Invoice Ford is doubling down on Ford shares and amassing extra management of the corporate

New Ford CEO Jim Farley (left) and Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. pose with a 2021 F-150 during an event September 17, 2020 at the Michigan plant of the company that makes the pickup truck.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – Ford engine Chairman Bill Ford has slowly amassed more shares and control of the automaker founded by his great-grandfather in 1903.

not how Elon Musk and other CEOs who recently cashed out a portion of their company stock as prices soared, Ford has doubled its namesake company over the past decade.

The 64-year-old is the company’s largest single shareholder with 2.3 million shares of Ford common stock. More importantly, he’s also the largest holder of the automaker’s Class B stock, which has super voting rights that have allowed the Ford family to retain control of the company. While the Class B shares make up 2% of Ford’s outstanding shares, they control 40% of the voting power.

Bill Ford directly owns 16.1 million, or 23%, of Class B shares available only to family members. That’s four times the roughly 4 million, or 5.7%, he owned in 2012, according to FactSet.

“I think it’s really important that the family legacy continues. It gives us a face and maybe a humanity that many other companies don’t have.”

from Satya Nadella at the Microsoft to jeff bezos and musk, CEOs, founders and other company insiders have cashed in at the fastest pace ever $69 billion in shares in 2021, as looming tax hikes and soaring stock prices encouraged many to take profits.

Ford, whose stake has grown through his work as CEO, said he’s holding on to his shares because he has “tremendous confidence” in the company’s management team, led by CEO Jim Farley, to fulfill Farley’s Ford+ turnaround plan Focus on electric and connected vehicles. Bill Ford received $16 million in total compensation from Ford in 2020, which consisted of a mix of benefits, cash and stock awards.

Ford last month acquired 412,500 additional Class B shares held in a family trust. The move came about a week after he acquired nearly 2 million shares of common stock in the company through the exercise of stock options, some of which had expired.

Instead of collecting the $18 million in proceeds he would have received from exercising the options, as most executives do, Ford paid $20.5 million in cash and taxes on the earnings to acquire the shares to keep.

“I just feel like we’re very well positioned to deliver superior shareholder returns, and for my part, I wanted to be a big part of that,” Ford told CNBC. “I think in many ways we have an opportunity to create the greatest value for shareholders since the Model T has scaled.”

electric vehicles

Unlike his predecessor, Farley has gained investor confidence since taking the helm October 2020. The automaker’s shares are up about 270% since then, taking its market value above $100 billion for the first time Thursday. 2020 was the first year for Ford since 2001 The stock has crossed the $20 mark.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

The stock closed Thursday at $25.02 per share, with the company’s market value at $99.99 billion. Ford is now worth more than its crosstown rival General Motors, which is estimated at around 90 billion dollars.

As part of Farley’s Ford+ plan, the company is heavily focused on electric vehicles, including the Mustang Mach E and all-electric Ford F-150, and connected services to generate recurring revenue. The company expects an 8% adjusted profit margin before interest and taxes in 2023 — earlier than many analysts expected.

“The Mach-E and the Lightning, both of their order banks just blew us away,” said Ford. “We’re on this electrification journey, but it’s more than that. It’s about the connection to the customer, it’s all services that are being developed around electrification.”

family shares

Ford directly owns about 20.3 million shares of stock, including restricted shares, common shares and Class B shares. The holdings, which may exclude some trusts, were worth more than $500 million at Thursday’s close.

There are 71 million class B shares, worth approximately $1.8 billion, held by descendants of company founder Henry Ford. The Ford family’s voting power will diminish once their Class B shares fall below about 60.8 million.

Some have criticized the dual-share system for unfairly allowing the family to remain in control of the automaker. Ford has repeatedly defended the dual-share structure so the automaker could focus more on the long term and not be another “nameless, faceless company.”

“I think it’s really important that the family legacy continues,” he said. “It gives us a face and maybe a humanity that many other companies don’t have.”

The two-tier share structure that has existed since the company’s IPO in 1956 has faced numerous challenges from shareholders. At last year’s AGM, 36.3% of voters supported a system that gave each share an equal vote, slightly above the 35.3% average since 2013.

Ford believes his stock ownership supports his defense of the family’s stock and voting rights. Ford said he had no recollection of selling Ford stock on the open market. This does not include the exercise of options, the transfer of stock to trusts, or the conversion of common stock into Class B stock.

“I’m in for the long haul. This is my life and I love the company,” he said. “I really believe we’re heading for an incredible future.”

– CNBC’s Robert Frank contributed to this report.

Correction: Henry Ford was Bill Ford’s great-grandfather. A previous version’s headline misrepresented the relationship. Ford shares closed at $25.02 on Thursday. A previous version incorrectly specified the day.

Reps. Kim, Meijer Introduce Invoice to Create An Impartial, 9/11-Fashion Afghanistan Warfare Fee

Reps. Kim and Meijer introduce bill to create an independent September 11, 2001-style Afghanistan War Commission

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congressman Peter Meijer (MI-03) introduced the Afghanistan War Commission Act of 2021 to create a non-partisan, independent commission to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the war in Afghanistan. The commission would need to produce a public and unclassified report with actionable recommendations so that the United States can learn from our experience in Afghanistan and be prepared for future conflicts.

“The war in Afghanistan was a state effort that – now complete – requires an independent, state-wide assessment to see what happened. This commission is vital to the future security of our country. ” said Congressman Kim. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan law that will create an independent commission because the national security of our country should not be partisan. I am grateful for Congressman Meijer’s guidance on this matter and hope that this will be turned into law so that our country can have a full, in-depth look at the war in Afghanistan. “

The Afghanistan War Commission Act would require the commission to investigate all aspects of the war, including combat operations, intelligence operations, diplomatic activities and inter-agency coordination. The commission’s investigation would include all relevant US government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the intelligence community, as well as the efforts of our NATO allies.

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) presented the accompanying draft in the Senate, which has received bipartisan support. Senator Duckworth and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) also introduced the bill as a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022, which is currently under Senate scrutiny.

“The war in Afghanistan was shaped by four different governments and 11 different congresses – no party should try to get cheap, party-political points from a decades-long failure of nation-building that arose across parties.” said Senator Duckworth. “Congress owes a serious, honest, long-term effort to accountability and transparency to the thousands of American soldiers who have made sacrifices in Afghanistan. I am delighted that MPs Kim and Meijer are taking the lead on my proposal in the House of Representatives so that we can set up an independent, non-partisan commission to ensure that we get out of the mistakes we have made in Afghanistan for more than 20 years , learn and reform to ensure these mistakes never happen repeatedly. “

“During my years of work on site in Afghanistan, I have seen successes and failures in the fight against terrorism. To learn from both our mistakes and our successes in this conflict, it is critical that we take a full view of all combat operations and strategic decisions from the 9/11 attacks to the disastrous withdrawal of the Biden administration. Our bill to set up a bipartisan, independent commission will ensure that the lessons of this 20-year war are absorbed and implemented in the future. ” said Congressman Meijer.

