Policy Brief: A Commissioners Court Recap

Welcome to the latest from Commissioners Court from April 28th! Here, you can find out more about some of the hot topics discussed during Commissioners Court, such as Public Health, Environmental, Construction Projects, and more. Don't forget to also sign up for our Monthly Newsletter to receive these updates. 

HOT TOPICS

Commissioners Court voted to create the COVID-19 Relief Fund and to initially fund it with $15 million, pending approval by the County Attorney of an agreement with the Greater Houston Community Fund and the United Way. If the final version is approved, the fund would work with smaller nonprofits to provide grants for rental assistance, utility assistance, child care, support for victims of domestic violence, and other essential needs. If the County Attorney decides this is a legal use of funds and an agreement can be reached, the agreement will go before a future meeting of Commissioners Court, and the fund may begin operations. Toll road fees are to resume beginning April 30, 2020.

RESOLUTION

1. Commissioner Garcia presented a resolution commending former Astros, UH Cougar, and Aldine Nimitz High School alum, Michael Bourn recognizing his generosity and kindness. As the owner of several affordable income apartment complexes, he decided to waive the April and May rents due to an estimated 60-70 tenants.

MICHAEL BOURN RECOGNITION
 
2. Commissioner Garcia successfully passed a resolution honoring the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. The resolution declared April 22, 2020, as Earth Day in Harris County and called on residents to be good stewards of the environment. It also recalled the bipartisan effort 50 years ago that led to the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, among other initiatives intended to protect our planet for generations to come.
 
happy earth day
 

Community Services

Commissioners Court approved donations to be accepted by Precinct 2:

  • 12,000 surgical masks from Jiahua Chemical.
  • 576 bottles of sanitizer from Buffalo Bayou Distelleries LLC.

Precinct 2 donated storage space at Wade Road Transportation Department in Baytown to Precinct2gether, Inc. to house building supply items related to COVID-19 impact through April 29, 2021. Commissioners Court approved Houston Independent School District/ Baylor College of Medicine for a renewal to continue providing clinic/health services for a school-based teen clinic program for students enrolled in HISD within the boundaries of Precinct 2 for the Harris County Hospital District, dba Harris Health System, Ambulatory Care Services, for the period ending April 15, 2021, at no cost to the county.

Elections

Commissioners Court approved the County Clerk's Office to spend up to $12 million for an expected increase in requests for mail-in ballots in the July primary runoff and November general elections from voters that are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 at polling places. Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman also said her office has ordered sanitation supplies for poll workers, including masks, gloves, and face shields in preparation for administering the elections.
 
Environmental
Pollution Control Services continued to focus on its Concrete Batch Plant Initiative. The Department added two new concrete batch plant investigators to its staff. These investigators will investigate complaints of air, water, and solid or hazardous waste problems at concrete batch plants countywide.
 
Housing
  • Commissioner Garcia gave the Homeless Task Force additional time to study, assess, and make recommendations to Court, moving the due date for their report from May 19th to August 25th.
  • Community Services Department updated its Program Year 2020 plan with the additional CDBG-CAES Act funding. ESG Projects have been allocated $3,669,474.00 and $6,635,648.00 for CDBG Projects. $1.2 million of CDBG has been allocated for home delivery meal providers, of which Precinct2gether, Inc. – Home Delivered Meals for Seniors has been allocated$94,746.00 which will allow us to provide meals for 400 seniors in response to Covid-19 impacts. Also, $4.3 million has been allocated for Emergency Rental/Mortgage/ Utility Assistance Program.
  • Several tracks in Precinct 2 were acquired for the Hurricane Harvey Buyout Project and the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Voluntary Buyout for the purpose of preventing future flood damage. Both of these are volunteer buyout programs. Tracks are located at 17319 River Rd., 17321 River Rd., 5106 Tali Dr., 4309 Dairy Oaks Rd., 20227 Shady Lane, and 1806 Idle Glen Roadway.
  • Approval of an amendment to an agreement with the Houston Area Women's Center in the additional amount of $123,635 in Emergency Solutions Grants funds for a Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter.

