Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 6, Issue 41Februaary 4, 2015
Elected leaders lay out new agendas for 2016
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.


Two weeks ago, President Obama stood before Congress and addressed the nation with his State of the Union Address. Some dislike this long-standing precedent and argue that it is outdated. However, it is a requirement of the Constitution and the same type of ceremony takes place at almost every level of government throughout America.  


There's a reason for leaders to lay out new agendas. Citizens have a right to know what is planned and democracy works best when people express approval or disapproval. Taxpayers will ultimately pick up the tab for spending and citizens will see their everyday lives impacted by the success or failure of their leaders' efforts.




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Beyond Traffic 2045: analysis studies infrastructure trends


USDOT begins 'national conversation' on future of nation's transportation system

Beyond Traffic 2045

As the nation struggles with mounting infrastructure needs and dwindling revenues to pay for them, federal officials this week rolled out a plan to get the nation talking - about needs of the transportation system in this country over the next 30 years.

Beyond Traffic: 2045 is a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) analysis of what to expect over the next three decades, and how transportation officials hope to start a "national conversation" about transportation needs and policy to positively affect those needs.

USDOT bills the report as "an invitation to the American public - including the users, developers, owners and operators of the transportation network and the policy officials who shape it - to have a frank conversation Anthony Foxx about the shape, size and condition of that system and how it will meet the needs and goals of our nation for decades to come."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (pictured) notes in the report that the nation's transportation problems are not all just lack of money. "We have too often misstated the problem as simply one of funding when it may be one of both resources and design," he said. 

The report discusses trends that are shaping the country's transportation system, what impact these trends are having on every mode of transportation - highways, transit, pedestrian and bicycle, aviation, intercity and freight rail, maritime and pipeline - and determining what outcomes can result from those trends with an eye toward policy.


The report analyzes the condition and performance of today's transportation system and also offers a look into the future as to how that system will perform 30 years from now if the status quo remains. It also looks at demographics, safety issues, design change and policies that can affect transportation over the next three decades. 


Consider these issues:

  • By 2040, nearly 30,000 miles of our busiest highways will be congested daily.
  • Truck congestion wastes $27 billion in time and fuel each year.
  • The increase in ship sizes - cargo vessels to tankers - suggests port upgrades are needed.
  • Surge damage from Superstorm Sandy damaged electrical systems, highways, rail tracks, runways and port cargo. The cost to the United States economy was about $65 billion.
  • Overall United States infrastructure gets a grade of D+. 

These are just some of the issues and trends outlined in the USDOT report that will challenge the country's transportation system in the future, and why a national conversation is being sought relative to how to approach these issues now. 


Minnesota governor proposes mixed bag of funding options


Taxes, fee increases, surplus funds, savings would fund transportation projects

Mark Dayton Roads and bridges in Minnesota, as in many other states, are in disrepair and a constant state of deterioration. Gov. Mark Dayton (pictured) hopes to fix that. But, it will come at a cost - and to taxpayers. 

Dayton's plan would resurface or replace some 2,200 miles of roadway in the state. It would also repair 330 bridges and provide additional funding for local infrastructure projects. His proposal to raise the money to do that is a new 6.5 percent tax on wholesale gas and an increase in license tab fees. A separate sales tax increase would be instituted in the Twin Cities, primarily for increased bus services. Those additions would increase greater Minnesota residents' fees to about $15 per month. In the metro area, which includes seven counties, the increase would be $25 per month.

Increased taxes and fees are never welcomed by citizens, but Dayton said he knew of no other alternative for raising necessary funds. He emphasized that if the state does nothing, the condition of the state's roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate. 

There is some discussion of whether instituting a long-term funding solution is a good idea, mainly because how much money will be needed over the next decade is debatable - and depends on who you ask. Dayton sets that figure at $6 billion while others predict it will be closer to $2 billion. And, some members of the legislature prefer a $750 million boost of state funds over the next four years to support transportation projects, while others are calling for transferring $200 million from the state's surplus fund. 

Adding in surplus funds as well as money from savings would put Dayton's proposal at about $11 billion over the next decade. Projects the governor supports include transit projects in the metro area, increased bus service, additional light-rail transit and expanded routes.  


