Volume 10, Issue 6- February 7, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Working with government procurement has changed over the past few years...and not necessarily for the better. Unfortunately, it is often harder now to sell to government than it was in the past. 

State and local government spending now surpasses even that of the federal government. Many large, experienced firms are eager to move into state and local government marketplaces. That should be easy - because if it happens, citizens, taxpayers and governmental entities will definitely benefit. 

But, too many public officials at the state and local levels of government - especially Directors of Procurement, CFOs and Program Managers - work hard to discourage meetings with new contractors and vendors. 

That's unfortunate because it creates a huge disincentive for private-sector firms - especially those new to the marketplace. They know the value of communication and credibility. Without some visibility with public officials, they are immediately at a disadvantage because public officials do business with companies they know and trust. Competition is stifled when communication stops and then collaborative efforts are impossible.  

The problem, of course, is political. Legislators have created so much fear about public interactions with private-sector contractors, some have decided not to take any meetings at all. The result is that public officials no longer have opportunities to hear about leading-edge technology and/or innovative solutions that are working well in other states and jurisdictions. Taxpayers pay a high price when this happens.

Check out the latest article from our Texas Government Insider newsletter!
California- San Francisco is moving ahead with plans for a public-private partnership (P3) to build a city-wide fiber network that will encompass the almost 47-square miles of the city. The city has issued a request for information (RFI) for the project and also plans to select five proposals by April 30. The city will then issue a follow-up request by the end of the year for three proposals to enter into the design phase. Early estimates put the cost of the project around $1.9 billion.  

The network would be owned by the city but built and managed as a P3 - an arrangement that allows the city to alleviate some of the costs and risks of creating a brand-new utility. The city would maintain significant control over the price consumers would pay if they sign up for the service. The new network is expected to include subsidized rates to close the digital divide for low income residents. Currently about 100,000 residents of the city don't have internet in their home.
Florida- Monroe County officials want to elevate flood-prone roads and will start accepting design proposals in the coming weeks. The plan is to begin with the lowest, most flood-prone road in the Twin Lakes Community of Key Largo and in the low-lying Sands neighborhood of Big Pine Key. Estimates show that raising just one-third of a mile of road above sea level could cost a million dollars in Key Largo and more than $2.5 million in Big Pine. 

This project will include collecting, pumping and treating the stormwater that runs off the newly-raised roads. These small stretches of roads are a test case for county officials who estimate that half of the 300 total miles of county roads will be susceptible to sea level rise in the next 20 years. In Big Pine, the selected portion of road is going up a foot. In Key Largo, it's being raised six inches.
Texas- The University of Texas (UT) is planning to replace the Frank Erwin Center and construct a new, on-campus arena using a public-private partnership. The new arena is estimated to cost between $350 million and $450 million. The facility would be designed to host college basketball, concerts and other events. UT has issued a request for qualifications and proposal with a due date of March 8 for responses. 

Those that meet qualifications will be invited to submit proposals. The new facility will be located in one of two locations- a parking lot south of Mike A. Myers Stadium or the Recreational Sports Center and Steve Hicks School of Social Work south of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The lot where the Frank Erwin Center currently sits will be used for future expansion of the Dell Medical School.
Iowa- The city of Waukee is in need of a second high school and a $117 million voter-approved bond election will finance its construction. Waukee, Iowa's fastest growing school district, is getting a 395,000-square-foot facility that will be equipped with innovative features like a two-story, glass-walled media center; a rooftop terrace with outdoor seating and a greenhouse. It's part of a 160-acre joint development with the city of Waukee that includes a community youth sports complex. 

The district will build a football stadium and track, two baseball fields, two softball fields, 12 tennis courts and four practice fields. The city's $7 million contribution to the complex will feature 12 softball and baseball fields, a fishing pier and playground. The existing Waukee High School will get a $1.1 million upgrade that includes a additional parking student collaborative spaces and updated technology systems. Find out the results of other bond elections here
Courtesy photo: Lafayette General 
Louisiana- St. Martin Hospital has decided to add a request for a $14.5 million bond to be added to the March ballot. This is the only hospital in St. Martin Parish and the facility needs to be expanded to accommodate an increase in the population and patient visits. Hospital officials have earmarked the bond funds to expand St. Martin Hospital into the 45 acres of land that's right next-door to the hospital's original building. 