Public Health

Epidemiology Trace Group: Commissioners Court approved Harris County Public Health's request for forty-three full-time positions to assist the epidemiology trace group at the department. These positions will provide support to the team carrying out contact tracing – which is an important strategy to help contain COVID-19, especially as we begin to reopen Harris County.
 
Shutdown of NRG Facility: Commissioners Court approved to shut down the emergency COVID-19 hospital at NRG. It was constructed in case Harris County needed space for overflow beds, however, because of the social distancing measures residents have taken, Harris County does not anticipate a surge in COVID-19 cases. FEMA is expected to cover 75% of the $17 million costs associated with creating the makeshift hospital.
 
Approval of a memorandum of understanding with H.O.P.E. Haven to more effectively help the poor and indigent in our community by meeting the medical needs of the uninsured and the sharing information and resources, time, talent, and treasure for the period of April 28, 2020, to January 1, 2021.


POLICYBRIEF 04 29 2020
 
Construction Projects
Approval that the County Judge executes agreement and that the court conveys real estate:
  • To the Houston Parks Board LGC, Inc of tracts C & D for Buffalo Bayou downtown trail project in Precinct2
Approval for Real Property Division to acquire and authorize eminent domain, decreeing that project to be a public necessity:
  • Two tracts for the Hurricane Harvey buyout project in Precinct 2. (Flood Control Project)
  • Seven tracts for the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Voluntary Bayou project in Precincts 1,2, and 3. (Flood Control Project)
  • One hundred and fifty-seven tracts for the Hurricane Harvey Mitigation Grant Program Disaster Recovery-4332-004 buyout project in all Precincts for Flood Control.

Authorization to negotiate for engineering services with:

  • Jones & Carter, Inc. in connection with a traffic signal project at Repsdorph Road at Loch Lake Drive in Precinct 2.
  • The Goodman Corporation for on-call engineering services with various Precinct 2 projects.
  • B2Z Engineering, LLC, in connection with Carpenter’s Bayou North trail from northeast of Beltway 8 to north of Woodforest Boulevard in Precinct 2
  • AKV Consultants, LLC, in connection with the Dell Dale Street sidewalk at Woodforest Drive to 510 Dell Dale Street in Precinct 2.

Approval to execute amendments/ agreements with:

  • HT&J, LLC, in the amount of $229,056 for engineering services in connection with the drainage and infrastructure improvements to Highland Ridge and Highland Estates Subdivision in Precinct 2.
  • Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc., in the amount of $290,208 for engineering services in connection with the drainage and infrastructure improvements to Creel Country Estates Subdivision in Precinct 2, not to exceed $464,368.
  • The Goodman Corporation in the amount of$251,428 for engineering services for community planning improvements in the Barrett area in Precinct 2.
  • Asakura Robinson Company, LLC, in the amount of $624,450 for landscape architecture services for a park and trail analysis in Precinct 2.

Approvals of changes in contract with:

  • Fused Industries for Peninsula Street reconstruction from Jacinto Port to the Port of Houston gate in Precinct 2, adding 34 calendar days and an additional $351,914 to the contract amount. (New total $10,285,848.25 with a Precinct 2 contribution of $2,057,169.65)
  • Landscape Art for the Atascocita Area Park in Precinct 2 for an additional $5,280 to the contract amount. (New total $4,601,550.67)
  • Triple B Services, LLP, for Federal Road reconstruction in Precinct 2, for an additional $6,631 to the contract amount. (New total $3,998,158.96)
  • CMC Development and Construction Corporation for the Nance Street parking lot and Semmes Street project in Precinct 2, adding 8 calendar days and an additional $38,392 to the contract amount. (Harris County Engineering Department Project)
  • Portfolio Builder for Atascocita Area Park, Phase 2 in Precinct 2, adding 14 calendar days and resulting in a reduction of $55,958 from the contract amount.(New total $811,423.26)
  • NBG Constructors, Inc., for the Market Street Bridge at Flood Control District Unit G103-06-00 in Precinct 2, adding 14 calendar days and an additional$54,550 to the contract amount. (Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund, a new total of $2,421,310.
 
Authorization to approve study reports prepared by:
  • Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, Inc., for the Fairgreen and Eastex Freeway Forest subdivisions drainage improvements project in Precinct 2.
  • Fivengineering, LLC., for the Happy Hide a Way Subdivision drainage improvements project in Precinct 2.
  • Gauge Engineering, LLC., for Spanish Cove Subdivision drainage improvements project in Precinct 2.
 
