Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Challenges



Earlier this year, New York State established a brownfield redevelopment plan. Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a brownfield site as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." A brownfield site is typically the former location of a chemical plant or production facility that made or used potentially toxic substances like industrial cleaning products or fertilizer. Though a facility may have been abandoned for years, harmful chemicals may still be present in the facility itself and the ground on which it sits. The cost of cleaning brownfield sites can be so high as to prevent them from being developed at all. As a result, the harmful contaminants remain in the environment, posing health risks while the abandoned property simultaneously hinders the neighborhood's economic development.

In contrast, a "greyfield" site rarely poses any environmental or health risks. It is a term that was coined in the early 2000s to describe empty and abandoned commercial and retail property. (The word "greyfield" refers to the often-expansive parking lots that surround the structures.) Because there are no dangerous contaminants to dispose of, the redevelopment of greyfields generally costs less. In addition, the existing infrastructure (including plumbing and electrical wiring) can actually reduce the cost of development.

A revitalization plan released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 suggested greyfields as viable development opportunities because of their often-close proximity to main traffic arteries and public gathering places like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which allocated more funding for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Unfortunately, because greyfields pose no real environmental or health threats, there is little federal funding allocated specifically for their development.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. The existing redevelopment provision allows for a maximum thirty percent credit, based on the total qualifying investment costs. At minimum, a twelve percent The Tre Ver credit is granted for qualifying investment in a greyfield site. If the project also meets the requirements for "green developments," that credit is bumped up to 15 percent. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this new law in place, more money is now available for investors and builders willing to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the new provision provides incentive for developers to use old vacant malls and industrial sites, which are plentiful, rather than seeking to build on previously unused land. Other states are considering similar legislation as they look for creative ways to encourage development while keep costs as low as possible.


Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this new law in place, more money is now available for builders and investors willing to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Inground Pool Customization and Accessories



You're ready for summer and looking forward to countless days spent lounging by the pool. Your pool is an investment, and a part of your property. Color, tile, accessories and landscaping are all wonderful ways to customize your poolside landscape so you can enjoy it exactly the way you want.

Water Features

Inground pools come in so many varieties, the options are limitless. One great option for pool customization is installing interactive water features.

Inground Pool Accessories

If your pool is going to be a family hangout, lots of fun options for the whole family are available. Detachable inground pool accessories like diving slides, boards and tunnels can also provide hours of fun for your family.

Entertainment Features

You may be building your inground pool as a gathering place for entertaining and spending time with friends. Create a luxury outdoor area with a custom wet bar. If you enjoy cooking out, chose one of the extensive options for BBQs and smoker nooks.

You can also feature your pool as your centerpiece by installing a swim up bar or grilling area. Consider tiki huts and torches to spice up your landscape if you are feeling festive. If you're investing in a beautiful pool area, of course you'll want to check out comfortable outdoor furniture for your guests to utilize.

Hidden Features

Some pool customization ideas are hidden from sight but can still enhance your swimming experience. Solar energy heaters are available, and once installed add weeks or months on to the time you get to spend in your inground pool every year. Heating your pool with solar power is an easy way to save big money on your power bill if you choose to heat your pool.

Fitness and Exercise

To use your pool for exercise, consider adding accessories that will help you stay in shape. One option is a pool "treadmill" of sorts. It is a device that attaches to the side of your pool and creates a current which you can swim against.

The added current feature allows you to swim continuously without thinking about flip turns, and the extra resistance helps you work your muscles more in the same amount of time spent swimming traditional laps. You can also buy special weights that float on water, providing resistance when they are pushed under the water.

Safety Features

Of course, accessorizing your inground pool isn't just for fun. You can install an alarm in your inground pool so that if a child gets close to here the water, the alarm will sound inside or outside your home.

No matter what kind of pool you choose options for accessorizing and customizing your new swimming area are virtually endless. The internet is a great tool. Browse local contractor's websites before choosing, and use pool sale and design sites to get ideas for your inground pool installation. And of course, remember to have fun making your pool your very own.

Brian Benko at Inground Pools offers the best ideas and information about in ground pools. Visit Inground Pools for the latest in maintenance, safety and pool information.


