Volume 20, Issue 16 - Friday, April 22, 2022
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc.
Public safety is an extremely high priority for government officials, and a renewed focus on improving it has resulted in large funding allocations. Public safety assets throughout the country are outdated and long overdue for modernization. With funding now available, new equipment, technology and services are being purchased at a rapid pace.

In Phoenix, city officials recently allocated funding for an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to support local law enforcement. The approval for new equipment, estimated to cost $500,000, was approved in February after an incident in which five Phoenix police officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call.

Officials in Des Moines will bolster the city’s public safety assets with numerous technology upgrades. Over the upcoming fiscal year, at least $835,000 will be spent on digital radio systems for the police, fire, public works, and parks departments. The upgraded radio technology will replace analog systems that are long overdue for replacement.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is planning to issue a request for proposals in August for the design and construction of the Interstate 35 Northeast Expansion South project in San Antonio.

TxDOT’s $630 million project consists of non-tolled improvements along four miles of I-35 from approximately Interstate 410 South to I-410 North, including transitions along I-35 from Petroleum Drive to I-410 South, and along the portion of I-410 South from the I-35/I-410 South Interchange to 0.3 miles north of Seguin Road/FM 78 in Bexar County.

To increase the highway’s capacity, TxDOT will add three elevated express lanes along I-35 in each direction to include two non-tolled general-purpose lanes, one non-tolled high occupancy vehicle lane, and the addition of direct connectors at I-410 South.

According to the department’s project timeline, TxDOT will award the design-build contract in summer 2023. Construction completion is anticipated in 2028.
Voters in Galveston ISD (GISD) will determine the fate of a $315 million bond issue on May 7. If approved, the five propositions included in the 2022 Galveston ISD Bond Proposal will affect every campus and student in the school district.

The bond propositions recommend funding for several large and transformative projects. The largest and perhaps most notable is Proposition A’s $234 million that would replace the 70-year-old Ball High School as well as district school buses that were destroyed in 2008’s Hurricane Ike.

Other notable examples include Proposition B’s $16 million for a new aquatics center, Proposition C’s $36 million to upgrade middle school campuses, and Proposition E’s $25 million replacement of Courville Stadium.

Proposition D would provide more than $4.5 million to upgrade district technology infrastructure including servers and switches, routers, and classroom instructional technology.

The proposal’s five measures were developed through a collaborative process in which all GISD community members were invited to participate. The process was steered by parents, students, educators, and various community leaders grouped into three different committees—the Middle School Task Force, the Ball High School Visioning Committee, and the GISD Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee.

These groups reviewed enrollment projections, current use of facilities, tax impact scenarios, financial constraints, existing educational resources, and the overall needs of the district before issuing the 2022 GISD Bond Proposal for voter approval.
The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is partnering with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to host a pre-proposal conference at 2 p.m. May 4 for radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder technology products.

Both authorities currently use TransCore Encompass 6 multi‐protocol readers.

Proposers are encouraged to offer single-protocol RFID transponder products, but they may choose to offer dual-protocol RFID transponder products. All products must be fully compliant with the SeGo specifications or the specifications in the then-latest version of the “6C Coalition AVI Standard Requirements and Guidance Document.”

The authorities do not anticipate purchasing single-protocol or dual-protocol transponders that require a battery. They may consider purchasing multi-protocol transponders that require a battery, but only if they each provide at least all three of the 6C, SeGo, and E-ZPass TDM protocols fully.
Laredo councilmembers on April 19 authorized spending more than $163.5 million on 22 projects from the city’s Integrated Water Master Plan.

Over the next five years, the city will start work on the first phase of the master plan that focuses on existing water system reliability, better water service, framework for growth, and future water supply.

Capital improvement priorities for the city’s water system infrastructure include production improvements such as booster pump station repairs and capacity upgrades that will support system pressure and water service reliability.

The plan also emphasizes transmission enhancements through waterline repairs and new routes to provide water for distribution and improve reliability.

These improvements will lead to better water quality through waterline looping and booster/tank capacity projects.

Water projects planned for 2023 to 2027 include replacing neighborhood waterlines over 40 years old for $29.76 million, extending transmission lines to the Milmo Pump Station for $13.92 million, connecting the Hendricks booster pump station to a mid-sized Jefferson Water Treatment Plant extension line for $13.91 million, and installing an additional 12-inch transmission line for $10.05 million.

Proposed water infrastructure projects for 2028 to 2032 total an estimated $225.89 million. The City Council discussed the possibility of using a mix of funding that could include bond monies, grants, and enterprise funding to pay for these projects that would replace aging waterlines, extend existing system infrastructure, and increase capacity and reliability.
Opal Mauldin-Jones
City Manager
City of Lancaster
Public career highlights and education: My public service career began working for a Texas member of the U.S. House of Representatives in North Texas. I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at a Texas public university. I am currently pursuing advanced studies in theology at a North Texas seminary. In addition to my formal education, I have completed numerous certification programs including Texas Certified Public Manager and a State and Local Government Executive Leadership certificate from Harvard Kennedy School.

