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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Environment - State seeks EPA funds for clean land plan; Indiana Toll Road RFPs

Brownfields. "State seeks EPA funds for clean land plan" is the headline to a story today in the Gary Post-Tribune. Some quotes:

Officials at a new state program for cleaning and reusing former industrial land are applying for a $2 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

The EPA money would back the Indiana Brownfields Program and its $3 million revolving-fund program, with no-interest loans on brownfields projects for up to 10 years.

The state has had brownfields programs before, but they were run by two agencies — the Indiana Development Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

This year, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law designating the Indiana Finance Authority, a new agency, as the brownfields program’s administrator.

IDEM still handles the program’s technical aspects, but under the Indiana Finance Authority’s direction.

“Now the external users know there’s one agency they call if they have a brownfields question,” said James McGoff, director of environmental programs for the Indiana Finance Authority.

Access the Indiana Finance Authority's Brownfields Redevelopment webiste here.

Indiana Toll Road.
The Indiana Finance Authority is the same entity that is soliciating proposals "seeking an experienced toll operator to enter into a long-term lease to operate and maintain the Indiana Toll Road." Here is the main webpage for the RFP. Check particularly the 20-page RFP itself. The responses were due Oct. 26th: "The State may determine in its discretion whether to accept any responses that are not received by the date and time set forth in this paragraph. Based on the RFP submissions, the State will determine those Teams that are qualified to bid on the Lease as submissions are received." What happens next?
After the State’s review of RFP submissions, Bidders that are deemed qualified by the State will sign a Confidentiality Agreement and receive a Confidential Information Memorandum providing additional information on the Toll Road and the bidding process. Qualified Bidders may be asked to submit preliminary, non-binding bids for evaluation. Bidders accepted for due diligence will have the opportunity to conduct due diligence of the Toll Road through: (i) access to an on-line data room; (ii) Toll Road tours and additional inspections by Bidder representatives; (iii) management presentations; and (iv) review and discussion of the State’s proposed Toll Road Concession and Lease Agreement (the “Lease Agreement”). Following this due diligence process, final and binding bids will be submitted in accordance with procedures to be provided to the remaining Bidders.

Bidders may be required to comply with certain other requirements before submitting final bids.

If the final and binding proposals received at the conclusion of the solicitation process meet the State’s objectives, the State expects to enter into the Lease Agreement with the successful Team (the “Private Operator”). The State reserves the right to modify or terminate this solicitation at any stage if the State determines this action to be in its best interests. The receipt of proposals or other documents at any stage of either the RFP or the bidding process will in no way obligate the State to enter into any contract of any kind with any party.

The Lease Agreement will be a long-term agreement granting the Private Operator the exclusive right to operate the Toll Road and to collect toll revenue from the Toll Road during the term of the Lease Agreement, anticipated to be at least 50 years. The Lease Agreement will include operating standards related to the operation, maintenance, and tolling of the Toll Road with which the Private Operator will be required to comply. Upon entering into the Lease Agreement, the State will use a portion of the proceeds of the Lease to defease or extinguish all outstanding Toll Road debt.

The website contains no recent information. A story in Forbes indicates bids are due Jan. 7, 2006. See also this story in the Nov. 30th Elkhart Truth, and this story today from the Munster (NW Indiana) Times.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 7, 2005 09:39 AM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Government | Indiana economic development