|Volume 6, Issue 24||Sept. 24, 2014|
Cost of congestion - higher than most believe possible
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Traffic congestion costs both commuters and taxpayers billions of dollars each year. With inadequate funds for roadway maintenance - much less for new highway construction - what are public officials to do? Interestingly enough, some fairly innovative solutions are proving successful.
In Honolulu, drivers spend an average 50 hours a year in traffic gridlock. In fact, according to Inrix, a traffic information provider, Honolulu is the most congested city in the country. But, relief may be coming soon. The Honolulu Rail Transit Project, a $5.2 billion initiative, should reduce congestion by 18 percent. The plan is to take as many as 40,000 cars off the road.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
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|University of Louisville plans $1B research park|
Public-private partnerships part of equation for successful Belknap Campus
Plans for a 39-acre, $1 billion research park at the University of Louisville were recently unveiled. To be known as Belknap Campus (as seen in the accompanying artist's rendering), the Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park is expected to have a nearly $709 million economic impact in the next three decades. The park will feature about 1 million square feet of research space. It is expected to create nearly 16,000 construction, research and development and other jobs.
Before the university and the park can qualify for state-allowed tax increment financing (TIF), the university must see investment of at least $200 million. That could result in nearly $700 million toward the project. So far, some $165 million has been invested in developing the park. Neville Pinto (pictured), dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, said he expects that milestone to be reached by the end of this year. Construction is expected to be completed within seven years.
The value of the park, said Pinto, will include bringing high-performing students to the campus. The park will be located south of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Pinto said the park will mean additional space for engineering school facilities and for private-sector partners seeking to partner with the university.
The University of Louisville Foundation, which owns the property on which the park will be located, will make up the difference in what is not generated through the TIF program. The Foundation could get a return on its investment as a result of public-private partnerships supporting the center. "We are trying to be creative and entrepreneurial in how we approach this, we will not burden our educational budget on this," said Pinto. That is not even in the cards."
The initial step on the project was the securing of close to $20 million of the more than $30 million needed for infrastructure needs at the park, including a road and ramp. Louisville President James Raney said without the efforts of state and local government officials working to come up with that funding for access infrastructure, the project would never have gotten off the ground.
|N.C. governor wants state to borrow $1 billion|
Most of funds being sought would be dedicated to rural transportation projects
Rural North Carolina has a friend in Gov. Pat McCrory (pictured). The governor recently announced that he would like to see the state borrow more than $1 billion for transportation projects, most of them in rural areas of the state.
McCrory, joined by the state's Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, recently made stops in four North Carolina cities touting his proposal of a 25-year plan to invest in rail, transit, highway and port projects statewide. In addition to rural projects, the governor also is calling for additional investments in urban areas, to include mass transit projects and freeway upgrades. The governor said the new plan would take the politics out of highway spending.
Because of a continuing decline in rural areas of the state, McCrory said the more than two-dozen projects for which he is seeking funding would not be headed to major cities. "We've looked at some specific projects where we think these bonds will speed up projects which really have been sitting on the sidelines," he said. Small towns, he said, are not enjoying the economic revival of the larger cities and are "still struggling," said the governor.
If the program and funding are approved by the General Assembly when it meets next year, revenue bonds could be issued for projects that are either shovel-ready or close. Projects could qualify if their permits are complete and ready to start within a year of approval of the bonds.
Among the projects would be replacement of old bridges, improvement of rail and road links, upgrading interstate standards, improvement of interstate and other road improvements that affect freight and commuter traffic and improvement of industrial access to rail lines and highway routes.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Multi-million dollar lacrosse stadium part of University of Michigan project University of Michigan Regents recently approved the $168 million Athletics South Competition and Performance Project, to be located along South State Street on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus. It includes numerous upgrades as well as a new 3,000-seat lacrosse stadium. "We are grateful for the support that our Regents and university leadership have continued to provide as we execute our transformational facilities plan for Michigan Athletics," said Dave Brandon (pictured), UM's director of athletics. "This phase of the plan will complete several of our largest projects that will have a major impact on the future of Michigan Athletics. We are providing state-of-the-art facilities for all of our student-athletes to meet, train, compete and develop as students, athletes and community leaders." The project includes a performance and team center with specialized spaces for a variety of teams, shared resources for strength and conditioning, athletic maintenance, a performance lab, meeting space and locker rooms. There will also be an indoor rowing tank, new indoor and outdoor track and field facilities and more. The university will also seek a minimum silver LEED-certification, and the facilities will be built to energy standards 30 percent above Michigan building code requirements.The facilities will also be available for use by students in the university's recreational sports programs.
