|Volume 6, Issue 45||March 4, 2015|
Mobile apps not in your life? They will be soon!
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
What's your favorite app? A few years ago, most of us would have struggled to answer such a question. Now, almost everyone has a favorite. Applications are changing the way we live and thousands of new ones are being launched every day.
Currently, 90 percent of the 318.9 million American adults have cell phones. Of those, 58 percent own a smartphone, and they all have mobile apps. As of 2014, Google Play had produced 1.3 million apps and the Apple App Store offered 1.2 million of them for sale. Juniper Research estimated that in 2014, the direct and indirect revenues from sales of mobile applications totaled more than $25 billion dollars.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
|Texans to vote on $4.75 billion in bond issues in May|
Successful votes will open up millions of dollars in contracting opportunities
New construction will be prevalent, but bond issues in Texas also address a myriad of other contracting opportunities of interest to private-sector vendors.
Millions of dollars' worth of contracting opportunities will open up in Texas soon, as voters throughout the state go to the polls on May 9. There they will decide the fate of approximately 60 local bond elections, valued at a combined total of $4.75 billion.
Although public school districts dominate the bond votes - there are 50 ISD referendums - bond elections are also being held in five Texas cities, three counties and one hospital district.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has available for sale its 2015 Texas Bond Package, which provides a list of every public entity that will be holding a bond referendum on May 9. It also includes the dollar amount of each bond and details on the proposed bond projects. Purchasers of the bond package will be emailed complete election results on Monday, May 11. Additionally, information will be provided with the results document that outlines bond elections currently being discussed for November of this year and beyond.
While many school bond issues include new construction from school buildings to classroom additions and science labs to facilitate growing student enrollment across the state, there are a variety of other needs that would benefit from successful bond issues. Many of the bond issues include funding for security, technology, renovations, HVAC systems, roofing projects and more. And, vendors should keep in mind that every new school needs furnishings and equipment. Construction projects are not just bricks and mortar.
Road and street projects dominate the city and county elections, but there are also bond issues that address parks and recreation, public safety facilities, civic and community center improvements and more.
A sampling of the bond issues include:
- A Houston-area county is seeking passage of a $350 million bond package that includes drainage projects and construction of new roads and rehabilitation of others;
- A suburban area city in North Texas seeks approval of a $267.8 million bond vote, some of which would be for new fire department facilities and building improvements, city hall expansion and a new cultural arts facility;
- Two bond issues would benefit public hospitals - one to include improvements and one to address additions;
- The largest school bond issue is for $498.1 million and would result in several new schools being built, and funding for technology, technology infrastructure and safety and security issues; and
- A multi-million-dollar bond vote in a Rio Grande Valley school district provides for new schools, various campus renovations and safety and security projects.
|Three Metro general manager finalists withdraw from race|
Feared leaks of their names to media have trio of candidates pull out of contention
There's a reason candidates for government and political positions don't want their names released when they apply for similar positions elsewhere. And, if there was any doubt, one could point to the three finalists for the job of general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). All three withdrew from the competition when it appeared their names might be released to the public before the lone finalist was named.
As a result, Metro officials are now facing a conundrum - starting over again on the hiring process or going through the remaining candidates who applied the first time around. The size of the Metro operations are such that one would expect high-caliber candidates to apply for the general manager job. And, if their names were released and they did not get the title of lone finalist, their current jobs could be in jeopardy.
Whomever is chosen will replace former General Manager Richard Sarles, who retired.
In addition to spending $92,000 on a search firm, Metro is now headed back to the starting gate and could have trouble recruiting candidates who might feel the agency is unable to keep their identities private. Mortimer Downey (pictured), Metro board chair, informed the candidates and then the rest of the board that a reporter might have the names of the finalists and could release them to the public.
"The Board's search for a new general manager and chief executive officer is ongoing, as we want to ensure that we identify a candidate with the combination of leadership, transportation, financial and management skills," Downey said in a statement.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
University of Cincinnati to invest $16M in building for research accelerator
A $16 million investment at the University of Cincinnati will transform the Campus Services Building into a research accelerator facility. The 1929 building, which was originally a Sears, Roebuck and Co. department store, will provide space for startup companies that use technologies developed by the university. "We envision this as an excellent location in the center of development for new companies which are transferring technologies from our academic research to new businesses, products and services," said William Ball (pictured), vice president for research at the university. He added that it will also provide a hub for commercialization services that will positively impact regional economic development. Because the building is solid concrete, it can serve a variety of uses, whether office space or work space. The renovation is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy within 18 months.