“The American people deserve an honest examination of the decision-making that led to 20 years of failed foreign policy in Afghanistan. It is of the utmost importance that we not ignore the teachings that led to our nation’s longest war – one that spanned four governments, both parties and numerous conventions. We commend Rep. Kim and Rep. Meijer, both of whom have seen firsthand the failure of US policy in Afghanistan, for their leadership and call on their colleagues in the House to support these common sense efforts. ” said Russ Duerstine, associate director of Concerned Veterans for America.

The bill is approved by Affected Veterans For America, VoteVets, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

You can find the full text of the law here, and a one-page summary can be found here.

Prior to his service in the House of Representatives, Congressman Kim served in Afghanistan as civil adviser to the four-star US Strategic Commander at the height of the war in Afghanistan. He also served with USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House National Security Council.

Congressman Kim serves on the House Armed Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and House Committee on Small Business. For more information on Congressman Kim, visit his website at click here.

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Elon Musk faces a $15 billion tax invoice, which is probably going the true motive he is promoting inventory

Tesla boss Elon Musk visiting the construction site of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Gruenheide near Berlin, Germany, 13 August 2021.

Patrick Pleul | Reuters

Tesla CEO Elon Musk faced a tax burden of more than $ 15 billion on stock options in the coming months, making a sale of its Tesla stock likely this year regardless of the Twitter vote.

Musk asked his 62.7 million Twitter followers over the weekend to sell 10% of his Tesla inventory. “A lot has been done lately with unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I suggest selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.

The Tesla boss said he would “stick to the results of this survey, no matter which direction it goes.” The results were 58% for the sell and 42% against, suggesting he will sell the shares.

Regardless of the poll results, Musk would likely have started selling millions of shares this quarter. The reason: an impending tax bill of more than 15 billion dollars.

Musk were granted options under a compensation plan in 2012. Since he does not receive any salary or cash bonus, his fortune comes from stock bonuses and the price gains from Tesla. The 2012 grant was for 22.8 million shares at an exercise price of $ 6.24 per share. Tesla stock closed at $ 1,222.09 on Friday, which means its earnings from the stock are close to $ 28 billion.

The company also recently announced that Musk has taken out loans with its shares as collateral, and with the sales, Musk may be looking to repay some of those loan obligations.

As Tesla noted in its 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the third quarter this year, “If our common stock drops significantly, Mr. Musk could be forced by one or more banking institutions to sell. to sell Tesla common stock to meet his loan obligations when he couldn’t do it another way. Such sales could cause the price of our common stock to decline further. “

The options expire in August next year. However, in order to exercise them, Musk must pay income tax on profits. Since the options are taxed as benefit or compensation to employees, they are taxed on the highest ordinary income, or 37% plus the net investment tax of 3.8%. He will also have to pay the highest California tax rate of 13.3% as the options were granted and largely earned while he was taxable in California.

The combined state and federal tax rate is 54.1%. So the total tax burden on his options would be $ 15 billion at the current price.

Musk has not confirmed the size of the tax bill. But he tweeted, “Note that I don’t get any cash or bonus anywhere. I only have stocks, so I can personally pay taxes by selling stocks.”

With CEOs having limited windows to sell stocks and Musk likely looking to stagger sales over at least two quarters, analysts and tax experts expect Musk to begin selling in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Speaking at the Code conference in September, Musk said, “I have a number of options that expire early next year, so … a huge chunk of options will be sold in the fourth quarter – because I have to or they will expire.”

Musk could of course borrow more against his Tesla stock, which is now over $ 200 billion. Still, he has already pledged 92 million shares to lenders to raise cash. When asked at the Code conference about borrowing from such volatile stocks, he said, “Stocks don’t always go up, they go down.”

Musk is still collecting options beyond those granted over Tesla’s 2012 salary package. In March 2018, Tesla’s Board of Directors presented him with an unprecedented “CEO Performance Award” consisting of 101.3 million stock options (adjusted for the 5-for-1 share split in 2020) in 12 milestone-based tranches.

– CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

Biden outlines plan to increase U.S. well being packages as a part of broad home spending invoice

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Aug.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The White House on Thursday unveiled a new plan to expand several federal health insurance programs to cut costs to consumers under President Joe Biden’s broader $ 1.75 trillion Domestic spending package.

Biden plans to expand Medicare and Medicaid – the state health insurance programs for the elderly and poor – as well as the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, according to a White House leaflet.

As part of the expansion, Medicare would provide hearing services.

Biden’s plan would also provide tax credits to up to 4 million uninsured Americans in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. He also plans to cut premiums for approximately 9 million people insured through the ACA by an average of $ 600 per person.

In particular, no mention was made of prescription drug pricing reform, a policy for which Democrats and some Republicans have announced strong support in the past. Dental and vision benefits for Medicare beneficiaries were also excluded from the plan.

So it was in the plan:

  • Strengthen the Affordable Care Act and lower premiums for 9 million Americans. The framework will lower premiums for more than 9 million Americans who purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace by an average of $ 600 per person per year. For example, a family of four earning $ 80,000 a year would save nearly $ 3,000 a year, or $ 246 a month, in health insurance premiums. Experts estimate that more than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured will take out health insurance.
  • Close the Medicaid coverage gap that is causing 4 million uninsured people to get coverage. The Build Back Better Framework will provide healthcare through premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have banned them from Medicaid. A 40-year-old in the coverage gap would have to pay $ 450 per month for benchmark coverage – in many cases more than half of their income. The framework offers $ 0 to individuals in rewards and finally makes healthcare affordable and accessible.
  • Extend Medicare to Cover Hearing Services. Only 30% of seniors over 70 who could benefit from hearing aids have ever used them. The Build Back Better framework will add hearing services to Medicare so that older Americans can access the affordable care they need.

Biden is expected to comment on the plan at 11:30 a.m. ET before heading to a week-long summit in Europe.

The announcement comes after haggling over how to pay for the plan, which could further delay the Build Back Better agenda. Still, the caucus managed to rally around a handful of revenue streams, largely aimed at big business and Americans who make more than $ 400,000 a year.

– CNBC’s Christina Wilkie and Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

Former President Invoice Clinton admitted to hospital with non-Covid an infection

Former President Bill Clinton

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized Tuesday night for treatment for a non-Covid-related infection, according to his spokesman.

