Volume 3, Issue 9
June 15, 2011
Now is the time to present government with solutions related to critical problems

Mary Scott NabersMany states are nearing the end of their fiscal years and in spite of budget reductions, the public entities are checking to see exactly how much funding is left. Governmental organizations rarely risk not spending all of each year's allocated funding so once the numbers are firm, decision-makers will be taking a long look at prioritized purchasing options. End-of-year purchasing decisions are often made quickly.  

Summer is a perfect time for contractors with products and services to approach public entities, especially school districts, cities, counties and state agencies.  If there is no funding left at the end of a fiscal year, at least new funding is available once the next fiscal year begins.




Perdue vetoes entire budget
Hospitals could get reprieve
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events
Don't miss another issue
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Perdue vetoes entire $19.7 billion North Carolina budget


Says document 'blatantly ignores' values of state's people; override threatened

Bev Perdue
Gov. Bev Perdue

In an historic move, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue last week vetoed the entire $19.7 billion budget that had been sent to her by the State Legislature. It was the first time in history that a North Carolina governor has vetoed the entire budget. Saying the budget "blatantly ignores the values of North Carolina's people," Perdue said the state has always been a national leader, but support for the budget presented to her by the legislature would be "moving backwards."

Money TreeMuch of the budget battle was over the proposed extension of a temporary one-cent sales tax increase, which Perdue backed. The legislature, on the other hand, proposed letting the sale tax increase expire. Perdue said the legislature's budget proposal was not friendly to public education.

Some legislative leaders, however, pointed out that their budget for education spending was only 1.6 percent lower than Perdue's. 

The governor enlisted the support of more than two-dozen businesspeople and politicians for her budget. They all agreed that the proposed legislative budget would not allow the state to meet its constitutional obligation of educating all the state's children. 

But, Perdue's veto action may be a moot point. Legislators, who passed the budget in the House by a 73-45 count, need only 72 votes in the House to override Perdue's action. Four of the five Democrats who voted for the budget have indicated they will not change their votes, thus assuring passage in the House. There are already enough votes in the Senate for an override. 

The budget could come up for a vote again as early as today, Wednesday.


Hospitals could get reprieve on electronic health records


Advisory panel recommends pushing back deadline two years, to 2014

Medical RecordsHospitals and doctors offices could get a two-year reprieve from the deadline set for them to switch to electronic medical record systems. A federal advisory panel is recommending the additional two years, pushing the deadline for "meaningful use" requirements to 2014 instead of the original deadline of 2012. The "meaningful use" requirement seeks to ensure that health care providers are using electronic health records (EHRs) in their everyday operations. The goal of the switch to EHRs has always been to reduce efforts, improve health care and save money. Those not meeting the new standards could have their Medicare reimbursements cut beginning in 2014.

Some health care organizations, the American Hospital Association (AHA) included, say the project is bigger than first thought and will require more time for the switch. The AHA reports that a recent survey revealed that less than 2 percent of the nearly 1,300 survey respondents said they would be able to meet the minimum federal requirements in January.

The federal government already has provided $158.3 million of the $4.7 billion appropriated for health care providers to switch to electronic medical records.


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P3s - Public-private parnterships

Oil companies, counties teaming to help ensure roads are maintained

Dale Patten
Dale Patten

Counties in the northwest portion of North Dakota are looking to public-private partnerships to help them with projects aimed at improving county roads. Counties where oil is being produced are turning to the oil industry to help provide manpower, materials and equipment to keep area roads maintained. Both state and local officials are seeking to partner with the oil companies to fix the roads.

"We want some things done," said Dale Patten, McKenzie County Commissioner. The state Department of Transportation is working with counties to create a statewide contract to assist the public-private partnership. Officials feel that cooperative agreement will ensure roads are maintained, which is a boon both for the local and state governments, but also for the oil companies who also use the roads. The last thing local governments want is their road system destroyed and the last thing the oil companies want is impassable roads.

