Volume 17, Issue 39 - Friday, October 11, 2019 Optional Link
Comptroller forecasts $121.76M in state revenue for 2020-21 biennium
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar
The Texas Comptroller's Office released a Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE) on October 10 that projects revenues available to the state for general spending to total about $121.76 billion for the 2020-21 biennium.

That amount, which is up 9.6 percent from the 2018-2019 biennium, will finance the $118.86 billion in general-purpose spending appropriated by the 86th Legislature and result in a balance of $2.89 billion, according to a press release.
 
Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state is projecting continued expansion of the Texas economy at a pace below the previous biennium. 

The State Highway Fund (SHF) and Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), which is also known as the state's Rainy Day Fund, both receive funding from oil and gas severance taxes.  

According to the comptroller's estimates, FY 2020 transfers will total $1.67 billion each to the ESF and SHF and FY 2021 transfers are projected to be $1.59 billion to each fund. After accounting for interest and investment earnings by the ESF, along with expenditures authorized by appropriations made in recent legislative sessions, the CRE projects a fiscal 2021 ending Rainy Day Fund balance of $9.35 billion.   

Also, based on a constitutional amendment passed in 2015 and because annual state sales tax revenue exceeded $28 billion, an additional $2.5 billion will be deposited to the SHF in each year of the 2020-21 biennium. This amendment also stipulated that when motor vehicle sales tax revenue collected in any fiscal year exceeds $5 billion, a portion will be transferred to the SHF. The CRE projects that the threshold will be met for the first time in fiscal 2020 and that $35 million will be transferred to the SHF from motor vehicle sales tax collections in the 2020-21 biennium.
League City planning for water future with $117.8M transmission line work
League City councilmembers approved an agreement with the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) on October 8 to replace a critical water line and upgrade its capacity.

Total estimated project cost is $117.8 million to upgrade the 42-inch Southeast Transmission Line, which provides three-fourths of the city's surface water. More than $23 million will fund design, right-of-way (ROW) acquisition, and technical services, and $94.6 million will cover construction costs.

League City's share of the costs will amount to $10.1 million in preliminary costs and $42.5 million for construction.

The water line will be upgraded from the Southeast Water Purification Plant (SEWPP) to the city's State Highway 3 Booster Pump Station. Completion of design, ROW acquisition, and technical services is scheduled for FY 2019 and FY 2020, and construction is set for phased completion in FY 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023.

Councilmembers also approved the acquisition of 20 million gallons per day of water from the GCWA that will support the planned expansion of the SEWPP within the next five to 10 years at an estimated cost of $100 million.
Mission Trail Comprehensive Plan aims for tourism, UNESCO title
Ysleta Mission
El Paso County Commissioners recently approved the Mission Trail Comprehensive Plan that outlines goals for increasing tourism and achieving UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site designation for the trail.

The Mission Trail, which comprises the Ysleta Mission, Socorro Mission, and presidio chapel of San Elizario, dates back thousands of years as a route for trade, commerce and survival among indigenous people.

Partners responsible for the trail including the cities of El Paso, Socorro, and San Elizario, the Tigua Indian Tribe, the Ysleta community, and the Santa Fe National Trail Office, outlined five goals in the plan to:
  • Create complete centers around each center for living, working, and playing that encourage each community's unique identity;
  • Establish trails along the historic irrigation canals and Socorro Road and improve streets to connect the Mission Valley;
  • Expand the economic base and identify funding sources, such as creating Public Improvement Districts in each community;
  • Protect and enhance historic assets and agricultural landscapes; and,
  • Add destinations and events.
Blinn College considers adding 2nd RELLIS building, new residence hall
Classroom in the Walter C. Schwartz Building at RELLIS
Blinn College board and staff members discussed plans for a second academic building at Texas A&M University's RELLIS campus and a new residence hall at an October 3 workshop.

The academic building on the RELLIS campus in Bryan, Texas, would address a higher-than-expected demand by Blinn students for courses at the facility. Blinn and the Texas A&M System set a goal of 500 students for the 2018 school year, and Blinn enrolled 1,515 students for the fall 2018 semester. As new degrees are introduced at RELLIS, Blinn officials said that they expect enrollment demand to surpass the 2,500-student capacity of the Walter C. Schwartz Building.

Blinn officials also deliberated a plan to establish a public-private partnership to build a new residence hall on the Brenham Campus. In fall 2018, enrollment at that campus rose by 16.8 percent. Even after opening a new dormitory, Blinn started the fall 2019 semester with a housing waitlist of about 150 students.