Clinton’s spokesman Angel Urena said late Tuesday the former president had been admitted to UC Irvine Medical Center in California.

“He is on the mend, in a good mood and is incredibly grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff who take excellent care of him,” Urena said in a statement.

Clinton’s doctors said in a joint statement that he was hospitalized for “close monitoring” and given intravenous antibiotics and fluids.

“He will remain in the hospital for continuous monitoring,” said his doctors Alpesh Amin and Lisa Bardack. “After two days of treatment, his white blood cell count drops and he responds well to antibiotics.”

They said the California-based medical team is in “constant communication” with the president’s New York-based team, including his cardiologist.

“We hope he goes home soon,” the statement said.

Clinton, who is 75 years old, had a history of heart problems. In 2004 he underwent four cardiac bypass operations to relieve heavily clogged arteries. according to NBC news. In 2010, he had another heart surgery that involved inserting two stents into a coronary artery.

Miami-Dade demonstrators rally in opposition to Texas-style abortion invoice

An abortion ban went into effect in Texas last month, leaving people in the state with no choice to terminate pregnancies after six weeks. Now a similar bill has been tabled before the next Florida legislature.

the Florida Heartbeat Act, officially known as House Bill 167, would prevent doctors from performing abortions once a heartbeat is detected. After six weeks, many people don’t know they are pregnant.

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In response, people of all ages gathered in Colonial Drive Park last weekend to stand up for reproductive rights. Signs such as “Ruth Sent Me” and “Bans Off My Body” adorned the field as around 250 demonstrators listened to various speeches. Many of the speakers stressed the importance of calling their Florida lawmakers and telling them to vote no to the proposed law.

“We have the right to autonomy over our bodies,” said Kelli Ann Thomas, one of the organizers of the rally. “Regardless of whether you believe in abortion or not, you as a woman should be able to make that decision yourself and this right should not be violated by the government.”

Thomas works with Florida Rising, a political organization focused on empowering black and brown communities. She said the ban particularly affects women of color, who are often overlooked by the government and health system.

“The government should be there for the people, listen to the people and protect the people,” said Thomas. “If you are someone who wants to save lives, don’t racist measures after this child is born.”

Ali Crane is a family nurse in an OBGYN office. She hopes Florida doesn’t follow Texas in imposing such a “strict” and “scary” ban. She said the bill would have a profound impact on her professional life.

“I think it is very important that my patients and their families can make the right decisions about their bodies and their lives and their financial situation, their emotional situation,” said Crane. “Who says what is the right and wrong choice for anyone but the person himself?”

Crane attended the march with her 12-year-old daughter. She believes it is important to empower her and her choices.

“She’s coming at the age when her sexual reproductive rights might just be at stake,” added Crane. “I think it is important that you and your friends understand that as a woman you have the right to do what you want with your body.”

Crane’s daughter was one of many young girls who attended. From toddlers to college students, Generation Z members stood alongside seasoned protesters.

Camila Ustarez, a 21-year-old student at Florida International University, said it was daunting still having to defend reproductive rights.

“We thought we made it through, but we clearly are not,” she said. “We see older women here with signs saying, ‘Do we still have to protest against this?’ We feel like we’re changing women’s rights, but then that happens. “

Natalia Clement

“I’m sick of wearing this sign! Pro Roe since 1973.”

She says the proposed ban is frightening for young women who should have access to healthy and safe abortions. The large youth participation in the protests surprised Ustarez – especially all young girls. She stressed the importance of girls learning to stand up for their freedom of choice.

Nathalie Schwart, a freshman at Coral Gables Senior High School, came to the march to hear her voice.

“For future generations, I believe that everything that happens well now has an impact on the future,” said Schwart. “We grow up knowing that we are not equal. That just kills a lot of people. “

Schwart said although she had sex education in school, the issue of abortion was never discussed. Florida allows school districts to determine how sex education is implemented. The districts can choose between a pure abstinence, a plus abstinence or a comprehensive approach. Now that she’s in high school, Schwart hopes she and her peers can get more information.

“I think it should be talked about more – when things are talked about, change happens,” said Schwart. “I don’t know if a lot of the guys in my class know about it, so hopefully people can be better educated in the future.”

She was happy to see so many attendees, including members of her temple. Rachel Greengrass is the rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest. She said health care is very important in Judaism. Although attitudes towards abortion vary from rabbi to rabbi, Greengrass says that Judaism defines life from the first breath.

“What I find difficult is when people use religion as an excuse to dictate that a woman’s physical and mental health are not as important as life’s potential,” said Greengrass.

She said forcing people to have children is contrary to what she considers sacred and right. Rather than depriving them of choice, Greengrass believes the government should focus on providing support and social safety nets to women and families in difficulty.

“If you are truly a religious person and value life, then you need to take care of the people who are currently living and breathing,” she said. “Many people focus so much on having a fetus in utero when we should really focus on children when they are born and when they are adults.”

Young boys who accompanied their mother and sister during the march sang

Young boys who accompanied their mother and sister during the march sang “their body, their choice”.

Not only women protested for reproductive rights. Husbands and sons showed solidarity for the people in their lives who would be affected by abortion bans. Throughout the march, when women sang “my body”, they sang “their choice”.

Kelly Rock Gomes, 36, said when it comes to reproductive rights, men should support the government representation that women want. He attended the march with his wife.

“Every time we let our foot off the gas, things like Texas law come into play,” said Gomes. “We have to show up and keep this in mind for the community.”

Gomes encourages people to be proactive and get involved in community events. He said it is easy to post on social media or have an opinion, but it is work that will make change.

“If women did to men what men do to women, they’d probably have a problem with it, too,” said Gomes. “But it seems like something they ignore unless we come out and give our opinion so they can vote as they need to vote.”

During this term, the US Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. Proponents of reproductive rights fear that the judges may set the Roe v. Calf could tip over.

Charleston’s invoice to repair flooding is rising. Discovering the cash to pay for it’s a puzzle. | Rising Waters

The cost to fix flooding in Charleston has bloomed to some $3 billion in total, city officials say — a price tag for solutions from cleaning out plugged drainage systems to new, deep tunnels and a wall that could deflect hurricane waves from the downtown peninsula.

In 2017, The Post and Courier asked city officials how much it might cost to fix flooding in the face of a climate that is supercharging flooding rains and pushing sea levels higher. At the time, the estimate was $2 billion, including several hefty projects that were already under way. 

But now that number is rising, in large part because of an Army Corps of Engineers proposal to wall off the downtown area from the water. If the project, still in early planning stages, reaches the finish line, the city would have to pay a portion that’s estimated at around $500 million.

