|Volume 6, Issue 10||June 11, 2014|
Municipal bond market becoming more attractive
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
The municipal bond market has definitely lost some luster over the last few years, but it appears to be emerging stronger because of fiduciary discipline at the local levels of government. Federal funding that once flowed to state and local governmental entities has been reduced significantly and that is not likely to change. The impact to cities, counties, school districts, public hospitals and law enforcement has been extremely disruptive. Most local governments were able to survive the cuts, but not all.
A number of municipalities filed for bankruptcy and the municipal bond market lost much of its appeal. Some analysts predicted a total collapse and many financial advisors urged investors to consider other markets.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
|Veto pen in Colorado kills P3 transparency legislation|
Mandates in bill called too restrictive, would chill possible future partnerships
Colorado's efforts to pass legislation to improve transparency, accountability and openness in public-private partnerships (P3s) has fallen victim to the veto pen. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (right) vetoed the bill, saying the mandates in the bill were too restrictive. While he said state government should "always strive to be transparent and accountable," Hickenlooper said the bill, SB 197, "is not just a transparency bill - it also inappropriately constrains the business terms of future P3 agreements."
That essentially would likely have a negative effect on future transactions and cause would-be investors to lose interest on projects in the state because the process would increase risks.
The veto should not be misinterpreted as a sign of Hickenlooper's opposition to the concept of public-private partnerships. Noting that the state's transportation needs are underfunded, the state is being forced to "do more with less." He called P3s "a necessary tool the state can leverage to deliver important transportation projects."
The legislation Hickenlooper vetoed resulted from criticism of a 50-year pact the state's Department of Transportation signed with Plenary Roads Denver to manage and collect tolls on U.S. 36. Some argued that the contract was not made public and lacked transparency.
The bill called for legislative approval of numerous provisions of future P3 deals, cutting the length of contracts to a maximum of 35 years and with non-compete clauses.
Bill sponsor Sen. Matt Jones (left) said that while he respected Hickenlooper's opinion, "Those of us elected now will not be around when our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to live with these agreements," said Jones. "Taxpayers have a right to know."
Hickenlooper also hopes that legislators will begin discussions on creating a "Center for Excellence" to determine best practices around future P3 projects.
|Postmaster General supports mail/transportation proposal|
Donahoe says country only needs five-day mail delivery, seeks change
An unlikely supporter of a House Republicans plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery and use the savings to help pay for much-needed transportation projects has emerged.
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (pictured) said the U.S. Postal Service does not need to have six-day mail delivery. In fact, he has long been a supporter of eliminating Saturday delivery of letters if that would help the agency deal with a multi-billion-dollar deficit.
Lawmakers have proposed ending six-day delivery and using the savings to replenish the federal highway fund, which is in danger of running out of money later this summer. But, many lawmakers represent rural areas that are adamantly opposed to curtailing six-day mail delivery. Doing so, on the other hand, could save the Postal Service about $2 billion per year. However, lawmakers might be more amenable to cutting mail delivery if they thought the savings would help bail out transportation needs.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
North Carolina school hoping to pass three education bond referendums
A $74 million education bond will be put before voters in the Mooresville, North Carolina, Graded School District. The Iredell County Board of Commissioners approved putting the issue on a Nov. 4 ballot. That won't be the only issue on the ballot, however. The Iredell-Statesville Schools will be seeking a $77.5 million bond issue if the county board approves taking it to voters. And, finally, voters will be asked to approve $12 million in bonds for Mitchell Community College for construction of an Allied Health Building. Last year, the two school districts sought similar bond referendums but officials held off until the midterm elections in November. The bond funding would be used to pay for new school buildings and major renovations to current buildings. Superintendent Mark Edwards (pictured) has been working with officials of the Iredell-Statesville Schools (I-SS) on the bond issue. He said the I-SS bond includes four priority projects and the Mooresville school only has two. The Mooresville projects include a $42 million renovation and construction project over two years at the high school. It would include a new gym and auditorium. The other project would include building a second middle school for about $32 million. Edwards said the project "allows for growth which we see coming and certify needs are safe and sound services for the county for many years to come."
Referendum in Broward County to address renovations, technology upgrades
The Broward (Florida) School Board will allow voters in the county to decide an $800 million bond issue. If passed, the bond proceeds would be used mostly for renovations and technology upgrades. The election was set for Nov. 4. The county has recently had some problems that led to arrests, but officials are hoping the voters will trust them to be good stewards of the bond funds. "I hope people will trust us because we have no other intention other than to give our children the best possible future," said Board member Abby Freedman.
