Volume 3, Issue 2
April 27, 2011
A new way of selling to public sector decision-makers

Mary Scott NabersMany sales managers and sales executives are nearing the panic stage because public sector decision-makers are calmly explaining that no vendor meetings are being scheduled since there is no budget for purchases. Frantic calls have been the norm of late.

Here's some insight that should be helpful in the months to come. 

Public officials are dealing with extremely painful restructuring and the last thing they want to spend time on is meeting with vendors who simply want to sell something. Most government executives feel that time spent with vendors is time wasted because, truly, there is no money for purchases.




$230M allocated for rural community projects
Minnesota DOT lists projects
Upcoming education opportunities
P3s popping up in higher ed
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
$230 million allocated for construction, other projects


USDA Rural Development will help fund public use facilities in rural areas

ConstructionMore than $230 million worth of construction is about to begin across the country after the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development approved funding for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. The $234 million in funding being released will be in the form of loans and grants for 135 projects in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. Eligible projects include facilities for public use such as fire protection, safety, health care, education and other needs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (pictured) said the USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program will work with rural communities "to help them develop quality health care services, modern library facilities and school buildings, and reliable first responder equipment and services to ensure that people who live in rural areas have access to critical infrastructure."  


T. VilsackIn Arkansas, four community fire departments will receive grants of from $50,000 to $75,000 each to purchase new pumper trucks. In Colorado, the Rio Grande County Library District was awarded a grant of $25,000 to install solar panels in two libraries. 


In New Mexico, the EMW Gas Association will benefit from a $5 million loan to expand natural gas distribution to residents of Torrance County. EMW plans to build 29 miles of steel, high-pressured gas pipeline. The construction will provide service to rural customers who currently lack natural gas.

In Delaware, the M.O.T. Charter School will get a direct loan of $2.775 million to expand by 19,000 square feet and build a library and classrooms, a lobby, multi-purpose area, booster room and bathrooms.

The Mahaska County (Iowa) Hospital will get a $23.015 million direct loan to expand its facilities. Another rural medical facility - the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania - has been selected for a $2.5 million loan to expand and renovate the emergency department and improve the heating, ventilation and cooling system. The renovations will add private emergency rooms, update the facility and provide consistent heating and air conditioning.

A variety of other projects will be funded. The town of Hardwick, Massachusetts, will get a direct loan of $618,800 to make energy efficiency improvements to town buildings, the city of Bessemer, Michigan, will get a loan of $14,000 to replace the roof on a fire hall, Emory and Henry College in Virginia will get a loan of $2.419 million to renovate the Stuart residence hall and the Searchlight Center, Inc. in Oklahoma will get both a $1.878 million direct loan and a more than $750,000 guaranteed loan to construct an assisted living facility.

To view the complete list of projects funded, click here and look under "Recent Reports."


Minnesota DOT lists $900 million in construction program


More than 250 projects address safety, mobility, capacity expansion

Tom SorelA nearly $900 million transportation construction program for Minnesota was recently announced, with the projects aimed at improving safety and mobility and expanding capacity while preserving infrastructure. More than 250 state highway projects are part of the program. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) is focused on "improving our roads and bridges and maximizing the capacity of our multimodal transportation system to give the traveling public more options," said Tom Sorel (pictured), Mn/DOT commissioner.  


Among the projects, the second year of the bridge and pavement replacement on a section of Interstate 35 in Duluth is funded. Other projects will lead to improved safety at railroad crossings, repair of seawalls and docks, improvements on runways and terminals at regional airports and remodeling of a transit facility. 


In the Twin Cities metro area, resurfacing of I-94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis will continue. A four-lane expansion, including bridges, on Highway 14 near Waseca is a project planned for the Greater Minnesota area. To view a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, click here and look under "Recent Reports."