In the meantime, a slew of other work in other neighborhoods in the city is ongoing, chewing up the city’s fund for drainage work and sending staff on time-consuming efforts to secure federal grant funds. In all, the city plans to spend almost $58 million, including grant money, on stormwater and drainage efforts in 2021, CFO Amy Wharton said. 

These projects, Director of Stormwater Management Matt Fountain said, mostly aren’t aimed at preparing for the 2- to 3-feet of sea level rise the city expects in the next 50 years. They’re an effort to fix the severe flooding problems already existing, which have resulted, in part, from years of poor development decisions about where and how to build in the region’s low topography. 



WestAshley.jpg (copy) (copy)

A car drives through water past the West Ashley Library on Windermere Boulevard on Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Charleston. File/Gavin McIntyre/Staff



In an interview with the paper, Fountain ticked off a list of 20 major water management projects somewhere in the pipeline from design to construction, including:

  • Engineered wetlands on the former sites of flooded homes in far-flung West Ashley.
  • Outfall cleaning around the city, in neighborhoods like the historic Byrnes Downs.
  • Plans to divert water around the Barberry Woods neighborhood on Johns Island.
  • New pipes and eventually pumps to evacuate water from the flood-prone King and Huger streets intersection. 

As far as work that will fend off the water of the future, “I think we just haven’t quite gotten there yet. We’re still so buried into the things that we need to fix that are currently causing problems,” Fountain said.

The one exception, he said, is the proposed seawall, which has proved controversial since its inception. The city hasn’t officially voted to move forward with it and hasn’t put together a funding plan for its share of the project. But they will have to certify to the Corps by the end of the year that the city will pay the 35 percent match of the total project cost. There will be time after that point to come up with those funding sources, said Mark Wilbert, the city’s outgoing chief of resilience, because the Corps itself will spend several months internally reviewing the wall plan.

A $1.4 billion Army Corps plan to protect Charleston from hurricane surge changes

“We’re looking under every rock,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “You just kind of ask for everything, and at the end of the day, see where you land.”

Ultimately, the many needs of Charleston put it in competition for state funds with communities around South Carolina, and for federal funds with many cities nationally. There are several communities in the Southeast that are also working with the Army Corps on climate adaptation plans, and who may be in contention when Congress decides who deserves funding. 

“This is something the city of Charleston and all coastal communities will be dealing with for eternity,” Wilbert said. “We will be adapting forever.”

Finding funds

Right now, Charleston cobbles together its money for flooding improvements from a variety of sources — a fee on water and sewer bills that covers smaller projects and the budget for the stormwater department, a small portion of property taxes for a dedicated drainage fund, special tax districts and a bevy of various grants. 

The tax districts in particular, usually abbreviated as TIFs, have come to a particular importance in recent years. These TIFs rely on rising property values. When they are put in place, they freeze the amount of money sent to school district, county and city coffers. If the lots inside become more valuable over time, that additional tax money is set aside in a special fund that the city can borrow against or use to pay directly for certain projects.

Take the example of a particularly successful tax district along King Street, which Wharton said has raised $123.6 million since it was established in 1998. It has helped to pay for significant portions of the deep-tunnel drainage system the city is building under the Septima P. Clark Parkway, also known as the Crosstown. When that complex project, known as Spring-Fishburne, encountered a $43 million cost overrun a few years ago, the city was able to rely on this well-performing district to cover some of the difference. 

These arrangements don’t last forever. The King Street district is set to expire in 2023, removing that as a source of future funds. They also require buy-in from schools who are essentially foregoing revenue. Charleston County School District declined entirely to participate in a much newer tax district around flood-prone Church Creek, Wharton said. That fund is devoted entirely to water management projects.

In other cases, there’s disagreement on whether to use these proceeds for drainage at all, as has happened in a special district that covers Charleston’s Eastside neighborhood. Some wanted to use the money for the upcoming Lowline park; Councilman Keith Waring prefers the money help pay for drainage fixes in the historically Black and rapidly gentrifying Eastside neighborhood.



East side project flooding.jpg (copy)

America Street is covered by water after several inches of rain fell on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Charleston. The street is one of several on Charleston’s East Side that persistently floods during intense storms. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff



In a meeting at the beginning of June, Waring bemoaned the fact that for years the city didn’t dedicate much money for drainage at all, and now the Eastside has needs that will probably range between $15 million and $20 million. A city consultant is studying the area now to decide exactly what projects should be done there, Fountain said.

“We’ve got a lot of good ideas sitting on the shelf,” Waring said, “but the elephant in the room is funding.”

City Council hasn’t made a final decision on how to use the money from the district that covers the Eastside. But Wharton said there may be other options if they do opt to pay for the park, like finding grants to pay for it. 

Grant funding has gone a long way in helping the city design new approaches for the Church Creek basin and Johns Island. Those federal dollars come with a cost, though. It could take months of staff time to fully prepare an application, with no guarantee they’ll be awarded.

A smaller approach

Fountain said his strategy of late has been to aim for smaller-in-scope projects that offer relief now, so residents don’t feel ignored while larger, multi-year efforts are under way.

In one case, that means working on several smaller efforts first in the drainage basin that was next projected for deep drainage tunnels: Calhoun West, which covers the southwest corner of the Charleston peninsula, one of the lowest and most flood-prone areas of the city.

The area is a wealthy one, with historic homes worth millions, and picturesque Colonial Lake, an engineered waterbody the city drains before storms to ensure it does not spill over. Charleston has already done conceptual engineering on a tunnel system there, but isn’t moving forward on the design or permits yet because of many other, smaller efforts.

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One, a single shaft tunneling down from Ehrhardt Street, will replicate a portion of the system and connect it to existing tunnels to the north. The city is also working on cleaning out historic brick-arch drains and potentially raising the sidewalk along low-lying Lockwood Drive to block high tides, Fountain said.

“We need to get those things to their next step … to kick out more project work behind them,” Fountain said. “Each thing we can do that moves water out of the basin more efficiently reduces the size and scope of the tunnel work.”



medical district.jpg (copy)

Floodwater covers a sidewalk along Ashley Avenue in the Medical District on July 8, 2021, following the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa. This section of downtown Charleston, home to three major medical institutions, had flooded for decades. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff



The Corps’ wall proposal would also affect where and how the city would build Calhoun West’s deep tunnels and a pump to drain them. 

Just the Ehrhardt Street shaft alone costs north of $10 million, and the money wasn’t easy to find. Officials for the three large medical providers in the hospital district and Tecklenburg lobbied state government officials for years before funding was included in a round of Housing and Urban Development money the state started to parcel out earlier in 2021

In the past, the city relied on large-scale projects like Spring-Fishburne, the more expansive tunnel system north of the area where Calhoun West would be installed. But Spring-Fishburne encountered significant delays in its construction timeline, in part because it was difficult to secure funding in the first place. Fountain said he doesn’t want to leave people waiting for years without smaller relief.

