|Volume 6, Issue 6||May 14, 2014|
Changing times, changing lifestyles
Change is difficult for most people. Because outcomes can never be clear, change is usually uncomfortable and stressful, even when the changes are good ones. As government continues to evolve in environments that are fraught with needs and painfully short on funds, significant change is inevitable.
Citizens won't like all the changes that are currently in planning stages in America but there are no other options. Efforts to consolidate, streamline, centralize, share services and outsource have become common. Finding ways to monetize public assets and partner with private companies to produce new revenue streams are accepted practices now. These trends will continue and even more significant changes are being tested.
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|Texas voters pass $5.99 billion in local bond issues|
Construction, renovations, technology, security upgrades among projects
Libraries are among the projects to be funded by successful bond elections in Texas. Other projects include new construction, technology and security upgrades, renovations and more.
A successful $1.2 billion school bond issue topped the more than 65 local bond issues that were approved by Texas voters on May 10. As a result of the passage of more than $5.99 billion in bond issues, contracting opportunities will be abundant in cities, hospital districts, school districts and institutions of higher education.
Statewide, 92 different bond elections were held, as voters were asked to approve funding for more than $6.8 billion in projects. The greatest number of those bond issues were at school districts throughout the Lone Star State - nearly 80. The $1.2 billion school bond issue was in a suburban school district in the Houston area. That bond election alone will result in the construction of four new schools, a new transportation center, campus security improvements, technology upgrades and new buses.
The school districts that were successful in passing their bond referendums will have contracting opportunities available for projects such as parking enhancements, technology and security upgrades, sports stadiums, HVAC replacements, roofing projects, new classroom furniture, maintenance projects, building renovations, energy management systems, teacher housing, infrastructure upgrades, asbestos abatement, new buses, science labs and more.
Eight of the 10 bond votes in Texas cities were approved by voters. They range in size from $292 million for a major Texas city to $850,000 for lake dredging for a small village. The larger of the two bond votes includes $219.7 million for street and transportation improvements, $31.4 million for parks, recreation and community center improvements, $12.65 million for libraries, $1.5 million for public safety and court buildings and more.
Some of the other items that were OK'd by voters in Texas cities will lead to contracting for drainage projects, new public safety buildings such as fire stations and police facilities and street and bridge improvements.
While voters said no to two hospital district ballot issues that would have built new hospitals, a third hospital district vote passed and will result in renovations and new construction.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has for sale its May 2014 Texas Bond Package. The bond package gives results of every bond proposal that was on local ballots on May 10 and includes a list of every public entity sponsoring a bond election, project information, details and data related to initiatives proposed in each bond. Purchasers will also receive an outline of bond proposals under discussion for November 2014 and beyond.
|Energy savings goal for upping ESPCs at federal level|
Additional $2B investment required by government agencies by end of 2016
Solar panels could start showing up on federal buildngs thanks to an energy savings initiative.
The White House may soon be joined by other federal buildings in efforts to achieve more energy savings. The White House recently completed a solar installation on the roof of the President and his family's residence, featuring American-made solar panels.
With approximately 500,000 federal buildings across the country, President Barack Obama says those buildings should target 20 percent renewable energy use by 2020. Toward that goal, the President recently announced that federal agencies will be required to increase by $2 billion their overall energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) to help increase energy efficiency efforts throughout the country.
This $2 billion investment over the next three years will double the previous $2 billion invested in energy efficiency in federal buildings and much of the investment is expected to be in photovoltaic systems.
ESPCs call for a private-sector vendor to pay the initial costs for energy efficiency retrofits on buildings, and recoup their investments through payments from energy cost savings over time. There is no cost to the taxpayer and the contractor guarantees the energy savings for the life of the contract, or has to pay the balance.
