Volume 9, Issue 2 - January 11, 2017
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Companies with renewable energy services and products should be making friends with public officials in municipalities throughout the country. That's definitely where renewable power projects are occurring. Cities have numerous priorities and mandates, but every municipality is focused on sustainability, cost reduction and reducing the consequences of climate change. Many are taking bold steps to launch renewable power projects which benefit all three objectives.

Newport, Ore., is making plans to construct a major wave-energy test site off the city's coastline. Newport captured a coveted $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the visionary project will be the first of its kind. It will be connected directly to a power grid. Oregon has garnered a leadership role in the U.S. and this new project will boost the state's visibility even more.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation is betting on wind energy. The corporation and the Great Lakes Wind Network in Cleveland, Ohio, will partner to construct a $126 million wind farm. The project is expected to create approximately 500 new jobs and provide a portion of the electricity for 6,000 homes. If projections are valid, this seemingly small project will likely lead to larger projects to produce energy for thousands of homes.

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Sensors of the past that are still put to use today are often always on, and it can be challenging to collect, store and interpret the tremendous amount of data they create. The Internet of Things (IoT) is making it easier for information to be collected and analyzed. The IoT is an interconnection via the Internet from computing devices which are embedded in objects so they can send and receive data.

The sensors of today come with an analytics system which can help by integrating event-monitoring, storage and analytics software. The system on a data sensor has three parts: the sensors that monitor events in real-time, a scalable data store and an analytics engine.

Sensors have improved in capability, efficiency and cost and this allows organizations to be more aware and empowered and to intelligently react to factors such as past performance metrics, configuration and calibration conditions, input-to-output rates, predicted failure intervals and environmental impact.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration released two final rules outlining the new performance measures to improve the condition of the nation's roads and bridges and assess travel reliability, congestion and emissions.

The rule calls for states to account for air quality improvement by establishing performance targets and greater transparency and accountability in setting and achieving performance targets for several key measures of highway performance.

Both rules are issued pursuant to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and address the concerns outlined in the USDOT report "Beyond Traffic."

"Deteriorating and congested roads and bridges in our nation must be addressed head on, and today's actions help us do exactly that," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "These rules will play an important role in reducing travel delays and air pollution, and also improving infrastructure quality, giving the American people a better travel experience."

The rules are expected to bring about greater accountability nationwide in addition to more consistency in data collection and analysis and more comprehensive practices.
The Maryland Department of Transportation will begin using a new electronic bidding system this summer that could save the state $800,000 annually.

The system is a web-based service for electronic bidding. Contractors can securely submit bids, download contract documents and receive any addenda to the advertisement. Currently, contractors must provide a hard copy bid package to its State Highway Administration (SHA) in Hanover. Any minor error could result in disqualification of a bid.

The electronic bidding system will assist the state with bids that include bond verification, instant tabulation, a ranking of results and exportation of reports. The SHA also saves five days in the process and $68,000 a year because they will no longer need to send documents to off for data entry.
Upcoming contracting opportunities

The City of Columbia is beginning a nearly $85 million renovation project at its Canal Water Treatment Plant and in the Columbia Canal. The storage tanks at the Canal plant are more than 100 years old. They have had work done to them through the years, but the last major upgrades were in the 1960s. The storage tanks will be rebuilt in place, but will be designed to hold more water. The Canal Water Treatment Plant is one of two plants serving the city. Bids on the $45 million upgrade begins this month and the city hopes to begin construction in the spring and wrap up the project by 2019. The plant's renovations are a separate project from the impending repair of the Columbia Canal, which breached during the historic flooding in 2015. The federal government would likely fund most of the bill for repair of the 60-foot breach in canal, which is estimated to cost $40 million.

