|Volume 7, Issue 6||May 13, 2015|
Want to sell to government? Don't overlook
Cooperative Purchasing Programs
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Cooperative purchasing programs are big in the United States. So big, in fact, that there are more than 11,000 of them and they serve more than 1 million members. However, the number of cooperative purchasing programs serving public officials is much smaller - about 20 credible ones in all - but, these organizations handle billions in transactions.
The programs save time, money and effort because goods and services have already been vetted.
That's the reason public officials love them. They can make purchases quickly and without the hassle of launching a formal solicitation process.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
|Texas soon to be hotbed of contracting opportunities|
Local bond issues net $3.9 billion in school, city, county, hospital projects
Watch for lots of construction activity in Texas after voters approved $3.9 billion in bond issues last week.
Contracting opportunities will be plentiful in Texas soon after more than $3.9 billion in bond referendums were approved throughout the state. Of the 93 bond issues valued at $5.4 billion that went before voters last Saturday, more than 70 passed. The bond elections were held by Texas public school districts, cities, counties and hospital districts.
As a result of passage of school bond issues, which made up the bulk of referendums, new construction and renovation of existing facilities to help meet growing student population needs will be under way soon. Bond proceeds will also go toward such issues as security, technology infrastructure and upgrades, system upgrades such as to HVAC and fire systems and athletic facility renovations and rehab. There will be contracting opportunities at many campuses for projects that include lighting, parking, drainage, landscaping, plumbing, roofing, bus purchases and more.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has researched all of the bond proposals and has documented contracting opportunities that are available among those that passed. The Bond Package Research is available for purchase now. There is also information that lists bond elections under consideration for November of this year and beyond.
Vendors will find contracting opportunities of all sizes and dollar amounts among the bond issues that passed. And, there will also be opportunities for subcontractors and for historically underutilized businesses.
Cities and counties also had a number of successful bond issues. Resulting will be the addition of public safety facilities and road and street projects, parks improvements and hike and bike trails.
A West Texas city passed an $80.6 million bond package and will use bond proceeds for issues such as roads and streets, fire and police facilities, parks and recreation projects and improvements to the city's civic center. A county in Texas will build a new $7.25 million law enforcement center as a result of passage of its bond.
|Nebraska governor vetoes bill increasing state gas tax|
Urges legislators not to override veto; consider P3s, other funding options instead
Alternative funding options, among them public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs), garnered support from an unlikely source in Nebraska this week - Gov. Pete Ricketts (pictured). Numerous other states are increasing their gas taxes or increasing fees to help make up for what has become a growing chasm between their transportation maintenance and construction needs and their dwindling funds to address those needs.
As the deadline approaches for the federal Highway Trust Fund to run out of money (at the end of this month), many state officials fear that the Congress will, once again, provide only a stop-gap solution. With uncertainty of federal funding, many needed projects have been put on hold and most state officials are not confident enough in federal assistance in the long-term to spend the few dollars they have for transportation.
Increased taxes and fees are often a last resort. So, it was not much of a surprise when the Nebraska Legislature approved a bill calling for a gas tax increase to put more "gas" in their transportation tanks. The bill provided for a 6-cent fuel tax increase that would be phased in over four years.
But, the governor intervened with his veto pen after warning legislators that he would veto the bill (Legislative Bill 610). The legislature, in turn, is threatening to override the veto. Ricketts said his veto of the bill should not have come as a surprise to anyone. "The number one issue I hear about from hard-working Nebraskans is the need for tax relief," said the governor. "This is just the opposite."
Instead of new taxes, Ricketts said the state should explore ways to save money and stretch available funds. He noted that other states have had significant success using public-private partnerships for transportation needs, as well as using savings that could be realized through improved and more efficient operations, reducing administrative costs and providing more flexibility on regulatory issues for cities and counties.
|Other upcoming opportunities|
Increased renovation costs for Minnesota State Capitol approved
The cost for renovating the Minnesota Capitol has increased by $10 million. That's $10 million on top of the previously approved $273 million. The price tag for the multi-year project now is near $300 million. The additional funding for the project was approved by Gov. Mark Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea and others. In spite of their approval, the issue will still have to be approved by the state legislature. The project is expected to expand even further in the spring after more items were recently approved as part of the renovation. An additional $34 million is expected to be added for those additional items. These items that prompted the expanded spending include $279,000 for landscaping in an area that is currently a parking lot, $400,000 to open the long-closed Capitol loggia, a partly covered gallery on the second floor, $739,000 to repair original decorative painting on the Capitol's ground floor, $100,000 for a staging area for school and bus tours and up to $6.2 million for additional security at the Capitol.