He also urged that the deep-tunnel design will have to fit with other projects in the basin that are being designed or built now. 

Councilman Mike Seekings, who represents that part of the city, said the Calhoun West tunnel project is still an essential one. With spring thunderstorms this year dumping water that piled 2- or 3-feet deep in that zone, “It’s an unsustainable quality of life and public safety model we have to remedy,” he said. 

The problem, Seekings said, is that the city needs to more clearly define what projects to do, and in what order. Fountain said the city does have a rubric developed by consultant AECOM to prioritize projects based on economic benefits, environmental impacts, social needs and future maintenance costs, but the stormwater department hasn’t finished scoring all the proposed projects yet.



Drainage Tunnel (copy)

The city is gradually replacing its 19th century brick arches with a modern network of deep drainage tunnels, such as this one. Ralfael Reveles drives a train through the Spring-Fishburne drainage tunnels on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Charleston. File/ Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff



Local share

The seawall project, if the city decides to pursue it, would be covered 35 percent by Charleston and 65 percent by a federal appropriation for the Corps. The most recent estimate pegs the total cost at some $1.4 billion.

That projection is likely to change, and might have to if the project is ever to get federal funding. Right now, its ratio of benefits to costs, as counted by the Corps, is 2.2. In other words, every dollar invested has a $2.20 value in avoided damage. Federal reviewers usually favor projects with a ratio of 2.5 or higher for funding, a Corps spokeswoman said.

If it does move forward, the project is a pay-as-you-go affair: money would only be due as the design or construction happens. Project leaders have already said the wall construction would happen in four phases.

“That (local) price tag is not something that’s due next year or in five years. It could, in fact, be due over 20 years,” said Dale Morris, a longtime flooding consultant to the city who is becoming its next chief resilience officer in the fall. 

City officials have said the state has a role to play in funding this because of Charleston’s economic impact on the rest of the state. But if the much smaller $10 million bill for the Medical District’s Ehrhardt shaft is any indication, it could be hard to make that argument. An earlier attempt to include that line item in the state’s 2020 budget failed.

Dana Beach, a founder of the Coastal Conservation League who has since retired from that environmental advocacy group, worried whether the city’s political leadership would really be able to convince lawmakers to put up the money. 

It’s not as if legislators are unwilling to pay for large construction projects in the region; the State Ports Authority, Beach argued, secured a vote in favor of borrowing $550 million for an expanded rail yard and barges in the Charleston Harbor

But in Charleston, “We just have this hope that the Corps of Engineers will do something, will put the money in, and we’ll somehow come up with the 35 percent match,” Beach said. “Hope is not a strategy.”

SC's new resilience office tackles question of how to avoid damages from strengthening storms

Tecklenburg said he’s already talking to state and federal officials about how to fund the city’s share.

“You’re not going to find one funding source that’s going to pay for a big project,” he said. At the state level, “I think we can be successful getting a piece at a time, but maybe not get the whole enchilada like the Ports Authority has.”

The first pieces of a potential strategy could come in the next few months. An advisory group reviewing the wall plan is also focusing on possible funding ideas, Wilbert said, as is the city itself. More special tax districts or fees could be part of the picture, he said. The state has also set aside almost $50 million for flood projects, distributed by a new Office of Resilience, but communities around the state will compete for that low-cost loan fund.

Morris was optimistic. He pointed to the federal American Rescue Plan funds that are coming to South Carolina, $2.5 billion in all, which can be used for infrastructure projects. Additional funding through HUD, he said, will also help cities and towns pay for projects to fix flooding before disasters instead of after — a longtime blind spot in federal funding. 

“It’s more positive right now for federal resources to support communities than I’ve seen for a long time,” Morris said.

That may be limited help in the case of the wall project; if Congress funds the Corps’ share, the city generally can’t use federal funds to pay for its own portion without special permission, a Corps spokeswoman said. 

But first, the city will have to decide this fall if it actually wants to move forward with a wall at all. 

Editorial: Broaden approach to Charleston's peninsula wall project to get it right

$1 Trillion Infrastructure Invoice Pours Cash Into Lengthy-Delayed Wants

WASHINGTON – Amtrak würde die größte Geldspritze seit seiner Gründung vor einem halben Jahrhundert erleben. Klimaresilienzprogramme würden den größten Anstieg der Staatsausgaben aller Zeiten erhalten. Das Stromnetz des Landes würde für 73 Milliarden Dollar aufgerüstet.

Der weitläufige 1-Billionen-Dollar-Schein, den der Senat am Montag angenommen hat – ein 2.702-seitiges parteiübergreifendes Abkommen das ist das Produkt monatelanger Verhandlungen und jahrelanger aufgestauter Ambitionen, die bröckelnde Infrastruktur des Landes zu reparieren – würde den größten Staatsausgaben für das alternde öffentliche Bausystem seit 2009 entsprechen.

Es ist auch vollgestopft mit Haustierprojekten und Prioritäten, die fast jede Facette des amerikanischen Lebens berühren, einschließlich der obskursten, wie eine Bestimmung, die es Bluttransportfahrzeugen erlaubt, Fahrgemeinschaften auf Autobahnen zu benutzen, um den Verkehr zu umgehen, wenn frische Fläschchen an Bord sind, und eine andere, um ein Bundeszuschussprogramm zur Förderung „bestäuberfreundlicher Praktiken“ in der Nähe von Straßen und Autobahnen vollständig finanzieren. (Preisschild für letzteres: 2 Millionen US-Dollar pro Jahr.)

Die Maßnahme stellt einen entscheidenden Teil der Wirtschaftsagenda von Präsident Biden dar, und die Vereinbarung, aus der sie hervorging, war ein großer Durchbruch bei seiner Suche nach einem parteiübergreifenden Kompromiss. Aber es war auch bemerkenswert für die Zugeständnisse, die Herr Biden machen musste, um den Deal abzuschließen, darunter weniger Mittel für saubere Energieprojekte, den Austausch von Bleirohren, Transit und Maßnahmen für historisch unterversorgte Gemeinden.

Einige dieser Bestimmungen könnten in den Haushaltsplan der Demokraten aufgenommen werden, der sich voraussichtlich auf 3,5 Billionen US-Dollar belaufen wird und den sie nach Abschluss der Infrastrukturrechnung und einseitig gegen republikanische Einwände durchsetzen.

