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Houston City Council
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy City of Houston
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Houston City Council today voted 11-3, with Mike Knox, Michael Kubosh and Brenda Stardig opposed, to award a single stream recycling agreement to Fomento De Construcciones Y Contratas, Inc., doing business as FCC SA, for the Solid Waste Management Department, providing a maximum contract amount $36,802,241, with a term of 15 years with one five-year option to extend.

The item was discussed at length by council members prior to the vote. Council Member Steve Le was not present at the time of the vote.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner opened discussion on the item noting the process, which began last year, stating the bid had gone through the procurement process a second time. Listen (21:49)

Turner said that the second round, seeking a “best and final offer” had resulted in $11 million less in costs compared to the initial offer.

“And so, going back to the best and final offer did produce a better product,” he said.

He then discussed FCC's work background, which he said includes service in several Texas cities such as Dallas. Turner noted that FCC will be building a 100,000 square foot city in Houston, which he said will be “state of the art” and turned over to the city.

“The value of that city will be about $23 million,” Turner said.

Turner stated that plastic, plastic film and glass will be included in items that are recyclable.

“On balance when you look at what is before is, number one, from a financial point of view, it is a much better deal for the City of Houston,” he said, noting the company would also meet technological and asset needs. “All of those boxes can be checked.”

Council Member Mike Knox stated his concerns with the process, and discussed the timeline of the procurement process for the contract and issues he had with it.

“I'm a big believer in part of the role of government is to instill confidence in the government for the people who have elected us, and I would just like to see this whole thing start over from the beginning and do it properly,” Knox said.

Turner issued a news release praising the approval of the contract following the vote.

“After considering proposals from competing recycling companies, we got the best deal for the city of Houston,” Turner said. “The contract with FCC saves the taxpayers millions of dollars in recycling costs to the city. It expands the kinds of materials our Solid Waste Department will collect from curbsides once a week. It provides state-of-the-art technology that will be updated as we go along.” News Release

The city council voted unanimously to confirm the appointment of Carol Ellinger Haddock as director of Public Works and Engineering.

The mayor and members of the city council praised Haddock's work in the department and congratulated her on her position as full-time head of the department.

“I have the upmost confidence in you, and I appreciate the council members giving you their show of support through the vote today, and we all look forward to working with you and public works,” Turner said. Listen (29:35)

Haddock presented her family and members of the Public Works team, and stated the resolve of the department to accomplish its tasks.

“Our battle cry this past year, and the one that we will build on this year is 'We got this,'” Haddock said. “So, we, we've got this. Thank you for this opportunity.”

The city council voted unanimously to approve changing the name of the Public Works and Engineering Department to Houston Public Works.

The city council voted unanimously to confirm the reappointment of Harold “Al” Odom as the city's representative on the Harris County Appraisal District Board of Directors.

The city council voted unanimously to confirm the reappointment of David M. Mincberg, and Desrye M. Morgan and appointment of Nicki Keenan and Katy Caldwell to the Houston First Corporation Board of Directors.

The city council voted unanimously to accept the nomination of and appoint Gerald Womack to the Houston First Corporation Board of Directors. Womack was nominated by Council Member Dwight Boykins.

The city council voted unanimously to appoint Nola J. Lusk as a member and Ray C. Jones as an alternate to the Building and Standards Commission.

The city council voted unanimously to confirm the reappointments of F. Xavier Pena, Michele Sabino, Regina Garcia, Bruce Anthony Austin and Barry Mandel to the Reinvestment Zone Number 3 Board of Directors.

The city council voted unanimously to reappoint Marian Michelle Davenport, Jacqueline Bostic, Anthony Hall, III and Jesse Saenz and to appoint Bill C. Littlejohn to the Reinvestment Zone Number 14 Board of Directors.

The city council voted unanimously to renew the city's membership in the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The city's membership fee totals $83,978.

The city council voted unanimously to set January 24 as the date to receive nominations for appointment to the Houston Ethics Commission.

The city council voted 12-2, with Jack Christie and Michael Kubosh opposed, to award a 3-year contract, with two 1-year options to renew, to Pearland Alternator Company for medium and heavy duty alternators and starters for the Fleet Management Department.

The city council voted unanimously to authorize the city to join litigation involving Wright Containers, LLC, located at 6633 Lindbergh Street.

The Harris County Attorney's Office had recently obtained a court order blocking the company from receiving any wastes, including hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, at the site following allegations that the company has been disposing of hazardous waste in the city's storm sewer system. News Release

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Council members Mike Laster and Greg Travis were absent from the meeting. Council Member Dave Martin left following the vote on the recycling contract, which was the first item acted on at the meeting. Agenda

During the meeting, City Controller Chris Brown provided the monthly financial report ending November 30. Brown noted that the comprehensive annual financial report had been completed for FY2017. He also discussed the Pension Fund and the impact of pension reform, stating the CAFR shows the city's net position to be $1.855 billion, where in FY2016 it was negative $95 million.

“The shift can be attributed almost entirely to the effects of the pension reform,” Brown said, congratulating the mayor and council on the pension reform plan. Listen (2:22)

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