Volume 10, Issue 41- Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
An infusion of $6 billion in federal funding for critical water infrastructure projects appears to be on the way to some very happy state and local officials. What a great gift! 

Congress last week passed America's Water Infrastructure Act (S.3021), which will result in federal funding for projects related to safer drinking water and sewer systems. The new statute also has funding for ports, harbors, dams, levees and flood control. The only thing holding the funding up now is President Trump's signature on the bill. That should happen soon.  

This is extremely good news for revenue-constrained state and local governments nationwide as the legislation will be used to fund long-overdue water infrastructure projects. Government leaders have been more than patient and some had to wonder if this funding would ever reach them.  

One provision in the bill is the reauthorization and expansion of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which is designed to leverage millions of dollars in funding from non-federal sources by providing long-term, low-interest supplemental loans. The WIFIA program offers a welcomed funding boost for projects related to water and wastewater treatment, drought prevention, water recycling and alternative water supply projects. The funds - $50 million authorized for 2021 and 2022 - can also be used to help defray the costs of engineering, design, environmental review, construction and rehabilitation.  

The newly minted water bill also authorizes $4.4 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It makes funding available from this agency that will also fund various types of projects related to the improvement of aging water infrastructure.

Check out the latest article from our Texas Government Insider Newsletter!
Oregon/Washington State/British Columbia- Talks to develop a Pacific Northwest high speed rail corridor have the potential to make this vision a reality. Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (BC) governments met to discuss what an ultra-high-speed rail line connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC would potentially look like. All parties wish to work with private companies to develop bullet trains in the region. Amtrak's current Cascade route already connects Portland and Vancouver, but only runs four times a day between Portland and Seattle and now and then to Canada. Potential ridership is quite promising; and the growing population of the three cities is projected to reach 11.2 million by 2040. 

Coined the "Cascadia Megaregion," the high-speed project could cost between $25 billion and $40 billion to build. Funding remains unclear, but a public-private partnership is a possibility. An economic feasibility analysis shows that the plan would have an estimated $29 billion economic impact and create 38,000 construction jobs for a period of a decade.
North Carolina- Wake County voters will go to the polls on Nov. 6 and decide on a proposed $548 million school construction bond. The bond would provide funds to help build seven new schools, renovate 11 existing schools and fund other related projects. School officials state that such renovations are needed on the schools to accommodate an increase in students, update security and improve accessibility. An example project the bond would be used for is the $5.4 million set aside for the $71 million rebuild of East Wake Middle School. 

Other bond referenda for Wake County voters to consider include a $349 million bond to expand and renovate Wake Technical Community College and a $120 million bond for parks, greenways, recreation and open spaces.
Riverside Convention Center
California- The city of Riverside has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a mixed-use development, on 7.6 acres of city-owned land, which will bring more hotel rooms, market rate housing, retail and restaurant space, and structured parking to the area. A portion of the site, located at 3460 Orange St., is currently occupied by Encore High School until May 2020. The Encore-occupied building is approximately 21,500 square feet and the city expects the selected proposer to demolish the structure upon Encore's closure. 

The developer will also expand the existing Riverside Convention Center, under a public-private partnership (P3), by 100,000 square feet to improve the city's ability to attract larger conferences. The city envisions the project's hotel being constructed over the convention center expansion area and construction of a new parking garage to replace existing surface parking stalls. The due date for submitting proposals is Dec. 18.
New York- New York City has committed $250M to closing gaps in the Manhattan Greenway. The 32.5-mile greenway currently has gaps in Inwood, Harlem, Washington Heights, Midtown and East Village. Plans for the greenway span all the way back to 1993, and the completed vision will result in more than 1,000 acres of open space along the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers. 

