Volume 12, Issue 41 - Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Denver school district places $795M bond on November 3 ballot
Colorado – Denver Public Schools (DPS) is seeking voter approval for a $795 million bond on November 3 to fund capital improvement projects, including critical maintenance, air conditioning improvements, and upgraded technology.

DPS would build a new feeder middle school and a comprehensive high school at the Montbello campus. If approved, the district would begin design planning in spring and summer 2021, open both schools in August 2022, and complete construction by fall 2024.

More than $58.5 million would fund land acquisition for two school sites and the construction of a new school. DPS plans to renovate the closed Rosedale Elementary School for $20 million to $25 million.

Other items in the bond package are:
  • Maintenance – $208 million; 
  • Cooling, including air conditioning, for 24 schools – $128.5 million; 
  • Technology and safety – $65 million; 
  • Improvements to classrooms, fields, labs, and gyms – $65 million;  
  • Food and Nutrition Services Greenhouse – $2.1 million; 
  • Bruce Randolph Hydroponics/Greenhouse Program – $1.14 million; 
  • Master planning – $2 million; and, 
  • Turf Replacement – Evie Dennis Campus, South High School, West High School, North High School – $3.27 million. 

A $32 million Debt-Free Schools ballot initiative would provide operating dollars to fund priorities such as mental health, nursing, and special education supports.
New York City to issue RFP for Internet Master Plan this fall
New York – The city of New York will release a request for proposals (RFP) this fall as it accelerates its $157 million Internet Master Plan initiative to provide hundreds of thousands of residents with low-cost internet service.

According to the city’s chief technology officer, the RFP will help the city find the partners and allocate the capital to serve 600,000 residents, including 200,000 in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments in neighborhoods impacted most by COVID-19.

The first phase of plan implementation is underway. The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, in partnership with NYCHA and NYC Economic Development Corporation, collected proposals through a request for expressions of interest that identified ready-to-deploy ideas or pilot projects that will provide residents at NYCHA units with reduced-cost internet service options.

These options may range from new products and pricing, new service choices with discounted rates for public housing residents, free Wi-Fi solutions that residents can reach from their homes, or other approaches employing established or emerging technologies.

The city expects full deployment of the program occurring throughout 2020 and 2021.
Federal funding to aid disaster-ravaged infrastructure recovery
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will distribute $574 million in emergency relief funds to 39 states and Puerto Rico to repair roads and bridges damaged by storms, floods, and other disasters.

The program reimburses states, territories, federal land management agencies, and tribal governments for eligible expenses associated with damage from natural disasters or other emergency situations. The funds help to pay for the reconstruction or replacement of damaged highways and bridges along with the arrangement of detours and replacement of guardrails or other damaged safety devices.

Some of the reimbursements will go to:
  • California - $64 million, including $34 million for November 2018 wildfires; 
  • Nebraska - $46 million for winter storms and flooding in 2019; 
  • Alabama - $27 million for storms and flooding in 2020; 
  • Michigan - $25 million for flooding in the central part of the state; and, 
  • Florida - $22 million for Hurricane Michael in 2018. 

Since January 2017, nearly $4.9 billion in emergency relief has been awarded to states to repair roads and bridges.
Illinois issues RFI for licensing, compliance monitoring systems
Illinois – A request for information (RFI) by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is seeking input on licensing and compliance monitoring systems.

IDHS is collecting information regarding software as a service for its Division of Substance Use Prevention and Rehabilitation which licenses Substance Use Disorder (SUD) organizations that deliver intervention and treatment services in the state of Illinois.

These state agencies authorize SUD Medicaid certification and conduct ongoing compliance reviews of these same organizations.

IDHS is requesting information about a fully electronic system that allows organizations to complete all application forms online and upload all required documentation such as facility, staffing, and financial statements.

The type of system of interest would allow organizations to complete the entire licensure process online, allowing them to:
  • Request online access from the licensing entity; 
  • Submit and complete a license application, provided defined, customizable, criteria have been met; 
  • Allow the licensing or certifying entity to review all applications online and provide feedback; and, 
  • Render final decisions (approval/denial) through the system. 

Once licensure or certification has been granted, the user entity should be able to customize monitoring requirements and associated activities as well as renewing its license or certification.

In addition to the licensing and certification abilities, IDHS is interested in systems that also offer compliance monitoring activities such as accommodating unique data collection and allowing customizable workflows that align with specific organization service delivery profiles.

The state is interested in compliance monitoring that is configurable to automatically send specific, customized notifications both externally to organizations and internally, based upon an activity or action or schedule.

Monitoring must allow scheduling, updating, and confirming all appointments online in addition to tracking and archiving communications and notifications. It needs to offer pre-loaded reports and ad hoc, customizable reports as well as allow users to access and download data using common database applications.