May 2011 Tx Bond Election

Upcoming education opportunities

Stanford medical center expansion gets back on track

James KeeneThe proposed expansion of the Stanford University Medical Center is back on track after a Palo Alto City Council committee offered support for an agreement that would cover outstanding costs to the city. "We have a means to manage the fiscal impacts of the project that really does not put a cost directly on city services and threaten other operating costs of the city," said City Manager James Keene (pictured). The proposed expansion includes the addition of 1.3 million square feet to the Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Safety standards would be ensured and more beds added and other improvements. The city will not have a one-time, up-front payment of $2.4 million and it will collect a guaranteed $8.1 million in construction-use taxes by about 2025. But, the project still has to pass muster with the Planning and Transportation Commission and the full city council.

Texas school district OKs bonds to build multi-sport facility

School officials in Belton (Texas) ISD have authorized the sale of stadium and recreational system revenue bonds. The proceeds will help pay for construction of the Belton Multi-Sport Facility. It will include locker rooms, a training room, weight room and offices for coaches. The bond sale is expected to generate approximately $2 million. The revenue bonds will be repaid through ticket receipts.

Southern University in Louisiana purchases building for nursing program

Ray BeltonOfficials at Southern University in Shreveport, Louisiana, have purchased a building in downtown Shreveport that will be used to double the number of students in its nursing program. The program is experiencing dramatic growth and the Louisiana Board of Regents voted to purchase the building to facilitate those students. "Southern continues to evolve because of faculty and staff," said Ray Belton (pictured), SUSLA chancellor. He said purchase of this building will enable the university to "take the next step." The cost of the building was $387,000. State funding of $3 million will help renovate the more than 25,000-square-foot building beginning next fall. Some 300-400 students will be using the newly renovated building when it is completed. The school's foundation is talking with other building owners in the block to discuss the possibility of building a multi-level parking garage.


University of Houston to begin construction of parking garage

A new parking garage is expected to be under construction this summer at the University of Houston, with a nine-month construction period and an expected completion date of May of next year. The parking garage, located near Robertson Stadium, will be the largest on campus and will feature 2,300 parking spaces. It will also feature a bookstore, convenience store and customer service counter for Parking and Transportation services.


Developers sought for Indiana State University building plan

Diann McKeeIndiana State University officials are seeking to develop off-campus housing to give upper-level students other housing options. Requests for qualifications are being sought, to be followed by requests of several of the developers to present proposals outlining their plans for he design, construction and financing of the buildings. Diann McKee (pictured), ISU vice president for business affairs and finance, said the university hopes to energize the downtown area through the development. She said the development would be a "catalyst for development in downtown" while providing housing options for students. University officials are looking at a development project that would lead to the design and construction of 600 beds of student housing to be built on land owned or acquired by the developer. The facilities would include both four-bedroom and two-bedroom units with limited kitchen facilities. The first phase would include about 150 beds. The design is also expected to include mixed-use retail and student housing with retail space on the first floor and housing above that. The developer would provide landscaping and surface parking. Selection of a developer will be qualifications-based and a competitive process, but competitive bidding is not required. Officials are hopeful construction could begin next May, with the facilities ready for occupancy in August 2013.


New Mexico school gets distance learning telemedicine grant

The Jemez Valley Public School District in New Mexico has been awarded a more than $475,000 distance learning telemedicine grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program. The funds will be used to replace older telecommunications equipment. As a result, students will be able to access classes and information they have not been able to receive. The district's eight schools will be allowed through the communications system to connect with a local medical clinic as well. The clinic will provide medical support to the district's one school nurse by connecting with the clinic's virtual nursing program.

Public-private partnerships...

Tight budgets lead many government entities to seek P3s


University of Iowa talking about P3 to reconstruct campus apartment complexes

Von StangePublic-private partnerships (P3s) are popping up everywhere as government entities are being forced to find innovative ways to raise funds for necessary projects. The University of Iowa is no exception. Housing officials at the university are looking at a public-private partnership to reconstruct two apartment complexes.

The public-private partnership is not the only option for the two complexes, but officials see it as the most cost-effective one. Their other options are to construct the building with their own funds or not replace the apartments at all. The Board of Regents will explore all options at their April 28 meeting. 


