With the timer ticking down on bids to develop a sizable portion of Whitmore Lake, Northfield Township officials are preparing for the offers to come in.

Over the past couple of years, the different governing bodies of Northfield Township have come together with residents and volunteer groups to put together a vision for the North Village district of Whitmore Lake. The synthesis plan they came up makes a request for a park area, beach area, retail with housing above it, town homes, and an open space area with an amphitheater.

Township Manager Steven Aynes told the Board of Trustees at their meeting Tuesday night that he anticipates 2 offers from developers, but that an extension on the request for proposal, or RFP, time was necessary. The new due date is next Wednesday, June 20th. The Board made a decision to have Township Planner Paul Lippens set the scoring criteria for the bids. Northfield Township Supervisor Marlene Chockley said this should help make the decision on whom to go with “pretty cut and dry.” Chockley said he will find a method to grade aspects of the RFPs like the developer’s financial capability, their experience, and other categories relevant to how well they can finish the job.

Trustee Janet Chick asked for the Board to check in on the legalities of the Planning Commission reviewing and scoring the proposals. Chockley and Treasurer Lenore Zelenock believed that as a legal statutory body, the Planning Commission should be within its right to. Aynes informed the Board that the scoring could be done through near endless combinations of entities that could even include residents or the Downtown Planning Group. Because of the uncertainty, the Board held off on establishing the committee to score the RFPs until they came in. (MK)