|Volume 6, Issue 5||May 7, 2014|
Education world spins; Americans should take note
Change is occurring everywhere - it is exhausting just to keep up - but nowhere is change more evident than in the area of K-12 education.
The changes occurring today represent what is likely the greatest shift in educational philosophy in the history of the United States. And, the impact looms large throughout America. Taxpayers, employers, parents and community leaders should carefully monitor what is occurring locally.
Here's a quick overview of the changes and the controversy occurring in a few states over what is being called the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
Texas voters to decide more than $6.8B in bond issues
Saturday's referendums will result in millions of dollars in contract opportunities
Nearly $6.8 billion in bond elections are on tap in Texas this weekend that will result in millions of dollars' worth of contracting opportunities for both large and small vendors. There are nearly 90 cities, public school districts, hospital districts and one community college seeking to pass bond issues that range in value from $600,000 to more than $1.2 billion.
The $600,000 bond issue has been called by a small school district in East Texas, with all of the proceeds from a successful bond vote going toward purchase of new school buses. The $1.2 billion bond election, the largest on tap for Saturday's statewide elections, was called by a large suburban school district near Houston. That bond issue would build two new elementary and one middle school campus, provide for numerous renovations at various schools, build a new transportation center, buy new buses and provide for security and technology needs.
While many private-sector firms will be looking at the successful bond issues for possible contracting opportunities, Strategic Partnerships, Inc. President and CEO Mary Scott Nabers cautions people not to overlook the bond issues that fail. "When a bond issue fails, the needs of that school or city or other public jurisdiction don't just go away," said Nabers. "Officials in those subdivisions will be looking for other ways to finance those needs. In many cases, that can open the process to unsolicited proposals, public-private partnerships and other innovative financing methods - all of which will mean additional contracting opportunities."
Nine cities and towns in Texas are holding bond elections Saturday, seeking to finance projects with a combined total value of $402.7 million. Three hospital districts are holding bond referendums, valued at a total of $102.2 million, two of which will build new hospitals and a third that will pay for renovations and expansions. The greatest number of bond issues to be decided Saturday are school district referendums - more than 70 of them - with a combined total value of more than $6 billion.
Many of the municipal bond elections are for projects such as road and street construction, public safety needs, drainage projects, new construction, security and technology. School projects seeking funding include safety and security issues, new campuses, renovations, expansions, new buses and more.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has for sale its May 2014 Texas Bond Package. The bond package covers every bond proposal on local ballots in Texas and includes a list of every public entity sponsoring a bond election, project information, details and data related to initiatives proposed in each bond package. Once the voting is completed May 10, SPI will deliver election results as part of the Bond Package. Purchasers will also receive an outline of bond proposals under discussion for November 2014 and beyond.
|Feds say no to plans to privatize six state-owned hospitals|
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says state will appeal decision of CMS officials
With deals already struck between the state of Louisiana and private-sector firms in an effort to privatize six state-owned hospitals, the feds have stepped in and said, "Not so fast."
The federal government has nixed the plan of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (pictured) to privatize those hospitals that serve the poor and underinsured in the state. The rejections involved privatization plans for Louisiana State University-run hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma, Lake Charles, Shreveport and Monroe.
Refusing to sign off on the governor's plan is the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which said the proposals do not meet federal guidelines on how Medicaid funds can be spent. The Jindal administration has indicated it will appeal the decision.
Jindal said CMS "has no legal basis" for the decision. "We are confident that public-private partnerships are the way forward, and we will be working with CMS on alternative funding mechanisms," he said. The privatization plans, Jindal said, would save the state money, improve health care for the poor and uninsured and enhance medical training programs.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Florida public schools cheering funding for construction, maintenance
The repair and maintenance of many of Florida's public schools got a shot in the arm thanks to the action of the state's legislature. Lawmakers finally agreed to spend $100 million from the Public Education Capital Outlay trust fund. The fund, which is generated by a tax on landline telephones and cable TV, has in the past provided millions of construction dollars to traditional public schools. However, because that fund has been getting smaller and smaller, most schools have not seen any funding from it since 2011. The new agreement calls for the state's 67 school districts to share $50 million for repairs and maintenance. Seven small schools that simply do not have necessary construction funds - Glades, Washington, Madison, Levy, Calhoun, Holmes and Dixie - will share $59.7 million for facilities projects. Among the projects that will see funding are roof repairs and replacements, faulty electrical and computer wiring, outdated plumbing and restrooms facilities that both need repair and upgrades to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Charter schools, on the other hand, were dealt a blow when their funding was announced at $75 million, down from the last legislative session's allocation of $91 million. Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho (pictured) called the funding "a step in the right direction," and said because the capital needs of Florida schools are so great, "We hope this is a sign of things to come in future years."
