Volume 1, Issue 46 March 17, 2010
Getting better every day... But, competition is keen! 
Mary Scott NabersCompanies of all types and sizes are moving into government marketplaces at a record pace. In the past, firms may have shied away because of bureaucracy, longer sales cycles and/or rigid procurement practices, but today the marketplace is simply too large to ignore and most firms cannot jump in fast enough.
Public sector contracting has also changed, and the environment is not as daunting or rigid as in the past. Public officials are no longer required to make purchases based on low bid. Instead, they look for the "best" bid and numerous factors - along with price - are considered.

Funds awarded for health IT
Renewable energy projects abound
Stimulus news briefs
Bond isues net education projects
What the states are doing
Other national news
Calendar of events
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Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Another $162 million awarded for health IT projects
Goal is electronic health record for every citizen by 2014
Seeking to help states move toward an effective and efficient way to exchange health information and advance health information technology (health IT), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded an additional $162 million in Recovery Act funds. These awards - to states and state-designated entities - are part of the $5 billion in funds made available for health IT through the stimulus bill. The goal of the program is to incorporate electronic health records for every citizen in the country by 2014.
HHS is working with the states through cooperative agreements - partnerships - to impress on them that they use the national standards put in place and that they are comparable with HHS rules. HHS is creating tools that will enable the exchange of information and will also provide guidance and technical assistance.
Every state and eligible territory has now been allocated funds under this program. In February, $385 million was awarded to 40 states and state-designated entities.
Texas drew the biggest allocation in this round of funding, receiving more than $28.8 million. The Florida Agency of Health Care Administration garnered the second-highest amount with more than $20.7 million.
Other recipients include: the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - $9,313,924; New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority - $11,408,594; South Carolina Department of Health & Human Services - $9,576,408; Iowa Department of Public Health - $8,375,000; Idaho Health Data Exchange - $5,940,500; State of North Dakota, Information Technology Department - $5,343,733; State of Alaska - $4,963,063; Nebraska Department of Administrative Services - $6,837,180; South Dakota Department of Health - $6,081,750; Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut - $7,297,930; State of Mississippi - $10,387,000; Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc. - $10,300,000; HealthShare Montana - $5,767,926; and Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum - $10,583,000.

For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Nearly $32M awarded for Texas renewable energy projects
State Comptroller distributes grants of up to $2M for 32 projects statewide
Projects ranging from $95,000 for a 26 kW grid tied photovoltaic (PV) system at the City of Sunset Valley City Hall to $2 million to The University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center to install a 245 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) carport at its Dallas campus Thermal Plant were awarded grant funding this week by the Texas State Comptroller. One award, to Texas State Technical College in Waco, will not only increase the building's energy efficiency and reduce utility costs, but will also provide a hands-on training lab area for training in solar panel installation and maintenance.
The grants are part of the Distributed Renewable Energy Technology Program and will be administered by the State Energy Conservation Office. The comptroller awarded nearly $32 million in funds to 32 projects in Texas cities, school districts, institutions of higher education and to state and local government entities.

The awards are the first round of federal stimulus grants to be awarded in Texas as part of the renewable energy program and all deal with solar power installation. More project applications for other renewable energy technologies are currently undergoing federal National Environmental Policy Act review. 

The goal of the grants is to install renewable energy infrastructure at public facilities. The projects will lead to electricity generation at the sites and thus reduce utility costs. The new power generation will also reduce demand on power plants and reduce emissions from those plants. To view each of the 32 grant recipients, the amount of their awards and a description of their projects, 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.
Stimulus news briefs
VA system plans $7 million in upgrades at facilities
The Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System will spend approximately $7 million in Recovery Act funds this year for renovations and upgrades at the Omaha hospital and clinics in Lincoln and Grand Island. While there are hopes of building a new $560 million hospital to replace the current facility, until that funding comes through, hospital officials say they will keep using their band-aids and baling twine approach to keep the facility in shape. The Department of Veterans Affairs is close to selecting an architect for a hospital design, but that is not a guarantee that the U.S. Congress will bankroll the project. 
Capital projects slated for this year include: improvements to the surgical recovery area or post-anesthesia care unit at a cost of $2.5 million; a $687,000 reconfiguration of the nuclear medicine area to accommodate a new PET and SPECT scan technology; improvements to the Lincoln outpatient center including roof replacement, repairs to other roofs and upgrades to the fire alarm system at a cost of $900,000; and upgrading the main lobby, dental area, electrical system and other areas at the Grand Island clinic for $2.6 million. 
Phoenix to approve stimulus bonds to help company expand
The Phoenix City Council is exercising its option to approve stimulus bonds that will help a California paint manufacturing company expand in Phoenix, creating new jobs. The city's Industrial Development Authority will issue $2 million in Recovery Zone Facility bonds to the manufacturer and Maricopa County will throw in $5.5 million. The bonding capacity was created by the federal government to allow cities to help create jobs. 
The private sector company will add $13 million to the project, which includes buying 18 acres of land to house a 304,000-square-foot building that will be a manufacturing and distribution facility for the paints.

