Volume 2, Issue 2April 28, 2010
Listen to what politicians say in public forums...and find new contracting opportunities! 
Mary Scott NabersWant to know where public officials will be spending money in the next 18 months? If so, follow what elected officials are discussing in public forums. 
Interesting to note that politicians tend to talk freely about what their respective cities, counties, agencies or states are likely to be doing in the near future.  And, at professional conferences for elected officials, the scheduled sessions deal with initiatives and issues being considered at the various levels of government.

Energy retrofits on tap nationwide
Low bids free up funds
Tennessee communities net $9.2M
Upcoming education opportunities
Where Are They Now?
National contracting opportunities
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Funding made available for energy retrofits in buildings
$452 million earmarked for 25 communities to accelerate energy projects
Matt GoldenTwenty-five communities nationwide will share $452 million in "Retrofit Ramp-up" grants to accelerate energy efficiency building retrofits. The funds from the U.S. Department of Energy will go to communities, governments, private sector companies and nonprofits to work on innovative programs that lead to retrofits in communities and eventually the entire state.
In addition to the federal funds, the 25 projects nationwide will leverage those funds with $2.8 billion from other sources. The Department of Energy will use the lessons learned from these pilot programs to develop best-practice guides that can be implemented in other communities across the country.
Officials called the grant applications some of the "most innovative energy-efficient projects across the country" to help both homeowners and businesses improve energy efficiency. The federal government received requests for funding that totaled $3.5 billion - more than eight times the funding available.
The projects funded will lead to large-scale retrofits for thousands of businesses and residences nationwide. Matt Golden (pictured), a California contractor and member of a contractor coalition, said the projects will provide a shot in the arm to the construction industry. "The construction industry is in the middle of a toolbelt recession, with a workforce that wants to work and contractors who want to hire," Golden said. He said the retrofit initiative will not only save energy, but put people to work.
Boulder County, Colorado, received a $25 million grant and will partner with the city of Denver, Garfield County, the Governor's Energy Office, an energy company and others that will initiate large-scale retrofits in neighborhoods and commercial districts in urban, suburban and rural areas across the state. The program will provide on-site outreach, audit and implementation services to businesses and residential homeowners and tenants, including efficiency testing and systems installation.
In Indianapolis, where a grant of $10 million was awarded, officials will transform a 470-square-block neighborhood to a more energy-efficient and economically sustainable community by retrofitting buildings from schools to residences to nonprofits. Some of the funds also will be used for education and outreach programs on energy efficiency. To view the complete list of allocations, click here.
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 $2.3 BILLION in new bond funding
for Texas projects!!!!
Additional highway funds means summer projects for states
Nearly $50 billion being made available to state transportation departments
Ray LaHoodAnother $48.8 billion in highway funds is being made available to state departments of transportation for federal projects through the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. The act was signed into law last month and included funding authority for transportation programs through Dec. 31.
The Act also restores $8.7 billion to state departments of transportation that was rescinded last year through a provision in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users surface transportation program authorized by legislation from 2005. It also put an additional $40.1 billion into the Highway Trust Fund. When that program expired in 2009, Congress passed a series of short-term funding extensions.
"These funds will help make it easier for states to put people back to work and begin long-term projects," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (pictured).
Tennessee communities awarded $9.2M in EECBG grants
100 local government entities to use funds to improve energy efficiency
Matt KisberEnergy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) totaling more than $9.2 million have been awarded to 100 Tennessee cities and counties. The funding is part of the Recovery Act and will be used to implement initiatives to help reduce energy costs by improving energy efficiency in both buildings and transportation systems.
Matt Kisber (pictured), commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said the grants will "help local communities make strategic investments that create jobs and reduce energy bills in the short term and support Tennessee's rapidly growing clean energy economy in the long term."
The projects, which will be spread across communities in the state, will involve installation of energy-efficient lighting in government buildings, in street lights and traffic signals. Retrofit projects will include replacement of inefficient HVAC systems, water heaters, windows and insulation materials. Some government buildings will benefit from three grants that will allow installation of solar panels on the buildings. The new efficiencies are expected to save more than $5.5 million per year for Tennessee communities.
