Volume 9, Issue 11 - March 15, 2017
Most taxpayers are totally unaware of this looming problem!
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
City, county and state officials are watching a gathering storm carefully. It's potentially ominous... and it is capable of making a direct hit on any governmental jurisdiction in the U.S.! 

A backlog of deferred maintenance threatens to wreak havoc on credit ratings and create enough chaos to generate dangerous scrutiny for elected officials. There are recent reports of billion-dollar backlogs of deferred maintenance at all jurisdictional levels and few, if any, states are exempt. This is not good for government - and especially not good for taxpayers - because the problem will only escalate with time. 

Deferring maintenance is somewhat like the "check engine light" blinking on a vehicle's dashboard. The car or truck may be fine for a few days but eventually it will require service. And, if ignored, the vehicle will cease to function and completely shut down. Failure to address deferred maintenance is not only dangerous; it is foolish and very costly. Elected officials may not yet see blinking lights on a dashboard but they are well aware of the problem. Taxpayers, however, may be totally in the dark when it comes to this issue.

In This Issue
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Is it our responsibility to save the environment for future generations? Most of us make small efforts each day or go to great extremes to keep the Earth healthy. When did we become so green-minded? In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced Energy Star as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. Today, the Energy Star label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes, commercial and industrial buildings and plants. 

Energy Star has partnered with over 18,000 private and public sector organizations delivering technological innovations such as efficient fluorescent lighting and low standby energy-use equipment. 

An industry that erects structures became more aware of the materials they were placing on virgin land around 1993, when Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried and Mike Italiano established the United States Green Building Council. The council evaluates the environmental performance of a building and encourages market transformation towards sustainable design.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Alabama- The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved construction of a $39.5 million College of Arts and Sciences Building at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Construction bids will be requested in the spring of 2017 and final approvals will take place in June. The 160,000-square-foot facility will be located on the corner of 10th Avenue South and 14th Street South. 

The building will have two wings and include a 300-seat auditorium. The new building will replace the UAB Humanities Building. The building will house the anthropology, computer and information sciences, English, foreign languages and literature, mathematics, philosophy and social work departments. The building will also include performance space, administrative support offices and a storm shelter.
Tennessee- Knox County is expected to issue $99 million in bonds for multiple construction and repair projects, including the construction of two new middle schools. The Knox County five-year capital plan allocated $98,220,000 for these projects. $63.75 million will be allocated for building middle schools in Gibbs and Hardin Valley communities and $34.47 million will be used for various projects throughout the county. 

Knox County will provide $9 million to help with the cost of building a school in the Gibbs community. In addition, there has been $10.5 million dedicated to an energy management project that is expected to generate about $6 million in energy savings in the short term. The project would replace light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs, improve windows, install solar panels and replace HVAC components. Renovations to county buildings will cost $1.1 million and $9.5 million will be used for highway improvements.
Chris Christie
New Jersey- New Jersey colleges and universities will receive $34 million for facility improvements based on a law signed by Gov. Chris Christie. The improvements include the renovation of an academic hall at William Paterson University and the transformation of a vacant warehouse belonging to Passaic County Community College into a technology center. 

The money comes from a $750 million general obligation bond issue that voters approved in 2012 as a part of the Building Our Future Bond Act. The bond issue dedicated $300 million to state colleges and universities, county colleges and private institutions. The $34 million will be added to the $146 million that was already allocated last year through the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund for projects at Rutgers, Montclair State University, Ramapo College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Felician University and other institutions.
Florida- The Bay Tourist Development Council (TDC) approved a request for proposal (RFP) for a new sports park which is projected to open in the spring 2018. Firms first will submit their qualifications to perform the job and then a cost estimate. The TDC will weigh both in picking a firm to build the estimated $30 million project. 

