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Port of Houston Authority Commission
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Port of Houston Authority today voted unanimously to select Dannenbaum Engineering as the provider of services for the Barbours Cut Terminal project and to negotiate a professional services contract for program management of the project. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

Commissioner Jimmy Burke, who made the motion to select Dannenbaum, noted that the three finalists who were considered for the project, including Klotz Associates and Moffat & Nichol were extremely good candidates.

Commissioner Jim Fonteno echoed Burke’s comments.

“They are all three well qualified firms,” Fonteno said, but he noted that Dannenbaum did a remarkable job on the I-10 project.  “Being able to keep I-10 moving while it was under reconstruction was very compelling to me.”

The commission voted unanimously to accept $3,600,000 as the full and final settlement for the port authority’s insurance claim for the damage incurred due to a fire on June 11 at RORO Transit Shed No. 1 at the Barbours Cut Terminal.

“This turns out to be a major win for the port,” said CEO Alec Dreyer.

The commission deferred action on award of professional services contracts for managing certain investments of the PHA’s restated retirement plan to Loomis and Sayles, for management of high yield fixed income assets, and to Cohen & Sayles, for management of real estate assets.

The commission deferred action on a proposed contract, not to exceed $50,000, with World Class Logistics Consulting, Inc. to develop a marketing report to assist the port authority in its promotional efforts to develop Houston as a business hub for existing and prospective companies.

A presentation of the 2010 Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act Award by the Texas General Land Office to Captain Marcus Woodring, senior managing director for port security and emergency operations, was postponed due to a timing problem caused by the new early start of the port commission meeting.

PHA Chair Jim Edmonds explained that the change in meeting time, to hold the public meeting before the executive session, was one of several recommendations by County Attorney Vince Ryan in his review of port operations.

In his report on selected financial results and operational issues, Dreyer said that steel imports continue to be very strong relative to last year, but other commodities, particularly grains, are down. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

“That is drought related,” Dreyer explained.  “We expected that but we are now starting to see lower quantities of grain shipping out of the port.”

The commission met in executive session with the port's attorneys regarding sound ordinance enforcement at the Bayport Container Terminal, then voted unanimously to re-open the mitigation program.  The action will allow the residents who missed the deadline for mitigation payments to participate.

All other agenda items were approved unanimously.  Commissioners Elyse Lanier and Kase Lawal were absent.

The members of the PHA commission, meeting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, voted unanimously to confirm a recommendation to issue a branch pilot commission to Captain Adam W. Guice, to renew the branch pilot commission for Captain Armando U. Luna, Jr., to issue a branch pilot commission to Captain Frank J. Loeffler IV and to issue a deputy branch pilot certificate to Captain Kristi J. Taylor.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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