Business leaders asking state for $40M toward UW computer science building
Members of the Washington State Legislature are being inundated by letters from tech leaders representing Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Zillow and others in support of state funding for building a new computer science and engineering building at the University of Washington. The facility is expected to cost $110 million and the letters are seeking an allocation of $40 million from the state. The current 11-year-old building already has run out of room as the number of students in the computer science department continues to grow. A major goal of UW officials during the current legislative session is to secure funding toward the new building. Gov. Jay Inslee included funding for the project in his proposed capital projects building, but the governor and the legislature do not always support the same projects and funding allocations. If the state puts up $40 million, the remaining $70 million will be raised through private funding. The letters being sent to legislators are signed by executives of 23 Washington-based tech companies and companies with offices in the state. Officials of the university say the new facility could allow the number of computer science and engineering degrees awarded each year to double.
Another Columbus State University campus to be moved to downtown area The RiverPark campus of Columbus State University will be enlarged soon, after the Board of Historical and Architectural Review and Facade Board approved the moving of its College of Education and Health Professions to the downtown area. The move will expand the RiverPark campus by about 1,800 students, faculty and staff. Private donations allowed the university to purchase a former newspaper office in the downtown area. Contractors are currently finalizing demolition, construction and renovation plans. Tom Hackett, who is serving as interim president of the university, said officials will make every effort to preserve the historic nature of the building "while also adapting the building to our needs in a way that will complement the special look and feel of that area." The project is expected to carry a price tag of about $25 million. The university has secured about $18.5 million toward the project as part of the university's "First Choice" campaign. Moving this campus (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) to the downtown area will add to the almost 900 faculty, staff and students already downtown in the College of the Arts and the Department of History and Geography. Adding this new building will increase the university's downtown presence that currently totals about 1 million square feet, including a bookstore, convenience store, visiting professor apartments, student housing, continuing education space, performance facilities, classroom and a dining center.
Ohio State moving forward with efforts to create arts hub on campusArchitects and designers will soon be hired to develop plans for creating a $200 million arts hub on the eastern edge of Ohio State University. The project would develop the district over 10 years. Already, $400,000 has been budgeted for the architects and designers. The plan is for several new buildings to be added, along with performances spaces and a plaza that would link High Street to the Oval at 15th Avenue. University officials hope the district will promote the arts and cultural exposure for the university, the region and international visitors. Some of the projects as part of the decade-long promotion would include updates to the School of Music and an addition to the Weigel Auditorium, to include improved acoustics and lighting and lobby expansion. Hughes Hall would also undergo renovations that include teaching studios and offices. A new recital hall and at least two large rehearsal studios would be added. The Department of Theater would move to a new complex in the arts district and a second moving image screening space, a performance area and extra gallery with office space would be added.
Voters in Edmond, Oklahoma, pass $88 million bond election
Classrooms, storm shelters and a new high school football stadium are coming to the Edmond, Oklahoma, school district following a successful $88 million bond election. There will also be numerous other upgrades and renovations throughout the district. No longer will the three high schools have to lease the University of Central Oklahoma Wantland Stadium for varsity football games. The bond passage will result in the building of a new stadium at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Safe rooms will be added in every school and renovations, improvements and additions will be made to nearly every campus. "We're going to be adding classroom spaces that are needed for the growth of the district, and we'll be adding spaces in existing schools that are needed that will also be storm shelter space and improvements at our high schools as we look at the addition of a fourth high school in the next seven years or so," said Edmond Superintendent David Goin (pictured). School officials already are looking forward to a possible 2017 bond issue to make sure all district schools are equipped with storm shelters and sufficient classroom space. Technology upgrades will also be paid for with bond proceeds.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
County in New York planning $30M Highway Department facility
Rockland County's (New York) Highway Department is about to hit the road. County officials recently decided to go forward with a $30 million project that would move the department from New City to Chestnut Ridge. The move is intended to give the department better access to all parts of the county. It also would mean additional storage for equipment. Rockland County Executive Ed Day (pictured) said the county would borrow money for the project, in spite of the county's current debt. Day said the key is that "the money spent now is going to absolutely save millions of dollars for the operational cost, and, down the road, equipment costs. We are not looking to spend one penny more than we need to." The new facility would be on a 27-acre tract of land owned by the county. The new location, said Day, would make the highway operation more efficient. Additionally, much of the equipment for the department has been stored outdoors and will now be able to be move indoors. The county also is discussing the possibility of building a compressed natural gas filling station on the site by incorporating a public-private partnership as a means of finance. The facility would be two stories with the upper floor for administration, engineering and traffic safety divisions and the drainage agency. The bottom floor will include mechanics and fleet maintenance personnel and additional garage and storage space.
