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Broadband Partnerships

Region 10 Broadband – Thankful for Relationships Built on Partnerships

With the recent selection of Deeply Digital LLC, a Montrose-based contractor, to build broadband infrastructure in the City of Montrose, Region 10 is adding to its broadband implementation team, and looks forward to working with a local company with extensive experience in Middle-Mile and Fiber to the Premise Projects. Deeply Digital will work in collaboration with Region 10’s current broadband implementation team, Actavo Engineering Services and Consulting Firm, NEO Connect in order to build out middle mile infrastructure.

Along with TCS (currently building middle mile infrastructure in Delta) Deeply Digital brings years of experience and a local voice to the project. Proposals from companies across the country were reviewed, and Deeply Digital’s proposal was identified as having the right mix of qualities, including approach to the project and pricing. Deeply Digital President Doug Seacat says of the project, “We are proud to have been chosen as the contractor for Montrose”. “We have a long history here and are excited to be working with Region 10 and the City of Montrose to improve regional broadband”.

As construction activities begin in Montrose and begin to wrap up in Delta, we will be working closely with all of our partners to expedite the project and to minimize impact in the communities. Construction for the Regional Broadband Project is divided into two phases. Phase One is currently underway and includes network construction in the Cities of Delta and Montrose. Phase Two will begin in 2017, with construction throughout Region 10’s member counties of Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison and Hinsdale.

These efforts are part of a long-term Region 10 initiative to help local governments in bringing high-speed, Gigabit-enabled broadband to their communities. The goal continues to be construction of the “middle mile” infrastructure throughout the Region, while creating redundancy for the individual communities. Local governments have identified affordable and reliable, high-speed broadband as essential to the Region’s economic development, public safety and health, and statewide competitiveness.

Region 10 is thankful for the support and cooperation of its’ member communities and its’ ongoing partnerships as we work to realize this vision. Without support from local communities, counties, commercial partners and state agencies the project would remain just that, a vision of unrealized potential.

We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Business Loan Fund lends thanks to our community

Business Loan Fund lends thanks to our community

Special recognition goes to Montrose County for acting as the sponsor for the State of Colorado’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program facilitated by Region 10. Through the program, Region 10 provides loans to businesses across six counties including Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Delta, Ouray, and San Miguel. Utilizing the CDBG program, the loan fund has given many businesses throughout the region access to capital through involvement in the program.

Often the CBDG funds assist a business with “gap” financing, allowing a business to combine personal assets and traditional bank financing with additional access to capital through the CBDG program to complete a loan package. This partnership with local banks in the area serves as an essential collaboration and contributes exponentially to the success of the businesses, thereby translating directly into job expansion and retention, as well as the overall vitality of the region.

Through the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the contract has been expanded and extended to further facilitate job creation and economic diversification within the region until November 2018.  Businesses that will benefit from this unique approach to business lending include hotels, breweries, retail sales, service, and health care. The contract is in effect until November 2018.

For more information on the program and Region 10’s Loan Fund or to see if your business could benefit from this approach to commercial lending, please contact Region 10 Business Loan Fund Director Dan Scinto at 970-765-3126.

Grateful for our SHIP volunteers

Grateful for our SHIP volunteers

Region 10’s Community Living Services program adopted the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 18 months ago from RSVP, which had been managing the program for many years.  When SHIP needed a home we were more than happy to bring them under the Community Living Services umbrella. The bonus for Region 10 was that all of the SHIP volunteers came with the package. These dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers donate more than 40 hours of their time and talent each week.

Medicare is a confusing world of acronyms, formularies, and programs– Parts A, B,C, D, just to name a few. Our SHIP volunteers know their stuff and every year they help consumers save thousands of dollars by finding them the plans that best meet their needs. They also manage the Senior Medicare Patrol which helps consumers understand the explanation of benefits; identify potential billing errors and possible Medicare fraud.

