Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 7, Issue 15July 15, 2015
If ever we needed bold leaders, it is now! 
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Mary Scott Nabers

California - land of lush wine country vineyards, beautiful beaches, fabulous parks and green space. That picture is not as bright or accurate as it once was.  According to the State of California's Weekly Drought Update, water shortages have reached critical stages. 


Wildfires are all too common, almost 2,000 wells have dried up and the ground in California is literally parched throughout the state. Almost 20 million people live in areas of exceptional drought. There is not enough water.


And, it is not just California. The country is experiencing the worst drought in more than 1,000 years. Think about is frightening.  




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Maryland's Purple Line light-rail bid deadline pushed back


Proposal submissions to include cost savings will now be due in mid-November

Larry Hogan A mid-August deadline for submission of proposals to build a light-rail Purple Line in Maryland has been pushed back to Nov. 17. The extension was put in place to allow the four teams of private-sector companies that are in line to win the project to have sufficient extra time to rework their proposals. The new proposals will incorporate recent cost-saving changes the state has mandated. With the new deadline, Maryland officials hope to name a winner by sometime early next year.

The planned light rail would link Montgomery and Prince George counties. A 35-year public-private partnership (P3) would be used to complete the project. Under the P3, the private-sector partners would design, build and help finance the light rail line. They would then ink long-term contracts to operate and maintain the line. With its more than $6 billion cost, the line would represent the largest single contract in the state's history. 

When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (pictured) last summer announced the state would move forward with the Purple Line project, he did so with some stipulations. He said the 16-mile rail line would be built if the estimated cost of $2.45 billion could be trimmed and the state's up-front contribution could be lowered from the projected $700 million to $168 million. "I have always said this decision was never about whether public transit was worthwhile, but whether it is affordable and makes economic sense," said Hogan.

In response to the governor's declaration, Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said the state found $215 million in savings in design changes. Other savings were also identified. 

The delay in the deadline is not a new concept for this project. It has been delayed twice already. When Hogan took office, he moved the project deadline from January to March so he would have more time to carefully consider it. He had campaigned against the line because of its high costs. It was delayed a second time when state officials announced they would give the bidders more time to propose additional cost savings. The trio of delays has pushed the completion date back and delayed the project by about a year. 

"The Purple Line is a long-term investment that will be an important economic driver for Maryland," said Hogan. "It will be built in a part of our state that has demonstrated strong support and use of mass transit. The Purple Line will integrate seamlessly with our current transit system - combining Metro, MARC and Amtrak. Construction alone will mean 23,000 new jobs for Marylanders over six years." He described the project as a long-term asset that will also attract businesses to the state. 


Proposals for design, construction services being sought

Move Illinois program has $109 million in contracts available for qualified vendors

Greg Bedalov Nine contracts worth $109 million are up for grabs for design and construction management services related to the Move Illinois program of the Illinois Tollway.

The state plans to invest billions in critical infrastructure projects, according to Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov (pictured). The Move Illinois Program, he said, will move the state's economy forward. This year, there is $1.6 billion in capital projects. Work is expected to start in the spring.

"The contract opportunities announced today will help us continue building the new Illinois Route 390 and start design work on the southern portion of the new tollway that will link the Illinois Tollway Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) as part of the Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project (EOWA)," said Bedalov.

Among the contracts are:
  • A construction management contract for up to $65 million worth of construction on Illinois Route 390 between Arlington Heights Road and Lively Boulevard as part of the EOWA Project.
  • Two construction management-upon-request contracts including a contract for I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation, retaining wall repairs and landscaping as well as a contract for the EOWA Project that includes dirt work and frontage road construction.
  • Three design contracts for more than $700 million of construction on the new tollway around the western border of O'Hare linking I-90 and I-294. 
  • A design and construction-upon-request contract for dirt work and environmental assessments for the EOWA Project.
  • A materials engineering services upon-request contract for EOWA Project and system-wide projects.

