|Volume 1, Issue 44
||March 3, 2010|
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has projected that 45 states will face deficits of more than $350 billion in 2010/2011. That sum represents amounts large enough to trigger significant changes in the way governments perform. Strategic Partnerships Inc. (SPI) tracks national trends, especially in the area of public and private sector procurements and partnerships. On a daily basis, we are seeing evidence of a changing governmental environment...one that embraces private sector partners as never in the past. Perhaps that is a trend that is being forced on public officials strictly because of budget shortfalls.
Forty-three states have reduced constituent services. Thirty states have raised taxes...more will follow. Stimulus funds will most likely cover 30-40 percent of budget shortfalls in most states, but stimulus funds have an end date. Twenty-four states have passed statutes allowing P3s.
|Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information. |
|Another round of broadband grants announced|
$160 million headed to entities in 18 states, territories
Another round of broadband grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act totaling more than $160 million was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Recipients of this round of funding include California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
The funds will be used to increase access to high-speed Internet and link up thousands of households and businesses, schools, hospitals, libraries and public safety offices. The money will be used to deploy broadband infrastructure. The largest grant announced this week went to the OpenCape Corp. in Massachusetts, which was awarded $32 million. The grant also includes an applicant-provided $8.3 million that will help install 350 miles of fiber and more than 100 miles of microwave broadband network links around Cape Cod. It will connect such institutions as emergency shelters, libraries, colleges, academic research facilities and city or public safety facilities.
In Georgia, the Columbia County Information Technology Department was awarded $13.5 million that will be matched with $4.5 million provided by the applicant. The funds will build a 220-mile network to connect nearly 150 community institutions. It will also facilitate a high-capacity data center at the Medical College of Georgia.
For a complete list of recipients, the amounts they were awarded and what the funds will be used for, click HERE and look under "Recent Reports."
For information about these and other funding opportunities,contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
|All of transportation stimulus funding has been obligated|
Savings from lower-than-expected bids mean more projects can be funded
All of the $26.6 billion in federal Recovery Act funding for transportation projects has been obligated for specific projects, according to federal officials. But only 7,800 of the 12,000 highway projects are currently under way. That leaves more than 4,000 projects nationwide yet to begin. In just one year since the Recovery Act was signed, more than 33,000 miles of pavement across the United States have been improved.
Once the funds were obligated to a project, contracts could be bid, workers could be hired, equipment and supplies could be purchased and work could begin. State transportation officials will be working to get the federal funds in the hands of contractors now.
The recovery funds are expected to stretch even further than their original amounts as officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation note that bids for many of the projects came in as much as 30 percent below the original estimates. Those dollars saved will go to other construction projects. Alabama used $37 million in Recovery Act funds to repave part of I-59, saving more than 30 percent over the initial project estimate of $53.9 million. The Glenn Highway resurfacing project in Alaska was awarded at nearly 50 percent below the original project estimate.
States had a Feb. 26 deadline for obligating their recovery funds and all states and the District of Columbia met that deadline. Indiana has the most projects funded, at nearly 1,100. It also has the most projects that have already started - more than 800. California, however, is the biggest spender, having obligated $2.5 billion in recovery funds.
To view the complete list of project activity by state, including the number of projects funded, the number under way and the total amount of funds obligated, click HERE and look under "Recent Reports."
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
|New York entities awarded $39M for energy-saving projects|
|Hospitals, nonprofits, municipalities among entities benefitting from funds
Hospitals, nonprofits and municipalities in New York will share more than $39 million in stimulus funds dedicated for energy-saving projects. Among the health care facilities receiving funds, the largest is $887,270 awarded to the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Kings County. The funds will be used to complete an HVAC controls and heating system upgrade. Among municipalities, the City of New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services received four awards: $436,410 to complete lighting retrofit projects, $710,010 to replace diesel street sweepers with hybrids, more than $2.74 million to install multiple photovoltaic systems and $251,809 to install a solar thermal heating system.|
Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York was awarded more than $605,000 to complete a medical air and vacuum system replacement. John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Suffolk County received three awards: $113,625 to install a chiller VSD upgrade, $25,013 to complete an interior lighting retrofit and $35,783 to compete an exterior lighting retrofit. The Town of Huntington in Suffolk County received $555,667 to complete a street lighting retrofit and the Village of Freeport in Nassau County earned two awards - $355,027 to install a 50kW photovoltaic system and $228,750 to complete a boiler upgrade project.
Another $8.8 million is still available for similar projects, with bid proposals due by April 7 to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. For information on public school and higher education awards, see the Education Section below. To view the complete list of energy program awardees, click HERE
and look under "Recent Reports."