Public schools in Hawaii to benefit from $87 million allocated for projects
More than $87 million in funds for capital improvement projects at Hawaii public schools was recently released by Gov. Neil Abercrombie (pictured). The funds will be used for projects that will improve schools statewide. The governor called the allocation "a wise investment" of state funds. "In addition to investing in our educational infrastructure and the welfare of our keiki, these projects will create jobs in our growing construction industry," he said.
Among the many projects to be funded are:
- $11 million for a classroom building at Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School on Maui;
- $200,000 for the design and installation of air conditioning at various buildings at Lincoln Elementary School on Oʻahu;
- $1.1 million for design, construction and equipment for a new band room and renovation of an existing room for use by the Hawaiian Studies program at Washington Middle School;
- $15.07 million for planning, design, construction and equipment for program support, including new or temporary facilities, improvements to existing facilities, ground and site improvements, equipment and appurtenances to schools and for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and gender equity;
- $10.95 million for construction and equipment to support projects at schools nearing their enrollment capacity or are short of classroom space, including funding for general classroom portables at four schools;
- $5 million for an eight-classroom building at Waimea Middle School on Hawaiʻi Island, including science classrooms and labs, computer labs, a faculty center, teacher planning spaces, a conference room and offices; and
- $900,000 for design to expand the cafeteria at Castle High School on Oʻahu.
Michigan schools preparing for three-year technology upgrades
A three-year technology upgrade is in the future for Hartland Consolidated Schools in Michigan. Among the plans are new laptop computers designed to facilitate the new state online tests. In grades K-12, other new computers will also be phased into the district's schools. That is part of a five-year plan that began in 2010. The schools' technology curriculum will also be updated. The three-year plan was recently approved by the Board of Education. With the plan over a period of years, officials hope to keep up with changes in technology, which occur quickly. Now that the proposal has passed the Board, it will go to the Livingston Educational Service Agency for review before heading for final approval by the state. The state requires Michigan schools to update their technology every three years.
Student housing may soon be made available at Houston Community College
Houston Community College (HCC) could join the growing ranks of community colleges nationwide that are installing student housing on or near their campuses. HCC is looking into the possibility of building its initial student housing project near its central campus in Midtown. Even though the area is becoming more expensive to live in, the college's housing would offer students the ability to live near campus. "If you know anything about Midtown, you know our students can't afford to live in this community," said William Harmon (pictured), president of the campus. While rents average $1,650 in Midtown, these apartments in the development near HCC would range from $525 to $900 per month for students. The college last year bought a 4.5-acre tract of land for $12.7 million that could be used for the housing development. The number of community colleges exploring adding housing to their campuses see it as a means of attracting, and keeping, students.
New York schools looking forward to $4.4 billion in funding for projects
Over the next five years, schools in New York City will benefit from $4.4 billion in funding from the city that will be used for construction projects. Officials expect to add 39,500 new public school seats at a cost of $490 million. Another $480 million will be used to rid the schools of temporary classrooms in portable buildings. Toxic PCB removal from the schools will cost $480 million. Officials also plan to add science labs in every middle school in the city, which could carry a price tag of $5 million.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Port of Los Angeles budget includes funding for infrastructure upgrades
The recently approved $938.8 million budget for the Port of Los Angeles includes almost $350 million that will be used to improve infrastructure at the port. During the budget meeting, a City Council member Joe Buscaino (pictured) was successful in getting the Harbor Commission to add $1.3 million for realignment of Sampson Way. The councilman said doing so would improve the flow of traffic along Harbor Boulevard at Sampson Way, which is the major point of access to the waterfront. The goal of the use of the funds is to modernize existing infrastructure, renovate terminals and make the port into a transportation network that will be able to compete globally. The budget also includes $100.4 million for expansion work at the TraPac Terminal and another $19.2 million for upgrades to five terminals. Some $35.5 million will be used for track connections and $27.9 million for grade separation. Plans also call for $40 million to enhance the traffic flow between Interstate 110 Harbor Freeway and the port.
