Rescue Program – Owl And Monkey Haven http://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 09:45:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1.png Rescue Program – Owl And Monkey Haven http://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/ 32 32 Upcoming city bailout work session | News, Sports, Jobs https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/upcoming-city-bailout-work-session-news-sports-jobs/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 05:55:24 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/upcoming-city-bailout-work-session-news-sports-jobs/ The city is planning another working session to review the possible distribution of the $25.5 million in U.S. bailout funds Williamsport is entitled to at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Trade and Transit II and remotely. The city received $12.7 million and plans a similar amount in the spring, Mayor Derek Slaughter said. The city […]]]>

The city is planning another working session to review the possible distribution of the $25.5 million in U.S. bailout funds Williamsport is entitled to at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Trade and Transit II and remotely.

The city received $12.7 million and plans a similar amount in the spring, Mayor Derek Slaughter said.

The city administration and the city council have reduced what they consider to be priorities and eligible projects for the use of the funding. The city has until 2024 to allocate and 2026 to spend the funds.

Ideas were mooted such as funding a land reserve, improving city-owned Brandon Park baseball diamonds, water parks, seawall work, arts and entertainment, development and retention homes and businesses, improving technology for efficiency, and improving transparency and public safety for police and fire departments.

The board and administration are also considering which projects could receive state or federal grants and which ones would be best invested with bailout funds.

Slaughter said the working sessions and online survey on the city’s website are helping city officials deliver on their promise not to nickel and dime funds, but to pursue the best use of the transformational amount of funds available. for the city.

Slaughter said the amount of bailout funds roughly equals the city’s annual budgets each year. The latest budget is $28.6 million, so that’s pretty much it.

In other business, council approved a janitorial services contract with Choice Carpet Cleaners for the City Public Works Building and Trade and Transit Centers I and II.

Choice Carpet Cleaners will clean the public works building at 1500 W. Third St. for a rate of $30 a day Monday, Wednesday and Friday, according to Scott Livermore, director of public works. The fare for public transit facilities is $90 per day and Monday through Friday, he said.

A street line paving agreement has been approved for Mid-Atlantic. That’s $6,248 more due to the extra linear feet of paint required, Livermore said. The additional cost will be taken from a surplus of liquid fuels from the previous year.

A Certificate of Suitability has been approved for Tim and Sandra Butters, owners of a planned restaurant at 454 Pine St. They will have an awning in the main entrance. An open pergola and fenced area will be in front and there will be small outdoor seating in a rear dining area.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

]]>
Senator Markey and Rep. Bowman introduce bill to transform home energy assistance program for low-income people https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/senator-markey-and-rep-bowman-introduce-bill-to-transform-home-energy-assistance-program-for-low-income-people/ Thu, 20 Jan 2022 16:29:40 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/senator-markey-and-rep-bowman-introduce-bill-to-transform-home-energy-assistance-program-for-low-income-people/ Washington (January 20, 2022) – Today, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) introduced the Heating and Air Conditioning Assistance Act, legislation to invest in and expand the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to universalize energy assistance for all who need it. Currently, it is estimated that only 16% of households […]]]>

Washington (January 20, 2022)Today, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) introduced the Heating and Air Conditioning Assistance Act, legislation to invest in and expand the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to universalize energy assistance for all who need it. Currently, it is estimated that only 16% of households eligible for LIHEAP are actually served.

“Access to life-saving heating and air conditioning is a fundamental human right that guarantees our health and safety and should not be reserved only for those who can afford it,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). “This winter, families shouldn’t have to choose between paying energy bills or getting the chills. I am grateful that Congressman Bowman and I are fighting to ensure that funding for home energy — a critical lifeline for families across the country — will be available to everyone who needs it. Our Heating and Cooling Assistance Act would provide LIHEAP funding to millions more Americans and ensure the program has all the support it needs to strengthen outreach efforts and serve all eligible households. The bill also takes steps to reduce the energy loads of LIHEAP beneficiaries and reduce our use of fossil fuels by increasing investments in weatherization. the Heating and Cooling Assistance Actis the ambitious and comprehensive legislation we need to help ensure the health and safety of American families and support a just transition away from burning fossil fuels.

