|Volume 6, Issue 16||July 23, 2014|
Desalination plants coming soon to a city near you
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Public officials throughout the world are talking about desalination plants, but the dialogue is louder in the United States. As clean water becomes even scarcer, conversations will escalate and the volume will get louder. Desalination plants appear to be the salvation for huge regions of drought-stricken parts of America.
The process of purifying water is very old. Desalination is actually one of the earliest methods of water purification. In the past, sailors relied on desalination to convert seawater into drinking water and while desalination plants today are large and sophisticated, the basic process is essentially the same.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
Pennsylvania airports to benefit from $18M for projects
Work planned to increase safety, operations at nearly three-dozen facilities
Thirty-five airports in Pennsylvania will benefit from $18 million in state and federal funding that is geared toward improving safety and operations at the facilities. Gov. Tom Corbett (pictured) pointed out that the airports are responsible for more than 2,600 jobs. He added that the state's public-use airports support more than 300,000 jobs. "When we expand a runway or make it safer to land at an airport, we ensure that they can meet business and community demands and continue supporting these jobs."
More than $900,000 of the funding will come from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) aviation development program. Those funds are generated from the state's jet fuel tax and leverage a like amount of local matching funds.
The Federal Aviation Administration is providing $17.1 million in grants through a block grant program funded by nationally collected taxes on airline tickets, freight waybills, international departure fees and aviation fuel sales.
Public-use airports, including general aviation airports, designated reliever airports and non-primary commercial service airports that are part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, can qualify for the funding.
Some of the projects being funded by the program include:
- Bradford County Airport - $960,555 for land acquisition and to construct a taxiway;
- Chester County - New Garden Flying Field - $1.2 million to reconstruct and widen the runway;
- Venango County - Venango Regional Airport - $752,083 to install a generator, conduct an environmental assessment and improve drainage;
- Montgomery County - Pottstown Municipal Airport - $1.7 million to rehabilitate the runway; and
- Lawrence County - New Castle Municipal Airport - $601,667 to rehabilitate the runway and taxiway lighting.
To view the complete list of grant recipients, a description of the projects and the amount of funding, click here.
Obama cites initiatives to boost infrastructure spending
Seeking to partner public, private sectors to increase project revenue sources
Cities and states will now have a "one-stop shop" as they seek financing options and partnerships with the private sector for much-needed transportation infrastructure projects. President Barack Obama last week announced the creation, by executive order, of the Build America Investment Center, geared toward increasing infrastructure investment in the United States and partnering of government and the private sector to meet those growing infrastructure needs.
Workers participate in the excavation process. (FlaDOT).
The center is part of the President's new Build America Transportation Investment Initiative. The initiatives and the center are expected to be not only an investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure, but also an investment in job opportunities for Americans. The center will provide a "Navigator Service" for both the public and private sectors to make U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) credit programs more accessible and easier to understand for state and local government officials while providing assistance and resources for private-sector developers and investors.
Many states have been extremely successful in partnering with the private sector. One of the most prominent is the $1.1 billion Port of Miami Tunnel project (see photo). The public-private partnership included the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and a private-sector developer. Florida has completed more than $6 billion in P3s since establishing the state's Office of Public-Private Partnerships in 2007. The state used a $340 million loan for the project from DOT's Transportation Infrastructure Finance And Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program. How to utilize this program and sharing of best practices from other states successful in using P3s to help bridge funding gaps will be shared through the center. Information will be provided relating to DOT credit programs, case studies on successful P3 projects and information on how deals are structured. Investors will learn how DOT credit and grant programs can be used with government entities to develop projects.
In addition to the transportation investment center, the initiative also calls for a working group that will be charged with expanding the use of P3s beyond the transportation industry. It also plans an infrastructure investment summit to be hosted by the U.S. Treasury Department in September. Project developers, institutional investors and state, local and federal officials will gather to discuss innovative infrastructure financing possibilities.
|NJ bill to create transportation infrastructure bank|
Legislation passes both houses; awaiting signature of Gov. Chris Christie
After having passed both houses of the New Jersey Assembly, a bill creating a state transportation infrastructure bank is waiting only on the signature of Gov. Chris Christie to become law. The bill is also expected to increase both public and private investments in the state's transportation network.