If the bond is approved, residents will see an increase in property taxes. The hospital board has pledged to pay $250,000 annually from hospital lease revenues toward the cost of bond retirement. In addition to the purchase of 45 acres, the bond will also finance 24 new, in-patient rooms and the renovation of 11 other rooms, an MRI unit and a hybrid surgical suite. Get updated information on future bond elections here
Washington State- Grays Harbor County commissioners approved a request for qualifications (RFQ) to conduct a study that would suggest a new facility to address jail overcrowding. The county is expecting a price tag estimated at about $25 million. The facility would be constructed in place of the old jail and parking lot, the elections office and facilities building. 

The facility may or may not combine juvenile and adult jail services. The study would need to include jail and staffing projections, growth projections, a phasing schedule for development, detailed construction estimates, a timeline, recommendations for funding and a recommendation of the best approach for the county's criminal justice facilities.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Tennessee- The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has released a request for proposals to widen and revitalize Interstate 440 in Nashville. The project will involve replacing deteriorated concrete with asphalt and widening the road in each direction from two lanes to three, including the bridges over interstate 65. 

Designs for the interstate, which was built in the 1980s, are scheduled to be completed within five months. TDOT will then award the design-build contract for the project. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer with a completion timeframe of three years. The 7.6-mile corridor was initially built to handle up to 64,000 vehicles per day, but now averages 100,000 vehicles per day.
Indiana- The city of Fort Wayne plans to work with the state Brownfields Program to develop plans for a 29-acre site the city purchased in November for $4.63 million. The city plans to issue a request for qualifications on Feb. 8 to determine interest and expertise from the private sector for development opportunities. The North River property is located along Clinton Street north of downtown. 

City officials are working with the state Brownfields Program to obtain a letter certifying the program is comfortable with the property's reuse. The city also will move forward with a rezoning request to allow for future development that's more compatible for the area than the previous industrial use. The property was previously used to operate a metals recycling company.
Washington State- The Port of Kalama has issued a request for interest (RFI) from developers for a 5-acre parcel of land located near the old Kalama fairgrounds. The site, that is part of the Spencer Creek Business Park, could potentially feature a range of retail or commercial services, including a fuel station, hotel, restaurants and coffee shops. The parcel's development is expected to set the tone for the business park's remaining 65 acres. The RFI is expected to result in the selection of a development team for an exclusive negotiating period. 

The port has considered developing its property east of Interstate 5 for more than a decade - slowly purchasing nearby land and conducting economic feasibility studies. The port will also seek bids in the spring for a $5 million road project that will add a new roundabout at the intersection of Kalama River Road and Highway 99. Street improvements for the area between Haydu Park and Meeker Drive are under design, as well. The port also plans to relocate and install utilities to support the site's development. Responses for the RFI are due at the end of this month.
Illinois-The city of Alton has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the area surrounding the recently-operational Alton Regional Multi-Modal Transportation Center. The city-owned, 55-acres of land will be named the "Wadlow Town Center" and the preference of Alton officials is to incorporate retail and casual dining establishments. 

The city requests that the property, which is broken into three tracts, be developed in accordance with transit-oriented design principals and meets the requirements of the city's mixed-use transportation zoning classification. Besides the land for the transportation center and the acres up for development, about 25 acres at the property is dedicated green space. Proposals are due by March 1 at the Alton Department of Development and Housing.
Massachusetts- Chatham is working to encourage young families to stay in the community by developing a public-private partnership for full-time town-funded child care. The city's Economic Development Committee (EDC) is recommending a project with other local child care providers to expand services and coordinate with neighboring towns to develop a centralized facility to care for infants to pre-kindergarten children. The next step is for the city to study the feasibility of such a program. 
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. 
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Texas- Dallas has plans for a $50 million Water Garden along Riverfront Boulevard. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) hired an engineering firm for the design phase of the project that will improve flood control, improve water quality, create public space and revitalize the area around the Old Trinity River channel. 

This proposed public-private partnership (P3) will provide the public access to wetlands, other aquatic features and a boardwalk at the original site of the Trinity River, which was re-routed away from downtown Dallas. The Water Garden includes terraced wetlands to filter stormwater and natural wetlands will be restored adjacent to the river. Funding for the project will come from a voter-approved bond referendum, grants and private donations. The plan is to begin construction of the Water Garden next year.
Washington State- Seattle's Sound Transit has plans for two light rail extensions to West Seattle and Ballard. The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on the project to build after completion of the environmental review. Sound Transit is also seeking public input on route and station locations to be decided by 2019. The West Seattle portion heads across the Duwamish River with a 4.7-mile track extension. 

