Volume 9, Issue 5 - February 1, 2017
Data is flying to the cloud so fast, one might wonder if the skies can hold it all!
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
People are now outnumbered by internet-connected devices and every device has data that must be collected, maintained, transmitted, stored and protected. Most of the data goes directly to what is called "the cloud."

We live in a world where the care and storage of data has become a major responsibility, and one that is continually becoming more robust. Decisions related to data storage are all-consuming for government, businesses and organizations.

Almost all public officials throughout the U.S. struggle with outdated equipment and increased data storage requirements. Cloud infrastructure has become attractive because it allows the flexibility of improved system management and data storage as well as reduced costs. Many CIOs claim that cloud computing is less expensive, safer and more reliable. It does away with the requirements to purchase more servers and other equipment. But, there are many other CIOs who are not ready to store all data in the cloud and these professionals are passionate about their desire to have options. They want to be able to make their own decisions as they factor in the individual needs of the public organization they represent.

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In September of 2016, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which provides regulatory guidelines for autonomous vehicle development. While autonomous technologies have been rapidly advancing in recent years, regulatory laws had not kept pace. This policy resolves the regulatory uncertainty and provides a clear roadmap for deploying autonomous vehicles on public roadways. 

 Along with the policy was a final enforcement guidance bulletin by the NHTSA clarifying how its recall authority will apply to automated vehicle technologies. It emphasized that semi-autonomous driving systems that fail to adequately account for the possibility that a distracted or inattentive driver-occupant might fail to retake control of the vehicle in a safety-critical situation may be defined as an unreasonable risk to safety and subject to recall.

"Ninety-four percent of crashes on U.S. roadways are caused by a human choice or error," said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. "We are moving forward on the safe deployment of automated technologies because of the enormous promise they hold to address the overwhelming majority of crashes and save lives." DOT states that they plan to update this policy annually.

Recently, the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) hosted a webinar to discuss successful P3 engagements with cities. The webinar was presented at the request of the Texas Municipal League for its members, but since all parties agreed that the content is pertinent to public officials throughout the U.S, the webinar in its entirety is now available on the AIAI website

Panelists included Rodney Moss, Sr. Vice President for Aon Risk Solutions, Chris Guthkelch from Skanska Infrastructure Development Group, Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc. and Marshall Macomber, President of Think P3. AIAI has made the webinar available because the organization fields many calls for information, guidance and assistance from public officials throughout the country. AIAI has provided contact information in case public officials have questions after hearing the presentations. AIAI - P3 Direct Hotline 202.836.8820, P3direct@aiai-infra.org.  

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Rockford aldermen recently reviewed the 2017 Capital Improvement Program plan, which aims to create a systematic approach to improving the infrastructure of the Illinois city. The $22.5 million plan intends to utilize private, state and federal investments in order to create infrastructure for public use. 

The funds would be provided from motor fuel taxes and an infrastructure sales tax, with the funds being allocated to projects including road resurfacing, stormwater drainage and sidewalk improvements. One of the proposed projects is a $900,000 resurfacing of Spring Creek Road. Another is a utility relocation from 9th to 20th Street at a cost of $720,000. The entire plan could potentially be sent to the Rockford City Council in two weeks.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a request for information from potential industry sources of maintenance support services to provide input regarding upkeep assistance for the Real-Time Location System (RTLS), which will serve as an entity within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 10 (VISN 10). Interested vendors are required to turn in a technical capability summary, knowledge of the RTLS platform and an approach for the establishment of partnerships with RTLS maintenance and other software providers. 

RTLS is intended to be an industry-wide system implemented under VISN 10 that will work to track items used to reduce healthcare asset management costs and increase patient care quality. The scope of work will cover a variety of services to support three RTLS applications in seven facilities in the states of Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. These three RTLS application areas will include asset tracking, sterile processing work, and radio frequency identification-enabled cardiac catheterization supply cabinets. Source responses are due by Feb. 3.
NASA has requested input on their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer program solicitations. These bids offer federal research and development funding opportunities for small businesses. NASA has indicated that it will use this feedback to create ways that will allow the space agency to have greater partnerships with industry. 

NASA is also calling for proposals of outreach and education initiatives, the solicitation process and other related areas. This request for information will bolster the industry engagement that began with a Subtopic Workshop conducted in September 2016. There is also a request for proposal ideas for new subtopics that will help NASA partner with the broader commercial aerospace industry. Interested entities can submit information via the SBIR website until Feb. 28.
Iowa's Sioux City School District has released bids for the final phase of construction of the new Bryant Elementary building. The Sioux City School Board unanimously approved the bids for the estimated $16,030,468 project. 

