|Volume 6, Issue 38||January 14, 2015|
Solar energy - a new look at an old option
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Everyone knows about solar energy...but, not so many people are aware of the radical changes in solar technology that have taken place in the last few years.
Solar energy now costs between 4.5 and 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. That's a tenfold drop over previous costs.
Other forms of electricity generation can cost 33 cents per kilowatt-hour - or more. Considering significantly reduced costs plus the environmental benefits of solar energy, it's obvious why families, business owners and public officials are embracing this energy option.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
|Malloy lays out plan for Conneticut transportation overhaul|
House Speaker Sharkey calls tolling 'inevitable,' governor does not rule them out Saying, "We need a new approach," Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (right) laid out his goals for a transportation overhaul in the state during his recent State of the State address.
"We know that transportation and economic growth are bound together," said Malloy. "States that make long-term investments in their infrastructure can have vibrant economies for generations. States that don't will struggle. It's that simple."
Malloy pointed out that roads and bridges that are either deficient or overly-congested cost Connecticut drivers a total of $4.2 billion per year. With that in mind, the governor gave examples of some of the problems that need to be addressed, including widening I-95 statewide and repairing its entrance and exit ramps, building new rail stations and upgrading branch lines to provide real commuter rail service and creating a statewide, 21st Century bus service with real-time updates commuters can check on their cell phones. "We need to improve transportation of all kinds, in towns of all sizes, across all of our state."
Malloy has proposed a "lock box" for transportation funds to ensure funds dedicated to transportation are used for transportation, without any diversions.
The governor is attuned to the fact that billions of dollars will be needed to carry out his vision for Connecticut transportation, and that gas tax revenues to support those projects are dwindling. But, he also noted that the state of transportation infrastructure is costing Connecticut billions of dollars in lost time and revenue.
Although not a popular notion, the governor has not ruled out using tolls to pay for some projects. House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (left) said tolls are likely inevitable. He said it is "unfair to ask the taxpayers of Connecticut to shoulder the entire burden of maintenance and upgrades to our transportation system as everyone around the country travels through our state every day." Malloy is expected to further address his transportation goals and how to pay for them when he presents his two-year budget in February.
|PennDOT finalizes terms on bridge replacement project|
Construction on more than 550 structures could begin as early as this summer
Construction on more than 550 bridges in Pennsylvania could begin as early as this summer. (PennDOT photo)
Construction on the 558 bridges in Pennsylvania that are part of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project (RBR) could begin this summer. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Barry J. Schoch (pictured) said this week that the department's $899 million program's details have all finally been ironed out, opening the door for the project to begin.
Schoch said PennDOT has a signed contract completed with the contractor. "This is an important milestone in the state's most ambitious public-private partnership (P3) initiative to date."
The RBR initiative was approved by the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board in September 2013.
Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners and a team of nearly a dozen subcontractors were named in 2014 to lead the project. They will be responsible for the design, construction and 25 years of maintenance for the bridges after construction is complete. The team has 36 months to complete the project. It will also bring the capital for construction to the agreement, with PennDOT maintaining ownership of the bridges.
State officials say this public-private partnership will ensure that the projects are completed quicker than a traditional model. They also point to how the department will save money with a P3. The cost for PennDOT to replace each bridge is somewhere around $2 million each, while the consortium of private-sector partners is $1.6 million.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
CU-Boulder asking for $20 million for biotech building expansion
The University of Colorado-Boulder will ask the state for $20 million for a proposed fifth wing to be added to its biotechnical building on East Campus. With the increase in the number of biochemistry and engineering students on the campus, officials say the fifth wing is needed for additional classroom and learning space. The current state budget request from the governor includes more than $281 million for capital construction and information technology projects. The Boulder campus has offered to pay $8 million toward the new 57,000-square-foot wing. If the budget request is approved by the Joint Budget Committee and then the State Legislature, the new wing would likely be funded. The CU-Boulder campus already has appropriated $4 million toward the design of the proposed academic wing. "As the university continues to develop East Campus, it's migrating from what used to be a research park to a true extension of the main campus," said Steve Thweatt (pictured), vice chancellor for administration. He said the need for additional educational spaces has become apparent.
