Volume 17, Issue 48 - Friday, December 20, 2019 Optional Link
DFW Airport unveils millions in contracting opportunities for 2020 
DFW Airport southwest end-around schematic
Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport recently announced millions in contracting opportunities at a December 10 forum.

Topping the list of upcoming projects is the $120 million construction of several taxiways and approaches at the airport's southwest end-around.

Project scope includes construction of a high-speed exit taxiway and associated connector taxiways, installation of approach lighting systems for two runways, and extension of two taxiways. Plans also call for construction of a dual 12-foot diameter storm system and a detention basin. Airport officials said the project is scheduled to open for bidding in the second quarter of 2020. Construction is expected to take 30 months.
An $80 million expansion will widen the South Airfield Drive roadway and bridge to six lanes. This project is set to be advertised in the second quarter of 2021 with a 24-month construction timeline.

Several airport bridges need replacement for an estimated $71.6 million. This initiative will open for bidding in the third quarter of 2020 with expected construction duration of 12 months per bridge.

Bridges to terminals B and C are scheduled for replacement in 2020 and 2021 with the bridges to terminals A and E to follow. This project will modernize the flyover bridges to current standards and rebuild feeder bridges and associated roadways.

Replacement of the North Airfield Drive bridge and reconfiguration of cloverleaf ramps is estimated to cost $25 million. This opportunity is set to be advertised in the third quarter of 2020.

The airport also intends to build an $11.5 million 60,000-square-foot snow and ice vehicle storage facility. Estimated project duration is six months.
Killeen ISD committee recommending $265M bond election for new schools
The Killeen ISD (KISD) Bond Steering Committee voted 50-3 on December 17 to recommend a $265 million bond package to be considered by the district's board of trustees for a May 2020 election.

Committee members will recommend these projects:
  • New Elementary School No. 37;
  • New Elementary School No. 38;
  • New Harker Heights Elementary School;
  • New Peebles Elementary School;
  • Ellison High School Renovations; and,
  • Stadium renovations to Shoemaker, Ellison, and Harker Heights high schools.
According to the district's website, KISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft will recommend the district pay for Elementary School No. 39 and Middle School No. 15 out of the district's Strategic Facilities Plan fund.

Committee chairs are set to present the final recommendations to the school board at its January 14, 2020 meeting.
Hackers steal customers' credit card from several Texas municipalities
The cities of Fort Worth, Sugar Land, and Waco are among the latest municipalities around the state and country to report data breaches that exposed customers' credit card information to theft.

They joined College Station, Odessa, and San Angelo as clients of the same third-party vendor whose software was violated by an unauthorized party. Hackers inserted code that captured information from one-time payments made online.

Fort Worth officials reported about 3,000 of its water department customers may have had their credit card information stolen between August 27 and October 23.
Cardholders' names, billing addresses, credit card numbers, card types, credit card security codes (CVV), and expiration dates were exposed.

Sugar Land officials said their system was vulnerable from August 30 to October 14. They were notified of the breach on October 15, but the extent of the attack was unknown until December 12.

Waco was notified on November 8 that attackers stole data from Waco's water utility payment system during the same time period as Sugar Land. The city mailed 8,000 letters to customers whose data may have been stolen.

After suffering a similar data breach in 2018 with the same vendor, the city of San Angelo had started the process earlier this year to switch services to a new company when it learned its customers' data was exposed from late August to mid-October.

Odessa was informed on December 11 of the breach that affected its utility payment system between August 27 and October 14. College Station posted a notice on its website on November 18 that it had temporarily disabled online payments and launched an investigation.
UTSA releases more details on $90M security collaboration center project
Rendering of UTSA security center concept
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has released more details about its plans to build an estimated $90 million National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) and School of Data Science (SDS).

The project will provide a large collaborative environment between UTSA students, faculty, and researchers with federal, industry, and private partners for the purpose of advancing research, education, and workforce development in the areas of cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud computing.

