Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 47March 19, 2014

Times changing - expect surprises when it comes

to public funding!

Colleges and universities throughout America have experienced extremely large reductions in state funding. In fact, higher education funding has been reduced by an average of 28 percent from 2008 to 2013. As a result, the institutions have been forced to increase tuition and seek cost-cutting remedies.


Tuition, on average, increased 27 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And, as legislators continue to slash budgets, universities are making even more significant changes - as they must - because tuition costs cannot continue to escalate. One common change many have adopted is a model called "shared services."




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Detroit studies water, sewer options
Bill would override 'local preference'
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.

Detroit studying its options relative to water, sewer


Privatization, outright sale, creation of water authority all on table for discussion

Kevyn OrrNecessity has been the mother of invention for the city of Detroit. The city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013, the largest municipal bankruptcy by debt in the nation's history, with debt estimated at nearly $20 billion. Since then, the city has been constantly searching for ways to get back on its feet financially.


Appointed as Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr (pictured) has instituted and proposed a number of changes. His latest is the prospect of either privatizing the operation of the Detroit Water and Sewer Department, or perhaps even selling it.


Orr said the city will continue to study all options - privatization, contractors and what he calls the "preferred outcome" - a water authority.


His water authority proposal was to lease the water system to a regional authority that would run both the water and sewer system.


Orr favors creating a Great Lakes Water Authority and says chances of selling the system are slim. The proposed water authority would include Detroit, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. His plan was for the entities to make lease payments of $47 million over 40 years, with the city maintaining ownership of the system..


There have been a number of concerns, as some of the counties are afraid that the cost of needed improvements to the system would be borne by their ratepayers, and that those ratepayers would be subsidizing the financially strapped city of Detroit.


Privatizing is starting to look like a more realistic option. While the city would maintain ownership of the system, a private contractor would bring expert management skills and expertise as well as technical know-how to the table.

Orr said all potential opportunities must be looked at so city officials can tell creditors they pursued every option they could find with as much value within reason to pay off creditors while leaving the city with the resources it needs.


Florida legislation would override 'local preference' laws


Would not restrict who can bid on contract opportunities including state funds

Alan HaysMany cities and counties nationwide have "local preference" laws that provide local contractors preference over out-of-town bidders in certain instances when the local bidder does not offer the lowest bid price. In Florida, state legislation has been filed and will be heard in a committee this week that would override those local laws and ordinances when cities and counties award construction contracts using state money.


Sen. Alan Hayes (pictured) said his bill, SB 612, is intended to give contractors throughout the state an equal playing field when they compete for local government contracts using state money. Hayes said in those cases where state funds are used, the contract should go to the lowest bidder.


Hays said that while he supports local businesses, he does not think Florida taxpayers should pay more for a contract just because it is based on local preference. Backed by the construction industry, areas with double-digit unemployment may be stymied in their attempt to help local contractors find work. Rick Watson, president of Associated Builders and Contractors, said contractors who are not local should have the same ability to compete with local vendors when state money is involved. He said such contracts should be open to "any state certified contractor."




Upcoming education opportunities


Kent State approves major renovation, addition for building

Trustees at Kent State University recently approved a renovation and addition valued at $33.58 million to the Van Deusen Hall and Art Annex. New construction will total 38,000 square feet, while 77,000 square feet of space will be renovated. The new construction will be an addition between the two buildings for the School of Art. Additionally, trustees approved a new, 32,000-square-foot facility for the Division of Institutional Advancement. The university holds a 15-year lease on the site with the Portage County Port Authority, which will fund construction. The university will then lease the facility from the Port Authority.


Illinois school district to invest $9.1 million for computers for students

Janet StutzA $9.1-million, four-year technology investment has been approved by the Orland School District 135 in Illinois. The goal of the program is to ensure that every student in grades third through eighth in the district has a personal computer by 2016. Junior high students will have take-home laptops and middle schoolers will get take-home tablets. Orland School Superintendent Janet Stutz (pictured) called the rollout of the new technology "very aggressive." Next school year, the district will spend $2.6 million for 570 tablets and 1,985 laptops. Officials hope for the computers to arrive in time for use by teachers before students start school in August. Other plans are to increase the number of technology carts that other grades can use for classroom work. During the third year, every student in grades three through five would have a tablet computer. To ensure that teachers have the ability and understanding of the technology to best utilize it in the classroom, the district plans to hire a new technology staffer and set aside $200,000 for three technology coaches.