Contracting Opportunities

Upcoming education opportunities


Oklahoma school seeks $370M school bond with eye toward STEM classrooms

Jarod Mendenhall A new wing on the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, High School that would cater to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses will be built if a $370 million bond issue this month passes. The 60,000-square-foot addition would include 24 new classrooms and would use $21 million of the bond proceeds. Because the high school needs more classrooms, Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall (pictured) said when officials began studying new classrooms, they decided it "would be best to build classrooms that had a purpose." The proposed STEM classrooms would be larger than regular classrooms and the addition will also feature "breakout" areas where several groups or classes can work at one time. The bond issue also includes building three new elementary schools and a new middle school, an auditorium at the high school and at the Freshman Academy and turning the old North Intermediate High School building into an activities and alumni center that would feature a swimming pool and other amenities. This will be the first bond issue to go before voters since a $295 million referendum passed in 2009.  


Montana State University seeks OK for $53M in bonds for renovations

The Montana University System (MSU) wants to provide renovations to a number of its buildings and improvements to classrooms and labs and has asked the state's lawmakers for permission to issue more than $53 million in bonds to defray the costs. Officials say that in addition to renovations on several buildings, life and safety projects affecting students, faculty and staff are also part of the funding sought as well as bringing buildings up to code. Among the projects that would be paid for are upgrades to the library at the Montana State Billings campus, which does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates. The funds also would be used to mitigate asbestos problems at MSU's Clapp Science Building and Romney Hall and bring buildings up to code relating to fire suppression.  Romney Hall would undergo updates to include classrooms, a tutoring center and a larger veteran's services area. Additionally, seven Agricultural Research and Experiment Stations for the Engineering and Science Building at Montana Tech would be funded. None of the funding sought is for new buildings.  


Ohio school district to form task force regarding possible future bond election

Jeff Ferguson In anticipation of the need to upgrade district facilities, the Tallmadge school district in Ohio is planning a citizen-led task force that will look into facility needs. Dubbed the "Building Our Future Task Force," the group will discuss the facility needs that will prepare students in the district with a 21st century education. Superintendent Jeff Ferguson (pictured) said the school district is eager to work with the community regarding challenges being faced. "We continue to identify lean operation, we have aging buildings and we need to prepare students for the success in the 21st century," he said. Ferguson called the task force "an important first step" in addressing the school needs. Among the issues the task force will be studying are: the need for a new elementary school with better technology access; renovation of the Tallmadge Middle School to include better technology; whether to renovate or replace and the financial impact of newer, more efficient buildings; and possible use of a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to improve athletic facilities. The task force will make a report on its findings in June to the Board of Education for further consideration of next steps, including the possibility of a future bond issue. 


School facilities plan in Little Rock narrowly beats state's takeover plan

The Little Rock School district narrowly escaped state takeover plans by passing a $375 million facilities plan. The school board's plan that was approved calls for building a new high school in the southwest area of the district and a new middle school in the western area of Little Rock. The plan includes building a new David O'Dodd Elementary School, replacement of portable structures throughout the district, new activity centers and air conditioning in kitchens and school gyms. Board members also plan to propose an increase in millage to fund the improvements.  


Wichita State University considering new residence hall for Innovation Campus

John Bardo A second student housing facility is being considered for the main campus of Wichita State University. The new facility, which will feature between 400 and 600 beds, would be ready for occupancy in fall 2017. To be built in phases, the facility could eventually house up to 1,200 beds. This dorm will be located on the Innovation Campus development. University officials will hold off on the project until an analysis is completed that will show if there is sufficient interest in the residential hall to ensure its financial success over the long-term since no state funds or student fees will be used to defray its costs. It will house sophomores and graduate students in apartment-style housing. Although a new facility, Shocker Hall, was built in 2014, officials say there is continued interest in on-campus housing.  A request for qualifications has been posted, according to WSU President John Bardo (pictured). "We are asking highly experienced development teams to present us with their best ideas for a 24-hour learn-work-live-play environment for students," said Bardo. Development is expected to begin in November and the facility will be paid for through housing fees residents will pay. In addition to student housing, the facility will also feature a food shop with dining space for up to 20 people, a campus police substation, fitness room and aerobics and weights area, a theater/game room, a multipurpose room for group student space, exterior recreational areas, parking amenities and more. 


SPI Training Services

Other upcoming contracting opportunities

$130 million bridge project expected to be bid in Pennsylvania this year
Robert Garrett A contract is expected to be awarded this year that will get work started on a vital part of the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project in Pennsylvania. The project includes construction of a more than 4,500-foot-long steel bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at a cost of about $130 million. A representative of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently outlined a schedule for the overall project that will include a 13-mile, four-lane highway by 2024. "The thruway is moving forward. It's great to now have a date," said Robert Garrett (pictured), president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. The bridge contract will be the first of seven to be awarded within the project. It is expected to be put out for bids in August. The steel bridge will be nearly a mile long and will rise170 feet above the river. Before a contract is awarded, electrical transmission lines will have to be relocated and close to 100 right-of-way claims executed. Environmental issues will have to be addressed and a boat launch constructed. The bridge is not only expected to mitigate traffic during rush hour, but to also improve safety by reducing through traffic. Local area merchants are confident the bridge will still have a positive effect on business.

