|Volume 6, Issue 14||July 9, 2014|
How about new facility to generate public funds, stimulate economic development
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Economic development initiatives are highly visible because of revenue generation. Local businesses and public officials love tourist events, corporate relocations, new construction, conferences and conventions. However, many communities lack the prerequisite facilities to host large events and/or attract tourists.
Visionary leaders are remedying that situation. And, and as they do, a major shift related to the construction of hotels, performing arts facilities and convention centers - particularly in mid-size cities - is occurring. By leveraging private-sector expertise and capital investment, public-private partnerships (P3s) to design, finance, construct, maintain and sometimes operate new facilities are becoming commonplace.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
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|Transportation officials warn of possible cuts to states|
Congress struggles with ways to ensure Highway Trust Fund remains solvent
With the threat of "cash management procedures" that will be put in place by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) if Congress does not do something between now and August to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from running dry, all kinds of proposals are coming out of Congress.
Most recently, Sen. Rand Paul proposed that Congress fund the Highway Trust fund by lowering corporate tax rates. He argues that if the repatriation rate were reduced from the current 35 percent to 5 percent, thus lowering taxes on companies, it would generate more revenue as an incentive for American investments. Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Sandy Levin have filed legislation that would close tax breaks for corporate expatriations, raising $19.5 billion over 10 years and preventing companies from avoiding taxes in this country.
In the meantime, states are facing the threat of drastic cuts in the federal highway funding money used to reimburse them for major highway, bridge and transit projects. All of the states recently received a letter from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (pictured) warning of the possibility of the fund being depleted by the end of the summer. Letters were sent to the governors of all 50 states and to transportation agency officials. Foxx said if the money runs out, payments to the states will be limited and allocated on current funding formulas based on population and other factors beginning in August..
The FHWA has indicated the funding decreases would be over several months. In his letter, Foxx wrote, "There is still time for Congress to act on a long-term solution. Our transportation infrastructure is too essential to suffer continued neglect, and I hope Congress will avert this crisis before it is too late." He added that the federal government will continue to make reimbursements "for as long as we can." Foxx said the cash management plan is sound. "It treats all states equitably and provides you with as much certainty as we can in a very uncertain situation."
Foxx was joined by President Barack Obama in urging Congress to act quickly to pass legislation that would allow the reimbursement of full funding to the states. Obama noted that not only could the fund drying up result in less money going to the states, but it could also result in the loss of up to 700,000 jobs.
|Corps of Engineers looking to P3s for infrastructure needs|
Bostick says federal government cannot make up shortfall in funding needs
"The federal government can't do this on their own," said Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick (pictured), chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, regarding upkeep of major infrastructure. Thus, he noted, the Corps has begun to explore public-private partnerships (P3s) as a means of maintaining and repairing aging infrastructure throughout the country. "There's only so much that can be done through process efficiencies," he said. In 2013, a review of the Corps' capital needs found it had a backlog of $60 billion in recapitalization projects, yet those projects were only being funded at a rate of about $2 billion per year.
He said the Corps will start examining the use of P3s because it has become clear that a source outside the government will be needed to meet infrastructure needs. Thanks to the recently enacted Water Resources Reform and Development Act, the Corps now can look into seeking private investments as a funding option. P3s have long been used by state agencies as a new source of revenue for major bridge and highway infrastructure projects. Bostick also said the Corps would like to be able to keep more of the tens of millions of dollars it generates in recreational fees it collects from those visiting lakes and public lands the Corps manages. That money currently goes directly into the U.S. Treasury.
Because the Corps is not in the business of partnering with private-sector firms, Bostick said he has been meeting with business leaders on how the Corps and private investors can work together. "When it comes to public-private partnerships, I believe we are all in the infancy of deciding what is possible," he noted. The Corps will now try to figure out how best to attract private dollars for investment in P3s and how to set up agreements that allow private-sector partners to recoup their original investment in a project. He said that although private firms will be interested in partnering with a government entity, "They have to make profit."
