|Volume 6, Issue 40||January 28, 2015|
Billions flow to cities to provide housing for homeless
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Something significant happened this week. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced $1.8 billion in funding for housing grants.
The money will begin flowing to cities to provide assistance to approximately 8,400 homeless individuals.
HUD is also funding 25 other new projects to provide permanent housing for individuals and families in areas with especially high need.
Sounds like a lot of money...and it definitely is.
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|$1 billion in Illinois Tollway projects moving forward|
Four major construction contracts recently awarded for total of $174 million
On his first day in office, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (left) issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from awarding major contracts without first having them approved by his administration.
Some feared that Illinois Tollway projects would be put on hold. But, Rauner recently told tollway officials that they can move forward on more than $1 billion in rebuilding and widening projects this year.
As a result, the Tollway's Finance Committee followed up by approving four major construction contracts with a combined price tag of $174 million. The contracts are for road and bridge construction and widening on part of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).
The OK for the projects came from Rauner after his staff and officials of the Office of Management and Budget reviewed the Tollway's plans. Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur (right) said Tollway officials will continue to work with the administration to ensure all projects are understood, leading to approval. She said she expects other major construction projects for this year to continue moving forward.
The major program for the Tollway is "Move Illinois," a $12.1 billion rebuilding and widening effort. Currently in its fourth year, this year's expenditures on state roads and highways are expected to be a record $1.6 billion.
The most expensive project will be the Addams Tollway. With a cost of about $2.5 billion, the eastern phase of the project is expected to begin in the spring. The roadway, when completed, will be eight lanes wide.
Another $310 million is expected to be spent on the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project in 2015.
|Virginia issues RFI for solar energy development project|
Public-private partnerships sought to enhance state-owned property usage
Solar energy is a growing option for renewable energy, especially in the public sector. Public institutions of higher education, local governments and public schools often have acreage available on which to install photovoltaic systems that employ solar panels to generate clean, sustainable energy. However, when it comes to most states, other than buildings, small tracts of land, as small as a right-of way, are more the norm when considering real property state assets.
In Virginia, state officials understand both the efficiencies of solar energy and how that can affect their energy bills. But, where to put the solar panels?
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (pictured) recently released a request for information (RFI) on behalf of the Virginia Office of Public-Private Partnerships (VAP3) and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The RFI seeks to determine if a solar energy development on state-owned property, around that property or even on top of that property would make good financial and business sense for the state and benefit the public. That property can be facilities, real property and land adjacent to interstate highways.
McAuliffe said the state's economy is dependent on finding innovative solutions for diversifying its options for fuel to power that economy. "My administration is committed to tapping private-sector innovation to determine how the public sector can lead by example," said McAuliffe.
The governor said issuing the RFI puts the state on the road to becoming a leader in the energy sector and showing it is serious about enhancing its solar energy industry. Individual firms and teams of firms with experience in solar energy development projects are invited to respond to the RFI if they are interested in developing, designing, building and possibly financing a solar energy public-private partnership (P3/PPP) project with the state. The state agencies involved will be seeking information to help them evaluate their options relative to develop, finance, procure and/or deliver the project, to include identifying possible site locations.
The ultimate goal is to use state assets to grow the state's energy sector. This program is part of the governor's energy initiative, this one aimed at reducing energy use and costs throughout the state, diversifying the state's energy economy through renewable energy and facilitating energy P3/PPP projects. The goal of these projects is to maximize use of state-owned property, have the state become more environmentally responsible and to raise additional revenue for the state. Closing date for the RFI is March 13.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
University of Nebraska seeks architectural, engineering firms
The University of Nebraska is seeking architectural and engineering firms for professional services for a four-year period. The services will be sought for May 1, 2015, through April 20, 2019. Project categories will include general purpose projects, mechanical and electrical engineering projects, research specialty projects and civil engineering projects. Firms that would like to submit a statement of qualifications may go to www. procurement.unl.edu/ebid. The Statement of Qualifications must be submitted in electronic format by Feb. 5. The University of Nebraska Professional Services Four-Year Contracts Selection Procedures will be used to select firms.