Washington, D.C.'s sports and convention agency has proposed a plan to turn several parking lots around the stadium into three multi-purpose athletic fields for youth sports, a food market and an indoor sports complex that could feature
lacrosse, paintball, bowling, go carts, video gaming, trampolines and batting cages. Plans also include three pedestrian bridges and a new memorial to the late Robert F. Kennedy. The cost of the project is $490 million. The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial stadium sits on federal land, is administered by the National Park Service and is owned by the District, which has a lease on the land through 2038. The facility is home to 12 professional sports teams.

The city of San Francisco is looking at the cost of modifying their seawalls to make them more resistant to seismic activity. A seismic retrofitting is estimated to cost $3 billion, but an additional $2 billion would also be needed to help mitigate the impact of rising seas levels. Scientists estimate that there's a 72 percent likelihood of San Francisco having an earthquake similar in strength to that of 1906 within the next 30 years. A seawall breach could cause over $3 billion per year in repair costs, damaged buildings and lost tourism revenue. The city has already set aside $8 million to study what the entire seawall retrofit project will eventually cost. If the request is approved by the city, a $350 million general obligation bond will then go to voters as a potential ballot measure in November 2018.

Several tollways, bridges and roads in Illinois are under construction and getting repairs in 2017 at a cost of $1.7 billion. The funds will pay for construction on the Illinois Route 390 Tollway, the 490 Tollway for the Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project and the reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway. The billion-dollar cost will also pay for SmartRoad technology and improvements on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Funds will be set aside for future tollway repairs and technology, implementation and maintenance supporting toll account management. Also included are funds to support an enterprise resource planning system.

The second phase of the Purple Line subway in Los Angeles, Ca. is on track and moving forward after receiving new grants and loans by federal and local officials in the amount of $1.6 billion. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) project will extend the the Purple Line about 2.6 miles and will offer additional subway stops along Wilshire Boulevard between downtown Los Angeles and Century City. Funding will include a $1.187 billion construction grant through the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant program along with a $307 million loan from the Department of Transportation. MTA will also receive $169 million in federal funding to alleviate congestion and address air quality. The federal dollars will be added to $836 million in local matching revenues from Measure R and Measure M, sales tax increases approved by voters, bringing the budget for the second section to about $2.5 billion. The third and final section of the project, which will bring the Purple Line to UCLA's Westwood campus and the Veteran's Administration Hospital, is currently being planned. The project is slated to be completed in 2035 but could be accelerated by possible private partnerships.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) rail line is in need of upgrades and federal grant money totaling nearly $1.1 billion will go towards its improvement. The funding will cover the reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Stations, the overhaul of about a mile of nearby tracks and will support the creation of a new flyover for northbound Brown Line trains just north of Belmont Avenue. The flyover will allow the CTA to run up to 15 additional trains per hour on the Red, Purple and Brown lines. Construction on the nearly 100-year-old tracks is tentatively slated to begin in late 2018 and will take four or five years to complete. The reconstruction project is expected to create about 6,000 jobs.
Plans to transform New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) into a new state-of-the-art facility will cost $10 billion. A projected $7 billion to $8 billion will be used to renovate the airport and the remaining $2 billion will be spent on road work. The expansion and redevelopment will include an interconnected terminal layout, centralized parking lots, increased flights, new lanes on the Van Wyck Expressway, reorganizing the Kew Gardens Interchange and state-of-the-art security. Possible funding up to $7 billion in private equity could be raised for the redevelopment. The state is studying the feasibility of creating a "one-seat ride" to the airport from Manhattan to Queens, meaning that travelers wouldn't have to transfer from subway to air train. The cost of such mass transit has yet to be determined.
Andrew M. Cuomo
In his regional State of the State speech, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo shared his proposal to invest $2 billion in statewide water infrastructure improvements. The funding would be put towards upgrading filtration systems to eliminate contaminates, improve the longevity of wastewater treatment facilities and prevent runoff. "We want to fund state of the art drinking water treatment systems that filter out all potential chemicals that could be toxic and dangerous, failing infrastructure pipes and protect drinking water at its source," Gov. Cuomo said in his speech. Upgrades to the drinking water would include cleaning the water of lead and connecting areas still on well water with public water systems. Improvements on the wastewater side would include upgrades to increase capacity at wastewater plants and connecting septic customers in more densely populated areas with sewer systems. This expense would the largest the state has ever made in revitalizing its drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
The Oakland Raiders football team has considered a move to Las Vegas and the city is ready to spend $1.9 billion to try and seal the deal. The state plans to approve $750 million for the new stadium. Raiders owner Mark Davis has pledged $500 million and a local casino owner would contribute $650 million. The venue's 65,000 seats would fit inside a bowl-shaped form, which would have an open side to the north and be topped with a transparent roof. Constructing the venue would provide economic benefits from in-season games and would also put Las Vegas on the list as a location for the annual Super Bowl event- which would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Oakland city officials want to keep the Raiders in California and presented plans in December to replace the Okland-Alameda County Coliseum, which the Raiders have called home since 1966, with a $1.3 billion facility. 