Design plans include a new 210-acre, 13-field sports park that will include large-scale soccer events, lacrosse, football tournaments and spring training for northern teams. Until the park is completed in spring 2018, Panama City Beach's top asset is Frank Brown Park, which recently underwent a $4.5 million renovation.
Canada/United States-The Niagara Parks Commission is seeking request for proposals for a project to create a waterfront development 14 miles south of Horseshow Falls in Fort Erie. The waterfront location includes the marina and adjacent 64 mile property and will provide boaters with the chance to navigate hundreds of miles of lakes, rivers, and canals in Canada and the United States. 

The waterfront development will be established under a performance-based long term lease. The Commission is looking for innovation, ecological sustainability, high quality design, and strong fiscal responsibility in the proposals. Submission will be received through June 30.
Florida- A request for proposal is expected to be issued by the airport's Miami-Dade Aviation department for a concession management company by the end of the second quarter of 2017 to operate 41 retail and food and beverage locations in the central terminal. Currently, the agreements for concessions in the central terminal are monthly. 

The concession management company will oversee 53,679-square-feet of the airport's central terminal with 29 retail and 12 food and beverage locations. The company that is awarded the bid would have to provide two years of transition build out and eight years of operations. In addition, the company is expected to be involved in financing, designing, leasing, tenant coordination, construction and property management of the facilities. Bids will be evaluated based on the proposed minimum annual guarantee and percentage fees. 

The proposed long term central terminal redevelopment program is not expected to begin until 2025 or later, based on the availability of funds. The long-term program seeks to make all gates capable of serving domestic and international flights meaning that both duty free and domestic shopping concessions would be included in the program.
New Jersey- A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued by the Morris County Improvement Authority seeking potential leasers of the Morris View Healthcare Center, a 283-bed county owned nursing home and sub-acute rehabilitation facility. 

The RFP calls for experienced private health care organizations to lease the 211,277-square-foot facility, including the transfer of the 283-licensed long term care beds through the New Jersey Department of Health. The county will retain ownership of the facility and to ensure high quality of care to the elderly and disabled residents, the county is considering specific patient care requirements within the RFP. Responses to the RFP are due back to the Morris County Improvement Authority by March 31, and a decision is expected to be made by April.
Pennsylvania- The City of Wilkes-Barre issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the marketing and sale of its properties and has set March 28 as the deadline for responses. The city's 2017 budget has a revenue line item of $50,000 from the sale of city-owned properties, including the former Hotel Sterling site and the former Weaver School site. The RFP seeks services such as advice and technical assistance for marketing and possible sale of city properties. The contract will last one year. 
Georgia- The City of Doraville is redeveloping a big portion of the city's landscape and has begun to incorporate their comprehensive development plan. The City of Doraville Comprehensive Plan 2017-2037 aims to connect businesses as well as create a mobility network. Currently, governmental facilities are in close proximity to each other but still remain disconnected on several sites. 

The plan seeks to change that by consolidating the city hall, civic center, police station, courthouse, library, and structured parking into one parcel. The current proposal would place the site across from the Doraville MARTA Station. Additionally, a new street will be created as a part of the city hall campus. The design of the campus area includes several mixed use buildings for residential, office and retail usage. 

Also part of the proposal is the extension of Flowers Park into a civic lawn with a landscaped detention pond, aquatic center, pavilion gazebo, playgrounds, public gathering place, and an amphitheater. The design phase is expected to begin soon but there is no current timeline for completion of the design phase. The timeline will become clearer as funding becomes available. The estimated cost for the project is $30 million.
Wisconsin- The state of Wisconsin has issued a request for proposals (RFP) under its Focus on Energy conservation and renewable program, seeking up to $20 million in new farm biodigester projects. Manure biodigesters, which process manure and produce useful byproducts while dealing with pathogens and odors, have been used by Wisconsin farmers. The biodigesters also produce biogas through microbial reactions that can be burned to produce electricity, provide heat and be processed for vehicle fuel. 