Mabel Risch, a Medicare guru, leads our SHIP team. The team of SHIP and Region 10 champions includes Judy Dietrich, Anne Britton, and Gloria Hudson. Administrative assistant Norma Abrahamson completes this dynamite band of volunteers.

Open enrollment continues through December 7th and SHIP counseling slots are filling fast. Call Norma at 970-765-3132 if you need to talk to one of them. This program would not be possible without dedicated volunteers. If you like helping people and want to join a fun group of people call Eva at 970-765-3127 to learn more about becoming a SHIP volunteer

We also count Barbara Ward among our many blessings. Barbara has been a steadfast volunteer ombudsman, as well as helping us with special events and projects, for more than 2 years. As a long-term care (LTC) ombudsman, she listens to and addresses the concerns of nursing home and assisted living facility residents. Because issues can range from the food service to problems with therapy or laundry, Barbara visits two of our facilities on a regular basis, spends time getting to know the residents, and works with Sandy Walker and the facilities to help resolve issues.

“There’s just about nothing I wouldn’t do for Region 10,” says Barbara Ward.

Volunteers like Barbara and our SHIP team help Community Living Services expand our reach to more people in our six-county region, and for this we are truly thankful.

Vince Rogalski: A Man of the Road

Vince Rogalski: A Man of the Road

We are thankful for individuals who are willing to spend a considerable amount of time away from their homes to provide a voice for Western Colorado citizens on statewide issues. One of these individuals is Deacon Vince Rogalski of Gunnison, who has served as the chairman of the Gunnison Valley Transportation Planning Region (GVTPR) and the Chairman of the State Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) for the last 14 years!

The GVTPR is responsible for the development of 20-year Regional Transportation Plans every five years, as well as producing annual updates through an extensive public participation process. The plan is a multi-model transportation plan addressing the transportation elements of roadways, bike & pedestrian facilities, transit services, aviation, and rail services, and covers all six counties in Region 10. It is used by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in the development of the Statewide Transportation Plan and to establish priority projects for funding every year. The STAC advises the Colorado Department of Transportation on the needs of the transportation system in Colorado and reviews and comments on all Statewide Transportation Plans. STAC assists with the development of the statewide CDOT budget and project selection and prioritization.

Vince also serves on several other state transportation committees, including the transit and rail advisory committee and the freight plan committee. He spends several days a month in Denver making sure that the transportation needs of Western Colorado are part of every discussion at the state level. Thanks Vince!

Deeply Digital selected for Montrose broadband buildout

Deeply Digital selected for Montrose broadband buildout

Region 10 has selected Deeply Digital LLC, a Montrose-based contractor, to build broadband infrastructure in the City of Montrose. Region 10 welcomes Deeply Digital to its broadband implementation team, and looks forward to working with a local company with extensive experience in Middle-Mile and Fiber to the Premise Projects. Deeply Digital will work in collaboration with Region 10’s current broadband implementation team, Actavo Engineering Services and Consulting Firm, NEO Connect. Construction is scheduled for completion in the Spring.

Deeply Digital was chosen through a competitive bidding process from a nation-wide applicant pool. Proposals were evaluated based on numerous criteria including; company qualifications, pricing and approach to the project, and experience and references.

Regional Broadband Project Director for Region 10, Chris Kennedy says, “We looked at proposals from companies across the country, and Deeply Digital’s proposal was identified as having the right mix of qualities, including approach to the project and pricing.” And with countless residential and business customers already in the City of Montrose, Deeply Digital is very familiar with the community and it’s needs.

Deeply Digital President Doug Seacat says of the project, “We are proud to have been chosen as the contractor for Montrose. We have a long history here and are excited to be working with Region 10 and the City of Montrose to improve regional broadband.”

Construction activities will begin this week and Deeply Digital will be working closely with City of Montrose to expedite the project and to minimize impact in the community.

Virgil Turner, City of Montrose Director of Innovation and Citizen Engagement responded to the selection, “The City is thrilled to work with a hometown company on this project. Doug and everyone over at Deeply Digital are local folks who are invested in this community. They have a proven track record here and they’re going to do a great job.”

