Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 7, Issue 3April 22, 2015
Innovative collaboration alive, well in government 
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Mary Scott Nabers

A new executive category has become somewhat common in government - a Director of Innovation. Individuals hired to these positions are charged with finding new and innovative ways to fund projects, provide services or create large-scale efficiencies. 


Some have made great strides and taxpayers are beneficiaries. Because of this, there may be much more thought given to innovation and collaboration in the future.

But, collaboration and innovation are surfacing throughout the country already. 




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Mississippi OK's bond funding for transportation projects


State's 2,200 structurally deficient bridges to benefit from major part of funds

Bridges Many of Mississippi's more than 2,200 structurally deficient bridges will get the attention they need after the Mississippi Legislature voted during its last week of the recent legislative session to seek bond financing totaling $200 million. The funds will be used to finance bridge and other transportation upgrades in the state that are long overdue and will be paid for by casino tax receipts. After passing both houses of the legislature, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryan, and will be in effect July 1.


Like many other state  Departments of Transportation (DOTs) officials throughout the country, Mississippi  DOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath (pictured) said much of the blame for Melinda McGrath deterioration of state roads and bridges across the nation can be laid at the feet of members of the U.S. Congress.


Congress is facing a May 31 deadline for reauthorization of a surface transportation act that funds the Highway Trust Fund. The trust fund monies are distributed to state and local governments for transportation projects. In years past, a short-term, stop-gap fix has been approved during each congressional session, rather than a  long-term solution funded over numerous years. The uncertainty of local and state officials over what funding might be available has led many states to put off much-needed, transportation-related projects because of the uncertainty of federal funds to help pay for them.


"The time for action is now, not years down the deteriorated road," said McGrath. "The need for federal funding to repair roads and bridges has never been greater. Continued delays in federal funding will eventually create safety hazards for the traveling public and devastate economic growth."


The legislation signed by Gov. Bryan would put $20 million into the State Aid Road Fund. That money is made available for maintenance of secondary roads. Another $18 million would be dedicated for the Department of Transportation to build a roadway bridge in Vicksburg. The $162 million that is left will be used at the discretion of the state's Transportation Commission to address problems of structurally deficient bridges in the state - including repair, rehabilitation, replacement and construction or reconstruction of those bridges.


The bill was passed just prior to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) releasing a report showing that nation has a backlog of 61,000 structurally deficient bridges.


May 2015 Texas Bond Results

Grants totaling more than $21M to address rail industry


Federal Railroad Administration funds address safety, train control, passenger rail

Rail Projects Highway grade crossing safety, positive train control (PTC) and passenger rail issues will share more than $21.2 million in grant funds from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The agency recently awarded eight grants for that amount.

"Enhancing grade crossing safety, investing in the deployment of PTC and funding planning efforts are investments that will make our rail network safer, more reliable and efficient," said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg Sarah Feinberg (pictured). "Continuous investment in rail infrastructure will enable us to meet the growing demand for rail and to keep people living along rail lines safe."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx echoed her sentiments saying "predictable, dedicated funding for rail" could lead to funding even more projects. He said the U.S. Department of Transportation's GROW AMERICA Act, which the department presented to Congress earlier this month, was described as a blueprint for being able to "strengthen rail's safety record, close the nation's infrastructure deficit and modernize the nation's freight and passenger rail network."

The grant funds were awarded for a wide variety of projects. Examples include more than $2.23 million to the California Department of Transportation for crossing improvements at Pacific Surfliner Chesterfield Drive. In the category of PTC, Amtrak was awarded grant funding of $2.64 million for wireless communication and key management implementation and more than $4.9 million to ARNC Inc. for implementation of PTC shared network and user support. Awards for rail planning include a more than $2.9 million award to the California Department of Transportation for a Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass corridor investment plan and $3 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation for a terminal planning study for Chicago's Union Station.
More detailed information on each of the grant awards is available here.


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Michigan to get medical testing center, robotics research center
A new medical testing center and robotics research center is headed for the North Campus of the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor site. The Board of Regents recently approved $214 million in funding for the project.
The medical testing center will be part of the University of Michigan Health System and will take over four currently vacant buildings on the North Campus Research Complex. The robotics center, part of the College of Engineering, will be located in a three-story, 100,000-square-foot building east of the Space Research Building.