TWDB approves $72.8 million in financial assistance for water projects
With a goal of providing new water supply sources and water system improvements, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently approved financial assistance totaling more than $72.8 million. Of this funding, more than $6.5 million was designated for six rural water projects. Three of the projects funded are urgent needs projects as a result of the continuing drought and the need for additional water supplies. 

The TWDB allocated the following financial assistance in the form of grants, loans and loan forgiveness:
  • City of Cameron - $4,488,700 in financial assistance for water system improvements including creating additional water supplies through the development of a new well field and groundwater storage tank.
  • City of Gorman - $275,960 in financial assistance for water system improvements that will replace 25,000 linear feet of piping and replace existing water meters with electronic readers. The improvements to the city's water system will reduce water loss and provide more accurate accounting of water use. 
  • Greater Texoma Utility Authority on behalf of the City of Van Alstyne - $2,875,000 in financial assistance for a water supply project to connect to the Collin-Grayson Municipal Alliance transmission line, providing an additional water source to meet the area's growing water needs.
  • City of Houston - $63,435,000 in financial assistance for wastewater system improvements for rehabilitating approximately 650,000 linear feet of sewer pipes throughout the area.
  • Val Verde County - $942,000 in financial assistance for a water distribution system that will allow the county to provide first-time water service to the three colonia areas east of Del Rio. The project will connect those areas with Del Rio's public water supply.
  • San Pedro Estates Water, LLC - $240,281 in financial assistance for a new well that will bring an additional water source to the San Pedro Canyon Estates
  • Silver Creek Village Water Supply Corp. in Burnet County - $447,000 in financial assistance for water system improvements to install a media-based filtration system that will help provide first-time sewer service to approximately 105 connections within the Angelina Fresh Water Supply District No. 1's service area.
  • City of Weinert - $110,000 in financial assistance to address additional water supplies, including an inter-connect with the North Central Texas Municipal Water Authority (NCTMWA) and construction of a 25,000-gallon ground storage tank. The City will then blend the NCTMWA's surface water with its existing groundwater supplies.
City in Colorado hopes to have free public Wi-Fi in downtown Civic Area by spring
Don Ingle By this spring, officials in the city of Boulder are hoping to have available free public Wi-Fi service in the Civic Area of the city. The W-Fi will be available thanks to a successful referendum last year. Boulder IT Director Don Ingle (pictured) noted that the ballot question passed by voters exempts the city from state law prohibiting municipalities from offering broadband service. Although costs for offering the free service are still being determined, officials say it is likely to be less than $100,000. A fiber network already exists in part in the area thanks to the Boulder Public Library and the Boulder Municipal Building being in the area. Although the network already exists, the law previously stated that it could only be used by the city, the university and federal labs. The biggest portion of the cost will be for adding public Wi-Fi access infrastructure and the electric power needed to use it. Ingle said the city is going to seek an engineering feasibility study to see that part of the current network can be used and to determine possible partnerships. Although approximately 50 city buildings already are connected to the network, it would be an additional investment to extend that network to individual homes and businesses. The city hopes to have the Wi-Fi in place by the end of March.

California Transportation Commission awards $174M for 85 projects

A variety of highway construction contracting opportunities will result from 85 projects being funded by the California Transportation Commission (CTC). The CTC authorized a total of $174 million for the projects, a large portion of which is money from Proposition 1B, which was approved by California voters in 2006. More than $18 billion of the $19.9 million in Prop 1B funds has been awarded. Some of the projects that will share the $174 million in funding include: 

  • $1.7 million for interchange improvements on Sanborn at US 101 in the city of Salinas;
  • $2.656 million for the East Bay Greenway, a 15-mile active transportation corridor that would run along the BART alignment in Alameda County;
  • $3.6 million for Napa Vine Trail Phase II to construct bicycle and pedestrian paths, including bridges, traffic signals and other ancillary projects;
  • $2.6 million to repair pavement failures and an asphalt concrete overlay on existing pavement in and near Snelling;
  • $2.8 million to construct a shuttle maintenance and repair facility at the Port of Los Angeles; and
  • $20.75 million to realign 2.8 highway miles of Highway 1 away from eroding shoreline and construct three bridges in San Luis Obispo. 

