Volume 11, Issue 11- Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Most elected officials, especially at the local levels of government, desperately need more revenue. There are critical needs in their communities but they have no funds to address the problems. Although alternative funding is available, government leaders in many states are reluctant to accept it. 

Alternative funding sources are abundant. Funding is available through a multitude of federal programs and there's an incredible amount of private-sector capital available for investment in public projects. 

So, one has to wonder, why are public officials slow to accept the much-needed funding? Why is there so much deferred maintenance in schools, libraries, healthcare clinics and other public facilities when alternative funding is available? Why are unsafe bridges being ignored? Why are transportation projects on hold? 

Primarily, it's because the concept of using alternative funding, especially private-sector capital investment, is not the norm. The model is somewhat complicated and the public at large does not understand how it all works. As a result, the uncertainty of how citizens will view alternatively funded projects and the political risks associated with a new and innovative procurement method stops many elected officials. That's not only regrettable - it is bad for citizens. 

Here's what is simple - public assets that are ignored grow more costly, inefficient and unsafe every year. Economic vitality, job creation, public safety and sustainability in every region depend on good leadership. Sometimes good leadership requires having the courage and confidence to champion new and innovative initiatives to preserve public assets.

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Indiana - The South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor extension project is moving closer in the approval process to receive $440 million in federal funding thanks to a good project rating from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

The FTA's medium-high rating came out last week through the Department of Transportation's annual report on the Capital Investment Grant program. The federal funding would come in the form of a New Starts grant, one of several in the Capital Investment Grant program. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) has asked the FTA to advance the project to the engineering phase of the grant process and should hear the decision in the next 45 to 60 days. 

Engineering is the final phase before negotiation of a full-funding grant agreement. Over the next year, the NICTD intends to select a firm to design the project, commence real estate acquisition and utility relocation and complete other necessary actions to achieve the full-funding grant agreement. If the West Lake Corridor project proceeds according to plan, the NICTD plans to award a construction contract in spring 2020, with the start of construction later that year. 
Washington State - The Port of Seattle Commission last week issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) to draw a private cruise ship partner to operate out of a new $200 million terminal along the Seattle waterfront. The partner will be responsible for 50 percent of the development costs, which is about $100 million. 

The terminal would be built along Pier 46, which currently serves as a cargo shipping hub. The pier will have shore power which will allow ships to plug in at berth, so they are not idling. 

The goal is to open the new cruise terminal for the 2020 cruise season. Once completed, the terminal will join the port's two other operating cruise ship terminals located at Pier 91 in Magnolia and Pier 66, north of Colman Dock along the Seattle waterfront. Responses to the RFQ are due by April 18. Candidates who make the shortlist will receive a request for proposals in May or June.  
Georgia - Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has released a request for proposals (RFP) for a new statewide voting system. State officials are asking interested companies to submit bids outlining how much it will cost to buy, install and operate some 30,000 touch screen terminals. The chosen candidate will receive a decade-long contract estimated at about $150 million. The vendor also must be able to test the voting system in 10 Georgia counties by November. 

Georgia's 159 counties should be equipped with the new machines for the 2020 presidential primary. The deadline for proposals is April 23. 

Georgia's current electronic voting machines, launched in 2002, have no paper backups. The replacement machines will have touch screens and paper backups that will help prevent fraud. This RFP is based on a bill that was passed by lawmakers on Friday for a new statewide voting system.   
Florida - The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) will send out a request for proposals (RFP) for construction that focuses on changes to the Hart Bridge in Jacksonville. The city recently reviewed a plan with the public that proposed bringing the ramps from the bridge down to surface streets. 

Slow travel times, safety and congestion are some of the reasons for the suggested change. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020 and the project is estimated to cost $37.5 million, with $12.5 million funded through a federal grant.  An RFP for the project could go out as early as May. 
Tennessee - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) plans to begin soliciting for 100 projects in 94 counties on March 29. One of the projects is to install traffic signals at the on-and off-ramps of Saturn Parkway (the intersection of Interstate 65 and State Route 396) at Port Royal Road, South of Nashville. 

In addition to the traffic lights, the project will include safety improvements to Port Royal Road from the north of Jim Warren Road to Old Port Royal Road North, including grading, drainage and paving. 

