|Volume 7, Issue 1||April 8, 2015|
What do you know about megacommunities?
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Maybe more than you think! If you are a community leader, a nonprofit board member or a parent interested in public safety or education, chances are you are involved in what could be called a latent megacommunity, even though the term may not be common.
Megacommunities are designed to provide values and benefits to people who live and work together. They exist to solve large, critical problems that require the talents of government, business and civil society. The concept of a megacommunity is not all that common in the United States, but such organizations are working well in other parts of the world. And, there are some megacommunities in America that hold tremendous promise.
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Two state officials push Rhode Island infrastructure bank
Goal is to create jobs, save money through funding energy efficiency projects
Two high-ranking Rhode Island officials are pushing their plan to create jobs and save money. The proposal, brain child of Gov. Gina Raimondo (left) and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner (right), is a new Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. It would be designed to save money by financing energy efficiency projects. Magaziner described the proposed infrastructure bank as a "game changer" for the state.
An agency in the state - the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency - already makes loans for infrastructure projects. The two state officials propose expanding the quasi-public agency into an infrastructure bank. The plan is part of Raimondo's proposed budget she introduced last week.
In the past, many infrastructure banks were built around construction projects that revolved around water, road and bridge projects. This proposal would create the bank as a go-between for financing environmentally
friendly projects, including energy retrofits or installation of solar panels. Among the project types would be retrofitting existing municipal buildings, loaning money for stormwater projects for flood-prone businesses and brownfield projects. The governor said she would like to see money that is being split up among a number of agencies located in one pot. "We are pooling it together and inviting private capital to the table so it's a one-stop shop," she said.
The proposal would also create an Efficient Building Fund, allowing schools and municipalities to borrow money for energy efficiency projects for their buildings.
The Efficient Building Fund's financing goal is for it to finance between $20 million and $25 million in projects over three years. And, finally, Raimondo's new budget allocates $2 million to the infrastructure bank from the savings of proposed refinancing of some state bonds.
|Government Contracting Pipeline begins seventh year of publication|
Do you remember what you were doing six years ago? At Strategic Partnerships, Inc., we were busy rolling out the inaugural issue of the Government Contracting Pipeline, our national newsletter and sister publication to our 13-year-old Texas-focused newsletter, the Texas Government Insider. With today's issue of Pipeline, we begin Volume 7 - marking our seventh year of publication of the newsletter. The first six years have gone by quickly. We are grateful for the support of our readers in our endeavor and are humbled by the many compliments we have received over the years. We look forward to continuing to bring you the latest information from throughout the country relating to government procurement, contracting opportunities, alternative financing initiatives and other government news.
Georgia approves public-private partnership legislation
Would expand P3 use to vertical privately financed, constructed projects
An 11th-hour vote by the Georgia General Assembly last week cleared the way for state agencies and local governments to seek private-sector partners as a new funding source for much-needed projects. The General Assembly passed a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) bill (SB 59) that allows public entities in the state to seek private financing and construction of public buildings.
The House approved the bill earlier in the day, and the Senate voted 40-7 to agree to changes to the bill that were made in the House.
Passage of the bill marked the end of a three-year campaign toward its passage. While Georgia already allows P3s/PPPs for highway projects and reservoir projects, this new bill will allow for vertical construction such as buildings. It will also allow private-sector firms to present unsolicited proposals regarding possible development. This could result in new public facilities, including schools, hospitals, emergency response centers, prisons and courthouses that the government entities could not afford on their own.
When the Senate passed a previous version of the bill last month, the House version removed the part of the bill that prohibits P3s/PPPs from increasing the state debt obligation over the state's annual debt limit, as set by the state constitution. However, Sen. Hunter Hill (pictured), chief sponsor of the bill, said complaints that a House amendment would have allowed government entities to enter into long-term leases to sidestep the debt limit was not substantiated. He said, instead, that the state constitution does not allow leases to count toward state debt. He said the amendment would not put on "that severe a constraint."
