|Volume 6, Issue 12||June 25, 2014|
Don't cut funding for emergency management
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
When public officials make budget cuts, planning dollars are often an immediate target. Understandably, it is easier to pass over programs that are not critical at the moment, but the decision to forgo planning - especially if it involves emergency management - is usually not a wise decision.
Flooded subway tunnels, piles of rubble in places where schools once stood, burning buildings - those are pictures government executives hope never to see in their local newspapers. However, pictures like that have become all too common. Cities, counties and states know the importance of planning for emergencies...it's just the funding they lack.
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|Two in Congress propose increasing federal gas tax|
Highway Trust Fund predicted to run out of money by August of this year
With the Highway Trust Fund expected to run out of money as early as August, lawmakers are still scratching their heads as to how to replenish those funds. They delays have state and local officials postponing many much-needed transportation projects until they can be assured of funding.
Two members of Congress have proposed what has been almost unthinkable - increasing the federal gasoline tax. Sens. Bob Corker (right) and Chris Murphy (left) are looking for support of their bill that would increase the federal gasoline and diesel tax by 12 cents over the next two years and then tie future rates to inflation.
The $160 billion the two say the tax increase would generate would ensure funding for future projects and for those threatened to stall if the Highway Trust Fund is not replenished before August. "If Americans feel that having modern roads and bridges is important, then Congress should have the courage to pay for it," said Corker.
The proposal faces an uphill battle as the White House has announced its opposition to the bill. President Barack Obama has pushed for Congress to OK a four-year, $302-billion transportation bill that would increase the annual funding for infrastructure to about $75 billion.
The gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and state and local governments' transportation maintenance needs and needs for new construction are growing. The proposed increase may not be very palatable to motorists nationwide who already are facing rising prices for gas at the pump. But the two lawmakers also seek to offset that increase to consumers by cutting other taxes.
Murphy called the increase "modest" and one that would "pay dividends in the long run."
States, too, have looked at ways to increase funding for transportation projects that will help maintain existing roads and bridges and help build new infrastructure aimed at meeting growth needs and addressing traffic congestion nationwide.
Rhode Island and New Hampshire both approved modest state fuel tax increases. Texas will ask voters in November to approve a constitutional amendment that will dedicate some of the state's rainy day fund to helping pay for transportation needs. In Missouri, voters will go to the polls in August to decide a proposed sales tax increase that would net $480 million per year for the state and $54 million for local governments to fund transportation needs. Other states tried to pass legislation that would increase transportation funding, but failed.
|Jackson Health System touts $1.4 billion building plan|
Florida proposal includes more than 200 construction, infrastructure projects
"Ambitious" is probably the best way to describe a $1.4 billion, 10-year building pan for the Jackson Health System in Florida. Jackson is Miami-Dade County's public health provider, governed by the Public Health Trust that acts on behalf of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.
"Jackson is home to some of the world's best doctors, but for years the facilities have been neglected because of lack of money," said Carlos A. Migoya (pictured), president and CEO of Jackson Health System. "But we are on our way toward making Jackson a 21st century health care destination with facilities that will finally be on par with the exceptional medical care we are known for."
Miami-Dade County's public hospital network plans to spend $830 million in bonds voters approved last year. Another $550 million will be generated by the hospital network and from other sources. The more than 200 proposed projects include both new construction and infrastructure improvements. New urgent care centers will be built and satellite hospitals will see $150 million in improvements.
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami will be the site of most of the work, where officials plan to spend $1.2 billion for new hospitals, consolidation of emergency services and restructuring of the campus layout. The Miami Transplant Institute, in conjunction with the University of Miami, will have a new building with more than 100 beds, an intensive care unit, outpatient clinics and research and faculty offices that could account for $115.7 million of the funding.
