|Volume 3, Issue 13||July 13, 2011|
Government entities undergoing metamorphosis
A quick look at newspaper headlines, articles and daily press releases will dispel any doubt that we are living in interesting and evolving times. Both the public and the private sectors are changing quickly and radically. But, government, usually slow to anything new, is undergoing a huge metamorphosis. It is important for companies, taxpayers and the public at large to watch the process and stay informed.
Here are just a few examples:
- Cities are struggling...and so are counties, school districts and health care agencies. The federal government, in a new effort to help a few struggling cities, just announced it will send officials from the Small Business Administration, the Labor, Transportation and Commerce Departments and Housing and Urban Development to six locations for a year.
|Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information. |
|Congress expecting long debate on transportation bill|
Senate, House versions of legislation have long way to go to satisfy all players
With the cost of immediate infrastructure repairs and maintenance needs in the United States at $2.2 trillion, state and local governments will be keeping a close eye on the surface transportation bill as it is debated in Congress.
Both a Senate and House version of a bill were recently introduced - the House bill is carried by Rep. John Mica of Florida and the Senate bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. As expected, there are major differences in the two plans. Boxer's two-year bill proposes spending approximately $54.5 billion per year for two years while Mica's six-year bill calls for spending $35 billion each of those six years.
Right now, the country is operating its transportation on short-term bills because the surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU expired two years ago. The current legislation expires on Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That five-year bill provided $244.1 billion. Mica's reduction in that amount, he said, is because states have leftover stimulus funds they can spend on transportation. The state is also constrained by a new rule that limits surface transportation funding to money from the Highway Trust Fund. Most of the money in the fund comes from an 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax, and that tax hasn't increased since 1993.
States are not sure yet whether the funding proposal from Mica will be enough, given today's economy. They are hopeful more will be set aside once the two chambers begin markup of the bill. One good thing about the bills is that they both propose an increase in the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) funds. That allows state and local governments to borrow federal funds for their projects. Infrastructure banks would be established with funds from the highway fund for states to use.
|EPA awards $6.2M in environmental workforce grants|
Funds to be used to train individuals in site cleanup, other environmental skills
Twenty-one governmental entities and nonprofits in 20 states have been awarded up to $300,000 each from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The funds will be used to train individuals in the cleanup of contaminated sites and in health and safety, and training in other environmental skills, such as recycling center operator training, green building design, energy efficiency, weatherization, solar installation, construction and demolition debris recycling, emergency response and native plant revegetation.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said a total of $6.2 million in national environmental workforce development and job training grants will be used to recruit, train and place unemployed, predominantly low-income residents who reside in polluted areas.
"These job training grants are not just helping to create good jobs, they're helping create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents and prepare communities for continued economic growth," said Jackson. "Creating good green jobs proves that we don't have to choose between cleaning up our air and our water or creating jobs in our communities. We're showing that it's possible to do both at the same time."
As of May 2011, more than 6,683 individuals have been trained through the program, and more than 4,400 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field. Graduates leave the training with skills and certifications in environmental fields including lead and asbestos abatement, environmental site sampling, construction and demolition debris recycling, energy auditing and weatherization, as well as solar panel installations and green building techniques.
To view the complete list of grant awards and the amounts by state, click here and look under "Recent Reports."
|County taking high-speed Internet problem into own hands|
$8 million county-wide wireless network part of upcoming year's goals
Government agencies, businesses and residents of Harford County, Maryland, could soon benefit from a county-wide wireless network. County officials have proposed an $8 million plan to consolidate existing networks into one secure high-speed IP network. The project - the Harford County Metro Area Network - is included as pat of the FY 2012 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Plan.
County officials say the plan will bolster public education, health care and public safety while also allowing service to government, commercial establishments, individuals and families. Officials are hopeful the service can be provided at a rate of approximately $20 per month for residents and free Wi-Fi access for businesses. Plans are to have the Internet connectivity up within the next six months. It may be funded like other county IT capital projects - through county bonds. A return on the investment is expected within three years, according to county officials, who called it a "sound and viable project."
|Upcoming education opportunities|
New elementary school planned for Auburn City Schools
A new elementary school is in the works for the Auburn (Alabama) City Schools and will be patterned after the system's current elementary schools. Superintendent Dr. Terry Jenkins called the design "functional" and one that saves money. "It's not highly expensive to construct," he said, "and it holds up well." By using the same design as other schools, the district can save money instead of having to pay for a new design. The new school will sit on approximately 25 acres that were recently purchase for the facility. It will carry a price tag of approimately $10 million to $11 million and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2013 school year.