New Hampshire school to get renovations after successful bond issue

A $75 million bond election was recently passed by voters in Salem, New Hampshire. The bond proceeds will be used for renovations at the Salem High School. Much of the renovation will center around the high school's career and technical education center. About $11 million of that project alone will be paid for with state funds, with the remainder to be funded with a series of bonds.


Minnesota school district voters say yes to $25 million bond issue

Voters in the Byron, Minnesota, School District recently approved a $25 million bond vote. Approved by a margin of 1,071 to 839, the bond proceeds will be used to construct a new pre-school through second grade building.


New Jersey school district passes bond election on third attempt

Dr. Dolores SzymanskiIt took three tries, but officials in Mount Holly, New Jersey, finally were able to pass a bond election that will result in improvements to all three schools in the district. The $6.9 million bond proposal will be in addition to approximately $12.5 million that will be reimbursed by the state. Another $1 million in the school district's capital funds will also be added to the project, which totals $20.5 million. This was the third time in five years that the district had faced a bond election, failing the two previous times. The projects that will benefit from the bond funding includes partial replacement of the roof, addition of security doors, partial replacement of the brick exterior and replacement of the fire alarm and HVAC system at the F.W. Holbein school. The John Brainerd School will get security doors and fire alarm and HVAC replacement. At the Gertrude C. Folwell School, bond funds will pay for roof replacement, modifications to the kitchen, new security doors, replacement of the fire alarm and HVAC system. "Our children deserve a safe and healthy environment to learn," said Interim Superintendent Dolores Szymanski (pictured). The roofing project at the Holbein school and installation of HVAC there are expected to be completed this summer. The remainder of the work will be completed during summer 2015 and 2016.


Dozen school districts in New Jersey approve construction projects

A dozen school construction projects in school districts throughout New Jersey were recently approved. The projects together total $116 million, with about $50 million of the costs eligible for state aid.


Approved were:

  • $5.2 million for improvements to two schools in Absecon, including furniture, equipment and site work
  • $2.6 million in Wallington for school safety upgrades and interior door replacement at two schools along with other masonry replacement, partial roof replacement and interior painting.
  • $5.9 million for improvements and renovations at Ocean City Primary School, including equipment purchases and site work.
  • $16.6 million in Verona for security, technology, fire alarm and other upgrades at six schools and gym bleacher upgrades, facade upgrades, equipment and site work.
  • $2.1 million for Clinton-Glen Gardner School district for replacement of roof, HVAC and fire alarm.
  • $32.2 million in Middletown to upgrade geothermal systems at the high schools and middle schools and replacement of roofs at the high schools, middle schools and 10 elementaries.
  • $3.2 million for Long Hill Township for HVAC upgrades at three schools and partial roof replacement at Millington Elementary School.
  • $1.3 million for Bloomingdale for a variety of improvements and renovations to the Martha Day Elementary and Walter Bergen Middle School.
  • $19 million for Mountainside for educational and physical plan renovations at two schools, plus security and technology improvements. Also new security vestibules, improvements to plumbing, electrical, heating, technology, audio/video systems and a media center and lock room renovations at Deerfield School.
  • $6.6 million for Mansfield, including HVAC, boiler, lighting, roof, fire alarm, kitchen and other upgrades as well as front entrance security improvements and construction of a new maintenance/storage building.
SPI Training Services

