Volume 18, Issue 6 - Friday, February 7, 2020
Water district preparing multiple procurements for Lake Ralph Hall
Lake Ralph Hall reservoir project
The Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) anticipates opening several procurements this spring for its $490 million Lake Ralph Hall reservoir project after securing a final federal permit on February 6. 

The lake will be one of the first major reservoirs to be built in Texas in 30 years.

Design is nearing completion for the proposed Leon Hurse Dam and spillway projects, according to UTRWD staff, with construction procurement scheduled for spring 2020. Competitive sealed proposals will be accepted for construction of the dam, spillway, emergency spillway, and other associated infrastructure.

They also expect to advertise for bids in early 2020 for demolition of four bridges and roadwork where the lake will form. A briefing is scheduled for February 24 on roadway relocation and improvement projects that will be progressive-design-build contracts. Work will include relocation of SH 34 and FM 1550, abandonment of FM 2990 and portions of FM 1550, and other Fannin County road improvements and abandonments.

Competitive sealed proposals/full-service provider contracts for aquatic mitigation are scheduled for procurement in spring 2020. Project scope includes final design, construction, monitoring, maintenance, and adaptive management of aquatic mitigation through acceptance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Clearing and demolition design procurement is set for spring 2020 with construction procurement estimated to begin in early 2021. Both phases are planned as construction manager at-risk (CMAR) or conventional design-bid-build contract.
UTRWD officials have selected the site for the lake headquarters and tentatively chosen the location for an operations-maintenance facility near the Leon Hurse Dam. The design project includes both facilities and will likely be let in spring 2021 as a request for qualifications (RFQ) followed by construction procurement in spring 2022.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted UTRWD a water rights permit for the proposed reservoir in December 2013. Named after longtime U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall, the reservoir will be located in southeast Fannin County on the North Sulphur River.
Northwest ISD trustees mull $936M bond package recommendation
Northwest High School
Northwest ISD (NISD) trustees are considering a $936 million bond package recommended by a citizens committee for a May 2 election that would address the district's growth.

If approved by voters, the district would make additions and renovations to Northwest High School for $167.15 million.

Other upgrades would include replacing Hatfield and Seven Hills elementaries for a total of $83.32 million and Pike Middle School for $86.75 million.

More than $234.5 million would go toward new facilities and land. Some of these projects include construction of Elementary School No. 22 for $43.49 million, Elementary School No. 23 for $46.92 million, and Middle School No. 7 for $93.32 million. Design fees for Middle School No. 8 and High School No. 4 would be $25.62 million, and land purchases would be $25.21 million.

NISD would replace its maintenance building for $20 million, reconfigure the existing Hatfield school for administration use for $15.8 million, upgrade infrastructure at its administration building for $14.7 million, relocate its central bus maintenance facility for $13.29 million, and renovate its west operations facility for $8.03 million. 

The package also includes $115.88 million for technology, safety, and security upgrades. Over $84 million in capital improvement funding would replace floors, roofs, HVAC units, and turf at three fields and retrofit LED lighting. Equity and evolving needs such as pre-kindergarten additions would get $41 million. Athletics projects including the enlargement of high school competition gyms and covering of baseball and softball batting cages would receive $34.56 million.

Trustees must call the bond election by February 14 for it to appear on the May 2 ballot.
Fort Worth names design committee for $500M convention center project
Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth City Council moved closer to the design phase of the $400 million to $500 million expansion of the city's convention center by naming a Design Review Committee.

The committee is expected to meet over the next two years and provide recommendations to City Council. 

Discussions have focused on expansion of the convention center's north end and the possible addition of a large convention headquarters hotel. 

City officials are considering splitting the project into phases with the first phase expanding Commerce Street for hotel development and construction of new kitchen and catering facilities between 2022 and 2024. Demolition of the 52-year-old convention center arena and new construction would be part of the second phase between 2024 and 2026.

