Please note: due dates have been extended. Proposals now due 1/2/2019.
The WestCOG Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 for communities in Western Connecticut with a mission to promote environmental, social, and economic vitality and sustainability through regional cooperation and collaboration. This Regional GIS project targets the communities involved within the Western Connecticut and Northwest Hills Planning Regions, henceforth referred to as the “Region.” The municipalities in the Region vary in character from small and rural, such as Bridgewater, Canaan, and Warren, to more urban communities such as Danbury, Torrington, Norwalk and Stamford. Digital mapping and Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) infrastructure vary widely across the region.
Municipalities in Connecticut are undergoing budgetary stress and impacts because of continued revenue declines and structural changes in the State of Connecticut. New types of cooperation for economic efficiencies are being sought between municipalities across Western Connecticut. Municipalities are looking to realize significant cost savings by optimizing operations and planning, as well as cooperative efforts with adjacent communities.
The WestCOG Foundation, Inc. is seeking qualified Vendor(s) who have expertise with IT, CAMA, and GIS to create effective parcel data for communities without data and to support and manage a Regional GIS CAMA and Parcel View system (Regional GIS) for the Region. This project is the initial phase in a multi-year effort to support regional cooperation and efficiencies. The goal is to provide Western Connecticut with an application that will save municipalities money while improving overall efficiency and functionality. Pricing and efficient operations are critical goals to this project because there is no dedicated, long-term funding; rather, it will need to subsist on a fee for service model.
The minimum components for a web-based regional GIS program include a GIS visualization web tool with mapped parcels and supporting GIS layers; property card functionality; and integrated CAMA data that allows for basic search, view, and print functionality. This level of integration and functionality has become commonplace for individual municipalities across Connecticut, New England, and the US.
The project intends to start with a modest number of communities and grow to include more municipalities as they become ready and able to join. We do expect a range of participation levels.
To learn more about this effort please review Axiomatic’s Regional GIS Web Report, hereinafter referred to as the Axiomatic Report, which can be found on WestCOG Foundation, Inc. website. It is a planning document produced by WestCOG in conjunction with the consultant Axiomatic to determine the viability for regional cooperation on Property Appraisal, and a regionalized Real Property Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system. The deliverables for this RFP include creation of digital parcel data for some towns, standardized pricing for planimetric mapping tasks, a standard CAMA and parcel data schema, an ETL migration plan, and a Regional GIS platform for participating communities.
Information on submitting a proposal can be found in the General Instructions and Inquiries section of this RFP.
Please download the necessary files below
Tentative RFP Schedule:
11/13 – RFP released
12/05 – Deadline for questions
12/12 – Responses to vendor questions posted for review
12/17 – Final day to submit proposals Updated date: 1/2/2019
Week 6 – Schedule Interviews
Week 10 – Select a vendor
Week 12 – Project Begins
Scope of Work
The intention of this project is to create digital parcel data and to build a regional GIS database with integrated Parcel-CAMA data for the communities in the Region, presented in a Web GIS Application with parcels, supporting GIS layers and integrated CAMA information. This is the most basic level of integration and allows for viewing of GIS information and the ability to search and view basic property attributes. This type of integration has been established for individual municipalities across Connecticut, New England and the US.
Multiple Component RFP
This RFP has two principal components. Vendors are welcome to apply to any single or both components. The three options for applications are as follows.
Option 1. Data Creation and Regional GIS Parcel CAMA Integration
Option 2. Northwest Hills Planning Region Planimetrics
Option 3. Both (as separate documents)
The option selected by the vendor must be clearly denoted in the submittal email, and the application. For vendors that pursue option 3, the vendor should provide two separate documents, separate from one another; one document for the Regional GIS Parcel and CAMA Integration Project and another to address the Northwest Hills Planning Region Planimetrics project. Applications which detail the two components in single document will not be considered for either component.
Types of Municipalities
The Western Connect region has a variety of municipalities. Some have more technical resources and mapping capabilities than others. The municipalities are broken into three classes, hereinafter referred to as the Community Classes.
Class 1 Communities with little or no digital data or capabilities and need a full suite of services. Typically, this is a small town starting from scratch.
Class 2 Communities with some mapping or digital CAMA capabilities may need selected services.