Renovation of Alabama high school to begin next summer
A $39 million renovation is being planned for the Opelika (Alabama) High School. Expected to begin next summer, the project is expected to cost $39 million and will include new classroom wings, new vocational classrooms, renovated lockers and a new cafeteria. The project also includes a new canopy at the front of the school and new parking. The school stadium, too, is expected some upgrades - moving the concession stands and adding seating. Officials expect the project to start in the summer of 2012 and be completed by summer of 2013. Most of the funding for the projects will come from city bond issues.
Three Louisiana universities have infrastructure funds approved in legislation
Some $46 million in infrastructure funding for the northeastern Louisiana higher education campuses has been approved by the Louisiana State Legislature. The largest project which was approved for funding in the capital outlay bill is the $17.1 million renovation, planning and construction of Sandel Hall, the original library at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Sandel Hall has since been replaced and used to house the admissions office and student services. Jason Roubique, director of facilities at ULM, said the existing concrete structure will be reused, but the rest will be demolished. "Basically, we'll just be remodeling the building," he said. Funding by the state's Bond Commission is based on prioritizing projects so the Sandel Hall project may not get all of the funds it needs, since there are three different priority funding mechanisms for the project. Other projects in the capital outlay bill are an $11 million replacement of Louisiana Tech University's Business Building. This year's allocation is reauthorization of money from previous years, so selling bonds is the next step. Grambling State University's largest project is a $4.715 million renovation, planning and construction of Long-Jones Hall. Other GSU projects include replacement of Dunbar Hall, addressing library needs and assessing campus utility infrastructure. All funding approved in the capital outlay budget must be approved by the Bond Commission before they are funded.
Second round of funding for Honolulu schools totals $12 million
After $15 million was allocated last month for 17 capital improvement projects at Hawaii public schools, the governor has released another $12 million that will be used to fund nine more projects. The largest of the projects is a $7.8 million multipurpose science facility at Stevenson Middle School. Bids are expected to go out for that project sometime next year.
Other funding allocated includes:
- Milialini Middle School - $2.5 million for covered play courts;
- Waihee Elementary - $600,000 for building renovations and structural improvements;
- Fern Elementary - $575,000 for roof work;
- Noelani Elementary - $500,000 for library expansion and a new technology and media center;
- Mililani High School - $312,000 to resurface the parking lot;
- Kaelepulu Elementary - $175,000 for accessibility improvements; and
- Moanalua Elementary - $36,000 for cafeteria improvements.
New funding source means startup of data system program in S. Dakota
The State of South Dakota recently received federal approval to use $2.5 million in its unspent Teacher Incentive Fund grants to get its longitudinal data system under way. The funding generally is used to award cash bonuses to staff at 10 school districts when their students perform well on standardized tests. The fund balance will be used to help simplify data collection that can be scaled up for use statewide. Rick Melmer, education college dean at the University of South Dakota and former state education secretary, said a longitudinal data system can help improve student achievement. It can, he said, use data to find out difficult answers to questions instead of just taking "all the test scores and average the results." It will instead also point to other factors when determining who the best teacher are - such as class sizes, types of students and student attendance. It will also allow for charting student progress, identifying college-ready students and more.
Two major building projects supported through bond request OK
Two major school building projects got the go-ahead with the approval recently of $1.15 million on bond requests in Newburyport, Massachusetts. City Council approved a $650,000 bond for a feasibility study and design for a new Bresnahan School and a $500,000 bond for study and design of renovations to the Nock and Molin school building. Now it will be up to voters next year to fund approximately one-half of the total $45 million it will cost for the two projects to proceed. The Bresnahan School is expected to cost $30 million and the Nock project is $15 million. The state would reimburse the city between 48-52 percent of the cost. If all goes well, the project could be under way as early as next spring for the Bresnahan School, and be occupied by students in the spring of 2014.
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Seven projects in Oregon approved for $32 million in construction
Seven projects in eastern Oregon were approved for construction funding recently. The lion's share of the funding was allocated to the $7.13 million Eastern Oregon Trade and Events Center in Hermiston. Umatilla County Commissioner Dennis Doherty noted that the funding is the "only actual financial commitment" from outside sources for the project. The project carries a projected price of $21 million. The project would include an RV park, senior center, rodeo-equine events center and an exposition hall. Although backers still have a large sum of money to raise for the project, this cash allocation could mean construction could begin soon.
