Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 1April 10, 2013

Cities rewarded for innovative problem-solving

Mary Scott NabersThere is a growing need for efficiency in government and decision-makers seek to operate in a better, faster and more cost-effective way.


Recently, many local government entities entered ideas into the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, which challenges officials to use innovative ideas to solve problems in urban governance.


There were five contest winners out of a pool of 305 cities. These cities will receive start-up funding to pilot their innovative ideas, which will be implemented in other cities if they are deemed successful. Here is a list of the winners. 




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Panama Canal project half complete
Maryland passes P3 bill
DHS could privatize some services
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
News about P3s
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.

Panama Canal expansion nearly halfway completed


American ports preparing infrastructure; contracting opportunities varied, plentiful

Houston Port
Activity at the Port of Houston and other American ports are gearing up for more traffic once the Panama Canal expansion is complete.

Last month, the Panama Canal Authority reached a milestone in its $5.25 billion expansion project. Dredging to deepen and widen the channels along Culebra Cut, the narrowest part of the canal's navigational channel, was completed. Some 3.2 million cubic meters of dirt were removed in that project alone. "Gradually, we are completing all the projects that make up the Expansion Program," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. It was part of a major dredging project that began in 2008.


That success followed another milestone, when the first million cubic meters of concrete were poured into the locks construction on the Atlantic side. Today, close to 50 percent of the work on the new locks that will increase the number of ships and the amount of cargo passing through the ports has been completed. The dredging and the new locks will allow the canal to accommodate larger ships - ones that are either too long, weigh too much or are too wide for the current locks. Some are the length of aircraft carriers. When the dredging and new locks are completed, existing canal capacity will double and allow for vessels with triple the cargo previously carried. The upgraded canal is expected to be completed in early 2015.


That means increased port activity for ports in the United States. Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated that American ports were spending $6 billion to $8 billion per year to modernize, resulting in contracting opportunities and jobs. For instance, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is spending $1 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge to let the taller vessels pass through. Port Miami quickly won approval and found the funding to dredge its port.


When the canal is widened, the larger ships will have more options and the monopolization of port activity on the West Coast will end. Those larger ships will be able to pass through the canal's wider locks and unload cargo at Gulf or East Coast ports, such as Savannah, Georgia, New Orleans, Houston and New York City. Many are in the planning stages and others are moving forward with dredging projects.


As those port cities are gearing up, infrastructure development opportunities from engineering to dredging to construction and more are opening up and public sector vendors should be watching for these projects.


Maryland passes public-private partnership legislation


Bill to provide incentives for private sector participation in public projects

Anthony Brown
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown

The Maryland General Assembly has passed and Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a bill that is intended to allow private partners to help build public infrastructure. The legislation, two years in the making, provides a process to allow the private sector easier entry into building public roads or buildings.


Officials are hopeful the legislation will create more private sector investment in state infrastructure. The state estimates that public-private partnerships in the state could provide up to 10 percent of the state's $3.1 billion annual capital budget. Additionally, some 4,000 new jobs could be created.


A similar version of the bill did not pass during the last legislative session, but Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said the version passed this week will provide additional incentives for private sector firms to participate in public projects.


What's in YOUR financial tool box?


TTool Boxhere are dozens of unique and innovative financing programs in Texas that support business, industry, real estate and community development. Those who have exhausted the financial tools in their finance toolbox should make plans to participate in the Council of Development Finance Agencies' (CDFA) first-ever, free Webcast on "Unlocking the Development Finance Toolbox in Texas" on Wednesday, April 24.


The Webcast is slated to begin at 12 p.m. CST on that date. Joining a panel of development finance experts on the Webinar will be Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. Register on the CDFA Web site


Mississippi bill would allow DHS to privatize some services


Passed in House, but must also pass in Senate before going to governor

A bill that would allow the Mississippi Department of Human Services to hire private companies to handle some of the department's duties has been given approval by the Mississippi House.


The bill originally was designed to allow the department to hire private firms to collect overdue child support. However, some have indicated the legislation would allow DHS to hire companies for other functions, such as nutrition programs for the elderly.



University of Texas at Austin

Upcoming education opportunities


Mississippi school district hoping for technology upgrades for students

Officials in the Lamar County School District in Mississippi recently took a field trip to another state to see how a high school there was using technology in its classrooms. Students in the high school there each are provided individual laptops. They found that using this technology allowed students to work independently, and now the Lamar County schools would like to investigate the costs for providing that same technology in some of its schools. Superintendent Ben Burnett is hoping to replace textbooks with laptops for at least every high school student in the district next year. At one high school, where 1,600 students are enrolled, there are no computer labs and only about 35 computers are available for student use. Burnett also said eventually the district would like to provide computer technology to students at all grade levels. The district is studying the possibility of providing a laptop to each student in the three high schools, but the cost is expected to be about $500,000 per year for a lease program. He pointed out that the money that previously would be expended on textbooks could be used toward that amount, as well as funds that will be appropriated by the state's legislature.


