Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 45March 5, 2014
America's bridges are falling down!
Well, no bridges have fallen yet, but more than 10 percent of all the bridges in America are rated as structurally deficient. That startling fact comes from the American Society of Engineers. Here's another shocking report - billions of dollars will be needed to repair the bridges and the work should have been started years ago. Now, the country's bridge problems are nearing the crisis stage.

 

Contractors offering engineering, construction and other transportation-related services are in high demand throughout the country. And, as many states turn to public-private partnerships (P3s) as a way to facilitate critical bridge projects, firms of all types have shown an interest. Many investment firms, banks and pension funds are scrambling to supply the capital. Other companies want to do the work.  

 

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IN THIS ISSUE
P3s could take hit if bill passes
Plan would cut consultant contracting
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
News about P3s
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
People
Calendar of events

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identification for all 50 states.

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Elimination of Private Activity Bond tax exemption opposed

 

Could lead to curtailment of projects financed by public-private partnerships

David CampA tax exemption for bonds that have consistently been a successful financial tool for creating jobs and positively affecting economic development could be on the chopping block. U.S. Rep. David Camp (pictured) is seeking to end the tax exemption for Private Activity Bonds (PABs) as part of his Tax Reform Act of 2014. Current law provides that PABs are excluded from gross income and thus exempt from tax.

 

Many find it amazing that Camp would take aim at a tool that has become a facilitator for many private partners assisting with public projects. These tax-exempt bonds are issued on behalf of governments for projects that most often are those of a private-sector user, but have some benefit to the public sector. Private-sector investments through use of these bonds have helped finance projects such as hospitals, airports, housing, prisons and college and university buildings for communities nationwide.

 

Camp has called the current tax code a "wet blanket over our economy" and says eliminating the exemption for PABs would increase revenues by $23.9 billion over the period from 2014 to 2023.

 

Developers see doing away with the exemption as a step backward for financing public-private partnerships that result in much-needed projects that government can no longer afford. They also argue that such action would eliminate a tool from the financial tool box of government entities as more and more are turning to the private sector to help bridge funding gaps caused by decreasing revenue sources.

 

At least one group, the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is rallying the troops in opposition to Camp's bill. The organization is urging development finance stakeholders to contact Camp and their own elected officials - from Congress to the statehouse to the local mayor's office - to voice their opposition to the bill.

 

Treasurer's proposal would cut state consultant contracting

 

Hopes to gain support by dedicating savings to higher education in state

John KennedyUnable to gain traction during previous legislative sessions on a proposal that would cut state spending on consulting contracts, Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy (pictured) has tacked on a qualifier he is hopeful will draw more support. This time around, Kennedy wants to tie the money saved for dedication to higher education.

 

Kennedy claims that state agencies and departments could eliminate "less important" contracts and thus reduce spending. "We're only asking the governor to do what businesses do every single day," said the treasurer in an interview with the Monroe News-Star. Kennedy said those cuts would save $530 million that could go to higher education, which he said "has been cut to the bone."

 

Kennedy has sought a 10 percent cut in state government consulting contract for several years. That would make more than $525 million available for other needs. Since 2012, the state has spent $5.28 billion for professional, personal and consulting contracts. That amount is more than a quarter of the 2013 state budget of $25 billion. Kennedy is hopeful his proposal to tie the savings to higher education spending will garner support. The state currently has 19,000 consulting contracts throughout state government. However, the current administration is opposed to the plan, saying it will have an adverse effect on the state's privatization efforts.

 

Contracting Opportunities

Bill would increase federal contracts for small business

 

Graves' proposal seeking increase from 23 to 25 percent awarded annually

ContractSmall businesses have a friend in U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, who has filed two pieces of legislation aimed at making government contracting more appealing and competitive for them. The current goal is for 23 percent of federal contracts to be awarded to small businesses. Graves' legislation, the Greater Opportunities for Small Business Act, would increase that number to 25 percent. The increase, if approved, would mean an additional $10 billion in contracts per year awarded to small businesses.

 

Graves also has a bill filed, the Contracting Data and Bundling Accountability Act, that would mandate more transparency in situations where smaller contracts are "bundled" into a single large contract. When bundling occurs, it makes bidding for small businesses more difficult.