Before their next meeting, each county is working to come up with their own road system task force to address the road problems and the solutions that can be affected through a partnership.


New Jersey governor suggest possible outside management of schools

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris  Christi is floating the idea of having school districts in the state that are struggling turn over their operations to for-profit education management organizations. Christi said legislation is upcoming that would allow such changes on a pilot basis, involving up to five schools initially. Christi, who is unhappy with the public education system, is exploring all options, including allowing students in under-performing schools the option of attending other schools. 


Upcoming education opportunities


Louisiana school district rejects bids for school renovations

Bids for renovations at the Gonzales Primary School in the Ascension Parish in Donaldsville, Louisiana, have been rejected. The bid - $7.77 million - was nearly $1 million over the proposed budget of $6.8 million. Chad Lynch, director of Planning and Construction for the school system, said the plans will be modified in an effort to reduce the project costs and will then be put out for bids again within the next month or so.


Temple University to partner to create four-year medical school

Christopher Olivia
Christopher Olivia

Temple University School of Medicine will partner with West Penn Allegheny Health System to establish a four-year medical school by 2013 on Pittsburgh's North Side. The proposal is expected to help address a shortage of physicians in Western Pennsylvania. West Penn Allegheny Health System President and CEO Christopher T. Olivia, M.D., called the venture an "exciting opportunity" and said the advancement of the current partnership between the two entities "will greatly advance our collective ability to not only education more physicians, but also meet the future health care needs of our patients and our communities." The new medical school will be located near the WPAHS flagship Allegheny General Hospital, which will serve as the classroom setting for the school. Housing classrooms and other training facilities in an existing facility will keep building costs down, but renovations are planned to accommodate the school, including construction of state-of-the-art classrooms and labs with videoconferencing capabilities, advanced simulation training technology and upgrading some common student areas.

List of $475 million worth of construction projects from tax proceeds

The DeKalb County (Georgia) School Board has approved $475 million in construction projects to be paid for from a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. The list must now be approved by voters in November. Among the projects on the list are seven new elementary schools, new HVAC systems for nearly all county schools and additions and renovations to numerous schools. The projects would be funded by an additional 1 percent added to the sales tax. 

University of Nebraska plans to build, renovate four buildings

James Milliken
James Milliken

Plans were recently unveiled by officials of the University of Nebraska for the building and renovation of four buildings on the Nebraska Innovation Campus, a public-private sustainable research campus. Among the renovation projects will be the 4-H Building. The projects represent some $80 million in public and private funding. The funding includes an appropriation of $25 million from the state legislature, $15 million from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as part of a match of the state funding and $40 million from a developer as part of a pledge to match the state and university investments. Nebraska President James B. Milliken called the projects "a front door to the Nebraska Innovation Campus" that he says will help build and strengthen the innovation economy of the state. Some $10 million of the state investment and a like amount or more from the developer will be used to renovate the 4-H Building. A nearly 100,000-square-foot new building will be built next to the 4-H Building. The two will be combined for a nearly 170,000-square-foot central commons area for the Innovation Campus. They also will provide space for university research, incubator business or translational research, convenience or retail space and labs. Another $15 million of state funds and a hoped-for private investment of $15 million would be spent on a new life sciences research center.

Two residence halls, dining hall on tap for new construction at U of H

Michael Lawrence
Mike Lawrence

Two new residential halls and a dining hall are part of construction plans at the University of Houston. One of the residential halls and the dining hall are expected to be open in fall 2013. The new dorm will house approximately 800 beds. The second dorm is expected to have a capacity of 1,000 beds. With the addition of on-campus students and two more dorms, the existing dining hall would not have been able to handle the increase in student numbers, officials said. Once the new dining hall is completed, the old one will be shut down. Mike Lawrence, interim Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Student Affairs, said the new cafeteria will be "environmentally safe and constructed with environmentally positive sides," such as using recycled material. Funding for the projects comes from bonds that will be issued in the future, as well as fees paid by students.


