Volume 11, Issue 6- Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Across America, ports are expanding and posting record cargo growth. This will result in huge economic gains throughout the country. However, the positive impact is vulnerable because many critical components in the infrastructure network that allow the movement of goods are woefully underfunded, especially when it comes to security.  

A majority of funding for port security comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). Annual funding for this program has not increased in the last five years. In spite of the record growth, the economic stimulus and the critical link to global competitiveness, port funding from the PSGP has remained stagnant since 2014. 

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third busiest port complex in the U.S. It also ranks as the busiest port anywhere on the East Coast after recording a 7 percent cargo increase in 2018. Recently, it surpassed the 7-million container mark for the first time ever. 

In Louisiana, the Port of New Orleans moved more containers last year than any other year in its history. Data shows that cargo was up 12.3 percent from 2017. A large increase in shipments of coal allowed the three major shipping ports in Indiana to handle record cargo last year, showing a 25 percent increase in growth over 2017 activity.  

At the Port of Houston, three records were broken in 2018. A 9 percent increase in total tonnage from 2017 set a new record of 35.7 tons for 2018. Operating revenue increased by $33 million over the previous year and set a record at $336 million. And, lastly, total combined business through the port's public facilities generated a record $162 million in 2018, up $11 million over 2017.     

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Maryland- The replacement of the American Legion Memorial Bridge is a top priority for the Maryland governor. The American Legion Bridge replacement is part of a $7.6 billion widening of Interstates 495 (the Capital Beltway) and 270 in Maryland. The new bridge will be built within the current span's existing footprint but will aim to reduce traffic congestion in the area surrounding the structure. The bridge will connect to three miles of high-occupancy toll lanes that Virginia is building. In November, the Maryland Department of Transportation issued a presolicitation information memo about the anticipated first phase of the project. 

The state estimated that this initial scope of work would cost between $2 billion and $5 billion and include the design, construction and financing of managed lanes from Virginia into Maryland, rehabilitation of the American Legion Bridge, followed by operations and maintenance of the new infrastructure for 50 years. The schedule for the solicitation projects that the state's Board of Public Works would approve the project for a public-private partnership this month. The next step would be the issuance of an industry-wide request for qualifications in April.
Iowa- The University of Iowa (UI) is considering revamping its utility system through a public-private partnership (P3). The university currently provides water to the campus and its affiliated hospitals, operates a power plant and maintains different water plants on the main campus and Oakdale campus. UI would continue to own its utility system and enter into a professional services agreement with a private firm for up to 50 years. 

The exact level of money involved will be unknown until the completion of the request for qualifications (RFQ) and request for proposals (RFP) process. The UI will pay the vendor the cost of utilities and an amount commensurate with the ongoing care, maintenance and operation of the UI utility system, increased annually to account for standard inflation. No resources will be allocated until at least July 1, 2020. A RFQ is to be released April 1 followed by a RFP in early June of this year.
Masschusetts- The city of Lowell is another step closer to getting a new high school. A plan for the high school campus will be reviewed for approval by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) at its meeting on April 10. 

Some features in the new school include green space on the roof, improved lighting in classrooms and classrooms built around subject clusters like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the humanities. The project is likely to cost more than $343 million with more than half of that expected to be reimbursed to the city by the MSBA. Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Oklahoma- The Enid City Commission recently approved multiple Kaw Lake water pipeline items and has heard a proposal for an alternate delivery method. A construction-manager-at-risk (CMAR) delivery method is being contemplated and the city plans to pursue putting out a request for qualifications for CMARs. 

The delivery method of the project is design, bid and build and the project is currently in the design phase. If commissioners decide to proceed with a CMAR, that firm's job will be to take the 30 percent design and come up with an independent cost opinion. That total would be compared to what city engineers have estimated so far, which is currently $315 million.
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New York- New York state lawmakers have announced plans to modernize and centralize the Wadsworth Lab in Albany, one of five outdated building sites around the region. The $750 million project would construct a new 650,000-square-foot building and position the lab for private-sector investment. The lab functions as a blood screening location, working to identify diseases like Zika and identify bioterrorism threats. 

The governor proposed locating the new lab facility near the Harriman state office campus in Albany, between Washington Avenue and Route 85. Officials see the potential of working with private partners to speed development and innovation. The state health department and Empire State Development are to develop a plan for the lab's design and construction, which will have to be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board. Current estimates predict that after final state approval the new lab will be complete in five years.
Michigan- The city of Detroit has announced plans to overhaul streetscapes as part of the bond-funded $125 million neighborhood improvement plan. The design features include plaza-like corridors throughout the city's retail centers. The goal of creating pedestrian friendly, plaza-like environments is a centerpiece of the comprehensive neighborhood improvement plan. A request for proposals (RFP) for the initial seven projects will be released later this month and construction is expected to be completed by 2020.  