Campus security at Illinois schools, universities gets funding boost from state
Grants totaling $25 million are headed to 448 schools and universities in Illinois. The funding will be used to improve campus security. There are more than 1,300 projects planned, from adding reinforced doors and shatter-resistant glass to installing locks at primary public entrances. The grants are from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. While the University of Illinois at Champaign will get about $690,000. Chicago Public Schools and School District 46 in Kane County each will get $1 million. Some 623 school districts and campuses applied for more than $54 million.
School improvements in line for Central New York district facilities
Improvements totaling $700,000 have been approved for funding in the Central New York schools, while another $436,000 has been set aside for energy upgrades. The improvements will be made at the eight school district buildings while two elementary schools will benefit from the energy upgrades. All are scheduled for the 2014-15 school year. Among the projects is a $354,000 roof replacement at the Central York Middle School. There will also be money available for technology upgrades in the educational service center and three elementary schools. Regarding energy upgrades, the projects will include a building automation system for each building that is expected to save $178,650 at one school and $257,325 at another. Because there are still some technology funds previously set aside for that purpose, board member Eric Wolfgang (pictured) said the capital reserve funds could conceivably be used for other energy upgrades. The energy upgrades in the two elementary schools are expected to pay for themselves within six or seven years. Other projects will include redesign of front office spaces at three schools, ventilation equipment replacements at the middle school and upgrades to the practice field at the high school.
Montgomery in line for additional $5 million to address overcrowding
The Alabama Interagency Committee on School Construction is recommending an allocation that is $5 million more for Montgomery than its expected annual payment of $35 million. The funding, argued legislators and supporters, will be used for a major school construction funding package. Officials were hopeful that additional funding would help ease overcrowding in county schools. In a related matter, Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will order a study of alternative methods for financing school construction.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Santa Barbara may bring desalination plant out of storage
A desalination plan that has been in storage for more than 20 years in Santa Barbara, California, may be brought back to life. Drought conditions have officials considering bringing the plant back into use. Built in the 1990s, the plant ran only three months during the last drought, but was closed down when heavy rains put an end to drought conditions. The plant is used to remove salt from ocean or ground water. The plant is estimated to need some $20 million in technological upgrades if it is brought back online.
Flood damaged Catwalk Trail in national forest to be restored
Funding totaling $4.4 million from the Federal Highway Administration will be awarded to restore the Catwalk Trail in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. The trail was closed last September because of flood damage. Silver City Town Manager Alex Brown (pictured) said that the city has been negatively impacted by the closure of the trail. He said the lodger's tax for the city has decreased by 7 percent. The funding is part of the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program. Some of the damage from the flooding was to the Civilian Conservation Corps rock stairs and the trail's metal grillwork, a 30-foot section of the cement bridge across Whitewater Creek that was washed away, landslides and rockslide damage along trails and debris deposited in the picnic area, parking area and access road. The funding will also reimburse the U.S. Forest Service for emergency repairs and debris removal that have already been completed. Other repair and restoration work also is on tap.
Road improvement projects on tap in Penn Township, Pennsylvania
Officials in Penn Township, Pennsylvania, have voted to borrow $1.5 million that will be used for a variety of road improvement projects. Affected streets are the intersection of Doe Run and North Penryn and Fruitville Pile at Temperance Hill and Holly Tree roads. The project also calls for installation of sidewalks, which officials say is a huge safety need. The total project cost for the project at Doe Run and Penryn is estimated at $1.5 million, including stormwater management and roadway widening. Some of the funds could also be spent on curbing, signs and traffic signals.
Lakewood mayor outlines $12 million in improvements proposed for city
More than $12 million in capital improvements for the city of Lakewood, Ohio, were recently discussed by Mayor Mike Summers (pictured). Some of the projects include: $400,000 for the Madison Park skate house, $250,000 for Madison storefront renovation, $2 million for Madison Avenue traffic signalization, $650,000 for Clifton Boulevard transit improvements, $5 million for Edgewater and West End sewer improvements and $1.5 million for Lakewood Park waterfront improvements. Summers said improvements on Madison are a high priority. The mayor said the work will be done in four phases and will include at least $5 million each in public and private investments. Other priorities of the mayor are streetscapes in Birdtown and finishing transit improvements on Clifton Boulevard. The sewer improvements will continue the city's efforts to reduce raw sewage being discharged into Lake Erie.
Florida city prepares to replace aging bridge with $7.6 million in funding
The city of Marco Island, Florida, is preparing to begin a $7.6 million project to replace the Smokehouse Bay Bridge on Collier Boulevard. Plans call for replacement of a two-lane bridge on the southbound side and another two-lane structure on the northbound side. All utilities, including water and wastewater piping, will be replaced and so will the old seawalls on the north and south sides of the bridges. Officials are debating using $2 million from reserves and borrowing $6 million as part of a bank loan to cover the cost of the bridge.