Birmingham preparing to seek bonds for public, private projects
The City of Birmingham should soon be able to set aside $12.3 million for public projects and $18.4 million for private sector projects thanks to a bond program created as part of the Recovery Act. The City Council approved designating the city as a "Recovery Zone" so it would be eligible for reduced rate and tax free bonds. There are currently about 20 capital projects pending that could benefit from the program. The city and the private companies would go to the bond market and then have lower rates for repayment.
Education: construction, renovation projects on tap
New Jersey schools to undergo renovations after bond passage
Eight schools in Willingboro, New Jersey, will undergo renovations and improvements after recent passage of a $67.4 million bond election. The work will include replacement of boilers at district schools, upgrades to the electrical system, ventilation units and replacement of exterior and interior doors and windows. 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will construct facility
Using $15.9 million in federal stimulus funds administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory plans to construct a new facility to research net-zero energy buildings. The lab is managed by the University of California. The project will include a series of structures for researching HVAC systems, façade systems, lighting and interiors, etc. There will be three 5,000-square-foot structures that will allow these systems to be tested together. 
Fort Madison looking to build one, perhaps two schools
A new school is in the works in Fort Madison, Iowa, after school board members approved designs for the new facility that will house fourth through eighth grade students. The $19.8 million school includes two floors and two wings connected by a common area that includes a cafeteria, hallways, administrative offices and a gym. The wings will include separate classroom, hallway and restroom spaces for younger and older students. Officials also could be in line to build a second gym and have applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for the gym that can become a tornado shelter. That facility would cost $1.4 million.
Coppin University to use grant funds for community computer center
Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland, has been awarded a $932,000 grant, which it will use to build an on-campus computer center that can be used by the entire community in West Baltimore. The four labs and 60 computers will be used to teach job skills, assist with school lessons and improve public heath. The university is contributing $275,000 to the grant funds.
Renovations, additions set for Fremont school district
A variety of renovations and additions are on tap for the Fremont, California, school district after voters approved a $10.6 million bond issue. Included in the bond issue are replacement of the second story of an elementary school with a one-story building, site work and development and replacing the school's boiler. Another elementary school will get a 7,500-square-foot addition and have its student services and media center/library areas remodeled and a boiler replaced. Ten standard and one special education classroom will be added at the high school while its family and consumer science facilities will be renovated, a commons area added and the cafeteria expanded. There will also be remodeling projects on main entrance areas at four elementary schools.
Three New Hampshire schools preparing for renovations
Three elementary schools in Salem, New Hampshire, will be renovated with proceeds from a $22 million bond election passed by voters there. This bond issue is part of a school district master plan that includes renovations eventually to all six elementary schools and one middle school. Renovations will make room for a recently added kindergarten program and to bring buildings up to code. Sprinkler systems will be added as well as closets and hallways. Multipurpose rooms also will be added for music and art programs. 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory planning expansion
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by the University of Tennessee and a nonprofit corporation, will use $20.2 million in U.S. Department of Energy stimulus funding to expand its Building Technologies Research and Integration Center. It will also build two three-story buildings for testing larger scale commercial building envelopes related to net-zero energy building research. 
