Frisco ISD to place $691M bond request on ballot in November

Texas- The Frisco Independent School District will be putting a $691 million bond before voters this November, with $43 million set aside for a new performing arts center. This bond election comes in the wake of a similar failed measure in 2015. If the city and the school district decide to partner on the project, up to $57 million would be offered as incentive for a developer to take on the performing arts center as a public-private partnership (P3).

The two entities are inspired by actions taken by the city of Lubbock that recently opened the Buddy Holly Performing Arts Center by way of a P3. The facility includes a 2,200-seat main theatre, a 425-seat studio and a multiuse room. Officials are convinced that the project does not need to be taken on using 100 percent of city funds, nor does the center need to be managed by the city. Two locations within Hall Park are being examined as possible sites.

MARTA expansion will need P3 funding

Georgia– The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system expansion plan will include more light-rail expansion. A revised proposal now includes more rail as well as leaning on other sources of funding beyond public funds. The new plan aims to build a zigzag of light rail through the city from Greenbriar, along parts of the BeltLine, to the Emory/Centers for Disease Control area.

 

The new plan also adds more rail in southeast Atlanta and on the west side and has the so-called “Clifton Corridor” line up to Emory. This is contingent on its supporters finding more money, which opens the door for a public-private partnership (P3), to see the project to fruition. Completion of the full 22-mile loop is slated to cost $11 billion, a number that is not even close to being covered by Atlanta’s 40-year half-penny sales tax worth only $2.5 billion. The next official step is a vote by the MARTA board scheduled for Oct. 4.

Upgrades needed at Jack C. Fisher Park to increase tourism

Kentucky- A study was performed recently on Jack C. Fisher Park and results showed that infields of the four diamonds at the park need to be replaced with artificial turf and that a 60,000-square-foot indoor sports facility be built in either central Owensboro or on the east side of town. The indoor facility proposed by the study would have four hard-floor courts. The Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the agency that commissioned a firm for the study to show that the community needs sports facilities.

The CVB wants the sports proposal handled through private development. The goal of the CVB is to increase visitors filling hotel rooms and to bring in more funds than the $30 million the city makes annually on sports tourism. The city’s parks and recreation department is also performing a study that should be ready in October that estimates the cost to renovate the park.

HART contemplates P3 as best option to complete rail line

Hawaii– The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is nearing a decision on whether to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to complete and then maintain the city’s 20-mile rail line. Faced with financial and construction setbacks, the city is now debating whether or not to bring in a private firm to mitigate the projected financial overrun of completion and maintenance/operations of the rail line.

 

In 2012 the city promised completion of the rail line for $5.63 billion by 2019, yet costs have now ballooned to nearly $9 billion and the date of completion has been pushed to 2025. The project has faced delays that have resulted in $745 million dollars of Federal funding being withheld until a feasible plan to resolve the current state of the project is implemented. Further complicating the project is an ongoing $1.4 billion P3 contract for operations and maintenance that the city awarded to a metropolitan train company that could extend until 2021. With every year of delays adding $100 million to the cost of the rail line, a P3 to finish the remaining 8 miles of track is becoming a more feasible solution.