 

Although the increase in the percentage of small businesses winning some of the contracts for the $460 billion in federal spending each year sounds good in theory, the federal government hasn't met the 23 percent threshold in the last seven years. But, there is optimism that the federal government will meet or come closer to its goal of 23 percent when the 2013 figures are released this summer.

 

Upcoming education opportunities

 

Bond sale will lead to new high school for township in Pennsylvania

A new high school in the Kelly Township will take up the bulk of a $35.75 million bond sale recently approved in the Lewisburg (Pennsylvania) Area School District. The school district was able to secure a 3.8 percent average interest rate, lower than was expected, and the bond buyer also offered more premium up front. The bond sale included general obligation bonds of $30 million and a separate issue of $5.75 million to refinance the outstanding debt remaining from 2005. More debt is expected to be issued next year after bids for construction of the new school are returned.

 

New intermediate school in Wisconsin to go out for bids this month

Intermediate SchoolBids will be sought this month for construction of the new Franz Fruzen Intermediate School (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) in the School District of Beloit (Wisconsin). Ground is expected to be broken in April. The new school will house students in grades 4-8 and will have the capacity for 600 students. The cost is expected to be around $18 million for construction. Featuring almost 100,000 square feet of space, the new school will be two-story. It will offer separate entrances for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students on the east and seventh and eighth grade students on the west. The front of the building faces north and will include core instructional areas such as library and some classrooms. Officials are expecting lowered energy costs in the school because of the addition of geothermal heating and cooling. The system is expected to pay for itself in only seven years. School officials also plan to set up a kiosk where students can learn more about geothermal energy.

 

Indiana Senate approves bill allowing billboards on some school buses

In an effort to even out some of school transportation costs, the Indiana Senate has approved legislation that would allow advertising on some school buses. The buses serve two Indianapolis neighborhoods and a school district north of the city. The proposal would allow school districts facing dwindling revenues to make some additional revenue without raising taxes. Having passed in the Senate, the bill now is headed to debate in the House. Franklin Township schools, which began charging students to ride the bus, but stopped after public outcry, is one of the districts that would be allowed to sell advertising on its buses. Beech Grove and Zionsville were also slated for pilot projects.

 

Largest private donation ever to help Kansas State build learning center

Kirk SchulzPart of a $60 million private donation, the largest of its kind in Kansas State University history, will go toward the third phase of the university's master plan for athletics. Some $20 million of the donation will be used to help defray the expenses of building a new academic learning center in the north seating bowl of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The money will also pay for strength and conditioning spaces, football offices for the coaching staff and fan amenities. That area already includes the Vanier Football Complex, paid for by another donation from the family of longtime benefactor Jack Vanier, who also made the $60 million donation. The football complex includes locker rooms and other team meeting spaces. A timeline and budget for phase three of the master plan has not yet been announced. The second phase, a $90 million renovation to the west side of the stadium, will include a training table and improved luxury seating. Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz (pictured) said the Vanier family donation will "benefit the students of Kansas State for generations to come." Other donations from the Vanier family have funded upgrades at the football stadium and endowed the football head coaching position.

  

New elementary school, renovations on tap in North Dakota school district

The Fargo (North Dakota) School District is preparing to sell bonds in the amount of $27.73 million to help pay for a new elementary school and major renovation projects for other district schools. A new school will be built in Ed Clapp Park. Additionally, air conditioning and heating upgrades will be performed at six elementary schools. Other maintenance projects also are planned. The bonds will be paid through revenues received by the district's building fund. Depending on the interest rate on a state school construction loan, the board might be able to reduce the amount of the bonds to be issued.

 

SPI Training Services

Other upcoming contracting opportunities

 

Connecticut city approves bond sale for road maintenance projects

A total of $4.5 million in bonding for two years of road maintenance has been approved by the Board of Finance in New Canaan, Connecticut. Officials made the bonding for two years so they could solicit bids for road projects sooner, in hopes of getting better rates. "In construction, if I get out in the market earlier, I see a reduction in our costs," said Assistant Director of Public Works Tiger Mann. With 123 miles of roads and a total of 287 roads, the city is planning to address problems more often instead of totally repaving a road and then coming back 20 years later for a "do-over." Addressing problems more frequently is less expensive in the long run. That and new repair methods will give the road longer than a 20-year lifespan.

