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Army officials at last week’s ADC 2011 Winter Forum discussed a new policy intended to help contractors obtain a federal tax deduction for qualified energy efficient building investments. Prime contractors can request the deduction for improvements to interior lighting systems; heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water systems; and the building envelope. The deduction, which can only be requested by the improvement’s designer, can be worth up to $1.80 per square foot …READ MORE
Members of the House Armed Services Committee last week questioned Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan to cut the end strength of the Army by 27,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 15,000 to 20,000 troops starting in fiscal 2015. The size of the armed forces is “not something that you can just flip a switch,” Rep. Mac Thornberry said at the Feb. 16 hearing on the Pentagon’s FY 2012 budget request …READ MORE
The House last week voted to restore an $80 million spending reduction to the Economic Development Administration that had been included in the House’s plan to fund federal operations through the remainder of fiscal 2011. If enacted into law, economic development assistance programs would receive $255 million, the same level of funding allocated in FY 2010 …READ MORE
With one glaring exception, DOD programs remained insulated from the hundreds of amendments offered on the House floor to deepen the spending cuts included in the House plan to fund the federal government for the duration of the current fiscal year. Late Friday night, the House rejected an amendment to the fiscal 2011 funding bill that would have pared funding for the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security by 3.5 percent, excluding veterans’ programs …READ MORE
In what has been termed a swipe at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Republicans last week approved an amendment that would eliminate federal funding for the Presidio Trust during debate over the continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the end of fiscal 2011. The trust, the nonprofit established by Congress to administer the Presidio of San Francisco after it was shuttered in 1994, had been slated to receive $15 million in 2011 …READ MORE
Public Sector Realty is sponsoring a symposium on federal realty and infrastructure March 4 in Washington, D.C. Sessions will include: Drop the “C”ost and Add the “V”alue to BRAC; The Inner Workings of a Renewable Energy Deal; 30-Year Present Value Analysis & Beyond: Converting Long-term Realty Assets into Annual Cash Accounting Expenses; and Federal Assets: An Asset & Portfolio Management Challenge & Opportunity …READ MORE
The Horsham LRA held the first of several public meetings on Monday intended to collect public input on possible uses for the 892 surplus acres at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove. The redevelopment authority’s late start on crafting a reuse plan is a direct result of then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s attempt to turn the Philadelphia-area site into a state-run homeland security hub …READ MORE
University of North Dakota officials signed a lease with the Air Force last week to build a training facility for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), helping the school to create a UAS Center of Excellence. The center will feature a flight simulator allowing undergraduate students to train on the MQ1 Predator and the MQ Reaper. In addition to providing training and education, the center of excellence will provide a laboratory for research and development, and the ability to test UAS for use in the national airspace system …READ MORE