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Port of Houston Authority Commission
by Jim Guidry
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Port of Houston Authority Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to award a professional services contract to Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation for Barbours Cut Terminal program management services, in an amount not to exceed $3 million.

The commission voted unanimously to authorize staff to negotiate a professional services contract for subsurface utility engineering with Lina T. Ramey & Associates, Inc.

The commission voted unanimously to authorize staff to negotiate a professional services contract for the proposed marine emergency building at the Turning Basin Terminal with Perkins + Will.

The commission voted 5-0-1, with Steve Phelps recusing himself, to authorize negotiation of a professional services contract to retrofit Wharf No. 1 at CARE Terminal with Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc.

The commission voted 6-1, with Elyse Lanier opposed, to enter into a contract for an amount 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.  Lanier said an earlier report by the company was a “very mediocre report”.

The commission referred to the Procurement Task Force a proposed $3 million professional services contract with TC&B/GBA, a joint venture of Turner Collie & Braden, Inc., doing business as AECOM Technical Services, Inc., and Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc. for planning, permitting and preliminary engineering for Bayport Channel improvements, support to the Houston Ship Channel and beneficial use marshes, and permitting tasks for Barbours Cut Channel improvements. Chair Jim Edmonds noted that he does not vote, but still would recuse himself on this item.

The commission voted unanimously to adopt a charter for its Audit Task Force.

The commission voted unanimously to defer for two weeks three proposed items related to a lease agreement, construction permit and dredged material agreement with Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal Company at the request of  Kate Macdougall of neighboring Enterprise Refined Products Co., who wanted to view a simulation on navigational safety issues. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

The commission voted unanimously to pay $150,000 to the Houston Ship Channel Security District, as the second of three annual payments.

In his report on selected financial results and operational issues, President and CEO Alec Dreyer explained the increase in steel imports. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

“Steel is up 62 percent on a year-to-date basis relative to last year,” Dreyer said, adding that steel should exceed 4 million tons for the year.  “This uptick we are seeing in steel is being driven primarily by shell drilling in the United States.”

However, Dreyer said steel imports should not be as large next year.

PHA Chair Jim Edmonds reported on the port’s recent recognition as Port Authority of  Year by Containerization International. Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

“This recognition by our industry peers is particularily gratifying," Edmonds said, noting the recognition for “fast yet safe” cargo handing and the port’s “green” efforts.

Representatives of several educational and minority business organizations delivered reports to the port commission. Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

The commission met in executive session then voted unanimously to amend its professional services agreement with Vinson Elkins.

All other agenda items were approved.  Agenda  News Release

The meeting was in the new Bayport Administrative Building in Pasadena and Roger Guenther, vice president of container operations, welcomed the visitors and gave an update on container operations. Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

The commissioners, acting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners, held a very brief meeting and voted unanimous approval to an eight item agenda, which included setting November 15 as the date for a pilotage rate hearing. Agenda

There also was a meeting of the Procurement Task Force, chaired by Kase Lawal. 
Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

Harris County Purchasing Agent Kelly Johnson discussed the way his department interacts with other entities for which it it provides purchasing services.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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