Volume 12, Issue 14 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

State and local government contracting represented a multi-trillion dollar marketplace before the recent pandemic. That marketplace is now much larger ... but its current size is insignificant compared to what it will be six months from now.

To combat the virus, trillions of dollars are being spent on services and equipment supplied by private-sector companies. Trillions more will be spent to get people back to work and ensure economic recovery when the virus is contained.

The $2.2 trillion recovery package passed by Congress is much larger than the $831 billion stimulus that was allocated to economic recovery after the Great Recession of 2008. But, the recent recovery bill is just the beginning of what Congress plans to spend.

To reset the economy in 2020, trillions more will be sent to state and local governmental entities. Congress already is drafting additional recovery bills that will send funding through state and local governmental jurisdictions. Projects of all types will be launched, and almost all will be collaborative initiatives between public and private entities. That will be the fastest way to create jobs and combat a recession that is inevitable.

Companies that have never considered government contracting will, no doubt, be incentivized to reconsider that stance. And, experienced government contractors will see the competition increased exponentially. The action, opportunities, and immediate funding flows will be wrapped around government spending at the state and local levels of government.

State Route 70
California - The state's transportation commission approved $2.57 billion in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds for multimodal transportation improvement projects on March 25.

State highway, local road, active transportation, transit, and intercity rail improvements will receive STIP funding over five years. The program will support existing projects and more than 30 new projects including high-occupancy vehicle and express lanes, commuter and intercity rail, interchange improvements, local road reconstruction and rehabilitation, bridge replacements, bicycle and pedestrian transportation improvements, zero-emission bus purchases, and more.

Widening State Route 70 passing lanes in Yuba County is one project that will receive STIP funding. The existing two-lane highway will be expanded to four lanes with a continuous two-way turning lane. Butte County requested $15 million for the $85 million Segment 4 and $21 million for the $65 million Segment 5.

The commission also announced calls for new transportation projects that meet criteria of three programs, totaling $2.4 billion in funding.

More than $1.4 billion is available from the 2020 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program for infrastructure improvements on specified trade corridors and other corridors with high-volume freight movement. The 2020 Local Partnership Program has $600 million available for projects by cities, counties, districts, and regional transportation agencies that have passed tax referendums or assessed fees solely for transportation improvements. Projects that will increase the use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking, are eligible for 2021 Active Program funding that totals $446 million.
Virginia - A new Economic Vulnerability Index for all counties and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States predicts the impact that COVID-19 may have on unemployment.

The economics team at Chmura Economics & Analytics in Virginia developed the model based on a region's industries using employment data from 4Q 2019 provided by JobsEQ.

An average Vulnerability Index score is 100, representing the average job loss expected in the United States.

The Vulnerability Index only measures the impact potential related to the mix of industry employment. The index does not take into account variation due to a regions' rate of virus infection, nor does it factor in local government's policies in reaction to the virus.

The index is based on a model of potential job losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Expected employment losses at the subsector level are based upon inputs which include: primary research on expert testimony; news reports for key industries such as hotels, restaurants, retail, and transportation; preliminary release of unemployment claims; and the latest job postings data from Chmura's database.

Sectors with the largest expected job losses are:
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation;
  • Accommodation and food services;
  • Wholesale trade; and,
  • Transportation and warehousing.
Those with smallest projected losses are:
  • Construction;
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services;
  • Utilities;
  • Management of companies and enterprises;
  • Public administration; and,
  • Real estate and rental and leasing.
Job losses referred to in the index are expected to be temporary for the length of the crisis. Consequential economic shocks are not incorporated into this model.
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force to secure needed supplies and equipment in the COVID-19 fight.

One of eight COVID-19 focused task forces under the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), this task force is taking a nationwide approach to address limited supply of critical protective and life-saving equipment.

The task force's primary effort is the sourcing of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other critical resources requested by states, tribes, and territories. By using the structure of FEMA's NRCC, the task force is finding and executing solutions to meet urgent demand and enable the federal government to support COVID-19 "hot spots" as they arise.

In addition, the task force is engaging manufacturers, distributors and health care networks to build the next phase of supply chain stabilization.

