Volume 12, Issue 13 - Wednesday, March 25, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Our world is in turmoil at the moment as the U.S. is virtually shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Americans are stressed, businesses are closed, and unemployment is rampant as people shelter in place. Health concerns are this country's highest priority.

As individuals in all walks of life sacrifice normalcy in an attempt to stay safe, concern for the country's economy also is a huge concern. When will this crisis end? Where will businesses be when it passes? How quickly will jobs come back? What will the new normalcy be as we begin to recover?

History is a great indicator of what to expect, and predictions for the future can be drawn from what happened in the most recent past. Looking back to 2008, we remember that while unemployment reached 10 percent and the entire country was spooked, the federal government moved quickly to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that helped end the recession. Although the pace feels slow now, Congress is already in the process of doing the same thing today.

A recovery plan with a price tag as high as $2 trillion will be the first step. Other recovery funding statutes will follow, and the federal government will not stop until there is clear evidence that the American economy is on the way to a full recovery. Put more simply, Congress is committed to making a wartime investment in America's recovery, and it is imperative for businesses and individuals alike to plan now to benefit from the recovery initiatives that will result.

Once COVID-19 is under control or even slowed to some degree, the probability of a V-shaped recovery is extremely high. The rebound will come swiftly for many businesses, and governmental entities will be expected to play a major role in stimulating the economy to create jobs. Congress will push aggressively to ensure economic growth on all fronts ... so preparing now for the recovery is critically important for businesses, individuals and public agencies alike.

Because preparation is critical, the SPI Team is primed to announce some exciting news.

By way of background, in 2008 when the country was trying to rebound from the Great Recession, SPI's research team surprised many by announcing that it was prepared to follow all federal recovery funding as it flowed from the federal government to individual state coffers and then to regional governmental entities. The research team was able to report on when the funding began to move, how it could be used, and where it was going. The team was able to report on projects that would be funded and also other hard-to-come-by information.

While providing information related to upcoming contracting opportunities, the SPI Team also played an important role in letting public entities know what was happening throughout the country. Now, the SPI Team has already geared up to do exactly the same thing again in 2020.

A portal is currently under development where information of all types will be housed. Not only will the portal deliver information about upcoming projects, funding that has been allocated, and opportunities for contracting with governmental entities, but it also will provide news for businesses, individuals, public agencies and the public at large.

In the next few weeks, as the portal is being populated, this newsletter will focus all its resources on delivering timely and in-depth recovery news. It will feature government officials who are leading the way to economic recovery and keep readers advised on other information to assist with preparedness. We invite input, questions, and information.

The SPI Team has spent the last 25 years partnering public and private entities for the good of the country. The portal being designed will amplify those efforts. Additionally, it will encourage collaboration and provide information to ensure that collaborative initiatives are successful.

Watch this column and the two SPI weekly newsletters for announcements about the portal.
Washington, D.C. - The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is requesting $16 billion in direct emergency funding for public transit agencies across the country, in response to the costs and revenue losses expected as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In major metropolitan areas, the loss of ridership is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars per month, along with millions more in expenses related to combating COVID-19.

The agency's $16 billion request would assist in offsetting estimated losses, including $7.65 billion in lost farebox revenue, $6.25 billion in dedicated sales tax revenue, $1.75 billion in direct costs such as vehicle and facilities cleaning, and $350 million in restart costs associated with restarting operations.
In order for the funding to become available, Congress must approve APTA's request.
Kansas - State legislators passed a $10 billion transportation infrastructure plan renamed The Eisenhower Legacy Plan that will span 10 years of scheduled projects.

The bill, which is awaiting Gov. Laura Kelly's signature, is an amended version of Kelly's FORWARD plan, which she announced in February.

This plan allows for the maintenance and improvement of roads and highways in Kansas. It includes a mandate that all stalled T-Works projects must be completed before any new construction can begin in T-Works project districts, as well as a requirement for projects to be reviewed every two years instead of every 10 years under the state's previous transportation plan.