Applications were scored on the local government's overall conservation strategy, project feasibility, readiness to proceed, community impact, partnerships and the ability to extend funding impact beyond a one-time use. Because of the high interest by government entities in the grant program, the state has announced another round of EECBG grants will be awarded. The next round, for which applications are currently being accepted, will award another $3.8 million. The application period ends Friday, May 21.
To view a complete list of cities and counties chosen along with the amount awarded and a brief description of each project, click here
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Upcoming education opportunities
Michigan school district scales back bond issue
The Whitehall school district in Michigan will put a scaled down bond election before voters on Tuesday, May 4. The current bond issue is just over half the amount of the previous bond request.
Among the projects that would be funded by a successful bond election are:  
  • Shoreline Elementary - roof replacement, installing energy-saving initiatives, carpet replacement and improved parking and exterior lighting;
  • Ealy Elementary - replacement of gym floor, adding exterior security lighting, replacing student lockers, replacing gym roofing and installing energy-saving initiatives;
  •  Middle school - replacing student lockers, installing energy-saving initiatives, remodeling locker rooms, adding play fields and a parking lot; 
  • High school - purchasing band instruments and science lab equipment, adding eight tennis courts;
  • District items - reconstruct football stadium, track and baseball and softball fields, adding concession and restroom facilities, repaving parking lot, security systems in all buildings, lawn maintenance equipment and seven new buses. 
In addition, $3.6 million of the bond proceeds would be used for technology for students, including desktop computers, laptop computers and carts, voice enhancement, digital projectors, printers, interactive whiteboards and document cameras.
UMass-Boston to buy center for new academic facility
The University of Massachusetts-Boston has signed a preliminary agreement to purchase the Bayside Exposition Center as part of its development of new academic facilities. The site includes 20 acres, with plans for a new parking area that will be eliminated when new buildings get under construction on campus. The property also will be upgraded to relocate offices and classrooms while other buildings on campus are being renovated. 

Utah school district announces priorities for $250 million bond vote
Tracy CowdellThirteen priorities have been listed by the Canyons Board of Education in Utah for a $250 million bond election it will ask voters to approve. Board president Tracy Cowdell (pictured) said the district "will be turning dirt in every corner."
Among the priorities are building a new high school in Draper that would likely open in fall 2013. The Brighton and Hillcrest high schools would be upgraded to house ninth graders. Plans also include rebuilding or renovating three elementary and three middle schools, enclosing classrooms, adding air conditioning at three middle schools and addressing seismic issues at an elementary.
Michigan school seeks voter approval of $73 million bond issue
Officials in the Holland, Michigan, school district will put a $73 million bond issue before voters. More than $60 million of the bond proceeds would be used for enhancements and renovations to the Holland High School and four K-7 schools. The bonds would also allow the district to purchase new buses and instructional technology.
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Where are they now?
Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Mario C. Diaz. 
Mario DiazMario C. Diaz has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. He has served as deputy general manager of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since 1999, after working in New Jersey's airport system, John F. Kennedy Airport and for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
He was recently named director of the Houston Airport System. The system includes George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport.
What the states are doing with stimulus funds
 A water treatment plant in Webster, New York, will receive $24 million in stimulus funds for construction costs. It will be the second plant in Monroe County and a completion date is set for 2012.
Educational programs in the Wyoming Department of Corrections will use $242,000 in stimulus funds to boost its education programs for state prison inmates. The funds will be used for staff training and new curriculum and programs.
In Louisville, Kentucky, stimulus dollars are being used to help build an emergency medical technician workforce. Students who pass can take the tests for state and national certification.
Cumberland County, New Jersey, is using stimulus funds to help identify inmates they think can be instructed on returning to civilian life. The program is part of $1 million in stimulus funds being distributed by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. The funds are divided among the Cumberland County Jail and jails in Camden, Hudson and Atlantic counties. Each of the counties is eligible for up to $250,000 for prisoner re-entry programs.  