Among the largest of the city's streetscape projects is the planned overhaul of the historic "Avenue of Fashion" in northwest Detroit. The plan calls for crews to rip out the median and convert the road from two lanes in each direction to just one lane in each direction, plus a continuous left turn lane and parking on each side. In total, there are 23 projects that coincide with the bond. The scope and timeline of the remaining 16 projects has yet to be determined.
Washington, D.C.- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last week announced the award of $56 million in grant funding for 18 rail projects in 16 states. Issued under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, the funding will help to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of both passenger and freight rail systems. The notice of funding opportunity reserved at least 25 percent of the awards for rural projects. The 2017 Appropriations Act required $10 million for projects that contribute to the restoration or initiation of intercity passenger rail service. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received the largest amount of $10 million to combine three grade separations on the CSXS line north of Raleigh. Two of the grade separations are primarily being funded by the state, and the third at Millbrook Road would be advanced by the CRISI grant. These improvements will be the first construction projects on the planned Raleigh to Richmond section of the Southeast Sealed Corridor and will directly improve the safety and reliability of both highway and rail transportation.  

The New York Department of Transportation will receive more than $6 million for the Hudson Line Bridge decks replacement. The proposed project will replace timber bridge decks with ballast decks on three bridges on the Hudson Line in Dutchess and Columbia counties. In Missouri, the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis will receive more than $7 million for the replacement of the MacArthur Bridge truss over South Broadway. View all of the grant awards here
Florida- A one-year study commissioned by the Tampa Downtown Partnership has revealed that the downtown area needs a vendor to handle parking management. Three counts conducted during the course of the study showed that, even during peak weekday parking times, 6,000 of the 24,000 spaces were empty. Those vacant spots are unusable due to monthly permits for business and employees that have put restrictions on the spaces. 

The study showed that the city of Tampa, which manages 8,000 spaces downtown, has put in a 15-year freeze on prices. Price adjustments are needed to put the cost for city spaces more in line with private garages and lots. Special rate packages, such as early-bird rates, could also be a part of a price adjustment solution. The study recommends shifting to a public-private partnership model where a private company issues monthly passes, validations, parking cards and manages meters. The city would set rates, manage the residential parking permit program and handle enforcement; and the downtown development authority would coordinate availability location and price. The next step is working to get consensus among the stakeholders on implementing management changes.  

Tennessee- The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) has been undergoing a $144 million design-build expansion. The awarded contract included designing an additional six-level, 1,800-space parking structure capable of supporting a hotel on the fifth level. The hotel and parking portion of the project is now being sought by the airport through a request for qualifications. 

The scope of the services involves designing and building a parking structure as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a hotel development. Under the plans, the new parking structure will be funded, operated and maintained by MNAA, and the hotel development will be funded, operated and maintained by the developer. A pre-qualification conference will be held at the airport on Feb. 28. Responses are due by May 2.  
New Jersey- The non-profit agency Gateway Program Development Corp. is launching a virtual data room for its procurement process. The new method will provide private-sector firms with access to information concerning the Hudson Tunnel project sooner than in traditional procurement. Firms will be able to review the data and propose locations for further geotechnical investigation. 

The tunnel project, currently in the pre-procurement design and environmental analysis phase, will bring a new passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York Penn Station. The virtual data room will be available to firms who can request access through the Gateway Program Development Corp.'s wesbsite. Historical geotechnical information from the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) project, Hudson Bergen Light Rail Project, Lincoln Tunnel and the North River Tunnel will also be available in the data room. 
Missouri- Residents of Jefferson City could have the opportunity to privatize the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. There has been an ongoing push to decide the issue at the polls following the rejection of privatization by a city aldermanic committee on Jan. 17, state representatives have introduced state legislation to do the same thing via a city-wide election. 

A member of the city advisory committee has indicated that a request for qualifications (RFQ) could be issued as soon as late March to determine which companies are interested in bidding. Subsequently, the city would decide which companies will be asked to submit bids. A majority of the airlines must approve any eventual deal with a private operator. So would the Board of Aldermen, federal officials and the city Board of Estimate and Apportionment.  
Virginia- Harrisonburg School Board members are weighing the possibility of a design-build method versus a design-bid-build method for a new high school. The Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) allows for school divisions to explore alternative methods to construct buildings. Some construction can begin during the design phase of this type of plan, which could offer the potential advantage of reducing the project's time span and lead to a 2022 opening. 

