Volume 3, Issue 12
July 6, 2011
Government evolution means innovation is new norm 
Mary Scott NabersWe do a lot of research at Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI).  We watch trends, analyze budgets, monitor legislation and study every aspect of government. The consensus of the SPI Team (almost all former government executives) is that what we're witnessing is historic and absolutely astounding. 


The public sector marketplace is not only changing dramatically, it is changing rapidly. The evolution is going to be quite significant and the impact will be felt for many decades.


Innovation is the new norm and companies that sell to government will be expected to be just as agile and innovative as public officials. It will be interesting to see how quickly, and which, private sector firms can adjust to the new environment. 




Funds to benefit rural communities
More TIGER grants announced
Florida businessmen push privatization
Upcoming education opportunities
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events
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Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Economic development funding to benefit rural communities


Contracting opportunities include construction, water projects, technology, more 

Rural Development
USDA Rural Development includes economic development loans and grants and programs such as the Self Help home building program pictured here in Oregon. (USDA photo)

Contracting opportunities in rural areas of the country will be abundant thanks to the recent announcement of more than $12.3 million in economic development loans and grants by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. More than 20 projects in 11 states will benefit from loans and grants to expand business and create jobs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said the funding will help utilities and cooperatives nationwide to support local projects that will "improve rural economic conditions." The rural utilities program borrowers pass the funds on to local organizations for public projects.

Some of the projects and their funding include: 

  • Central Iowa Power Cooperative received a $300,000 grant to construct a community-owned aquatic center and purchase a building to become city hall;
  • Fleming-Mason Energy Cooperative, Inc. in Kansas received a $740,000 loan to construct an assisted living facility and inpatient care facility in Maysville;
  • The Umatilla Electric Cooperative, Inc. in Oregon was awarded a $300,000 grant to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston;
  • The Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association, Inc. in Montana received a $551,000 loan to construct a treatment room addition to the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber; and
  • The Garden Valley Telephone Company in Minnesota will benefit from a  $115,000 loan to build an addition to the fire hall in Grygla.

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


Another round of TIGER grants announced by USDOT

$527 million for state, city, local government transportation projects

TIGER grantsThe latest round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants has been announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, with entities to compete for $527 million in available funds.


"These are innovative, 21st century projects that will change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs, reducing gridlock and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 


Congress approved funding for the program in its recently passed budget. The TIGER program was created as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to provide funds for road, bridge, rail and public transportation projects, streetcars and bike and pedestrian paths.


More than 125 projects have been funded in the last two years, totaling $2.1 billion. The $2.1 billion awarded pales in comparison to the $79 billion in requests from more than 2,500 applicants. This new round of funding is being referred to as TIGER discretionary grants, and pre-applications for the competitive process are due October 3. Final applications can begin being filed Oct. 4.  Projects seeking funding should improve existing transportation systems, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety. In addition to applications by individual entities, multi-state or multi-jurisdictional groups that qualify can apply through a single lead applicant.


Water/Wastewater Opportunities

Some Florida businesses pushing for more privatization


Government realizing savings due to outsourcing of numerous services

A Florida businessman who was instrumental in helping a Florida city save hundreds of thousands of dollars by outsourcing work in nearly two-dozen city departments over the past decade is now pushing for privatization statewide.

Last month, a privatization conference was held in Fort Lauderdale and many public officials from Florida reportedly left the conference with a new mind-set about privatization. Jacksonville City Councilman Ray Holt was among them and a week after the conference met with the City Council president to suggest formation of a privatization subcommittee.  


The Florida businessman has since created the Government Services Privatization Institute, which hosted the privatization conference in Fort Lauderdale, drawing officials from 28 cities and 21 counties throughout the state. Among the projects discussed were Jacksonville's partial privatization of its solid waste services and IT department. There is also reportedly a move to privatize state prisons in South Florida.


Upcoming education opportunities


Arizona school district will wait till next year for $250M bond vote

Mike Cowan
Mike Cowan 

Officials with the Mesa (Arizona) Public Schools have decided to postpone a $250 million bond election until next year. The board had previously approved putting the election before voters in November, but has since changes its mind. The bond issue is geared toward technology in classrooms and for maintaining the district's 87 schools. Superintendent Mike Cowan said he met with the city manager and other officials, who recommended changing the date because there are only a few items on the November ballot, whereas next year's Senate and presidential elections will draw more voters. In the meantime, the extension will allow school officials to review every school in the district and perhaps restructure some. Before the balloting, officials hope to have a district technology plan in place so voters can see exactly what they are voting on, and hopefully make it an easier "sell."