University of Florida announces plans to build $15M indoor football facility
A new $15 million indoor football practice facility is in the University of Florida's future. The Gators recently announced the facility will be built on campus. It will most certainly help in recruiting. Florida is one of the few Southeastern Conference teams that do not have an indoor facility. It will include a 120-yard synthetic turf football field, more space for drill work on the north end of the field, three camera platforms, satellite training room facilities, equipment storage areas and restrooms. The facility will also include two natural grass fields, a 120-yard field with two end zones and a 70-yard field with an end zone on one end. For ventilation, the east and west sides will have roll-up doors. There will also be a redesigned entrance to the stadium and football practice facility. "This is something we have talked about internally for some time," said Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley (pictured). Foley said the team has been able to use the O'Connell Center as an option for indoor practices, but it will no longer be available when renovations there start in the spring.
Community college in Kentucky planning $10 million in renovations
Funds are currently being raised toward a planned $10 million renovation program at the Ashland (Kentucky) Community and Technical College for the original building on the College Drive campus. The project will include replacement of a four-decades-old heating and air conditioning system and other improvements. The building being renovated was built in 1970 and the college must raise $2.5 million in matching funds by February 2016 to benefit the project. The remainder of the funds will likely be paid for by a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) - the BuildSmart Investment for Kentucky Competitiveness. A student-funded bond issue will help defray 75 percent of the cost of improvements in colleges in the state with the college required to be responsible for the rest. The college foundation has already begun a number of fundraising efforts, from a raffle to a commemorative brick project.
$12 million in renovations moving forward at Penn State football building
The Lasch Football Building on the campus of Penn State University will undergo $12 million in renovations after the project was approved by a Board of Trustees committee. The full board will next have to give the project its stamp of approval. The project will include expanding and remodeling the locker room, upgrading a recruiting lounge, renovating the equipment room and adding a new loading dock. Head Football Coach James Franklin (pictured) came to the university a year ago and has been pushing for the improvements to the building since he arrived on campus after being coach at Vanderbilt University. He said the facilities at Vanderbilt were better than what Penn State has now. "It's become a little bit of an arms race in college football if you look at what's going on, and we want to be a part of that." The athletic department has set aside $1.2 million for the renovation and the other money will be privately raised. If the $12 million isn't reached, the scope of the project will be modified to come closer to fitting into the budget. Not only will the building be renovated, but themed graphics are expected to be added to support the Penn State brand. Some areas of the building will feature audio, video and light features.
North Dakota school district to vote on $8 million bond issue
A condemned boiler in a 55-year-old school building in Max, North Dakota, could be the catalyst for passing an $8 million bond issue in the district. In addition to a $3.3 million heating and electrical system upgrade, the bond proceeds also would allow for renovations of the building and classroom additions. The election is set for Feb. 20.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Pittsburgh seeking developers interested in building headquarters hotel
A request for qualifications has been issued by the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority for developers interested in building a headquarters hotel next to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The original concept called for a mega hotel with 500 rooms or more. However, the Authority's new request is also seeking possible development ideas that would include retail, office space, residential space, restaurant, outdoor public spaces and other commercial uses either with the hotel or apart from it. County executive Rich Fitzgerald (pictured) said the hotel still seems the best venue for increasing tourism and conventions in the city. "We just want to see what options are there and what somebody might be proposing," he said. Until the new RFP was released, officials had been planning a 500-room, full-service hotel that would attach to the convention center. It would provide rooms in addition to the more than 600 in the current Westin Convention Center Hotel. The hotel project never got off the ground because when an RFP was issued five years ago, the three hotel companies that responded wanted more than $50 million in public support. But, increased tourism and special events have the city looking again at the hotel idea, which they say now will probably not seek as much public funding.
City in Kansas to vote on sale tax to help fund sports arena improvements
A sales tax increase that would fund $29 million in improvements to the city sports arena is going before voters in April in Hutchinson, Kansas. Voters will decide the fate of a proposed 0.35 percent sales tax increase to help upgrade the more than half-century-old facility. If there was fodder for why the facility should be upgraded, it came from the National Junior College Athletic Association, which has pledged to keep its annual men's national championship basketball tournament in the city for another 25 years if the arena is upgraded. That means a significant amount of tourist dollars coming into the city and being spread around in the local economy. Hutchinson Community College has pledged $4.5 million to the project, in $500,000 installments over nine years. Facing inadequate locker rooms, restrooms, media areas and meeting and hospitality space, officials began talking about upgrades a couple of years ago. If the tax increase is approved, the current structure would be updated and two new building additions incorporated. One of the additions would feature a new main entrance and lobby, concession stands, restrooms, elevators and office and meeting space. The other addition would add two full-size practice gyms, a weight room and mechanical and storage space. The proposed tax increase would generate approximately $3 million per year and would expire in 10 years.
