Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 32November 20, 2013
Local preference in government contracting - a trend to watch

Trends are interesting to watch and a rather large one is impacting how cities procure goods and services. Elected officials at the local levels of government, in an effort to stimulate the economy and ensure job growth, are adopting new procurement guidelines that grant generous local preferences. 


The new rules are designed to help hometown businesses and boost local economic activity. Advocates of preferences say this is also a way to increase a city's tax revenues. The trend is gaining steam throughout the country.   


Numerous cities in California have adopted local preference ordinances. Santa Ana grants a 7 percent preference for local businesses on all bids less than $100,000. This includes purchases of equipment, labor, services, supplies and materials. Simply put, it means that to win a bid, outside contractors must submit pricing that is more than 7 percent lower than what is offered from a local company.




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Infrastructure bank provides funds
Florida studies $600M bridge
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
News about P3s
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Check out our blog
We'll advertise your event
Calendar of events
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Infrastructure bank provides funds for variety of projects


South Carolina to see $550 million in allocations for construction, design

Don LeonardSouth Carolina's Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) has approved projects in a number of counties across the state totaling up to $550 million for construction and design work on the state's interstate highway system. "This list of projects will accelerate much-needed infrastructure improvements for our highway system that will provide the opportunity for enhanced economic development and safer roads for all who travel our interstates," said SCTIB Chairman Don Leonard (pictured).


The state's General Assembly will allocate $50 million per year to the Department of Transportation, with those funds then going to the SCTIB. Bonds will be sold to fund board-approved projects and to leverage any federal funding available.


Among the projects included are: 

  • $80 million to be combined with $140 million in Department of Transportation funds for a 4.3-mile project involving the I-85/385 interchange;
  • Up to $155 million for a 10.3-mile project that will widen I-20 in Lexington County from US 378 to Long Pond Road;
  • Up to $262 million for a 16-mile project to widen I-85 in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties;
  • Up to $38.7 million for a 2.6-mile project to widen I-77 in Richland County from I-20 to SC 277; and
  • $10 million for preliminary engineering for the I-20/I-26 interchange project in the Midlands.

Leonard will present the list for final approval at a meeting of the Legislative Joint Bond Review Committee on Dec. 4.


Florida officials studying $600 million bridge project


Contracting opportunities to be plentiful, 30,000 jobs could be created

Carlos GemenizA proposed $600 million bridge will create a laundry list of contracting opportunities for private-sector businesses in Miami, and officials say the bridge construction could mean as many as 30,000 new jobs. The proposed 395 bridge will link Miami to the Port of Miami and the downtown area.


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez (left) said the old 395 bridge is "not a good situation" because it tends to divide downtown. Gimenez and Gov. Rick Scott recently announced plans to recreate a new bridge through repairs and upgrades. Both officials said the state Department of Transportation is committed to building a new bridge that not only will be cost-effective, but also eye-appealing.


Tomas RagaladoSaying that Miami is a global hub for business, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado (right) noted, "PortMiami is incredibly important to Florida's economic success and this project will improve access to it." The mayor said the bridge project would be a "huge success" for the Miami community.


An advisory committee will be created to formalize plans and ideas related to the project and financial support to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars will be sought from the state legislature. "It's not going to be cheap, but it needs to be done right," said Gimenez.


The advisory committee will evaluate and recommend concepts for the bridge, provide input to the Department of Transportation regarding selection of teams interested in responding to a request for proposals for the project and serve in an advisory capacity regarding the choosing of firms to design and build the bridge.


Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

Government Contracting Pipeline will not publish Nov. 27


Because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the Government Contracting Pipeline will not publish on Wednesday, Nov. 27. We will resume our regular Wednesday publication dates on Wednesday, Dec. 4.


The offices of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29, for the holiday and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 2.


Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Upcoming education opportunities


New Mexico school district planning $38 million bond referendum

A $38 million bond election has been set for February of next year in the Gadsden Independent School District in New Mexico. The bonds would be used to build new school buildings and for improvements and renovations for existing facilities. The $38 million would be matched by state matching funds. Thus, a successful bond issue could result in more than $71.8 million in available funds. Seven major projects are part of the bond vote. They include $2 million to complete the renovation at the Gadsden High School; $2 million for construction of a new elementary in the Chaparral area; $2 million for renovations to the current Chaparral Elementary; $7 million for phase two of the replacement of Desert Pride Alternative High School; $5 million for the Chaparral High varsity gym; and $3 million for the Early College High School facility. Also under consideration are land acquisition for a new elementary school in the southern area of the school district and construction of a new elementary in the southern area. Other projects that would benefit from the bond proceeds are $4.5 million for minor construction and $1.5 million for accessibility projects. Roofing projects throughout the district would be funded by $3 million and well and wastewater improvements and security system upgrades would be paid for with $8 million from the funding.


