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“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Montrose

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” now available in Montrose

Powerful Tools for Caregivers, an educational series designed to provide caregivers with the resources they need to take care of themselves, is coming to Montrose. Scheduled to start on September 26th 2016, Powerful Tools will be held at the Montrose County Health & Human Services building (1845 South Townsend Ave).

Presented by Region 10, The Area Agency on Aging, this program helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.

Classes consist of six sessions held once a week from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The courses will be taught by experienced caregivers who have successfully applied the techniques they teach. Interactive lessons, discussions, and brainstorming will help caregivers develop the “tools” they need to maintain their peace of mind.

Class participants will receive the book, The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class. A $25 donation is requested for participants over the age of 60, but not required. Participants under the age of 60 are required to pay the $25 fee.

For more information or to register, contact Sandy Walker at (970) 765-3131 or sandy@region10.net. Participants can also register at www.region10.net/powerfultools.

Region 10 announces contractor selection for broadband construction

Region 10 announces contractor selection for broadband construction

Region 10 has selected TCS Communications LLC, a Colorado-based contractor, to build broadband infrastructure in the City of Delta. Region 10 welcomes TCS to its broadband implementation team and looks forward to working with one of Colorado’s best network construction companies, with extensive experience in Middle-Mile and Fiber to the Premise projects. TCS will work in collaboration with Region 10’s current broadband implementation team, Actavo and NEO Connect, and is scheduled to complete construction this fall.

TCS Communications was chosen from a broad field of applicants through a competitive bidding process. Proposals were evaluated based on numerous criteria including; company qualifications, pricing and approach to the project, and experience and references. Although bids came in from across the country, TCS’ proposal was the clear standout in both value and approach. TCS President James Dunham says of the project, “TCS is looking forward to working with Region 10 and the City of Delta, and is excited to be a part of bringing broadband to Western Colorado.” With years of experience in rural Colorado and New Mexico and as the current contractor for network construction in the City of Longmont, TCS is the right choice for building a broadband network in the City of Delta. Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes says that, “Region 10 is thrilled to work with a Colorado-based company that has a proven track record here at home, and throughout the rural west. TCS is a great fit for Regional Broadband in Western Colorado.”

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. Region 10 has issued three invitations for bids so far in Phase One, the first being 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. The second invitation was the Request for Proposal (RFP) for network construction in the City of Delta. And a third invitation to bid was issued in July for network construction in the City of Montrose. Proposals are currently under review, with contractor selection expected soon.

The RFPs and RFI are part of a long term Region 10 initiative to help local governments in bringing high-speed, Gigabit-enabled broadband to their communities. The continued goal of these efforts is to construct the “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.

Region 10’s efforts have been extensively supported by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) in this 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.

Broadband Update – 8/12/16

Broadband Update – 8/12/16

Summary

The construction contractor for The City of Delta has been selected and contract execution is pending. A pre-construction meeting occurred on August 10th in the City of Delta. The RFP for OSP Construction in the City of Montrose is open for bidding with proposals due August 12. Review and evaluation of the responses to the RFI for Dark Fiber is ongoing.

Engineering and design of Carrier Neutral Locations, equipment shelters and network equipment is ongoing. Multiple competitive bid processes will be issued for these components of the network implementation.

Construction activities are scheduled to begin in the City of Delta August 15 and are expected in the City of Montrose by the end of August. Actavo and NEO Connect are finalizing design and equipment requirements for connection of Region 10 and Grand Junction.

A press release will be issued this week to announce that Region 10 has selected a contractor for OSP Construction in The City of Delta.

Request(s) for Proposal – RFP for OSP Construction in the Cities of Delta & Montrose

Construction contractor TCS Communications has been selected to complete OSP Construction in The City of Delta. Execution of the contract and announcement of award is pending. Region 10, NEO Connect and Actavo will meet with TCS in a preconstruction meeting on August 10 in Delta. Review of design, bonding, insurance and construction documents is ongoing.

