FEDERAL, state and local budgets are in disarray in the United States. Funding at all levels is challenged, if not essentially unavailable, further exacerbated with political polarization in full swing. At the same time, in recent years, public entities in the U.S. have begun to utilize alternative funding vehicles for public infrastructure such as public-private partnership, or P3, models imported from Australia, Canada and England. A P3 has many variations but is essentially a contract between a private concession and a public entity to design, build, finance, operate and maintain (or some combination thereof) a public facility over time.
In a P3 model, the private sector provides capital and an efficient life cycle project delivery system to build a public facility and, once completed, operates the facility for an agreed term. The pub-lic sector usually will own the facility (or the facility will later revert to public ownership) and will provide some form of long-term revenue source paid to the private concessionaire during the opera-tional phase of the concession program.
Originally published in Law Week Colorado - VOL. 11 | NO. 32 | August 12, 2013.
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