An architectural firm presented a design plan in January for the building with an estimated cost to the city of around $86 million. No contract has been signed with this firm. During the next 45 days, other firms will be allowed to submit other PPEA proposals.
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New York- New York City's (NYC) Economic Development Corporation (EDC) approved to release a request for proposals to explore ideas for two new waterfront parks in Inwood, a neighborhood in the NYC borough of Manhattan. The parks will be located at North Cove and Academy Street. The city has invested $41 million to build a new esplanade at Academy Street between 10th Avenue and the Harlem River, which will add two acres of green space and connect to the Harlem River Greenway. It will be known as the Sherman Creek Malecon. 

The proposals should feature designs for both esplanades and laid-back recreation areas as well as active spots for biking, kayaking and fishing. Submissions for the project are due no later than March 14. After a consultant is selected, the EDC and NYC Parks will work with the community on the design in late 2019 with the project wrapping up in 2022.
New Jersey- Senate Bill 2958, dubbed the Energy Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (P3) Act, will be taken up Thursday by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The proposed bill would allow private companies to partner with public entities to upgrade energy-related facilities and even develop new generation systems, including solar, wind and microgrids. But its primary focus is managing the energy load at government facilities like municipal buildings, wastewater-treatment plants, universities and prisons by cutting use and saving dollars. 

The legislation would allow private entities to be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the energy projects. The bill provides flexibility on financing, letting private entities take advantage of tax abatements, long-term bonding and other funding mechanisms.
California- San Anselmo officials have requested public input on a proposal to renovate Creek Park as a part of a major county flood control project. Part of the project includes the tear-down of a business building that straddles the creek and restricts water flow at the corner of Creek Park. The park renovation would follow the removal of the downtown building. The plan that the Town Council has touted is hosting a park design contest inviting proposals that would both reinvent the park and address flood reduction. The county is working to get the $17.4 million project going by a 2020 deadline. 

The town would be expected to put out a request for qualifications this month seeking potential applicants to submit proposals by Feb. 25. In March, the committee would notify the top designers and host a brief session with them. The final design packages would be due in early May in time for the committee to select its recommended applicant to be considered by the Town Council. If all goes according to plan, construction could begin by January 2020.  
Michigan- Oakland University Board of Trustees approved a $20.5 million construction project that would allow additions and renovations to North Foundation Hall, Wilson Hall, O'Dowd Hall and Vandenberg Hall. In January, a $40 million renovation of South Foundation Hall also got the green light, adding 37 classrooms. In order to increase efficiency between departments, administrative offices will be moved closer together. 

North Foundation Hall will be home to student services such as the registrar's office. Wilson Hall, which currently holds the president's office, will be redesigned with the relocation of the admissions office. The project will be paid for with existing bonds and reserves. Final schematics for the project are expected to be released by August with plans to complete construction by late 2021.
Delaware- The city of Dover has approved the construction of a 400-space parking garage in the downtown area without using city taxpayer money to build the structure. The city issued a request for proposals (RFP) from developers for a parking garage that will be built at the site of the former Acme Market on South Governors Avenue. 

The property is owned by the Downtown Dover Partnership and currently houses an auto parts store. The city wants to enter a public-private partnership to have the garage constructed by a developer that would pay for building costs but also operate and collect revenue from people who use the parking spaces. The RFP indicated that the city will let the entity managing the garage set the prices to park in the garage. Dover was given $1 million in state funding to help pay for the garage, but the estimated cost of the garage could be as high as $8 million.
South Carolina- The city of Aiken recently released a request for proposals (RFP) for garbage collection, recycling and yard waste services. City officials stated that they are interested in seeing how much a private vendor would charge for the waste services currently done in-house. The chosen vendor would be expected to maintain the existing collection schedule but can alter routes and dates as needed. 

Currently, the city charges $17 a month to its 12,372 solid waste customers. Proposals are due on February 22 and the five-year contract would be awarded on July 1.
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March 4-6 / Dallas, Texas
The 7th Annual Public-Private Partnership Conference & Expo will be held March 4-6 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Government Contracting Pipeline readers can use promo code 100GCP to receive $100 off their registration. Register for the event here

Join over 1,250 senior representatives from governments, higher education institutions and leading firms in the global construction and financial markets. The conference attracts professionals from all corners of the industry and provides a valuable opportunity to facilitate new partnerships with industry peers and public sector partners. Attendees will discover new alternative project delivery methods, strategies for implementing successful P3 projects, the nuts and bolts of how deals work, and how to manage risks associated with legal and financial frameworks. Attendees will participate in interactive panels, workshops, and conversations specifically tailored to the needs of public agencies evaluating P3s. The conference is designed for all levels in the market including those beginning to explore P3s and seeking to better understand where alternative and accelerated project delivery methods can be applicable.