Class 3 Communities that have already have a functioning CAMA parcel integration system.
Regional GIS Parcel CAMA Integration
The proposed work tasks for this project include Data Development and Collection of parcel and CAMA data from the participating municipalities; an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) standardization of the schemas from the participating towns, and a Web Mapping & Visualization Tool available through an Online GIS Platform. This effort is intended to provide the initial framework and platform for continued Regional CAMA integration so that other towns can join in as their revaluation cycle, funding, or political interest permit. Consultants that address the necessary flexibility will score higher in the proposal review process. The core GIS mapping functionality that is provided by the existing sites of municipalities must be present and fully-operational at the time of application launch.
Data will be provided in the latest version of CT State Plane Projection (2011/HARN) and delivered in a feature class and geodatabase format. The proposed parcel data format is the Massachusetts Land Record System.
Ten tasks are provided below and for simplicity these tasks have been categorized into four project sections; Parcel Data Development, Data Management and Export, Regional GIS and Parcel Mapping, and Program Maintenance.
Data Development and Collection
- Task 1. Conversion of Tax Maps to Parcel Data
- Task 2. Quality Review of Data
- Task 3. Data Collection
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) standardization
- Task 4. ETL Conversions of CAMA Data
Regional GIS CAMA/Parcel Mapping
- Task 5. Regional GIS Platform
- Task 6. Property Record Field Cards and Linkages
- Task 7. Ongoing Maintenance
- Task 8. Governance Consulting
Northwest Hills Planning Region Planimetrics
- Task 9. Standardized Prices for Planimetric Mapping
Data Development and Collection
Task 1: Conversion of Tax Maps to Parcel Data
Some municipalities in the Region do not have digital parcel information and are still using physical maps, digital non-GIS systems, or legacy GIS systems for their parcel system. As part of this RFP, some municipalities will need to have their parcel data converted to a standard schema and converted into GIS layers. A sample flat schema for parcel and sales information is provided in Axiomatic’s Report, this schema is the anticipated format but WestCOG Foundation, Inc. is open to additional schemas as long as they meet or exceed the requirements listed within this RFP. The report can be found on WestCOG’s publications page here.
Deliverables: The Vendor will describe the methodology by which they convert various formats into GIS parcel information, ranging from:
- Physical maps
- Digital non-GIS systems
- Legacy GIS systems
Both NHCOG and WestCOG will assist in communications with the municipalities as necessary. If it would provide significant cost-savings for NHCOG or WestCOG staff to assist in the collection of non-digital parcel information, please note in your response and provide an outline of necessary procedures.
The Vendor will provide pricing for converting each of the formats on a per parcel basis including any discounts for volume work. Reductions in pricing should occur in increments of $1,000 for simplicity. It is expected that this pricing would be available for consideration by interested municipalities for a period of at least 3 years. The Vendor will provide methodology and pricing for each class of community (Class 1, 2, and 3 outlined above).
Digitized parcel layers will become the property of WestCOG, NHCOG, and the participating municipality.
Task 2: Quality Review of Data
Quality reviews of the existing and newly created parcel data will be performed to ensure a quality product.
Deliverables: The Vendors should describe a procedure for evaluating collected and developed parcel data. The Vendor should provide pricing for this activity.
Task 3: Data Collection
WestCOG Foundation, Inc. shall supply the selected vendor(s) with supplemental planimetric and imagery data that includes building footprints, impervious cover, streets, recent 3″ imagery, hydrology and environmental data, elevation information, and other supplemental data used in a web mapping environment for the 18 municipalities of the WestCOG region. The Consultants shall acquire existing parcel data and the latest CAMA data from participating municipalities or from WestCOG Foundation, Inc. The minimum acceptable data layers are outlined in the Master Schema provided in the Appendix of Axiomatic’s Report (starting at Page 49, linked here).
Deliverables: The Vendor will provide a list of data layers for use in the Regional GIS as well as a methodology for CAMA data acquisition. Provide pricing to collect this data for a sample community under each of the given Community Classes mentioned above.
