|Volume 6, Issue 22||September 10, 2014|
Streetcars are 'hot economic drivers'
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Thirty cities have either launched or announced launch plans for new streetcar lines. Costs may be high, but the return on investment (ROI) to cities is nothing short of amazing.
Streetcars are attractive for many reasons. They are more efficient and they provide higher capacity service than buses. They create no exhaust emissions, they run on renewable electricity and the noise they make is less disturbing to the public.
Portland was one of the first United States cities to implement a modern streetcar system in 2001. Since implementation, more than 10,000 residential units have been built in areas around the system. In fact, development alongside the streetcar route has now exceeded $3.5 billion.
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|Miami-Dade voters to decide fate of courthouse|
$393M bond issue would help build new facility, provide renovations for old one
The fate of a proposed new Miami-Dade County civil courthouse rests in the hands of county voters on Nov. 4. Miami-Dade County commissioners recently voted to put a referendum with a $393 million price tag before voters. Officials have not yet decided whether they would use a traditional design-build format for the facility if the bond issue passes, or use a public-private partnership to complete the project.
Some $25 million of the bond proceeds, if the election is successful, would be used for repairs and maintenance to the existing courthouse. The old facility, built in 1925, is in poor condition and would need some upgrades so that it could continue to be used during the approximately four years it would take to build a new one.
Officials are pushing for a facility of about 620,000 square feet that would not only provide room for 52 courtrooms, but also have enough space for future growth.
No decision has been made yet on the possible location for a new courthouse, but the current courthouse, because of its status as an historic facility, will remain. But, maintenance of that facility to continue to be used for court use would be costly.
"The building is inadequate because of its space," said County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (pictured). "It was built when we had 200,000 people and we have 10 times more people now."
The total cost of the facility could be as high as $540 million.
|New infrastructure financing option in bill|
California legislation could affect housing, highways, water, sewer projects
A bill has passed the California legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature that will provide a tool for local governments to finance infrastructure needs. Senate Bill 628 would change a more-than-two-decades-old Infrastructure Financing District law.
"The bill would provide a flexible tool for local governments to address needed economic development, affordable housing, sustainable development, environmental mitigation and other needs in a fiscally responsible manner," said Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (pictured), a principal co-author of the bill.
Dickinson said the bill will streamline the creation of Infrastructure Financing Districts, expand their purpose and rename them Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFD's). It is is in part a replacement for the authority local governments could once exercise through redevelopment, which was abolished in California in early 2012.
The renamed districts would give communities more authority to build the infrastructure needed throughout the state. Not only could they provide districts with the ability to build public infrastructure, but they would also be a platform for multiple funding streams, including public-private partnerships.
Under the law, cities and counties can create the districts to divert incremental property tax growth in a district for infrastructure projects such as highways, transit and water and sewer systems. Incremental property tax growth can be used to back debt.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Arizona school bond would provide for construction, upgrades, technology
A laundry list of projects is set for the Marana Unified School District (MUSD) in Arizona as part of a November bond election. The election will decide whether the district can issue and sell $125 million in school improvement bonds. Among the projects that would be paid for from bond proceeds are renovations and improvements at schools in the district, construction of new schools and ancillary facilities, new and upgraded technology for classroom instruction and the addition of air-conditioned, fuel-efficient school buses. The bond issue is necessary, say school officials, because of the recent reductions in state funding to schools throughout the state.
Ohio school district seeking $15.2 million bond approval in November
Because of continuing growth in student enrollment - more than 800 students since 2006, the Willard, Ohio, school district will ask voters in November to approve a $15.2 million bond issue. "The last bond issue was approved in 2006 with several projects including the construction of Orchard Hills Elementary," said Kent Medlin (pictured), Willard schools superintendent. Among the projects that would result from a successful bond vote are renovations and additions to schools and upgrade of athletic facilities. Chief among the schools needing additional space are the Willard Intermediate School and Orchard Hills building. The North Elementary school's heating and cooling system also needs attention and the high school needs more indoor space as well as athletic facilities upgrades. North Elementary also would get new entry space and classroom additions would be constructed at the Willard Intermediate School. A new Willard High School multipurpose building would be constructed and new classrooms added at Willard Orchard Hills Elementary. The athletic track surface would be replaced and artificial turf added at the Willard High football stadium. A new tennis court facility would be built on the high school campus and some bond funds would be set aside for property purchases for the future. "I am excited about the potential for these projects," Medlin said. The superintendent said these projects would provide both for new programs and room for continued student growth.
