Volume 9, Issue 46- November 29, 2017
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Artificial intelligence (AI) - to many individuals, it is exciting. Others may find it frightening and to some it could be significantly disruptive. The way you feel about AI likely depends on where you live, how you work, your age and whether or not AI will threaten your career. 

Autonomous cars and public transit will be controlled by AI in the near future. Big data experts already use AI for analytics and research. Planners, teachers, consultants, law enforcement specialists and physicians are eager to get more help from AI. As artificial intelligence options increase, major changes will occur - especially in the workplace. 

The federal government and municipalities are both strong first adopters of AI. That is likely because both jurisdictional levels of government are struggling with decreased funding and AI offers cost savings.  

One statistic that will alarm government employees is this - a new report estimates the integration of AI systems into government may free up as many as 1.2 billion hours of work that are now being handled by humans. That translates into 30 percent of time that is now allocated to government employees. Currently 37 percent of cities are already using AI and 27 percent report that they plan to use it soon. New Jersey just hired its first Artificial Intelligence Officer, who will be tasked with implementing AI solutions.

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Raising the tax on gas consumption is adding extra revenue for states looking to fund infrastructure projects. Raising the gas tax could even be a possibility at the federal level but that has not happened in a very long time. The federal government currently taxes gas at 18.4-cents-per-gallon and diesel at 24.4 cents. The tax, which funds the Highway Trust Fund's (HTF) state allocations for transportation projects, has not been raised since 1993. The White House is revisiting an increase in the federal gas tax by 7 cents to pay for infrastructure improvements President Donald Trump promised to deliver on the campaign trail. 

 According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office, the HTF will run out of funds in the next 10 years if the gas tax remains the same and if there are no new revenue streams. Because the federal government is temporarily stalled on improving national infrastructure efforts, states have taken the initiative by raising their own gas taxes to pay for infrastructure projects. 

California added a 12-cents-per-gallon increase in the state's gas tax that began in November. The tax hike is expected to raise $5.2 billion a year over the next decade. This annual funding will be split between state highway and bridge fixes and local street and road repairs.


Wisconsin- The city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for marketing The Milwaukee Streetcar, a 2.1-mile starter streetcar system that will connect the Milwaukee Intermodal Station with the central business district and housing on the lower east side. Proposals are due by Dec. 22, and the initial contract is slated to begin in early 2018 and run for three years, with two possible one-year extensions. 

Construction of the first phase is underway, with service slated to begin in fall 2018. Respondents will be asked to provide proposals for a wide scope of services that include market research, website coordination, social media management, event management, advertising and branding. The RFP is located here.
Illinois- River Forest officials plan to build interest for the village's Lake Street and Park Avenue parcel. Rather than issue a standard request for proposals, the work group is recommending a request for qualifications and proposals (RFQ/P), which will seek developers with a preliminary vision for the site. The work group will host pre-submittal meetings with interested developers in February, proposals are due in March and work will begin by May. 

According to the RFQ/P, the site is made up of two village-owned properties and a privately-owned property. The owner has expressed willingness to include their property in the redevelopment. River Forest officials want this site to tie together the communities of River Forest and Oak Park.
Maryland-The Frederick Police Department Headquarters Site Selection Committee is searching for a new location for the city's police headquarters. The ad-hoc committee is tasked with issuing a request for information (RFI) for the project. The task force plans to meet weekly until the RFI is released and will accept responses for about 60 days. 

The architect hired to study the project encouraged the department to build a 59,140 square-foot facility which would cost an estimated $17.2 million. The task force has determined they will not include a set acreage but use major components instead. The task force will meet again on Dec. 1.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting feedback on their draft request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to provide a variety of services to the Hanford Site, better known as the Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract. The contract's estimated value is $4 billion over a period of 10 years. The contractor will provide site services, security and emergency services, information technology services, management of the Hazardous Material Management and Emergency Response training facility, and build future infrastructure to support operation of the waste treatment and immobilization plant. 

The current contract expires in May of 2019. The DOE anticipates awarding a contract that primarily includes cost-plus-award-fee contracting. The DOE plans to hold a pre-solicitation conference the week of Dec. 11, 2017. Additional information is available here.
VirginiaMembers of three leading city of Falls Church groups are moving ahead on the George Mason High School campus and 10-acre commercial development projects following the approval of a $120 million bond earlier this month. The timeline on the school begins with the school board issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for school design and construction. The next step is to approve a list of respondents by February and issue a request for proposals (RFP) for school design and construction. The final contract is slated to be approved by July 2018 and the final school design will be ready by July 2019, with the notice to commence with the construction also coming that month. City officials plan to open the new George Mason High School in the summer of 2021.  