Jackson Memorial would also get a new 180,000-square-foot Intensive Care Unit tower that features 120 beds, a pediatric outpatient center and a rehab hospital. Other improvements are planned for North Medical Center in North Miami Beach, where rooms will be redone and operating rooms expanded. Jackson South Community Hospital will see patient rooms added and other expansions and upgrades.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Philly to borrow funds to help financially struggling school district
The city of Philadelphia will borrow $30 million to help bridge the financial gap facing the public school district. Superintendent William Hite Jr. said the funds will at least temporarily prevent any layoffs in the district. The city will continue to seek additional funding from state lawmakers and some feel the additional funds that were borrowed will help provide some leverage for securing more state funds. The city expects to repay the loan with its additional 1 percent sales tax. The schools are expected to get $120 million in revenue from that source next year.
Fort Bend ISD eyes $333.4 million bond election in November
A recent review of the nine-year master plan for Fort Bend Independent School District in Texas has prompted board members to prioritize projects to place on the ballot for a $333.4 million bond election in November. Trustees tentatively have agreed to ask voters to approve $279.8 million for construction projects, $65.7 million to upgrade technology infrastructure, $34 million to improve security and safety and $15.6 million for transportation projects. Four new elementary schools and additions to three elementary schools top the list of construction projects, while district officials plan to ask voters to approve funding to deploy a wireless network and build security vestibules in schools that do not have them. Trustees also plan to upgrade communications devices, buy more emergency generators and additional security fencing. Cameras for buses and global positioning systems also are included in the district's wish list for bond approval.
BESE in Louisiana agrees to funding for system to protect student data
A new process will be put in place to protect students' personal information in the state of Louisiana. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has agreed to appropriate up to $1 million to fund development of a system to protect students' data. Legislation filed by Rep. John Schroder of Covington was approved by the legislature and had the support of the governor. Superintendent of Education John White (pictured) said he expects the new process for protecting personal information of students to be in place by May. Previous policies to create unique identifiers were dropped by BESE, at the coaxing of White, and the provisions of Covington's bill that call for new identifiers and penalties for disclosing information adopted. White said the new bill "requires that the state purge its database of everything that identifies a child. It requires a comprehensive overhaul of the student data system." The issue got the attention of legislators during the last legislative session when it was revealed that some student data had been sent to a non-secured storage facility.
California school district likely to put technology upgrades in voter hands
Improving school technology in Duval County, California, is likely to come down to a vote of taxpayers. Duval County's School Board and Superintendent Nikolai Vitti are studying the possibility of a $100 million to $150 million bond election that will address technology needs over the next two years. The goal of the program is to put a laptop or computer in the hands of every student, or at the least, one for every two students to share. The initiative would also include high-speed Internet access. The district already is starting on spending borrowed millions for infrastructure for the technology upgrades, such as bringing high-density, broadband wireless access to several dozen of the schools in the district. Most of the current upgrades have been paid for through a federal no-interest bond program. The bonds do not require voter approval and can be used in schools whose student populations include 35 percent or more poor students. Duval has been able to secure $29 million through its successful bond applications and will seek an additional $50 million more. However, the bonds require a 10 percent local match. Duval officials are hoping that donors who gave about $3.8 million toward the first bond application will also participate in securing the second bond.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Atlanta area to benefit from $33 million transportation project approval
A number of projects in the Atlanta metro area will benefit from a recently approved $44 million transportation project. The project was approved by the State Road and Tollway Authority and Gov. Nathan Deal. Included in the Atlanta area is a $2.4 million project for a Diverging Diamond Interchange at Windy Hill Road and I-75 in the Cumberland CID. An additional $2.8 million will be allocated for exit ramp improvements at Ga. 400 and Windward Parkway and $1.2 million for a South Barrett Reliever to address congestion on Barrett Parkway. Pedestrian and roadway improvements in the city of Atlanta will benefit from $3.1 million in funding. Additionally, $784,000 has been set aside for intersection enhancements at Tilly Mill Road and North Peachtree Road and $750,000 was allocated to realign Windsor Parkway north of its intersection with Roswell Road.
