Volume 3, Issue 3
May 4, 2011
As government contracting changes, solution selling becoming essential

Mary Scott Nabers

The world of government contracting is changing almost daily. Corporate executives who are unaware of the significant changes would be well advised to set aside some time to talk to sales teams in the field. Sales managers who are not actively involved in meetings with public officials need to hear about some revolutionary ground shifts that will most likely ensure that selling to government is never going to be the same again.

The first thing to understand is that no purchases are being made anywhere in the country at any level of government without good justification. That does not mean that big contracts are not being awarded, it just means that there was a very good business case made for the outlay of funds.





Public-private partnerships popular
Washington State gets rail funds
Texas bond elections slated
Money allocated for restoration
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.

Public-private partnerships...

Roads, water plans, public buildings among projects


Infrastructure ProjectsThey're being used for transportation infrastructure, water projects, campus housing for college students, construction of local government buildings and more. Public-private partnerships, or P3s, are becoming more and more popular as government entities battle shrinking revenue streams. States that don't already allow public-private partnerships are passing legislation to allow P3s.


In Albuquerque, the city has turned to the private sector to partner its recycling service. City workers will continue to pick up recyclables, but they will be delivered to a larger facility owned by the private entity. R.J. BerryMayor R.J. Berry (pictured) said the city is "losing money with everything we recycle," saying the city currently is "just recycling for the sake of recycling." But the private sector partner has a larger facility and can recycle eight times more waste. With no increase in costs to residents, the city is getting improved service for the same fee. Although the project will cost the city $110,000 in its first year, the city expects to save approximately $800,000 per year after the initial year.


In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are studying a bill that would allow the state to enter into public-private partnerships regarding transportation improvements - new or expanded roads and rail lines - built by private firms but with tolls, with the private sector partner paying for construction and maintenance.


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed legislation to allow the same kind of public-private partnerships for water system improvements that have been used for toll roads. Projects could include water treatment plants, wells and reservoirs. Deal has promised to make up to $300 million available for projects. 


Public-private partnerships are being considered as funding sources for a recently approved master plan for Lake Tyler, Lake Tyler East and surrounding properties in Tyler, Texas. The plan includes a new corporate center, nature trails and bike paths. Also included are a church, a camp and petroleum club, with possible redevelopment of Lake Tyler Marina and the Hill Creek recreation area. A number of other projects are seeking P3 status in Texas. In Oak Cliff, officials are looking for private investments to help build a 40-mile-long streetcar system through and near downtown. An RFP for building all or part of the system is likely sometime this summer. And in Austin, the Travis County Commissioners Court is studying a P3 for a proposed courthouse tower on newly acquired land. A building of up to 500,000 square feet is expected.


May 2011 Tx Bond Election

Washington State to get additional $145M in rail funds


Nearly $1 billion total invested in Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor since 1994

Paula HammondWashington State was the big winner in the quest for high-speed rail funding rejected by governors in Ohio and Wisconsin. As a result, the state will garner an additional $145 million. As a result, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration have signed documents allowing work to begin on improving and expanding Amtrak Cascades services in the state.  


"This grant funding will allow us to expand our vision for the future of the Amtrak Cascades service," said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond (pictured). "Ridership is steadily increasing, and we know this trend will continue as we add more schedule options and increase travel speed." 


The new funds will be dedicated to improvements to increase the rail-line capacity and mitigate mainline congestion. That should allow the Amtrak Cascades to have more frequent and reliable rail service between Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia. This funding brings the total of capital and operating funds dedicated to high-speed intercity passenger rail in the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor to nearly $1 billion since 1994. Construction is expected to start later this summer. 


$2.56 billion in bond elections set May 14 in Texas


SPI offering pre-election bond document, follow-up with results, opportunities

Early voting in Texas for upcoming May 14 elections began this week and will continue though May 10. At stake in the elections is some $2.56 billion in local bond issues. Voters will decide the fate of numerous school bond issues that include new construction, renovation of existing facilities, technology upgrades, new science labs, HVAC systems, new sports stadiums, school bus purchases, classroom updates, security projects, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance upgrades and more. 