West Virginia University planning multi-purpose development

Narvel Weese
Narvel Weese

A $90 million multi-purpose development is in the planning stages by West Virginia University. The development will be in the Evansdale area and will be called University Park. It will sit on an approximately seven-acre site. The development will include residential housing with approximately 1,100 beds, retail space and food service for both the university and the public. "WVU must continue to upgrade its housing in order to appeal to the needs of our diverse student population, which includes traditional undergraduates, but more international and graduate students as well as families," said Narvel Weese, vice president for administration and finance. The proposed University Park will be the third and final phase of the university's master housing plan to meet the needs of the university's growing student population, which also translates into the need for additional residential housing. The development would replace current residential housing at Fieldcrest Hall and the Medical Center Apartments. Both of those facilities would be razed. An additional housing facility, the leased Pierport Apartment, will not have its lease renewed. Weese pointed out that not only will the public-private partnership help the university and its students, but the development also will add to the local tax base for the city and county. The project is still in the early stages of planning and design, but could be completed in fall 2015.


Purdue University in line for new $13 million softball stadium

Purdue University's Board of Trustees has approved construction of a $13 million softball stadium. The project is part of the Mackey Complex project that was approved in 2007. Bids will soon be sought for the project. Officials hope to break ground on the project sometime this year, with a completion date in time for the start of the 2015 softball season. Included in the project are a concrete spectator area with bench and chairback seats and a 1,000-seat capacity with room for expansion. The facility will feature heated dugouts, dedicated bullpens and batting cages for visitors and home teams and a new clubhouse that will feature a locker room, lounge, team meeting area and athletic training treatment areas. The clubhouse will be attached to an enclosed and heated training facility. There will also be a new press box with seating for the media, radio and television announcing booths and a game day operations area. Also featured are television-quality lights so night games can be televised, and restrooms and concession stands. The new facility will be paid for by the self-supporting Department of Intercollegiate Athletics through income from Big Ten Conference TV agreements, gifts and other department funding.


May 2013 Texas Bond Results

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Multi-million-dollar renovations studied for S. Dakota arena

The city of Rapid City, South Dakota, is looking at a price tag of up to $37.9 million to renovate the Barnett Arena at the city's civic center to ensure its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This possible expenditure comes on the heels of the proposal last July of $125 million to $150 million to build a new arena with up to 20,000 seats. Among the most costly improvements aimed at compliance are new construction for ADA-accessible restrooms, concessions and seating, which carry a cost of $13 million. A report on accessibility costs also notes that new elevators are needed for wheelchair-bound patrons. Officials are concerned that the time it takes to bring the center into compliance could shut the arena down for up to two years. However, an architectural firm said its construction proposal would keep the arena functional during that time, but the timeline for completion would be extended to five years. It would take only two and one-half years to shut down the arena and complete the upgrades at one time.


Tennessee city seeks funding for street widening project

Officials in Jackson, Tennessee, plan to submit a state funding request that would result in widening of Dr. F.E. Wright Drive in the city. The project includes a little over 2.2 miles. The funding sought from the Local Interstate Connector Route would result in approximately $2 million toward the $8 million project. The city recently sought engineering proposals for the project and got a dozen responses from design teams from across the state. It could be up to two months before the city sees the design proposal. Construction could begin in either 2015 or 2016. The original roadway was built with Local Interstate Connector Route funds. If state funding becomes available, the city will have to decide between a four-lane road with a median or a five-lane roadway with a middle turn lane section. 


NY Port Authority to get new $83 million garage structure

Scott Rechler
Scott Rechler

New York Port Authority officials have given a green light to a proposed $83 million parking garage at LaGuardia Airport. The project includes construction of the facility to accommodate some 1,100 vehicles and is part of the ongoing modernization of the airport. "The Port Authority has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to transform its airports into world-class facilities," Port Authority vice chairman Scott Rechler said. Rechler said the project will provide for additional parking that mirrors the growth in air travel at the airport. Construction on the new garage could start later this year, with a completion date of February 2015. Not only will the project provide much-needed additional parking, but it will also employ approximately 500 direct and indirect workers. The airport currently has 6,800 public parking spaces. Those spaces generate a total of $41 million in gross revenue, or $24 million in net revenue annually.


