Volume 19, Issue 30 - July 23, 2021
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Earlier this week, I was in California to participate in a large public-private partnership (P3) conference that focused on airports. It was rewarding to feel the energy and excitement as well as hear from aviation officials. The industry sector is alive and well, and airports throughout the U.S. will soon be launching large infrastructure projects.

Airports suffered historic losses during the recent pandemic, but now they are rebounding and exceeding air passenger expectations. Travel restrictions are lessened, more people are vaccinated, and funding is available for infrastructure improvements.

Billions in financial relief has been provided to commercial aviation through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Federal funding is being released through other programs, and most believe that Congress will soon pass an infrastructure bill that will provide even more airport funding. As a result, airports have immediate plans to modernize, expand, and improve safety and customer experience.

The conference focused on collaborative efforts by public owners, private sector investors, and contractors. Experts were on hand to discuss new trends, funding guidelines, and best practices for successful collaboration. Projects of every size and type were discussed, and it is obvious that upcoming opportunities related to aviation will be abundant in the next few years. A few examples follow.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has announced modernization plans with a cost estimate that exceeds $1 billion. Two existing Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) terminals will be upgraded, a new south concourse will be constructed, and two aircraft gates will be rebuilt to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A pedestrian bridge is planned that will connect Terminals 4 and 5, and an Automated People Mover system is included in the plan. Additionally, there will be numerous other smaller improvement projects.

A request for proposals (RFP) is imminent for a program manager to oversee the construction of the Texas-Mexico border wall.

Texas Facilities Commission (TFC) Executive Director Mike Novak told commissioners at their meeting this week that the agency will issue an RFP on July 30 to contract with a program manager.

The firm would be responsible for leading the process of planning and scoping the project, and hiring the contractors and subcontractors needed to build the wall.

TFC staff have been working with a team of technical consultants to conduct extensive research and due diligence to define the scope of the anticipated RFP as the agency took over the border wall project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition, the TFC contacted sister agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, General Land Office, Commission on Environmental Quality, Parks and Wildlife Department, and attorney general, to establish points of contact and coordinate efforts.

According to Novak’s presentation, the generic timeline for TFC’s procurement process is expected to take about 90 days with evaluation and selection of a program manager anticipated in August and negotiation and execution of a contract set for September.

The program manager will develop the project schedule and budget, and the launch date will be subject to the contract terms.
A newly authorized state fund will help direct resources to updating aging and outdated technologies at state agencies.

The Technology Improvement and Modernization Fund, which HB 4018 will establish on September 1, will enable lawmakers to allocate funding to projects that upgrade state agency information resources, including legacy system projects and cybersecurity projects.

The bill charges a joint oversight committee with reviewing investment and funding strategies for projects to improve or modernize state agency information resources technologies.

Additionally, HB 4018 requires the committee to provide a biennial report to the Legislature that identifies existing and planned projects to improve or modernize state agency information resources technologies, the method of funding for each project identified by the committee, a determination by the committee of the amount necessary to fully fund each identified project to completion, and strategies developed by the committee to ensure a long term investment solution for these projects.

The committee is composed of three members of the Senate appointed by the lieutenant governor and three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the House speaker.
As the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) nears completion of the design phase of its $490.92 million water treatment and distribution project, it secured $194.4 million in financing from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) on July 22.

TWDB approved financing from the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas program for the construction of Phase 1D and Phase 2 of BCRUA’s regional water system that serves the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Leander.

Together, the cities provide water and wastewater service to approximately 316,000 residents and 88,000 active connections. BCRUA is taking steps to ultimately serve as many as 573,000 residents.

The proposed Phase 1D expansion of the regional water treatment plant will increase its capacity from 32.5 million gallons per day (MGD) to approximately 42 MGD through the addition of a new treatment train from Lake Travis. The proposed Phase 2 new deep water raw water intake and transmission delivery system will have an ultimate capacity of 145 MGD.

Design is scheduled for completion on August 31. Construction is scheduled to start in April 2022 and conclude in May 2027.

BCRUA has plans for a third phase of the project, which would further expand pumping and treatment capacity and is expected to begin in 2028.
A Citizens Advisory Committee recommended a $381.67 million bond referendum for Georgetown ISD (GISD) in November that would fund 21 projects separated into five propositions.