One of two capital improvement projects on ballot in NY passes

Only one of the two capital improvement projects for Cambridge Central School in Cambridge, New York, passed recently. The failed proposition, not to exceed $1.91 million, covered renovations to the high school library and technology rooms. The issue that passed totaled a little over $8 million and was geared to health, safety and efficiency issues. That proposal includes reconstruction of the school gym and kitchen, new ventilator units and systems, replacement of art room skylights and some single-pane windows, elementary wing wooden cubbies, repaving of a parking lot and adding 20 new parking spaces near the elementary school. It also included elementary playground equipment, a secured high school lobby, drywall replacement, exterior paint and construction of a roof hatch.

Minnesota school district anticipates $11.5 million school bond vote

Bruce Houck
Bruce Houck

Lynd (Minnesota) School officials are busy holding public hearings regarding an upcoming proposed $11.5 million building bond referendum. School Superintendent Bruce Houk was overseer for a hearing that was intended to provide information on the projects, but quickly turned into a debate. "We're here to discuss a motion that has been made," said Houk, "not to debate." The bond vote calls for construction of a new school building. Officials pointed to $4.9 million worth of work that needs to be done at the school. The officials also addressed lack of classroom space, non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and safety issues that include clean air and safety requirements. The proposed new school would be one-third larger and the girl's locker room would be expanded.


NC State prepares for major renovations of Talley Student Center

As a 50-year-old student bookstore is being torn down, officials at North Carolina State University are preparing for major additions and renovations to the Talley Student Center. A total of $120 million will be spent to redesign the student center, expanding it to 283,000 square feet. The work is expected to be completed by fall 2014.

New Mexico community college planning new $17 million building

New Building
Ground will soon be broken on this new building on the Dona Ana Community College

Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is expecting to break ground on a new building this summer to be constructed on the East Mesa campus. The building, with a price tag of $17 million, will include classroom space and faculty offices for programs that include Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Criminal Justice and other law enforcement programs and Education, especially the training of educational assistants. Some $6 million of the cost is being picked up by the state through general obligation bonds passed in 2008 and $11 million will come from Dona Ana County through its successful 2009 bond issue. The two-story, 66,500-square-foot building has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its design as it will be green built and energy efficient. The new facility will blend in with the rest of the buildings on campus, featuring red metal roofing, stucco facades with stone veneers, desert colors and a large commons area with high ceilings. A culinary arts program will be housed in the building, featuring a large teaching kitchen complete with a baking side, a prep side and a lab for beginning chefs. There is also a performance side for celebrity chefs.  


University of Iowa seeks transportation center on west campus

Before building a new Children's Hospital tower, the University of Iowa would like to see a new $23 million transportation center built on its west campus. The university's Board of Regents will address the issue in a meeting this week. The center would include a new Cambus interchange that would serve 4,000 passengers each day, and would also include parking, Cambus offices and maintenance facilities. Officials expect increased traffic when the $271 million Children's Hospital tower is built. If approved, the transportation center could go to bid as early as September, with construction completed in July of next year. An indoor practice facility that would have to be razed to construct the transportation center would see a demolition bid out in January of next year, with a completion date of October. Other capital improvement requests are a new golf training facility and renovations to Department of Pharmacology facilities at the Bowen Science Building.


Mississippi school district floating bond issue to build three new schools

Lynn Weathersby
Lynn Weathersby

Three new schools will be built in the Rankin County (Mississippi) school district if voters approve a $169.5 million bond election this fall. Superintendent Lynn Weathersby said the bond amount will not take care of all the needs of the district, adding, "But some of them you're just got to take care of, and you've got to take care of them now." A successful bond vote would allow for the building of a new Northwest Rankin High School, a new Brandon Elementary School and a new McLaurin High School. Some of the funds also would go toward new classrooms, roofs, athletic upgrades and other construction projects district-wide. Right now, 22 classes are being held in portable buildings at the Northwest Middle School because there are not enough classrooms. 

For information about these and other funding opportunities,

 contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900.


SPI Training Services

Other upcoming contracting opportunities

Oregon legislature approves its part of funding for vets home

Bruce Hanna
Bruce Hanna

Oregon lawmakers have approved a two-year construction budget that includes $10.5 million for a state veteran's retirement home in Roseburg. They are now counting on the federal government to ante up the remaining cost of the $30 million facility. House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna said the state's action should give the federal government "a great incentive" to put up its funding. State lawmakers said they would fund 35 percent of the project, which still must be approved by Veterans Affairs. The state will borrow the $10.5 million, which will be repaid with lottery revenue. The state estimates there is a demand for 900 beds to house veterans, and the Roseburg facility proposed would add 150 beds. Both the county and city have said they will help with project infrastructure, pledging $8.4 million for the 10-acre site for roads, drainage, utilities, etc.


