by Connor Hill, GovDirections Intern

In order for local governments to improve and maintain their communities, elected officials allocate revenues to projects and equipment prioritized along citizen goals. This article compares cities and their capital spending plans for Parks and Recreation goals in several southeastern states. The goal is to draw comparison between these local governments so trends can be identifies and private companies providing those work for those projects and equipment can better estimate profitable areas of business opportunity.

The data has been gathered form approved budgets for the current or upcoming fiscal years. The data comes directly from each local government’s operating budgets and Capital Improvement Plans (CIPS). To accommodate for differences in population, comparisons are made on a per capita scale so that we can determine average spending per citizen. This is an acceptable methodology to allow the development of benchmarks that can show differences and develop spending projections on a regional or state basis.


Table I
States Analyzed

North Carolina
South Carolina (Highest per capita)
Florida (Lowest per capita)

Table I shows a list of the states where data was pulled. Overall, we found that local governments plan to spend a per capita average of $50.36. The highest per capita spending was found in South Carolina and the lowest in Florida.

BaseballGovernments Plan to Spend on Recreation


South Carolina is a starting point for this analysis, because among the southeastern cities Columbia[i] and Charleston[ii] plan to spend the most budget funds per capita on Parks and Recreation. Thus, making them an outlier in the data collection. Columbia ranking number one at $147.72 per capita, and Charleston following with $123.44. This trend alone shows that these two cities of nearly identical populations are very similar in their plans for Parks and Recreation.

Table II
South Carolina Projects

Park Restoration/Refurb- $15,432,700
Arts Center Facility- $1,150,000
Small Park Space- $1,981,559
Structure Demolition & Park Creation- $1,850,025
Lake Renovation- $6,134,090

This trend is quite similar to one that is visible in the state of Florida. However, there are some differences.


Florida is located on the opposite side of the spectrum of per capita spending. The cities of Tallahassee[i] and Jacksonville[ii] rank the lowest in intended per capita spending for Parks and Recreation. Tallahassee ranking lowest at $5.11 per capita, and Jacksonville ranking slightly higher at $7.12. These cities of incredibly different population sizes are choosing to spend similar amounts of money per capita on Parks and Recreation. This trend is intended to continue for several years, which can be seen in the future plans laid out in each city’s budget.

Florida Projects

Sports Center Lights- $278,000
Facility Maintenance- $953,000
Park Upgrades- $1,655,105
Park Amenities- $1,000,000
Pool Construction- $150,000

The connecting trend that is visible here is that cities of any population size will allocate a similar amount of funds to their Parks and Recreation departments, if they are outliers when compared to other cities of states in their region. This process may be fueled by an overarching state plan for Parks and Recreation that each city is following, or even attempts to grow their departments versus just maintaining what they have. The higher spending states choosing to grow their departments, and the lower spending choosing to simply maintain what they have. The trend is subject to change however, if a city that is choosing to grow reaches its intended growth point before another in its state. For example, P&R spending in Columbia is intended to decrease in 2018 after most likely reaching their intended growth point. The Charleston will continue growing their P&R department, but will quickly begin decreasing after 2019.

Both Florida and South Carolina are outliers in the data, but other states still have large projects they are implementing. Table IV shows projects in the cities that are closer to the average ($50.36) in terms of per capita spending.

Cities                                       Projects

Nashville, Tennessee         Open Space Creation- $18,000,000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana         River Center Improvements- $500,000
Savannah, Georgia                     Park Upgrades- $410,000
Raleigh, North Carolina        Aquatic Improvements- $1,500,000

[I] Columbia Budget
[II] Charleston Budget
[III] Tallahassee Budget
[IV] Jacksonville Budget

Request for Proposal: Learn to Read an RFP

This article identifies the structure of a request for proposal. The attached video walks through each section and explain its importance. An actual RFP is used as an example to identify each section.

Knowledge is Experience

What is a request for proposal?

A request for proposal (RFP) is a solicitation, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

What are the parts of an RFP?

