|Volume 7, Issue 5||May 6, 2015|
American cities switching to electric vehicles
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
The small South Carolina town of Seneca recently became the first municipality in the United States to make a complete switch to a fully electric municipal bus fleet. That's big news! In fact, Seneca claims to be the first city in the entire world to have a bus fleet consisting solely of electric vehicles.
Seneca was able to take advantage of its proximity to Proterra, which is based in nearby Greenville. Proterra engineers worked closely with both the city and fleet operator Clemson Area Transit. Clemson University, with its International Center for Automotive Research, was also a partner all the way. When one looks for innovative public-private partnerships, this is certainly a good example.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.
Click here for more information.
|Texans to decide $5.4 billion in bond referendums Saturday|
Contracting opportunities will be plentiful from more than 85 elections statewide
Successful bond votes in Texas this weekend will result in a flurry of construction activity statewide.
Something for everyone... That might be the way to describe what's upcoming for the public-sector vendor community after Texans decide more than 85 bond issues on Saturday that are valued at a total of more than $5.4 billion.
Procurement opportunities will be plentiful, from new construction on public school campuses to road and bridge projects in cities and counties to additions and improvements at county hospitals.
The largest number of bond referendums, of course, is
in the state's public schools. There are approximately
75 school bond issues to be decided, in nearly every area of the state. Two of those bond issues are in excess of $450 million, one in a Houston suburb and one in West Texas. The larger of the two, valued at $498.1 million, includes a new high school, intermediate school and Early Childhood/Pre-K facility. There will also be districtwide renovations of $136.5 million, $7.9 million worth of new school buses and more.
The $451.5 million school bond issue in West Texas includes modernization and renovation of existing facilities, a new $35 million performing arts center, $10 million in technology infrastructure improvements and more. A $75 million school bond issue in a district west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area will ask district voters to approve three separate propositions - two of them dealing with facility improvements and upgrades and the third addressing security needs.
More than a half dozen cities have bond issues slated that address items such as road and street construction and repair, new public safety facilities for both police and fire, parks and recreation facilities, hike and bike trails.
County bond votes will decide the fate of projects that include a new law enforcement center and additions to an adult detention center. There are also numerous road, bridge and drainage projects.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has researched all of the bond proposals and has documented contracting opportunities that will be available if they pass. The Bond Package Research is available for purchase now. After the May 9 election, purchasers of the bond package will receive an update document on Monday, May 11, showing which bond issues passed. There is also information that will be delivered at that time with the bond results that lists bond elections under consideration for November of this year and beyond. For more information and to purchase the bond research, click here.
Facilities panel approves $128.7M for Arkansas schools
More than 65 schools in state to share funds for building upgrades, renovations State funds totaling $128.7 million will be shared by more than 65 schools in Arkansas for building projects and upgrades and renovations, thanks to a state school facilities panel. The funding, which is for the 2015-16 school year, will help pay for more than a dozen new schools along with roofing, ventilation, fire alarm and other system replacements. Private-sector vendors of all sizes will have a variety of procurement opportunities as a result of the funding.
The allocations are part of a plan that began 10 years ago to upgrade and modernize public schools in the state after an Arkansas Supreme Court declared the schools in the state unconstitutional because the schools were not equal or adequate.
The largest allocation from the facilities panel was to the Manila School District. School officials there will use their more than $14 million in funding to build a new high school. The contribution from the state will cover 80 percent of the project construction costs.
The second-largest allocation was to the Buffalo Island Central School District, which will receive more than $11.1 million. Those funds will be used to build a new kindergarten through 12th grade campus.
Some of the other allocations include:
To view the complete list of funding allocations, click here.
