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Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 22Sept. 11, 2013
Renewable energy projects, energy-saving projects provide big paybacks

Mary Scott Nabers

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular. And, as renewable energy mandates become stronger, solar power will obviously grow in popularity.

The federal government's new Climate Action Plan calls for increasing the renewable energy portion of all federal power procurements from 7.5 to 20 percent by 2020.That's a large increase.

More than half of all states now have standards that require utilities to derive some percentage of power from renewables projects. As governments and utilities take measures to meet the renewable standards, many will find solar to be the most efficient option.

[more]

 

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IN THIS ISSUE
TIGER grants awarded by DOT
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
News about P3s
Opportunity of the week
Where are they now?
People
Check out our blog
Calendar of events
Don't miss another issue!

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Dept. of Transportation TIGER grants go to 37 states

 

More than 50 projects, 25 in rural America, to share $474 million in funding
Anthony FoxxThe fifth rounds of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants were recently awarded and 37 states will share the $474 million in appropriations. More than 50 projects will be funded, 25 of them in rural areas of the country garnering $123.4 million of that total. (For a detailed description of each project by state, click here.) The grants are designed to help fund capital investments in infrastructure and are awarded competitively.


These funds are intended to leverage money from private-sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. Officials expect the $474 million federal funds will lead to a total of $1.8 billion in overall project investments.


"These transformational TIGER projects are the best argument for investment in our transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (pictured). He said the grants help "ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing infrastructure, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation's economic growth." Many of the grant funds will help defray the costs of large, multi-modal projects. The popularity of these grants can be gauged by the interest in them by government entities - when there were 585 applications for projects that total $9 billion, from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.


Following are some examples of the grants and the projects they fund:

  • New Haven, Connecticut, will use its $10 million award toward a $17.044 million project to build a second platform and make other improvements to its downtown State Street rail station. The expansion of the rail line from 12 to 34 weekday trips will substantially improve transportation options for travelers in the area. 
  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas, will use its $11.3 million grant for commuter and freight rail enhancements, including bridge replacements and rail rehabilitation. 
  • In Indiana, a TIGER grant of $8.24 million will be used to help defray a $13.8 million project to replace a 110-year-old bridge in Greene County that connects regional freight corridors.
  • The city of Kansas City, Missouri, plans to use its $20 million grant toward a $102.5 million downtown streetcar project, including construction of 11 stations for a project that will initially serve more than 65,000 downtown employees, 4,600 downtown residents and 10 million annual visitors.
  • A grant of $14 million will help fund a $44 million project to upgrade the rail connection at the Port of Pascagoula Bayou Harbor in Mississippi to make the transportation of goods in and out of the Port more efficient. 
  • The city of Rochester, New York, will use its $17.7 million allocation to help defray the cost of a $23.6 million project to make an under-utilized highway through downtown into a traditional downtown boulevard, converting 8-12 lanes of expressway and frontage roads into a single two-lane street, with parking, a separated bicycle track and sidewalks.



Upcoming education opportunities

 

Former Newark high school to be transformed into new facilities
Rochelle HendricksThe New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will get new facilities as a result of an $86 million project in Newark, New Jersey, that will transform a former high school in Newark. The project got voter approval through passage of a $750 million bond issue. The bond vote approved this project and 175 other capital projects in a referendum last November. The bond funding is expected to leverage $1.3 billion in construction for colleges and universities in the state. The NJIT will create a hub for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines with new research, design and teaching areas. NJIT has owned the former Central High School building since 2011 and has been using it. The seven-story building will be modernized through renovation and reconstruction. The newly remodeled facility will boast a Center for Innovation and Discovery that will feature laboratories, design and modeling studios and new classrooms. Also included will be three complete floors dedicated to research for biological sciences and math-oriented teaching and advising facilities. The remaining $120 million of the project will be funded by NJIT. New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks (pictured) called the new facility "the perfect alignment of curriculum with workforce demands." 