The city's goal is to have a recommendation for a project management firm by summer 2020 as well as an architect of record. 
Committee recommends $236M in city bond projects to Pflugerville council
Lake Pflugerville
A citizen advisory committee delivered a preliminary recommendation for $231.68 million in mobility, transportation, and parks and recreation projects to Pflugerville City Council on January 28.

The committee recommended 18 projects at ranks of A, B, and C with 11 projects earning an A.

Among the committee's top-ranked recreation projects was the $14.5 million expansion of 1849 Park that would add six baseball-softball fields and associated infrastructure. The development of the north side of Lake Pflugerville also earned an A. That project would enlarge the beach area, build a boardwalk, and make other improvements for $10.5 million.

Top-rated transportation projects included making several innovative intersection improvements with an estimated total of $14.4 million, widening Kelly Lane to four lanes for $13.55 million, building SH 45 frontage road improvements for $9.37 million, and widening Immanuel Road to three lanes for $8.8 million.

Its B-level projects were building a new $45 million recreation and senior center, widening East Pflugerville Parkway to four lanes for $20.18 million, realigning a section of Cameron Road for $3.39 million, and adding a destination play space for $1.5 million.

Members gave C ratings to projects that would widen Cele Road to four lanes for $37.06 million, extend Impact Way for $8.55 million, and make improvements to Main Street for $6.59 million.

The committee is scheduled to make its final recommendation to City Council on February 11. Councilmembers then have until February 14 to call a bond election for May 2.
It's hard to believe that we've started the second month of 2020. We'll soon be midway through the first quarter of the year.

By now, all government contractors should have a great pipeline of upcoming opportunities. This newsletter each week provides a quick - but not comprehensive - overview of a few of the upcoming opportunities Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) is monitoring.

Although we alert our readers to dozens of upcoming opportunities each week, contractors need to know about the projects. In fact, they need to know much more. The SPI Research Team can provide information about the history of the project, the people who will make contracting decisions, and a definite timeline. They also provide data about the public entity's financial situation, the most likely delivery method, the political environment that surrounds the project, a listing of stakeholders, and likely competitors.

And, when sales teams explain exactly what type of project they are seeking, the geographic area of interest and four or five criteria they want the project to have, SPI's researchers can go into any state and bring back a customized report outlining everything.

You can't find that service anywhere else, so don't hesitate to let me hear from you if you are interested in knowing more. All of our service engagements are customized, and SPI's researchers can provide as much or as little as a sales team may want.

You can reach me at mnabers@spartnerships.com!
Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
David Morgan, City Manager, City of Georgetown

David Morgan
Career highlights and education: I started my local government career in 1998 in Richardson, Texas, fresh out of graduate school at Texas Tech University. I didn't know then that I'd stay for more than 17 years, but was hoping to start a career in city management. In Richardson, I served in many roles, ultimately becoming deputy city manager/chief operating officer before I left in 2015 to become city manager for Georgetown. Here in Georgetown, my priorities include improving internal organizational capacity and addressing long-term infrastructure needs of a fast-growing city, all while working to maintain the community's strong sense of identity.
What I like best about my public service: One of the most rewarding aspects of working in public service is our ability to encourage and facilitate community connection. Cities provide some of the most important services people need to live happy and healthy lives. Public service also tends to attract some of the most dedicated, giving people I've ever known. It's one of the greatest privileges of my life to work with truly incredible teams, on a wide range of projects, to make a lasting and memorable difference in the lives of our residents. 

The best advice I have received for my current job: To always approach your work with the future in mind. When you're making a critical decision, imagine what you're doing 30 years from now. Looking back, would you have made the same choice? Making decisions with the future in mind allows you to have a long-term perspective, and confirms you're making a choice that's consistent with your values.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Look for opportunities to grow and stretch yourself beyond what you may think possible. Be eager to take on new assignments, especially the ones no one else wants. Volunteering to help others, including your coworkers, goes a long way toward building relationships and creating a supportive and collaborative culture.
If I ever had the opportunity to leave work early, I could probably be found: Getting beat by my youngest son in golf (which I'm not bitter about at all ...) or taking a long walk around the neighborhood, San Gabriel River, or Lake Georgetown with my wife.

