Volume 14, Issue 48 - Wednesday, November 30, 2022

America’s roadways are changing 

By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Officials at every level of government are committed to making roadways safer for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The enthusiasm along with available funding is restructuring roadways throughout the country. Contracting firms of every type will be in high demand as roadway infrastructure undergoes a massive change in the next several years. 


Federal funding programs that support road safety have either been created or expanded. Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released guidelines for its Highway Safety Improvement Program’s formula grants following an injection of $4 billion in additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. 


Another $5 billion in the Safe Streets and Roads for All competitive grant program also allocated funding. The impetus for road safety projects has never been higher. 


Vision Zero plans that seek to eliminate traffic fatalities within a certain timeframe are evident in most states. The mayor of New York City recently announced that the city would be investing an additional $3 billion in its upcoming slate of Vision Zero-related projects. 


In the state of New Jersey, Hoboken, and Jersey City have implemented safety improvements on a smaller scale. Columbus, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee, are now embarking on their own localized Vision Zero plans.


Click here for more.

California approves $1B EV charging project

California – The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $1 billion vehicle electrification charging project, most of which will be devoted to accelerating the number of midsize and heavy-duty trucks on state roads.


The cost of the five-year program will be spread out among utility ratepayers across California with 70 percent of funds being devoted to charging medium and heavy-duty vehicles. These vehicles account for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.


The remaining 30 percent will go to charging light-duty vehicles at or near multiunit dwellings. 65 percent will go towards underserved communities putting the priority on low-income and tribal areas. No money is allocated for building electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructures at individual homes.


Starting in 2025 and intended to run through 2029, the program has allocated $200 million each year through state utilities. Money will be given back to customers through rebates. Details for the program are still being worked out.


The federal government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will funnel several hundred million dollars to California to put more electric cars and trucks on roadways and in ports. The state’s budget includes $10 billion over the next six years.


Moab seeks RFQ for P3 mixed-income housing development

Utah — The city of Moab intends to partner with a developer to redevelop a 38-unit mobile home park into an 80-unit, affordable, sustainable, mixed-income development.


The selected public-private partnership (P3) developer must be willing to design a feasible, mixed-use project, lease the property at a city-negotiated price, construct, and operate the project. The city expects the developer to maintain the project under a 50-year ground lease with the city.


The city received entitlements for an 80-unit multifamily development through the Planned Affordable Development (PAD) ordinance. A three-phase master plan was developed to avoid displacement of current residents. The city has completed civil and landscaping design for the first phase.


The approximately 3-acre site has two parcels and is zoned as R-4 for medium-density residential living. It has 27 occupied units with utility hookups. The existing infrastructure will need to be updated and road conditions improved.


Interested vendors can visit the site on December 14. RFQ responses are due January 5. The solicitation can be viewed here.

Montgomery County introduces $269M capital budget

Pennsylvania — The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners presented the $268.9 million budget including 150 capital improvement projects.


The largest project allocated for is the $112 million county campus plan. Other major projects include the Montgomery County Department of Assets and Infrastructure budgeted at $73 million and the Montgomery County Planning Commission at $52.7 million. Ongoing assets and infrastructure projects include $37 million in county facility improvements, $20 million for roads and bridges, $12 million for parks and trails, and $3 million to renovate a public library. The county budget will be funded by bond funds, federal grants, and county motor vehicle registration fees.


At the same meeting, updates to the five-year capital improvement program were shared. The 2023-2027 Montgomery County Proposed Capital Improvement Program accounts for $318.6 million toward the county campus plan, $257.4 million for the county planning commission, and $205 million toward the county assets and infrastructure department. Highlighted projects include a $427 million replacement burn building, renovating the operations center, upgrading the public safety training center, 911 upgrades, and upgrading the emergency operations warehouse. Other projects planned include a new roof for the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, new vehicles for the sheriff’s office, and electric vehicle charging stations.


Residents can comment on the budget and capital improvement plans in two upcoming virtual and in-person public hearings on December 1 at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners will vote on the budget and capital improvement plan on December 15.

Newton solicits P3 RFQ to build housing, parking,

expand technical college

New Jersey — The town of Newton is requesting qualifications from developers to create multi-family housing, add parking infrastructure, and expand the McGuire Technical Education Center. The intention is to enter a public-private partnership (P3) to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the projects.


The town wants to build residential housing units with short-term rentals or a hotel with amenities and possibly a restaurant. The developer may also propose all multi-family residential units or all hotel units.


