|Volume 1, Issue 47
||March 24, 2010|
Privatization efforts are struggling!
There is a problem that should be acknowledged. Cities and states do not have the funds necessary to build roads, maintain infrastructure, ensure public safety and provide services to diverse populations that are growing at historic rates. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers says that the gap between available funding and what is needed over the next five years is a whopping $1.1 trillion.
The funding shortage is one of the reasons privatization became a national trend. Government needed the capital that big business could bring as well as the outside expertise. But, the privatization trend is faltering and if private sector firms lose interest completely, public officials will be left with no option other than to increase taxes.
|Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information. |
|Schools allocated $11 billion in bonding authority|
Low cost bonds benefit schools; investors get federal income tax credits
Bonding authority of $11 billion for construction, rehabilitation or repair of public school facilities in all 50 states and several territories was granted recently through the Recovery Act, to be administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education. The funds also can be used to purchase land for a new school site. Some $6.6 billion of that goes to the states, while the remaining $4.4 billion can be sold by more than 100 of the nation's largest school districts.
The largest amount for states was granted to California, with nearly $720.1 million in bonding authority. Texas ranked second with $547.6 million. Illinois was granted more than $251 million, Michigan was awarded more than $297.6 million, Ohio drew $293.7 million and Pennsylvania got $286.6 million.
The largest amount of bonding authority for large school districts across the country was more than $664 million for the New York City schools. Twelve California schools were approved for bonding authority as large local education agencies - the largest portion of which went to the Los Angeles Unified school district with $290.18 million. The next largest award in California was to the Fresno Unified district, which garnered $39.773 million. Eighteen school districts in Texas qualified for the funds, from the $95.3 million allocated to the Houston ISD to the $12.488 million for the Garland ISD.
The bonds provide low-cost borrowing for public schools to build and upgrade their facilities. Investors who buy the bonds get federal income tax credits at set rates in lieu of interest. Thus, the local government entities can borrow without facing interest costs. To view the complete list of allocations by state and by large local education agency, 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.
|Broadband grants of $150M going to eight states|
Stimulus funds, private matching funds will benefit 12 projects
Rural residents in eight states will soon have broadband Internet access as a result of $150 million in Recovery Act funds being invested in 12 projects. That money will be augmented by $68.2 million in matching funds through private investments, resulting in $218.2 million to be spent. This allocation, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, brings the total outlay of stimulus funds for broadband to $1.05 billion for 67 broadband projects in 30 states.
Three projects in Kansas were funded, including a grant of $871,200 to provide FTTH broadband service to all unserved establishments in the telephone exchanges of Lake and Sun City.
A $562,776 loan and $562,776 grant were awarded to the Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Corporation for its Minnesota Wireless Expansion Project. The funding will provide a two-way broadband Internet network to unserved and underserved areas of west central and south central Minnesota, providing 34 additional wireless access points.
In Texas, Wes-Tex Telephone Cooperative, Inc.'s Western Texas Broadband Infrastructure Development Project was awarded a $16,891,875 loan and the same amount in a grant. The funds will be used to provide a broadband infrastructure to increase Internet availability and access speeds in rural areas of western Texas. To view the complete list of grant and loan recipients, click HERE and look under "Recent Reports."
|$372 million set aside for prevention of obesity, tobacco use|
Forty-four communities will share funds for one or both programs
Thirty states and the District of Columbia will share more than $372 million in prevention and wellness grants in 44 communities aimed at building a healthier America. Of that figure, $230 million has been set aside for obesity prevention and the final $142.8 million is allocated for tobacco prevention awards. Many will lead to projects that create marketing, advertising and public relations opportunities.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was awarded one of the largest amounts - $32.1 million. Some $15.9 million of that will be for an obesity prevention program that will include a public education campaign to help reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and to promote healthy eating. The department's $16.2 million award for tobacco prevention will go toward an education campaign to reduce both smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
Not all entities were awarded grant funds for both obesity and tobacco use prevention. In Colorado, the Tri-County Health Department was awarded $10.5 million that it will use to enhance school wellness programs and to support the Safe Routes to Schools initiative. In Florida, the Miami-Dade County Health Department will use its $14.7 million award to push for healthier food choices by revising procurement practices and policies at public schools.
In Texas, two entities received awards. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District was awarded $15.6 million that it will use to help expand public facilities that are available for after-hours use for physical activities. The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department garnered an award of $7.5 million that it will use in part for marketing to reduce youth access to tobacco products. To view the complete list of awards by state, 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.
|Education: $510M in school bond elections set in one state|
Twenty-two Michigan school districts plan bond votes for variety of uses
Twenty-two Michigan school bond issues worth a total of more than $510 million will be decided in elections in that state on May 4. The bond issues, some including more than one proposition, cover everything from new construction to furnishings to playgrounds to technology systems, equipment and more.