Maine governor proposes $2 billion transportation plan to address state needs
Road and bridge repairs are a central part of a transportation plan being floated by Maine Gov. Paul LePage (pictured). LePage's $2 billion plan of transportation projects would cover the next three years. The governor recently announced a plan for 523 capital projects throughout the state with a value of nearly $470 million. State Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt said priority will be given to projects that could lead to economic and safety problems if they are not addressed. The bridge work will be the most expensive - multi-million-dollar projects. Bernhardt is hopeful for federal funding and possibly a state bond issue. LePage said he can get behind both of those solutions, but will not support an increase in the state gas tax. He said "no way" to the gas tax increase and "Bonds - depending on how the economy comes, and the affordability of debt service." The Transportation Commissioner said his agency is putting together a list of additional bridge replacements that should be added to the plan and options for funding them. While the proposal may be a first step toward upgrading the transportation system, Bernhardt said even with $2 million in upgrades, the backlog will not be reduced. He said it would require $110 million per year in spending to address that problem.
New NY AirTrain connection to link to subway, commuter rail network
A long-awaited commuter connection has gotten a boost from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo recently announced a proposed new AirTrain connection that will link LaGuardia Airport to the city's subway and commuter rail network. Cuomo called the project that will allow commuters to get to the airport by rail "long overdue." The project would include a 1.5-mile-long LGA AirTrain that would run over Grand Central Parkway and connect the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) 7 subway line. It would also connect the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington branch at the Mets-Willets Point station. The project, which would be a joint Port Authority and MTA project, carries a $450 million price tag. If approved, the project could be completed within five years. There have been other attempts in the past to connect LaGuardia Airport with the subway system. Local opposition scuttled plans to connect the N train to LaGuardia. Since then, a bus rapid transit program has been used at the airport.
USDOT issues $1.33B loan for light rain expansion in Puget Sound
The Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) has been awarded a $1.33 billion loan to build the East Link Light Rail Extension Project. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (pictured) said the loan, from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) will not only expand the Link system that serves the Puget Sound region, but will also help Sound Transit follow through on a regional capital improvement plan that was approved by voters. In making the announcement, Foxx said the expansion will give people in Seattle better access to jobs, education and other opportunities. "This project will have a significant impact on the entire region and expand a world class transit system," said Foxx. "We want to bring these opportunities to other parts of the country, working with Congress to develop a sustainable, long-term funding solution for transit, roads, bridges and other crucial infrastructure." The proposed extension would span 14.5 miles and connect some of the region's most populated and fastest-growing areas to existing rail systems of Sound Transit. Officials say the project could also result in the creation of 40,000 construction jobs and positively affect economic development. In addition to the $1.33 billion TIFIA loan, USDOT will contribute $74.7 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds and $14 million in TIGER V funds toward the $4 billion East Link Project. Hoping to begin construction this year, a completion date is expected by 2023. As many as 50,000 daily riders are anticipated by 2030.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Artemis Consulting won a contract worth up to $2.7 million from the Library of Congress for information technology and telecommunications services.
- Manson Construction Co. was awarded a $38 million contract from the state of New Jersey to reconstruct beaches and handle several shore protection projects in Monmouth County. The contract calls for the company to pump about 1.4 million cubic yards of sand on 1.6 miles of beach in Elberon and Deal. It also will modify six existing stormwater outfalls and modify two existing groins, which are coastal protection structures that extend from the beach into the ocean.
- NorthStar Construction, LLC won a contract for $707,179 from the city of Joshua, Texas, to build a park-and-ride facility with lighting and covered areas where riders can wait out of the weather for transportation. No buildings will be built.
- Serka Federal Services won a contract worth up to $20.7 million from the U.S. Air Force for utilities and housekeeping services.
- Spray Comm Utilities, Inc. won a $1,123,234 contract from the city of Sedalia, California, for phase two of a $30 million sewer project. The project was broken into four separate sections to save money.
- Ed Bell Construction Company was awarded a $15.7 million contract from the Texas Department of Transportation to reconstruct and widen a 1.9-mile project on FM 2786 from a two-lane road to a four-lane divided urban roadway.
- NEC Corporation of America won a $24 million contract from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to provide the agency with specialized, state-of-the-art biometric identification services, including facial recognition software.