Das Infrastrukturgesetz, das von einer Gruppe von 10 Republikanern und Demokraten verfasst wurde, könnte sich in den kommenden Tagen noch ändern, da andere Senatoren, die ihre Spuren hinterlassen möchten, die Möglichkeit haben, Änderungsvorschläge zu unterbreiten. Der Senat hat am Montag damit begonnen, Änderungsanträge zu erwägen, weitere sind in den kommenden Tagen möglich.

Aber die Gesetzgebung stellt einen bedeutenden parteiübergreifenden Kompromiss dar, einschließlich 550 Milliarden US-Dollar an neuen Mitteln und der Erneuerung einer Reihe bestehender Verkehrs- und Infrastrukturprogramme, die ansonsten Ende September auslaufen sollen.

Während die Staaten ein weiteres Jahr in Folge mit sich verschlimmernden Naturkatastrophen konfrontiert sind, die von Eisstürmen bis hin zu Waldbränden reichen, umfasst die Maßnahme Milliarden von Dollar, um das Land besser auf die Auswirkungen der globalen Erwärmung und die größte Bundesinvestition in die Stromübertragung in der Geschichte vorzubereiten.

Ein Großteil des Geldes, das dazu bestimmt ist, die Widerstandsfähigkeit des Landes gegenüber extremen Wetterbedingungen zu stärken, würde in Aktivitäten fließen, die bereits im Gange sind, von denen die Regierung jedoch nach Ansicht von Experten mehr tun muss, da die Bedrohungen von Klimawandel Zunahme. Es würde auch neue Ansätze unterstützen, darunter Gelder für „Wassermodellierungsaktivitäten der nächsten Generation“ und Hochwasserkartierungen bei der National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, die auch Mittel zur Vorhersage von Waldbränden erhalten würde.

Das Gesetz sieht auch 73 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Modernisierung des nationalen Stromnetzes vor, was laut Energieanalysten die Grundlage für die Abkehr von fossilen Brennstoffen bilden würde. Aber es enthält nur einen Bruchteil des Geldes, das Herr Biden für große Umweltinitiativen angefordert hat, und verlängert eine Lebensader auf Erdgas und Kernenergie, Bestimmungen, die die Progressiven des Hauses verärgert haben.

Es gibt auch 7,5 Milliarden US-Dollar für saubere Busse und Fähren, aber das reicht bei weitem nicht aus, um innerhalb von fünf Jahren etwa 50.000 Nahverkehrsbusse zu elektrifizieren, wie Biden versprochen hat. Der Gesetzentwurf sieht 7,5 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Entwicklung von Ladestationen für Elektrofahrzeuge im ganzen Land vor, nur die Hälfte der 15 Milliarden US-Dollar, die Herr Biden beantragt hatte, um sein Wahlversprechen zum Bau von 500.000 davon einzuhalten.

Der Gesetzentwurf würde 15 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Entfernung von Lead-Service-Leitungen im ganzen Land bereitstellen, verglichen mit den 45 Milliarden US-Dollar, die Herr Biden gefordert hatte, und die 60 Milliarden US-Dollar, die nach Ansicht der führenden Vertreter des Wassersektors erforderlich sind, um die Arbeit zu erledigen.

Die Gesetzgebung umfasst auch mehr als 300 Millionen US-Dollar für die Entwicklung von Technologien zur Abscheidung und Speicherung von Kohlendioxidemissionen aus Kraftwerken und 6 Milliarden US-Dollar zur Unterstützung von angeschlagenen Kernreaktoren. Es weist den Energieminister an, eine Studie über den Verlust von Arbeitsplätzen im Zusammenhang mit der Entscheidung von Herrn Biden, die Keystone XL-Pipeline zu kündigen, durchzuführen.

Als einer der wenigen großen Gesetzesentwürfe, die wahrscheinlich während dieses Kongresses verabschiedet werden, ist die Infrastrukturmaßnahme zu einem Magneten für die Lobbyarbeit von Industrien im ganzen Land geworden – und von den Gesetzgebern, deren Stimmen benötigt werden, um sie durchzusetzen, von denen viele den Montag damit verbrachten, dies hervorzuheben Mittel für ihre obersten Prioritäten.

Aktualisiert

August 5, 2021, 5:49 Uhr ET

Für das Quartett der Senatoren, das die Legionen der Bundesangestellten repräsentiert, die die Washington Metro benutzen – die Senatoren Tim Kaine und Mark Warner aus Virginia sowie Benjamin L. Cardin und Chris Van Hollen aus Maryland, alle Demokraten – gab es eine kritische jährliche Neuautorisierung von 150 Millionen US-Dollar für das Transitsystem über ein Jahrzehnt.

Das Gesetz würde die Finanzierung des Wiederaufbaus einer Autobahn in Alaska, dem Heimatstaat von Senatorin Lisa Murkowski, einer wichtigen Verhandlungsführerin der Republikaner, autorisieren. Sondermittel werden für die Appalachian Regional Commission bereitgestellt, eine Bundesbehörde für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, deren Co-Vorsitzende Gayle Manchin ist, die Frau von Senator Joe Manchin III von West Virginia, einer der Hauptautoren des Gesetzes und eine wichtige demokratische Swing-Abstimmung. Herr Manchin half auch bei der Beschaffung von Geldern, um verlassenes Minenland in Staaten wie seinem zu säubern.

Das Gesetz würde Mittel für einzelne Projekte im ganzen Land bereitstellen, darunter 1 Milliarde Dollar für die Wiederherstellung der Großen Seen, 24 Millionen Dollar für die San Francisco Bay, 106 Millionen Dollar für den Long Island Sound und 238 Millionen Dollar für die Chesapeake Bay.

Es beinhaltet auch neue Mittel in Höhe von 66 Milliarden US-Dollar für den Schienenverkehr, um den Wartungsstau von Amtrak zu beheben, sowie die Modernisierung des stark frequentierten Nordostkorridors von Washington nach Boston. Für Herrn Biden, einen Amtrak-Anhänger, der eine geschätzte 8.000 Hin- und Rückfahrten auf der Linie, es ist ein Schritt zur Erfüllung seines Versprechens, zu injizieren Milliarden in die Schiene.

Da Republikaner und einige gemäßigte Demokraten dagegen sind, die steigenden Schulden der Nation zu erhöhen, enthält die Gesetzgebung ein Flickwerk von Finanzierungsmechanismen, obwohl einige fiskalische Falken viele von ihnen als unzureichend bezeichnet haben.

Um die Gesetzgebung zu bezahlen, hat der Gesetzgeber teilweise 200 Milliarden US-Dollar an ungenutzten Geldern aus früheren Pandemie-Hilfsprogrammen verwendet, die im Jahr 2020 verabschiedet wurden.