Successful bond issue for Minnesota schools to result in renovations
With passage of a $125 million bond issue, virtually all of the schools in the Edina, Minnesota, Public Schools will undergo renovations. Additionally, security will be improved on campuses and the high school will get a new addition. Susan Brott (pictured), communications director for the district, said school officials are pleased with the community support for the bond issue. "The kind of changes we're going to make in our learning spaces will have an impact on all of our students," she said. The goal of district-wide renovations is to create a learning environment where teachers can teach groups or work with students individually. That flexibility and subsequent renovations will cost about $100 million. Another aspect of the bond issue is construction of a new multi-purpose activities center at the high school. Some of its functions will be for physical education classes, meeting spaces for extracurricular activities and areas for students to work on large projects. Construction is expected to begin in 2016.
Referendum to finance new jail project in Winnebago County, Iowa, passes
A 22-bed jail will result from a voter-approved bond issue in Winnebago County, Iowa. The $4.6 million bond issue will lead to construction of a public safety center in Forest City that not only features a jail, but also a communications and dispatch center and administrative office for the sheriff's department.
Bond issue will lead to renovations, amenities for Garner library
In Garner, Iowa, voters recently approved a referendum that will lead to authorization of general obligation bonds to repair the library. There is also talk about adding more amenities at the facility to better serve the needs of patrons. The project, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million, will add 8,000 square feet to the building.
Construction projects to benefit from successful bond referendum in Indiana
"I'm absolutely exuberant," said Valparaiso Community School Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia (pictured) after voters in his school district recently approved a $148 million construction referendum. Included in the projects are a new elementary school south of US 30, renovation of seven of the district's eight elementary schools, additions to two elementary schools and renovation of the high school. A pool at Valparaiso High School is also included in the list of bond projects. The superintendent said now the schools must work with architects, financial and legal advisors regarding a financial plan and a construction plan. Frataccia said passage of the referendum by a 2-to-1 margin is an indication that district residents are cognizant of the importance of schools to the area and region's future.
Streetcar project approved as first phase of federal grant program
A $250 million streetcar project in Orange County California, will receive grant funds. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has been notified that the program funding is for the first phase of a federal grant program. Officials are hopeful that the federal government will chip in for half the costs of the project. The project can now move into the development phase, said an OCTA spokesperson. That spokesperson called the notification a "big milestone," in spite of the fact that there is much work left to do. Plans for the streetcar are for it to run through downtown Santa Ana's commercial district to a new Garden Grove transportation center. Officials note that no other Orange County rail transit project has gotten this far in the development process within this federal grant program.
South Carolina schools readying for projects as a result of bonds
Officials in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill school districts are preparing to move forward with a variety of projects that will result from successful bond issues. Fort Mill's school board is already looking for an architect to design a middle school after approval by voters of $226 million in spending for a new high school, new middle school, aquatics center, training facility, buses, technology upgrades and land purchases. Officials also are reviewing plans for the high school and for adding space to the gym at two middle schools. Technology upgrades were also approved. Patrick White (pictured), chair of the Fort Mill school board, said the schools are constantly having to make changes because of the rapid growth in the student population. Rock Hill officials list technology and security upgrades as a priority for their schools and both issues will benefit from $110 million approved by voters to expand and renovate schools, upgrade security and technology at most schools and purchase buses.
New municipal facilities for Michigan city following bond election
The current city municipal facilities are about to be replaced in Boyne City, Michigan, thanks to a successful $7 million bond proposal. The proposed new building will be the new home of the city's city hall offices; police, fire and ambulance departments; and the city museum. The city also will lease some of the space to the county office of the Michigan State Extension Office. Most of these offices are located in buildings and space previously occupied by a rural electric cooperative. With a groundbreaking tentatively set for later this month, city officials are hopeful to have the project completed by October. City Commissioner Tom Neidhamer said he believes this is the first time the city has spent money on facilities in four decades. Most were appreciative of a vote to provide adequate facilities for the city's emergency services workers.