People would be surprised to know that I: I really enjoy climbing 14ers (peaks higher than 14,000 feet for the uninitiated) in Colorado.

One thing I wish more people knew about the city of Georgetown is: Our amazing trail system! We have beautiful river corridors and a long-term dedication to continue building hike and bike trails throughout the City for the whole community to enjoy.
Texas A&M regents approve $109M biomedical research building at TMC3
Texas Medical Center schematic
The Texas A&M University System board of regents on February 6 approved $109 million for construction of a biomedical research building at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) building on the Texas Medical Center (TMC3) campus in Houston.

TMC3 comprises The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and TAMHSC

FY 2020 is the anticipated start date for a research building that will include research laboratories and dedicated space for translational research. It also will feature administrative, faculty, and support staff offices, computer services space, conference and seminar rooms. 
New Caney ISD set to bid construction of $111M high school No. 3 in February
Rendering of New Caney High School No. 3 lobby
New Caney ISD scheduled construction to go out for bid in February on the district's third high school.

Estimated project cost is $111 million for the two-story building that will be located on Sorters-McLellan Road south of Lone Star College-Kingwood. Its maximum capacity will be 1,350 students.

The school will include a focus in Health Sciences in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, with clinical and hospital simulation labs and biomedical classrooms as well as opportunities for professional certification in health science areas.

Construction is scheduled to begin on the two-story building in summer 2020 and finish in summer 2022 in time for the school to open in fall 2022.
TxDOT plans trio of I-35E intersection improvements to alleviate congestion
Interstate 35E near Lake Lewisville
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has added three new projects to its 10-year plan to reduce congestion and improve safety along the section of Interstate 35E that runs through Lewisville.

TxDOT plans to start construction by 2023 to reconfigure these interchanges and frontage roads:
  • Business 121 - $65 million;
  • Corporate Drive - $59.1 million; and,
  • FM 1171 and Main Street intersection - $41.4 million.
These new projects are in addition to three other TxDOT projects on I-35E in Lewisville that are included in the departments 2020 Unified Transportation Program and expected to be under construction from 2024 to 2029.
McKinney scouting sites for new Municipal Community Complex
City staff and councilmembers are considering several locations throughout McKinney for a new Municipal Community Complex that will house six departments and three administrative offices in one location.

McKinney's current City Hall building was built in the 1950s and has space for three city departments.
Offices for McKinney's city manager, city secretary, and financial services will be housed in the new complex as will communications and marketing, development services, housing and community development, human resources, information technology, and parks and recreation administration.

Voters approved $50 million in the city's May 2019 bond election for design and construction of the complex. The total project cost is expected to exceed that amount, but city officials are exploring public-private partnerships to help share project costs and risks and utilize private-sector finance and innovation.
Sherman OKs bond sale for $13.5M in wastewater treatment plant upgrades 
Post Oak Wastewater Treatment Plant
Sherman councilmembers approved the sale of $13.59 million in bonds through a state fund on February 3.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will help finance several of the city's improvements to its Post Oak Wastewater Treatment Plant via a lower interest rate on its bonds.

A brine line extension is one of several projects scheduled for the treatment plant, which is under the purview of the Greater Texoma Utility Association (GTUA).

The GTUA will issue the bonds using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding managed by the TWDB.
Lampasas' insurer to seek contractor to complete county jail construction
Lampasas County Jail
Lampasas County is looking for a new general contractor to finish construction on the county's new jail and sheriff's office after its original contractor defaulted on the $16 million project.

According to media reports, the company closed before it completed work on the 56,000-square-foot law enforcement center.

The county's insurance company is auditing and resolving subcontractors' claims of non-payment before it begins its search for a new general contractor.
Jourdanton to boost water storage
Jourdanton City Hall
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently authorized $6.85 million in financial assistance to the city of Jourdanton for water and wastewater system improvements.