Texas city looking into massive upgrade of its technology

The city of Rowlett, Texas, is contemplating a major overhaul of the city's information technology infrastructure, following a report by a consultant who recommended the upgrades. The city's IT manager told City Council that the technology infrastructure for the city had not been addressed in recent years. He said some servers and telephony are a decade old or older. Officials estimate that it will cost between $520,000 and $631,000 over three year for the upgrade. To pay for the project, the assistant city manager said sales tax revenue and city savings could be used.


Design firm chosen for wastewater upgrade for Massachusetts town

A design firm has been chosen for $26 million in upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant in Middlesboro, Massachusetts. The town's selectmen will likely approve the design costs for the project - estimated at $18 million to $3.1 million as part of the overall $26 million in project costs. The Wright-Pierce firm was favored by the selectmen because it offered alternatives the town could use to save money and in financing methods.


Town in New York seeks bids for treatment plant upgrades

The town of Saugerties, New York, is seeking bids for additions and alterations to its Glasco wastewater treatment plant. The project will include replacement of equipment at the watewater treatment plant and replacement of water meters. Bids will be due May 7. Town officials in February OK'd the borrowing of more than $1.5 million for improvements and repairs to the Glasco Water District. Additionally, they agreed to borrow $820,000 for improvements and repairs at the Glasco Sewer District. Bids have not yet been sought for that project.


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- From Collaboration Nation, How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government, by Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.  


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Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards:

  • Satterfield & Pontikes Construction has been awarded a $93 million contract to build two new campuses in the Lewisville, Texas, school district, ninth-grade centers of approximately 110,000 square feet at two high schools.

  • Lockheed Martin has won a five-year, $146 million task order contract to design an advanced simulation-based training system for the U.S. Army to ensure Army, joint and coalition leaders are prepared to act in an evolving operational environment.

  • B.L. Harbert International has won a $39.7 million contract from the University of North Alabama Board of Trustees for construction of a new science and technology building.

  • Science Applications International Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton, Paragon, Sapient and SRA International together have won a five-year, $184 million multiple-award contract to provide information technology support services to the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

  • Chicago Bridge and Iron has won a $2 million contract from the city of Jamestown, North Dakota, for the city's water tower project.

  • SRA International has won a three-year, $18 million contract to provide IT support services to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Infectious Diseases, covering all phases of the system's software development lifecycle.

  • EMC Corp. has won a four-year, $22 million task order contract to provide support and development services to the U.S. Air Force, including instrumentation loading, integration, analysis and display, enterprise test data management system, Odyssey and supplies to Air Force test customers.

  • Science Applications International Corp. has won a three-year, $74 million contract with the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command to provide security engineering services in support of its anti-terrorism program.


Headlines from around the nation


Bid to create new outer highway loop around Indy returns


Multibillion-dollar proposal to redevelop former Texas mall


(To view these stories, click here and and look under "Around the Nation.")
News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Partners sought for P3 to redevelop mall property in New York

Sam Hoyt
Sam Hoyt

Private sector partners are being sought by the Empire State Development Corporation and the USA Niagara Development Corporation to help redevelop the vacant Rainbow Center Mall. A request for qualifications for the public-private partnership has been issued. The 200,000-square-foot facility renovation, according to officials, is hoped to encourage pedestrian traffic. Sam Hoyt, senior vice president for regional economic development at the Empire State Development Corporation, said an effort is being made to "build an infrastructure and momentum here that ultimately the developers will be competing with other developers to be a part of the re-vitalization of this community." Part of the mall already has been transformed into the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Those interested in responding to the RFQ will have until later this summer to respond with their proposals, with a developer to be named in late fall.  


Investors sought to help develop Gary/Chicago airfield, property

A committee that includes city officials and officials of the Gary/Chicago International Airport has heard a recommendation to seek investors with $100 million in hand to help develop the airfield and its surrounding property. The report they heard from the committee recommends using a public-private partnership for the project, but will not include the possibility of selling the airport. Officials realize the importance of the airport to the local economy. And while the project is not expected to be a windfall for the city, the city could benefit through revenue sharing such as rental or lease payments or a percentage of the revenues raised. While the proposal includes a recommendation of a five- to-10-year management contract, it does not seek privatization of the airport. Among the considerations of the committee during the making of its report were long-term leases, privately built and managed passenger terminals or a management group to take on airline terminal and airfield leases. The committee hopes to move the process along so that it can have oversight of the search process and give its final recommendation for the bid winner by August.  