It is envisioned that the new building will be a multi-story 101,050-square-foot building at 506 Dolorosa St. that allows for the NSCC and SDS to have separate identities yet make a singular statement through building design. In addition to the NSCC/SDS space, there must also be flexible academic space to house future institutes and centers.

Some features of the NSCC/SDS building will be:
  • Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) to conduct classified research;
  • Partner work areas including research and design labs and space for incubators and emerging businesses;
  • Flexible academic space;
  • General instructional space and discipline-specific teaching laboratories;
  • Administrative office;
  • Research laboratories; and,
  • Common and support spaces including a research and instructional data center, security operations center, student competition space, dining and conference rooms, and informal gathering spaces.
According to a request for qualifications (RFQ) issued December 18, the university will shortlist three to four respondents. Deadline for RFQ submissions is February 14, 2020.

UTSA will then publish a request for proposals (RFP) in the second quarter of 2020 with a third-quarter 2020 deadline for responses. University officials will announce a design-build contractor early in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Corpus Christi weighs navigable canal
Rendering of Corpus Christi canal
Corpus Christi City Council voted on December 17 to approve an ordinance enabling the city to build and finance a $41.2 million navigable canal in the North Beach neighborhood, which is susceptible to flooding.

The North Beach Infrastructure Task Force, which the City Council created in 2018, proposed the canal. Task force members cited independent studies that reported mixed-use development along the canal would garner the city $60 million in a couple of decades. 

Proponents of canal development compare the project to the San Antonio River Walk.
Potential sources of funding for the city could be revenue bonds, hotel occupancy tax revenue, tax increment investments, the Seawall fund, the Storm Water Capital Improvement Program, and other funding mechanisms.

City officials said the council's action begins the permitting process. The ordinance requires the city to pre-design, design, and construct a navigable canal on the North Beach by January 1, 2025.
Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court

Nathan Hecht
Career highlights and education: I've been a Texas judge for more than 38 years, starting on the district court in Dallas County, moving to the Dallas Court of Appeals, and for nearly 31 years - longer than anyone in history - on the Supreme Court. I have a B.A. with honors in philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. with honors from Southern Methodist University Law School. I served in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was partner in a Dallas law firm.
What I like best about my public service: The opportunity and responsibility to work to assure everyone has access to justice, especially people of limited mean, and by doing so work to preserve the rule of law.

The best advice I have received for my current job: That judges decide thousands of cases, but each one is the most important in the world to the parties involved. Do your very best to get every decision right.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: I hire, as do my colleagues, the very brightest new lawyers who have an opportunity by working for the court to know what public service means. I always advise them to thoroughly research every case they work on and by doing so to know, as I was taught, that case is the most important in the world to the parties in it.
If I ever had the opportunity to leave work early, I could probably be found: Working in my yard.

People would be surprised to know that I: Have been a church pianist and organist for 60 years.

One thing I wish more people knew about the Texas Supreme Court is: That this court works diligently to answer the most difficult civil legal questions facing Texas and does so without any partisan consideration. In Texas, all judges run either as Republicans or Democrats, but on this court justices leave politics outside the courthouse door.
UT engineering program to promote geothermal entrepreneurship efforts
A geothermal energy plant in California
The Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is launching a new Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization (GEO) designed to foster collaboration among engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs to create technologies and start companies. 

A $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will support GEO's efforts to advance the geothermal energy industry by conducting research and promoting clusters of geothermal start-up companies that make use of the technologies that UT students and researchers develop. 

Cockrell's Innovation Center is leading the GEO effort that also includes UT's Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology, the College of Natural Sciences, and its 20-plus research centers. 

GEO aims to develop and commercialize advanced high-temperature and high-pressure drilling tools that will allow geothermal energy production in the state and around the world. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Texas has an untapped geothermal resource in its massive network of crude oil and natural gas wells that connect to deeper geothermal resources. Many wells tap into water as hot as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Each year these drilling operations produce more than 12 billion barrels of non-potable water as a byproduct that could be used to generate electricity.
Laredo secures $52M in state funds for new wastewater treatment plant
Rendering of Manadas Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Texas Water Development Board approved a $52 million loan for the city of Laredo's project to build a new wastewater treatment plant.

