Stimulus Funding for the security industry

Status report on monies for the industry

The AGC identified 52 different programs in six categories that will fund this federal spending. Approximately 15 of those programs will likely require electronic security system solutions in all or part of the construction projects. On the high end, those programs include $5.55 billion for GSA federal buildings and facilities, including $4.5 billion for high-performance green buildings conversion, $750 million for federal buildings and courthouses and $300 million for border stations and land points of entry.

Smaller programs include $90 million for U.S. State Department passport and training facilities; and $140 million to repair, construct and restore U.S. geological survey facilities, as well as fund equipment replacement and upgrades, national map activities and other main¬tenance and improvement projects.

Yet the president’s State of the Union address shed a brighter light on the state of the country’s critical infrastructure. In his address, he discussed plans to visit Tampa, Fla., “where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation’s goods, services, and information.” And with expanding projects in critical infrastructure comes a heightened need for security.

Funding for ports

Of the $787 billion stimulus package, $150 billion in funding was to be provided for the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). According to the Security Industry Association, Alexandria, Va., late of 2009, Congress voted to eliminate the local cost-share requirement for port security grants. The change was made in the Homeland Security Department appropriations bill (H.R. 2892) that is expected to be signed by President Obama. The move is expected to encourage ports to invest more in critical infrastructure protection initiatives.

“We are thrilled that Congress recognized that the economic climate is not conducive to imposing a cost-share requirement on port security grant applicants,” said Don Erickson, director of Government Relations, SIA. “We also understand that appropriators are not inclined to waive the requirement beyond FY2010, but SIA will work to prevent it from being imposed in future years.”

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Sidebar: New Source of Grants

Schools across the country can begin applying for 2010 Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The funds will be available for schools to develop, or review and improve, and fully integrate a campus-wide emergency management plan. The average size of award for school districts varies by the number of campuses: $150,000 for districts with one to 20 educational facilities; $300,000 for districts with 21 to 75; and $600,000 for districts with 76 or more educational facilities.

The DOE estimates there will be about 96 awards. The deadline for submitting the grants, either electronically or in hard copy is February 26, 2010.

Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT Security Services, said REMS grants are typically awarded to those applicants who are able to clearly demonstrate the greatest need.