Volume 8, Issue 26 - September 21, 2016
How safe are our voting systems?
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Because the country has a presidential election occurring in November, much scrutiny has fallen on the nation's voting systems. There are significant indications that voting systems throughout the country are vulnerable to hackers.


Just last month in both Arizona and Illinois, hackers were able to penetrate voting systems. Once the Illinois Board of Elections network was breached, almost 200,000 voter records were jeopardized. The data included personal information of registered voters. While representatives of the Board say that no information was added, changed or removed, hackers were able to break through the firewalls and access very sensitive data. 




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PS 15 after makeover Photo Credit: Maddalena Polletta | The Trust for Public Land (PRNewsFoto/The Trust for Public Land)
A Manhattan, N.Y., school is the latest to benefit from a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to build green infrastructure playgrounds. The Roberto Clemente School recently unveiled its new $1 million playground designed to capture approximately 400,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year.

The playground will serve as a public space during school breaks. Other features include an artificial turf field, running track, basketball courts, net climber, play house, water fountain, trees, pervious pavers, benches, boulders, turf pods, a stage, game tables, color seal art designed by the students, an outdoor classroom and a mural.

The P3 includes the Trust for Public Land, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection as well as local school agencies. The P3 has built playgrounds at eight other schools in New York City and has three more in the works. Similar projects have been completed in Philadelphia, Newark and San Francisco. 

high-ed-summitMore than 75 leading industry experts and specialists will gather in San Diego on Oct. 3-4 to participate in one of the nation's largest gatherings of higher education leaders and public-private partnership (P3/PPP) development experts. The Public-Private Partnership Higher Education Summit will allow those industry officials to share their experiences in having used P3s in the delivery of projects in the higher education arena.


P3s on the nation's higher education campuses are not just for dorms and residential housing anymore. This summit will bring together university officials and development professionals who are pursuing campus P3s for other endeavors such as labs, sports facilities, academic buildings, parking facilities and more. A unique offering at the summit is "University Row," where higher education institution officials will share information with representatives of private-sector firms regarding upcoming campus development projects.


The summit will feature numerous panel discussions, workshops and keynote addresses by both industry and P3 experts. Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) and a nationally recognized expert in P3s, will lead one of the roundtable discussions.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Voters from King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in Washington will consider a $54 million plan to expand mass transit in November. The plan, known as Sound Transit 3, calls for the construction of 62 miles of light rail to extend the system to 37 new areas. Lines would begin to service Redmond, Issaquah and Tacoma.


The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is seeking consultants for a feasibility study on a new 13-mile section of Interstate 49 in the western part of the state. As part of the study, consultants would study making the road a tollway creating a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to operate and maintain the tollway. The new highway segment would be located between Arkansas 549 and Interstate 40. It would be designed to provide continuous interstate along US 71 from Fort smith to Bentonville.


residential_construction_fall_arrest_system_9256413286The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced nearly $13 million in infrastructure funding for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Minnesota. The funds were awarded to help the tribe build four community facilities through the USDA's Community Facilities program. "Over the last seven years, USDA has worked closely with tribal leaders to support locally-driven solutions to improve economic opportunities in tribal areas by increasing access to education, health care, broadband and business development," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "These four projects will help the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians ensure the health, safety and well-being of its members and local communities well into the future." A loan of about $5 million will be used to build a new chemical dependency treatment center. The 20,000-square-foot facility will include accommodations for 16 beds and group meeting rooms. The Red Lake Nation will receive a $2.2 million loan to help construct a file hall in the northwestern Minnesota community of Ponemah. Another $2.8 million loan will help construct a second fire facility to serve the reservation. A nearly $3 million loan will help build a renal dialysis center to treat local residents. The project is designed to help meet the health needs of local residents as well as provide job opportunities. Click here for more details.


University of Alaska's board of regents approved a $37.5 million bond package to complete the school's engineering building. Construction began in 2011 after receiving initial funding from the state. However, additional state funding fell through after 2012 and completion of the project was delayed.  The opening of the building was previously scheduled for last year and is now planned for spring 2018.