The 76 apartment units, which are mostly favored by graduate students, were damaged in the 2008 floods. UI Housing Director Von Stange (pictured) said the university needs a commitment to graduate international students and families. "If we didn't, that would mean those students would have to fend for themselves in the city." 


While the two apartment complexes have previously been approved for demolition, Stange said bringing in a private partner could cut costs and the time it takes to rebuild the facilities. The university is studying a proposal that would have the land owned by the university and the university would contract with private sector companies to build and manage the apartments. Stange said housing officials will tell regents where they are in the process at their meeting later this month and how the process can be completed. 


Proposed California bill would give private sector chance to operate parks

The California State Legislature is exploring legislation that would allow the state to engage private sector partners to keep open state parks threatened by state budget cuts. A recent study by California State University showed annual spending at state parks in California at more than $6.9 billion per year, which has a significant impact on neighboring communities. A bill has been filed that would require the state to post a notice if it planned to close a park, list contact information for outside parties that might have an interest in taking over its operations and respond in writing to inquiries the state received. The goal of the legislation, according to its author - is to keep state parks open. State parks suffered approximately $14 million in budget cuts in 2009. That would have resulted in some 100 of the state's 279 parks, beaches and other attractions to shut down. A budget move prevented that from happening, but 60 parks were partially closed and another 90 suffered service reductions. The state budget deficit continues and Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget calls for $11 million in funding reductions for the state park system for FY 2011-12. The bill is scheduled for a Senate committee hearing this week.  


Legislation could bring bridge project back to life with public-private partnership

Rick SnyderA bill has been drafted in the Michigan Legislature that would breathe new life into a $3.8 billion bridge project that has been stalled. The bridge spans a trade route between Detroit and Canada. The bill would create a new bonding authority that could enter into public-private partnerships for up to 50 years to build and oversee the New International Trade Crossing project. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (pictured) said the legislation would allow for issuance of 50-year, tax-exempt bonds for the project. Included would be the bridge, highway interchanges and a new customs plaza. Funding for the project would b backed by projected revenue from the project. Costs are estimated at $3.8 billion and would require a financing project that would include the state of Michigan, the city of Windsor in Canada and the United States and Canadian governments. About $1 billion of that total would be for the bridge, which would be financed, constructed and operated by a private sector firm. The costs would be paid through tolls, which are estimated to be $60 million for 2016 and $117 million by 2040. The main obstacle is that the state of Michigan does not have a law allowing the government to enter into a public-private partnership for transportation projects. This bill would give the state that authority.


Florida tourism industry trying to protect public-private partnership

Tourism industry leaders are lobbying for Visit Florida, the state's public-private partnership that for the last 15 years has successfully brought tourists to the state, to remain a partnership. They are coming up against Gov. Rick Scott's proposed government reorganization that would lump the entity under one large economic development umbrella agency. The leadership of the entity would be taken out of the hands of industry experts and instead be delegated to 11 political appointees. The new department they would oversee would include the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, the Agency for Workforce Innovation and the Department of Community Affairs. Other public-private partnerships such as Space Florida, Enterprise Florida and Black Business Investment Board would also become part of the mega-agency. Industry executives hail Visit Florida for its success, pointing to the fact that it has become a model for other tourism marketing entities. Scott, on the other hand, favors consolidation that will results in the need for less funding and fewer employees.


Community center could be financed with public-private partnership

Bryan MilkA Florida community center that has been scaled back from its original proposed size and cost could be financed through a public-private partnership. Cost of the new community center proposed for Marco Island, Florida, has been cut by $2 million. The new plans call for a 25,000-square-foot building that costs $4 million. Officials are hoping for a private sector building and development company to help finance the project. Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk (pictured) said the proposed Mackle Park recreation center's original plans were for replacing the current 8,000-square-foot facility with a nearly 40,000-square-foot, two-story building. The city is seeking a private sector firm to provide the $6 million needed for the project. The funds would be repaid over 12 years and not require a tax increase. At the end of the 12 years, the city would own the building.


Looking for P3 opportunities?

SPI, with 15+ years of experience in partnering public and private sector partners, has become the premier P3 partner connection in the United States. 


