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Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
by Jim Guidry
Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Board of Directors today voted unanimously to authorize METRO President and CEO George Greanias to negotiate and execute a contract with Fulbright & Jaworski to serve as a bond counsel for upcoming issuance of sales and use tax bonds and contractual obligations.

The board voted 7-0-1, with Chair Gilbert Garcia abstaining, to approve a pool of underwriters for financing services and selection of a team of underwriters for the bond issue.

“I am a money manager and so I execute bond trades on a regular basis,” Garcia said. “And I execute trades on a regular basis with many of these firms here, on a list of 34, as part of my job, and so I am going to abstain on this vote.”

The list approved by the board includes Goldman, Sachs & Company as the lead underwriter and Canbrera Capital Markets, LLC; Jeffries & Company, Inc.; and Loop Capital Markets as co-lead underwriters; “with the proviso that additional firms from the underwriters pool may be added to the team, depending on the size of the offering”.

The board voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County for planning activities for a Missouri City Park & Ride.

“The partnership will provide a funding mechanism for METRO and Fort Bend County to proceed with analysis, preliminary engineering, site selection and final engineering design for a new Park & Ride facility in Missouri City,” said a staff report.

The board voted 7-0-1, with Allen Watson abstaining, to negotiate and execute additional contract authority in the amount of $5.5 million for professional design services for work being performed by AECOM and 28 sub-contractors on work along the Richmond Avenue corridor.

The board voted 7-0-1, with Jimmy Stewart abstaining, to approve a contract, not to exceed $75,000, with Stewart & Stevenson, to perform non-warranty related repairs on buses.

The board approved a $52,017,630.70 contract with MV Transportation Inc. for METROlift transportation services.

Greanias updated the board on provisions for the Final Four NCAA events, expansion of METRO’s email system, METRO Family Day, service for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and other events. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

“We are going to have four park and ride lots set up to transport people into the event,” Greanias said of the NCAA games, noting that additional staff will be on duty as METRO Ambassadors. “This is a chance for us to remind people in Houston of the importance of public transit; and to let people from around the country know that despite Houston’s reputation of being a totally car-centric system we actually have a pretty good transit system and one that is growing and getting better every day.”

The board voted to accept the FY2010 audited financial statements by KPMG.
MP3 RealPlayer Document

The board voted 7-0-1, with Christof Spieler abstaining, to defer action until the next meeting on seven $6 million, two-year on-call contracts for transit, traffic engineering and intelligent transportation systems.

A request to amend METRO’s SBE/DBE program was pulled from the agenda and was not considered for action by the board.

All other agenda items were approved with unanimous votes.

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Remembering Jim Guidry

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