Columbus Riverwalk could be extended to Air Force Base
Mississippi officials in Columbus are studying extending the Columbus Riverwalk to the Columbus Air Force Base. In fact, the Mississippi House has passed a bill that would allocate $5 million in state funds toward the project. The bill now goes to the Senate. The plan calls for extending the south gate of Columbus Air Force Base. It would provide a bike path for going straight from the Air Base to the Riverwalk. The path would pass along the Tenn-Tom Waterway and pass through the Dwayne Hayes Campground. Columbus Air Force Base Public Affairs Chief Sonic Johnson said the extension would allow those at the base to have another 15 miles of bike trails, jogging trails and areas for exercising pets. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $25 million. The U.S. Department of Defense might also provide some funding for the project.
State of Wisconsin looking for funding sources for state building projects
There's no shortage of construction projects in Wisconsin and officials there are saying they have enough under consideration to carry the state through 2019. As state lawmakers begin to study the next year's budget, Gov. Scott Walker is urging them not to take on any more debt except for transportation projects. And, although no new bonding is expected to be taken on for construction projects, Mike Huebsch (pictured), secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, said there is some leftover bond money that was approved for projects that never got under way that could be used for new projects. But since there is so little of that funding, it will likely be used for maintenance, renovations and repair. In spite of the directive from the governor, the University of Wisconsin System has asked for permission to build $606 million worth of projects during the next two years, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to build $44.1 million worth and the Department of Corrections wants to build $125.94 million in projects. The governor's office indicates that there is some $858 million worth of projects from the 2013-15 budget that have not been approved by the state Building Commission. He said projects already included in budget plans will continue to move forward.
RFP issued for feasibility study for mayor's proposed 'megaproject'
A feasibility study is upcoming for the New York City Economic Development Corp. regarding an affordable housing project. The "megaproject" is the brain child of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The EDC issued a request for proposals (RFP) last week. A unique proposal, the project would build a rail platform over the train tracks over Sunnyside Yards and develop 11,250 affordable housing units. Estimates are that the project could cost as much as $750 million and take more than a decade just to get past the planning stage. There is growing opposition in the legislature if there is not significant community support for the project. Responses to the city's RFP are due March 20.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- The Ruhlin Company won a $26,969,381 contract from Lake County, Ohio, to replace the Vrooman Road bridge and roadway improvements over the Grand River in Leroy and Perry townships.
- RAMA Enterprises won a $1.025 million contract from the city of Hillsboro, Texas, to perform improvements to the city's wastewater treatment plant.
- PHG Energy LLC was awarded a $3.43 million contract by the city of Lebanon, Tennessee, for a "waste to energy" project - a new gasification plant to convert waste into gas for heat and producing electricity.
- Alta Environmental won a multi-year, $1.010 million contract from the Port of Long Beach to help its tenants comply with the new California Industrial General Storm Water Permit by implementing a storm water monitoring program at 22 sites throughout the port complex. Alta will also provide consulting, design and implementation and an analysis of its findings.
- MGM Construction won a contract worth about $5.4 million, including base bid and all alternates, from the city of Elko, Nevada, to construct a new police station.
- Mobile Asphalt Company, LLC was awarded a $14,831,751 contract from the Alabama Department of Transportation for a resurfacing project in Baldwin County. The project includes resurfacing the interstate lanes, shoulders and ramps on I-10 to the east end of Bayway to SR 59 and signal upgrades at the US 90/US 98, SR 191 and SR 59 intersections for 9.22 miles.