The RFP for OSP Construction in The City of Montrose has been posted for review and bidding by over 800 firms at www.rockymountainbidsystem.com. This document has also been transmitted directly to construction firms across the country, in an effort to increase response rates to the RFP as much as possible. Deadline for submission of proposals has been extended to August 12 with construction activities starting by August 25th.

Engineering, Field Survey Work and Permitting

The City of Delta has is currently reviewing the final permitting packages submitted by Actavo. Actavo is coordinating with TCS to review design/engineering and permitting. Permitting applications with the BLM, Railroad and CDOT are on schedule. Engineering and quality assurance activities continue throughout the Cities of Montrose and Delta to address minor design changes in preparation for construction. Actavo and NEO Connect continue to work on the RFP for Network Equipment and Shelters.

Chris Kennedy hired as Broadband Project Director

Chris Kennedy hired as Broadband Project Director

With the acquisition of several large grants and the development of a comprehensive implementation strategy, the regional broadband network proposed by Region 10 is becoming more of a reality by the day.

As this project accelerates, the need for a high level of detail and technical knowledge to implement the strategy are the utmost importance. Region 10 created a position dedicated to this very need, and recently filled the opening.

Chris Kennedy, the new Regional Broadband Project Director hired by Region 10, brings over 25 years of experience in integrating telecommunication technology systems and developing successful models of implementation.

Kennedy’s background is a robust mixture of public service and entrepreneurialism. Kennedy’s public service spans from his time serving in the United States Marine Corps to his current role as Councilman at Large with the City of Grand Junction.

Kennedy’s tenure in the private sector has centered on telecommunication technology. With a resume that boasts titles such as Director Engineering with Charter Communications, Systems Integration Manager with CompuCom and Technical Operations Manager with Bresnan Communications, Kennedy has dedicated the bulk of his professional career to proliferation of information technology. He also started his own business—Kennedy Telecom—which has an 11 year track record of delivering information technology solutions to small businesses in Western Colorado.

Approaching a professional crossroad, Kennedy needed to determine if he wanted to continue down the road of his corporate path or to do something with a deeper impact on his community.

“I wanted to do something more altruistic with an NGO or non-profit that focused on improving quality of life and entrepreneurial opportunities in the broadband space,” Kennedy states.

During his tenure with City of Grand Junction, Kennedy was introduced to the state and local efforts to expand broadband on the Western Slope during a conference in Vail last year. As a result of this networking event, Kennedy learned about Region 10, and kept close tabs on the organization’s efforts. Once the Broadband Project Manager position was created, Kennedy knew that he was the right fit for the job.

“Region 10 is pleased to have someone with Chris’ experience in both the private and public sectors, as it serves the overall mission and intent of the Region 10 project in the best possible way,” states Michelle Haynes, Executive Director of Region 10. “We are looking forward to having Chris’ expertise to lead the implementation of the Region 10 project, as well as assist our local governments to leverage the project as it works best in their local communities.”

Kennedy will serve as the primary liaison for all of the existing partnerships—including Region 10 municipalities and county governments, internet service providers, utility coops, and a plethora of engaged community stakeholders—that are driving the construction of the new network.

Calling himself a “cheerleader for broadband,” Kennedy is passionate about the delivery of this service throughout communities in need to adapt to a 21st century economy. “My vision is to get as much affordable, high-speed data access to as many people in as many places as is economically feasible,” he comments.

As the new public face of broadband, Kennedy will face the daunting task of coordinating the existing broadband implementation strategy, which includes the buildout of middle-mile infrastructure designed to deliver affordable, abundant, and redundant internet service to the six-county region served by Region 10.

The position is funded in part by a $75,000 grant awarded to Region 10 by the El Pomar Foundation for two years.

In an official statement, the El Pomar Foundation wrote the following in regards to the grant: “Recognizing the impact of access to broadband on the region’s economic development efforts, Region 10 and the San Juan Regional Council of El Pomar Foundation have recognized the value of a regional broadband coordinator. Region 10 has received this grant from the San Juan Regional Council to support this effort.”