Construction for the Regional Broadband Project is divided into two phases. Phase One is currently underway and includes network construction in the Cities of Delta and Montrose. Phase Two will begin in 2017, with construction throughout Region 10’s member counties of Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison and Hinsdale.

Region 10 has issued multiple invitations to bid in Phase One, including the Request for Information (RFI) for Dark Fiber IRU or Swap Agreement. The purpose of this bid was to invite those companies with networks in the region to discuss how they could partner with Region 10 for the benefit of the various communities. Additional invitations to bid include the RFPs for network construction in the Cities of Delta and Montrose.

These efforts are part of a long-term Region 10 initiative to help local governments in bringing high-speed, Gigabit-enabled broadband to their communities. The goal continues to be construction of the “middle mile” infrastructure throughout the Region, while creating redundancy for the individual communities. Local governments have identified affordable and reliable, high-speed broadband as essential to the Region’s economic development, public safety and health, and statewide competitiveness.

Region 10’s efforts in this broadband project have been extensively supported by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). DOLA has been a critical partner for infrastructure projects throughout the region and has provided leadership, technical support and grant funding throughout the broadband planning process.

Small business owners: We have the road map to success!

Small business owners: We have the road map to success!

 

Our goal at Region 10’s Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) is to support, develop, and grow successful businesses.  Whether it is a startup or an existing business, we’ve developed a road map that we believe will support and develop successful businesses throughout the area.

While the SBRC continues to offer free or low-cost workshops, training, and consulting services, we have refined our delivery process in order to serve more clients more efficiently and utilize our consultants and budget more effectively.

For “Starting a Business” Clients

For clients who are looking to start a business, the SBRC offers the Colorado Business Resource Guide.  The guide is an incredible resource for any business, referencing most city, state, and federal forms needed to establish a business in the state, as well as in-depth information about legal structure and registration, income and property tax, Colorado state tax, employer responsibilities, bookkeeping, sources of assistance, business planning, marketing, financing options, liabilities and insurance, and trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

After our client receives the Colorado Business Resource Guide, their contact information is entered into our email database and they begin receiving information about upcoming training and workshops.  These classes include “10 Thing You Need to Know before Starting a Business”, informs new business hopefuls about the common pitfalls of starting a business so they don’t make the same mistakes; “Starting a Business in Colorado”; provides the steps to register a business, test market viability, identify a target market, and develop a cash flow spreadsheet; and “Lean Business Planning”, a step-by-step business planning tool that helps clients identify their goals and outlines how to achieve them.

For “Existing Business” Clients

We believe that planning is the key to success for any business.  In fact, existing businesses with business plans grow 30 percent faster than businesses without a plan.  And because most existing businesses that request consulting from the SBRC are looking to increase revenue, we think it is important for them to have a business plan, a marketing plan, or both.  If a business seeks assistance from the SBRC—either for funding and/or consulting—we generally require them to develop a business plan first.

The Plan Unlocks the Door

Once the client has submitted their business plan, the doors magically open to all of the SBRC’s resources.  Clients gain access to the Loan Fund and free consulting by our functional and industry experts, as well as special Small Business Development Center (SBDC) programs, including:

  • SBDC Advanced, an economic gardening program focused on helping Colorado companies grow by providing custom-fit market research and corporate-level tools that might otherwise be out of reach for small to mid-sized businesses;
  • Connect2DOT, a certification process that prepares qualifying businesses to bid on various CDOT state and municipal projects; and
  • Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE (SMA), which provides coaching, consultation, and/or training by industry experts to small manufacturers based on the challenges manufacturers face.

For Everyone

Startups and existing businesses alike always have access to the variety of workshops we have available in functional areas, including bookkeeping, marketing, management, and operations.  Please check our calendar of events for dates and times.