“There is no reason why, in the wealthiest nation in the world, members of our communities should have to choose between staying warm in the winter or cool in the summer and being able to make rent or put food on the table”, said Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). “Senator Markey and I work for an America that respects our collective humanity and our Heating and Cooling Assistance Act ensures that every family can pay their energy bills. This is an issue of racial and economic justice, with Black, Latino and Indigenous households all bearing disproportionate energy loads. Lack of energy assistance is also a public health crisis, with high energy loads associated with an increased risk of respiratory diseases and heatstroke. The fact is that no one anywhere in this country should have to use their stoves or turn on radiators because of exorbitant bills. This legislation is a bold approach to energy assistance that responds to the times by making energy assistance much more accessible to tens of millions more people and I am proud to have a partner in Senator Markey as that we are fighting this fight.

“No person or family should ever be without adequate heating”,
said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.). “This bill would ensure that low-income families never pay more than 3% of their annual income in energy costs, even during the coldest winter months. As New York continues to face extreme and potentially dangerous cold weather, we need to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, and sufficient heat to stay safe in their homes.

“No family should have to choose between paying their energy bills and putting food on the table during the cold winter months. LIHEAP is a lifeline for our communities. The Heating and Cooling Relief Act will expand access to LIHEAP and save families from food and housing insecurity as they face high energy bills. It will also increase funding for weatherization, promote the use of renewable energy and contribute to climate adaptation – all crucial to our work in tackling the climate crisis,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

A copy of the text of the bill can be found HERE.

More specifically, the Heating and Cooling Assistance Act:

  • Increases annual LIHEAP funding to $40 billion and expands eligibility to ensure no household pays more than 3% of annual income in energy costs;
  • Minimizes barriers to administering and applying LIHEAP by allowing households to self-certify eligibility criteria; increases the administrative cap for outreach, technology and staffing purposes; and ensure that LIHEAP coordinators receive at least a decent salary;
  • Protects consumers by ensuring that no eligible household has their utilities cut off or pays late fees, that every household receiving funds can have their utility debt forgiven, and that utility companies implement introduces discounted payment plans to support consumers;
  • Ensure states can use LIHEAP to address climate adaptation by increasing funding for cooling assistance and ensuring households can access utility assistance during major disasters; and
  • Increases funding made available for weatherization through LIHEAP and establishes a new Just Transition Grant for states and localities to help reduce energy loads for LIHEAP-eligible households and promote use renewable energies.

Senator Markey and Congressman Bowman have been champions for energy justice issues and public services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 5, 2022, Congressman Bowman, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Schakowsky drives a letter at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging the Biden administration to protect consumers from unfairly high heat and energy prices. Last year, Congressman Bowman introduced the Public power resolution with Congresswoman Bush to make electricity a public utility, and he also introduced the Broadband Justice Act to provide accessible and free broadband to all subsidized households in the country. As part of the U.S. bailout, Senator Markey advocated for $20 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funding and $4.5 billion in additional funding for LIHEAP. At the last Congress, he also introduced a Invoice it would have given the impression to Congress that states and utilities should impose a moratorium on gas and electric service disconnections, late fees, reconnect fees, rate hikes and other penalties for all consumers following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original co-sponsors of this legislation include Senators Gillibrand and Warren, and Representatives Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Adriano Espaillat (NY -13), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mark Takano (CA-41), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), André Carson (IN-07), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Grace Meng (NY-06) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07).

Supporting organizations include: National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA), National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), National Housing Law Project, Public Citizen, Sunrise Movement, Evergreen Action, Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), Sierra Club, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC ), Food and Water Watch, Rocky Mountain Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, Ecological Justice Initiative, Elevate, Dandelion Energy, Building Electrification Institute, Rewiring America, Association for Energy Affordability, Sustainable Westchester, New York Lawyers for Public Interest, Bloc Power, NY Geothermal Energy Organization and NYC-Environmental Justice Alliance, Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) and NY Renews.

“The Heating and Cooling Act would end energy poverty in the United States by providing that no family would spend more than 3% of their family budget on home energy and would give states the ability to protect against bad weather up to 1 million homes per year”. said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA). “The net result will be an end to the stubbornly high utility backlogs and cuts that low-income families have struggled with for many years.”

