Illinois Extension will offer State and Federal Legislative Updates in January 2020. These Local Government Education webinars will feature legislative experts from the Illinois Association of County Board Members and the National Association of Counties. The Illinois State Legislative Update will air at Noon CST on Thursday, January 23, 2020. The Federal Legislative Update will air at Noon CST on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Experts will discuss recent and potential changes in legislation that will affect Illinois governments. You’ll have a chance to ask questions and discuss how to plan for expected changes. Please register to attend one or both of the webinars, and receive information from each presentation.
USDA Rural Development in Illinois is holding a series of Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT), and ReConnect workshops in Northern, Central and Southern Illinois, beginning Dec. 17. These workshops are designed to help generate successful applications for these programs. The DLT and ReConnect grants, loans and loan/grant combinations help rural communities, residents, businesses, ag producers, medical and education providers access the necessary infrastructure and available technologies to bridge the digital divide, expand capacity and increase prosperity. Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for the next round of DLT and ReConnect programs are expected soon, and websites will be updated following those announcements. To learn more about the DLT Program, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants; to learn more about the ReConnect Program, visit https://www.usda.gov/reconnect.
When the Apollo 11 spaceflight landed on the moon July 20, 1969, the entire process was overseen from Apollo Mission Control Center at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The room was named a National Historic Landmark in 1985, but by that time, NASA had already renovated it for the shuttle program, removing many of its original furnishings. It deteriorated after ceasing operations in 1992. By 2017, the space center’s historic preservation officer, Sandra Tetley, had approval to embark on a full restoration. Stern and Bucek Architects went through documents, blueprints, film and television recordings, and photographs from the period to identify original fabrics, materials, and objects, and interviewed more than 20 retired Apollo flight controllers. “We tried to salvage what we could, and then we had to find or re-create everything we couldn’t,” says preservation architect David Bucek. For example, pieces of the original wallpaper were still intact behind a fire-extinguisher bracket. Project manager Jordan Shelton found that the company that acquired the wallpaper’s manufacturer still had its old rollers, so the paper could be reprinted. The carpeting, ceiling tile pattern, light fixtures, and smoke detectors were all re-created. Even the fabric on the swivel chairs at the consoles, found in the archives of the Steelcase furniture company, was custom-matched. Retired controllers and other Space Center employees donated items they had saved, including ashtrays, clipboards, and pens. The $5 million-plus restoration project was funded by the city of Webster, Texas; NASA Johnson Space Center; and a Kickstarter campaign managed by nonprofit Space Center Houston.
After working with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), the City of Carbondale is implementing energy savings measures at its City Hall and Civic Center. The upgrades are projected to save $18,000 in annual energy costs. Mark Bollmann, Facilities and Property Management Manager for the City of Carbondale, reached out to SEDAC to perform a retro-commissioning (RCx) study because he sensed that the building energy systems weren't operating very efficiently. RCx works to ensure that equipment and systems function as intended and operate at optimal efficiency. By focusing on operational and maintenance improvements, which often require less capital investment, RCx offers significant energy cost savings at a relatively low cost. SEDAC identified measures that are projected to reduce total energy consumption by 34% and annual energy costs by 24%. The simple payback period for all measures combined was less than two months, with incentives. The RCx study was funded through the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program.
December 17 (Springfield, IL) - USDA Broadband Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT) Workshop
December 18 (Dixon, IL) - USDA Broadband Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT) Workshop
December 19 (Dixon, IL) - USDA Broadband Reconnect Workshop
January 7, 2020 (Cairo, IL) - USDA Broadband Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT) Workshop
January 8, 2020 (Dixon, IL) - USDA Broadband Reconnect Workshop
January 9, 2020 (Location TBA) - USDA Broadband Reconnect Workshop
January 23, 2020 (LGE Webinar) - Illinois State Legislative Update
January 30, 2020 (LGE Webinar) - Federal Legislative Update
February 20, 2020 (LGE Webinar) - Using a “Stress Testing” Approach to Measuring the Fiscal Sustainability of Local Governments
February 26-27, 2020 (Springfield) - Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference
March 1, 2020 (Deadline) - Illinois 2020 Conservation Achievement Scholarship