Volume 10, Issue 36- Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Water utilities in the United States were once operated almost completely by private companies. That began to change when Boston, New York, Los Angeles and other large cities expanded in the late 19th century. Water utilities failed to manage the increased demand and government leaders stepped up to assume responsibility for adequate water resources. That's been the case for decades, but now water problems are critical again. Most water experts believe another change is imminent. 

Today, privatization and collaborative ventures are the norm for airports, roads, bridges and seaports but the water sector has been largely overlooked. The city of Baltimore has even considered changing its charter to prevent public-private partnerships (P3s) related to water. How strange is that?

America definitely has water problems and there's no argument about whether there is adequate government revenue available to remedy the problems. Yet, government leaders appear fearful of alternative funding when it comes to large water projects. Most believe their fears are related to a lack of support from ratepayers who fear increases. Few stop to remember that rates are set by governmental entities and there are regulatory authorities to protect taxpayers. 

The misconceptions about alternative funding need to be corrected and it is time to move on to realistic ways to ensure clean water resources. Of the country's 160,000 drinking water systems, only 2,000 are operated through a P3. That means that 158,000 water systems are operated by public entities. Their upkeep, expansion and guarantee of clean drinking water are almost entirely in the hands of cities, counties and states that are struggling and suffering with budgets that cannot be stretched any further. 

Last week, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) reintroduced the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act which would stimulate $43 billion in incremental private water infrastructure investment and $20 billion for water P3s. This, the proposed statute points out, could be made possible by eliminating the volume cap on water infrastructure private activity bonds. There's no way to tell yet whether the proposed bill can gain enough support to be passed.

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Pennsylvania- Pittsburgh International Airport officials continue work on the Terminal Modernization Program (TMP), a $1.1 billion plan that was announced a year ago. The latest opportunity at the airport is for architects and developers at an Industry Day event on Sept. 13 that will provide upcoming procurement opportunities. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency hotel at the airport and will provide an opportunity for local firms, small businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises to learn about opportunities related to the TMP and meet with other firms to explore potential partnering opportunities. 

In conjunction with Industry Day, two additional requests for proposals (RFPs) related to the TMP will be issued in early September. The Airport Authority will seek proposals from interested and qualified firms for architectural and engineering services for the design of garage and surface parking, rental car, and ground transportation facilities and another RFP will be issued for Construction Management services. 

The Airport Authority has created expanded office space in Concourse D to accommodate the TMP Program Management team. A previously unoccupied hold room and storage space around Gate D85 has been converted to more than 5,000 square feet of office, conference and reception space. A website has been developed to provide updates on the TMP.
Florida- In Sarasota the city commission recently approved a redevelopment project of the city's current bayfront. Officials approved a plan to convert some 53 acres of the concrete-paved area into a greenspace with cultural centers, commercial space and views of the water. The project, referred to as The Bay, will be paid for with a combination of private, city, state and federal funds with millions of dollars already secured for portions of the undertaking. 

The project will be accomplished in phases and will include the replacement of the performing arts center with a larger one estimated to cost up to $270 million. The city intends to build pedestrian bridges, a boat ramp, a waterfront promenade, restaurants, botanical gardens, an auditorium, history center and several other features. As of yet, there are no announcements on a request for proposals.
New York- Rensselaer County has announced interest in moving government offices in Troy to make hundreds of acres of downtown real estate available for development. This announcement comes on the heels of developers reaching out to the county to express considerable interest in investment in the downtown area. County officials hope the relocation of 350 to 400 government workers would allow for the development of new retail, apartments and parking facilities valued at up to $130 million. 

County offices are inside a former high school that was built in the early 1900s. County-owned property includes a health building across the street that would be demolished. An empty building next door previously used by the police for traffic signal control would be saved. A new county government office building - possibly combined with a new city hall - would cost $20 million to $30 million and could be built near the river in the South Troy or North Central neighborhoods. A request for proposals for the county office space is expected to be issued this fall.
Missouri- The Kansas City Zoo is in the planning stages for a $75 million aquarium. Plans call for a footprint of 65,000 to 70,000 square feet, with 700,000 to 750,000 gallons in tanks. The aquarium would offer visitors the experience of seeing two ocean biomes - one warmer and one with colder water. An aquarium has yet to be designed, but it would include immersive features, such as tunnels, where visitors would be surrounded by sea life. 