SPI is currently working throughout the country on P3 initiatives and is available for conversations with any public entity interested in asking questions, discussing national trends or obtaining advice about how to reach out to private sector firms.


Interested parties click here or call Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 to schedule a conversation.


Other upcoming contracting opportunities


North Carolina considering $6 million in security upgrades

Andrew BrockA $1 million walkway that would allow North Carolina lawmakers and visitors to travel between state buildings and be protected from inclement weather is part of $6 million in security upgrades being studied around the Legislative Building and state government complex at Raleigh. Sen. Andrew Brock (pictured) filed legislation noting that the Legislative Building is one of the few state buildings that can be entered without even signing in or going through a metal detector. The proposed walkway would include an area for booths for exhibits and a covered area for rallies, etc. Brock said he is hopeful to realize energy savings through less air escaping from the building when doors are opened. Original plans called for a more than $300,000 tunnel between the Legislative Office Building and the Legislative Building. Instead, a pedestrian overpass was built.


Sale of bonds will lead to various projects in New Mexico

The New Mexico state Board of Finance has approved the sale of $18.6 million in general obligation bonds to play for voter-approved capital improvement projects. Voters last November said yes to bonds that will finance school projects, senior citizen facilities and library acquisitions.


Variety of contracting opportunities available in El Paso area

A number of contracting opportunities for a wide range of products and services are available in the El Paso area. They include: 

  • El Paso Community College District is requesting proposals for electric utility carts for turf-grounds;
  • El Paso Community College District is requesting proposals for an Internet service provider;
  • The David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center is requesting bids for a new metal storage building;
  • The El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board is requesting bids for maintenance contract for EPWU drainage channels and agricultural drains re-bid;
  • The Housing Authority of the city of El Paso Acquisition Corp. is requesting bids for solid waste collection services at 17 tax credit properties and six non-subsidized properties;
  • The Housing Authority of the city of El Paso is requesting bids for asbestos project management services for 53 public housing units;
  • The El Paso County Hospital District, dba University Medical Center of El Paso, is requesting proposals for floor finishing contractor; and
  • El Paso County is requesting bids for Sparks Border Colonia Access Program.

Opportunities for contracts posted in New Mexico

A pair of contracting opportunities has been posted in New Mexico. The Department of the Air Force, Air Force Special Operations Command, Cannon AFB has issued a pre-solicitation for military family housing maintenance services -- competitive 8(a) set aside. The Las Cruces School District No. 2 is requesting bids for annual cleaning services for kitchen exhaust systems for elementary, middle and high schools.


Housing agency gets federal funding for senior citizen housing

Rhode Island Housing has been awarded $2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist with housing efforts. The funds will be used to help complete the Anthony House, a home for senior citizens in Portsmouth. The agency's effective use of more than $10 million awarded in 2009 from federal stimulus funds led to this year's appropriation. Although formed by the Rhode Island State Legislature, the agency is funded with private investments and federal grants.


Did you miss TGI?

Where are they now?
 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Robert Shilling.


Robert ShillingRobert Shilling grew up in Silver City, New Mexico. He attended New Mexico State University for a year after graduating from high school in 1989. He came back to Silver City and attended Western New Mexico University, graduating from its Police Academy. He began his career in law enforcement in 1991 as a patrolman with the Silver City Police Department. He joined the New Mexico State Police in 1992 as a patrol officer and was stationed in Animas in Hidalgo County. After five years, he was promoted to sergeant and transferred to Raton. From 2000 to 2001, Shilling served as a narcotics sergeant and was later promoted to lieutenant and transferred to Albuquerque. He was subsequently appointed public information officer for the State Police, serving in that capacity for two years. He left that position to go back into the agency as a uniformed officer, serving as district lieutenant in Albuquerque for two years. Shilling later served in Criminal Investigations and in 2007 was promoted to captain and commander of Criminal Investigations at headquarters in Albuquerque. He was next promoted to major of Criminal Investigations in the Law Enforcement Records Bureau in 2008. Last year, he was named Law Enforcement Budget Director before being called on to serve as acting chief in January of this year. New Mexico Department of Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden recently named Shilling as Chief of the New Mexico State Police.