Improvements planned to Birmingham Public Schools after successful bond
Offering his thanks to the community for passage of a $66 million capital improvement bond, Birmingham Public Schools Superintendent Dan Nerad (pictured) said their approval of funding that will be used to improve district schools will "ensure that our schools will remain quality places for our young people, that our facilities will remain sound, and all while keeping our debt levy flat." The bond issue was built around safety and security issues, improvement of instructional spaces, improved buildings and sites and technology upgrades. Leaving the decision up to the voters, school officials didn't try to second-guess their feelings about a bond issue and chose not to make any set plans in anticipation of the bond issue passing. The school district now will begin laying plans for timelines for projects.
Georgia governor signs $900 million transportation funding legislation
In Georgia, officials aren't waiting on the federal government to come up with a plan for funding transportation needs and filtering funds to the states. Gov. Nathan Deal has put his pen to a $900 million state transportation bill. In the bill is language that changes the state's gas taxes and puts new fees on electric cars and hotel visits. The additional revenue, which will come from a 26-cents-per-gallon gas tax, a $200 fee on electric vehicles and a $5 per night fee at hotels and motels, will be used to address the state's growing list of road and bridge maintenance needs. The state will also eliminate tax breaks for electric vehicle owners and jet fuel purchases by a major airline, adding more to state coffers. The increase in fuel taxes is the first since 1971.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- BelouMagner Construction has been awarded a $7 million construction contract by the Audubon Commission of the city of New Orleans to restore the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
- Hazleton Site Contractors won a $1.39 million contract from the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for projects to enhance security and install a runway safety area at Hazleton Regional Airport and build a park at a downtown intersection.
- A.G. Pifer Construction won a $1,027,219 contract from the city of Port Orange, Florida, for a boat launch as part of the Riverwalk Park, which includes a trailhead facility with restrooms, a boardwalk, renovations of an existing pier and other items.
- Archer Western Construction will continue an ongoing project to replace a failing drainage tunnel near Indian Spring Middle School after being awarded a $3.7 million contract from the city of Waco, Texas.
- W.G. Yates & Sons will lead a team that won an $89 million contract from the federal government to build a new federal courthouse in downtown Mobile, Alabama.
- Frederick & May Construction Co. was the low bidder and won a $1,182,898 contract from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to perform permanent repairs to a flood-damaged section of KY 52 in Lee County, including building a bridge to replace a failed box culvert near St. Helens.
- Peterson Companies was awarded a $4.15 million contract from the Coon Rapids, Minnesota, City Council for redevelopment of Sand Creek Park into an athletic complex.
- Serco Inc., a subsidiary of SER Metro-Detroit, won a $4.2 million contract from Detroit's workforce agency, the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., to manage day-to-day operations at its three one-stop service centers.
- Methuen Construction was awarded a $21.749 million contract from the city of Middleboro, Massachusetts, for upgrade and expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.
- Sundt Construction won a $37.8 million contract from the Texas Department of Transportation to build the Phase II U.S. 175 Project that runs 3.4 miles from 1.1 miles east of Loop 60E at Larue to just east of FM 315 in Poynor. The project will expand U.S. 175 from two lanes to a four-lane divided roadway with a depressed median.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Officials seeking P3/PPP as way to complete Corridor H in West Virginia
With only 75 percent of Corridor H in West Virginia either completed or under construction, local officials are looking for a solution to bring this project - on which construction began 50 years ago - to fruition. Many think that bringing in private investors could be the answer and are thus pushing for a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). They are urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to approve a P3/PPP as a funding mechanism for the project. Officials are hoping a P3/PPP would be able to complete the program in four years. One of the holdups for the completion of the project is the lack of Federal Highway Administration funding. That has pushed completion dates back as far as 2036 to 2042 because only $40 million is coming annually from the feds. "This can be completed," said Robert Hinton (pictured), Upshur County Economic Development Authority director and a Corridor H Authority member. "It's a reality. The funds are there. The proposal is solid." The project gets stalled because funding to complete a useable stretch of highway must be in hand before crews can begin work on a new section. Those waits create even more delays in getting the project started again. Corridor H is the last of more than 30 corridors to be completed in the 13 Appalachian states.
