Port of Houston Authority Executive Director Colonel Leonard Waterworth told the PHA Commission that revenues are increasing as his management team continues to drive down costs. News Release
“Total tonnage for August 2012 was up 111,000 tons, or five percent versus this time last year,” he reported, noting that steel tonnage was down some during the month. Listen
“August steel tonnage was down by about 39,000 tons or 10 percent overall,” he said, but added that overall steel tonnage is still up for the year.
Waterworth also updated the commission on the potential strike by the International Longshoremen’s Association, reporting that the collective bargaining agreement, due to expire on September 30, was extended for a 90-day period through December 29.
“Staff is continuing to meet to assess and plan for any impacts the strike might have on the port authority,” he said.
The commission voted to authorize negotiations with Cobb, Fendley & Associates, Inc. for a professional services contract for fiber optic cable installation for Southside infrastructure at Turning Basin Terminal.
The commission voted to authorize negotiations with Konecranes, Inc. for eight diesel electric container yard cranes for Barbours Cut Terminal to be purchased in 2012, and up to nine additional diesel electric container yard cranes for Bayport Terminal to be purchased in 2013.
The commission voted to authorize negotiations with NBG Constructors, Inc. for the rehabilitation of Wharf Nos. 10 and 11 at Turning Basin Terminal.
The commission voted to award a two-year contract to Anixter, Inc. for the purchase of miscellaneous electrical cables for wharf and rubber tire gantry cranes at Barbours Cut Terminal and Bayport Container Terminal in an amount not to exceed $630,000.
An agenda item to evaluate and rank competitive sealed proposals to select a vendor and award a three-year contract for trash disposal and recycling services at Turning Basin Terminal, Barbours Cut Terminal, Bayport Terminal, and the Fire Barracks was pulled from the agenda and was not considered for action by the commission.
The commission agreed to table a proposed agreement with Promote Port of Houston 2014, Inc. to host a reception during the October 2013 American Association of Port Authorities Annual Conference. Director of Community Relations Michelle Hundley, who was to brief the commission on the proposed agreement was on jury duty and could not attend the meeting.
General Manager of Trade Development and Marketing John Moseley updated the commission on the Breakbulk Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in October. Listen
The agenda also included reports on the port’s task forces. Listen
Commissioner Jim Fonteno reported on the Audit Task Force, Commissioner Jimmy Burks reported on the Procurement and Small Business Task Force, Chair Jim Edmonds reported on the Pension and Benefits Task Force and Steve Phelps reported on the Governance Task Force and recommended a change in names of the task forces.
“The task force directed staff to incorporate its suggestions that port commission task forces be renamed ‘committees’, recognizing that these groups meet publicly and are a permanent aspect of port authority governance,” Phelps said.
Edmonds began a review of the recent public hearing of the Texas Sunset Commission. Listen
“In the presentation of the report, the sunset staff acknowledged the port authority’s cooperation and openness from the review,” Edmonds said. “Both Colonel Waterworth and I testified and reiterated our support for the recommendations regarding agency operations and staff.”
Commissioner Elyse Lanier said that she was unable to attend the hearing in Austin. Listen
“But I did watch on the iPad at home, which really is amazing to me,” she said. “I too want to say what an amazing job our staff did.”
Director of Government Relations Spencer Chambers said that video of the public hearing is posted on the Sunset Commission’s webpage.
“You can pull it up and watch the whole thing,” Chambers said, adding that the next step of the process will be in November when another public hearing will be held.
“This will be a decision hearing,” he said. “They will take our report and the commissioners will discuss it and ultimately adopt a final set of recommendations.”
He said that In 2014 the Sunset Commission will return for a compliance review, “to look at how we have been complying with their recommendations.”
All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous with commissioners Janeice Longoria and Kase Lawall absent, except that Edmonds recused himself on renewal of a lease with CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. because his wife works for CenterPoint and ElyseLanier recused herself on renewal of pipeline licenses. Agenda
The members of the commission, meeting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports held a brief meeting for an update from Managing Director of Port Security and Emergency Operations Captain Marcus Woodring, Sr. Listen