What I like best about my public service is: Public service is about ensuring that the quality of life, customer service, and opportunities are available regardless of any qualifying demographic/factors. It is about making a difference wherever and however morally, ethically, and legally possible. I enjoy being resourceful and helpful, connecting people, places, and opportunities.

The best advice I’ve received is: My paternal grandmother told me to trust God, be kind, stay humble, work hard, and pray harder. This guides and influences everything I strive to be and do.

My favorite ways to de-stress are: Going to my childhood home in rural East Texas where I can sit on the front porch with my feet propped up in a chair with a good book or sit in a deer stand on our family farm with a good book “kinda watching for a deer.”

People might be surprised to know that I: People might be surprised to know that I enjoy hunting, fishing, farming, and helping my father, brothers, and uncle on the farm. I also like to help/get in the way of my husband when he is repairing or rebuilding one of many large engines.

One thing I wish more people knew about the city of Lancaster is: It is a fiscally sound, safe community that offers access within a short distance to world-class entertainment, national sporting venues/teams in a nice urban yet rural setting (tree lined street, rolling hills, creeks and streams) with affordable, quality housing, employment centers and a City Council and city administration that serves and leads with commitment and compassion for every resident.
The Defense Department’s (DoD) updated approach to construction is already fostering innovation at Fort Bliss in the form of 3D-printed barracks that will be the largest 3D-printed structures in the Western Hemisphere.

Changes to the Unified Facilities Criteria for DoD construction projects first opened the door to partnerships with 3D printing construction companies.

Now the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is partnering with an Austin-based company to build three training barracks — each measuring more than 5,700 square feet — using 3D-printed construction materials. Upon completion in an estimated 10 months, the three barracks at Fort Bliss, Texas, will be among the largest 3D-printed structures in the world.

The project has showcased how the DoD can use 3D printing technology to conserve significant amounts of time, money, and labor when addressing its future construction needs. But beyond consumption of fewer resources, 3D printing presents its own entirely new advantages.

The material used in 3D printing’s additive concrete construction has a compressive strength between 2,000 to 3,500 pounds per square inch. That gives it the strength to withstand higher calibers of weather extremes typically associated with natural disasters. And so, as the DIU is discovering, 3D-printing is not only faster and cheaper than traditional construction methods, it may also be significantly more durable.

The DoD is already organizing plans to explore those findings more thoroughly. According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, plans are already underway to use 3D printing construction techniques for “rapid construction of other types of facilities beyond barracks” in the immediate future.
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is seeking architectural and engineering services for the design of a $95 million Advanced Teaching and Learning Complex.

UTEP will host a virtual pre-submittal conference at 2 p.m. MDT May 3 for the project that involves the construction of a new 115,000-square-foot building to bring together multiple science, technology, engineering, math, Advanced Teaching and Learning (STEM and STEAM) programs promoting an atmosphere of student learning, collaboration, and success.

The project scope calls for the creation of enhanced teaching spaces and integration of collaborative learning environments with community outreach areas to strengthen adult centered learning. Opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and the wider community to share knowledge and learn together will be reflected in the physical form.

Designated as an R1 university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, UTEP has over $108 million in annual research expenditures.

Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2023 with completion set for October 2025.
The city of Houston nearly doubled its solar capacity from 2019 to 2021, ranking it 16th in the nation for total installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. This information comes from the eighth edition of Environment Texas Research & Policy Center’s report Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy.

Houston now has 81.4 megawatts (MW) of total solar capacity. Former reports also found that Houston doubled its solar capacity between 2017 to 2018 and again between 2018 to 2019.

The city has taken several actions to promote solar energy in the past several years. In April of 2020, the city adopted the Climate Action Plan. This plan set a target of generating 5 million megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity from local solar projects per year, requiring about 3,358 MW of solar capacity by 2050.

Houston also leased an old landfill to be the nation’s largest urban solar farm site. In April 2021, Houston launched a solar co-op program to encourage more residents to go solar. As of this month, home builders must install solar or construct houses to easily incorporate solar PV later.

San Antonio was also mentioned in the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center’s report, ranking fifth in the nation for solar capacity per capita and earning the designation “Solar Superstar.” Austin Energy had the most solar per capita for total solar among surveyed municipally owned utilities.
The Hutto High School Modernization Project may soon enter the design development phase, if the Hutto ISD board of trustees approves the design schematic in its next meeting.

