|Volume 6, Issue 15||July 16, 2014|
What's happening in public school classrooms in Massachusetts, Vermont?
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Many educators lament the fact that America's public school students are falling behind students in other countries - especially in science and math. That appears to be true throughout the country, but here's an interesting data point. If Massachusetts were a country, its eighth graders would rank second in the world in science, behind only Singapore, according to the New York Times.
Massachusetts's eighth graders are not the only students doing well. The state ranks higher than all others when it comes to educational attainment.
So why is this? What is happening in Massachusetts?
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identification for all 50 states.
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Outdoor, recreation projects to share $43M in funding
Baseball fields, access to rivers, community green space among plans
Outdoor recreation and conservation projects in all 50 states will be funded with $43.38 million in federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (pictured) recently made the announcement on a visit to Texas.
Jewell said the fund, during its 50-year history, has helped pay for more than 40,000 local projects by reinvesting a part of revenue from offshore oil and gas development in waters owned by Americans. "These local projects - parks, ball fields, open spaces - play an important role in improving the health and vitality of urban areas, and protecting natural areas for future generations of Americans to enjoy," said Jewell.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to provide access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations. Jewell said the funding helps improve local economies and support jobs in outdoor recreation and tourism. Officials say every $1 invested in land acquisition generates a $4 return on the investment for the community.
A state-by-state and county-by-county listing of the grants is available here.
House passes short-term fix for Highway Trust Fund
President to address private-sector investment in infrastructure this week
The rapidly sinking balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund got a boost from the U.S. House Tuesday when House members passed yet another stop-gap measure aimed at preventing the fund from going bust by August. The action follows notification of the states by U.S. Department of Transportation officials recently that their monthly reimbursement for the federal portion of major infrastructure projects would slow considerably beginning in August if new legislation pumping up the fund did not pass.
The $11 billion House bill is aimed at delaying any cuts to federal infrastructure funds going to the states. The bill must now also pass the U.S. Senate.
Many were hoping for a bill that would address the nation's infrastructure needs for several years. Short-term fixes have caused many state and local governments to postpone much-needed infrastructure projects in fear of more federal funding cuts. The impact on job losses and local economies has been dramatic. Passage of the bill in the House drew support from President Barack Obama, but how the Senate will handle the bill remains to be seen. Obama tomorrow is expected to travel to Delaware to discuss the need for private-sector investment in the nation's infrastructure needs.
|Pennsylvania seeks letters of interest on bridge sales|
Preservation of historic structures, repurposing goal of special state program
In Pennsylvania, they're giving new meaning to, "Wanna' buy a bridge?"
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) is seeking a buyer to purchase and preserve the historic Pike County Bridge. Pennsylvania is home to many historic bridges throughout the state. The hope is that individuals or groups interested in historic preservation will buy and then maintain the Pond Eddy Bridge in Pike County.
Sheri Phillips (pictured), DGS Secretary, said the department is currently accepting letters of interest until Aug. 29. Bids will be accepted through Sept. 5. Those submitting proposals must be willing to preserve the bridge in a new location.
The more than 500-foot-long bridge was built in 1904 over the Delaware River. Phillips said the bridge was once the only connection point between Pond Eddy, Pennsylvania, and Lumberland, New York. But, she said the life of the bridge is not over and there are "many other ways this bridge can continue to be part of our state's history." She suggested that the bridge might also serve as a bike and walking bridge on trails, in parks and on university campuses.
PennDOT also is currently marketing 10 county and locally owned bridges. State agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions and individuals can buy historic bridges that would otherwise be dismantled. The state has the third highest number of bridges in the country. Once a bridge is purchased, it is moved and transported to an agreed-upon location. The buyer must agree to preserve the historical characteristics of the bridge and pay the cost for maintenance and rehabilitation.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Six UNC System campuses to share $376 million for improvement projects
Six institutions of the University of North Carolina will see needed improvements after Gov. Pat McCrory (pictured) signed a bill authorizing about $376 million for those institutions. The money is from fees, grants and other sources and not from taxpayer money or student tuition. Capital projects in the bill will benefit East Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill North Carolina State, UNC-Asheville, Western Carolina and UNC-Charlotte. McCrory said the funding will ensure an improved learning and living environment for students while creating jobs in construction and architecture. The funding includes:
- $156 million for Easts Carolina for improvements to the Student Union building, the Health Sciences Campus Student Services Building and a new parking structure;
- NC State's Reynolds Coliseum will get $35 million in upgrades. Another $32 million will go toward upgrades at the Mananing Drive Chilled Water Plant at UNC-Chapel Hill;
- UNC-Charlotte will get $129 million for a new residence hall, renovations to four other such halls and a variety of infrastructure projects;
- Western Carolina's Brown Building will be renovated with $22.5 million; and
- UNC-Asheville will get $1 million for improvements to its Student Recreation Center and the Karl Straus Track Building.
