Innovative Approaches To Fund and Finance Projects and Programs

doubling dollarsThe economy and limited resources have forced counties to think creatively when identifying approaches and funding for projects and programs. MACo’s Summer Conference General Session titled “Doubling Your Dollars and Outcomes – Innovative Approaches for Funding and Financing Projects” highlights financing options and methods for identifying available resources to stretch your dollars and achieve greater outcomes. The session, moderated by Delegate Adrienne Jones, House Speaker Pro Tem and Chair of the Appropriations Capital Budget Subcommittee, discussed alternative infrastructure financing, Pay For Success Programs, and grant resources.

The panel’s first speaker was Teno West, Partner at Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux & West. Mr. West discussed alternative infrastructure financing and public-private partnership arrangements (P3s). Mr. West spoke favorably about using a design build approach for wastewater and solid waste projects.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz followed sharing how the county financed a single stream materials recovery facility program using $20 million in pension reserve funds. The new facility has enabled the county to reduce recycling costs and increase the average tonnage of recycling sold to increase revenues.

Liya Shuster with Third Sector Capital Partners discussed Pay For Success programs (social impact bonds) and provided examples of counties that have used this approach to address significant social problems.  Ms. Shuster shared the key characteristics of a Pay For Success program and emphasized that these programs focus on producing successful measurable outcomes.

Karl Kalbacher of the Ferguson Group offered expertise in the identification of both federal and nonprofit grant opportunities.  He provided a general overview of grants offered by the federal Departments of Justice, Commerce, and Agricultural, to name a few. He also encouraged counties to start early when identifying grant opportunities.