A public survey conducted by the architectural firm working on the project identified education and fine arts as the highest priorities. The design schematic included renovations and expansions to the band hall and upgrades for audio-visual tech, Science Technology Engineering and Math, agriculture, and additional parking space near the stadium.

The district has an estimated $35 million available for construction costs, which are coming from a 2019 $194.4 million bond election.

If the project remains on schedule, construction will begin sometime in 2023.
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) will partner with Angelo State University (ASU) to operate the pilot Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) to provide local governments in Texas with cybersecurity.

RSOC, which was created with the passing of SB 475 in the 87th Legislative Session, will provide “boots on the ground” support to local governments that need assistance with major cybersecurity incidents. The RSOC will also offer network security infrastructure that local governments can use. RSOC may also provide real-time network security monitoring, network security alerts, incident response, and cybersecurity educational services.

DIR hopes to partner with additional public universities throughout the state to serve local entities and protect the state from cybersecurity threats. Partnering with universities will give students hands-on experience in cybersecurity while making Texas more secure.

Eligible customers for RSOC include counties, local governments, school districts, water districts, hospital districts, and regional state agency offices.
A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows Texas is among the leading states in developing renewable energy sources.

The study found many projects are forming a queue of initiatives that can provide more electricity and storage than existing installed capacity. These are projects that are seeking to connect to power grids.

At the state level, most proposed solar projects are in Texas, Arizona, and California and most proposed wind projects are offshore of Texas and in the U.S. “wind belt.” Most new energy storage projects are proposed in Texas, California, and Arizona. Potential gas projects are highest in Texas and the Southeast.

Researchers pointed to strong developer interest in solar, storage, and wind with more than 1 terawatt, or 1,000 gigawatts (GW), of generator capacity and 427 GW of storage projects seeking interconnection at the end of 2021.

About 930 GW of this proposed generation is zero-carbon, and hybrids comprise a large and increasing share of planned projects.

For five regions where data was available, the time projects spent in queues before being built increased from about 2.1 years for projects built in 2000 to 2010 up to about 3.7 years for those built in 2011 to 2021.

There has been a substantial increase in annual interconnection requests both in terms of number and capacity since 2013 with over 600 GW added in 2021.

Eighty percent of solar (537 GW) is proposed to come online by the end of 2024, compared to 72 percent of storage (307 GW) and 56 percent of wind (138 GW). Thirteen percent of proposed solar projects have an executed interconnection agreement, compared to 16 percent of wind and 9 percent of storage.

Interest in hybrid plants has increased with 42 percent of solar (285 GW) proposed as hybrids and 8 percent of wind (17 GW). This level is up from 34 percent and 6 percent in 2020, respectively.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will host a pre-bid conference at 2 p.m. April 28 for a $99 million recapitalization project at Terminal D.

The work will comprise replacing explosive detection system units in checked baggage inspection system areas of the 2.1 million-square-foot facility.

Airport officials are seeking to contract with a bidder that possesses a minimum of five years’ experience with high-speed automated baggage screening systems.

Contract duration will be 1,350 consecutive calendar days.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will hold a reverse auction from May 17 to August 31 to procure electricity for West, Non-West and Nueces zones from retail electric providers (REPs). Service length will be for 2023, three calendar years 2023-2025, or five calendar years 2023-2027.

TDCJ will allow a bandwidth of plus or minus 25 percent of the contracted volume. Estimates listed are based upon annual historical usage, and the department’s award will be based upon historical usage.

The department also requires a meter add/delete allowance of 10 percent of the contracted volume. Detailed historical usage files shall be provided to REP(s) prior to the reverse auction. The decision as to what contract length is chosen for the reverse auction will be based on the indicative pricing received from each respondent.

Service will commence on January 1, 2023.
Federal funding is coming to airports of all service levels including the Denton Enterprise Airport where Billy Nolen, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration met with Airport Director Scott Gray recently. 

Nolen’s visit highlighted $763,000 coming the general aviation airport’s way in fiscal year 2022 as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that will invest $20 billion in the nation’s airports. This program allows investments in runways, taxiways and safety, and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects. 

Over the next five years, Denton Enterprise Airport is set to receive more than $3.8 million from the BIL that Gray said would be used for runway and taxiway improvements, including a multi-phased project to rehabilitate Runway 18L-36R which is experiencing severe asphalt cracking and line-of-sight issues. 

The airport is home to two flight training schools and one aircraft maintenance and repair school. It relieves general aviation traffic from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field and serves as a major mid-continent refueling center. 
Courtesy of joeherring.com
The city of Kerrville is seeking information from design-build firms on its plans to convert the historic A.C. Schreiner House into the Heart of the Hills Heritage Center.

Located on the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library campus, the project will consist of renovation to the existing structure and other improvements to the site.