The total cost over the life of the Eisenhower Legacy Plan remains at about $10 billion over a decade, and still includes language that would allow the Department of Transportation to fund certain highway projects using dollars collected from turnpike tolls. Additionally, there is still funding for broadband infrastructure grants and improvements to the state's short line railroad system.

Officials said six T-Works projects will be let in 2020. One of those projects benefiting from the new approach is a $23.04 million expansion of US-69 that will widen the road to four lanes in Crawford County. Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2020.
Hartford Clean Water Project tunnel
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $2.7 billion in available funding for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) to assist with surface water and drinking water infrastructure projects. Of the total, more than $200 million will go to Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

This year, the EPA is providing the New England states with more than $120 million for projects that address stormwater and aging wastewater infrastructure and implement water reuse and recycling. Another $80 million is allotted to projects that install treatments for contaminants, remove lead distribution lines, and improve system resiliency.

All funding is provided through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs, which calls for states to contribute an additional 20 percent to match federal grants.
New Mexico State Investment Council
New Mexico - The State Investment Council (SIC) on March 24 committed $100 million to the newly established New Mexico Recovery Fund to aid businesses weathering COVID-19.

The fund is an investment program that would provide short term, secured financing to larger New Mexico-based companies with 40 to 50 employees and annual revenues of about $10 million to $15 million. In general, the fund would look to take a senior debt position where possible, replace existing debt with more flexible arrangements where needed, or employ a revenue-based lending approach.

Using a differential rate returns approach could allow for the SIC to invest into the fund through the $5 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund. In addition, other sources of capital may be available to augment an initial SIC commitment and create a public-private partnership to support key enterprises within the state.

Effective debt rates for each loan will vary based on the specific company and loan size but will likely target a 6 percent to 12 percent interest rate to companies. The focus will be on providing financial relief for the immediate future and reasonable repayment terms as economic activity recovers.

Detailed terms will need to be finalized but will likely include payment-in-kind interest for some period of time, no pre-payment penalties, warrant coverage, and similar provisions.
Rockingham County Courthouse
New Hampshire - To move critical offices out of the Rockingham County Superior Court building, officials are proposing to build a new $44 million corrections center that would include a drug treatment facility.

The new building would house the county attorney's office, sheriff's office, registry of deeds, a new dispatch center, and a community corrections facility that would provide improved drug treatment programs. Up to 80 beds could be included in the corrections facility, allowing for men and women to participate in 90- or 120-day treatment programs.

The current building is at capacity, and lacks an interview room, space for evidence storage, and adequate training areas.

If the new building is included in the fiscal year 2021 budget, a vote is expected in the coming months. If approved, a public hearing would likely occur in January 2021.
Seward Airport
Alaska - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed the final environmental document allowing the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to proceed with the Seward Airport reconstruction project.

The project, which is estimated to cost up to $30 million, has been under environmental review and design work for five years. Construction is expected to begin next year. 

Runway 16/34 will be reconstructed to a length of 3,300 feet and will replace the main runway 13/31, which has been damaged by flooding.

The 16/34 runway will be shifted, lengthened, and raised above the 100-year flood level, and also will receive new runway and taxiway lighting. Erosion protection will be installed on the runway's river side. Additionally, the aprons will be repaved, and new navigation aids will be installed. Several taxiways will be raised to meet the new runway's elevation. 

Taxiway A and runway 13/31 will be permanently closed, with airport fencing to be installed for safety. The new runway will accommodate the King Air 200, an aircraft commonly used for medical evacuations.
Balzano Marine Terminal at Port of Camden
New Jersey - The state's Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will award more than $28.8 million in rail freight grants and $30.1 million in Local Freight Impact Fund (LFIF) grants.

The freight rail grants help support economic activity by preserving and improving the existing freight transportation system and by making freight rail service more widely available for businesses throughout the state. Rail freight improvements support the state's clean energy, congestion mitigation, and sustainable development goals.