Hawaii Department of Education releases funds for capital improvements

Capital improvement projects totaling $152 million will be funded during the coming school year. The Board of Education recently approved the list of projects. Money for some of the projects has already been released by the state, although the state budget has not yet been signed. To view the complete list, click here.


University of Southern Mississippi College Hall to undergo makeover

Chris Crenshaw
Chris Crenshaw

A $6 million makeover is planned for the University of Southern Mississippi's College Hall. Some 100 years after its construction, the building will be restored and will become the home of the Southern Miss School of Mass Communications and Journalism. The initial plan is for renovation to begin in August with a completion date set for spring 2013, according to Physical Plant Director Chris Crenshaw. The first two floors will be used for offices and classrooms and the third floor will be a recording studio and student media center. The bid for the project will be going out soon. The upgrades will be paid for out of leftover bond funding from previous bond bills. The facility currently is used for campus classrooms and offices.


Looking for P3 Opps?

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Port of Long Beach budgets $830 million for numerous projects

Sam Joumblat
Sam Joumblat

A budget of more than $830 million is on tap for the Port of Long Beach for FY 2010 infrastructure needs. Among the projects is replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The nearly $175 million increase over last year's budget is mostly for long-term infrastructure projects. Other projects include upgrades to piers, roadways, truck routes and railyards. The Port plans to take out $300 million in new debt to finance the $630 million worth of projects. "Challenges remain, as the port continues to compete for its share of the industry's discretionary cargo (and) as other ports strive to divert business to their own facilities," said Port Financial Director Sam Joumblat in releasing the budget. Joumblat said he expects competition will continue to increase. Growing competition from ports in the Gulf, along the East Coast and Canada make investing by the port a "must."


New York agency will issue more than $190 million in energy grants

New York's State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Public Service Commission will issue more than $190 million in funds for projects that involve renewable energy. The money will go to wind, hydroelectric and landfill-to-gas projects to ensure more renewable energy in the state. Seventeen projects will be involved. These projects are expected to produce $500 million in economic benefits over their 20-year life expectancy. The goal is to help the state move toward ensuring that at least 30 percent of New York's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2015. These projects could add as much as 315 megawatts of renewable capacity and produce enough power to supply approximately 145,000 homes with electricity each year. The wind projects chosen will go to farms in Steuben, Wyoming, Cattarugus and Clinton counties. The hydroelectric work will enlarge an existing facility in Saratoga County and re-power three other facilities.


City in Maine preparing to build new $2.5 million police station

George Myers, Jr.
George Myers, Jr.

The City of Waterville, Maine, is about to get a new police station. The City Council recently approved the project. Councilor George Myers, Jr., noted that interest rates are currently favorable for construction projects and added that the city is really in need of a new station. A new station would allow the police department to move out of its current cramped quarter. Officials hope to choose a site for the new facility - there are three being mentioned - by September, and then complete construction by late 2012. 


New city hall, public safety building on tap for county in Minnesota

A new city call and public safety building is on the drawing board in Washington County (Minnesota) after the county recently voted to allow the city to use and replace land in the Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park as site for the facility. The county will provide funding to Cottage Grove and another agreement lets the city use 11.64 acres of the land for alternative public use. Construction of the new city hall and public safety building is expected to begin later this summer.


Medical center planning $20 million for capital improvements

Rick Wagers
Rick Wagers

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The MED) recently approved a budget that includes $20 million for capital improvements to the current facility and another $40 million set aside to pay for construction of a replacement hospital. This year's expenditures will include $88 million for technology upgrades, $7.4 million for improvements to the hospital buildings, $2.1 million for equipment and supplies related to patient care and funding for support services, parking, security and ambulatory services. Rick Wagers, MED's chief financial officer, said many maintenance projects that were needed at the facility have been put off for years. The result is a long list of critical improvements that are now necessary - roofs, generators, boilers, etc. "We have a long list of things that need to be done in the building, but we're trying to keep in mind that we're, for the long tem, looking at a replacement facility," Wagers said. The $40 million put in reserves will be added to the $50 million the hospital is expected to have at the end of this month to be dedicated to the new facility. Other plans include building out three floors of the Jesse Turner Tower that currently houses the Firefighters Regional Burn Center. 