A baker's dozen StarTran hybrid buses will be purchased by Lincoln, Nebraska, with stimulus funds. The buses include 10 HandiVan vehicles and three fixed-route buses. The vehicles are powered by a combination of gas and electricity.
The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute in Ohio has been awarded $2 million in Recovery Act funds to renovate and expand its cancer research labs. A 3,600-square-foot lab built in 1928 will be modernized and a new shared instrumentation room added.
A Southeast Washington, D.C., apartment complex is going to use $1.5 million in stimulus funds to improve its energy efficiency and indoor air quality. The project includes installation of energy-efficient lighting and bathroom faucets, green floor coverings, formaldehyde-free bathroom cabinets and EnergyStar thermostats, kitchen range exhaust hoods, refrigerators and bathroom exhaust fans.
Federal stimulus funds totaling $8.75 million have been allocated to the University of Alabama for a power-generating facility. The funds will help defray the $10.1 million construction project to build a specialized power-generating facility on the campus. The university will add $1.4 million to the project.
A dozen bus shelters, a new transit center, park-and-ride lots, sidewalks and crosswalks will be built from $10.6 million in stimulus funds headed to Johnson County, Missouri. The stimulus funds for the projects are from the U.S. Department of Transportation for infrastructure projects.  
The City of Phoenix, Arizona, is the recipient of a $25 million economic stimulus grant to provide seed funding for an initiative with Arizona State University and Arizona Public Service that will improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses in the city. The energy efficiency goals will be realized through the installation of insulation, adding energy-efficient lighting and window, and using "smart meters" to help reduce energy consumption.
Another $12.2 million in stimulus funs are heading to the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The funds will be used to repave the Foothills Parkway-East, the Smokemont Campground and the Heintooga Ridge Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. New parking areas for hikers will be created and roads in some areas will be repaved.
National contracting opportunities

Birmingham to sell bonds to complete $39 million in projects
William BellA new bridge is part of $39 million in projects that will begin this summer after the Birmingham, Alabama, City Council approved seeking federally backed bonds to pay for them. Other projects include adding a visitor center at a local museum, new buses for mass transit and street and infrastructure work.
Mayor William Bell (pictured) said the funds will help the city complete some projects it would otherwise not have been able to afford. He said the city is on a timeline by the federal government to complete the projects as quickly as possible. Once the bonds are sold, the city must begin the projects by July 30. The bonds will be used for more than $87 million worth of both public and private projects, but the city will only be responsible for repaying the $39 million in public projects. 
Middlesex County OKs feasibility study for solar power grid
A feasibility study has been authorized in Middlesex County, New Jersey, to determine  if a proposed multi-million-dollar solar power grid can be built with federal stimulus money and other funds to help supply power to the jail in North Brunswick and the county college in Edison. Federal funds are available to cover 30 percent of the construction costs and the project could be financed with bonds exempt from federal taxes. The county is facing a Dec. 31 deadline for beginning the project and must kick in 10 percent of the cost to qualify for the grant funds.
The solar panels could be installed either on rooftops or on the ground. The feasibility study would determine the costs of construction, how much land would be needed and how much energy would be saved. The report following the feasibility study is expected in July or August.
Three North Carolina cities to get stimulus funds for energy projects
The cities of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina, are in line for federal stimulus funds being made available through an Atlanta nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency projects. The amount of the funding has not yet been determined, but it will be used for residential and office building retrofits and other energy-saving projects being undertaken by local entities in eight states. The cities will make the decisions on how to spend the money, but some will be directed to low-income recipients. The $20 million in funding is being admistered by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.
Savings on bids allows Florida road projects another $4 million
for other projets
Stan CannRoad projects in Manatee and Sarasota, Florida, will benefit from $4 million in additional funding that resulted from lower-than-expected bids on transportation projects in the state. Florida officials have put the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization on notice regarding the additional funding. Stan Cann (pictured), secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation district that includes both counties, told officials the projects they prioritized when the original funding was released had been covered and "now we have a little bit left over."