"New Jersey's economic recovery will be inherently linked to whether or not we create a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure system with better roads, bridges, tunnels and rail systems," said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (pictured), author of the bill.
The bill, A2268, would repeal the current State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. The bank would be replaced by two revolving funds established in the Environmental Infrastructure Trust. The trust would seek to expand transportation and energy projects. The funds would be set up so that the transportation and energy moneys are separate from water or environmental infrastructure money. Bonds in maturities of up to 30 years for all kinds of projects could be issued by the trust.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
New Mexico school district authorizes bonds for technology needs
General obligation bonds totaling $2.1 million were recently authorized by the Carlsbad (New Mexico) Municipal Schools. The bond proceeds will be used for education technology. Smart labs in the schools will be expanded, with a new lab added to the new intermediate school at the P.R. Leyva campus. Additional bond funds will be used to purchase software, maintain equipment and fund Internet and infrastructure upgrades, according to Superintendent Gary Perkowski (pictured). General obligation bonds do not require voter approval. These bonds will draw a record low interest rate of 0.2 percent, resulting in a nominal cost to taxpayers of under $12. By using general obligation bonds, the cost of technology upgrades will be shifted from the operations budget to the bond funds.
Michigan community college to use bond funds for capital improvements
Officials at Mott Community College in Michigan have withdrawn $10 million from their bond millage funds to provide funding for numerous capital improvement projects. While the list of needed projects totals between $85 million and $90 million, officials are going to start with the $10 million to address some of the needs. Some of the projects that will be handled in the first year are $1.5 million in student parking facility upgrades and turning vacant space into rooms for health and fitness classes. Other projects will include continuation of roofing replacements and the replacing of signs and flooring in classrooms. Past projects have included library renovations and upgrades to the Regional Technological Center. Taxpayers in Genesee County last November approved borrowing up to $50 million over the next several years for improvements and upgrades to the campus and campus technology. In addition, the Durham Natatorium will be renovated this year. The facility was closed more than a year ago because repair costs were too high. The renovations will include a fitness center for academic instruction, fitness space and an open gym area to be used for classes. A $1.5 million off-site disaster recovery network will be established to keep safe all system data and information stored on the college computer system.
Connecticut school district eyes tablet computers as part of technology plan
A $1 million technology plan for the Glastonbury, Connecticut, schools would result in every seventh grader in the district receiving a school-owned tablet computer. Brian Czapla, director of education technology, made the proposal to the school board recently. The plan would set aside $122,000 for seventh graders at Smith Middle School and freshmen at Glastonbury High School with tablets for the 2015-16 school year. Last year freshmen and sophomores were provided tablets as part of a previous technology plan. Glastonbury in 2012 became the second school system in the state to furnish students with tablets. Czapla said that research indicates that every student having his or her own tablet increases their motivation and engagement both in and outside the classroom. The tablets would be purchased through a lease program and students would receive an updated tablet by the time they are in the 10th grade. School board Vice Chair and budget subcommittee Chair Jeremy Grieveson (pictured) said purchasing the tablets would be a hard sale in some of the community. "It was difficult for ninth grade," he said. "It's going to be equally challenging."
Michigan higher education institution has projects slated this year
An institution of higher education in Michigan is about to start a variety of projects on its campus. Eastern Michigan University, which has already spent $3.6 million for upgrades to Rackham Hall, is planning to spend another $4.8 million on the building as part of a three-year capital improvement plan that will see most of the upgrades going to the lower level. There updates will be performed to better accommodate classes and labs for the College of Health and Human Services Department. That project is expected to begin in January 2015. Another facility, residence hall Wise Hall, will get $3 million in renovations beginning in summer 2015.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
New public stadium approved for Columbia, South Carolina
The Columbia, South Carolina, City Council recently approved the city committing to borrowing $35 million to build a public stadium it is hopeful will bring professional baseball back to the city. The funds will be repaid with meal taxes - on prepared food and beverages - collected over the next three decades. Architects that the city plans to hire will ensure that public money in the project will not be more than $29 million. An Atlanta-based firm has already been hired to run the stadium, and will invest $6 million in the construction of the 8,500-seat stadium that can be used for sports, music concerts and other public events. The total amount the city has to invest could be lowered, depending on the bond market when the loan is approved. Officials are banking on the facility attracting 500,000 visitors annually, producing $411.5 million in taxes, wages and spending.