The dollar amount of the RFP would not cover widespread construction of biodigesters but can be seen as a support to attract private investment. The proposals are due in May. Focus on Energy has already invested $8 million to help fund 38 biodigesters which are used to generate electricity onsite by burning the biogas. That electricity can be fed into the grid and sold to the local utility. The RFP is geared towards parts of the state where manure is causing water quality problems.
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

Colorado- The Colorado Department of Transportation and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise have released the final request for proposals (RFP) for a public-private partnership to construct, maintain and operate the Central 70 Project. 

The project will add an additional express lane in each direction on I-70 from I-25 to Chambers Road. The project will also include the removal of a 54-year-old viaduct, lowering the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and the construction of a 4-acre park over the portion of lowered interstate. The final RFP sets expectations and standards for the project and outlines the contractual terms that the selected developer will need to follow. It will also be the document the four shortlisted teams will use to submit their bids this spring. A developer partner will be selected this summer.
Louisiana- Southern University is one of two licensed medical marijuana growers in Louisiana. The school is seeking a public-private partnership with an investor who can grow and produce marijuana into chewables, oils, pills or powders. 

Southern Ag Center officials will issue a request for proposals in March with a 30 to 45 day application period. The vendor will need to invest $5 to $7 million initially and conduct a seed-to-sale operation. Undeveloped land has been chosen at the school's Agricultural Research and Extension's Experiment Station in Baker.
Massachusetts- The federal government's launch of the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) project was announced last summer and late last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that $6.1 million had been awarded to US Ignite and Northeastern to oversee the $50 million project. 

The early goal for US Ignite and Northeastern is to solicit requests for proposals (RFP) from teams that match communities and cities with academic institutions. The teams will propose plans for advanced wireless platforms that put new types of network architectures and mixed-technology environments to the test. The goal is that these platforms will demonstrate the possibility of smart communities to connect new sensors to secure, high performance local networks to enable new civic-oriented applications and services. The hope is that networking technologies that support next generation applications in transportation, public safety and healthcare will be developed. 

There is not an official timeline currently but the PAWR Project Office has already started to put together its RFP. The goal is to have the first PAWRs operating by late 2019 or early 2020. The NSF views the creation of the PAWR Project Office as the first step in establishing a long term, public private partnership. The PAWR Project Office will solicit research proposals, manage platform deployments, and document program results over the next seven years. Four major US wireless carriers have already agreed to participate, as well as other major industry vendors.
South Dakota- The Community Development department of Sioux Falls is opening up a request for proposals for a public-private partnership to redevelop 1.6 acres owned by the city. 

The parcel of land is located in the uptown area of downtown Sioux Falls at 701 and 702 North Phillips Avenue. Ideas for the project can be submitted through April 14. A selection is expected this summer with an anticipated completion time frame of 2018.
Illinois- The future site of the South Suburban Airport could become a reality through a public-private partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation. A request for information has been released that asks a series of questions about the potential demand for the airport, its financial feasibility and ability to take on the project. 

The state purchased over 4,000 acres near the Will County village of Peotone. The property is located at the small, general aviation airport at Bult Field. Firms have 30 days to respond before a meeting in April, which would anticipate a request for proposals to become the state's private partner in developing and operating the airport. Additional information is available here.
Calendar of Events 

June 18-20
The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held June 18-20 at the Gaylord Hotel - National Harbor in Washington, D.C. The summit's theme "Grow with US" will highlight the
innovative business climate in the United States and feature investment opportunities from every corner of the country. Keynote speakers and panelists will lay out a clear roadmap of how businesses of any size, and any industry, can benefit and contribute to the U.S. economy. Register for the event here.
June 25-28
The Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo will take place June 25-28 at the Austin Convention Center. This Internet of Things technology trade show will include hands-on workshops and smart technology demonstrations. Areas of focus include connected buildings, urban mobility, advanced networks, governance, infrastructure, energy, resiliency, technology and data and citizen life. Register for the event here.
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