Inground pools come in so many varieties, the options are limitless. Detachable inground pool accessories like diving boards, slides and tunnels can also provide hours of fun for your family. Heating your pool with solar power is an easy way to save big money on your power bill if you choose to heat your pool.

You can install an alarm in your inground pool so that if a child gets close to the water, the alarm will sound inside or outside your home.

Browse local contractor's websites before choosing, and use pool sale and design sites to get ideas for your inground pool installation.

Defining Managed IT Services



Managed services is a broad term for outsourcing many functions in business. Medium and small business owners will find that IT companies offer varying descriptions of what they consider managed IT service packages.

Managed Services Defined

Wikipedia defines managed services as "the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities."

Over at the MSP Alliance, they describe it as "the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades."

Gartner defines a MSP as a company that "delivers network, system, application and e-management services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a "pay as you go" pricing model. A "pure play" MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

Basically, the industry defines managed IT services as a program in which some portion of IT service is done proactively and with some sort of monthly fee. However, the process and results may vary depending on how the individual company approaches their support package.

Many IT support companies simply add some sort of service with a monitoring package for a nominal fee and call it managed services. On the other end of the spectrum, a full-time Managed Service Provider or MSP, will have an end-to-end platform in which they take responsibility for their clients' technology and a laser-like focus on improving the overall client experience and their technology results.

The Theory and Purpose

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes cumbersome and costly. Some companies begin looking to have some proactive IT management mixed into their current strategy. There are many levels of monitoring and review in a proactive strategy. The overall goal should be to utilize the proactive activity to reduce the amount of reactive issues and business risks.

Alternatively, some companies opt to hire an internal IT person. Managed services, when done properly, should offer companies a cost effective solution that reduces reactive problems and helps the client plan for future issues and business changes. Using economies of scale and through best practices refined and developed across a base of clients, a good managed services approach should certainly be more cost effective than hiring internally and deliver better results.

Variations of Managed Services

While the definition can be somewhat vague, the variations are also sometimes confusing. Listed below are some of the more common "managed services" offering that a person may come across. While some would argue that the most basic offerings are not managed services at all, they are included if only to illustrate how much variation exists.

Monitoring Only

A monitoring only package is the least expensive and least effective of any managed services approach. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Once an alert occurs, the IT support company calls the client to schedule the necessary resolution at an additional fee. This method may shorten the response time by an IT company but does not do much to make a real positive change for the client.

Limited Response

The next step for many companies, this approach allows for some issue remediation. The boundaries are usually specific and somewhat restrictive. This approach may offer a set amount of hours for reactive network support per a time period or include limited response for specific server, computer or other technical issues. Any problems that fall outside of the defined perimeters incur a service fee.

Hybrid Approach

This approach allows for companies that employ their own internal IT personnel while utilizing the resources of a well-equipped and knowledgeable managed services IT company. Many times, a business has the need for a full-time technology employee for a specialized purpose. Typically, using this approach, the internal person can focus on his or her specific function and allow the managed services company handle the issues that occur outside of those perimeters. Using this model, the managed services company should be able to implement their process to positively affect the client's business while the employee is then not burdened by unnecessary distractions.

Note: Many companies feel the need to have an on-site person to more quickly respond to employee issues. When done properly, the managed services approach should focus on minimizing the need for a reactive response by avoiding most day-to-day issues, negating the need for an on-site technician.

Remote-Only Help Desk Support

Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. This model can be very effective for companies that require little on-site response or have a dispersed workforce. Most companies that use remote-only support can benefit from the higher level of service and results that a good MSP delivers and only pay for on-site response as needed.

Full IT Department

The full IT department package places all of the responsibility for the client's technology results in the hands of the MSP. When done properly, the MSP can utilize tools, technology, best practices and a well-developed process to:

Drive down reactive issues
Increase client productivity
Consult on technology decisions
Provide a multi-year budget
Reduce the client's overall business risk of data loss and downtime.
When a reputable managed service provider engages a client using this approach, they are committing to provide a positive result for a set monthly fee.

What Do You Need?

