Volume 11, Issue 15- Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

The country's electric grid was once called one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. Now, however, its three interconnected grids are decades old and the world has shifted. Billions of individual devices and population growth have increased demand exponentially. Technology advances with the potential to lower costs and ward off cyber dangers are critically needed. And, commitments to clean and renewable energy sources have become mandates. Big changes are inevitable. 

Most of the systems in the U.S. were constructed in the 50s and 60s and they had a life expectancy of 50 years. Today, almost all operate at maximum capacity and they are all stretched to the limit. With population growth, spiraling demand, changes in power generation and mandates for the use of clean and renewable energy sources, change must come quickly.  

Energy professionals throughout the country are looking for ways to increase capacity, provide storage, expand services and ensure security and sustainability. Those goals cannot be reached without collaboration from private-sector partners.  

The increase in commitments to renewable energy, if nothing else, will push immediate change. California, New Mexico and Hawaii have passed legislation that mandates 100 percent renewable energy in the coming years. Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis and many other cities have similar commitments to renewable energy. Most power grids were not originally constructed for wind and solar options...that's a problem that must be fixed. 

Colleges and universities in the U.S. are also setting renewable energy goals. They want 100 percent of their power to come from renewable sources. The University of California System has launched initiatives to convert all its heating, cooling and other power requirements to electric by 2025. That's because they intend to use renewable energy sources.

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New York- The bidding process for the Wadsworth Lab project is starting over after the Dormitory Authority issued requests for proposals to three design-build teams. Requests for qualifications will go out again in the coming weeks, followed by a request-for-proposals process for the qualified bidders. One team withdrew and another became ineligible to pursue the project. It's not yet known which teams withdrew or why, or whether the third team will pursue a bid again. 

The new 650,000-square-foot lab is planned for the Harriman State Office Building Campus, between Route 85 and Western and Washington avenues in Albany. The Dormitory Authority plans to use design-build for the project, a method that allows design and construction to be combined into one contract with the goal of completing projects faster and at a lower cost. The campus will replace the Axelrod Institute and Center for Medical Science on New Scotland Avenue in Albany, the Biggs Laboratory beneath the Empire State Plaza and the Griffin Laboratory in Guilderland.
Louisiana- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is seeking a project manager to explore ways to finance and establish a new bridge across the Mississippi River. The project manager will work for the Capital Area Road and Bridge District, formed in a five-parish area including East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Ascension and Livingston. 

Each member parish may fund the project for a period until finances are secured from the state legislature. The DOTD is beginning the process of drafting a request for qualifications to hire a project manager. There are five locations along the Mississippi River that the DOTD is looking into for a possible new bridge: Brusly to Baton Rouge, Addis to Baton Rouge, South of Plaquemine to St. Gabriel, Addis to St. Gabriel or Plaquemine to St. Gabriel. The study, which includes how to move traffic to and from the proposed bridge, will cost roughly $5 million.
California-  The city of Santa Monica plans to provide up to $4 million to demolish a public parking structure at 1318 4th St. and replace it with affordable housing. The city also plans to chip in anywhere from $5 million to $21 million for construction on the property. The city is going to solicit a request for proposals (RFP) from developers to build 100 to 150 apartments on the site and will prioritize proposals for permanent supportive housing. The building also will include affordable commercial space on the ground floor and may incorporate live-work studios for artists. 

Proposition R, which voters approved in 1990, requires 30 percent of all new development to be affordable in the city. The city requires developers to include affordable units in their projects or pay into an affordable housing fund.  
Colorado-  A request for qualifications will close on May 22 by the city of Glenwood Springs as it seeks developers for the 12.2 acres of land located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers. The city would like to enter into a collaborative public-private partnership (P3) to develop creative and innovative approaches to this property. 

The land could include lodging, office space, commercial space, a variety of housing types, civic and public space, transit access and public river access. The plans include potential development for the approximate 3-acre Vogelaar Park, located on the southwest corner of Eighth and School streets, as well as the land that previously housed the city's wastewater treatment plant and the parking areas near City Hall.   
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
California- The National Park Service has released an application for developers interested in cleaning up the waterfront site, adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge, at Fort Baker and operating a restaurant, bar, event venue and retail shop in the space. This project implements the vision laid out in Golden Gate National Recreation Area's (GGNRA) 2000 Fort Baker master plan and environmental impact statement. The selected operator would sign on to a proposed 20-year lease for the 1.3-acre site near Sausalito. 