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) standardization Management
Task 4: ETL Conversions of CAMA Data
After acquiring the supplemental GIS layers, the next task is to integrate the existing CAMA schemas of the participating municipalities using an agreed upon land use standard. The Axiomatic Report recommends the Massachusetts Land Use (MLU) code standards although WestCOG is open to other standards as long as they meet or exceed the requirements outlined in this RFP. The MLU system provides major classification, major division, and subdivision delineations and provide the necessary granularity. Twenty of the thirty-nine communities in the Region use Vision CAMA platform, which maintains the MLU system as their baseline configuration. QPublic is another common platform in the Region.
In Connecticut, property is valued annually by each municipality to be current on October 1 (Chapter 203 – Sec. 12-62a). The municipality has until February 1 to create the “Grand List” which contains all the taxable and tax-exempt property current to the assessment date. This is the “official” valuation record for the year (although some municipalities do not complete the list until the end of February).
CAMA data is typically updated daily by municipalities to add information like new construction information, update attributes for renovations, or record property ownership changes. It is critical that the underlying CAMA information in a Regional GIS data portal contains the official records for each property and that these changes are captured regularly to safeguard accuracy. Thus, ensuring that the information being displayed on the site coincides with property tax billing information. There should be a visible notation to a consumer of the date the information was last updated.
CAMA data should be processed using a database tool that is tailored to each specific municipality. The database tool normalizes field names, transforms coding (like land use) and performs error identification and cross reference with GIS parcel data. The error identification and rectification process are critical for the sustainability of this initiative.
The selected vendor will develop and implement a repeatable methodology for an ETL transformation from the participating municipalities using widely available software and database tools. All products and data created for the project will become the exclusive property of WestCOG Foundation Inc., NHCOG, and participating municipalities and be conveyed prior to completion of the project. In the case of scripts, tools, and processors WestCOG will require a perpetual irrevocable right to use. Axiomatic’s Report identified the following activities for an effective ETL methodology:
CAMA Normalization: The processing of each communities CAMA data set to match the types and sizes aligned to a standard schema. This includes the creation of a link ID to connect CAMA data to Parcel Data.
Initial CAMA/Parcel Crosscheck: CAMA records that do not have a matching GIS parcel record and GIS parcel records that do not have matching CAMA records are identified. These records are flagged for error resolution.
CAMA Error Resolution: CAMA record “link id” fields can be modified to adjust for inconsistency, complex relationships or other issues that were identified in the initial CAMA/Parcel Crosscheck. Error resolution is managed through a series of “IF” statements that are designed to address specific error patterns. CAMA records flagged in the initial crosscheck are updated based on the error resolution process. The goal of the error resolution is to build a “link id” which can be successfully linked to the parcel layer.
Secondary CAMA/Parcel Crosscheck: CAMA records that do not have a matching GIS parcel record and GIS parcel records that do not have matching CAMA records are re-checked. These records are considered final and are flagged as such. This allows users of the regional GIS site to understand they are looking at a record that does not have a corresponding CAMA or parcel record. It is best practice to share this list with the participating community so that the appropriate data changes can be made, to result in a successful CAMA/Parcel link.
Code Transformation: Based on translation tables the CAMA data codes (like land use) can be transformed to the WestCOG Foundation standard. Doing code transformation at the local level is conducive to streamlining long-term maintenance.
Export: Final CAMA and parcel files are exported from the process standardized and ready for aggregation.
The selected vendor will develop a repeatable Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process data export procedure for each communities’ CAMA data. The attributes included in each data export should align with a standard schema to ensure data completeness. Once the repeatable data export process has been established it should be documented thoroughly for each community. Data processing may require a specific processor for each community or for common CAMA systems such as Vision.
The ETL processes will be designed for spatial (e.g. parcel, buildings, & selected annotations), and tabular data exports (e.g. exports from CAMA). The CAMA ETL should focus on:
- Standardizing data elements from the municipal CAMA exports,
- Establishing a regional unique ID,
- Creating a linking ID from the CAMA data to the parcel.
The ETL process should provide a method for updating ownership information without updating values, land and building attributes.
The ETL process should provide a method to track open space .
The ETL process should allow for the identification and rectification of errors using a semi-automated process.
The regional unique ID should be formed by pre-fixing the unique CAMA ID with a municipal code. The parcels should have less than 4% link errors with its associated CAMA dataset.
