|Volume 2, Issue 7||June 2, 2010|
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|Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information. |
|Millions in transportation contracts to be up for grabs|
USDOT announces second round of TIGER grants to be awarded nationwide
Millions of dollars worth of grant funds for surface transportation projects nationwide will result from the second round of the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program. USDOT officials recently announced that an additional $600 million in TIGER II grants will be awarded competitively. The scope of the projects must include that they will have a significant impact on the country, a region or metropolitan area and they must create jobs.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (pictured) said after the first round of grants that the response was such that a backlog of projects was still awaiting funding. He said these are projects that will "reduce gridlock, provide safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices and create jobs." More than 1,400 applications were received for the first round of funding, requesting more than 40 times the $1.5 billion available under the entire program.
Among the criteria for selection include contributing to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improving the condition of current transportation facilities and systems, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the safety of American transportation facilities and improving the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections. The solicitation information is available on the Federal Register.
Pre-applications will be accepted through July 16 and applications are due Aug. 23 from state and local governments, which includes American territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities and others.
|States applying again for 'Race to the Top' funding|
Millions will be available for competitive grants that could lead to education reform
Knowing this could be the last time for distribution of "Race to the Top" stimulus funds for public schools across the country, some two dozen states are headed back to the nation's capital to seek funding. Missing from that number are nine states that sought funding during the last grant period and have chosen not to seek funding the second time. Those states include Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Only two states - Tennessee and Delaware - have been approved for funding so far. Funding for this period totals approximately $4 billion. They shared $600 million.
Many states did not apply for funding because of fears of giving up local control of their schools by agreeing to put national reforms in place. Some said their own academic standards were higher than those being proposed by the feds. The program aims to reward states for adopting education reforms outlined by the federal government, including adopting common academic standards nationwide, making tenure and student achievement part of the decision-making regarding teacher salaries, turning around failing schools and creating data systems to track student performance.
Randi Weingarten (pictured), president of the more than 1.4 million members strong American Federation of Teachers, said teachers' leverage helped persuade leaders in other states to collaborate with them on their applications. "This collaborative approach is essential to the success of the programs these federal funds will support - without teacher buy-in, reforms have little chance of taking root for long-term success," she said after the first round of awards were announced.
|Upcoming education opportunities|
Detroit public schools plan construction on three schools
Construction on three new schools in the Detroit Public Schools is expected soon as the schools will be paid for out of a $500.5 million successful bond program last November. Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb (pictured) said the three construction and renovation projects will "mean state-of-the-art learning facilities for our students that are bound to attract families and improve neighborhoods."
Among the projects are the rebuilding of the King High School while the John R. King Academic and Performing Arts and Marcus Garvey Academies will be renovated. Construction is also planned for a new Munger Pre K-8 school and renovations of the Northwestern High and Duffield schools. The Martin Luther King Jr. High School will be rebuilt on its existing campus and will include a cyber café and media center. It will also feature a new gym and natatorium.
Cleveland State plans apartment, retail projectA $50 million apartment and retail project could start as early as next year on the Cleveland State University campus. Property belonging to the university will be leased to a developer, who will build 275 to 300 apartments geared to grad students, faculty, staff and young professionals. It is the first step in CSU's planned North Campus Neighborhood. The north campus will extend the continuing residential growth on campus. While the developer will finance and maintain the projects, the university will receive money for lease of the land. The developer is considering financing the deal through the Federal Housing Administration and private investors. Burlington College plans land purchase for future needs
Burlington College in Vermont is looking to expand its campus and toward that end will buy the 32.4-acre Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington property. It includes a 77,000-square-foot composite building and an adjoining 33,000-square-foot section building built in the 1940s. A 4,500-square-foot building being used as a residence would be converted for student housing. Minnesota school district passes $21 million bond referendum
The Lake Park-Audubon, North Dakota, school district was successful in passage of a $21 million bond election that will build a new high school and provide for renovations at the district's elementary school. The school will used federal stimulus money to cover the interest on the bonds
. Redding board approves $10 million bond for capital expensesThe Board of Finance of Redding, Connecticut, has approved a $10 million bond to fund capital expenses that include $4.3 million for indoor health quality of schools that includes air quality, HVAC, bathrooms, ceiling and flooring replacements. Another $813,000 of the funds will be for road repaving in the town and $300,000 will be used for a transfer center and community center. UNC approves renovation to stadium for $70 million
The Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has approved a $70 million renovation and expansion of the university's Kenan Stadium. Included will be a 30,ooo-square-foot, five-story Carolina Student-Athlete Center for Excellence to replace the old field house.