Thirteen projects that are receiving funding are in 12 counties and include constructing new sidetracks for loading and unloading, upgrading and repairing existing railroad tracks, installing new or upgraded switches, and repairing bridges and culverts. Among the initiatives are the $7.43 million improvement project at the Barzano Marine Terminal at the Port of Camden and the $8.45 million project to upgrade a rail facility in the Woodbridge Township. 

The LFIF program helps New Jersey's municipalities fund projects that emphasize and enhance the safe movement of large truck traffic, renew aging structures that carry large truck traffic, promote economic development, and support new transportation opportunities.

Of the applications received, there are 17 grants being awarded to 10 municipalities and six counties, with one county receiving two grants. Of the 17 projects, there are two truck safety and mobility projects, two new construction projects and 13 pavement preservation projects.

Under the program, projects that fall into four categories are eligible for funding: bridge preservation, new construction, pavement preservation, and truck safety and mobility.

Gloucester County will receive a $4 million grant that will go toward construction of a Route 44 Truck Bypass and Du-Pont Port Access Road. Middlesex County also will receive $8 million total to put toward improvements to Woodbridge Avenue and Mill Road and to Cranbury Road Corridor.
Rendering of South Salem commuter rail station
Massachusetts - Officials in Salem signed a joint resolution in support of constructing a commuter rail station in South Salem. The station, which is estimated to cost $25 million, will be constructed on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Newburyport-Rockport commuter rail line, between the downtown Salem and Swampscott rail stations.

Officials aim to alleviate increasing traffic congestion, and spur economic and community development in the Canal Street and Jefferson Avenue areas.

A feasibility study was published in 2016, and an economic impact analysis was published in 2017. The project is now ready to move forward with detailed design work, permitting, and construction. Salem will pursue state and federal grants to fund the project.
Swiftel Center in Brookings
South Dakota - The Brookings City Council will discuss whether to draft a public request for proposals (RFP) for development of a hotel at the Swiftel Center.

It's estimated that revenues produced by the hotel would be reinvested into the Swiftel Center, which would limit the amount of money that would be required from the city's capital improvement and general funds.

Several studies have been performed, which have identified the need to provide expanded conference and meeting facilities at the Swiftel Center, in order to elevate Brookings as a major destination for events.

Should an RFP occur later this year, any interested parties can contact the Development Review Team for more information about the property.
Roswell, New Mexico
New Mexico - The Roswell City Council approved a contract with a law firm to assist in creating new mechanisms to tax districts and fund development in the city. The law firm will prepare ordinances and provide legal guidance.

The approval lays the groundwork for creating the Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) and Public Improvement District (PID), with the agreement specifying the city's costs for creating the districts. Once the districts are formed and private developers become involved, the developers become responsible for paying the fees. 

One TIDD development project under consideration is the old municipal airport on West College Boulevard, a property that is currently owned solely by the city. In total, the site includes 500 acres that the city envisions can support residential, retail, and recreational development. The city would pursue a partner to install public infrastructure, including water lines, sewer lines, and roads.

A resolution included in the consent agenda will allow Roswell to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the preparation of construction documents that will be used to create Market Walk, a community market that would serve as an event venue. Market Walk would be located in an area from South Virginia to South Grand Avenue, and from East Second Street to East Walnut Street.
Michigan - The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) will provide economic assistance to small businesses throughout the state that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Recent approval of the Michigan Small Business Relief Program authorized the MEDC to provide up to $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses with significantly reduced cash flow and workforce support.

Grant funding will be provided to local or nonprofit economic development organizations, which will allocate up to $10,000 to each small business facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To qualify for grant funding, businesses must be involved in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-9, have 50 employees or fewer, require working capital to support common expenses, and demonstrate an income loss resulting from the outbreak.

