Volume 20, Issue 30 - July 29, 2022
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc.
The two largest international sporting events, the World Cup and Olympic Games, will be hosted in a few U.S. cities in 2026 and 2028. Both events require massive work by host cities, and new development projects will be large and expensive. This effort is already launching hundreds of new contracting opportunities for private sector companies.

Eleven U.S. cities were selected to host games for the 2026 World Cup in North America. The list includes Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. The average economic impact that can be expected by each city is $620 million. 

In Kansas City, officials have developed new and simplified protocols to more quickly deliver infrastructure projects. One immediate change is the city’s Planning and Development Department now allowing third party firms to review land development applications and perform maintenance inspections. The change is expected to decrease average permit review turnaround time by 67 percent.
Along with input from state and federal counterparts, local leaders in Kansas City will also construct a public park over a stretch of the I-670 roadway that leads to the downtown area. The elevated public park project carries a projected cost of $160 Million.

Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni presented a $1.4 billion proposed operating and capital budget for fiscal year 2023. The budget focuses on public safety, streets, parks, and water/wastewater. It reflects the city's continued commitment to providing public services, programs, and infrastructure that enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Corpus Christi.

Several projects are listed within each department including a new Police Academy Complex at Del Mar South campus. This project was approved in FY 2022 and will begin in 2023. Also approved in 2022 was the construction of a replacement Fire Station #3 located on Morgan Avenue. The Fire Department also needs a new fire records management system and will have a study performed for a new Emergency Operations Center.

Other projects listed in the proposed budget include:
  • Downtown Water Street improvements for utility work totaling $8 million. 
  • Renovate the Health Department building in three phases, with phase one starting at $5.4 million.  
  • Location study for a new branch library in City Council District 5. 
  • Airport terminal building improvements to the restrooms, new nursing room, and service animal relief area. 
  • Capital improvements over the next three years to rehabilitate and upgrade the O.N. Stevens Water Treatment Plant totaling $195 million. 
  • Capital improvements over the next three years to replace and repair water lines citywide totaling $148 million. 
  • Capital improvements over the next three years to repair, rehabilitate, and upgrade all six wastewater treatment plants totaling $157 million. 
Two offshore wind farms will be developed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. One windfarm will be developed 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston, covering 546,645 acres with the potential to power 2.3 million homes.

Texas is the country’s largest wind power producer, with land-based wind farms on the Gulf Coast. Offshore wind farms will provide steadier energy production in Texas. With the growth of Texas’ population and economy, it is essential for Texas to keep developing to keep up with demands, according to officials.

These projects are expected to take time to develop. The development and construction of port facilities, specialized ships, and labor force training are all required to construct and maintain the new offshore wind farms. Analysts say that new financial incentives from the federal and state government could speed up the completion of these projects. But it's unclear if this will happen.

The second windfarm will be developed near Port Arthur in Louisiana, potentially powering 799,000 homes. Together the Louisiana and Texas windfarms are projected to produce enough energy to power 3 million homes.
The city of Pflugerville plans to hire a master developer for a public-private partnership (P3) for its Downtown East project. The mixed-use project is part of the city's plan to develop the Pfluger Tract, 29 acres at the northwest corner of FM 685 and E. Pecan Street.

A master developer's responsibilities would include assisting in planning and construction as well as leasing commercial spaces.

During an April 2022 meeting, the city released results from a survey showing that residents want to see entertainment, shopping, and dining options at Downtown East.

City staff estimate the project will cost approximately $148.9 million, with $71.8 million funded through tax-supported debt. The project will include an $81.4 million City Hall, $31.5 million recreation center, $27 million for public parking, and a mixed-use development. A hotel and multifamily housing could be included, depending on the developer.

The city will use a P3 model to reduce the cost of the project by accelerating the development timeline and sharing the infrastructure within the site. The city plans to maintain the hike and bike trails and create connections to Downtown East.

The city will host public engagement opportunities regarding the recreation center in August and September, with details to be announced at a later date.
City officials are discussing a proposed new $53.7 million amateur sports facility in Pearland. The new facility would affect the proposed $350 million mixed-use entertainment district in Lower Kirby.

According to officials, the sports facility would increase the city’s sales, property, and hotel taxes by introducing sports tourism. Once open, the facility is expected to host local clinics, camps, and various sports programs. The facility also will host up to 47-weekend tournament events a year.