 

RFP to be issued in the fall for grant proposals in California
Partnering California schools and businesses will be seeking some of the $250 million allocated through competitive grants for a K-14 California Career Pathways Program. The funds allocated will be used to develop and support locally defined career pathway programs to better prepare students for high-skill, technical jobs. The funds will be competitively awarded by the California Department of Education to public education agencies such as school districts, county school superintendents, charter schools and community colleges. The money will be spent in fiscal years 2013-14.  To qualify, recipients must also provide funding on its own and through a commitment from their partners that would provide for continuing the program. The request for proposals is expected to be issued this fall. In addition to creating partnerships with businesses, community groups and local post-secondary education institutions, the program will use regional collaborative partnerships and relationships to provide a path for students to high-need, high-growth or emerging economic sectors. Partners can also offer internships, jobs, mentoring and professional development for teachers as part of their relationship with the public education agencies. 

 

South Carolina schools to spend funds for security, technology upgrades
Kathy CarswellA recently approved budget of $73.2 million for the Beaufort County Schools in South Carolina includes money for security upgrades and technology. The budget includes $900,000 for Category I spending, which includes safety and security funding. Another $450,000 was allocated as Category II spending, which includes technology spending. The funding from that category will be combined with federal Race to the Top funds to purchase 1,600 computer notebooks this year as part of the school district's three-year technology plan. Once the three-year program is completed, every student in grades four through 12 will be provided a notebook to use. Finance Director Kathy Carswell (pictured) said that although the district's initial budget for 2013-14 is about 9 percent less than the district had when the 2012-13 term began, that is a result of a new state accounting system used to receive and report federal grants, which comprises a large part of the school system's budget. Once those funds are added, the new budget will be only 3 percent lower than the last term.

 

Michigan school system approves $186.2 million bond election for November
A redesigned bond issue totaling $186.2 million has been approved by the Farmington (Michigan) Public Schools Board of Education. The $222 million bond issue defeated by voters in August was trimmed down and voters will be asked to approve two different propositions on the ballot. Proposition One on the November ballot addresses $154.6 million for safety, infrastructure and technology spending, while Proposition Two addresses the arts, athletics and technology replacement. The district wasted little time in getting another bond issue before the voters, just three months after the failed attempt in August. That bond issue failed by only about 1,000 votes. 

 

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

Other upcoming contracting opportunities

 

City of Chicago seeks proposals for 49 public plazas project
The city of Chicago is looking for a vendor to rebuild its 49 public plazas as part of the city's project to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The Make Way for People project recently released a request for proposals seeking a private entity to build at least 30 of those locations throughout the city. The city plans to give $50,000 in seed money in the first year of the contract to attract cultural programming to the plazas, working with existing gathering spots. Further investment money will come from advertising, retail and grant opportunities. Officials hope that by awarding the projects in bulk, spaces in what some deem less desirable neighborhoods will not be left out of the bidding. Current activities in those areas that are already well accepted, such as farmer's markets, will have to be retained. Proposals are due by Sept. 30.

 

Illinois to infuse $47 million in investments in Cook County area hospitals
Alan ChanningInvestments of $47 million in Cook County, Illinois, hospitals were recently announced by Gov. Patrick Quinn. The funding is part of the state's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. In making the announced, Quinn said Cook County hospitals provide for the health care needs of some of Illinois' most needy residents. Additionally, he said, the investments will result in much-needed construction jobs. The results, said the governor, will be better service for thousands of patients served by the hospitals. Among the recipients is Mt. Sinai Hospital, which will receive $3.5 million for building renovations. "These grants will greatly help Mount Sinai and Holy Cross Hospitals, both part of Sinai Health System, create necessary and vital improvements," said Sinai President and CEO Alan Channing (pictured). Additionally, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center will get $3.5 million, which will be used to continue renovation of the patient tower and enhance patient care. St. Anthony Hospital will also receive $3.5 million that it will use for new medical and information technology equipment. 

 

Loan, grant to lead to wastewater improvements in Hawaii subdivision
Grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow for wastewater improvements in the Lono Kona Subdivision in Kona District, Hawaii. With a $4 million grant and $2.4 million loan from the Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, new sewer pipes will be installed, along with manholes and lateral lines. Roadway pavements and connection to the existing county sewer system will follow. The loan will be repaid using proceeds from annual assessments paid by subdivision residents through the establishment of an improvement district. The loan carries a 35-year term and an interest rate of 2.125 percent.