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Student fee to support cost of new university student center at U of Memphis
Students at the University of Memphis will pay a fee increase starting during the 2014-15 school year that will help pay for a new $62 million student recreation and fitness center (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering). The new 192,500-square-foot facility will be constructed in three phases. The facility will include a gym that can be divided into four courts, six racquetball courts, a multi-purpose fitness center with climbing wall and a natatorium. The natatorium will have both a lane and recreational pool. The new facility is expected to open in 2018. School officials say the recreation and fitness center is an important part of campus life for University of Memphis students.
New York school district approves vote for field, facility upgrades
A bond vote is set in Irvington, New York, in which voters will decide the fate of a proposed sports facility and field improvement project. The project, which carries a price tag of $4.6 million, would be in two propositions. The first would provide select infrastructure improvement at all of the schools. It would also provide rehabilitation of East Field that would include a new grass field, drainage and irrigation upgrades, replacement of Meszaros field with an artificial turf surface and replacement of the Oley track. The district is now working on setting public hearings on the bond issue as well as preparing literature to be disseminated to voters.
Maintenance, improvement projects on tap for school district in Illinois
Roof repairs, parking lot and sidewalk repaving jobs, replacement of emergency generators and lights are among the approximately $5 million in work planned in the Glenview (Illinois) Elementary School District 34. Seven of the eight schools in the district will see the improvement work. Superintendent Michael Nicholson (pictured) said the projects address "top priorities" at the schools to "maintain our facilities at the level the community expects." Included in the projects is the move to more energy-efficient lighting throughout the district. Six schools will get new emergency generators, the Westbrook School will get new gym tile and flooring and some hallways at another school will be tiled. Other projects include upgrades to water pipes at Glen Grove School and various paving projects. Life Safety bonds, bonds made available by the state for projects that address health, life safety, security and fire prevention, will pay for about $1.6 million of the costs, with cash fund bonds paying for the remainder of the costs.
South Carolina school board budget includes technology upgrades
The recently approved $71.8 million budget for the Clover (South Carolina) School District includes $1.8 million for technology upgrades. The money will be used for use of tablets and laptops. The district is expecting to need another 720 units. However, the school district operations budget will not increase because state funds for technology improvements and money budgeted for IT and trade-in revenue will help pay for the new technology. The state had a last-minute technology upgrade addendum to the state budget that was approved recently by Gov. Nikkie Haley. "It was sort of a windfall for us," said Clover School District Superintendent Marc Sosne (pictured). "It came at a good time."
Variety of school districts nationwide planning bond elections
The list of bond issuances and bond elections in school districts throughout the nation is rapidly growing. Below is information on some of the recently announced upcoming issues and the projects they will fund:
- The Pennsbury (Pennsylvania) school board is planning to issue $9.6 million in bonds this summer. The bond issue includes probable upgrades to the Pennwood and Charle Boehm middle schools.
- The Lamar Consolidated School District in Texas is proposing a $243 million school bond issue. A bond committee made recommendations to the school board that include the addition of six new elementary schools by the 2019-20 school year, a new middle school in Fulshear, a total build out of Churchill Fulshear High School, upgrades to existing facilities, land purchases and upgrades in technology, food service and transportation throughout the district.
- Two separate bond options are planned in the Woodmore Local Schools in Ohio for a new high school auditorium for a 25-year or 37-year bond to fund the facility. If approved by voters in November, each bond would raise $4.5 million. The facility would seat 600.
- The Pender County Board of Education in North Carolina has approved a $75 million bond referendum in the district. Of that amount, $21.5 million will be spent to keep Penderlea as a K-8 school. The bond proceeds also would include $3 million to renovate Burgaw Middle School, $2.5 million to renovate West Pender Middle School, $35 million to build a new elementary/middle school in the Surf City and Topsail area, $7 million to renovate Cape Fear Elementary and middle schools and $6 million to renovate Pender High School.
