Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., January 19, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Capital and Infrastructure Program Update
Staff: Dan Patton
Committee Only
3. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
November 17, 1999

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 17th day of November 1999, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 11:25 a.m., to wit:


Lee M. Bass, Chair (absent)
Carol E. Dinkins
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Dick Heath (absent)
Alvin L. Henry (absent)
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Nolan Ryan
Mark E. Watson, Jr.


Commissioner Avila called the meeting to order. The opening statement was read into the record by Executive Director Andrew Sansom.


Commissioner Avila asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the August 25, 1999 meeting. The motion was moved by Commissioner Angelo, was seconded by Commissioner Watson and carried. The motion passed unanimously.


1. BRIEFING – Chairman Charges

Presenter: Mr. Andrew Sansom

2. BRIEFING – Capital Program Update

Presenter: Mr. Dan Patton

Dan Patton, Director of the Infrastructure Division, briefed the Commission on the status of the Bond and Total Capital Program. He began with the FY 98 Bond Program. In March 1998, $12M of bond revenue was issued for expenditure. Out of 91 projects, over 50 percent are complete and the remaining 44 projects are either in the design or construction phase.

Next, he briefed the Commission on the status of the FY 99 Bond Program. In January 1999, $18M of bond revenue was issued for expenditure. Out of 142 projects, six have been completed and nearly 50 percent are in the design phase.

Mr. Patton moved on to explain the status of the Total Capital Program. At the end of FY 99, Infrastructure Division exceeded the $18M projected expenditure goal by over a million dollars. For FY 2000, the projected expenditure goal for the Total Capital Program was raised to $20M. He commented that the total expenditures was already well into the projected goal by over $1M for the first three months. He reminded the Commission that the FY 2000 Capital Program totaling $50.3M was approved at the last Commission session. $21M is for major repairs. $18.9M is for development and acquisition.

FY 2000 Bond Program totals 127 projects. The first issue of $20M is anticipated for February 2000. TPFA has already approved revenue expenditures. The next step is to get approval from the Bond Review Board, which meets in December 1999. Infrastructure will be tracking over 600 projects and over $90M after the first issue.

Next Mr. Patton shared with the Commission some visuals showing some program highlights including Texas Parks and Wildlife’s new employee Fitness Center and a preview of the Commissioner’s retreat to Caddo State Park.

In response to a question from Commissioner Ryan regarding ADA accessible facilities, Mr. Patton explained that not all facilities are currently ADA accessible. However, Infrastructure has been working with the ADA community and TPFA on critical ADA needs. The goal is to have ADA accessible parking lots, restrooms, and campsites at each facility and as funding permits, interpretive trails. Mr. Sansom commented that the agency is making an annual commitment to ADA of a sizeable nature and it is showing a difference in the facilities.

3. ACTION – New Authority for Negotiated Contracts under SB 784

Presenter: Mr. Dan Patton

Mr. Patton recommended the following motion be adopted by the Commission: "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§61.21 and 61.24, new §§61.25 and 61.26, and §51.60, concerning Negotiated Contracts for Public Works and authority to contract with other governmental agencies, with changes to the proposed text as published in the October 15, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 8916)."

Mr. Patton explained to the Commission the advantages of this authority. SB 874 was passed in the 76th legislative session and if adopted by the Commission would provide a new mechanism for contracting for Public Works via competitive proposals for Project Delivery to include project management, design, construction, and construction administration in lieu of the more limited Design-Bid-Build approach used in the past. SB 874 also validates Texas Parks and Wildlife’s authority to negotiate and contract with other government entities.

Commissioner Avila asked if design/design-build meant project management, construction management, and design-build. Mr. Patton responded that design-build is one of several methods including construction management. Negotiated contracts would confirm our authority to enter any type of contract chosen in the design construction process. Commissioner Avila asked if this authority mirrors what University of Texas is doing. Mr. Patton responded that the authority mirrors University of Texas, the private sector, and federal agencies. Mr. Sansom commented that negotiated contracts would allow the agency to bundle functions in the construction process. He stated the current process "is to get in, re-bid out, go through procurement again and then go out again. (The authority would) expedite the process by allowing the agency to fund individual contracts." Commissioner Avila commented that the authority would leverage the staff of those private companies and reduce the staff time of our agency. Mr. Patton reiterated and clarified Negotiated Contracts authority. He stated the authority would allow the agency to enter into a negotiated contract up front with one entity to manage it all the way through the entire process with interface from Infrastructure’s professional staff. In response to a question from Commissioner Avila regarding risk, Mr. Patton explained that some risk would transfer to the firm handling the project.

Rules to implement SB 874 authority were published in the Texas Register on October 15, 1999 (24 TexReg 8916) for 30 days. No public comments on the rules being added to Texas Administrative Code Chapters 51 and 61 were received as of November 15, 1999.

Commissioner Dinkins asked where in the provision is the cross-reference on established approved criteria. Mr. Frank Pulis, Branch Head of Contracting and Project Controls Branch responded to the Chairman’s question by stating the criteria are not part of the new rule. The criteria are established on a case-by-case basis and documented at the time the authority is chosen. The agency has not used the authority in the past for projects over a hundred thousand, only for projects under a hundred thousand where sealed bidding could be waived. Commissioner Avila commented that an example would be the University of Texas system on the Blanton Museum. The criteria established for this project was previous museum experience and work experience on a project of 420 million or larger. SB 874 would allow established criteria for a particular project, would be less restrictive and more selective in getting an experienced firm. Commissioner Dinkins asked who would approve the criteria once established and could it be applied to projects over a hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Pulis responded that the agency’s Executive Director would grant approval authority and would apply to contracts estimated at over a hundred thousand dollars. Commissioner Avila commented that the authority would have to apply to contracts over a hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Pulis added that the new rule would not make sense to consider small projects. Mr. Patton stated that the intent of the design-build and construction management would be efficient on large, new centers that the agency builds. Commissioner Avila asked if projects less than a hundred thousand dollars would be done by Infrastructure’s Force Account crew or still competitively bid. Mr. Patton responded that projects under a hundred thousand dollars would go through competitive bidding. Commissioner Avila commented that people pursing those projects would have to bid on those.

Commissioner Avila asked for a motion to forward the item to the full Commission for adoption. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ryan and passed without opposition.


There being no further business, Commissioner Avila adjourned the November 17, 1999 meeting of the Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
Chairman's Charges
January 2000

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Dan Patton

Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
Capital and Infrastructure Program Update
January 2000

I. DISCUSSION: Staff will brief the Committee on the status of the Capital and Infrastructure Program. The report will reflect current status of capital dollars expended, under contact, and projected expenditure goals.