The Ballard extension runs northwest 7.1 miles and requires a 3.3-mile downtown tunnel. The Ballard project includes three elevated stations and six tunnel stations. Both projects, which are part of the voter-approved Sound Transit 3 (ST3) plan, total 10 new and four expanded stations. The West Seattle extension connects with existing service, continuing north to Lynnwood and Everett; and the Ballard Link connects to existing service, continuing south to Tacoma.
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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

- Gov. Rick Scott has named Andrew Fay to serve on Florida's utility regulatory board. Fay has served as director of legislative affairs and Cabinet affairs to Attorney General Pam Bondi since 2011. Fay's appointment with the Florida Public Service Commission expires January 2022. 
- Kansas Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO) Phil Wittmer has resigned after serving in that position since August 2015. Wittmer will be replaced by Donna Shelite, the Kansas Office of Information Technology Services chief operating officer (CIO). Shelite will act as an interim CITO until Gov. Jeff Colyer's administration makes its appointment. Wittmer served for nearly 30 years in the private sector in management and consulting positions before taking the CITO post. 
- Filling a position that has sat vacant for a year, the Trump administration has nominated Suzette Kent as the next administrator of the Office of Electronic Government within the Office of Management and Budget. Kent is currently a principal with global accounting firm. The position is charged with setting IT management policy for the entire federal government, including overseeing cybersecurity policy through the currently vacant federal chief information security officer. Kent will be the fourth federal CIO, taking over for Tony Scott, who retired from the role at the end of the Obama administration. Since Scott's retirement, his deputy, Margie Graves, has been filling in as acting federal CIO. 
- Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Brenda Fitzgerald announced her resignation Jan. 31. Fitzgerald was appointed to head the CDC by President Donald Trump last July. The current principal deputy CDC director, Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat, will serve as interim director until a replacement for Fitzgerald is named. 
- Kevin Corbett was tapped by Gov. Phil Murphy to serve as executive director of the New Jersey Transit. Corbett would succeed Steven Santoro, who earlier this month announced plans to resign. Corbet, who works for a global construction and engineering firm, has also served as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Empire State Development Corporation and executive deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development. 
- Denver's (Colorado) Regional Transportation District has named Michael Ford chief operating officer. A 30-year transit veteran, Ford previously served as chief executive officer of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan in Detroit. The agency created the position last year to oversee rail and bus operations while meeting the needs of the growing metro region.
- The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Adela de la Torre to serve as president of San Diego State University. De la Torre currently serves as vice chancellor, student affairs and campus diversity at the University of California, Davis. She will join the campus in June 2018. Sally Roush is currently serving as university president and was appointed to serve in that role on an interim basis after former president Elliot Hirshman accepted the position of president at Stevenson University in Maryland. 
- Gov. Jim Justice appointed Betsy Jividen as Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Corrections, which is part of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Jividen takes over from acting Commissioner Mike Coleman, who is also deputy director of Correctional Operations for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. The West Virginia Division of Corrections operates 15 prisons, work-release centers and related facilities and has more than 2,000 employees including more than 1,000 correctional officers. 
- Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that David Nisleit, a 30-veteran of the San Diego (California) Police Department, will become the city's next police chief. Assistant Chief David Nisleit, whose father was a longtime San Diego police captain, has risen through the ranks of the department since 1988. He will take the place of retiring Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
- Gov. Jim Justice appointed Dr. Michael Brumage as director of the office of drug control policy within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. A former U.S. Army colonel, Brumage has been tasked to tackle the problems with opioid usage in West Virginia.
- James Carmody, the police and fire chief for the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, announced his last day with the department will be April 26. City officials will look to internal candidates to replace the 11-year chief before expanding their search outward. 
- Fort Wayne (Indiana) City Controller Len Poehler announced plans to retire March 30. Poehler has served in that position since January 2016. Poehler began his service with the city in 2004 as controller for city utilities. Garry Morr will serve as the new city controller, effective April 2. 
- Oklahoma State Department of Health Chief Financial Officer Michael Romero submitted his resignation Thursday in a letter to state Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger, interim commissioner of the agency.
- President Donald Trump plans to nominate California tax attorney Charles Rettig to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Rettig, who has been with Beverly Hills based law firm for 35 years, would succeed former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. David Kautter, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, was appointed as interim replacement after Koskinen's term ended in November.
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