Dazu gehören 53 Milliarden US-Dollar an erweiterten Arbeitslosengeldern, die wiederverwendet werden können, da sich die Wirtschaft schneller erholt als prognostiziert, und weil viele Staaten ihre Pandemie-Arbeitslosenversicherungszahlungen aus Sorge eingestellt haben, dass die Subventionen die Menschen davon abhalten, wieder ins Erwerbsleben einzusteigen.

Der Gesetzentwurf umfasst mehr als 30 Milliarden US-Dollar, die für ein Katastrophenkreditprogramm der Small Business Administration bereitgestellt wurden – aber nicht ausgegeben wurden –, das qualifizierten Unternehmen zinsgünstige Kredite und kleine Zuschüsse bietet. Dieses Programm wurde gehindert durch sich ändernde Regeln und Bürokratie und hat Bargeld viel langsamer ausgezahlt, als der Kongress (und viele Bewerber) erwartet hatten.

Auch übrig gebliebene Mittel aus anderen aufgegebenen Programmen würden umprogrammiert. Dazu gehören 3 Milliarden US-Dollar, die nie in Hilfsfonds für Flugpersonal eingesetzt wurden.

Marc Goldwein vom Center for a Responsible Federal Budget sagte, dass nur etwa 50 Milliarden US-Dollar der geschätzten 200 Milliarden US-Dollar echte Kosteneinsparungen darstellten. Der Rest, sagte er, beläuft sich auf „Cherry Picking“-Zahlen und behauptete Einsparungen aus prognostizierten Kosten, die nicht eingetreten sind.

Eine Analyse der Gesetzgebung durch den Gemeinsamen Steuerausschuss des Kongresses schätzt, dass die Gesetzgebung in einem Jahrzehnt Einnahmen in Höhe von 51 Milliarden US-Dollar erzielen könnte, während das Budgetbüro des Kongresses voraussichtlich bereits in dieser Woche Prognosen zu den Gesamtkosten veröffentlichen wird.

Die Gesetzgebung sieht auch eine strengere Kontrolle der Kryptowährung durch den IRS vor. Aber ein Lobbying-Schub der Industrie in letzter Minute, um die Sprache zu verwässern, war erfolgreich. was zu einer Reduzierung der neuen Anforderungen führt.

Dennoch wird prognostiziert, dass die Rückstellung über ein Jahrzehnt 28 Milliarden US-Dollar einbringen wird.

Da die Vereinigten Staaten nach wie vor sowohl von den Folgen der Coronavirus-Pandemie als auch von einem Ansturm von Waldbränden, Dürren, Überschwemmungen und anderen Wetterkatastrophen heimgesucht werden, zielt die Gesetzgebung darauf ab, ihre Unterstützung auf unterversorgte Gemeinden auszurichten, die historisch gesehen zusätzliche Unterstützung des Bundes benötigen.

Aber während Herr Biden 20 Milliarden US-Dollar für Projekte gefordert hatte, die helfen sollten, Schwarze Nachbarschaften wieder verbinden und Farbgemeinschaften, die durch vergangene Bauarbeiten zersplittert oder benachteiligt wurden, sieht die Gesetzgebung nur 1 Milliarde US-Dollar vor, von denen die Hälfte neue Bundesmittel sind, über einen Zeitraum von fünf Jahren für das Programm. Die Gesetzgebung schafft auch ein neues Zuschussprogramm in Höhe von 2 Milliarden US-Dollar zum Ausbau von Straßen, Brücken und anderen Landverkehrsprojekten in ländlichen Gebieten.

Der Gesetzentwurf würde die Unterstützung für Stammesregierungen und Gemeinschaften der amerikanischen Ureinwohner erhöhen und ein Büro im Verkehrsministerium schaffen, das auf ihre Bedürfnisse eingehen soll. Es würde dem Bureau of Indian Affairs 216 Millionen US-Dollar für Klimaresilienz und Anpassung für indigene Nationen bereitstellen, die unverhältnismäßig verletzt durch den Klimawandel. Mehr als die Hälfte dieses Geldes, 130 Millionen US-Dollar, würde für die „Umsiedlung von Gemeinden“ verwendet werden, um einigen indigenen Gemeinden dabei zu helfen, sich aus gefährdeten Gebieten zu entfernen.

Es würde auch dazu beitragen, den Zugang zu fließendem Wasser und anderen sanitären Einrichtungen in Stammesgemeinschaften und Dörfern der Ureinwohner Alaskas zu verbessern, wobei der Gesetzgeber entschlossen ist, sich um alle bestehenden Projektbedürfnisse zu kümmern.

„Wir haben immer noch ein extremes Defizit, wenn es um unsere Stammesgemeinschaften geht“, sagte Murkowski in einer Rede im Senat und fügte hinzu, dass die Finanzierungshöhe „beispiellos“ sei. “Wir müssen unseren Ureinwohnern Recht geben.”

Neben altmodischen öffentlichen Bauprojekten wie Straßen, Brücken und Autobahnen haben die Senatoren 65 Milliarden US-Dollar aufgenommen, um schwer erreichbare ländliche Gemeinden mit dem Hochgeschwindigkeits-Internet zu verbinden und bei der Anmeldung zu helfen einkommensschwache Städter, die es sich nicht leisten können. Andere gesetzliche Änderungen zielen darauf ab, den Wettbewerb und die Transparenz zwischen den Dienstanbietern zu fördern, was dazu beitragen könnte, die Preise zu senken.

Offizielle Schätzungen gehen auseinander, aber die meisten deuten darauf hin, dass Millionen von Amerikanern keinen zuverlässigen Zugang zu Hochgeschwindigkeitsinternet haben, viele von ihnen Farbige, Mitglieder ländlicher Gemeinschaften oder andere einkommensschwache Gruppen. Dieser Bedarf, sagte der Gesetzgeber, wurde durch Sperren während der Pandemie verschärft, die Arbeit und Schule von zu Hause aus erforderten.

Herr Biden hatte ursprünglich 100 Milliarden Dollar vorgeschlagen, um zu versuchen, diese Zahl auf Null zu bringen, aber er stimmte zu, den Preis zu senken, um einen Kompromiss mit den Republikanern zu erzielen. Die Demokraten kämpften auch um die Aufnahme von Gesetzen, um Staaten zu ermutigen, umfassende Pläne zu entwickeln, um sicherzustellen, dass der Zugang zum Hochgeschwindigkeitsinternet gerecht auf traditionell unterversorgte Gruppen verteilt wird, und sie über den Zugang zu digitalen Ressourcen aufzuklären.

Nicholas Fandos, Lisa Friedman, Madeleine Ngo, Luke Broadwater und Stacy Cowley trugen zur Berichterstattung bei.

A join a free evaluation on how to economize in your electrical invoice helps NAACP elevate funds

Editor’s Note: This story is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave On the ground Battle Creek range.