Trustees reviewed the proposed project list on July 19 that is divided into:
  • Proposition A - $333.42 million to construct elementary schools #11 and #12 for $57.6 million each, build new Benold Middle School for $72.6 million, develop designs to build a third high school and repurpose Benold as a new Frost Elementary School, construct a $102.5 million CTE Center/Future Readiness Complex, build agriculture barns at Georgetown (GHS) and East View high schools for $10.3 total, and acquire land for future development.  
  • Proposition B - $16.5 million to purchase computing devices, education technology and data center equipment, and technology infrastructure  
  • Proposition C - $7.3 million to renovate the district’s performing arts center.  
  • Proposition D - $23.6 million to join with community partners to construct a new aquatics center.  
  • Proposition E - $850,000 to resurface tennis courts and renovate the GHS Tennis Complex. 

August 16 is the deadline for the board of trustees to call a November 2 bond election.
Michael Boyter
City of Bedford
Public career highlights and education: I was blessed to have been born and raised in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area. I studied economics at The University of Texas at Austin and returned to the H-E-B area shortly afterward. I started getting involved by volunteering with different local civic organizations and with city of Bedford boards and commissions before being encouraged to run for City Council in 2012. I became mayor in November 2019.

What I like best about my public service is: The interaction with the residents and businesses. There is nothing more rewarding than helping find solutions to problems. Every day, I get energized from meeting and talking to residents and being able to tell them about the great things going on in our city. I want to do everything in my power to make them proud of Bedford.

The best advice I’ve received is: Be yourself. Don’t let the position or title change you. If you are going to run for public office, do it for the right reason.

My favorite way to de-stress is: Still working on this one. Will let you know when I figure it out.

People might be surprised to know that I: Like collecting antique books, especially Texas-themed books. And, I like disco.

One thing I wished more people knew about the city of Bedford is: Bedford is a fantastic place to live and work and raise a family. Bedford is in the heart of the Metroplex with easy access to both Fort Worth and Dallas. We are taking steps to make Bedford a destination for people to want to visit. We are charting a new course with economic development that will include destination restaurants, boutique retail, lively entertainment venues, and family-friendly places and events. We are putting Bedford on the map.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is evaluating route alignment and station options for an Inner Katy Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that will connect the Inner Katy Corridor to METRO’s Northwest Transit Center.

METRO’S BRT networks are designed to provide station-to-station service, similar to METRORail, but they have the flexibility to accommodate multiple routes.

Selection of a locally preferred alternative (LPA) likely will occur in November to choose Option 1 that ties into the Central Business District Ramp or Option 2 that stays south of Interstate 10 and ties into the end of the Central Business District Ramp at an increased cost.

A third option would feature an elevated busway on the south side of I-10 on partial joint structure with Texas Department of Transportation managed lanes.

METRO staff anticipate one additional station to the two METRONext stations with all three stations along I-10, but they are analyzing alternative station locations requested by the public and stakeholders.

Design is underway with a detailed screening and concepts anticipated in October. Pending federal approval, final design is scheduled for completion in March 2024. Construction is set to begin in 2023 and conclude in the third quarter of 2026. Start of service is expected in the fourth quarter of 2026 or first quarter of 2027.
Lewisville councilmembers are contemplating a $100 million bond election in November to fund a public safety complex that would replace the Central Fire Station and police building.

Consultants presented three options at a July 19 council workshop derived from a May needs assessment. They have adjusted their cost estimated because of soaring local and national demand, severe supply chain constraints, and local craft labor shortages. The volatility is expected to extend into early 2023.

Option A features an 85,000-square-foot police department building and a 31,000-square-foot fire department facility. This option would cost an estimated $96.7 million.

A scaled-down $89.2 million Option B would include a 74,000-square-foot police building and 26,000-square-foot fire department with two fewer fire vehicle bays and an 11,000-square-foot reduction for police. This option is projected to cost $89.2 million.

Option C would cost an estimated $78.7 million and provide 82,000 square feet for the police department building and use the existing fire station with the addition of 10,000 square feet for fire administration offices, quartermaster, and special vehicles.

If voters were to pass the November bond election, the city would likely begin the design process on November 9 and construction in December 2022.
The city of Austin issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input from vendors on a software solution for a multi-agency computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.

Austin desires to learn about marketplace offerings and innovative advances in CAD system technology as it relates to public safety agency interoperability and coordinated response.

The CAD system in place was purchased in 2001 and has been installed and in use for more than 18 years.