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
|What the states are doing with stimulus funds|
In Wisconsin, 380 communities will benefit from stimulus funds awarded to the state's Department of Administration. The funds will help bring the New Richmond School District and local public libraries high-speed Internet access. More than 200 miles of fiber optic cable will be installed to improve broadband access and more than $10 million will be spent on American-made telecommunications equipment.
The University of Michigan has received a $14.8 million stimulus grant to renovate and expand its Institute for Social Research. Regents are planning to add 50,000 square feet to the existing facility.
A loan of $355,000 and a grant of $570,000 to the City of Olpe, Kansas, are Recovery Act funds that will be used by the city for water infrastructure improvements. These funds will be added to $500,000 from the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant to complete the second phase of a two-phase project to install approximately 28,000 feet of distribution line and 30 fire hydrants.
In Kittitas County, Washington, Puget Sound Energy's Wild Horse wind and solar facility has been named the recipient of $28.6 million in stimulus funding to offset the costs of expanding the facility. Originally opened with only 127 wind turbines, the facility has since expanded - adding 22 more turbines.
"The Connector," a $389.5 million toll road linking Interstate 4 and the Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway in Florida is about to begin construction. Stimulus funds of $87 million will pay for some of the costs and tolls collected will also help offset costs.
Eight highway construction projects in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are not yet under construction, but that is expected to change soon. Some $48 million of the total cost of $63 million for the projects is Recovery Act funding. Among the projects are street resurfacing in Philadelphia and City Avenue, Lincoln Drive, Kelly Drive and Ridge Avenue. All are expected to get under way in the spring.
The Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, will use its $115,000 federal grant funds to make improvements vital to the future of the hatchery. The funding will be used for energy efficiency projects, including installing more energy efficient windows and doors and adding liners to two of the fish ponds. The fish hatchery's goal is to prevent species of fish and aquatic creatures from disappearing.
Recovery Act funds totaling $19.15 million were awarded to the City of Marinette, Wisconsin, to rebuild its drinking water system. The water project includes a $9.7 million low-interest loan from the state Drinking Water Loan Program and $9.4 million in Recovery Act funds. The city will construct a new water treatment plant with modern filtration and treatment technologies. It will also renovate its main water line including the pipeline bringing in water from Green Bay.
A $5 million grant program has been created by the Arkansas Energy Office to help small cities and counties fund renewable energy projects and initiatives. The program, funded by Recovery Act money, will cover projects such as commercial and residential building energy audits, retrofits and upgrades to public and nonprofit buildings and installation of renewable technologies such as solar or wind power on government buildings.
Dozens of elementary schools in Utah will get faster Internet service thanks to $13.4 million in stimulus funds that will be used to increase access to broadband Internet service. The grant funding will help defray costs of the first phase of a statewide effort to bring fiber-based Ethernet lines to each of the schools. The state is required to put up a $3.5 million match over the next three years. The funds will be used to wire 88 public and charter schools, 35 public libraries and seven Head Start Center, and will benefit more than half of the state's elementary schools. Another grant is being sought to provide broadband to the remaining schools.
Some $4.3 million in stimulus funds has been awarded to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to build a new transit center in Keshena. The 32,000-square-foot facility will feature office space, a bus storage area and "green" features including a geothermal heating system, solar panels and natural lighting. The funds also will be used to purchase Americans with Disabilities-compliant minivans and buses.
|Education opportunities abound across country|
A new, 162,000-square-foot middle school is being planned in Fort Worth, Texas. The new school will feature 26 classrooms that include science and computer labs. There will also be instructional areas for art, music, drama, life skills and career guidance. The Forest Middle School will also have two gyms, a weight and fitness area and an outdoor athletic field.
New middle school planned for Fort Worth features labs, classrooms, gyms
Flood-damaged building to be replaced at University of Iowa
A 2008 flood has led to the redesign of a new building for the University of Iowa's School of Art and Art History. Construction bids are expected to be fielded in May 2012 and the completion date is likely in 2014. The building is expected to be approximately 115,000 square feet, roughly the same as the old building that was built in 1936. It will include studios, classrooms, offices and gallery space. No cost estimate has been made yet, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to pick up 90 percent of the total cost with the university paying the remainder.
New York university center construction scaled down
Sixteen above-ground and two below-ground floors are the latest plans for New York's New School University Center. The original design carried a $400 million price tag, but has since been scaled down. The first seven floors - some 200,000 square feet - will be for academic use and the top floors will include a 143,000-square-foot, 600-bed student dorm. The new building will be only half as tall as the original plans. It will also feature retail space, a more than 800-seat auditorium, library, cafeteria, student lounge and meeting area. Officials also hope to seek Gold LEED certification in the Green Building Rating System.
Detroit Public Schools may seek second bond election
After successfully passing a more than $500 million bond election only months ago, the Detroit Public Schools are considering a $700 million bond referendum soon. The $500 million already approved will be used to renovate 10 schools, build eight new ones and upgrade technology and security district-wide. Officials say they will build a case for the new bonds this month, but are unsure when the issue might be set for a vote.
