Civic News & Info
Schilling, Loebsack Announce Sec. LaHood's Visit to the I-74 Bridge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:48
Washington, DC - Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) today announced that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has accepted their April 26 invitation to visit the Quad Cities’ structurally-deficient I-74 Bridge, and is going to be joining them there the afternoon of Friday, May 11.  

“We are happy to welcome Secretary LaHood to the Quad Cities, so he can see firsthand the important part the I-74 bridge plays in the local community, region and states,” said Congressmen Schilling and Loebsack.  “The bridge has never met Interstate standards, but with 77,800 vehicles crossing daily, its replacement is truly needed.  The I-74 Bridge project will not only spur economic growth, create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups and aid in commerce, but would– most importantly – improve safety for Americans traveling between Iowa and Illinois.”

“The I-74 bridge is an important reminder that there are big transportation projects that need our attention across the country,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “We can’t afford to keep kicking the can down the road with extensions.  We need Congress to pass a long-term, bipartisan transportation bill, so states and cities have the funding and the certainty they need to tackle big efforts like this.”

Sec. LaHood, Schilling, and Loebsack will be viewing the I-74 Bridge at 2:00pm CST on Friday May 11 at 12th Street East of Leach Park.  Also expected to join them are Moline Mayor Don Welvaert and Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher.  Friday afternoon’s Bridge viewing is open to press.

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Schilling Outlines Long-Term Transportation Priorities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:32

Washington, DC — Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today sent a letter to the Members of Congress responsible for resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of legislation reauthorizing our nation’s critical transportation and infrastructure programs.   In the letter, Schilling notes the programs that support the priorities of the 17th Congressional District of Illinois’ residents.  

"Our country as a whole is in need of a long, multi-year surface transportation authorization bill," Schilling wrote. "This long-term certainty will allow our state departments of transportation to truly address our infrastructure needs and not push them off down the road until it is too late and too expensive.  Our country is closing in on $16 trillion in debt – totaling more than $50,000 per American.  We must invest wisely, while also coming to grips with our fiscal situation.  I would like to share with you some priorities from the people I have the privilege of representing.

In today’s letter, Schilling outlines his support a number of items, including:

  • Projects of National and Regional Significance:  “Projects that fall in this category are high in cost and large in scope and for that reason federal support is necessary for them to go forward.  These projects affect localities directly through economic development and more jobs."
  • Maintaining existing passenger rail:  “Rail allows people and products to travel to and from all over the country, and from there to ports across the world.  While we must be careful to separate needs from wants, growth in our economy and long-term sustainability must always weigh heavily when making decisions on infrastructure priorities."
  • The job-creating Keystone XL Pipeline:  “This pipeline and other projects like it can help ease global energy strains due to our reliance on oil from foreign countries.  ... This is a project that has the support of Republicans, Democrats, labor and business."

"Conventional wisdom is that Congress cannot get anything done, but in the spirit of Mark Twain, I believe that reports on the death of bipartisanship have been greatly exaggerated," Schilling concluded. "After all, it was this Congress that advanced three market-opening trade agreements, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes jobs bill for veterans, passed the STOCK Act, passed a Defense Authorization that will benefit manufacturing and our industrial base, and passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups legislation.  These are all now the law of the land and were accomplished through bipartisanship.  Perhaps one of the best examples is the four-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.  It took five years and 23 short-term extensions, but this Congress finally got the job done.  It should be the goal of this Congress to achieve similar success this year with a multi-year transportation bill."

The full text of Schilling’s letter can be found below.  

- - - - -
May 8, 2012

Dear Chairman Mica, Chairman Boxer, and Conferees,

Our country as a whole is in need of a long, multi-year surface transportation authorization bill.  This long-term certainty will allow our state departments of transportation to truly address our infrastructure needs and not push them off down the road until it is too late and too expensive.  Our country is closing in on $16 trillion in debt – totaling more than $50,000 per American.  We must invest wisely, while also coming to grips with our fiscal situation.  I would like to share with you some priorities from the people I have the privilege of representing.

When the near-trillion dollar stimulus was signed into law in 2009, many citizens wondered why Congress was not focused on a true job-creating measure like a long-term highway plan.  The fact that such a small percentage of the stimulus plan was devoted to transportation and infrastructure represents an unfortunate missed opportunity, especially at a time when our infrastructure is rated as ”D” by the American Society of Civil Engineers and construction unemployment in the industry is 14.5 percent.  The time to focus on a long-term transportation bill is now.

The certainty that a long-term bill will would provide would allow programs like the Projects of National and Regional Significance to help build much-needed infrastructure in our country.  Projects that fall in this category are high in cost and large in scope and for that reason federal support is necessary for them to go forward.  These projects affect localities directly through economic development and more jobs.  I encourage you to continue to support the Projects of National and Regional Significance program within the surface transportation authorization bill you are currently conferencing.  Projects that do not reach the threshold of National and Regional Significance, such as highway expansions and overpasses, can bring in a great amount of economic development as well.  We must continue to support programs and grants that would allow these projects to go forward so they are not politicized.

Another important issue for Illinois is our rail system.  We are at a crossroads for this mode of transportation, and it is vital that we take care of that infrastructure so that existing lines which contribute to both commuter mobility and freight shipments are not shortchanged.  Rail allows people and products to travel to and from all over the country, and from there to ports across the world.  While we must be careful to separate needs from wants, growth in our economy and long-term sustainability must always weigh heavily when making decisions on infrastructure priorities.

I also encourage you to include provisions that would address the job-creating Keystone Pipeline.  This pipeline and other projects like it can help ease global energy strains due to our reliance on oil from foreign countries.  Pipelines are the energy lifelines of our country and will not only address access to oil, but will also encourage job growth and therefore growth in our economy.  This is a project that has the support of Republicans, Democrats, labor and business.