Waste-to-energy plant to be built after Florida PSC approval

Construction of a $600 million waste-to-energy plant in Palm Beach County has been approved by the Florida Public Service Commission. The plant, which will be located with the county's Solid Waste Authority's current 63-megawatt facility, will be able to combust up to 3,000 tons of municipal solid waste each day, the same as the old facility. It will add between 70-80 megawatts of electric capacity, enough to power some 21,000 homes. Florida Power & Light Co. will purchase the electricity. It will increase the utility's renewable portfolio by 38 percent and create 400 construction jobs.  


Minnesota courthouse preparing for $2.85 million facelift

Bids are expected to be opened next month to decide who will be awarded a contract for $2.85 million in renovations to the Mille Lacs County (Minnesota) courthouse. The project is one of three for the county that total some $13 million. Funding for the project will come from bonds and capital reserve funds. Recovery Zone Bonds will be used, with the federal government paying 45 percent of the interest on the bonds. Completion date for the project is next March. The building will be modernized, but some of the older features will remain. Included in the upgrades will be HVAC, electrical and plumbing, code updates and replacement of the elevator car and equipment. Interior floors and ceilings will be updated and areas will be painted.


Architect selected for new Los Angeles convention center hall

Jan Perry
Jan Perry

The developer of a proposed $1 billion National Football League stadium and city officials have announced the hiring of an architect to design a convention center hall that is part of the plan. The new Pico Hall will be paid for by a city bond issue of more than $300 million. It will replace West Hall, which would be torn down to make room for the stadium. Councilwoman Jan Perry called the design of the convention center an integral part of the project, allowing  the city to "compete with major convention markets like Las Vegas." Officials are looking at a deadline of July 31 for executing a memorandum of understanding that lays out the basics of an agreement between the city and the design firm.


Louisville International Airport to receive $6.6 million grant

The Louisville (Kentucky) International Airport has been awarded $6.6 million federal grant to make upgrades at the facility. The funds will be used for a construction project at the airport. Officials say the money will be used to complete a taxiway along the west side of the airport, leaving the community with an advanced and modern airport. "These state-of-the-art airfield improvements will help our community retain and attract even more aviation-related jobs," said Phil Lynch, chair of the Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors. Construction of the taxiway is expected to be completed late next year. 


Design, construction approved for high-speed rail in Massachusetts

The design and construction plans for high-speed rail in western Massachusetts have been approved and nearly $73 million in funding has been approved through a grant agreement using federal stimulus money. The project includes rehabilitation of the Connecticut River rail line. The Vermonter Amtrak service will be rerouted to the line, making a more direct line to Northampton and Greenfield. The money also will be used to improve 50 miles of track and infrastructure on that line. Two new stations will be constructed in Greenfield and Northampton.  


State offers up $6.1 million in funding to expand dialysis center

Anthony Brown
Anthony Brown 

The State of Maryland has announced it will support the Deer's Head Hospital Center Kidney Dialysis Unit with $6.1 million in funding. The money will be used to nearly double the number of patients that can be treated daily. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who presented the check to the facility, said the work the facility does "is so important, not only to patients and not only to their families, but to the surrounding community." The new 8,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate more than 100 patients each day. The facility will have geothermal heating and cooling and is expected to be open by 2013. The facility is state owned and operated. 

City in California approves $36 million capital improvement plan

The biggest portion of the recently approved $36.5 million capital improvement plan for the city of Pleasanton, California, will go toward streets. The plan calls for $20.3 million of the total to be spent on city streets. The plan covers major construction, new infrastructure and repair projects that will carry through until 2015. In addition to the street portion of the funding, another $3.5 million is set aside for parks, $2.9 million for water projects, $6.1 million for sewer projects and $3.7 million for miscellaneous projects. Some of the projects include resurfacing of streets, slurry sealing of streets, water main replacement projects, a new pump station and pipeline project and nearly $3 million for program reserves. Smaller projects include sewer maintenance, new sidewalks and traffic signals, repair of Bernal Bridge, new emergency sewer and water generator purchases and repairs to local fire stations. Improvements to the Dolores Bengston Aquatic Center have been funded at more than $500,000.


Arlington approves $55M Hike and Bike Master Plan

The Arlington (Texas) City Council has approved $55.3 million to add on-street bike lanes and other hiking and biking accommodations to the city as part of the Hike and Bike Master Plan. The plan calls for a 125-mile network of on-street and off-street bike facilities in addition to 149 miles of new sidewalks. According to advocates, the move stands to improve air quality, encourage fitness, provide alternate routes for pedestrians and attract new businesses and families. The projects will largely be paid for with bonds as it's implemented and built over the next 30 to 40 years. 


For information about these and other funding opportunities,

 contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900.


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 Dr. Doris Givens. 