North Dakota city will use sales tax increase for infrastructure projects A recently approved 1 percent increase in the local sales tax in West Fargo, North Dakota, is expected to add $3 million per year to city coffers, or $120 million over two decades. And officials say those funds will be used to fund infrastructure projects. Immediate projects that will be funded, according to City Administrator Jim Brownlee (pictured) are a new sewage lagoon, an additional water tower and digging of more water wells. Future projects could include such issues as rehabilitation of some main roads and a possible new city water treatment plant. The city currently gets its water from wells, but is looking for a new water source. City officials have not yet decided if one of those new sources might be a treatment plant. Brownlee said the increased funding will still leave a gap in what's needed, but said it will "help alleviate the pressure on special assessments or utility rates by having this extra revenue source available to pay for those core infrastructure projects."
Streetlight repairs on tap in New Orleans after $1.7M allocated by city
Repair of approximately 800 street lights that do not work is first on the list of repairs for the city of New Orleans, after $1.7 million in capital funds was recently dedicated to repairs. The Department of Public Works will begin the repair of those 800 lights on Interstate 10 toward New Orleans East. If any funding remains after that mega-project is concluded, officials will decide whether to repair nearly three-dozen broken lamp posts on St. Charles Avenue or to repair 300 broken lights in other areas of the city. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan said the cost for repair of the lights along I-10 will be approximately $1,500 each. This is one part of a three-part plan to repair or replace all broken lights in the city. In April, the city voted to use $14.7 million in payments from Entergy New Orleans to change out the old lighting to energy-efficient LED lights on the east bank of Orleans Parish. Not only do the LED lights last longer, but they also use less energy.
Illinois city puts together six-year plan to spend $50M on construction projects
A six-year capital improvement plan proposed for the city of Lockport, Illinois, proposes spending $50 million for construction projects using existing revenue and grant funds. "We felt that it would be irresponsible to try to go after new revenues when we're sitting on good reserves that we can spend now," said City Administrator Ben Benson (pictured). Existing revenue is available from the water and sewer fund, motor fuel tax fund and capital fund. Benson said having a plan in place allows the city to begin engineering of the projects. That way, when the funding becomes available, the projects can get under way. None of the projects or spending levels is set in stone, said city officials. Under the plan, the city expects to spend $8.8 million on 14 projects this year, $13.4 million on 20 projects in 2015 and $10.9 million for 14 projects in 2016. In 2017, 13 projects would be funded at a cost of $5.5 million, with nine projects funded at a cost of $3.7 million in both 2018 and 2019 and five projects valued at $3.4 million approved for 2020.
Capital projects lead to $24 million increase in city of Provo's budget
The city of Provo, Utah, Municipal Council recently approved a Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget. The new budget reflects an increase of nearly $24 million over the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget. Much of that increase will be due to capital improvement projects. Among those projects will be upgrades to the systems that provide water and wastewater to the city.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Fetters Construction has been awarded a $7.9 million contract to build a new elementary school in Pierceton, Indiana.
- Sterling Structures Inc. won a $4,438,557 contract from the city of Humble, Texas, for renovation to convert the 1929 Bender High School into a community performing arts center.
- CACI International Inc. has been awarded a $26.6 million contract to provide engineering and technical related services in support of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, a contract which is for one base year and two one-year options.
- T&S Construction Co., Inc. was awarded a $4.3 million contract by the city of Woodland, California, for the construction of the Water Transmission Main East, which will transport treated Sacramento River water to some Woodland homes by 2016. The contract is for both the transmission line and Woodland Community & Senior Center frontage.
- Lockheed Martin has landed a $35.7 million contract with the Pentagon to produce mobile, ground-based radar units designed to operate with such weapons defense systems as HAWK and Patriot missiles and that can detect and track missiles and planes from up to 400 miles away.
- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. has been awarded a 10-year, $210 million contract by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the South Coast Rail project, officially moving the plan into its construction phase.