The developer will build shared structured and surface parking for the downtown area, the technical college education site, and the Newton Parking Authority. The new construction for the technical college will be 20,000-square-feet of unfinished space to be used by the growing occupational program.


Respondents may offer alternatives in an alternative project proposals section and detail reasons for proposed alternatives. All submissions and future concept plans must conform with the town’s vision as detailed in the McGuire Redevelopment Plan.


Responses to the request for qualifications (RFQ) must be made by December 19. The solicitation can be found here.

Public Facilities Authority awards $191M to

clean Minnesota waterways

Minnesota — The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) announced $191 million in grants and loans for water and infrastructure repairs in 29 communities. The funding came from the PFA’s Clean Water and Drinking Water revolving loan funds (CWRF), the Water Infrastructure Fund (WIF) grants, and Point Source Implementation (PSI) Grants programs.

 

The highest-funded clean water projects in Minnesota are:

  • Foley: Nearly $28 million will be used to construct a sanitary sewer force main to connect to St. Cloud for treatment. Funding comes from a $19.8 million CWRF loan and $8 million state special appropriation.
  • Two Harbors: Nearly $33.5 million will be used to rehabilitate the wastewater treatment facility and upgrade the treatment process to meet permit limits for mercury. Funding for this project comes from a $5.8 million PSI grant, $14.5 million CWRF loan, $1.7 million WIF grant, and a 2020 special appropriation of $11.5 million. 
  • Saint Paul: The city will use a $46 million CWRF loan to reconstruct the St. Paul Regional Water Service’s McCarron’s Drinking Water Treatment Plant.


A complete list of funding can be found here.

$85M parks bond passes in Salt Lake City

Utah – Salt Lake City residents voted in favor of a $85 million general obligation bond to help fund several parks, trails, and public land-related projects throughout the city. 


The bond is intended to speed up the number of park and trail projects to meet growing demands. The Salt Lake City Department of Parks and Public Lands found that there’s been a 40 percent uptick in park and trail usage since 2020. The city has also reached its highest population on record in the 2020 census.


Polls have helped the city determine which projects to focus the dollars on. These include:

  • $27 million toward the creation of the Glendale Regional Park, the city's first regional park since Sugar House Park was established in 1957. 
  • $16 million toward contingency funding for any outdoor projects in the city. 
  • $10.5 million toward neighborhood parks, trails, or open spaces. All seven council districts will have at least one project funded with the money. 


Funds will be dispersed in the next few months but will also need to be secured through other avenues. Because of this, the city will go through a process to pick and choose which projects to fund first.


Projects that are already funded, like Allen Park and Glendale Regional Park, will receive more funding first. The department will also go through the process of hiring consultants to help planners with the remaining projects.


More information can be found here.

(Photo: Courtesy of Salt Lake City Parks.)

Wilmington considers single Cape Fear River crossing

for cars, rail, pedestrians

North Carolina — Wilmington City Council approved a contract with an engineering firm to study combining the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge replacement and the city’s rail realignment project into one crossing over the Cape Fear River. The study will guide project development as city leaders work to secure funding and design plans. Both projects are in the early stages of development.


Neither project has secured full construction funding. The rail realignment project has secured about 30 percent of needed design funding. The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge replacement project is estimated to cost about $400 million. A toll to fund the bridge replacement was voted down by local leaders last year but remains an option as the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) studies funding options.


NCDOT contracted a firm to study potential toll rates, traffic distribution, and to create a replacement bridge planning document which will take about three years to complete. The planning document will support officials in pursuing federal funding.


The purpose of the city-sponsored rail realignment is to improve the route connecting the Port of Wilmington with a Navassa railyard through a shorter, less busy route. Work has been ongoing since 2017.


City leaders are considering combining the two projects with a single river crossing for cars, the railway, and pedestrians. City officials are still deciding if combining the projects is the best path forward for these projects.


Over the next months, the engineering study will establish the most practical shared-use concept, produce a concept design, and estimate costs. The information in the study will inform the decisions of transportation officials.

(Photo: Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

DOT announces $41M to rebuild Louisiana rural bridges

and provide ferry service

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Build America Bureau will provide $40.9 million in low-interest loans to the Louisiana State Bond Commission to benefit the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) for a ferry project and bridge improvement program.


The Cameron Parish Ferry Project will provide ferry service between Cameron and Holly Beach in Cameron Parish. A $19.2 million loan will fund the design and construction of two vehicle/passenger ferries capable of carrying at least 40 vehicles and 500 passengers.