- Cutter Morning Star District - $5.171 million for construction of a new high school;
- Vilonia School District - $1.519 million for a new auditorium at the Vilonia High School;
- Sloan-Hendrix District - $1.375 million for an elementary school wing addition;
- Fordyce School District - $1.325 million for high school HVAC, electric and fire alarm upgrades;
- Farmington School District - $7.093 million for phase two of a new high school;
- Arkadelphia School District - $3.737 million for a new middle school;
- Bismark School District - $1.335 million for districtwide HVAC replacements; and
- Sheridan School District - $4.97 million for Sheridan High School additions and renovations.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Connecticut panel looking for way to finance $100 billion transportation plan
Connecticut's proposed $100 billion, 30-year transportation revamp is being scrutinized for possible sources of revenue to ensure the proposed projects are carried out. Not too much has been taken off the table - including highway tolls, public-private partnerships and sale of some assets. The Governor's Transportation Finance Panel, which recently met for the first time, has been tasked with making recommendations by the end of the summer regarding how to pay for Gov. Dannel Malloy's transportation plan. Malloy's budget director has indicated that the nine-member panel may also look at possibly changing current taxes, red light camera traffic enforcement and a miles-driven plan that collects fees from motorists based on the miles they drive. Malloy has said he is interested in the panel coming up with a sound financial plan to address highway, bridge, rail, bus and other transportation costs.
Advertising opportunities for state increase with addition of new funding
Tourism is big business in New Mexico. A record 32 million people visited the state in 2013. As a result, the state is investing $1.25 million more in advertising dollars aimed at increasing tourism and thus bringing more new money and more tax receipts into the state. In fact, advertising is expected to make up close to three-fourths of the state's tourism budget in the new fiscal year that begins July 1. The total tourism budget for the new fiscal year will be $13.6 million, which includes the $1.25 million extra for advertising pushed by Gov. Susana Martinez. That will give the state $9.3 million in advertising funds to help lure tourists to the state. Advertising firms are taking notice of the opportunities the increased budget amount will create.
$53 million housing rebuild program slated for apartments in Fayetteville
The Fayetteville (Arkansas) Metropolitan Housing Authority is planning a $35 million revamp of the Grove View Terrace apartments, and the city is standing behind the proposal. The Fayetteville City Council recently approved a $3 million loan to the housing authority toward the project. Because the loan will not be needed immediately, City Manager Ted Voorhees (pictured) said a future council likely would have to make the final decision on the loan. The proposal is for the housing authority to only pay interest on the loan until the end of the 10th year, when a balloon payment would pay off the entire principal. Most of the financing will be from tax credits to private investors and future federal rent subsidies. The building currently includes more than 200 units and the residents of those units would be relocated during the renovation, which includes razing the more than 60-year-old building.
Two flagship Texas universities announce upcoming projects
The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University will likely see a flurry of activity related to construction and renovations over the next two years. Texas A&M will spend more than $27 million for infrastructure and upgrades following recent approval by the university's Board of Regents. UT-Austin's $166-million plan will go to its Board of Regents for approval next month. Among the A&M projects are several utility-related projects, including a $5 million upgrade to the hot and chilled water distribution systems in residence halls and Corps of Cadets dorms. A transformer replacement, site labor and a power control room addition project carries a price tag of $4.1 million and another $7.4 million will be spent to refurbish an electrical and steam chiller. The university will also apply for low-interest loans of more than $11.3 million from the State Conservation Office for an energy consumption reduction project. UT-Austin has on its "to-do" list plans for student housing for more than 700 graduate students, a 12-court tennis center and a parking garage that will hold 2,000 vehicles, all on the east side of I-35. The East Austin project is expected to cost $166.4 million.
Nevada-Reno planning construction of new $46 million fitness center
Students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno, will soon have a new facility to house new health and fitness programs. Nevada-Reno is planning construction of the new $46 million, 110,000-square-foot E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering), which will provide much-needed additional space above what is available in the existing recreation center on campus. Jim Fitzsimmons, director of campus recreation and wellness at Nevada-Reno, said the current Lombardi Center was designed to support physical education programs and not so much fitness and wellness training. The student population has grown to five times as many students today as there were when the Lombardi Center was built. Now, those students will be able to access more fitness opportunities with a new facility with three times the space. The project is being funded by student fees, university borrowing and private gifts. One of those gifts was an $8 million donation from the E.L Wiegand Foundation. The facility is expected to be completed by late 2016 or early 2017.