Laredo plans to construct the 9.5 million gallons per day Manadas Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to replace the city's current plant, which is scheduled to close in five to seven years.

Design elements include new gravity sewer intercept mains, onsite lift station, headworks, odor control, activated sludge aeration basins, secondary clarifiers, UV disinfection, sludge thickening, dewatering and haul off facilities, and associated operations structures.
Converse eyes federal funds for road improvements, community center 
The city of Converse is eyeing a new bill that would establish the Defense Communities Infrastructure Program as a source of funding for some of its infrastructure projects.

If approved, the bill would allocate $50 million to improve communities that have military installations within or near their city limits. Randolph Air Force Base is near Converse.

The city's mayor is targeting $6 million from the grant program to assist in financing the expansion of Toepperwein Road and build a new community center. Toepperwein carries a significant amount of vehicle traffic associated with the base.

Phase one of the community center project would build a senior center. The second phase would expand the facility to serve veterans, youth, and the military community, according to the mayor.

Converse's strategic plan for 2019-2023 identifies a new events center as a top priority to address. The city currently lacks a facility for community events.
Kilgore considers public safety center, infrastructure projects for 2020 bond
Construction of a $12 million public safety building was among the infrastructure projects discussed at a Kilgore City Council workshop on December 5 with a possible bond election under consideration for November 2020.

Preliminary designs for a 34,000-square-foot public safety center feature headquarters space for police and fire services.

Kilgore's existing police department building, which was built in 1968, would be replaced by the new facility. Fire Station No. 1 also has reached end of life.

If the measure passes, project completion is anticipated in two to three years due to demolition of the existing facility and temporary relocation of staff.

City leaders also discussed renovations to the city pool house that could include expanding the lobby, adding dressing rooms and showers, and remodeling for a new party room.

The city's recently completed capital improvement plan also includes more than $9 million in improvements to its wastewater collection system and another $9.5 million in water distribution upgrades.
Amarillo working on pool overhaul 
Amarillo councilmembers recently expressed their desire to increase the project budget from $5 million to $8 million to update the city's Thompson Park aquatics facility after reviewing four designs at their December 17 meeting.

The park has remained closed since December 2018 when multiple inspections deemed it unsafe for the public.

Project scope includes demolition of the existing facility, a new outdoor pool and possible water attractions, mechanical systems, pump house-bath house building, areas for recreation, landscaping, irrigation, and other improvements.

Construction documents are set for completion in June 2020, and the city's Parks and Recreation Department anticipates presenting bids to the City Council in August 2020. Construction completion is targeted for May 2021.
City of Bastrop planning new $25M wastewater treatment plant project
The city of Bastrop is moving closer to the construction phase of a $25 million project to build a new wastewater treatment plant.

Design and engineering phases call for the new plant to be built in four phases for a cost savings of $7.5 million to $10 million. The new facility would have a capacity of 8 million gallons per day. 

The plant will replace two city facilities that are in disrepair. Construction is set to begin in March 2020 with the plant scheduled to go online by September 2021.
Harlingen purchases transit hub site
City commissioners in Harlingen approved the purchase of a county warehouse site to build a new public transit center.
Since 2018, the property has been a makeshift hub for buses traveling on Interstate 69.

After the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) committed $5.6 million to the project, local leaders advanced plans to build a facility that would serve as Valley Metro's hub in northern Cameron County. Valley Metro is the transit department of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

Designs include a 10-bay bus terminal that would house a ticket office, waiting area, and retail space. City officials said they envision renting space to bus companies, restaurants, and retailers to offset operating costs.