El Paso airport revenue bonds will help pay for upgrades

The city of El Paso's airport revenue bonds have been rated A plus. Some $16.1 million of the bonds will be used to finance pavement rehabilitation and landscaping at the Butterfield Trail Industrial Park. 

California city to install automated parking structure

John Duran
John Duran

A $13-million construction project to house a computerized system that will store and retrieve cars is planned for West Hollywood, California. The five-story structure allows people to leave their cars, where they are stored in parking berths using motorized lifts, conveyors and shuttles and then retrieves the vehicle when the owner returns. Mayor John Duran called the project "cutting-edge technology" not seen on the West Coast that "will solve a parking problem for City Hall and for the mid-city area." The contract for the technology has already been awarded, but the city must build a shell around the parking structure and a motor court for dropping off and picking up vehicles. A plaza area will also be created between the back door of City Hall and the parking structure.


Connecticut prepares to borrow $4.6 billion after bonding plan OK'd

A bonding package passed by the Connecticut House and Senate recently could lead to the borrowing of more than $4.6 billion over the next biennium. The funding would be used to build schools, roads, water projects and a new technology park. The bill also extends an 80-percent reimbursement rate for all municipal school construction projects in racially imbalanced schools. The bill calls for $2.01 billion in bonding next fiscal year and $2.12 for 2012-2013. With a previously approved $252 million in bonding for the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State University System for the biennium, bonding authority for FY 2012 and 2013 could rise to $4.63 billion. The UConn funding includes $172 million for construction of a new technology park at the main campus in Storrs.


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 Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia.


Sanjeev 'Sonny' Bhagowalia
Sonny Bhagowalia

Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in information resource management and is a graduate with a CIO certificate from the National Defense University. He served in the private sector with a Fortune 500 company as a senior principal engineer from July 1985 until July 1999. Bhagowalia is a former Information Technology Program management executive with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Department of Justice from July 1999 through August 2007. He was an Information Technology Program management executive with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Department of Justice from July 1999 through August 2007. The experienced CIO official served as CIO of the U.S. Department of the Interior from December 2008 to May 2010 and CIO for Indian Affairs, a sub-agency of the department. In May 2010, Bhagowalia became deputy associate administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies for the General Services Administration (GSA), where he assisted the GSA and the Federal CIO implement government-wide e-Gov. Bhagowalia was recently named Hawaii's fist full-time CIO. He will begin his new post July 7 and will head Hawaii's new Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT).


Opportunity of the week...
A Washington county is planning a $305 million expansion of its wastewater treatment plant. While design work is currently under way, construction is expected to begin in 2013 and be completed in 2016. Almost everything at the plant will get an upgrade. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or


Danielle Plogmann
John O'Connor
Michael Hinojosa

Danielle Plogmann (top left), former communications director for the Republic Party of Iowa during the 2010 election cycle, has been chosen by Gov. Terry Branstad as acting director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights, where she has worked since March as an executive assistant. John J. O'Connor (top middle), senior vice chancellor of the State University of New York and president of its Research Foundation, has resigned his position. Former Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa (top right) has been named superintendent of the Cobb County school district, Georgia's second largest school district, replacing the retiring Fred Sanderson. Kevin Samples, former information systems director for the Corpus Christi, Texas, Independent School District, has been appointed the new CIO of Lafayette, Louisiana, replacing Keith Thibodeaux, the city's first CIO. Steven A. De Chellis of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, who worked previously in the Burbank and Los Angeles County fire departments, fire chief for a fire department in Saudi Arabia, Alaska, Mississippi and Soledar FD in California, has been selected as the new chief of the Copperopolis, California, Fire Protection District. University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has announced that Brian Voss, current IT chancellor and chief information officer of Louisiana State University, will take over the same position