New York school district sets $54.9 million facilities plan referendum
The Paltz school district in New York will ask residents to vote on a $55 million facilities plan in October. All four of the district's schools, including two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, would benefit from the funding. District Superintendent Maria Rice (pictured) said a construction management firm has been hired to monitor the cost of the projects. A previous presentation concerning the proposal showed that the money would cover renovations and infrastructure upgrades totaling $2.9 million at Duzine Elementary School and $1.86 million at Lenape Elementary School. The new construction portion of the facilities plan would include spending $37.62 million at New Paltz Middle School and $12.36 million at New Paltz High School.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
City in Ohio planning to build new $8M water treatment plant
Growth in Etna, Ohio, is expected to continue, and if it does, locals will not see their water rates increase when a new $8 million water treatment plant is built. The local water and sewer district is in the planning stage of building the plant. Plans are to start construction of the project in late 2015 or early 2016. The district will continue to look for possible grant funding to finance the plan as well as the possibility of using bonds. While the increase in businesses has helped keep the rates static, it has also created a need for a new plant that will produce more water. Plans are for a facility that can meet water demands for the next 20-30 years. The current plant site is not big enough to build the new, bigger one, but officials bought land next to the current plant in 2005, and that is where the facility will be built. The city also is facing new state regulations that will have to be met by the new plant, which will be capable of treating 3 million gallons of water per day and can be expanded in the future to treat 5 million gallons per day. The district currently is reviewing responses to its request for qualifications from engineering firms that would like to be considered to design the facility.
Town in New Hampshire planning to extend sewer, water line
The sewer and water line along Route 101 in Bedford, New Hampshire, will be extended as the state's Department of Transportation plans improvements along a section of the highway. Town officials will ask residents' permission to invest $112,000 from the sewer enterprise funds for design of an infrastructure improvement project from Nashua Road to the Hill-Brook Motel near Wallace Road. The design for the extension must be submitted to the DOT in October before it finalizes the construction design. Town Manager Steve Daly (pictured) said water and sewer extensions are one way to stimulate economic development. "In addition, there are environmental and private infrastructure burdens on the land that come under consideration, not to exclude the repetitive costs of replacing private infrastructure. Pursuing extension of the utility infrastructure along that section of 101 is one of the Town Council goals for this year." Cost estimate for the sewer project and pumping station is about $3.5 million, which town officials hope to pass a bond for payment.
Texas agency announces financial assistance of $2.92M for water-related projects
More than $2.9 million in financial assistance has been approved by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for water and wastewater improvement projects around the state.
The assistance included:
- A loan of $375,000 from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund went to the city of El Campo, which will be used for the planning, land acquisition and design of construction of a 12-inc potable water distribution line and 300,000-gallon elevated water storage tank and booster pump station;.
- A loan of $2.375 million from the Texas Water Development Fund went to the city of Iraan in Pecos County to construct a new 175,000-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant and will include new installation of new water lines, fire hydrants and valves; and
- Loan forgiveness of $170,000 from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to the city of O'Brien in Haskell County to rehabilitate its main pump station and replace the existing well pump and all customer meters within the system. The project is the result of collaboration between the City, North Central Texas Municipal Water Authority, and Knox City.
Village in Florida issues RFP for possible redevelopment of property
The Wellington, Florida, Village Council recently approved issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for the sale and development of K-Park, a 70-acre tract of land that belongs to the village. "This going out doesn't necessarily mean this council is prepared to sell this land or is prepared to develop on this site," said Vice Mayor John Greene (pictured). The land in question is the largest piece of undeveloped land that belongs to the village and what should be done with it has been a question for years and most recently was planned as a horse park that never materialized. Officials say at least a dozen developers have expressed an interest in the property for everything from a sports complex to housing. Developers must submit their proposals by Sept. 22. The proposals will be evaluated on Oct. 21.