The proposed marine center project would include redeveloping four structures and a leased marina as an additional option. The public marina would accommodate up to 60 boats primarily for day use and community programs. The GGNRA has released a request for qualifications (RFQ) from prospective partners. Parties interested in the project have a 60-day period to respond to the RFQ. The National Park Service will then select a short list of partners to receive a more detailed request for proposals in late 2019.  
New York- The city of White Plains is preparing a request for proposals to re-develop four parcels of land as a mixed-use development through public-private partnerships (P3). The properties total 4.5 acres and include the station garage, the surface lot in front of the city's train terminal, a Bronx Street surface parking lot and the nearby Ferris Avenue firehouse. The reason for the redevelopment is due to new zoning that occurred before a $92 million renovation started taking place in 2018 at the city's train station. The station is currently in its second phase of development which will increase ridership. 

In 2016, anticipating the railroad project, the city approved new Transit District zoning that covers an area about one-third of a mile around the station. The change came after a year-long study, funded by a $1 million state grant, that involved hundreds of residents, business owners and other stakeholders. This has prompted the creation of a new gateway and "destination" neighborhood with stores, restaurants, entertainment, service businesses, apartments, offices and public green spaces.  
Washington, D.C.- The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a request for information (RFI) on April 12 to seek public input on how it can use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of Opportunity Zones for residents and their communities. The RFI is a call for the public to share existing knowledge and provide recommendations to HUD regarding the use of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including qualified Opportunity Zones. The government-backed Opportunity Zone Program was initiated under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and is aimed at boosting economic development in "distressed areas" through tax breaks for real estate investors. 

So far, 8,700 communities in the U.S. have been designated as Opportunity Zones that are ready for revitalization. Investors are interested in the major tax savings that are attached to Opportunity Zones but confusion over how the process works has left these zones untouched. The Department of the Treasury is tasked with issuing the regulation that guides Opportunity Zones, and it's expected to release a second round of rules through the Internal Revenue Service to provide clarification in the coming weeks.  
New York-  A required meeting for prospective bidders will take place on May 1 at 10 a.m. at 51-57 South St. for the demolition of four structures in the historic district of Glens Falls. The city issued a request for bids to demolish three buildings on South Street and a house at 17 School St. One of the sites will be the future home of a year-round farmer's market and the site of the demolished house will be a future pocket park. This is part of the city's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The other two buildings are being demolished for redevelopment opportunities. 

Bids are due no later than May 24. The next step is for a request for qualifications for interested developers to redevelop these sites. In 2018, small cities across New York competed for $10-million in state grants to jump start improvements to its downtown areas. Communities were nominated by the state Regional Economic Development Councils. Glens Falls won grants under the two-year-old Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  
Ohio- Columbus will ask voters in the May primary election to approve bond issues to pay for city infrastructure projects totaling $1 billion. The five-part package will appear on the primary election ballot May 7. Some of the big project proposals include $130 million to replace the Franklin County Municipal Court building, $182 million to resurface streets and improve alleyways and $50 million for regional affordable-housing efforts. 

The new municipal court building includes design, construction and site acquisition, though a location hasn't been finalized. Currently, the city is short of 54,000 units of affordable housing. The $50 million could be used to expand a land trust pilot program that will use city funds to buy down the price of homes built on land bank properties so middle-income buyers can purchase them. City voters last approved a $950 million bond package in 2016.     
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Alabama- The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) President Robert Altenkirch has introduced a master plan for a 58-acre tract of land next to the campus. The land was purchased in 2017 and would be turned into a mixed-use district featuring student housing, retail, food and business space for the private sector that will double as job opportunities for students. 