- In California, the Orange Unified School District has called a November bond election valued at $296 million for repairs and upgrades at the district's four high schools. Each of the schools would get $74 million in bond proceeds. Some of the examples of the projects that would benefit from a successful bond vote are roof, floor, plumbing and electrical system repairs; renovations of new construction of athletic facilities; upgrades to technology infrastructure; retrofits for older buildings to ensure they are earthquake-safe; and upgrades and installation of new security systems that include lighting, fencing, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Study recommends building smaller replacement facility for Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium (pictured) in Honolulu, home of the University of Hawaii Warriors and the annual National Football League Pro Bowl, could soon be history. A recent study commissioned regarding the 50,000-seat stadium built in 1975 recommends that the state build a new 30,000-35,000-seat stadium at the current site. The study revealed that the smaller stadium could be built at a cost of $132 million to $192 million. The operating costs are estimated at $4.7 million to $6 million annually, much lower than the current $6.9 million spent on operating costs now. The study also notes that the smaller stadium would better meet the community's needs. Also recommended with the new stadium would be construction of a parking structure adjacent to the rail station to alleviate parking problems, increase development space and serve as a center to a transportation hub. The Stadium Authority is planning an open house this week to allow the public to comment on the findings of the study.
$1 billion bridge replacement project in California delayed for year
Plans to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge along the main route to the Port of Long Beach has hit a snag and will be delayed a year, according to port officials. The $1 billion replacement project is now expected to be completed late in 2017 or early 2018, thanks to Caltrans' delays in approval of the design of the bridge. The project is already $300 million over its original $950 million estimated budget. More accurate estimates are expected later this month. The bridge will be a design-build project and construction of the foundation will begin although only 70 percent of the bridge is designed.
Sioux Falls mayor pushes for $492 million in building, infrastructure projects If Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Mayor Mike Huether (pictured) has his way, the city will be spending millions in the near future on public building and infrastructure projects. Huether recently outlined a spending plan that would invest close to $492 million on construction projects in the city over the next five years. Among the projects Huether has in mind for the city are city street extensions, biking trails, a new $2.4 million fire station, $2.3 million in new city parks and $19.6 million in upgrades to the storm drainage system. The budget represents a 14 percent increase over last year's. The $492 million total includes almost $196 million for street projects that include projects from widening of streets to replacing bridges. Huether is looking to the present and the future by meeting the needs of today with maintenance projects and expanding for future growth. Under his proposal, seven new parks would be created, including a couple of dog parks. Huether said the city is in good shape thanks to a strong local economy and a boost in sales tax revenue. Most capital projects in the city are paid for by the city's second penny sales tax. Other projects on tap are $1.3 million for the zoo, bike train neighborhood connections totaling $2.7 million, water system work valued at $67.5 million, police shooting range improvements totaling $1.1 million and water treatment projects totaling $84.2 million.
Louisiana dredging project likely to begin in early 2015
Parts of Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana could be dredged as early as 2015. The $20 million project, geared at increasing the flow of water from the Mississippi River into the bayou, will be the second such dredging in the last four years. The project, expected to take 16-18 months, could begin as early as January, according to Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District Executive Director Ben Malbrough. A dredging project in 2011 opened nearly six miles of Bayou Lafourche. The dredging is needed to increase flow because the bayou is the source for local drinking water. Constriction of the bayou could lead to less available water. Preliminary designs for the dredging are expected to be completed and submitted to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for review, expected to be completed later this month. The project will be paid for from funds from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, which returns revenue from offshore energy production back to the state to be used for restoration projects. Under the guidelines of the program, the project must be completed by the middle of this month.
Vermont issues request for proposals for major IT system project
The state of Vermont has issued a request for proposals for interested vendors to build the second stage of its Medicaid system. The $100 million project is divided into three parts. The first part has already been awarded - the pharmacy benefit manager - and the final phase will be released later this month. The state is also receiving bids on the construction of an integrated system that will track eligibility for state benefits for citizens of the state. It is expected to cost more than $20 million with the contract to be awarded later this month and work beginning in October. Vermont Secretary of Human Services Doug Racine (pictured) said the aging infrastructure is long overdue a replacement and that federal subsidies will pay for up to 90 percent of human service IT infrastructure projects. The state expects these projects and the health benefit exchange will transform the agency's technology systems over the next 10 years. The vendor(s) selected to build the project will design and implement software and provide technical support for the state Medicaid program. The contractors building the MMIS Core program must be able to integrate all of the services Vermont pays for through the global commitment program, according to the RFP.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Carothers Construction Inc. has 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.
