Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee

April 5, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744


         7        BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 

         8   5th day of April 2000, there came on to be heard 

         9   matters under the regulatory authority of the 

        10   Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the 

        11   Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and 

        12   Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis 

        13   County, Texas, beginning at 4:55 p.m., to wit:


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

             Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and other 
        23   personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department  


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         1                     APRIL 5, 2000 


         3                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Thank you.  I 

         4   call to order the meeting of the Ad Hoc 

         5   Infrastructure Committee.  The first order of 

         6   business is I need approval of the committee 

         7   meeting minutes from our last Commissioners 

         8   Meeting.  Do I have motion?  

         9                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

        10                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.  

        11                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  All those in 

        12   favor, say aye.

        13                  COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Aye.

        14                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Those opposed, 

        15   say nay.  The motion carries.  

        16                  Steve Whiston will give us a 

        17   briefing on our projects and expenditures. 


        19                  MR. WHISTON:  Thank you, 

        20   Mr. Chairman and Members.  My name is Steve 

        21   Whiston. I'm the Deputy Director of the 

        22   Infrastructure Division.  

        23                  In the interest of time, I'll try 

        24   to be as brief as possible, but please don't 

        25   hesitate if you need more detail or have questions 
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         1   to speak.  Please speak up. 

         2                  I'm pleased this afternoon to be 

         3   able to brief you on and share with you a summary 

         4   of our progress with the $60 million bond program 

         5   as well as the status of the Department's total 

         6   capital program.  That includes all active 

         7   projects funded from both bond and non-bond 

         8   funding sources.

         9                  As you know, 91 projects were 

        10   funded with the first issue of $12 million in 

        11   March of '98.  Sixty-one of those projects are now 

        12   complete, and 26 are nearing the final stages of 

        13   construction.  Only one project still remains in 

        14   design.  And today we've expended from that issue, 

        15   that original issue, $9.3 million.  

        16                  The '99 bond program was issued in 

        17   January of last year and consisted of 142 projects 

        18   for a total of $18 million.  $5.3 Million has been 

        19   expended to date.  That represents 13 projects 

        20   that are now complete, 65 in construction, 53 in 

        21   design, and 11 projects that are currently being 

        22   bid are in the pipeline.  All these projects that 

        23   make up this issue are on schedule and should be 

        24   completed within the 30-month expenditure period 

        25   for this issue.  
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         1                  The third and most recent issue of 

         2   $20 million that you approved last August as a 

         3   part of the 2000 capital program was made 

         4   available this past February.  Of the 125 

         5   projects, already three have been designed and are 

         6   in construction; five are out for bids currently; 

         7   and 65 projects are now being designed by outside 

         8   consultants or by our in-house staff.  

         9                  This, as I'm sure you will note, is 

        10   the busiest time for us over the course of this 

        11   bond program, this $60 million issue.  We are 

        12   concurrently managing three separate issues at 

        13   this point, as our staff does have their hands 

        14   full, but I feel like they're being very 

        15   successful with it.  

        16                  Next I'd like to report on the 

        17   total capital program to date.  We currently have 

        18   a total of 686 active projects budgeted at almost 

        19   $82 million.  If you recall, we set a goal for 

        20   ourselves to spend $20 million this fiscal year.  

        21   To meet that goal, we projected an expenditure 

        22   requirement of $9.8 million by the end of March.  

        23   Luckily, we have been able to spend $12.2 

        24   million, which represents a $2.4 million increase 

        25   over our goal. 
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         1                  Based on our progress today, we 

         2   fully expect we will well exceed our year-end goal 

         3   of $20 million by this August.  And in doing so, I 

         4   really feel like it's important that I commend my 

         5   staff and commend, as well, and equally as 

         6   importantly, the staff of all the other divisions, 

         7   both at the Headquarters and in the field, who 

         8   have worked together with our staff as partners in 

         9   getting this program done and accomplished; and 

        10   they have all done a very remarkable job.  

        11                  I guess lastly I'd just like to 

        12   conclude by sharing a couple of brief slides of a 

        13   couple of upcoming projects.  

        14                  If you're in the neighborhood of 

        15   the project, we're getting ready to start by a 

        16   $175,000 cabin roof repair at Bastrop State Park. 

        17                  And, lastly, later this summer by 

        18   contract we're going to engage in the renovation 

        19   of the Headquarters at Enchanted Rock State Park. 

        20   So if you're in the vicinity, I would certainly 

        21   invite you to stop by and take a look at some of 

        22   the progress and our opportunity to fix these up 

        23   right.  

        24                  I'll be happy to answer any 

        25   questions.
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         1                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Steve, I only 

         2   have two, and that was on the next fiscal.  Would 

         3   that be the funding of the remaining $10 million 

         4   of the $60 million, and then -- 

         5                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir. 

         6                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  And the 

         7   (inaudible) will continue building that, so it may 

         8   be a year, another year or 18 months, even, to 

         9   spend it all?  

        10                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir, another two 

        11   and a half years after this final issue, which we 

        12   anticipate to be made available to us January a 

        13   year from now.  

        14                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  And, of 

        15   course, I'm sure we want to go to the Legislature 

        16   to see whether we can get some -- 

        17                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir, that's our 

        18   hope.                  

        19                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Okay.  And 

        20   then are we currently using outsourcing by CM to 

        21   help put some of this in place?  

        22                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir, we are.  In 

        23   fact, I appreciate the question.  We are in the 

        24   process right now of finalizing an agreement with 

        25   MHMR, a cooperative agreement, interagency 
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         1   agreement, with that agency to provide us with 

         2   additional construction management and project 

         3   management assistance to be concentrated in two 

         4   geographic areas of the State, primarily up in 

         5   Northeast and North Central Texas.  But yes, sir, 

         6   we are trying to take full advantage and 

         7   leveraging these funds to be able to continue to 

         8   increase the amount of help and outsourcing to get 

         9   these done.  

        10                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Andy, do you 

        11   want to say something?  

        12                  MR. SANSOM:  I was just going to 

        13   say that the other part of this effort that I 

        14   think it's critical to keep reminding ourselves is 

        15   that when we went to the Legislature together and 

        16   got the funding for the critical repairs, we also 

        17   received additional funding that we are now 

        18   incorporationing into our annual budget -- 

        19                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Right.  

        20                  MR. SANSOM:  -- for repairs, so 

        21   that hopefully we will not get back in that 

        22   situation again where we have such a large backlog 

        23   of critical repairs.  And that funding has been 

        24   ongoing and is reflected in current capital 

        25   budget.  
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         1                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir.           

         2                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Right.  And 

         3   for my fellow members, that's the last charge that 

         4   goes with the capital program expenditures. 

         5                  MR. WHISTON:  Correct.

         6                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So you don't 

         7   get the $60 million -- it's not just $60 million.  

         8   It's the other add-on.

         9                  MR. SANSOM:  It's ongoing.

        10                  MR. WHISTON:  Yes, sir.

        11                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Okay.  Thank 

        12   you, Steve, for a good briefing and an excellent 

        13   job reviewing.  

        14                  Any questions?  All right.

        15                     (SESSION ENDS)