New York county approves $27.1 million for infrastructure projects
The Erie County Legislature recently approved $27.1 million to fund infrastructure improvements. The money will fund 60 highway, road and bridge projects in the county. Many are in need of repair after a severe winter in the area. Other projects include the mill and overlay of heavily trafficked roads. Major bridge replacements, micropaving and oil and gas chipping will be seen in municipalities throughout the county. The funding for the projects comes from the 2013 county budget surplus, additional State Consolidated Improvement Program or CHIPS funds and surplus Transfer Tax revenues. The projects will begin in the next few months.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Lobar Engineering won a contract just over $2 million as general contractor for a construction and renovation project at Dillsburg Elementary School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
- LEM Construction was awarded a contract for just over $13.6 million from the city of Conroe, Texas, for the rehab project for the city's Southwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, including refurbishing the filter press, new piping and paving.
- Breece Enterprises was awarded a $1.2 million contract by the city of High Point, North Carolina, for replacement of deteriorated water lines on Woodrow and Ragan avenues, relocation of a water line on E. Lexington Avenue and storm draining improvements on Wayside, Hall and Meredith streets and Mint Avenue and Carolyndon Drive.
- Parella-Pannunzio Inc. was awarded a $696,693 contract from Mahoning County, Ohio, for construction of a roundabout, which will be a one-lane traffic circle to improve traffic flow and safety.
- HP Enterprise Services has been awarded a $116.9 million contract from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to implement a new Medicaid management system. HP will serve as the state's Medicaid fiscal agent to strengthen operations and support Colorado's health care reform initiatives once the new system is implemented.
- Acentia has announced it has been awarded a one-year, $2.5-million contract by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide software design and development services to develop and implement Phase 2 of the Agency's Cooperative Patent Classification Database project.
- Shaw Contract Flooring Services, doing business as Shaw Sports Turf, was awarded a $1,325,468 contract by the Owen J. Roberts School Board in South Coventry Township in Pennsylvania to replace its synthetic turf stadium and multi-purpose athletic fields.
- Excavating Inc. won a $3.2 million contract from Green County, Ohio, to build a roundabout at the intersection of Lauby and Greensburg roads.
- Electric Boat has been awarded a $17.6 billion contract by the U.S. Navy for 10 Virginia-class submarines over five years, to be built by Electric Boat and subcontractor Newport News Shipbuilding, at a rate of two per years from FY 2014 to 2018.
- Potomac Hudson Engineering won a contract worth up to $30 million from the U.S. Navy for architect and engineering services.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Colorado Legislature approves rules for public-private partnerships Following passage in the Colorado Senate last week, the Colorado House this week passed on third reading a bill that places new rules on public-private partnerships (P3s) for highway projects. The goal of the bill is to increase disclosure, oversight and public input. A project earlier this year between the Colorado Department of Transportation and a private-sector partner for widening a highway and adding a single toll lane in either direction drew the ire of some citizens. They said the deal for the project was consummated with little public input. Sen. Matt Jones (pictured), author of the bill, said the controversy around that project led to the need for more transparency. "This bill makes sure everyone has a chance to review details and weigh in while these expensive, long-term deals are developed," he said. The bill would require both public and legislative check-ins, including town hall meetings. It also limits P3 deals to 35 years.
Texas 1950s power plant seeking P3 partner to repurpose facility
When officials in Austin, Texas, solicited designers to offer proposals for how the old Seaholm power plant could be repurposed, their ideas ranged from a microbrewery to a swimming pool. Good ideas - if the city had the funding to complete the project. Now, city officials are seeking a public-private partnership that would include a 20-year license agreement. The structure, built in 1950, was retired in 1989 and is at the center of redevelopment efforts in downtown Austin. A nonprofit and developers were brought in to brainstorm. The Urban Land Institute recommended a public-private partnership (P3) to bring the project to fruition. In return for redevelopment of the site, the city will provide a 20-year license agreement that would result in a return on activities that might include a restaurant or other retail space. The city in the next few weeks will issue a request for interested developers. Finalists for the project are expected to be heard in August, with a contract expected to be finalized in October.
Public-private partnership sought for Dalton State College housing
The state Board of Regents is looking for funds to finance dorms on the campus of Dalton State College in Georgia, and it is leaning toward a public-private partnership (P3). If a P3 can be arranged, the college campus could have dorms by 2016. Not only is the board looking for housing for Dalton State College, but it is also looking for private partners to help finance and build dorms on eight other public college campuses in Georgia. The private-sector partner would be expected to oversee dorm layout and construction and security. It would then set rental rates. Hank Huckaby (pictured), chancellor of the University System of Georgia, said the privately owned dorms will mean less financial obligation for the college system "while ensuring students have affordable, safe, quality housing options." He said he expects the private-sector partner chosen to bring innovation and efficiency to the college housing operations. While the private sector brings financing to the table, the colleges would sign leases on the property with the private partner for from 30-65 years. Other colleges that would be considered for P3s for housing include Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Columbus State University, East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia Regents University in Augusta and the University of North Georgia in Gainesville and Dahlonega.
