Volume 10, Issue 13- Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
President Trump, without any fanfare this week, again declared that it is "Infrastructure Week." Who knows why he did that since official activities planned for Infrastructure Week are scheduled for May. 

There are other significant unanswered questions. If Trump wants to make U.S. infrastructure a priority, why did he threaten to shut down government last week over attempts to include funding for an infrastructure project in the spending bill? 

The project he fought to kill is a $30 billion commuter rail, bridge and tunnel proposal connecting New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River. Few will argue that the project is one of the most important infrastructure projects in American history...but Trump threatened to veto any spending bill that included funding for the project. 

The reason for Trump's opposition can only be speculation. Strange as it is, while he is refusing funding for the critically needed project on the East Coast, the roles are totally reversed for a non-critical project on the West Coast. 

It gets even stranger. The Trump administration is pushing for a $1.3 billion dam to be built in Northern California. But, not only does the President want the government to fund the construction completely, he also wants the federal government to oversee it. 

There are a number of problems that have not diminished his support in any way. First of all, the project calls for expanding the structure vertically by about two stories and that would be construction that California state law prohibits. There's more - this particular dam is on federal land but legal precedent defers the decision to the state and California objects to the project. In spite of the state's objection, the Trump administration is planning to spend $20 million on preconstruction activities in 2019. In his own Infrastructure Plan, President Trump says that infrastructure projects should be controlled by state and local government leaders.

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MichiganThe city of Warren is seeking a developer to build a walkable downtown around its city hall and a raised, enclosed, climate-controlled pedestrian bridge to draw in nearby foot traffic. The city will issue a request for proposals April 9 to create this walkable downtown, which is likely to cost $125 million or more. The 16 acres of walking space will run along Van Dyke Avenue and across from a technical center for motor vehicles. 

Warren's Town Center proposal will include a luxury hotel, upscale grocery store, residential units and assorted retail stores. The city of Warren plans to seek grants, offer tax incentives and work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to contribute to the cost of the project. The city's Downtown Development Authority approved $4.6 million for infrastructure improvements in the area.
Virginia- The Capital Regional Airport Commission plans to solicit bids in June or July from general contractors for a $45 million Concourse A expansion at Richmond International Airport. An earlier phase of the expansion was carried out a few years ago with a 14-acre extension of Concourse A's ramp. The new concourse will fill out the terminal space to match that of the extended ramp. 

The addition of six gates to the eight-gate Concourse A will mirror the 14-gate Concourse B. There also will be room for additional retail and concession spaces in the newly-expanded concourse. Concourse A's expansion is consistent with the airport's 10-year-old master plan that highlights Henrico County's growth through 2026 at this 3,000-acre facility. Additional plans are in the works at the airport for a $4 million Concourse B security checkpoint expansion and a $35 million North Garage expansion. The airport commission also is considering an expansion of its rental car garage.
Florida- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will issue a request for proposals at the end of April for improvements to Interstate 275 near State Road 60 that runs both northbound and southbound. Letters of interest from engineering firms are due by May 21. Improvements include an additional northbound lane between south of Kennedy Boulevard to just before Lois Avenue. A southbound lane would also be added from Memorial Highway to south of Kennedy Boulevard. Construction would likely include widening the existing highway, some resurfacing, ramp modifications and noise walls. The I-275 improvements will cost about $25.7 million. 

FDOT also will seek bids for the design and build of strategic lane enhancements on State Road 60 around the Westshore area. To relieve bottleneck issues, FDOT wants to extend existing merge lanes for this $3 million project. FDOT asked in its request for proposals that firms not include any designs that require purchasing additional rights of way.
Washington D.C.- The District of Columbia's Office of Public-Private Partnerships (OP3), has narrowed down its list for a public-private partnership (P3) team for its streetlight modernization program. The project involves replacing the city's 71,000 lights with more efficient lighting. The following teams have been selected by the OP3 for the next phase of procurement:
- DC Smart Lighting Partners II (Star America Fund GP, Aldridge Electric, Flour Enterprises, WSP, Chesapeake Electric Systems, Sharp & Company and Business Transformation Group).
- MAB Smart Solutions (Meridiam Smart Solutions, Ameresco, Broadspectrum Infrastructure, Parsons Transportation Group, C3M Power Systems, Monrad Engineering, L.S. Caldwell & Associates and S2N Technology Group).
- Plenary Infrastructure DC (Plenary Group USA Concessions, Kiewit Development Company, OpTerra Energy Services, Mass Electric Company, Indigo Mid-Atlantic and Engie Services).
Montana- A hired consulting firm recently presented its findings to the Billings City Council based on a sports feasibility study. The findings showed that the city needs a $20 million multi-court indoor facility for basketball, volleyball and other sports. The study also showed the need for an ice arena, estimated to cost about $15 million, to benefit hockey players and figure skaters. A $20 million competitive swimming facility to host large, regional swim meets was also proposed. 

Following these and other findings, the South Billings Urban Renewal Association (SBURA) provided recommendations based on the study. As part of the plan, SBURA intends to add a sports facility such as a swimming complex, ice arena and indoor sports center. To finance and complete this priority project, the association is considering a public-private partnership. The association expects private partners will have to come up with one-third of the construction costs. The association is expected to have a timeline of projects later this year after their development plan is completed.
Indiana- Purdue University is pursuing a public-private partnership (P3) for student housing. The request for proposals (RFP) issued earlier this month details plans to add 1,100 beds without demolishing any existing housing facilities on campus. The residence hall at Fourth and Russell will be approximately 500 beds and the residence hall south of Meredith will be approximately 600 beds. 

The private partner will develop, design, build, finance, operate and maintain the six-story dorms needed for undergraduates at the West Lafayette campus. The university intends to have the project completed by the 2020-2021 school year. The administration decided on a P3 to cut down on the projects expected timeline. Bids are due by April 20.
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Colorado- The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has awarded the city of Glenwood Springs a 50 percent matching grant of $87,500 from the state's Energy and Mineral Impact Fund to conduct an Airport Property Scenario Planning study. The study will look at whether the Glenwood Springs' Municipal Airport should be expanded or if the 64 acres of flat, developable land at the south edge of town should be used for something else. The effort will include a land-use comparison, accompanied by a "community benefit and economic analysis" for the city-owned land within and surrounding the airport. 

The city will seek proposals from firms to do the $175,000 study. The project is expected to take a full year to complete once the bid is awarded. The study will also look at the South Bridge project, a planned, but as-yet-unfunded $45 million connection near the airport across the river to Colorado Highway 82. The airport land study is one of several revitalization or redevelopment initiatives currently being undertaken by the city. Other efforts are focused on the Sixth and Seventh street corridors downtown, as well as the Roaring Fork and Colorado River confluence area west of the main downtown area.
Michigan-  Northwest Community Schools (NCS) is open to fully privatizing its food service operations. In a request for proposals issued last week, the district detailed that bids may be for partial or full privatization. Currently, the district's food services are partially privatized with the director and associate director employed by a private company and 25 people employed by the district. The current annual operating budget is $2 million. Bids are due by April 30. 

Also coming up at the NCS is a vote on a $24.9 million bond proposal. On May 8, Northwest residents will be asked to consider a bond proposal to provide six classrooms each at the Northwest Upper Elementary School, Kidder Middle School and Northwest High School for a combined total of around $12 million. Three more classrooms would be added to Northwest Early Elementary School at a cost of $1.3 million. Improvements to the athletic complex would total $5.8 million and adding fine arts classrooms at Northwest High School would total $4.2 million.
Sheri Everts
North Carolina
- Last week, the board of trustees at Appalachian State University heard updates from Chancellor Sheri Everts on the school's five-year strategic goals. Discussions are underway regarding how to use the former Watauga High School property, which Appalachian now owns. Options discussed include student residence halls, a day care facility, student recreation fields and athletics' fields. By next semester the plan is to make use of the property's current parking configuration, which accommodates 500 spaces. 

Everts also informed the trustees that the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors has approved the design phase for the north end zone project at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The mixed-use development will replace the 45-year-old Owens Field House and will include an array of amenities that will benefit university athletics. The master plan also calls for the demolition of Legends, a student concert venue. Everts noted that Student Affairs is currently leading a group of students, faculty and staff who are examining the potential for alternative venues. Plans also include a renovation or replacement of seven residence halls: Bowie, Coltrane, Eggers, Gardner, Winkler, Justice and East. The seven halls will be created through public-private partnerships (P3). Everts stressed that while a P3 will develop the halls, they will run like existing residence halls with university oversight.
Texas- Capital Metro is making major improvements to its rail services. In addition to adding more trips to its schedule, the transit agency is also considering development on land around its Leander station. The transit agency owns two parcels of land around the train station in Leander. A parcel to the north is planned to become a future maintenance facility for Capital Metro. 

Capital Metro also owns about 50 acres around the train station and the transit agency plans to develop the area into a mixed-use center with commercial, residential and retail options. The agency intends to use a public-private partnership for the development. 
A new bill, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act of 2018, was introduced by a New York congresswoman that would create a commission focused on studying artificial intelligence and its impact on the country and national security. The legislation proposes an independent commission to examine artificial intelligence advances on a national level and provide recommendations on how to apply the technology to the federal government. 

The commission would deliver annual recommendations through 2020. The commission's recommendations range from crafting data standards to public-private partnership (P3) competitiveness and research opportunities, in addition to workforce recruitment incentives. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.
North Carolina- A bill introduced a year ago called the "BRIGHT Futures Act," made its way through the House but never left the Senate Rules Committee. The bill would allow cities, towns and counties to make use of dark fiber- additional capacity in existing infrastructure that government uses to connect traffic lights, schools and public facilities. A recent North Carolina League of Municipalities Report was released called "Leaping the Digital Divide," and this has reignited discussions on the bill. 

Municipal leaders are pushing for changes designed to create public-private partnerships (P3) in which local governments build broadband infrastructure and lease it to private internet providers. The study found that the P3 model is the best way to extend broadband to inaccessible areas of the state. Another recommendation is a "dig once" policy requiring government agencies to install broadband conduits during other construction projects, putting the infrastructure in place for future leases to internet providers. The League of Municipalities is calling for a state grant fund to help local governments build broadband infrastructure.
New York- The Arts Center of the Capital Region has unused portions of its buildings and issued a request for proposals last week, seeking proposals and partnerships to determine the best way to develop the vacant space. The arts center, located in Troy, has buildings facing Monument Square and the back portion provides a view of the Hudson River. The buildings, dating from the early 1800s, do need some work. A property conditions assessment was performed in January 2017 and the report is available to would-be developers. 

The area surrounding the arts center has seen extensive development as new apartments were built in old warehouses and commercial spaces. Owners of the arts center are hoping for a healthy response for the unused space and plan to maintain ownership of the building. Proposals are due April 20. Final selection of the winning proposal is set for June 30. Still to be determined are costs, a timeline for work and what the finished spaces will look like.
Illinois- The city of Des Plaines has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a third Des Plaines Metra station near the corner of Lee and Oakton streets. Qualified firms are asked to respond to the request for qualifications by April 27 for consideration of a feasibility project assessing the proposed train station. Following the RFQ submissions, city-approved firms must submit proposals for the project. 

Des Plaines has budgeted $175,000 for the feasibility study and $40,000 to study whether the portion of Oakton Street to be used for the station could qualify as a Tax Increment Financing district. If completed, the new station would be located along the Canadian National Railroad and Metra's North Central Line. It would also give riders a direct trip to O'Hare International Airport and Union Station in Chicago.
MichiganThe Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a sustainable business park on 200 acres of DPW land. The land is in Byron Township and Allegan County and is adjacent to the South Kent Landfill. DPW has a goal of diverting 90 percent of trash from the landfill by 2030 and building the sustainable business park. The RFI seeks to engage businesses, technology developers, startups and others about qualifications and present waste processing and conversion technologies. The deadline to respond to the RFI is April 26. 

A 2016 study by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum revealed 35 percent of solid waste in the region is organic material. That breaks down to 21 percent as paper, 14 percent as plastic and another 4 percent as metal. The total value of material thrown away that could be reused is estimated at $52 million. The new business ventures will not only recover waste materials, but also convert them into new, domestically manufactured, products through innovative technologies. DPW hired solid waste management consultants to get input and develop a master plan for the design and construction of necessary public infrastructure, research funding sources and perform waste stream and market analyses.
MassachusettsA study performed on seasonal passenger rail service between Pittsfield, Mass., and Albany, N.Y., could initiate a public-private partnership (P3). The study is the result of legislation directing the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to assemble a working group of key stakeholders to provide expertise into studying the potential for initiating new rail service. There would not be any infrastructure costs and a pilot program could be up and running in one-to-two years. The operating funds are estimated to be at $237,000 for the proposed 20-weeks-per-year, from May to October, and would run on the Berkshire Flyer. Since the service would not be subsidized by the state, a P3 has been presented as an option. 

The study is based off the current Cape Flyer seasonal rail service that runs between Boston and Cape Cod. The study also states that transporting passengers between the Pittsfield train station and other Berkshire communities, ground transportation options will need to be improved. A local group also would be needed to help manage and promote the service. MassDOT personnel plan to review the study to learn more about the logistics, challenges and opportunities offered for the proposed passenger rail service.
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April 6
Grant Thornton will be hosting a webinar, "Tolls, congestion pricing, VMT fees: Are we lost?" from 1-1:30 p.m. on April 6. The landscape for funding transportation projects is rapidly changing. State and local governments are increasingly looking for new and efficient revenues to fund transportation budgets. This webcast will explore several options including tolling, congestion pricing, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees and local option sales taxes. Register for the webinar here

Speakers include: Brien Desilets, Head of Infrastructure Advisory, Grant Thornton; Anne Brown, PhD Candidate & Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; Martin Wachs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; and Naveen Lamba, Data Analytics Director, Grant Thornton.
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.
Mary Scott Nabers
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.

At 11:40 a.m. on April 10, Mary Scott Nabers will present during the P3 conference on a panel entitled "The growth and management of the local municipal and civic pipeline - How are cities stepping up without any movement from the federal government." The session will explore P3s from a city level addressing how cities should navigate infrastructure development, procurement partnerships and payment structures as well as ways for state and federal entities to support municipal efforts. 
May 3
Grant Thornton will be hosting a webinar, "A local funding model for the nation?" from 1-1:30 p.m. on May 3. The landscape for funding Los Angeles has become a world leader in local transportation funding solutions. Through its Measure R and Measure M referenda that authorized local incremental sales taxes, it has created a revenue stream of more than $100 billion over the next 40 years to fund transportation improvements. In parallel, LA Metro launched its own highway program and set about investing funds across several modes of transportation. The webinar will explore these initiatives and other transportation funding options for local government. Register for the webinar here.

Speakers include: Brien Desilets, Head of Infrastructure Advisory, Grant Thornton; Lan Saadatnejadi, Former Executive Officer of LA Metro's Highway Program; and Naveen Lamba, Data Analytics Director, Grant Thornton.
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- Jim Gallogly has been named the 14th president of the University of Oklahoma. Gallogly will officially begin his position on July 1. A 1977 alumnus of the Oklahoma University College of Law, Gallogly is the first ever CEO from a Fortune 500 company to lead the University. Gallogly will succeed David Boren on July 1. 
Teresa Owen Sutherland, who has served as the Anne Arundel County auditor for more than 20 years, will replace Tom Andrews as the city manager of Annapolis, Md. Virginia Burke served as an acting manager before Andrews tenure. Sutherland will begin her new position on April 19. 
- The $1.2 billion University of Georgia Foundation has hired Jason Bull as its first chief investment officer, effective April 9. Bull joins Georgia from Emory University, where he had been the managing director for the university's $6.7 billion endowment since May 2008. 
- Johnson Joy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) chief information officer (CIO) resigned on March 20. The chief of staff to the deputy secretary, is temporarily serving as the acting CIO. 
- The city of Charlotte, N.C. has hired Reginald Johnson from Fairfax County, Va., to be its new fire chief. Last summer, former chief Jon Hannan retired after serving the fire department for 38 years, including 10 as fire chief. 
- On July 1, Martha Burger will become Oklahoma City University's 18th president. Burger, a former executive in the energy industry, will take over as the university's president once president Robert Henry's retirement goes into effect on June 30. 
- Robert Redfield Jr., a doctor and AIDS researcher with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has been appointed the new head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Redfield, an infectious disease expert, will replace the former CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald
- Lynnette Zelezny, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State, has been appointed president of California State University, Bakersfield. She will succeed Horace Mitchell, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. 
- Jeff Matthews has been chosen as the new police chief of the Branson Police Department in Missouri. He is currently serving as Deputy Chief of the Arlington Police Department in Texas. Matthews will begin his new position on April 30. Matthews will take over for Stan Dobbins who stepped down from his position as police chief to become Branson's city administrator. 
- Minnesota's St. Cloud Technical & Community College has selected Annesa Cheek as its next president. Cheek currently serves as executive vice president of Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, a role which she has filled since 2006. Cheek will replace Joyce Helens who resigned in August to accept a position in Nevada. 
- Al Rankins, president of Alcorn State University, will replace Glenn Boyce as Commissioner of Higher Education in Mississippi. Boyce, who has served as commissioner since April 17, 2015, will retire June 30. 
- Janet Vogel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deputy chief information officer, will become the new HHS Information Security and Chief Information Security Officer in April. Vogel has nearly 30 years of government experience and has spent 16 years at CMS. Vogel will replace Christopher Wlaschin.
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