Trustees took no action at the workshop as they reviewed a district-wide facility master plan, the first in Blinn College's history.
Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Brian Dillard, Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Antonio

Brian Dillard
Career highlights and education: My career began when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2002. I served 10 years as a cybersecurity specialist in locations varying from Omaha, Nebraska, to South Korea, to the United Kingdom. I performed duties ranging from cybersecurity to convoy gunner.
 
What I like best about my public service: As a third-generation Eastside San Antonian, I am lucky to be able to work every day improving the city I love. I have always had a passion for community service and engagement, and within the Office of Innovation I am able to inform, listen, and dialogue with my community members every step of the way as we build a higher quality of life for our residents.

The best advice I have received for my current job: Push the boundaries and execute. With the title of Chief INNOVATION Officer, I maintain an expectation that the status quo isn't acceptable and it is my team's job to continue to inspire our fellow city employees and residents to think beyond the standard approaches.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Don't get caught up in typical expectations for city government. While we certainly maintain a high level of transparency and accountability to our citizens and city council in everything that we do, we don't get caught up in the "government is slow and unable to create impact in a transformative way."
 
If I ever had the opportunity to leave work early, I could probably be found: I never leave work early, but, if I did, I could be found at happy hour with my wife, Francesca.

People would be surprised to know that I: People would be surprised that I dropped out of college in my first semester. (I obtained my bachelor of science in political science toward the end of my military career.) 

One thing I wish more people knew about the city of San Antonio: The city of San Antonio organization is full of passionate people who care deeply about our community members. They wake up every day committed and inspired to continue making San Antonio an amazing place to live, work, and play.
ACC board determining future of Pinnacle Campus on Oak Hill site
ACC Pinnacle Campus
Austin Community College District trustees are weighing options for the future of the district's ACC Pinnacle Campus, which has been closed since summer 2018 for evaluation of repairs and renovations.

ACC divided the property in Oak Hill into two sections - 46 acres the college will hold for future development and the existing 10-story building and adjacent 9 acres for possible sale.
 
The college is reviewing offers as it prepares to host two public events before its winter break at which it plans to share information and collect community input.

Trustees were set to vote on the sale on October 7 after discussing the property negotiations in closed session. However, after hearing from an ACC South Regional Advisory Committee member who advocated consideration of a public-private partnership and housing market analysis, they took no action.
USDA assistance kickstarts Mart water system improvement project
Rendering of Mart water intake system
The city of Mart is moving forward on a major project to upgrade its water system and streets.

A $12 million low-interest loan and $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will support the city's efforts to rebuild its aging infrastructure.

The City of Mart USDA Funded Water System Improvement Project consists of four water projects and funding for the first phase (4.5 miles) of the city's Street Improvement Project.

Mart officials plan to build a new water treatment plant that is twice the size of the city's current facility to ensure quality and volume for future resident and commercial users. Plant construction will include a new raw water intake, pump station, clarification and filtration equipment, sludge thickening and decant and dewatering equipment, a new high service pump station, and clearwell.

A project to build a new booster pump station on Highway 164 will feature a 500,000-gallon ground storage tank, control valve building, and associated piping, valves, fittings, electrical, demolition and site restoration work.

A third water project will install 4.2 miles of 6-inch through 12-inch diameter water lines and associated infrastructure such as fire hydrants, valves, service connections, and pavement restoration. The new lines will replace failing waterlines in the system, including old and undersized lines, make more loops in the system, and less dead-end lines. The city will include the street repairs in this project.

The fourth project will replace the transmission main with the installation of about 23,500 linear feet of 16-inch water main and related infrastructure.

Construction on the projects will be simultaneous and take about two years.
Burnet CISD set for $33.5M bond vote
Bulldog Stadium
Burnet CISD trustees are asking voters to cast their ballots in a $33.1 million bond election on November 5 to update student learning environments, increase safety and security, and improve the district's operating efficiency.

To address enrollment growth, the district is planning to add and renovate classrooms at Bertram Elementary School to accommodate 700 students. The district also plans to build more parking space and improve traffic flow, update Bertram's activity building and gym, and enhance exterior lighting at the campus.
 
Among the proposed learning environment projects are new furnishings at several schools including new flooring, ceiling grid and tiles, painting, and playground improvements. High-impact furniture will be purchased for 150 classrooms.

Safety and security projects would install remote access door systems for all classrooms, a fire alarm system at Quest High School, fencing around elementary school playgrounds and practice field, and a lighting detection system at Bulldog Stadium.