The proposed 181,5000-square-foot building would be built on a 13-acre site. The facility would include eight basketball courts; 16 volleyball courts; an indoor synthetic turf field; batting cages; multi-purpose fields; a pitching tunnel; a concession area; and leasable sports, medical, and performance areas. Plans also include a family fun center with games and 741 parking spots.

The plan for the new entertainment district in Lower Kirby calls for 1,000 multi-family units, over 100,000 square feet of entertainment space, and nearly 200,000 square feet of planned retail, with the possibility of a hotel and conference center. These plans are to pair with the proposed sports facility.
Dedrick D. Johnson Sr.
City of Texas City
Public career and education highlights: I have worn a few hats in my career. I am a former educator with Texas City ISD, where I taught mathematics for 15 years. I currently work in the oil and gas industry and I’m in my 11th year as a process technician. We make the gasoline and other fuels we use in the transportation industry. I have also had the privilege of serving my community as an elected official for 16 years as a city commissioner, and now about to begin my 3rd year as Mayor of the City of Texas City.

What I like best about my public service is: One of the things I like best about public service is being in a position where I can help people. Even though we are ALL able to help people in one way or another, in this role as a leader… or an elected official, I can use the influence and authority of this position to change things for the better. Whether it be speaking to a group of kids, or allocating funds to assist the less fortunate, I love being in a position to help others.

The best advice I’ve received is: The best advice I have received is to treat everyone kind because you never know who may be able to help you in the future. I certainly didn’t get here by myself. There was an entire village who has poured knowledge and values into me over the years of my journey. I don’t think at the time they did, many of them didn’t know that this little boy from a single parent dysfunctional home would grow up to lead his city one day. I want to give others that same glimmer of hope and possibility.

My favorite way to de-stress is: My favorite way to de-stress is to surf social media. I like reading jokes, looking at pictures, learning what the new trends are, keeping up with the news, and more! All those things take my mind off of the rigors of work. I love to write poetry and watch my kids play. Then there’s always sleep… the greatest de-stresser of all times!

People might be surprised to know that I: People might be surprised to know that I have a full time job at a local refinery while serving as the full time mayor. I work rotating shift work (days and nights) while working at City Hall and managing the major departments and duties of the City of Texas City. Time management is crucial to being effective. Elected officials, as in my case, don’t always get a full time salary. So another career is common and sometimes necessary. But the work I do in leading and serving the citizens of Texas City is truly its own reward.

One thing I wished more people knew about the city of Texas City is: One thing I wish more people knew about Texas City is that we are more than just an industrial town. This place is so nice, they named it “TEXAS” twice! Texas City, Texas, is full of parks, nice restaurants, great fishing, wonderful family activities, new schools, youth sports and organizations, a responsive government, and a community of people that is unmatched in our diversity, and love for our City. If you’ve never been… be careful when you visit; you may never want to leave!
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced July 20, approval of financial assistance that totals $670,975,000 for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) project.

The Tarrant Regional Water District received $255 million for water from Lake Palestine to be connected to the Integrated Pipeline, a joint project between the district and city of Dallas to meet future water demands. Once this final segment of the Integrated Pipeline is completed, the overall project will provide an additional 350 million gallons of raw water per day.

The city of Dallas received $250.8 million for its water main replacement program. Approximately 40 miles of small diameter water main pipeline will be replaced or rehabilitated annually. Additionally, the city will replace the Lake June Pump Station and reservoirs and upgrade the transmission system between the East Side Water Treatment Plant and the Summit Ground Storage Tanks in Cedar Hill.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority received more than $112.3 million to add seven wells to an existing well field and three nearby wells to produce additional groundwater to serve its participants and those of the Alliance Regional Water Authority. The authority will also construct new transmission lines to convey treated water from the Lockhart Water Treatment Plant to a new ground storage tank and booster pump station northwest of Lockhart.

The Greenbelt Municipal and Industrial Water Authority received more than $18.1 million to construct three water wells, well field piping, electrical distribution equipment, and a 12-mile transmission line to transport the water to its existing water treatment plant.

The city of Fulshear received $14.5 million to construct a new groundwater plant to increase its water supply. The project includes drilling a new well and building a storage tank and booster pump station for future surface water delivery from the North Fort Bend Water Authority. Additionally, an asset management plan will be developed for this facility.