Some of the projects include the city investing $41 million to build out a new waterfront esplanade at Academy Street along the Sherman Creek. Conceptual design will begin in 2019 and construction will commence in 2021. An estimated $101 million has been allocated for construction on the Harlem River Greenway Link. Construction is expected to begin in 2021. With a $100 million budget, the East Midtown Greenway will connect pedestrians to the Andrew Haswell Green Park to the north at East 61st Street and will provide a transportation connection to the south, where the Greenway ends. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2019. View the entire Manhattan Waterfront Greenway vision here.
Vermont- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources released a request for proposals (RFP) for a new electric school bus and transit bus pilot program. Vermont officials said that the new technology will be used in a pilot program before potentially being used more widely throughout the state. 

The program is funded by a portion of the $18.7 million that Vermont received from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust fund. Administration and implementation of the program is the focus of the RFP and submissions are due by Nov. 16.
Illinois- Northern Illinois University (NIU) officials recently announced the construction of a $22.9 million research facility in partnership with the Illinois Innovation Network. The facility, the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability (NICCS), will be based on the university's DeKalb campus and will be part of the larger network that researches global issues and drives economic growth in Illinois. The state government has pledged some half billion to the network with $15 million of it going to starting the center on the NIU campus with the remaining $7.9 million in funding coming from the university. 

NICCS will be built on a 20-acre section of NIU's far west campus, just north of the Convocation Center. The facility will be approximately 30,000 square feet and will include classrooms, laboratories and collaboration space for work with other Illinois Innovation Network partners. The building itself will sit on three acres, while the remaining land in the 20-acre parcel will be used for greenhouses and research plots. Architectural engineering and design will take place in 2019 and 2020, with construction taking place in 2021 and 2022. Parts of the building will be open for use by fall 2021.
Pennsylvania- The Delaware County Prison Board released a request for proposals (RFP) for firms interested in operating the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. The prison is a 1,883-bed facility and is under a contract, set to expire in December, with the current operator of the prison. Board officials stated that both the technical aspects of running a prison as well as the costs will be weighed in each proposal. 

The RFP comes on the heels of recent reviews by the Delaware County Board of Prison Inspectors and a forthcoming report from inspectors, comparing private and public operations of correctional facilities, to be discussed publicly by the county later in the month.
New York- The city of Rochester wants a private partner to develop property adjacent to the Port of Rochester Marina. Officials are eager to transform this part of the city into a year-round destination with new waterfront amenities. The site is a vacant 2.8-acre waterfront parcel at 4752 Lake Ave. 

The city has invested more than $27 million in public improvement projects in the area, including the 84-slip Port of Rochester Marina and riverfront promenade; reconstruction of North River Street; improvements to the Port of Rochester Terminal Building and pedestrian amenities. Plans are aligned with the cities Local Waterfront Revitalization Program which has guided waterfront development for two decades. Responses to the recent request for proposals are due by Jan. 28. 
Acadia National Park
Maine- The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a request for information (RFI) from anyone who might be interested in forming a public-private partnership (P3) to increase the amount of housing for seasonal employees at Acadia National Park and, perhaps, for other seasonal workers in the area. Acadia currently has 33 seasonal housing units in 15 different locations with a total of about 80 beds. Each year the park hires 150-160 employees to work during the peak visitor season, which is May through October. Some seasonal positions go unfilled each year because of the housing shortage. The proposed location is a three-acre parcel of park-owned land on Harden Farm Road in Bar Harbor. That is where the park currently has two 56-year-old apartment buildings with four seasonal housing units each.  

Respondents have until Nov. 5 to submit an RFI to NPS to build a new housing development. On Nov. 14, the NPS will hold an "industry day" session at which interested parties can learn more about the proposed development and provide input on how a P3 might be structured. NPS would expect the developer to be responsible for financing, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the housing project. The NPS expects to retain title to the land and improvements while granting a long-term lease to provide stability and a predictable revenue stream. In 2014, Congress passed a law giving the NPS the authority to partner with private developers to build and manage housing for seasonal park service employees. According to the NPS, this is the first project nationwide to be proposed under NPS P3 housing authority.
North Carolina- The city of Hendersonville is requesting proposals from developers to build a boutique hotel on the 1.5-acre Dogwood parking lot in downtown. The building site consists of three city-owned parcels adjacent to the Main Street Municipal Service District. The Dogwood lot is located between North Church Street, Fifth Avenue West, North Washington Street and Fourth Avenue West. 