New York turning to voters to approve bond for statewide technology upgrades
Voters in New York will head to the polls in November to decide a $2 billion bond issue that, if successful, would provide for technology upgrades at schools statewide. Called the "Smart Schools" initiative, the proposal would begin a surge of investment across the state, said Lt. Governor Robert Duffy (pictured). Duffy said Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants all students to have the same opportunities when it comes to access to technology, "especially in districts that are economically challenged." The initiative had its beginnings in 2014 in Cuomo's State of the State address. Officials say 98 percent of schools in the state are in need of upgrades to their Internet connections to fiber-optic by 2018. Tiffany Zhou of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway praised officials for their pushing for this initiative. "This funding will give New York a unique and unprecedented opportunity to invest in a broadband program that can close the connectivity gap in every school statewide."
Arkansas schools to have nearly $1 million Internet study statewide
Nearly $1 million has been approved by the Arkansas Legislative Council for assessment of broadband access, equipment and connectivity at schools throughout the state. A contract capped at $993,780 was awarded to CT&T Inc. The company's assessment will begin soon, with a report due back to the State Legislature by December. Officials say more and more schools are being hamstrung regarding technology usage in the classroom and on standardized tests that are in online formats, making them unavailable to schools without broadband access. In a school-related issue, the Legislative Council also approved a $149,500 sole-source contract with a private firm that will study operations of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and offer recommendations as to how to increase the revenue for scholarships. Net proceeds from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery are used to provide scholarships and grants to Arkansas residents enrolled in public and private nonprofit two-year and four-year colleges and universities within the state.
Massachusetts high school to get major athletic facilities upgrades
The Agawam, Massachusetts, City Council recently agreed to take out $6.7 million in bonds to pay for new athletic facilities at the city's high school. The entire project is expected to cost $7.7 million, so the final $1 million will come from Community Preservation Act funds. The money will be used for facility upgrades. Council President Christopher Johnson (pictured) said he was behind the project, but was a bit frustrated that not enough information was released to the Council. The proposal includes a new track, turf field, bleachers, concession stands, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms, tennis courts, a baseball field, basketball courts and improvement to the locker rooms to meet Title IX requirements. Bids are expected to be sought in the spring, but a ground breaking sought within a year.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Feds looking to lease office space in downtown Baltimore
If you have 100,000 and 130,000 square feet of office space in the Baltimore central business district to lease, the federal government would like to talk to you. The government will be looking to occupy the space between 2017 and 2018, according to the General Services Administration (GSA), which recently released a solicitation. In addition to the stated square footage necessary, GSA also is requiring 50 parking spaces reserved for the exclusive use of the government, along with a small amount of storage space. Responses for the 10-year and 20-year lease are due Oct. 3. Officials indicate that there are few choices downtown. Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. President Kirby Fowler (pictured) said a newly constructed building might be the best option. View the solicitation here.
P3s could provide for fixing areas of need for Illinois dams, locks
Urgent repairs to Illinois locks and dams are needed soon, according to a recent report by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. The many needed projects could possibly lend themselves to public-private partnerships (P3s). There are eight locks and dams in the Illinois Waterway System. Additionally, there are nearly 30 more along the state border. Most were built in the 1930s and are badly in need of repair. The state is in need of more federal dollars to repair the system's infrastructure. "The maintenance needs of this aging infrastructure are increasing at a much greater rate than funding for operations and maintenance, negatively affecting the reliability of the system," reads the report. As with other waterways across the country, there is great expectation that the expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to provide increased opportunity for exports. But, the report notes that "these opportunities are in jeopardy because of the unreliability of the waterways." The report notes that backlogs in deferred operations and maintenance amount to more than $500 million across Illinois alone. New locks and dams were authorized in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation, but no federal resources have been appropriated for these projects. Because of declining federal funds for such projects, the Army Corps of Engineers has turned to looking for alternative options to finance and deliver improvements. The Corps has been authorized under Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 legislation to develop public-private partnerships to create effective solutions.