Only a few days into his first week, Kennedy hit the ground running. Region 10’s broadband committee is currently reviewing request for proposals for construction on the first phase of the network’s buildout, which covers Delta County and parts of Montrose County.

“Region 10 is certainly heading in the right direction when it comes to broadband,” Kennedy comments.

Considering the resources set aside specifically at the state and federal level, Kennedy adds, “It’s a good political environment and funding environment to make that happen.” Kennedy remains optimistic about the future of broadband for the region.

For more information regarding broadband, Kennedy can be reached at chris@region10.net and (970) 765-3139.

Eva Goes to Washington

Eva Goes to Washington

By Eva Veitch
Director, Community Living Services

A couple of months ago I found an email from Senators Gardner and Bennett in my spam email. I took a chance and opened the invitation to “Colorado at the Capital.” This event is co-sponsored by our Senators, CMU, and CU Boulder and is intended to better engage community leaders. I was intrigued by the invitation so I explored the website and decided to apply. After all, I have plenty to say about aging and disabilities, the re-authorization of the Older Americans Act, the lack of support for the Long Term Care Ombudsman program; and the list goes on. Maybe I could get someone to listen or at least make some valuable contacts for future crusades.

Much to my surprise, I made the cut and my agency supported the trip. I was off to Washington, DC June 8th. It was a jam packed agenda of high powered Washington politicians held at the Capital Building. I was joined in this experience by a wide variety of Coloradoans who were eager to learn what really happens in DC. We experienced first-hand what it actually takes to get a bill passed as Cory Gardner fought for a bill that has an economic impact on Colorado. It is a very slow-moving process, but we kept hearing that our Nation’s Founders designed it that way to ensure that decisions that impact all of us are well thought out, that there is always a “devil’s advocate” and several opportunities to ask why before ideas become law.

I am happy to say that Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett are both highly regarded by their peers at the Capital. Many of the speakers complimented “our guys” as people who really care about the issues and set a good example for working across the isle. I was impressed by the caliber of young people who intern at the Capital, there are many up and coming future politicians who are eager to make a difference. The political climate this year made for many interesting conversations and being right there in DC I found myself questioning some of my own opinions. It is good to hear all sides of the story before making your own conclusions.

Our group was dynamic and diverse with representatives from large and small business, educations, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, law and local government. We were all eager to see how things happen at the Capital and “our Colorado team on the hill” did not disappoint. Senators Gardner and Bennett work hard to represent us in our Nation’s Capital. In this year of extreme political turmoil; I was pleased to see people treating one another with respect and trying to make good decisions on our behalf. I am encouraged by the number of interested and engaged young people and overall hopeful. I was amazed that most of my fellow travelers had no idea about the Older Americans Act or how to access services for older adults; I educated anyone who would listen!

This country girl returned to Colorado tired but optimistic. I would encourage everyone to learn more and seek opportunities like this one to become more engaged in what goes on in our world.

Region 10 to Hire Broadband Coordinator

Region 10 to Hire Broadband Coordinator

This article originally appeared in Gunnison Country Times, and Region 10 received permission to republish. 

Region 10 to hire broadband coordinator

Position funded by economic development grant

By Alan Wartes
Gunnison Times Staff Writer

These days, there is at least one thing upon which most people in rural Colorado can agree — the need for improved broadband internet service. Recent outages across much of the Western Slope have left little doubt that the combination of society’s increasing dependence on the internet and lagging infrastructure development is a real problem facing communities in the region.