RFP being issued for high-speed broadband for remote areas of Kentucky
High-speed broadband Internet access that can reach the most remote areas of Kentucky is being sought by the state. Requests for proposals are being issued for a public-private partnership project that would make high-speed broadband available statewide. The state currently ranks 46th in high-speed availability and Gov. Steve Beshear (pictured) and members of the legislature are out to change that. The main area in question is Eastern Kentucky. The RFP will seek private-sector partners to build, operate and maintain a statewide, open-access, high-speed broadband network. Saying that transportation and water infrastructure and education are critical to quality of life and a strong economy, Beshear added, "Today, we also have to invest in another kind of infrastructure - the kind that will break down geographic and financial barriers to education and economic development." The first phase of the project is expected to take two years to build. It will include more than 3,000 miles of fiber infrastructure.
Berm project on Elm River in South Dakota expected to cost $1 million
A more than $1 million project to build a filter berm in the Elm River is on the agenda for the city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. The berm will help reduce sedimentation at the city's water treatment plant. Specifications for the project are being finalized for review by state officials. The city is in hopes of going out for bids on the project in the fall. A revolving loan of $940,000 will pay for most of the project costs. Another $50,000 is being added by the James River Water Development District. Officials hope to have the project completed sometime next year.
Voters in Connecticut city to decide fate of $51 million sewer project proposal
Torrington, Connecticut, voters will go to the polls to decide a $51 million sewer project. The project will address aging infrastructure so that it will meet federal regulations. It would provide the first major upgrade to the system in four decades. The system includes more than 160 miles of sanitary sewer lines. The project will require voter approval before the money can be borrowed. Supporters point out that the upgrades will be good for the community, will help protect the environment and boost economic development. Officials expect the referendum could be in August or September. Mayor Elinor Carbone (pictured) said she is hopeful that voters will recognize the need for the upgrade and also consider that it will make the system more cost-efficient. If the system fails to meet regulations, the city could be subjected to fines and a moratorium on new connections to the system. It would be city taxpayers who would have to pay for those fines. "It would have a negative impact on economic development," Carbone said. Officials say that if voters approve the loan, construction could begin in 2016. The project will take approximately three years.
Boston Convention, Exhibition Center could undergo expansion
A final vote in the Massachusetts House and Senate and then the governor's signature would mean a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Both chambers have approved a compromise version of the bill. The expansion is needed, according to supporters, so the city can continue to compete with other convention centers in other cities. The expansion is also expected to create new jobs, add more tax money to city coffers and provide and economic boost through tourism. The bill would provide a 1.3 million-square-foot expansion. The expansion would increase the size of the facility and have sufficient adjoining hotel rooms to attract national and international meetings that other cities currently are winning.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Allied Paving was awarded a $241,000 contract from the Hall County (Georgia) Development Authority for a road construction project in the Chicopee Mill Industrial Center.
- Fetters Construction has been awarded a $7.9 million contract to build a new Pierceton Elementary School in Pierceton, Indiana.
- WPS Health Insurance has received a major government contract renewal from the U.S. Department of Defense valued at $484 million over six years to continue to administer TRICARE for Life, a Medicare supplement program that serves about 2 million military retirees over the age of 65.
- East Texas Bridge won a contract worth about $5 million from the city of Longview, Texas, to widen Magnolia Lane between McCann and Judson roads.
- Sun Eagle Corp. won a $6.6 million contract from the city of Mesa, Arizona, to construct an aquatic facility with lap and recreation pools at Mesa High School.
- Qsource, a health care quality and IT consultancy, has been awarded a five-year, $39.5 million contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of a complete overhaul of the agency's quality improvement efforts across the United States.
- In*Situ Architecture won a $732,000 contract from the city of El Paso, Texas, to design the city's newest 50-meter competitive swimming pool complex in West El Paso.