Minnesota school district bond passes, projects to begin later this year
Following passage of a $54 million bond election, the Renville County (Minnesota) West school district is about to work toward sale of the bonds and seeking bids for projects. Voters rejected a similar bond issue last August. As a result of the successful bond referendum, five new classrooms will be added on the K-12 campus in Renville. A 15,800-square-foot gym will also be built that will include a fitness center to serve the community as well as the school. Also to be developed is a bus drop-off site. In addition to working toward sale of the bonds, architectural and design work will follow and then a call for bids. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with a completion date of fall 2016 expected.
Ysleta ISD in El Paso could possibly be facing bond sale in fall
The Ysleta Independent School District could be facing a bond election in the fall. Following a visit to more than 60 schools in the district in December of last year, board trustees and a Facilities Assessment Committee saw first-hand some of the problems that need to be addressed regarding current facilities. A workshop meeting was held earlier this week and reports and feedback from the committee and subcommittees regarding athletics, fine arts and technology were heard to determine what steps to take next. Community meetings will follow. And, the results of all the actions could lead to a bond sale this year. An engineering firm reported that more than $72 million is needed for repairs on the district's aging buildings. Repairs totaling $233.4 million are said to be needed over the next five years alone.
Oklahoma school district planning to put bond referendum before voters
Two major projects - construction of a new high school and renovation of the existing high school - are the goal of putting a $2.5 million bond issue before voters in the Bray-Doyle school district in Stephens County, Oklahoma. If approved, the bond issue would also provide funding for technology upgrades and new buses. The bond issue has been separated into two different propositions. One would build a new high school that would include more space for students and help do away with portable classrooms. The second proposition would add 150 new computers so that every student in grades 8-12 will have access to a new tablet computer. Superintendent David Eads (pictured) said the technology upgrades will help prepare students for a 21st century workplace. "That's the age we live in," he said. "To be a successful part of a work place, they need that information. They need that skill, and we want to provide it." Three new buses and a safe room for students will also be part of the bond vote. If the bond passes, groundbreaking could be held by March or early April. A new high school would likely only take a year to complete.
Ohio school bond election would keep two schools, replace others
In Ohio, the Northwest school district is seeking voter approval to renew a 4.5-mill emergency bond and operating levy in May. The district says a "yes" vote will not only lower district residents' taxes, but also improve or replace all of the district's buildings except for two high schools. The plan being put before voters would replace some elementary schools with three bigger new schools. It would also close two current schools. A recent survey showed most voters support that plan. The K-5 Colerain and Monfort Heights elementary buildings and the district's three middle schools and both of the district's high schools would be renovated. Board members have until Feb. 4 to pass a resolution to proceed with the election for it to be on the May 5 ballot.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Community in Clarksville has $1.02 billion in infrastructure needs
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) recently released a report that outlined infrastructure needs in Clarksville. While infrastructure needs are great, funding to meet those needs is not. According to TACIR, the Clarksville community needs to examine its transportation networks, new public school and additions, post-secondary education and pre-schools, water and wastewater and recreation. The report indicates that there are 185 projects in Clarksville that need attention, carrying a price tag of more than $1.02 billion, spanning a five-year period through 2017 and including capital projects with costs of at least $50,000 each.
County in Washington State preparing to build new $109 million jail
Because the existing Whatcom County (Washington) jail is in need of expansion and improved infrastructure, the county is preparing to construct beginning in February 2017 a new jail and adjacent facility that will house all Sheriff's Office operations, according to Jack Louws (pictured), county executive. The estimated cost of the project is $109 million. The jail will have approximately 520 beds and will include an area for housing and treating inmates with mental illness. "While the construction has critical infrastructure elements to consider, there are also design choices that help to make positive and corrective impacts on the inmates," said Louws in his commentary in an article he wrote for a local newspaper. Louws noted that the project will require a voter-approved tax measure in the fall to ensure construction on the proposed timeline.
Grant funds will pay for marina, public boat launch area in California
The Los Angeles County Supervisors have voted to accept $300,000 in grant funds that will be used to make improvements to the public boat launch area in Marina del Rey. These grant funds are awarded for publicly owned marinas as part of a Cal Boating grant. The money will be used first to develop plans and specifications for the project and obtaining a permit for the project. The county will now have to come up with approximately $2.9 million to complete the project. Depending on available funds, Cal Boating also stands ready to provide additional funding for improvements to the boat launch facility. The Board of Supervisors also are expecting an $80,000 grant from Cal Boating to help the Sheriff's Department in Marina del Rey to purchase outboard engines to help ensure safety in responding to calls and rescues.