New Jersey awarded $1.28 billion for storm protection for state transit system
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc with the New Jersey transit line nearly two years ago. To keep that from happening again, the state will receive $1.28 million in federal funds to shore up the transit system against such storms in the future. The funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration in the form of a grant. The money will be used to ensure that the largest statewide public transportation network in the country can continue to operate even if the main power grid goes down. "These projects are absolutely critical to hardening our region's transportation infrastructure against future extreme weather," said Veronique Hakim (pictured), executive director of NJ Transit, in a statement. Superstorm Sandy left the New Jersey transit system with sections of its track washed out, bridge girders dislodged and resulted in flooded stations and terminals. Damages were estimated at $400 million. Sixty-two of the locomotives were damaged and more than 260 rail cars needed repairs. The federal grant funds will help build an electrical microgrid to allow trains to continue to run even with loss of power. It will raise substations to keep them out of the line of flooding, replace a damaged drawbridge and provide dirt work that will fill a former barge canal to keep floodwaters out of the Hoboken Terminal.
Corpus Christi moving nearer construction of proposed desalination plant
The city of Corpus Christi and Port Industries in that city are continuing toward possible construction of a desalination plant in the city. Port Industries uses some 40 percent of the city's water supply and the two have been discussing an alternate source of water, particularly since the city has been in some of its worst drought conditions in its history. In the interest of maintaining a reliable water source, desalination looked like a viable option. Officials now expect that an agreement between the city and Port Industries will soon be signed so that the two can move forward with plans for a desalination plant. After that agreement is signed, contractors and developers interested in building a desal plant will be sought. Officials expect the plant to be privately financed, with refineries and port industries paying for the desalinated water. Both the city and Port Industries have indicated they are ready to move forward, but a key factor will be the cost. If things remain on track, officials expect they could be seeking developers and contractors for the project by next year.
Nearly $3.6 billion in federal funds to assist with 40 projects
Forty projects will share $3.59 billion in federal disaster relief funds as a result of damages caused during Hurricane Sandy. "Over the last two years, the Federal Transit Administration has delivered on its promises to provide emergency relief funds as quickly and responsibly as possible, to help transit agencies in the Northeast recover from the worst transit-related disaster in U.S. history," said Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan (pictured). "As we have said since the day Hurricane Sandy made landfall nearly two years ago, we share an obligation not only to fully restore transportation systems that millions of riders depend on from New England to New York to D.C., but also to ensure that we can do an even better job of protecting these vulnerable assets in the face of future natural disasters." Examples of the project funded include $1.6 billion to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to make flood protections at multiple street-level openings throughout the subway system, rail yards, substations, critical support facilities and underground equipment. The funds also will be used for tunnel portals used by the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak. Rockaway Line stations and upgrades to an emergency management communication system and also on the list, along with flood-proof communications and signal rooms at key subway stations. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has been allocated about $35 million to raise a retaining wall and install watertight barriers at the Green Line Fenway Portal. The goal is to reduce flooding.There will also be repairs and improvements to a deteriorated seawall. To view a list of all funded projects, click here.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Atlas General Contractors won a $36.9 million contract from the city of Oklahoma City to build the MAPS 3 expo center at State Fair Park. The building will replace the Travel and Transportation Building and Carriage Hall with a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall.
- Agile Access Control won a contract worth up to $2.3 million from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for information technology and telecommunications services.
- Raytheon was awarded a $130 million contract from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for an All Electronic Tolling System (AETS).
- Hudson Construction Inc.won a $3.13 million general demolition and construction contract from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County in Ohio for a new, single-story, 18,135-square-foot building.
- Airtec won a contract worth up to $11 million from the General Services Administration for transportation, travel and relocation services.
- E.L. Crawford was awarded a $1.8 million contract from the Missouri Air National Guard for a new 6,000-square-foot building for the 139th Security Squadron, that will include 4,000 square feet of administrative space to include a large training room and multiple offices as well as 2,000 square feet for a mobility storage warehouse.