It will house the university's academic support facility for student-athletes, a strength and conditioning center, the visiting team locker room and individual suites. The new seats and suites will increase the stadium capacity to almost 63,000. The suites will be sold for $50,000 per year. Construction will begin immediately with hopes of being completed in time for the start of the 2011 football season.
Minnesota school district to use bonds for HVAC system
Woodbury, Minnesota's District 833 School Board has approved the sale of more than $24 million in bonds for heating and air conditioning projects at some of its schools. The Newport Elementary School will benefit from $4.4 million in bonds to install a new heating and air conditioning system while another $20 million in bonds will be sold for heating and air conditioning renovations at Royal Oaks and Woodbury elementary schools and for other district projects.
Renovations to Massachusetts schools approved in meeting
Renovations with a price tag of $2.33 million and land purchase of $1.87 million were approved at a recent town meeting in Scituate, Massachusetts. The repairs will be to the Wampatuck Elementary School and will include updates to fire safety and electrical systems, a new heating system, roof repairs, new tiles and a boiler. The land purchase will be Pier 44 and was brokered through a bankruptcy court agreement and valued at $2.6 million. New Jersey planning 142 school facilities projects
A total of 111 schools in 59 school districts in New Jersey will receive grant funding for upcoming facilities projects. "State grants will help assure that our students will have safe learning environments," said New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler (pictured). "Many children will benefit from this necessary investment in schools across New Jersey."
The projects will be paid for with the sale of $500 million in bonds. The projects address health and safety issues, student overcrowding and other critical needs. The school projects named for funding are selected by the Department of Education. There are currently more than 1,000 grant projects under way, with 50 in various phases of development.
The grant funds from the state will be leveraged by the local school districts for a total of $7.4 billion overall. To view a list of the 142 grants, click here
and look under "Recent Reports." Dozens of school districts in Missouri to have construction projects
School districts in Missouri are banking on more than $146 million in interest-free federal bonds to help pay for construction projects. The Qualified School Construction Bonds awarded through the federal Recovery Act will go to 60 school districts.
The Qualified School Construction Bond program allows districts essentially to borrow funds without paying interest, as the bondholders receive full return on their investment through federal tax credits.
The largest amount of funding went to the Rockwood district with more than $7.2 million in bonding authority. Fort Zurnwalt district will get $6.6 million in bonds and Columbia district will get $6.4 million, as will Lee's Summit district. To view a complete list of school districts receiving Qualified School Construction Bonds and the amounts they will receive, click here
and look under "Recent Reports."
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
|Other upcoming contracting opportunities|
Residents of Wisconsin could be in line for free wireless InternetThe project will begin if the $122 million in Recovery Act funding sought by the organization is approved. "It would help young people and it would create jobs at a time when we need them more than ever," said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser (pictured). It would connect some 51,000 county residents who do not have Internet access. While 80 percent of Wisconsin residents are said to have Internet access, most of those who do not are low-income residents who can't afford it. Coverage gaps also exist in rural areas.
Kenosha County, Wisconsin, is hopeful to receive free wireless Internet service by next year. The county is one of 12 nationwide that was selected by the County Executives of America to receive the first round of free broadband. Kenosha County is the only non-urban area chosen.
Town of Wickenburg issues bid for airport energy system
The Town of Wickenburg, Arizona, has issued a bid for development, implementation and installation of a photovoltaic renewable energy system for the Wickenburg Municipal Airport administration building. Bids are due June 23 with a pre-bid conference set for June 10. Any companies interested in bidding must attend the pre-bid conference.
New Mexico city benefits from $4.5 million for its water system
The community of Socorro, New Mexico, is in line to receive more than $4.5 million in loans and grants for improvements to its water system. The funding includes $3.29 million in grant funds and $1.23 million in loans. The funds will be used for improvements to water quality and public sanitation services.
Texas will use $18.2 million grant for student data system
Texas will use a three-year, $18.2 million federal grant to continue its efforts to design and implement the Texas Student Data System, a longitudinal data system that will deliver actionable data to parents and educators. The goal is to improve student performance while alleviating the burden of data collection on local school districts. Improved data quality is also a goal.
"Texas has made a tremendous commitment to providing more timely and useful information to teachers, principals and parents to improve student achievement," said Robert Scott (pictured), Commissioner of Education. "This is the next step in our ongoing efforts to ensure that Texas students and educators have every resource available to succeed." The project will help the state track students' progress from early childhood beyond their school years and into their careers. Texas is one of 20 states that were awarded Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants from the Recovery Act. Texas received the highest amount among those states, followed by New York.
