Volume 10, Issue 2- January 10, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
President Trump recently signed the Modernizing Government Technology Act into law as part of an amendment to the defense bill. This statute now allows federal agencies to reprogram unused IT budget allocations to fund modernization projects. While this action only targets federal agencies, it is indicative of what is happening at the state and local levels of government. Technology modernization has become a critical priority at all levels of government. Lots of resources, time, effort and funding will be dedicated to modernization of legacy systems in the coming months. 

Old methods, dated technology, computer systems and outdated application programs are often referred to as legacy systems. Operating on old applications is not only inefficient, but it is also grossly insecure. Old code leaves data vulnerable to cyberattacks and government officials know that they must make large commitments to modernization efforts in 2018.  

In 2017, state agencies spent $108 billion on technology. That amount is expected to increase 4 percent to $112 billion in 2018. At the municipal level of government, the focus has been on smart city solutions which are ideally built on strong and modern technology systems. The smart city applications cannot be implemented on most old legacy systems.  

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As the nation's bridges continue to age, states hope the federal government will provide increased resources to repair and rebuild them. Legislation recently introduced from the United States Senate would provide $75 billion over the next 10 years into a new competitive grant program for repairing bridges. The Bridge Investment Act, introduced Jan. 4, would provide resources to improve the safety and performance of structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges. This designation applies to 23 percent of the U.S. bridge network. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the United States has a $123 billion bridge repair backlog, including $17 billion in needed improvements to rural and local bridges.  

The Bridge Investment Act also would help repair bridges of any size in urban and rural areas, require all projects to use American-made steel and iron for bridge projects funded by the bill; and streamline the project application process for a variety of entities allowed to seek grants by bundling medium and small projects into one application. 

Mississippi lawmakers are taking action on bridges this legislative session. The proposals include $50 million in bonds and redirecting 50 percent of the growth in years the economy grows by more than 2 percent. Another would devote a portion of voluntary online sales tax collections to roads and bridges. 

UPCOMING CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES

Maryland- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced $461 million worth of transportation projects for the Baltimore region. Inner and outer loops of Interstate 695 from I-70 to Maryland 43, will shift the inside shoulder into a new available lane of traffic. The 19-mile project will cost $151 million. The design and construction of a new configuration of the I-695 and I-70 interchange will cost $210 million. The extension of the northbound I-95 Express Toll Lanes for 7.75 miles from north of MD 43 in Baltimore County to MD 24 in Hartford County will cost $210 million.
Illinois- The city of Waukegan has issued a request for proposals, asking planning firms and other companies to submit their ideas on how they would guide the city through the process of updating its comprehensive land-use plan. 

Proposals are due on Feb. 21 and will be reviewed by city staff and a steering committee established by the mayor. The review will take place from late February through March, with interviews of the finalist firms to follow in March and April. The consultant would be picked in April so the project can kick off in May. The plan itself could take about 18 months to create and would involve various public and stakeholder meetings.
Indiana- Bidding is open through Jan. 31 for the new Indianapolis-Marion County Community Justice Campus. The facility is expected to take up 40-plus acres in the Twin Aire neighborhood. City of Indianapolis officials have split the construction projects for the jailhouse and courthouse. The city will hire two teams to work separately on those two projects using the build-design delivery method. 

The plans detail a jailhouse that consolidates jails I and II, the Arrestee Processing Center and Hope Hall inside the city county building. The courthouse consolidates Marion County civil, criminal, juvenile and probate courts. Another building will provide office space and the fourth building will provide space for the Mental Health Assessment and Intervention.
Georgia- The city of Atlanta has issued a request for proposals (RFP) as part of the Atlanta SmartCity Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. Proposals are due by Jan. 25. The RFP outlines several initiatives Atlanta hopes to pursue, including fiber deployment, increased Wi-Fi connectivity, interactive digital information kiosks, smart traffic infrastructure, smart lighting, smart fleet optimization and smart water meters. 

The city has focused on its mobility, public safety, environment, city operations efficiency and public and business engagement through its SmartATL program. This RFP will help Atlanta develop a more comprehensive smart city roadmap.
New York- The Rome School District will seek proposals for architectural services from businesses for future renovation projects. The change to a request for proposals (RFP) process was recommended by a board ad-hoc committee that reviewed service contract arrangements. The school board approved the RFP and a committee recommendation to change procedures for using attorneys. The board also unanimously approved recommendations calling for no changes in contract procedures for bond counsel, fiscal adviser and insurance services. 

Formation of the ad-hoc committee had been approved by the board after some members had questioned whether better providers could be found for some service contracts. For the service contract change involving attorneys, an RFP can be conducted for legal services involving about two days a week for labor-related functions such as personnel and contractual matters. Such changes could help resolve the position of the district's director of employee relations who is due to retire in June.
Pennsylvania- The city of Wilkes-Barre has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the software and another for the service to continue their coin-fed parking meters and add pay-by-phone service. Both proposals have a deadline of Feb. 1. The service will allow patrons to electronically pay to park at meters owned or operated by the city and track and manage their accounts on the vendor's website. Parking enforcement personnel can track and verify payments in real time through hand-held mobile devices connected to the web. 