Deliverables: The Vendor should describe the tools and methodology they will use to complete the ETL transformation and in addition describe how this process can be replicated by the WestCOG Foundation, Inc. GIS Team (performed without assistance from the vendor). WestCOG Foundation, Inc. and NHCOG maintains ownership and control of processing tools if possible or at the minimum have irrevocable access to software needed to perform the task.
The Vendor should provide a proposed schema, and points of standardization as applicable after reviewing Axiomatic’s Report.
The Vendor will provide an explanation on how they will resolve issues with links between CAMA and parcel data when dealing with multiunit dwellings.
The Vendor will provide an explanation on how their methodology to preserve data integrity as data passes between municipality, COG, to the Server and back to the municipality. The goal is to ensure clean data in and clean data out.
The Vendor should address how manual adjustments will be handled in the ETL process.
The Vendor should provide pricing for one year and any ongoing maintenance (such as updating processors). The expectation is that there will be at least quarterly data dumps with the expectation that some towns will be operating on different schedules with increased frequency.
WestCOG Foundation will consider other implementations and approaches provided the advantages, technology, and pricing are clearly described by the Vendor.
Regional GIS CAMA/Parcel Mapping
Task 5: Regional GIS Platform
This RFP is intended to create a Web GIS platform that links a Regional GIS platform to municipal CAMA data. WestCOG Foundation is seeking the least expensive web mapping platform that still meets the goals of this project. Consequently, WestCOG Foundation is platform agnostic and will consider open source, cloud, and major vendor solutions. WestCOG Foundation is also looking to minimize annual maintenance and hosting costs. Pricing should be provided on a per parcel basis. The hope and expectation are that additional municipalities will join as the platform starts to function. With a successful deployment of this service there is potential for expanding the program to municipalities outside the Region. Additional information on site functionality can be found in the “Site Functionality” section in the appendix.
The public-facing platform should not require specific software that is unlikely available to the general public and should be accessible on most internet browsers.
Deliverables: The Vendor will provide a description of their Regional GIS platform solution and the type of platform. The Vendor may provide alternative pricing depending on the selected platform.
The Vendor will provide pricing on a per parcel basis.
The Vendor will provide prices of maintenance fees to be guaranteed for at least three years. Please include any discounts which would occur from an increased count of municipalities for example: five towns, half the municipalities in the region, all the municipalities in the Region, and statewide.
The Vendor should also note the costs in the event a municipality would want its own viewer in addition to the regional platform.
Task 6: Property Record Field Cards and Linkages
Flat CAMA data integration is the most common form seen in parcel-based GIS data portals/applications. Flat file integrations involve the linking of a single record per property. Information related to the property, such as multiple building sections or extra features, is aggregated into a summary or simply into totals and stored in the record, as there is no support for one- to- many parent/child relationships with this type of implementation. Data from this type of system is easily exported to delimited text files. The flattening process generally only has an impact on more complex properties and would have little effect on the single-family residential properties within the Region. The flat file typically contains summary information regarding the properties identification, current ownership, land, primary building, last sales, and valuation. Each parcel should include access to an associated property card. The application should allow users to view, print, and download a Property Card for each parcel.
Deliverables: The Vendor should explain how the property card will be generated.
If the Vendor has a method to generate property cards for multiunit dwellings, the Vendor should provide an explanation.
If the Vendor wishes to propose an alternative include a justification of the advantages, methods, and software involved.
The Vendor should provide pricing for year one delivery and any annual maintenance fees. Please include any discounts which would occur from an increased count of municipalities participating.
The Vendor should provide pricing for communities to transfer over to this system and already have a Parcel-CAMA system.
If the Vendor has a method to connect the property cards to building/zoning/planning permit information, it should also include it in the description.
Task 7: Ongoing Maintenance
Ongoing maintenance costs of a Regional GIS system are a critical cost variable in this project and this proposal should address how those costs will be moderated and controlled.
Deliverables: The Vendor shall include the initial cost of system of set-up with and without ETL processing.
The Vendor shall include annual maintenance pricing for the entire system including software, hosting (cloud or local), data collection, ETL processing, etc.
The Vendor shall include a fixed five-year price for both set-up and maintenance.