 

South Carolina airport in line for $14 million improvements project

Darwin SimpsonWith 95 percent financing from the Federal Aviation Administration and state funding, the Spartanburg (South Carolina) Downtown Memorial Airport is planning a $14 million project for improvements. The city will be required to provide a match of about $700,000 in funding. Officials are hoping the enhancements will entice large companies to base aircraft there. Airport Director Darwin Simpson (pictured) said the improvements are for both safety and economic development reasons and will take about two years to complete. Included are extending the runway and safety zone. The more than 5,200-foot runway will be resurfaced and the runway safety areas extended to 1,650 feet. Simpson said he expects that the improvements at the airport will likely increase operations from the current 80,000 to 150,000.

 

Florida city plans to replace public housing apartment building

A failing housing complex in New Port Richey, Florida, will soon be replaced, using $1.75 million in Pasco County funds as well as millions of additional funding in state and private funds. The 69-unit Dade Oaks Apartments will be replaced and removed to another location. The structure often floods often when it rains, prompting housing authority workers to have to use sandbags to protect the facility. The facility also failed an inspection by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with numerous rehabilitations recommended. The 37-year-old facility will be moved to a new 12.8-acre site. The county funds will be matched by $3.3 million from the state and $10 million in private equity funds. The project is expected to begin in September, with a completion date expected 18 months later. The residents, most of whom are either families or elderly, will get new, modern, energy-efficient units when it is complete.

 

Massachusetts city planning to spend $9 million to replace aging main water line

Richard KosThe city of Chicopee, Massachusetts, has approved $9 million in funding to replace its main water line, which officials were told is at risk of failing. "We are being warned we have a very old feeder pipe to the city," said Mayor Richard J. Kos (pictured). Kos said there is currently one 36-inch, 65-year-old water main connected to a main that delivers nearly all the water to the city from a reservoir. City officials have been told that failure of that pipe could be "catastrophic." If the pipe fails, the city could be without water. With the city's approval of the project, it is now eligible for low-interest loans from the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust. The interest generally is in the 2 percent range for 20 years or 2.5 percent for 30 years. A number of breaks in lines over the last few years have been attributed to the aging water infrastructure.

 

Need Federal Contracting?

Who's winning government contracts?

 

Check out these recent awards: 

  • Kalamazoo Mechanical Inc. won a $762,409 plumbing/HVAC contract from the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education as part of renovation of Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts.
  • B&W Nuclear Operations Group, a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, won a contract worth up to $1.3 billion from the U.S. Naval Reactors Program for making nuclear components for defense programs including nuclear power systems for the Navy's submarines and aircraft carriers.
  • Dunaway Associates was awarded a $1.54 million contract from the city of Coppell, Texas, for architectural and engineering services at the Andrew Brown Park system to enhance opportunities for sports, events and cultural amenities. 
  • EFW Inc. won a $145 million contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a series of security towers to be built along the Mexican border in Arizona to detect, track, identify and classify suspicious activity along the Arizona border.
  • Hewlett-Packard Co. was awarded a contract worth up to $32.4 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for cyber security, providing software security product licenses for 33 United States federal civilian government agencies.
  • AT&T Government Solutions, a division of AT&T Inc., was awarded a $12 million contract by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to provide managed wide area network services, specifically multiprotocol label switching for virtual private networks as well as voice services to 95 FDIC office locations nationwide.
  • Engility Holdings, Inc. has been awarded a position on a $24.9 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for engineering and technical support at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division. Under this new, three-year, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, Engility professionals will support engineering, systems engineering and technical analysis and development of programs and technologies that will support the EOD war fighter mission.
  • HB Construction was awarded a contract for construction of a $35.1 million project that includes an addition and renovation of the Bernalillo (New Mexico) High School.
  • Moore Electrical Service won a $1,327,550 contract from the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board as part of renovation of the Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts.
  • Swank Construction Co. won a $6.2 million contract from the Pennsylvania State Division of Highways to build a new bridge and entrance to Coonskin Park.
Research Analysts

News about public-private partnerships (P3)

 

Tucson plans RFP for multi-modal center, mixed-use development

The city of Tucson is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) that would transform its single-use Ronstadt Transit Center into a multi-modal transit center and mixed-use development to help invigorate the downtown area. In the works since last September, city staff has been meeting with stakeholders to develop a scope of work for the project and has also accepted public input from both community and business representatives. Once responses are received, they will be vetted and a short list of prospects will be produced. The project will include development per Federal Transit Administration guidance and must continue to have a public transportation purpose. It will not only include transit functions, but also provide improved amenities and offer service of multiple modes of transportation. The proposed mixed-use development will be designed to stimulate the local economy, which in turn will add funding to sustain transit. The project is expected to be a partnership that will include the community, local government and private-sector partners. 