 

Plans under way for wastewater plant upgrade in Pennsylvania city
Detailed plans and cost estimates are being undertaken for a $2 million upgrade of the Lansdale, Pennsylvania, wastewater treatment plant. The plant supervisor said he agreed with an engineering firm's recommendation of using part of the plant currently in use for storage as a treatment process so that more flow can be processed daily. The firm recommended a series of improvements to widen bottlenecks between treatment processes and to upgrade a storage area to treat wastewater instead of just storing it. After a recent presentation by the firm before the Public Works and Administration and Finance committees, both recommended extending the firms' contract to develop detailed engineering plans for the upgrades. The firm also helped identify potential benefits, such as revenue increases, from increasing the capacity instead of storage space. 


Wisconsin city to seek bids for dredging bay near Lake Menomin
Randy KnaackThe city of Menomonie, Wisconsin, will seek bids for dredging of the northeast side of Wolske Bay, near Lake Menomin. Fighting a smell that emanates from muck that has built up over the years when algae builds up during the summer, officials hope to dredge up that muck. Many are fearful the smell during the summer will affect property values in the area. Plans are to clear out two to four feet of the algae that has piled up over the years, which could reduce algae growth. Mayor Randy Knaack (pictured) headed up the application process with the Department of Natural Resources. Knaack said he is ready to "just get in there, move the muck, make a statement, and then go forward." Some said the smell is scaring off tourists in the town, causing the city to miss out on the economic boost those visitors provide when they come to the city. There has also been some concern about air quality because of the excessive algae. Although the city has put aside $250,000 in the capital improvement plan for lake projects this year, the cost of the project won't be known until bids come in.

 

Missouri hospital may be building new medical research building
Pending approval of a half-cent sales tax and with a $75 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation, the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, could soon be building a new medical research building. The proposed tax issue is set for a November vote and, if successful, could raise $800 million for medical research over 20 years. Also standing in the wings is the National Institutes of Health that has said it will provide a $5.9 million grant to help develop a diagnostic technology from Children's Mercy for use in neonatal intensive care units nationwide. The Hall Family Foundation funds would be used for construction of the medical research building, so the sales tax revenue could be used to hire scientists, researchers and support staff. The proposed building is a four-story facility that would be constructed on the Children's Mercy campus. 

 

Raleigh still looking for last of funds for Amtrak train station project
Train HubRaleigh is still short $20 million of the total $73 million it is going to take to build the proposed Union Station Amtrak train station, but the $10 million grant awarded recently from the federal government will help. It's enough for officials to get started on the project, which will be the anchor for the downtown warehouse district. The project (as seen in the accompanying artist's rendering) will include parking, a civic plaza and other improvements on West Martin Street. Richard Walls, a deputy secretary who oversees the state's Department of Transportation rail division said officials are optimistic the full amount can be raised. City and state officials are not certain when they will move forward on the project. The first phase is expected to include track work, a passenger platform and a new passenger depot in a renovated warehouse. Additional federal funds will likely be sought for the project. Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the project is important to the city's economic development. She said the city is working closely with the state to help secure funding sources. The $10 million grant provides enough money for the renovation of the warehouse, known as the Viaduct Building. The station is expected to become part of a planned hub for local and regional bus and rail transit service. The parking facilities, a plaza in the block adjoining Union Station, more track and platform work and rail bridges are still unfunded.

 

Public-Private Partnerships

Who's winning government contracts?

 

Check out these recent awards:

  • R.E. Burns & Sons Co. was awarded a $1.6 million contract by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to replace the 61-year-old bridge that carries traffic over U.S. Business 1 in Cameron.
  • Flinto Constructive Solutions won an $8 million contract from the councils that govern Fort Smith and Sebastian County, Arkansas, to build a water park for the community.
  • 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.
  • Lee Lewis Construction was awarded a $10.9 million contract by the Ector County (Texas) Hospital District Board for two health clinics - the Center for Primary Care-JBS Parkway and The Center of Primary Care-West University.
  • Custom Ship Interiors won a contract worth up to $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for ship and marine equipment.
  • Independent Excavating won a nearly $140,000 contract from the city of Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, to take out 12 catch basins in the Stieren Avenue section of the sanitary system and direct the storm water toward the river with 1,600 feet of drainage pipe.
  • Biscayne Contractors was awarded a $4,988,742 contract from St. Mary's County to take over work on the stalled Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park.
  • Marand Builders, Inc. was awarded a $1.8 million contract by Havelock, North Carolina, to build a new city hall, contingent on approval of financing by the local government commission.
  • C.W. Matthews Contracting Company won a $13 million contract from the Georgia Department of Transportation for a resurfacing project on SR 6 in Polk County.
  • E-Paga, McKinley Group and CyberMedia Technologies won a contract worth up to $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for education and training services.
Collaboration Nation