###

]]>
City Announces Operator of Safe Outdoor Space https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/city-announces-operator-of-safe-outdoor-space/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 17:37:22 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/city-announces-operator-of-safe-outdoor-space/ “The Hope Village” will provide temporary outdoor housing for non-housed residents The Louisville Metropolitan Government’s Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) announced today that it has selected an operations manager for the city’s Safe Outdoor Space, a pilot project where homeless people can live temporarily outside, with access to food, showers and community services, […]]]>

“The Hope Village” will provide temporary outdoor housing
for non-housed residents

The Louisville Metropolitan Government’s Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) announced today that it has selected an operations manager for the city’s Safe Outdoor Space, a pilot project where homeless people can live temporarily outside, with access to food, showers and community services, located at 212. East College St.

Local nonprofit The Hope Buss will oversee the $1.5 million project to equip and operate the secure outdoor space. The Hope Buss was founded by Stachelle Bussey to fight despair by addressing community crisis and root causes, including homelessness.

Called “The Hope Village,” the secure outdoor space will be equipped with tents, portable facilities, access to water and electricity, and client-centric case management, which will connect residents to community partners who provide support services. Services will include a joint assessment, which identifies housing needs, addictions counselling, mental health and housing navigation.

“As a compassionate city, our goal is to help homeless people transition into more stable shelter and then put them on the path to permanent, supportive housing,” said Mayor Greg Fisher. “Thank you to the teams at Resilience and Community Services, Louisville Forward, and The Hope Buss for working together to provide more shelter options for Louisville residents and putting us on the path to ending homelessness.”

The Village of Hope is an evolving part of a multi-pronged approach designed to create shelter and housing for homeless people. In August 2021 after identifying a site for the space, the city has issued a notice of availability of funding to solicit proposals from non-profit organizations to serve as site operator. Applications were reviewed by a committee of subject matter experts and stakeholders to determine the best solution. The city completed the purchase of the East College Street property in November 2021.

“The Hope Buss is a perfect match for this role,” said Dr. Susan Buchino, director of homelessness services at RCS. “Their team is well-equipped and has a vision for The Hope Village that focuses on the safety and well-being of residents and the neighborhood, while focusing on delivering effective and efficient services that engage residents in creating of a stability plan. We are delighted to partner with them on this initiative.

“The Hope Village is not a permanent solution, but it is a bridge to more lasting solutions around our housing crisis,” said Reverend Stachelle D. Bussey, Founder and Executive Director of The Hope Buss. “Our promise remains – to engage and empower the community and encourage the residents of our village by providing equitable options. As a black-led organization, we are excited for this opportunity; this is just the beginning of a another Louisville. At Hope Village, our motto is simple: Everyone deserves community.”

Ordering of supplies, including tents, portable toilets and showers, is currently underway for The Hope Village and site preparation will begin later this month. The expected opening date is March 1, depending on weather conditions, logistics and availability of supplies.

For placement of residents at The Hope Village, The Hope Buss will invite referrals from grassroots organizations that work closely with the community’s homeless population to identify individuals whose needs match the services provided at the site.

In addition to The Hope Village pilot project, the city will initiate a separate procurement process for the renovation of an on-site former administration building, which will be converted into transitional housing for homeless people going through the housing process.

RCS has reached out to neighbors and businesses near the East College Street property to invite them to a public meeting, to be held virtually on Tuesday, February 1 from 6-7 p.m. with District 4 Councilor Jecorey Arthur and The Hope Buss to review the benefits of the site and answer any questions. Register to join the meeting by video at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/metro-council-district-4 ohn the District 4 Weekly E-news or register by phone at +1-415-655-0001 (access code: 2305-593-1449#).

Plus, follow regular updates on Hope Village’s progress on The Hope Buss (@thehopebuss) Facebook and Instagram sites, and watch for the launch of the new Hope Village social platforms on February 1.