Dallas hospital reviews vendors, products for coding project
Potential vendors and products are being reviewed as Parkland Hospital in Dallas prepares to release an RFP for its Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) project. The RFP is expected to be released in the coming months for a deployment in 2011.
Maine qualifies for additional energy stimulus funds
Maine is one of seven states to have completed at least 30 percent of its home projects involving weatherization funds. As a result, the state has qualified for the remainder of its nearly $42 million in stimulus funds. Maine will receive the second half of its funding after having weatherized more than 1,500 homes of low-income families. The state housing organization will continue to work with local community action agencies and nonprofits to perform energy audits on homes. The state estimates that 160 workers conducted the weatherization projects during the first three months of the year, and with the additional funding on the way, more contracts will be available.
West Virginia funding will help expand Internet services
West Virginia has been announced as the recipient of $9 million in federal funding to expand Internet service in schools and libraries throughout the state. The funds are administered by the Federal Communications Commission. This $9 million brings the total sent to the state for this program since it began in 1996 to $131 million.
Florida gets $66 million of its high-speed rail payment
Florida has been awarded $66 million of its total award for high-speed rail from the economic stimulus bill. The state is slated to receive a total of $1.25 billion. The Florida Department of Transportation said the $66 million will be used to complete 30 percent of the project. Those funds will allow officials to buy right-of-way and begin preliminary design of stations.
DOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations Kevin Thibault (pictured), who is also interim director of the new Florida Rail Enterprise, said the department will try to make up the remaining $2.6 billion in project costs from private firms. He said DOT will eventually seek competitive bids from companies seeking to build, operate and maintain the system.
Dallas entities soon to seek bids for projects
Three projects are on tap to be bid soon by Dallas area entities. The City of Dallas will be seeking a contract for its annual financial audit. Dallas county will seek an RFP for a video visitation system for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office as well as an RFP for development of a Continuity of Operations Plan and Program for the county.
Funds sought for security upgrades for cruise company
World Yacht, Inc. is seeking $980,000 in federal funding for security upgrades on its property and its boats. Among the projects for which funding is sought include lighting, cameras and gates that will help keep the company's pier and its visitors safe. The funds sought would come from the Port Security Grant funding of the Recovery Act. Allocations must be approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Preparedness Center awarded $500,000 federal grantLordsburg airport in New Mexico awarded grantThe Lordsburg, New Mexico, airport has received a $137,823 grant that will be used to install an automated weather observation system. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The system will provide pilots with accurate, updated weather information.
The Heartland Preparedness Center in Kansas has been awarded a $500,000 federal grant that will be used to provide backup emergency operations functions. The center pairs with the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center. The project is currently in the design phase with construction expected to begin this year and be completed by 2013.
The center, a cooperative effort of the Wichita Police Department, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, the Kansas Army National Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps, enhances communication, cooperation and training and response capabilities among the partners. The new center will provide backup in case the primary center ceases to operate. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (pictured) said the addition of a backup to the primary center "will provide another critical function to a project that already is a major priority for our community." An existing room will become the backup EOC, and special hardened walls and heating and cooling features and additional electrical and data requirements must be met.
Massachusetts communities awarded energy grantsThirty-five cities and towns in Massachusetts have been declared eligible for grants to fund renewable power and energy efficiency. The 35 communities included in this round of awards are: Acton, Arlington, Athol, Andover, Becket, Belchertown, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Easthampton, Greenfield, Hamilton, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Mashpee, Medford, Melrose, Montague, Natick, Newton, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield, Sudbury, Tyngsboro and Wenham.
Two New Mexico transit systems receive funding
The Lincoln County Transit will receive $191,105 in federal funding and the Zia Therapy Center is in line for $498,432 in funds relating to transportation issues. The Lincoln County Transit will use the funds to expand and improve its services. The Zia Therapy Center, which provides public transportation to the Mescalero Apache Reservation and elsewhere in the state, will also use the funds to keep its operations ongoing.
"This additional federal funding will provide many opportunities to expand and improve public transit for several entities throughout New Mexico, providing citizens with a viable transportation option," said New Mexico Transportation Commission Chair Johnny Cope (pictured). Of more than $12.1 million in federal transit grants awarded in New Mexico, $9.5 million will go to 24 rural public transportation operations.
Kansas approves 10-year transportation plan
An $8.2 billion, 10-year transportation plan has been approved for the State of Kansas. Among the projects are highways, bridges, airports rail and public transit. Many of the projects will be funded with revenue from bonds, or from a sales tax increase and increases in heavy truck fees.