Bond funds also would support the construction of a new pressbox and combination weight room and locker room for baseball and girls soccer, installation of turf, new bleachers and track surface for the practice field.

Other proposed improvements are roof repairs at Burnet Middle School and two elementary schools, HVAC upgrades at two campuses and food services, and site drainage work. Burnet High School's fine arts program would get a new sound and audio-visual system, and the district would purchase nine new buses.
The innovation department at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is embarking on several cutting-edge projects to deliver new products and services to the airport that support its operations.

Airport innovators also are considering air taxis with a mission to conduct test flights by December 2020 between the airport's corporate aviation area and a helipad in the city of Frisco. Department officials said their three-year plan envisions an estimated 200 daily flights once the facilities and services are fully operational. Frisco's mayor said passengers will be able to reach the airport in seven minutes via air taxi.

Other ideas include expansion of facial recognition technology for passengers to check in or drop off checked bags. Currently, two carriers are using the technology in their passenger boarding process.

The department's first project for autonomous vehicles (AVs) will enter the test pilot phase in November with a contract approved last week for the vehicles to transport people from the airport's south parking lot to the lot's bus terminal.
Residents, river authority near deal on lake future with tax district plan
Lake Dunlap dam
Lake Dunlap residents and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) are nearing a compromise on the future of the drained lake in which property owners would vote on the creation of a property tax and a taxing district

The funds would be used to reconstruct the spill gates and the hydroelectric dam, which failed in May causing the lake to drain.

In return, GBRA officials promised to assist with the project by issuing debt that would be paid by the property owners. The authority owns the dam along with five dams on the Guadalupe River.

The GBRA general manager also wrote a letter to the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association in support of the formation of a water control and improvement district (WCID). GBRA would contribute all gross revenues from the hydroelectric dam to the proposed taxing district.

A memorandum of understanding between the two parties is scheduled to be presented to the GBRA board of directors at their October 23 meeting for formal approval.
Former Houston plaza renamed, set for upgrades after $10M donation
Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts
A $10 million donation from a native Houstonian is spurring the redevelopment of the city's former Jones Plaza into the Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts.

Wyatt's donation forms the basis for a $29 million capital campaign that will add to a $10 million commitment by the city's Downtown Redevelopment Authority and $5 million pledge by the Houston First Corporation, which operates the city's convention and performing arts facilities.
 
The venue will feature a performance lawn capable of hosting concerts and other performances, a cascading water feature, trees and gardens, a street theater, and a restaurant.

Construction is expected to start in summer 2020 and conclude in summer 2021.
San Antonio to start construction on Classen-Steubing Ranch park in 2020
The city of San Antonio is nearing the start of construction on the 200-acre Classen-Steubing Ranch park in the Stone Oak area.

Estimated cost is $10 million for the park that will feature baseball fields, a playground, exercise equipment, dog park, and restrooms. Its running trails could link to walking paths at Stone Oak Park.

The project calls for most of the site to remain in a natural state. About 160 acres of the land is within the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program.

Construction is expected to start in spring 2020 with an 18-month project timeline.
Denton weighing options for former city hall building amid rising costs
Denton City Hall West
Denton City Council is discussing plans to renovate the historic City Hall West building amid suggestions by city staff that they issue a request for information (RFI).

A citizens committee recommended a $6.6 million restoration and renovation plan in 2018, but questions over how space would be allocated to what organizations caused delays.

City staff members said construction prices are increasing 9.6 percent each year, and the renovation plan could rise to an estimated $8.5 million before construction begins.
 
Another work session will likely be set to allow councilmembers to review the committee's recommendations and potential funding options.

City Hall West was built in 1927 to serve as the original Denton City Hall. It underwent several renovations and housed multiple city departments after the current City Hall was built.
EVENTS CALENDAR
Universities lining up to attend upcoming P3 Higher Ed Conference
October 24-25, 2019 / San Diego, California
The P3 Higher Education Summit program presents a series of keynotes, case studies, panels, workshops, and diverse networking opportunities designed for attendees to deepen their understanding on alternative project models, innovations in project delivery, the value proposition of public-private partnerships (P3s), and the role they can play in the delivery of essential campus infrastructure.

This year's Summit will be from October 24-25 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, in San Diego, California. Early check-in is available October 23.

The two-day agenda has been programmed to help you plan and procure successful projects, understand best practices in selecting and negotiating with prospective partners, and take steps to ensure project success.

Over 125 leading practitioners will present their firsthand observations of higher education P3 projects of all sizes in different markets around the country. The Summit also will offer in-depth roundtable discussions for delegates with interest in discussing specific P3 issues in a more candid and interactive forum.