The ESPCs have the potential to save billions of dollars in energy costs and will promote the use of renewable energy, thus helping promote energy independence. As a by-product, tens of thousands of jobs will be created in the construction sector and contracting opportunities for private-sector firms will be abundant. Federal agencies have already committed to nearly $2.7 billion in future projects. The White House says federal agencies will have until the end of fiscal 2016 to enter into the additional $2 billion in ESPCs.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Oregon school district seeks to pass $680 million bond vote May 20
New schools would be constructed and old schools replaced if a $680 million bond issue passes in the Beaverton School District in Portland, Oregon. A successful bond would mean a new high school in the far south area of the district, a middle school in Cedar Mill and an elementary in North Bethany. Some of the bond proceeds would also be used to replace Hazeldale, Vose and William Walker elementaries with larger facilities that will house more students. Each new school would require a boundary change. The first school on the construction agenda would be the new high school in South Cooper Mountain, which would require a boundary change before it opens in 2017. The priority ranking and dates for construction on the remaining schools have not been decided.
Connecticut schools seeking one-to-one technology program
Long-term goals of the Old Lyme schools in Connecticut are hoping to institute a one-to-one, student-to-technology ratio and a funding source for the devices. The schools' budget for 2014-15 includes money for technology that includes more laptop carts throughout the district. An additional laptop cart has been recommended. Officials also hope to purchase additional computers and create media labs at the elementary schools. These would be paid for through savings from extending the district's technology replacement cycle from five to six years. The overall goal of increasing the use of technology in the schools is to ensure that all students have access to the same technology for a shared experience. The Old Lyme district also hopes to restructure staff in an effort to create a K-5 technology-integration specialist to support staff and teachers.
Louisiana school district to seek bids for new elementary
South Polk Elementary in the Vernon Parish Schools in Louisiana is seeking bids for construction of a new school to replace the South Polk Elementary School. The plans for the school have been completed by the architect, according to Superintendent Jackie Self (pictured). The school will serve many of the students at Fort Polk. The $21 million school will replace the current campus at Fort Polk. The new school will provide more classrooms that are larger and have more space per student. The financing for the school will include $18 million from the U.S. Department of Defense via a grant program designed for children of military families. The state has thrown in $1 million for the project and the school district will supply another $2 million. Bids will be accepted until June 11, with the winner of the contract to be announced later that month.
Missouri Senate approves $221 million for capital improvements
College campuses throughout Missouri would benefit from $221 million in funds for capital improvements if a Senate-approved funding bill is approved by the House and the governor. Part of the funding would also go to the state's Highway Patrol. More than a dozen projects at universities and community colleges are part of the proposal, but would require a 50 percent match in local funds. Close to $20 million of the funding for higher education projects would depend on whether the governor's revenue projections are correct. The bill also seeks $141.5 million from Board of Public Buildings bonds.
Massachusetts students to benefit from one device to one student plan
Access to laptops, software, apps and other technology equipment is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts, school district's plans to begin a "One Device to One Student" instructional technology plan. The district is hoping to expose students to the latest technology so they will be able to function in the digital world and ensure they are prepared for college and career. Studies have indicated that this trend in technology training has helped improve writing, literacy, science and other skills for today's students. Springfield officials have been looking at other such programs, particularly in Lancaster, Ohio, and Chicago. The ultimate goal is to have a program that will improve student achievement. The school would have to depend on a variety of funding sources for the program, including local funds, grant money and school funds. A pilot program could start as early as next year.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Capital improvement projects totaling $8 million for Maryland county
The Board of County Commissioners for Cumberland County, Maryland, is tweaking an $82.1 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes approximately $8 million in capital projects. So far, nearly 20 projects have been identified. Among the projects that commissioners will seek to fund are Barton Business Park improvements and fiber at a cost of $3.6 million; $100,000 for the caretaker house at the fairgrounds; $100,000 for road paving; $250,000 for new tax and accounting software; funds for the $1 million new Allegany High School; county office complex improvements totaling $75,000 and a new bridge at Orleans Road costing $635,000. Officials say the projects would be funded through bond sales, grants and existing funds. County Commission President Mike McKay (pictured) said it is important to keep the total annual debt service from exceeding $3 million. "The previous board left us in good shape. We need to have the debt payments at the $3 million level," he said.