San Antonio issues RFP for barge concession on River Walk
The city of San Antonio has issued a request for proposals for the river barge concession on the city's River Walk. These barges transport local residents and visitors to points along the waterway, from retail to restaurants. The winner of the contract will enter into a 10-year license agreement with the city and will oversee operations of the river barge tours, charters and taxi services. The barge concession contractor will be charged with being an alternative transportation linking the downtown portion of the River Walk with the newer Museum Reach area. A pre-submittal conference and site tour is set for July 15 and an additional site tour of both marinas will be on July 30.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Short Elliott Hendrickson was awarded a $110,000 contract from the city of Onalaska, Wisconsin, to search out public opinion regarding potential recreational improvements to the land it owns along the Black River, below the Lake Onalaska spillway. The firm will also conduct a feasibility study on those suggestions to determine if they should go to design stage to get a cost estimate and then recommend possible funding sources.
- C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. was awarded a $31.5 million contract from the Georgia Department of Transportation to rebuild the U.S. 41 cloverleaf near Cartersville Medical Center. The project also includes widening of some highway sections and removal and replacement of two bridges that are part of six permanent bridges in the project.
- Pavecon Public Works won a $4 million contract from the city of Greenville, Texas, to rebuild the south ends of Stonewall and Sayle Streets and Webb Avenue between Sayle and Wesley streets.
- Cray Inc. was awarded a $174 million contract from the National Nuclear Security Administration to provide the entity with a next generation Cray(R) XC(TM) supercomputer and a Cray Sonexion(R) storage system.
- KBR, Inc. was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic for the base operating support services for Isa Air Base, Kingdom of Bahrain. The contract is for a one-year base period with four option years. The total value of the five-year contract, including options, will be $113,824,554 for the Infrastructure, Government and Power segment.
- Engility Holdings, Inc. won an $11 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide Landing Craft, Air Cushion Technical Support Activity Logistics and Technical Library Support to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City, Florida, Division.
- M.K. Betts Engineering won a $1.1 million contract from the Anderson, Indiana, Board of Public Works for a beautification project that will extend from Eighth Street to the railroad tracks south of 14th Street and includes sidewalk repair and replacement with a row of bricks along the street, decorative lighting, green space and tree plantings. The crosswalks at the street intersections will be brought into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
- NV5 Holdings, Inc. was awarded a $2.5 million contract by the San Diego County Water Authority to provide Construction Management As-Needed Support Services, including construction management to augment the Authority's Capital Improvement and Asset Management Program.
- The Rogers Group won a $1,549,435 contract from the city of Maryville, Tennessee, for a project to get a traffic signal on the U.S. 129 Bypass and the Foothills Mall Road roundabout.
- Carothers Construction Inc. won a $15.6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to build a 36,000-square-foot regional simulation center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, that will include simulation communication rooms, secure communication infrastructure, network distribution nodes, operation centers, work cells, classrooms and administrative offices.
- Serco Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide parking enforcement, management of parking meter operations and traffic control operations for the city of Inglewood, California. The contract has a 10-year base period valued at $25 million and the potential for two five-year option periods.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Hartford dumps bonds; now seeks private partner to finance stadium
It's back to the drawing board for the city of Hartford, Connecticut, and its plans to use bonds of up to $60 million for a new minor league baseball stadium. City officials have now decided against additional bond debt and are looking for a private partner to up-front a large part of the financing of the project.
Although there is support for the project itself (an example of which is seen in the accompanying artist's rendering), support is lacking for adding debt for a poor city that does not have the money available to pay for it. So, now the city is hoping for responses to its request for proposals, due Aug. 1, that they are hopeful will bring numerous private developers to the table for a public-private partnership and an alternative source of funding. The new stadium would likely mean the city could lure the Rock Cats, a Double A Eastern League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, to the city. Rock Cat leaders indicated they would sign a 25-year lease and move from New Britain to Hartford if the stadium is built.
City officials are expecting at least four proposals from private developers. Thomas Deller, the city's development director, said the proposals from developers are expected to delineate what the city must bring to the table, which could be anything from land to road improvements. The city is hopeful a new stadium would create more than 660 full-time jobs and more than 900 construction jobs, while generating 23,700 hotel room stays each year.