Port Royal Road consists of 280,000 square feet of retail, commercial, office and restaurant space, and is an area that's left many drivers waiting several minutes just to exit Saturn Parkway onto the road. The project should be completed by October. View all of the projects here
New Mexico - New Mexico State University (NMSU) recently closed a request for information (RFI) to receive market data on outsourcing all of its auxiliary services in 2020. These services include main campus maintenance and custodial services, housing, dining services and meal plans, parking, conference services, Crimson concierge services, the NMSU golf course, Corbett Center Student Union and more. 

All third-party operating agreements currently in force for the NMSU's auxiliary services terminate on June 30, 2020. NMSU wants to possibly outsource to one large contractor through a private-sector partnership to develop, operate, maintain and improve its portfolio of physical and operational assets beginning on July 1, 2020. A transfer of $40 million in university revenue to private sector development is under consideration. 

The RFI closed on March 15 and a request for qualifications is scheduled for release in April.  
New York - When the $90 million project to both upgrade Albany International Airport, and to build a long-planned connection to the nearby Adirondack Northway was announced last August, state officials originally expected the garage to cost about $27 million, well below the $90 million bid. 

One bid was received by the March 14 deadline and it came in higher than expected for the 1,000-vehicle parking garage. 

The airport authority plans to re-solicit for bids on the project beginning March 21. Airport officials are still planning to complete the new 1,000-vehicle parking garage by the end of March 2020.  
Alabama - A new law enacted in Alabama will increase funding for infrastructure projects throughout the state. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Rebuild Alabama plan into law last week that will see tax money collected through the plan go to roads, bridges, the port of Mobile and vehicle charging stations.

 A 10-cent gas tax increase will be phased in over the next three years. The state tax on gasoline will increase from 18 cents to 24 cents a gallon on Sept. 1. 

Instead of a tax at the gas pump, an annual fee will be applied to those who drive electric and hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicle owners will soon pay a $200 annual fee and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners will pay a $100 annual fee. The bill is expected to raise about $320 million a year once the 10-cent increase is phased in. 
Illinois - A request for qualifications will soon be released for a construction manager by Oak Park and River Forest (OPRF) High School for a $32 million renovation plan.  

The proposed plan includes the renovation or construction of classrooms, kitchen, laundry, American with Disabilities (ADA)-compliant restroom and ADA-compliant elevator, student commons, cafeteria, entrance, science labs, and a daycare facility. 

A request for qualifications for a design firm was sent in December after the OPRF school board approved the facilities plan, and out of nine firms, FGM Architects won the contract with a unanimous vote.
Georgia - The Fayette County Board of Education is moving forward with a request for proposal, design work, and subsequently receiving bids for the construction of a new middle school. 
The preliminary project estimates for the Booth Middle School construction is $3.67 million with an additional $3.3 million from state funds. The new school will be built on a newly-acquired 36-acre site. Following the March 11 school board vote, the decision for construction moves to the school system, which will most likely vote to finalize the contract, barring any cost increases.  
In 2018, the middle school was assessed with a value of $12.5 million. The school board weighed the option of renovating Booth Middle School, but at the recommendation of the superintendent, it was decided the school would be rebuilt instead.
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Louisiana - The city and parish of Baton Rouge are pursuing a private partner to take over management of all city-parish owned garages, underground parking and surface lots. A recent request for proposals (RFP) would help alleviate the city-parishes' parking woes. 

The downtown areas chronic parking problems have become more and more prevalent as the area has grown leading city staff to find a solution. The city-parish is accepting proposals until the April 23 deadline.
The city also will issue an RFP for a firm to oversee on-street parking solutions, including the enforcement, maintenance and collections of the meters. City officials will look to the private sector in the coming weeks for someone to manage the on-street parking solutions and will simultaneously put out a separate solicitation for bids to purchase the meters. 
Florida - The city of Dania Beach wants to form a partnership with a private developer to overhaul the current City Hall property into a city center. 

Moving forward with the goal of increased economic activity, the development of the 6.42-acre City Hall property on Dania Beach Blvd. is intended to foster private investment in the area. Currently the property hosts the city hall, a fire station, two historic buildings and a 440-space parking garage. 

City officials would let a developer demolish the current City Hall building and build a new one on the site and relocate both the fire station and the historic buildings to other locations. The developer could also expand the parking garage to 660 spaces by adding two floors. The rest of the property could be used for development, with the uses to be determined by developers. The site could potentially host 1.4 million square feet of new mixed-use development, including residential and retail. The deadline to respond to the RFP is May 30. 
Missouri - Jefferson City Council members have approved releasing a request for qualifications (RFQ) on March 27 for the restoration of 31.28 acres at the former Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP). The deadline for questions about the project is May 3 and the RFQ is due by May 17. 