- Team-Solar LLC has been awarded an $11.8 million design/build contract by the Eastern Municipal Water District in Perris, California, for construction of power energy facilities at four reclamation plants. Another contract for $2.7 million was awarded to SolarCity Corporation for construction of facilities at a fifth reclamation plant.
- Judlau Contracting Inc. was awarded a $64 million contract from the Illinois Tollway for construction of new interchange ramps at Interstate 290 and Thorndale Avenue in Itasca.
- MJ Hughes Construction was awarded a $1.3 million contract from the Port of Benton in Florida to rehabilitate a wood rail bridge over the Columbia Park Trail in Richland, Washington. The 200-foot-long bridge, used by the Tri-City Railroad Co., will see replacement of wood bridge components with steel and reinforcing steel portions to accommodate heavier loads.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Maryland county studying possible building of multipurpose arena Are you a minor-league hockey team looking for a home? Worcester County (Maryland) officials are talking about the possibility of building a multipurpose arena that could be your home. Although few details are available yet, Worcester County Economic Development Director Bill Badger (pictured) said such a facility is likely to be a public-private partnership (P3/PPP).
The facility would play host to concerts, convention groups and youth sports and other events. A private firm from Texas suggested the 6,200-seat arena facility outside Ocean City to attract a hockey franchise. The firm's self-paid study showed such a facility could raise up to $7.5 million per year, hosting 125 events each year. The study showed it also would support 100 new jobs and have a local economic impact of $19 million.
"We're surrounded by three major metro areas," said Badger. "The more we had conversations, the more we thought about fitting it into our market, as an asset to the community. They felt there was enough concentration of population, it would be enough to draw interest." The consultant would not only help bring a facility to the county, but it would also land a major tenant, in this case hopefully a hockey team. Offshoots of the arena would include commercial retail or mixed-use development near the arena. The county will now go before the Maryland Stadium Authority to ensure that an arena does not pull dollars away from the existing convention center and a youth sports complex.
Ohio preparing to begin largest transportation project in ODOT history
The largest project in the history of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is expected to begin later this year. The $429 million Portsmouth Bypass in Scioto County will provide for linking Rts. 23 and 52 by way of a 16-mile, four-lane, limited access highway.
Not only is the project the state's largest, but it is also ODOT's first public-private partnership (P3/PPP). This arrangement allows a private-sector firm to build and pay for the roadway and the state will repay the firm over what is usually a lengthy period of time. In this case, that length of time is 35 years.
The consortium that finances and builds the road will also be responsible for its maintenance over the 35-year term.
ODOT will be responsible for routine maintenance. ODOT's first payment will be $25 million, but that could change annually. ODOT already receives federal funding that has been set aside for Appalachian highways, to the tune of $20 million per year, and those and other funds will be used for the annual payments. Officials say the P3/PPP model for the bypass is likely to be a model for future projects.
Public-private partnership likely for dorm on Dorchester UMass Boston campus
The Dorchester campus of the University of Massachusetts could be about to get its first student dorm. UMass officials are planning to issue a request for proposals (RFP) from private developers interested in a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) that would have the developer lease land from the university as a site for building a 1,000-bed residential housing facility that includes a dining hall.
A 2009 Master Plan shows where two potential student dorm complexes could be built on the UMass Boston campus. (UMass Boston photo)
Patricia Fillipone, executive director of the UMass Building Authority, said the dorm would house freshmen or first-year students. She said the university is reviewing whether it can enter into a P3/PPP agreement for the facility. "We're looking to partner with a developer to build that residence hall," she said.
Eight firms responded to a request for qualifications in December, said Fillipone, and those proposals are under review. The RFP will likely be issued in the spring. The dorm is expected to cost approximately $113 million. University officials expect to lease the land to a developer, who would build and operate the dorm.
This P3/PPP model will be the first of its kind for any UMass campus. When a master plan was produced in 2009, two locations were identified (see accompanying artist's rendering) where a dorm could be built.
Legislation planned in New Mexico would increase partnerships for construction
In New Mexico, private-sector contractors are watching for a bill likely to be filed that will make new rules for public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs) that would allow more partnerships between government agencies and private contractors.
With the blessing of both Mayor Richard Berry and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of New Mexico, the bill is gaining support. AGC says reworking the rules will allow P3s/PPPs that could lead to completion of more infrastructure projects. AGC officials say the proposed legislation would allow for more projects, but would have stronger guidelines for projects larger than $50 million.