The largest bond election is for $68.64 million in the Fitzgerald Public Schools in Macomb County. If passed, funding would allow for erecting, equipping and furnishing a new elementary school building and additions to school buildings; remodeling, re-equipping and refurnishing school buildings, playgrounds and other facilities; preparing, developing and improving sites at school buildings, playgrounds and other facilities; and equipping and re-equipping school buildings and other facilities for technology systems and equipment.
The smallest bond issue is a $960,000 proposal that would partially remodel, furnish and refurnish, equip and re-equip the Alanson Public School building in Emmet County. It also includes purchasing, installing and equipping technology, purchasing school buses and developing and improving the site.
To view all of the 22 bond issues, the amount of bonding sought and a description of the projects to be paid for with a successful bond, click HERE and then look under "Recent Reports."
Sedona school to use solar power to cut costs
The Sedona (Arizona) Red Rock High School is planning a solar panel farm that will help the school produce about half of the energy it uses. Panels will be installed this spring to allow the school to supply 800,000 watts of power. The solar system will be paid for from the $73.5 million bond issue passed in 2007. The cost of the project is expected to be approximately $5 million. Approximately 1,000 panels will be placed on the south side of the campus, behind classroom buildings. In addition to reducing energy costs, the panels will provide an educational opportunity as well as students in science classes will be able to study solar energy and how the system works. Construction is expected to begin in May.
Detroit announces plan to help save schools
Although planning to close more than 40 schools by summer and more on the horizon, the Detroit Public Schools also have on tap a plan to create new campuses that serve students from pre-kindergarten through college. The plan calls for construction and consolidations as part of a $500.5 million bond program that will build and renovate up to 22 schools over the next three years. It recommends about $500 million worth of new schools and renovations that would come from yet another bond measure.
Wake schools to benefit from $125.8 million in bonds
Wake County, North Carolina, recently sold $125.8 million in bonds to benefit building projects in the Wake County schools and Wake Technical Community College. The local schools will get $100 million from the bonds and the community college will take $25.8 million. The bonds were approved for the public schools by county voters in November 2006 and in October 2007 for Wake Tech.
Alamo Heights ISD in Texas seeking $44 million bond approval
Trustees for the Alamo Heights Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, recently agreed to place a $44 million bond proposal on the May 8 ballot. If approved, the bond funding will pay for upgrading technology, expanding fine arts facilities, creating more parking and several renovation and maintenance projects, including the installation of solar panels on district facilities.
SUNY lines up electric projects
The State University of New York is seeking bids on replacing the campus electric substation and providing an emergency power system at its Canton campus. The project is estimated to cost between $2.5 and $5 million.
UK Medical Center to advertise for $7.9M parking garage
The University of Kansas Medical Center will soon advertise for a $7.9 million parking garage at 1913 43rd (Warehouse) in Kansas City. The projected bid date is April 20.
Building costs may allow Virginia school to build sooner
Lower-than-expected bids for new elementary and middle schools in Prince William County, Virginia, could mean a third school will be built sooner than planned. The two school bids out came in approximately $21 million lower than expected. The result is that another elementary school - in the Linton Hill area - can be built a year earlier than anticipated. The Linton Hall school was scheduled to open in 2012, but now will be opening in 2011.
Multi-million-dollar campus improvements planned in California
Approval has been given for Phase II of the master plan for campus improvements at the Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California. Groundbreaking is set for June with the projects to be completed by August of next year. Included is a new Center for the Arts and Sciences with the latest instructional technology such as Smart Board and digital camera technology, student laptops and wireless computer connectivity. The plan also calls for five new science labs for biology, chemistry and physics, a new broadcasting studio, a larger art room, advanced classroom technology, state-of-the-art band rehearsal and choral space, recording facilities, additional classroom space and a meeting room. Also included will be a Green Room for the Theater Arts Program, a work room for instrument repair, a new swimming pool, bleachers and more.
Successful bond issue will lead to building of new school
Voters in the Bamberg (S. Carolina) School District One recently approved a referendum allowing the district to borrow up to $29 million to build a new elementary school and renovate the middle and high schools. The new elementary will replace a 1937-era school that currently suffers from foundation, mold and mildew and buckled tile floors. The renovations at the other schools include new roofs, heating and air conditioning systems and kitchens.