Science labs, security cameras, technology, transportation to use bond funds
Funding from an $89 million bond issue approved recently by Chippewa Valley School District voters in Detroit will be used for a variety of purposes. A middle and high school will both get new science labs while elementary and middle schools will see installation of new security cameras. The district's bus fleet will be updated and outdated computers throughout the district will be replaced.
Schools to be renovated in Michigan after bond vote
A recently approved $21.6 million bond issue for Michigan's Escanaba school district will pay for renovation of the district's 50-year-old high school as well as improvements to three elementary schools. Officials hope to complete much of the work before the start of the 2010-11 school year.
Proposed $22 million bond vote would renovate three schools
Residents of the Salem School District in New Hampshire are being asked to approve a $22 million bond vote next month that will result in numerous renovations and upgrades in the district. Three 1960s-era elementary schools would receive renovations. The elementary schools have no sprinkler systems and have no space dedicated to special education or occupational therapy.
University of South Florida has projects on drawing board
A number of projects are on the drawing board for the University of South Florida. A 50,000-square-foot basketball center with practice and team facilities for male and female athletes is in the works. The $30 million project included facility upgrades that also affect football, baseball and softball. Much of the cost will be paid for by a gift from Pam and Les Muma, for whom the center will be named. Other projects the university is considering include additional student housing for approximately 1,000 student beds and a $45.9 million learning center with classrooms, study and tutoring spaces and the latest in technology. At USF-St. Petersburg, officials are hoping to build a multipurpose student center.
New housing project aadded to CIP by Texas State University System
Regents of the eight-member Texas State University System have approved adding a 612-bed, $50 million residence hall at Texas State University-San Marcos to the system's Capital Improvement Plan. That could open the door for construction to begin in the fall. The hall would include almost 190,000 square feet of space. Other projects added to the CIP include a $985,000 renovation of the Academic Services Building North, a $15.8 million Department of Housing and Residential Life Office Building, the $1.1 million Mitte Clean Room renovation, a $1.7 million renovation of Lampasas Hall, $2.2 million in infrastructure improvements to the Multipurpose Educational Facility site and a $950,000 rescue house and climbing tower for the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program.
Hundreds of opportunities will arise from solar work in Florida
Some 90 Florida public schools, colleges and vocational and private schools that serve as emergency shelters can qualify and receive part of $10 million in Recovery Act funding being made available for solar work. These opportunities are being made available through the Florida Solar Energy Center's SunSmart School and E-Shelters program that allows opportunities for state and local governments and businesses to install renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies such as solar panels. Some $8.5 million of the total will be used to install panels on schools statewide, and the remaining $1.5 million will be used for education, training and administration. Schools have already begun applying for the funding. At least one school in each of the state's counties will earn funding. The projects will go out for bid and the energy center will oversee the installation and implementation of each system.
New York entities to benefit from $40 million for energy, conservation projects
New York public schools and universities will share in the $40 million being made available for energy conservation projects in the state. Among the projects being funded are installation of lighting and lighting controls, heating, cooling and controls, photovoltaic systems, high-efficiency biomass boilers, solar thermal, small wind generators and alternative-fuel refueling stations and vehicles. Some of the projects include $4.2 million for the City of New York Department of Education for Queens County to complete retrocommissioning of steam system controls, $375,000 for State University of New York-Pittsburgh for installation of a campus metering system and more than $858,000 to the William Floyd Union Free school district in Suffolk County to complete a geothermal heating/cooling project. To view the complete list of projects funded, click HERE and look under "Recent Reports."
For information about these and other funding opportunities,contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
|Other national news|
New York City looks at data center consolidation
New York City's new IT commissioner is backing a comprehensive overhaul of the city's IT services and infrastructure. Among the considerations is data center consolidation, a more robust system of shared services and other improvements. Data center consolidation is high on city officials' "to do" list, which will develop a shared services infrastructure to improve e-mail, help desk storage, virtualization and network services. Officials say consolidation will improve security, customer service and responsiveness while promoting cost savings. Four main data centers already exist and a fifth would be located in Brooklyn. They would host applications for 90 city agencies. Officials are currently working on service-level agreements with partnering agencies. Some private-sector IT services will be used in the consolidation. A vendor management program would be initiated to ensure vendors are held accountable for contracts.