If you have questions, comments, ideas for workshops and trainings, or know of anyone who would benefit from our SBRC offerings, please contact us:

Nancy Murphy                                                                  Dan Scinto
Small Business Development                                       Loan Fund
nancy@region10.net                                                      dan@region10.net
970-765-3130                                                                     970-765-3126

 

 

 

 

http://www.region10.net/download/Colorado-RESOURCE-GUIDE-07.30.16FINAL.pdf

Broadband: It Takes a Village…

Broadband: It Takes a Village…

We’ve all heard this expression in one form or another most of our lives. It speaks to the essence of community engagement and involvement in solving issues and helping each other succeed.

And it is certainly true about the Region 10 broadband project.

With the help of state and local governments and agencies, organizations like the El Pomar Foundation and local business and citizen engagement, construction has begun in Delta on the first phase of the Middle Mile network, a not for profit network designed to bring affordable high speed broadband access and connectivity to municipal and county governments and anchor institutions across the region while also providing “open access” connection points to local retail Internet Service Providers to help expand services to underserved communities.

Construction in Delta is scheduled to finish in October while construction in Montrose should start within the next week. We are excited that the Montrose construction project has been awarded to a local construction firm, ensuring that those dollars are invested in our local economies. Engineering and planning activities continue at breakneck speed to ensure we meet our goal of lighting up services by the end of the year in these two communities and ready ourselves for Phase Two construction to begin early next year.

Without the participation and input from all of our partners and stakeholders, none of this would be possible. The opportunities and potential to share resources across the region, to help foster an environment of diverse economic development are a testament to our “village” recognizing a problem and coming together to create a solution.

Are you prepared for Medicare open enrollment?

Are you prepared for Medicare open enrollment?

Your SHIP Has Come In!

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for our region is housed at Region 10 under Community Living Services. SHIP is a state program that is funded by the federal government to give local health insurance counseling to people eligible for Medicare benefits.

10 Things You Need to Know about Medicare

SHIPs are not connected to any insurance company or health plan. Our services are free and confidential.  SHIP volunteers are well trained to help you with these Medicare questions or concerns:

  1. “Medicare and You” seminars for those new to Medicare
  2. Your Medicare rights
  3. Understanding your options
  4. Assistance with Medicare claims questions and/or appeals
  5. Billing and claims problems
  6. Assistance with Part D Prescription plan comparisons
  7. Assistance with paying for prescription drugs
  8. Assistance with complaints about your medical care of treatment
  9. Identify gaps in Medicare coverage and options to fill them evaluate Medicare supplement insurance options
  10. How Medicare works with other insurance.

Open enrollment begins October 15th thru December 7th

This is the time to enroll in or switch Part D Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.  Your choice will take effect January 1st.  Most people will not be able to change plans again until the Annual Open Enrollment Period next year. It is important to review your plans every year.  Plans often make changes.  There may be new premiums, co-pays, and changes in the lists of drugs that are covered.  We recommend you evaluate your prescription drug coverage each year to determine which plan best fits your needs for the coming year.  You can enroll or change your Part D plans and Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans from October 15th thru December 7th.

SHIP is located at the Region 10 offices at 300 N. Cascade, Montrose.

Call us at 970-765-3132 or toll free at 1-888-696-7213 to speak to one of our certified SHIP counselors. Many questions can be handled with a phone call.  We serve the following counties:  Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Miguel, and Ouray.  We also have certified counselors in Lake City at 970-944-0321 and in Gunnison at 970-641-7984.

 

 

 

Broadband construction has started in Delta

Broadband construction has started in Delta

 

Construction of Region 10’s broadband, fiber-optic network is underway in the City of Delta. Contractor, TCS Communications has begun with underground boring and also with attaching fiber optic cables to poles within the city. Area residents will see the TCS crews and their equipment throughout various parts of the city as work progresses. TCS has multiple work crews on the ground performing both aerial and underground construction and will complete their portion of the project this fall.