- North Star Group, LLC was awarded a contract not to exceed $60.2 million for a five-year period of performance from the U.S. Department of Transportation's John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center for the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance and Air Traffic Management Systems. The contract vehicle is a task order contract where tasks will be issued to support government requirements outlined in the statement of work.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services won a $138 million U.S. Navy contract to extend a continuity of services contract for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network through the end of September.
- E-Con Group won a $12.6 million contract from the Mission (Texas) CISD Board of Trustees for construction of the Mission Collegiate High School.
- BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair was awarded a $15,060,606 modification to a previously awarded contract for USS Ramage (DDG-61) fiscal 2014 Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). An SRA includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
El Paso ISD could partner with nonprofit on biomedical building
Talks are beginning between the El Paso Independent School District and Medical Center of Americas (MCA) for a possible partnership that would involve the sale or lease of land at Jefferson High School for a site to construct a new MCA biomedical engineering facility. MCA hopes to be able to secure land next to the school for its $30 million facility.
The facility (as seen in the accompanying artist's rendering) would be a four-story building and home for up to 90 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center employees. It would also provide collaborative opportunities for EPISD students. The nonprofit MCA is leading efforts in medical development around University Medical Center and the Texas Tech Paul Foster School of Medicine in South Central El Paso. The goal is to improve access to quality health care throughout the region.
So far, the EPISD Board of Managers has made no commitment, but has authorized the school superintendent to begin talks with MCA officials. MCA is looking at the site in and around Jefferson High because it would offer better access for Texas Tech to its main campus. The state-of-the-art building, to be named the Caldwell Collaborative, would be home to research related to diseases and human health as well as provide commercialization efforts for research projects.
Retirement community gets county approval to help build roadway
The Villages retirement community in Florida is helping Lake County widen a county road to four lanes. The roadway, County Road 466A, will be widened from US Highway 27 west to the Sumter County line, thanks to help from The Villages. The Villages has offered to construct about 1.4 miles of the western segment of the county road at a cost of $7.1 million. The Villages will get transportation impact fee credits toward the project.
The road will run past a nearly 1,000-acre tract where The Villages of Lake-Sumter Inc. plans to build a more than 2,000-home development. The project, which will be completed in three phases, has two phases already funded The entire project is expected to cost $25 million. Officials are looking at asking taxpayers to renew a one-cent sales tax, with the revenues to go to capital projects like the CR 466A widening. They are hopeful the completed road work will spur economic development in the area.
Redevelopment of marina in Ocean City will be a public-private partnership
A marina in Ocean City, New Jersey, will be restored thanks to a public-private partnership. Previously abandoned, the property will now benefit from an ordinance by City Council to issue $2.6 million in bonds to finance the project. The bond ordinance will have a second reading and public hearing later this week.
Called Dan's Dock, the project is now intended to bring a fueling station and dock back to the city. Council President Tony Wilson (pictured) said that once rehabilitated, the facility will include 18 boat slips, 44 parking spaces and a multi-use building. The three-story building will have a restaurant on the first floor, retail on the second and residential space on the third floor.
The family, business and neighbors of the property who are rehabbing the facility will have seven years to repay the city. The $2.6 million to finance the project includes $1.4 million to acquire the property from the bank and $1.4 million to remediate the underground tanks and redevelop the site.
P3 being used to convert Nebraska high school into industrial teaching area
The Fremont (Nebraska) High School will be transformed through a public-private partnership into a state-of-the-art facility to house the school district's welding program. The project is a joint effort of the Fremont Public Schools, Metropolitan Community College and Valmont Industries, and its goal is to ensure young people have skills to provide them a career opportunity and at the same time create a skilled workforce for local businesses.
The area is in desperate need of skilled welders and locals looked to this partnership to create a training center to train young people for this trade. The problems faced were funding, a place to house a training center and curriculum. The school system and the community college worked together to secure a $296,000 grant for the project. The grant has allowed the district to move forward with the renovations and purchasing of equipment. Valmont is providing guidance in skills, practices and equipment, and has made its purchasing agent available to those organizing the program.