John Winn
Sue Hann
Alan King

at the university, effective Aug. 1. Dallas Independent School District Chief Financial Officer and former Lewisville ISD deputy superintendent Alan King (middle left) has been named interim superintendent while the district looks for a permanent replacement for former DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. The Florida Department of Education has a new interim commissioner - John Winn (middle center) - who previously served the department and will serve until a replacement is found for Eric Smith, who resigned his position. Sue Hann (middle right), deputy city manager for Palm Bay, Florida, since 2003, has been named new city manager for the city, replacing Lee Feldman, who left to become Fort Lauderdale's city manager. Mike Luvera, a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and who joined the Central Washington University police department in 2008 as a lieutenant in Public Safety and Police Services, has been named director of the university police department. Theresa M. Lee, chair of the University of Michigan Department of Psychology, has been selected as the new dean of the University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences, effective in January of next year. Brian Meredith, admissions director at the University of Memphis, has been named the new associate vice president of Enrollment Management for Western Kentucky University, effective July 18.

Larry Shaffer
Deborah Watkins
Laura Saunders

Larry Shaffer (bottom left), who spent seven years as town manager in Amherst, Massachusetts, has been chosen city manager for the city of Jackson, Michigan. Dallas City Secretary Deborah Watkins (bottom center), who has served in that position for the last five years, has announced she will be leaving that position on July 6, after a career with the City of Dallas that spans 37 years. Former Bellevue College (Washington) administrator Laura Saunders (bottom right), has been tabbed to serve as interim president of the college, replacing President Jean Floten, who is resigning to accept the position of chancellor of Western Governors University-Washington. Jim Grabowski, village administrator of Minooka, Illinois, has been appointed Elmhurst's next full-time city manager, to replace City Manager Tom Borchert, who is retiring. Randy Sharpe, who joined the city of Chardon, Ohio, nine years ago as assistant to City Manager Dave Lelko, has been named city manager to replace Lelko, who retired in March. Auburn, New York's, Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Dygert, who joined the department in 1994, has been promoted to fire chief, replacing retiring Fire Chief Mike Hammon.


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National Small Business Conference set for August

The National Veteran Small Business Conference is planned for Aug. 15-18, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Billed as the largest nationwide conference of its kid, it provides veteran-owned (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) an opportunity to learn, network and market their businesses. Those who should attend include  VOSBs and SDVOSBs seeking an edge on the competition in the federal government marketplace should attend, along with prime contractors seeking VOSB and SDVOSB partners and federal government representatives who promote both through contracting opportunities. For more information, click here.


Summit on Sustainability scheduled for June 21-12

The Summit on Sustainability-2011 is being planned for June 21-22 in New York City. The summit will address sustainability in the context of economic, health, social and environmental issues. Best practices and policies for long-term economic vitality for a region will be discussed, as will best practices and policies. Registration is free for members of the public sector. For more information, click here. E-mail:, phone: 916-932-1300 ext. 134 or phone: 916-932-1300 ext. 134. 

S. Carolina county hosts free small, minority business forum June 16

The South Carolina Minority Business Center will host the Richland County Small and Minority Business Forum on Thursday, June 16, at 2020 Hampton, Street, Columbia, South Carolina. The free event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with exhibits from various departments on the third floor and networking and speakers on the fourth floor. The forum is designed to allow local small, women and minority-owned businesses the opportunity to meet Richland County Procurement Department's decision-makers. The goal is to help these businesses make more money, develop relationships with county procurement department officials and decision-makers, market their firms, learn about upcoming county projects and get on the county's certified contractors list. No registration is required. For more information call 803-743-1154. 

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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