School projects are not the only bond issues being decided. There are a number of municipal bond votes slated for everything from drainage and flood relief projects to street improvements, new city libraries and new senior centers.

Other examples of what's at stake in the elections in Texas: 

  • A  hospital district is seeking approval of a $17.3 million bond vote for a new hospital, clinic and nursing home campus;
  • A Northeast Texas county is urging voters to pass a $35 million bond issue for a new jail;
  • A school district in North Texas is seeking passage of a $79.75 million bond issue for a new high school, renovation of a middle school and five elementary campuses;
  • An East Texas county is hoping for approval by voters of a $52.6 million bond issue that would provide for street improvement; and
  • A Gulf Coast community college hopes to pass an $86.2 million bond vote that would provide new construction, renovations, additions, central plant equipment upgrades and parking.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) currently has for sale a complete listing of the bond issues up for vote on May 14 that includes a comprehensive list of possible contracting opportunities. After the elections, SPI will have a follow-up document available for sale that shows which bond issues passed, the amounts and how the funds will be spent. The documents are available for $99.95 each. For more information or to place an order, contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3917 or


Money allocated for restoration project in Pennsylvania


$3.98 million to help renew historic Wayne Junction Intermodal Facility

Peter RogoffA federal grant totaling $3.98 million has been awarded to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority for the renovation of the Wayne Junction Intermodal Facility. The funds will help ensure that communities "have affordable, convenient ways to get to work, school or the grocery store," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff (pictured).

The funds will go toward a $32 million project that includes power, signal and track upgrades, new elevators and required accommodations for persons with disabilities. Platforms will be constructed and/or repaired, tunnels and stairways will be restored and technology upgrades and other improvements are planned. To date, the FTA has provided $7.4 million toward the project.

The facility was constructed at the turn of the 20th century and is considered a major transit hub, connecting five regional rail lines, one trolley route and two bus routes.


Upcoming education opportunities


North Dakota college cites upcoming construction projects

Raymond NadolnyOfficials at Williston (North Dakota) State College have several construction projects ongoing. The front entrance to Stevens Hall is being redesigned, according to WSC President Raymond Nadolny (pictured), and is expected to be completed mid-July. The new design will result in outdoor space for student seating and events and will feature a statue, one of three art projects for the space. Additionally, the Western Star Career and Technology Center is being constructed and will feature training in multiple lab and high-bay spaces for building trades, diesel, welding, electronics and computer technology. The facility is expected to be completed mid-August. The college also will this year see a new Campus Drive, with the parking lot in front of the college to be made into a university quad to increase the curb appeal of the college, improve safety, create student outdoor space, add more parking and provide a front door to the new residence hall being built. "We'll landscape the entire front; all parking will be in the back," said Nadolny. A new science center is on the drawing board for the college in 2012, which will house specialized labs and lab preparation space. Completion is expected in April of next year.


Ohio school district preparing to begin bid process for school upgrades

The Beachwood, Ohio, school board has authorized a bidding process for planned renovation and expansion of the Beachwood High School. Included in the bids are a traditional heating and cooling system, rather than a geothermal system. A bond issue passed last May was for the modernization, upgrade and expansion of the school. The tax increase that was approved will generate $30 million for 30 years and is dedicated for capital projects. Another $5.6 million in federal Recovery Act funds will go toward energy conservation related to the project.


Sales tax increase in Alabama city will help fund new high school

A one-cent sales tax increase approved by the city of Helena, Alabama, will help the city toward its goal of the purchase of property and construction of a new high school. The new tax, which goes into effect on June 1, should raise about a half million dollars each year. Officials are hoping to have a new high school built and ready at the start of the 2013 school year.


UB construction plans scaled back; NYSUNY package proposed

Andrew CuomoA plan to expand the University at Buffalo has been scaled back at the behest of New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (pictured). Instead of funding for just UB, Cuomo has offered a more legislature-friendly NYSUNY 2020 package, which would give $35 million each in capital money to the Buffalo, Binghamton, Stony Brook and Albany campuses. The plan also projects UB raising additional funds beyond that amount by borrowing against revenue from a tuition hike and public-private partnerships. Cuomo said the proposal would be a "tremendous boost for all of Western New York." The original UB proposal was for $5 billion on that campus alone for the next 20 years, including expansion of its downtown campus. Cuomo called the NYSUNY package seed money for the campuses to help improve local economies in their areas. The $140 million that will be divided among the four campuses will come both from SUNY's existing capital budget and the state's new regional economic development program. 


