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Volume 1, Issue 48
March 31, 2010
Coordinated communication...a national problem!  
 
Mary Scott NabersPublic officials, first responders, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical professionals are painfully aware that the country struggles with communication problems every time an emergency occurs. The problem is not new...so citizens wonder why it is not fixed. What is taking so long? Surely it is obvious that communication that crosses government jurisdictions should be coordinated.
 
The problem is obvious. Serious study is under way. The problem is that there is no simple fix! The good news is that an abundance of money, expertise and efforts are all focused on a solution to this critical problem.
 
 (MORE)
IN THIS ISSUE
Broadband funding totals $63 million
'Race to the Top' winners named
Education provides contract opportunities
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.
Broadband funding of $63 million headed to 10 projects
 
Computer centers get boost from latest grant authorizations
Increased broadband access in more than a dozen states is the goal of the latest Recovery Act funding being distributed for 10 projects. The $63 million in grant funds will be used toward projects that will help bring high-speed Internet access to homes and businesses while linking schools, hospitals, libraries and public safety offices.

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program administers the funding and awards grants to increase broadband infrastructure, particularly to rural or underserved areas and to expand public computer centers and encourage adoption of broadband services long-term.
 
Among the awards was a $3.7 million public computer center grant that will be matched by $2.5 million in applicant funds to create 12 new public computer centers and expand five others in Phoenix, Arizona; Canoga Park, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Del Norte, Colorado; Blackfoot, Idaho; Wheaton, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; Anthony, New Mexico; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Antonio and Laredo, Texas. Each center will provide computer training and adult education to a low broadband adoption, high unemployment target population through a standardized English-Spanish training curriculum.
 
In North Carolina, a $1 million public computer center grant was awarded to Fayetteville State University. It will be matched with $263,000 from the applicants to provide 30 new computer workstations, wireless Internet access and training courses at a new computer center at the college. It will be open to the community, including residents of local public housing. The project also includes courses on Internet basics, personal finance and health and basic job skills.
 
To view the remaining awards, the recipients and an explanation of how the funds will be used, click here and look under "Recent Reports."
$600 million dedicated to school reform in two states
 
Delaware, Tennessee win first round of 'Race to the Top'
The first phase to the "Race to the Top" competition was won by Delaware and Tennessee. The two states this week were named winners of a combined $600 million to help fund their proposals to reform their schools over the next four years.
 
Both states wrote new laws to support their policies. Delaware will receive $100 million in funding while Tennessee will garner $500 million. The money will be distributed over time as benchmarks are met. The second phase of competition will have another $3.4 billion to award.
 
The program includes a total of $4.35 billion for statewide reform grants and to support states working to improve the quality of their assessments. Award of the grants is based on the adoption of standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and in the workplace; building of data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction; recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and turning around their lowest-performing schools.
 
For this round of funding, 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted proposals. The two winners were selected from among 16 finalists. In both states, all school districts committed to implementing Race to the Top reforms. Applications for phase two of the program are due June 1. All of the applications are being posted on the U.S. Department of Education Web site and will appear in the Federal Register as well.
 
Education projects, bond issues offer contract opportunities
 
Three opportunities opening up in New York
Three projects are being planned by the New York City Department of Public Education. Bids will soon be sought for integrated pest management services to cover exterminating services and control of populations of a variety of bugs and insects as well as rodents. The service will cover a variety of buildings in the district. Additionally, department-wide auditing services are being sought. Audit and consulting firms should present proposals for internal audit and consulting services. In addition to providing audits, proposals for co-sourcing assistance will be sought for the planning and execution of the statutorily mandated annual fiscal performance and fraud, waste and mismanagement audits of schools. Finally, bids will be sought for professional civil engineer consulting services. The bid is open to firms that are regularly engaged in consulting to private and public organizations for engineering services.
 
Missouri voters to decide fate of $2.4 million bond issue
Voters in Altenburg, Missouri, will be asked to decide a $2.4 million bond issue later this month that would build and equip a new school for kindergarten through eighth grade. If the bond issue passes, officials hope to have the new building ready for the first classes in 2011.
 
Emporia State University has HVAC project upcoming
Bids will soon be sought by Emporia State University in Kansas for HVAC renovation at its Roosevelt Hall. The facility is a former high school that now houses general classrooms and the offices of the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Estimated cost of the project is $240,000.
 
KU to soon be taking bids for furniture, equipment
The School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas will soon be seeking subcontractor and supplier bids for furniture, fixtures and equipment.
 
State University of NY campuses have upcoming projects
Numerous campuses of the State University of New York have a variety of projects on the drawing board. The Canton campus is scheduled for IT infrastructure upgrades that will cost between $1 million and $2.5 million. Old Westbury is planning a $5 million to $10 million project that includes a heat, chill plant and distribution system. Foundations, steel and site work estimated at $2.5 million to $5 million are planned for the College of Environmental Science and Forestry Gateway Building and Fenton Hall on the Fredonia campus is planning an exterior rehab that is expected to carry a price tag of $1 million to $2.5 million.
 