Austin’s CAD system has 150-plus workstations at three sites, including virtual machines. It interfaces with more than 1,700 mobile data computer devices that extend the CAD system to field users and may be used in various environments such as vehicles, boats, and helicopters.

The current architecture has allowed the city to replicate CAD and mobile data from the vendor reporting/data warehouse server downstream for the agencies’ various uses without impacting system performance. However, the city is interested in learning about different methodologies of replicating data downstream to local servers or cloud-hosted services and solutions that vendors may offer.

RFI responses are due by 5 p.m. September 10.
The Bexar County Hospital District soon could determine the future of the 105-year-old Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital.

As the district plans to open a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in early 2023, it contracted an architectural firm to determine the feasibility of repairing the east wing of the memorial hospital.

Later, the district commissioned a master plan for the complete medical campus that includes an ambulatory care center, pharmacy, and facilities for outpatient services.

Recommendations based on the firm’s findings are anticipated in a board update in two to three months. Options could include stabilizing the hospital’s foundation, support exterior walls and raze the internal building, or complete demolition of the east wing to replace it with a new structure that honors its historic architecture.
Sherman Planning and Zoning commissioners approved plans and variances on July 20 to move the city’s $17.62 million project to build a new police headquarters one step closer to construction.

The proposed site is at 2600 West Travis Street at the southwest corner of Travis Street and Northgate Drive in the Blalock Industrial Park and across the street from a new fire station and near the new Sherman High School. The headquarters will consist of two buildings totaling 33,971 square feet with 31 public parking spaces and 109 secure parking spaces.

The main building will serve as a stand-alone police headquarters, with associated administration area, training room, conference rooms, investigations, records, evidence processing and storage, dispatch, patrol, locker rooms, interview rooms, storage, and associated support areas. The facility shall incorporate a storm shelter for the critical areas of the facility.

Project stakeholders are developing a guaranteed maximum price. If approved by the City Council, work is anticipated to begin in November. Substantial completion is scheduled for early 2023.
Houston ISD (HISD) will host a virtual pre-proposal conference at 10 a.m. CDT August 4 as it plans to retain an architectural and engineering services firm for upcoming projects.

HISD intends to contract architectural and engineering firms (A/E) with prior experience with K-12 school facilities and capable of providing services that may be utilized for facility services, capital projects, new construction, renovation projects, and any other projects that arise that require A/E services.

The project term is November 12, 2021 through November 11, 2022 with four annual renewals not to extend beyond November 12, 2024.
The city of Kyle is identifying several thoroughfares that merit improvements as it updates its Transportation Master Plan.

To keep up with population growth that is expected to reach 243,487 by 2045, Kyle is evaluating proposed roadways in relation to known and expected development, looking at ways of accommodating future growth, focusing on connections to roadways in adjacent jurisdictions, and simplifying cross-sections to improve north-south and east-west connectivity.

Preliminary observations indicate a need to widen Kyle Loop, FM 150, and FM 110 to six-lane major arterial roads.

Other suggested improvements would transform Bebee Road/High Road, Bunton Lane/Grist Mill, Dacy, and Goforth collector roads into four-lane minor arterials.

In addition, the plan will study for gaps in connectivity, particularly in less-developed east Kyle, and strive to ensure multimodal connection, access, and community cohesion for all neighborhoods.
A new organization is gathering municipal leaders from across Texas to foster improved communications with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Under the auspices of the Texas Municipal League, Castle Hills Mayor JR Trevino spearheaded the formation of the Texas Municipal Officers ERCOT Advisory Board to build communications channels and restore trust after Winter Storm Uri.

Earlier this month, the board composed of 14 elected officials representing their respective regions, held its first meeting with ERCOT Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Brad Jones.

In the online meeting, Jones shared that since the February freeze, ERCOT is issuing conservation alerts more frequently to help align power supply with demand and ensure a greater reserve capacity buffer.

Trevino said the board will begin regularly scheduled meetings in October as it begins to establish itself as a communications conduit between ERCOT and end users.
G. Wayne Rotan brings more than 30 years of expertise in public education to the Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) Team. His experience is both diverse and vast. He served as superintendent of the Glen Rose ISD from 2006 until 2021. Prior to that position, he served as superintendent of Barbers Hill ISD.

Wayne began his career as a teacher and coach in Odessa before moving to Forsan ISD as a junior high/high school principal where he was later named superintendent.

