Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 21September 4, 2013

Stress, smog, delayed travel time and taxpayer costs!

Mary Scott NabersAs traffic congestion escalates, tempers get shorter, drive times get longer and smog is greater. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has released a report that provides some shocking statistics.


Traffic congestion has been on a steady rise for the last 30 years. And, travel problems are no longer just relegated to urban areas; congestion is now impacting residents in smaller cities as well.


Traffic snarls are frustrating and costly. In 2011 (the last date when comprehensive data was available), traffic jams cost Americans approximately $121.2 billion.




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Texas plans $4.8B in bond votes
Phoenix OK's capital improvement plan
Illinois invests in broadband
Upcoming education opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
Other upcoming opportunities
News about P3s
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity

identification for all 50 states.

Click here for more information.

Texas to put nearly $5B in bond issues before voters
SPI's November Bond Report includes listing, description of each referendum

VoteVoters in Texas will decide nearly $5 billion in bond issues throughout the state on Nov. 5. The result will be millions of dollars in contracting opportunities for private-sector vendors.


Sixty-six bond referendums are on tap that date. They include 19 city bond elections with a combined value of $584 million, two community college votes to decide the fate of $174 million in proposed projects, eight county elections worth $914 million total, a $12 million hospital district vote and three-dozen public school district votes with a combined value of $3.13 billion.


The November election is the first since last May, when Texas voters approved more than $4.6 billion in bond projects.


Among the projects that would benefit from a successful bond referendum are a $65 million affordable housing bond issue for a city in Central Texas, a North Texas city bond issue valued at $75 million that would result in $43 million in street and traffic control improvements, a $14.5 million new police station and fire training facilities and $8.5 million for parks and recreation facilities, including senior center improvements.


Also in the bond vote are other city proposals in various cities for aquatics projects, new fire stations, library improvements and expansions, road improvements and more.


In West Texas, county voters will decide the fate of a $95 million proposal for a new courthouse, while another Texas county will try to pass an $8.5 million bond vote for renovations to its courthouse.


And, school districts in all areas of the state will be seeking voter approval of bond issues valued from $5.5 million to $490 million. Schools would use the proceeds of their successful bond votes for new schools, athletic facilities, security improvements, technology upgrades, new buses, HVAC upgrades and more.


Vendors who can provide these services will have millions of dollars' worth of projects on which to bid once the bond issues are held. Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has available now its November 2013 Bond Report that includes a listing of each entity holding a bond election, the total amount of each proposal and a detailed description of each bond package. The report also includes an after-election report of the bond issues that passed. For more information and to purchase your Bond Report, click here.


Phoenix approves $3.16B capital improvement plan


Water, aviation, transportation, transit, wastewater big ticket projects

Ed ZuercherA five-year, $3.16 billion Capital Improvement Plan has been approved by the city of Phoenix. The largest portion of that plan is $711 million for the city's Water Services Department. The plan also includes major expenditures for aviation, water, street transportation and drainage, public transit and wastewater. Each of those areas is expected to see spending of $250 million or more over the five-year period.


This plan, for 2013 through 2018, will spread funding across nearly two-dozen city programs. Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher (pictured) reminded that the document is a "planning document" and not an absolute statement of what will eventually come to fruition. He said all sizes of projects are represented in the plan, from community swimming pool renovations to replacing some of the city's aging buses with more efficient compressed natural gas buses.


High-dollar items in the plan include more than $320 million for the Aviation Department, much of which will be dedicated to the ongoing PHX Sky Train, a free automated inter-terminal train at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The first phase is already completed, but the next stage is expected to open in 2015. The goal of the project is connecting airport terminals to a light rail station and parking facilities. Other improvements and upgrades at the airport also are planned, including security upgrades, remodeling of restrooms, making improvements to the international terminal and more. Two other airports also will see upgrades.


Illinois investing $1.5 million into broadband project


Part of Illinois Jobs Now! program aimed at improving network

Gov. Pat QuinnSaying his state must have a broadband infrastructure "second to none," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (pictured) has announced the state will invest $1.5 million to build an ultra-high-speed broadband network in the southern part of his state. The state is partnering with private sector Frontier North Inc., the city of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University and nonprofit Connect SI Foundation to build a gigabit network that will benefit citizens, businesses and institutions in Southern Illinois.