Rocky River school bond would upgrade technology
District-wide technology and infrastructure updates would result from the passage of a $42.9 million school bond issues set for May in the Rocky River, Ohio, school district. Funds from the bond issue would also be used for additions to the high school and renovations at a primary school.
Missouri bond issue could lead to building of new school
A new middle school is planned if a successful school bond election in April passes in the Pierce City (Missouri) School District. Voters there will decide if the school district should be allowed to borrow $3.9 million to build, equip and furnish a new middle school. In the Monett School District, officials are hoping for passage of a bond issue that would allow them to borrow $4.5 million to construct, equip and furnish additional classrooms at an existing elementary school complex. That issue would connect the buildings under one roof to promote safety and security for the students. It would add 50,000 square feet of new classroom space and renovate another 30,000 square feet of current space.
Two public colleges plan to build joint nursing school
The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College are exploring joint ownership of a new $60 million nursing school to be built in downtown Providence. The proposal must be approved by the state's General Assembly before a bond vote can be put before voters in November. What is proposed is a 21,000-square-foot building that could be under construction in 2012 and completed by 2013. The University of Rhode Island had planned a $50 million nursing school and Rhode Island College's plans were for a $30 million facility. The collaboration between the two would save millions in taxpayer dollars. Both institutions are running out of space and facilities for their nursing programs.
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|
A new road construction project in Missouri City, Texas, will be funded from Recovery Act funding. Several intersections in the city - Highway 6 and Glenn Lakes, Highway 6 and FM 1092, FM 1092 and Cartwright Road and FM 1092 and Lexington - will be paid for 100 percent from stimulus funds. Traffic signals will be rebuilt and additional turn lanes added.
Grants totaling $240,000 for minority job training in the highway construction industry have been made available from stimulus funds for the Maryland State Highway Administration. The funds are part of an $11.8 million grant program throughout the country for transportation, construction and engineering job training.
Energy-efficiency projects are on tap in Dane County, Wisconsin, thanks to Recovery Act funds. More than $2.2 million in funds administered by the U.S. Department of Energy will address energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Many older buildings in the county will be made more energy efficient through the installation of solar panels on the roof of the City-County building, installing energy-saving lighting and modern heat and cooling systems. The hot water system in the City-County building will be replaced with energy-efficient tanks. Other buildings also will have solar panels installed.
The historic West End Hall in Easley, South Carolina, will benefit from energy upgrades paid for with stimulus funds. New heating and air conditioning units will be installed. Some $202,680 in stimulus funds will be used for the new HVAC units, insulation, lighting fixtures and energy-efficient light bulbs. The city is also studying investing its own funds in repairs that could include a new roof and addressing carpeting and water and mold issues. The building was once an elementary school and now houses nonprofits, a theater and political offices.
Approximately 11 miles of street repairs in Long Beach, California, will be paid for out of $14.3 million in stimulus funds. Ten local streets will benefit from what officials are calling the largest street repair campaign in more than 10 years.
Upgrade and replacement of water lines in Kanawha County, West Virginia, will be possible thanks to $11 million in low-interest loans made available by the Recovery Act. The low-interest loan program pays 45 percent of the interest on the loans. State officials had available more than $53 million in bonding capacity under the program, but little of it has been used. Water lines will be replaced, upgraded or reinforced in Belle, Quincy, London, Hugheston and Montgomery. A 500,000-gallon water tank to serve Hugheston and two river-crossing pipelines will also be installed.
Public transportation in Barry County, Michigan, will get a boost from $524,000 in Recovery Act funds aimed at assisting with public transportation costs. The county will receive $48,000 to purchase an expansion minivan. The City of Iona will receive $15,000 to help with facility renovations.
The Superior Courthouse in Danbury, Connecticut, is about to get an energy retrofit. The state will use a portion of its $5 million in stimulus funds for energy efficiency projects to provide upgrades at the courthouse. Those projects include energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems.
Communities in Illinois will share $15 million in stimulus funds through grants for water system improvement projects. Among the recipients is Lawrenceville, which will get a loan of approximately $6 million. Roodhouse is slated to receive $5.5 million. The Fayette Water Company will receive a $1.1 million loan and a grant in the same amount for its Herrick location, while its Laclede location will get a $1 million loan and nearly $1 million in grant funds.
An alternate route for Bossier City, Louisiana, motorists around the second busiest intersection in the parish is being planned thanks to stimulus funds totaling $13 million. The funds will be made available through low-interest loans. Total cost for the project is estimated at $15 million to $20 million and the construction costs are estimated at $7 million to $13 million, all of which will be paid for with the loans through the Recovery Act.