Voters approve $44 million bond issue in Tupelo Public School District
Infrastructure upgrades, security features and additional technology will result from recent passage of a $44 million bond issue in the Tupelo (Mississippi) Public School District. School officials were pleasantly surprised at the outcome, with the ballot issue passing by about 85 percent. A 60 percent approval was required for passage. Officials were stunned at the level of support since the school has faced numerous personnel decisions in recent years as well as criticism about test scores, teacher morale and discipline in the schools. Officials say the passage of the bond vote shows positive momentum and community support. This marked the fifth bond issue the district has passed since 1981, the last successful one in 1999 when voters said yes to a $29.5 million referendum.
Pentagon division issues RFP for $475M in cybersecurity assistance
The Pentagon has issued a request for proposals for private contractors to help finalize the Cyber Command. The contract has potential to cover five years and is capped at $475 million. Close to 20 task areas are included. The work will be done for the Pentagon division that coordinates military cybersecurity and cyberattacks. The build-out will be for the Cyber National Mission Force. The Mission Force includes three types of teams that focus on defending military networks, aiding troops worldwide with offensive maneuvers and deflecting hacks against American organizations. The contract seeks a partner that can streamline cyber mission support capabilities and services, IT services and cyber professional services under a centralized structure. Task orders will cover such issues as records management, planning, cyber operations, science and technology/research and development, program management, project analysis, business process re-engineering, security and administrative support. Contractors will also facilitate training through such efforts as helping develop curricula, certification standards and tests. Contractors will help weed out cyber threat indicators and send out warnings and predictions to partners. Cyber Command is not expected to be fully operational until 2018.
Ball State University to build new $62.5 million facility
A new $62.5 million facility to house the college of health sciences and professions is on tap for Ball State University. The Indiana Legislature recently approved the college's request for funding for the facility. The new facility will be a welcomed addition to the campus, as the current Cooper Science Complex, which is more than 40 years old, is outdated. The new facility will be home to the programs in nursing, exercise science, gerontology, social work, physical education, nutrition/dietetics, athletic training, respiratory therapy, speech pathology/audiology and health education. It will also provide space for numerous clinics and labs that will be open to the community.
Texas water projects totaling $4 billion inch toward starting date
When the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) adopted rules for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program it was inundated with applications for funding. Water-related projects from across the state sought funding for a range of projects, from new well construction to water reuse and desalination projects. After ineligible projects were culled and others withdrawn, 39 applications totaling more than $4.09 billion remained. Those applications represent 29 entities and 30 projects. These entities were vying for funding authorized during the 83rd Texas Legislature, including a $2 billion appropriation from the state's rainy day fund. When the TWDB meets today, Wednesday, the board will review a scored, prioritized list of applications for funding. The list representing agency Executive Administrator Kevin Patteson's recommendations based on project scores and their priority, the amount of funding each will receive and the funding structure and terms. Some of the projects will take advantage of multi-year commitments. In fact, 60 percent of the projects requested multi-year funding. That will give the funding time to replenish itself and project owners will be assured of a funding source for the future, allowing them to better plan the project. Once the board gives approval of projects on the prioritized list, those project owners will be invited to apply for the funding for the amounts and at the terms indicated on the list. Those applications will be due June 5. This summer, the applications will be reviewed and the executive administrator will recommend to the board projects for funding. The applications will then be considered for approval by the board and a TWDB bond sale authorized. The bond sale would follow in the fall.
|Who's winning government contracts?|
Check out these recent awards:
- Fowler General Construction won a $14.4 million contract from the Kennewick, Washington, School District to build one of its new elementary schools, the district's 15th elementary in the Sagecrest development near Southridge High School.