While serving at Glen Rose ISD, the district was selected by the Commissioner of Education to the Texas High School Performing Schools Consortium. Glen Rose ISD earned an “A” academic rating from the Texas Education Agency.

Wayne also understands revenue generation for critical projects. He successfully passed bond referendums and then helped manage construction projects. He also was able to secure numerous state and federal grants for technology and transportation projects at the school district level of government.

His service on the Texas School Coalition Board, executive board for the Texas Association of School Administrators, University Interscholastic League committees, Paluxy River Child Advocacy Board, and Cross Timbers Education Advisory Council allowed him to experience all aspects of public education.

Wayne was selected Region II Superintendent of the year in 2012 and Region 18 High School Principal of the Year in 2001. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and Master of Education from Sul Ross State University. He will be a valuable asset to the SPI Team and the clients they serve.
The Tomball City Council appointed David Esquivel as its new city manager. He succeeds the late City Manager Robert Hauck.

Esquivel had been serving as acting city manager since March. Before that, he was assistant city manager and director of public works for Tomball and assistant city manager-director of public works of Cleburne.
The city of Breckenridge appointed Erika McComis as its new city manager on July 20. She takes over from Interim City Manager Heather Robertson-Caraway who was one of several interim managers who filled the position after the retirement of Andy McCuistion in February 2020. 

McComis currently serves as the assistant town administrator and treasurer for the town of Argyle. Before that, she was Argyle’s town secretary, human resources director, and court administrator and the city of Bridgeport’s city secretary.
The Trophy Club Town Council named Wade Carroll as its new town manager. He succeeded Town Manager Steve Norwood.

Carroll has been with the town of Trophy Club since 2017. He was interim town manager for the past month after having served as assistant town manager since November 2019. Before that, he served two years as the town’s fire chief.
The Corpus Christi City Council is set to vote on July 27 to confirm Mike Markle’s return as the city’s police chief. If approved, he would take over from Interim Police Chief David Blackmon.

Markle retired as Corpus Christi’s police chief in May to accept a position in the private sector. Before he became chief, he served as the department’s chief of operations and interim police chief.
Fifteen years of planning for a new wastewater treatment plant in La Joya are gaining momentum as the city works to replace its existing plant that was built in 1982. 

The city’s March 30 request for state funds is ranked No. 1 among 99 applications in the 2021 Clean Water State Revolving Fund intended use plan. The application is under review by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). 

La Joya maintains a lagoon-based wastewater treatment system which is under capacity and under-performing requiring improvements. The existing pond system is cited for state violations due to effluent parameters not meeting the discharge requirements. 

Plans call for removing the existing 0.5 million gallons per day (MGD) lagoon system from service and replacing it with a 1.2 MGD activated sludge-based mechanical system adjacent to the current ponds. The $7.2 million project includes aeration basins, blowers, pump station, secondary clarifier, chlorination and a generator system. 

The project initially received a TWDB funding commitment in 2006 of $6.72 million to upgrade sewer lines and to replace the existing plant. The city has completed sewer work and the design of the plant.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced these appointments and reappointments from July 16-22:

Texas Crime Victims’ Institute Advisory Council 
Brandi Reed - Amarillo

Southwestern States Water Commission 
Cody Harris - Palestine
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – Texas Economic Indicators

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – Texas Employment Forecast
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 Health and Human Services Commission – Senior Auditor

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Associate, Staff, or Senior Auditor

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Program Specialist V (2 positions)

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Training Specialist V

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Program Specialist V

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Grant Coordinator III

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Contract Manager Team Lead

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Program Specialist

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Web Administrator

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Data Analyst

  • Texas Department of Transportation – Environmental Specialist (5 positions)

  • Texas Department of Transportation – Construction Project Manager II or III (Support Services Division) (2 positions)

  • Texas Department of Information Resources – Program Specialist V (HUB Reporting Specialist)

  • Texas Water Development Board – Flood Data Team Lead (Data Analyst IV)

  • Texas Water Development Board – Contract Specialist I-III

  • Texas Water Development Board – Purchaser III/IV

  • Texas Water Development Board – Environmental Reviewer (Natural Resources Specialist III)

  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs – Compliance Monitor

  • City of Pflugerville – Assistant City Engineer

  • City of Pflugerville – Treatment Plant Operator II (Wastewater)

  • City of El Paso – Code Enforcement Director

  • City of McAllen – Director of Parks and Recreation
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