State Allocation Board approves $6M for CA school repairs
Thirty California schools will benefit from $6 million approved by the California State Allocation Board for repair work. The funds are for emergency repairs at the 30 schools in seven different districts. The money can be used for such projects as paving, heating and ventilation systems, roofing and fire detection systems. Additionally, the board released nearly $548 million for school construction projects previously approved for funding but could not receive the money because a freeze was placed on disbursements. Another $1.4 billion in Build American Bonds will also be released for construction projects that had been stopped.
 
Lee's Summit district plans $16 million bond election this month
The Lee's Summit R-7 School District in Missouri will hold a $16 million bond election this month. Proceeds from a successful bond lection would allow for improvements at several schools in the district, technology enhancements, energy-efficiency upgrades, new buses and money for land purchase for a future school site. Among the projects are:
  • Hazel Grove Elementary School - $1.5 million - Remodeling project includes construction of new classroom, art room and music room; new restrooms and storage; renovations to office area, focus room and staff work room;
  • Campbell Middle School - $2.4 million - New auxiliary gymnasium;
  • Pleasant Lea Middle School - $250,000 - Improve spaces for teacher planning center and student guidance area;
  • District-wide - $2 million - Laptop and desktop replacement, network infrastructure, security/storage and emerging instructional technology initiatives;
  • Middle schools - $350,000 - Resurfacing all middle-school tracks;
  • Lee's Summit North - $750,000 - Two new softball fields;
  • Lee's Summit High School - $1.4 million - Remodel existing space for athletics and robotics team activities; construct new building with restrooms, lockers, offices and storage;
  • Robotics center for high school teams - $150,000;
  • Upgrading/repair of high-school tennis court surfaces - $500,000;
  • All-weather artificial turf at high-school stadiums - $2.8 million;
  • Energy-conservation - $250,000 - Upgrades to lighting; heating/ventilation/cooling equipment and water-use equipment;
  • Capital projects - $2 million - Flooring, painting, paving and roofing;
  • New school buses and improvements to existing bus parking - $800,000; and
  • Funding for purchase of land for future school site - $1.3 million. 
Liberty School District plans bond vote for phase two plans
The Liberty School District in Liberty, Missouri, is seeking approval of an $8 million bond election next week. The money would fund Phase Two for Liberty North High School. The project includes construction of a new main gym/field house, finishing the auditorium and completing a space for industrial technology and fine arts classes. 
 
Arizona county will get new $3.6 million grant for school
The Arizona School Facilities Board has approved funding for a new accommodation school in Yavapai County. The school will serve children in the court system or those who for other reasons cannot attend school in their home district. Officials hope to break ground on the new 10,000-square-foot school this summer and are shooting for an opening date of August of next year. The board's approval of a $3.6 million grant will help buy land and build the school.
 
Bids to be sought soon for $9.7 million addition to Kentucky school

A $9.7 million addition to the Grant County school to house a vocational school is being planned in Kentucky. Students from Grant County High School regularly commute to classes in Boone County to its vocational school. The 35,000-square-foot addition to the high school will allow students to take classes all day in their chosen studies and eliminate traveling to another county. Included in the addition are on-site improvements such as a new parking lot and athletic facilities. Bids are expected to be opened in May with ground breaking in the fall and the center to be opened in time for the 2011-12 school year. 
 
DOE to spend $9 million on Hawaii school projects
The State Department of Education in Hawaii plans to spend more than $9 million for capital improvement projects at four Oahu public schools. Some $8 million will be used for classroom renovations at the Kaimuki High School, Lunalilo Elementary School and the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. Another $1.5 million will be spent on drainage improvements at the football field and track at Leilehua High School.
 
NYU campuses to grow by 40 percent over next 20 years
The largest expansion in the history of New York University is being planned. A new tower on Bleecker Street is planned as are 3 million square feet of new classrooms, dorms and offices in the Greenwich Village area. A new engineering building is planned in Brookly and a satellite campus with dorms and faculty housing is planned on Governors Island. Plans call for the addition of 6 million square feet of space at a cost of approximately $1,000 per square foot. The proposal is not without opposition, and must be approved at several levels before it becomes reality.  
 
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 funding
 
Ulster County in New York State will use $6.1 million of its stimulus funds for transportation projects. The projects include replacing the Beckley Street bridge in Elenville, constructing a waterfront walkway in Kingston and replacing the bridge over Rondout Creek on County  Route 77.
 