Homelessness and affordable housing have been targeted as one of the top priorities in the spending of the city’s allocation of US Federal Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. In November 2021, the Metro Council approved $89 million in ARP funding to support the city’s plan to address chronic street homelessness and boost affordable housing through immediate, intermediate and long term.

The Hope Village pilot project is just one of many efforts the city is making to end homelessness in the community.

In addition to the $1.5 million allocated to The Hope Village operations, other funding approvals include:

  • College Street Property: $7.5 million to convert the College Street building into transitional housing and furnish the units.
  • Permanent supportive housing: $32 million for client-focused housing with full services.
  • Affordable housing: $40 million will be invested in affordable housing through the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
  • Down payment assistance: $4 million for the Louisville Metropolitan Government to increase down payment assistance to help approximately 160 new homeowners.
  • Home repair: $4 million to boost an existing, successful program that helps people stay home; it would help about 160 homeowners.

“We know the only solution to homelessness is housing, but until we close the gap of over 31,000 affordable homes, we need to meet people where they are. The Hope Village will help centralize essential services for Louisville residents on our streets. Our whole city should be proud of the monumental investments we’ve been able to make with the U.S. bailout, especially the funding that will one day turn this space into permanent housing,” said Louisville Metro Board Member Jecorey Arthur (D -4 ).

For more information on the Hope Bus, visit https://thehopebuss.org.

Residents in need of emergency shelter are encouraged to call the Coalition for the Homeless One Point of Entry at (502) 637-BEDS (502-637-2337) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

##

]]>
Calhoun, Georgia uses American Rescue Plan to fund pay raises https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/calhoun-georgia-uses-american-rescue-plan-to-fund-pay-raises/ Sun, 16 Jan 2022 23:38:40 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/calhoun-georgia-uses-american-rescue-plan-to-fund-pay-raises/ Calhoun City Administrator Paul Worley said the increases are temporary at this time, but could become permanent if adequate funding is found. The Calhoun, Georgia City Council last week approved mid-year hourly wage increases for city and public safety employees, an increase of $1 more per hour for employees of the city and an additional […]]]>

Calhoun City Administrator Paul Worley said the increases are temporary at this time, but could become permanent if adequate funding is found.

The Calhoun, Georgia City Council last week approved mid-year hourly wage increases for city and public safety employees, an increase of $1 more per hour for employees of the city and an additional $1.50 per hour for Calhoun Police and Fire Department public safety employees.

Employees must be full-time or work at least 18 hours a week part-time to be eligible and must earn less than $78,100 per year. The increase will be implemented in time for the first pay period in February.

(READ MORE: Whitfield County hopes to rehabilitate homes with $400,000 housing subsidy)

The increases, which will be funded by U.S. bailout funds approved by Democrats in Congress last year, are aimed at making the city more competitive and attracting top talent. They are currently seen as temporary because US bailout funds are only available once, but city administrator Paul Worley said city officials are working to find a solution. permanent funding.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this increase to city employees and public safety employees. It helps people with inflation and the cost of living, but it will also help us, as a city, to attract the best people possible when we lose employees to retirement or when they leave, for whatever reason,” Worley said in a call with The Times Free Press Friday morning. “Right now, we are funding the increase through the US bailout, but our goal is to be able to fund these increases permanently.”

(READ MORE: Cafe Ostro in Dalton, GA is the best Mediterranean restaurant in Georgia)

Worley said the August opening of Buc-ee’s, a 53,200-square-foot store featuring 120 gas pumps, homemade Texas barbecue, fudge, pastries and a variety of other items, provided such local sales tax increases that the city may be able to fund wage increases largely using sales tax money. Otherwise, city officials will likely turn to more traditional methods of fundraising.

“Buc-ee’s has been a boon to our sales tax numbers. However, we don’t rely on that alone,” Worley said. “We have a low mileage rate for a city our size. The mayor and council have said we may consider making small incremental increases there for funding and also for hiring new public safety officers to keep up with the growth we’re seeing in the population.”

Worley said he doesn’t yet know what the mileage rate would increase to if the city were to go ahead with this funding plan.

“It would depend on the discussions between the mayor and the city council,” he said on Friday.