The preliminary building program is:
  • A.C. Schreiner House – first and second floor museum 
  • A.C. Schreiner House – third floor archives/storage, meeting rooms, offices, and work stations. 
  • Install additional electrical components including new outlet for displays. 
  • Upgrade the building to meet current accessibility requirements. 
  • Install a new elevator. 
  • Install HVAC throughout the building. 

Project scope also will involve work on the site’s entry plaza, amphitheater, pavilion, parking, arbor, overlook, trail/trailhead, outdoor display, market, and gathering spaces.

Prominent Kerrville rancher, businessman, philanthropist, and civic leader Charles Schreiner built the original part of this house in 1897 as a wedding gift for his son. In 1912, it became the home of Schreiner’s grandson, also an active area business leader. The second floor, arched porch, and tile roof were added in 1927.

The city expects the facility to be under construction in fall 2022. Request for expression of interest (RFEI) submissions are due by April 29.
Harris County Flood Control District secured a $2.2 million grant from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for the second phase of its Lauder Stormwater Detention Basin project.

The flood risk reduction project includes a two-phase stormwater detention basin to reduce the risk of flooding in the mid-reach stretch of Greens Bayou by taking in excess stormwater during heavy rain events and then releasing it slowly back to the channel when the threat of flooding has passed.

Phase 1 included a wet-bottom stormwater detention basin with a permanent pool, island, and features designed to improve stormwater quality. The second phase will be a dry bottom stormwater detention basin with opportunities for recreational development by other entities.

The two basin phases are anticipated to hold at least 1,200 acre-feet, or 391 million gallons, of excess stormwater that might otherwise flood homes and businesses. Phase 1 was completed last fall.

Once complete, the project will achieve a 10-year system capacity and reduce the risk of flooding for more than 4,500 structures in the 100-year floodplain along the mainstem of Greens Bayou.
The Edinburg City Council named Myra Ayala as the permanent city manager on April 19. She had been serving as interim city manager following the resignation of former City Manager Ron Garza in January. 

Ayala was first hired by the city in 1998 and has served in multiple roles including city secretary and director of business operations and marketing for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. 
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) in Austin selected Andrew Skabowski as its new executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO). 

Skabowski previously served as senior vice president of operations and associate vice president for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. 
The DeSoto ISD board of trustees named Dr. Usamah Rodgers as the lone finalist for the district’s superintendent position on April 20. If approved, she will succeed D’Andre Weaver who accepted a position in the private sector in November 2021.

Rodgers most recently served as deputy chief of strategic initiatives in Dallas ISD. Before that, she was assistant superintendent and executive director of Dallas ISD P-TECH and early college programs.
Nassau Bay councilmembers appointed Paul McLarty as the new city manager, effective June 1. He will take over from Interim City Manager Tim Cromie who filled the position after the departure of Jason Reynolds. 

McLarty most recently served as deputy superintendent of business and support services for Clear Creek ISD. Before that, he worked at Goose Creek Consolidated ISD and Galveston County. 
The University of North Texas (UNT) hired Jeff Brown as associate vice president for facilities.

Brown most recently served as senior director for campus facilities at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He worked more than 20 years in that system and served as director of facilities maintenance at UNT from 2009 to 2011.
The city of Kaufman promoted Les Edwards to chief of police, effective April 25. He had been serving as interim police chief after Dana Whitaker retired in March. 

Edwards most recently was captain with the Kaufman Police Department where he has served since 1999. 
Gov. Greg Abbott announced these appointments and reappointments from April 15-21:

Trinity River Authority
Board of Directors 
Benny Fogleman - Livingston 
Margaret Keliher - Dallas 
Roger Nober - Fort Worth 

OneStar National Service Commission 
Corina Sadler - Plano 
Annette Juba - Austin (reappointed) 
Mike Morath - Austin (reappointed)
Girien Salazar - Dallas (reappointed)
Gene Seaman - Corpus Christi (reappointed)

State Soil and Water
Conservation Board 
Tina Yturria Buford - Harlingen
Texas Economic Development Council – International Companies in Texas

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 – Health Services Open Records Team Lead

  • Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company – Quantitative Risk Analyst

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Appropriation Control Officer

  • Texas Department of State Health Services – Program Specialist IV

  • Office of the Texas Governor – Legislative Assistant (Program Specialist III)

  • City of Leander – Telecommunications Officer I, II, III
Connect with Us

Check out our
social media links!
View our Texas Government Insider and Government Contracting Pipeline newsletter archives
Help us share this message.
To ensure delivery and proper formatting of the newsletter, be sure to add editor@spartnerships.com to your safe senders list. Otherwise, the newsletter may be flagged as spam and automatically routed to your junk e-mail folder.
 For news or calendar items: editor@spartnerships.com 
For information about SPI's products and services: sales@spartnerships.com
© 2022 Strategic Partnerships, Inc. All rights reserved.