With over 850-plus participating delegates, attendees find the Summit to be one of the most effective places on their event schedule to cultivate relationships and network with the industry's most active and influential professionals.

Project leaders to convene for P3 Government Conference
December 3-4 / Washington, D.C.
Join more than 850 public representatives, design-build leaders, and P3 experts at the P3 Government Conference for two days of transportation, water, energy, and social infrastructure project delivery.

The conference is scheduled from December 3-4 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

The P3 Government Conference invites local, state, and federal project representatives evaluating upgrades and new developments for two days of P3 education and networking.

This year's program provides the essential tools and know-how to successfully plan, deliver, and operate P3 projects of all sizes.

Connect with owners who want to better understand how alternative project delivery can be used for their next project, identify partners and procurement opportunities, and meet with other communities and agencies using P3s for their critical infrastructure challenges.

Join other delegates to discover new projects and new partners! To be included in future event updates, receive presentations, and connect with the over 800 delegates who attended last year's conference, please visit the conference website and register today!
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By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

When bond elections are as abundant as they are this year, there's no doubt thousands of new opportunities will be available for companies to interact with governmental entities. The demand for services of all types will be huge.

Government leaders at every jurisdictional level of government need funding for specific projects, and when the revenue is not available, voters are asked for approval to issue bonds. By studying the projects included in bond packages, companies interested in pursuing government business can get an early look at what projects will be launched and the costs that have been projected for each.
Here's a sampling of what is happening throughout the country.

Arizona
The state of Arizona has signaled its desire to make major renovations to its schools. More than two dozen school districts in the state will ask voters to approve projects projected to cost more than $1.4 billion. The Liberty Elementary School District needs $49.8 million for construction of a new elementary school facility. The Dysart Unified School District will ask for bonding authority of $152 million to fund safety and security upgrades, technology, school renovations, construction of two elementary schools, and more. The Chandler Unified School District needs approximately $3 million for projects, and Nadaburg Unified School District will ask voters to approve $2.4 million. The Scottsdale Unified School District hopes to get funding for various types of contracted services.



Masters to direct Family & Protective Services department
Jaime Masters
Gov. Greg Abbott announced his intent on October 9 to appoint Jaime Masters as commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), effective December 2.

Masters is currently the chief of health services and acting chief of operations for Jackson County, Missouri. She previously served as the deputy secretary of family services and director of economic and employment services for the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Once she moves to Texas and is eligible for Abbott's appointment, she will take over for Henry "Hank" Whitman who retired in June.
Health & Human Services names 3 to leadership positions
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently added three key members of its leadership team.

Dee Adams Budgewater
Dee Adams Budgewater was named deputy executive commissioner of health, developmental and independence services, effective October 8. Budgewater has served as deputy associate commissioner for Medicaid and CHIP Services' Office of Policy and Program for the past year. Before moving to Texas, she spent over 26 years with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Rich Parsons
Richard Parsons will be HHSC's director of communications, effective November 4. Parsons has served as communications director for the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for the last five years. Prior to joining RRC, he served as deputy director of communications for Gov. Rick Perry, and also communications director for the Texas secretary of state.

Christine Mann
Christine Mann was promoted to HHSC's chief press officer, effective October 8. Mann has more than 20 years of experience in the media relations field working for state government and nonprofits. She served as press officer for the last 10 years at HHSC.


President nominates Montgomery as HUD deputy secretary
Brian Montgomery
President Trump has nominated Brian Montgomery of Texas to serve as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Montgomery currently serves as HUD's assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner while performing the duties of the deputy secretary. He has served as head of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) twice under three presidential administrations.

As federal housing commissioner, Montgomery manages FHA's more than $1.4 trillion mortgage insurance portfolio, which includes its single family, multifamily, and health-care programs. As assistant secretary for housing, he also oversees HUD's project-based Section 8 rental assistance housing program, the Office of Housing Counseling, and HUD's manufactured housing program. 
Lubbock expected to name Mitchell as new chief of police
Floyd Mitchell
The city of Lubbock named Floyd Mitchell as the lone finalist to be its next chief of police.

Mitchell's appointment will be presented to the Lubbock City Council for confirmation at its October 22 meeting. He is expected to begin his tenure on November 11.

He is currently the chief of police for Temple, Texas. Mitchell previously served in law enforcement in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Leander ISD taps Cogburn as new CFO
Elaine Cogburn
Leander ISD trustees approved the hiring of Elaine Cogburn as the district's new chief financial officer (CFO), starting November 4.