Region 10 — a “non-profit organization offering public programs in support of eighteen local communities and six counties in western Colorado”  — is taking the lead in tackling the issue. The group is spearheading a major project to improve internet redundancy throughout the region — that is, to provide “carrier neutral” backup conduits for internet service — whether through parallel fiber optic cables or other means of transmission.
To better manage that program, Region 10 has announced plans to hire a regional broadband coordinator. The position will be funded for the first two years by a $150,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation.
“Recognizing the impact of access to broadband on the region’s economic development efforts, Region 10 and the San Juan Regional Council of El Pomar Foundation have recognized the value of a regional broadband coordinator,” a foundation release states. “This position will be responsible for managing the implementation of the Region 10 broadband plan, as well as coordinating with local governments and internet service providers to leverage resources and complete middle mile broadband connections.”
The grant was recommended by El Pomar’s San Juan Regional Council, one of 11 such bodies throughout Colorado designed to help disburse the foundation’s funding more evenly across the state. Former Gunnison County Commissioner Hap Channell is a member.
“As a council, we wanted to help boost economic development in the region and felt that funding this coordinator position was a tangible way to do just that,” he wrote in an e-mail.
“In a perfect world, the West Slope would not have our systems go down like they did recently,” said Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes. “We would have sufficient redundancy to maintain adequate service at all times. That means that businesses and individuals have access to the services they need at an affordable enough rate that they are competitive with anyone else in the state or in the country.”
Haynes admits, however, that achieving that goal — especially in challenging locations like Gunnison County — is at best a long-term, expensive undertaking. At present, CenturyLink owns the only fiber optic cable coming in and out of the community, and the investment needed to duplicate that system as a backstop against outages is prohibitive.
The Region 10 infrastructure program — in which a number of local governments and organizations are participating — is exploring a variety of alternative methods of connecting the Gunnison Valley with networks elsewhere in the state. Those include microwave links pointed east and south and a plan to use high-tension power lines belonging to the Western Area Power Administration.
“The story is still to try to get people to envision the internet as entertainment, a luxury, an add-on if you will,” said Haynes. “But that’s not what it’s become. It’s a necessity, and it probably should have been thought of all along as a public utility, but it certainly is at a utility level now.
Haynes said Region 10 has received numerous “promising” applications for the new position, and she hopes to have the job filled by Aug. 1.

 

Broadband Fiber Comes to Delta County

Broadband Fiber Comes to Delta County

Region 10’s efforts for improving broadband services is becoming a reality. Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning announces the arrival of the first order of fiber optic cable for construction of its regional broadband network. 60,000 feet of fiber arrived recently at the Delta Public Works Depot where it will be stored during construction. The completed network will provide abundant, affordable and reliable broadband to the twenty-two, member communities throughout the Region.

This is the first of numerous orders for fiber and other materials needed for network construction in the City of Delta. The fiber optic cable will be used to provide connections for key government and community facilities throughout the City and will be used by existing Internet service providers to reduce their costs of offering broadband services to homes and businesses. This year’s network construction will take place in the Cities of Delta and Montrose, and is the first big milestone in helping local governments to bring high-speed, Gigabit-enabled broadband to the Region.

Region 10 issued several invitations for proposal in June; the first being 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. The second invitation was the Request for Proposal (RFP) for network construction in the City of Delta. The month-long submission period has ended and provided proposals which are currently under review. A general contractor will now be selected and construction activities are scheduled to begin within the next several weeks. A third invitation for proposal has also been issued in July for network construction in the City of Montrose.

The RFPs and RFI are part of a long term Region 10 initiative to help local governments in bringing high-speed, Gigabit-enabled broadband to their communities. The continued goal of these efforts is to construct the “middle mile” infrastructure throughout the Region, while providing redundancy for the individual cities. 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 have been extensively supported by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) in this 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.

For more information, visit the Region 10 website at http://www.region10.net/broadband.

 

 

Region 10 communities awarded support for Colorado Blueprint 2.0

Region 10 communities awarded support for Colorado Blueprint 2.0

Several Region 10 communities—Montrose, Ouray, and Delta—received great news from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) on July 21st. In a press release, OEDIT announced the recipients of the Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiative. State resources have been set aside to better serve rural communities around the state and help them identify economic solutions that make them more resilient.