Indiana school board approves $1.93 million bond sale for school upgrades

Rob JamesA variety of upgrades at schools in the Lake Central (Indiana) School District are planned following the school board's approval of sale of a $1.93 million bond. Rob James (pictured), director of Business Services, said the funding will be used for a district-wide radio system and a swipe card access system at six elementary and three middle schools. Additionally, funding will be used to replace a chiller at the Grimmer Middle School, a restroom/concession facility will be built at the Clark Middle School and asphalt repairs will be undertaken throughout the district. James said the district expects low interest rates for the bond. Officials expect the bond interest rate to be no higher than 5 percent. "The exact (interest) rates will be determined by bidding," said James. "With the markets the way they are now, we expect interest rates will be much lower."


More state funding headed to Connecticut schools for safety measures

More than 400 schools in Connecticut will benefit from additional state funding as a result of efforts to mitigate the possibility of another deadly school shooting like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. An additional $16 million is being allocated to reimburse 75 school districts for upgrades at 169 schools in 36 school districts. That brings the total to $21 million from the School Security Grant Program approved by lawmakers. "This allows us to continue to get resources out to cities and towns that have begun work to modernize their security infrastructure and ramp up safety procedures at school buildings," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. A school security assessment was conducted by the school districts that applied for the state funds. Participating cities and towns will be reimbursed 20-80 percent for their efforts. The grants are administered by the Department of Emergency Service and Public Protection, with funding to be used for such projects as adding surveillance cameras, installing buzzer and card entry systems, panic alarms, bullet-proof glass and electric locks. Another round of funding will be announced soon.


Oklahoma school district voters give approval on bond referendums

Students in the Cataoosa Public Schools will benefit from new technology, a new cafeteria and numerous upgrades following a successful $21 million bond election. Voters also approved a second proposition that provides $500,000 for new buses. The technology portion of the bond proceeds is expected to be $6 million. It will further fund the district's one-to-one technology initiative that puts a computer notebook in the hands of every student in grades 6-12. Equipment and activities improvements will garner $4.1 million from the bond proceeds and another $3.2 million is being looked at to help defray the costs of a 300-seat middle school cafeteria and an above-ground storm shelter. The current cafeteria will undergo renovations to make it into classrooms.


Maine school district seeks bids for operation of its bus operations

Heather PerryBids from private transportation companies are being sought by the Regional School Unit 3 in Brooks, Maine, to take over its bus operations. Superintendent Heather Perry (pictured) said the decision to seek bids does not tie the district to choosing a company to take over operations, but gives school officials an idea of whether turning over that function could save money. She said issuing the request for proposals is "the board's attempt to see what's out there." Perry said officials are looking to see if money can be saved through things like using a larger company's size allowing cheaper bulk prices. Perry said if the district does contract with a private firm, it is likely that he district will retain ownership of the buses and possibly lease them to the company for a nominal fee - such as $1. If a private firm is hired, officials say that firm would have to keep current employees for one year, but did not say whether that included the current transportation director. The proposals will be due in December.


West Virginia University planning more public-private partnerships

With many on-campus projects already under way or completed thanks to public-private partnerships (P3s), West Virginia University is looking to more such agreements for additional projects. University officials hailed P3s as both necessary and providing good deals for the campus. John Sommers, project manager with Design and Construction, said that in a P3, the university maintains ownership of the land and the private partner assumes the risk and provides the capital. The university already has benefited from three P3 housing projects. Another P3 is providing for construction of a complex next to the Student Recreation Center, with one side being dedicated for a Student Health and Wellness area and the other side the home of the College of Physical Activities and Sports Sciences. 


