Volume 3, Issue 7
June 1, 2011
As federal budgets shrink, contractors look to state and local government markets

Mary Scott NabersThe federal government is dealing with huge budget deficits and agencies of every type and size are being forced to cut costs.  As a result, government contracting at the nation's capital has been reduced significantly.  In the months to come, as Congress continues to mandate cost reductions, this trend will only become more significant.   

In the past, many government contractors did not compete at the federal level because of the competition.  Now the situation is almost reversed and there is at least as much and sometimes more competition at the state and local levels of government as large firms make a conscious decision to pursue other public sector marketplaces.




Florida higher ed cuts
Amtrak proposal comes under fire
Public-private partnerships
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.
Florida higher ed officials reeling after budget cuts


Gov. Rick Scott vetoes nearly $200 million in construction, other projects

Marshall GoodmanFlorida higher education officials are reeling after Gov. Rick Scott vetoed approximately $200 million in construction and other funding, part of his record-setting $615 million in cuts from the state's $70 billion spending proposal.


Just about the only survivor from the blood-letting was the University of South Florida's Polytechnic campus in Lakeland. Because the USF Poly proposal dealt with high-tech issues, it won a special place in Scott's heart. The governor said the project not only would focus on the growing high-tech industry and the skills today's students need for tomorrow's economy, but also that it would provide much-needed classrooms.


Scott left in the higher end budget $35 million for the USF Polytechnic campus. Regional Chancellor Marshall Goodman (left) said the new campus would be "an economic driver for the state and falls right in line with the governor's priorities of getting Florida back to work by creating an additional 36,610 jobs and an estimated annual economic impact of $3.2 billion."


Not so lucky and caught by Scott's veto pen:

  • Ralph Wilcox$750,000 for an expansion of Santa Fe College's Kirkpatrick Center, which teaches public safety classes;
  • $4.5 million for Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) for furniture and equipment for its new building to house a health professions program;
  • $5 million for FGCU toward a $12.5 million renewable energy center;
  • $10 million for USF Poly for a pharmacy school;
  • $1 million for USF Poly for an interdisciplinary center for excellence;
  • $6 million for the University of Florida's (UF) Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona in Orlando;
  • $5.3 million for UF for maintenance and repairs of existing facilities, infrastructure and utilities;
  • $500,000 for UF statewide brain and tumor registry program at the McKnight Brain Institute;
  • $34,015 for a health care practice in Archer run by the UF College of Nursing;
  • $3.3 million for USF Poly for the Winter Haven Peace Creek watershed;
  • $2 million for a Polk State College Institute for Public Safety; and
  • $3 million for repairs at the University of South Florida (USF).

USF Provost Ralph Wilcox (right) said the budget cuts also leave the university with $10 million less than last year for academics. University officials are using financial reserves to bridge the budget gap. "We're burning through those reserves," said Wilcox.


New survey!


A technical problem with last week's survey resulted in some of our readers' responses not being saved. So we're throwing out last week's results and starting over. If you responded last week, please respond again.


If you're a vendor seeking to sell to government, we hope you'll respond to this week's survey with questions regarding procurement challenges, bidding and more. To participate in Strategic Partnerships Inc.'s new survey, click here. This week's survey results will be published in next week's edition of the State & Local Government Pipeline.


Amtrak's Northeast Corridor proposal comes under fire


Legislator wants public-private partnership for high-speed rail section

John MicaWith a $117 billion price tag over 30 years, a Florida member of Congress is planning to introduce legislation opting to have Amtrak's proposal to develop the Northeast Corridor's high-speed rail service separated from Amtrak's operation. He instead wants to seek a public-private partnership to design, build, operate and maintain the service that connects New York, Washington, D. C. and Boston.

U.S. Rep. John Mica of Florida says Amtrak has "one of the most dismal records on earth" for rail service, to the tune of a $1.5 billion annual subsidy. He believes that the private sector could offer to build and operate a rail system in the Northeast Corridor at a significant savings. Mica said approximately $500 million of Amtrak's $1.5 billion subsidy goes to operations. Some in the private sector are confident the $50 billion to $60 billion necessary for the project can be raised in the private sector over the 10-year period necessary to build the rail system.

Mica, who said the legislation will likely be filed within the next couple of weeks, said the private sector not only can build the system in a shorter period of time, but it can also do it a "a fraction of the $117 billion cost proposed by Amtrak" and create jobs as well.


