Government agencies at all levels are increasingly turning to public-private partnerships (P3s) for the delivery of new public infrastructure. However, the discussion often focuses exclusively on transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and mass transit. This focus is understandable: throughout the country, government transportation agencies, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, have been on the cutting edge of P3s and have many successful projects to show for it. In addition, our nation’s transportation infrastructure needs are severe and wide-ranging. However, the focus on transportation infrastructure short-changes the flexibility and benefit of the P3 model, which can be used to develop and operate many types of infrastructure, including social infrastructure.
Florida’s authorizing statute for P3s is incredibly broad and authorizes P3 proposals for a wide variety of social infrastructure, including medical facilities, schools, and recreational facilities. For example, Monroe County recently utilized the statute to develop and operate an animal-control shelter in Key West using the P3 model, and the City of St. Augustine recently received an unsolicited P3 proposal for the construction and operation of a community health clinic for local veterans. The sky is the limit. Continue Reading