To increase availability of critical resources, the task force is developing a strategy to increase availability of critical resources through four primary efforts:
  • Preservation - Limit unnecessary use of PPE and other supplies. Developing guidance to prioritize the allocation and the most appropriate use of supplies for specific needs are critical components of this strategy.
  • Acceleration - Industrial manufacturing is required to help meet the urgent demand placed on the market. Manufacturers are ramping up production of critical resources and have extended operating hours to increase production well above pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • Expansion - Industry expansion also is taking place. Manufacturers are enhancing production capacity with additional machinery, and in some cases re-tooling assembly lines to produce new products needed.
  • Allocation - Critical resources will be allocated based on data-informed decisions. These decisions will be coordinated between the federal government and the private sector.
To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Updated Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011). Offers are due by September 25. This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award. Registration information can be found at www.sam.gov. Registration must be "active" at the time of the award.

Anyone who has medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide FEMA with details on what is being offered through its online medical supplies and equipment form at www.fema.gov/covid19offers.

Those interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID-19 with their company's non-medical goods and/or services, may submit their inquiries to the Department of Homeland Security's Procurement Action Innovative Response (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov.
Wisconsin - Voters across the state will decide on more than $1.6 billion in school district bond referendums on April 7.

Racine Unified School District is proposing to fund $598 million of work over 30 years including construction of a new K-8 campus in Sturtevant, a Starbuck International Baccalaureate K-8 campus, and several new, smaller middle schools. It also plans to modernize schools through major renovations and maintenance, enhance school safety and security, modernize classroom technology, create a second early learning center, expand programs, such as the Academies of Racine, and create schools that are accessibility compliant. 

Milwaukee Public Schools is seeking a four-year phase-in revenue limit increase for a total of $87 million to pay for educators, offer more career and technical education programs, and expand library services, art, music, physical education, and language programs. 

Sauk Prairie School District will ask voters to decide a $65 million bond referendum with 80 percent of the dollars going toward renovation and expansion of its 60-year-old Sauk Prairie High School. The project will expand learning spaces, replace failing infrastructure, rebuild its indoor pool, modernize its kitchen and library, and add a flexible multi-use space to the schools River Arts Center. 

Elementary school additions, high school renovations, districtwide repairs, and land acquisition for a middle school site are in Columbus School District's $30 million bond package.  

The rapid onset of COVID-19 has caused some districts to commit to delaying construction of their capital projects, such as the School District of Cambridge's $9.9 million 500-seat performing arts centerTrustees approved the referendum in January, and the ballot cannot be changed. If approved, the district has up to five years to advance the project that also includes a lobby, dressing rooms, storage space, and additional parking.
Washington, D.C. - On the heels of the $2 trillion stimulus package Congress achieved last week, several members have begun work on a fourth phase of funding.

Infrastructure such as water, broadband, schools, and more could benefit from the new round of stimulus funding designed to help front-line medical staff and first-responders, homebound parents, and COVID-19 patients.

Hospital capacity and rural broadband have been strained by the pandemic and could get additional funding in another stimulus package. Some leaders are advocating for extra funds to support state government budgets sapped by new spending needs and loss of tax revenues.

Other appropriations under consideration would improve access to personal protective equipment (PPE), expand paid leave for workers and parents who must stay home, boost specific pension payments, and enhance occupational safety protections for workers.

Lawmakers also are contemplating additional cash payments to individual Americans, free coronavirus treatments, and more support for the District of Columbia, which was classified as a territory in the last round of funding.
Aloha Stadium redevelopment
Hawaii - The state of Hawaii issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) on March 27 seeking a public-private partnership (P3) to design, build, and maintain the first phase of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District.

Over several phases, the corroding Aloha Stadium will be demolished, a new 35,000-seat stadium will be built, and surrounding developments will be added such as retail, residential, commercial, hotels, and hospitality and cultural and community facilities. Roadway, utilities, and shared public spaces also will be included.

The first phase of development (Phase 1) is expected to be delivered over five years. Phase 1A will include the New Aloha Stadium and supporting infrastructure to connect the New Aloha Stadium with the HART station. Phase 1B includes mixed use development.

Phase 1 will be initially funded by a combination of cash appropriation from the state of Hawaii, general obligation bonds, and revenue bonds. The level of state supported funding is $350 million. This will be supported by private-sector funding under a P3 model and revenues received from the operation of the new stadium, the surrounding improvements to the New Aloha Stadium, and from any Phase 1B retail and commercial developments.

