Erosion issues are starting at the land that was supposed to be the marina project. We have people in our community who need assistance when it comes to food and even the Department of Agriculture realizes the importance of urban agriculture. WTOL’s Bob Chirdon feels that Councilmen Joe McNamara and Mike Craig’s idea to see if someone in our community is interested in doing something with the vacant land that might benefit our community more than it just sitting there and eroding into the Maumee River is a idea worth mocking. It makes me wonder if Chirdon actually read what was proposed:
We realize that the tight credit market makes redeveloping the Marina District a challenge. However, we are very optimistic about the future of this project. This beautiful vista will one day be redeveloped into an amazing new neighborhood in the heart of Toledo. We believe that waiting for the right proposal to present itself is the responsible course for this asset.
Until we find the right development deal, it is important that the site be maintained in a sustainable fashion. We think the City should explore short-term urban agriculture uses in the Marina District.
We see four major benefits to the Marina District from urban agriculture:
a productive use of City property;
erosion prevention; and
beautification of riverfront property.
The RFQ process could provide us with a partner who could accomplish these benefits to the city at low or no cost. Additionally, certain types of plantings (phytoremediation) could actually mitigate environmental issues and improve the soil quality. Increasing the soil quality increases the value of the land and creates new potential uses for redevelopment.
We respectfully request your Administration to issue an RFQ, so that we can explore the possibilities together.
There are lots of things that could be grown, like mushrooms — or we could sit back, say nothing and then wonder why there’s this hesitation to even suggest people think outside the box, if you think urban agriculture is outside the box. Maybe no one would be interested in this project — but maybe someone would —
The first part of the suggested RFQ:
The City of Toledo is seeking the services of qualified organizations to utilize Urban Agricultural Practices at the Marina District in Toledo, Ohio for purposes of improving soil quality, stabilizing the soil and beautifying the site.
The City of Toledo owns and operates the 128-acre property known as the Marina District, which is located adjacent to the Maumee River and can be generally identified by the address 1401 Front St., Toledo, Ohio 43605. The City is interested in using agricultural practices at the site as an interim use prior to development. The City intends to contract with a qualified organization to use urban agricultural practices to improve soil quality, stabilize the soil and beautify the site. The City may also seek to leverage additional funds for the implementation of agricultural practices.
II. Scope of Work
The City of Toledo invites the submittal of statements of qualifications from firms, non-profit agencies, educational entities and any relevant organization interested in growing vegetation at the site. The City is seeking qualified RFQs to have a detailed plan to start growing at the site, schedule of plantings both short-term and long-term, and types of planting that would occur at the site if your organization is selected.
This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is intended to assist the City of Toledo in identifying qualified organizations that are interested in formal and informal Request for Proposals (RFPs) where the City would select an organization to perform work identified in the RFP. All work performed under this agreement is expected to be completed in compliance with the property specific Covenant Not to Sue (CNS) issued by the Ohio EPA for the site. The City is willing to negotiate terms of the agreement that establish a schedule for the project, or for specific areas of the site.