City officials want to see conceptual designs for a private hotel with 80 to 120 rooms, an event space to accommodate 150-300 people and a design that molds with the existing community aesthetic. The city wants to sell the lot, which has a tax value of $764,600 and a market value of $1,098,000 for a hotel and use the proceeds to invest in parking. Proposals must be submitted Nov. 29.
Michigan- The city of Southfield has reissued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for developers interested in the vacant 8.15-acre EverCentre property at the corner of Evergreen Road and Civic Center Drive. The city of Southfield wants to develop a centrally located pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development in the heart of the Southfield City Centre District to help attract and retain professionals and to spur economic development. Proposals are due by Oct. 26. 

The city has worked with consultants to evaluate a range of development uses consistent with its Master Plan, City Centre District vision, local zoning, long range plans and key stakeholder input. However, the city is open to developer's proposals that may not directly align with the original vision for the property.
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Rhode Island- The town of Portsmouth is soliciting ideas for the now vacant Coggeshall School building. Town officials stated that this pre-solicitation phase allows them to discuss the property and how proposers might meet the town's objectives of future uses for the building such as a funding source for town operations, improvements to the building and accommodations for public and private use. 

The original building was constructed in 1924 with a wing added on in 1962. The building is approximately 25,000 square feet, on a 7.5-acre property, and the total property has an assessed value of $1.78 million. Portsmouth officials are open to a public-private partnership for the building. After the Nov. 1 deadline, a request for proposals will be released at a time yet to be determined.
Washington D.C.- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is seeking industry-developed space technologies that can foster the development of commercial space capabilities and benefit future NASA missions. The Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has prioritized funding opportunities for public-private partnerships to achieve NASA's goals of expanding capabilities and opportunities in space. 

STMD has issued a request for information (RFI) to inform the development of future Tipping Point solicitations. A technology is at tipping point if it shows signs of being able to move into the technological maturation phase and indicates a high probability of commercial space application integration. STMD issues a request for tipping point proposals annually to enlist the help of companies to develop key space systems without the aid of government funding. There is no limit to the number of responses an organization may submit to this RFI. Responses to this RFI will be kept strictly confidential and used only for the development of future solicitations. Responses to the RFI are due by Nov. 28. 
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Maine- Officials in the city of Rockland are facing a land shortage for commercial or light industrial uses and this has put a stranglehold on the local economy. The city has simply run out of places to put new businesses, but the city council may have come up with a solution. By rezoning residential land on Pleasant Street to commercial, the city hopes to grow the tax base of the local economy by bringing in a private developer. 

Only 12 percent of the city is zoned for commercial and industrial use, yet that area makes up a third of the city's tax base. The industrial park is at maximum capacity and the rezoning effort is seen as a solution to land availability. A public hearing and final vote on the matter will be held on Nov. 14.
New York- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Metro-North Railroad officials have announced plans to transform underutilized space at the Bronxville Station. The railroad wants a private partner to aid in development of two sections of the station house. The first section spans 2,446 square feet, the interior of the building. The second is a small 338-square foot section at the southwest corner of the building that would be converted into office space. The partner selected to develop and operate the space will be required to improve amenities and fixtures, as well as install a new seating area. 

The larger space is ideal for a cafe or restaurant and better dining choices are a high priority. The Bronxville Station is used by 9,500 passengers a week, which creates a great opportunity for development to thrive. MTA will make the selection based on financial strength, management expertise, the business plan, track record of the proposer, compensation offered and the improvements proposed for the site. Proposals are due by Nov. 16. 
Washington, D.C.- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a request for information in August for a new program to promote cybersecurity of the federal government's supply chain. DHS began the initiative as a way to curb threats of foreign spying. It also wants to develop a process for reviewing the department's findings on companies that aren't deemed too risky based on outdated information. 