Lawmakers now are awaiting Gov. Nathan Deal's signature on the bill.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
RFP being finalized for bus service to link cities to airport in Michigan
A request for proposals is being finalized by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of Southeast Michigan for the Wayne County Airport Authority for bus services. The service would link the city of Detroit as well as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to the airport. Michael Ford (pictured), chief executive officer of the RTA, is pushing for the service that would be geared toward offering a bus ride from downtown Detroit to Metro Airport for a small cost. Ford is trying to build on a program in Ann Arbor on which this newly proposed service is based, a program he launched while CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Officials report ridership increased from 58,000 passenger trips in the first year to nearly 71,000 last year. Currently, taking a bus from the airport to Detroit would involve many stops and transfers. Alternative transportation such as cabs or rental cars could cost more than $50. Ford said his proposal is "just trying to provide alternatives" for people. Key to the program, of course, is funding. Officials are already looking for possible federal funding sources. The RFP that will be issued will address the need for information on such issues as cost, additional funding, determining drop-off and pick-up locations, etc.
Lakefront revitalization project being developed in Minnesota city
Designers will soon be sought for a lakefront revitalization project in Minnesota. The project in Wayzata is "Lake Effect," and it is part of a proposed 10-year plan for the city's central lakefront. The city council approved the strategy for the Lake Effect projects in December of 2014. The 12-month plan under consideration that defines the scope of work was presented by a consultant before the city council in March. The city has spent nearly two years gathering input from the community and some projects are already under way and some are completed. Among the projects in the works or completed are the Eastern Gateway traffic circle, Section Foreman House landscaping, Eastern Gateway landscaping, Frendale bike lane, Mill Street parking study, Bushaway Road and bike lane, rehabilitation section Foreman House, beach concession and interim docks. The three-phase project includes sending out a request for proposals, selecting a jury to pick the design team and contracting with a design team by July. Between July of this year and January 2016, the design concept will be unveiled, with officials seeking input from the community. Finally, the last phase, which will be between January and March of next year, will be to determine a development strategy.
Christie piecing together money to replenish state's transportation trust fund
The note is about to come due for New Jersey Transit. Gov. Chris Christi is pulling together every little bit of funding he can find to help shore up the state's Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) that is quickly running dry. In the past, the TTF has loaned money to NJ Transit when the agency was allocated funding from the federal government. The loan was to carry the transit agency through until the federal funding was actually distributed. The loans were short-term said State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff (pictured). The agency is expected to repay $241.5 million to the TTF for the upcoming fiscal year. Those funds will be added into a pot that also will contain $627 million in bond proceeds, $281 million in cash balances and $353 million in Port Authority money to offset the costs of $1.48 billion in transportation and infrastructure projects in the fiscal year beginning July 1, said Sidamon-Eristoff during a recent legislative committee hearing. But, this combining of odds and ends funding is not enough to be a long-term solution to transportation funding needs, according to state budget officials.
Grant funds approved to clean up brownfield for MSU research center
Brownfield conditions will be addressed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, through a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The funds will be used to clean up the future site of an $85.1 million biomedical research center on the Michigan State University campus. The grants are generally allocated to local governments that propose redevelopment on sites on brownfield properties. The site is the former home of The Grand Rapids Press newspaper. The grant funds will be used to clean up and dispose of contaminated soil. Some of the funds also will be used for demolition of the existing building. The new research facility, expected to be open in late 2017, will be a multi-story, 160,000-square-foot building which will cover approximately half of the property. That will leave room for future expansion.
TIFIA loan to boost construction of five sections of Wekiva Parkway in Florida Five sections of the Wekiva Parkway in Orlando, Florida, got a boost to help pay for the project from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) recently. The $194 million loan will help defray the costs of five sections of the parkway. The parkway is a planned 25-mile limited access toll road that is designed to complete the beltway around northwest metropolitan Orlando. It is expected to reduce congestion on US 441 and SR 46, making it easier to travel between Seminole, Lake and Orange counties, all affected by significant traffic growth. "The new road will provide an alternative to slow-moving traffic on the already congested nearby highways," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau (pictured), "The Department's loan will help leverage capital and push forward a project that will boost area businesses and improve connectivity." The project, which carries a price tag of $2 billion, will be divided into 14 sections. Participating in the project are the Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation. The agencies will own, operate, maintain and toll the sections for which they are responsible. The Central Florida Expressway Authority will receive the funding for the five sections in Orange County that have a cost estimate of $631 million. The Authority will fund the remainder of the project by issuing bonds and through cash contributions. The Florida Department of Transportation is responsible for nine sections in Lake and Seminole counties, including 17 miles of tolled expressway and non-tolled improvements, including the widening of seven miles of SR 46 in Lake and Seminole counties.