City of Delta Community Development Director Glen Black says of the construction, “It’s truly exciting to finally have the Region 10 Project in the construction phase. A lot of good people have worked hard to get us to this point, and now the network is becoming a reality.” Region 10 and City of Delta staff from various departments including planning, development, public works and Delta Municipal Electric have been engaged in the planning phase of this network for well over two years.

TCS Communications is a Colorado-based company, and one of the state’s most experienced, network construction companies. TCS has extensive experience in Middle-Mile and Fiber to the Premise projects and will work closely with Region 10’s current broadband implementation team, NEO Connect and Actavo Engineering Services.

“It’s great to see construction start on this project,” said Chris Kennedy, the Regional Broadband Project Director for Region 10. “This is a real game-changer for the community, in terms of improved internet services, and true high-speed broadband.”

Construction for the Regional Broadband Project is divided into two phases. Phase One is currently underway and includes network construction in the Cities of Delta and Montrose. Phase Two will take place in 2017, with construction throughout Region 10’s member counties of Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison and Hinsdale. The continued goal of these efforts is to construct “middle mile” infrastructure throughout the Region, while providing redundancy for the individual communities. Local governments have identified affordable and reliable, high-speed broadband as essential to the Region’s economic development, public safety and health, and statewide competitiveness.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has provided extensive support for Region 10’s broadband project. DOLA has been a critical partner for infrastructure projects throughout the region and has provided leadership, technical support and grant funding throughout the broadband planning process.

 

BUILDING CAPACITY: Community Living Services provides options for local residents

BUILDING CAPACITY: Community Living Services provides options for local residents

Community Living Services ADRC is building capacity

The past year has brought more big changes to the program with the addition of ADRC Options Counselors to each county served by Region 10.

ADRC (Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado) serves adults with disabilities and older adults with information, referrals to programs and services that help people maintain their highest level of independence and remain in their community of choice. We needed to build our capacity throughout the region in order to best meet the needs of our consumers and we have been fortunate to contract with other agencies to meet those needs with Options Counselors who live in the community and understand the unique needs of those we serve and have access to local resources.

An Options Counseling visit usually occurs in the home giving us insight into the strengths and resources of each individual; the visit includes a comprehensive assessment and in-depth discussion with the consumer to determine what is working for them, what is not, and help them identify what they hope to achieve. We then work with them to develop a plan that helps them achieve those goals. This person centered approach ensures that the client makes educated decisions.

The process looks first at the financial picture to determine if the individual may be eligible for other programs like LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance), Low Income Assistance for Medicare or Long Term Care Medicaid. Many older adults do not understand the difference between Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or Social Security Disability. These programs can be difficult for anyone to understand but an older adult in crisis has a very tough time navigating the systems.

We are here to help them understand the options and make informed choices. There is nothing worse than finding a long term care policy after the financial assets have been depleted, but many people do not realize what they have until it is too late.

After the financial assessment we look at what the individual can do for themselves ADL’s (activities of daily living) the ability to dress, bathe, toilet, eat etc. and IADL’s (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) pay bills, go shopping, take medications, prepare meals and clean house. These things help us determine if life lines, assisted transportation, home delivered meals, homemaker, personal care or caregiver respite would be helpful. We make suggestions and offer options; it is always up to the consumer to decide their own path.

People often assume they need to go to the nursing home when they begin to struggle; there are so many resources to help people remain in their home, in an environment they are comfortable in, at a much lower cost.

We actually have a lot of resources in the region that most people are not aware of until they need them. One of our goals as an agency is to offer community education about these topics and create well informed consumers who are able to make better decisions when the time comes. Check out the calendar of events for educational presentations and evidenced based programs throughout the region.

Knowledge is power!

Amy Rowan-Lead Options Counselor 970-765-3123          Claudette Nicolas-970-765-3121

Caitlin Williams-Delta Co OC-970-399-3615                            Diana Baker-Gunnison Co OC 970-641-7984

Deon Tempfer-West End OC 970-708-7096                           Mary Cockle-Ouray Co OC 970-325-4586

Jacqi Kambish-Hinsdale Co OC 970-944-0231