- Ram's Contracting Ltd. won a contract for a $6.4 million flood control project from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's Commission for construction of a 1,000-foot-long soil berm south of State St., between 60th and 63rd streets. The hillside between the levee and the river will be excavated for storage of floodwater and an underground culvert will be removed south of State Street.
- J. P. Mascaro & Sons was awarded a five-year, $127 million contract by a local New Jersey Utilities Authority to transfer, transport and dispose of all waste generated in Morris County, New Jersey.
- Data Computer Corporation of America (DCCA) has been awarded a contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to serve as the Single Testing Contractor (STC) to provide technical support services to test the functionality across multiple Medicare Claims Processing Systems. The contract is for one base year with four option years and has a value of $60 million if all options are exercised
- eTrans KY Inc. has been awarded a contract not to exceed $3.45 million from the Kentucky-Indiana Joint Board for the Ohio River Bridges Project to help implement a tolling system and oversee the work of the eventual toll system provider. eTrans Ky Inc. also will monitor and manage design and testing for the system to ensure it functions properly and meets set requirements.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Kentucky House passes P3 bill; now heads to Senate for debate
After passage in the Kentucky House, a bill that would provide oversight and regulations for public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs) for state government and major transportation projects is headed to the Senate for debate.
The bill, HB 443, would allow for the state and transportation projects to collaborate on public projects such as infrastructure, transportation and others. Although the General Assembly passed a similar bill in the 2014 legislative session, the bill was vetoed by the governor. An amendment that had been added to the bill caused the problem, because it would have eliminated the use of tolls for the Brent Spence Bridge project over the Ohio River project in Northern Kentucky. That amendment and provisions regarding local governments that were in the 2014 bill are not part of this session's bill.
"I understand the concerns that have been expressed by several, and right now what we're going to do is focus on state agencies and transportation. Let's move this forward because this is something that I think this state definitely needs," said Rep. Leslie Combs (pictured), one of the bill sponsors. Combs added, however, that the bill is not about a particular project or about tolls.
The Senate will face a bill with several amendments tacked on. Among them are amendments that will require P3s/PPPs that connect Kentucky to adjoining states to be built and financed by a bi-state authority that is the sole authority to enter into a P3 as part of the project, and another would require that tolls for projects over $100 million would expire when the construction debt is paid off.
Partnership proposed between Virginia neighborhood, private firm
As the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington County, Virginia, works toward revitalization, Arlington County staff has recommended that the county partner with the Penzance Companies on a proposed mixed-use development, fire station and park on Wilson Boulevard.
Penzance is seeking to merge its property with a county-owned piece of land to develop a 17-story office building, a 27-story residential building and a 24-story residential building, along with a new fire station. The project could also include a new 11,500-square-foot county park, a 43,500-square-foot field and an 18,500-square-foot public plaza. In the meantime, Arlington Public Schools is proposing an $80 million, six-story school in the community to serve 775 students.
Indiana Dunes State Park Beach Pavilion partnership leading to makeover
The Indiana Dunes State Park Beach Pavilion is going back to its roots. After a complete demolition, the facility will feature a casual dining restaurant and snack bar on the first floor and a fine dining restaurant with rooftop dining on the second floor.
Brandt Baughman (pictured), the park's property manager, said something had to be done to the aging facility and reuse was deemed the best solution. "A decision was made to make an adaptive reuse of the building and take it back to its roots, which was a restaurant," he said.
The project is the result of a public-private partnership with Pavilion Partners LLC and will cost between $3 million and $4 million, none of that cost being paid by tax dollars. Baughman said the resurrection of the old building will turn the dunes into a year-round park. The original building was completed in 1930. The new facility will also include a new building for bathrooms and another adjacent building to host events such as wedding receptions and conferences. Part of the interior work will be ready in time for the season-opening Memorial Day weekend. The remainder of the work will be completed in time for the start of the 2016 season.
Former school site in Minnesota to undergo redevelopment
The Alexandria (Minnesota) City Council will provide tax increment financing (TIF) for a project to turn an old high school property into a manufacturing training center. To do so, the council amended the city comprehensive plan to include the development. The training center is expected to be a public-private partnership with the Alexandria Technical and Community College.
No time has been set when the TIF will begin or end. Both will depend on how much of the property is developed over the course of numerous years. The initial agreement, however, allows $2 million for the developer to prepare the site and more could be released if the project expenses qualify.