(READ MORE: Whitfield County Approves Grant Funding for Chattanooga Area Food Bank Expansion in North Georgia)

Also at Monday night’s meeting, Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer swore in council members Ed Moyer and Ray Denmon, as well as school board members Andy Baxter, Rhoda Washington and Stephen King, all of whom were elected. in November.

Contact Kelcey Caulder at 423-757-6327 or kcaulder@timesfreepress.com.

]]>
Northwest suburbs start spreading US bailout dollars https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/northwest-suburbs-start-spreading-us-bailout-dollars/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 22:52:30 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/northwest-suburbs-start-spreading-us-bailout-dollars/ 5:29 p.m. | Friday, January 14, 2022 Minnesota received $8.5 billion in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Twenty-one towns in Minnesota received some of that money. Brooklyn Park donates a portion of its $11.5 million to community groups for violence intervention. “Some of the funds are directed towards violence intervention and […]]]>

5:29 p.m. | Friday, January 14, 2022

Minnesota received $8.5 billion in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Twenty-one towns in Minnesota received some of that money.

Brooklyn Park donates a portion of its $11.5 million to community groups for violence intervention.

“Some of the funds are directed towards violence intervention and interruption activities and so we are seeing this already happening with community groups in the community interrupting the most violent activities that are occurring,” Kim said. Berggren, community manager of Brooklyn Park. development. “Then the other part of the funds, we think about the future and people going back to work and getting better jobs and growing the wealth of our community.”

Community groups can still apply for funds on the Brooklyn Park website through Feb. 4.

“There’s a lot of need in the community because it’s been everywhere since the pandemic and so these funds are really great to have to be strategic and invest in the area that we need in the community,” Berggren said.

Maple Grove will spend a portion of its $5.1 million to help local businesses and nonprofits with grant recovery programs.

“This includes the hospital, CROSS, some of our smaller nonprofits, and some grant recovery programs for our small businesses at Maple Grove,” said Greg Sticha, Maple Grove’s chief financial officer.

The dollars will also help offset lost revenue.

“In particular, revenue from Parks and Recreation and other programs is declining, and obviously we’ve seen a significant shift in those numbers for 2020,” Sticha said.

Plymouth receives just over $7 million. The city has not yet decided how these funds will be allocated.

Brooklyn Park | sugar bush

]]>
East Brunswick Library to Participate in Statewide Telehealth Program https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/east-brunswick-library-to-participate-in-statewide-telehealth-program/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:47:30 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/east-brunswick-library-to-participate-in-statewide-telehealth-program/ The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, will administer a statewide telehealth program, NJHealthConnect @ Your Library, to remove barriers to health equity for residents of the New Jersey. The program, due to launch this month, will provide access to health care services at select public libraries across the state. […]]]>

The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, will administer a statewide telehealth program, NJHealthConnect @ Your Library, to remove barriers to health equity for residents of the New Jersey.

The program, due to launch this month, will provide access to health care services at select public libraries across the state.

NJHealthConnect @ Your Library will be hosted by Just For The Health Of It, a health literacy program developed by the East Brunswick Public Library.

The project is supported by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds provided to the New Jersey State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

NJHealthConnect @ Your Library addresses the barrier of access to care that is common among people who do not have access to technology and cannot see a doctor during regular hours. The program uses iPads preloaded with 24/7 telemedicine apps from major state hospital systems. Each iPad contains links to multilingual health information; adult and adolescent mental health resources; Zoom and Google apps for doctor conferences; crisis hotlines; and links to the latest Covid updates in English and Spanish.

The program also includes a team of consumer health librarians at the East Brunswick Public Library who will train and assist participating libraries in implementing the telehealth program in their communities.

The East Brunswick Public Library will serve as a statewide hub for participating libraries and will distribute a total of 450 iPads to 152 participating public libraries across the state.

“We are grateful for the availability of funds from ARPA, which will allow us to support the state’s mission to help people obtain timely, high-quality health care services. The ongoing pandemic has underscored the need for health literacy, especially among vulnerable populations, and we are proud that public libraries are bridging the digital divide by bringing telehealth resources to their communities,” said Jen Nelson, Librarian of the state of New Jersey.