Colorado DOT selects contractor for managed lanes project

Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation have inked their first public-private partnerships deal, an agreement with Plenary Roads Denver for the construction and maintenance of Phase II of the U.S. 36 Managed Lanes project. CDOT and its High Performance Transportation Enterprise will enter into a 50-year agreement with Plenary Roads Denver for maintenance services for the entire U.S. 36 corridor between Boulder and Denver and a segment of I-25 between downtown Denver and U.S. 36. Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed in 2015.


Plenary will construct an express lane in each direction of U.S. 36 between 88th Street and Table Mesa Drive for bus rapid transit, high-occupancy vehicles and tolled single-occupancy motor vehicles. Two general purpose lanes in that stretch of highway will widen the highway and a commuter bikeway will be installed. The company will also be responsible for installing Intelligent Transportation Systems for tolling, transit and travel information.


City of Arlington could be home to new first-class hotel

Robert Cluck
Robert Cluck

Arlington, Texas, Mayor Robert Cluck is all smiles in announcing that developers have shown an interest in building a first-class hotel and new entertainment venue in the city. Officials feel a new hotel and expansion of the area near the Convention Center on Ballpark Way will bring more visitors to the city and also encourage them to spend the night in the city - adding a positive note to the local economy. City officials have been hoping for a new hotel for some time. "I feel more positive about it now than I have for several months," Cluck said. He fell short of saying it was a done deal, but the mayor is hopeful. A number of developers have expressed interest in the project, say convention center officials, but no proposals are on the table yet.

While some proposals have surfaced, the financing part of the project has not materialized.


City and convention center officials are hopeful a hotel and more meeting and exhibit space will attract more conventions and meetings. It's not the first time for the city and the convention center to seek a new hotel. There was a proposal on the table several years ago that would have expanded an existing hotel by 300 rooms, adding 53,000 square feet of exhibit space, 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a 900-space parking garage. Cluck said if a new project were to be approved, it would likely not happen before next year.


New Hampshire city exploring possible P3 for parking garage

Whether a public-private partnership will be used to build a new parking garage in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an issue being looked at in the Northern Tier of Portsmouth. A P3 is not the only option being studied, however. The city previously looked into the possibility of a P3, but the proposed project ran into legal problems. Several possible sites are under consideration.


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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 K. Bryan London.


Brian London
Brian London

K. Brian London earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Claremont McKenna College, a master's from Pepperdine University and a Master's of Science Degree in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University. He served six years on active duty as a military officer and then was a law enforcement officer for more than three decades, serving in a variety of roles in local, state, federal and international law enforcement. His initial law enforcement job was in 1981 as a State Traffic Officer with the California Highway Patrol in Santa Cruz. He was later a Special Agent in the Central Intelligence Agency and a Special Agent in the U.S. Secret Service, providing protection for current and former Presidents, Vice Presidents and visiting foreign heads of state. In 1987, London transferred to the U.S. Customs Service and over the years served in various capacities with the agency, including such titles as Senior Customs Representative, Customs Liaison to the Executive Office of the President and Director of the Office of Investigations. London was named the first American executive director of INTERPOL Headquarters in France. He later was named senior law enforcement officer and deputy chief for law enforcement in Florida's Department of Financial Services. London was named by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the 22nd Commander of the Iowa Department of Public Safety last September. He was recently confirmed to that post by the Iowa Senate.


Research Analysts - Solutions

Opportunity of the week...

A village in Illinois has approved capital spending of $3.7 million as part of its $19 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Included in the capital projects are $1.25 million in water main improvements, $761,500 for sewer lining improvements and $1.5 million on street improvements. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Did you miss TGI?