Mass transit authority in Guam could enter into P3 for financing, management
A public-private partnership (P3/PPP) is being studied as a means of improving Guam's public transit system. At a recent hearing on legislation that would allow the Guam Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) to enter into a P3/PPP, a number of questions were asked by GRTA Executive Manager Enrique Agustin. The P3 being discussed would have the private partner responsible for financing and managing the capital and delivery of transit services. But, Agustin wanted to know how the bill would affect the composition of the agency's board of directors, whether the board would stay in place if the GRTA is relegated to contract administration only and the fact that the bill does not address current GRTA staff that might be impacted if the agency becomes responsible only for contract management. Opponents may face a heavy hitting supporter, as Gov. Eddie Calvo has made known his support for a P3 as a means of moving the agency forward.
P3/PPP would allow hospital system in Hawaii to avoid job, service cuts
The Maui Memorial Medical Center in Hawaii may have hit on a solution to keep the facility from having to cut jobs and services. Facing a $28 million budget shortfall, the state legislature has passed a bill that sets the medical center up for establishing a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) for Maui hospitals. The bill is now in the hands of the governor. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui (pictured) said he has encouraged the governor to sign the legislation so that the hospital can quickly find a private partner. Tsutsui commended the legislature for staying the course on the bill and especially toward the end of the session. Hospital officials said that there is still a long road ahead, but added that at the end of the day, the hospital would be better because of all those working toward passage of the bill. According to the bill, the hospital system would have to re-solicit parties interested in partnering with the system to operate its hospitals. The governor would have the ability to negotiate for the transfer of the System facilities and the bill requires the new nonprofit management to offer jobs to all employees transferred for at least six months. And, the state's financial support for the partnership facilities would be capped at the same amount that was offered in FY 2014.
City in North Carolina proposed as home for new baseball stadium
A summer collegiate baseball league in North Carolina could get a new home. The High Point, North Carolina, Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pushing for a new park, and they're hoping private investors will step up and form a partnership that will help fund it. The park would be home to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms team, which is currently based at another field. While some CVB officials are hoping for support of the community and private investors, they also say a bond referendum is a possibility, as is a public-private partnership. The CVB already has its eye on two parcels of land that could be the home for the stadium, which they are hoping could increase revitalization efforts in the city.
|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 Dorval Carter, Jr.
Dorval Carter Jr. (pictured) has been selected by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lead the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Carter is no newcomer to public transportation, having spent more than 30 years in the transit field in Chicago and in the federal government. Nor is he a stranger to CTA, after serving the agency from 2000 to 2009, moving up the ladder to the post of executive vice president and chief administrative officer. Carter currently serves as chief of staff to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Carter, who will begin his new duties on May 18, will replace Forrest Claypool, who is leaving to become Emanuel's chief of staff. Carter's CTA experience includes having been staff attorney-corporate law from 1984 to 1987, legal assistant to the general attorney from 1987 to 1988, acting general attorney from 1988 to 1989, deputy general attorney-corporate from 1989 to 1991 and executive vice president and chief administrative officer from 2000 to 2009. His work with the federal government includes serving in a variety of positions with the Federal Transit Administration - regional counsel, assistant chief counsel for legislation and regulation and acting deputy administrator. Carter is also a former acting deputy chief of staff and acting chief of for the U.S. Department of Transportation Carter holds a bachelor's degree from Carroll University and a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law.