“I would like to thank the New Jersey State Library for recognizing the commitment and quality of the East Brunswick Public Library’s health care literacy program, Just for the Health of It. Your commitment of $323,000 of ARPA funds to our program allows us to help more state residents at a time when it is difficult to reach healthcare providers,” said Brad Cohen. “As Mayor and Chair of the Library Board, I am very proud of our library, our staff and our professionals who have put in place such a comprehensive health and wellness program allowing the East to Brunswick to become a true healthcare corridor.”

Further information is available online at www.njstatelib.org/NJHealthConnect.

  • This information was provided by the East Brunswick Public Library.
]]>
COVID-19: City of Mansfield Adds $ 315,000 to Targeted Small Business Grants Program | Economic news https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/covid-19-city-of-mansfield-adds-315000-to-targeted-small-business-grants-program-economic-news/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 17:45:06 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/covid-19-city-of-mansfield-adds-315000-to-targeted-small-business-grants-program-economic-news/ Country united states of americaUS Virgin IslandsMinor Outlying Islands of the United StatesCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth ofCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People’s Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People’s Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory south of 60 degrees S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, […]]]>

]]>
Holman Op-ed: A Reality Check of the American Rescue Plan Act https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/holman-op-ed-a-reality-check-of-the-american-rescue-plan-act/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 20:45:09 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/holman-op-ed-a-reality-check-of-the-american-rescue-plan-act/ Over the past few weeks, comments and innuendo have been made about the funding that local jurisdictions have received from the federal government through the CARES Act and, by extension, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), also known as State and Local. Fiscal Recovery Fund (FSFRF). Apparently, the misconception revolves around the idea that local […]]]>

Over the past few weeks, comments and innuendo have been made about the funding that local jurisdictions have received from the federal government through the CARES Act and, by extension, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), also known as State and Local. Fiscal Recovery Fund (FSFRF).

Apparently, the misconception revolves around the idea that local governments are unsure of what to do with the funding.

First, it is worth describing the fiscal reality and status quo that local jurisdictions face. Local governments in Wisconsin operate under what is arguably one of the most stringent tax limitation policies in the United States. I can understand some of the thinking that has gone on, but the protracted nature of this policy has had unintended consequences and has started to pit things that the public values ​​at a high level against each other.

Likewise, it has placed many jurisdictions in the position of having to make difficult funding decisions in areas of essential, mandatory and program services such as health and social services and public safety.

So, what local governments have been discussing is how to make the most of this one-time funding to respond to recovery efforts, consolidating areas within their organization that have come under tremendous pressure due to the increase. of the workload in the mandated areas that are beyond their control, and to try to put their organizations and their constituents on a better footing in a post-pandemic reality. This is no small feat, and it requires careful thought and caution.

In turn, this requires taking your time. Fortunately, the window in which governments can use this funding is until the end of 2024 and in some scenarios until 2026.

Is there an urgent need to obtain this funding? In some cases, yes, but given that this has to be treated differently from the annual budget cycle and we have time to use it, why wouldn’t we do it? The annual budget process often feels like a bad throw on a fishing trip where a bird line nest has to be unraveled throughout the year so that when a budget is passed we can cast again and start treating a new bird’s nest.

As anyone who fishes knows, you have to take your time to untie this knot, and the local government, unlike us who love to go out on the water, can’t just cut the line and put the rope back on. In many ways, ARPA / SLRFF funding presents more casting opportunities and takes the time to load your reel, process the line, and prepare for the casts which we know will catch fish.

In short, now is not the time to hurry. Local governments work hard and should be given the time they need to make prudent and financially sound decisions that reflect the work they do each year to advance their skills in another year of hardship caused by the drawdown limit, unfunded mandates and all the surprises we come across along the way that can’t be planned but need to be addressed.

Chris Holman is the Portage County Executive and can be reached at 715-346-1997.