Financing for 100 wastewater, drinking water projects set for New York
Close to 100 wastewater and drinking water projects will be funded in New York with $1.3 billion in low-cost financing from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund. New York's Environmental Facilities Corp. said shovel-ready projects ready for financing mean more municipalities can get infrastructure loans and subsidize interest rates as low as zero percent. One example of the projects funded is $13 million in loans for Tonawanda for stopping sanitary sewer overflows.
Metro capital spending plan gains approval of agency's finance committee
New rail cars and buses and the redesign of some transit subway stations is part of a capital spending plan for Metro in Washington, D.C. that was recently approved by the agency finance committee. A $1.14 billion spending plan is in addition to a recently approved $1.7 billion operating budget. A new fare structure is also part of the budget plan, increasing fares by 10 cents to $3. General Manager Richard Sarles (pictured) indicated the capital budget for FY 2015 was the initial payment on the costs for realizing the 10-year strategic plan. That plan includes major improvements to stations, expansion of the Metrobus fleet, rehabilitation of subway tracks and new rail cars. In the next year alone, Metro has plans to purchase more than 60 new rail cars to put into service. More than 100 new low-floor buses are also planned for purchase in the coming year and 150 new shuttle service vehicles. Money is also allocated for design of renovations to underground stops at Union Station and the L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place-Chinatown stations.
NIH issues request for proposals for information products, services
A request for proposals for information technology products and services in health and life sciences has been issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 10-year contract is worth $20 billion. The Commodities and Solutions acquisition contract will replace the Electronics Commodities Store III contract and includes information management, operational and administrative services. The deadline for responses to the RFP is June 11. A similar contract for 10 years and $20 billion for IT services across the government was for issues such as cloud computing and cybersecurity.
City's taxable revenue notes will help developer build hotel project in Louisiana
The Natchitoches, Louisiana, City Council will issue $2 million in taxable revenue notes to help finance the Grand Hotel project in the downtown area of the city. The hotel will be built across the street from the Natchitoches Events Center. The project has been stalled after an original agreement was signed in 2011, but financing problems arose. The State Bond Commission has agreed to let the city issue $2.2 million in taxable revenue notes. Construction is expected to take 9-12 months once the commercial bank loan is completed. The total cost of the project is expected to be around $9.9 million. The city expects close to $72,000 per year in sales tax revenue from the two-story hotel.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. won a fixed-price incentive engineering and manufacturing development contract worth $$1.24 million from the Naval Air System Command for the Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program to deliver the next Presidential helicopter fleet.
- Becco Contractors won a $2 million contract from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to replace the County Road EW-142 bridge over Caston Creek.
- Crawford Contracting was awarded a contract worth approximately $3.8 million from the city of St. Louis, Missouri, for the first phase of a two-phase north transmission line from Alma to St. Louis. The first phase will cost about $1.8 million.
- RELYANT LLC won a $10 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for Regional Contracting Center to support deconstruction and demolition task orders at various work sites within Bagram Airfield and Shindland Air Base. These task orders will include, but are not limited to, the complete demilitarization, demolition, disassembly, disposal, relocation, cleanup and restoration of specific structures and sites at both primary locations.
- Battelle is leading a team that was awarded a $21.5 million contract from the United States Pacific Command J7 Training and Exercises Directorate to assist in planning, rehearsing, conducting and assessing a comprehensive program of joint service and partner nation training and exercise events and related activities, such as table top exercises, senior leader seminars and interoperability workshops.
- Sealand Contractors Corporation won a $53 million contract from the New York State Department of Transportation to reconstruct the Utica North-South Arterial in the City of Utica, Oneida County. The project will replace the elevated section of State Routes 5, 8, and 12 and will address structural and geometric deficiencies, including mobility, connectivity and safety issues along the arterial.
- Leidos was awarded a prime contract worth approximately $12 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy to provide systems integration support and services.
