Hoot Toot and Whistle RFP

Request for Proposal Design for
Improvements to Hoot, Toot, & Whistle Trail,
Town of Wilmington, Vermont

Date Issued:  November 16,2021  Responses Due: Friday December 17,2021 at 4pm

Contact person: Bob Fisher, Chair of the Wilmington Trail Committee

All questions related to this request for proposal shall be addressed to this individual no later than 5 business days prior to the Date Due above and emailed to bob@fisherandfisherlaw.com.


The Town of Wilmington is requesting proposals for the design of improvements to the Hoot, Toot and Whistle Trail. This design will specify any required engineering services, permits and the plan for construction of the improvements.

The project includes a 2-mile trail from the Riverwalk Path to Mt. Mills East Picnic Area and Boat Launch, plus a short spur connecting to Mill Street. At present some sections of the trail are constantly wet and muddy (Appendix 2) while others are hazardous due to the terrain–roots, rocks, winding and uneven course (Appendix 2). Other areas of the path have suffered considerable erosion (Appendix 2) and will require some type of remediation. The improvements proposed will comprehensively provide long term sustainability and more inclusive, public recreational access. The result envisioned will easily accommodate families with strollers, bicyclists, and those with physical and mobility limitations. Once completed, the Hoot, Toot and Whistle Trail enhancements will offer a more typical, rail-trail user experience, thereby facilitating increased usage and enjoyment of a local, community asset. Specific goals include widening the trail and rerouting or rebuilding the path with native, surrounding materials or gravel to create a well constructed, more level or more gently sloping path.

Background information

The Wilmington Trail Committee (WTC) is a town committee consisting of volunteers.  A scoping report completed in 2007 (Appendix 1) explored three different trail alignments for the HT&W trail.  The WTC created the existing recreational path largely following Alignment 3 though several reroutes were required by Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to circumvent wetlands.  Landowner permission to construct, maintain, and improve the trail is outlined in a Licensee agreement between Great River Hydro (formerly TransCanada Hydro) and the Town of Wilmington (Appendix 1). The trail path is located on land protected and managed by The Vermont Land Trust through a Grant of Conservation Restrictions (Appendix 1).  This RFP will be managed by Bob Fisher, WTC chair.  The owner is the Town of Wilmington Select Board.

Scope of Work

The proposed design shall:

  1. Review the 2007 Scoping Report (Appendix 1) and reflect a comprehensive on-site inspection of the existing trail path
  2. Use existing, natural materials or gravel to create the best quality trail upgrades and repairs that satisfy the project goals
  3. Employ trail building best practices in Vermont Town Forest Trail Design Guide (Appendix 1).
  4. Create a minimum 6-foot corridor where possible
  5. Achieve a level or gently sloping surface grade
  6. Minimize environmental impacts on vegetation, terrain, the natural landscape, wetlands and streams, and surrounding vicinity (motorized equipment is allowed for the purposes of trail building).
  7. Use reroutes where needed that achieve the desired path, grade, and surface quality while avoiding the need for Agency of Natural Resources permitting as much as possible.
  8. Demonstrate compliance with the 2013 license agreement between Great River Hydro and the Town of Wilmington (Appendix 1), honor the Grant of Conservation Restrictions with Vermont Land Trust (Appendix 1), and reflect a complete review of the Wilmington Rail Trail Wetlands & Streams Crossing Wetland Permit Plan located in Exhibit A of the License Agreement between Great River Hydro and the Town of Wilmington (Appendix 1).


  1. Plans, designs, and drawings using the 2007 Final Wilmington Trail Feasibility Study and Scoping Report (Appendix 1) that a contractor can execute:
    • Title Page
    • Typical Sections for the proposed improvements
    • Example(s) of cross section(s), including proposed materials
    • New or modified subsurface drainage
    • Limits of Construction in relation to Act 250 and its exceptions
  2. Explanation of design decisions, including statutes that impact those decisions.
  3. Cost estimates for construction
  4. Identify state permits required and estimate the cost of permits, including the engineering costs related to permits

Response to RFP

  1. Cost estimate for the above deliverables
  2. Timeline for the above deliverables
  3. Alternatives to these deliverables
  4. Qualifications and prior experience
  5. References on similar design projects

RFP responses with proposal and quotations must be submitted by email and delivered to bob@fisherandfisherlaw.com prior to 4:00 pm on Friday December 17, 2021.

Questions and requests for clarification must be submitted by email to Bob Fisher at bob@fisherandfisherlaw.com by  4:00 pm on Friday December 10,2021. Responses to submitted queries will be sent by email.

WTC reserves the right to request that an applicant supply clarification and/or additional information before the final award contract date.  In addition, WTC may elect to interview applicants prior to final selection.

All proposals, upon submission, become the property of the Town of Wilmington.  The latter reserves the right to reject any and all submitted proposals in whole or part, to negotiate contract terms with the successful bidder, or cancel the RFP in part or in its entirety if in the best interest of the Town.  WTC will select the proposal considered to best promote the interests of the public and the Town of Wilmington.


WTC will evaluate and rank all submitted proposals according to the weighted criteria outlined in the scoring worksheet below.  WTC will select and make a contract award recommendation, on or about January 4th, 2022, to the Wilmington Selectboard. If the Selectboard accepts and approves the WTC recommendation, a note of intent to issue the contract to the selected proposal will be mailed to all parties who submitted a proposal.

Should the awarded applicant propose any substitutions or modifications to the project, a letter must be submitted by email to Bob Fisher at bob@fisherandfisherlaw.com for review and approval.

Scoring Worksheet

Review Criterion Weight Maximum Points Weighted Points
Qualifications/examples of Similar Projects 3 5 15
Cost estimates & Overall Price 5 5 25
References from related projects 2 5 10
Proposed timeline 3 5 15
Suggested alternative ideas 2 5 10



The awardee of the contract shall be licensed to do business in the state of Vermont.

Prior to beginning any work, the applicant shall obtain Insurance Coverage in accordance with the Specifications for Contractor Services located in the Municipal Assistance Bureau Guidebook Appendix. The certificate of insurance coverage shall be documented on forms acceptable to the Town.

If the award of the contract aggrieves any firms, they may appeal in writing to the Town of Wilmington Select Board, P.O. Box 217, Wilmington, VT  05363. The appeal must be postmarked within seven (7) calendar days following the date of written notice to award the contract. Any decision of the Town Select Board is final.

Appendix 1: Documents Referenced in This RFP

License Agreement between TransCanada Hydro Northeast and Town of Wilmington, VT

2007 Wilmington Trail Feasibility Study and Scoping Report

Vermont Town Forest Trail Design Guide

Grant of Conservation Restrictions to Vermont Land Trust

Appendix 2: Photos of Existing Trail

Gallery of photos showing issues with the existing trail. Click each photo for a high-resolution image.