Source link

]]>
W.Va. Lawmakers and Advocates Advocate for Education Reforms | News, Sports, Jobs https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/w-va-lawmakers-and-advocates-advocate-for-education-reforms-news-sports-jobs/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 05:30:09 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/w-va-lawmakers-and-advocates-advocate-for-education-reforms-news-sports-jobs/ CHARLESTON – Hiring more teaching assistants, changing the way colleges and universities receive state tax money, and improving health insurance and pension benefits for teachers and staff are just a few -one of the wishes for the legislative session of 2022. Lawmakers, higher education officials and teacher union officials argued for the initiatives on Friday […]]]>

CHARLESTON – Hiring more teaching assistants, changing the way colleges and universities receive state tax money, and improving health insurance and pension benefits for teachers and staff are just a few -one of the wishes for the legislative session of 2022.

Lawmakers, higher education officials and teacher union officials argued for the initiatives on Friday during the West Virginia Press Association’s 2022 legislative outlook. The 2022 legislative session begins Wednesday at noon.

The annual Lookahead was scheduled to take place at the Culture Center in Charleston after attending a virtual event last year due to COVID-19, but a positive COVID infection among Press Association staff and Thursday’s snowfall evening sent the event back to Zoom.

Members of the press and lobbyists heard a panel on education issues on Friday morning. The only member of the Republican leadership team of the Senate and House of Delegates education committees who participated was Delegate Joe Statler, R-Monongalia.

Statler is the new vice-chair of the House Education Committee, replacing former Putnam County Delegate Joshua Higginbotham. Higginbotham resigned to run for the State Senate in 2022.

Statler said House Republicans are working on a bill to hire and train assistants for first- and second-grade teachers.

Following a model established by the state’s successful pre-kindergarten program, Statler said Republican lawmakers wanted to hire up to 1,800 teaching assistants at a cost of about $ 68 million.

According to the current version of the bill, first and second grade teachers with more than 12 students in a classroom would be required to have at least one assistant in the classroom. Statler said providing assistants will help students receive more individual attention from teachers.

“This bill, I think, will be extremely productive in this state, as it allows more one-on-one with the students” Statler said. “It actually adds to the help we can give to these students… we know that building the foundation and education is essential for these students to have what they need, especially the reading skills for them. go forward. “

Last month, Gov. Jim Justice proposed a 5% pay hike for government employees, educators and school service staff starting in July, at the start of the new fiscal year. Justice also proposed a one-time bonus of 2.5% which would come into effect this year.

Delegate Ed Evans, D-McDowell, is a minority member of the House Education Committee and a retired science professor. He said more funds should be used to recruit and retain certified teachers. According to the state Department of Education, there are more than 1,000 vacancies for certified teachers in West Virginia.

“I am delighted that our teachers are expecting a raise in salary, but you know we should also be looking for ways to recruit these young people who are the brightest and the best” Evans said. “The education people that I spoke with, especially the members and teachers (of the Education Council), they tell me they just can’t fill the jobs… We are losing our youngest , we lose them left and right. They come in, they spend a few years, and they decide it’s not for them. We have to figure out what the problem is.

Senator Ron Stollings, D-Boone, is a minority member of the Senate Education Committee and a physician in

his hometown of Madison. He called for using part of the COVID-19 federal dollars in the US bailout to boost funding for the Birth to Three program which provides support to low-income families with limited access to developmental programs for their children.

“I think we need to somehow strengthen, if you will, the Birth to Three program,” said Stollings. “We don’t have a bad Birth to Three program, but we just need to put it on steroids, if you will, because that’s the only thing that’s going to save us later.”

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, also supported Justice’s proposed salary increase for public sector employees, although he also called for a cost-of-living adjustment for them. retirees of public sector employees. Lee called on lawmakers to raise teachers and school staff salaries and make them competitive with neighboring states.

Lee also called for new solutions to fund the Public Employees’ Insurance Agency. Although bonuses have not increased for PEIA under Justice, Lee is concerned that public employees will not be so lucky under the next governor.

“We must tackle the PEIA”, Lee said. “If you look at PEIA’s five-year plan, you see a premium increase of around 15%, and then another premium increase of around 9% for employees expected in the coming years. We need to find a solution for PEIA.

Lawmakers will also consider creating two performance-based funding formulas to distribute more than $ 400 million in general revenue budget taxes annually to the state’s 10 four-year colleges and universities and nine community colleges. and techniques based on the Tennessee program.