$10 million gift will help build University of Missouri music building
School of Music A proposed new School of Music building on the campus of the University of Missouri (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) got a $10 million boost recently from a gift from Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. It marked the largest gift in the university's history toward the support of fine arts. The overall project cost is estimated at $74 million. University officials are hoping for a matching amount of state funds equal to the gift amount and then the remainder of the costs to be made up through private gifts. A start date of 2016 is expected. The current School of Music now resides in five different buildings with classrooms, studio, rehearsal and office space in each. The university expects with a new building, all of these needs can be met with the one building.

RFP issued by U.S. Army for Fort Campbell solar array
Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is looking for a solar array. The U.S. Army recently released a request for proposals for a 3.1-megawatt solar array there. To get that array, the Army will enter into a 27-year power purchase agreement through a Multiple Award Task Order contract for renewable energy. A 10-year utility energy services contract with a rural electric cooperative will be combined with the power purchase agreement. The cooperative was granted a $3 million Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy grant from the state and will use the money to add to the funding necessary to build its 1.9 megawatt portion of the solar array. Officials say the solar array should provide more than 10 percent of Fort Campbell's power requirements. The site of a former landfill that sat on 25 acres will be the site for the project. The contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the renewable energy generation facility on land leased from Fort Campbell. 


Major expansion projects being planned for Medical Arts, Research Center
Carlos Rosende Currently in the design/development stage and scheduled for review in May are plans of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and UT Medicine in San Antonio for the Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC). "We've pretty much outgrown the space we have," said UT Medicine San Antonio CEO Dr. Carlos Rosende (pictured) of many of the School of Medicine clinics. The 250,000-square-foot South Texas Medical Center facility could see a lot of activity as part of a $50 million expansion plan that includes the addition of several new structures. The Health Science Center plans would include building a new 60,000 to 75,000-square-foot MARC Plaza. That area would house current administrative staff officeing in the current MARC, along with billing and information technology personnel now working out of leased space. With additional space freed up in the old MARC building, Rosende said the 7th and 8th floors in the existing MARC building would be converted to clinical space. Plans are also being developed by the Health Science Center and UT Medicine San Antonio for a MARC North. Rosende said the 18,000-square-foot building would include an ambulatory center and primary care facilities and some specialty services. 

Missouri school district voters approve funding for technology academy
In Missouri, a school district's voters recently approved a $40 million bond issue. Proceeds from sale of the bonds at Lee's Summit school district will be used for upgrades and renovations. Those projects will include building a technology academy and innovation center. The Summit Technology Academy and Missouri Innovation Campus construction will begin later this year, with a completion date of August 2017. Leased space is currently used to house the existing academy and innovation center. Because it will be shared with the University of Central Missouri, Lee's Summit will be responsible for 40 percent of construction costs and the university will pay 60 percent. Lee's Summit's portion will total about $17.5 million. The school district will own the facility and will work out a rental agreement to pay for its space. Owning the building outright will save the district about $9 million over the next two decades. Other improvement areas that are part of the bond issue include classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, accessibility, special education and playground equipment.

Federal loan of $162 million will help finance Ohio River Bridges project
Greg Nadeau A $162 million loan from the Federal Highway Administration will be used to help finance the East End Crossing section of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project. "The project will connect communities and businesses on both sides of the river and provide convenient access for area residents," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau (pictured). "It also helps relieve congestion by allowing Louisville-area travelers to bypass downtown traffic." The project addresses the East End Crossing section. The project, which is the result of a public-private partnership, includes the East End Bridge and connecting roads. The bridge over the Ohio River connects the east end of Louisville to southern Indiana. It will ensure two new bridges across the Ohio River to help address travel needs. The Kentucky approach to the new bridge will add two new lanes in each direction and the Indiana approach will feature four-lane sections as well.