Other allocations for Eastern Oregon include:
- $14.65 million - Eastern Oregon University for Quinn Coliseum deferred maintenance;
- $3.58 million for Willow Creek/SAGE Center economic improvements;
- $3.25 million for Milton-Freewater levee and bridge improvements;
- $1.52 million for Eastern Oregon University's Zabell Hall deferred maintenance;
- $1.42 million for Milton-Freewater Armory phase II remodeling; and
- $400,000 for the Boardman Clinic project.
Wastewater treatment plans gets council approval for construction
A multi-million-dollar wastewater treatment plant in Malibu, California, has been approved by the local City Council. A Memorandum of Understanding was executed between the city and regional and state water boards. The plan calls for the plant to be built in the Civic Center area in three phases, in 2015, 2019 and possibly 2025. A centralized wastewater treatment facility would be built by 2015 and would cost $32 million to $52 million. The second phase would have to hook up to another centralized wastewater treatment facility paid for by an assessment district. The third phase would mean formation of an assessment district to fund their own centralized wastewater treatment facility.
Massachusetts communities in line for water infrastructure funds
Eight communities in Bristol County, Massachusetts, are in line to receive funding for drinking water or clean water infrastructure. The state has offered 2 percent loans to the entities, but they must also have local funding authority to collect part of the $86.944 million available for costs. The Bristol County projects are among 88 throughout the state. Among the projects, Attleboro's $41.3 million upgrade to its Water Pollution Control Facility is the most expensive and would spend $20 million this year. Fall River could collect funding for two drinking water projects and a clean water project. Because some are in low-income communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental change, they are eligible for loan principle forgiveness. Clean water projects are also planned in Taunton and Dartmouth.
South Dakota city OK's infrastructure improvement plan for five year period
A five-year plan for municipal infrastructure improvements for the city of Madison, South Dakota, has been approved by the City Commission. According to City Engineer Chad Comes, the plan is similar to one approved last year for 2011-2015. Two projects are listed for 2012. One is a water and sanitary sewer main reconstruction that is part of the Center Street Project and the second is a water main replacement in another part of the city. The two projects together total $1.64 million. A $250,000 water main replacement project is also planned in 2013 and reconstruction of another section of Center Street is planned for 2014 with a price tag of $1.44 million. It includes water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer mains. The total cost of all the projects in the plan is approximately $5.9 million.
Building being demolished to make way for new Pennsylvania courthouse
An armory in Levittown, Pennsylvania, is being demolished to make room for a new justice center. The new 285,000-square-foot justice center, at a cost of $84 million, is awaiting the settling of a land issue before construction can start. The justice center has been on the wish list for the county for more than 10 years and is needed because the county judicial system has outgrown the existing courthouse. The facility will be eight stories tall and will have an exterior that includes stone, brick and concrete.
South Carolina airports awarded funds from USDOT for several projects
The Charleston County (South Dakota) Aviation Authority has been awarded $6.46 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase land for runway approaches, to expand its terminal building and to provide additional space for the Charleston International Airport's Security Emergency Operations Center. Another $263,173 for terminal construction at Mount Pleasant Regional-Faison Field Airport and Greenville County and the city of Greenville will get $1.47 million for a taxiway extension at Donaldson Center Airport and $120,000 to purchase land for future projects at Greenville Downtown Airport. The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission will receive a $2.94 million grant for designing a terminal renovation at Greenville-Spartanville International Airport and Horry County will get $6.09 million for a terminal expansion at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Deal struck to build entertainment, convention complex in Indiana city
City officials in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, are moving closer to getting their entertainment and convention complex. A $49 million deal between the city and the owner of a local casino has been struck, according to Lawrenceburg Mayor Bill Cunningham. The project will include a 180-room hotel, a 1,500 seat concert venue and 100,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. Construction should start this fall, with a completion date in 14 months, said the mayor. The city will provide a $25 million grant from casino tax revenue. Another $14 million will be loaned to the development company, payable over 20 years at a low tax rate, and will arrange for $10 million in funding to be made available from its downtown tax increment financing district.
Officials look for bids on Illinois city's transit maintenance facility
City officials in Macomb, Illinois, are seeking bids for a transit maintenance facility. The bids will be due in late January. The facility will be used for administration, storage and maintenance of the local transit system. Construction is estimated to take approximately 18 months. The project is estimated at $12 million and will be financed with state and federal grant funds.