Other upcoming contracting opportunities


County in Ohio approves funding for sewer trunk line replacement

Brad NiemeyerSanitary sewer trunk line replacement in the amount of $3 million in Shawnee Township was recently approved by the Allen County, Ohio, commissioners. In addition, another $6 million was allocated to expand the Shawnee II Wastewater Treatment Plant. Brad Niemeyer (pictured), assistant sanitary engineer, said the project is expected to begin next spring. The projects are a result of findings and orders by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regarding overflow in the sanitary sewer infrastructure in Shawnee Township. The pipe replacement will require 35,000 to 40,000 linear feet of new sewer line, according to Niemeyer. The larger pipes will allow for more water to be routed to the treatment plant, which means the plant must be improved to handle the extra flow. The county will have until 2020 to complete the project.


Minority businesses sought to bid on streetcar project in Michigan

Qualified local contractors are being sought to assist with building a 3.3-mile modern streetcar system between Downtown and North End in Detroit. There will be millions of dollars' worth of work that result from this project. "It is a top priority of our leadership and the entire M-1 RAIL team to have as many local, Michigan and Detroit-based businesses as possible secure work on this project," said Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 RAIL. Among the contracting opportunities for local firms will be trucking, security, saw-cutting experts and more. The bid packages for the various sections of the construction work are expected to be released before the end of the year. The construction manager for the project is a California-based company with extensive experience in building streetcar systems in urban areas. They have partnered with local companies to build more than 250 miles of track across the country. The streetcar project is a public-private partnership that has financial backing both from the private sector and foundations. Officials see the streetcar project as a catalyst for spurring investment and the economy, while creating jobs.


Alabama city approves bond sale for civic center, other expansion projects

Joe LeeThe city of Moody, Alabama, moved a step closer to having a new civic center when the city council recently approved authorization of the issue of $8 million in bonds. Some $4.8 million of the bond proceeds will go toward the civic center construction costs, including a splash pad, basketball courts, exercise rooms and meeting areas. While the $4.8 million will go toward the civic center, another $300,000 will be dedicated for the splash pad. The remainder of the bond funds have been dedicated for road paving and expansion of the city's library and fire department. "We need to take care of some needs that have been needs for some time," said Mayor Joe Lee (pictured). "As part of that, we wanted the splash pad, too. Everyone around us has one now."


New York issuing RFPs for private companies seeking to build casinos

A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued early next year as the state of New York seeks proposals for construction of private casinos. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the RFP will likely be issued as early as January and, if so, contractors could be chosen the latter part of next year. Cuomo indicated the RFP will be out for several months and when responses are received, there will several months taken for analysis and selection. The RFP is in response to voters approving a referendum allowing up to seven private casinos throughout the state. The first four, by law, will be in the Southern Tier, Capital Region and Catskills for the first seven years. Cuomo said that now that the state has taken the first steps, the proposals are getting a lot of attention "from really major players."


Public-Private Partnerships

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • Magruder Paving, LLC was awarded a $2,067,595 contract by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to overlay approximately 17 miles of Route 54, Business Route 54 and Route KK in Miller, Cole and Camden counties.
  • ManTech SRS Technologies won a contract worth up to $85 million from the U.S. Navy for architecture and engineering services.
  • DPE Construction was awarded a $1.3 million contract by Yuma County (Arizona) for the Northwest Somerton Drainage Improvement Project.
  • Prioria Robotics won a $4.5 million contract from the U.S. Army to produce 36 small unmanned aircraft and 12 ground control stations.
  • Diligent was awarded a $5.2 million indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract by the U.S. Air Force to provide software support services for the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center and its Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division in San Antonio.
  • Motorola Solutions won a contract worth up to $3.1 million from the U.S. Postal Service for electric wire and power and distribution equipment.
  • Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. won a $20.76 million contract from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the removal and replacement of a portion of the concrete slabs along a 20-mile section of Interstate 65 in Bullitt County.
  • CACI International has won a $14.2 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to continue supporting the Navy's Expeditionary Warfare Program Office by providing professional support services in the areas of program analysis, development, control and monitoring support, administration, communication and human resources; business, finance and cost estimating; technical and engineering support; IT services; and lifecycle support.
  • Marstel-Day won a contract worth up to $10 million from the U.S. Army for architecture and engineering services.
  • Nelson-Nygaard Consulting won a contract not to exceed $550,000 from the city of Guadalupe, California, to develop a pavement management plan and create a Short Range Transit Plan.
Collaboration Nation

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Nebraska community college seeking P3 for student housing