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Public-Private Partnerships


Alabama bill addresses public-private partnership for coliseum renovation

Passage of a bill by the Alabama Legislature would give state and local officials from October 2012 to September 2013 to develop a plan for a public-private partnership to renovate the Garrett Coliseum. The bill has already passed unanimously in the Senate and now goes to the House. If such a plan can be developed, the state will throw in $800,000 per year to paying down the bonds for the project to begin in 2012. The state would continue to pay that amount until the $30 million in renovations are complete. The money would end in 2015 if a plan does not surface. The aging building, currently operated by the state agriculture department, has been home to major music acts, rodeos, the circus and more, all of which brought in about $6 million in revenue to the area. Some say doing away with the coliseum will affect the entire region. The bill under consideration is a stop-gap remedy, allowing another year for a public-private partnership to be worked out. Another bill is being floated regarding finding another avenue to refurbish the building.


Campsite considered for Ohio municipal airport grounds

In a proposed public-private partnership, the city of Middletown, Ohio, is considering constructing a small campsite at the Hook Field Municipal Airport. A professional skydiving organization is willing to pay the costs for the campsite through a public-private partnership. The campsite would feature a fenced area with more than 20 gravel pads for parking RVs, with access to electricity and water. Estimated to cost between $40,000 and $50,000, construction could take up to two months.


Upcoming education opportunities


Texas A&M Corps of Cadets dorm area renovations approved by regents

The QuadA $13.7 million renovation of the Corps of Cadets dorm area at Texas A&M University was recently approved  by the TAMU System Board of Regents. The project will include rebuilding Harrell Hall into 110 two-bed dorms. The nearby Learning Study Lounge D will be demolished and a new four-story Leadership Learning Center (see accompanying artist's rendering) built in its place. Financing for the project will come from a loan that will be paid back through housing fees. The renovations are the first in what is expected to be a five-year series of upgrades to the buildings that make up "The Quad," the oldest dorms on campus. The learning center will be patterned after the Bright Football Complex, which opened in 2003 and features 125,000 square feet of locker rooms and training facilities. The learning center will house academic advisers' offices, multi-purpose computer labs, meeting and training rooms and a cadet lounge, with wireless Internet throughout.


Virginia school secures funding grant for facilities expansion

A $3 million, zero-interest Qualified School Construction Bond has been secured by the Falls Church, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. The funding will ensure startup of the first phase of the school expansion program. The grant will allow the school to begin a $5.95 million project to expand and upgrade the school to meet student growth. The first phase will be expansion of the school, which will include the addition of 12 new classrooms, replacing temporary classrooms with permanent classrooms and increasing the size of the cafeteria. The expansion will also allow fifth graders to attend the school. The second phase will renovate other communal areas, including the library, gym and older classrooms. Technology needs will also be addressed, with a new WiFi network. Officials will be seeking input from the community, with a formal groundbreaking set for mid-June.


Washington legislators approve $35 million to start medical school

Elson FloydWashington State's $2.8 billion capital budget approved recently includes $35 million to begin construction of a new medical school in Spokane. The Washington State University-Spokane Riverpoint Biomedical and Health Services Facility will receive that funding in the first year of the 2011-2013 biennium. The medical school was supported by WSU President Elson Floyd (pictured), who was joined by many other medical school supporters in the community. The total cost of the project is estimated at $70 million. Supporters hope to be allocated the remainder of the funding next year.


North Carolina schools to welcome new technology

The Greenville, North Carolina, County school board recently approved the issue of more than $10 million in bonds. Using funds through a federal program, the district has set aside money for new computers for 66 of its schools.


St. Cloud State planning first phase of hockey, event center renovation 

Earl PotterThe first phase of a two-phase renovation of the National Hockey and Event Center at St. Cloud State (Minnesota) University will begin in July, according to St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III (pictured). The price tag for the project is $28.8 million and would create a building to host concerts and other events that do not have a venue in the St. Cloud area. It would include 20-30 luxury suites, an upgraded entrance, concourses, concessions and restrooms and concert seating for 8,000. Phase one will go into January, said Potter, and will focus on the exterior and entrance of the building's south side. There will also be some work done on locker rooms and some suites will be added. The second phase would involve work on the interior to expand the seating and add more suites. That phase is expected to be completed before the beginning of the 2012-2013 hockey season on campus. The university has enough funds available to pay for the project's first phase - which is anticipated will cost $14 million.


New athletic training center planned for Texas A&M

A new two-story, $6 million sports performance center is being planned for the Texas A&M University football team. The facility will included 18,000 square feet and is expected to be completed next summer. The board of regents recently approved adding the cost of the building to the university's budget. The facility will be supported exclusively with money from private donations. The athletic department must have $3 million in hand and another $1.5 million in pledges before it can move forward with the project. The $6 million price tag includes furnishings and equipment. The sports performance center will also house staff offices, staff lockers and shower rooms and a conference room.


Looking for P3 Opps?

