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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.

 

Community Living Services launches Senior Companion Program

Community Living Services launches Senior Companion Program

Region 10 Community Living Services is launching a new volunteer program this summer: the Senior Companion Program. The Senior Companion Program, created by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is a volunteer-based project that aims to help seniors remain in their own homes and active in their communities. The program will also provide respite for families and caregivers. Region 10 is currently seeking reliable and enthusiastic volunteers.

Senior Companion Program volunteers will expect to dedicate anywhere from 5-15 hours a week spending time with clients and aiding them with everyday tasks, from providing a helping hand to lending an ear. Qualifying volunteers will receive a small hourly stipend for their service, as well as mileage reimbursement and meal reimbursement. To serve, volunteers must be at least 55 or older, pass standard background check requirements, and be physically capable of serving.

Volunteer duties include providing companionship, personal care, nutrition care, social and recreational activities, home management assistance, and information and advocacy to the clients they serve. The program hopes to implement a system of cooperation and cohesion within the community and bring together dedicated volunteers and seniors in need of assistance.

For more information about the Senior Companion Program, contact Madison at madison@region10.net or call (970) 765-3125.

 

Nancy Murphy brings business expertise to Region 10, SBDC

Nancy Murphy brings business expertise to Region 10, SBDC

Region 10 welcomes Nancy Murphy as their new Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). With over three decades of executive business experience (with a keen eye for marketing), Murphy will play a vital role in continued support of the small business community in Delta, Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, and San Miguel counties.

Trusted with the branding strategies of big names such as Volvo, BMW, and the Olympics, Murphy has quite the business pedigree. She also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certification.

Murphy was always destined to be in Western Colorado. She simply took a roundabout way to getting here. Growing up in the heat of Texas, Murphy spent her summers vacationing in Western Colorado as a child, visiting her family who inhabited the North Fork Valley for over 100 years. Her career path took her from Fort Worth to Santa Fe, San Francisco, Chicago, Milan, New Jersey, Atlanta, and—then finally—Paonia.

“I’m hoping I’m not going anywhere else after this one,” she jokes. “I’m done with moving so much.”

Her decision to move to Paonia was serendipitous.

“I got tired of the corporate America life,” Murphy reminisces. She asked herself, in a perfect world, what would she like to do with her life? She looked down at her Chaco sandals, and proclaimed, “I love my Chacos! Maybe I can work for them.”

She visited the Chaco website, and discovered that the company had an opening for Director of Marketing. One email and a brief conversation later, Murphy was on her way to the new home that she would reside in for 13 years.

In 2006, Murphy moved on from Chaco (two years before they moved their operations out of town) to pursue her own consulting business. Maintaining her extensive network across the world, Murphy found very easy to transition into this new independent role.

As the number of her local clients she served grew, she noticed a definite need for her skillset in her community.

“What I see with businesses here is that they are constantly struggling,” Murphy adds. “And it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Shifting her focus in consulting to take on a more community development perspective, Murphy was recruited to provide her services with the Grand Junction Business Incubator. This is where Murphy first encountered the SBDC model. In addition to consulting through the Incubator, she also taught business classes at Colorado Mesa University and The Hive in Paonia.

She was introduced to Region 10 through her work with The Hive, and signed on to provide SBDC consulting to those in the Montrose area as well. When the Director position at Region 10 opened up recently, she was an obvious pick to move into the role.

“Region 10 is pleased to have Nancy join our team,” adds Executive Director Michelle Haynes. “Her expertise and vision for expansion of the small business program at Region 10 will provide a valuable resource for our local businesses and communities.”

Murphy’s vision for the local business community is simple. “I would like to streamline the way business is done on the Western Slope and elevate its success,” she states matter-of-factly. Based on her success and expertise, she hopes to “give people the tools and resources they need to meet their business goals.”

She cares deeply for her craft. “I love everything about business and the people who are involved,” she closes. “I want these people to realize their dreams.”

For more information about SBDC, Murphy can be contacted at nancy@region10.net and (970) 765-3130.

Region 10 welcomes Dan Scinto as BLF Director

Region 10 welcomes Dan Scinto as BLF Director

Region 10 welcomes Dan Scinto as their new Business Loan Fund Director. With a knack for commercial lending, Scinto brings over 25 years of banking experience to this newly redesigned post.

