Volume 8, Issue 24 - September 7, 2016
Had your face scanned lately?
It is very possible!
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Major event managers, security companies, airline terminal operators and governmental entities are all beginning to use facial recognition software. It is being used for many reasons - to scan crowds for security reasons, to check out suspicious individuals, to recognize dignitaries and to prevent fraud and identity theft.

In the past, it has been difficult for governmental entities to track imposters because of a lack of manpower. However, government is now successfully fighting scam artists by using facial recognition software. The software uses complex algorithms and unique facial traits to compare driver's license photos with other images in the department of motor vehicles (DMV) records. More than 40 states now use this software and are reporting significant results. 

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Long-deferred projects move forward

Many Rhode Island school districts are making plans to move forward with long-planned construction projects. Last year a four-year moratorium on state funding for school construction was lifted and this summer, the General Assembly approved $80 million for school renovations and repairs.

An independent audit of public schools in the state is underway. Results of the audit will be released next year, which may lead to more funding, but many districts are not waiting to address needed projects.

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Nabers to speak at Washington, D.C., program on P3s for Transportation
Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) and a nationally recognized expert in public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs), will moderate a panel discussion at The Long and Winding Road to Smart City P3s at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15. 

The event is organized by Smart & Resilient Cities and Meeting of the Minds and hosted by Georgetown University's Master of Professional Studies in Urban and Regional Planning program and Professor Uwe Brandes. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will open the program designed to explore issues surrounding P3s for Transportation.

Nabers will lead a panel focused on the trends, landscape and perils of the current state of P3s in the transportation sector. Other panel members scheduled include John Parkinson, executive director of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure, and Marshall Macomber, president of ThinkP3. Nabers and the SPI Team have developed a guidebook which helps public officials avoid failures in P3s. She will facilitate discussions and take questions on the topic.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Minnesota's Metro Transit has received commitments to allow the agency to move forward on a $1.858 billion light rail project. The Counties Transit Improvement Board, the Met Council and Hennepin County have agreed to secure funding for half the cost of the project, allowing Metro Transit to apply for the remaining funding from the Federal Transit Administration. The plan for Southwest light rail is a 14.5-mile extension of the Green Line in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.


The North Bend, Wash., city council has authorized architects to design a new city hall. Officials hope to build the complex for $5 million on property the city already owns. Initial plans call for 10,000 to 14,000 square feet, with 26 offices, one large and two smaller conference rooms, council chambers and counter space for departmental staff.


The mayor of Madison, Wisc., recently introduced a $329.7 million capital budget. More than $26 million will be used to renovate the Madison Municipal Building. Other projects include a new $10 million library, a $2 million neighborhood center, $31 million for affordable housing and $13 million for a  public market. About $8 million will go to bike paths and $31 million will be used for bus rapid transit planning.


Santa Cruz City Schools board approved a facilities master plan including more than $300 million in improvements. The California school district has prioritized an infrastructure project list that includes reopening the closed Natural Bridges campus with $7.3 million in improvements. Projects are also scheduled at 10 other schools if voters approve two school bond measures on the November ballot.


The mayor of Holyoke, Mass., has submitted a bond package proposal totalling $21 million to the city council for consideration. Projects include $1.3 million for improvements at city hall, $650,000 for roofs at various buildings, $3.1 million for parks improvements and $10.1 million for other infrastructure projects.


The College of Western Idaho trustees approved a $180 million bond for the November ballot. Proposed projects at the Nampa campus include building Health Science and Central Services buildings with construction beginning in 2017. A Student Success Center and Career Technical Facilities is scheduled to begin construction in 2019. A new urban Boise campus is also planned with construction beginning in 2018. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded new water and wastewater funding to 18 communities in Vermont. Loans and grants totaling $17.9 million will be used to improve water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure through the USDA's Water and Environmental Program. The projects include construction of new stormwater infrastructure for the Town of Bristol, a new water storage tank in Wells River and a grant to help the Town of Berlin make water main improvements.  Click here for a full list of funded projects.


Penn Hills, Pa., council members approved plans for a new $11 million municipal building. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of the year on the 15.9-acre site. Plans include a 43,200-square-foot municipal and police building, a 9,000-square-foot EMS building, a firefighter training area, two 30-foot-wide driveways and 165 parking spots. Officials plan to advertise for construction bids in September or October.


Maryland transportation officials are considering building an additional bridge across the Chesapeake Bay. A $5 million study will begin this fall to investigate the feasibility of building a new bridge to relieve congestion on the current Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The study will also look at environmental impacts of a new bridge and funding options.

Collaboration Nation
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg is seeking a partner to help build a new residence hall under a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). Trustees approved the plan last week. A project concept designed for the university also includes more on-campus parking, including the expansion of a seven-story parking garage across from the planned residence hall site on 6th Avenue South. The schedule calls for developers to submit plans by the end of March with a partner to be selected in June.


California State University Channel Islands has entered into a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) with a real estate company to manage some student housing. The university will grant an 82-year leasehold agreement for University Glen Apartments and Town Center to the company for $81 million. The company has plans to renovate the housing units as well as add a community center and fitness center.


Denver City Council members approved predevelopment plans for renovations at the Denver International Airport and have begun negotiations for a long-term public-private partnership (P3/PPP). Developers are seeking a partnership with the airport in which they would renovate the terminal and oversee commercial operations in that part of the airport, including concessions.


Pennsylvania's Montgomery County Housing Authority has entered into a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to renovate two affordable housing projects. A development partner will lease the land from the housing authority and own and operate the housing units at Crest Manor in Willow Grove and North Hills in Glenside. The P3 will spend $17 million on each project to upgrade the units built in the 1950s and 1960s.


A public-private partnership (P3/PPP) will renovate the historic Broadway Building in Loraine, Ohio. Plans call for 58 apartments and a 300-seat event center adjacent to the building. The project is a partnership between the Lorain Port Authority and a private developer.

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