Madison County, Mississippi, has received some of the "recovery zone" facility and economic development bonds allocated to the state from the Recovery Act. Madison County will use $4.4 million of its allocation to establish a Delta Technical College campus in Ridgeland. Total cost of the project is $5.7 million.
 
Those who use public transportation in Stamford, Connecticut, could be riding in new buses soon. Paid for with stimulus funds, the 17 new buses will replace older models and reduce emissions. Four buses are expected to be purchased in May and another 13 by September.
 
Nearly seven miles of bike trails at Longview Lake in Missouri will get a facelift thanks to stimulus funds. The asphalt trails will be revamped with limestone aggregate and concrete. Some $250,000 of the nearly $445,000 project will be paid for with stimulus grant funds allocated by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Additionally, the Jackson County Legislature approved nearly $75,000 for new playground equipment and installation at two shelters at Longview.
 
Officials in Los Angeles, California, are hoping to sell up to $8.8 billion in bonds backed by the federal government to get its subway and light rail expansion off the ground. The funds, which would be repaid from county sales taxes, will be used on 30 years of transit construction projects within a decade. Officials are seeking as much as $2 billion in federal aid with the federal government acting as guarantor. Existing funding would pay for the remaining $18.3 billion in planned projects. The city could also use Build America Bonds, where the federal government pays 35 percent of the interest on taxable bonds sold to finance public works projects.
 
Burlington County (New Jersey) has received $8 million in stimulus funds to improve its roads. That has allowed the county to increase its road and bridge bond spending from $9 million to $17 million. The additional funds are expected to be used to resurface more roads and install more signal synchronization at major intersections.
 
Billed as the largest energy efficiency overhaul in public housing in the nation's history, officials in Boston, Massachusetts, have announced a $63 million project. The project will lead to renovation of 4,300 apartments in 13 Boston Housing Authority developments. Leaky toilets will be replaced with low-flow models, new LED and compact fluorescent lights will be installed and oil-run boilers will be replaced by natural gas ones. Some tar roofs will be replaced with energy-efficient ones with light surfaces that reflect warmth. 
Other national contracting opportunities
 
MnDOT will begin upgrade to I-494/Highway 169 interchange
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will use the forgiven portion - $34 million - of a $50 million loan still owed to the Transportation Advisory Board to begin the upgrade to the interchange of Interstate 494 and Highway 169. That $34 million gives officials the $172 million necessary to begin the project. Other funds will come from the federal government, state bonds and internal MnDOT funds. The project is expected to begin in the spring of next year with a completion date at the end of 2013. The proposed project eliminates exits with traffic lights that are currently at the interchange. Westbound traffic on 494 will have a fly-over ramp that will split and take the traffic either north or south on 169. Eastbound traffic on 494 will have a fly-over ramp to take it south on 169. 
 
Jacksonville to use transportation funds for variety of projects
The Jacksonville (Florida) Transportation Authority has been awarded $9.3 million from the federal Recovery Act. Officials plan to use the funds to purchase new buses, buy new fare collection equipment, install a hybrid electric cooling system for buses, build bus shelters, provide operating assistance for bus routes and a regional park-and-ride hub in Clay County. Approximately $3.1 million of the funds will be used to purchase nine buses that use clean burning diesel fuel. Another $1.25 million is set aside for the hybrid electric cooling systems that will be installed on 65 of the authority's buses. More than $1 million will be allocated for design and construction of the park-and-ride facility and another $1.1 million will be used for operating assistance for routes from downtown to Beach Boulevard, St. Johns Town Center and the University of North Florida.
 
Report predicts government contracts to increase in Hawaii
Government contracts awarded in Hawaii are expected to rise from $779 million from last year to approximately $1.6 billion this year, according to a study by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. The study said construction jobs will get a boost from federal and state stimulus funding.
 
Kansas correctional facility to get alarm upgrade
Kansas' Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility will soon issue a bid for fire alarm upgrades for various buildings. Estimated cost of the project is $160,000. 
 
Moynihan Station project back on track in New York
A project that would move Amtrak's operations into the Moynihan Station is back on track. The Empire State Development Corporation's board recently approved an amended General Project Plan and environmental review documents for the project. A public hearing is slated later this month. The James A. Farley Post Office Building would be converted into an annex to Penn Station. Phase One of the project, funding by an $83 million stimulus grant, will include $267 million in improvements to the below-grade rail infrastructure under the Farley building. It will include concourse expansion, increases in vertical access points to platforms and upgrades of ventilation. 
 
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
 
Webinar on Texas bond elections slated April 8 
"Selling to Local Government - a Bond Election Special," a webinar hosted by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), is slated for 12 to 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, April 8. Those attending 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 get a list of upcoming bond opportunities related to the May bond elections as part of the package. For more information and to register, click here.
 
Government Health IT Conference planned in June 
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. For more information, click here.  
 
FTA planning webinars for ARRA grant recipients
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.
 
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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