San Diego approves $120 million bond to pay for road repairs, construction
A bond that was tied up in court for about a year has finally been released to the city of San Diego, which plans to use the approved $120 million instrument for road repair and construction projects. Among the projects approved for funding include: five new fire stations, four new libraries, close to $22 million in storm drain improvements, repairs to the Mission Beach boardwalk and South Mission Beach lifeguard station and road paving of nearly $50 million. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said residents of the city are eager to see the funding applied to much-needed street repairs. "We're moving full steam ahead with improvements to neighborhoods throughout San Diego," he said. The bond money will also be used for projects to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and for sidewalks.
Charter school expansion will be paid for by approval of bonds in Arizona
Charter school groups in Phoenix, Arizona, will get $152.4 million in funding from the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority. The Authority recently approved private, nonprofit bonds that the groups will use to expand and construct new campuses, following approval of the Phoenix City Council. Dan Nienhauser (pictured), executive director of BASIS Schools, Inc. said the charter schools need funding help because they cannot call bond elections that are backed by property taxes. The BASIS Schools Inc. will use $95 million to complete a campus in Goodyear. It will also purchase land and construct a school building in Tucson and buy furniture and equipment for several schools. Some of the money also will be used to restructure debt. A total of $6.9 million allocated to Freedom Academy Inc. will be used for land purchase and construction of a building for a north Phoenix campus. Legacy Traditional Schools will spend $41.5 million to expand two campuses and to refinance debt. Villa Montessori Inc. also will refinance debt with its $9 million allocation and to lease additional land.
New multi-million-dollar parking garage coming to Coral Springs, Florida
The city of Coral Springs, Florida, will soon have a new city parking garage. The City Commission recently signed off on the $8.1 million facility. The parking garage will be an ancillary fixture for the future new city hall downtown. The City Commission agreed to build the new city hall, which will also be open for residential and retail space. Officials originally agreed to build a 330-space, $6.5 million garage. Then they realized that was not enough space to meet the city's needs. So, a new 600-space garage was planned.
Thirty-year plan to spend $1B on sidewalk repairs approved in Los Angeles
If approved by a federal judge, a plan to spend more than $1 billion on sidewalks in Los Angeles over 30 years has been approved by the city council. The action is a result of a lawsuit filed by residents who are disabled who complained that the condition of sidewalks -walkways, crosswalks and curbs without wheelchair ramps - kept them from being mobile in parts of the city. The repairs to the sidewalks have been delayed by the court action, and the city says probably more than 40 percent of its 10,750 miles of walkways need repair work. Mayor Eric Garcetti (pictured) said that not only will the repairs improve access and safety, but they will also increase property values and boost "neighborhood pride." The settlement would have the city spend $31 million a year for 30 years on sidewalk projects beginning in 2015. With inflation, that figure could climb to as much as $1.4 billion.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Spence Brothers won a nearly $3.7 million contract from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to provide improvements to the city's Fourth and William parking garage. The improvements include replacing the stair and elevator tower on the southwest side of the garage along William Street, expanding the ground floor pedestrian lobby area, installing new parking equipment, improving the electrical system and adding outside signage.
- The Strawser Paving Co. won a $12 million street resurfacing contract from the city of Columbus, Ohio, as the first of three phases of a $33 million project. The project will also include 688 curb ramps, curb replacements and some sidewalk-replacement work that will be funded under requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Bass Construction won a nearly $3.5 million contract from the Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas for construction of its East Agriculture Center.