- Cintra has signed a public-private partnership contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to improve the traffic flow along one of the most congested roads in the state. The state will invest about $88 million in the project to upgrade I-77 in the Charlotte area and Cintra will secure the remainder of the $655 million to design, build, operate and maintain the project in exchange for toll revenue generated from the managed lanes.
- Jones Brothers Dirt and Paving Inc. has won an $8.7 million contract from the Texas Transportation Commission to resurface a portion of Loop 225 in Midland.
- L-3 Communications' Vertex Aerospace LLC was awarded a $151 indefinite-delivery contract to maintain the Navy's fleet of Boeing-built T-45 Goshawk training jets located at naval air stations in Kingsville, Texas; Meridian, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; and Patuxent River, Maryland.
- King's Construction has been awarded a $5 million contract from the city of Lawrence, Kansas, for excavation and road work related to the $65 million sewage treatment plant south of the Wakarusa River.
- ASM Research has been awarded a three-year, $162 million contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) Clinical Application and Enterprise Core Services, the VA's Health Information Technology system.
- John Wright Construction won a $98,760 contract from the city of Lufkin, Texas, to install a 24-inch water line as part of a city water line project at the former Abitibi plant in East Lufkin.
- InSysCo has announced it was awarded a five-year, $68-million contract by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Total Information Processing Support Services contract vehicle. The company will continue to provide services in evolving database, data warehouse and data mart technologies to support the IRS's IT Data Delivery Services organization under Applications Development.
- Xerox Corporation was awarded a $51 million contract from the state of South Carolina to establish an assistance program for the state that includes providing residents with debit cards to allow them access to food stamps or welfare benefits.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
County in New York turns to private sector to manage, operate water systems
Nassau County, New York, has entered into a public-private partnership with a private-sector firm, United Water, for management and operation of its three wastewater treatment facilities and sewage. County Executive Edward Mangano (pictured) said the partnership was formed to improve the county's ability to protect the environment as well as the health and well-being of county residents. He said the partnership will allow the county to implement advances in environmental protection, odor control, management efficiencies, plant aesthetics and public information. "This effort permits a more effective and efficient management of the plants and sewage system following the federal government's significant investment in storm hardening of our infrastructure," said Mangano.
Although United will manage and operate the facilities, they will still be owned by the county. United will be charged with ensuring that the plants meet federal and state regulations. A financial consulting firm says that over the 20-year contract, Nassau County should save $233.1 million. If savings from reduced overtime, resumption of contracted services and personnel reassignments are added, the 20-year servings could rise to $378.9 million. United will also provide county officials with written reports each month detailing operation and maintenance of each of the systems. County officials will perform an inspection annually and the two partners will meet regularly to review operations and performance.
Oregon city could negotiate P3 for new water treatment plant
Officials in Grants Pass, Oregon, are considering using a public-private partnership for a new treatment plant. They are considering seeking a private-sector partner to handle either the construction or operation of the plant, or both. The design alone for the project could take up to seven to eight years. But City Manager Aaron Cubic said a P3 could be a money-saver for the city. He outlined the options for a private firm's engagement, saying a partner could potentially design, construct, own, operate or finance the facility. The city council discussed the possibility of issuing a request for proposals to see what kinds of proposals and benefits a P3 for the project might bring. They also discussed how developing a strategic plan for future construction of a wastewater treatment plant might also mean additional savings.
Austin Community College planning P3 agreement with tech partner
A public-private partnership is in the works between Austin (Texas) Community College and technology company Rackspace, managed cloud specialists. According to the agreement being negotiated, a private developer would transform the old four-story, 194,000-square-foot Dillard's women's clothing space at Highland Mall into space to be leased by Rackspace (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering), with the lease funds to be put toward renovation costs.