May 2015 Texas Bond Results

Upcoming contracting opportunities


Grant of $1.5 million to result in infrastructure upgrades at industrial park

The city of Walker, Louisiana, has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The funds will be used to upgrade water services and road access to the city's industrial park. The $1.5 million grant will help defray the costs of development of 82 acres of the industrial park by replacing water lines, upgrading sewers and providing for new road construction. The current condition of the industrial park has delayed expansion. These improvements are needed to sustain the park for its current and future tenants. As a result of the project, three companies already have committed to investing in the park. The project is expected to create 200 jobs, save 859 jobs and generate $25 million in private investment. Commerce officials say the department is committed to improving the nation's infrastructure, which this grant will help do. 


City of Beaumont seeking bids for construction of new $6.5 million fire station

Fire Station Beaumont, Texas, city officials recently agreed to seek bids to build a new $6.5 million fire station (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) near Interstate 10 and Babe Zaharias Park. Features of the new Station 1 include bi-fold doors to replace overhead doors to allow engines to exit faster, solar tubes to use daylight and other energy savings features. Voters approved $45 million in bonds in 2013 to pay for the new Station 1 and another $3 million fire station already in operation. City officials also used a grant from Hurricane Ike Recovery funds to build a third new fire station. Expected to be open in the fall of 2016, Station 1 will replace a fire station on College Street built in the early 1960s. 


City of Greenville bond election to address road maintenance, greenway project

The City of Greenville, North Carolina, has depended heavily on outside funds for improvements to its roads and greenways in the last 10 years, but it hopes to borrow money with voter approval this fall for road maintenance and greenway expansion. The greenway expansion would require $750,000 of the bond funds, with the remainder dedicated for road maintenance. 


County in Arkansas gets $1.25M grant for infrastructure needed for industry

Infrastructure upgrades in Independence County, Arkansas, will have an additional $1.25 million toward their goals. The U.S. Department of Commerce is investing that amount from its Economic Development Administration. The funds will be used to upgrade critical infrastructure that will help the poultry industry in the county to expand. The upgrades are necessary because the poultry industry provides a significant portion of the county's economy. When a major employer left the area in 2013, the County Economic Development Department brought another major employer to the area. Ozark Mountain Poultry, which bought the facility in 2014, now wants to expand its operations. The $1.25 million grant will be used to provide transportation access and water by helping construct an access road from the highway to the feed mill site. The new road will be built to facilitate heavy trucks. There will also be a rail spur and potable water line. This is expected to lead to increased production at the plant, meaning more investment in the community in the future. The project is expected to create 250 jobs and generate more than $30 million in private investment. 


Port of Redwood City in California planning $73 million in major dredging work

Michael Giari More cargo is expected to move through the Port of Redwood City in California after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a major dredging project there. The project, which will cost $73 million, will deepen Redwood City Harbor and San Bruno Shoal channels so ships can carry more cargo to the port. Calling the dredging project a "major milestone for the port," Port Executive Director Michael Giari (pictured) said the deepening of the harbor will allow ships to carry more cargo. The work is expected to deepen the channels from 30 to 32 feet. Because of the lack of depth, Giari said many ships either have to wait for the tide or carry lighter loads. The project recommends dredging 1.4 million cubic yards and could take up to three years to complete. "This is not a growth-inducing plan but rather a growth-accommodating plan," Giari said.  He said deepening the channel will make moving cargo much easier. The project must be approved by Congress before the dredging could begin.  


School district approves budget with $4 million for capital items spending

Included in a recently approved $197 million Peoria (Arizona) Unified School District budget is $4 million in spending for capital items such as new equipment and infrastructure and facilities upgrades. The remaining $193 million is dedicated to maintenance and operational funding. The district includes 34 elementary schools, seven  high schools and one non-traditional high school. The budget will result in a 16-cent increase in the school tax rate. 