Another important issue that we must not overlook is our locks and dams.  These vital pieces of our infrastructure need to have dedicated work and funding.  After all, this infrastructure is vital to both commerce and jobs.  More than 30,000 workers are employed on vessels and an additional 800,000 jobs are dependent on our waterways.  That is why I support the continued inclusion of the RAMP Act, H.R. 104, in the final Surface Transportation bill.  This would guarantee that the total amount available for spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be equal to the Trust Fund receipts as estimated by the President’s budget for that year.  This is important to addressing our nation’s dredging requirements and keeps our ports and waterways at a competitive advantage with the rest of the world’s waterways.  

I also support the inclusion of the bipartisan, House-passed H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, into a final transportation package.  There are many types of projects across this great country that require the use of concrete, and proposed regulations on coal ash can be detrimental to getting our economy back on track and our infrastructure back up to the appropriate safety standards.  This is symptomatic of large issues of overregulation that place unnecessary hindrances on meeting our infrastructure needs.  

Finally, I encourage you to carefully consider the need for farmers to transport all farm supplies from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or end consumer.  The restriction to a single farm supply excludes multiple other critical farm supplies and severely hinders the flexibility of farmers during planting and harvesting season.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted several wavers over the last two years because it has recognized the need to exempt these supplies.  Please consider making this exemption of agriculture hours of service permanent.  

Conventional wisdom is that Congress cannot get anything done, but in the spirit of Mark Twain, I believe that reports on the death of bipartisanship have been greatly exaggerated.  After all, it was this Congress that advanced three market-opening trade agreements, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes jobs bill for veterans, passed the STOCK Act, passed a Defense Authorization that will benefit manufacturing and our industrial base, and passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups legislation.  These are all now the law of the land and were accomplished through bipartisanship.  Perhaps one of the best examples is the four-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.  It took five years and 23 short-term extensions, but this Congress finally got the job done.  It should be the goal of this Congress to achieve similar success this year with a multi-year transportation bill.

I appreciate your time and consideration of my concerns and the priorities of the 17th District of Illinois.

Sincerely,
Bobby Schilling
House of Representatives

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The Renaissance of Davenport's Neighborhoods Is Happening Now PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Colleen James   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:58
In April, the last two-bedroom apartment at The Taylor Renaissance was leased, bringing a close to the renovation and rebirth of the historic Taylor School. Lease-up began last May and 41 of Davenport’s finest senior citizens have chosen the old school as their home. This 55+ community has created quality affordable apartments for QC seniors, and the successful preservation has had a huge impact on the neighborhood. It’s bound to serve as an impetus to more development in the Taylor Heights community.

Construction has now begun at Taylor’s sister property, The Jackson Renaissance, also in Davenport. Jackson School will, like Taylor School, be brought back to life to serve QC seasoned citizens.

Representing the second historic renovation by Chicago-based The Renaissance Companies, this 55+ apartment rental will have 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Ten percent of the apartments will be market rate and the remaining apartments will be affordable for persons below sixty-percent of the area’s median income. One-bedroom rents will range from $385-$595 and $625-$765 for two-bedrooms. Occupancy is scheduled for May, 2013.

Funding for this project was providing by JP Morgan Chase, Iowa Finance Authority, City of Davenport, National Equity Fund and the Scott County Housing Council.

Seniors seeking the best at affordable prices should call 563/323-0901 or visit www.therenaissancecompanies.com.

 
Agenda for SECC Board mtg on 5/10/12 at 6:00 p.m. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Annie Nugent   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:56
SCOTT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION CENTER (SECC) BOARD
Board Room, 1st Floor, Scott County Administrative Center,
600 West Fourth Street, Davenport, Iowa
May 10, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.

Roll Call: Gallagher, Gluba, Lehman, O’Boyle, Sunderbruch
Ex officio members: Bruemmer, Frederiksen, Malin, and Ploehn

  1. Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Approval to purchase from Nelson Systems Inc an upgrade/installation package for the Back Up 911 Recording System in the amount of $12, 697.00. (Brian)
  4. Approval to purchase from Racom Communications an upgrade/installation package for the Back Up 911 Radio System in the amount of $50,886.51. (Brian)
  5. Approval to purchase from CenturyLink an upgrade/installation package for the Back Up 911 Phone System in the amount of $98,671.68. (Brian)
  6. Director’s report
  7. Presentation by New World Systems
  8. Next meeting date – May 31, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
  9. Adjourn

 
Loebsack Introduces Legislation to Connect the Classroom to the Community Through Volunteerism PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:46

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today introduced legislation that will help students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to real world experiences by incorporating volunteerism and civic engagement in curriculum.  The Engaging Students Through Service-Learning Act aims to connect the classroom to the community by establishing a national center to expand opportunities for students to incorporate skills that are critical to success in the 21st century economy, such as critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration, with activities outside the classroom. The bill would also help teachers to provide students with this hands-on education.

 

“Iowans have a strong sense of community and have seen firsthand the difference dedicated volunteers can make.  The earlier we can start incorporating volunteerism and civic engagement in school settings, the more likely it is that students will continue to participate in their communities in meaningful ways throughout their adult lives. What’s more, students who participate in this type of hands-on education can boost their academic engagement and performance, which will help them secure good jobs and contribute to Iowa’s economy,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack.

 

“We must make our schools better. We simply can’t keep organizing our classrooms and using the same teaching approaches that have been used for decades if we want to improve outcomes that result in students who are truly college and career ready and internationally competitive,” said Teri Dary, Co-Chair National Coalition for Academic Service-Learning.

 

A list of groups and individuals supporting the bill can be found here.

 

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