|Opportunity of the week...|
Two new construction projects are on tap for an Ohio airport. The total cost of the two projects is more than $14 million. Among the projects are a redesign of the airport entrance road and parking lot to ease congestion. Phase two will add 250 premium covered parking spaces, LED lighting, a new entrance, exit lanes, booths and the creation of a more spacious rental car lot. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is losing his chief financial officer for the city of Chicago, as CFO Lois Scott (top left) has announced she is leaving her government job to return to the private sector after a four-year stint with the city. Dr. Audrey Levy (top center), president of Lone Star College-CyFair in Texas for the last six years, has announced her plans to retire, but will remain through the rest of the year. Karen Kurt (top right), current assistant city manager in Edina, Minnesota, has been named the new city manager of Platteville, Wisconsin, replacing Larry Bierke, who has stepped down. Anthony Smith, who has served as deputy superintendent of the San Francisco school district and superintendent of a two-school district in the Bay area, has been chosen as the next superintendent of the Oakland school district, succeeding Christopher Koch, Illinois' longest-serving school superintendent in nearly 50 years. Baker Kurrus, an attorney and business consultant who is a graduate of Harvard Law School, has been named the new superintendent of the Little Rock School District. The city of Hollywood, Florida, Police Chief Frank Fernandez has been selected as the new assistant city manager of public safety for the city of Coral Gables, after being chosen by City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, who was Fernandez' boss in Hollywood. Steady Moono (bottom right), current vice president and chief administrative officer at the West Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is the new president of Schenectady County Community College in New York. The San Jose City Council has appointed Norberto Duenas (bottom center), who has been serving as interim city manager, as permanent city manager, succeeding former manager Ed Shikada, who resigned. Charlie Stokes (bottom left), who began with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Foundation when it was first established in 1995, is stepping down from his post with the Foundation after 20 years and after seeing $450 million come into the Foundation as a result of fundraising efforts. Matthew Simmons, who has been with the Troy, Ohio, Fire Department since 1999 and has served as assistant chief since 2007, has been named fire chief, succeeding Chris Boehringer, who retired. Dr. Anthony Barber, current district director of teaching and learning at the Springfield School District in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, has been selected to serve as the next superintendent of schools for the district, replacing Superintendent James Capolupo, who did not seek a contract extension. Mike Scott, who has served the city of Rossford, Ohio, in a number of capacities, was confirmed Monday night as the next city administrator, replacing Ed Ciecka, who is leaving the city.
|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|
VIA Rail Canada CEO to address multi-billion-dollar P3 project
Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, will be the speaker for the June 4 Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships luncheon event focused on "VIA Rail's P3 Solution to Ever-Increasing Taxpayer Subsidies." The event will be at the Toronto Hilton Hotel (Toronto Ballroom), 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Desjardins-Siciliano will discuss VIA Rail's strategy to raise $2 billion in private funds, likely through a public-private partnership. The money will be used to build dedicated passenger tracks as part of a $3 billion endeavor to provide high-frequency, reliable service from Toronto in Ottawa, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec. More information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is now open and seating is limited.
2015 AFT Public Employees National Conference set this month
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming 2015 AFT Public Employees National Conference. The event will be May 28-30 at the Hyatt Regency Denver, Colorado Convention Center. The conference explores issues facing federal, state and local government employees across the country. The theme for the event is "Reclaiming the Promise of Quality Public Services for Strong Communities." Pre-conference workshops on May 28 will address topics such as challenges to union security and public speaking. Other topics for workshops during the conference include infrastructure investment, pensions and retirement security and creative solutions for paying for quality public services. Online registration has begun and a draft agenda is available.
Government Finance Officers Association plans conference in Philadelphia
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) will host its 109th Annual Conference - Innovation and Resilience May 31-June 3 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The concurrent sessions will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Attendees will learn about implementation of best practices in public finance from successful governments, leading practitioners and other experts. The GFOA annual conference will feature sessions focused on improving government (financial resiliency, changes in accounting and financial reporting, how to best use new technologies, making sense of big data, developing investment strategies, communicating financial information, debt management, disaster management, capital finance), as well as sessions focused on improving skills as a finance officer (leadership skills, managing employees, personal productivity). General sessions will feature nationally recognized speakers and an exhibit hall will be open to those at the conference. Attendees can earn up to 21 continuing professional education (CPE) credits by attending. Registration is open and a conference brochure is available.
National State Auditors Association plans conference in early June
The National State Auditor's Association Annual Conference is scheduled for June 9-12 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event will be at the Little Rock Marriott Hotel, Three Statehouse Plaza. Included in the event will be a presentation on the "State of the States" by Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. Other session topics address ethics, IT security and more. Up to 16 credits for continuing professional education (CPE) are available for attendees. The draft program is available and registration is open.
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