A Minnesota native, Scinto relocated to the Western Slope for its outdoor recreational opportunities. Scinto adds that as an avid hunter, fisher, and outdoors enthusiast, he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Aside from his eagerness to recreate, Scinto also brings an eagerness to help the business community. “I get goosebumps talking about credit,” he adds. “I absolutely love it.”

“Region 10 is pleased to have Dan join our team,” comments Michelle Haynes, Executive Director of Region 10. “His prior experience and enthusiasm for serving our local businesses will enhance the services we are able to offer to businesses in our communities, providing capital for business expansion and new jobs, in addition to the educational and consulting services available through the Small Business Resource Center.”

Scinto hopes to bring a personalized touch to his new job. “I plan on regularly visiting the businesses who we make loans to, just to check in and see how they are doing,” Scinto comments.

In addition to personal visits, he envisions developing a post-loan education program that provides additional support and technical assistance to these businesses. “One of our biggest failures in this economy is the lack of support businesses receives after getting a loan,” he adds.

The Business Loan Fund (BLF) is a unique lending mechanism available for local businesses in the six-county region of Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Ouray, Hinsdale, and San Miguel Counties. Often referred to as a “lender of last resort,” the BLF offers “gap financing” for local businesses who are already working with private lenders, but still need more capital to achieve their business goals. The funds can also be leveraged by new or existing businesses who have a strong business model and plan, but may not qualify for a traditional bank loan. Typical loan amounts range from low amounts of $2,500 up to $250,000 for businesses providing new jobs in the community.  ​

Over the years, Region 10’s BLF has developed strong relationships with local banks, helping increase the output of loans into the community. Once allocating on average six loans a year, the BLF now doles out four times this volume annually, providing well-needed capital to economically struggling communities.

For businesses that have already received a loan from the BLF or those in the process of applying, they can expect to see Scinto in the near future.

To learn more about the lending program or to contact Scinto, interested parties can do so by calling (970) 765-3126 or emailing dan@region10.net.

Broadband Update (6/28/16)

Broadband Update (6/28/16)

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Final preparations and design efforts continue in order to begin network construction in the Cities of Delta and Montrose. Invitations to bid were issued last week (www.Rockymountainbidsystems.com) including: RFP Construction of Middle-Mile Fiber in The City of Delta and RFI for the Dark Fiber Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU)/Dark Fiber Swap Agreement. Final modifications to the RFP for Outside Plant Construction in Montrose are underway with issue of invitation to bid expected next week.

Region 10 has placed its first order for fiber optic cable this week, ordering 40,000 ft. each of 144 and 48 count fiber cable. The first delivery is expected in 2-3 weeks, with the remainder arriving in alignment with construction needs. Additionally, vaults will be ordered for Phase One construction once the Montrose final design and Bill of Materials have been completed.

Region 10, NEO Connect and Actavo met June 17 with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) to discuss grant requirements prior to Region 10’s final construction planning. Talking points included timelines for documents review, approval and award, site certifications, insurance and compliance, and Davis Bacon and EEO requirements. Additionally, special award conditions regarding Fish & Wildlife, and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) were discussed.

Project Scheduling

Scheduling for Phase One Construction, which includes both the City of Delta and the City of Montrose, is dependent upon selection of fiber routing and the subsequent field surveys in Montrose. Final timeline and scheduling will also be determined by delivery dates for fiber and vaults. NEO Connect will announce a completed schedule prior to the start of construction activities. Region 10 – Project Update SUBMITTED BY NEO CONNECT JUNE 24, 2016

Engineering Final Design

Final design for Phase One construction in The City of Montrose is nearing completion, with most potential routing choices selected and surveyed for Make-Ready-Construction (MRC). The Bill of Materials will be completed once the final design of the network is established. Field

Survey and Permitting

Survey work for the City of Montrose is nearly complete with work crews focused on detailed pole and route survey. Final routing adjustments are being integrated as collaborative assets continue to be defined within the City of Montrose. Permitting for upcoming construction will be ongoing, with many, including those for all railroad crossings, already submitted for approval.

Request(s) for Proposal (RFP)

Construction & Request for Information (RFI) – Dark Fiber IRU/Fiber SWAP

The RFP for Middle-Mile Construction in The City of Delta was issued for bidding last week (www.rockymountainbidsystem.com/City-of-Montrose.asp?AgencyID=2331&PageType=open). Please see the following table for relevant dates.