Live Oak-Gottesman will be responsible for the development and RedLeaf Properties will redevelop the Highland Mall parking lots into mixed-use property. The development is a result of the college issuing a request for proposals from developers last spring after acquiring Highland Mall and determining the Dillard's site would be the last area of the mall to be developed for college use. In the meantime, ACC officials sought a partner to use that section of the mall during the interim. Live Oak-Gottesman's response was chosen for the project. The developer will finance the project, which will remain under the control of the college and will be leased to Rackspace. Rackspace plans to move its more than 500 employees to the new facility and also has expansion plans.
"Highland represents the future of higher education, and partnerships like this are a very important component of that - creating new opportunities for students and ensuring a pipeline of skilled workers for the region," said Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. "Rackspace is one of the area's top employers and has a strong commitment to education." The project is expected to be completed in late 2015.
|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 Katrina Dennis.
Katrina Dennis (pictured) has been named to the board of the Maryland Transportation Authority. A principal with the law firm of Kramon & Graham, P.A., Dennis is a trial lawyer who specializes in employment law, personal injury matters and contract disputes. Prior to joining the law firm, Dennis served as a summer law clerk for the U.S. Army JAG Corps in 2002, was a summer associate for the firm of Gary, Williams, Finney, Lewis, Watson and Sperando, P.L. in 2003 and was a judicial law clerk for The Honorable Evelyn Omega Cannon of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City from 2004 to 2005. Dennis earned a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and earned her law degree cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2004. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is an independent state agency that finances, owns and operates the state's toll facilities. The MDTA's Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the State Senate, serve as the agency's policy-setting and governing body.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A waterway management district in Michigan is expecting to begin a dredging project that could cost between $8.4 million and $10.4 million. The project would include hydraulically dredging some 480,000 cubic yards of sediment from a river and some connected bays as well as channels and lakes from a bay to a dam. The project also includes taking dredged sediment to sites in the area. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or email@example.com.
Alisa White (top left), former provost at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been chosen as the next president of Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, replacing interim President Tristan Denley and former President Tim Hall, who led the campus for seven years. Dr. Felecia McInnis Nave (top center), current associate provost and associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Prairie View A&M University, has been named provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the university, effective Aug. 1. Lisa Mangat (top right), a state employee since 1988 and former special assistant to Anthony L. Jackson, director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, has been named acting director of the agency, replacing Jackson, who resigned. Jorge Labarga, who was elected as the first Cuban-American chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, has been sworn in as the 56th Chief Justice, succeeding Chief Justice Ricky Polston, who will remain on the bench. Canton, Georgia, City Commissioner Glen Cummins has been named Canton's new city manager and immediately resigned his City Council seat to take over the manager post. Grand Rapids, Michigan, City Manager David Sundstrom has named David M. Rahinsky, chief of police in Franklin, Tennessee, and a law enforcement officer since 1989, as Grand Rapids' next Chief of Police. The leadership team for the Houston ISD has announced that Dr. Andrew Houlihan (bottom right) has been selected as chief human resources officer, succeeding Dr. Rodney Watson, and Dr. Shonda Huery Hardman (bottom center), chief high school officer, will take over Houlihan's current position of chief school support officer. Hank Holmes (bottom left), who has had a 42-year career with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the last nine as executive director, has announced he will retire next year. Joe Valentine, who has been serving as interim city manager of the city of Birmingham, Michigan, for the last five months and who has been with the city for more than 17 years, has been named the new city manager. Christian Kervick, the acting director of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, the agency that receives federal and state grant money to help tackle criminal-justice issues in the state, has been selected as the executive director of the Council, replacing Drewry Fennel, who has moved to the governor's office as a policy adviser. Jerome Gaines, who began a firefighter career in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1983 and was most recently assistant chief of operations, has been chosen as the chief of the Tallahassee Fire Department, replacing Chief Cindy Dick, who retired July 31.
|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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