The investment is part of the governor's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction project that will provide funds for Frontier to build a high-speed fiber optic network to serve Carbondale businesses, schools, hospitals and neighborhoods. The network would be up to 100 times faster than current speeds in the area. Officials see it as a way to recruit new business to the region, allow higher education to connect globally and improve telemedicine and telehealth for Southern Illinois' School of Medicine.


So far, more than $71 million in broadband infrastructure has already been committed through the Illinois Jobs Now! program. With that funding and money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable has already been installed. 


Upcoming education opportunities


Federal program gives millions to Arizona schools for upgrades, repairs

A federal grant program will give two school districts on the Navajo Nation close to $7 million to be used to repair and upgrade facilities. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the funding, which is part of a bigger $20 million grant allocation shared by districts in Arizona and five other states. The funding is used to help districts on Indian reservations, military bases or other federal lands repair and modernize their facilities. The Ganado Unified School District in Arizona will get more than $1 million for its elementary, middle and high schools, and the Red Mesa Unified School District, both in Apache County, will get $6.8 million for its five schools.


South Dakota school district post record bond sale for new schools

Doug MorrisonThe Sioux Falls School District in South Dakota recently recorded the district's largest bond sale ever. The school district will use the proceeds from the $54 million sale to build three new elementary schools. The district sold the bonds on the competitive market to ensure the lowest interest rate. "It's just better to go that route and let the market play out than try to second-guess the market and do a private placement," said Board Chair Doug Morrison (pictured) of the competitively sold bonds. "Early on, the board felt it would be more transparent to go the competitive route, and I don't think we thought we would hurt ourselves from a rate perspective." Officials say five firms bid on the 20-year bonds, and there was a $700,000 difference in interest between the high and low bids.


Oklahoma school district significantly pares down bond total

Marshall County schools in Oklahoma will take a $2.5 million bond issue before voters Sept. 10. If successful, the bond proceeds would foot the costs of two new high school classrooms and three to four new classrooms for elementary grades. This is the third attempt - but much scaled down - for officials to pass a bond issue in the district. Two attempts at passing a $20 million bond issue have failed. The result was a single-issue, low-impact $2.5 million bond package. In addition to the new classrooms, the bond issue also includes new air conditioning, roofing, computers and a new ag building. A $160,000 separate proposal is for two new school buses.


Two Illinois school districts to benefit from $14M for expansions

Two school districts in Illinois - Pleasant Plains and Riverton - will benefit from more than $14 million in state funds as a result of Gov. Pat Quinn's $40 million Illinois Jobs Now program aimed at assisting school districts in the state build new facilities, expand existing facilities and update energy systems. The two will use the funds for expansion projects. The Riverton district was granted $7.9 million to build a one-story, five-classroom addition to its Riverton Elementary School for 125 preschool through fourth grade students. Another addition will be a one-story, seven-classroom for more than 300 high school students, with home-room capacity for 125 students. The funding includes money for land purchase. The local share of the project is $3.7 million. Pleasant Plains District will get $6.2 million to build a one-story, three-classroom addition to the high school for 65 students and a one-story, 15-classroom second phase for 374 students. The local share on that project is about $8.8 million.


Illinois school district to issue bonds to accelerate projects in master plan

Chris McClainWith plans to spend about $100 million over 10 years on its Master Facility Plan, the Glenbard High School District #87 in Illinois plans to issue $20 million in bonds in the next year to ensure some projects begin as early as next June. The 10-year plan includes infrastructure improvements, classroom upgrades and additions. Chris McClain (pictured), assistant superintendent for business services, said $65 million of the total project costs will be paid by the district's Operations and Maintenance budget. The bonds are being sold to give the district a jump on the projects with more readily available funding. A bond issue is likely to be held to make up the rest of the district's bond debt, which can be done without increasing taxes. That vote could come as early as spring next year, according to McClain. If a bond issue is called and passes, officials say some of the projects could begin next June.


Texas school district calls for $451 million bond issue in November

Officials in the Comal Independent School District in New Braunfels, Texas, have called a November bond referendum for $451 million that would allow the district to build two new high schools, two new middle schools or a third middle school and to provide district-wide improvements for such issues as technology, safety and security and buses. Taxpayers in the district would have to approve a property tax increase that could increase taxes by seven cents per $100 valuation over the next five to seven years if the bond issue passes.  