Opportunity of the week...
A city in West Virginia is looking at design work to begin this fiscal year for a new city hall. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or


Mohammad QayoumiMichael GerberMike BirdMohammad Qayoumi (top left), president of California State University East Bay since 2006 and former vice president for administration and chief financial officer at Cal State Northridge, has been chosen as the next president of San Jose State University. Michael Gerber (top center), executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, has announced he will be leaving the agency in July after having served as executive director of the agency since May 2006. The village of Loving, New Mexico, is losing Police Chief Mike Bird (top right), who has served in that capacity since 2009, is leaving to begin working as a sheriff's deputy in the Eddy County Sheriff's Department's Artesia office. Samantha Mary Julian, who has led resource management for the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, has been named to lead the new Office of Energy Development within the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Dr. Shalee Cunningham, former superintendent of the Steamboat Springs School District, has been named superintendent of the Novato (California) Unified School District, replacing retiring superintendent Jan La Torre-Derby. City of Las Cruces Facilities Director Brian Denmark has been named assistant city manager, Debra FriedmanJean-Claude BrizardJohn Tolvaafter having served as interim assistant city manager since January. Dr. Debra Friedman (middle right), dean of Arizona State Univerity's College of Public Programs, professor of public affairs and university vice president responsible for the university's Downtown Phoenix campus, has been named new chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma. Jean-Claude Brizard (middle center), a 20-year veteran teacher and administrator in New York City and who spent three years as Rochester, New York, schools superintendent, has been chosen by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel as the new Chicago Public Schools CEO. Emanuel also recently named IBM Corp. Director of Citizenship and Technology John Tolva (middle left) as Chicago's new chief technology officer. Other members of Emanuel's team announced were Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson, CFO Lois Scott, Budget Director Alex Holt and Comptroller Amer Ahmad. Webb City (Missouri) Superintendent Tony Rossetti recently announced new assignments that include Trey Moeller as new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and Kevin Cooper as assistant superintendent of business operations. Police Capt. Keith Davis, a recent graduate of the FBI National Academy who also runs the Mark HueyJames PayneDiana Abbaticriminal investigation division of the D'lberville Police Department, has been named the city's police chief. Mark Huey (bottom left), Tampa's economic development administrator since 2003, will become president and chief executive of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County, effective in June. Dr. James E. Payne (bottom center), interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Economics at Illinois State University, will be the new regional vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of South Florida Polytechnic. Diana Abbati (bottom right), superintendent/principal of the Woodside Elementary School District, has been chosen as the Los Gatos Union (California) School District, replacing interim Superintendent Cyndy Simms. Folsom City (California) has announced the appointment of Cynthia Renaud, current commander with the City of Long Beach Police Department and 19-year veteran with the department, as Folsom City's next police chief. The Redding (California) School District has named as its new superintendent Dr. Rick Fauss, who comes to the district from Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District and replaces Diane Kempley, who is retiring after 40 years with the district, the last five as superintendent. Robert Gowans, deputy chief of the Montpelier (Vermont) Fire Department, will take over as fire chief effective May 1. 


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Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The State & Local Government Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to
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NASCIO planning 2011 Midyear Conference in D.C. in May

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) will hold its Midyear Conference on May 3-6. The event will be at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Attendees will be presented a unique opportunity in which state government and corporate members discuss issues in the information technology field in both the public and private sectors. Breakfast roundtables will address such issues as social media, virtual desktops, open source solutions, e-government portals, managed print services and more. The keynote address for the opening general session will be John P. O'Leary, research fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. There will also be panel discussions on a variety of topics. To view the agenda, click here. To register, click here. 


TxDOT Ft. Worth Small Business Briefing conference seet in July 

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services reaches across Texas to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with state entities. The final Small Business Briefing conference for FY2011 is set for July 20 in San Antonio. Information will be available to help small business owners better understand how to do business with the agency and the State of Texas. The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions.  It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2. Planning for the 2012 fiscal year events is under way. Please visit for updated information.


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