To view the complete list of projects, the amount allocated to them and a description of each, click here.


Seattle-Tacoma International Airport could be set for a major expansion
A new international arrivals facility that would come online in 2019 is one of the projects that are part of a proposed expansion plan for the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The Port of Seattle recently discussed the issue as part of a plan to help the airport accommodate a significant increase in passenger traffic expected over the next 20 years. Additionally, up to 35 more gates could be added to the current 81. Airport officials expect the number of passengers using the airport to grow from the current 37 million of last year to a projected 66 million by 2034. The number of takeoffs and landings is expected to grow exponentially. Some airline executives are calling the proposed expansion critical to the airport having a competitive edge against West Coast hubs.

North Carolina to fund drinking water, wastewater projects totaling $164 million

Loans and grants to be used toward drinking water and wastewater projects in North Carolina were recently announced by the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. The State Water Infrastructure Authority has announced $164 million for projects in a number of communities throughout the state. The 83 projects will be paid for with funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the Community Development Block Grant for Infrastructure Program and the State Drinking Water and Wastewater Reserve Program. Included in the funding is money for 13 projects totaling about $70 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which is made up of a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and a 20 percent match from the state. Another 21 projects will receive $62.2 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which includes a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and a 20 percent match from the state. The revolving fund is a loan program used to improve water quality by financing wastewater, stormwater and other clean water infrastructure improvements. The Community Development Block Grant for Infrastructure Program will fund 14 projects with a combined allocation of $26.2 million. This program includes money from the federal Housing and Urban Development program and is to improve the quality of life, public and environmental health and economic vitality for low-to-moderate income communities by improving water and wastewater infrastructure. And, finally, 20 projects totaling about $5.5 million received funding from the State Drinking Water and Wastewater Reserve Program. These funds are made up of state appropriations and are awarded once a year. 


Among the projects funded are: 

  • $1.085 million for sewer rehabilitation in Taylorsville; 
  • $229,500 toward replacing a pump station in Elm City; 
  • $2.5 million to help defray the costs of a new pump station and force main in Albemarle; 
  • $2.5 million for a wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project for the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority; and 
  • $2.6 million toward a water loss reduction project in Maxton.
For more information and a complete listing of projects, click here.

Research Analysts - Contracts

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • American Infrastructure-VA Inc. was awarded a $13.4 million contract by the Virginia Department of Transportation to realign the entrance and exit ramps at the Interstate 95 interchange at Temple Avenue in Colonial Heights and replace the signalized intersection with a roundabout. The roundabout will include two lanes for traffic and a continuous bypass lane on the westbound approach.
  • RPR Construction won a $5.75 million contract from the city of Longview, Texas, to build a new animal shelter to be operated by the city.
  • AECOM has been awarded a $91-million contract by Miami-Dade County, Florida, to oversee $1.6 billion in federally mandated repairs to the county's sewer system.  AECOM will provide program and construction management services for upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment plants and the collection and transmission system pipes and pump stations as well as the implementation of numerous capacity, management, operations and maintenance programs.
  • Bailey Harris Construction won a $61 million contract from the Huntsville, Alabama, school board to build the combined Jemison-McNair campus on Pulaski Pike north of Stringfield Road for Huntsville City Schools.
  • CDM Joint Venture won a contract worth up to $185 million from the U.S. Army for toxic, hazardous and radioactive waste remediation for government, civilian and military agencies.
  • Schmoldt Construction was awarded an $815,923 contract from the city of Carrollton, Texas, to make improvements to the Downtown Square and Pioneer Park.
  • G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc. won a $7.4 million contract from the Virginia Department of Transportation to replace the eastbound and westbound bridges on Interstate 64 over Nine Mile Road in Henrico.
  • River Sand Inc. won a $1.01 million contract from the city of Toccoa, Georgia, to dredge Davidson Lake.
  • Condie Construction was awarded a contract of $11.7 million by the city of Amarillo, Texas, for a water pipeline to send well water over more of the city. It will be 45 inches in diameter and will connect to a previously installed line.
  • Science Applications International Corp. won a contract worth up to $7.2 million from the U.S. Army for systems and computer resources support.
Gemini Global Group

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Two governors pushing for public-private partnership for bridge project

Steve Beshear You've heard of former adversaries mending fences. In this case, it's a Republican and a Democrat building a bridge.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (left), a Democrat, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (right), a Republican, are putting aside their differences and their political leanings to agree on a plan to update the aging Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio. The plan also includes building a new bridge and improving interstate approaches to the bridges that cross the Ohio River. 