Vendors are asked to provide information about current industry standards, best practices and developing trends.

This RFI is intended to assist IDHS in better understanding this service and to better prepare the department for possible future procurements.
USDA grants to support water, wastewater infrastructure projects
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office will invest $268 million to upgrade rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 28 states.

USDA will fund 76 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.

Some of the projects receiving funds are:
  • New York – Town of Scriba, $15.01 million to install a new sewage collection system and extend sewer service to residents and nuclear power plants. The project includes construction of a new wastewater treatment facility. 
  • Illinois – City of Greenville - $14.2 million to construct a new water treatment plant for the city; 
  • Michigan – Village of Constantine, $13.4 million to recommission an existing water treatment facility; 
  • Indiana – Reo Water Inc., $12.65 million to bring the utility into compliance with all the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s regulations and effluent quality of water; and, 
  • Oklahoma – Tenkiller Utilities Authority, $10.65 million to construct a 1.8 million gallons per day capacity regional water treatment plant. 

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
California, Ohio transit authorities combine for electric vehicle test
California – The Western Reserve Transit Authority and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) are partnering to deploy automated electric vehicles (AVs) in Mahoning Valley, Ohio, and Santa Clara Valley, California.

The program will supplement fixed-route bus and paratransit services and test the ability of the AVs to provide inclusive, equitable, efficient, and cost-effective service in varying climates and operating conditions.

A national nonprofit will help the transportation authorities develop, collect, and analyze information as well as establish project policies, procedures, and reports. The nonprofit will lead outreach and engagement to promote national industry development of best practices.

More than $2.3 million in federal funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will support the project via the Accelerating Innovative Mobility initiative.

In addition, VTA was recently selected to be one of 13 agencies in the country to participate in the FTA Transit Bus Automation Community of Practice. The selection stems from VTA’s active work with innovative partners to develop and test an electric accessible automated transit shuttle.

This effort will encourage collaboration and sharing among transit agencies and others working in the transit bus automation space and is designed to foster a community of innovative practices that will advance transit bus automation into a viable public transportation option across the United States.

VTA expects to benefit from shared lessons learned from bus automation demonstrations and pilots among participants that will help encourage innovation and advancement of this effort across the United States. In addition, VTA will share results from its accessibility assessment, system design, and lessons learned in developing and testing the shuttle.
Pullman-Moscow airport gets funding boost for $50M terminal
Washington – As they work on a massive runway realignment, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport leaders are planning a major terminal construction project to begin in 2021 and open in late 2022 or early 2023.

Officials estimate it will cost $30 million to $50 million to build a 45,000-square-foot terminal to replace the current 8,000-square-foot terminal, which is 50 percent of the size it should be to accommodate existing passengers and security requirements.

The new runway will connect to the future terminal, but designs for the new building have not been completed.

A Federal Aviation Administration grant of $1 million in September will add to an $18 million grant the airport received in April for the terminal construction.
Atlanta-area transit authority queuing technology procurements
Georgia – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is anticipating several upcoming technology procurements.

MARTA’s Information Technology Department plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to replace the authority’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)/Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system. The estimated value of this contract is $1 million to $5 million.

The IT Department intends to invite bids for the renewal of its Cisco Master Hardware Maintenance Support Contract. The projected value for this contract is $200,000 to $1 million.

MARTA expects to issue a RFP to acquire data colocation equipment for disaster recovery. The value of this project is estimated to be less than $200,000.

Dates for these procurements are to be determined.
Illinois planning $257.8M expansion of Interstate 57
Illinois – A six-segment $257.8 million expansion project by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will widen Interstate 57 by three lanes in each direction from Mount Vernon to Johnston City.

Five of the six I-57 expansion segments are ongoing or upcoming, with one already completed. Each segment includes widening I-57 and replacing key bridges from:
  • Milepost 63 to milepost 66 with new structures over Pond Creek, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2022; 
  • Milepost 67 to milepost 75 - constructing new structures over Big Muddy River, scheduled to start in 2022; 
  • Milepost 75 to milepost 85 - building new structures over Marcum Branch and Gun Creek, scheduled to start in 2024; 
  • Milepost 85 to milepost 92 - adding new structures over Dodds Creek, scheduled to start in 2023; and, 
  • Milepost 58.6 to milepost 63 - widening to three lanes in each direction. This section was completed in fall 2020. 

The reconstruction of the I-57/64/Illinois 15 interchange is scheduled to start in 2025.

In addition, later this year IDOT is embarking on a major renovation of the Trail of Tears rest areas on I-57 in Union County, which includes greatly expanding and enhancing truck parking.