Colorado city to use COPs to finance its part of P3 development project
The Longmont (Colorado) City Council has agreed to use "certificates of participation" (COPs) to pay for its part of a public-private partnership (P3) for a project to redevelop Twin Peaks Mall. The city's contribution to the P3 that also involves the property owner is $27.5 million. The project provides for an investment bank and asset management firm to purchase the city's COPs, with city properties - the Civic Center, Safety and Justice Center, library and Development Services Center titles to be held in trust. The agreement is not unlike a lease-purchase agreement. Once the leases are paid off by the city, the property titles revert to the city. Although the bank holds the titles, it is only a trustee. The control of the buildings remains with the city.
City Manager Harold Dominguez (pictured) said all options for financing the project were explored and the COP financing was deemed the most cost-effective and with the least amount of risk to the city. In picking the buildings to put up in the agreement, the ones used had to be unencumbered and their value had to total $30 million. Using COPs was new for the city of Longmont, but other Colorado entities have used them successfully, from a new corrections facility to buildings on a college campus.
|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 Tim Wisniewski.
Tim Wisniewski (pictured) was recently named by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter as the city's new chief data officer. He will lead the Office of Innovation and Technology. Wisniewski has served as the city's Director of Civic Technology since January 2013, serving as a member of the open data team and focusing on technology connecting citizens to government. In that position, he oversaw the creation of civic engagement projects like the Philly311 mobile app, and myPhillyRising.com, a Web site that attempts to improve quality of life and reduce crime in troubled neighborhoods by creating partnerships to solve those problems. From May 2008 to January 2012, Wisniewski was executive director of the Frankford Special Services District and president of the 24th Police District Advisory Council. From January 2012 to January 2013, he was assistant managing director of the City of Philadelphia. Wisniewski holds a bachelor's degree with honors in political science from Richmond, the American International University in London.
|Opportunity of the week...|
The commission of a port in the Northwest is looking at a number of projects that would improve piers and buildings in a marine industrial park. Some of the projects would include expanding a marine boat company's boat fabrication facilities, demolition of a pier and razing some small buildings to make room for a larger facility. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherri Bays (top left), Western New Mexico University vice president of business affairs, has been named vice president of business and finance for West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, ending her 18-year tenure at WNMU on July 31. Adele Bovard (top center), superintendent of the Webster (New York) schools for eight years, is stepping down after accepting the position of deputy superintendent for administration with the district in Rochester. The director of the Governor's Office of Recovery and Rebuilding under New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Marc-Philip Ferzan (top right) has left for a teaching job at the University of Virginia and will be replaced by the branch's former deputy executive director, Terrence Brody. Mark Case, a veteran member of the Gilmer (Texas) Police Department for 18 years, has been named police chief, succeeding James Grunden, who resigned June 30 after 18 years as chief. Max McGee, a former Illinois state superintendent of education who for the past seven years has led science- and technology-focused high schools in Illinois and New Jersey, has been chosen as superintendent of the Palo Alto school district. City of Monrovia (California) deputy fire chief with 22 years of experience, Scott Haberle, is Monterey Park's fire chief, replacing Jim Birrell, who is retiring. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners elected Jon Slangerup (bottom right), former head of FedEx Canada, as the port's chief executive, succeeding J. Christopher Lytle, who left the port about a year ago for a similar position at the Port of Oakland. Theo Kalikow (bottom center), who has served as interim president of the University of Southern Maine for the last two years, will step down and become acting vice chancellor of the seven-school University of Maine System through the end of her contract next year. Long-time New Jersey school official and current superintendent of schools in Monroe Township, Dr. Kenneth Hamilton (bottom left) has been chosen as the new superintendent for Mount Vernon (Virginia) School District, replacing interim Superintendent Judith Johnson. Officials in Hudson, Ohio, recently picked Jane Mahony Howington, city manager in Newport, Rhode Island, for more than two years, as Hudson's new city manager. Outgoing CEO of the Richmond (Virginia) Behavioral Health Authority, Jack Lanier, is being replaced by new CEO Dr. John Lindstrom, a 17-year employee of the agency and its current director of administration access, emergency and medical services. Sean Keefer, former legislative director for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has been named deputy chief of staff of executive branches and will oversee the majority of state agencies regarding managing operational issues, personnel hiring and contracting across all agencies, as well as Cabinet-level communications.
|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|
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Full conference details at TexasDesal.org. Earlybird registration ends July 15.For more information and to register, click here.
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