The project includes a pedestrian bridge over Sparkman Drive that would connect the campus to the new development, housing to serve 2,000 students, 170,000 square feet of commercial retail, a 165,000-square-foot multipurpose facility and 3.5 acres of parks and open spaces. The multipurpose facility would house UAH hockey, basketball and volleyball, which are currently played at the Von Braun Center, and other events such as concerts. According to UAH officials, the project would be paid for primarily by private developers and the multi-use facility could be funded through a public-private partnership (P3). The master plan is estimated to take 5 to 10 years to build.     
Tennessee- The city of Franklin is seeking letters of interest from developers for The Hill property. Last year, the Franklin Municipal Planning Commission approved an amendment to Envision Franklin, the city's land use plan, to revise the design concept for The Hill property from recreation to mixed residential that will accommodate affordable and workforce housing. 

The design concept for this city-owned property, located at 405 5TH Ave., can include a mix of single-family homes, townhomes, big houses and civic and institutional uses. The development would have anywhere from 33 to 37 units with a community center. It would also include parking spaces and community green space. Those who want to work with the city will have to apply and use the two design illustrations as guidance.  
Ohio- Ohio's gas tax is set to take effect July 1 and funding will help fund two projects that were in jeopardy due to lack of money. The bill will generate $828.5 million a year in additional funding for maintenance projects and safety upgrades on Ohio roads. All three phases of the Columbus Crossroads project are now able to continue. The first phase, which begins next week, includes reconstructing Interstate 70 East from Fourth Street to Miller Avenue. This phase will take under three years to complete. 

The next phases include the reconstruction and widening of 71 from Broad Street to Long Street. This project begins in a year and includes widening part of I-71 northbound and replacing the Broad Street Bridge to make it more pedestrian friendly. In about two years, the reconstruction of 70 eastbound and 71 northbound will begin. This project includes building a new ramp from 70 east to Fulton Street to create a new eastbound gateway to downtown and will replace the Front Street Bridge. Eventually, there will be two continuous 71 north lanes through downtown. In about three years, crews will construct a new ramp from Mound Street to 71 South.  
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One Monument Square
New York- The city of Troy has released a request for qualifications for developers interested in transforming One Monument Square. The RFQ is due by May 10 on this fifth attempt to find and form a public-private partnership (P3) for this riverfront property. 

After the old City Hall was demolished in 2010, the city began working at trying to find a potential developer. The city hired a team of consultants last year to lead a process to gather public input and shape a concept. The conceptualized design includes a public plaza, a two-story parking garage, an eight-story mixed-use building and potential restaurant and retail space. There will be meetings with qualified developers May 20-May 30 and the deadline for notifying the selected developer is May 31.  
Kansas- Saline County has seen an increase in its jail population over the past several years. This increase was driven by more inmates staying in jail longer, which is likely caused by people remaining in jail pending trial, the scheduling of court hearings and continuances and sentencing decisions. Saline County Commissioners are ready to get input from the public regarding the replacement of the current jail. A Town Hall is planned for April 23 at the City/County Building. Commissioners also plan to proceed with submitting a request for qualifications (RFQ) to seek out architects, engineers and other qualified staff who can develop structural plans and assess costs of building on different sites. 

Commissioners have begun discussing holding another election to fund the jail. In 2014, voters rejected a criminal justice center/jail proposal that had a cost of $46.5 million. The county hired a firm to look at options for the inmate increase. Four options were recently provided: 

- Forego additional construction and continue to pay other counties to house Saline County inmates when the county jail is full; 
- build a new facility to book in and release inmates, and to house inmates with special needs; 
- expand the current jail; or 
- build an entirely new jail.    
Virginia- The Norfolk Airport Authority wants to outsource the taxi operation at the airport after taking on annual deficits of more than $175,000 to run the on-demand taxi service. A third party would assume control of the airport's taxi management, dispatch and queue system. The Airport Authority has suggested that a 'virtual queue' of taxis ready for service and other technology advancements could be the answer. 

Any decision on the operation of taxis at the airport would come from proposals submitted by outside companies. The authority emphasized no decision has been made and the organization will wait to review any proposals before moving forward. The airport's request for qualifications and proposals will be sent out in the next month or two.  
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Georgia - The Georgia state government hired David Allen, a former chief technology officer for the state's National Guard, as the new statewide chief information officer. Allen, who spent a decade as a deputy chief technology officer and then information technology chief for the National Guard, succeeded former Chief Information Security Officer Stanton S. Gatewood, who resigned in February after three years leading the state's cybersecurity office. 