Local governments in Massachusetts to share $100M for infrastructure
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (pictured) has instructed Frank DePaola, acting Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to release $100 million in Chapter 90 funds for local infrastructure. "I am pleased that one of the first acts of this administration is to fulfill our commitment to ensure local governments have access to the infrastructure funds they have been promised for transportation upgrades," said Baker. "The release of these funds represents a step towards creating better jobs and building stronger communities in Massachusetts." Baker sent letters to local officials regarding the release of the funds, with the amount going to each determined by formula funding. These funds are the final third of Chapter 90 funding that was authorized in 2014. The money allocated reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects.Cities and towns submit receipts to their Highway Department district for verification that they qualify for reimbursement. The Highway Department then submits the receipts to the Department of Transportation. To view the Chapter 90 apportionment by city/town, click here.
McKinney, other Texas cities making requests for Prop 1 transportation funds
In Texas, cities are making their priority lists of what projects they are hopeful will receive Prop 1 funds from the Texas Department of Transportation. Prop 1 dedicated a portion of the state's rainy day fund to the Texas Highway Fund to augment the usual allocation by the state. In McKinney, in Collin County, officials are seeking close to $14 million in Prop 1 funds for an alignment project on FM 546. Total construction costs for the project are about $20 million, so the additional funding, if allocated, would lighten the financial burden of the city for the project. Collin County is expecting to see a total of more than $88 million in Prop 1 funds coming its way. Priority projects include two US 75 expansion projects and an FM 2514 expansion. Those two projects alone would account for $70 million together.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Cadet Construction Co. won a $2,514,865 contract from the Hertford County (North Carolina) Board of Commissioners to build the county's new E911 and Emergency Operations Center.
- BL Harbert International won a $34.9 million contract from the University of Mississippi to build Phase II of the university's university housing project. The project is a 169,000-square-foot dorm facility.
- Blueridge Federal Consulting won a contract worth up to $2.6 million from the U.S. Army for professional, administrative and management support services.
- Turner Construction was awarded an $8.8 million contract by the city of Baytown, Texas, to begin construction of a joint 911 Emergency Communications and Information Data Services Center.
- Dragados USA won a $142 million contract from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for construction on Durham's 2.9-mile East End Connector, the last link in a new north-south freeway through the center of the Triangle.
- The Purcell Contracting, Ltd. was awarded a $929,000 contract by the city of Abilene, Texas, for the Maple Street Pump Station Improvements Project. The Project is for the design of new pumps, piping, and appurtenances necessary to expand both the pumping and transfer capacity of the pump station.
- East West Inc. won a contract worth up to $36.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for utilities and housekeeping services.
- TeleCommunications Systems, Inc. was awarded a $16.4 million contract by the state of South Dakota to provide Next Generation 9-1-1 services and operate the state's NG9-1-1 system for the next five years under direction of the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board.
- Accenture Federal Services won a five-year, $563 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue work on the federally facilitated marketplace after taking over the HealthCare.gov site after a lackluster launch.
- West Bay Builders won a $2.7 million contract from Bay Area Rapid Transit to reconstruct and make safety improvements to the area outside the Richmond station where buses, taxis and cars drop off and pick up riders.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Kentucky General Assembly urged to support public-private partnerships
An unusual source is making its support for public-private partnerships (P3s) known to the Kentucky General Assembly and is asking lawmakers for their support as well. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's 2015 legislative agenda includes the major issues it will be pushing for this year - and P3s are among the priorities. The state chamber has been joined by Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce, in pushing for partnerships between the private sector and state and local governments for transportation and infrastructure projects.
Bryan Sunderland, senior vice president of public affairs for the state chamber, said efforts by the chamber to push P3 legislation through the General Assembly so far have been unsuccessful. But, he is convinced that P3s not only can help improve the state's infrastructure, but also save taxpayer money. Greater Louisville Inc. said Kentucky is falling behind bordering states that already are taking advantage of these types of collaborative efforts.
Waco chooses design-build firm finalists to expand community center The city of Waco, Texas, has chosen five design-build firms as finalists for its project to rebuild and expand the Dewey Community Center. Proposals will be solicited soon from the five and from those proposals, staff will make their recommendations to the city council in March. If the recommendation is accepted, construction could begin by the summer, with a completion date of mid-2016.