- Knife River Corporation-South was awarded a $27.8 million contract by the Texas Department of Transportation to widen a little over four miles of China Spring Road from two to four lanes.
- Stewart Development was awarded a $945,593 contract from the Lamar County, Mississippi, School Board for construction of a new Purvis field house.
- Don Krueger Construction Inc. won a $3.595 million contract from the city of Gonzales, Texas, to construct the Expo Center at J.B. Wells Park.
- George Harms Construction Company Inc. won a contract worth $14.4 million from the Long Branch, New Jersey, City Council to rebuild the bluff, boardwalk and repair the roadway and curbing from Brighton Avenue to Morris Avenue.
- A&M Sanchez Painting and Construction was awarded a $1.13 million contract from the city of Killeen, Texas, for renovations of a church being turned into a homeless shelter. Some of the renovations will include wood framing, drywall, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems, food service equipment, site improvements, sidewalk, fencing, earthwork and utilities.
- Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. has won a $327 million contract from the Hawaii Department of Transportation to improve roadways and build a consolidated car rental facility at Kahului Airport on Maui. It also will include a 2 million-square-foot complex with a customer service building, a rental car facility, turnaround area for refueling, maintenance and washing of vehicles and a short-term and long-term parking facility.
- SJ&J Construction won a contract for $1.38 million from the Amarillo, Texas, City Council for a sewer contract that includes relieving present and future demand on storm sewer systems.
- Ecology and Environment Inc. has been awarded a $15 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic to provide base development planning and engineering services for Air Installations Compatible Use Zones and Range Air Installations Compatible Use Zones studies. The contract has a 60-month term.
- Boomerang Design was awarded a $1.197 million contract from the Gaston, North Carolina, school board to design the new elementary school in west Gastonia and LS3P Associates won a $1,406,300 contract to design the new middle school in Stanley.
|News about public-private partnerships (P3)|
Eastern Kentucky seeks P3 for construction of new residence halls
A private developer is being sought by Eastern Kentucky University as the higher education institution seeks a public-private partnership for a project to construct space for 1,100 residents and to renovate current on-campus residences. The state budget of 2014 included $75 million for P3 lease agreements, said Barry Poynter (pictured), vice president for finance and administration. Poynter said a P3 agreement would be different than the current agreement with a developer in which the developer owns the building and leases it to the university. In this case, the private partner makes the capital investment. The university owns the land and allows the private partner to build on the land. The developer takes on the risk to build and manage a facility and the university pays to use it.
Master planners hired, moving Union Station development forward
Another step toward development of land over the tracks at Union Station in Washington occurred recently when an architect and planning firm was hired as master planner for the station part of the project. The development will result in 1.5 million square feet of office space, 1,300 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, more than 500 hotel rooms and parks and plazas. The project, which will cover 14 acres, is called Burnham Place and the new platform over the tracks will extent the station to adjoin a mixed-use project. Former Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams said the project "has the potential as transit-oriented development to be one of the major developments on the East Coast in the next 20 years." There are still numerous hurdles for the project. The public and private financing has still not all been secured and there is an environmental assessment that will have to be conducted on the $8.5 billion project.
Partnership sought to finance Biotech Park at Harbor UCLA
Following action of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a 250,000-square-foot Bioscience Tech Park is slated for construction at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. But, funding for the project is still up in the air. One member of the board, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (pictured) said development of the project would likely cost between $110 million and $125 million and would create 800 to 900 jobs. He also indicated the project would be funded by a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). The goal of the project is not only to grow the biotech industry in Southern California, but also to help keep science, medical and technology graduates in the state and region. "What we hope to do is to make sure that we can create high-paying jobs right here in our community - be competitive with San Diego, be competitive with San Francisco," said Ridley-Thomas. A study was commissioned in 2012 to examine the industry and come up with a plan to develop the industry in the area. The study has resulted in county officials seeking to make the industry, which is a known creator of jobs, a bigger part of the county's economy.