The amount of surplus was $2.95 million in Manatee and $1 million in Sarasota. The MPO voted to allow the commissioners of the two counties to decide how they want to use the extra funds. Other projects in the state may come in well under budget, too, but it is likely those funds will be put in reserve for redistribution. 

HUD funding will pay for sewerage projects in Mississippi
Three major sewerage projects in Gautier, Mississippi, are on tap from $582 million in funds set aside following Hurricane Katrina. The projects will improve sewerage in Stone, Pearl River and three coastal counties. Included are upgrades to the treatment plants in Gautier and Escatawpa to handle increasing residential and commercial growth. The third project includes installing and upgrading pump stations and sewage collection for two large Jackson County subdivisions. Funding for the projects came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Money released for New York federally funded road projects
New York's Gov. David Paterson has indicated he will include federal funding for some $2 billion in road construction projects throughout the state. State funding, however, will not be released, he said, until the state budget is passed. The release of the federal funds is expected to allow projects that are already under way to continue and avoid any late payments. The more than 100 projects in the state that are completely federally funded will be moving forward, as will more than 200 local projects that receive both federal and local assistance.
St. George Ferry upgrades depending on stimulus funds
Janette Sadik-KhanThe St. George Ferry on Staten Island, New York, is getting upgrades from federal stimulus funds. The project includes rehabilitation of bus ramps, parking lot and access roads and walkways. The facilities will feature new lighting, improved seating and an overall facelift. 
Some $175 million in federal funding will be used on the project, including a traffic study to improve access to the ferry. City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (pictured) said the project will benefit the 65,000 who ride the ferry each day. She said the project, the largest stimulus project in the city, was a priority before federal funding was announced. 

Ruidosa, Ruidosa Downs to improve wastewater treatment
A $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce has been awarded to Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Ruidoso Downs. The funds will be used to improve the area's wastewater treatment. The funds will help purchase equipment for a $40 million regional wastewater treatment system. Another $16 million in stimulus funds was received previously toward construction costs.
Adrian FarleyAdrian Farley (pictured) is the new chief technology officer and acting director of the California Office of Technology Services (OTech) after having served as chief deputy for Policy and Program Management for the Office of the State Chief Information Officer. He replaces P.K. Agarwal, who resigned to accept a position in the private sector. Ann M. Testa has given up her post as acting executive director of the Enterprise Networks and Technology Support for the U.S. Border Protection Office of Information and Technology to become security director for George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Gordon Snow, former deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division, has been named head of the division. Randall Vickers has been named director of the Homeland Security Department's Computer Emergency Readiness Team and Roberta Stempfley has been chosen to lead DHS' National Cyber Security Division. Former energy industry executive Bob Buckler has been named the City of Detroit's new chief operations officer. Eleven semifinalists have been named for the title of chief of police of the City of Seattle, including Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw, former Miami Police Department assistant chief Adam Burden II, East Palo Alto Police Department chief Ronald Davis, Seattle Interim Police Chief John Diaz, New Castle County (Delaware) Chief Administrative Officer and Acting Public Safety Director Rick Gregory, Seattle Assistant Police Chief Clark Kimerer, Spokane (Washington) Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Seattle Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, Lawrence (Massachusetts) Police Chief John Romero and former Elgin (Illinois) Police Chief Lisa Womack. The General Services Administration has named Michael Robertson chief of staff. Cindy Schneible has been named executive director of the McKinney (Texas) Community Development Corp. Palm Beach County Schools' Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey Hernandez has resigned, effective at the end of the school year.
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Tennessee to host free workshop for entities seeking EECBG grants
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will host a free application workshop for government entities interested in applying for the $3.8 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) it plans to award. The application process is currently under way and will continue through Friday, May 21. The workshop will be Tuesday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to noon in Nashville at the William Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, 312 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., in the Madison Room on the third floor. Attendees may register by calling (615) 741-2994. For a copy of the second round grant application and program guidelines or for more information, click here. For specific questions regarding the application process, please call (800) 342-1340 or e-mail
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. 
Small business briefing conference slated in Texas 
The last session of the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services Small Business Briefing conferences has been announced for June 15 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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