Battle Creek residents interested in saving money on their utility bills and building more energy efficient homes can register for free until August 13th Energy analysis at home offered through Consumers Energy.

In addition to benefiting homeowners and tenants, the program raises funds for the Battle Creek branch of of NAACP (National Association for the Promotion of Colored People).

“Consumers are working with minority and women-led nonprofits to promote this program and turn it into a fundraiser,” said Kathy Antaya, who leads the fundraiser and is the third vice president of the local NAACP. “They really go out of their way to target black and brown communities where people are least likely to let ‘the man’ into their home.”

To sign up, people should click here or visit HomeEnergyAnalysis.com or call 833-685-1312 to make an appointment. When registering online, enter NAACPBC in the promotional code field. When you call to make an appointment, Antaya says, “Be sure to give the call center agent the code.”

She hopes this will build people’s confidence in the work Consumers Energy is doing to save money and in their own ability to make these kinds of improvements.

“It makes a lot of sense to me, especially for households that are less energy efficient and more likely to benefit from it, and these are mostly low-income people or people who don’t trust a white person to come to their door,” Antaya says.

Although the fundraising opportunity has existed with organizations in the east of the state for several years, this is the first time an organization in Battle Creek has had the opportunity to partner with Consumers Energy, says Erin Donnelly, senior marketing & outreach manager for energy efficient solutions Logistics, LLC. SEEL, LLC is a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and an Authorized Consumers Energy Contractor based in Comstock Park.

The payment for partner organizations is based on a tiered system. For every 50 energy analysis appointments completed, an organization receives US $ 500; for all 75 appointments this amount is $ 1,000 and continues from there up to a maximum of $ 5,000 for 200 completed appointments.

Donnelly says there were seven completed Battle Creek events listed as of yesterday.

“We need at least 50 visits to start a fundraiser,” says Antaya. “Our goal is 200 visits. We struggled to get 20. “

The participating organizations had a three-month window to register and complete appointments. The fundraiser began June 13th in Battle Creek, and Antaya hopes more people will sign up before the deadline.

Antaya is one of the seven people who already have an energy analysis carried out at home. During this analysis, she had 30 lightbulbs replaced and received four LED night lights, all free of charge for her. She says if her house, which is around 50 years old, had an electrical water connection, she could have got free plastic wrap and insulation for the hot water pipes and tape sealant for the water heater.

“The man who did my energy analysis was very experienced and professional,” says Antaya. “He made me feel so comfortable. He even pointed out a few things that had nothing to do with energy efficiency and asked questions such as whether I had had a radon test done in my basement. “

The technicians who perform the personal analyzes bring items such as light bulbs and insulation, and replace and install anything needed during the visit. Those doing the virtual analyzes will be sent home free of charge materials that may be needed for improvement.

In addition to the items that Antaya replaced, premium upgrades are available for those who are 200 percent or below the federal poverty line, which according to the U.S. Department of Health or 80 percent of the Annual Median Income (AMI), which in Calhoun County was $ 49,055, according to the US Census Bureau.

These premium upgrades include items like new refrigerators, dehumidifiers, or air conditioners, says Donnelly.

“We carry out the initial assessment and if you are eligible for the premium upgrades, we will contact you and see if you are interested. If so, you will need to provide proof of income eligibility. Order a new refrigerator and set up delivery and installation. “

Donnelly says the energy analysis program is funded by an average fee of 30 cents that is part of the monthly bill that Consumers Energy customers receive.

“The whole point of this fundraising program is to help the community and the businesses and organizations in that community, and to help the community save money on their energy bills on an individual basis,” says Donnelly. “People get very hesitant when they hear the word ‘free’. But it’s something that every customer is already paying for. There is a small fee on your bill that goes straight to funding this program. “

“The program is completely free to anyone in Michigan who is a Consumers Energy customer,” says Donnelly. “Consumers Energy offers virtual and personal appointments to give tips on energy efficiency and energy reports at home that show customers their energy consumption and how they can save money. The aim is to reduce energy consumption. We have certain goals that we want to achieve as a company that uses energy. If we can help the customer in any way, we want to do that. “

Read more articles from Jane Simons.

Jane Simons is a freelance reporter and writer with over 20 years of experience and the owner of In so many words based in Battle Creek. She is the project editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.

Metropolis lawmaker introduces invoice to boost reward cash for info in violent crime

Increase in reward money to get violent criminals off the streets. A Baltimore city council tabled a bill Monday night that it believes more people will seek tips from the police. It is a community-wide effort calling for an end to violence in order to honor the victims and support their families. Family closure is part of the goal of a new constitutional amendment proposed by Baltimore Councilor Isaac “Yitzy” Schleiffer to offer large rewards for information about violent crimes such as shootings and murders. “This is a proven method that, with rewards – high dollar rewards – makes people more likely to share the information they have,” Schleiffer said. Schleiffer points out that rewards worth $ 2,000 or $ 3,000 don’t often get as much exposure as those in the $ 10,000 or $ 20,000 range, or even higher. The amendment to the statutes would set up a fund drawn from monies such as foundations and donations. The city council recently set up a similar fund for publicly funded campaigns. It just gets better. So, at the moment, rewards are already being offered, but it actually raises that level, “said Schleiffer.” We really just want to help solve crimes across the city and increase our detection rate, which will ultimately reduce crime in a short period of time. “The next step is a hearing on the amendment, which Schleiffer hopes will be on the ballot in 2022.

Raise the reward money to get violent offenders off the streets.

A Baltimore city council tabled a bill Monday night that it believes will encourage more people to seek advice from the police.

Vigils for peace were held across Baltimore on Monday evening. It is a community-wide effort calling for an end to violence in order to honor the victims and support their families.

Closing families is part of the goal of a new constitutional amendment proposed by Baltimore Councilor Isaac “Yitzy” Schleiffer.

It’s about raising money so that you can offer big rewards for information about violent crimes like shootings and murders.

“This is a proven method that makes people more likely to share the information they have when there are rewards – high dollar rewards,” Schleiffer said.

Schleiffer points out that rewards worth $ 2,000 or $ 3,000 often don’t get as much exposure as those in the $ 10,000 or $ 20,000 range or higher.

The amendment to the statutes would set up a fund drawn from monies such as foundations and donations.

The city council recently set up a similar fund for publicly funded campaigns.

“It’s something we’re already doing, it can just be improved. So, at the moment, rewards are already being offered, but it actually raises that level,” said Schleiffer. “We really just want to help solve crimes across the city and increase our detection rate, which will ultimately reduce crime in a short amount of time.”

The next step is a hearing on the amendment. Schleiffer hopes it will be on the ballot in 2022.