Proposal to privatize fire rescue, EMS services in Indiantown - WPTV.com

Proposal to privatize fire rescue, EMS services in Indiantown - WPTV.com


Proposal to privatize fire rescue, EMS services in Indiantown - WPTV.com

Posted: 17 Apr 2021 05:12 PM PDT

INDIANTOWN, Fla. — Residents of Indiantown had a chance to voice their concerns and further discuss a village proposal that would break ties with Martin county fire and rescue. The event took place Saturday afternoon at Post Family Park. It was put on by Martin County Commissioner Harold Jenkins & Councilwoman Susan Gibbs Thomas.

The idea of privatizing fire rescue and ems services came from a paid consultant as the village is trying to find cost saving options.

According to Village Manager Howard Brown, it costs the village around $5.5 million each year to use county fire rescue services. He believes a private company can do it for less money. The proposal would have the village operate its own fire department with a mix of paid and volunteer firefighters and use a private ambulance provider to respond to medical emergencies with paramedics.

According to the proposal, the village would pay $6 million the first year, and roughly $4.8 million every year after saving the village around $1 million each year, which the village manger says it could go towards repairs needed in the town.

The proposal is not sitting well among many residents.

"I'm definitely concerned about the proposal of shifting away from Martin County fire rescue. my wife and I have a business here we live unincorporated Indian town and so we're really concerned about the change of services. we don't know that's going to be an equitable service they're going be offering," said David Hafner.

Howard Lyndon Brown still has his home after it was saved by Martin county fire rescue. He is one of the dozens of people who voiced their concerns about the village's proposal of breaking ties with the county.

"Fire and rescue came to my house. I had a hazardous condition and they responded with so many minutes," said Brown. "If you look around the ages of Indian town people. Who's going to volunteer. Who's going to buy the firetruck. Who is going to do all of that costs. I mean, last Sunday we didn't have water. There are pressing problems and now you are trying to reinvent the wheel by creating a fire station."

John Pasquali, a former volunteer firefighter, said it does not make sense for the village to have a volunteer fire and rescue department.

"My boss, he or she isn't going to say, just don't do your job to run and put out a fire. You're going to pay people for the day and then at night too. How are you gonna get all these people?" said Pasquali.

A private contract would still need to be negotiated and a final decision has not been made whether to separate. Indiantown Councilmember Susan Gibbs Thomas said while it appears the proposal would save money, it may be best to stay the course.

"If you look at the things that are not included, which says right here, you have a limited back up resources which would be an extra cost. then inspection and 911 dispatch is not included, so that's an extra cost. I'm sure there are few other extra costs that we're not aware of, its many moving parts," said Thomas.

There were talks about having this proposal on the November ballot, but it needs the support of three council members to make that happen. So far it only has one.

The village's next council meeting is Thursday.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 22 Mar 2021 10:03 PM PDT

Understanding the Opportunity for Growth

The Competitors' Keywords Gap Analysis

It's common sense, but it can sometimes escape the client's focus – showing them who their real online competitors are in terms of queries and search intent.

A perfume shop, for example, will be in tight competition with big retailers such as Amazon more than competing perfume shops, deciding to offer online services.

Exploring the client's domain in connection with the competitor landscape, will give you an overview of the overlapping and non-overlapping keywords, together with their key attributes (search volumes, seasonality, etc.). This is one significant way to understand which keywords are worth introducing into your SEO proposal and ulterior strategy so as not to get sidetracked by misleading keywords.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

Continuing our perfume shop example, although the client might want to focus on a specific set of keywords, you'll be able to make a compelling, data-based argument on why it's important to improve non-overlapping keywords.

Let's say you found out that a competitor to our perfume shop had dedicated pages for aroma-based perfumes, with listings that target "vetiver" or "white musk". Replicating this won't involve changing the client's product line and will add new valuable keywords to the mix.

The Client's Market Share

Another way to evaluate the client's business status quo is by using the Visibility metric as a market share indicator. Calculated as an impression share and weighted against search volumes, it shows you the growth potential compared to the client's competitors and the total shares.

As it's expressed as a percentage, you'll know where to focus your attention.

For instance, if it's a competitive market, and the main competitor has a Visibility of 70%, then improving the rankings for high-volume keywords in the top 3 group will be a game-changer. You'll also know which keywords to select for a winning SEO strategy.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

Transparent Calculations for a Realistic Timeframe

After thoroughly researching and selecting the targeted keywords at hand, modeling how the non-brand organic traffic might look if a particular performance is achieved in a timeframe of 6 or 12 months will help your agency set the right expectations.

To do so, you need to look at all the variables impacting your keyword list:

  • Search seasonality and the keywords' year-over-year trend.
  • How the inertial traffic influenced by seasonality only looks (as if the website's rankings would stand still).
  • The performance in time toward the SEO goal, calculated as linear or exponential.
  • The average CTR curve calculated for the top 10 positions for each mix of SERP features and device segmentation, showing you the actual clicks that manage to reach your client.
  • The long-tail keywords and their impact on forecasted traffic.