- Ecology and Environment, Inc. has been awarded a $7.8 million, 36-month contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation for consulting services related to hazardous waste and underground storage tank investigations at sites of planned IDOT construction activities, oversight of emergency response actions to incidents at IDOT facilities, evaluation of corrective and remedial actions and costs, compliance assessments and implementation of remedial programs.
- Mountain Enterprises, Inc. was awarded a $1.47 million contract from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the next phase of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail in eastern Kentucky.
- Kapsch TrafficCom won a $39 million, 7-year contract from the Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board and Tolling Body to operate tolls for the Ohio River bridges.
- Populous and Lavallee Brensinger Architects, in conjunction with PC Construction Company, have been selected by the University of New Hampshire as the design-build team for the new $25 million athletic complex scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Long Beach looking to public-private partnership to rebuild its Civic Center
The city of Long Beach, California, will be looking to a public-private partnership to hopefully move forward the long-discussed rebuild of the city's Civic Center. Recent seismic studies reveal that a serious earthquake could result in huge liability problems for the aging facility. To renovate the facility would be expensive, and paid for through a probable tax increase.
Instead, officials are hoping that a private-sector developer can be found to partner with the city on a rebuild project. Officials believe that if a P3 is formed, the city will be able to use the $12.6 million spent annually on the facility to be put into a rebuild, with the facility aiming to reinvigorate the downtown area. Two private-sector developers already have submitted proposals for a P3 that would have the city paying rent for 40 years on the structure they build. After that time, the building and land would revert back to the city.
The proposed new Civic Center would include City Hall, the Main Library and Lincoln Park. "We're here because we have to be here because of seismic issues," said City Manager Pat West (pictured).
Texas water system to use P3 to ensure additional water supply
The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is planning a public-private partnership with a private-sector consortium that will use a 140-mile-long pipeline to bring water to the area. According to the San Antonio Express-News, SAWS will buy water from the Vista Ridge Consortium. The San Antonio City Council will vote on the issue later this month, with meetings being planned to take public input. The Express-News reports that the cost of the project will be approximately $3.4 billion. SAWS will pay $2,200 per acre-foot initially, with the rates likely to increase in time. Officials say the pipeline will increase the water supply by 20 percent, with the water coming from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer.
Virginia county hoping P3 will help preserve historic school
A public-private partnership (P3) will be sought by officials in Loudoun County, Virginia, where the Board of Supervisors is seeking to preserve the historic Old Arcola Elementary School building. Costly renovations needed have led the county officials to seek assistance from the private sector, even though it means the school may not remain in the possession of the county. A P3 would provide the necessary funding that will keep the county from likely having to put the property up for sale. Although county supervisors have not decided what to do with the building if it is refurbished, they do not have the estimated $10 million some say the renovations would cost. Built in 1939 as part of the Public Works Administration and listed on The National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register, the building has been vacant since 2006. While the preference of the supervisors is to save the building, they are not opposed to selling it as a means of preserving it.
Public-private partnership will help build police station in Bethesda, Maryland
Thanks to a public-private partnership (P3), a new county police station will be built in Bethesda, Maryland, Montgomery County. The county has entered into a P3 arrangement with real estate firm StonebrigeCarras, LLC. The new station will be a four-story, state-of-the-art facility. Officials are hoping for a construction start in late 2015 with completion by the end of 2016.
"This is just another example of creative county partnerships with the private sector, leveraging underutilized county property to deliver new county facilities at little or no cost to the county, while returning higher value publicly owned property to the county tax base," said County Executive Ike Leggett (pictured).
The current police station, built in 1961, is small and needs extensive renovations to meet today's police department needs. The land on which the current station is located is prime real estate, so the county plans to trade it, based on the value of the land, for a new facility at a different location. StonebridgeCarras will build the station and the current property will be transferred to StonebridgeCarras.
City of Salinas hoping to expand local library with public-private partnership
After recently recommending a $100,000 needs study, city staff in Salinas, California, are hoping the study and a public-private partnership (P3) will help expand the El Gabilan Library in the city. The study is expected to help define the size, construction cost and operational costs for either a new or expanded facility. The P3 agreement calls for the majority of the project costs to be paid for by the allUS Credit Union, the former Monterey County Credit Union.
