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Maritime News
Port of Houston Authority Commission
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Port of Houston Authority Commission today voted unanimously to award a construction contract to Texas Technical Services, Inc. for the security system for the Phase 1 Stage 2 Container Yard and Administration, Maintenance and Repair, and Marine Emergency Buildings at the Bayport Terminal in an amount not to exceed $1,186,339.

“The project would install access control card readers and security cameras to maintain controlled access and surveillance for the three newly-constructed buildings and Phase 1 Stage 2 Container Yard at the Bayport Terminal,” said the staff report.

The commission awarded a construction contract to Black Mountain Construction, Inc. for the demolition of buildings at Wharf No. 14 at the Turning Basin Terminal in an amount not to exceed $78,317.

The commission voted to enter into 11-month subscription services agreements with the Greater Houston Partnership’s Economic Development Division, World Trade Division and its ”Opportunity Houston” business development program.

“The Partnership has had a positive impact on Houston’s economic development during the periods covered by prior agreements and has worked closely with the port authority staff in spearheading economic development that support port authority initiatives, as well as promoting business, trade and development in professional publications,” said a staff report.

The commission deferred action on the proposed 2011 Fiscal Year Operating Budget because members of the commission want to hold a workshop on the document. 
Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

“I understand that there are some positions that staff feel they might want to exempt, but I would request that when we come into that workshop, in light of what’s going on with our sister and first cousin organizations in the nation, that we be considering a discussion on a hiring freeze for the year,” said Commissioner Jimmy Burke.

“We already have in place a hiring freeze on new suspensions,” responded President and CEO Alec Dreyer.

“A firing freeze is a good one too,” added Commissioner Elyse Lanier, who had earlier complained that the names of the commissioners were not included on the budget document presented by Dreyer. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

"If we have no say, even on the paper here, I don't get it."  she said.  "It's symbolic; but it's real.  I think we really have to look at this again.  I think we have to have a very open workshop."

PHA Chair Jim Edmonds said that he has no problem with a workshop. Listen:
MP3 RealPlayer

“We’ve been discussing the budget for quite some time,” Edmonds said. “We had a public hearing in December. Some commissioners want more detail than has been given to them. They want to have another budget workshop; then we’ll have another budget workshop.”

All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous, except that commissioners Janiece Longoria and Lanier recused themselves from the votes regarding pipeline licenses. (Correct)

Dreyer reported to the board that total general cargo during December of 2010 was up 24 percent from December of the previous year. Bulk cargo was up 10 percent. News Release   




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