Collaboration Nation

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards:

  • Affigent has won a contract worth up to $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior for general purpose information technology equipment.
  • Laser Tech, Inc. won a $739,603 contract from the Midland, Texas, ISD for interactive white board mounting and cabling for elementary schools.
  • Cyberactive was awarded a five-year contract worth just under $3 million by the East Baton Rouge Parish for offering online driving courses.
  • American Testing won a contract worth up to $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for maintenance, repair and rebuilding of equipment.
  • Williams Brothers Construction Co. was awarded a contract for up to $126.2 million by the Texas Transportation Commission for a design-build contract for converting Loop 1604 between Bandera and Bulebra into a controlled-access highway.
  • Avanco International won a contract worth up to $1.8 million from the General Services Administration for professional, administrative and management support services.
  • TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. has been awarded a base contract for $12.8 million - with the potential to reach the full value of $58.3 million if all of the one-year option terms are exercised -  by the Defense Information Systems Agency to provide Managed Satellite Services, Ku satellite bandwidth, terrestrial support and 24-hour support services for the U.S. Marine Corps' Tactical Satellite Communications Network.
  • Catapult Health Technology Group won a contract worth up to $26.9 million from the U.S. Army for information technology support services for multiple locations.
  • Inland Dredging Company, LLC was awarded a $12.7 million contract by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, to dredge the Neches River Channel.
  • Dominion Development won a contract worth up to $2.9 million from the General Services Administration for lease or rental of facilities.
Contracting Opportunities

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Ohio city studying $167.5 million capital improvement plan

A capital improvement plan will be voted on next week by the city of Dublin, Ohio. Approval would result in $167.5 million in projects being undertaken over the next five years. Of that amount, $88.1 million would be for transportation projects that include maintenance, repaving and new construction that includes roads and multiuse trails. Another $36 million would be spent on park projects. Utilities, facilities and other expenses make up the rest of the capital improvement program. The city already has planned more than $54 million in projects for next year and more than $60 million for 2015.


Town to use federal grant for feasibility study for training facility

The town of Springerville, Arizona, will use a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Business Enterprise to fund a feasibility and planning study. Officials are seeking bids for the study, which will include architectural/engineering plans for a multi-use SW Natural Resource training facility. It will include a vocational skills center, conference/training/incubator center relating to natural resources and disasters. Bids close on Sept. 26. The feasibility study will focus on a forestry training center, wildlife rescue center for endangered species, veterinary clinic/educational training center and aquaculture/aquaponics incubator program.


El Paso awarded $8.9 million for housing authority improvements

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the El Paso Housing Authority $8.9 million in capital improvement funds. The amount is the largest extended to a Texas housing authority. The funding will be used to maintain and improve the authority's more than 6,000 public housing units in the city. The money can be used to make improvements such as new roofing, to make energy-efficient upgrades or to replace plumbing and electrical systems.


Site chosen for new 911 center for New Mexico county

Officials in Dona Ana County in New Mexico have selected a site for the new 911 center. This marks the first true step forward to securing the facility. Now that a site has been chosen, officials can begin seeking finished design plans for the facility. They note that the design plans are nearly 70 percent complete, with most of the remainder contingent on where the facility was to be located. The site is approximately three acres. County officials say the site chosen is secure, not a through street and close to a main thoroughfare. It is also near the sheriff's headquarters in the county building.


Work continuing toward construction of new I-65 corridor in Kentucky

There's no construction under way yet, but officials are working on utility relocations and rights-of-way purchasing on a project that will connect U.S. 31 West to Interstate 65 near Oakland in Kentucky. A suit has been previously filed in an attempt to stop the project, contending the environmental assessment did not follow protocol. The project includes a federal earmark of $36 million and once approved at the federal level can go out for bids. The federal allocation will not cover the entire cost of the project. The case should be settled before any construction can begin. Officials are expecting final approval for a traffic circulation study of the Tax Increment Financing District within a couple of weeks. The state Transportation Cabinet is expected to contribute $80,000 toward the study, which will be met by a $20,000 local match.


SPI Training Services

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Miami Dade College seeking P3 for mixed-use medical campus project

Officials at Miami Dade College are looking to a private partner to help develop a mixed-use project on its medical campus. The public-private partnership would reside on a 4.5-acre site that is currently a parking lot on the west side of the main Medical Campus building.


Letters of interest are being sought from private sector firms. The letters are due Dec. 6 and forms are available here.


