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The Dripby Mark Reutter1:50 pmSep 15, 20110

Inside City Hall: Spending before the Board of Estimates

The Baltimore Board of Estimates awarded $885,852 to groups serving the homeless on the same day a Johns Hopkins researcher found a 50% increase in homeless youth in the city.

At yesterday’s regular meeting, the board gave the YWCA of Greater Baltimore $161,220 to support 23 homeless families at the Druid House Transitional facility and $196,972 to the House of Ruth to provide 45 emergency beds. Marian House received another $194,705 for crisis-management services and 60 shelter beds.

Yesterday’s awards do not directly cover homeless youth whose numbers have risen sharply since 2009, according to Hopkins researcher Nan Astone. She identified 640 young people between ages 13 and 25 living without permanent shelter on January 25, 2011. In 2009, the parallel number of homeless young people was 426.

Since the new fiscal year began on July 1, the city has allocated $2.5 million to 15 nonprofits for homeless services. Yesterday’s awards were passed without discussion by the five-member board, which includes Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt.

The awards waived city requirements for minority and women’s involvement.

In other action, the board awarded:

$7,053,711 to Carefirst of Maryland to provide medical insurance to city employees through December 2012. This award is a non-bid renewal of a $7 million contract awarded by the board in 2007. Minority businesses shared 17% of the contract and a woman’s business, Rudolph’s Office and Computer Supplies, received 9%.

• $4,400,000 to The Dental Network for dental insurance to city employees through December 2012. This is a non-bid renewal of an $11 million award in 2007. Minority and women’s businesses shared 25% of the award.

$2,400,000 to Value Options, Inc., for mental and behavior health services to city employees through December 2012. This is a non-bid renewal of a 2007 award of $1.6 million. A woman’s business, Jelly Bean Printing & Promotions, was given 9% of the contract ($216,000), with another 17% ($408,000) going to Drupal/Synergy Printing.

$1,615,606 to Express Scripts, Inc., to provide prescription drug services to city employees. This is a non-bid renewal of a $3.7 million contract awarded in 2007 and runs through December 2012. Minority and women’s businesses shared 21% of the award.

$2,127,000 to GTSI Corp. of Herndon, Va., for a public procurement automation system used by the Department of Finance. This award is a non-bid renewal of a $1.3 million contract approved by the board in 2006 and will run through October 2016.

• $1,000,000 to Geiger Pump & Equipment Co. to supply parts to the bureau of water and wastewater. This contract was not competitively bid because Geiger is the sole source for the parts, according to board records.

• $900,000 in federal funds to the Center for Emergency Medicine to supply air transportation services for needy clients, administered through the city health department.

$450,000 in city bond money to Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc., run by former city deputy housing commissioner Mark Sissman, to increase housing values in stable but underpriced neighborhoods. The grant will provide $400,000 for the operating costs of groups designated as partners by Healthy Neighborhoods and $50,000 for projects that improve the physical appearance of a block or community.

• $400,000 to Vanguard Utility Service, Inc., to provide water meter testing, repair and replacement for the bureau of water and wastewater. This award is a non-bid renewal of a 2010 contract to Vanguard.

• $200,000 to Hersey Meters for fireline water meters for the bureau of water and wastewater. Again a non-bid renewal of a prior contract.

a $175,013 add-on to American Infrastructure, Inc., for rebuilding the Argonne Drive bridge over Herring Run in northeast Baltimore. This is the fourth extra-work-order for the project, whose cost has increased from $5.7 million to $6.7 million. It will be paid by federal funds.

a $174,000 add-on to a $434,255 contract to M. Luis Construction Co. for slab repairs of Northern Parkway between Falls Road and Roland Avenue. This allocation comes from state construction loans.

$380,475 to Living Classrooms Foundation, Inc., to train disadvantaged residents to clean a minimum of 3,044 vacant houses under the direction of the Department of Public Works. “DPW will provide all service requests to the organization and will review each completed service request for satisfactory compliance with city procedures and codes,” according to the board.

$225,000 in federal funds to Goodwill Industries to recruit at least 60 young people and train them for jobs in the retail industry.

• $185,417 in Homeland Security funds to the Police Department to support and enhance anti-terrorism preparedness through training exercises, planning and equipment purchases. The grant runs through May.

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