The Statewide Bridge Program will replace 11 structurally deficient bridges across six parishes, funded by a $21.7 million loan.

Five states awarded $30M in BEAD and

Digital Equity planning funds

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced planning grants awarded to Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.


Planning grants for the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) and the Digital Equity Act programs total $29.6 million. The funding will provide:

  • Delaware: The BEAD planning grant of nearly $5 million will help broadband deployment planning and capacity building for the Department of Technology & Information. Digital Equity funding of more than $500,000 will help create a Delaware Digital Equity plan.
  • Georgia: The Digital Equity planning grant worth $1.4 million will drive engagement with the Georgia Digital Equity Taskforce. The state received almost $5 million in BEAD funding. 
  • Iowa: The BEAD planning grant of $5 million will increase the capacity of the state’s broadband office. Iowa received $700,000 in Digital Equity funding. 
  • North Carolina: The $5 million in BEAD planning funds will improve existing programs offered by the Department of Information Technology. The Digital Equity program will fund $1.4 million in subgrants to organizations that serve underserved or underrepresented populations. 
  • Rhode Island: $5 million in BEAD planning funds will include support for the Rhode Island Broadband Development Program, including a five-year action plan and enhancement of a previous statewide assessment of infrastructure and Internet service availability. It will reach more than 3,000 people to better understand barriers and challenges they face related to digital endeavors. Rhode Island received $500,000 in Digital Equity funding. 

City of Licking receiving grant for water infrastructures

Missouri – The city of Licking was selected to receive a total of $10.1 million in three grants to help with their drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructures as well as to inventory lead service lines.


The grants were awarded by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Funds. Several Missouri communities were granted $410 million in funds for water projects.


Drinking water infrastructure projects across 40 communities were awarded $125 million, with a partial amount going to another community. The city of Licking was awarded $5 million. Another $125 million was allocated for wastewater infrastructure. The top 34 applicants, including Licking, are eligible to receive $5 million towards a sewer project. Pertaining to stormwater projects, 67 Missouri communities will receive a portion of $150 million and one community will receive a partial amount.


A $10 million fund will be divided between 71 communities, plus partial funding for another, for lead service line inventory. The city of Licking is eligible for $130,000 to inventory the communities service lines and detect lead. Other communities receiving grants include Salem, Newburg, Winona, Edgar Springs, Summersville, Rolla, and Mountain View.


A ranked list of applicants, along with their scores, and grant eligibility amounts can be found here.

$9M renovation to stadium and gym planned

for Millersville University

Pennsylvania – The state of Pennsylvania awarded Millersville University $2.5 million towards the $9.3 million of improvements to the Biemesderfer Stadium and Pucillo Gymnasium.


The grant comes from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment and Capital Assistance Program which has recently granted 11 Lancaster County awards.


Work will include upgrading restrooms to be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, indoor air quality upgrades, and installation of compliant elevators. They will also be working on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure and components. Pucillo Gym, which has been identified by Penn Manor High School as an alternate gathering place in case of emergency situations, will see significant upgrades to its mechanical systems and will improve its utility as an emergency shelter. Additionally, 15 jobs would be created.


This project will ultimately provide the area with opportunities to host public events and community engagements at the university including camps, athletic events, regional tournaments, and special gatherings.


The grant is one of 19 projects throughout Lancaster County totaling $59.7 million total awarded funds. Other grants include: 

  • $11 million for site work at North Greenfield in East Lampeter Township.
  • $3 million to Borough of Mount Joy for the construction of a municipal services complex.
  • $5 million to build the East Coast Wrestling Hall of Fame in Warwick Township.
  • $3 million for Warwick Township’s Compass Mill Complex Restoration.

(Photo: Courtesy of Millersville University Athletics.)

Temporary Kaktovik school gym construction is ongoing

Alaska — The city of Kaktovik is constructing a temporary gym after losing the 50-year-old pre-kindergarten-12th grade Harold Kaveolook School to a fire in 2020. The temporary gym is partially complete except for lighting, heating, and flooring, according to a city official.


It is not yet clear when the temporary gym will be complete. COVID and supply chain delays have contributed to the wait for the temporary gym to be completed. An update on material delivery is expected within the week. With basketball season coming up, students will likely be training at the interim school.


The school district is focused on rebuilding the school and a permanent gym. Schematic drawings were presented to the community for feedback. An architectural firm is reviewing community comments. A revised design will be presented to the community in January with a final design expected to be presented publicly in March.


