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Port of Houston Authority
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Port of Houston Authority Commission today voted unanimously to purchase three high-tech fireboats at a total price not to exceed $14,970,000 using $11,227,500 in Port Security Grant Program funds awarded by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and 25 percent PHA matching funds, in an amount not to exceed $3,742,500.
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“This is a moment of pride for the Port of Houston,” said PHA CEO Alec Dreyer.  “Our staff was able to compete for, and successfully won three grants for three new state-of-the art fire boats from FEMA.”

Dreyer said the boats will operate at speeds almost 2.5 percent faster than the port’s current fireboats and their water cannons discharge up to 15,000 gallons per minute, nearly four times the current boat’s output.

In his report on selected financial results and operational issues Dreyer reported on the month of July. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

“Steel continues to be very strong relative to last year, while our container operations showed a dip from last year’s levels,” he said.  “Total ship arrivals were essentially flat in July relative to last year, down some six vessels for all of our facilities.  Ship arrivals at all of our container facilities for the month were up slightly.”

The commission voted unanimously to issue a right-of-entry and seismic permit to conduct 3-D seismic testing on port property on the Bolivar Peninsula.

The commission voted unanimously to direct the Procurement Task Force to initiate a new request for proposals for a contract for security gate officers at the PHA terminal gates, after a report by Captain Marcus Woodring, senior managing director of port security and emergency operations. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

“I’d like to take the opportunity to look at the criteria that was in the original RFP, strengthen it, tighten it, clarify it, make sure we have a very good contract in front of us,” Woodring said.

The commission voted unanimously to approve submission of a self-evaluation report to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission after hearing a report from Spencer Chambers, director of government relations for the port, and Ramon Yi, director of finance, who updated the commission on the sunset review process. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

“This summer we have been working on this report,” Chambers said.  “It is a series of questions that the Sunset Advisory Commission provides to us, to agencies that it is reviewing.  It is a series of questions that let us talk about what we think our key functions are, how we think we are effective in those things, what we see our challenges, opportunities (are).”

All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous, except that Commissioner Elyse Lanier abstained on permits and licenses for pipeline easements.  Commissioner Janeice Longoria was absent.

Members of the PHA Commission, acting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, also held a brief meeting and voted unanimously to appoint Woodring as the pilot board assistant secretary.

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