Under the terms of the public-private partnership, the majority of the project's costs would be paid for by the allUS Credit Union. The agreement comes after an application by allUS Credit Union to develop and move to a city-owned lot next door to El Gabilan. The current El Gabilan lot would be combined with the neighboring lot sought by the credit union. The credit union would then rent its share of the lot from the city through a 40-year ground lease, paying all the rent in advance - $1.4 million. The city would use those funds to help pay for part of the library expansion. The remainder would have to come from private foundations and state and national grants.
Three developers chosen for P3 in Odessa for hotel, convention center
The city of Odessa, Texas, has put three developers on a short list of candidates to build a downtown hotel and convention center. Their proposals for the public-private partnership must be submitted by Oct. 3. All three are experienced in the P3 arena. City officials are hopeful the proposed facilities will help begin a revitalization of the downtown area of the city.
City Manager Richard Morton (pictured) said the proposals from the three developers will include anticipated costs for the project. Among the possible incentives for developers are hotel/motel taxes, property tax abatements and Odessa Development Corporation funds for privately-operated properties. The city is looking for a plan under which the city will own the convention center and the developer would operate it. "We are not looking to issue any debt," said Morton.
The developers asked to submit proposals include Denver-based Swerdling and Associates, Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp. and Arlington, Texas-based Depalma Hotels and Resorts.
|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 Jimmy Patronis.
Rep. Jimmy Patronis (pictured), a member of the Florida House since 2007, has been appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to serve on the Public Service Commission, the agency that approves utility rates in the state. Patronis is a resident of Panama City and had previously shown interest in running for the Florida State Senate in 2016. He is the vice president of Captain Anderson's Restaurant in Panama City Beach. Petronis earned an associate's degree in restaurant management from Gulf Coast Community College in 1994 and a bachelor's degree in political science from Florida State University in 1996. After graduating from Florida State, Patronis served as an intern in the Florida Senate and the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. He was appointed in 1998 to the Florida Elections Commission by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles, serving until 2003. He also served on the Bay County Airport Authority from 2004 to 2006. He is a former chair of the Bay County-Panama City International Airport and Industrial District and served on the Florida Council on Vocational Education.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro (top left) has announced that she will resign at the end of this year, concluding a five-year tenure after becoming head of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2009. The National Park Service has tapped Douglas Neighbor (top center), a 25-year veteran of the park service and superintendent of Big Thicket National Preserve in Southeast Texas since July 2011, as the new superintendent of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Coral Gables, Florida, has chosen the city of Atlanta's chief financial officer, Jim Beard (top right), as the Gables' new city manager, replacing Pat Salerno, who resigned in April after five years on the job. Longtime employee and Deputy Director for Communication Katie Blount will become director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History beginning in February after having worked at the department since 1994 and in the director's office the last 10 years. Michael Thomas, superintendent of the Capital School District in Dover, Delaware, will retire in June 2015 after having led the district since 2002. The Des Moines City Council has named Scott Sanders, former assistant city manager, as the city's new city manager. The Tennessee Supreme Court chose Herbert Slatery III (bottom right), Gov. Bill Haslam's chief legal counsel, to be the state's attorney general. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel (bottom center) is leaving his post at the White House to join the U.S. Agency for International Development's Ebola response team, and will be responsible for advising the agency on using technology and data in its response to the epidemic. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has created a new state agency, the Office of Community Engagement, which will address poverty and minority issues and will be headed by new Director Maida Coleman (bottom left), a former state senator. Mark Ferreira, a paramedic captain since 2001 for the Ebbetts Pass Fire Department, has been chosen as the Columbia (California) Fire Protection District chief. Stephanie Burton, former fire marshal for the city of Decatur, Georgia, was recently promoted to deputy fire chief, replacing Tim Hatcher, who retired last month. Ken Miller, formerly with the Greensboro Police Department, has been chosen as the next Greenville, South Carolina, police chief, succeeding interim Chief Mike Gambrell, who recently retired.
|Opportunity of the week...|
An East Coast port is planning to spend $356 million for an expansion project. The result will be a port that is able to handle container volume growth as well as helping reduce port truck traffic and emissions and provide jobs. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or email@example.com.
|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|
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 Nashville
Registration 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
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