- The Fred Nudd Corp. won a contract for $204,130 from the Herkimer (New York) County Legislature for construction of a new communications tower and building on Barker Road.
- Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. was awarded a $105 million contract to reconstruct two concourses at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. The project will create a new connector between concourses D and E with two new gates that will be able to alternate between international and domestic service and a new security checkpoint capable of handling international and domestic travelers.
- MV Transportation won a contract worth about $20.4 million for school transportation from the Savannah-Chatham Public Schools.
- Sigma Solutions Inc. won a $1.08 million contract from the Midland, Texas, Independent School District to provide Wi-Fi equipment inside classrooms and other areas of its eight secondary schools - two high schools, two freshman schools and four junior highs.
- Aramark Correctional Services Inc. has won a two-year, $3.6 million contract from Shelby County, Tennessee, to provide food service at the Shelby County Corrections Center.
- Lappe Cement Finishing Inc. won a $1,137,643 contract from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for grading, pavement and sidewalk improvements at the Oak Grove Road intersection on Business Route 67 in Poplar Bluff.
- Generocity Services was awarded a nearly $2 million contract from the Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas for major repair and maintenance work at the Clear Creek Intermediate School, including replacing major components of the HVAC system, electrical system and water pipes and major components of the alarm and sound system in both gyms.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
P3/PPP being sought for veterans, military members electronic record system
A public-private partnership (P3/PPP) is being sought to create an electronic record system that serves American veterans and military members. U. S. Rep Phil Roe (pictured) has introduced legislation that would transfer medical records between the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Roe said such a system would help coordinate both health care and benefit claims.
Roe also said an electronic records system would help military members who have served with a "seamless transition back to civilian life when their service is over." He added that the volume of military records - the Veterans Administration processed more than 1.3 million claims last year - warrants creating the system and seeking a public-private partnership to fund it. Plus, the backlog that exists in claims processing is not likely to be eliminated by the end of this year as hoped.
The legislation calls for a temporary panel to be named to develop a plan for the system, which would be created by an American firm. The contract winner would receive $50 million up front and $25 million per year over five years to operate the system.
Minnesota bridge project could include partnership for LED lighting
The Veteran's Bridge in Mankato, Minnesota, may get a little "bling." Officials are considering adding LED lighting as part of the bridge plaza project. The lights could be used during special events, such as lighting up in different colors during training camp of the Minnesota Vikings or during homecoming for Minnesota State's homecoming activities.
Officials are studying the idea of making the light project a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). A partnership agreement would follow the design phase, determining the cost and studying alternative funding proposals. The bridge project itself is still in the design phase and carries a cost of approximately $400,000.
Rowan University to build new multi-story dormitory buildings
Tax-exempt bonds will finance the design and construction of new multi-story dormitories (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) on the campus of Rowan University in New Jersey. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently gave its approval for a $145 million bond project to build the dorms on the Glassboro campus. The bonds are a result of a public-private partnership between the university, University Student Living LLC and Provident Group. The EDA's only involvement is offering its approval of the project since the partnership involves a private residence hall being built on public land.
The project includes two connected buildings of four and seven stories with a total of 1,400 beds. Student Living LLC will design, develop, build and furnish the facility and Provident Group will finance the project. University Student Living will construct, own and manage the facilities, with Rowan given the option to purchase the facility in 37 years.
One of the buildings will also feature a 550-seat, two-story dining facility as part of the 310,000-square-foot project. There will also be a game room, study areas and laundry facilities.
County in Colorado seeking P3/PPP for improved Internet service
Complaints about the slow Internet speeds in Pitkin County, Colorado, are easy to find. Online courses, say those in the county who take them, are "extremely challenging." Others say the slow Internet speeds are impacting both academics and business.
Officials in the county say they do not have the funds to become an Internet service provider. So, they are looking at the possibility of a public-private partnership as an alternative funding source. To facilitate a P3/PPP, they are considering options such as subsidies to private Internet carriers, but they realize that a rural area is not a big money-maker for a private Internet company. So, for now, county officials are surveying rural areas of the county to see what residents need and will then see what their options are.
|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 Michael Replogle.