$1 billion in capital improvements slated for Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
The bridge that connects Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens will undergo nearly $1 billion in capital improvements over the next 15 years. New York officials plan complete reconstruction of the bridge structure supporting the toll plazas at a cost of $700 million, along with other projects that rehab or replace the seven ramps to the bridge. Other parts of the project include removal and replacement of 400,000 square feet of old asphalt on the Manhattan toll plaza, $13 million for a project to replace wearing surface on the East River and other suspension spans, $12 million for deck replacement on exit ramps on Harlem River Drive, $5 million for new decking on ramps, $900,000 for replacement and repair of asphalt overlay on ramps and more.
Bioscience Connecticut would renovate, expand UConn Health Center
Saying the state's flagship public university, the University of Connecticut, and its Health Center must be looked at as more than just a school or just a hospital, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has passed out of the State House his plan to renovate and expand the Health Center. He said the university and the center need to be thought of as economic drivers to economic growth. The plan, called Bioscience Connecticut, has already passed the Senate and awaits the governor's signature. The proposal would cost approximately $864 million for a new patient tower, a parking garage and an outpatient center. It will also expand small business incubator space to support new start-ups. The project is slated for completion in 2018. UConn President Susan Herbst said the project is "not only one of the most important milestones in the history of the UConn Health Center, but of the entire University as well." The proposal also increases the size of the medical school by adding 100 students and increases the dental school classes by 48 students.
Santa Barbara picks site for its new $152 million courthouse
A site for its $152 million courthouse has been chosen by officials in Santa Barbara. The state's court system plans to build the 97,000-square-foot facility as a means of consolidating criminal and traffic court operations. Construction is set to begin in early 2014, with a late 2015 completion date. The facility will also have its own parking complex. It will include eight courtrooms with necessary security measures.
|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 email@example.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Dr. Don Betz.
|Don Betz |
Don Betz earned his bachelor's degree in political science and philosophy from the University of San Francisco and his master's and Ph.D. in international studies from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He also completed Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management. From 1982 to 2003, he worked for the United Nations on Middle East issues. Additionally, Betz has nearly 40 years of higher education experience. He served as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 2005-2008 and previously was provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. He spent 23 years at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, which included serving as vice president for University Relations. He later was named president of the university. He also previously was a professor of political science and provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma between 1995 and 2005. Betz will soon leave the presidency of NSU to return to UCO, where he has been chosen to serve as the university's 20th president. He will take office on Aug. 1.
|Opportunity of the week...|
State will use $2.5 million in unspent fund grants to help defray costs of a statewide longitudinal data system to link teacher and student data.Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hugh Hattabaugh, chief operating officer for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) school district, has been named interim leader of the district, replacing former Superintendent Peter Gorman, who resigned. The Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, California, has approved a separation agreement with Superintendent Jesus Gandara following the revealing of information by a San Diego newspaper regarding his alleged use of a district credit card. Jeff Carr, top advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has announced he is resigning from that post and will leave later this summer, one of several departures from the mayor's office in his second term. Tony Kinn, former assistant vice president and director of corporate relations for the University of Virginia Engineering foundation, has been appointed director of the new Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships at the Virginia Department of Transportation. Western Connecticut State University President James W. Schmotter has announced that Dr. Jane McBride Gates, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Savannah State University in Georgia since 2002, will be WCSU's next provost and academic vice president. Matthew Watkins, who has served the last 12 years as city manager for South Brunswick, New Jersey, has been chosen city manager for the city of Clifton, replacing
retiring city manager Al Greco, with City Engineer Dominick Villano serving as interim until Watkins arrives on Aug. 8. Irene H. Kovala, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, has been picked to be the next president of Glendale Community College in Arizona, effective Aug. 8. A legend in New Rochelle, New York, Raymond "Doc" Kiernan, is giving up his fire chief gear after 45 years of service, having begun his career in 1996 and having served as chief since 1983. Dr. Carol Eaton, who for the last six years has been president of Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland, will in August take over as president of Daytona (Florida) State University, replacing Kent Sharples, who resigned last year. Lisa Aprati, a former Chicago Heights, Illinois, Fifth Ward alderman from 1999 until last April, has been selected to serve as the city's chief of staff, replacing Matt Fares, who is now the police department's executive administrator. Former Colorado Springs Police Chief Luis Velez, a 31-year veteran of the police force, has been announced as the interim Chief of Police for the Pueblo, Colorado, police department, following the retirement of Chief James W. Billings, Jr. Jacksonville, Florida, Mayor Alvin Brown has announced filling of two major positions in his administration, with private sector career financial
consultant Ronnie Belton named chief financial officer and attorney Chris Hand as chief of staff. Robert M. Specter, a 25-year veteran of higher education leadership and University of Delaware vice president for finance, has been chosen vice president for administrative affairs for the University of Maryland, effective Sept. 1. California Gov. Jerry Brown has chosen Carlos Ramos, who directed the newly created Office of System Integration from 2006 to 2008 and has 25 years public sector experience, as the state's top technology executive. Former Tracy, California, police captain Gary Hampton, who served as chief of the Turlock Police Department for the last five years, is returning to Tracey to become the police department's chief. After serving for 12 years as City of Miami Auditor, Victor Igwe was let go by city officials recently after his four-year contract that was signed in 2007 ran out on April 28. Alabama State Rep. Greg Canfield has been named by Gov. Robert Bentley as the new director of the Alabama Development Office, replacing Seth Hammett, and will resign his House seat and take over his new post by Aug. 1. Shailen Bhatt, former associate administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, was recently sworn in as the new Delaware Department of Transportation, after being nominated by the governor and approved by the State Senate.