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Sacramento downtown arena feasible, according to report

Kevin JohnsonAfter chasing a new arena for the Sacramento Kings for more than 10 years, city leaders recently got a report that indicated a downtown arena is feasible and less expensive than thought. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, (pictured) other city officials and staff will now analyze the report with hopes of developing a public-private partnership for the $387 million project. Officials note that the feasibility report does not address how to pay for the arena, the public-private partnership option is still open and the Kings owners have said they would consider leasing instead of owning a facility. That would leave open the possibility that an international or national arena operator could put up part of the funding. Johnson called the report "a very significant step for our community." Supporters say such an arena could revitalize the downtown area and transform the entire region. 


Taos Pueblo awarded more than $100,000 grant for watershed

Taos Pueblo in New Mexico is getting a more than $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to help restore the Rio Pueblo de Taos watershed. The funds will contribute to continuing efforts to restore the watershed area that has been damaged by pollution and erosion. The grant funds will be used for restoration, outreach and environmental education to help intercept and control pollution entering the stream system. 


Legislation would lead to raising money for Louisiana courthouse

A bill that cleared the Louisiana Senate would raise approximately $1.36 million toward construction of a new Livingston Parish courthouse. The bill raises certain civil suit filing and recording fees. The proceeds would help replace the current circa 1940s courthouse. Two other communities have used similar plans to help finance their new courthouses. The increases in fees will help cover the costs of borrowing money for the courthouse construction. It can only be used for design, acquisition, construction, renovation, equipment, operation and maintenance of the new facility. The total cost of the project has not yet been determined, but the current courthouse houses the offices of the clerk of court, sheriff and district judges and includes five courtrooms.


New Plaquemines Medical Center to be built in Louisiana parish

Plaquemines Medical Center Utilizing Federal Emergency Management Agency funds and funding from the parish, a new Plaquemines Medical Center (as seen in artist's rendering) will be under construction by the fall. FEMA last month agreed to allocate $19.7 million toward the project. The parish will put up $3 million. The new 43,000-square-foot, three-story building will include a clinic, pharmacy, a dentist and all the amenities of the current temporary building. There will be a mental health clinic, a Meals on Wheels facility, will house WIC and Egan Home Health Care. The center also will be equipped with a helicopter pad on the roof.


Gove County feasibility study slated regarding airport

Pending the results of a feasibility study, Gove County (Kansas) could soon build its first public airport. County officials and the Kansas Department of Transportation are working together toward a goal of putting an airport in Quinter. They have requested a $38,000 feasibility study grant to see if it is eligible for an airport. Gove is one of five counties in the state that does not have a public-use airport. 


Santa Monica commits $100 million to construction projects

The Santa Monica, California, City Council has voted to commit some $100 million to construction projects that include affordable housing, light rail improvements, a joint project with the school district on a civic center, improvements to the Santa Monica Pier and a fire station. The original proposed amount was $146.5 million and included renovation of the Civic Center Auditorium. But with the losing record of the center - expected to be $1 million even in good years - officials decided the money could be better spent on other projects. 


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 Mark Rees.


Mark ReesMark Rees (pictured) took his first job after graduating from college as director of a purchasing and central services division for a county in North Carolina. He has worked in municipal government since 1979 in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He was the first town administrator in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and the first town manager in Northbridge, Massachusetts. Rees also served four years as the first chief financial officer for Framingham, Massachusetts, giving him a strong background in public sector financial management. Most recently, he has been the town manager of North Andover, Massachusetts, serving in that capacity for the last 10 years. Rees was recently named city manager for the city of Portland, Maine's largest city.  


SPI Training Services

Opportunity of the week...
Officials in Lumberton, Mississippi, have approval from the Mississippi Department of Health to hire a firm to perform a feasibility study regarding their quest for a critical-access hospital. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or