Michael Replogle (pictured), founder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and who has more than three decades of experience in transportation and urban planning, policy, environmental assessment and finance, has been hired by the New York City Department of Transportation as its deputy commissioner for policy. Since 2009, he has headed the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Global Policy Program, which documents global best practices and enhances the capacity of international development organizations and governments to advance environmentally sustainable and equitable transport. Prior to his work with ITDP, Replogle served from 1983 to 1992 as transportation coordinator for the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, and co-founded Bikes Not Bombs and ITDP in 1984-85. He served as ITDP's president for all but a few years between 1985-2009. The Bikes Not Bombs Campaign recycled 10,000 bicycles to support health and education in Nicaragua. Replogle is an advisor to the Environmental Defense Fund, where he was transportation director from 1992-2009. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering and undergraduate honors degrees in civil and urban engineering and sociology, all from the University of Pennsylvania.
|Opportunity of the week...|
A city in New Jersey is formalizing a request for proposals for a comprehensive study to evaluate parking meters in the city, pay stations, permits and number of spaces. This will be used to help determine if the city will move forward to address its parking needs through either single-space parking meters or pay stations. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radford University President Penelope Kyle (top left), the university's sixth president and first female president, will retire at the end of the 2016 academic year on June 30, after having been appointed in 2005.The University of Oklahoma has hired Jabar Shumate (top center), a former Oklahoma state senator and a former press secretary for David Boren, the University of Oklahoma's president, as its new vice president overseeing diversity and inclusion initiatives. Thomas Johnson (top right), a former state budget director and now Ohio's top utility regulator, has announced he will resign as chair of the Public Utilities Commission, but will remain on as a commissioner. Thomas G. Snyder, a longtime labor organizer and liberal advocate, has been chosen by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as the mayor's new chief of staff. The city of Corvallis, Oregon, has hired Mark Shepard, currently Albany's assistant city manager, as its new city manager to replace Jim Patterson, who left for a position with the Oregon State University Foundation. Officials in the San Bruno Park Elementary School District in California have selected Cheryl Olson, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding, as a finalist to replace outgoing Superintendent David Hutt. Rob Nabors (bottom right), former Office of Management and Budget deputy director for budget and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, will become the new chief of staff for Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald. Alan Tio (bottom center), the leading economic development official in Whitley County, Indiana, is joining the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership as senior vice president, after having joined the EDC in 2008. Emily Crawford (bottom left), director of the Brownwood (Texas) Economic Development Corporation, has been named the lone finalist for the city manager position and will replace retiring City Manager Bobby Rountree in June.Tammy Campbell, the assistant superintendent for learning and teaching at the Renton School District, has been selected as the new superintendent of Washington's Federal Way Public Schools. Doug Carman, who has been serving as police chief in Linwood, New Jersey, on an interim basis until the cities of Linwood and Northfield finalized decisions about continuing to share the chief of police position, has officially been sworn in as chief. Dennis Jones, who began his fire career in 1978 in Tampa Bay and retired from the department in 2010, has been named fire chief for Hillsborough County, Florida, replacing Chief Ron Rogers, who will move into a new role with the department.
|Let us help advertise your event on our calendar|
Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The Government Contracting Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to email@example.com.
|Calendar of events|
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.
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.
NAFA planning annual Institute, Expo April 14-17 in Orlando
NAFA, the non-profit association for fleet professionals, will host its annual Institute and Expo (I&E) in Orlando, Florida, on April 14-17. Designed by fleet managers, the event offers information, ideas and updates on the latest in fleet management. Available are a large expo hall, fleet management sessions, educational workshops organized by track and ample networking opportunities. More than 250 product and service exhibitors will have displays at the expo hall. Delivering the keynote address will be motivational speaker Shawn Achor. Also part of the event will be recognizing individuals, teams or fleets with the Fleet Excellence Awards, the "FLEXY" Awards. NAFA is a nonprofit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks and buses of all types and sizes. Its members also manage a range of military and off-road equipment for global organizations, including governments. Registration information is now available.
NASCIO 2015 Midyear Conference slated April 26-29
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