Judging from the lobbyists who packed a meeting room at the state Capitol Tuesday, Georgia builders and developers are eager for the chance to jump-start public-sector construction that has lagged since the Great Recession.
A Georgia Senate study committee met to gauge interest in legislation that would let the private sector help state agencies and local governments finance and construct public buildings through public-private partnerships, a model that already has been adopted by the Georgia Department of Transportation for highways.
“P3 is a great way to deliver public infrastructure in a world of budget cuts and shrinking capital appropriations,” said Michael Sullivan, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia.
“The TSPLOST experience last year really taught us a lesson in how we need to start thinking outside the box,” added Michael Paris, president and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth, referring to the overwhelming rejection of a penny transportation sales tax by metro Atlanta voters.
Georgia wouldn’t be plowing new ground in extending public-private partnerships from highway projects to “vertical” construction.
Virginia has been using P3s for two decades to accelerate state and local government building projects that otherwise would have taken longer to finance, plan, design and construct, said Chris Lloyd, senior vice president and director of infrastructure and economic development at McGuireWoods Consulting LLC in Richmond, Va.