Proposed uses for the site include hotels, entertainment venues, office buildings, museums, retail, eateries and convention centers. The land proposed for redevelopment lies between the historic site and Chestnut Street. The redevelopment site does not include the historic buildings used for the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau's prison tours. The historic buildings remain in the state's possession. 
The city plans to select a developer within two years of the transfer of property and will start construction within four years. All structures and improvements must be of a similar style to the existing historic structures.  
Georgia - After a legal delay, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will reopen bids for concourse renovations. The contract is for companies interested in 7- and 10-year concessions contracts expected to generate nearly $170 million in sales annually through nearly 100 restaurants and shops.
Initial plans are to put out for bid contracts for 16 restaurants throughout the terminal and concourses in late April, then put out for bid contracts for 81 shops this summer. 
Other opportunities in the coming months include a variety of new concessions projects throughout the concourse, as well as food trucks in areas around the airport with little access to services. Outside of the airport itself, six business districts will be developed on land owned by Hartsfield-Jackson for retail, restaurant, office park, travel plaza, and light industrial.  
The previous contracting process was cancelled after the federal indictment of an interested party. The Hartsfield-Jackson International general manager reopened the request for proposals on the basis of fairness to interested bidders.
Indiana - The city of Gary wants to redevelop 24 acres of land with lodging, dining and shopping businesses south of Lake Street Beach on Lake Michigan. The city owns 66 acres in that area but recently divided it after performing an environmental study on the property. 

Gary is dividing the area into two parts: a 24-acre site west of Lake Street that would be leased or sold to a private developer, and a 42-acre site east of Lake Street that would be preserved. The natural area includes sand dunes and part of the Chanute Trail. The area targeted for redevelopment includes the former Naval Armory, which was most recently home to a charter school, and city-owned parking lots. 

City officials plan to release a request for proposals (RFP) looking for a unique opportunity that capitalizes off the Indiana Dunes National Park and the beach as a tourist attraction. Gary is seeking public comment on what should go into its RFP, which it hopes to put out to developers nationwide this summer. View a draft of the RFP here. 
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Ohio - The Ohio University (OU) Board of Trustees will meet Thursday and Friday to decide what should be done with 15 small houses the university owns that surround College Green in uptown Athens. One of the recommendations in the recently completed Small House Planning Strategy includes renovating the Trisolini House at a cost of $1.5 million. The facility would likely be repurposed for offices for OU's Culinary Services. 

A move to demolish Brown House but retain that site for university use will require future board of trustees' approval before that project happens. A request to offer Pilcher House to the community will need the university's real-estate department to develop a request for proposals for future uses for that building, which trustees have noted is prime for retail development. 

The Small House strategy analysis notes that the 15 houses have a total of $13 million in deferred-maintenance needs, not including accessibility improvements or other costs to update them for certain programs. It would cost $37 million to replace the buildings with similar-sized buildings.  
Georgia - The current ambulance service provider for DeKalb County has a contract that is due to expire soon. The county has begun the process of soliciting proposals to rebid for its ambulance-services contract. 

The new, 5-year agreement is worth millions of dollars in fees paid by patients or their insurers for emergency transportation to the hospital. The request for proposals (RFP) states that the county will select one company or divide up the contract based on geographical areas. 

Proposals will be evaluated based on costs passed on to patients, proposed staffing levels, a company's experience and financial stability. Providers also must agree to minimum response times, such as arriving to least 90 percent of high-priority calls within 11 minutes and 59 seconds. The deadline for the RFP is April 12. 
Massachusetts - Energy developers and environmental groups are encouraging the state of Massachusetts to launch its second solicitation as soon as next month for offshore wind proposals. The federal investment tax credit is due to expire at the end of 2019, cutting off another important source of returns for these projects. 

Several wind developers and environmental groups urged the state to issue the request by April 1, if not sooner, and to select a winning proposal by Oct. 1. The law requires the next wind power request for proposals to be issued within two years of the first one, which means the request must be released before the end of June 2019. This push for a solicitation comes as the state faces growing concerns that a price cap on offshore wind power could slow down or push offshore wind industry developers to friendlier markets in other states. 