 

Colorado strikes deal with private sector for second phase of U.S. 36

Don HuntThe second phase of a $425 million project on U.S. 36 in Colorado will include a private partner. The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced Plenary Roads Denver will complete that phase and is currently building toll lanes in both directions on the highway. CDOT officials say some of the improvement already made by the company would have taken two decades before the state would have been able to afford those improvements. A fee of $6 to $14 will be imposed for drivers seeking to drive on the toll lane in both directions on U.S. 36. "After years of planning and extensive input on how to accelerate improvements in this corridor, we are extremely excited to see further progress toward a more diversified, sustainable and less congested U.S. 36 corridor," said Don Hunt (pictured), executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. Also part of the deal, Plenary will maintain U.S. 36 until 2063, relieving CDOT of that burden and cost. Plenary will also assume operations and maintenance responsibilities for Interstate 25 toll roads later this month, with current north/south lanes still free to motorists.

 

BusPlus program partnership seeks to increase transportation options

BusPlus, a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Yankee Line, Inc., is hoping to increase intercity and commuter transportation options throughout the state and throughout New England. With amenities that include better restrooms, Wi-Fi, power outlets and more leg room, officials are hoping to attract more ridership. BusPlus will provide new regional buses to private, for-profit bus companies, with new services to begin this year. The program calls for the replacement of 31 regional buses with new, state-of-the-art vehicles through federal grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair program. In return, the private-sector companies involved will be charged with delivering regional services improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs.

 

Public-private partnership will ensure Colorado town gets apartment complex

Mike ScanlonA 56-unit, low-income apartment complex will likely be built in the town of Basalt, Colorado, through a public-private partnership. Town Manager Mike Scanlon (pictured) said the Pitkin County commissioners are also interested in investing in the project. Scanlon said he is 90 percent sure the complex will be built. The plan is for the town and county governments to fund the purchase of the site for the complex. If both contribute, they would hold the property jointly. A private firm, RealAmerica Development LLC, a developer of low-income housing, would build the complex and have a lease of at least 99 years on the property on which it is built. The private firm should complete the purchase of the site sometime this month at a price of $1.8 million unless an extension is granted. The two government entities have pledged to assist RealAmerica in securing a loan to build the complex. The town's government is also passing regulations to allow developers that must build affordable housing as part of their project to buy credits in the RealAmerica apartment building to meet those requirements.

  

Toll bridge in Massachusetts could result from public-private partnership

Motorists would have a choice in of paying extra for a little convenience if a public-private partnership under consideration results in a toll twin to the Sagamore Bridge on Cape Cod. Such a roadway would require tolls on southbound Route 3. Banking and legal advisers will be chosen in April to examine the project and any shortcomings that may have been overlooked. If the project moves forward, bids could be solicited in late fall. Some officials note that having the third bridge will also provide an alternative to using only one bridge when the other is undergoing maintenance. It could also become an alternate emergency evacuation route. 

 

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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 Anthony Fung.

 

Anthony FungAnthony Fung (pictured) recently began serving as Virginia's new deputy secretary of technology, his first job in the public sector. Fung earned a bachelor's degree in information science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. He is a veteran of nearly 20 years of work in the private sector, including work as a federal government contractor. His certifications include Certified Defense Financial Manager, American Society of Military Comptrollers and Project Management Professional. His first private-sector engagement was a two-year stint as a consultant with American Management Systems. He followed that with a nearly two-year job as a consultant for Commerce One. From 2001 to 2012, Fung was CEO of Catapult Consultants LLC, a professional services and management consulting company. He later spent nearly two years as president and CEO of Avecta Solutions LLC. For the last year and four months, Fung served as CEO of GovInsight LLC. 

 

 

 

Opportunity of the week...
 

