Kentucky’s ‘First’ Local Government P3s Move Forward

By Ed Green
P3 Kentucky Editor

Many across Kentucky have been watching officials in Madison County closely as local leaders advance two public-private partnerships that could provide important insights into Kentucky’s relatively new P3 procurement process. Officials there are closing in on a decision for the first P3 project and have received initial bids for the second. The two projects are expected to help the county address a growing drug epidemic and significant overcrowding in its jail.

The first RFP called for bids from providers who could establish and operate a local Healing Center, a county-owned facility to provide comprehensive substance use detox, treatment, and addiction-recovery services for some residents arrested for nonviolent drug offenses. The second RFP is seeking a construction firm interested in building a facility to house the Healing Center. That building could be constructed using a P3 or design-build model.

Of course, these are not the first P3 projects in Kentucky. Larger local governments in the state have used P3 models for years, and several local governments are considering projects. However, Madison County is the first local government to issue an RFP for a project that falls under Kentucky’s P3 legislation.

According to Madison County Deputy Judge/Executive Colleen Chaney, the county’s projects are progressing, and leaders plan to provide an update to Fiscal Court before May 1. The county recently closed its “highly aggressive” construction RFP and received three responses, she said. The selection team will begin negotiations with all three parties to select a construction partner.

As we previously reported, the county is still considering two proposals from service providers that responded to the first P3 RFP and included specifications for both facilities in the RFP for construction.

P3 Kentucky Roundtable members Commonwealth Economics and Jackson Kelly PLLC have served as advisors to Madison County for the P3 projects.

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