The Vendor shall also include pricing for an individual town viewer should a municipality request it and if the cost would be related to their participation in the regional viewer.
Task 8: Governance Consulting
The Selected vendor will support in governance meetings and provide professional service in year one in support of tasks. Technical advice will be valuable during early technical committee meetings made up of local government staff from the Region.
Deliverable: Vendor will provide pricing for a year of technical support for governance meetings.
Northwest Hills Planning Region Planimetrics
Task 9 Standardized Prices for Planimetric Mapping
This is an optional task upon request by NHCOG, to be provided with separate pricing from tasks 1-9. Pricing should be guaranteed for three years. Proposed work should follow best practices as defined below:
The VENDOR will produce planimetric and topographic geospatial data that conforms with the supplied data dictionary design and schema. NHCOG may assign the VENDOR to capture all or a selection of the layers listed as an attachment here. If NHCOG should decide not to capture one or more of the layers, the total project cost will be reduced by an equivalent amount. The VENDOR may not bill more for a planimetric data layer than the price stated in any agreement resulting from this RFP. Planimetric data should meet 2015 ASPRS Level 2 standards .
The VENDOR should estimate the production rate for the data sets by municipality. A population estimate is provided in the appendix. Torrington is the most urban municipality in the region with the other twenty (20) towns having more rural land uses. The VENDOR is encouraged to provide a discussion of factors that influence capture rates expected on this project.
The VENDOR will digitally compile the planimetric data using compilation equipment as specified in the ASPRS Level 2 standard. The digital compilation methods used to complete this task must be capable of direct digital data capture and must be in good calibration. Heads-up digitizing and post-compilation digitizing of graphic compilation will not be permitted.
Multiple features will need to be captured with elevation features. These features include: building polygons and roof break lines; transmission and radio tower point locations.
The VENDOR must adhere to the compilation requirements specified below and any topological standards specified by WestCOG Foundation, Inc. at the project kickoff meeting:
Common boundaries: All graphic features that share a common boundary must have the exact same digital representation of that boundary in all layers when required by the database design (i.e. the location where a driveway terminates at a garage would have a coincident line in both the transportation (pavement) and building layers).
Connectivity: Where graphic elements meet visually, they must also meet digitally. All confluences of line, area, and polygon data must be mathematically exact. No overshoots, undershoots, or offsets are permitted. Lines that connect polygons must intersect those polygons precisely meaning that every end point must be an intersection point of a respective polygon.
Line quality: A high quality cartographic appearance shall be achieved. Transitions from straight lines to curvilinear line segments shall be smooth and without angular inflections at the point of intersection. The digital representation must not contain extraneous data at a non-visible level. There should be no jags or hooks or zero length segments. Curvilinear graphic features should be smoothed with a minimum number of points. Any lines that are straight should be digitized with only two points.
Segmentation: The digital representation of linear elements must reflect the visual network structure of the data type. An element should not be segmented or broken unless that segmentation reflects a visual or attribute code characteristic.
Area and polygon closure and centroids: All line and polygon features must be continuous, unexploded, unformatted, polylines, and contain X, Y, coordinates at each vertex. For polygons, the last coordinate pair must be exactly (mathematically) equal to the first coordinate pair. No line or polygon will cross itself or any other digitized feature except to join at an actual confluence.
Points: All point features shall be digitized as a single x, y coordinate pair at the visual center of the graphic feature they symbolize.
All data must be free of node and intersect errors. Each polygon data must have one unique label per polygon and be free of label errors.
The municipalities would retain ownership of any generated data products associated with this task.
Deliverable: Pricing should be provided on a per square mile basis for each requested planimetric feature class. Products will be delivered in a schema format provided by WestCOG Foundation, Inc. Example data sets will be available for the vendors to evaluate. Imagery and LiDAR from the 2016 CT statewide flight can be made available for consultants’ use. If not utilized, the Vendor will explain what data will be used for the planimetric development.
General Instructions and Inquiries
Questions regarding this Request for Proposal (RFP) should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No phone calls please. Inquiries and responses will be posted on WestCOG Foundation’s procurement webpage. Please note that it is WestCOG Foundation, Inc. policy to respond only to technical questions. Under no circumstances will WestCOG Foundation provide interpretive guidance. All questions must be received at least one week prior to the final submission date to ensure adequate provisioning of answers to all interested vendors.
