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October 25, 2017 9:16am

P3 Discussion Shines a Light on Development Opportunities

GLI Advocacy hosted a panel discussion last week with more than 20 businesses leaders on the topic of public-private partnerships in Kentucky.  The Issues & Influencers event was presented by Government Strategies and hosted in partnership with P3KY, a new group that is helping businesses navigate the state’s new law on P3 projects.

Mike Mountjoy, Founding Partner of MCM CPAs & Advisors and member of the Louisville City Football Club ownership group, Mike Shull, a member at Frost Brown Todd LLC, and Chris Reece, Executive Director, Office of Finance, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet fielded questions from the attendees on the types of projects, financing options, and process involved in P3s.  Ed Green of C2 Strategic Communications and P3KY moderated the panel discussion.  

Mr. Reece highlighted the big changes in Kentucky’s law as threefold:

  • Unsolicited bids for projects are now accepted
  • P3s can now be used in transportation and infrastructure projects
  • By regulation, no P3 proposal can be endorsed or directed by government agencies

He said there is tremendous opportunity in Kentucky’s State Parks, all of which are in need of upgrades to their aging facilities and amenities.  He cited that the deferred maintenance price tag in Kentucky’s 50 state parks is an estimated $240 Million.

”The clearer the proposals, the better,” Mr. Reece added. “But right now it is carte blanche. We are hoping for creativity from the private sector.”

Mr. Shull pointed out that P3s can be a more affordable way to complete needed infrastructure projects similar to the Ohio River Bridges, but he also focused on the scrutiny projects that use public funds will continue to receive.

“P3s are not a magic wand or a scheme to kick the financial can down the road,” he told the group.  He also said that the large opportunities for P3s are not just in parks and transportation, but also utility upgrades to aging water and sewer systems across the Commonwealth and broadband internet access.

Mr. Mountjoy discussed potential funding sources for P3 projects. In addition to traditional lenders and investors, he encouraged groups interested in P3s to look into funds for targeted employment areas and existing EB5 visa programs to increase options.

“Go for big projects rather than little ones,” Mr. Mountjoy said. “Be aggressive and go after it.”

All three of the panelists encouraged the business leaders present to find strong partnerships to make the best bids for P3 projects.  GLI is proud to be a part of P3KY as a resource for our investors interested in P3 projects.  For more information, visit P3KY.com.