The tanks would be stocked with a wide range of animals from sharks all the way down to sea horses and jelly fish. The timeline calls for the aquarium to open sometime in 2021 or 2022. Zoo officials haven't set a location but have considered building down the hill from the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, where the polar bears had been exhibited before their new exhibit opened in 2010.
Florida- Palm Beach State College (PBSC) is soliciting responses to a request for information (RFI) for the construction of a new Student Services Building utilizing a public-private partnership (P3) concept. The facility would be located at the Lake Worth Campus and would provide a one stop shop for admissions, registration, payment, financial aid, and advising as well as other student services. In addition to student services, there are many other auxiliary services that are being considered or could be considered for this project that include a student dining and preparation kitchen, student bookstore, parking deck, conference center and prefunction area for the Duncan Theater. 

The preliminary estimated budget for this building is $41 million. PBSC would consider allowing the responder to build out space for private purposes. In addition to sharing space, the college would consider the opportunity to transfer project functions normally undertaken by PBSC to the private sector including but not limited to innovative design and financing concepts, accelerated project delivery, project cost savings, quality construction and operations, and leveraging additional resources. Responses are due by Oct. 5, with questions due by Sept. 21.
Wakarusa Police Station
Indiana- Wakarusa has formed a Technical Review Committee to determine the design of a new police station. The committee is made up of council members, the town engineer, an architect and a police officer. The town is considering building the new station either as an addition to the existing fire station, at 301 E. Waterford St., or potentially on the plot of land on which the current police station is located at 102 S. Spring St. 

Although it was initially supposed to be a temporary location, the roughly 800-square-foot Spring Street facility has served as the station for more than 25 years. The first step is to put out a request for qualifications that the town plans to advertise in the coming weeks.
New Hampshire- The state of New Hampshire is considering a plan to overhaul their psychiatric system with the construction of a 100-bed forensic psychiatric hospital. The facility would serve only civilly committed individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity, considered dangerous to themselves or others, or incompetent to stand trial. Currently those individuals are held in the prison system's Secure Psychiatric Unit, a facility that has come under scrutiny for recent alleged patient mistreatment. 

A request for information has been released and details four options that the state is considering to solve the problems with care and detention moving forward. Those options include the construction and operation of a new facility; the renovation of the existing facility and the addition of new facilities; construction of a new facility that the state will operate; or the renovation of existing facility and the construction of new operating facilities. Advocates, lawmakers and other stakeholders are waiting on the state's decision to develop and/or reform the current system.
Kansas- The Dickinson County Public Building Commission (PBC) has approved $13.5 million in revenue bonds to finance the construction of a new Dickinson County jail. This project has been in talks for the past 5 years, with voters rejecting a bond in 2017 and subsequently approving the less expensive $13.5 million bond on Aug. 7. An advantage of using the PBC as a funding mechanism means it does not go against the county's debt limit and will not show up as county debt. 

Requests for proposals have been drafted for both construction of the facility and an environmental impact review that includes a land survey and a hazardous materials survey. The release of the proposals is expected in the coming months.

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California- The Los Angeles County Fair Association (LACF) is seeking statements of qualifications from developers or development teams for a transit-oriented development on an 11.75-acre Fairplex-owned assemblage of parcels in the city of La Verne. The LACF will select a shortlist of respondents to participate in an upcoming request for proposals to enter into a public-private partnership. 

The proposed project plan involves transit-oriented development (TOD) of the site with a mixed-use 2 zoning designation. The mixed-use 2 TOD zoning designation provides a wide variety of uses within walking distance of the Gold Line Station to complement the land uses of Fairplex. It consists of ground floor retail with residential or office uses above as well as hotel/hospitality and cultural uses. The site allows up to 70 dwelling units per acre, a maximum height for mixed-use residential/office of 84 feet and 108 feet for hotel, and parking requirements for approved uses. The LACF is planning site and fair tours between Sept. 19 and 20. A pre-bidders conference will be held on Sept. 28. Responses to the statements of qualifications are due by Nov. 2.
California- The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) has announced plans to update their digital signage NextMuni system at bus stops across the city. The nearly two-decade old system has faced recent criticism for being unreliable and dated. SFMTA is planning to replace the light-emitting diode signage with liquid crystal displays that allow both text and graphics. New alerts on the signs will include bus crowding alerts, alternative routes for when buses are late and more accurate predicted arrivals. 