In selecting a lead firm, consortia, joint ventures and teams should consider the following:
- the lead firm should have sufficient experience and expertise to conduct or supervise all facets of the proposed project;
- the lead firm will be legally responsible to WestCOG Foundation for performance of the total contract;
- the lead firm must have sufficient resources to carry out the contractual responsibilities of the consortium, joint venture or team; and the lead firm must conduct fifty one percent (51%) of the total work awarded under any contract issued as a result of this RFP. Please note that firms that are subsidiaries or affiliates of another may not rely on the experience, expertise or resources of its parent firm to meet these requirements for the entire region.
Submission of Qualifications Statements
WestCOG Foundation will accept completed proposals by email until 8:00 am ET on Monday, December 17, 2018.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Requirement
DBE firms are strongly encouraged to respond. Every effort will be made to consider awarding the contract to a qualified DBE, even though this project does not stipulate required compliance.
Proposals must clearly identify the DBE firm, the role the DBE will play in the project and the tasks assigned to the DBE. Proof of Connecticut DBE certification must be submitted with the proposal.
Contracts awarded as a result of this RFP are subject to all applicable federal and state laws, including those concerning civil rights, nondiscrimination, and equal opportunity. Any responses to this RFP, as well as any work resulting from it, are subject to freedom of information.
Successful firms are required to maintain insurance coverage as required by state and federal law.
Addenda and Supplements
In the event that revisions or additions to this RFP are necessary, a copy of such revisions or additions will be posted here.
Conflicts of Interest
All relationships that may pose a conflict of interest, and actions that shall be taken to avoid or mitigate these conflicts, shall be disclosed as part of the response to this RFP.
Note, that for vendors applying under Option 3 they should submit separate proposals, and each proposal must include the following information:
- Designation if the application falls under Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3
- A project sample;
- Statement describing the organizational framework for the project, including clear identification of the lead firm, project manager, and, as applicable, any partnerships or sub‑Vendor relationships, the roles and responsibilities of each partner or sub-Vendor;
- A narrative (maximum of 13 pages) that describes the project approach and methodologies, addressing the goals and objectives stated in the scope of work;
- A project timeline or schedule that breaks the scope of work into a series of discrete tasks and, for each task, specifies expected:
- Staff person assigned to task
- Total hours by person for each task.
- Resumes for key staff on project. Professional licenses and certifications should be included.
- A description of the firm’s expectation of the involvement and contribution of WestCOG Foundation, Inc., NHCOG, and WestCOGto the project (other than the fee);
- Proof of Connecticut DBE certification for all participating firms, as applicable; and
- A completed Organizational Conflict of Interest Statement that either warrants that there are no relevant facts or circumstances that could give rise to organizational conflicts of interest, and/or, as applicable, gives a full, written disclosure of any organizational conflicts of interests, including description of the action(s) the proposer has taken or will take to avoid or mitigate such conflict.
- If alternative approaches are proposed, please indicate why. Use of alternative approaches is encouraged if it can provide the same or better results without negatively impacting costs. Alternate project approaches are subject to WestCOG Foundation, Inc.’s approval.
Responses to this RFP will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Qualifications of the lead Vendor or firm;
- Qualifications of subcontractors, if any;
- Qualifications of key personnel assigned to this project;
- Understanding of project objectives (particularly working with local governments) and the thoroughness, creativity, and clarity of suggested approach;
- Experience (especially for similar project types and geographies) and proven record of success with comparable projects and ability to work with municipalities;
- Technical capabilities and responsiveness to requirements of this proposal;
- Total cost including cost per section.
A Selection Team will be convened to evaluate proposals received by the close stated in this RFP. WestCOG Foundation, Inc. will notify firms, consortia, joint ventures and teams selected for interview by the Vendor Selection Team via phone call or email. The Selection Team will rank the firms, consortia, joint ventures and teams it interviews according to the criteria identified in this RFP and submit its recommendations to WestCOG Foundation, Inc. Multiple firms may be selected. WestCOG Foundation, Inc. reserves the right to make multiple awards.
 The best practices are drawn from a previous RFP for planimetrics performed by the now retired planning region, SWRPA.