- Riverside Contracting was awarded a $9.6 million contract from the Wyoming Transportation Commission to widen and resurface four miles of U.S. Highway 14-16-20 between the Shoshone National Forest boundary and the Wapiti Bridge west of Cody. The work will widen the highway's safety shoulders from six feet to eight feet.
- Deloitte Consulting won an $18.4 million contract from the Oregon Health Authority to oversee Cover Oregon's transition to the federal health exchange. The firm will serve as the system integrator both for the federal switch and the transfer of technology for Medicaid enrollment from Cover Oregon to the Health Authority.
- CGI has been chosen for an $89.4 million project from the state of Michigan for the technology portion of the state's major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system modernization.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Partnership will lead to new arena, entertainment district downtown
A new $650 million hockey arena and entertainment district in downtown Detroit is planned by the city and the Detroit Red Wings professional hockey team. The new arena is expected to be the center of the new entertainment district and will include millions of dollars in public infrastructure improvements that include lighting, sidewalks, streets and green space. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is planning to put $200 million into the project, with the hope of transforming new neighborhoods from blocks of blighted property.
The entertainment district will include dozens of blocks. Saying there has been a lot of momentum toward rebuilding the city, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (pictured) said the project will create needed jobs for residents of the city while "strengthening our public infrastructure both downtown and in the neighborhoods and attracting new, permanent residents to our city."
Development of new, mixed-use neighborhoods in the district will occur at the same time as the new arena. Ilitch said that with the Red Wings investing in neighborhood infrastructure and mixed-use development, underutilized blocks in the city will both be stabilized and developed. He said that will allow the city to spend city funds on other priorities. Officials expect the project to generate $1.8 billion in economic impact while
creating 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs.
Colorado looking for partner for $2 billion Interstate 70 project
With a price tag of $2 billion and dwindling state funds, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is looking for a private-sector partner for a major rebuild of Interstate 70. Although work on the project is not slated to start for another two years, CDOT is looking now for a partner to get involved early in the process. The proposed project's design has a trench through it, with a deck above the trench that could be the site of a park. The project is expected to cost $1.8 billion. Officials expect the project is likely to have some toll lanes.
Omaha Public Schools hoping for P3 to fund upgrades to district's schools
With a number of costly upgrades needed at facilities in the Omaha Public Schools, school officials are hoping a public-private partnership will help fund those upgrades and take some of the burden off local taxpayers. School officials are turning to both the city's business members and philanthropic community to help.
A spokesman for the school district said officials are willing to sit down and discuss private-sector investments as a way to ensure needed repairs and renovations are paid for while lessening a bond issue's impact on local residents. The latest estimate for the needed repairs and renovations is $683 million.
"We are going to have conversations to explore all options between public partnerships, private partnerships, a bond, everything," said Omaha Public Schools Board Chair Justin Wayne (pictured). The district is not ruling out other varieties of P3s being used in other states, such as build-lease agreements with private developers to build schools and then the facilities leased to districts. Another option is a design-build-finance-maintain model that has a private partner finance and construct buildings in exchange for payments from the public entity.
TxDOT awards contract for oversight of P3 transportation projects
A $25 million contract has been awarded to Atkins to provide contract oversight of public-private partnership projects for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The six-year contract calls for Atkins to provide right-of-way oversight, compliance review and utility coordination services. Atkins will be the agency's program management consultant for projects developed under comprehensive development agreements (CDAs) and design-build contracts.
The firm could be involved in the $850 million project to replace the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge and the $585 million project on State Highway 288 in Harris County for construction of managed lanes. Atkins has worked previously with TxDOT on a variety of right-of-way projects, including a $7 million and $18 million project since 2008.
Town in South Carolina to use P3 for multi-purpose facility downtown project
An economic development project in Summerville, South Carolina, will lead to development of a hotel, conference center and condos (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering). The $30 million project was recently approved by the Summerville Town Council.
Under a public-private partnership, the town will pay the construction costs for the events facility and parking garage. Those costs will be paid for with proceeds from revenue bonds serviced by hospitality taxes. The developer will pay for construction of the hotel and condos.