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


New Jersey to issue bid solicitations for dredging projects

James SimpsonBids for dredging projects in Monmouth, Ocean, Cape May and Atlantic counties in New Jersey are expected to be released over the next few months. State Department of Transportation Commissioner James S. Simpson (pictured) said channels in the state are "vital waterways" used by both recreational boaters and commercial fishermen. He said providing safe navigation channels "will have a positive economic impact" on small fishing-related businesses as well as the state's seafood industry. The first project that is already out for bid will be for dredging of the Waackaack and Thorns Creeks in Keansburg in Monmouth County. Other bids going out soon include dredging of St. Georges Thorofare in Atlantic County, Cape May Harbor and Middle Thorofare in Cape May County, and Double Creek, Double Creek - Mainland, and Barnegat Light Stake Channels in Barnegat Bay in Ocean County. The Department of Transportation says there may be opportunities for counties, municipalities, marinas and private entities to partner with NJDOT contractors to dredge locally or privately maintained waterways that adjoin state channels where work is being performed. Such partnerships could result in a significant savings to local or private entities by reducing mobilization costs.


Wisconsin nearing bidding out $220 million interchange contract

After holding a contractor meeting in late February, officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are preparing for an August bidding of a massive Zoo Interchange project. The main problem is the aggressive schedule planned. DOT plans to begin work in October with a completion date by December 2015. The first phase of the work has been on utilities and street infrastructure. This first phase cost $34 million to engineer and has a cost estimate of more than $220 million. Part of the core contract for phase one includes retaining walls, ramp construction and paving work. The Blue Mound Road bridge on Highway 45 will have to be demolished and rebuilt by May 2015. A new pumping station would have to be installed by the end of May that year and a 60-inch storm sewer must be tunneled below the interchange. 


Potholes, road construction projects get $215 million boost from state

Joe HavemanLawmakers in Michigan have approved a supplemental spending plan that includes $100 million for filling potholes in state and local roadways and another $115 million for a variety of infrastructure construction projects. The road maintenance and repair funds will come from the state's General Fund. Most of the money will be directed for repair of roadways in areas where local road agencies suffered through an unusually long winter and to shovel-ready construction projects statewide. "Revenues are back," said House Appropriations Chairman Joe Haveman (pictured), noting the Roads and Risk Reserve Fund will not have to be tapped. Haveman said that after the type winter the state has had, appropriating the $100 million for repairs is "the right thing to do, and necessary." The "pothole season" in the state is upcoming and is expected to be the worst on record. Lawmakers are seeking a more permanent solution to the need for repairs and maintenance. Gov. Rick Snyder has estimated the annual needs at $1 billion per year. Road builders are appreciative on the investment that was approved, but added that it is a one-time fix that does not address the overall problem. 


Need Federal Contracting?

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • Lee Hy Paving Co. has been awarded a $13.9 million contract by the Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Board to rehabilitate about 15 miles of pavement on Interstate 64 East between Airport Road and the James City County line.
  • VAI Architects Inc. won a $370,000 contract from the city of Allen, Texas, for architectural and engineering services related to the $2.8 million reconstruction of Fire Station No. 2.
  • CJW Contractors won a contract worth up to $5 million from the U.S. Army for construction of structures and facilities.
  • Dynamics Research Corp., a subsidiary of Engility Holdings, won an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity award contract worth $497 million from the U.S. Army for its Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate for technical, administrative and operations support services.
  • Shingobee Construction was awarded an $8.2 million contract from the Tioga (North Dakota) Medical Center board of directors for construction of a new clinic and other renovations.
  • HP Enterprise Services won a contract worth up to $102.8 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for information technology services, including telecommunications services.
  • CACI International Inc. has been awarded a prime contract with a total potential value of $95 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior to continue providing operations and maintenance support services for its Business Integration Office.
  • Interfacewon a contract worth up to $20 million from the Federal Acquisition Service for ground effects vehicles, motor vehicles, trailers and cycles.
  • Virginia Paving Co. was awarded a $7.3 million contract by the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board for a paving project on Interstate 264 between Broadcreek Bridge and Railroad Bridge west off Witchduck Road in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
  • Xtec Inc. received a 10-year, $102.8 million task order from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for identity management support and services.
Research Analysts

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Bridgeport enters into P3 for wastewater collection, treatment systems

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Water Pollution Control Authority has entered into a public-private partnership related to its wastewater collection and treatment systems. The city signed a 10-year contract with Severn Trent Services for the long-term operation, maintenance, management and customer service functions for the Authority systems. The system includes two wastewater treatment facilities that can treat 40 million gallons per day, 10 sewage pump stations and 283 miles of sewers. More than 120 miles of the sewers are combined sanitary and storm sewers. Some 175,000 residents are served by the system.


