Volume 10, Issue 11- Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Despite rhetoric about wanting to address America's crumbling infrastructure, President Trump's budget suggests cutting a program essential to transportation in the U.S. How can this be justified? Are people aware of this? 

TIGER grants (from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program) have been essential to funding America's transportation projects since 2009. Under the Trump administration's proposed budget, however, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which administers the TIGER program, would see its overall funding slashed by 19 percent, which could affect grant funding. In fact, the budget requests no new funding for TIGER grants, which currently offer $500 million in discretionary funds to state and local governments. This begs the question - is the administration supportive of infrastructure reform - or not?

The TIGER transportation funding cut does not come as a total surprise because in 2017 the Trump administration also suggested zero funding for the program. When that happened, Congress simply ignored the President and approved the funding. The first grants of 2018 were released last week and became a pressing reminder of the desperate need for funding of U.S. roadways. It is important to note though that change is in the wind. Not everything said is what is being done. This is important enough to warrant intense scrutiny. Here's what is important to remember: 

  • Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.1 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. The funding is awarded through competitive efforts and is responsible for a majority of infrastructure upgrades throughout the country.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee in July 2017 approved a bill recommending $550 million for TIGER grants in FY2018, $50 million more than the FY2017 funding level. The new budget could change that.
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Florida- Florida lawmakers approved $487 million in the annual Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) program for the 2018-19 academic year. This also includes $33 million in funding contingent on reimbursements from the federal government related to emergency spending during Hurricane Irma. 

Under the PECO program, the university system will have $112 million in individual projects and $47 million in maintenance money, which will be distributed by formula to the 12 state universities. The state college system has $43 million in projects and $35 million in maintenance funding, which will be distributed to the 28 schools. Public schools will receive $50 million in maintenance and renovation funding, while charter schools will receive $150 million, including $5 million contingent on federal reimbursements.

The University of Florida (UF) will receive $50 million for a data-science and information-technology building. The total cost of the project is $125 million. 

On the PECO list for Florida State University (FSU) is $12.9 million to complete an earth, ocean and atmospheric science building. The $70 million project has received $57 million in prior state funding. FSU also received $8.5 million for a new College of Business building that is estimated to cost $88 million. The list also includes $9.5 million for an interdisciplinary research and commercialization facility, which will be built near the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the engineering school run jointly by FSU and Florida A&M University. The project is expected to cost a total of $88 million. 

Florida Gulf Coast University received $10 million for a School of Water Resources and Integrated Sciences facility that is projected to cost $52.5 million. 

Jackson, Taylor and Liberty counties will receive $31 million for local school construction as part of the "special facilities" PECO program that provides state funding to smaller counties with limited tax bases. Gilchrist County will receive $2 million for a new school, contingent on federal reimbursements. 
Ohio- Kent State University is getting a $1-billion makeover. The renovations include creating a gateway fronting Main Street, new buildings and bike/walking trails. Last week, school trustees approved a 10-year main campus transformation plan. The first phase includes $221 million for a new College of Business Administration building. 

Also included is an "innovation hub" and dining area that will be added to the former Art Building at a cost of $44.9 million and a mixed-use academic and retail space that will be added on university-owned land and financed as a public-private partnership (P3) at a cost of $21 million. The renovations will be financed through a combination of contributions and P3s. Phase two will take place between 2021 and 2023 and phase three will begin in 2024.
Louisiana- The Louisiana Department of Transportation (LADOTD) is considering its very first public-private partnership. The partnership would finance a $122 million Belle Chasse Tunnel and Bridge. The tunnel and bridge are the primary access points for western Plaquemines Parish residents and businesses as well as the Naval air station. Currently, the tunnel carries traffic in one direction across the Intracoastal Waterway, and the bridge carries traffic in the other direction. 

Both structures need repair as the tunnel is frequently closed due to leaks and the bridge requires frequent maintenance. The proposed project would replace the tunnel and bridge with a new mid-level, fixed-span bridge, which would carry traffic in both directions and reduce or eliminate the delays associated with operations and maintenance of the older infrastructure. In February LADOTD issued a notice of intent seeking letters of interest from interested private companies and investors. The letters of interest are due by April 4.
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Florida- The Central Florida Expressway Authority is beginning an environmental impact study on the Osceola Parkway Extension project. In addition to the proposed 9-mile parkway extension, the project also includes a potential north/south segment linking to State Road 417. 