Representatives from an architect firm presented updated plans of the new building to be located on the former Bryant Elementary site. The plans include an area for student drop-off and pick-up before and after school, classrooms, a commons area and a new gymnasium. The deadline for bids is Feb. 21, and the bids are scheduled to be approved by the board on Feb. 27.
South Dakota State University in Brookings is undergoing major changes as administrators look to expand and remodel to attract future students. In the summer, the school will be breaking ground on the Wellness Center project, a 37,000-square foot addition to provide court storage, racquetball courts, laundry maintenance, exercise studio, as well as a new lobby and entryway. Another major addition will be added to Frost Arena. 

Facilities and services vice-president Dean Kattelman has stated that this is phase one of a three phase project, with phases two and three being done simultaneously in the future. Currently, two additional projects are awaiting approval from the South Dakota State Legislature. The projects include an addition and renovation of the Stanley Marshal building and the construction of a new Natural Resources and Research Support Facility.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) are working to finalize a public-private partnership to construct the Wilmington Transit Center on state-owned land just east of Walnut Street and north of Front Street, adjacent to Wilmington's Biden Station. The private entity would design, build, maintain and operate a parking and transit facility by way of lease. 

DTC would have at least nine bus bays on the ground floor of the parking deck, an area for bus staging, accommodations for future electric bus recharging, bus operator facilities, public kiosk for transit ticketing/information, rental car parking and additional public parking availability. Based on the success of the project, there may be an opportunity for revenue sharing. The final proposal is due March 7, 2017 and the transit center could open as early as spring 2019.
An industry that once dominated the economy in West Virginia is now costing the state $4.5 billion to clean up. More than 3,300 coal mining sites remain abandoned since 1977. Federal officials have only one-third of West Virginia's proposed cleanup costs on their $7 billion national list of high-priority work. The sites include old mines that leak acidic water into streams and dangerous holes that attract children. 

The state will receive $23.3 million from the federal reclamation fund this year, which is provided by fees on mining companies. This funding has decreased over the past three years due to the plummeting of coal production. It will cost about $1 billion to put out the 43 fires in West Virginia's abandoned mines. These fires could have been potentially caused by forest fires, arson, lightning strikes or even old underground explosions that never went completely out. The federal program is scheduled by law to expire in 2021, and will leave about $2.5 billion in a trust fund which will help to pay for the ongoing work needed by 25 states and three Indian tribes to address problems from those coal mines.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has proposed a $32.2 billion 2017-2026 capital plan to modernize and provide repairs at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Stewart, and Atlantic City International airports. 

The proposed plan dedicates $11.6 billion, or 36 percent of the total plan, to airport modernization and improvements, including funding for new terminals, infrastructure and critical state-of-good-repair work. The proposed Port Authority investment will also catalyze billions of dollars of private-sector investment at the airports by airlines, cargo companies, and other private sector participants. The plan is available for public review and comment prior to a board vote by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners on Feb. 16.
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated more than $127 million to 49 projects to maintain the state's infrastructure systems. More than $25 million of the allocated funds have been designated for freight and rail transit projects to improve service and safety. 

An amount of $23 million has been allocated to Segment 4 of the Stockton-Escalon Double Track Project. The funds for this project will construct 5.7 miles of double track in San Joaquin County. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority received $1.9 million to improve the Los Angeles Union Station which will allow Red and Purple subway lines to offer more frequent service to the city. The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority received $720,000 to allocate towards the construction of two separate grade separations in Yuma and San Bernardino.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $122 million plan to add security and modernize terminals for the Staten Island Ferry. The funds are a part of de Blasio's 10-year capital plan. $11 million of the new funds will be dedicated to improving security, including new cameras in the terminal and piers, new identification readers for workers and replacing and upgrading vehicle barriers at the St. George Ferry Terminal. 

The largest part of the funds will go towards building new arrestors, designed to control ships when entering slips. Another $34 million will be used to fully reconstruct racks that guide boats into docks, $7 million for other slip related renovations, $11 million for St. George terminal repairs and $7 million for dock building.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the allocation of $81.9 million to fund sixteen Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) water, wastewater and non-point source projects across twelve counties. The funding for the projects comes from a combination of state funds, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. 