New elementary school being planned for Marsh Fork, West Virginia

Site preparation bids have been received for a new elementary school in Marsh Fork, West Virginia. Construction bids are expected to be received later this summer. The new school will house 226 students in grades pre-K through fifth grade. It will replace the current elementary school, which many believe it too close to a coal preparation plant and storage silo. The school will be funded by the West Virginia School Building Authority, the Raleigh County Board of Education, Massey Energy and the Annenberg Foundation.  


Donations mean university stadium upgrades can begin soon

Three major donations mean construction on the University of Arizona football stadium's north end zone project could begin as early as January of next year. The structure in the north end zone will feature a club area, football offices, weight room, medical treatment center, lockers and a cafeteria. The new 80,000-square-foot facility will replace the current football offices at McKale Center. One of the gifts toward the project was $11 million, which was donated by an anonymous donor and long-time supporter of the university's athletic programs.


Virginia Tech gifts to go toward new engineering building

Charles StegerGifts totaling $45 million, including the largest gift in the university's history - a $25 million commitment from an anonymous donor to be used for the new Signature Engineering Building project - will benefit the university's College of Engineering, according to Tech President Charles W. Steger (pictured). Another $3 million toward the building fund was made by an alumnus and coal executive. The Signature Engineering Building will be a four-story building with a $100 million price tag. Half will come from state support and half from private donations. Groundbreaking for the facility is expected in July. The building will become part of the university's main campus in Blacksburg.


New York community college planning millions in campus upgrades

Nearly $26 million in campus upgrades are planned by the Broome Community College in New York through its capital improvement plan that will cover the next six years. The plan includes maintenance and improvement work on grounds and facilities. Among the issues in the plan are infrastructure improvements, roof and HVAC replacements. It includes new roofs; sidewalk, parking lot and roadway upgrades; landscaping; HVAC upgrades; and signs on campus. The college also is planning to build a new $21 million science building early next year. Officials hope to have the design work on the project done by the end of this year.


Community college plans to construct $13.5 administration building

Officials of the New River Community and Technical College in West Virginia have announced their plans to build a new $13.5 million administration building on their Raleigh County campus. The 55,000-square-foot building will be the first on New River's Beaver campus and will house administrative offices, classrooms, teaching labs, student services and more. The college also plans renovations to an 18,000-square-foot building on its Greenbrier Valley campus in Lewisburg.


Looking for P3 Opps?

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Assessment shows N. Carolina could save with IT outsourcing, consolidation

Jerry FralickNorth Carolina State CIO Jerry Fralick (pictured) recently released results of an assessment showing that the state could save more than $57 million in IT costs through consolidation and outsourcing. Data for a five-year period noted the state could save $37.2 million by outsourcing mainframe services, including all hardware, software and associated support and disaster recovery functions. Another $6.2 million could be saved by outsourced WAN services, including monitoring and management of networks, planning and design, network connectivity and provisioning management. The assessment also reports $8.9 million could be save by consolidating service desks at four state agencies and $23.8 million could be saved by consolidating servers from five state agencies. The cost for putting the recommendations into place would be approximately $18.5 million. Fralick said the goal is a "reasonable, balanced and achievable" approach to save money while minimizing risks to services and citizens. Agency information officers and other state employees will study the assessment. To view the assessment, click here.


Local contractors to be used for energy upgrades in Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County is partnering with a local energy company to provide $1 million in funding for energy-efficient upgrades for 55 community nonprofit facilities. The funding is part of the Grants to Green Nonprofits program and the first recipient will be the American Red Cross building in Little Havana, where a new air conditioning system will be delivered and installed. Local contractors are being used to complete the work at the nonprofit facilities. The county was awarded $12.5 million in 2009 through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by the federal Recovery Act.