  • State of Work
  • Technical Specifications
  • Schedule
  • List of Deliverables
  • Contract Terms and Conditions
  • Format of Proposal
  • Qualification and Experience
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Evaluation Criteria

The video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aZRwaZuP5Y

State Government Bids in 2016

State government bids and requests for proposals will set record spending levels the first quarter of 2016. Strong state government budgets are fueling pent up projects. In addition, some states will be dealing with technology issues such as Georgia’s credit monitoring caused by a release of critical data. South Carolina spent $50 million with a similar breach occurred.


Local Governments
State Activity

State spending in 2016 is expected to pass 1.5 trillion so get ready to win state government contracts by monitoring GovDirections.



Government bids issued by local, state and federal agencies:

Title Due Date State Type
Document Destruction and Disposal Services Jan 11, 2016 MO State or Local Bid
Panasonic PT-DZ21K 3-Chip DLP Projector & Panasoni Dec 16, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Janitorial Services Jan 7, 2016 MO State or Local Bid
Children’s Pediatric Ebola Region 8 Dec 16, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
License Plate Bags Dec 16, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Crushed Granite  Dec 16, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Produce Dec 16, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Glass and Shield P72 Dec 28, 2015 CA State or Local Bid
CDPS, CSP, Challenge Coins, Symbol Arts Dec 15, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Renewable Diesel  Jan 4, 2016 CA State or Local Bid
Auto Parts – Sole Source for AutoZone, NAPA, and O’Reilly Dec 15, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Modular Office Rental Jan 8, 2016 CA State or Local Bid
Chemical Agents / Munitions Dec 15, 2015 CO State or Local Bid
Pedestrian Signal Equipment Jan 8, 2016 CA State or Local Bid
Seeking a Qualified Consulting Firm to assist with resilience/sustainability elements Dec 23, 2015 MN State or Local Bid
Concrete, Curbs, Gutters, Sidewalks Jan 14, 2016 CA State or Local Bid
School Units Jan 8, 2016 CA State or Local Bid
Misc. Construction Jan 6, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
Creation of Evidence-Based Medical Standards Dec 22, 2015 NY State or Local Bid
Tanker Truck RFP Dec 23, 2015 MN State or Local Bid
Solid Waste Transfer Station Operations Jan 8, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Reconstruction of Playground & Seating Area Jan 13, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
Diving Services  Apr 21, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Complete Design, Drawings & Expediter Services for Installation of Fire Alarm Jan 8, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
IT Penetration Testing Services Dec 17, 2015 NY State or Local Bid
Screening #10 Asphalt Filler and #8 Stone  Jan 21, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Green Infrastructure, Maintenance of On-Site & Pilot Practices Dec 22, 2015 NY State or Local Bid
Fabrication and Installation of High End Museum Casework Jan 3, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Reservoir Street Project Jan 26, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Dam Rehab Jan 14, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
Night VIsion Systems  Dec 30, 2015 VA State or Local Bid
Personalized MS Math Program Jan 14, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
Green Physical Needs Assessment and Energy Audit Jan 12, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Commercial Opportunity Mar 17, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
EMS Billing Services Jan 14, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Resident Engineering Inspection Services Jan 14, 2016 NY State or Local Bid
Consultant Services  Dec 29, 2015 VA State or Local Bid
Truck, Mobile Paper Shredder Dec 21, 2015 NY State or Local Bid
Response to Intervention Tool for Elementary Mathematics Jan 5, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Evaluation and State Epidemiological Workgroup Jan 12, 2016 VA State or Local Bid
Consulting Engineering Services Dec 29, 2015 NY State or Local Bid
Force Feed Loaders Jan 8, 2016 VA State or Local Bid

Finding State and Local Contracts Early

Are you reading a request for proposal and thinking “geez this sure looks like my competitor wrote the RFP?” Well, they just might have.

The local, state and federal government contracting stage is much longer than simply the open period for responses. The process often starts years in advance with capital improvement planning. These plans move forward to the active budget planning stage where local procurement specialists start inquiring about cost proposals. The actual cost estimations may come from comparable local government projects (and those local officials), but may also come from directly from vendors.

Budgets: The Best Lead Source

Monitoring local government budgets for upcoming plans is a simple way to learn about these projects early. The first document to watch is the capital improvement budget. GovDirections monitors CIP plans and publishes links to those documents online. They are reviewed by analysts with experience in public budget reviews. The second document to watch is the actual fiscal or calendar year budget. These budgets will general publish line item acquisition plans. GovDirections expert staff reads through these public budgets and publishes those items online.