Council approves advertising for bids for overpass project in Minnesota city

The city of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, will advertise for bids for the Enterprise Drive extension and overpass project in that city, following action by the city council. The council approved the final plans for the project and approved seeking bids from interested vendors. The preliminary timeline for the project includes a bid letting on Sept. 1, followed by construction beginning in the fall. Completion is expected in mid-October. The estimated cost of the project is $4.9 million. However, right-of-way acquisition, engineering fees and construction will bring the total cost to more than $7 million. The bulk of that amount will come from bonds issued by the city that are paid for through local taxes. 


Bond approved for $7M to build academic building at Columbia Basin College

Tyrone Brooks The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has approved a $7 million bond that will help defray the costs of construction of a new health science education building for Columbia Basin College's Richland campus. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2016, with a completion and ready for occupancy date set in May 2017. "I think it's going to be a fantastic addition to the community," said Tyrone Brooks (pictured), the college's vice president of administrative services. The building is needed as the college expands its health care programs in response to this high-demand industry. The second building, aided by a pledge of $3 million from the Kadlec Regional Medical Center, was announced in 2014. The hospital has an interest in the facility, as it expects to lease two floors of the facility for its residency program. The remainder of the $16.1 million costs will be paid for with another bond. The other facility in Richland houses about a dozen programs. Kadlec has offices in that building already. Officials are hopeful that as more students are admitted to the health care programs that partner with local hospitals, more of them will stay and work in the region once they graduate. 


Wyoming trio seeking multi-municipality project grant funding

Grant funds of $1 million will be sought from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority Multimodal Transportation Fund by the city of West Pittston, Wyoming. The funds will help finance the city's Multi-Municipality Infrastructure Project. It would allow for significant upgrades to infrastructures such as road, bike trails and sidewalks in West Pittston, Exeter and Wyoming boroughs. This is the second such multi-municipality agreement of late. The latest was for sewer work. The fact that the boroughs are cooperating in a multi-municipality project carries weight with the Transportation Fund when it allocates grant funds.


Contracting Opportunities

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards:

  • C.W. Matthews won a contract worth $139.6 million from the Georgia Department of Transportation to design and build a 10-mile extension of the existing I-85 HOT lane in Gwinnett County, and involves construction of a single toll lane in each direction between Old Peachtree Road and Hamilton Mill Road. 
  • Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects was awarded a contract for $999,360 from the city of Waxahachie, Texas, for the design of a new police station.
  • CB&I was awarded a contract of more than $75 million by the Omaha (Nebraska) Public Power District for maintenance, modifications and supplemental labor for its fossil and nuclear plants in Nebraska.
  • Michael Pittman Construction Co. won a $4.8 million contract from Alcorn County, Mississippi, for expansion of the Crossroads Regional Park.
  • Branch Highways was awarded a $2.6 million contract from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to construct a pedestrian tunnel near Campbell University.
  • RVP Construction was awarded a contract of $1.3 million from the city of Kilgore, Texas, for the Energy Drive road construction project, which serves an industrial park that houses several companies.
  • RT Vernal Paving and Excavating Inc. won a $956,383 contract from the city of Boardman, Ohio, for a joint paving program with Austintown. The two communities will share the costs to save money.
  • Transdev Services, Inc. has been awarded a contract from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority for first-year costs to operate the Cincinnati streetcar system. Transdev will operate the streetcar system for at least five years, with an option for five more, for as much as $38 million over the 10 years.
  • KEC Engineering won a $13 million contract from the city of Tustin, California, to extend Moffett Drive from Park Avenue to west of the Peters Canyon Channel and Park Avenue from Mofffett Drive to Victory Road.
  • Intermark Group won a $6 million annual advertising contract from the Alabama Tourism Department.