Tennessee county gets $4.5 million for new health department, clinic

Susan CooperTennessee Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper (pictured) recently visited Crossville, Tennessee, to present Cumberland County a $4.5 million check to build a new health department and clinic. The funds are from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and are part of the Affordable Care Act Capital Development Grant. Noting that the county is a medically under-served area with many uninsured residents, "These funds will help to better serve our growing patient population in this community and surrounding areas, providing our clients with important and much needed health services," said Cooper. County officials recently approved purchase of land for the new facility. It will be constructed as an environmentally sustainable facility and will encompass some 30,000 square feet.


Bidding to follow design proposal for Iowa courthouse HVAC project

County administrators in Jasper County, Iowa, have asked an HVAC expert to prepare a design proposal for a geothermal option for replacing the facility's heating and cooling system. A study was performed previously and administrators were advised that the best of the five options explored is a variable refrigerant flow system, using a geothermal loop. Officials were told the option provides the highest energy savings options. Construction costs for the geothermal option are estimated at $1.23 million and bonds are likely to have to be issued to pay for the project. Construction would take approximately six to nine months. The HVAC expert was asked to prepare a design proposal and then to perform bidding and construction administration.


Texas city planning for nine capital improvement projects

The city council in New Braunfels, Texas, has approved the sale of $18.2 million in certificates of obligation to help pay for nine capital improvement projects.


They include:

  • The North Tributary Flood Control Project, $7.2 million;
  • The Walnut Avenue widening project, a $5.4 million partial payment;
  • The Landa Plaza property acquisition, $2 million;
  • The Gruene Crossing drainage project, $1.2 million;
  • Repairs of June 9 flood damage to Landa Dam, $847,000;
  • Replacement or repair of bridges in Landa Park that were washed out or damaged by the June 9 flood, $700,000;
  • Flood-warning sirens, $280,000;
  • Replacement of lighting at Fredericksburg Field, $150,000; and
  • A $70,000 cash match for the lengthening of a runway at the city airport to accommodate larger aircraft.


Maine airport in line for four capital improvement projects for $3 million

Allison NaviaFour capital improvement projects at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Maine are being planned over the next two years. The $3 million in projects is part of the Maine Department of Transportation's FY 2012-2013 capital work plan for the state that features $764 million in statewide transportation infrastructure projects. The major project is a $1.9 million design and construction of an "itinerant" apron near the terminal. Airport Manager Allison Navia (pictured) said the apron will provide more parking space for private aircraft. Also on tap are construction of a taxiway parallel to the runway for general aviation, design and construction of a storage building for snow plows and sand and design of a terminal building expansion.


Tennessee city looking forward to new sewer treatment upgrade

City officials in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, are looking at having to purchase up to 1,200 acres of land as part of a proposed sewer treatment plant upgrade and additional land for discharge. Officials expect the land purchase to cost in the neighborhood of $18 million. A pubic hearing will soon be held to discuss options. The upgrades are necessary because the city can only release a limited amount of treated sewer water into the Stones River. Officials are looking at doubling the capacity of the city's Sinking Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant. The last upgrade cost $50 million and was carried out in four phases from 1996-2000. It more than doubled the plant's capacity. To once again double capacity would take approximately $80 million. Another $16 million to $18 million would be needed to build the city's sewer pump station and main line. The city likely would take out revenue bonds in phases, based on growth.


Flood recovery work money sought for wastewater treatment plant reconstruction

Clarksville (Tennessee) Gas and Water recently outlined an $11.1 million expense for continued flood recovery work as part of its 2012 budget. The city's Wastewater Treatment Plant went offline for nearly two weeks during the May flood last year, resulting in a reconstruction project that will carry a price tag of about $100 million. The city already will have spent $22.8 million at the end of this fiscal year on plant repairs and other problems created by the flood. The $11.1 million sought from the 2012 budget will mostly be for work in 2013 and 2014. The City Council last year approved a $100 million loan to pay for work at the treatment plant.


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 Joichi "Joi" Ito.