News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

A P3/PPP could bring a soccer stadium to Indiana or Kentucky
New Albany, Ind. officials want to accommodate a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, estimated to cost up to $30 million, by way of a public-private partnership, but construction of a venue in Louisville, Ky., is still an option.The Louisville City Football Club, a minor league soccer team that plays at Louisville's Slugger Field, is considering building its planned stadium with government officials and is actively courting city leaders for the project. Within the next 45 to 60 days, the club will get the renderings and details on stadium costs and financing options. Team owners hope to announce the project before the end of the first quarter and begin demolition in the second quarter. If all goes as planned, the club could begin hosting games at its new home in summer or fall of 2019.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is planning a public-private partnership with a Delaware developer to build a three-story parking garage next to the Wilmington train station. The plan calls for a bus staging area on the ground floor of a two- or three-story garage. Upper levels would accommodate public parking and rental cars.
The Wilmington train station serves passengers using Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority regional rail trains bound for Philadelphia and Amtrak intercity trains along the Northeast Corridor.

New Mexico's GrowBio initiative was launched in December and its founders are working to grow the biotechnology industry through public-private partnerships (P3/PPP). Officials plan to choose a central, statewide bioscience authority, or center, with public and private industry initiatives and programs. New Mexico's bioscience industry garnered about $1.2 billion in revenue in 2015. That's according to a new report from GrowBio, an initiative headed by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Albuquerque Economic Development Department. Bioscience products and services will remain one of the fastest-growing markets over the next 20 to 30 years, according to the GrowBio report. It states that biomechanical engineering jobs are expected to grow by 35 percent through 2024.

A business that specializes in diversified correctional community reentry services has agreed to a public-private partnership with Charlton County, Ga., and the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). The company will manage an existing 780-bed facility at the Folkston ICE Processing Center in Folkston, Ga.The processing center will begin accepting detainees in 2017 and the contract is estimated to generate $21 million in revenues for the reentry services business, which has been in a public-private partnership with ICE since the 1980s.

City officials in Scranton, Pa. are deciding whether to try and manage the city stormwater  system by partnering with other municipalities, entering into a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) or managing the system on their own. A water company recently purchased the Scranton Sewer Authority system for $195 million. The water company purchased the sewer and combined sewer overflows, which does not include lines that contain only stormwater. As a result, the city is responsible for stormwater management. The sewer system serves Scranton and Dunmore.
A groundbreaking took place Dec. 28 for the Central New Mexico Rail Park in Los Lunas. The project is a public-private partnership between a real estate investment firm, Bernalillo County and the village of Los Lunas that will support the 1,627-acre rail park. The first phase of development includes 400-acres for a warehouse, manufacturing and distribution center, which is estimated to cost around $25 million. As the rail park reaches completion, anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 jobs will be available for positions in transport, shipping, warehouse, assembly, and manufacturing. Bernalillo County commissioners approved a $400,000 Local Economic Development Act grant for construction of a rail spur into the park. The BNSF spur is scheduled to be built by summer and the rail park train traffic is expected to start with two to three trains per week, but the goal is one train per day.

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