Wisconsin university announces upcoming construction projects
A number of improvement projects are planned over the next few years on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Chancellor Joe Gow announced the upcoming schedule in his annual fall address. Projects over the next several years will include a new student center, an additional chilled water plant, renovation of Wittich Hall and expansions to the science building, recreation center and parking ramp. The projects together total about $400 million. Gow said the goal is to ensure that "a great school keeps getting better."
Superintendent urges P3 fund for school district in Maryland
A public school official in a Maryland school district is pushing for creation of a reserve fund for public-private partnerships (P3s). Clayton Wilcox (pictured), superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, would like to see some of the school system's almost $8 million fund balance put into a P3 fund to help pay for items such as new technology and athletic facility upgrades. In the past, the reserve fund has been used for one-time expenses. His proposal was prompted by a number of schools in the district that have inquired about the possibility of using P3s for athletic fields and facilities. Wilcox plans to address the school board's Finance Committee regarding the possibility of using some of the reserve funds to facilitate partnerships with the private sector. However, he did not limit the use of such a fund to athletics-related projects, but also for projects school officials and the community support. The superintendent also suggested establishment of a technology reserve fund for one-time purchases since most technology upgrades in the past have come from operating funds.
Nebraska school district trying again to pass bond election
After an unsuccessful $21 million bond election to build a new high school and provide renovations for other buildings, officials of the Boone Central Schools in Albion, Nebraska, are ready to try again. Bond supporters and school officials have slimmed down their request for bonds, this time to a total of $13 million, which will be put before voters on Nov. 4. Most of the bond proceeds if the bond issue is successful will go toward adding a new kitchen and offices to the Albion school campus. Also in the bond issue is funding for a new commons area, gym, locker rooms and fitness center. Other plans include renovating science rooms and upgrading the elementary school with a safety project - the addition of fire sprinklers. A security project planned includes adding secure entrances at the middle school in Petersburg.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Port of Long Beach approves modernization program funding
Two-thirds of an approved $858 million Port of Long Beach budget has been set aside for a modernization program at the port. This fiscal year, the Long Beach Harbor Department will spend $579 million on capital projects. The expenditure is part of a $4 billion, 10-year investment in port upgrades and efficiency improvements planned for the port. Also to continue are two of the largest port projects - replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge and redevelopment of the Middle Harbor Terminal. Jon Slangerup (pictured), the port's chief executive officer, said the port must continue to invest in major facilities upgrades to keep the port competitive. "We are proud that the Port of Long Beach remains financially strong," he said. The new budget adds 28 full-time employees, 20 of whom will be in engineering to support capital improvements. A total of $30 million will be used for environmental programs and projects.
Oil spill restoration projects to get millions in Texas
A fund set up by BP and Transocean Ltd. following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster will fund numerous oil spill restoration projects in Texas. About $200 million of that $2.5 billion fund to benefit environmental projects along the Gulf Coast will be spent on projects in Texas. The fund will pay for projects such as restoration of coastal marshes or habitat protection for fish and birds. One project already has benefitted from the fund. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department last month accepted donation of a more than 17,000-acre ranch which was bought primarily with $34.5 million from the fund. Additional funding the state will receive includes about $68 million from the $800 million Gulf Restoration Trust Fund, a federally administered fund that will be shared by five states on the Gulf Coast that were affected by the oil spill. Money from that fund is expected by the end of the year. BP already has paid Texas $5 million in grant funds to assist with the state's oil spill recovery projects.