The bill addresses a longstanding complaint about P3s/PPPs...that because private funding is involved, the degree of transparency that is required of public entities is not the same for the private-sector partner.
Ohio hospital to use P3/PPP for $120M transformation to clinic
A longstanding hospital in Lakewood, Ohio, may be about to undergo a $120 million transformation as a result of a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). The Lakewood Hospital will be replaced with a new ambulatory and emergency clinic. The partnership will be between the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic. The proposal requires approval by Lakewood City Council.
Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers (pictured) said the new clinic is "a great first step in transforming the healthcare services available in our city." Summers said the Lakewood Hospital Association trustees "have been proactive about addressing this issue, working with consultants and health care providers to find a solution that will keep quality healthcare in Lakewood."
How health care is delivered is shifting from inpatient hospital care to outpatient and home care, said Cleveland Clinic's chief executive officer. Also figuring into the decision to seek a clinic instead of hospital are that the hospital facility is aging and there has been a decrease in patient volume. The new facility will be a 62,000-square-foot family health center with a full-service emergency department. The city would maintain ownership of approximately four acres of property on the hospital site, along with the parking garage and office buildings. The proposed new facility includes primary care and specialty programs.
|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 Leslie Richards.
Leslie Richards (pictured), a Montgomery County commissioner who has worked as a senior project manager at a woman-owned civil engineering firm and has experience managing multi-million-dollar infrastructure projects is Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's pick for Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary. As secretary, she will lead the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Richards was elected county commissioner in 2011. She is a former senior project manager for ACT Engineers and a public involvement specialist for A.D. Marble & Co. Richards holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania. As Secretary of Transportation, Richards will inherit oversight of the $899 million Bridge Replacement Program that will replace more than 550 bridges in less than three years. She will also be responsible for managing the department's $2.6 billion road and bridge budget. She will oversee approximately 12,000 employees and a $7.2 billion agency budget. Richards will replace Barry Schoch, who is moving to the Office of the Governor to serve as a senior advisor to Wolf on matters based on transportation and infrastructure.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A California city's leaders are discussing how to fund and eventually build a new downtown parking garage. The garage cost is expected to be around $13 million, plus the cost of buying the land. The City Council has directed staff to research ways to finance the garage; options include a public-private partnership or issuing a bond. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henderson Lewis Jr. (top left), who spent several years with the Algiers Charter School Association and currently leads the East Feliciana school system and serves on the school board for St. Bernard Parish, has been named superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board in Louisiana. Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. (top center), former Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, leading the federal agency charged with overseeing $62 billion in American tax dollars appropriated for Iraq's reconstruction and former Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush, has been named Inspector General for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Mark Myers (top right), who was director of strategic initiatives at the Secretary of State since 2011, is Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's choice to serve as head of the state's Department of Information Systems, replacing CTO Claire Bailey, who resigned last year. Former Maryland Sen. David Brinkley, a 20-year veteran of the state legislature, has been chosen by Gov.-elect Larry Hogan to be Hogan's budget secretary. Marilyn Tavenner, who led the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which was responsible for rollout of ObamaCare, has announced she is stepping down, effective in February. A former member of the Texas House of Representatives, Harvey Hilderbran, has been chosen as the new executive director of the Texas Facilities Commission, replacing former director Terry Keel, who has taken a position with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has chosen former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (bottom right), who was elected governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, to serve as chief operating officer in his administration. Stephanie Pollack (bottom center), an Associate Director for Research and adjunct professor at Northeastern University focusing on transportation policy and finance, has been named as Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation for Gov. Charlie Baker's administration. Marcus Brown (bottom left), Maryland State Police superintendent, has been named by Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf as commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, succeeding Commissioner Frank Noonan. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has named Worcester County Senior First Assistant District Attorney and former senior trial counsel in the Middlesex DA's office, Daniel Bennett, as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety. Western Illinois University has hired Jeff Calhoun, former University of Illinois systems administrator, to be its new technology director at its Quad Cities campus, where he will manage and implement the school's technology infrastructure and IT support services at the Moline campus. Veteran technologist Davood Ghods, who last year was named acting chief of the California Office of Technology Services, has been approved by the California State Senate as full-time chief of the office that is in charge of most data center and network consolidation for the state.
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|Calendar of events|
Webinar to address infrastructure investments in rural AmericaSelectUSA, 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.
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