Volume 8, Issue 27 - September 28, 2016
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
This summer, the city of Columbus, Ohio, took home top prize in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge - up to $40 million in grant funding. The federal government's objective was to encourage cities throughout the U.S. to actively plan and implement improvements to mobility, safety and sustainability through the use of advanced technologies.

Smart Cities, a trend that is sweeping the nation, encompasses many types of technology but almost all smart city initiatives are dependent on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. To clarify, the IoT is a concept that includes technology that connects two or more distant devices for the purpose of gathering, sharing and analyzing data through the use of a singular data management tool. To understand it a bit better, think of collecting data from various locations, storing it and then combining it for analy
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September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month

State, local agencies to receive support for disaster preparedness


The White House has announced new resiliency initiatives based on the findings of the 2016 National Preparedness Report, released in March by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report identified vulnerabilities and areas for improvement in the country's ability to respond to and recover from natural disasters, technological hazards, acts of terrorism and other threats.


Federal agencies are declaring new actions to help build the capacity of state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector and nonprofit agencies to recover from future disasters.


The Economic Recovery Training For Emergency Management and Economic Development Practitioners program will provide $1,506,000 for state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and economic development professionals to identify and undertake economic recovery and resilience initiatives. The program is Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Economic Development Administration.


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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced funding for projects in 16 states to use telecommunications to expand access to health care, substance misuse treatment and advanced educational opportunities. USDA is awarding $4.7 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine program grants to support 11 distance learning and seven telemedicine projects.


"These investments will help provide better health care and educational opportunities for rural residents," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Hospitals, schools and training centers across the country are successfully using telecommunications to deliver quality educational and medical services." 

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced new Federal Automated Vehicles Policy to help facilitate the responsible introduction of automated vehicles. The policy is intended to make transportation safer, cleaner, more accessible and more efficient.

The policy document consists of four sections. The first section, primarily for manufacturers and designers, is about vehicle performance. It outlines a safety assessment for design, testing and deployment of automated vehicles.


The second section defines state and federal responsibilities regarding automated vehicles. The third section describes the regulatory tools of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The final section deals with new tools and authorities the NHTSA could consider in the future. 

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Pittsburgh city officials announced plans for infrastructure projects to help prevent flash flooding on a historically dangerous roadway. The cost for the Washington Boulevard project is estimated between $75 million and $100 million and could take up to 10 years to complete. Officials are considering options to make the roadway safe during flood events and prevent sewer runoff from reaching area rivers. The city will finalize its storm water management plan before the end of 2016.


The Massachusetts Department of Transportation plans to award over $2 million in grants for railroads. The funding is part of the Industrial Rail Access Program. which provides financial aid for industry-based rail infrastructure access improvement projects. Seven projects have received approval. The projects will primarily consist of rail spur enhancements designed to increase shipping capacity. Projects will be completed in Worcester, New Bedford, Freetown, Ayer, Westfield, Palmer and South Barre.


The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority was awarded a $4 million federal grant to help renovate and expand the Wissahickon Transportation Center. The total project cost has been estimated at $10.5 million. The center currently hosts 7,000 passengers each weekday. The design phase of the project is scheduled for 2017 through 2019 with construction expected to follow from 2020 to 2022.


The Nebraska Department of Roads has announced $300 million for new transportation projects. The funds will be used to build eight projects, design 12 projects and plan for two other projects. All eight projects slated for construction are expected to begin by 2024, with the exception of US-275 from Scribner to West Point, which will be the state's first design-build project. Click here for a list of NDOR projects.


The U.S. Department of Transportation's  Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $5 million in grants to improve transit options on tribal land. The Tribal Transit Program will provide grants to 34 tribes for transit-related projects in 12 states. "The Federal Transit Administration is proud to partner with Indian Country to support projects that will help tribal residents access jobs, education and other important opportunities in their communities," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. "These grants will provide new and improved transportation services for individuals who need additional options for getting around." Click here for project details.