Infrastructure, public housing get attention from Wisconsin city's budget
Infrastructure and affordable housing would be the big winners if the proposed $247 million executive budget for the city of Madison, Wisconsin, is approved. Officials recently rolled out the proposal that would put $24 million into affordable housing. The proposal also sets aside $38 million for neighborhood centers and $30 million to renovate the Madison Municipal Building. Overall, the budget document includes more than $163 million for new projects and more than $84 million for reauthorizations. It represents the largest capital budget that Mayor Paul Soglin (pictured) has submitted, although it is $10 million short of last year's budget in the new projects category. "Due to our ongoing efforts, we made progress on controlling the capital budget over the past three years, but there are still challenges," said Soglin. Also included in the budget proposal are a public marketplace, cooperative business enterprises development, local fresh food development, library developments, sidewalk repairs and new dog parks. Public safety is high on the priority list as well, with money set aside for both fire and police department activities. Some of the projects previously high on the priority list were again delayed, thanks to the decrease of federal funding. Some of those projects include transit facilities and a biodigester that would help expand the city's composting efforts.
Agency awards $293 million in financial assistance for water projects
More than $293 million in financial assistance for water-related projects in Texas has been approved by the Texas Water Development Board. Of that amount, more than $11.4 million will go toward rural water projects.
The amounts approved include:
- Lower Colorado River Authority - $250 million for a 40,000 acre-foot off-channel reservoir, a new river outfall and other associated infrastructure;
- Beaver Creek Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 - $476,112 in grant funds for a new water system to service 872 people and add more than 300 water connections in Burleson County, including two water wells, groundwater treatment facilities, ground storage tanks and other necessary infrastructure;
- City of Hutto - $21.74 million for a new wastewater treatment plant including the design and construction of a new lift station, force main and wastewater treatment plant.;
- City of Early - $8.265 million for a new wastewater treatment plant;
- City of Los Fresnos - $1,164,101 for wastewater system improvements including replacing sewer collection lines, as well as rehabilitating three existing lift stations and addressing other needed improvements, extending the collection system to 55 homes on the west side of the city;
- City of Los Fresnos - $1,436,101 for water treatment plant improvements including expanding its water treatment plant from 1 million gallons per day to 2.5 million gallons per day, more than doubling its capacity. In addition, the city will replace approximately 22,300 linear feet of water lines and 50 deteriorating fire hydrants; and
- City of McAllen - $10 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
West Virginia city moving forward with plans for new state building, center
Things are moving forward on the Clarksburg, West Virginia, plan for development of a new state building and hotel conference center. The city plans to transfer lots on two streets to the State Department of Administration. Blighted property near that site have been transferred to the state and will be demolished soon by the city. Mayor Cathy Goings (pictured) said a resolution passed by Council, which will be passed on to the urban renewal authority (URA) and used toward development of a planned new hotel and conference center. "That property is for the hotel conference center," said Goings. "So we are very excited that at least now it's moving in a positive direction." The mayor said the URA will put in a redevelopment plan and issue a request for proposals (RFP) to developers. The city of Clarksburg has invested more than $350,000 to have a new state building developed in downtown Clarksburg. Once the property is razed and demolition complete, the project is anticipated to be completed in December of 2015, according to the mayor.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- John Klipsch Consulting won a $100,000 contract from the city of Indianapolis, to review the construction of the proposed criminal justice center for the city and provide advice on design, trade contracts, labor and minority hiring.
- JAR Construction Inc. was awarded a $2 million contract from the city of El Paso to begin work on a pedestrian crossing that will connect Southwest Park to Santa Fe Street.
- DLT Solutions won a contract worth up to $9.3 million from the Air Force for general purpose information technology equipment.
- Leidos won a $20 million contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provide map production services over the course of a three-year period.
- SCR Construction Co. was awarded a $666,025 contract from the Texas Department of Transportation to make repairs to bend caps and grinders on the bridge structure of I345.
- Bickmore won a $50,000 contract from the city of Indianapolis to give risk management and insurance advice regarding the proposed criminal justice center on the Near Westside of the city.
- CESC Skyline won a contract worth up to $2.2 million from the General Services Administration for lease of rental of facilities.
- Scotty's Contracting won a $139 million contract from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to rebuild 17 miles of I-65 in Hardin, Hart and Larue counties, to widen the road to six lanes from its current four, with three running both north and south.
- H.G. Reynolds was awarded a $23,466,491 contract from Dorchester County, South Carolina, to construct a new 83,400-square-foot detention center that will house 350 beds and accommodate up to 650 inmates.