Bakersfield College to spend $8.3 M to install solar panel field
Using $8.3 million from its utilities budget, Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, California, will install a large solar panel field to help harness energy and reduce the college's energy costs. The panels will cover a parking lot on campus and generate enough energy to power nearly 300 single-family homes. The panels will collect energy while shading the vehicles under them.
Pittsburg State University plans three renovation projects
Three projects are being planned at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The university has approved $675,000 for renovations at Grubbs Hall, $177,000 for restroom renovations at the Kelce Center and $615,000 for renovations and HVAC at Yates Hall. 
Truman City College project estimated at $1.5 million
Truman City College in Chicago is expected to release a bid for a project expected to cost $1.5 million. The project includes Student Services Center covered walkway, signage, miscellaneous finishes to Student Services/parking facilities.
Seven Oregon public universities to benefit from bonds
Oregon's seven public universities will all benefit from the Oregon University System's approval of a set of new bonds that may provide for more than $234 million in construction projects. Some of the projects include a $52 million resident hall at Oregon State University, $35 million for new student housing at the University of Oregon in Eugene, $30 million for an integrative science complex and $29 million for a power station at the University of Oregon and $18.5 million for a residence hall and health and wellness center at Western Oregon University. The bonds are likely to be issued in April. 
New Mexico approves $25.7 million for public schools
A new $25.7 million high school is on tap for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Public Schools as part of $229 million in state funding allocated for projects over the next two years. The district is one of 19 that will benefit from the funding. Rio Rancho will receive $46.8 million and seven schools in Las Cruces will benefit from improvements and $2.7 million for a new high school. 
Fort Hays State University projects to be bid soon
In Hays, Kansas, three projects will soon be bid for Fort Hays State University. The projects include $173,000 in improvements to Park Street and South Campus Drive, $610,000 for utility tunnel replacement, Center of Quadrangle, and $450,000 for roof replacement at Rarick Hall.
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
Transportation projects are making good use of stimulus funds in California. Caltrans officials expect to fund 900 highway construction projects statewide, including $10 million to rehabilitate stretches of Power Inn Road, Rosemont Drive and other roadways.
The New York City Housing Authority will use some $230 million in stimulus funds and public and private sources to rehab 21 developments in that city. Another $75 million will be added from the federal government's buildings' annual operating costs. The upgrades will include roof repairs, brickwork and elevator repairs.
The Nisqually Indian Tribe in Washington State is planning to use a $10.7 million award from the Recovery Act to construct a correctional facility. The facility will begin this spring and will include a 108-bed special needs housing unit, two 96-bed dormitory-type housing units and a support services building.
A Tribal Justice Center for the Puyallup Indian Tribe in Washington State is in the planning stages. The project will be supported by a $7.9 million award from the Recovery Act. The 28,000-square-foot center will feature courtrooms and jail facilities.
Some 500 homes in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, will benefit from energy efficiency project made possible by $3.7 million in stimulus funds. The projects will include installing windows and repairing roofs. The work will be spread out over three years.
A project to remove nets and crab pots from Washington marine waters is getting a $4.6 million boost from the stimulus act. The project began in 2002, but this influx of funding will allow divers to continue their work toward removing about 90 percent of lost and abandoned commercial fishing nets from Puget Sound waters by December. Removal of the obstacles will protect both marine animals and recreational divers.
The roof on the municipal building in Washington Township, New Jersey, will be replaced with nearly $500,000 in federal stimulus funds.