With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models. This can be especially daunting when pricing between companies can differ by large dollar amounts. Business owners can sometimes lump all IT companies into the same category, but usually there are large disparities in approach, expectations and methods.

IT can be simple and an asset to your company, but making the right decision between MSP's can seem overwhelming. When evaluating a managed service provider to maintain your company's technology, focus on the results that the MSP promises. It is our belief that the best approach is for the MSP to be involved in all aspects of a client's technology. By getting to know our client's business and technology, we are more effective in providing the very best IT support and management. Managed service providers offering to partially manage your www.ScarlettCulture.com network are usually hoping for the big payday that comes when something equally big goes wrong.


In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes costly and cumbersome. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models.

Top Tips for Choosing the Right Watch for Your Attire



If you are like most individuals, you tend to wear the same watch, day after day, with little thought of how it looks with your attire or how well it functions with the activities you are participating in. You may not have known it, but there is a right watch for each occasion and each type of ensemble you choose to wear.

Yes, that's. When one watch could be worn with everything, gone are the days. If you want to maintain a stylish appearance, you have to know what watches work, and which don't. Luckily for you, we are here to help. When certain watches are appropriate and how to match them to your attire, today we are going to discuss how to determine.

The Everyday Watch

For everyday use, women and men should also have a go-to watch. If you work in an office, a simple, yet stylish Casio Edifice watch will make you the talk of the water cooler. When choosing your watch, however, no matter what your occupation or style, there are always two things to remember:

Match metal with metal- While the idea may be simple, you 'd be surprised how many men try wearing gold faced watches with silver cufflinks or tie clips, or how many women try combining gold earrings with silver faced watches. Match the metal with your other pieces of jewellery to your watch so your attire will look fashionable and complete.

Match colour with colour- A bright pink Baby G watch from Casio might leave you smiling all day long, but wearing it while you are wearing clashing colours just won't do. A good rule of thumb for men is to always match the band of your watch with your shoes and belt. Women can get away with being a little more adventurous, but remember that your watch's colour should always compliment your outfit, not draw attention away from it.
Outdoor Watches Should Only Be Worn Outdoors

There's nothing worse than a man in a nice tailored suit and an outdoor watch. If you work in an office, outdoor watches can draw attention away from your attire and actually ruin your stylish appearance, so leave that watch at home and go for a dress watch instead.

Formal Always Means Elegant

Both women and men should have formal dress watches. When you are dressed in formal attire, it is very important that men wear a watch that is masculine yet sophisticated. For women, a small and beautifully designed Casio or Timex dress watch, with just a hint of pastel colour on the face, is the perfect solution for almost any formal ensemble.

When choosing a watch, you must make sure it fits with your attire and the activity you are participating in. By using these helpful tips, however, you should have no trouble finding the perfect get more info one for almost any occasion and any piece of clothing.


If you are like most individuals, you tend to wear the same watch, day after day, with little thought of how it looks with your attire or how well it functions with the activities you are participating in. Today we are going to discuss how to determine when certain watches are appropriate and how to match them to your attire.

Match metal with metal- While the idea may be simple, you 'd be surprised how many men try wearing gold faced watches with silver cufflinks or tie clips, or how many women try combining gold earrings with silver faced watches. If you work in an office, outdoor watches can draw attention away from your attire and actually ruin your stylish appearance, so leave that watch at home and go for a dress watch instead. When you are dressed in formal attire, it is very important that men wear a watch that is masculine yet sophisticated.

Car Accident Happen - Towing Service

We are a towing company that provides safe towing services. Our equipment is well maintained and our drivers have years of experience and knowledge backing them to ensure damage-free towing. We have multiple flatbed trucks to provide safe and efficient flatbed service for the new modern cars and the old precious cars. Because we have tow trucks in a variety of sizes we can send just the right truck to get the job done and give you the most economical pricing. Our towing units are radio dispatched, or equipped with mobile telephones, in order to respond quickly to your needs.
Located in the City of Flint, website Michigan, near all three main expressways we can get to just about any location in the greater Flint area in a very get more info short time. We are always here to provide you towing services, 24 hours a day, every day, call us at (810) 235-1711. For more information look at our Light Duty Towing page and our Heavy Duty Towing page.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15