With this model in mind, you get to estimate sessions and conversions instead of ranks. For instance, in SEOmonitor's forecasting module, the estimation of the additional conversions is based on the estimated additional visits multiplied by the corresponding conversion rate of each keyword included in the calculation. You can verify each input and output at an individual keyword level and see what makes a realistic or too far-fetched scenario.

Thus, you transform the loaded notion of forecasting into a more tangible idea – various additional traffic scenarios which translate into possible business results, moving the conversation towards marketing added value.

To make a case for a certain scenario, you can highlight what their traffic would look like with and without the proposed SEO campaign, being transparent about what went into your calculations and what assumptions you've made.

Letting the client understand the overall opportunity and what's in it for their business will help you set a common ground for success.

Is It the Right Budget for the Client's Business Now?

When your agency builds a business case, another important thing is to evaluate the direct connection between SEO performance and results, correlated to an objective benchmark that both you and the client can easily gauge.

Compare the SEO budget and forecasted results to its equivalent in Google Ads, and you'll have an external comparison showing the worth that SEO brings. For instance, if the estimated Google Ads Value for your realistic scenario is $55,000 for 12 months, then a $500 to $700 retainer seems more plausible than a $1,500 one.

In contrast, if the estimated Google Ads Value reaches $250,000+ for the same 12 months timeframe, it's clear that we're talking about international SEO on a highly competitive market and a $5,000 to $7,000 retainer at least.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

Instead of guesstimations and the painful back and forth of establishing a budget benchmark, you'll now have an overview of where the business is and how you can contribute in terms of revenue. So these calculations can help you set the right price for that client profile.

Even if you choose not to put that forecasting scenario in your proposal and instead negotiate KPIs after the SEO technical improvements are in place (the 3rd or 4th month of collaboration), you'll have an important internal calibration tool at your disposal.

The forecasting exercise helps assess if the new client's objective is worth it and keeps your agency accountable for the SEO strategy you propose.

Is the Campaign Going in the Right Direction?

An initial business case with variable scenarios helps the agency define success for the new client. Then, it's just as important to track the SEO campaign's progress once it's in place. After all, forecasting is just a way to estimate a possible future and set "a north star" for both of you. The rest depends on how the strategy evolves against the shifting context.

Here's where reforecasting plays a significant part.

Perhaps the agency decides to share KPIs for the first time in the 3rd or 4th month of collaboration after implementing the audit requirements. Or it's time for the quarterly review, and the initial SEO strategy and subsequent forecasting are scrutinized. Either way, it's crucial to revise and adapt.

Maybe there are new keyword lists to add and model into a traffic scenario or a digital PR opportunity to add to the overall plan. Maybe the client has additional products or services that they want to optimize that weren't included in the starting plan.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

For instance, coming back to our perfume shop and its pandemic challenges, it's important to touch base regularly to see what new opportunities are in store. They might be looking to branch out in the home fragrance industry but don't know how much demand is in their target market. As their SEO agency, you can re-pitch an SEO campaign based on search data for "home perfumes" and design a creative digital PR campaign with that hook.

This step of the client relationship-building process is an added advantage in proving how you've created business value and what more you can do.

Summary

Effectively communicating your proposed SEO campaign's value is crucial for potential clients to decide if the price is right, the timeframe is right, the ROI is worth it, etc. It's also a way to keep your agency honest and accountable.

A trustworthy forecasting methodology helps with all of the above, as you get to:

  • Establish a common definition of what success looks like – rankings achieved for relevant keywords, Visibility achieved against competitors etc., which directly translates to additional traffic, conversions, revenue.
  • Establish a realistic budget based on the client profile and its Google Ads equivalent value.
  • Keep track of the SEO objective and reforecast when it's the case to adjust the strategy.

SEOmonitor's forecasting module supports SEO agencies to do all that with reliable data and all the necessary variables, taking into account seasonality, YoY trends, and more.

Plus, with the Google Slides integration, you get a Proposal Builder that automatically pulls the forecast data and transforms your business scenario into a pitch-ready presentation.

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

How to Show the Business Value of Your SEO Proposal

The forecasting module is just one of the solutions SEOmonitor develops for agencies to acquire, manage, and retain more relevant customers.

Join us in our quest to bring more transparency to the SEO industry!

Framingham restaurant proposal on 'short string' due to former problematic tenant - Milford Daily News

Posted: 17 Apr 2021 06:23 AM PDT

FRAMINGHAM — More than a year has passed since the Braza Bar & Grill left its spot in Framingham after racking up violations, losing its liquor license and filing for bankruptcy.

Now that a new, similar business is proposing to move into its place, some city officials — and the Police Department — worry about it being, as one license commissioner put it, a "Braza redux."   