The Horsham Water and Sewer Authority of Montgomery County received a $10 million for treatment systems for the five existing drinking water wells and to install new water distribution lines to residents of Horsham whose private wells are subject to contamination by chemical run-off from the nearby military base. The New Castle Sanitation Authority of Lawrence County received an $11 million loan to construct nearly 42 miles of sewage collection and to eliminate discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage into publicly accessible areas. The Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority received a $17.3 million loan to construct almost four miles of new sewage collection lines and to make other improvements to its sewage collection system that will eliminate sewage overflows into Brush Creek that now occur in wet weather. Additional projects can be found on the PENNVEST website.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that $800,000 in state funds will be dedicated to help the City of Chicago conduct bridge inspections. The state funds will be matched by $3.2 million in federal funds. Altogether, there will be $4 million in funds to provide the necessary resources to conduct inspections on bridges and to identify areas for future improvements.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded a $1.4 billion contract to a joint venture led by a civil and building construction company that will build the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway through Beverly Hills and into Century City. 

In early January, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $1.5 billion in new federal grants and loans to help with the construction of the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway. The total budget for this phase has been set at $2.4 billion. Separate from this contract is $1.3 billion project with the Foothill/Gold Line Construction Authority. Work on the Gold Line extension through the eastern San Gabriel Valley to Montclair will be completed by 2026. This extension will include six stations between Glendora and Montclair in San Bernardino County. The authority plans to choose a contractor for the project in 2018.
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and MDOT's electricity supplier are celebrating the initial success of a Public-Private Partnership (P3/PPP) to upgrade freeway lighting. The program was launched in August 2015, and it was the USA's first P3 project solely contributing to freeway lighting. The contract also contained an agreement to upgrade freeway lights in Detroit's tri-county area.  

At the time of the program's launch, only about 70% of the approximately 15,000 freeway lights in the Detroit metropolitan area were working. The P3 contract is supposed to work over a 15-year time frame and mandated the replacement of the outdated lights with energy-efficient LED lights in the first two years. This lighting upgrade is expected to save an estimated $2 million in energy costs in 2017. There was a $1 million rebate check given to MDOT to help offset the cost of the department's investment in energy efficiency improvements.
In an effort to pursue innovative solutions to Louisiana's transportation issues, the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to accelerate major enhancements to the I-10 corridor through a public-private partnership (P3/PPP). 

The responses to this RFI will be the first step in developing a potential solicitation for the corridor enhancements. The DOTD, while previously unable to pursue P3's, is now able to solicit them due to the changes in state law through ACT 519 of the 2016 Regular Session. The RFI is open for response from January 30 to March 31 and provides the scope of potential work and details the information requested.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is looking to the private sector to help fund a $139 million courthouse. The current courthouse is a 174-year-old historic building with limited space and security. If the Howard County Council approves the plan in March, the county will build the new 227,000-square-foot courthouse on county-owned land on Bendix Road in Columbia, Md. The project, which includes a 600-space parking garage and eight courtrooms, would open in 2021. 

The public-private partnership would include a 30-year contract with a private consortium of consultants who would handle the design, construction and maintenance of the site. The P3 project would cost $24 million less than the traditional method of financing through county-issued bonds. The council is leaning towards a hybrid P3 model in which the county and the private sector split the costs of the project evenly while ensuring operation and maintenance costs remain predictable and affordable over time.
Calendar of Events

The 2017 Public-Private Partnership Conference & Expo (P3C) will be held Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas. The P3C offers education and networking opportunities to professionals exploring P3s and want to better understand how the model can address their project delivery needs. 

An audience of over 1,200 senior government leaders, higher education officers, and industry development professionals provides a unique opportunity to network with prospective partners and clients in a development focused forum.

The 2017 program will examine trends in P3 delivery, provide granular case studies, host conversations with project owners and stakeholders, and explores best practices and lessons learned. Visit  the website to learn more and to register for the event. 
Join CityAge for "Build the Future" on Feb. 22 and 23 at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

The conference provides an opportunity to understand and identify key markets and emerging opportunities; meet industry and government leaders; visit key markets and key contacts; and build collaboration and communication among individuals, organizations, professions, sectors and cities around the world.

CityAge is a platform for ideas and business development, designed to enable new partnerships among the business, government and societal decision makers who are building the 21st Century. Register here for the event. 
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Note to media: Need expert commentary on procurement issues relating to public-sector entities, public-private partnerships (PPPs/P3s), state agencies or decision-makers? Give us a call at (512) 531-3900, and we'll arrange an interview for you with one of our experts.

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