The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County today voted unanimously to approve a $430 million budget for FY2012 this morning following a public hearing on the spending package. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
The budget includes $556.6 million in capital expenditures, $169.3 million for general mobility and $81.1 million for debt service.
The METRO board voted unanimously to move forward on the purchase of 39 light-rail vehicles from CAF USA (U.S. subsidiary of Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) for light-rail lines currently under construction in Houston. More
“We are very pleased the FTA has placed its confidence in METRO and our revised procurement procedures,” said METRO President and CEO George Greanias, as part of his report to the board. “This is a huge undertaking and will benefit those who are producing the cars here in the U.S. as well as the citizens of Houston who will have first-class, state-of- the-art trains.” Listen: MP3 RealPlayer.
The board voted unanimously to negotiate an agreement with the Menil Foundation for enhanced development of a Menil Station area, contingent on funding for the University Line.
The board voted unanimously to defer approval of names for the North, Southeast and East End rail lines until the next meeting, to allow more time for public input.
The board voted 8-0-1, with Alan Watson abstaining, to authorize Greanias to negotiate and execute a contract for general planning consultant services on an as-needed basis for a two-year contract with the HDR team in an amount not to exceed $7,190,600.
The board met in executive session then voted unanimously to authorize Greanias tosubmit a "last and best" offer to Local 260 Transport Union and to invoke the impasse procedure. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
All other agenda items were approved with unanimous votes.