William DuncanRandy ParkerCarol QuillenWilliam Duncan (top left), who has served for the last four years as president of Taft College in California, has been named the sixth president of Sierra College, replacing outgoing President Leo Chavez, who is retiring in June. Vance-Granville Community College President George "Randy" Parker (top middle), who has served the Henderson, North Carolina, institution since 2004 and is a former vice president of instruction and student services as Lenoir Community College in Kinston, will become the next president of the Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown. Carol Quillen (top right), vice president for International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Rice University in Houston, has been named the 18th president of Davidson College, a liberal arts institution in Davidson, North Carolina. The committee named to search for a new president of Daytona State College has recommended four finalists for the position - Roslyn Artis, executive vice president of Mountain State University in West Virginia; Drew Bennett, chancellor, Missouri State University-West Plains; Carol Eaton, president of Frederick Community College in Maryland; and Irby "Skip" Sullivan, president, West Georgia Technical College. Don Levinski, who has served as principal of Tse' Bit'Ai Middle School in Shiprock, New Paul SenftMexico, for four years and was a candidate for superintendent, has Rick LaskyCurt Kiserbeen chosen acting superintendent of the Central Consolidated School Board there while Superintendent Gregg Epperson is on administrative leave. Former Polk County (Florida) Commissioner Paul Senft (middle right), recently appointed to the13-member Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board, has been named chair of the board. Lewisville (Texas) Fire Chief Rick Lasky (middle center) has announced that after 11 years with the department, he is retiring in the fall to pursue teaching and consulting full-time. Curt Kiser (middle left), former senator from Pinellas County (Florida) and general counsel of the Florida Public Service Commission, has been named interim executive director of the commission, replacing Timothy Devlin, who resigned. Former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez has been declared winner of a Miami-Dade County Commission race, defeating Julio Robaina, a former state legislator and South Miami mayor. Selectmen in Middleboro, Massachusetts, have named Allison Ferreira, assistant to the town manager, as the new town clerk, replacing Town Clerk Eileen Gates, who is retiring at the end of June. Dave Moore, who has been with the Southwest Florida George BoersmaNoreen YamaneJames BuieWater Management District since 1984, having served as executive director since 2003, has announced his resignation. George Boersma (bottom left), director of technology partnerships for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and who has been with the state of Michigan for the last 17 years, retired at the end of May. Noreen Yamane (bottom center), who has been serving as interim chancellor of Hawaii Community College since July of last year, has been named permanent chancellor, effective July 1. James Buie (bottom right), hired by the Gaston (North Carolina) County Police Department in 1987, has worked his way up to the job of assistant chief that he has held since 2006, which he will give up to become the department's chief. Daniel Rich will leave his city manager post at Campbell that he has held for the last six years to become city manager of Mountain View, California, effective July 27. Thomas F. Moore, vice president for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Winthrop University, will become the new chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate on Aug. 1. Donald D. White, who has been with the Louisiana State Police in various capacities since 1990 and currently commands the State Police's Emergency Services Unit that handles hazardous material and explosive activities, has been named chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department. 


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Calendar of events

Arizona city announces small business development workshop

Chandler, Arizona, is hosting its Chandler Small Business Development Workshop on Thursday, June 9, in the Council Chambers of the Chandler City Hall. Designed to assist small and minority businesses, topics for the half-day (7:30 a.m. to noon) workshop include Trends in the Economy - U.S. and Arizona, Where to Get Help Owning and Operating a Business, Marketing Your Business for Today and Tomorrow, How to Use Community Events to Build a Business Reputation and more. For more information and to register, click here and click on Small Business Center.

Partnerships workshop to be held in Illinois on June 24

"It's Not Privatization: Implementing Partnerships In Illinois," a one-day program sponsored by Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships is slated for Friday, June 24, at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois. The event will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. Among the topics for the workshop include The Framework of Public-Private Partnerships vs. Privatization, Illinois Environment for Infrastructures, Financing Tools Available Through Partnerships and more. To view the agenda and registration information, click here.


TxDOT San Antonio Small Business Briefing conference set 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.


AGC's HR Professionals Conference slated Oct. 4-6

The Associated General Contractors Human Resources Professionals Conference is set for Oct. 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. The gathering is billed as the premier event for human resources professionals to learn and share HR practices related to the construction industry. The conference features a number of construction-related sessions on HR topics such as creating a mentoring program, hiring from a remote location, successfully operating in multiple jurisdictions, keep your organization safe from workplace violence, using pre-employment assessments and more. A federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop will be held the afternoon of Oct. 5 and the morning of Oct. 6. For conference and registration information, click here.


FAA procurement opportunities training conference, trade show slated

The Federal Aviation Administration will host its Annual National Small Business Procurement Opportunities Training Conference and Trade Show July 18-21 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The gathering provides a forum for small businesses, including service-disabled and veteran-owned small business and 8(a) certified firms, to participate in technical and procurement opportunities workshops. Small businesses will be linked with large business and program managers to address business issues and concerns and offer information on small businesses doing business with the agency. For more information, click here.

Texas procurement seminar for HUBs slated for June 27

The 2011 Texas Procurement Connection Seminar and EXPOs prepare Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) the opportunity to meet with state purchasers. This year's seminar, slated for Monday, June 27, will be at the Crowne Plaza, Austin. Nearly 20 Texas state agencies will participate. The seminar will include workshops providing vendors guidance and training on the state government purchasing process. There will also be panels of agency and university purchasing representatives providing information from their agencies' perspectives.  Vendors will have the opportunity to network with state purchasers to discuss how to secure state business. For more information, click here.


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