Attendees will participate in interactive panels, workshops, and conversations specifically tailored to the needs of public agencies evaluating P3s. The conference is designed for all levels in the market including those beginning to explore P3s and seeking to better understand where alternative and accelerated project delivery methods can be applicable.

New Hampshire- Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes is retiring after nearly 12 years at the helm of the state agency responsible for state police and a variety of other public safety services. Barthelmes plans to step down when his current term expires at the end of March. He was appointed director of the state police in 1996 and was named commissioner of public safety in 2007. The governor's office plans to appoint a new commissioner by April. 
Washington, D.C.- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has named Clare Martorana as the new chief information officer (CIO). Martorana has been working with the digital services team at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Martorana follows in the footsteps of David Garcia, who was hired in October 2017 after Dave DeVries retired from federal service and moved to Michigan as the state's CIO. 
Oregon- The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) has named Samuel Desue Jr. chief operating officer, effective March 18. He will lead the agency's transportation, maintenance, information technology and safety and security divisions. Desue has more than 22 years of public and private transportation experience, including in Washington state. He most recently was deputy chief executive officer for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA). 
Georgia- Charles L. Coney has been chosen to fill the position of city manager of the city of Americus. Prior to accepting this post, he served as the city manager of the city of Hampton. Before that Coney was the assistant county manager, and then the interim county manager of Macon-Bibb County Consolidated government. He will take office the last week of February. 
Virginia- Jeffrey S. "Jeff" Johnson has been chosen as the new fire chief of Newport News. Johnson currently serves as fire chief for Salinas, Calif. Johnson has over 30 years of experience in emergency medical and fire service. He started his career in 1988 with the Grandview Fire Department as a firefighter and paramedic. From there he moved to Kansas City, then to Salinas. 
North Carolina- Reenie Askew, currently the deputy chief information officer (CIO) for Houston, was hired last week as the new CIO for Charlotte, N.C. As Charlotte's new CIO, Askew will oversee the city's information technology department and its "smart city" initiatives. Charlotte has been without a permanent IT leader since last September, when Jeff Stovall, the city's first CIO, resigned after a decade for an executive job with a health-care payment software company. Askew will start her role in Charlotte on March 11. 
California- Garrett Evans has been named the new city manager of Pittsburg. Evans, who has served as assistant city manager for nearly eight years, has worked for the city of Pittsburg for 22 years. Evans was the general manager of the Pittsburg Power Company, a city-owned energy company, before he was appointed to assistant city manager in 2011. Evans takes over the city manager position from Joe Sbranti who retired in December. 
Alaska- Peter Zuyus is out as Alaska's chief information officer (CIO) after less than two months in the role. Attorney Paula Vrana, who joined the state department on Jan. 2, will be the acting CIO. Zuyus had replaced Bill Vajda who resigned in August after becoming the first Alaska CIO to oversee a centralized IT structure. 
Oklahoma- Patti Neuhold will become the University of Central Oklahoma's (UCO) 21st president July 1. Neuhold is UCO's vice president for finance and chief financial officer. She will succeed President Don Betz when he retires June 30 after eight years as UCO president. Neuhold has served in leadership positions at UCO in finance and budget, administrative and professional development departments since joining the university in 2007. 
Connecticut- Thomas C. Katsouleas has been named the 16th president of the University of Connecticut (UConn). The school's current leader, Susan Herbst, is stepping down. His term as president begins Aug. 1, 2019. Katsouleas is currently executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia. Katsouleas has been executive vice president and provost at Virginia since 2015, having been appointed to the position after serving for seven years at Duke University as the dean of the Pratt School of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. 
North Carolina- Avril Pinder was named the new Buncombe County manager. She will start her new position March 4. Pinder has been New Hanover's deputy county manager since 2015, and prior to that served as assistant county manager and finance director. She is the full-time replacement for Wanda Greene, who retired after 20 years in the job in 2017. Two interim managers replaced Greene following her June 2017 retirement. 
Colorado- Vince Niski has been selected as the next police chief of Colorado Springs. Niski has served as Deputy Chief since 2012 and has been with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 30 years. During Niski's time with CSPD, he has worked in the patrol, traffic, metro vice, narcotics and intelligence divisions. Niski will replace Pete Carey who served as police chief from 2011 until 2019 and left the department to serve as El Paso County undersheriff.
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