New academic buildings at Citadel first in more than 20 years

New academic buildings will be going up on the campus of The Citadel in South Carolina. The project, estimated to cost about $75 million, marks the first new construction of academic buildings in more than 20 years and will take several years to complete. Capers Hall at the Charleston military college will be replaced after officials were told that updates to the building codes in the existing structure would cost $8 million. A second new building, which will be home to the School of Humanities and Social Science, will carry a price tag of between $30 million and $50 million. Additionally, the business school will get a new $15 million to $25 million classroom building, which currently shares space with other departments


Myrtle Beach could see police department establish substation in downtown area
John Pederson The city manager in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has recommended opening of a new police substation in the downtown area. City Manager John Pedersen has recommended moving two units of the police department into a new facility. Because the existing Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center "does not lend itself to expansion well," said Pederson, more space is needed. He suggests moving the dispatch and property evidence units of the department into a substation. Pedersen said no budget has been set for such a project nor has a location been chosen. But, he said it likely would be done by using a $10 million "loan pool." He said the loan pool would be available for any acquisition or implementation to help redevelopment in that area. Pederson also hinted that a public-private partnership might be beneficial for the project. He said the city will look for a location that not only will serve the needs of the public and the police department, but also leverage private development.

RFP to go out soon for upgrades at five New Hampshire crossings
Five railroad crossings in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are about to get upgrades. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has set aside $1 million for the project, which was originally requested when Sea-3, a propane storage and distribution facility, was looking to expand its Newington facility. The city's share of the $1 million project will be 10 percent - or $100,000. To be upgraded are crossings at Barberry Lane, Maplewood Avenue, Green Street, Michael Succi Drive and Gosling Road. Once responses are received to the RFP, a contractor will be selected and the project can begin.

Voters approve building new school for one destroyed by fire
Edison, New Jersey, voters said at the polls that they support the rebuilding of the James Monroe Elementary School. The school was destroyed by fire last March. The approved bonding amount is $18.6 million. Now that the bond referendum has been approved, officials expect to complete the school rebuild within two years. While the actual cost to rebuild the school is close to $28 million, the district's insurance company picked up $9.5 million of the cost. The new school, which will be more than 67,000 square feet in size, more than 25,000 square feet larger than the old school, will include such items as fire sprinklers, a gymnasium, cafeteria, media center, handicapped-accessible facilities and nine additional classrooms. The bond approval means the state will provide about $4 million in debt.

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • Kyle Conti Construction  won a $3.1 million contract from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to rehabilitate the Prospect Street Bridge. The bridge superstructure and deck will be replaced and repairs will be made to the substructure of the bridge across NJ Transit's Morristown Line.
  • JF White-Schiavone was awarded a $183 million contract by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to rebuild the two-mile long elevated portion of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield. 
  • Blastco, Inc. won a $1,090,025 contract from the city of Sugar Land, Texas, to perform rehabilitation and restoration work on three large water storage tanks - the Lakeview Water Plant Ground Storage Tank #1 and Tanks #1 and #2 at the Sugar Creek Water Plant Ground Storage facility.  
  • Lunda Construction Company was awarded a $27.7 million contract by Anoka County, Minnesota, for construction on the Highway 10-Armstrong Boulevard interchange and railroad overpass project in Ramsey.
  • Data Computer Corp. of America (DCCA) landed a $12 million federal contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop new technology to analyze Medicare and Medicaid data. The contract calls for DCCA to create a cloud-based system to collect and analyze data from drug manufacturers and clinical laboratories that are part of the agency's fee-for-service payment system.
  • Accenture Federal Services won a $966 million, 10-year contract from the U.S. Department of Education  to continue administering the department's financial aid system, which it has managed since 2001.
  • Crawford Contracting Inc. won a $450,000 contract from the village of Lakeview, Minnesota, for construction of a new downtown "pocket park" to connect Lincoln Avenue to a renovated parking area on the east side of businesses located there. The contract also includes paving of Lake Drive from Fifth Street to the Tamarack Lake outlet. 
  • Loftus Construction Inc. was awarded a $2,240,240 contract by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to replace Plymouth Road bridge over Plymouth Creek
  • Syn-Tech Systems won a $10.3-million, two-year contract from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency within the Department of Homeland Security to install a monitoring system for vehicles used by the agency. The company will help monitor parameters, such as speed and idle time, in 18,000 vehicles at 75 sites through an Automotive Information Module (AIM).
  • Questar Assessment won a $122 million contract from the Mississippi Board of Education to test hundreds of thousands of school children starting next year. 
Research Analysts - Contracts

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Town of Chevy Chase studying building new Bethesda Commons Park

Proposed Park In this case, they took parking lots and put up a paradise. In the Town of Chevy Chase, Maryland, two Montgomery County parking lots are about to become park space (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering). Plans are for the Bethesda Commons Park to cover 2.6 acres that not only will provide open space in the downtown area of Bethesda, but also buffer residences in Chevy Chase from redevelopment that is anticipated due to a new sector plan in the area.