News about public-private partnerships (P3)

 

City in Texas OKs design for $83.6 million performing arts center

Sugar Land CenterSugar Land Development Corporation officials recently approved the final design of a new, $83.6 million performing arts center (see artist's rendering) being developed as part of a public-private partnership begun in 2011. City Council members previously approved a development agreement with ACE SL, LLC for design, development and construction of the new performing arts center to be located on part of 38.5 acres of land owned by the city southeast of US59 and University Blvd. ACE agreed to make a $10 million contribution to the performing arts center project. Current plans are to begin construction in 2014 and complete the project in 2016. The performing arts center is part of a commercial district that will offer commercial, office and entertainment facilities.

 

Louisiana State University will privatize hospitals in Shreveport, Monroe
The Civil Service Commission recently gave Louisiana State University (LSU) the go-ahead to privatize its hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe. That action will remove more than 3,000 workers from the state employment rolls. The outsourcing contract will now start Oct. 1. The employees whose jobs will be lost will have the opportunity to reapply with the nonprofit research foundation that will take over management of the hospitals. LSU officials say that more than 90 percent of employees who have sought to remain in their jobs are being hired by the Biomedical Research Foundation of Norwest Louisiana. John Dailey, vice chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport, said that turning over the hospital management to BRF not only will reduce government costs, but also will maintain medical education programs and health services for the poor and uninsured. Gov. Bobby Jindal has placed most of a federal Medicaid financing reduction to the state on the LSU public hospital system, seeking to privatize nearly all of the university's hospitals and clinics. His estimates are that the privatization will save the state $125 million this year alone. Under the agreement, an arm of the research foundation will pay the state $39 million annually to lease the hospitals. 

 

Gary/Chicago International Airport P3 project names top two bidders
Airport LogoAnd then there were two...  After 10 firms submitted proposals for public-private partnerships to invest in the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority project, a joint city/airport committee recently recommended initiating negotiations with two of the proposal teams. The project would result in the privatization of the management of the airport and the development of the airport. Selected as the final two preferred bidders were the GCIA Group LLC and another group headed by Aviation Facilities Co. Inc. Officials said choosing the AFCO and GCIA groups for further negotiations does not rule out working with some of the other bidders in the future. The committee hopes to have the Airport Authority OK a winning bid group by the end of October. Although officials would not give many details of the proposals, they did confirm that both are comprehensive proposals that include managing the airport, development at the airfield and real estate development in areas surrounding the airport. The RFP sought a plan from bidders for attracting $100 million more in investment to the airport over the next 20-40 years.

 

Michigan seeking private investors to finance public social program
Michigan is on the bandwagon with other government entities seeking to become part of a growing list turning to "pay-for-success" programs. The state will seek private investors to help finance a public social program. These social impact bonds programs allow private investors to furnish up-front money. An agreement signed by the private sector and its public-sector partner specify a certain goal which must be met. If that goal is met, the public entity will pay the investors back and with a profit. If the goals are not met, the public entity pays nothing. A request for information is being released to identify potential projects. Other entities have used these social impact bonds on issues such as homelessness and criminal recidivism. Joe Pavona, a special adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder regarding public-private partnerships, has mentioned some possible projects as addressing such issues as infant mortality and early childhood development. 

 

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Opportunity of the week...
 
A city in Colorado has issued a request for proposals for two megawatts of community solar gardens. Minimum qualifications include the requirement that a developer must have designed, built, maintained and operated a community solar garden of a half-megawatt or bigger through an electric distribution utility for at least a year, and that the garden still be operational. The RFP also requires the developer to demonstrate specific ability to maintain the garden over time. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or sales@spartnerships.com.
 
