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Infrastructure Partner John Smolen Quoted In Inframation On Stormwater P3s

02/06/2019 Inframation

John Smolen, a Partner in Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, was quoted in the Inframation story, “Sector Analysis: Will The Floodgates Open For Stormwater P3s?”  The article examines if, given the effectiveness of the first US stormwater P3s, this mode of project delivery will gain traction across the nation. 

One of the topics the article touches on is the flexibility that a Community Based Public-Private Partnership (CBP3) can offer on a stormwater project.  It discusses how a “municipality can decide which projects need to be completed and release a request for proposals (RFP) for [stormwater] projects... but [it can also] release a list of possible projects and allow the private sector partner to choose which will hit the overall goals in the most cost-effective manner.  A city can even limit the request for proposals (RFP) to a target outcome – for example, pollutant reduction – and let the private counterparty decide what it must do to get there.”  

Commenting on this aspect of a CBP3 solution, Mr. Smolen said, “All things being equal, if you want to extract the most innovation and the most value for the public's money, you want to structure a procurement and contract to give the most flexibility to the private sector to solve a problem.” 

Additionally, Mr. Smolen, who is a proponent of Stormwater P3s, commented that although the delivery method has proven to be successful, there still seems to be hesitancy by many municipalities to move forward with them.  “I thought that when the Prince George's County [CBP3] happened, everybody would see that a stormwater P3 could be done, and then people would give one a try,” he added.  

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