Cost estimate for the park is about $3.6 million to build and an annual operating cost of $35,000. But, the project is not a slam-dunk. Montgomery County officials have indicated they are not keen on giving up the two parks that would cost more than 300 metered parking spaces that would need to be replaced. In fact, some say county officials are biding their time to see if a proposal comes along that will provide replacement parking on a 1:1 ratio, or maybe additional affordable housing, etc.

Among the various financing and operations options for the park are public-private partnerships. Also under consideration are partnering with the Bethesda Urban Partnership, creating a nonprofit to control the park, issuing bonds or seeking state and federal funding.


P3 could be part of redevelopment of federal building in Portsmouth

City officials in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are exploring a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) as a way to redevelop property they hope to acquire from the federal government. The General Services Administration (GSA) has indicated it will vacate the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building in downtown Portsmouth. Although city officials thought the feds would give the property to the city, they now know that the GSA is looking to sell the property. The GSA is currently analyzing the appraisal of the building. Once that is finalized, it will solicit proposals for redevelopment of the property. The city would like to see the private sector involved so that when redeveloped, the property would go back on the tax rolls and be a source of revenue for the city through taxes it pays.


Indiana could see new park pavilion at Indian Dunes State Park
Pavilion Addition A new conference center (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) is being planned on the beach at the Indian Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana. Officials with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and members of the Pavilion Partners recently held an open house event to provide information on the plans for the new center that will be located on the beach.

The project includes remodeling the current pavilion at the park to include concession services by this summer and a casual dining restaurant, ice cream shop, welcome center, education gallery and formal rooftop restaurant by later in the year. The current pavilion only provides bathhouses and a snack bar. A 100,000-square-foot, three-story conference center will also be built, with the intention of using it for activities such as wedding receptions and banquets.

The goal of this public-private partnership is to help the park toward continued self-sufficiency, as it currently derives about 70 percent revenue from user fees, with the remaining 30 percent of its funding coming from the state. Officials are also looking at other possible partnerships that bring private funding into the mix, but in which both the private partner and the park share profits. For this project, private partners will invest $3 million of their own. The park will earn 2 percent of all sales and will own all facilities built by the private partner at the end of a 35-year lease. The private partners would rent the property for at least $18,000 per year after that time and 2 percent of sales would continue to go to the Department of Natural Resources.

Bids to be opened in June for Holman Highway roundabout project
Bids are expected to be opened in June by the city of Monterey, California, for a roundabout project on Holman Highway near the Pebble Beach entrance, with construction set to begin in November. Officials hope to have a construction company signed on by the end of the summer. The $8.2 million project would then likely be completed by fall 2016. After the project is done, Monterey and TAMC hope to put a roundabout in at the signaled intersection at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Contributors toward funding the project include: Pebble Beach Company - $4.1 million; City of Monterey - $500,000; Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District - $384,000; and TAMC: $3.2 million.

Ithaca sells land to be used as site for new Hilton Canopy Hotel  

Proposed Hotel The Ithaca, New York, council recently agreed to sell land to Lighthouse Hotels, LLC to build a Hilton Canopy Hotel east of the Cornell University commons area and by using a public-private partnership. Canopy Hotels are intended to be "boutique hotels" which incorporate aspects of the local area into the design.


Nels Bohn, director of the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, said the hotel will result in additional jobs in the community and will positively affect the local economy, both of which make the project worth the investment for the city. He said such a partnership provides many benefits - associated sales tax revenue, hotel occupancy tax receipts and the infusion of new money into the local economy from outside the city.


In the accompanying artist's rendering, the proposed Canopy Hotel is in the center background between the Carey Building (left) and the Community School of Music and Arts on East State Street.