Indianapolis looking to build new emergency operations center
It seems like the Super Bowl just ended, but already the City of Indianapolis, host city for the 2012 Super Bowl, is getting geared up for the security efforts that will be needed during the annual event. The city not only is looking for a new location for its emergency operations center in preparation for the Super Bowl, but it is also looking to have more on-street security cameras installed. In addition to being the security hub for the NFL event, the emergency operations center would also be a clearinghouse for city data that police officers and other first responders and city workers in the field might need 24/7. Officials are hopeful for a center of approximately 10,000 square feet that will also serve as an emergency operations center during emergencies such as tornadoes, fires or floods. Raleigh officials trying to woo voters to support justice center
Raleigh, North Carolina, officials are trying to persuade voters that now is the time to invest in a much-needed new public safety building. The facility would consolidate the city police and other emergency responders in a central, 17-story public safety center. Raleigh council members point to the neighboring city of Raleigh, which is nearing completion of its new justice center - some $20 million under budget. Wake County officials say a package of county construction projects, including the proposed justice center, would cost at least $60 million less than the original budgeted amount. Raleigh officials point to that reduced cost and warn that city taxpayers could lose out on as much as $50 million in savings on construction and interest costs if they wait to build a public safety building.
California to try public-private partnership for courthouse projectLooking for creative funding mechanisms in light of its recent budget shortfalls, the State of California will be a test case for construction of a high-threat public building - a $300 million U.S. courthouse in Long Beach. A consortium of entities and firms are seeking the public-private contract to design, build, operate, maintain and finance the new Superior Court for Los Angeles County. State officials are hoping the private sector's access to finance capital and its technological capabilities and management and development expertise will be conducive to finishing the project on time and in a cost-effective manner. The partnership is the brain child of the Judicial Council of California. If successful, the same public-private partnership mechanism could be used to deliver other courthouse projects throughout the state. The winning bidder is expected to be announced this month. The proposals call for approximately 525,000 to 545,000 square feet for the courthouse projects. The bids include design of the structure, operational space, public areas and landscaping. Additional commercial office space and retail establishments may eventually occupy part of the space.
Border states can seek interoperable communications funding
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched an initiative - the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project - to help states that border Canada and Mexico in their efforts to secure a new interoperable communications system. A minimum of six communities will be chosen and could earn up to $4 million if chosen as a participant. DHS's Office of Emergency Communications will administer the funding. State Administrative Agencies (SAA) must submit applications within 60 days of the Feb. 25 launch date. Local and tribal governments are eligible through SAA if they are in a country or other jurisdiction that shares an international border. The application and review process is expected to take six months.
|Prince George County, Maryland, is joining nine other jurisdictions in the state with a regional proposal - One Maryland Broadband Plan - to seek $14.9 million to expand the county's high-bandwidth fiber optic network to 115 elementary school libraries and to fire stations. |
The State of California is seeking to sell 11 state office buildings to raise cash to help bridge its budget gap. State officials are hoping for offers of more than $2 billion for the facilities, which collectively include more than 7 million square feet of space. The state would lease the buildings back, giving the buyer a steady income source.
Western New Mexico University plans to use $267,000 in federal grant funds to update and expand distance learning programs in Grant, Luna, McKinley, Sierra, Socorro, Hidalgo and Catron counties. The project includes replacement of 10-year-old videoconferencing equipment and expansion to deliver services to 20 communities. The new equipment will include receivers, video screens, video cameras and LCD screens.
A backup water supply to a 20-year-old well in the City of Sidney, Arkansas, will be funded by $642,000 in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A grant of $284,000 and a loan of $385,000 will be used to support the project. The town's existing well has failed numerous times in the last five years.
Education improvements for students under supervision of the tribal juvenile justice system will be implemented through a $700,000 grant to Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The money will pay for a project to teach students about sustainable agriculture to help create more employment opportunities for them. The funding will be used to construct greenhouse gardens and landscaping components.
A $1.4 million airport runway project is being planned at the Aztec Municipal Airport in Aztec, New Mexico. Plans include rotating the runway several degrees to allow pilots more land at the end points and leveling the surface to remove blind spots. It will be widened to 60 feet and have four inches of asphalt poured on top of one foot of road base.
|Calendar of events|
Small business briefing conferences slated in Texas
The last two sessions of the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services Small Business Briefing conferences have been announced for April 1, 2010, in Dallas and June 15, 2010, in Texarkana. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT. Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas. The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allows them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions. It also allows the agencies to show the myriad of opportunities available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information, click HERE or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2.
Public workshops available for those interested in broadband grants, loans
A series of public workshops will be held to review the application process and to answer questions from applicants for upcoming National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funding through the Recovery Act. The workshops will be in Portland, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; Denver, Colo.; San Antonio, Tex.; Eureka, Mo.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Detroit, Mich.; Blacksburg, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; and Atlanta, Ga. Click HERE to register for the workshops. Applications will be accepted from Feb. 16 through March 15 and awards are expected to be announced by Sept. 30. All Interested parties can register for the workshops at www.broadbandusa.gov. The agencies will distribute $4.7 billion of their total $7.2 billion for infrastructure grants and $3.5 billion to support grants and loans to facilitate broadband deployment in rural and remote areas.
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