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File #: 2020-0782   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 7/28/2020 In control: Community Development Commission
On agenda: 10/20/2020 Final action:
Title: Selection of Environmental Review Consultant
Department or Agency Name(s): Community Development Commission
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Attachment 1 Draft Agreement, 3. Attachment 2 Request for Qualifications
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Board of Commissioners; Sonoma County Community Development Commission

Department or Agency Name(s): Community Development Commission

Staff Name and Phone Number: Kirsten Larsen, 565-7526

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): All




Selection of Environmental Review Consultant



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Authorize the Interim Executive Director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission to execute Professional Services Agreements with AKRF, Inc. and AEI Consultants for preparation of environmental review documents under the National Environmental Policy Act and applicable Federal Regulations, for the period of October 15, 2020 through October 15, 2023, in an amount not to exceed $400,000, and to execute subsequent amendments to the Agreements to extend the term for two additional one-year periods, and other environmental consulting services as needed.



Executive Summary:

Approval of this agenda item will authorize the Executive Director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission to execute Professional Services Agreements with AKRF, Inc. and AEI Consultants to perform environmental review services for federally funded projects and other services as needed. AKRF, Inc. and AEI Consultants were selected through an open and competitive process.




The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funding to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission (Commission) on behalf of the County of Sonoma, the recipient. The Commission administers programs to assist low- and moderate-income individuals and households throughout Sonoma County. Through an annual funding cycle, the Commission receives proposals from non-profit organizations, developers, and units of local government and recommends projects for funding approval to the Sonoma County Board of Commissioners.

The expenditure of federal funds requires preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental reviews following laws and regulations found at Title 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 58. The cost of NEPA project-specific reviews is borne by the sponsor or developer of the project using the conditionally allocated federal funds approved by the Board of Commissioners in the Annual Action Plan in May of each year.

The preparation of NEPA environmental reviews is highly specialized, technical, and differs significantly from the expertise required to provide environmental services under the State’s California Environmental Quality Act. To assist the Commission’s funding recipients in complying with this NEPA requirement in a manner that will be approved by the Commission as the County’s Responsible Entity, the Commission contracts with a qualified NEPA consultant whose services are made available to project sponsors on a fee reimbursement basis. The environmental review consultant selected here will perform NEPA reviews for all HUD-funded projects, as well as other environmental review services for the Commission as needed.

Consultant Selection

The Commission’s previous agreement with AEM Consulting for project-specific environmental review services expired on August 22, 2020. On July 28, 2020, the Commission commenced an open and competitive procurement process in accordance with its Procurement Policy.

The Commission issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Environmental Review Services on July 28, 2020. The RFQ was distributed via the Commission’s website, online mailing lists, and posted on the website for the Association of Environmental Professionals. Three qualified environmental consulting firms responded. Commission staff reviewed and scored the responses, followed up on references, and submitted its recommendation to the Interim Executive Director.

The Commission desires to establish a pool of qualified environmental professionals made up of the two qualified firms that submitted responsive proposals. It is anticipated that each firm will be used in a somewhat rotational order, based on expertise for the specific services needed and availability.

Commission staff recommends the selection of AKRF, Inc. and AEI Consultants, the two responses that met the Commission’s minimum standards.

Commission staff checked references, and both had excellent reviews of their competence and performance.


To not award the contract. The Commission would not have an appropriate federal environmental consultant under contract to perform environmental reviews required by the grant . The Board of Commissioners could direct Commission staff to execute an agreement with another qualified consultant that responded to the RFQ.


Prior Board Actions:

08/22/2017 - Board authorized the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with AEM Consulting to expire on August 22, 2020

06/19/2012 - Board authorized the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with AEM Consulting

08/17/2010 - Board authorized the execution of a new professional services agreement with AEM Consulting

09/16/2003 - Board authorized increase in amount of AEM Consulting agreement

08/28/2001 - Board authorized increase in amount and extension of term of pre-existing AEM Consulting agreement


Fiscal Summary


FY 20-21 Adopted

FY 21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

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Additional Appropriation Requested




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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

The cost of federal environmental reviews is funded by the project sponsor, using their own funds or a portion of the federal funds awarded by the Commission to the sponsor.


Staffing Impacts:




Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




1.                     Draft Agreement

2.                     Copy of Request for Qualifications


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: