Volume 10, Issue 22- Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
All indicators point to a strong year for the construction industry. Most projections are that the growth will continue through 2021. However, there could be a glitch...and it could come from the public sector - the local levels of government, to be more specific. 

There are thousands of new local construction projects just waiting to be launched. Projections for construction growth are predicated on the assumption that city leaders will move forward to build new facilities. However, state and local government budgets are stretched to the limit and unless public officials find alternative funding, construction will languish in most parts of the country. 

Citizens and taxpayers are notorious for not paying attention to deferred maintenance or the costs associated with operating buildings that are outdated and have inadequate heating and cooling systems. And, since most citizens rarely visit courthouses or city hall or school buildings, they are simply unaware of how critical the need is for new facilities. 

Too many bonds for new municipal buildings are failing. Many people do not think about the fact that disrepair in public facilities is a health and safety concern. Many of those buildings still have asbestos. Dilapidated municipal buildings also signal to potential new businesses that the area is not a good economic investment.

Because of all this, 50 percent of officials from municipalities say they are considering alternative financing as a way to address their municipal building needs. This is understandable considering that over the last three years, 40 percent of all bonds listing a city hall or municipal building project failed.

Check out the latest article from our Texas Government Insider Newsletter!
Washington, D.C.- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $256 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states. The recently enacted Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes a significant boost in financial support for water and wastewater projects. It provides $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. 

The Florida Governmental Utility Authority will receive $12.9 million to purchase the city of Dunnellon's water and wastewater systems. Currently, the user rates for these systems are among the highest in the area. By funding this utility purchase, user rates will stay at more affordable levels and will allow the authority to complete system improvements. The United Regional Water Cooperative in Illinois will receive $9.2 million to construct a water treatment plant for a newly organized water cooperative near Illiopolis in Logan County. Moore County, N.C., will receive $4.8 million to provide sewer service to the town of Vass. Nearly 40 percent of the town's residents and businesses use privately-owned septic tanks and drain fields, many of which have exceeded their useful life. The new wastewater collection system will address widespread health and sanitary issues. View all recipients of the Water and Waste Disposal Program here
Florida- Dredging of the first three miles of the Jacksonville harbor will be finished by August 2019. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the second portion of the project which will deepen miles three through eight at an estimated cost of $187 million. 

Bids will be accepted until the end of June and the USACE will award the contract by September. Around two years and six months have been given for the completion of the project. By giving additional time to complete a project, the USACE is more likely to receive bids from smaller businesses that would need the extra time. It will also help drive down the price of the winning bid.
Texas- The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has approved issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the full reconstruction of the United States 83/U.S. 281 (Pharr) Interchange project. The design-build contract to reconstruct the Pharr Interchange is estimated to cost $150 million. 

The project will provide 7.8 miles of non-tolled improvements along U.S. 83 from just west of 2nd Street to just east of Farm-to-Market 2557 (S. Stewart Road) and U.S. 281 from Nolana Loop to Interstate 2 in McAllen, Pharr and San Juan. The Pharr Interchange will include two-lane direct connectors in all four directions. The U.S. 83 general purpose lanes will be reconstructed and/or widened from six to eight general purpose lanes (four in each direction) from 2nd Street to the U.S. 83/U.S. 281 interchange. Operational improvements include approaches and departures to and from the direct connectors and the reconfiguration of main lane ramps.
Washington, D.C.- The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has $25.8 million in grant funds available to support transit planning efforts in communities. The competitive grant funds are provided through FTA's Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning. The grants will support transit ridership, multimodal connectivity and mixed-use development near transit stations. The Pilot Program also supports identification of infrastructure needs, engagement with the private sector and development of financial tools.  

Applicants include FTA grantees that are either a project sponsor of an eligible transit project or an entity with land use planning authority in an eligible transit capital project corridor. Applications are due by July 23. The program was established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and amended by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The program is authorized through fiscal year 2020. Find out about the application process here.
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Virginia- The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has posted a request for proposals (RFP) seeking qualified contractors to help deploy strategies that will strengthen Virginia's position in attracting the offshore wind supply chain and service industry. Proposals are due by June 22. Strategies from the chosen contractor will be used to inform offshore wind (OSW) development firms, the Virginia maritime industry and state and local decision-makers. 

Those replying to the RFP should have expertise in OSW development, particularly as it relates to the industry supply chain, port infrastructure requirements, build-out of the various OSW supply chain sectors and long-term maritime service needs. Questions regarding the content of this RFP must be submitted on or before June 12 through email to Al Christopher at Al.Christopher@dmme.virginia.gov.
Washington, D.C.- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced the availability of $1.6 billion in grant funding for programs used to help prevent acts of terrorism. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. The funds will help improve the nation's readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. A few of the funding programs that are available: 

- The Homeland Security Grant Program provides more than $1 billion for states and urban areas. 
- The Urban Area Security Initiative provides $580 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 32 high-threat, high-density areas.  
- The State Homeland Security Program provides $402 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets. 
- The Emergency Management Performance Grant provides more than $350 million to assist state, local, tribal, territorial governments. 
- The Port Security Grant Program provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism.  
- The Transit Security Grant Program provides $88 million to owners and operators of transit systems.

View all of the grant funding programs here.
Colorado- The University of Colorado (CU) Denver wants to provide dorms and dining facilities on its Auraria campus. The university has hired a real estate advisory and management firm to help find a partner, advise the school on how to leverage its existing real estate holdings and set priorities for its 10-year master plan. CU Denver wants a private firm to build something on a vacant 3-acre parcel next to the 700-bed Campus Village Apartments near East Colfax Avenue and Auraria Parkway. Zoning on the vacant lot allows for mixed-used buildings as tall as 16 stories. The private partners will also construct a dorm on the other side of campus, near Speer Boulevard. 

The master plan also calls for a new engineering and physical science building for the campus. A request for qualifications and request for proposal process will begin in August with the intent to select a development partner by March 2019.
Arizona- Bids are due June 15 for the purchase of two midtown parcels off Central Avenue near the Heard Museum. The city of Phoenix has issued a request for proposals (RFP) and is looking for a purchase price of at least $242,000. 

The land is located on Holly Street in between Central and First avenues. The two lots, which total 23,069 square feet, could be used as a transit-oriented development to the parcels which are near Metro light rail that runs up Central Avenue.
California- The city of San Jose is facing a budget shortfall of more than $40 million over the next few years and a $1.39 billion backlog in unmet infrastructure needs. San Jose voters may see a general obligation bond measure on the November ballot. The details of the possible bond measure, including the exact amount and what it would fund, are still being worked out. 

The bond amount would total $750 million and could be used to upgrade 911 communication to improve emergency response, fix roads, repair libraries, fund street repaving, playground repair or other projects that would improve the city. The last bond election for the city was held 15 years ago. In 2002, the city passed a $159 million general obligation bond measure that helped fix fire stations and other city facilities. The funding didn't cover all of the projects at that time and now more needs have emerged.
Texas- The city of Cedar Park has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a master developer to enter into a collaborative public-private partnership with the city to create a high-quality development in the Catalyst Area. The goal of the master developer will spur redevelopment and high-quality development throughout the study area of the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Master Plan and the Bell Boulevard District. 

This Catalyst Area is envisioned as an early phase of development of the overall 20-acre area that straddles Bell Boulevard, United States Highway 183, between Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Park Street. The Bell Boulevard District is described in the master plan adopted by the city council in August 2015. The vision presented in the plan is for a walkable mixed-use development. Responses to this RFQ are due by July 9. This will be followed by a request for proposals.
California- Los Angeles County transportation officials and Metro's directors have decided to begin the environmental review process for two potential light-rail routes for the downtown portion of its future West Santa Ana Branch line. The two routes would run underground through downtown and terminate in the Civic Center, the Financial District or at Union Station. The new rail line is slated to run about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles to the Gateway Cities in southeast Los Angeles County. 

The two routes are each estimated to cost $5.8 billion and Metro will need funding assistance if it intends to plan, build and open the line in the next 10 years. Metro is looking to enter into a public-private partnership. The 20-mile line has secured $4 billion in funding, including $1.4 billion from Measure M, the sales tax increase approved by county voters in 2016. The estimated completion date for the line is 2041, but Metro hopes a private-sector company could pay for a portion of the project to start service by the 2028 Olympics.
California- North Stockton's Swenson Golf Course will go into the hands of a private operator. The city plans to put out a request for proposals to have someone operate the business as a golf course with no city subsidy. The lease would be at least 15 years and no more than 30 years. 

The course is currently being managed by a private operator. The new operator would be able to make any changes or improvements as it wishes, but district officials have made it clear that creating housing on the property is not an option. Right now, the city estimates it subsidizes the golf course close to $300,000 a year.
FloridaA study shows that Walton County is lacking in broadband service. Three recommendations were provided to the Walton County Commissioners on how to achieve this high-speed internet service across the county. The strongly-recommended option is to create a public-private partnership (P3) with providers who already have the expertise. 

County-contracted grant writers will begin the process to find available grants to fund broadband projects. Before searching for grants, the Walton United Broadband Committee will use the study's recommendations and data to come up with a specific project. On June 6, the Walton United Broadband Committee will have their last meeting to finalize a project proposal for the commissioners.
New York- A request for proposals is due to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development by Sept. 10 for the design, construction and management of an affordable mixed-income and mixed-use development in East New York. The city-owned project site is an L-shaped parcel of 49,397 square-feet along Eldert Lane between Pitkin and Glenmore avenues. A portion of the site is also located along Grant Avenue adjacent to the A-train subway station. 

The development will require modular construction which will reduce the amount of building time. The new development will provide housing affordability to a range of income levels based on the economic need of the neighborhood.
Pennsylvania- Lancaster County is ready to spend $19 million on renovations to its four-decade-old courthouse in downtown Lancaster. The project includes an expansion for the district attorney's office and staff. The seven-story building, located at the corner of Duke and Orange streets could begin as soon as February 2019 and be completed by June 2020. 

The county's facility management department plans to request bids for the project in October. The office will move from the fifth floor into the sixth and seventh floors, which have been vacant since the county relocated. Plans on the fifth-floor call for a new courtroom for orphans' court hearings, a judicial conference room and hearing room and three judge's chambers with an accompanying secure corridor. Bail administration also would be moved to the fifth floor.
Mississippi- Due to state budget cuts, Delta State University closed the Derrall Foreman Golf Course in 2017. The closure will translate into nearly $250,000 in savings for the university, which are needed to offset $1.1 million in state budget cuts from this fiscal year alone. Fortunately, the Legislature enacted a law that allows Delta State to lease the land for up to 50 years. College board trustees must approve any lease. 

This Mississippi university has issued a request for proposals to find a developer over the summer months. Uses for the site include a conference center, hotel, houses, apartments and a par-three golf course. University employees and students would get first rights to any houses or apartments.
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June 13 and 14
Inframation's U.S. P3 Infrastructure Forum of 2018 will be held June 13-14 at The Hilton Midtown, New York. Heading into its fourteenth year, the event will bring together infrastructure developers, investors, financiers, state and federal public officials and regional transportation authorities for two days of panel discussions, keynote presentations and valuable networking. 

Senior delegates from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America will attend to discuss what is happening across the country and the issues that are shaping the industry's future. Registration is open for the conference here. View more details here or contact eventmail@inframationgroup.com.
July 23 and 24
The P3 Airport Summit will be held July 23 and 24 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, San Diego, Calif. Several speakers, including Mary Scott Nabers, will examine airport infrastructure challenges faced nationwide and offer lessons learned and best practices in project delivery, procurement and life-cycle asset management. The event will provide keynotes, case studies, panels, workshops and diverse 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. Attendees include senior management from firms in the construction, engineering, architecture, legal, investment and consulting industries as well as senior business and facility administrators from airports. Join over 1,000 industry leaders, public owners and stakeholders for this two-day event with a packed agenda. Register for the summit here
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- Nevada Chief Information Officer (CIO) Shanna Rahming has taken a position as Illinois' chief strategy officer. Rahming, who resigned as CIO of Nevada in March after nearly three years in the role, will now head Illinois' new Office of Strategy and Planning. 
- Michigan State Police (MSP) Deputy Director Lt. Col. Gary M. Gorski will retire effective June 1, 2018. Gorski, who served as commander of the Specialized Services Bureau and a member of the department's Executive Council, is retiring after 32 years of service. Gorski joined the department in 1985. 
- Alonzo "Lonnie" Luce has been named the state director of Louisiana for Charter Schools USA (CSUSA). In addition to his CSUSA role, Luce will continue as superintendent of University View Academy, a charter online school in Louisiana. He previously was the superintendent of St. James Parish schools.
- Bridget Kravchenko has been hired as the new chief information security officer (CISO) for Oakland County, Mich. She began her duties on May 29. Kravchenko previously worked as a CISO in the private sector. Kravchenko's predecessor in the role was Chris Burrows, who worked for Oakland County from 2013 until February of this year. 
- Louisiana Rep. Gene Reynolds of Minden will resign his seat in the House to oversee Louisiana's state parks. His resignation from the House is effective June 4. The retired teacher and principal plans to begin his job by taking a working vacation to all 22 of the state parks. Reynolds replaces Robert Barham, who retires with a decades-long legacy of elective and appointed public service. 
- University of Idaho President Chuck Staben will leave his position at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. The Idaho State Board of Education is looking at hiring firms to find a replacement for the vacancy. Staben started his tenure in 2014, after taking over the position from his predecessor, who held the position for four years. 
- Steve Drew, who has served as deputy police chief of Richmond, Va., since April 2015, has been selected to become the next chief of police of Newport News. Drew will officially begin his new position on July 2. Drew will replace Michael Grinstead the city's interim chief who replaced Police Chief Richard Myers after he retired from the department last September. 
- In South Carolina, the Richland County Recreation Commission has hired Lakita Watson as its new director. James Brown III retired from the position in October 2016. Watson comes to Richland County from Suffolk County, Va. She is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional with more than 20 years' experience in recreation program planning. 
- Leslie Robson-Hoog, a 30-year veteran firefighter who began her career in Cocoa Beach, was tapped to head Palm Bay Fire-Rescue in Florida. Robson-Hoog replaces Chief Russell 'Rusty' Nail, who resigned in April after eight months on the job. Nail was named Escambia County's fire chief. 
- After leading Snow College since 2014, Gary Carlston is retiring the presidency. The Utah State Board of Regents will appoint a committee to conduct a nation-wide search to select Snow College's next president. Carlston will continue in this position until his successor has been chosen, which the board anticipates to be sometime in early 2019. 
- James Lane has been appointed as the superintendent of public instruction of Virginia's fifth-largest school system. Lane has been superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools since 2016. He will replace Steve Constantino has served as the interim state superintendent since Steven R. Staples retired in January. 
- The head of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Jon Litscher, will retire effective June 11. Litscher was appointed in 2016 to oversee the state prison system. He had previously served as Corrections secretary from 1999-2003. Litscher will be replaced by deputy secretary Cathy Jess.  
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