funds

Lakewood eyeing OPWC funds for water main improvements throughout city

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — This summer Lakewood was awarded $750,000 in Water Main Replacement Project funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).

Now the city is planning to begin work next spring on Lauderdale Avenue (between Detroit and Madison avenues), Leedale Avenue (between Lake Avenue and Edgewater Boulevard) and Elbur Avenue (Between Athens Avenue and Lakewood Heights Boulevard).

“This is all part of our yearly OPWC grant application for water main improvements,” Lakewood City Engineer Mark K. Papke said. “These projects are currently in design. They’ll be going out to bid in the first quarter 2021, start in May and wrap up around November.”

The project cost is $4,716,850. In addition to the grant, the OPWC is also providing a zero-percent 20-year loan for $866,850. That means the city’s total contribution is nearly $4 million.

“These water mains were installed in the early 1900s,” Papke said. “Most of them are six-inch in diameter and cast iron. They get tuberculated — the metal grows on the inside of the pipe and reduces the diameter, which affects water flow.

“Also a lot of these have lead service connections that are being replaced with copper. So we upsized the water main to eight-inch diameter and put in six-inch fire hydrants rather than the existing four-inch. It improves the flow.”

Lakewood is also applying for the next round of OPWC funds to cover a sewer improvement project planned for portions of Andrews Avenue (Detroit Avenue to Clifton Boulevard) and Gladys Avenue (Detroit Avenue to Clifton Boulevard).

“Length-wise, the project is similar to the 2021 project, but we’re also including some necessary sewer improvements,” Papke said. “Some areas require heavier sewer upgrades than other ones.”

The city engineer said Lakewood not only entered into the agreement in July, but is currently at 75 percent of

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More than $1.5M in federal funds to go to improvements at parks on Oahu, Kauai and Maui

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015
                                Beachgoers enjoyed Waimanalo Beach Park on Oahu. Hawaii is set to receive more than $1.5 million in federal funding to support improvements to city and state parks on Oahu, Kauai and Maui, according to U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015

    Beachgoers enjoyed Waimanalo Beach Park on Oahu. Hawaii is set to receive more than $1.5 million in federal funding to support improvements to city and state parks on Oahu, Kauai and Maui, according to U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono.

Hawaii is set to receive more than $1.5 million in federal funding to support improvements to city and state parks on Oahu, Kauai and Maui, according to U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono.

The funding comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

On Oahu, a total of $653,036 has been awarded to the City and County of Honolulu to update playgrounds and make other renovations at Geiger Community Park, Lanakila District Park, Aina Koa Neighborhood Park and Waimanalo Beach Park.

On Kauai, a total of $500,000 has been awarded to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to make improvements to walkways, parking areas, and other facilities at Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, and on Maui, another $500,000 for additional accessibility routes and restroom upgrades at Makena State Park.

“Hawaii has benefited from more than $260 million in funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund over the last five decades,” said Hirono, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a news release. “We know how vital our outdoor spaces have been during this pandemic. Funding these projects across our state will keep these parks well maintained so they can continue to be enjoyed.”

In June, Hirono voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, bipartisan legislation to address the National Park Service deferred maintenance backlog, and permanently and fully fund the LWCF.

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Airlines Used Cares Act Funds To Pay Workers. Airline Contractors Took Funds And Let Workers Go, Report Says

In the months after Congress allocated of hundreds of millions of dollars to keep airline industry employees working, passenger airlines applied for shares of that money and then then laid off less than 1% of their workers, until the funding ran out.

Airline contractors similarly applied for money and then laid off about 58,000 people, about 35% of their workers, a new report says.

“Contrary to congressional intent, Treasury permitted aviation contractors to lay off thousands of workers and receive full payroll support calculated based on the companies’ pre-pandemic workforce,” according to a report, released Friday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

The report, “Unnecessary Costs: How the Trump Administration Allowed Thousands of Aviation Workers to Lose Their Jobs,” was issued by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

It blasted both the slow pace of work by the Treasury Department and airport contractors’ allocation of the funds they received.

“This staff report documents how the Department of the Treasury’s implementation of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) caused thousands of workers at aviation contractors to lose their jobs,” said the introduction to the report.

“Documents uncovered during the Select Subcommittee’s investigation show that aviation contractors sought to avoid ‘unnecessary costs’ by terminating employees before executing PSP agreements,” the introduction continued.

In comparison with passenger airlines, “Aviation contractors reported conducting 57,833 layoffs and furloughs prior to applying for PSP assistance—more than 17 times the number reported by passenger air carriers,” the report said.

The Cares Act was approved by Congress on March 27. The report makes a distinction between the 57,833 layoffs and furloughs before PSP applications were filed under the act, and the16,655 layoffs between

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Coronavirus relief funds for nursing homes dry up, raising fears for elderly, vulnerable

As drafts of a renewed coronavirus relief package continue to be debated in and around the White House, the many millions left languishing in nursing homes and elderly care facilities – along with their loved ones forced to communicate with them from afar – are urging swift action.

According to the American Health Care Association (AHCA), almost all the initial $175 billion U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funds from the CARES Act – which was signed into law by President Trump in late March – has been spent, and yet coronavirus – officially termed COVID-19 – cases in at least 22 states continues to ascend, ahead of the already daunting cold and flu season.

“HHS has announced distribution plans for 80 percent of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act. Health care providers, including nursing homes, will need additional resources to continue its response to the COVID pandemic heading into the cold and flu season, which provides new challenges,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), told Fox News. “COVID-19 disproportionately impacts the elderly – many of whom already have preexisting health conditions and chronic diseases – and the dedicated staff who care for them.”

AMID CORONAVIRUS, 1 IN 4 AMERICANS ARE FAILING TO WASH THEIR HANDS: CDC

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has thus requested an additional $100 billion from the HHS Provider Relief Fund, which is accessible for all health care providers impacted by the novel pathogen, and asked “that a sizeable portion of the fund be dedicated to helping nursing homes and assisted living communities to acquire resources associated with protecting vulnerable residents and staff from the virus, including constant testing, personal protective

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The Pentagon funneled coronavirus relief funds to defense contractors

The Cares Act, which Congress passed earlier this year, gave the Pentagon money to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” But a few weeks later, the Defense Department began reshaping how it would award the money in a way that represented a major departure from Congress’s intent.

The payments were made even though U.S. health officials think major funding gaps in pandemic response still remain. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Senate testimony last week that states desperately need $6 billion to distribute vaccines to Americans early next year. Many U.S. hospitals still face a severe shortage of N95 masks. These are the types of problems that the money was originally intended to address.

“This is part and parcel of whether we have budget priorities that actually serve our public safety or whether we have a government that is captured by special interests,” said Mandy Smithberger, a defense analyst at the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

DOD officials contend that they have sought to strike a balance between boosting American medical production and supporting the defense industry, whose health they consider critical to national security. The Pentagon, which as of 2016 employed more than 156,000 people working in acquisitions alone, also has lent its expertise to the Department of Health and Human Services as it seeks to purchase billions of dollars in needed medical equipment.

“We are thankful the Congress provided authorities and resources that enabled the [executive branch] to invest in domestic production of critical medical resources and protect key defense capabilities from the consequences of COVID,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said in a statement. “We need to always remember that economic security and national security are very tightly interrelated and our industrial base

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