Land use plans call for Phase 1B to include 250,000 square feet net of retail and entertainment space, up to 700 residential units, 75,000 square feet net of office space, and 240 hotel rooms.

At build out, the project scope includes 641,000 square feet net of retail and entertainment space, up to 1,810 residential units, 192,000 square feet of office space, and 620 hotel rooms. It is envisioned that the full build-out will be accomplished in several phases over 10 to 15 years after the New Aloha Stadium opens.

An optional pre-response conference is scheduled for April 10. The final date for request for clarifications is April 14. The RFQ response deadline is April 28, and three applicants will be priority-listed on June 8.

The state is scheduled to close the contract in Q1 2021. Delivery of Phase 1A is set for fall 2023.
New York - Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced $111 million in state funding to improve school technology under the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014.

A state review board approved 133 investment plans submitted by school districts across the state.

Plans include $51.5 million for high-tech security projects, $24.8 million for classroom technology purchases, $19 million for school connectivity projects, $10.9 million for the removal of transportable classroom units (TCUs), $3.1 million for the expansion of pre-kindergarten classrooms, and $1.4 million for non-public schools to enhance classroom technology and school connectivity.

Brentwood Union Free School District (USFD) is set to receive $10.76 million to replace portable classrooms and $1.06 million to enhance school connectivity. Hempstead USFD will get $2.86 million for high-tech security upgrades, $1.84 million for classroom technology purchases, $310,273 for school connectivity, and $256,000 for non-public schools.
USACE engineers visit The City College of New York
Washington, D.C. - Army leaders announced plans to quickly convert unused buildings into makeshift hospitals in multiple states, starting in New York, as hospitals brace for medical shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan will be refitted into a site for a 1,000-bed hospital and 1,800 field medical stations, officials said. Soldiers from the New York National Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and civilian employees will prepare the medical facility, slated to begin operating in a week to 10 days.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, USACE commanding general, said the plan begins with state governors.

Local leaders will pinpoint available buildings, such as hotels, dormitories, and convention centers, in a prioritized order. Once identified, the existing buildings will be leased by the state and handed over to USACE. The corps will take over and hire contractors in a short amount of days, Semonite explained.

The facilities will need negative pressure abilities to keep the virus sealed off from room-to-room, and be outfitted with the appropriate medical supplies based off a list provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.

Each facility will be staffed with medical professionals hired by the state, Semonite explained.

New York has become the epicenter for the airborne virus in the United States, as confirmed cases topped 32,300 as of March 29, officials said. This is a sharp rise from 4,812 cases on March 22. The state will receive 10,000 temporary rooms over the next few weeks. The state will become "the standard-setter," Semonite said, for how USACE will respond. 

USACE leaders recently walked through several potential New York buildings, including the Javits Convention Center and State University of New York school buildings. Engineers were scheduled walk through 10 other buildings in New York.

Corps engineers produced a "standard design" to retrofit medical facilities, which was approved by both HHS and FEMA.
Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the Army is trying to understand the capabilities of every state, while focusing on hotspots such as New York, California, and New Jersey.
Rendering of San Diego State University stadium
California - The California State University board of trustees approved a budget amendment, stadium design, and $310 million in revenue bond financing on March 24 to build a proposed 35,000-seat multi-use stadium at San Diego State University (SDSU) in Mission Valley.

Pending the $87.7 million purchase of the land from the city of San Diego, the stadium project is on schedule to open in 2022.

The university previously committed $350 million to surrounding developments that are set to include 4,600 residential units, 400 hotel rooms, 80 acres of parkland and green space, 1.6 million square feet of office and research space, and 95,000 square feet of campus retail.

Total project cost is estimated to be $3 billion with completion scheduled for 2037.
Rendering of US 231 bridges
Alabama - The state's Department of Transportation (ALDOT) anticipates accepting bids in May on an $18 million project to build two 1,000-foot bridges to replace a section of U.S. 231 damaged by rockslides.

Heavy rains in February caused the slide that resulted in large cracks and bubbling in the surface of the road near Huntsville.

The bridges will be on the existing road alignment and will stand on thick piers anchored in the solid bedrock beneath the landslide. Contractors already are at work removing a large amount of rock and soil to significantly reduce the mass of rubble.