SPI Training Services

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


College of New Jersey announces plans for two new residence halls

Barbara Gitenstein The "No Vacancy" sign is out for The College of New Jersey's Campus Town student housing project. As a result, the college has announced a second phase of student housing that will result in the construction of two more new residence halls. The second phase of Campus Town will cost $30 million and will result in 166 beds for students in the two new facilities, according to TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein (pictured). The two new $15 million each residence halls will bring the total cost of the Campus Town project to about $120 million, all of which is paid for by a private developer. Officials expect all of the 446 beds that will then be available to be leased in just three months. The halls include fully furnished student apartments that have a private bedroom and private or semi-private bathroom. Each has a full kitchen, living room, laundry room and secure access to the elevator lobby, elevator, each apartment and each individual's own room. The first phase of the project will include a retail area that includes a major bookstore, a restaurant and fitness center. Other tenants have also signed on for space in the buildings. Gitenstein said the project not only meets the need for student housing without using state or college funds, but also added, "The retail shops and restaurants that will open this summer with phase one will benefit not only members of our campus community, but also the town and residents, making this project a real win-win for both the TCNJ and Ewing communities." 


High-speed Internet coming to areas of Minnesota thanks to partnership

High-speed, fiber-optic Internet service is on its way to south-central Minnesota. A public-private partnership will result in delivery of Internet service to more than two-dozen cities and townships in the state. The project will be completed in two phases and will serve about 6,200 users when finished. The service will cover Sibley, Renville, Nicollet and McLeod counties. By the end of the year, officials expect about 1,600 homes and businesses to be connected to the service. It represents a huge step for businesses that previously have not had high-speed Internet access. A representative of one of the public-sector partners involved in the broadband project said high-speed Internet access will allow businesses to be connected to the world and on a level playing field with businesses that already have access.  


Skyway concession for toll road project now up for sale by consortium

Carole Brown A Spanish-Australian investor group that won the right to run the Chicago Skyway for 99 years has put a "For Sale" sign on the toll road concession. The Chicago Mayor's Office has been informed by the private consortium that it is trying to sell its interest in running and collecting tolls from the project. The deal was approved in 2005 and represented the first major privatization of an asset of the city. The consortium paid $1.83 billion for the right to run the toll road. Chicago Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown (pictured) said the relationship between the city and the concessionaire is "ongoing" and the city will "work closely with them through this process." 


Partnership in recreation center, field house to kick off revitalization plan

Multiple major projects are being considered for the Salina Downtown Revitalization program. To kick off the projects, a public-private partnership will build a $9 million field house. The city will kick in $4.5 million toward the project. The overall project will include multiple projects in a 28-block downtown area. The city hopes soon to be able to hire a construction manager and architect, with a groundbreaking expected in the spring. Completion is expected by spring 2017. Completing the initial field house project is expected to be the catalyst for generating other projects as well as private investors. Some of the projects under consideration are a five-story, 120-room, high-end hotel, two museums, a bowling alley and indoor fun center. All of the projects are likely to be funded by both public and private funds.  Some projects have already begun, such as refurbishing and making the Lee Building into apartments and renovating the Townsite Building into apartments with retail space. 


Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Bob Mong. 


Bob Mong A former editor of The Dallas Morning News has been named as the new president of the University of North Texas at Dallas. Bob Mong (pictured) will replace President Ronald Brown, who has been promoted to associate vice chancellor for academic affairs overseeing development and coordination of UNT's health programs. Mong served as editor of The Dallas Morning News from 2001 to May of this year. He began his career at the newspaper in 1979 as assistant city editor and was named managing editor in 1990. He is a former publisher of the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Kentucky, and was executive vice president of Belo's newspaper division. He also spent three years as The News' general manager. Mong is a graduate of Haverford College in Pennsylvania and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program. Mong will become UNT Dallas' third president and the first without a higher education background. He is expected to begin his new job on 

Aug. 1.


Collaboration Nation

Opportunity of the week...