“It will be just another bill that will really help”, Statler said. “Colleges and universities will also have some certainty that they can continue, that they will not have to wait until the end of the session when a budget is voted to know approximately where their money will be now.

The current formula is being developed by the Higher Education Policy Commission / West Virginia Community and Technical College System, although lawmakers have been briefed on the progress. Once completed, lawmakers will be given a bill to approve.

Mira Martin, president of Fairmont State University and chair of the West Virginia Council of Presidents, said the formula will determine state taxpayer funding for higher education institutions based on several education outcomes, including the number of students completing a set number of credit hours, university graduates, how colleges spend money on research, and how many students enter the workforce.

“Together, these measures will allow institutions to directly help students graduate on time, while producing ready-to-use graduates who are able to meet the evolving economic needs of the state, thereby providing taxpayers a huge return on investment, while also ensuring that institutions continue to advance their unique missions in higher education for the public good ”, Martin said.

(Adams can be contacted at sadams@newsandsentinel.com)

The latest news today and more in your inbox


Source link

]]>
City to replace 35,000 obsolete water meters – American Press https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/city-to-replace-35000-obsolete-water-meters-american-press/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 02:32:31 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/city-to-replace-35000-obsolete-water-meters-american-press/ Lake Charles’s approximately 35,000 30-year-old water meters will be replaced with new automated meters over the next 16 to 18 months, after unanimous city council approval on Wednesday. Mayor Nic Hunter said these new meters will provide customers with more accurate water bills and eliminate the need for meter readers. The meters will also relay […]]]>

Lake Charles’s approximately 35,000 30-year-old water meters will be replaced with new automated meters over the next 16 to 18 months, after unanimous city council approval on Wednesday.

Mayor Nic Hunter said these new meters will provide customers with more accurate water bills and eliminate the need for meter readers. The meters will also relay data over the radio to quickly identify water leaks and reduce the amount of water wasted throughout the system, he said. Kevin Heise, the city’s director of utilities, said it would be the Gulf Coast’s “most advanced metering system”.

“We have to bring this city into modern times,” Hunter said. “This initiative is a real game-changer for this city. I think in five or 10 years we will look back and realize how important this was to our water system.

The city will enter into a cooperation agreement with Sustainability Partners, the company that will supply and install the new water meters. The effort will be primarily funded by the $ 2 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Council members also approved charging households an additional $ 2-3 service charge on their monthly water bills to help pay for the effort. Hunter said those charges would not take effect until July 2023, after all water meters were installed. Businesses can be charged more, depending on the size of their water meters, he said.

City officials have discussed upgrading its water supply system over the past two years, Hunter said. However, the arrival ashore of Hurricane Laura in August 2020 and the winter storm of last February exposed the weaknesses of the system and pushed for faster action. If the city had updated its water supply system before the winter storm, it might have lacked sufficient water pressure for one to two days, instead of about five days, he said. declared.

After the winter storm, hundreds of city employees and contractors roamed the streets, trying to locate water leaks with their naked eyes, Hunter said. Heise said many homes with burst pipes were still unoccupied at the time due to damage from Hurricane Laura.

“With these new meters, a person at town hall could have an immediate impression of every house in town that has had a water leak,” Hunter said. “Those hundreds of employees could have been reduced and, within hours, they could have targeted these single-family homes, shut off the water and restore water pressure throughout the city.”
The inability of the city’s meter reading company to provide full staffing led to “estimated billing,” which caused frustration among residents about the amount of their water bill, Hunter said. Automated water meters will ensure reliable water bills for customers, he said.

Heise said the new water meters have a 30-year battery life. Council members also approved the extension of a water and sewer utility bill payment assistance program between the city and Catholic charities through June, or while supplies last. funds. The program benefits city patrons who have been affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta, as well as the winter storm.

Later in the meeting, the board also approved a resolution supporting Hunter’s appointment of Delton Carter as the new Lake Charles Fire Chief. Carter replaces Keith Murray, who retired in November. Hunter said the process for hiring a new fire chief was thorough. Carter, a 22-year veteran with the firefighters, thanked the city and his family


Source link

]]>