The University of Michigan's board of regents approved $489 million for capital improvements including six construction and renovation projects. The university will use $122 million for the W.K. Kellogg Institute and Dental Building. Renovations would add 37,000 square feet to the 172,000-square-foot facility.  A $120 million renovation of the Edward Henry Kraus Building would allow the School of Kinesiology to consolidate all of its programs into one building. A new $75 million  robotics laboratory will be built as well as a new $90 million engineering laboratory. The College of Literature, Science and Arts will be renovated and receive an addition with $35 million. A $39 million project will add 65,000 square feet to the William R. Murchie Science Building.


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development plans to seek bids on design-build work on a 7-mile section of Interstate 10. The project would include widening the road from four lanes to six lanes between the Highland Road interchange and the Louisiana 73 interchange.  The agency also announced a shortening of the government procurement process by three to four months and plans to have the project under contract within one year.


The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committed approved $750 million in public funds to help build a $1.9 billion stadium to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. A special session of the state legislature would be required to approve a hospitality tax to finalize the deal for the 65,000-seat stadium. National Football League team owners would also have to approve the team's move. Owners are scheduled to meet in January.


Travis County, Texas, is seeking proposals for a downtown Austin property. Officials estimate up to 2 million square feet are available for development. Proposals are due by Nov. 9. The property was previously slated for a new courthouse. After voters rejected a bond proposal for the project, county commissioners voted to lease or sell the site. The county purchased the property in 2010 for $21.75 million.


The San Diego Mid-Coast Trolley was awarded a $1.04 billion grant from the Federal Transit Administration for an 11-mile extension of the Blue Line to the University City area. The total cost of theMid-Coast Corridor Transit Project will be approximately $2.17 billion. The San Diego Association of Governments will extend the line to include nine stations and carry passengers between downtown San Diego and the University of California San Diego and the Sorrento Valley biotech hub. The extension will allow riders to connect with an existing line from downtown to the Mexico border at San Ysidro and Tijuana. Service on the extension is expected to start in 2021.


San Francisco Bay Area voters will be asked to approve $14 billion for public transit systems and improved roadways in the November election. Among the measures on the ballot, voters in Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties will consider a $3.5 billion bond to upgrade the aging Bay Area Rapid Transit system. A half-cent transportation sales tax is also on the ballot in Santa Clara County that is expected to generate more than $6 billion. A similar tax in Contra Costa County is expected to raise $3.5 billion. In Oakland, a $600 million general obligation bond would be used for road repairs.

Collaboration Nation
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

Construction is set to begin on a Virginia Commonwealth University public-private partnership (P3/PPP) project for student housing. The Gladding project is the university's first P3 project, approved earlier this year by VCU's board of visitors. The partnership with a private developer will provide for a new 12-story building on a site across from Monroe Park. The new housing housing facility is needed because dorms are being demolished to build a new $87.3 million School of Allied Health Professions.


A City of Detroit public-private partnership (P3/PPP) has broken ground on a 10-acre solar project. The P3, which includes a renewable energy company, is redeveloping the city-owned property. Officials said the solar array will be able to generate enough power for 450 homes. The project is also working in conjunction with workforce and community revitalization efforts in the surrounding neighborhood. Other projects include a park and playground, infrastructure to manage storm water and the demolition of vacant housing.


The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center authority is planning a $1 billion project to develop 47 acres of land near the facility along the riverfront. The Convention Center District Development Project, or trade district, would include a 320-foot hotel, shops, restaurants, housing and a linear park. The project would be a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to boost economic development in the area. Officials said about $70 million of the project funding would be obtained through the authority's bonding capacity and the remaining funds would come from developers. The City Planning Commission is expected to review proposed zoning changes, which would make the project possible, in October.


A Shreveport, La., public-private partnership (P3/PPP) is planning to build an aquarium along the Red River. The 21,000-square foot facility is estimated to cost $4.3 million. It will be housed in the historic Barnwell Center, which the city has been maintaining.

The P3 consists of the city, a businesses accelerator and a nonprofit group. Final adoption of the ordinance allowing the city to fund $1.5 million in renovations is scheduled for Oct. 11. The aquarium is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.


Hobbs, N.M., city commissioners have authorized  a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) contract to move forward on a $65.5 million recreation center. The facility will include meeting areas, an indoor soccer field, a multi-use court, indoor track and indoor lap pool, therapy pool and recreational pool. The P3 consists of the city, county, municipal schools, area institutes of higher learning and private organizations.


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