The city's elevated storage capacity is at 97 percent, and one of its three water wells, which has elevated levels of radium, has been permanently decommissioned after determining that it would be costly to rehabilitate.

In order to provide sufficient storage, the city plans to construct two 300,000-gallon ground storage tanks and a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank. To address water quality, the city also will construct a new well, install a 12-inch transmission main, and replace its meters.

Jourdanton also will receive $2.5 million in financing from the TWDB's Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
Wylie enters fire station design phase
The Wylie City Council approved a contract with an architectural firm for the design of a new Fire Station No. 4 at its January 28 meeting.

The proposed 12,000-square-foot station, which is estimated to cost $6.5 million, would be located on McMillen Road.

Consultants advised councilmembers that construction contracts would be let in about 12 months and the station would be scheduled to open in 2023.

Phase one of the project would provide architectural and design services for a temporary station to be located on the property. The second phase would provide architectural and design services for the permanent station.
DIR to host procurement forum
February 19, 2020 / Austin, Texas

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) will host a free procurement forum for vendors from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. February 19 at the Texas State Capitol Auditorium, 1100 Congress Ave., Room E1.004, in Austin.

DIR will present an informative session for the vendor community on navigating and understanding the DIR procurement process. Learn the expectations of vendors during an open procurement and find out what new and exciting procurement opportunities DIR is planning.

The target audience is vendors who are not familiar with doing IT business with the state, but everyone is welcome to attend. DIR will provide background on its responsibilities, including information about the cooperative contracts program, shared technology services, and telecom.

Vendors will hear about eligible DIR customers, upcoming bid opportunities, tips on responding to DIR Requests for Offer, rules of engagement with DIR and its customers, and more.

Check out our social media links!

Chamber names SPI consultant 2019 'Austinite of Year'
Former City Manager Garza also led Water Commission, LCRA, hospital

Jesus Garza accepts the 2019 Austinite of the Year award at a February 5 ceremony.

The Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) Team congratulates its teammate, senior consultant Jesus Garza, for being named 2019 'Austinite of the Year' by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Garza accepted the award at the chamber's annual meeting on February 5 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Austin.

A community and civic leader in Austin and the state for decades, Garza began his career in government with the city of Austin and eventually served eight years as city manager. He has held other prominent leadership roles in the community, including executive director of the Texas Water Commission and deputy general manager for the Lower Colorado River Authority.

He also served as chief executive officer of Seton Healthcare Family and was instrumental in helping to create Dell Medical School and the Dell Seton Medical Center teaching hospital.

Jesus is currently a senior consultant on the SPI Team.

Please join SPI in celebrating Jesus' award by posting your comments on our Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

RRC names Elliott, DeSilva as directors
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) announced new directors for its communications and surface mining and reclamation divisions February 3.

Brent Elliott
Brent Elliott will lead RRC's surface mining and reclamation division. Elliott joins the commission from The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, where he served as an economic geologist for seven years and supervised research staff and guided graduate students.

R.J. DeSilva
R.J. DeSilva will serve as director of communications for RRC. DeSilva previously was a communications officer for the Texas Legislative Budget Board and spokesperson for the Texas Comptroller's Office.
SAWS welcomes Clouse back as COO
Steve Clouse
Steve Clouse, former senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) at San Antonio Water System (SAWS), is returning as the utility's COO.

Clouse retired in December 2018 after 33 years of service with SAWS, but he continued to work with the utility as a consultant. He will take over from his replacement, Mike Frisbie, who accepted a position with a San Antonio engineering firm.

Richwood appoints new city manager
Eric Foerster
Richwood councilmembers recently named Eric Foerster as city manager. He takes over for interim city manager Lindsay Koskiniemi.

Foerster previously served as police chief for the Texas cities of Jersey Village, Vidor, and Colorado City.
Hughson elected as chair of CAPCOG's executive committee
Jane Hughson
San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson is the new chairwoman of the executive committee for the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG).