Private developers stand to benefit from windfall in Texas project
An unproven market is apparently keeping the private sector at arm's length away from possible development in an area near the University of North Texas-Dallas. Dallas voters two years ago voted to set aside $55 million in general obligation bonds to facilitate economic development in the southern area of the city. A portion of that was dedicated to providing additional infrastructure for any new development supporting the university. The city Office of Economic Development is actively looking for a developer to support projects near the university and Paul Quinn College. The area is part of the city's GrowSouth effort to revitalize that area. To date, there are no takers on the $5 million a private partner could earn. Some officials credit that to the fact that the area has a low median household income and it is an unproven market. At any rate, the city has issued a request for information in an effort to gauge interest from the private sector.
|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 Guy Bailey.
Guy Bailey (pictured), a former University of Alabama and Texas Tech president, was recently named sole finalist to become the founding president of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The new UTRGV was created through the combining of assets of UT Brownsville, UT Pan American and the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). The first class of students will be in fall 2015. Bailey's last charge was as president of the University of Alabama, where he was appointed president in July 2012. He served in that position for only three months before resigning to care for his wife's health care needs. Bailey was named president of Texas Tech University in 2008. He was also previously chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2006-2008 and provost and executive vice president at The University of Texas at San Antonio from 1999-2005. He has also held administrative positions at the University of Nevada, the University of Memphis and Oklahoma State and taught at Texas A&M and Emory University. Bailey attended the University of Alabama from 1968-1974, earning his bachelor's and master's degrees there. He earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1979.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A Missouri Metropolitan Planning Organization board has approved its final transportation project list for submission to the the Missouri Department of Transportation. The list includes millions of dollars' worth of proposals for road and bridge, waterway and rail, aviation, bike and pedestrian and transit projects. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Department of Defense Chief Information Officer and former State of California CIO Teri Takai (top left) has stepped down from the post she has held since November 2010. Al Davis (top center), former director of the Texas A&M University Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center who has been serving as interim deputy director of TEEX since the end of March, has been named to the deputy director position full-time. Former New Jersey State Attorney General John Degnan (top right) has been nominated by Gov. Chris Christie to replace David Samson, who resigned last month as chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Grant County (New Mexico) Manager Jon Saari has announced his retirement from the job he has held since 2005 to take a job in the private sector in the insurance industry. Howard "Ben" Kiser, superintendent of the Gloucester County Schools, has been appointed executive director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, to replace Steven Staples, who has resigned to become the new state superintendent of public instruction. DeKalb (Illinois) Community Unit School District No. 428 Superintendent James Briscoe, who has served that district the last six years, has been named the next superintendent of the Canyons School District in Utah. University of Alabama law professor Andrew Morriss (bottom right) has been chosen as the dean of the Texas A&M University School of Law, replacing Interim Dean Aric Short, who has been at the helm of the law school since last summer when it was purchased from Texas Wesleyan University. Jordana Harper-Ewert (bottom center), chief schools officer in the Springfield Public Schools, has been chosen as the new school superintendent of the Greenfield Schools in Massachusetts. Deanna Santana (bottom left), former deputy city manager in San Jose and former Oakland city administrator, has been named city manager in Sunnyvale, California, succeeding Gary Luebbers, who retired. Former Hudson City Manager Anthony Bales, a part-time economic development specialist for the city of Kent, Ohio, has been hired as the new city manager for the city of Brunswick, Ohio, replacing former city manager Jim Lukas, who resigned to accept another job. The U.S. Department of Justice has appointed Joseph Klimavicz, former CIO for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as its chief information officer, to replace former CIO Luke McCormack. The city of Bel Aire, Kansas, has a new police chief with the appointment of Darrell Atteberry, who began his law enforcement career with the Wichita Police Department more than three decades ago.
|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 congrès de Montréal 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.
|Permission to reproduce, reprint|
This newsletter may be reproduced, and all articles within may be reproduced and/or reprinted without permission when credit is given to the Government Contracting Pipeline
, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., and the company Web site www.spartnerships.com
|Don't miss out on another issue! |
| |Many of our subscribers forward this newsletter to co-workers and associates. If you are not a subscriber, but would like to continue receiving this free newsletter each week, please click HERE to subscribe.
|Procurement consulting, national research and advocacy services|
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a leader in state and local government procurement, national research and government relations, offers client-customized services to help companies find and capture government contracts. Click here for details.
For more information contact:
Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Mary Scott Nabers, President
For information about SPI's products and services: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2014 Strategic Partnerships, Inc. All rights reserved.