When designs are finalized, the school district will plan soil remediation efforts to begin this summer. Construction could start as early as 2024 and is expected to take about three years. Construction will be done in phases. The first phase will include the new permanent gym and is expected to cost $46 million. The district has secured about $27 million in funding and needs to secure the remaining $22 million and will likely seek state funding for the project.

Morris County approves streamlined courthouse design

New Jersey — During a public meeting, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners voted to move forward in the design phase for a new courthouse to be built on county-owned land. The vote followed a presentation to the board and public by an infrastructure firm contracted for the project in 2019.


The COVID-19 pandemic paused the progress of the 140,000 square-foot design proposal in 2020. After review, the plan is moving forward with a less costly 117,000 square-foot design. The new conceptual design will mostly preserve a county-owned, urban mini park that would have been covered by previous conceptual designs.


The scope and cost of the project have narrowed. County officials spoke on the need to adjust the original vision to post-pandemic needs, reduce costs, and still expand court facilities to meet the needs of the state judiciary. The most recent design includes eight courtrooms, a 200-person jury assembly room, and reduces the floor plan by 23,000 square-feet.


The County Commissioners held public hearings prior to their vote to adopt two capital ordinances in 2018 to fund the design phases of a new courthouse.

St. Charles City Council considers redevelopment

of former police station

Illinois — St. Charles City Council will vote in two weeks on a motion to conduct a feasibility study on redeveloping the former police station along Fox River. The study will include infrastructure limitations, soil analysis, and environmental analysis. Based on the findings of the study, the council will develop guidelines for request for proposal submissions to redevelop the facility.


A private real estate and investment firm has proposed building a one-story building and parking garage to contain over 100 residential units, restaurants, hotel rooms, a fitness center, and conference space at the Fox River site. The $150 million plan includes a riverwalk and rooftop pools. The firm is requesting $20 million in tax increment funding and revenue sharing from the city.


A private development group has also proposed building a five-to-seven-story residential, restaurant, and retail space with over 140 apartments. The project is estimated to cost $60.5 million, and the developers are not asking for incentives from the city. A city official said they would revisit redevelopment plans in the spring.


A local resident group has organized to oppose the overdevelopment of the area, citing concerns about traffic overwhelming the surrounding neighborhoods. Resident feedback will be collected and considered by the City Council through email and public comments in meetings.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

California Sidney Jackson has been appointed general manager of Pasadena Water and Power in Pasadena. Jackson, currently chief operations officer and deputy general manager at Austin Energy in Texas, has extensive experience in both the water and power industries. He will join the city’s executive team in January 2023.  


Michigan — A swearing-in ceremony was held November 28 for new Muskegon City Manager Jonathan Seyferth. He has been the manager of Gaines Township in Kent County. The city commission voted October 7 to hire Seyferth to replace Frank Peterson, who left his job as city manager for a position in the private sector. Since then, Muskegon Deputy City Manager LeighAnn Mikesell has filled in as interim manager. 


California — Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson was named the next president of San José State University, a position she will transition into on January 16, 2023. Teniente-Matson has been president at A&M-San Antonio since 2015. She replaces Stephen Perez who was appointed interim president on November 22, 2021, and assumed the presidency on January 3, 2022. 


South Dakota — The Watertown School Board has selected Tiffany Sanderson as the new president of Lake Area Technical College. Current President Mike Cartney will retire effective December 31, 2022, and Sanderson will begin her position on January 1, 2023. Sanderson currently serves as the South Dakota secretary of education. 


West Virginia — The West Virginia University Division of Finance has selected Dixie Paletta as the new chief budget officer. Paletta assumes the role following the departure of Matt Tidd, who served in the position since 2017 and recently left to pursue outside opportunities. Paletta currently serves in the role of assistant vice president for budget and planning with Health Sciences at the university.  


CaliforniaGregory Barfield, Fresno's assistant city manager, will be returning to a position he once held for three years. Barfield has accepted the position of director of transportation. Barfield has worked for the city for nearly 18 years. He will serve as interim assistant city manager through the end of 2022. Prior to his position as assistant city manager, he served as director of transportation. 

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Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Publisher: Mary Scott Nabers

Editors: Kristin Gordon

             Claire Robertson      

www.spartnerships.com

Government Contracting Pipeline, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., is a free, weekly newsletter detailing important happenings nationwide and the premier source for federal, state, and local government news and contracting opportunities.
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