- Accenture Federal Services won a contract worth up to $6.7 million from the U.S. Navy for development, testing and implementation of a document system.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has been awarded a more than $30 million dredging contract to widen the entrance and jetty channels of the Freeport (Texas) Ship Channel and will widen about 4.5 miles of the ship channel by 200 feet, which will allow larger ships to safely navigate the 600 feet-wide channel. In addition, a portion of the dredged material will be used to develop the coastline in Quintana.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Wisconsin community uses P3 to build new performing arts center
In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a public-private partnership is responsible for the building of a new performing arts center when arts-related projects in many areas of the country are suffering from financial problems. The project was a partnership that included the city, the county, the state and a private foundation.
The city put $5 million into the project and the county committed to another $3.5 million. New market tax credits amounting to $25 million were offered by the state and a the Sonnenberg Foundation, a private foundation that supports the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, has donated up to $10 million through property donation and cash. The project, dubbed the Confluence Project, is expected to have a final price tag of $50 million to $55 million.
The Confluence Project will be owned by a traditional nonprofit organization and thus be eligible for the new market tax credits, which officials hope would encourage funding with state approval that does not require a direct grant, attracting private-sector investment.
Wichita State planning 'partnership' buildings as part of master plan
Wichita State University's facilities master plan differs from most in that it has built-in opportunities for private, commercial development on campus. The plan includes up to six "partnership buildings" (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) that can accommodate single or multiple tenants.
The first of the buildings is expected to be under construction in 2015 and will be the second of more than a dozen new buildings on campus in the near future. That first building will be north of where the university plans to build a $43 million experiential engineering building. The first building is expected to be a single-tenant, multi-story facility of 80,000 to 115,000 square feet.
The single and multi-tenant buildings will be paid for with private funding and space leased back to various tenants. A request for qualifications was issued for design-build teams with interest in the project and the responses will be studied soon.
Kentucky lawmakers throw support behind P3sAs the Kentucky Legislature prepares for its next legislative session, it appears there is at least one thing the majority from both sides of the aisle can agree on - public-private partnership (P3) legislation. Most see P3s as a viable option for completing projects when local revenue is not available. The legislation that lawmakers will consider is likely to focus on funding infrastructure projects with public-private partnerships. "Times are tough right now and financially at the state level we don't have the money to provide all the needs of our infrastructure," said Rep. Suzanne Miles. Miles pointed out that a P3 would be a good option for constructing I-69.
Partnerships being sought between state hospitals on Maui, private firms
State-owned hospitals on Maui are in talks again to create a partnership among state-owned hospitals and private health care companies to help address Hawaii Health System Corporation's systemwide $48 million budget deficit. Wesley Lo (pictured), CEO of HHSC's Maui region, said nothing can be done, however, until the legislature amends state law to allow a partnership between the state-run facilities and private partners. "We're always hopeful for a new partner to provide new capital," said Lo.
Lo said officials are hoping to have a pre-negotiated deal to hand over to the state legislature seeking a change in the law. Without a partnership, Lo said systemwide layoffs could begin in December. However, he noted that a partnership with a private firm would mean more health care jobs and create a more sustainable medical system for Hawaii Health System.
P3s making progress in development of downtown Detroit area
The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), a public-private partnership (P3) that taxes downtown businesses to help maintain the central business district, reports some 30 development projects valued at close to $750 million are currently part of that exercise. The DDP hopes that by 2020, the number of residents in that area will increase to 10,000 from the current 6,500. They also hope for 400 retail establishments and 100,000 office employees. One business, "Z" garage, is completed and the Detroit Institute of Music Education and The Albert luxury condos could be the next to be completed. Another addition will be the $650 million Detroit Red Wings arena and entertainment district project, which is expected to be completed in 2016. It is expected to transform another 45 blocks between downtown and Midtown.
|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 Megan Smith.