A 2016 state law that established this offshore wind contest requires each subsequent contract to be cheaper than the one that came before. Now, with the next round of bidding expected to start this spring, wind-farm industry advocates are racing to erase that phrase from the law.
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California- Chino Hills Assistant City Manager Ben Montgomery has been chosen as the new city manager. He moves into the position on April 1, replacing Rad Bartlam, who announced his retirement in January. Montgomery has worked in city government for 28 years, including 13 years as a manager in Chino Hills. Montgomery started as the city's Neighborhood Services Manager in 2006 before becoming deputy city manager in 2014 and then assistant city manager in 2017. 
Colorado- Joyce McConnell has been chosen, pending the approval of the school's governing board, as the president of Colorado State University. McConnell will replace outgoing President Tony Frank following a five-month, nationwide search. McConnell is currently provost and vice president for academic affairs at West Virginia University. If her selection is approved, she will start her new role July 1 as Frank transitions to his full-time role as chancellor. 
Oregon- Chemeketa Board of Education announced the selection of Jessica Howard to be the next president and CEO of Chemeketa Community College, beginning July 8. Howard will be the 11th president of Chemeketa, following the upcoming retirement of Julie Huckestein. Howard currently serves as the campus president of the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College. She's held that position for about six and a half years. Howard previously served as the vice president of Academic Affairs at San Antonio College in Texas. 
Missouri- Bob Bennett announced he will step down next month as Kansas City, Mo's chief innovation officer (CIO). Kansas City Mayor Sly James appointed Bennett in December 2015. Bennett joined Kansas City government after nearly 25 years in the Army. City leadership is expected to name an interim CIO to take over between Bennett's departure and when the mayor appoints a successor. 
Virginia- Tonya Chapman has resigned as police chief in Portsmouth after three years on the job. City officials announced Chapman's resignation this week, noting that it's effective immediately. Chapman was hired as the city's police chief in February 2016. Assistant Chief Angela Greene has been named interim chief. Greene has served on the Portsmouth Police Department since 2016. Chapman's professional career in law enforcement spans over 29 years. She became chief when she took on the position in February of 2016. 
Massachusetts- Portsmouth, N.H., Fire Chief Steve Achilles has been offered a job as the next fire chief in Southborough, Mass. Achilles has been in fire service in New Hampshire for 34 years. He has been with the Portsmouth Fire Department for almost 19 years, the last six as chief. Achilles is set to replace Fire Chief Joe Mauro, who retired earlier this month. 
California- The city of Milpitas recently welcomed Alex Andrade as its new economic development director. Andrade brings two decades of experience to the job. Before joining the city of Milpitas, Andrade spent over five years as the economic development manager for the city of Mountain View. In addition to holding government positions in cities such as Mountain View and Menlo Park, Andrade worked in project management for the three largest redevelopment agencies in California: San Jose, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 
Arizona- Markus Colemen has been appointed the new light rail administrator for the city of Phoenix. Coleman has more than two decades of working with the city of Phoenix including most recently as the lead in overseeing the South Central Light Rail Extension Transit Oriented Development grant. Coleman has a total 23 years of experience with the city of Phoenix and has worked throughout his career on development projects and transportation. 
Wyoming- Heather Overholser has been named as the new director of the Public Works Department for the county. The director position was vacated with Sean O'Malley's recent retirement. Overholser has served as the superintendent of Solid Waste and Recycling for the past 10 years, and as executive director of Jackson Community Recycling from 2003 to 2009. 
California- Kip Turner, a Colorado aviation executive, has been hired to manage the county-owned airports in Camarillo and Oxnard after an extensive national search. Turner is due to start work April 8 as county director of airports. He is currently serving as director of aviation for the Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport. The Ventura County position has been vacant since the death last year of Director Todd McNamee. Deputy Director Jorge Rubio has held the position on an acting basis. 
Oregon- Samuel Desue Jr., a transportation industry executive from Seattle began working for TriMet March 18 as its new chief operating officer, supervising the agency's transportation, maintenance, IT and safety and security divisions. Desue brings 22 years of public and private transportation experience to TriMet, formally known in Portland as the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon. Desue had worked in transportation services in the Seattle and Kansas City metropolitan regions. 
Nevada- Neil Krutz, who has served as the assistant city manager since April 2016, has been promoted to the city manager of Sparks. After 25 years of service to the city of Sparks, City Manager Steve Driscoll is retiring and passing the reins to Krutz. He began his new role March 15. Krutz began his Sparks career in the design and construction division of the public works department and has served many roles for the city during his 21 plus year tenure, including 19 years in management of land use, infrastructure, utilities and development.
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