Washington city seeking private partner for property development

David WilbrechtThe city of Blaine, Washington, is looking for a private-sector partner to find possible uses for 28 acres of commercial real estate property the city currently owns. The city has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) from both American and Canadian developers seeking plans for what the developers think would best work for that property. The RFQ also should include a conceptual site plan, project justification including affiliated market research on their proposal and an economic and feasibility analysis. City Manager David Wilbrecht (pictured) explained the push for a public-private partnership by saying, "One of the biggest problems in the real estate world is financing, but the private sector has the connections and capabilities to get it done." The city is hopeful for several responses to the RFQ to give them an idea of options for the property and a reason to move forward with a partner. In determining which developer is successful, the city will consider the developers' previous private development experience, prior experience in public-private partnerships and proposed uses and development of the land. Key among the things the city is looking for is a project that improves liability for its residents, encourages new business and creates jobs. A previous private company analysis showed Blaine to be a good site for commercial and industrial development and industries such as software development, electrical and mechanical engineering service, information services, warehousing and distribution, advanced manufacturing, medical devices and trucking and transportation. The RFQ closes on March 28.


Texas A&M-Galveston, private partner work together to build dormitories

Texas A&M University at Galveston will partner with a private-sector development partner to build a more than 600-room dormitory on Pelican Island on the TAMUG campus. The university has signed an agreement with Alabama's nonprofit Collegiate Housing Foundation for the facility. The private-sector firm will secure up to $55 million in tax-exempt Student Housing Revenue Bonds with which to finance building of the dorm and the university will manage it. Additionally, a private-sector firm will be in charge of construction.


Cuomo seeks private partner for construction of Wadsworth lab in Albany

Andrew CuomoNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (pictured) has in mind a private-sector partner to help build a proposed new $600 million public health lab on the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany. The arrangement would be the first of its kind for an agency, built on state land, and the state's attempt to privatize construction of major infrastructure. Although state law prohibits privatized construction of public facilities for state agencies, Cuomo has proposed using a P3 for the building as a test case so that lawmakers can see how such a partnership would be beneficial - and would build facilities faster and at less cost. Cuomo's proposal would allow a private-sector partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the facility - a 650,000-square-foot building. It would house up to 600 public employees and would be home to the Wadsworth Center, where public health research is conducted and monitored for the state. While the design-build construction method Cuomo is seeking has only been allowed in the state since 2011, Cuomo's proposal calls for more than the two steps. The private partner would raise the money to finance the structure and would build, operate and maintain it for a set number of years while receiving service payments from the state for what Cuomo says would likely be 30-35 years.


Georgia city exploring public-private partnership for hotel, conference center

A hotel and conference center could be in the future for the city of Warner Robins, Georgia, and city officials are hopeful to bring a private partner into the mix to facilitate bringing the project to fruition. A Texas developer has proposed a public-private partnership to build the facilities, with the total cost of the project relying on about 60 percent private funding and 40 percent public funding. The developer said typical hotel/convention centers of the size being studied for Warner Robins are between $45 million and $50 million, thus costing the city about $20 million. The city has previously commissioned a study that showed it could support a 600-1,000 seat conference center, but another study would probably be needed to see if those figures are still accurate. The city also recently entertained a presentation by another developer who suggested the use of foreign investors to help pay for a hotel and conference center. 


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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 Jerry Sheehan.


Jerry SheehanJerry Sheehan (pictured) was recently named chief information officer for Montana State University. Sheehan, who holds a master's degree in political science from Eastern Illinois University, began his public service career in 1992 as assistant to Illinois Lt. Governor Bob Kustra, a position he held for a little over two years. He spent the next five years, from 1994 to 1999, as Education and Outreach Coordinator for National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, later serving as assistant deputy director from 1999 to 2001. In September 2001, Sheehan was named Associate Vice President/COO-Strategic Planning at Purdue University. He left that job in October 2004 to begin serving as Manager for Government Program Development at the California Institute for Telecom and Information Technology, an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of California San Diego and University of California Irvine. Four years later, Sheehan was named to his current position of chief of staff for the Institute. He will begin his new charge at Montana State on May 1 and will provide oversight, management and strategic planning for the university's information technology infrastructure, including the campus data networking and systems, classroom learning technology, information security, campus telephone system, the university-wide administrative software system and Web infrastructure and user support services.