Carrying a price tag of between $3 million and $3.5 million, two smaller buildings would be demolished and another building gutted and expanded to include a renovated gym and 12,000 square feet of fitness, recreation and meeting space.
The project will be a design-build agreement, with the builder also helping finance the project. Waco City Manager Dale Fisseler (pictured) said if this new financing alternative works, it could be used in the future by the city. Fisseler said this kind of agreement allows the project to get under way sooner, avoiding any future construction cost increases.
Public-private partnership pilot to be used to help fund Iowa state parks projectIn an effort to revitalize Iowa state parks systems, a partnership has been established between the Iowa Parks Foundation and the Green Ribbon Commission and the private sector to fund a pilot project. Gov. Terry Branstad recently announced that the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region will be the first pilot project among parks in the state where the park infrastructure will be expanded to improve state, county and city parks. The state legislature has agreed to fund $1.9 million of the project and those funds will be matched 5-1 by local companies, nonprofits and citizens. The Jones, Jackson and Dubuque counties region, which includes state parks of Wapsipinicon, Maquoketa Caves, Bellevue State Park and Mines of Spain, the Grant Wood Scenic Byway and the Mississippi River Parkway are part of the pilot project. Public input sessions are planned by the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region to discuss goals and expectations of the pilot, giving citizens an opportunity to share their ideas on how to enhance regional resources.
Another option made available for state highway toll road in Texas Commissioners of two adjoining counties have an alternative funding option for State Highway 249, a toll road. Commissioners in both Harris and Montgomery counties have OK'd an agreement between the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority and Harris County that offers another option. But, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal (pictured) is quick to point out the agreement is not a done deal; it's just another option.
The option in question would have Harris County put up $20 million for the land costs, planning, design engineering and administration of the project. However, Montgomery County maintains a fund balance that could be used to loan money for the project to the Toll Road Authority. Whether a loan is made from Harris County or Montgomery County, either would be repaid, with interest, through toll collections.
The project will extend Texas 249 nearly 15 miles from Spring Cypress Road in Harris County to FM 1774 at the Montgomery County line. A four-lane toll road would extend north about 20 miles.
Professional basketball team seeking public financial support for arena
Seeking a new multipurpose arena that is likely to cost $400 million to $500 million, Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin said public financial support is key to financing such a facility. Feigin said a new arena will help build interest in additional development near the facility. In fact, he predicts such an arena could result in $1 million in additional development such as retail, residential and commercial space.
The organization is still looking for an appropriate site and then to develop a financial model, with legislative approval then needed. Bucks owners have pledged at least $150 million toward a new arena and former owner Herb Kohl has pledged another $100 million.
"We want to change Wisconsin, we want to change Milwaukee, we want to build a multifaceted arena that is a magnet for tourism, for revenue, for economic growth, for employment, and we want the Bucks to be the catalyst," Feigin said.
P3 will lead to Omni Hotel development in downtown Louisville A public-private partnership in Louisville, Kentucky, is expected to lead to an Omni Hotel development in the downtown area. Mayor Greg Fischer (pictured) said Omni has pledged to pay 52 percent, or $150 million, of the development costs of the project, with the city and state providing $139 million (48 percent), $17 million for a parking garage to be constructed and owned by the Parking Authority of River City and $17 million for the land.
Fischer said the project is a public-private partnership with Omni paying 52 percent ($150 million) of the development costs and the city and state providing 48 percent ($139 million), which includes a rebate of taxes generated by the project, $17 million for a parking garage to be constructed and owned by the Parking Authority of River City (PARC) and $17 million, the value of the land.
Included in the development will be two restaurants, a lobby lounge, 70,000 square feet of meeting space, a lobby art gallery, a rooftop cafe, spa and fitness center, swimming pool and grocery. The project will be LEED silver certified. With a total cost of $289 million, the project is expected to be completed in March 2018. "The investment is transformational for downtown and another sign of the momentum in our city," said Fischer.
|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 Rashad M. Young.