Michael ChippsWith a growing waiting list for student housing, officials at the Northeast Community College in Nebraska is considering entering into a public-private partnership agreement for a new student housing complex on the Northeast campus in Norfolk. Officials say that every year hundreds of students find there are not enough rooms on campus for them and it's time to ensure they have quality living spaces. Northeast President Dr. Michael Chipps (pictured) said the ideal arrangement would be for the college to furnish land and a private developer within the service area of the college would secure the financing, architect and contractor to design and build a new facility. Chipps said the college has been looking for possible private-sector partners to address housing needs on campus. "It is a matter the public has asked us to look into for nearly a decade, and now is the right time for us to make this concept a reality," he said. Chipps said the growing waiting list points to the fact that it's time to build housing. With the college always looking for ways to increase enrollment, the president said increased campus housing is a necessity. "Additional housing opportunities will bring new students to campus, and national studies also suggest that on-campus students are retained at a higher level," he said.


Massachusetts city issues bonds for developer to upgrade housing complex

MassDevelopment, a finance and economic development organization in Massachusetts with statewide offices, has issued more than $70.8 million in tax-exempt bonds. Part of the proceeds will be used to finance a private developer's efforts to purchase and renovate an affordable housing complex in Framingham. Beacon Communities LLC plans to refurbish more than 620 affordable housing units at the city's Edmands House and at Colonial Estates in Springfield. The private developer purchased the Edmands House through the Massachusetts affordable housing preservation law. The company plans to keep 171 of the 190 units as affordable housing, with 132 of them to remain as affordable housing for 45 years. MassDevelopment officials said workers in the Commonwealth need access to affordable housing, which will allow for more economic development. The firm is planning improvements to kitchens, bathrooms, building envelopes, lighting and common amenities and new high-efficiency heating and hot water systems with security and accessibility upgrades.


New York Port authorizes funds for garage as part of P3 terminal complex

David SamsonThe design and construction of a more than 3,000-space garage on the west side of the planned $3.6 billion new Central Terminal Building project at LaGuardia Airport has been authorized by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. The terminal building is expected to include $2.5 billion in funds from the private sector and $1.1 billion from the Port Authority for infrastructure improvements. The terminal project is expected to get under way during the second half of next year, after $230.4 million was authorized for the garage design and construction. The current garage will be demolished. Port Authority Chair David Samson (pictured) said the garage project is "an important step" toward the revitalization of LaGuardia Airport as the facility prepares to move the projected 34 million travelers who will use the facility by 2030. "This project represents another significant step in the Port Authority's continuing efforts to increase operational capacity at our airports to accommodate the region's air travel needs over the coming decades," said Samson. Authorization for the garage follows the $190 million previously approved for design and construction of a 1,100-vehicle parking facility on the east side and an east end substation at the airport. The board in July approved another $255 million for a number of modernization projects. Four finalists have been named as possible partners in the new Central Terminal Building project.


Public-private partnership to be used for building teacher housing in W. Virginia

Reconnecting McDowell, a comprehensive, long-term effort to make educational improvement in McDowell County, West Virginia, has hired an architect to design proposed housing that will be made available to teachers in the county. The organization plans a public-private partnership to build what has been dubbed "Teachers Village" in downtown Welch. Community Housing Design Studio will design the housing project and will lay out its plans at a Dec. 17 meeting in Charleston, with officials to name the option they chose at the meeting. The teacher housing project is aimed at both attracting and retaining teachers. 


SPI Training Services

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. Jim Clements. 


Jim ClementsDr. Jim Clements (pictured) earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's and Ph.D. in operations analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He also earned a master's degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University. Since 2009, Clements has served as the 23rd president of West Virginia University, where he currently is also chairman-elect of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities. At West Virginia, he also is a tenured professor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources' Lane Department of Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining West Virginia University, Clements was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Towson University the second-largest public university in Maryland. He also served Towson previous to those appointments as vice president for economic and community outreach. While at Towson, he held the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professorship and chaired the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. Clements was recently chosen as the 15th president of Clemson University in South Carolina. Clements will replace President James Barker, who will retire in April after 14 years of leading Clemson, but will remain on the faculty in the School of Architecture. 

Research Analysts

Opportunity of the week...