Federal stimulus funds will be used by officials in Lakeland, Florida, to build bus-stop shelters for mass transit riders. The Lakeland Area Mass Transit District plans to spend up to $130,000 in stimulus funds to build eight shelters at a cost of $15,000 each.
A grant of more than $537,000 from Recovery Act funding will help county-owned buildings in Muskegon County, Michigan, achieve better energy efficiency. Among the planned projects are replacing a boiler in the Oak Avenue building, retrofits for water conservation in various facilities and installing wind turbines on the roof of the Hall of Justice. Work on the project began last December and the more than half million dollar grant will help the county reach its goals toward energy conservation.
An apartment complex for seniors in Johnstown, Ohio, will expand soon, using tax credits and loans available thanks in part to the Recovery Act. A new addition will see 32 more two-bedroom units added in nine one-story buildings. One million dollars in tax-credit assistance from Recovery Act funds contributed to the project. Stimulus fund grant money through the tax-credit exchange amounted to $1.7 million and another $550,000 from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's housing development assistance program was received.
Recovery Act funding of $500,000 will go toward a $600,000 price tag for the resurfacing of Gladstone Street in Irwindale, California.
Repairs are expected to begin soon at a public housing facility in New York City. More than 10 city- and state-financed housing developments throughout the city will benefit from major rehabilitation projects that include upgrades to facades, roofs, heating systems and repairs of broken doors and elevators. Some $400 million will be used for the projects, including both stimulus funds and state money. The funding includes $108 million in federal stimulus funds, $210 million from bond sales, $42 million from the state and an annual $65 to $75 million from a federal subsidy program.
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Galveston Housing Authority to seek $22 million federal grant
A consultant for the Galveston, Texas, Housing Authority (GHA) recently urged the agency to seek about $22 million Hope VI federal grants to rebuild the Magnolia Homes development on The Strand, which suffered heavy damage during a recent hurricane. GHA will create a steering committee of community leaders to seek the grant for Magnolia Homes, which is located on the trolley route between The Strand historic district and the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch, said Executive Director Harish Krishnarao. The grant funding, if approved, would be used to rebuild 120 units on the site of the demolished public housing development. The new housing could act as a catalyst to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood with mixed-income housing. The Hope VI grants are very competitive and the announcement on recipients of 2010 awards will not be made until Spring 2011.
Shared infrastructure in plans for NY City
More than 40 city agencies and 50 data centers will undergo consolidation as New York City's new IT Commissioner puts a major data center consolidation into place. Officials expect combining the data centers into a shared infrastructure could save the city $100 million over five years. It would also reduce energy consumption and emissions, improve security and improve IT service quality. The city currently has 1,200 IT and Telecommunications Department employees. The city's 50 data centers serve 48 agencies. Older technologies are costing large sums to keep maintained and officials seek to build a secure, recoverable and standardized IT infrastructure. The first services to be affected will be the city's help desk, hosting, storage, e-mail, virtualization and network.
Kansas Park to have new boat ramp constructed
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will soon be seeking a contractor to build a boat ramp at the Kaw Valley Stat Park. The project is expected to cost approximately $240,000.
Orlando hopeful to sell land tract for new tech development
The City of Orlando, Florida, this week plans to solicit proposals from developers interested in purchasing the 68 acres of land called the Centroplex to convert to a "Creative Village" of digital-media companies. Officials in the city hope a sale would result in a new area of downtown for high-tech companies to populate. City officials are hopeful that some Recovery Act funding might be available for such a project through funding set aside for job creation, education and transit-oriented development. Developers will have until April 26 to submit proposals.
Florida State University System considers purchasing consortium
The Board of Governors of the Florida State University System is considering forming a purchasing consortium to provide health care insurance for students at Florida state universities. The consortium was recommended by a committee as a way of reducing health care costs and getting better rates for schools that join. It could also be expanded to include state and community colleges.
|Calendar of events|
Grant recipients can participate in webinars
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.
Bond election special webinar slated for April 8
Looking for projects in Texas? "Selling to Local Government - a Bond Election Special," a webinar relating to bond issues in Texas and hosted by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), is slated for 12 to 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, April 8. Those participating in the webinar will hear current and former government decision-makers talk about how to become adept at selling to local government entities. SPI is an Austin-based government procurement and national research firm that has successfully partnered public and private entities for the last 15 years. Hear from a sitting city administrator, veteran procurement experts and sales, marketing and research experts. Each attendee will receive a list of upcoming bond opportunities related to the May bond elections in Texas as part of the package. For more information and to register, click HERE.
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. 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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