California - Deborah Feng, a longtime administrator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, has been selected as Cupertino's next city manager. Feng is an associate director of Mission Support at the Ames Research Center. She has worked in management and administration there more than 30 years. If the council decides to hire Feng, her first day as city manager would be June 3. The city has not had a permanent city manager since David Brandt retired in July 2018. 

Minnesota - John Glisczinski took over as the next Sibley County administrator after Roxy Traxler left her post last week. Glisczinski was formerly employed as the county's Public Health and Human Services director. Before that he worked for eight years as Scott County's Business Services manager. Traxler is now the vice president of Finance and Operations at South Central College. 

Massachusetts - The Martha's Vineyard Airport has a new director after airport commissioners voted this week to offer the job to Cindi Martin, the former head of a regional airport in Montana. Martin is the former director of Glacier Park International Airport, a regional airport located in Kalispell, Mont. She worked there from 2006 until 2016. She will replace airport director Ann Richart, who leaves May 5 to take a job in Nebraska. 

Washington D.C. - Scott Turner has been named executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. The president announced the Council's creation in December. In his role, Turner will help coordinate the Council's efforts to target and streamline federal resources to Opportunity Zones. Turner, a businessman and former National Football League player, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 2013-2017. He represented House District 33 which encompasses all of Rockwall County and portions of Collin County. 

Georgia - Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez has announced he is resigning to take a job in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as the deputy city manager. Hernandez, who has been on the job for less than three years, will be leaving June 30 for Florida. The next step is appointing an interim city manager and one potential candidate is retired assistant Chatham County manager Pat Monahan. The next city manager is not expected to be hired until after the new city council is sworn in next year following this fall's election. 

Illinois - Camille Rodriguez has been recommended to the full board for confirmation as its new county administrator. Rodriguez would replace Bill Wasson, who announced last November he is retiring on June 1, after working for McLean County 34 years and the last eight as its administrator. The county hired Rodriguez to oversee its health department in December 2017. She had worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as director of its Division of Public Health's Bureau of Community Health Promotion. 

Idaho - The State Board of Education named C. Scott Green as the University of Idaho's 19th president. Green is currently the chief operating and financial officer of an international law firm. Green will replace Chuck Staben who will step down as president at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. Staben's contract as president ends on June 15. He will remain on the campus as a biology professor, beginning in January 2020. 

Colorado - Mark R. Kennedy, the University of North Dakota's president and a former Minnesota congressman has been chosen as the finalist to become the University of Colorado's (CU) next president by CU's regents. There's a 14-day vetting period before Kennedy is voted for president. Kennedy will take the helm as Bruce Benson, the longest-serving CU president in six decades, retires this summer after a decade leading the four-campus system. 

Wisconsin - La Crosse Regional Airport Director Clint Torp has accepted a position at the Des Moines International Airport (DSM) as the Director of Operations. Torp's last day at La Crosse is set for May 2, 2019. The Aviation Board has approved to seek an interim director during the search process until a replacement is named. Torp has served as airport manager, then director, since 2012 and was assistant airport manager for six years before that. Before coming to La Crosse, he was the airport manager in Devil's Lake, N.D. 

New York/New Jersey - The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey on has named Sam Ruda, who has served as interim director of the Port Department for the past five months, as the department's new director. Ruda joined the Port Authority in 2017 after a 25-year career in transportation that included 12 years in senior management at the Port of Portland. Ruda will replace Molly Campbell, who came to the agency as port director in 2015 after a nearly 15-year career with the Port of Los Angeles and an experienced leader in the maritime industry. She is leaving to accept a 2019 fellowship with Harvard University's Advanced Leadership Initiative. 

Maryland - David Petr is resigning as president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation after his term ends this fall. Petr, who has held the position for three years, will be moving to Texas. He joined Montgomery County from a similar role leading the Central Florida Development Council Inc. Montgomery County did away with its in-house economic development department in 2015 and created the office as a public-private partnership. Petr plans to leave in September.          
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