The bridge construction contract is scheduled to be awarded on May 5 with work on that project beginning on May 8. Estimated completion is in one year, but ALDOT officials said the department will offer incentives for a quicker opening and disincentives for a later one.
St. Charles, Illinois
Illinois - The city of St. Charles is preparing a request for proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of the area containing the city's former police station, an adjacent parking lot, and Fox River shoreline.

City leaders have indicated a desire for a mixed-use development that could include a combination of retail and residential space and a hotel. The former police building at 211 N. Riverside Ave., could be demolished as part of the project scope. Portions of the building date back nearly 100 years.

Review of a draft RFP is scheduled for an April 13 committee meeting. The committee's recommended version would then go to City Council for final approval before issuing it.
Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City
Utah - The Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) has established the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program to help small businesses of 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utah-based businesses are now able to apply for the bridge loan program supported by about $8 million in repurposed state economic development funds. The Utah Department of Workforce Services contributed an additional $500,000.

Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with zero percent interest for up to a 60-month period. Loans cannot exceed three months of demonstrated operating expenses. Loan payments are deferred for 12 months, and GOED will use at least 25 percent of the program funds to support rural Utah businesses. The first funding traunch ends April 3 at noon.
Businesses must be established and licensed before January 1, 2020, and in good standing with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e., W-2 employees).

Applicants must provide six months proforma of estimated lost revenue or other documented loss evidence. No collateral requirements.

Eligible loan uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.

Receiving other forms of emergency funding will not disqualify an applicant from receiving loan funds through this program. Still, companies must disclose if they have applied for emergency funding from other sources.
Sloan Convention Center
Kentucky - Bowling Green City Commissioners authorized a request for proposals (RFP) on March 17 for the second phase of renovations to the Sloan Convention Center.

Representatives of the Convention Center Corporation Board, which comprises the City Commission and Warren County judge, said the renovations would include renovating the center's ballroom and breakout rooms with new carpet, floor coverings, and ceilings.

Phase one renovations were completed several years ago. In 2019, the board issued a RFP to solicit the purchase and operation of the city's convention center, but it expired without any submissions.

The 60,000-square-foot center has 35,500 square feet of meeting and pre-convention exhibit space. The 19,500-square-foot grand ballroom can be divided into four smaller ballrooms. Six breakout rooms range from 350 to 2,600 square feet.
Minnesota - The city of Lonsdale purchased two tracts totaling 10 acres to be the future site of a new police station.

To address space constraints at the current police facility, city officials contemplated a joint city hall-police station building in 2019, but that idea failed to get support. 

A request for proposals (RFP) soon will be drafted for architectural services, and the design phase could begin this summer. 
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives

Minnesota - Gov. Tim Walz appointed Alice Roberts-Davis as Department of Administration commissioner to direct the state's efforts in procuring lifesaving care supplies. Previously, she served as department's assistant commissioner and gained experience in procurement and public-private partnerships. Before joining the state, she worked for a national retailer for 12 years in different leadership capacities, including real estate management and compliance.

South Carolina - Lisa Montgomery, executive vice president of finance and operations for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), has announced the appointment of Mark McMath as enterprise chief information officer (CIO) for information solutions. McMath joined MUSC from a not-for-profit, faith-based health care system based in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as the senior vice president and chief information officer.

Georgia - The city of Brunswick named Regina McDuffie as its new city manager. She takes over for interim city manager Tanet Myers who filled in after Jim Drumm resigned in January. McDuffie previously served as Macon County manager and chief administrative officer at the Macon Centreplex. She is scheduled to start with Brunswick in early May. 

South Dakota - The Pierre City Commission on March 31 approved Cameron Howard as manager of the Pierre Regional Airport, effective April 15. He will take over for Mike Isaacs who accepted a position in Lewiston, Idaho. Howard most recently served as the administration manager at the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport in Kentucky.

Wyoming - The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources selected Dr. Holly Krutka as executive director. She previously served as vice president for coal generation and emissions technologies at the world's largest private-sector coal producer. Before that, she worked as a senior research and development analyst for an electric generation and transmission cooperative based in Westminster, Colorado. 

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected Yvette Collazo as director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Collazo previously worked for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) where she oversaw activities related to federal contracts and agreements. She also served as senior adviser and director for DOE's Office of Technology Innovation and Development.
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