Hughson has served on the CAPCOG General Assembly for five years and the executive committee for three years.

Other officer elections included Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape as first vice chair, Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell as second vice chair, Burnet County Judge James Oakley as secretary, and Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham as parliamentarian. Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will serve as the committee's immediate past chair.
Schertz taps Perez as EDC director
Adrian Perez
The city of Schertz appointed Adrian Perez as the new executive director of Schertz Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

Perez joins Schertz after 15 years with the city of San Antonio Economic Development Department where he most recently was workforce and economic development policy administrator. Prior to working in San Antonio, he was assistant to the director at the Middle Rio Grande Development Council.
Waskom ISD names Patty as lone finalist for superintendent
Rae Ann Patty
Waskom ISD board members appointed Rae Ann Patty as the district's lone finalist for superintendent at a special meeting on January 21. She will succeed retiring superintendent Jimmy Cox.

Patty is Waskom's assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

If trustees approve her contract at their regular meeting in February, Patty's first day as superintendent would be July 1.
Leon Valley names Salvaggio to interim city manager post
Joe Salvaggio
The city of Leon Valley appointed Joe Salvaggio as interim city manager on February 4 after the resignation of city manager Kelly Kuenstler.

Salvaggio has been Leon Valley's police chief since 2016. Before joining the city, he served with the San Antonio Police Department where he retired at the rank of captain.

Kuenstler's resignation is effective May 1.
Northside ISD taps Barajas as deputy superintendent
Dr. Rene Barajas
Northside ISD recently hired Dr. Rene Barajas as deputy superintendent for business and finance.

Barajas most recently served as the chief financial officer for Houston ISD. Before that, he held positions in Garland, Dallas, San Marcos, Ft. Sam Houston, Crosby, and Judson school districts.

Port Arthur selects Moore for assistant city manager role
Scott Moore
The city of Port Arthur appointed Scott Moore as an assistant city manager on February 6.

Moore previously served as city administrator at Ellsworth, Kansas, and the Texas cities of Poteet and Glenn Heights. He also held positions as interim and assistant city manager for Wichita, Kansas.

He was one of several finalists for the recently vacant city manager position in Port Arthur, which Ron Burton accepted.
Robstown names Paredez police chief
Enrique Paredez Jr.
The city of Robstown appointed Enrique Paredez Jr. as its new police chief on February 3.
He succeeds former police Chief Erasmo Flores.

Paredez Jr. previously served as sergeant and detective with the Robstown Police Department and in the U.S. Navy.
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced these appointments/reappointments from January 31-February 6:

Chris Guy - Beaumont, Jefferson and Orange County Board of Pilot Commissioners

Shawn Sparrow - Beaumont, Jefferson and Orange County Board of Pilot Commissioners (reappointed)

Milton Taylor - Bridge City, Jefferson and Orange County Board of Pilot Commissioners (reappointed)

Thomas Reiser - Houston, Coastal Water Authority Board of Directors

Douglas Walker - Beach City, Coastal Water Authority Board of Directors

Matt Faubion - San Antonio, Texas Board of Criminal Justice on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments

Walker Moody - Houston, Governor's University Research Initiative Advisory Board

Anali Alanis - Pharr, Texas Municipal Retirement System Board of Trustees

Juan Diego Huizar - Pleasanton, Texas Municipal Retirement System Board of Trustees
Legislative Budget Board - Instructions for Preparing and Submitting Agency Strategic Plans

U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics - National Transportation Atlas Database - Winter 2020

USA Facts - Transportation & Infrastructure

National Association of State Chief Information Officers - Stronger Together: State and Local Cybersecurity 
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 Department of Housing and Community Affairs - Single Family Loan Coordinator
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Technical Support Systems Analyst
  • Texas Department of Information Resources - Contract Administration Manager I
  • Office of the Texas Governor - Project Development Coordinator

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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