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Editor’s Note: A variety of social infrastructure P3s are underway or projected by some city and county governments as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. Project proponents have encountered hurdles, however, ranging from challenges issued by project critics and administrative and management issues, to a developer’s threat to pursue litigation over a rejected proposal. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, which acknowledges the benefits of using P3s to house military personnel, admits that a culture change is needed to gain more widespread acceptance of this procurement method. These types of growing pains, although frustrating, are perhaps to be expected but it is refreshing to see such a diversity of projects surfacing in the United States, which may one day be able to match its northern neighbor Canada, which regularly conducts a broad range of social infrastructure projects.
IN’s I-69 project sputters, then resumes. Isolux Corsan, the lead contractor hired by development team I-69 Development Partners LLC, claimed a lack of permitting was slowing down its work and clogging cash flow. Its failure to pay workers led to their walk-off in September. But the impasse has been resolved and the 22-mile stretch of the interstate, known as Section 5, is back on track for completion by October 2017, the contractor says.
Don’t just buy American, bank American! If Democrats win enough seats to control the U.S. Senate after the November election, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will push for international tax reform linked to an infrastructure funding program. “If you can get overseas money to come back here, even if it’s at a lower rate than the 35 percent it now comes back at, and you can use that money for a major constructive purpose such as infrastructure — if you did an infrastructure bank, for instance — you could get $100 billion in equity in the bank and get a trillion dollars of infrastructure.”
Ontario pursues first-ever DBFOM for LRT. An RFQ has been issued for the 20-kilometer, 22-stop Hurontario Light Rail Transit project which will include construction of a light-rail storage and maintenance facility and procurement of a light-rail vehicle fleet.
Don’t forget to register for the first-ever Great Lakes Infrastructure Exchange, which NCPPP is holding in partnership with the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships and the Council of the Great Lakes Region. This event, which will be held in conjunction with the P3 2016 annual conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel on November 15, is the only venue for coordinated, high-level dialogue about the infrastructure issues facing the Great Lakes region. Top officials from both countries will discuss how public-private partnerships can play a role in such projects as bridges, roads and border crossings that affect the United States and Canada. Plan to attend in person or register for the live webstream on NCPPP’s website.
Teams competing for flood diversion project whittled to four. Lake Agassiz Partners, Red River Valley Partners, Red River Valley Alliance and Red River Partners will move into the RFP round for the channel diversion and associated DBFOM portion of the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project.
If into each life a little rain does not fall … Several California agencies have agreed to streamline the permitting process for the $900 million Huntington Beach Desalinization project. If the project goes through — voters will decide Nov. 4 whether the state can sell $7.1 billion in general obligation funds for water projects — it will produce 50 million gallons of drinking water per day to reduce water-starved Orange County’s need to import water from Northern California and the Colorado River.
NCPPP’s looking for a few good leaders. Nominations are still being accepted to fill vacancies for private and public sector members on NCPPP’s Executive Committee. All public and private sector NCPPP members in good standing are eligible for nomination. The selection will be made by the NCPPP Nominations Committee in accordance with the council’s by-laws. Once elected, the new committee member will serve a one-year term. All who would like to be considered should send an email with their expression of interest and a short biographical statement or CV by October 28 to NCPPP Executive Director Todd Herberghs at email@example.com.
Soon to be rising from the briny deep … The United States’ first offshore wind farm will start operating this month off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind hopes the Block Island Wind Farm will be but the first of several such projects; it wants to build another one off Montauk on Long Island, N.Y. Other possible destinations are deep water off Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine and in Lake Erie. However, the high price of wind power production could take the wind out of developers’ sails.
There’s still time to register for the last two P3Bootcamps NCPPP will hold in 2016. Plan to join us in Jackson, Miss., Nov. 16-17 or in Chicago, Dec. 13-14 for this intensive, day-and-a-half learning session that will teach you all you need to know about how partnerships work and proven strategies for assembling successful projects. We’re already planning our 2017 series of bootcamps, which will be held at prime locations across the United States, so stay tuned.
Pentagon official: P3s perform well but still a tough sell. Look for the Pentagon to consider expanding the public-private partnership model it relied on to recapitalize the military’s family housing to other types of defense infrastructure under the next administration. “No matter who wins, we’re going to be taking a fresh look as these kinds of things,” Peter Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, said during a panel discussion Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t think it’s a great thing, and it’s worked well, and it’s saved us money, and it’s gotten soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines better housing than they had before,” he said, reported DOD News. The primary challenge to expanding privatization to other realms is resistance from “warfighters” who view turning over DOD functions to the private sector as losing control over that activity. “What we have to learn from that,” Potochney said, “is how do we look at new opportunities in ways that our leadership, our warfighting leadership, will understand, so that they will accept new private sector ventures?”
Controversial waterfront facelift project to move forward. The Redondo Beach City Council voted, despite opponents’ protests, to uphold the city harbor commission’s certification of an environmental impact report and other approvals in connection with a $400 million plan to revitalize the city’s waterfront. CenterCal Properties has been working for four years on a plan to turn the city’s aging waterfront into a “harbor village” that will offer retail, dining, entertainment, offices, park space, a boutique hotel, a public market and a wider boardwalk. The P3 project will also provide access from a lagoon to the ocean. Opponents, who say the project is too dense and will ruin views and privatize public space, are likely likely to appeal the ruling to the California Coastal Commission. However, the city council and but council the coastal commission could consider CenterCal’s P3 agreement by early 2017.
Good things eventually come to those who wait … Orange County, California’s Board of Supervisors is considering which of three development firms will be invited to continue pursuing the Dana Point Harbor revitalization project, which has been delayed for decades by administrative and management challenges. The county envisions a boat launch ramp with trailer-friendly spaces, dry boat storage, marine-related retail and restaurant space. The selected developer would design, reconstruct or, in some areas, renovate, finance, operate and maintain portions of the harbor under a 50-year master ground lease. The county expects to issue an RFP to the final list of prequalified team in by month’s end. Proposals would be due by April followed by board consideration of a lease agreement by the end of 2017.
FL college shelves cultural center project again after jilted suitor threatens to file suit. Developer Nader + Museu LLP has alleged collusion between Miami-Dade College and successful bidder Related Group over the project, which would involve construction of a theater, museum and conference center. Citing a declining real estate market and litigation fears, the college’s trustees have put the project on hold for the second time in eight years.
Everything you need to know about how DC will do P3s. Join Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, public officials, policy experts, potential partners and residents at DC Builds!, a half-day forum, Oct. 28 to learn about the District’s procurement process and what projects it plans to procure through P3s.
WHAT’S GOING ON AT NCPPP?
Here’s a quick peek at the upcoming NCPPP calendar.
- Kentucy P3: Public-Private Partnerships Conference — Oct. 27-28 — Lexington, KY
- Great Lakes Infrastructure Exchange — Nov. 15 — Toronto
- P3Bootcamp — Nov. 16-17 — Jackson, MS
- DOD/Federal Energy & Water Forum— Dec. 2 — Washington, DC
- P3Bootcamp — Dec. 13-14 — Chicago
- Emerging Markets Forum — TBA — Miami
- P3 Bootcamp — TBA — Miami
For more information about event programs, registration and sponsorship, please visit NCPPP’s website.
The next issue of P3 Digest will hit your mailbox Monday, Oct. 31.
P3 Digest is the weekly publication of the National Council of Public-Private-Partnerships. If you have news of interest to the P3 community, contact NCPPP Editorial Director Barbara Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.