A shoreline community in New York State will have a $13 million flood barrier built to protect its wastewater treatment plant and other critical infrastructure from possible damage during storms. The project will include a 4,400-foot-long adjustable seawall and increased size bayside bulkheads to extend them to a height of 11 feet. The industrial area that includes the sewage treatment plant, electrical substations and a major gas pipeline are among the areas that will be protected by the flood barrier. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


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Joel CurranDavid SmithTerry GarrisonJoel Curran (top left), managing director for the New York office of public relations firm MSLGROUP, has been hired to oversee the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's public communications strategy as the university's first vice chancellor for communications and public affairs. State University of New York Upstate Medical University President and former Texas Tech University Chancellor David R. Smith (top center), once rumored to be Penn State's next president, has resigned following a SUNY investigation into his compensation sources. Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison (top right) has announced that he is stepping down after three years at the helm of the department to tend to family issues in Phoenix. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has chosen Ken Edmunds, a Twin Falls business consultant and current member of the state Board of Education, as the state's new Department of Labor Director, replacing Roger Madsen, who retired. Stephen Evans, a ranking officer with the Fairview Heights Police Department, has been named police chief in Collinsville, Missouri, replacing Eric Van Hook, who accepted a position as chief of the O'Fallon, Illinois, Police Department. Alexander J. Henderson, current deputy village manager of Bayside, Wisconsin, has been chosen as the new city manager in Kingsburg, California, replacing former City Manager Don Pauley, who retired last July. Bob Sternberg Heather Griggs Benjamin Bitter Bob Sternberg (bottom right), who served as president of the University of Wyoming for just over four months, has resigned, citing lack of support of the Board of Trustees as his reason for leaving, with Dick McGinity, vice president for academic affairs, taking over performing the duties of president. Heather Griggs (bottom center), former executive director of school renewal and educational achievement for the Santa Ana Unified School District, will be the new superintendent of the Oro Grande (California) School District, having served in that role in an interim capacity since July after replacing former Superintendent Joseph Andreason. Benjamin Bitter (bottom left), a senior management analyst with the city of Casa Grande, Arizona, has been chosen as the new city manager for the city of Ashland, succeeding Steve Corbitt, who is retiring. Carson Director of Community Services Raymond Cruz has been chosen as city manager in Rolling Hills, California, replacing City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch, who left in May to become the Palos Verdes Estates city manager. San Francisco State University has appointed Anne Harris, a veteran of 15 years of experience as a California State University administrator, as the new associate vice president of development. Jim Rothlin, executive director of the Port of Chehalis for the last four years, has been selected to direct the Port of Bremerton in Washington State, effective Dec. 31 when current CEO Tim Thompson retires.  


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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
Calendar of events

NCSL Fall Forum planned in Washington, D.C., for Dec. 10-12

The National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum will be held in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 10-12. The conference will be at the Marriott Wardman Park. The Fall Forum brings together legislators and staff to craft solutions to critical issues and to network with colleagues from around the nation. The event features a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill to advocate for the states. There will also be exclusive briefings for legislative staff. The meeting schedule is now available and more information on registration is available on the Web site. Among the topics will be energy supply, the changing role of states in long-term services and supports, elections policy for 2014, women's health issues, elections technology, insurance issues, transportation access and performance and more. More information, including the agenda and registration, is now available.

TCEA convention for 2014 will be held in Austin, Texas

The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2014 Convention and Exposition will be held Feb. 3-7 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. This 34th annual convention will include educators from across the country and around the world as they network and share experiences to help them better integrate technology in the classroom and improve teaching skills and learning practices. Ten specialized academies will offer in-depth tech integration tips and best practices on a variety of topics. More than 400 workshops and hands-on sessions will be held and more than 450 companies will offer the latest technology solutions in the exhibit hall. More information is available and registration is now open.


U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting set in January
The United States Conference of Mayors 82nd Conference of Mayors Meeting is planned for Jan. 22-24, 2014, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The event will feature task force and committee meetings and workshops. Registration is now open and the draft agenda is available.


2014 Energy Outlook Conference slated for Feb. 4-7 in D.C.
The 2014 Energy Outlook Conference, hosted by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Association of State Energy Research Institutions (ASERTTI), is planned for Feb. 4-7, 2014, at the Fairmont Hotel , 2401 M Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The conference will focus on state-federal energy collaboration in a new budget and policy era. This year's conference will explore the national energy policy outlook and the state, federal and private-sector partnerships that will advance United States energy policy. Click here for more information.
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