Legislative Update - October 10, 200810-Oct-2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
The final deadline to register to vote in the 2008 presidential election is quickly approaching! This Tuesday, October 14th, is the deadline. Please visit http://www.elections.state.md.us/ to register to vote in this year's historic election. If you are already registered to vote, you can also visit that website to confirm your district and voting locations for November 4th!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some important information about a recent increase in funding that the Chesapeake Science & Securities Corridor (CSSC) recently received from the federal government as our region prepares for BRAC. See the press release below.
As always, I want to hear from you with your thoughts and concerns. Your opinions matter to me!
Harford and Cecil Counties
Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor (CSSC) Receives Additional $2.7m in Federal Monies to Support BRAC Implementation in APG Region
(September 25, 2008 - ABERDEEN, MD)—The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) recently awarded an additional $2.7 million to the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor (CSSC) for six key planning projects to address BRAC implementation in the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) community.
This award brings new federal monies as an amended request to a current $2.1 million grant as well as an extension to complete all projects and continue operation of the APG-CSSC Regional BRAC Office through June 30, 2009.
According to a recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report, the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor region has received more federal planning dollars than any other BRAC growth community in the country. Twenty BRAC growth communities exist nationwide. To date, the CSSC has received more than $7.2 million dollars for BRAC planning and implementation.
“The grant award from the Office of Economic Adjustment will certainly help Harford County and the region as we continue our work to meet the challenges and opportunities that BRAC brings," said County Executive David R. Craig.
“This grant award is an honor we don't take lightly," said Karen Holt, BRAC Manager with the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor. "BRAC implementation is a complex process, the stakes are high, and the time clock is ticking until the BRAC 2005 decisions are to be completed."
Holt indicated that the large influx of civilian DoD jobs rather than military personnel an the fact that the jobs are incrementally transferring to APG now makes the BRAC process at APG unique compared to most other gaining communities in the US. She also cited transportation funding shortfalls and infrastructure needs as critical elements necessary to resolve in order to accommodate BRAC actions in a timely manner.
Approximately 8,200 direct jobs are anticipated to transition to APG by September 15, 2011. A contractor tail of 7,500-10,000 indirect jobs are projected to follow. "One of our greatest strengths is a qualified workforce in this region," said Holt. "Our challenge is mobility of that commuter workforce throughout the northeast corridor."
Key planning projects approved for this phase of funding include:
-A Multimodal Transportation Center Feasibility Study to explore location and functionality of a transportation hub in the Aberdeen area to accommodate rail, commuter bus, and shuttle service on and off the installation;
-A Regional Water Service Authority feasibility Study to examine adequate allocationamong Harford County and its municipalities of Aberdeen, Havre de Grace and Bel Air;
-A Regional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Initiative to coordinate land use planning among eight jurisdictions in MD, DE and PA, and provide baseline GIS capabilities to support the City of Aberdeen's participation in regional effort.
-A Regional Workforce Analysis to assess public service sector (i.e., education, healthcare, law enforcement, EMS, etc); identify gaps in available workforce related to growth demands and strategize on recruitment efforts related to spousal employment in conjunction with BRAC relocation;
-A Regional Community College Workforce Training Curriculum Assessment related to BRAC impacts; and
-A Feasibility Study for the Expansion of the Higher Education Conference Center (HECC) at HEAT to accommodate the organic and BRAC growth demands on coursework and facility needs.
According to Holt, accountability is high regarding project management. These projects add to 11 existing projects already underway at various stages involving six jurisdictions, each requiring quarterly progress reports to OEA and funding oversight. "Collaborating as a region with these federal funds has stretched creative solutions and resources across municipality, county and state lines; across a region that collectively can absorb and accommodate BRAC," said Holt.
CSSC posts completed studies and assessments on its website at www.apg-cssc.com under "resource links" and project RFP opportunities under "spotlight." The CSSC was a 2007 Sustainable Communities Award recipient by the National Association of Counties.
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