Additionally, the Alliance Regional Water Authority received $10 million, the Greater Texoma Utility Authority on behalf of the Collin-Grayson Municipal Alliance received $7.5 million, and the Greater Texoma Utility Authority on behalf of the city of Gainesville received $2.7 million.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has a request for information (RFI) for a tolling back-office system. TxDOT is pursuing proven, innovative products within the tolling industry market in support of the agency's electronic toll collection (ETC) system. The potential solution will need to accomplish the following goals:

  • Effective, accurate reporting. 
  • Maximize revenue collection while minimizing leakage.  
  • Secure, PCI-compliant tolling back-office solution. 
  • Proven and feature-rich tolling back-office solution. 
  • Exceptional data management processes.  
  • Robust third-party interface integration capabilities.  
  • User-friendly TxTag customer experience.  
  • Intuitive and efficient interface for customer service agents with minimal “clicks.”  
  • Minimal down time with the transition. 
  • Seamless transition to users – roadway users and customer service agents. 

TxDOT currently maintains 208 centerline miles of toll roads throughout the state with 286 tolling points and over 2 million TxTag customers. Approximately 456 million transactions through ETC were handled in 2021 with a year-over-year growth rate exceeding 9 percent.

RFI’s are due by August 19, 2022.
The University of Houston (UH) will be hosting a P3 Market Outreach event on August 2, 2022, at the College of Technology to present information and gather feedback from developers, industry partners, and interested parties in anticipation of a forthcoming procurement process for the development of the 40-acre Industry Partnership Zone at the UH campus in Sugar Land.

UH is looking for key partners whose work overlaps with the program offerings at UH at Sugar Land to leverage the intellectual capital available in the form of faculty and students. UH at Sugar Land is most focused on advanced manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, and biotechnology, but is open to adjacent sector partners as well. These partnerships would collaborate to offer internships, research collaborations, and intellectual property leading to patent development.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the following guest speakers:

  • Jay Neal - Associate vice president and chief operating officer for University of Houston at Sugar Land and University of Houston at Katy. 
  • Elizabeth Huff - Director of economic development at city of Sugar Land Economic Development Council (EDC).  
  • Rachelle Kanak - Executive vice president marketing & operations at Fort Bend County EDC. 

Angelo State University (ASU), part of the Texas Tech University System, is adding an additional 4,400 square feet to the southwest side of the Mayer Museum building. The program for the addition consists of a large space for lectures, events, or displays. It will also have a cafe area, restrooms, storage, and a fire riser room. The addition will make use of the building's existing adjacent mechanical and electrical rooms. The canopy over the south patio will be reconfigured to appropriately address a new entry into the addition.

ASU will conduct a pre-response meeting on August 2, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., at the Facilities Planning and Construction (FPC) Conference Room 120B, at 1635 Vanderventer. The meeting will recapture the request for proposals (RFP) requirements, information, and outline project requirements. Following the meeting FPC will briefly conduct a site visit if necessary. Responses will be due August 16 and selection of a construction manager at risk will take place September 1, 2022.

The construction manager-at-risk will be responsible for all construction management services including project leadership, design management, preconstruction services, construction phase services, and post construction services.
The Plainview City Council adopted a revised Parks, Recreation, Open Spaces, and Trails Master Plan that sets goals for the city’s parks for at least the next 20 years. In addition to providing a roadmap for the city’s parks, the new plan will also help the city qualify for grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife and other agencies.
The new plan divides various improvements to parks into three stages.

Stage One includes projects to be completed through 2027. They include adding an inclusive playground, covered picnic area, a new restroom and ADA accessibility to Broadway Park, and the addition of a playground area in the Westgate neighborhood, among other projects.

Stage Two covers a timeline of 2028-2033 and calls for the addition of a bowl at the skate park in Lloyd C. Woods Park, an extension of the hike and bike trail from Quincy Street to Runningwater Draw Regional Park, and the addition of a mountain biking park in southern Plainview. Stage Three ranges from 2034-2043.
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is requesting professional design services for phase four of its student housing project. With over 34,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the university is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System.

This new residence hall will allow undergraduate students to live on campus and enhance the student life experience to help retain students at UTSA. It is anticipated that this residence hall will be 185,000 square feet and have around 600 beds.

It is expected that the project will meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver requirements. The estimated preliminary project cost for this project is $70 million to $75 million. The cost includes an estimated construction cost limitation for the architect/engineer of $49 million. The project location is anticipated to be on the northwest portion of UTSA’s campus. Geotechnical Services will be performed by UTSA.

The request for qualifications is due August 16, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. CST.
Denton County officials will decide August 16 whether to hold a bond election on November 8. The county is currently looking at $540 million for road projects across the county's four precincts - Denton County Transportation Road Improvement Program 2022 (TRIP 22).