Cogburn most recently served as Plano ISD's executive director for financial services. Prior to that, she was assistant superintendent for finance and operations at Dripping Springs ISD.

She succeeds former CFO Lucas Janda who accepted a position with a private financial firm in July.
Temple airport picks Parker as director
Sean Parker
The city of Temple announced that Sean Parker will be the new airport director for Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (TPL).

Parker previously served as the airport director and aircraft rescue and firefighting chief for the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico, and airport operations coordinator for the Clark County Department of Aviation in Las Vegas.


Bellmead names Porter police chief
Daniel Porter
The city of Bellmead appointed Daniel Porter as its next chief of police, effective November 12.

Porter is currently the city of Nolanville's police chief. He is a member of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He succeeds Danny Smith who was serving in an interim capacity after former Bellmead Police Chief Lydia Alvarado retired in April.
Gravell reappointed to Judicial Council
Bill Gravell
Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht reappointed Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell to the Texas Judicial Council (TJC).

Gravell's new term is set to expire February 1, 2023. He initially was appointed to the council in 2015.

The Texas Judicial Council studies and reports on the Texas judicial branch and its practices as well as sets policies for the state judiciary.


GOVERNOR'S APPOINTMENTS
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced these appointments/reappointments from October 4-10:
  • Shelly Botkin - Austin, Public Utility Commission of Texas (reappointed)
  • Kirby Hollingsworth - Mt. Vernon, Sulphur River Basin Authority Board
  • Carol Kay Hawkins-Garcia - San Antonio, Texas Board of Nursing
  • Rickey "Rick" Williams - Killeen, Texas Board of Nursing
  • Tamara Rhodes - Amarillo, Texas Board of Nursing
  • Laura Disque - Edinburg ,Texas Board of Nursing (reappointed)
  • Melissa Schat - Granbury, Texas Board of Nursing (reappointed)
  • Mike Fernandez Shaw - Fredericksburg, Governor's University Research Initiative (GURI) Advisory Board
  • Sam L. Susser - Corpus Christi, GURI Advisory Board (appointed chair)
  • Dan S. Leyendecker - Corpus Christi, Nueces River Authority Board (appointed chair)
  • Gloria Milian Matt - Tomball, Gulf Coast Authority Board
  • Donna Montemayor - San Antonio, Texas State Board of Pharmacy
  • Rick Tisch - Spring, Texas State Board of Pharmacy
  • Donald "Donnie" Lewis - Athens, Texas State Board of Pharmacy (reappointed)
  • Bradley Miller - Austin, Texas State Board of Pharmacy (reappointed)
  • Julie Spier - Katy, Texas State Board of Pharmacy (appointed chair)
  • Linda Burke - Harlingen, State Board of Dental Examiners
  • Lois Palermo - League City, State Board of Dental Examiners (reappointed)
  • David H. Yu - Austin, State Board of Dental Examiners (reappointed)
  • John Todd Cornett - Amarillo, Texas Optometry Board
  • Meghan Schutte - Austin, Texas Optometry Board
  • Judy Chambers - Austin, Texas Optometry Board (reappointed)
RECENT REPORTS & DATA
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Cash Flow Report (Q4)

National Drought Mitigation Center - U.S. Drought Monitor

Office of Inspector General - FEMA Did Not Sufficiently Safeguard Use of Transportation Assistance Funds
JOB BOARD
Dozens of public-sector jobs are available. Click here to view all job openings and guidelines for job submissions to SPI. New jobs added this week:

  • Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board - Legal Secretary III
  • Texas Real Estate Commission - Investigator - Standards and Enforcement Services
  • Texas Department of Transportation - Architect II - Support Services Division - Austin
  • Texas Department of Transportation - Construction Inspector I, II, III, or IV
  • Texas Department of Transportation - Construction Records Auditor III or IV
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - CPA - Appropriation Control Officer
  • Texas Legislative Council - Research Specialist/Bill Analysis Reviewer
View our Texas Government Insider and Government Contracting Pipeline newsletter archives

Texas Government Insider is a free weekly newsletter detailing important happenings throughout the state and summarizing current political issues relevant to individuals interested in government.   
Publisher: Mary Scott Nabers
Editor: Devin Monk 
TGI is published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a research and consulting firm. Founded in Texas in 1995 by former government executives and public sector experts, SPI has developed a national reputation as the premier marketing partner dedicated to helping companies secure contracts in the $1.5 trillion state and local government marketplace.   
To learn more about SPI services, click here or contact our sales department at 512-531-3900. 
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