North Dakota airports to share $18 million in grants for improvements, expansion
Statewide airport improvements are on tap in North Dakota after the North Dakota Land Board approved $18 million in grants for airport and infrastructure improvement projects in the Bakken region. The grants are to help communities that are in need of infrastructure improvements due to an uptick in oil and gas development. The funds will be used for airport improvements throughout the state and for expansion projects in 10 communities. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (pictured) said these grants are in addition to federal funding that was made available to state airports from the U.S. Department of Transportation. "Our state is now the fastest growing state in the nation, and while that growth brings tremendous opportunities, it also brings challenges," Hoeven said. Additionally, about $9.2 million is being made available for 13 counties in western North Dakota for infrastructure improvements. McKenzie County will get $3 million for water and wastewater improvement projects and its city health and safety improvement initiative. Wildrose in Williams County will receive $650,932 for its wastewater facilities improvement project.
State to fund $9 million toward Florida county's new courthouse
The proposed new Washington County (Florida) Courthouse will get a boost from the state. The recently approved $77 billion 2015 Florida state budget includes more than $9 million that will be used toward construction of the courthouse. The funding represents the largest single item funding earmarked for county courthouse special funding by the state. County Commissioner Joel Pate (pictured) and other county officials recently met with Gov. Rick Scott about the project. Scott later contacted the officials to say he had approved the $9.2 million in appropriations. "That's a big thing for this county," said Pate. County officials expect soon to issue a request for qualifications for architects for the project. The bid opening is expected to be in July and an architect chosen. Pate said the courthouse will be more modern but not the 30,000 square feet as the old facility. "Our intent is to be good stewards of the taxpayers' money and build a courthouse that will help Washington County conduct business efficiently while working with architects to preserve as much of the historical aspects as possible."
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- James Construction Group, LLC was awarded a $23.6 million contract by the Texas Transportation Commission to relocate the Brazos River Bridge on State Highway 105 to a more stable location and realign and replace the bridges at the Navasota River and Coles Creek.
- Design-Build Institute of America won a contract worth up to $1 million from the General Services Administration for professional, administrative and management support services.
- Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, a subsidiary of United Technologies, won a $113.4 million contract modification from the U.S. Department of Defense funding operations and maintenance support, non-recurring and recurring engineering sustainment and supply chain work in support of Low-Rate Initial Production Lot VII F 135 propulsion systems.
- Energy Markets Group was awarded a contract worth up to $2 million from the General Services Administration for maintenance, repair and rebuilding of equipment.
- Graves Plumbing Co. won a contract for $464,464 from the city of Linton, Indiana, for the first phase of a water treatment plant project as part of a wastewater system improvement project.
- Weeks Marine Inc. was awarded a $63 million contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen a 17-mile stretch of the Delaware Bay shipping channel off Sussex County.
- Human Circuit won a contract worth up to $26.3 million from the General Services Administration for communication, detection and coherent radiation equipment.
- NCI, Inc. was awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity single-source contract with a ceiling of $30 million for the Army National Guard Training Systems Integration Branch. NCI will provide a broad range of training services aligned with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Army Learning Concept 2015, including distributed learning content development, online portal management and facilities management.
- Blythe Construction Inc. won a $5.6 million contract from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for Union County for repaving 4 miles of N.C. 207, from J.D. Helms Road to Stack Road; and 1.3 miles of U.S. 601, from Jack in the Box to the end of U.S. 601's curb-and-gutter section.
- ImmixTechnology won a contract worth up to $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Justice for general purpose information technology equipment.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Digital signs are product of public-private partnership in Las Vegas
A public-private partnership between the city of Las Vegas and an advertising company has resulted in digital signs being placed on city property. The city stands to gain revenue with its only output being providing the land for the signs in return for a portion of the profits.
The network of digital signs advertises events and features third-party advertising alongside the signs that bring in funding. There are four signs on local highways and five smaller signs on streets. A 64-second loop carries eight-second advertising spots that run 24/7.
"The city of Las Vegas has had to be creative in finding ways to fund essential city services during the recent economic challenges," said Mayor Carolyn Goodman (pictured). She said the advertising network of signs is a "perfect fit." The best part, she said, is that they require no upfront payment from the city. This is the state's first public-private advertising partnership. The advertisements are expected to generate millions of dollars over the 20-year agreement.
Florida county hasn't given up on possibility of partnership with developer
A Miami developer and St. Johns County, Florida, are working toward a public-private partnership on St. Augustine Beach. Key International has put up $9.75 million for the nearly 6-acre Beachfront Resort property. The developer met with county officials regarding a shared plan for the entire acreage before Key International closed the multi-million-dollar deal.