The county is proposing major projects for Loop 288 West, Loop 288 east frontage roads, FM 1171 West, Interstate 35W frontage roads, US 377, north and the Outer Loop from I-35 to the Dallas North Tollway at the Denton County line. The location of the Outer Loop has not yet been defined, officials said. Several projects, at least 108 to date, are also included in each of the county’s four precincts for a total proposed TRIP 22 bond package of approximately $540,452,800, which represents Denton County’s costs.

Denton County’s last passed bond programs were held in 2004 and 2008, with voters approving $187 million and $310 million largely for road infrastructure.

Denton County’s next workshop will be held August 9.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has selected Thomas Graham to lead the agency as executive director.

Graham, who currently serves as director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices as well as interim director of Licensing, succeeds outgoing executive director Bentley Nettles. Graham has been an integral part of positively transforming TABC since his start with the agency in 2005.

In 2013, Graham was promoted to director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices, overseeing the collection of more than $300 million in excise taxes and other fees annually. He has additionally served as interim Director of Licensing since June 2022, overseeing the licensing and permitting process for more than 58,000 alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers across Texas.
The back-to-school Texas sales tax holiday takes place August 5-7.

State law exempts sales tax on qualified items — such as clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks — priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The dates of the sales tax holiday and list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.

During the annual sales tax holiday, qualifying items can be purchased tax free online or by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means (including in-store purchases) when either:

The item is both delivered to and paid for by the customer during the exemption period; or the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

Texas’ sales tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999. Go here for a complete list of items that qualify.
Dr. Donny Lee has been selected as the superintendent for the Wichita Falls Independent School District (WFISD) following a two-month search. Lee is coming to Wichita Falls from the Buna ISD, a 3A district. He has served as the superintendent in Buna since April 2019, and was superintendent in Oakwood ISD and a high school principal in Frankston ISD before that.

Lee succeeds Michael Kuhrt, who left WFISD for the position of deputy superintendent at Victoria ISD.
The Richardson City Council is planning multiple projects at Sherrill Park Golf Course that would cost $12-13 million. These projects range from renovating courses, building new restrooms, and constructing new buildings for use on the golf course.

The renovation of Sherrill Park’s second golf course is one of the city’s planned projects. Renovation of Course two is expected to resolve major drainage issues, increase playability, and improve the turf and vegetation. This project is expected to cost $7.1 million. Work on this project will last from January to October 2024. The reconstruction of three bathrooms, including two on Course one, is also being planned. Construction on restrooms on Course one will begin in January 2023 and be completed in April of the same year.

The city is also hoping to build a new 5,000-square-foot maintenance barn to replace the existing one. The new barn would contain two equipment lifts and a conference room. A new training facility, with two to three hitting bays, a fitting area, and a small conference room, also will be added. The construction of these two facilities will take place at the same time to prioritize cost efficiency, and construction will last throughout 2025.
The state has approved the final engineering feasibility report for the city of Bowie’s 10 miles of aging sewer lines.

The $9.7 million project has now been approved for design and it is estimated that this phase will run through January or February 2023. Following that, solicitations for the construction phase should begin.

The sewer line project dates to 2021 when the city first received approval for its loan application and project.   
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) might be sharing $270 million with 12 other north Texas cities. DART has $214.3 million in excess tax revenue, collected between 2019 and 2021, and $55 million from a DART fund to make public transportation more accessible. If approved, DART officials would draft agreements before the end of 2022 and distribute the money by 2025. In order to receive the funds, the cities would have to spend it on transportation-related projects.

Dallas would be one of the recipients of the funds and could use it for bike lane upgrades, projects that are part of the city’s sidewalk master plan, and building curb ramps in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The city has more than 2,000 miles of missing or broken sidewalks and would need $54 million to address ADA-compliant curb ramps.

How much each city could receive is still being finalized. DART will decide before adopting its budget in September.
Steven Landin has been appointed as Selma’s assistant city manager. He begins his new role August 1. Landin previously worked for the city for 30 years, spending a portion of that time as the Laredo Fire Department fire chief before taking on the role of emergency management coordinator for Webb County.

Landin joins Riazul Mia, also an assistant city manager. Both will now work under Interim City Manager Rosario Cabello until a new leader is selected.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced these appointments and reappointments from July 22-28:

47th Judicial District Court
Dee Johnson - Amarillo

Governing Board of the Texas School for the Deaf
Kathy Sellers - Kosse
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