Opportunity of the week...

A port authority in the Northwest has approved $19 million in spending for environmental restoration projects aimed at restoring key wetlands. Some of the funding will also be used for construction of a highway extension to the port area. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or




Patricia WrightDebbi HersmanNeil PetersonPatricia Wright (top left), Virginia's state schools chief and a veteran of the Virginia Education Department, will retire from her post as superintendent of public instruction on May 1. Deborah A.P. Hersman (top center), head of the National Transportation Safety Board, is leaving the agency after 10 years, effective April 25, to become head of the National Safety Council. Neil Peterson (top right), chief executive of Orange County, California's, network of toll roads, will resign less than a year into the job and will remain on paid leave until his resignation takes effect in early June. Irving, Texas, Interim Fire Chief Victor Conley, who began his career with Irving in 1986 as a firefighter and has risen through the ranks as fire equipment operator, lieutenant, captain and assistant fire chief, has been nominated by the city manager for fire chief. David W. Miller, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named NASA's new chief technologist, succeeding Mason Peck, who returned to his position at Cornell University. Doug Scott, who previously headed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and was Rockford mayor and a state representative, has been appointed to a second term as chair of the Illinois Commerce Nita Mosby Henry Renay Scott Suzanne Freeman Commission. Nita Mosby Henry (bottom right), human resources director for the city of Denver, is leaving that post on March 28 to take over as vice president of human resources for Children's Hospital Colorado. Dr. Renay M. Scott (bottom center), currently vice president and provost of Academic Services at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, and former dean of the School of Arts and Sciences there, has been named the next president of the Dona Ana Community College, effective June 1. The Pike Road, Alabama, school district has named former Trussville City Schools Superintendent Suzanne Freeman (bottom left) as its first superintendent as the school system was formed after breaking from Montgomery Public Schools. Dr. Victor Valeski, current superintendent of the Swedesboro, New Jersey, school district, has been chosen as the new superintendent of the East Brunswick School District. Larry Patterson, former Public Works director for the city of San Mateo, California, who has been serving as interim city manager since last November, has been named permanent city manager, replacing Susan Loftus. Nevada Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp, who has worked for the state for 27 years, beginning with the Gaming Control Board in the late 1980s, is resigning in April to take a job out of state.


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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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NASACT planning April Middle Management Conference

The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers will hold its 2014 Middle Management Conference April 8-10 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 South West Temple, Salt Lake City 84101. Some of the topics for the general sessions include Current Trends in Fraud, Leading Through Change and Transition and Restoring the Honor of Public Service. Also planned is a Hot Topics/Best Practices Roundtable that will include such offerings as records management and storage, innovative technology/methods that are being used to streamline audit/business processes, implementing specific performance metrics in the workplace and what is on your wish list to help you do your job better? Registration is now open and the agenda is available for viewing.


Federal Business Council to host government procurement conference
The Federal Business Council will host the 24th Annual Government Procurement Conference at the Washington D.C. Convention Center on Wednesday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Annual Government Procurement Conference is a national conference fostering business partnerships between the federal government, its prime contractors and small, minority, service-disabled veteran-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone and women-owned businesses. More than 3,000 government and private sector attendees participate, as well as hundreds of small business and government exhibitors. Among the topics for the conference are: Federal Contracting 101, Opportunity for Woman-Owned Small Businesses, Subcontracting with Prime Contractors, Strategic Sourcing and Understanding RFPs. A portion of this event is dedicated to MatchMaking appointments which offer small businesses the chance to sit down one-on-one with federal, state and local small business advocates and prime contractors to discuss what their business can do to support each agency's goals. Registration is open and the agenda is available.
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