Schedule of Events (subject to change) – All times are given in local Colorado time

  • Invitation to Bid, Release of RFP – 6/14/2016
  • Inquiry Deadline – 6/21/2016
  • Final Addendum Issued – 6/24/2016
  • Proposal Due Time and Date – 7/8/2016 at 4:00pm
  • General Contractor Selected, Contract Executed – Week of 7/11/2016
  • Mobilization and Construction Start- 7/25/2016 at 4:00pm

RFP Dates – City of Delta Middle-Mile Construction

The RFI – Dark Fiber IRU/Fiber Swap was completed last week and is currently open for bidding (www.rockymountainbidsystem.com/City-of-Montrose.asp?AgencyID=2331&PageType=open). Please see the following table for relevant dates.

Schedule of Events (subject to change) – All times are given in local Colorado time

  • RFI Issued – 6/13/2016
  • Inquiry Deadline – 6/24/2016
  • Final Addendum Issued – 06/30/2016 at 4:00pm
  • Proposal Due Date and Time – 07/07/2016 at 4:00pm

RFP for OSP Construction and Bill of Materials – City of Montrose

NEO Connect and Actavo are currently focusing on preparation of the RFP for Construction of Outside Plant (OSP) for The City of Montrose. This RFP and the project’s Bill of Materials are expected to be ready for issue by Friday June 1st, contingent upon approval of final routing with various Region 10 stakeholders. The deadline for submission of responses will be prior to the end of July, with contract award, mobilization and the start of construction activities beginning in early August.

Region 10 seeks to hire Regional Broadband Project Manager

Region 10 seeks to hire Regional Broadband Project Manager

Region 10 is considering applicants for the Regional Broadband Project Manager to provide support in implementation of the regional broadband plan, and to provide assistance to the region’s counties and municipalities in developing broadband services within their communities.  The regional plan and additional information is available at region10.net/broadband.  Consideration of qualifications for the position include experience in the development of broadband networks, including funding, sales, contract management and compliance.  Please send a letter of interest, resume and salary requirements to mhaynes@Region10.net or via mail to: Region 10, 300 N Cascade, Montrose, CO 81401.


 

Region 10 Regional Broadband Implementation Project Manager

In recognition of the importance of affordable access to adequate broadband services, Region 10 has developed a regional broadband implementation plan, available at region10.net/broadband.  To assist in implementing the plan, and continuing to support the region’s counties and municipalities in developing broadband services within their communities, Region 10 is now considering applications for the Regional Broadband Project Manager.

The manager will be responsible for oversight and implementation of the Region 10 plan, as well as work with local counties, communities, and ISPs to assist in coordination and funding of broadband efforts. Specifically, the requirements and scope of work would include:

  • Understanding of broadband technology, terminology and implementation methodology.
  • Meet with interested counties and communities to understand the demand, gaps in service, and the most effective means of ensuring adequate service levels throughout the communities and region.
  • Understand and educate counties, communities and stakeholders on legislative issues, concerns and strategies to improve support of rural broadband services.
  • Coordinate and conduct meetings as needed to inform local stakeholders and partners on implementation strategies within the region.
  • Represent the region as needed in state-wide meetings concerning rural broadband development.
  • Work with regional ISPs and anchor institutions to promote understanding of the project and partnership and participation opportunities.
  • Participate with the consulting, engineering, construction and management organizations that are involved in the Region 10 implementation plan.
  • Oversight of data collection and preparation of reports as needed for grant funding partners.
  • Collect base-line service data and assist in development of matrix and collection of data to determine success of the project, including current service availability and pricing, compared to the same after implementation, participation by local governments, ISPs, anchor institutions, etc., and other data determined to be useful in measuring the impact of the project.

Consideration of qualifications for the position would include experience in the development of broadband networks, including funding, sales, contract management and compliance. Ability to show experience in similar projects, innovative efforts or approaches that the vendor has previously implemented, or experience and understanding of the regional project will also be considered.

Broadband Update (June 17, 2016)

Broadband Update (June 17, 2016)

Going forward, Region 10 and the Broadband Planning Committee will be routinely updating on the current state of this regional project. If you would like to receive email alerts of these updates, click the subscribe button below, enter your email address, and select the “Broadband” box.