To learn more, read the press release below. Congratulations to all of community members involved in the application process for these awards!

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne announces
Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiative recipients
DENVER – Thurs., July 21, 2016 – Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne today visited the town of Delta to announce recipients of the first round of the Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) launched Blueprint 2.0 last year as a way to examine how best to serve rural communities around the state and identify opportunities to leverage the state’s resources.

“Blueprint 2.0 is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” said Lt Gov. Donna Lynne. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”

Colorado Blueprint 2.0 Recipients:
* Industry Attraction Initiative: Rio Blanco, Trinidad
* Competitive Advantage: Fort Morgan, Limon, Dillon
* Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Ouray, Montrose
* Strengthen Local Business Brand: San Luis Valley, Buena Vista, Delta
* Tiny Homes Community Master Plan: Morgan, Steamboat, Pagosa Springs`
* Adaptive Reuse Workshop: Brush, Delta County, Summit County
* Call Yourself Creative: Buena Vista, Rio Blanco County, Kremmling
* Incubator/Accelerator Best Practices: Morgan County, Steamboat, NWCOG
* Tourism Promotion: La Junta, Delta County, Rio Blanco County
* Community-Led Initiative: Custer County

Over the past year, OEDIT hosted 13 strategy sessions throughout the rural regions of Colorado to develop the ten different initiatives that communities would find most beneficial to apply for through Blueprint 2.0. Each initiative includes services not previously provided by the State, and leverages state resources and partnerships with organizations outside of the State of Colorado to provide technical assistance to regions who expressed an interest in pursuing the initiatives.

Many communities applied for Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives, and during the application process, communities and regions were asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue.

Initiatives will be deployed between now and December 2016. A new round of Blueprint 2.0 initiatives will be unveiled in 2017.

Olathe incorporates pocket park into Main Street revitalization

Olathe incorporates pocket park into Main Street revitalization

This article was originally published in The Montrose Daily Press. Region 10 has received permission to republish this article on our own website. 

Pocket Park will be a Main Street design, activity feature

By Carole Ann McKelvey
Montrose Daily Press News Editor

The rendering of a planned improvement in a small park on Olathe’s Main Street was designed by CU students.

The rendering of a planned improvement in a small park on Olathe’s Main Street was designed by CU students.

A Region 10 grant of Colorado Department of Local Affairs money may not have seemed like a big deal to them, but to Olathe, it is funding a huge improvement in the community.

Monique English, administrative assistant for Olathe, wrote the grant for $5,000 and with a 100% match from the town, it is funding an upgrade on the small park on Main Street, the city hopes to turn into a centerpiece for downtown.

The grant comes on the heels of a $1,200 grant received last year that helped fund a renovation downtown.

As part of beautification efforts the city has organized a “Beautify Olathe Committee.”

The efforts thus far have included new planters and trashcans. Business owners and citizens have been invited to participate by adopting planters, planting and maintaining them, with the city providing watering.

Now in it’s third year, the program has caught on, English said, “and many people have adopted planters and kept them up over time. The program is very popular.”

Monique English, Olathe administrative assistant, stands in the small park on Main Street that will be rehabilitated and upgraded with a DOLA grant.

Monique English, Olathe administrative assistant, stands in the small park on Main Street that will be rehabilitated and upgraded with a DOLA grant.

A much larger grant from Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance funds totaled $318,000 and paid for a project that upgraded the main street’s gutters, roadway and storm sewers. It was concluded with repaving in 2015.

English said the little park that now exists near downtown is too small and very dark. The plans call for opening up the space, adding an information kiosk, new benches and other amenities to enhance the space.

It is hoped in the future to have bands play there for street dancing, to have small festivals and farmers market events in the space.

The city’s traditional pine Christmas tree is at the edge of the space and will remain, she said.

The park plans were drafted by students at the Colorado Center for Community Development at the University of Colorado. Student landscape architects submitted three designs from which the current one was picked, she said.