DHS wants to review information about potential risks in the supply chain and contracting process that it can then share with other government agencies. The new program will be based on unclassified, public information whenever possible. Homeland Security is considering releasing a formal request for proposals to contractors that might provide components of the supply chain vetting system but hasn't finalized the details yet. That request will likely come out during the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

- Delaware officials announced that the state recently hired Solomon Adote as its top cybersecurity official, filling a gap left in July by the retirement of Elayne Starkey, who had held the position for 13 years. Adote, who began his new role last month, joined the state government after nearly six years as the information security manager for a global chemical manufacturer. 
- Bonny Copenhaver was selected by the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College (CTC) Education to serve as the college's fourth president. Copenhaver, who previously was at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, replaces L. Marshall Washington, who left New River CTC in June to become president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Texas Township, Michigan. Kathy Butler is serving as interim president and will stay on to assist her during the transition period. She will begin her duties on Jan. 2. 
- Deputy Chief Orlando Rolon's appointment as Orlando's new chief of police was announced last week. Rolon, a 25-year veteran with the police force, will serve as acting police chief starting Oct. 27, and will formally become police chief Dec. 2. Police Chief John Mina announced his retirement earlier this year in order to run for Orange County Sheriff. Mina's last day at work is Oct. 26. 
- The Nebraska State College System has entered a contract with the next system chancellor. Paul Turman will begin his Lincoln work on Jan. 2. Turman is system vice president for academic affairs for the South Dakota Board of Regents. He'll be replacing Chancellor Stan Carpenter, who is retiring after 18 years of service to the Nebraska system, which has campuses in Chadron, Peru and Wayne. 
- Stephanie Dedmon, Tennessee's new chief information officer (CIO), began her first day Oct. 8. Chief Information Officer Mark Bengel, who assumed the role in July 2007 after more than three years as chief technology officer/deputy CIO, has shifted to a 90-day advisory role and will retire Dec. 31. Dedmon is a state employee of more than a decade who became the deputy CIO nearly three years ago. 
- Deputy Chief John "Gerry" Giunta will be appointed as the city's new chief of the Salem Fire Department. Deputy Chief Giunta joined the Salem Fire Department as a firefighter in 1983 and served on Engine 1 and Ladder 2. Since March 2018 Deputy Chief Giunta has served as the department's acting chief, following the retirement of his predecessor, Chief David Cody
- Morgan Smith has taken over as Bainbridge Island's new city manager. Smith served as the city's deputy city manager since October 2010. Former City Manager Doug Schulze announced he was leaving Bainbridge to become the city manager of Banning, Calif. Smith began her new position Oct. 3, and the contract runs through Dec. 31, 2020. 
- Michael Warrix was named the new director of planning and development services for the city of Abilene after previously serving in that role for the city of Peachtree, Ga. Warrix, who began his new position this week, replaces Taurus Freeman, who was given the position in January after serving as interim director. Freeman left to take a job in Fayetteville, N.C. Warrix has 30 years of experience in public sector planning agencies and private sector civil and environmental engineering firms in Texas, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina. 
- Bridget Gibbons, who has served as Westchester County's deputy director of economic development since County Executive George Latimer took office in January, was named director of the agency. In addition to serving as deputy director, Gibbons also led both the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and Westchester County Local Development Corp. The position had previously been held by George Oros and prior to him by Eileen Mildenberger.
- The University of New Hampshire (UNH) has a new president. James Dean jr. was officially installed as the 20th president of UNH. Dean most recently served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He succeeds Mark Huddleston, who retired after serving 11 years at UNH. 
- Elisa Hoekwater had been chosen at the executive director of MAX Transit - Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority. Hoekwater is scheduled to start work in early November. She currently works as the transportation program manager at the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council. She replaces Linda Lefebre
- Margaret Weichert, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, is now leading the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as its acting director. The announcement came last week after OPM's Senate-confirmed director, Jeff Pon, resigned. Pon was confirmed to the position in March.
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