The two governors' plan includes the use of a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to design, build, finance John Kasich and maintain the bridge project. The costs and toll revenues would be split between the two states. And, to temper the sting of tolls, the plan calls for providing a 50 percent discount on tolls for frequent commuters.

The cost of the project is estimated at $2.6 billion, but officials warn that the project costs are increasing by $7 million every month that the project is delayed. 

As it stands now, the bridge repair project would be funded by tolls. Tolls also would be used to fund part of the new bridge construction.

The governors expect a P3/PPP bill to be filed during the current Kentucky General Assembly. Beshear indicated that he will veto a bill on which any amendments are attached that ban use of tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge. "We're not going to pass P3 legislation with a prohibition of tolling," Beshear said. "It makes no sense for the future of the state."

In the meantime, the transportation departments of both states are looking for solutions for finding savings on the project by the end of March, with a goal of coming up with a viable financial plan by the end of the year.

"We simply cannot afford more delay, distraction and gridlock - on the interstate or in the halls of government," Beshear said. "The Brent Spence Bridge corridor must be expanded to meet the safety and mobility needs of a growing, prosperous region." 


Nashville to use public-private partnership for 1,000-space parking garage

Cleveland-based Gates Capital Resources LLC has provided $35.5 million of financing for a new downtown parking garage in Nashville, as part of a public-private partnership. The funding will be used for design, site acquisition, construction and equipping of the garage. Gates Capital Resources LLC is an affiliate of Gates Group Capital Partners LLC, a private Cleveland investment firm. 


"This will deliver vital parking to the vibrant downtown Nashville area, which is enjoying phenomenal growth," said Graham White, managing partner of Gates Capital Resources. The MDHA Downtown Parking Garage, owned by Nashville's Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, with feature parking on 12 levels. It will also include 17,700 square feet of street-level retail and commercial space. Design and construction services will be provided by EOA Architects and R.C. Mathews Contractor. A completion date of late 2016 is anticipated.  


Tomblin pushes for completion of section of U.S. Route 35 in West Virginia

Earl Ray Tomblin The West Virginia Department of Transportation has issued a request for qualifications for contractors interested in participating in a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) related to completion of a section of U.S. Route 35. The private-sector partner would be required to participate in a design-build project. The roadway is the final 14.6-mile, four-lane section of U.S. 35 in Mason and Putnam counties and would increase the highway from two to four lanes.


Officials are hoping a contractor can be selected by June and the project can start by the end of the year. The roadway has a reputation for being dangerous because it is only two lanes and there is a lot of tractor-trailer traffic on it. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (pictured) said earlier this month that he had ordered the state's Division of Highways to continue toward completion of the road. "Our Division of Highways is now able to use more innovative financing options to build and maintain our roads and bridges," Tomlin said. The project will be design-build, but is using a P3/PPP to finance the project. The P3/PPP project will allow the contractor to be paid in installments as work continues, rather than the state paying a lump sum when the bid is awarded. 


RFP issued by Cape Girardeau for development of proposed new sports complex

Julia Thompson Looking for a private-sector partner to help develop a sports complex, officials in the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, have issued a request for proposals (RFP) related to the project. The RFP seeks one or more developers and building and property specifications for the sports complex.

The indoor sports complex is expected to include at least 100,000 square feet that includes collegiate-sized courts, a turf field and other amenities that will attract events that will have a significant impact on the regional economy. City Parks and Recreation Director Julia Thompson (pictured), said the city is seeking partners so that the best facility and site plan can be developed and added that various entities might be interested in its development. 

She said partners can be anything from real estate organizations to private investors, landowners or a collaboration of business partners who see the project as able to increase business in the area. "There is a lot of opportunity that exists with the development of this facility," she said. The city is open to either renovation of existing space or new construction. Officials hope for a site of seven to 10 acres and a plan for acquiring the land if necessary. 


City looking at turning downtown property into P3 high-rise office tower 

Steve Benjamin A high-rise office tower could soon appear on the horizon in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The city is attempting to buy a piece of property downtown that includes the United Way building. With a projected purchase price of $2.2 million, the city would own a significant part of the block.


Because the city currently leases office and other space throughout the city at a cost of about $1 million per year, the property in question could provide space the city will need in the future. To that end, the city has issued a request for proposals for an assessment to examine space the city owns, occupies and rents. What Mayor Steve Benjamin (pictured) envisions is construction of a new building through a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). The city would then occupy part of the building and a private partner would own and occupy a portion of the building.