The state’s Rebuild Illinois capital program will provide $224 million for the I-57 project.
New Mexico seeking input on recovery from coal plant closures
New Mexico – The Energy Transition Act (ETA) Commission of New Mexico issued a request for information (RFI) for up to $20 million in economic and workforce incentives for communities impacted by coal plant closures, as well as the development of renewable replacement power in San Juan County.

The ETA sets a statewide renewable energy standard of 50 percent by 2030 for New Mexico investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives and a goal of 80 percent by 2040, in addition to setting zero-carbon resources standards for investor-owned utilities by 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050.

Three ETA funds will sit within the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions, the Economic Development Department, and the Indian Affairs Department. Each department will administer its fund as guided by the Community Advisory Committee and the public planning process. New Mexico and local conveners are asking for proposals to create economic activity for the region that focus on collaboration and tangible results for long-term jobs creation.

Deadline for RFI submissions is October 31.
Rochester council mulling P3 for library development
Minnesota – The Rochester City Council is considering a public-private partnership (P3) for the construction of a new public library at the site of a former newspaper building in the city’s downtown.

Councilmembers directed city staff to explore P3 options for a library of 150,000 square feet or more, engage the city’s P3 consulting team on developing and evaluating a potential partnership for the new library, and prepare an update for the City Council by December 15.

City leaders have discussed opportunities for a new library since 2015 when an updated strategic plan and space programming were first considered.

Councilmembers said the site could feature a hotel or condominiums.
Energy innovation technology projects eligible for $80M in funding
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a funding opportunity of up to $80 million from the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2020 program.

This funding opportunity will provide grants for projects that enhance energy demand flexibility across buildings and the electric power grid.

The 2020 BENEFIT FOA will invest in cutting-edge, energy-saving building technologies, systems, and practices that will impact various segments of the buildings industry.

Topics in this funding opportunity include:
  • Thermal storage research;
  • Advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, which can provide demand flexibility services to the grid;
  • Next generation refrigeration technologies;
  • Advanced appliance research in areas such as improved compressor design;
  • Next generation lighting;
  • Whole building electric load optimization;
  • Advanced and more efficient building construction;
  • Improved building retrofit technologies; and,
  • Workforce development.

Applicants must submit a concept paper by 5 p.m. ET on November 5 to be eligible to submit a full application.
Industry leaders to convene at virtual P3 Higher Education Summit
Connect with higher education business officers, developers, and industry partners for three days of project delivery and market discussion at the virtual P3 Higher Education Summit on October 28-30.

This year’s agenda is designed to deepen understanding on the value proposition behind public-private partnerships (P3s) and alternative project delivery models, and the role they are playing in the delivery of higher education infrastructure.

Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., will be one of more than 75 leading practitioners presenting firsthand observations of a variety of campus facility projects of all sizes from around the country.

The P3 Higher Education Summit is one of the largest gatherings of higher education business officers, campus planners, developers, and P3 experts in the country. Attendees include senior management from firms in the construction, engineering, architecture, legal, investment and consulting industries as well as senior business and facility administrators from colleges and universities from around the country.

Stay connected and informed in daily sessions. Discover new project opportunities. Meet with industry and learn how colleges and universities are approaching projects in the post-COVID era.

Register by October 9 to secure the advanced registration price of $299!
California – The Encinitas City Council appointed Pamela Antil as city manager, effective October 12. She will replace former City Manager Karen Brust who retired in June. Antil most recently served as the assistant city administrator for Santa Barbara, California. Prior to that, she was assistant city manager in California for San Jose and Palo Alto and in Michigan for Ann Arbor and Novi.

Indiana – The City-County Information Technology Board of Indianapolis appointed Elliott Patrick as the permanent chief information officer (CIO) of the Information Services Agency. Patrick most recently served as interim CIO for the city-county. Prior to that, he was its chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

South Carolina – The Carolina Coastal University board of trustees named Michael Benson as president of the university, effective January 2, 2021. He will succeed President David DeCenzo who is retiring in June 2021. Benson previously served as the president of Eastern Kentucky University. Before that, he was president of Southern Utah University and Snow College.

Oregon – Rachael Banks, who has served as the Multnomah County Health Department’s public health director, has been named director of the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division, effective October 27. She will succeed Lillian Shirley who retired this fall. Banks previously served as director of equity, planning, and strategy.

Alaska – Mike Karsseboom has joined North Peace Regional Airport as its new managing director. He succeeded Shea De La Mare who resigned this summer. Karsseboom previously served as director of airport security, compliance, and planning at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Tennessee – The state’s comptroller named Kathy Stickel as the new director of the division of state audit. She replaces Deborah Loveless who retired from the Comptroller’s Office on September 30. Stickel most recently served as director of the Comptroller’s Office of Management Services.
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Mary Scott Nabers, Publisher
Devin Monk, Editor
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