Collaboration Nation

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 Steve Reneker. 


Steve Reneker Steve Reneker (pictured) is returning to Riverside County, California. The current Los Angeles Information Technology Agency general manager has announced his resignation, effective May 1. He will return to Riverside to take on his old role there as Chief Information Officer. Reneker served as CIO in the city of Riverside from 2005 to 2012 and was CIO of Riverside County from 1997 to 2003. The longtime IT expert began his government career in Los Angeles, working on computer programming systems. Reneker's current job as general manager for the Information Technology Agency and chief technology officer for the city of Los Angeles is part of a 25-year career in municipal government IT management that also included director of IT for the city of Aurora and IT director for the Eastern Municipal Water District. In addition to his public-sector experience, he also worked in the private sector as a business development manager for Dell Inc. and also worked in the banking industry. He served six years as executive director of SmartRiverside, a nonprofit that implemented free Wi-Fi throughout the city of Riverside and offered free computer training and refurbished personal computers to low-income families. Reneker lives in Riverside and holds a bachelor's degree in management science from California State University, San Bernardino.


Opportunity of the week...

A city in Kansas is planning a $29 million levee repair project and with the blessing of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will soon be seeking bids on the first of three phases of the project. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Robert Avossa Scott Ralls Nicole Galloway Robert Avossa (top left), superintendent of Fulton County, Georgia, public schools, has been chosen as the next superintendent of Palm Beach County schools, succeeding Superintendent Wayne Gent, who will step down later this year. Scott Ralls (top center), president of North Carolina's 58-campus community college system, has been selected as the next president of Northern Virginia Community College, a six-campus community college and the second largest community college in the nation. Nicole Galloway (top right), a certified public accountant and the county treasurer in Boone County, Missouri, has been tapped by Gov. Jay Nixon to replace the late Tom Schweich as Missouri State Auditor. Keith Reynolds, who has served as chief financial officer of the Idaho Department of Administration since 2012, has been named acting head of the department, replacing Teresa Luna, who resigned. Mark Jinks, who has worked for the city of Alexandria, Virginia, since 1999 as chief financial officer and deputy city manager, and has been serving as acting city manager since January, has been named city manager, replacing former city manager Rashad Young, who left to become city administrator in Washington, D.C. Michael H. Schill, dean of the University of Chicago Law School and an expert in housing law who has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and the University of California at Los Angeles, has been named the next president of the University of Oregon, succeeding Michael R. Gottfredson, who resigned suddenly last year. John Frossard Greg Davis Julio Frenk John W. Frossard, Ed.D. (bottom right), superintendent of the Wichita Falls, Texas, Independent School District since 2012, has been chosen as the lone finalist for the superintendent position at Beaumont ISD. Columbia, South Carolina, Minority Business Advisory Council will be led by 20-year veteran Greg Davis (bottom center), who currently serves as the director of minority and small business affairs for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Dr. Julio Frenk (bottom left) dean of faculty at the Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Mexico's former minister of health, has been chosen as the next president of the University of Miami, becoming the first Hispanic to head the university. Jessica Hernandez, who has worked as an associate and director of a law firm and has also served as New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's general counsel, has been nominated by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry to serve as city attorney, subject to confirmation by the City Council. Mjumbe Poe, former Code for America fellow, has been named by Philadelphia Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid as the city's first digital government service architect. The Illinois State Board of Education  has chosen Tony Smith, a former superintendent in California's Oakland District, to be the new state school superintendent for the state of Illinois, replacing Superintendent Christopher Koch, who served more than eight years. 


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Calendar of events

NCPERS conference slated for May 3-7 in New Orleans

The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Annual Conference and Exhibition, with a theme that focuses on the idea of "Banding Together for Retirement Security," is scheduled for May 3-7 in New Orleans. More than 1,000 trustees, administrators, state and local officials, investment, financial and union officers, pension staff and regulators are expected to attend. Among the agenda items are a panel discussion on alternative investments, a Washington update, breakout sessions and a daily luncheon lecture series. Those who attend will benefit from educational programming, dynamic speakers and networking opportunities with money managers, investment service providers and public fund colleagues from throughout the nation. Online registration is available.  


NASCIO 2015 Midyear Conference slated April 26-29
The 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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