The city council is simultaneously planning a 10-acre commercial development that would commence fall of 2021. Approval of the Comprehensive Plan modifications will be due by February 2018 and the issuance of an RFQ for economic development is also due in February. The project will require another $10 million bond to be approved in the May 2018 election. If approved, the city can issue an official RFP and work to obtain the rest of the financing needed to complete the project. 
Ohio- The Talawanda School District is seeking architects and engineers to demolish and add to the existing Maude Marshall Elementary School. The facility, excluding the 6,950-square-foot gymnasium, will be demolished to make way for the 42,800-square-foot additional space the district plans to construct. 

The new building will receive central air conditioning, updated sewage system and the infrastructure needed to incorporate technology in classrooms. School officials expect construction to begin in March of 2019 with an estimated completion date of August 2020. The project is currently budgeted at $10.8 million with $3 million coming from state funding. The request for qualifications can be viewed here.
Florida- The Miami Police Department issued a request for qualifications for an architect to design a new headquarters. The facility will include administrative offices, a central district substation, community meeting space, sufficient public and employee parking and property/evidence storage and crime lab. The proposal is due Jan. 9. 

Police officials want an iconic building of Miami that is modern and has at least a 50-year life of functionality. The current headquarters, built in 1975, has water leaks, mold and air-conditioning issues. The request for proposals is available here.

Maryland- Maryland's Department of Transportation is hosting a forum on Dec. 13 for companies to hear details of the planned public-private partnership (P3) to add express toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270. The meeting will provide more details on the P3 that will add four toll lanes in each direction at an estimated cost of $7.6 billion. 

Regular travel lanes on the highway would remain free. Under the agreement, a team of companies would design, build and finance the lanes' construction in exchange for operating the lanes and collecting toll revenues long-term. The state has a request for information out that is due Dec. 20.
Ohio- North Canton has renovation plans for its parks and recreation services and will cost $6.1 million. The plan includes creating outdoor performance spaces, expanded parking, new pavilions and a large community playground. The city is asking the state for capital budget funds to cover $2 million of the costs. The city would cover up to 10 percent of the bill and the remaining money would come through a public-private partnership. 

Bitzer Park will receive an outdoor performance space and Dogwood Park will add parking spaces, a 22,000-square-foot play area, restrooms and a performance space. The largest renovation would be the creation of an Art and Recreation District in the area of the current little league fields and the Walsh University district. Plans call for creating a natural amphitheater. It would seat about 354 people and be constructed of stone walls and seats. A nearby offsite area would be used for storage. The city will also build an open air, glass enclosed pavilion to seat about 300 people and could be used as a backup venue during bad weather.
Massachusetts- Barnstable County commissioners plan to send a letter to the region's federal delegation seeking a waiver which would allow for a public-private partnership agreement for the Route 6 eastbound rest area. A P3 would eliminate $40,000 in maintenance costs per year to operate restrooms during the tourist season. Local officials are interested in leasing the rest area to a commercial entity, such as a fast-food restaurant or convenience store, to operate and maintain. 

The property is owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, but a decision to lease the rest area falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Highway Administration. The potential lessee would be required to replace the existing bathroom facility, maintain it and keep it open to the public during the spring, summer and fall months. The rest area, which has a visitors center, attracted more than 100,000 people last summer.
Illinois- The Rock Island Preservation Society has requested a review of the 122-year-old county courthouse, hoping to secure its place on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

This designation would bring needed funds to the courthouse for renovation. If placed on the National Registry, a public-private partnership to renovate the building would qualify for a 20 percent tax credit, which may attract companies.
Michael Hancock
Colorado- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is considering the creation of an Office of Public-Private Partnerships (P3). The new office would attract, vet and oversee P3 deals and related projects such as the planned National Western Center redevelopment and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The P3 office would include approval by the Denver City Council on final contracts. The creation of a P3 office would be in line with recent P3 development projects such as the expanded U.S. 36, the upcoming I-70 widening and the new airport. 

Council members approved the contract extension with a consultant to further develop the plan. That contract extension, which still needs full council approval, had been delayed for several months while council members asked for more information. A proposal is expected in early 2018, and the 2018 budget includes $2.5 million in contingency funds to get the office up and running. Denver City Council will need to vote separately on the appropriation of those funds to start the work of the office.
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