The request for proposals (RFP) calls for signage on 850 bus shelters, software for the new system powering the signs and a new app for riders. The six-year contract will have two optional extensions of 5 years and will have to be approved by both SFMTA and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the coming months.
Washington, D.C.- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced an extension for those interested in submitting an expression of interest to house the headquarters of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The new deadline is Oct. 15 and will allow more time to prepare and submit proposals for moving the ERS and NIFA to a location outside of the National Capital Region by the end of 2019. 

USDA is undertaking the relocations for three main reasons: 
- to improve USDA's ability to attract and retain highly qualified staff with training and interests in agriculture, many of whom come from land-grant universities. USDA has experienced significant turnover in some positions, and it has been difficult to recruit employees to the Washington, D.C. area, particularly given the high cost of living and long commutes; 
- to place these important USDA resources closer to many of the stakeholders; and
- to benefit the American taxpayers. There will be significant savings on employment costs and rent, which will allow more employees to be retained in the long run, even in the face of tightening budgets. 

The notice of the extension appears in the Federal Register.
Connecticut- Guilford is expected to draft a request for proposals to develop more affordable housing. The Housing for Economic Development Planning Committee will decide how developers will use a roughly nine-acre city-controlled property to develop as many as five two-story buildings to meet affordable housing needs. An architecture firm completed a feasibility study on the property located in a historic district of Guilford and the committee collected extensive public input on the project. Current plans suggest three models that would provide anywhere from 15 to 20 housing units across a potential maximum of five buildings at this time. 

The development would not be reserved or exclusive to a specific age demographic and the hope is to create some two-bedroom and even three-bedroom units that would be more suitable to households with children. The locations would be in the center of the property and would provide access to the nearby food bank, daycare facilities and a park. The committee will meet on Sep. 25 to review the final plan before voting to recommend it to the Board of Selectmen.
Franklin County Detention Complex
Missouri- Franklin County plans to have schematic designs completed by October and bidding documents available by December to expand its detention center. Bidding should be completed by May of 2019 and overall construction completed by August 2020. The $35.9 million addition would include a 41,000-square-foot, two-story building with 250 long-term beds and additional space for 22 more. This portion of the project would include multiple secure day rooms, two- and four-man cells and Americans with Disabilities Act-approved cells. New booking, prisoner intake/transport, maximum security and medical facilities will be part of the addition, as well as a housing control area for guards to monitor prisoner movement. Another 6,000-square-foot addition will be placed on the opposite side of the building for a new 911 facility. 

Seven areas of the existing facility will be renovated that include reincorporating the narcotics division back to the sheriff's department headquarters. The evidence storage area will include a laboratory and garage for vehicle forensics. The road patrol and detective divisions will receive a "war room," offices, armory, interview rooms and more than 30 individual workstations.
Arizona- Salt River Project (SRP) has issued an all-source request for proposals (RFP) for up to 650 megawatts (MW) of capacity to meet future peak-hour demand requirements. SRP expects to add 100 to 650 MW of new peak capacity during the period between May 2022 and May 2025. Proposals in response to the RFP must be submitted to SRP by Jan. 15. Selection of new resources is expected to be completed by the end of April. SRP is asking for respondents to provide a variety of cost-competitive potential peak capacity solutions, including battery/energy storage charged by a renewable resource or the grid, demand response resource options, existing combined cycle natural gas power plants and simple cycle gas turbines. 

SRP's peak capacity need is driven by expected future peak-hour demand growth, the loss of peak capacity due to anticipated plant retirements and the need for increased system flexibility that is driven by the variable operating characteristics of renewable generating resources such as solar and wind. SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than one million customers.
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California- Pasadena's Department of Transportation plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) related to the replacement of its existing Parking Access and Revenue Control System (PARCS) in eight city-owned garages. The Pasadena City Council wants to replace this computerized system that is between 10 and 17 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. PARCS is currently installed in the garages at Paseo Colorado, Los Robles Blvd., De Lacey Avenue, Schoolhouse at 33 East Green Street, Marriot at 171 North Raymond Avenue, Del Mar Station at 198 South Raymond Avenue, and Holly Street. 

The system allows the city to control access and collect parking revenues in a fast and secure manner. The city's transportation department is preparing the RFP and plans to return to the city council in November with a recommendation.
Maryland- The Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) has five properties that are nearly 100 years old located near Lexington Market on Fayette and Liberty streets. A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued by the BDC to redevelop these structures. Two properties are on W. Fayette Street and total 10,000 square feet of living space. Three properties on N. Liberty Street total 3,500 square feet of living space. 