The hotel will be a four-story building with 66 rooms. It will feature a rooftop terrace, a restaurant, retail shops and a conference center. Current plans are for a 10,000-square-foot conference and events facility. The project is expected to create about 60 jobs and provide an economic boost to the downtown area. The partnership will be between the town, the Summerville Redevelopment Corp. and developer Applegate & Co. of North Charleston. The town will then own the events facility and parking garage, but a private firm will manage them. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2015.
P3 raising funds to build $4.8 million nature center in New York
Backers of the Letchworth State Park nature center project have raised $1 million toward the $4.8 million project in Buffalo, New York. The proposed nature center would include a 5,000-square-foot, year-round facility that will provide educational and interpretive programming for the 750,000 visitors expected each year. The facility will feature meeting and classroom space, a research lab and exhibits regarding the history, geology and environment of the state park. The backers hope to raise another $600,000 by the end of this year. Private donations are being matched 2-to-1 by public funds.
Public-private partnership ordinance adopted for city of Miami
A public-private partnership (P3) ordinance has been adopted by the city of Miami. The ordinance at the city level joins the state's P3 legislation and Miami-Dade County's P3 resolution. All three endorse the use of P3s as an alternative method of procurement for public projects in the state. The city also adopted an "unsolicited proposal" provision that allows the private sector to offer options and solutions that have been created in the private sector and can be adapted to government.
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 Anne Rung.
Anne Rung (pictured), currently a senior advisor with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been chosen by President Barack Obama as the next administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). She will replace former OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan, who resigned in January and was replaced by Deputy Administrator Lesley Field during the interim. Prior to her work with OMB, Rung was a senior director of administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Before joining the federal government, Rung was deputy secretary for procurement and administration for Pennsylvania's Department of General Services from 2003-2010. From 2010 to 2012, Rung was senior director of administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce and from 2012-2013, was senior advisor and chief acquisition officer for the General Services Administration. She spent a year, the late part of 2013 and early 2014, as associate administrator of government-wide policy and chief acquisition officer for the General Services Administration. Rung holds a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A California port has passed a budget that will pay for $579 million in capital projects next year, including a major bridge replacement and construction of a new shipping terminal. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Hawgood (top left), who has served as dean of the University of California-San Francisco Medical School and interim chancellor of the university, has been named new chancellor of UC-San Francisco. Houston Public Works and Engineering Director Daniel Krueger (top center), a retired Army colonel who heads the city's largest department with about 3,900 employees, submitted his resignation after serving four years in the post. Stephen Bland (top right), who spent several years as head of Pittsburgh's public transportation agency, and has nearly three decades of experience in transit roles, has been hired as the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority's new CEO, replacing Pal Ballard, who resigned in March. Philip B. O'Reilly, current superintendent of the New Hartford (Connecticut) school system, has been chosen as the next superintendent of the Portland schools, succeeding Superintendent Sally Doyen, who retired at the end of the school year. The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has hired James Duckens, who began his state government career in 1988 with the Department of General Services as a programmer and was later a project oversight manager with the Department of Information Technology, as its first chief information officer. Felix V. Matos Rodríguez, president of Hostos Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) since 2009 and a former secretary of family services in Puerto Rico, has been named the next president of CUNY's Queens College. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has selected Ralph M. Terrazas (bottom right), who has served with the Los Angeles Fire Department for more than 20 years, as the net chief of the department, replacing former Chief Brian Cummings, who retired in October. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Rick Chandler (bottom center), an assistant vice president of facilities at Hunter College and a professional engineer, to head the New York Department of Buildings, which is responsible for making sure that the nearly one million buildings in the city are safe and up to code. Elizabeth Gray (bottom left), current city manager of Altus, Oklahoma, who has also served in the cities of Shawnee and Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska, has been chosen as the new city manager for Sand Springs, Oklahoma. San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus has resigned his post to accept a position with CPS Energy to head up the utility's security operations. Charles E. Wilson II of East Palo Alto, Christopher Rudy of San Jose and Joshua Weinstein, a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, have all been named to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Jose L. Banda, superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools and formerly with the Anaheim City School District, has been chosen superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified school district.
|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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