Construction on the center is set to begin in 2020 on a 12-month schedule.
Texas transportation officials review hyperloop feasibility study findings
A study presented last week to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) ranks a hyperloop line from Fort Worth to Laredo highest among future high-speed mass transit options in Texas.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) paid for the third-party study that ranked second the maglev trains, such as the Shinkansen bullet trains in Asia. It also analyzed guaranteed transit, high-speed rail, higher-speed rail, and conventional rail.
One hyperloop company is planning to open a certification center in 2021 at a site to be determined. Another company is set to open its first hyperloop system in Dubai in 2020.

Compared to a 6.5-hour drive by car, a hyperloop trip from Fort Worth to Laredo would take less than one hour. Stops on the line could include San Antonio, Austin, Killeen-Temple, and Waco.

Study organizers said a Texas hyperloop route is appealing because it would allow for passenger and freight transport, which could be extended to Monterrey, Mexico.

Additional information about project costs and routes is expected next year when the completed study is released. 
Procurement leaders to convene at Public-Private Conference & Expo
March 2-4, 2020 / Dallas, Texas
The Public-Private Partnership (P3) Conference & Expo unites leaders from states and localities, higher education institutions, and public agencies, with industry to discuss infrastructure challenges faced nationwide; and how innovations in project delivery, procurement, life cycle asset management, and technology can help solve critical issues.

Join us at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., for the year's biggest P3 event as we explore the future of public infrastructure and advancements in the P3 model. Over 150 presenters will discuss active and upcoming projects, sharing key insights for leveraging private sector resources for public infrastructure.

Our 2020 program will present a series of keynotes, case studies, panels, workshops, and diverse networking opportunities designed for attendees to deepen their understanding on the value proposition of P3s, and the role they can play in the delivery of essential public infrastructure.

Connect with over 1,350 participating delegates from around the world for in-depth learning, business development, and networking opportunities with an elite mix of owners, developers, contractors, and service providers engaged in public-private partnerships.

The P3 Conference is designed for all levels in the market including those beginning to explore P3s and seeking to better understand where alternative and accelerated project delivery methods can be applicable.

Advance registration is available now. Sign up today!
Check out our social media links!

Most citizens find planning documents a little boring. That's not the case, however, for government contractors. For them, such documents are extremely interesting.

In fact, savvy contracting firms know there's gold to be found in planning documents. Almost every large upcoming project at every governmental jurisdiction is well documented somewhere in a detailed plan that can be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Once obtained, these multi-year plans describe projects of all types. The short- and long-range plans are blueprints for organizations that anticipate growth and transformation in cities, counties, school districts, universities, etc. The only caveat is that planning documents are living documents that are subject to change occasionally. That results in a requirement to check back regularly for updated master planning documents.

San Antonio selects Saenz as airport aviation director
Jesus Saenz
The city of San Antonio has selected Jesus Saenz as its new aviation director, starting in February 2020.

Saenz, who currently serves as chief operating officer for the Houston Airport System, will lead San Antonio International and Stinson Municipal airports. He will succeed Russ Handy who is stepping down to spend time with family.

Previously, Saenz was general manager of William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.
Governor appoints 3 technical college system regents
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Kathy Powell and Ron Widup and reappointed Keith Honey to the Texas State Technical College System board of regents for terms set to expire on August 31, 2025.

Kathy Powell
Powell of San Angelo is an administrative director of nursing at a medical center in San Angelo. She is primarily responsible for emergency, air medical, and trauma services.

Ron Widup
Widup of Arlington is vice chairman of the board of directors and senior adviser of technical services and former chief executive officer of a private company, where he has served since 1983.

Keith Honey
Honey of Longview is a retired registered professional engineer and former external affairs manager of an electric utility company.
Oak Ridge North names Neeley as city manager
Heather Neeley
Oak Ridge North councilmembers unanimously approved Heather Neeley as city manager on December 16. She had been serving as interim city manager since July.

Neeley previously served as Oak Ridge North's city secretary, director of economic development, and assistant city manager.
Ealy lone finalist for superintendent in San Antonio area
Dr. Clark Ealy
The Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD (SCUC ISD) school board named Dr. Clark Ealy as its lone finalist for the district's superintendent position on December 12. 

