of Selectmen to the chosen local access provider on January 1, 2006.

C. Liability -- The Designated Access Provider will require every access user to indemnify the Town and hold both harmless against any claims arising out of any program material produced and/or cablecast, including but not limited to, claims in the nature of libel, slander, invasion of privacy or publicity rights, no compliance with applicable laws, license fees and the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

The Designated Access Provider will maintain worker’s compensation, liability, general comprehensive and non-owned vehicle liability insurance naming the Town as co-insured in force throughout the term of the contract and will provide the Town with certificates showing compliance;

The Designated Access Provider will assume the cost and responsibility for insuring Town-owned equipment used to meet the local access needs.

D. Termination -- The Town will require that any contract include provisions for its termination upon the adjudication of the bankruptcy of the Designated Access Provider and termination if the Town determines that the Designated Access Provider has failed to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to the terms and conditions of the contract. The Town will agree to provisions which balance the interests of the Designated Provider with those of the Town, and to balanced procedures for fair hearings. The Town will require that upon termination of the contract, the Town and the Designated Access Provider will agree as to the disposition of outstanding obligations of the Designated Access Provider, and the disposition and transfer of all equipment acquired under the terms of the license.

E. Public Performance Evaluations -- Annually, within ninety (90) days of the anniversary of the contract, the designated provider will take part in a public performance evaluation overseen by the Cable Advisory Committee. The purpose will be to determine whether the provider is performing its duties pursuant to this contract, including, without limitation, public access programming, managing the annual payments for PEG access, training residents, community outreach, scheduling the PEG programming, and any other requirements as set forth in the criteria.

F. Reporting Requirements -- On a quarterly basis, the Designated Access Provider will provide at its own expense financial and operating reports to the Board of Selectmen. The financial reports will provide line item information including personnel costs, purchases of equipment and services, as well as overhead costs. The operating reports will reflect input received from the community, a list of community outreach activities, programming lists and schedules, studio workshops and other activities as per the criteria. These reports will serve as an ongoing means of evaluating the performance of the Designated Access Provider and identifying new goals and directions.

.
Dated:


The Town of Montague by:

______________________________________________

Town Administrator/Chief Procurement Officer


_______________________________________________
Town Counsel
Certify as to form




The CONTRACTOR _________________________________________________
[authority or agency]


________________________________________________
Director


________________________________________________
Board President



CERTIFICATE OF TAX COMPLIANCE



Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 62C, sec 49A, I hereby certify under penalties of perjury that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I am in compliance with all laws of the Commonwealth relating to taxes, reporting of employees and contractors, and withholding and remitting child support.




___________________________ _____________________________________
Social Security or Federal I.D. number Signature: Individual or Corporate Officer




_________________________________
Date



PLEASE PRINT

Corporate Name: ________________________________________________



Address: _______________________________________________________



City, State, Zip Code: _____________________________________________






CERTIFICATE OF NON-COLLUSION




The undersigned certifies under penalties of perjury that this Proposal or proposal has been made and submitted in good faith and without collusion or fraud with any other person, business, partnership, corporation, union committee, club or other organization, entity or group of individuals.



Signature of individual submitting Proposal or proposal





Name of Business