Study shows economic impact Maryland Purple Line P3 would create
A recent study shows the proposed Maryland Purple Line light rail system would general an additional $635 million a year in federal, state and local taxes while increasing annual household income in the area by $2.2 billion. In fact, all along the 16-mile route, economic development would be positively affected and jobs created. The study, sponsored by Montgomery and Prince George's counties and the Greater Washington Board of Trade, notes that the improved access to transit would serve to attract firms that pay higher wages and would also draw interest from federal agencies seeking space near Washington. Estimates are that new and relocated businesses that might come to the area as a result of the line would result in 25,000 new jobs and increased property values of $11 billion in the two counties and the District of Columbia. There are currently four P3 groups seeking to win the concession to build and operate the Purple Line for 35 years. Availability payments of up to $200 million per year would be paid by the private partners. Whether and when the project might get off the ground is contingent on whether the costs for the project, at the request of Gov. Larry Hogan, can be brought down.
|Opportunity of the week...|
Voters in a city in Washington State recently approved a $3.8 million hospital bond issue. As a result, infrastructure upgrades will be made to the aging hospital facility. Some of the issues to be addressed by the bond proceeds are water and sewer system leaks, roof repair and HVAC upgrades. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or email@example.com.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Paul Comfort.
Paul Comfort (pictured) has been named the new head of the Maryland Transit Administration by State Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn. Comfort's appointment came a day after the resignation of State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters. Comfort will replace Robert L. Smith, who was pushed out as MTA administrator for months of criticism of the MTA's performance under the new Gov. Larry Hogan administration. Comfort, who will begin his new job at the MTA on May 11, has overseen public transit operations in Queen Anne's County and has also worked as the assistant project manager and director of operations for MV Transportation, which operates paratransit services for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The longtime transportation expert received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from University of Maryland Baltimore County and his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore City.
Pam Hylton (top left), interim city manager for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, and former assistant city manager since 2013, has resigned after accepting an assistant city manager position in Richmond Heights. Gayle Smith (top center), a veteran development expert and current senior director for development and democracy on the White House National Security Council, has been chosen by President Barack Obama to head the Agency for International Development. Deborah Delisle (top right), assistant secretary of education for the U.S. Department of Education, is leaving that post to become chief executive of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, a national nonprofit that provides professional development for teachers and other services. Joseph Chris Dyer, who has worked as superintendent of the Tuckahoe Common School District in Southampton, New York, since 2010, has been chosen as the next superintendent of the Marion, Iowa, Independent School District, replacing retiring superintendent Sarah Pinion. Eric Ward, a 26-year Tampa police veteran, has been chosen by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn as the city's next police chief, succeeding Chief Jane Castor, who is retiring. Rex Fuller, provost of Eastern Washington University, was named the next president of Western Oregon University, replacing Mark Weiss, Western's current president, who is retiring in June. Alex Alben (bottom right), who has been working on economic development and strategic initiatives at the University of Washington and as a private consultant, has been chosen as Washington State's first chief privacy officer, working under the office of the Chief Information Officer. LuWanda Knuckles (bottom center), who served tours with the Kentucky Army National Guard in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been named the new women veterans coordinator for the state of Kentucky and will work for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger (bottom left), current vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and a Coast Guard veteran of 30 years, has been nominated by President Obama to be the next head of the Transportation Security Administration. Mark Hagerott, a Rhodes Scholar and leading cybersecurity expert and professor with the U.S. Navy, has been selected as the next chancellor of the North Dakota University System, to replace Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen, whose term ends in July. Former U.S. Congressman and current University of Massachusetts Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan has been chosen as the next president of the University of Massachusetts, replacing President Robert Caret, who will step down at the end of June to become chancellor of the University of Maryland. David Hodge, president of Miami University of Ohio since 2006, recently announced he plans to step down in June 2016, when the second of his five-year contracts expires.
|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|
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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