Officials hope to have more than a dozen students enrolled annually in the program. Those students enrolled would earn both high school and college credit and earn an industry certificate. Although the public-private partnership created for the welding program is a first of its kind in Fremont, officials are hopeful to use similar partnerships for other such programs in the future.
|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 Dr. Jim Purcell.
Dr. Jim Purcell (pictured) was recently chosen by the Rhode Island Board of Education to serve in the newly created position of commissioner of post-secondary education. The Rhode Island system includes the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island. He has spent more than 25 years in education and economic development in five states, with experience in two-year, four-year, public and private colleges and universities in five states. In February 2011, Purcell was named Louisiana's 7th Commissioner of Higher Education. Prior to his two years in Louisiana, Purcell headed the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and served as Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning for the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education. Purcell was Louisiana's higher education commissioner for three years. He decided not to seek a new contract when his current contract expired this year.Purcell holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from Auburn University, a master's in counseling from the University of Montevallo and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A Texas school district that failed to pass a bond issue in May of last year, is preparing to take a $163.2 million bond issue back to voters as early as November. The bond issue would include new construction of three schools and maintenance projects at others. Classrooms would be added at some schools and science labs will be upgraded. A number of safety and security projects also are in the bond recommendation. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or email@example.com.
Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall today named William L. Kibler, Ph.D. (top left), currently vice president for student affairs at Mississippi State University, sole finalist in the Sul Ross State University presidential search. After three-and-a-half years on the job, the Department of Homeland Security's procurement chief, Nick Nayak (top center) will move on in July, taking some time off before exploring opportunities with the private sector. The University of Maine will have its first female president after Susan Hunter (top right), who has spent most of her career at the University of Maine and most recently as vice chancellor for academic affairs for all seven UMaine system campuses, will serve a two-year appointment leading the Orono campus, beginning July 7. School board members named Zachary's high school Principal Wesley Watts to be the new superintendent of West Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Parish Schools, replacing Superintendent David Corona, who announced his retirement last October. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Presidio Port Director John Deputy was sworn into office June 19 during a formal change of command ceremony, after heading the Office of Field Operations Headquarters as a Field Liaison desk officer. After 14 months as San Francisco's CIO, Marc Touitou is resigning to take a position as CIO for the World Health Organization in Geneva. George Mason University has hired the likely successor to regional economist Stephen Fuller in Terry Clower (bottom right), head of a University of North Texas economic development research center, who will be deputy director of Mason's Center for Regional Analysis. Denver Public Schools has hired a high-profile politician to be the district's next chief financial officer in outgoing House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (bottom center), who will join the school district July 21. Eastern Washington University has hired Mary Cullinan (bottom left), an experienced administrator from Southern Oregon University who has served as president there since 2006, to be its new president. Seattle Public Schools superintendent Jose Banda has been named the only finalist for the top job at the Sacramento City Unified School District in California, after serving as the Seattle superintendent since 2012. Doug Adkins, currently the community revitalization director for Middletown, Ohio, who has been with the city since 2005 and previously served as prosecutor for the city, has been named the city's new city manager. The city of Boulder, Colorado, after naming Marck Beckner to serve as interim chief of the city's police department three months ago, has named him police chief, replacing former Chief Mark Beckner, who retired in April.
|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|
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.
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.
TEXAS DESAL 2014 event slated for Sept. 11-12 in Austin
The Texas Desalination Association's conference, TEXAS DESAL 2014 - Best Practices & Emerging Technology, brings together a diverse array of topics, presenters and attendees to build understanding and opportunities for desalination in Texas. Attendees are assured lively and informative discussions among industry experts, policymakers, regulators, researchers and water planners on the leading edge of new water supplies. Confirmed special guests include Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Director Bech Bruun and State Reps. Todd Hunter and Lyle Larson, who will address desalination from policy, funding and legislative perspectives. For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, contact email@example.com. Full conference details at TexasDesal.org. Earlybird registration ends July 15.For more information and to register, click here.
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