"We thought there might be an opportunity for a public-private partnership," said St. Johns County Administrator Mike Wanchick (pictured). With the county adding to the acreage, there would be potential to provide better parking and access to the beach and benefit the developers at the same time. Wanchick said the door has been left open for negotiations although the first meeting did not result in a concrete plan.
The investor has indicated the possibility of a 145-room renovation sometime this summer with a joint venture with a restaurant sought to open at the hotel.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Bert L'Homme.
Dr. Bert L'Homme (pictured) has been chosen as the new superintendent of the Durham (North Carolina) Public Schools, effective July 14. L'Homme, a veteran educator who is also a former Durham Public Schools (DPS) administrator, will succeed Eric Becoats, who resigned last year. A 35-year education veteran, the new superintendent has been a special education teacher, a principal, assistant superintendent of Instructional Services for DPS, superintendent of Franklin County Schools, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, as well as interim chief operating officer, director of education policy and coordinator of the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign for Marion Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund. He now takes over a school district with more than 33,000 students. L'Homme earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education psychology and history from the University of Maryland. He holds a master's degree in education and K-12 special education/emotional disturbance from American University and a Ph.D. in special education/public school administration from the University of Maryland.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A California school district's voters recently approved a $256 million bond measure. The bond proceeds will be used to add classrooms, improve facilities, provide technology upgrades and possibly build two small schools. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or email@example.com.
Matt Kinservik (top left), associate dean for the humanities of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English at the University of Delaware, will serve as vice provost for faculty affairs for the university he has served since 1997. Gary Miller (top center), chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since 2011, will leave July 31 to become the next leader of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and will become chancellor on Aug. 1. The Spring (Texas) Independent School District has chosen veteran administrator Rodney Watson (top right), chief human resources officer for Houston ISD, as lone finalist for the superintendent's job, replacing Dr. Ralph H. Draper, who retired on Jan. 31 after nine years as the district's leader. Raymond Santiago, the director of Miami-Dade County's public libraries for the last 16 years, has announced he is resigning, effective Aug. 1, after having worked in county government for 24 years. Owen Roberts of Lauderdale Lakes, who has 40 years' experience in education after beginning his teaching career in his native Jamaica in the 1970s, has been selected as the new superintendent of the Alachua County (Florida) Public Schools. Jerome Gaines, a 30-year veteran of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Fire Department, has been chosen the new fire chief for the city of Tallahassee, to replace Chief Cindy Dick, who announced her retirement in March of last year after serving 26 years. The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents has named David Lassner (bottom right), who has served as the system's interim president since last summer and is the former vice president for information technology and chief information officer, to become the university's next president. Kenneth B. Ellerbe (bottom center), fire chief for the Washington, D.C., Fire Department for the last three years, has announced he will step down on July 2, with Assistant Chief Eugene Jones named interim chief. Letitia Long (bottom left), who has led the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for four years, has announced she is retiring and will be replaced by Robert Cardillo, deputy director of national intelligence for intelligence integration. Dale Whittaker, who has been a faculty member at Purdue University since 2002, was recently chosen from a pool of 60 applicants to become the new provost at the University of Central Florida. Three administrators in Highland Park, Chicago, have resigned and accepted new employment including Nikki Larson, Highland Park's finance director, Scott Moe, the city's former building division manager and Steve Earnhardt, former deputy finance director. Joseph O'Connor, a 24-year veteran of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Transit Police who rose through the ranks of that entity from officer to superintendent in chief starting in 1990, has been named police chief for the city of Concord.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Calendar of events|
Forum on build Michigan's municipal infrastructure slated June 12
The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships' P3 Insights Forum: "Building Michigan's Municipal Infrastructure through P3s" will be held in Southfield, Michigan, on June 12, in Room A200 of the Architecture Building auditorium of Lawrence Technological University. The forum will offer an advanced and in-depth look at how P3s can be more widely used in Michigan, with an emphasis on buildings and other municipal infrastructure, also known as social infrastructure. The program and additional information
All aspects of public-private partnerships to be explored in July event
"P3 Connect: Defining the Future of P3s" in the United States, an annual event of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, is planned for July 28-30 in Denver, Colorado. This year's theme will explore all aspects of P3s through three days of engaging keynotes, executive workshops, innovation forums, institute meetings, case study reviews and high-level expert panels. The event will feature P3 leaders and innovators from throughout the country and focuses on an executive-level discussion and networking opportunity. More information regarding the program and registration is now available.
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 congres de Montreal in Montreal 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com
© 2014 Strategic Partnerships, Inc. All rights reserved.