Alabama Construction News

OCT-DEC 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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56 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS OCT-DEC 2017 group has decided that minor revisions are needed for legislative session 2018, and they will report more on that in the next issue. The next presentation was from the Academy of Craft Training (ACT) Chairman Allen Harris of Bailey-Harris Construction. He gave a funding and enrollment update, as well as discussed the group's 2017-2018 school term budget. Positives noted were that in its first year the ACT had 35 students graduate, 32 of which were placed in jobs. This year, there are 170 students at the ACT, 80 of which are on track to graduate, and plans are for the next school year to have 225 to 250 students. The next group to present was ABC of North Alabama. Kerrick Whisenant discussed public private partnerships (P3s), which are a growing method across the nation that are being used for construction projects for various benefits. These P3s may be for financing, economic development or various other advantages. With this growth, Whisenant shares, there comes growing pains and some unintended consequences. Many P3 scenarios consist of a government entity providing their land for a private partner (financier, developer, contractor, etc.) to build on or improve that land for a desired purpose ( building, road, roof, maintenance, etc.). "These contracts normally look more like leases than contracts for construction, and then the private partner would actually stand in the place of the owner for construction contracting purposes," Whisenant said. "That is where the growing pain comes in. While the land is public, the construction owner is private, meaning they are not subject to the state's 'Little Miller Act,' where public entities are required to obtain performance and payment bonds on the project." This requirement exists at the federal level and in every state for the protection of the public land and the payment assurances of the subcontractors, suppliers and workers. This is because public land cannot be legally encumbered by a mechanic's lien—or if it can, it is effectually worthless. The mechanic's lien is the vehicle for payment assurance on private sector jobs, although those owners may also elect to obtain performance and payment bonds for their protection. ABC of North Alabama is drafting legislation that will simply ensure that the Alabama Little Miller Act will JOURNAL apply to any project on public or "unalienable" property. "In other words, performance and payment bonds will be required just as if it were the public entity directly owning the construction," Whisenant said. "This is even more imperative given the impending large project of the Mobile River Bridge, which will be a P3 project for the DOT. Once a bill is drafted, it is our hope and belief that this will be a responsible change that all design and construction associations will fully support for the good of our industry." Associated General Contractors of Alabama reported that they will have no new legislation for next year. The Subcontractors Association of Alabama reported that they will have no new bills for next year as well. Jay Morgan of JRM Engineering presented for the Alabama Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Morgan shared that this group will be making a few revisions to their quality-based selection bill from 2017. There are also potential changes that will need to be made to the Alabama Board of Surveyors and Engineers. For specifics on these two topics, we encourage readers to contact ACEC. The next presentation was from the Alabama Concrete Industries. John Sorrell shared that the group is hoping to introduce legislation to remove state sales tax on concrete truck replacement parts. He noted that surrounding states, such as Georgia, have recently allowed the industry to remove the tax. The next portion of the meeting was a roundtable discussion on election 2018, and ABC of Alabama's Governmental Affairs Chairman Dave Stewart of Bradley provided an overview on those races. "This was the first Legislative Summit we have had in a few years, and I think it exceeded expectations," said ABC of Alabama's Legislative Co-Chair Mark Mattox of Robins & Morton. "This meeting brought together numerous associations that have our industry, as well as the state's, best interests at heart. We were all able to sit down together and talk face- to-face about legislative issues that affect our industry. It was unanimous that this summit should be replicated if not multiple times a year, at least annually to maintain transparency and cohesion between the construction associations." L E G I S L A T I V E S U M M I T A T T E N D E E S KATHERINE LYNN // State of Alabama FRANK BARNES // State of Alabama ALAIN GALLET // Terracon/ACEC JAY MORGAN // EE Group Inc./ACEC TIM HIGHTOWER // Southern Carpet, Hardwood & Tile BRENT COLLINS // The Core Group DREW HARRELL // Business Council of Alabama/Alliance for Alabama Infrastructure STEVEN SPEAKS // L. E. Speaks & Associates JASON PHELPS // ACRI JIM PAGE // Alliance for Alabama's Infrastructure JOE ROGERS // Licensing Board for General Contractors CHRIS WILLIAMS // AGC MARK MATTOX // Robins & Morton KERRICK WHISENANT // Cornerstone WILLIE LAFAVOR // CSFC JIM MEADS // Sain Associates JAY REED // ABC of Alabama DAVID PUGH // Bradley DAVE STEWART // Bradley BUDDY STEWART // Ivey Mechanical Company GEORGE PIERCE // ABC of Alabama GARY GREENSHIELDS // AIA Alabama LARRY VINSON // AIA Alabama BRUCE HERRINGTON // AIA Alabama JOHN SORRELL // ACIA GAIL BRASWELL // ACRI DAVID CAMPBELL // SubAla JOHN SMITH // Volkert, Inc. TIFFANY BRIGHTWELL // ABC of North Alabama RANDALL CURTIS // Hoar Construction

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