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Port of Houston Authority Commission
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Port of Houston Authority Commission today voted unanimously to approve a demolition and redevelopment plan for several “unproductive and obsolete” Turning Basin properties located on the Houston Ship Channel.
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Randy Stiefel, managing director of the Turning Basin Terminal, and R.D. Tanner, senior director of the Real Estate Department, presented a slide show of the properties, explaining that their removal will eliminate health, liability and safety issues and will improve the aesthetic view at the Turning Basin, including the perspective from the Sam Houston Pavilion. 
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“The internal rate of return on the demolition plan at present is above 20 percent,” Tanner said.  “The expected net present value of the plan is projected to exceed $20 million.”

Tanner said the payback or “break even” period is expected at seven years or less.

Port Director Alec Dreyer reported that 2011 was a "special year" for the port authority.
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“A number of accomplishments merit attention,” he said.  “We recorded the highest volume of TEUs and the largest amount of container tonnage in the history of the port authority.”

He said the port recorded the second highest tonnage ever for the port; had an all time record for grain handling, despite the drought; set an all time record for operating revenues; and set an all time record for ship calls in the Houston Ship Channel.

“I think we’ve had an outstanding 2011,” Dreyer said.  “I think the indication is that we are starting off 2012 in very strong financial condition.”

PHA Chair Jim Edmonds thanked Dreyer and the port staff for the good year.

The commission voted to renew the port's membership in the Alliance for I-69 Texas and to pay dues of $50,000 for a period of one year.  Polk County Judge John Thompson, chair of the alliance board, updated the commission on the project. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

The commission voted to enter into a new $100,000 one-year agreement with the Houston International Seafarers Center, Inc, for humanitarian services.  Tom Tellepsen, president of the center, appeared before the commission to review the services provided.  
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The commission voted to approve a $50,000 agreement with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership to provide comprehensive maintenance for the Clean and Green program at the port.  Mike Garver, a member of the board of the partnership, appeared before the commission.
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The commission voted to negotiate a contract with Service Master Quality Clean for cleaning services at the port.

The commission voted to negotiate with Bryant Industrial Services for the annual fender system maintenance contract at Barbours Cut Terminal.

The commission voted to negotiate with D. H. Griffin of Texas, Inc. for a construction contract for the demolition of Pacceo No. 1 Wharf Crane on Wharf 1 at Barbours Cut Terminal.

The commission voted to award a two-year contract to Bishop Lifting Products, Inc. for the purchase of wire ropes for Barbours Cut Terminal, Bayport Container Terminal and Turning Basin Terminal in an amount not to exceed $900,000.

The commission met in executive session to discuss potential claims against the port authority and to consider possible action regarding employment of a chief executive officer, but took no action on the executive session items.

All other agenda items were approved.  Agenda

All votes were unanimous, except that Commissioner Elyse Lanier abstained on adoption of an investment policy for the PHA’s irrevocable trust established for Other Post Employment Benefits and to authorize investment of OPEB trust assets.  Commissioner Kase Lawal was absent.

The members of the port commission, meeting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, held a brief meeting to confirm the appointment of Richard Ford to the Pilot Board Investigation and Recommendation Committee.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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