|Let us help advertise your event on our calendar|
Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The State & Local Government Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to email@example.com.
|Calendar of events|
NASCIO Annual Conference scheduled for Denver on Oct. 2-5
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference is set this year for Oct. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado. "Moving Government Forward" is the theme for this year's conference. The conference focuses on pulling corporate sponsors into the conference to discuss trends and build relationships rather than market their products. The conference also features educational programs based on IT issues that affect both the public and private sectors. To register, click here. To view the agenda, click here.
KC Business Central hosting Minority Business Forum
Kansas City Business Central will host a Minority Business Forum on Wednesday, Nov. 9, that includes a panel of minority- and women-owned business experts who will discuss their successes and the resources available to others. Panelists include: Michael L. Barrera, attorney and former president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Consuela McCain-Nunnaly, director of Diversity Business Connection of the Greater KC Chamber; CiCi Rojas, president of Community Engagement with Truman Medical Center; and Daryl Williams,director of Research at the Kauffman Foundation. For more information contact Heather Nicolosi at firstname.lastname@example.org..
The biggest meeting of state legislators and legislative staff
Come to San Antonio, Aug. 8-11, for the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual Legislative Summit - the largest and most important gathering of the year of state legislators and legislative staff from all 50 states. Broaden your contacts with state officials, learn the pressing issues facing lawmakers today and hear from top-notch policy experts. For more information, click here
National Small Business Conference set for August
The National Veteran Small Business Conference is planned for Aug. 15-18, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Billed as the largest nationwide conference of its kind, it provides veteran-owned (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) an opportunity to learn, network and market their businesses. Those who should attend include VOSBs and SDVOSBs seeking an edge on the competition in the federal government marketplace, along with prime contractors seeking VOSB and SDVOSB partners and federal government representatives who promote both through contracting opportunities. For more information, click here
TxDOT San Antonio Small Business Briefing conference set in July
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services reaches across Texas to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with state entities. The final Small Business Briefing conference for FY2011 is set for July 20 in San Antonio. Information will be available to help small business owners better understand how to 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 allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions. It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2. Planning for the 2012 fiscal year events is under way. Please visit www.txdot.gov for updated information.
AGC's HR Professionals Conference slated Oct. 4-6
The Associated General Contractors Human Resources Professionals Conference is set for Oct. 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. The gathering is billed as the premier event for human resources professionals to learn and share HR practices related to the construction industry. The conference features a number of construction-related sessions on HR topics such as creating a mentoring program, hiring from a remote location, successfully operating in multiple jurisdictions, keep your organization safe from workplace violence, using pre-employment assessments and more. A federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop will be held the afternoon of Oct. 5 and the morning of Oct. 6. For conference and registration information, click here.
FAA procurement opportunities training conference, trade show slated
The Federal Aviation Administration will host its Annual National Small Business Procurement Opportunities Training Conference and Trade Show July 18-21 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The gathering provides a forum for small businesses, including service-disabled and veteran-owned small business and 8(a) certified firms, to participate in technical and procurement opportunities workshops. Small businesses will be linked with large business and program managers to address business issues and concerns and offer information on small businesses doing business with the agency. For more information, click here.
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