Stephen GaineyMaura O'NeillBrian DeeseWake County (North Carolina) Schools Interim Superintendent Stephen Gainey (top left) will be leaving the district after announcing he has accepted the position of Superintendent of Randolph County Schools, effective July 1. The Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Maura O'Neill (top center), will leave her post in June after three and one-half years in that job. President Barack Obama has nominated one of his senior economic adviser, Brian Deese (top right), as deputy director of the White House budget office, the number two slot at the Office of Management and Budget. The city of Safety Harbor, Florida, has hired contract specialist Damaris Cordova, who has more than a decade of managerial experience, to help the city write, bid out and enforce its contracts. Concord, California, Interim City Manager Valerie Barone has been named to the post full-time, replacing City Manager Dan Keene, who is currently the Vallejo city manager. Livermore Economic Development Director Rob White is resigning his position to accept the appointment of Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Davis, California, where he will work with development agencies, the high-tech industry and UC Davis to deliver more efficient city services and create jobs in Davis. Jane Wilcox Valerie Taylor Carlos Hernandez Jane Wilcox (middle right), former director of parking and traffic at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, has been selected as the new director of transportation services at Texas State University-San Marcos. Dr. Valerie E. Taylor (middle center), Regents Professor and the Wisenbaker Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University's College of Engineering, has been named vice chancellor and dean of engineering. Dr. Carlos Hernandez (middle left), controller and associate vice president for finance for the University of North Texas, and controller for the UNT System, has been named Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Administration for the University of North Texas at Dallas. Thousand Oaks, California, City Manager Scott Mitnick has appointed public information officer Andrew Powers as Acting Assistant City Manager to replace Mark Watkins, who has been appointed Ventura city manager. Matthew Ferron, an assistant superintendent in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and former director of education and member relations for the Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System, will serve as the next superintendent of the Hanover Public Schools, replacing interim Superintendent Carl Batchelder. Sanford, Florida, Fire Chief Stephanie CutterHeather JohnstonGale OsborneJerry Ransom, who has served as chief since 2003, has announced he will resign this month to accept a position as deputy chief with Broward County Fire Rescue. Stephanie Cutter (bottom left), has been appointed as Savannah, Georgia, city manager and becomes only its second city manager who's a Savannah native. Heather Johnston (bottom center), city of Burnsville, Minnesota, director of administrative services and chief financial officer, has been promoted to city manager, succeeding Craig Eberling, who retired. Gale Osborne (bottom right), police chief in Kingsport, Tennessee, and a 33-year veteran of the department, has announced his retirement, with Deputy Chief David Quillin to serve as interim chief until a new chief is hired. Former Planning & Development Director Luis Patlan was appointed to take over for the retired long-time Kerman, California, City Administrator Ron Manfredi, who has been appointed interim city manager in Firebaugh. Jeremy Brown, former president of Dowling College on Long Island and Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, has been chosen as the new president of Portland Community College, Oregon's largest community college. Michael T. Benson, president of Southern Utah University, has been selected to head Eastern Kentucky University, succeeding retiring President Doug Whitlock. 


Public-Private Partnerships

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GMIS International - 'Connect with IT Leaders from Around the World'

GMIS International, the premier organization for public sector IT leaders, will hold its Annual Conference August 18 - 21, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference brings together public sector technology leaders and decision-makers representing a wide variety of government agencies from throughout the United States. Representatives from international organizations will also attend and provide updates on technology initiatives in their respective countries. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to interact in historic Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about how you can participate as a sponsor or exhibitor, please click here. 


NASCIO plans midyear conference in D.C. April 28-May 1

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) will host its 2013 Midyear Conference "Mission Possible: Connect, Collaborate, Innovate" April 28-May 1 in Washington, D. C. NASCIO represents state chief information officers and information technology executives and managers from state governments across the United States. The group will also host Powerwalk on April 30 to benefit Byte Back - an organization that provides technology training to the underserved in D.C. NASCIO's midyear conferences provide an opportunity for state government and corporate members to discuss the issues facing the information technology field in the public and private sectors. These events offer members a break from the many conferences that promote the marketing and sale of products or services through trade shows and exhibitions. Instead, corporate participants are invited to interact with state attendees to discuss trends and build relationships. NASCIO educational programs are centered on policy issues, trends, best practices and information technology issues that affect the public and private sectors. By bringing together all interested parties, NASCIO members can map strategies, develop positions and act responsibly for the benefit of all involved. Registration is now open and the agenda is available. 


TxDOT to host 2013 Small Business Briefings across Texas

The Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Office of Civil Rights-Supportive Services Section will conduct briefing conferences around the state for small, minority- and women-owned businesses providing contract opportunities and information on how to do business with TxDOT and the state. Lubbock is the location of the third of four briefings events being offered in fiscal year 2013. The day-long briefings include general industry sessions and specific information on how to do business in the construction, goods and services, information technology and professional engineering service industries. Breakout sessions will cover small and minority-owned business certifications, resources for business development, marketing for state contracts and information on TxDOT toll projects. Each briefing also includes a contracting opportunity fair, industry sessions and a multitude of networking opportunities. Please join us! The Lubbock event will be on Tuesday, April 23, at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center, 2322 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, TX 79401. Although pre-registration is closed, we are welcoming walk-ins. More information is available here, or call 1-866-480-2518, Option 1. For questions regarding the Office of Civil Rights-DBE/HUB/SBE and Supportive Services programs click here or call 512-486-5510. A Tyler event will be on Tuesday, June 11.


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