The city council of a city in South Carolina has approved a $2 million project that will add a bike and pedestrian lane on one of the bridges on a river in the city. The project includes an engineering study and design. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or sales@spartnerships.com.

 
People

 

David HespeTony GurleyChristal AlbrechtBurlington County College President David Hespe (top left) was named by Gov. Chris Christie to replace Christopher Cerf as New Jersey state education commissioner, a job he previously held from March 1999 to March 2001 under then-Gov. Christie Whitman. Wake County (North Carolina) Commissioner Tony Gurley (top center) has resigned after accepting the job of chief operating officer for the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, working under budget director Art Pope. The Alvin (Texas) Community College Board of Regents has named Dr. Christal Albrecht (top right), campus president at Florida State College at Jacksonville, as the lone finalist for president of ACC, to replace Dr. Rodney Allbright, who is leaving the presidency after 38 years. Gerald Williams, who began a 27-year career with the Lufkin (Texas) Police Department as a patrol officer, has been named the new police chief, replacing Scott Marcotte, who is retiring. Julie Chapman, director of the California Department of Human Resources, has announced her retirement, with Richard Gillihan, program budget manager at the Department of Finance named acting director, and Chief Deputy Director Howard Schwarts is also leaving, Shelley Zimmerman Suma Nallapati Jim Davis with Labor Relations Deputy Director Pam Manwiller named acting chief deputy. A veteran of law enforcement for more than three decades, San Diego Assistant Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman (bottom right) has been named Police Chief, replacing retiring Chief Bill Lansdowne. Colorado's Office of Information Technology has announced that Suma Nallapati (bottom center), former assistant vice president of service delivery for national nonprofit health system, Catholic Health Initiatives, has been named the state's new chief technology officer. Jim Davis (bottom left), who oversaw integration of Colorado's homeland security, emergency management and wildland firefighting agencies under the Department of Public Safety's umbrella, is resigning to start a security consulting practice. Alvin L. Crawley, former interim superintendent of Prince George's County schools, will become the next superintendent of the Alexandria (Virginia) City Public Schools system, replacing Morton Sherman, who resigned in August. Patrick Trudgeon, Roseville (Minnesota) community development manager since 2007, has been named the new Roseville city manager, replacing Bill Malinen, who resigned.

 

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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 editor@spartnerships.com.
 
Calendar of events
   

NASPO holding meeting on marketing to state governments

The National Association of State Procurement Officials will host its 2014 How to Market to State Governments Meeting, "Advancing Procurement Through Partnerships" March 16-18 in San Diego, California. The event will provide a unique opportunity for private-sector representatives to network with state procurement officials. There will be pre-scheduled, one-on-one partnering sessions with state procurement officials so suppliers to explain new products, answer questions and set the stage for a working relationship with the states. Attendees will also have access to an educational program that allows state procurement officials to get feedback from suppliers on improving the procurement process and gives suppliers an inside look at how to do better business with the states. There are sessions specifically for small and minority-owned business and ample opportunities for networking. Registration is now open and the agenda and more information are available.

 

ASPA plans 75th anniversary celebration in March in D.C.

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) will hold its 2014 Annual Conference March 14-18, 2014, at the Mayflower Renaissance in Washington, D.C. One of the keynote presentations will be given by Elaine Karmark, a public policy expert who founded the New Democratic Movement that helped elect President Bill Clinton. She is also the founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings Institution. This year's conference celebrates the 75th anniversary of the ASPA. The conference programming examines the challenge of managing and leading public service organizations in the 21st century, public human resource management, budgeting and finance management and policy formulation and service delivery. Featuring more than 150 panels led by public-service experts, the event will address changing public-sector ethics, how to create smarter government and working across levels of government and sectors. Conference registration is now open and additional information is available. 
 

National League of Cities to host Congressional City Conference

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will be guest speakers at the upcoming National League of Cities 2014 Congressional City Conference. The event is slated for March 8-12 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. The Congressional City Conference brings together more than 2,000 elected and appointed city leaders to focus on the federal policy issues that are important to local governments. Partnering with the National League of Cities ensures the nation's cities a seat at the decision-making table with members of Congress, the White House and federal agencies looking for solutions to addressing the nation's most pressing challenges. Additionally, attendees at the conference will learn about the federal programs, funding opportunities and resources available to implement the most innovative practices at the local level. More information is available and registration is now open.

 
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