Joi ItoJoichi "Joi" Ito was raised in both Tokyo and the Silicon Valley. He has served as a board member of Icann, the Internet's governance organization and has been involved as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies in more than a dozen start-ups that include Flickr, and Twitter. In 1994, he helped establish the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan. In August 2005, he was named a board member of the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the development of the Firefox Web browser and was co-founder and chair of Creative Commons, a nonprofit  that has sought to create a middle ground to promote the sharing of digital information. Ito attended Tufts, where he studied computer science and later attended the University of Chicago, studying physics. He graduated from neither university, finding course work not challenging enough. He served on the board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) from March 2005 until April 2007. He currently serves as a Board Emeritus for OSI. He was a founding board member of Expression College for Digital Arts as well as the Zero One Art and Technology Network. Ito was recently named the new director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory, founded by architect Nicholas Negroponte in 1985.


Opportunity of the week...
A city in Missouri has been awarded a $1.3 million low-interest loan to improve wastewater disinfection facilities at its existing treatment plant. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or



Chris NoccoGloria ArriagaHarry BirdwellChris Nocco (top left), a major in the Pasco County Sheriff's Department, has been appointed sheriff by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, replacing Sheriff Bob White, who announced his retirement in March. Gloria C. Arriaga (top middle), executive director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio that serves cities, counties and special governments in 12 Texas counties, has announced her retirement, effective June 1, and Dean Danos has bee named interim executive director. Harry W. Birdwell (top right), who previously worked with the Rural Electric Co-op, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and Oklahoma State University, has been named the new secretary of the Oklahoma Land Office. Farmington, New Mexico, City Clerk Dianne Fuhrman, an 11-year veteran of Farmington's City Hall, was recently named 2011 Clerk of the Year by the New Mexico Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association. Jeff Barnett, who has served as chief of police of the Princeton, Texas, police department and has an 18-year law enforcement career including working as a special agent for the FBI, has been named chief of the Kyle (Texas) Police Department. All three of the finalists selected for superintendent of the Atlanta (Georgia) public schools - Dr. Lillie Cox, Arthur Culver and Dr. Gloria Davis - have withdrawn their names from the selection process. Jim TwomblyJoe ShepardBryan SivakTulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett has created an office of city manager through an executive order and appointed Jim Twombly (middle right), who has served in the mayor's office for two years and as Broken Arrow's city manager, to the post. Joseph Shepard (middle center), who for the last 15 years has been providing senior-level leadership in the building of Florida Gulf Coast University, has been offered the president's job at Western New Mexico University, replacing longtime President John Counts, whose contract expires in June. Former Washington, D.C., CTO Bryan Sivak (middle left) has been picked by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley as the state's first chief innovation officer. Dr. Paul Kreutzer, superintendent of the New Berlin school district in Wisconsin, has been named the new superintendent of schools of the Katonah-Lewisboro (New York) schools. Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic has announced that James Nice will be the city's new police chief, effective June 6, when he succeeds Interim Police Chief Craig Gilbride. Former Surry Community College (North Carolina) President Dr. James Reeves, who served the campus from 1994-1998, has been named interim college president, replacing Dr. Deborah Friedman, who announced her retirement in March after serving at SCC as president since January 2009. Eli Capilouto (bottom left), provost of the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he has spent his entire education career, Eli CapiloutoKenneth WalkerMichael Hyneshas been chosen as the sole finalist for the presidency of the University of Kentucky. Kenneth P. Walker (bottom center), embattled president of Edison State College (Florida) since 1991, has decided to resign in 2013 after also having served as president at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, and Oklahoma City Community College. Michael J. Hynes (bottom right), deputy chief of the Lynnbrook (New York) Fire Department, has been named chief of the department by Mayor Bill Hendrick, replacing outgoing chief Raymond BurkeKathy Kivley, assistant city manager of Delano in Kern County, has been named city manager of the city of Atwater, California, and will bring 30 years of local government experience to her new post. Alexandria, Virginia, City Manager Jim Hartmann has accepted the position of county manager of Seminole County, Florida, and Alexandria Budget Director Bruce Johnson will become interim city manager. Mike Wilhelm, sergeant in the Waynesboro, Virginia, police department who has been serving as interim chief after former Chief Doug Davis retired, has been named chief of the Waynesboro department. 


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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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