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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 editor@spartnerships.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Elizabeth D. "Betty" Phillips.

 

Elizabeth PhillipsElizabeth D. "Betty" Phillips earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester in 1965 and her Ph.D. degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1969. She was a psychology professor at the University of Florida from 1989 to 2000 and provost from 1996 to 1999. From 2000 to 2003, Phillips served as provost at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY). She followed that role in an assignment from 2003 to 2006 as vice chancellor and chief of staff for SUNY. Phillips next was named the executive vice president and provost of Arizona State University (ASU), a position she held since 2006. After serving as a key strategic architect of ASU's successful online degree program - ASU Online - Phillips was recently named the executive director of the University of Florida's new online bachelor's degree programs, a position she will begin on Jan. 1, 2014, the day the university's online bachelor's degree program begins. The University of Florida's fully online bachelor's degree programs, among the first in the nation, will have five majors for students aiming to finish a four-year degree: business administration, criminology and law, environmental management, health education and behavior and sport management.

       

Advertise in Pipeline

People

 

Ed MitchellWallace JeffersonJJan Ignashan Ignash (top left), vice chancellor and chief academic officer for the Florida State University System, has been named interim chancellor of the System, replacing Chancellor Frank Brogan, who will step down at the end of the month. West Palm Beach City, Florida, Administrator Ed Mitchell (top center), has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 18, saying he has accepted a private-sector position on Florida's Gulf Coast. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson (pictured), appointed to the Court in 2001 and named chief justice in 2004, has announced that he will retire Oct. 1, before his term is up Dec. 31, 2014. Mark Sloan, who has a military background having served in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years and has been city manager for the Village of Oxford in Oakdale County, Michigan, will become the new city manager of the city of Ishpeming, Michigan. The Camden County, New Jersey, Technical Schools board of education has appointed Patricia Fitzgerald, a 26-year veteran of the district who has served as principal for the district's Pennsauken campus since 2001, as its new superintendent. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in Austin has announced that Rick L'Amie, a veteran public relations professional and former Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority vice president of communications, is the agency's new manager of Lori TinfowJoseph HannacTheldon Branchommunications. Houston businessman Theldon R. Branch III (bottom right), who is managing partner of a company that operates airport duty-free shops, was recently appointed to the Port of Houston Authority. Lorie Tinfow (bottom center), an assistant city manager for the city of Saratoga and most recently in Walnut Creek and with degrees from Stanford and Harvard universities, has been appointed city manager of the city of Pacifica, California. Allentown, Pennsylvania, Assistant Police Chief Joseph Hanna (bottom left) was recently named interim police chief, taking over for retiring Police Chief Roger MacLean, who has been with the department for more than 40 years. Donald Conyers, a senior supervising superintendent with the New York Department of Education, has taken over as interim superintendent of the Staten Island public schools, following the retirement of District Superintendent Erminia Claudio. Delta State University has chosen Dr. Charles McAdams, dean of Northwest Missouri State University's College of Arts & Sciences since 2004, as its new provost/vice president for Academic Affairs. St. Cloud, Florida, Fire Rescue Assistant Chief William Sturgeon has been named chief of the department, succeeding Bill Johnston, who retired last month.

 

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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 svaughn@amrms.com.

 

AGC Building Contractors Conference slated for Oct. 16-19 in Colorado
The Associated General Contractors of America will host its Building Contractors Conference Oct. 16-19 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Theme for the conference is "Increasing Your Firm's Productivity through Industry Innovations" and brings together high-level leaders in the building construction industry to share, learn and discuss the issues that are essential to them and their business. The sessions on Oct. 18 are led by the AGC Public/Private Industry Advisory Council and are open to all Conference attendees. The conference is focused on sharing best practices, learning from each other's experiences, exploring challenges and solutions and encouraging an open dialogue.  There are also numerous networking opportunities.  Senior-level building contractors, large project owners and other key industry stakeholders will gather at the breakfasts, luncheons, networking breaks, evening receptions and golf tournament featured throughout the conference. The conference schedule and information on registration are now available.  

 

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