The following motion will be made from the floor at the delegate meeting in August. Time will not allow for the motion to be brought to the delegates by an INC committee. However, because of the important of the issue, a motion from the floor is appropriate.
Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) strongly urges the proposal to create an office for public-private partnerships within Denver City Government that will screen, vet and shepherd P-3 or public-private partnerships related to major city projects be delayed until such time as the specifics of the proposal have been released or shared and adequate time is included for the proposal to be vetted with both City Council members and the public-at-large. Further, INC requests City Council to refuse to support the proposal known as P-3 until more informed community discussion and transparency can occur.
Please see the following documents and video more information
Denver wants to create an office for public-private partnerships, and City Council fears being cut out of the process
The Denverite July 28 2017
by Erica Meltzer
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wants to create an office within city government that will screen, vet and shepherd public-private partnerships related to major city projects, like the redevelopment of the National Western Center and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts — and other projects the city might not even have anticipated yet.
Under the proposal, City Council would get to set the broad parameters of deals, but contracts would be finalized at the administrative level.
The effort is causing major concerns among some City Council members about what authority they’ll give up if the idea goes forward. That concern is only exacerbated as they debate the contract for the Great Hall renovations at Denver International Airport, a public-private partnership that will see Ferrovial and its development partners get paid as much as $1.8 billion over a 34-year period for a $650 million to $770 million project.
That airport contract passed out of the council’s Business, Arts, Workforce and Aeronautical Services Committee this week with Councilwoman At-large Debbie Ortega casting the lone “no” vote, but other non-voting members also expressed concerns about whether the contract is really a good deal for the city and whether they’ll have the information they need to make an informed decision before a Sept. 1 deadline. If the city doesn’t move forward with a contract by then, they’ll pay a $9 million penalty to the developer.
“Absolutely,” Ortega said when I asked her if the experience with the DIA contract was shaping her approach to the proposed “P3” office. “The transparency has been visibly absent from this process.”
“I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that the airport contract makes me more concerned and makes me want to scrutinize this information more,” Councilwoman At-large Robin Kniech said of the P3 office. “… That is just the microcosm of what we could see in the future. It’s not like we’re, ‘Oh, hey, we’re all gung-ho about the airport, and let’s do a lot more of these.’”
Emily Hauber, deputy legislative director in the Mayor’s Office, said the complexity of these deals and the need to protect the public interest is exactly why the city is considering a specialized office.
“We have lots of capital needs in the city right now and there are a couple major, complex projects coming down the pike,” she said. “We want to make sure any projects are done in a way that is transparent and incorporates Denver’s values and are done in a way that captures the most value for the city. Public-private partnerships can mean a broad range of things. Before we expend too many resources on this, we want to develop a fairly standard way to vet projects and make sure we are only moving forward the most viable projects.”
What is a public-private partnership — or P3 as they’ve come to be called?
This term can mean a lot of different things. The office that the city envisions would deal with projects in which a private entity would “design, build, operate and maintain” a piece of public infrastructure or “design, build, finance, operate and maintain” or just “design, build and finance” the project.
The most common type of public-private partnerships in Colorado involve toll lanes on highways. The I-70 expansion will be a P3, as was the additional lane on U.S. 36. A private company takes on additional risks and responsibilities in a highway project in exchange for the ability to collect toll revenue — which would otherwise go to the government — for a period of time.
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