After a mandatory 21-day waiting period, SCUC ISD trustees are scheduled to offer him a contract on January 7, 2020.

Ealy is currently superintendent of the College Station ISD where he also has served as a deputy superintendent and executive director for accountability and planning.

He is set to take over for SCUC ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Gibson.

San Marcos names 2 assistant city managers, director of public safety
The San Marcos City Council approved recommendations by City Manager Bert Lumbreras to appoint Joe Pantalion and Stephanie Reyes as assistant city managers on December 17.

Joe Pantalion
Pantalion, who will begin his new position on January 20, 2020, will succeed Assistant City Manager Steve Parker who accepted a position as Seguin city manager, effective January 6, 2020. 
Previously, Pantalion served as the assistant city manager of the city of Richardson and interim assistant city manager and director of the watershed protection and development department for the city of Austin.

Stephanie Reyes
Reyes had been serving as San Marcos' interim assistant city manager since August following the retirement of Collette Jamison this summer. Reyes most recently served as San Marcos' chief of staff and assistant director of human resources. 

Chase Stapp
Lumbreras also formalized his appointment of Chase Stapp as director of public safety effective immediately. Stapp previously served as the city's chief of police.
Wilson appointed GCWA chief of staff
Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson will join Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) as chief of staff, effective February 17, 2020. Wilson will focus on planning, engineering, capital project delivery, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) projects.

Wilson has worked in the private and public sectors, including various leadership positions for the cities of Bellaire, Alvin, Galveston, Pearland, and Lake Jackson.

He has more than 25 years of municipal utilities experience in the region, including the city of Galveston's Hurricane Ike recovery efforts. He also served for seven years on GCWA's board of directors.

Sweeny appoints Cook city manager
Reese Cook
The city of Sweeny announced Reese Cook as its new city manager on December 9.

Cook held various positions within the oil and gas industry in Houston including time as a supervisor of design, planning and scheduling, and maintenance.

He succeeds former City Manager Cindy King who resigned earlier this year.
Argyle taps police chief, interim city manager on Dec. 17
Jeff Howell
The town of Argyle appointed Jeff Howell as interim town manager on December 17 following the resignation of Town Manager Kristi Gilbert.

Howell previously served as interim city manager for the city of Fritch and city administrator for the city of Winnsboro.

Emmitt Jackson
Argyle Mayor Donald Moser also announced Emmitt Jackson as the town's new police chief, effective January 2, 2020. 

Jackson, who has 17 years of experience in law enforcement, is currently the chief of police for the city of Keene, Texas. He previously served with the city of Dallas including four years as lieutenant.

Gov. Greg Abbott has announced these appointments/reappointments from December 13-19:

Manoranjan Mahadeva - Plano, Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners

Steven Lucas - Beaumont, Lower Neches Valley Authority Board of Directors (reappointed)

Charles Spurlock - Woodville, Lower Neches Valley Authority Board of Directors (reappointed)

James Scott - Beaumont, Lower Neches Valley Authority Board of Directors

Kumar Sharma - San Antonio, Chronic Kidney Disease Task Force

Gilbert Burciaga - Austin, School Land Board (reappointed)

Michael Neill - Athens, School Land Board

Michael Rohrman - Dallas, School Land Board

Todd Williams - Dallas, School Land Board
Texas House Research Organization - Major Issues of the 86th Legislature

Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University - Texas Quarterly Apartment Report

Federal Transit Administration - 2018 National Transit Database
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 Comptroller of Public Accounts - Legal Counsel for Human Resources (Attorney III-IV)
  • Office of the Texas Governor - Justice Programs Associate Administrator (Program Specialist V)
  • Office of the Texas Governor - Victim Services Administrator (Manager V)
  • Office of the Texas Governor - Customer Service Representative III
  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs - Performance Specialist
  • Texas State Securities Board - Financial Examiner I
  • Texas State Securities Board - Attorney I (2 positions)
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments - Communications Specialist 

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.   
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