The developers will demolish the old Jefferson High School and install utilities, roads, sidewalks and parking lots as part of the mixed-use project. Initial plans call for the complex to include 40,000 square feet for a manufacturing/training center, 36,000 square feet for specialty medical clinics, 60,000 square feet for a high-tech medical center and 150 beds for student housing, along with 130 rental units.
Public-private partnership will lead to design of mixed-use library facility
Designs for a new Marion, Iowa, Public Library will soon begin. Ryan Companies beat out the only other respondent to a Request for Qualifications for a developer who could finance the project as part of a public-private partnership to build the proposed mixed-use library facility. Ryan Companies has participated in a number of local projects and has a vested interest in the community, according to Library Director Doug Raber (pictured).
Plans are for the library to have three components - the library, residential space and retail space. The immediate goal will be to provide library services to an increasing population. Secondary to that, the project is expected to assist in the development of the Uptown area and add value to the property tax base.
|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 Courtney Phillips.
Courtney Phillips (pictured), former deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, will soon become the new head of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services after being appointed last month by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. In her position in Louisiana, Phillips was chief operating officer and chair of the department's Human Services Interagency Council. She also provided management and oversight for the department's major program offices. Before becoming deputy secretary in the Bayou State, Phillips rose through the ranks of the agency, holding the positions of Medicaid program manager to chief of staff. Phillips, who will take office April 2, will succeed former CEO Kerry Winterer, who left the position in mid-December of last year. Phillips holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and a master's degree in public administration from Louisiana State University. She is a doctoral student in public policy at Southern University.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A county in California is seeking state funds to help build a new jail tower and make repairs at its main jail. Officials are looking at adding a 480-cell tower and a consultant says the tower and repairs will cost between $60 and $70 million. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denise Turner Roth (top left), who has been a deputy administrator since March 2014, has been appointed as the new acting administrator at the General Services Administration, filling the vacancy left by former administrator Dan Tangherlini, who officially left the agency Feb. 13. Melissa Kraft (top center), a city of Denton, Texas, employee since 2008 when she began as systems security manager, has been named director of technology services with the city. Hansuel Kang (top right), who has served as chief of staff for Tennessee's education department since 2001, has been named by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser as the city's new school superintendent. The city of Weimar, Texas, hired William Michael "Mike" Barrow, former public utilities director for the city of Henderson as well as assistant city manager and then city manager, as its new city manager. Troy, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Jarvis Burlingame has announced his retirement and will be replaced by Tony Morelli of North Towanda, who spent nearly 27 years in the Pennsylvania State Police, most recently as supervisor for the vice and narcotics unit. Austin Peay State University in Tennessee has hired Dr. Rex Gandy, current provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, for the same position at Austin Peay. Bibb County, Georgia, school board members have hired Curtis L. Jones (bottom right) as the new school superintendent. Dr. Neil Matkin (bottom center), executive vice president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, has been chosen by the Collin County Community College Distrct as the college's new president, succeeding Cary A. Israel, who is resigning. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced that Harold Scoggins (bottom left), who has been a firefighter for 25 years in Glendale, California, the last seven as chief, is the new Seattle fire chief. Officer Bret Sullivan, who joined the Bennington, New Hampshire, Police Department in 2013 after 12 years with the Peterborough Police Department, has been chosen as the town's new police chief, effective May 1, replacing retiring Chief Steve Campbell. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has announced that Tim Tracy, dean of the university's College of Pharmacy, has been selected as the university's provost after serving as interim provost for more than a year. The Salem Community College in New Jersey has selected Dr. Michael R. Gorman, former superintendent of Pemberton Township Schools in Burlington County, as the college's eighth president, replacing retiring president Joan M. Baillie.
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|Calendar of events|
National League of Cities to host Congressional City Conference in MarchThe 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.
NASCIO 2015 Midyear Conference slated April 26-29The National Association of State Chief Information officers (NASCIO) has set its 2015 Midyear Conference for April 26-29 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Visit the 2015 Midyear Conference webpage for up-to-date information on the conference agenda and speaker lineup. Registration is currently open. Register by March 13 for early bird registration rates. Corporate sponsorships are open now. "Are You Ready? Disruptive change is the new norm" is the focus of the conference.
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