Loans will be provided to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), or licensed small business association (SBA) not-for-profit institutions, or directly to eligible borrowers. Loans will come with low interest rates and flexible repayment terms, and must be for $50,000 or more, up to $200,000. To qualify for loan funding, businesses must be involved in an approved industry listed in the executive order or provide goods and services to companies in the aforementioned, have fewer than 100 employees, require working capital to support common expenses, demonstrate an inability to access credit through alternative sources, and demonstrate an income loss resulting from the outbreak.

Funds will be available until April 1.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Build America Bureau is seeking input for the development of a Regional Infrastructure Accelerators program.

A request for information (RFI) has been issued, and the program aims to help communities across the nation to create improved infrastructure priorities and financing strategies for accelerated development of projects eligible for funding under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA).

The RFI is seeking information about the most effective, transparent, and expedient ways to create and deliver the program. Respondents should address issues related to the program's structure, geographic diversity, qualification requirements, approach, and measures of success.

Regional infrastructure accelerators developed through the program will serve defined geographic areas, and will serve as a resource to qualified entities in accordance with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Responses are due by March 28. Only the first 10 pages of each response will be reviewed.
Former Salvation Army building
Massachusetts - The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a series of special permits and variances allowing the city of Chelsea to move forward with a project to redevelop the former Salvation Army building at 440 Broadway. 

The city can now issue a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a firm to develop the building into a mixed-use site.

Plans call for a five-story building to be constructed that will include 16 residential units, along with 2,400 square feet of retail space on the first floor, and a total of eight parking spaces. Affordable housing will be emphasized for the residential units, which will be two-bedroom units of 600 to 800 square feet. Proposals that include home ownership opportunities will be considered more highly.

Officials will proceed with gathering input from the community, and finalizing the RFP and evaluation criteria. A recommendation committee will then be selected to recommend a final proposal.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives

Washington - Gov. Jay Inslee named retired Navy Vice Admiral Raquel Bono as state director for COVID-19 Health System Response Management. Bono is a senior fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She previously served as the chief executive officer and director for the Defense Health Agency.

Florida - The University of Central Florida board of governors named Alexander Cartwright as president-elect on March 20. If elected, he will succeed Dale Whittaker who resigned in February 2019. Cartwright has been chancellor of the University of Missouri since 2017. Prior to that, he served as provost and executive vice chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY).

California - South Lake Tahoe City Council appointed Joseph Irvin as city manager. Irvin previously served as assistant city manager for Healdsburg, California, and assistant city manager at Sequim, Washington, in addition to assistant to the city manager and city planner. Prior to joining Sequim, Irvin was a zoning administrator at the city of Marco Island, Florida.

South Carolina - Georgetown County has named Angela Christian as its new county administrator, effective March 30. She will take over for interim county administrator Wesley Bryant. Christian previously served as town manager for Newport, North Carolina, and chief operations officer and deputy county manager for Onslow County in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Ohio - The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority appointed Jesse Roush as its new executive director. He succeeds Andy Kuhn who left the position in February to return to North Carolina. Roush previously served as the executive director of workforce development and corporate partnerships at Washington State Community College.

Washington, D.C. - The Trump administration selected Lora Shiao as acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on March 21. She will succeed Russell Travers. Shiao is currently serving as executive director of the NCTC. Previously, she held positions as deputy director for intelligence and assignments at the FBI and Department of Defense. Her new assignment is effective April 3.
Connect with us on social media!

About Government Contracting Pipeline

Note to media: Need expert commentary on procurement issues relating to public-sector entities, public-private partnerships (PPPs/P3s), state agencies or decision-makers? Give us a call at 512-531-3900, and we'll arrange an interview for you with one of our experts.

Permission to reproduce, reprint: This newsletter may be reproduced, and all the articles within may be reproduced without permission when credit is given to the author (if listed) and Government Contracting Pipeline, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., and the company website, www.spartnerships.com is listed.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc., 901 S. Mopac Expressway, Ste. 1-100, Austin, TX 78746
Sent by editor@spartnerships.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact
Try email marketing for free today!