Fees collected will be deposited in a vendor's dedicated account and disbursed to the city. The vendor will be able to institute a new process to ensure citations are paid timely and provide a new system to increase payment compliance. The city has 887 metered on-street parking spaces and has budgeted $1 million this year in meter revenue.
NEWS ABOUT NATIONAL P3s

Virginia- Leesburg Executive Airport debuted its proposed 20-year master plan that focuses on using about 40 acres of undeveloped land on the airport's west side. The airport intends to use the land to attract more business tenants to the airport. 

In addition, the plan calls for a new entrance to be created on the west side of the airport as well as large commercial hangars and an extension of taxiways. To construct hangars, the airport plans a public-private partnership (P3) or will lease the land to a company or developer. The airport expects to almost double the number of aircraft based at the airport over the next 20 years.
Maryland- The Frederick Police Department issued a request for information (RFI) to property owners located downtown with land, acreage or buildings that meet the criteria for a new police headquarters. Interested parties have until March 30 to respond. At the close of the deadline, task force members, who include representatives from the police department and various government and community groups, will evaluate the responses and provide a list to an architectural and engineering firm to develop a formal request for proposals. 

For the RFI, architects recommended a 59,140-square-foot facility for an estimated $17.2 million. Some of the criteria include enough space for a one-story, 60,000-square-foot building or two-story building with a 38,000-square-foot first floor and a second floor of at least 22,000 square feet. The space should also accommodate 270 to 340 parking spaces. Task force members are exploring several financing options, including a public-private partnership, long-term lease or lease to own.
Kentucky- According to P3 Kentucky, there was a spike in local public-private partnership projects in 2017 and the trend is likely to continue in 2018. Both Lexington and Louisville have plans for expanding government facilities using public-private partnerships. Louisville has issued a request for proposals to commission a consultant to study two of its downtown buildings, assess space needs and make P3 recommendations based on those needs. 

Louisville is also considering a partnership for the development of its city hall lot. Lexington recently announced plans to partner with a private company to finance, design, develop, construct, lease, maintain and operate a new Government Center. Currently, the city spends $4 million annually to operate five downtown buildings and the creation of a government center would significantly reduce this cost.
Virginia- Last week residents of Bristol got their first look at five possible sites for a new elementary school. The district intends to build the new school through a public-private partnership (P3), under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002. The district's portion of costs would be paid for through the savings of closing three existing schools and consolidating its students. 

The five proposed sites include The Van Pelt Elementary site, King Mill Pike- at the intersection with Shakesville Road, Lavinia Street, Long Crescent Road facing Interstate 81 and King Mill Pike- behind the Whiten Hills subdivision. Cost estimates for purchasing new land run between $169,000 and $275,000. The district is expected to host three more public hearings before making their decision.
New Jersey- High commuter, bus and pedestrian traffic volume sometimes makes the Walter Rand Transportation Center an extremely congested place. However, the city of Camden intends to overhaul the area for growth with a new transportation center. 

An engineering firm has provided a design that would include 25 bus bays which would be located off the street and under cover for safe boarding and transfers and a walking bridge over traffic to the nearby Port Authority Transport Corporation Hi-Speedline station. Preliminary costs for the center range from $150 million to $175 million. There is also a need for street-level improvements and city officials have looked at future possibilities such as a mixed-use hub. The city is considering a public-private partnership to finance the much-needed projects.
Virginia- York County has relied on the use of smaller neighboring county's morgues for years but that is about to change. The county is considering the creation of a morgue through the use of a public-private partnership (P3). York County only has eight adult spaces and a walk-in area to store those who have passed at York's hospital morgue. The county coroner and hospital share those spaces. 

Relying on surrounding counties is no longer possible due to limits in refrigeration space. The cost of a new morgue is estimated between $2 million and $7 million depending on size. The county expects to have plans for their new facility by summer 2018.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Feb. 26-28
The Public-Private Partnership Conference & Expo 2018 will be held Feb. 26-28 in the Downtown Dallas Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, 400 N. Olive Street. The conference will present a series of keynote speakers, case studies, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. Attendees with little experience in the development and operation of the P3 model will benefit from industry experts presenting their knowledge, and valuable insights into market trends crucial for business decisions. 

More than 125 leading practitioners will present firsthand observations of P3 projects of all sizes in different markets from around the country. There will be in-depth roundtable discussions for public sector delegates who want to discuss P3 issues in a more candid and interactive forum. The P3 conference attracts senior management from firms in the construction, engineering, architecture, legal and consulting industries as well as public leaders, higher education officers and development agency officials at the municipal, state and federal levels of government. Registration is open for the conference here. View some details of the events here
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