Doris Givens
Dr. Doris Givens

Dr. Doris Givens earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication and a master's degree in counselor education from San Diego State University. She earned her Ph.D. in community college leadership public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. Givens has more than three decades of community and technical college leadership and administrative experience. The long-time educator is a former interim provost/CEO of El Camino College in Compton, California; was interim president of West Los Angeles College in Culver City, California; interim president of Los Angeles City College; president of Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington; and dean of Human Arts and Sciences at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. She also was a full-time tenured instructor at San Diego City College for 13 years. Givens has served as vice chancellor for Educational Services for the Bakersfield campus of the Kern Community College since 2008. She was recently named to be the next president of Kansas City, Kansas, Community College.


Opportunity of the week...
City in Missouri gets $25M in loans this year, $45M next year toward $72M sewer treatment plant, system-wide improvements. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or



Gail Lawrence
Sam Reed
James Cofer

Gail Lawrence, who has been serving as interim president of Texas State Technical College West Texas since November of last year, has been named president of the institution, replacing Mike Reeser, who was named chancellor. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, who took office in 2001, recently announced that he will not seek re-election next year. Missouri State University President James Cofer, who took office in August 2010, will step down and become a professor in the school's college of business administration. Mary Anne Carter, top policy adviser to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, has announced her resignation, effective on June 30. Laura Coulthard, director of Sacramento County's Child Protective Services, has taken an extended leave of absence, with Kim Pearson, a division manager, filling in during her absence. Longtime Atlanta, Georgia, school Superintendent Beverly Hall will end her 12-year career in that position following her recent announcement of her retirement. Willy Duncan, former Taft College president, has been named president of the Rocklin campus of Sierra College (California), replacing retiring President Leo Chavez. University of Massachusetts at Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub

William Duncan
Robert Holub
Erik Lium

has announced he will resign within a year, but will step down if a new chancellor is named before July 31, 2012. The University of California San Francisco has announced that Assistant Vice Chancellor Erik Lium has been chosen to lead the newly created Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances. Longtime councilman Bill John Baker has been elected and will be sworn in as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation on Aug. 14, leading one of the biggest tribes in the nation and the largest in Oklahoma. Eric Volta, assistant superintendent of human resources in the Liberty Union High School District in California, has been chosen as the district's superintendent, replacing Jerry Glenn, who is retiring. Former lawmaker Hank Huckaby, who has worked for several state colleges and governors, is the new chancellor of the University System of Georgia, replacing former Chancellor Errol Davis, who retired. Tomas Hanna, a top aide to Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arelene C. Ackerman, is leaving the district to become chief of innovation in New York City, the country's largest school system. Jon Nelson, who has served as city manager for the city of Corvallis, Oregon,

Tomas Hanna
Jon Nelson
James Craig

for the last 18 years, has announced his retirement, with Assistant City Manager Ellen Volmert to serve as interim manager until a new one is hired. Portland Police Chief James Craig is leaving that post to take the chief's position with the Cincinnati Police Department, with Assistant Chief Michael Sauschuck to serve as chief until a new one is hired. The San Bernardino (California) School District has hired two veterans - Eliseo Davalos and Kennon Mitchell - as new assistant superintendents replacing Judy White and Dayton Gilleland, who left to take superintendent posts at other districts. James R. "Jay" Johnson, former city manager of Franklin, Tennessee, has been named the new city manager for the city of Shelbyville. Corvallis, Oregon, Public Works Director Steve Rogers and Police Chief Gary Boldizsar, have both retired, although Boldizsar will stay on as a contract employee until a replacement is hired. Jay Kimbrough, special adviser to the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, has been named interim chancellor until a new chancellor is found, at which time Kimbrough will begin his new charge as deputy chancellor.


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Calendar of events

NASCIO Annual Conference scheduled for Denver on Oct. 2-5

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference is set this year for Oct. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado. "Moving Government Forward" is the theme for this year's conference. The conference focuses on pulling corporate sponsors into the conference to discuss trends and build relationships rather than market their products. The conference also features educational programs based on IT issues that affect both the public and private sectors. To register, click here. To view the agenda, click here. 


KC Business Central hosting Minority Business Forum

Kansas City Business Central will host a Minority Business Forum on Wednesday, Nov. 9, that includes a panel of minority- and women-owned business experts who will discuss their successes and the resources available to others. Panelists include: Michael L. Barrera, attorney and former president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Consuela McCain-Nunnaly, director of Diversity Business Connection of the Greater KC Chamber; CiCi Rojas, president of Community Engagement with Truman Medical Center; and Daryl Williams,director of Research at the Kauffman Foundation. For more information contact Heather Nicolosi at


The biggest meeting of state legislators and legislative staff

Come to San Antonio, Aug. 8-11, for the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual Legislative Summit - the largest and most important gathering of the year of state legislators and legislative staff from all 50 states. Broaden your contacts with state officials, learn the pressing issues facing lawmakers today and hear from top-notch policy experts. For more information, click here.

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, along with prime contractors seeking VOSB and SDVOSB partners and federal government representatives who promote both through contracting opportunities. For more 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.


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