The new Brazilian eatery, 135 Grill, is inching closer to opening after having its licenses approved by the city's Board of License Commissioners on March 22 during a public hearing. But past actions of the location's previous owners aren't making it easy — especially because of their suspected association to them by some city officials. 

The 135 Grill Corp., doing business as the 135 Grill, is proposing to open at 672 Waverley St., formerly home to the Braza Bar & Grill. That business soured officials because of numerous liquor violations, complaints about loud nighttime noise and failure to pay rent.

Some city officials fear the new business will become a clone of the former, mainly because the owners of the 135 Grill, Reginaldo Grilo of Marlborough and Gabriella Oliveria Bonfirm of Framingham, were also former managers at a Braza Bar & Grill in Everett.

The Everett location was owned by a different person than the Framingham spot, and neither Grilo nor Bonfim worked in Framingham or knew the owners, but city officials are still concerned about their affiliation to the problematic former tenant. 

"This new ownership should not be saddled with any of the violations that occurred in the past," said attorney Paul Galvani, who is representing the business owners. "(The owners) are familiar with the problems that occurred, and are going to do their best to run a good family operation."

To address those concerns, the Police Department recommended capping live entertainment to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday because of its "very close proximity to a residential neighborhood," said Lt. Jorge Ruiz in a letter to the Board of License Commissioners on behalf of the department before the March 22 meeting. 

Those restrictions, however, weren't enforced when the board unanimously approved the business' common victualler, entertainment and all-alcohol licenses on March 22 because of Galvani's objection to them, though one of its conditions was for live entertainment to end at least 30 minutes before the establishment closes. Another condition was that the business will need to be reevaluated in six months to ensure it's complying with the law and isn't being a noisy neighbor. 

The grill is proposing to move into a 9,500-square-foot spot located within a business district at a property dating to 1939, said Galvani. Grilo is poised to be the manager and Bonfim the assistant manager. The owners have entered into a five-year lease agreement with the building's landlord, said Galvani. The attorney said the landlord, Philip Ottaviani, who is also a city councilor, is also transferring all of the previous tenant's assets — like its furniture and equipment — to the new owners.  

The proposed hours of operation for the full-service restaurant are 11 a.m. to midnight  Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The proposed menu for the business includes 14 items from the grill, like sirloin and chili lime-marinated shrimp; seven entrees, including braised brisket and seafood linguini; three types of salads and sides like garlic rice and feijão tropeiro, a popular dish from Brazil's state of Minas Gerais that translates to "cattleman's beans."

Few new restaurants are looking to open in the city, and much has been done to attract another eatery to the spot, including chopping the rent in half, said Ottaviani. The last tenant also renovated the building's interior, and its two function rooms — the larger room can hold 250 people — will remain, he said. 

"I'll be monitoring (the owners) as close as you are because, I hate to say it, but they're gonna be on a short string," Ottaviani told the board on March 22. "Because like I said, we're the landlord financing this entire operation. The (owners of the Braza Bar & Grill in Framingham) owed so much money and to try to find a restaurant to come to Framingham or anywhere...good luck." 

'Give these guys a chance'

In early 2020, the Braza Bar & Grill in Framingham lost its liquor license, and its assets were seized by the courts and awarded to the landlord due to non-payment of rent. Noise spilling out onto surrounding streets was a routine problem, said Ottaviani. In all, Ottaviani said he lost about $250,000.

But those aren't the same owners as the 135 Grill, stressed Galvani, who objected to the Police Department's recommendation to cut its hours for live entertainment, calling it "a severe time restriction." The spot is also located next to a bar that's open until 1 a.m., he said.

Licensing commissioner Stuart Pologe said he felt it is a strange coincidence that managers of a Braza Bar & Grill elsewhere would be interested in opening a new restaurant at a former Braza Bar & Grill spot in Framingham, but wanted Galvani to prove him wrong. 

"The intent is not to saddle (the 135 Grill owners)," said Pologe. "This location has had issues though so we need to be very, very careful moving forward." 

Another commissioner, Laura Medrano, said the business' proposed menu appeared "weak," and thinks there isn't much emphasis on the food served.  

"That worries me, that it's going to be a Braza redux... that's just my perception," she said.  

While all three of the 135 Grill's licenses were approved by licensing commissioners on March 22, the business still has a few tasks to handle before opening. Those include a review by the city's Health Department, a fire inspection, approval from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and registering with the Police Department. 

The new owners deserve a chance to prove their compliance to the law and that they can be a good neighbor, said Ottaviani.

"You won't hear me pleading for mercy — I never pleaded for mercy with the last tenant," he told the board. "I was with you in trying to get rid of them. They weren't paying, they didn't care, and there were lots of issues, and we're not looking for that."  

Lauren Young writes about business and pop culture. Reach her at 774-804-1499 or lyoung@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurenwhy__. 

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