- UE3P was awarded a $9,116,551 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for the procurement of engineering services for development, integration, testing and logistic support of the torpedo warning system. Work will be performed in Chantilly and Fairfax, Virginia, Houston, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Hanover, Maryland.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
University of Kentucky to use public-private partnership for dining service
Student dining services at the University of Kentucky are about to be turned over to a private-sector firm in a public-private partnership. After more than a year of discussion and negotiation, the university will negotiate terms with Aramark food services firm. University Vice President Eric Monday (pictured) said the transition of the service to the private firm could begin this summer. Monday said 100 full-time employees in the current dining services program will be allowed to continue working at the university. Some facility menu service new opportunities will likely be available for students in the fall.
Public hearing held on $3.6 billion La Guardia terminal project
Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently held a public hearing to discuss the $3.6 billion La Guardia Central Terminal Building. A public-private partnership is expected to help finance the project. The Port Authority will finance about $1.1 billion for parking and other infrastructure improvements while $2.5 billion from private investors is expected to pay for the cost of the building. The new terminal will replace the old one built some 50 years ago. The old terminal has the capacity to handle 8 million passengers per year, but 13 million went through the terminal in 2011. Even higher numbers are expected in the near future. Officials expect to break ground on the project by the end of this year.
Public-private partnership in Illinois city focuses on economic development
Community and business leaders in Galesburg, Illinois, along with private-sector partners, have formed a public-private partnership for economic development. The city of Galesburg, Knox County and the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association (GREDA) Board are working as a unit to create a point of contact for economic development in the community. "This new Public-Private Partnership for Economic Development, where Knox County, the City of Galesburg and private business sector combine financial resources, will allow us a good vehicle to get about the business of growing jobs and investment in the area," said Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard (pictured). The three entities will work together to transition to the new organization. Together, they plan to address challenges while taking advantage of opportunities.
P3 for Goethals Bridge officially announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the official construction start on a $1.5 billion public-private partnership to replace the Goethals Bridge. The new bridge will connect Staten Island with Elizabeth, New Jersey and will be responsible for providing passage for billions of dollars' worth of goods and travelers. Cuomo called the bridge a "vital artery" of the transportation network in the region. Negotiations on the bridge project have been ongoing for a decade. The project marks the first bridge project of the Port Authority in 83 years. It is also the first surface transportation project built as a public-private partnership in the Northeast Region. It will also provide pedestrian access to the bridge with a bicycle pathway.
|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 email@example.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Nick Marano.
Management consultant and retired U.S. Marine Col. Nick Marano (pictured) has been chosen to be the new city manager for Carson City, Nevada. The former commanding officer of Camp Pendleton in Southern California from 2009-2012 was chosen from the five finalists for the job. Upon retiring from the Marine Corps after a career spanning more than 27 years, Marano became a management consultant and was managing member of Marano and Associates from 2012-2014. From 2005 to 2007, he led a 1,500-Marine infantry battalion and task force, a 3,000-man Iraqi Army Brigade and more than 1,000 Iraqi police in operations on the Syrian border. He pioneered techniques and procedures to improve commerce, build governance structures and develop security forces. Then, from 2007 to 2009, he was chief operating officer at Quantico in Virginia, where he developed new training programs and organizations to maximize unit and individual effectiveness in combat operations. He developed, resourced and sustained enterprise-level training programs on a worldwide basis to support individual and unit training. Marano will replace Marena Works, who has been serving as interim city manager.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A North Carolina school district is planning to implement a one-to-one ratio of students to digital devices at a cost of $12 million over three years, including tablets and laptops. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel A. Nigro (top left), a former New York City fire official who became commander of rescue operations on Sept. 11, 2001, when the chief of the department was killed by falling debris at the World Trade Center attacks, has been chosen by Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Fire Department's new commissioner. Jim Tressel (top center), former head football coach at The Ohio State University, has been chosen as the new president of Youngstown State University, after having served as vice president for strategic engagement and executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron since leaving football. Kevin M. Kern (top right), former CIO and executive vice president of operations and technology at First Data Corp. and former vice president and CIO for Unisys and CIO for tech company CH, has been named chief information officer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Board of Education has chosen George Arlotto, current chief of staff in the school system and a former associate superintendent, to be the head of the county's schools beginning July 1. Nelson Hernandez, who most recently was San Diego's assistant chief operating officer and a former community development director for Ventura, has been chosen as the new city manager for Carson, California, replacing former manager Sam Ghaly. New Mexico native Molly Manzanares, a member of the New Mexico Farm Service Agency State Committee, has been appointed as the new USDA State Executive Director for New Mexico. Renata S. Engel (bottom right), associate dean for Academic Programs and a professor in Penn State University's College of Engineering, has been named to fill the new leadership position of associate vice provost for Online Programs, overseeing the academic unit within the World Campus. John Carey (bottom center), who has been serving as inspector general of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency that is in charge of military espionage for the Defense Department, has been picked to be Palm Beach County's second inspector general, replacing Sheryl Steckler, who completes her four-year term in late June. Westmoreland County Community College has chosen Tuesday Stanley (bottom left), vice chancellor of Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, as its new president, effective July 1, succeeding the retiring Daniel J. Obara. Chula Vista Assistant City Manager Gary Halbert was recently the unanimous choice by the city to become its new city manager, replacing current City Manager Jim Sandobal, who is retiring in June. Twenty-eight year state police veteran Joseph Perez, most recently commander of state police Region I, was recently appointed to head of the police department for Illinois' Metra, the nation's second-largest commuter rail agency. Gerald Lewis, who spent 26 years with the New Jersey State Police before retiring last December, was recently sworn in as the new East Carolina University police chief.
|Let us help advertise your event on our calendar|
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 email@example.com.
|Calendar of events|
AGC Federal Contractors Conference set in June in Washington, D.C.
The Associated General Contractors of America Federal Contractors Conference is planned for June 10-12 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event is billed as the only national event where AGC contractors and federal agency personnel can meet in a collaborate forum to review federal construction contracting issues from around the United States. Top decision-makers from federal agencies with large construction programs will be in attendance. The event is designed for anyone engaged in any aspect of constructing, designing or planning a federal project and who is a general contractor, specialty contractor, service/supplier, attorney or any other stakeholder already engaged in the federal market. The conference will serve as a venue for discussion of federal agency construction budgets, public-private partnerships, source selection, safety, BIM, and sustainable building trends. Registration is now open.
APTA announces 2014 Rail Conference in Canada on June 15-18
The American Public Transportation Association will host its 2014 Rail Conference June 15-18 at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth and Palais des congrÃ¨s de MontrÃ©al in Quebec, Canada. Workshops and technical sessions during the conference cover issues in operations, technology, safety, security, planning, finance, capital projects and the technical aspects of providing all modes of rail service: urban, commuter, high-speed and intercity. Many of the industry's premier products and services will be featured so that attendees can learn more about advances in railroad and rail transit markets. The event should be of interest to rail agency mid-level and top management, board members and policymakers, government agency staff, suppliers, consultants and contractors. For registration information, contact Marcus Eng at 202-496-4874 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Conference of Mayors announces June dates for annual event
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has announced that this year's 82nd Annual Conference of Mayors will be Friday through Monday, June 20-23. This year's event will be held in Dallas. Online registration is currently open. Sponsorships are available by contacting Geri Powell at 202-293-7330 or email@example.com.
National Association of Counties annual event set in New Orleans
The National Association of Counties has set July 11-14 as the dates for its 79th Annual Conference and Exposition. The event will be held in the Morial Convention Center in Orleans Parish (New Orleans). It provides an opportunity for all county leaders and staff to learn, network and guide the direction of the association. Members will have the opportunity to vote on NACo's policies related to federal legislation and regulation, to elect officers, network with colleagues, learn about innovative county programs and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors. Registration is now open and the preliminary schedule has been released.
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