Google Vice President Megan Smith (pictured) has been chosen as the next federal chief technology officer. Smith's experience with Google includes being vice president of business development for nine years. She also was general manager of Google.org and is the former chief executive officer of Planet Out. Smith will replace federal CTO Todd Park, who is leaving his post to become a Silicon Valley-based technology advisor to the White House. Smith previously worked at a variety of startups, including Apple in Tokyo and General Magic in Mountain View, California, as a product design lead on smartphone technologies. She joined Planet Out as chief operations officer in 1996 and was named CEO in 1998. Smith joined Google in 2003 and in her most recent role as vice president of business development, led new business development and early-stage partnerships across Google's global engineering and product teams. Smith earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from MIT.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A community college in Virginia is planning a $13 million project that will result in the gutting and renovation of one of its campus facilities that dates back to the 1980s. New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will be installed in the building as well. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turahn Dorsey (top left), an official at the Barr Foundation, has been appointed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh as Boston's first "chief of education," a new Cabinet-level official who will cultivate relationships with all schools in Boston, including the 128 public schools, charter schools, parochial schools, private schools and Boston's colleges and universities. Former Silver City, New Mexico, Mayor James Marshall (top center) has been hired as Silver City's assistant town manager, effective Oct. 6. Cameron McLay (top right), a leadership development consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and former Madison, Wisconsin, police officer and captain, has been chosen as the new Pittsburgh police chief. FBI Director James B. Comey has named Joshua Skule, a deputy assistant director in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and a veteran of the agency since 1998, special agent in charge of the FBI's Intelligence Division of the Washington Field Office. Bangor (Maine) City Manager Cathy Conlow recently announced the appointment of two new department directors with Patricia Hamilton of Bangor appointed director of Health and Community Services, and John Theriault of Bangor named city engineer. Matt Runge, superintendent of the Warsaw School District, has been chosen to head the Pleasant Plants School District in Illinois. Jennifer Deegan (bottom right), former senior health and human services advisor to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, has been named associate vice president for the Office of Governmental Relations at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health). Stacey Franklin Jones (bottom center), a management and partnerships consultant with a background in higher education leadership, was elected Thursday as the chancellor at Elizabeth City State University, succeeding Charles Becton, who has been serving as interim chancellor for the last 13 months. Rebecca Fleury (bottom left), a former Middleville village manager and finance director, was recently selected as the new city manager for the city of Battle Creek, Michigan, replacing interim city manager Susan Bedsole, who replaced retiring city manager Ken Tsuchiyama in February. Portland, Maine, Deputy City Manager Sheila Hill-Christian, a former high-ranking administrator in Richmond, Virginia, has been named acting city manager in Portland. The Maui Police Commission recently selected Tivoli Faaumu, who has been with the Maui Police Department since 1985, most recently as district manager for the Kihei station, as the new police chief for Maui County. Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor William Bell has appointed Assistant Chief Charles Gordon, Jr., to replace the late Ivor Brooks, who died while in office, as the new chief of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service.
|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|
Georgetown Law to host public-private partnership symposiumAs a follow-up to the White House Rural Council's Rural Opportunity Investment Conference held last week, Georgetown Law is hosting a series of symposiums on public-private partnerships (P3s) during the 2014-2015 academic year. Each symposium will feature government officials, commercial practitioners and academic leaders in a neutral space, to encourage effective and innovative approaches to P3s. The first of the three full-day sessions was held on July 24, and will be followed by events on Oct. 31 and another at a yet-to-be-announced date in early 2015. The October session, "Structuring Public-Private Partnerships for Asset Management," will focus on ways the public and private sectors can partner. The 2015 event, "Partnering with State and Local Governments," will discuss paths for recognizing partnership opportunities, collaborations among state and local governments to share expertise and how to structure partnerships to reduce risks while ensuring value for taxpayer dollars. Later in 2015, another session, "Driving Successful Execution of Public-Private Partnerships," will identify challenges to implementation of P3s and factors that can lead to successful partnerships. For more information, click here.
NASCIO planning for September annual conference in NashvilleRegistration is now open for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference - "Raising the Bar...What's Next." The conference will be at the Omni Nashville Hotel from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. The keynote address at the event will be delivered by sociobiologist Rebecca Costa, who will address "The Cautionary Side of Big Data." The event will offer multiple networking opportunities. The State Recognition Awards Dinner will be on Monday, Sept. 29. Some of the session topics will address open data, digital government, collaboration between state governments and universities and insights from public sector leaders following the 2014 State CIO Survey. More information is available.
TEXAS DESAL 2014 event slated for Sept. 11-12 in AustinThe 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 Water Development Board Member 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. For more information and to register, click here.
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