By Ed Green
P3 Kentucky Editor
In partnership with Greater Louisville Inc. and Government Strategies, P3 Kentucky convened a panel of experts this week to share their experiences with public-private projects and to discuss the opportunities that exist to improve public infrastructure across Kentucky.
For GLI’s Issues & Influencer series, I moderated a panel comprising:
A group of more than two dozen business leaders participated in the discussion during a lunchtime event in downtown Louisville. A key point discussed was how both public-sector agencies and private-sector firms can each find value from P3 opportunities while providing the services citizens need and want in their communities.
Mountjoy, whose soccer club is proposing a large soccer stadium project in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood, said the P3 project is a good arrangement because it will create a long-term tax boost for the state and city and create numerous jobs – both during construction and beyond. For that project to work, the city and state need to be parters, contributing the land for the project and allowing a portion of the tax dollars collected in the future to fund public infrastructure.
Shull, whose law practice focuses on construction, litigation and P3s, said he has seen first-hand that P3s can be a good solution for various types of projects, although he noted as many have that they are not the only solution communities and agencies should consider.
For instance, he said, the Louisville bridges project incorporated two different project-delivery models even though the largest funding source is the same: tolls collected from vehicles that use the bridges. The downtown crossing was led by Kentucky using a design-build approach, and the East End crossing is a P3 project. Both approaches have advantages based on the sources of capital at the outset.
Reece, an experienced commercial banker who joined the cabinet last year, is reviewing a number of P3 proposals for the Tourism Cabinet. Officials with that state agency have been excited about the opportunities provided by P3.
He noted that the state’s 49 parks alone have more than $240 million in needed improvements, and the parks system won’t be able to fund those without contributions from the private sector. More importantly, he said, private-sector operators can bring their ideas and expertise along with some of the private capital needed to turn state liabilities into revenue generators.
Mutual benefits of P3
Reece pointed out that the most valuable assets the agency has is the land and landscapes that draw tourists to the area. The facilities, he said, most often are liabilities that can be improved by the private sector.
A common theme of this week’s discussion was that for P3s to be successful, both the government/taxpayers and their private-sector partners must benefit. With both sides sharing the inherent risks of investing in transformational projects, both citizens and businesses should reap the rewards.
P3 Kentucky wants to drive the discussion about infrastructure and community needs. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be meeting with community and business leaders to learn more about their needs.
Our next discussion will be at the CDFA Kentucky Conference on Nov. 1. During that event, these business leaders will discuss Kentucky Public-Private Partnership Deals and relevant case studies:
Click here to learn more about the event, which is presented by Kentucky League of Cities.
P3 Kentucky was created to educate, inspire and connect leaders with resources, so if you have a question about where to go next, please reach out: (502) 544-2917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.