Rashad M. Young (pictured), who has served as city manager in Alexandria, Virginia, for the last three years, has been tabbed by Washington, D.C., Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser to serve as her city administrator. It will be a huge step up for Young as Alexandria employs about 3,700 workers and has a local operating budget of $624 million, compared to the District's 35,000 employees and more than $6 billion annual budget. Young succeeds Allen Lew, who was former Mayor Vincent Grady's right-hand man. Young said the Bowser administration has asked to help make the District government a more transparent, accountable city government and to ensure that services are delivered on time and on budget. Young holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and management and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dayton. His previous municipal experience includes having served as city manager of Greensboro, North Carolina, for two years and as city manager in Dayton, Ohio, for three years.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A Wisconsin school district plans to spend $14 million during the next two summers for renovations and upgrades to the elementary, middle school and high schools. The projects include upgrades to infrastructure, space additions and energy efficiency. New HVAC will be installed, along with new windows and roofs. Plumbing will be addressed, as will security issues. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
| | Catherine Templeton (top left), director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has announced her resignation after having also served in state government after being appointed as Secretary of Labor by Gov. Nikki Haley, and for two decades in the private sector. Duane B. Dimos (top center), who has served for 25 years in a variety of leadership and management roles at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been chosen by The University of Texas at Arlington to serve as the university's vice president for research. Arkansas' newly elected Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has chosen Larry Walther (top right), former board member of the federal Export-Import Bank and former director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, as the next director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Debbie Endsley, a former director at the California Department of Personnel Administration and former consultant at the California Department of Parks and Recreation, has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown as acting secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Liane Randolph, former deputy secretary and general counsel with the California Natural Resources Agency, former head of the California Fair Political Practices Commission and former San Leandro city attorney, has been appointed as a commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission. Newly elected Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has chosen State Rep. Allen Kerr to be the new state Insurance Commissioner, replacing current Commissioner Jay Bradford. Laurie Hadley (bottom right), who has been serving as interim city manager for the city of Round Rock, Texas, since last October, has been approved as the full-time city manager, replacing former City Manager Steve Norwood, who resigned. Palm Beach County School District Superintendent Wayne Gent (bottom center), who has worked for the district since 1999 in other positions such as chief officer of administration and north area superintendent, recently announced that he will step down from his position when his contract expires at the end of the school year. Susan Weisselberg (bottom left), who has served as chief legal counsel to the Connecticut House Democratic Caucus and an administrator for the New Haven public school system, has been chosen by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as the state's deputy secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Newly elected Vermont Gov. Gina Raimondo has chosen Anya Rader Wallack, former policy director and deputy chief of staff to then-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, to serve as executive director of the health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Greg Killough, superintendent of the Caroline County Public Schools in Virginia, has been chosen as the new superintendent of the Roanoke County Public Schools, replacing Dr. Lorraine Lange, who is stepping down. Joe Hoefgen, a 30-year veteran of public service who has served as interim city manager for the city of Redondo Beach, California, since Bill Workman was fired last April, has been named the new city manager full-time.
|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|
Webinar to address infrastructure investments in rural America
SelectUSA, housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce, will host an Infrastructure 103 Webinar with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. EST. Matt McKenna, senior advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture on Strategic Partnerships, will continue the discussion regarding the President's Build America Investment Initiative that focuses on opportunities for infrastructure investments in rural America. In this webinar, McKenna will discuss USDA's programs and this new initiative, and then take part in a Q&A session regarding how USDA can serve as another resource for supporting infrastructure investment.To register, click here.
Network at largest P3 event in country Feb. 23-25 in DallasThe Public-Private Partnership Conference & Expo (P3C) is the leading annual event for the United States' public-private partnership market and attracts more than 800 government and industry development professionals from around the country. Project owners, industry executives and key decision-makers will gather for three days of in-depth public-private partnership learning, business development and networking opportunities. Next year's slate of more than 100 speakers will address the critical principles behind successful public-private partnerships. The 2015 program serves as a guide through the current trends, challenges and opportunities in the United States' P3 market for a variety of asset classes including social infrastructure, transportation, education, hospitality, mixed-use real estate development, economic development and more. The conference attracts senior management from the largest firms in the construction, engineering, architecture, legal and consulting industries as well as public leaders and development agency officials from the municipal, state and federal levels of government. More information on the event is available here.
Georgetown Law to host public-private partnership symposiumAs a follow-up to the White House Rural Council's Rural Opportunity Investment Conference held recently, 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, the second was on Oct. 31. Two 2015 events are also planned - "Partnering with State and Local Governments to Revitalize Critical Infrastructure" on Jan. 27 and "Uncovering Partnership Opportunities and Driving Toward Execution" on March 31. The January event 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. The March 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.
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