June 17, 2016

NEO Connect and Actavo are currently working with the Cities of Delta and Montrose to complete final preparations and design efforts prior to network construction. Invitations to bid were issued this week on www.Rockymountainbidsystems.com, including: RFP Construction of Middle-Mile Fiber in The City of Delta and RFI for the Dark Fiber Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU)/Dark Fiber Swap Agreement.  The RFP for Construction in Montrose is expected complete by June 30.

Additionally, NEO Connect and Actavo have met with both Tri-State and San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) for field-level evaluations of potential shared facilities. Site visits were completed to Tri State’s Starr-Nelson Substation and the Grand Junction Carrier Point-of-Presence. Both sites were evaluated for compatibility with Region 10 construction plans.

A conference call with representatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration is scheduled for June 17 at 930am. The purpose of which is to review the EDA grant requirements prior to Region 10’s final construction planning.

In addition to these meetings, the following activities are underway:

Preparation of budget, scheduling and production-tracking tools

NEO Connect is currently preparing a shared MS Project-based schedule for use with Actavo’s engineering team. Phase One scheduling is contingent upon completion of fiber routing and field surveys in Montrose, and timeline for delivery of fiber and vaults. The final version will be complete following a comprehensive review with the selected construction contractor. Overall budget, and material and labor cost projections are being managed with several Excel documents that use the current version of the Bill of Materials as a baseline. Preparation of these documents will be ongoing though the construction start date.

Engineering base map and final design.

The final engineering designs are developed based upon existing infrastructure, construction constraints and the buildout preferences of the various stakeholders. Final design for the initial build for theCity of Delta is complete, with all routing selected and analyzed for Make-Ready-Construction (MRC). Final design for the initial build within the City of Montrose is nearing completion, contingent upon final route selections and MRC analysis, and is expected complete by June 30.

Field Survey and Permitting

Field survey for the City of Delta is complete. Survey work for the City of Montrose is nearly complete with work crews focused on detailed pole and route surveys, completion contingent upon selection of final routing. Adjustments are expected to be made for design as collaboration efforts/assets are further defined within the City of Montrose. The permitting process requires extensive due diligence and will be ongoing throughout much of construction. The Actavo Engineering team continues filing for construction permits with the necessary state, federal and railroad entities. NEO Connect and Actavo expect to submit sample MRC packages to DMEA for review of process and clarification of expectations this week.

Request(s) for Proposal (RFP) Construction & Request for Information (RFI) – Dark Fiber IRU/Fiber SWAP

NEO Connect has completed the RFP for Middle-Mile Construction in The City of Delta. This document has been posted for review and bidding by over 800 firms at www.rockymountainbidsystem.com/City-of-Montrose.asp?AgencyID=2331&PageType=open. Please see the following table for relevant dates.

Schedule of Events (subject to change) All times are given in local Colorado time
Invitation to Bid, Release of RFP Tuesday, 06/14/2016
Inquiry Deadline Tuesday, 06/21/2016
Final Addendum Issued Friday, 06/24/2016 at 4:00pm
Proposal Due Date and Time Friday, 7/8/2016 at 4:00pm
General Contractor Selected, Contract Executed Week of 7/11/2016
Mobilization and Construction Start Monday, 07/25/2016 at 4:00pm

RFP Dates – City of Delta Middle-Mile Construction

NEO Connect is preparing the Construction Request for Proposal (RFP), City of Montrose. The RFP is expected to be ready for issue by June 30. Construction activities are currently scheduled to begin in July in The City of Delta, and continuing through completion in The City of Montrose during the month of October.

NEO Connect has completed the RFI – Dark Fiber IRU/Fiber Swap and it is currently open for review at www.rockymountainbidsystem.com/City-of-Montrose.asp?AgencyID=2331&PageType=open. Please see the following table for relevant dates.

Schedule of Events (subject to change) All times are given in local Colorado time
RFI Issued Monday, 06/13/2016
Inquiry Deadline Friday, 06/24/2016
Final Addendum Issued Thursday, 06/30/2016 at 4:00pm
Proposal Due Date and Time Thursday, 07/07/2016 at 4:00pm

RFI Dates – Dark fiber IRU / Fiber Swap