The Expressway Authority is currently considering a public-private partnership (P3) to reduce costs for the project. Without a P3, the project is expected to cost anywhere from $425 million to more than $1 billion. A P3 would lower that amount anywhere from $328 million to $885 million.
North Carolina- The city of Greensboro and Greensboro Housing Authority are resuming plans for a $76 million public-private partnership (P3) project. The P3 would improve and expand an under-developed neighborhood. The city has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from developers on the 10 vacant acres of the Willow Oaks neighborhood project. 

The deadline for the RFP is March 23. The land will contain a 2-to-3 story building targeting seniors; a 15,000-square-foot market building or flexible, open-air, roofed market space with a new park; 26 attached single-family homes at 1,200 square feet and 23 detached single-family Homes at 1,200 square feet.
Tennessee- This summer, the Memphis International Airport will be getting a $219 million makeover. The project will focus on the B concourse and is expected to take three years to modernize and expand. The concourse is 55-years-old. 

Bids for the projects will be judged on price, performance standards and candidates who are certified as disadvantaged business enterprises. Prime contractor candidates have a May 15 deadline to submit proposals and the airport board is expected to approve a contract in June.
New York- Last week, The Nassau County Department of Public Works sent the state's Department of Environmental Conservation a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the Ocean Outfall Diversion Plan. The RFP is expected to be issued in about three weeks. 

The project includes using the 112-year-old aqueduct beneath Sunrise Highway to transfer treated sewage eight miles from the Bay Park Water Reclamation Facility to the Cedar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant currently takes 57 million gallons of treated effluent per day but has the capacity for up to 240 million gallons. The project is estimated to cost $350 million. Funding for the project is expected to come through bonds and grants.
Michigan- The State of Michigan intends to sell the Billie S. Farnum Building. The 10-story facility housed the Michigan State Senate offices until late 2016. The state hopes to sell the 95,000 square-foot building to boost the downtown area's economic draw. 

The state has not settled on a use for the building but is considering reuse options such as commercial, residential, retail, entertainment or a hotel. The request for proposals issued last week has a submission deadline of May 15 with plans for a chosen candidate to be announced on June 1.
OregonIn 2017 the Oregon Legislature passed legislation giving the port authority the go-ahead to enter into public-private partnerships (P3). The port is interested in using the alternative financing to replace bridges but first needs to settle on rules for the agreement. The Hood River Port Commission will hold hearings March 20 and May 1 to solicit feedback on proposed P3 rules. 

Last November, the port received an unsolicited proposal for a new bridge but has yet to read the proposal citing a legal need to create rules first. The final draft of a request for proposals for a final environmental impact study (EIS) will be reviewed March 20 and is scheduled to be released shortly after approval.
Florida- Santa Rosa County commissioners will solicit bidders by the end of the month to design and build a new county courthouse. The request for qualifications will be open for about six weeks. 

The courthouse project will be built on 19 acres on Avalon Boulevard outside of the city of Milton's limits. Last summer, the county purchased the property for $850,000. County staff plan to come up with a short list of candidates and a selection will be made as soon as the summer.  
PennsylvaniaA request for proposals issued last week by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) calls for the development of a 35.5. acre distribution or manufacturing center. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to extend Delaware Avenue, which would connect the site to Interstate 95. 

PIDC commissioned and released a report called Philadelphia Delivers: A Hub for Logistics and Distribution. The report makes a case for Philadelphia to become more of a logistics hub because of its proximity to major interstates and access to the Philadelphia International Airport and railroads. Responses are due by April 20 and a selection committee will review submissions based on the experience and qualifications of the development teams.
MinnesotaLast week, members of the Brooklyn Park City Council approved a $54,000 feasibility study for a long discussed aquatic center. A similar project failed to pass a 1994 bond referendum, but city officials are hoping this time will be different. The aquatic center could appear on a referendum this fall. 

Early estimates put the cost between $18 million and $20 million. The city is considering a public-private partnership to help finance the project.
Washington State- The Tacoma City Council is considering plans for a foot-ferry service to transport commuters between Tacoma and Seattle. A request for qualifications was issued on Feb. 22 for a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for the project. The deadline for responses is March 27. 

Once the deadline passes, the Pierce Transit Board of Directors will then have up to 120 days after the deadline to vote whether to authorize funds to move forward with the study and award a contract to a consultant or consultants. If the feasibility study is approved, the project would begin this summer. The city council hopes to have the results of the study by the end of the year.
Georgia- Last week, Atlanta BetLine, Inc. released a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a firm to design and engineer a 3.5-mile segment called the Northeast Trail. Beltline intends to have the work completed in two and a half years with the project beginning this June. 

Requested services include design of the multi-use path, retaining walls, access points, stormwater infrastructure, signage, lighting and planning for the anticipated light rail right-of-way.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 9-10
The P3 Hub Midwest Conference of 2018 will be held April 9-10 in the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile at 505 Michigan Avenue. The conference will present a series of roundtable sessions, interactive panel discussions, presentations and networking opportunities while focusing on public-private partnership (P3) opportunities in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota and many other states in the Midwest. 

The event will bring together U.S. procurers, mayors, governors, investors, contractors and advisers to debate the future of P3s. Senior public officials and private sector delegates will be on hand to discuss the latest opportunities to build and manage public assets through P3s on both sides of the Mississippi. This is your chance to hear all the information on where the latest project activity is emerging. Registration is open for the conference here. Receive a discount when registering for the conference by entering the code, Strategic10View some details of the events here.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. 
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

- Donald Fennoy has been chosen as the superintendent for the School District of Palm Beach County (PBC). He will replace Superintendent Robert Avossa, who announced Feb. 5 that he would resign later this year. Fennoy will be stepping down from his current position as the district's chief operating officer to become superintendent PBC. 
- Elizabeth Darling, president and chief executive of a foundation in Texas that links needs and nonprofits, has been nominated by President Trump to be commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
- Alex Elias has been chosen as the CEO/president of Renew Moline, an economic development organization for the city of Moline in Illinois. On June 1, she will begin her new position leading the private-public partnership's development efforts. Elias has spent the last nine years with the city of San Diego's downtown redevelopment agency. She replaces Janet Mathis, who stepped down May 8, 2017. - The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has chosen Jeffrey Parker as the general manager and chief executive officer. Parker would replace Keith Parker, who left MARTA in fall 2017. Elizabeth O'Neill has been serving as MARTA's interim leader. Parker currently serves as vice president at an engineering consulting firm in Atlanta. 
- Shereef Elnahal has been nominated as the New Jersey's health commissioner. Before the nomination, he served as the assistant deputy undersecretary of health for quality, safety and value in the Veterans Health Administration. 
- Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., is retiring April 30 after serving 14 months as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) acting administrator. The Senate has yet to confirm President Trump's nominee James Bridenstine for the NASA position. 
- Jill Marshall will take over as the new chief executive at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo starting March 26. She will replace Ron Hale, who resigned as the leader of the state hospital last June. Marshall served as the former director of the New Mexico intermediate center for the disabled. 
- The North Carolina Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has selected Larry Dail as director of the Eastern Regional Prisons. He replaces Annie Harvey, who was promoted to deputy director of prisons on July 31, 2017. Dail is currently the Craven Correctional Institution administrator. 
- Dale Whittaker was named the next president of the University of Central Florida (UCF). Whittaker, who currently serves as UCF's provost and executive vice president, would become president July 1 if his selection is confirmed later this month by the Florida Board of Governors. He would replace John C. Hitt, who is retiring from the presidency on June 30. 
- Lincoln University (LU) in Pennsylvania has named Jerald Woolfolk as its 20th president. She will begin her tenure as LU's president June 1. Michael Middleton, who has served as LU's interim president since July 2017, will continue in that role until then. Woolfolk currently is the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the State University of New York at Oswego. 
- Steve Parrott has been chosen as the new chief information officer (CIO) for Mississippi State University. Parrott had served as interim CIO since July 2017. He succeeds former CIO Mike Rackley, who retired last year. Prior to being named interim CIO, Parrott served as deputy CIO and director of user services.
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