Finding state and local contracts early in the opportunity stage is one of the best way to win new government business. So next time the RFP is issued – make your competition think you help designed the proposal document!

Web Developers: Five Government RFPs

Government bids and government RFPs are issued daily for web development.

Here are five active contracts your company can win today:

California Bids

State Bar of California Website Redesign now bidding.

Georgia Bids

Athens Downtown Development Authority now seeking RFPS for  Website Design/Development.

Kansas Bids

Kansas State University now seeking RFPS for  Web Development.

New Hampshire Bids

State of New Hampshire Department of Economic Development is seeking RFPs for a Site Selection Website.

Ohio Bids

Lakota Local School District is seeking RFPs for Website Redesign & Hosting.

Five government contract opportunities you can win today. Learn more at http://govdirections.com (and see dozens of other RFPs).

Top Public Art Contracts Available Today

Your company can win public art contracts.

Here are five government bid opportunities available today:


Public Art for Gilbert Road Light Rail Extension issued by Valley Metro Rail, Arizona.  Read more


RFP for Call for Public Art – Senior Center in the Park issued by Huntington Beach, California.


Professional artist or artist team to design, fabricate, and install an original outdoor art work(s) for a new Fire Station issued by Roswell, Georgia.


Art Design Services for 4 Fire Stations issued by Boise, Idaho.


Call to Artists-Northeast Community Park issued by Frisco, Texas.

What are you waiting for? Find out more.

Five Government Contracts Roofing Company

Alabama Bids

Auburn University, Alabama is seeking government bids for  Hoerlein Hall Roof Replacement.

Roof Replacement RFP

Arkansas Bids

Little Rock, Arkansas is seeking proposals for Replacement of Roof of the Alexander JDTC Administration Bldg., located in Alexander, Arkansas for the Arkansas Department of Human Services PR #7101513.

Roof Replacement RFP

Colorado Bids

Weld County, Colorado is seeking bids for Roof Replacement, Plaza.

Roof Replacement RFP

Florida Bids

Alachua County, Florida is seeking bids for Alachua County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall Building Repairs, Improvements and Re-Roofing.

Roof Replacement RFP

Indiana Bids

Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Indiana is seeking responses for Fort Wayne Housing Authority Beacon Heights Pergola located at 2210 Beacon Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Pergola RFP

Five government contracts for roofing that you can win today.

Request for Proposals – Lobbyist Services

Government Contracts Your Lobbying Firm Can Win


Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona is accepting sealed proposals to select qualified companies/firms that will assist MCCCD to advance its state agenda by achieving measurable outcomes related to statutory language, policy development, fiscal considerations and other state support.

Link to RFP


South Coast Air Quality Management District, California is seeking Legislative Representation in Washington, D.C. 

Link to RFP


Saint Lucie County, Florida is seeking RFPs for Lobbyist Services.  

Link to RFP


Chatham Area Transit Authority is seeking proposals for Legislative Advocacy Services.


Cincinnati, Ohio is requesting qualifications for State Lobbyist Services.

Plus more contracts you can win today at GovDirections!

How to Find Government Business

Just keep swimming.


That would be Dory’s advice.

After all the number of local, state, and federal governments have grown to 100,000+. Each publishing their own government contract at their own websites, newspaper locations, and thousands of bulletin boards. So, what is the best way to find government business opportunities?

Local Governments
Layers of Local Governments

First, make sure to register with your favorite government. The agency you really want to do business with in your local area. Your city or county or school district. If you are lucky, then you will hear directly from them during the year.

Second, register with your state procurement office. The state agency will cover a good number of government offices in your state (maybe up to 50 or so).

Third, register with FBO.gov. FBO covers all federal government bids issued by those agencies.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-17-at-1.13.32-PM Click the image to direct to FOB.gov

Finally, choose a research service to scout for your company. This is an efficient use of your time. As the founder of GovDirections.com and governmentbids.com, it is clear research companies add value. GovDirections serves some 60,000 companies – probably just like yours  – where the owner has to focus on winning the business, rather than just the hunt.

Let someone else do the swimming.