Atlanta Department of Watershed Management officials plan to establish a reservoir in Bellwood Quarry. The $300 million project is projected to supply drinking water for the next 100 years. The Chattahoochee River will fill the reservoir through a five-mile tunnel. The Bellwood Quarry was purchased by the city about ten years ago. The quarry is known as a filming location for television series The Walking Dead and Stranger Things.


Meridian, Idaho, voters will consider three bond proposals on the November ballot. The College of Western Idaho is proposing a $180 million bond to expand its Nampa campus and build a new campus in Boise. The Western Ada Recreation District wants to build two new facilities with indoor pools at a cost of $20 million. The Meridian Library District is proposing a $12 million bond to build two new branches in north and south Meridian.


Nebraska Department of Roads officials announced state funding for dilapidated bridges. The state is offering a match program and will begin receiving proposals in October. The $40 million program will provide 55 percent of the project's repair costs up to $150,000 per bridge. Officials said about 40 percent of the state's bridges are at least 50 years old. Funding will go to bridges that are longer than 20 feet and designated as structurally deficient.


Bridgeport, W.V., city officials are seeking proposals for architectural and engineering services for construction of the Bridgeport Multi-Use Indoor/Outdoor Sports Facility. A feasibility study is available and can be obtained from the city clerk. The facility will include indoor and outdoor turf space, court space, an aquatics facility, walking/running track, multi-purpose rooms, general support space and leasable space. Proposals are due by Oct. 14.


Two sections of the Ohio Turnpike have been scheduled for construction. The 241-mile toll road is being rebuilt section by section. The $1.4 billion project began in 2011 and is expected to take three decades to complete. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, two sections have been scheduled to begin work in 2018. The Strongsville project will run from milepost 159.8 to milepost 164.82. The North Ridgeville project will run from milepost 149.24 to milepost 154.10. 

News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

Berkley, Mich., city officials are seeking a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to help improve municipal buildings and save money. Officials are requesting proposals from partners interested in participating in renovation projects to substantially improve the city hall complex and parks and recreation facility. The city hall properties include 15,000-square feet of building space. Parks and recreation buildings include an 8,100-square-foot community center and the Berkley Ice Arena. Proposals should include revenue generating concepts and expand facility uses that can include concessions, room rentals and other reasonable options. Proposals are due by Nov. 11. Click here for details.


A public-private partnership (P3/PPP) announced $5.18 million in grant funding for ecological restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin. Sustain Our Great Lakes is a P3 supporting habitat restoration and is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Recipients of 19 grants will match the funds with $6.4 million for total project funding of $11.6 million. The funds will be used to reopen 65 miles of river for fish passage, restore 7 miles of stream and riparian habitat, remove or bypass 15 barriers to aquatic organism passage, restore and enhance more than 1,500 acres of wetlands and associated uplands and permanently protect 397 acres. Click here for project details.


A pilot project for a veterans' medical facility to be built through a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) is planned in Omaha, Neb. Officials hope the pilot will prove a successful model for future P3 veterans' projects. A 157,000 square-foot medical facility would be constructed adjacent to the VA Hospital in Omaha using $56 million in federal funds. The facility also plans to utilize private funds received through donations, pending the approval of proposed federal legislation authorizing the use of private funds. The legislation has been approved by the United States House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and is expected to come to the House floor for a vote after the November election.


texas-live The Texas Rangers Baseball Club and developers involved in a $4 billion public-private partnerships (P3/PPP) have released initial plans for a stadium district in Arlington, Texas. Texas Live! will include a $250 million mixed-use development located between the Rangers' Globe Life Park and the Cowboys' Arlington AT&T Stadium. Three entertainment facilities with dining spaces, performance stages and event hosting amenities are slated to open in spring 2018. A 300-room hotel and 35,000-square-foot convention facility are both scheduled to open in fall 2018. The P3 plans to preserve the facade of Globe Life Park.


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. 

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