Benjamin also said he expects the city could then sell the property at Washington Square where it has offices, putting that property back on the tax rolls. 


Advertise in Pipeline

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 and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Tom Baden.  


Tom Baden Tom Baden (pictured) was recently chosen by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to serve as the state's chief information officer (CIO). Baden, who previously served as CIO of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, has more than three decades of service in Minnesota state government IT. Baden replaces Carolyn Parnell, who resigned last December. In addition to his service at the Department of Human Services, Baden is also the former state chief enterprise architect for the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology and enterprise architect for the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Baden will take over an organization, MN.IT. that is the Information Technology agency for Minnesota's executive branch, providing the full range of IT services to more than 70 agencies, boards and commissions. MN.IT also makes available a subset of services to other Minnesota government entities and education institutions. As commissioner, Baden will oversee a staff of nearly 2,100 people who work in 90 different locations across the state, including 22 agency-based offices.        


Collaboration Nation

Opportunity of the week...

A city in Iowa is seeking a private-sector partner to help provide faster Internet access to its businesses and residences. City officials recognize that in addition to many business needs not being met, more residents are using more Internet-driven devices at home, slowing speeds. They are considering issuing a request for quotations to gauge costs and private-sector interest. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Leo Schmitz William Mulroy Carlisle McLean Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has selected Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz (top left), who has spent most of his 30-year career with the Chicago Police Department from patrolman to deputy chief, to become the director of the Illinois State Police. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named William J. Mulrow (top center), an executive at the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, to replace Lawrence S. Schwartz as secretary to the governor. Maine Gov. Paul LePage has appointed Carlisle McLean (top right), his chief legal counsel since 2013, to a four-year term on the Public Utilities Commission, replacing former Chairman Tom Welch, who retired in December. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has nominated Connie Beard, executive director for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, as the new Secretary for the Illinois Department of Revenue. West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin filled two vacancies on the state school board - Dr. James S. Wilson, a dentist who served on the Marshall County school board for 20 years, and Beverly E. Kingery, who served as Nicholas County's schools superintendent from 2007 until she retired in 2014. Brian Lee, high school principal at Diamond School District in Diamond, Missouri, will be taking over as superintendent of the Scott City School District, replacing Superintendent Diann Ulmer, who plans to retire at the end of this school Felicia Norwood Frank Milstead Rick Pilato year. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed Felicia Norwood (bottom right), who has more than 20 years of experience in health care policy, health business operations and health care delivery, most of it in the private sector, as Secretary to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead (bottom center), a former Phoenix police commander, as director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, replacing outgoing DPS director Robert Halliday. Michael R. "Rick" Pilato (bottom left), who has been with Catawba County, North Carolina,  for 17 years and has extensive experience in leadership and management in a number of fields, was named Catawba County's new chief information officer after serving as interim CIO since last September. Rob Braulik, who has served as town manager in Ross, California, a small incorporated town in Marin County, has been chosen as the new city manager for the city of Martinez. The State University of New York Board of Trustees named four new presidents to the university's campuses: Alain Kaloyeros as president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Marion Terenzio as president of SUNY Cobleskill, Denise Battles as president of SUNY Geneseo and Cathleen McColgin as president of Herkimer County Community College. Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic has chosen Deputy Chief Edward Hiltbrand, who has served nearly 30 years in the city's fire department, to be the city's next deputy mayor of public safety.

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NAC Legislative Conference set in D.C. for Feb. 21-25

More than 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from throughout the country are making plans to attend the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference on Feb. 21-25 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Those attending will hear from key federal officials and members of Congress as well as have the opportunity to attend numerous educational programs addressing current and hot-topic issues. Educational sessions will address such topics as federal legislative and policy issues that impact counties, public pension reform and current legislative efforts. Registration is now open and a conference schedule is available. 


National League of Cities to host Congressional City Conference in March

The National League of Cities will host its annual Congressional City Conference on March 7-11 in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 officials from cities and towns in the United States will attend and share their views with the Administration and members of Congress. The event will draw city managers, elected officials, intergovernmental affairs staff, chief financial officers, senior policy officials and others. Attendees will hear directly from policy makers and thought leaders on the issues that matter to city officials. They will examine federal policies that affect cities, the latest funding opportunities and emerging trends. Information will be relayed regarding infrastructure, public safety, community resilience and federal regulations. The daily schedule is now available and registration is open.

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