The properties are within the Market Center National Register Historic District and the city's Five & Dime Local Historic District, as well as a state Enterprise Zone, making potential projects eligible for several tax breaks and historic tax credits. The properties listed on the RFP are located near the Everyman Theater and the Hippodrome Theater. Redevelopment proposals are due to the BDC by Nov. 5.
Washington, D.C.- The United States Marine Corps released a request for information (RFI) for industry input to identify potential sources for a suite of hearing enhancement devices. The service is looking for a next-generation hearing system that will protect Marines' hearing while increasing their situational awareness in a variety of training and combat environments. 

The Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) will spearhead the effort and assess possible systems for compatibility with existing Marine Corps radios and the Marine Corps Enhanced Combat Helmet. Any system would also be used with the current Combat Arms Earplugs that Marines wear. The next generation hearing technology must also protect Marines' hearing from any new weapon systems fielded in the future. MCSC's Program Manager Infantry Combat Equipment division is looking to purchase between 7,000 and 65,000 hearing enhancement devices within the next three years.
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- Maine Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jim Smith will step down from his position at the end of September. Smith departs after nearly seven years in the role. The Office of Information Technology's chief operating officer, Ande Smith, will fill the CIO spot starting Oct. 1. 
- University of South Florida (USF) system president Judy Genshaft announced that she will step down from her position next July. Genshaft arrived at USF after a national search in 2000, on the heels of another long-serving leader, Betty Castor. Genshaft was previously vice president of Academic Affairs at the University of Albany in New York. 
- The Rockford Housing Authority (RHA), an organization that began more than 65 years ago, announced Laura Snyder as the new CEO. Snyder has 20 years of experience with public housing and was previously the director of housing operations for the RHA. She began her new position Sept. 1. 
- The Port of New York and New Jersey announced last week that it will launch a nationwide search to replace Molly Campbell, who will step down as port director on Oct. 26 to become a university fellow in Harvard University's Advanced Leadership Initiative. Campbell joined the Port of New York and New Jersey Port Authority in July 2015, following a nearly 15-year career with the Port of Los Angeles. 
- The city of Martinsburg has hired Shane C. Farthing as its new economic and community development director. Farthing brings over ten years of economic and community development experience, including as the senior director of Washington, D.C.-based Active Transportation Programs and lead of the Research-Into-Practice Group at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. 
- Janelle K. Best, who currently served as the executive director of the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce, was named as the new president for the Howell chamber, succeeding Pat Convery, who retired earlier this year after over 15 years as the organization's president and CEO. Best's first day will be Oct. 22. 
- A fire chief from Littleton, Colo., will lead Hall County Fire Services beginning Oct. 29. Chris Armstrong was one of three finalists named for fire chief, a position that had been vacant since the end of October 2017, when former Chief Jeff Hood resigned. Armstrong, who got his start in the Miami suburb of Miramar, Fla., was hired after an 11-month gap since Hood's resignation. Deputy Chief Mark Arnold has worked as interim chief since November. 
- Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudle will retire Oct. 31. Steudle has worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation for almost 39 years and has served in his current role since 2006. 
- Nitish Sharma, previously the budget manager for the city of West Sacramento, has been appointed finance director for the city of Davis. Sharma replaces the city's current finance administrator, Kelly Fletcher, who retired this summer. He brings to Davis more than 10 years of experience as a municipal finance officer, with significant experience implementing sound financial procedures and strategies. 
- Troy Waffner has been appointed as the director of the New York State Fair, effective immediately. Waffner has served as the acting director for the last five years. His appointment follows the three most successful years the fair has seen in its history. He was assistant director for three years before that, working under Dan O'Hara and then Tom Ryan, who lasted just eight months on the job. 
- Austin police Assistant Chief Frank Dixon was selected to lead the Denton Police Department beginning Oct. 15. Dixon currently oversees the Austin police South Patrol bureau, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport unit and the Special Operations Division, which includes the SWAT team, Bomb Squad, Air Support Unit and K-9 Unit. Dixon will replace former Denton Police Chief Lee Howell, who resigned Aug. 6 to lead the Saginaw Police Department. 
- John Hill is stepping down by the end of December after five years as Detroit's chief financial officer. Hill was hired in 2013 and is credited with helping Detroit's financial restructuring through and after the city's historic bankruptcy.
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