Most of the funding will be spent on highway and bridge maintenance and repairs. However, some will also be set aside for airport, rail and public transportation. Approximately $1.7 billion will address projects such as new highway interchanges or bypasses.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Gary W. Schenkel.
A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a retired lieutenant colonel, Gary W. Schenkel
(pictured) served from 2000-2004 as the acting deputy superintendent and assistant deputy superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. He later served as assistant federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration at Chicago Midway Airport, where he was responsible for security operations and planning and worked with the Human Resources, Finance Customer Service and Stakeholder departments. In 2007, Schenkel was appointed director of the Federal Protective Service at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was recently reassigned to DHS Headquarters, where he will be part of a DHS policy office and serve as acting deputy assistant secretary for state and local law enforcement.
|What the states are doing with stimulus funds|
The Riverside National Cemetery in California will use $6.3 million in federal stimulus funds to rehabilitate the cemetery's grounds. The funds will be used to help finance a four-part project that includes grading, installing new sod and resetting all the grave markers in sections of the cemetery.
Loans and grants totaling $15 million in federal stimulus funding have been awarded to Bridgewater College in Virginia and the Augusta Regional Free Clinic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the funds. Bridgewater will use its $14 million loan to construct and renovate housing facilities and give the clinic a $950,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to build a new dental services facility.
Two counties in Michigan will benefit from a total of $15 million in stimulus funding. Cass County will get $10.5 million in the form of a loan for improvements to water service for residents. It will also provide for fire hydrants and other water system infrastructure to assist firefighting and extend water service to 1,800 housing units. Saginaw County will get $4.5 million for wastewater system improvements.
A 900-foot-long pedestrian bridge to connect the south side of Business 41 to the north side will be built in Venice, Florida. It will also include a 12-foot-wide elevated trail with two towers at either side. Stimulus funds of $1 million will help defray the costs. Design work should begin in July.
The Elkhorn Sough Foundation in California has been awarded more than $500,0000 in stimulus dollars from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These funds are a supplemental grant from the Recovery Act and will be used to complete the Elkhorn Slough Estuary restoration project, which involves construction that would provide erosion control to protect coastal infrastructure.
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Michael Travaglini (top left), head of the Massachusetts state pension fund, is leaving his position to take a job with a Chicago-based hedge funds firm. Santa Cruz, California, Assistant City Manager Martin Bernal (top right) has been named to the top spot in the city, replacing current City Manager Dick Wilson in July. C. Donald Baber, who currently serves as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deputy regional director in Fort Worth, has been named HUD's Acting Southwest Regional Director. Bill McSherry, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire's special adviser on aerospace, has been named to lead Boeing's lobbying efforts in Olympia. White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt was expected to name Sameer Bhalotra as his deputy security coordinator. The head of the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service, Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, has resigned in the wake of criticism regarding insufficient oversight of offshore drilling, and Bob Abbey, Bureau of Land Management director, has been named acting director. Diane Johnson (bottom left) a public housing and community development expert, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to serve as the Recovery Advisor and board chair for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Thomas Smith, who has served as assistant chief of the St. Paul, Minnesota, police department for the last three years, has been named the new police chief. Former City of Seattle Administrator Brenda Bauer has been chosen new interim city manager for the City of Bainbridge Island, Washington, replacing retiring interim City Manager Lee Walton. Joseph Urgo, an administrator at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, starts July 1 as the first new president of St. Mary's College of Maryland since 1996. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has picked a new legislative director - Heather Brakes - who has served as deputy to Legislative Director Jerry Gallagher, who has left that post. NASA has reassigned Constellation program manager Jeff Hanley (bottom right) as the associate director for strategic capabilities at Johnson Space Center. Dale Thomas, deputy Constellation program manager, will serve as acting program manager. McHenry County College in Illinois is losing its fourth interim president as Interim President Kathleen Plinske has announced she plans to leave to take a job at a community college in Florida.
|Let us help advertise your event on our calendar|
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|Calendar of events|
4th Annual HAZUS conference slated in August in Indianapolis
The 4th Annual HAZUS Conference is slated for Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 23-25, at the Indiana Government Center, South Building in Indianapolis. HAZUS-MH is a risk assessment methodology used to analyze potential losses from natural hazards including floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. HAZUS uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software combined with science, engineering and math modeling to map and display hazard data and the results of damage and economic loss estimates for buildings and infrastructure. It was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under contract with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Federal, state and local government agencies and the private sector can order HAZUS-MH free-of-charge from the FEMA Publication Warehouse. The purpose of this site is to promote HAZUS training and provide quick links to key resources that encourage the use of HAZUS to ensure the safety of the United States. 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.
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. To register, click here.
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