Authorization for approval: 
Joint funding structure between the County and the Flood Control District for construction of a road at the South Shaver stormwater detention basin in Precinct 2.
 
Authorization that the County Auditor be authorized to issue a check in the amount of $10,507 to the East Aldine Management District in connection with the final accounting of the Hopper Road water and sanitary sewer project in Precinct 2 and approve the transfer of management fees earned in the amount of $30,676.
 
Flood Control

1. Approval to execute amendments/ agreement with:

  • CivilTech Engineering, Inc., in the amount of$850,000 for a feasibility study for the Greens Bayou Watershed downstream of and including Unit P500-010-00 to identify existing problems along major and tributary channels for alternatives to reduce flooding in the Greens Bayou Watershed in Precincts 1 and 2.
  • Alliance Laboratories, Inc., with a partial encumbrance of $200,000 and not to exceed$550,004 for materials engineering and testing services as needed for support of the Brays Bayou federal flood control project in the Brays Bayou Watershed in Precincts 1, 2 and 3.
  • Raba Kistner, Inc., in the amount of $219,405 for materials engineering and testing services in support of bridge modifications and channel excavation over and along with Brays Bayou discrete segments on the Brays Bayou Watershed in Precinct 1,2, and 3.
  • Professional Services Industries, Inc., in the additional amount of $59,910 for materials engineering and resting services for the replacement of the Forest Hill Bridge at Brays Bayou on unit D100-00-00 in the Brays Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
  • R,. G. Miller Engineers, Inc., in the amount of $834,792 for design, bidding and construction phase engineering services for the construction of the Crosby Eastgate Mitigation Bank on Unit Q700-01-00 in the Cedar Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
2. Authorization to negotiate agreements with:
  • Gunda Corporation, LLC, for preliminary engineering and design services in support of Units Q134-00-00 and Q134-01-00 channel improvement study in the Cedar Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
  • HR Green, Inc., for preliminary engineering and design services in support of Unit Q130-00-00 channel improvement study in the Cedar Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
  • Certain political jurisdictions and other public agencies for partnership drainage improvements projects in Precinct 2
 
3. Authorization to initiate and proceed with planning, design, and construction of improvements to district infrastructure for the:
  1. Design and construction of the B509-04-00 stormwater detention basin in the Armand Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
  2. Design and construction of channel conveyance improvements along Adlong Ditch in Cedar Bayou Watershed Precinct 2.
  3. Design and construction of channel conveyance improvements along F216-00-00 in the Galveston Bay Watershed in Precinct 2.
  4. Design and construction of general drainage improvements in the Goose Creek Watershed in Precinct 2.
  5. Design and construction of Wallisville outfall in the Hunting Bayou Watershed in Precincts 1 and 2.
  6. Flood Control District cost share of a study with the City of Houston on Wallisville outfall in the Hunting Bayou Watershed in Precinct 1 and 2.
  7. Floodplain preservation in the Luce Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
  8. Design and construction of general drainage improvements n the Vince Bayou Watershed in Precinct 2.
 
Harris County Toll Road Authority:
1. Approval to execute and amendment and agreement once all necessary actions are taken to complete transactions with:
 
  1. GeoScience Engineering & Testing, Inc., to increase compensation and payment in an additional amount of $550,000 and amend delivery of notices for construction material testing and geotechnical engineering services in support of the construction of East Sam Houston Tollway between IH-45 South to SH-225, including replacement of overpass at SH-225 and Jacinto Port in Precinct 2.

Fiscal Services & Purchasing:
Auditor:
1. Approval of audited claims, including final payments to
  1. Specialty Construction TX, LLC, for construction of pedestrian facilities in Precinct 4 and for the contract to be used by Precinct 2 for construction services to install tournament trails sidewalk. (Precinct 2 Project complete)
 
Purchasing:
1. Approval of projects scheduled for advertisement:
  1. Construction of pedestrian sidewalk and trail improvements in the northern zone of Precinct 2.
  2. Construction of pedestrian sidewalk and trail improvements in the southern zone of Precinct 2.