More than 200 concrete panels along Interstate 5 between Lacey and Tacoma, Washington, will be replaced beginning in April. The project has been awarded $10.5 million in stimulus funding.

Roads in Bossier City, Louisiana, will be repaired and repaved thanks to $2.9 million in federal funds, with Stockwell Road being almost completely rebuilt. Additionally, the city received a $608,000 grant to replace lighting in the Louisiana Boardwalk parking garage.

At Camp Pendleton, California, a new $565 million hospital near Interstate 5 is currently in the bidding stages. The project is funded by stimulus funds.
Economic stimulus funds totaling $40 million will be used for some of the projects that would have been funded by a failed $120 million bond issue in 2008 in St. Louis County, Missouri. The bond issue would have financed a new Family Court building, a new Health Department headquarters and health laboratory, improvements to the courthouse, a new crime lab, repairing or replacing early warning sirens and furnishing a new animal control shelter in Olivette. One project currently on the drawing board as a result of stimulus funding is a $20 million three-story Health Department building to house a rebuilt clinic, the department's headquarters and an expanded public health lab. The family courts project will be financed by federal Build America bonds. Another $2 million in Build America bonds will be used to buy a two-story building to offer as space for start-up small businesses, mainly in the health sciences field.
The Port of Tacoma, Washington, has received $3.4 million in Recovery Act funds for port security. 
Other national contracting opportunities
Orlando to sell bonds to jump-start performing arts center
The City of Orlando has approved the sale of $69 million in bonds, part of which will help get the $250 million first phase of the city's new performing arts center off the ground. This first phase will deliver two of the three halls that are part of the facility. The second stage, with a $70 million price tag, will include the building envelope and administration and education space. The third phase includes a 1,700-seat facility third hall. The bonds will help bridge the gap in the funding of the city's $1.1 billion Community Venues building program.
USDA grant funds to be used for improved transportation 
One-third of a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Community Transportation Association of America will be used to improve both transportation and the economy. Some $250,000 of the funds will be used to improve transportation in Mills, Dewey, Custer, Washita, Blaine, Canadian and Kingfisher counties in western Oklahoma. The remaining $500,000 will be used for similar projects in Alaska, Illinois, Maine and New Jersey. 
Alabama Senate approves road, bridge construction package
Barring stumbling in the Alabama House, a $1 billion road and bridge construction package approved in the Alabama Senate will go before Alabama voters on Nov. 2. The bill would take $100 million per year for 10 years from the Alabama Trust Fund, which receives royalties from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned water along the state's coast. Some $25 million of that would go annually to cities and counties for roads and bridges, another $1 million would go to short-line railroads that serve Alabama industries and $74 million would go to the state Department of Transportation for use in all counties. 
Sale of water, sewer utilities in Indianapolis to benefit roads, bridges
Roads, bridges and sidewalks in Indianapolis will get much-needed attention when some $425 million from the $1.9 billion sale of the city's water and sewer utilities. The utilities are currently owned by the city and run by private operators. A public charitable trust that provides gas, steam and chilled water would acquire the utilities, have control of their operations and be responsible for hundreds of millions worth of capital projects.
Iowa city cites capital expenditures in its budget
The Shenandoah, Iowa, City Council recently approved its budget. Among the approved capital expenditures were $100,000 for street improvements, airport improvements of $498,750, armory building improvements for $20,000, $100,000 in renovations of City Hall and other city buildings and a $595,000 neighborhood stabilization project.
Sacramento MUD planning 'solar highway'
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will use a portion of its $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a "solar highway" - an array of electricity-generating solar panels along Highway 50 with a power-generating potential to power 250 homes. The arrays would include hundreds of solar panels situated along the busy highway. 
Three New York State libraries in line for construction grants
Three libraries in New York State's East End have been awarded construction grants from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction in the state budget. The Hampton Library of Bridgehampton was awarded $100,000 for an expansion project, the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Library was allocated $17,306 for lighting replacement and the Westhampton Free Library was awarded $134,000 for a new library. 
Fire alarm system for prison in Illinois upcoming
A planning and upgrade to the fire alarm system, estimated at $3.1 million, will likely be bid in April for the Dixon Correctional Center in Lee County, Illinois.
California courthouse projects get initial funding authorization
Three California courthouse projects received initial funding authorization this week by the State Public Works Board. The projects include building a new criminal courthouse in Santa Barbara, renovating more than two dozen courtrooms in Fresno County and expanding and renovating Glenn County's Willows courthouse. These three projects are part of a group of 41 to be paid for from a $5 billion lease-revenue bond authorized by statute and financed through increases in court-related fees and fines.
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Webinar: Selling to Local Government
Calendar of events
FTA to conduct webinars for recipients of Recovery Act grants
The Federal Transit Administration will conduct webinars to provide recipients of Recovery Act grants with training and technical assistance to enable them to comply with the reporting requirements under Section 1512 of the Recovery Act. The webinars will discuss recently issued reporting guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and tips on how to make the April reporting process successful. For more information, click HERE.
HIMSS issues Call for Proposal for Health IT conference, exhibition
The 2010 Government Health IT (GHIT) Conference and Exhibition, sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS),is slated for June 15-16 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Featured educational tracks include: Blueprints for Nationwide Health Information Exchange and Connecting the Health Community. A Call for Proposal has been extended and will close on Monday, March 22, at 5 p.m. (CST). For questions regarding the Call for Proposal, contact Joanne Bartley at or 312-915-9251. 
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 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.
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.
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