While a proposed Medical Campus Expansion Building and parking garage are priorities for the project, officials also see the partnership could lead to construction of a hotel, conference center, medical office building, residential building and retail space. A pre-proposal meeting is set for Sept. 18 for developers, architects and financial partners interested in the project.


Maryland County enters into P3 for waste-to-renewable energy initiative

Washington County, Maryland, is entering into a public-private partnership with America First, Inc. on a two-phase waste-to-renewable energy project. The first phase of the project includes construction of a facility that will transform municipal solid waste into refuse-derived fuel pellets.


The second phase of the project would build a gasification plant to process those pellets into fuels that could include renewable gasoline and jet fuel.


The first phase of the project is expected to commence next year and Phase II would follow within 18 months. Washington County will provide all the municipal solid waste it receives to the facility and county officials expect the current landfill will be mined to recovered buried waste. The pellets expected to be produced at the facility will be sold to industrial markets, where they will be used in boiler systems and kilns.


Officials say the project is part of the county's efforts to find more efficient, environmentally friendly ways to manage municipal solid waste while also reducing emissions. 


Gemini Global Group

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Advertise in Pipeline



Tony AtwaterLauretta HillPaula BlackmonTony Atwater (top left), president of Norfolk State University, has been dismissed from his position by the governing board of the institution, but will remain as a tenured professor on the university's faculty. Lauretta Hill (top center), a 19-year veteran of the Arlington, Texas, police force, has been promoted to assistant police chief, after a career with the police force that includes having been a field training officer, sergeant, lieutenant and then deputy chief. Paula Blackmon (top right), chief of staff to Dallas, Texas, Mayor Mike Rawlings, has been named Senior Executive for Intergovernmental Relations and Community Engagement for the Dallas Independent School District. Isabel FitzGerald, Maryland's new chief information officer and secretary for the Department of Information Technology, recently took office after serving as CIO for the Maryland Department of Human Resources and later as Gov. Martin O'Malley's deputy secretary for operations. On the recommendation of the System Chancellor Mark Heinrich, Raymond W. Staats will be allowed to resign as president of Gadsden State Community College after being placed on leave in July by the Alabama Community College System. The Ankeny, Iowa, city council has selected Polk County administrator and former Tazewell County, Illinois, administrator David Jones as Ankeny's new city manager. Kari McVeigh, superintendent of the New Haven Unified School District in California, has been placed on paid leave for three months before her planned exit date, with the district's chief business officer, Akur Varadarajan, and chief academic officer, Arlando Smith, to serve as interim co-superintendents. The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin has Celeste Ward GventerDave LopezMorton Shermanannounced that its associate director, Celeste Ward Gventer (bottom right), will be stepping down at the end of August to pursue other opportunities when she moves to Naples, Italy, where her husband Major Steve Gventer is stationed. Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez (bottom center) will resign his post to become the interim superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, serving out the remainder of this school year. Alexandria, Virginia, Superintendent Morton Sherman (bottom left) is leaving the city's top schools job immediately, with Margaret May Walsh, the school system's chief policy and student services officer, appointed acting superintendent. Genelle Yost, who had been the interim superintendent of the Saint Lucie County public schools since July 1, was recently named the new superintendent. Ainsley Carry, who has served at Southern Methodist University, the University of Arkansas, Temple University and Auburn University, has been named the University of Southern California's division of Student Affairs. Garret Olson, who has been deputy fire chief with the San Luis Obispo Fire Department since August 2012, will be the new chief, replacing former Chief Charlie Hines, who is retiring.


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Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The Government Contracting Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to
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NASCIO 2013 Annual Conference planned for Oct. 13-16

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) will hold its 2013 Annual Conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 13-16 at the Philadelphia Marriott. Registration for the conference, "Leadership Through Innovation and Collaboration," is currently open. Information is also available by contacting Shawn Vaughn at


Public-private partnerships water conference set in Austin Sept. 11

"Public-Private Partnerships: A Solution for Texas Water Management," an interactive workshop on water issues, is set for Sept. 11 at the Hilton Austin Hotel. Information sessions featuring panels of experts will be held throughout the day. Among the moderators for panels are public-private partnership expert Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. and co-founder of the Gemini Global Group, and Mark Ellison, special advisor on economic development at the Texas Water Development Board. Nabers, author of Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government, will both address conference attendees regarding public-private partnerships and then moderate a panel on "When to Use a P3 in Texas." Registration is now open and the agenda is available. The event is organized by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

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