A school district in Minnesota has sold $51.6 million in general obligation bonds, the proceeds of which will pay for a variety of voter-approved projects throughout the district. Included in the projects are a new elementary school, eight new science classrooms at a middle school and a new gym at a high school. The bonds will also fund remodeling projects and long-term maintenance needs.Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Bilal Kareem Tawwab Eric Cannon Jason Slowinski Bilal Kareem Tawwab (top left), an assistant superintendent at Detroit Public Schools who is in charge of the district's priority schools, was recently selected to be the next leader of the Flint, Michigan, School District. City officials in Allen, Texas, recently selected Eric Cannon (top center), chief financial officer in Addison and former director of finance for Trophy Club and accounting manager for Azle, as the city's new chief financial officer. Jason Slowinski (top right), village manager in Lake Zurich, Illinois, since 2012, has been named city manager of the city of Golden, Colorado, replacing Mike Bestor, who announced his retirement in February, with Steve Glueck, economic development director named to serve as interim manager until Slowinski begins in September. The Ocean View (California) School District has hired Carol Hansen, who was assistant superintendent for human resources at the ABC Unified School District, based in Cerritos, as the new superintendent  to replace Gustavo Balderas, who announced in March that he was leaving to lead a school district in Eugene, Oregon. Port Orange City, Florida, has picked Michael H. "Jake" Johansson, who for the last four years has been the commanding officer at the U.S. Naval Support Facility Hampton Roads, as its new city manager. Mike Baker, who joined the Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Fire Department in 2013 as deputy chief and who has served nearly five months as interim chief since Brooks Keel Tomas Sanchez Jacqueline Huntoon Terry Vavra retired in February, has been named the city's new fire chief. Brooks Keel (bottom right), president of Georgia Southern University in Augusta, has been chosen as the new president of Georgia Regents University, created through the merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael has selected Tomas Sanchez (bottom center), a Hollywood Police Department veteran since 1988 who has been interim chief since Frank Fernandez stepped down May 15 for a job in Coral Gables, as the city's new police chief. Jacqueline Huntoon (bottom left), dean of Michigan Tech's Graduate School since 2011 and professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Michigan Technological University, replacing Max Seel. Dave Germain, retired from the Tacoma Fire Department,  was picked by the Lewis County Fire District 2 commissioners as the new chief of the Toledo department, replacing former Toledo Chief Grant Wiltbanks. Oakton Community College in Illinois has hired Karl Brooks, currently dean of student success at Joliet Junior College, as the college's new vice president of student affairs, replacing Joianne Smith, who has been named Oakton's president. Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Miro Weinberger has appointed Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, who joined the Burlington Police Department after 18 years with the New York Police Department, as Burlington's new police chief. 


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NGIP announces plans for Annual Forum in Missouri for Aug. 1-5

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NGIP) will host its Annual Forum on Aug 1-5 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Forum is NIGP's educational event that provides networking opportunities with colleagues and suppliers. Workshops will be available that are led by subject matter experts in the respective fields. Professional speakers will be on hand during general sessions. There will be approximately 200 suppliers attending the products exposition on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 3 and 4, which provides the opportunity for one-on-one interaction and networking with suppliers. More than 60 specialized educational workshops and formal networking opportunities will be available to help you attendees refine their skills, learn best practices or provide a platform to gain support from colleagues on issues faced every day. Registration is now open and more information is available here


NASTD Annual Conference, Technology Showcase set for Cincinnati
The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) 2015 Annual Conference and Technology Showcase is planned for Aug. 23-27 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel. The theme of the event is "Collaboration Through Partnerships: Leveraging Core Competencies in State Government." The annual conference will feature presentations, panel discussions and roundtable discussions. Event topics will be across the spectrum of IT strategy and operations. Current challenges, management strategies, best practices, and state and federal initiatives will be included. There will be a panel discussion on cybersecurity, a session on State IT Workforce Challenges and Opportunities, a panel discussion on hybrid cloud services and a panel discussion on mobile device management. Registration is now open and the agenda is available.
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