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Contract awarded to build Victoria Emergency Operations Center

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Jan. 24, 2011 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2011 at 7:24 p.m.

Consultant Wes Birdwell, water resources planning director for HALFF Associates, explains a map showing the area for a proposed flood protection planning study by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. The Victoria County Commissioners Court approved a resolutuon Monday supporting a grant application to fund the study.

Construction of a new Victoria Emergency Operations Center will begin Feb. 1.

The Victoria County Commissioners Court awarded the construction contract Monday to A&A Constructors of Victoria for $1.466 million, the low bidder among six who vied for the project.

"The original purpose of this was because the temporary EOC where we have been operating for many years in the 700 Main building is not adequate protection for anything beyond a Cat 2 (hurricane)," said County Judge Don Pozzi. "We have been working on this new emergency operations center in a new location for at least three years, if not more."

The project will involve converting the 14,000-square-foot basement of the courthouse annex at 205 N. Bridge St. into a state of the art emergency operations center.

The new facility will be designed to withstand sustained Category 5 winds of 170 mph.

The judge pointed out that the vast majority of the construction will be paid for with grant funds and previously allocated funds and the remainder picked up by the county and city of Victoria, which will share the center.

"It is a joint city-county operation even though it's being constructed on county property. Let's don't lose sight of that," Pozzi said.

Bob Alvarez, president of A&A Constructors, said he expects to begin work on Feb. 1. The contract calls for the project to be completed in 240 days.

A staging area will require the temporary use of eight to 10 parking spaces in the lot on the south side of the annex.


In other court business, the commissioners approved a resolution supporting a Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority application for a grant from the Texas Water Development Board.

The grant is being requested to fund a flood protection planning study for the lower Guadalupe River from Canyon Lake dam to south of Victoria.

Tommy Hill of the GBRA and consultant Wes Birdwell made a presentation to the court.

"Despite the floods we've had in recent years, only a segment of the Guadalupe River has actually been studied from a hydrologic and hydraulic standpoint," said Hill. "Once this model is completed, we want to turn it over to the National Weather Service. With this base model, they can convert it into a new, more accurate forecast model."

Approval of the resolution did not mean commitment of any county funds, only support for the project.

The city of Victoria had previously approved a similar resolution, Hill said.

The court also heard a report from Jerry James, the city of Victoria's director of environmental services, who represents the county on the South Central Texas Water Advisory Committee.

James briefed commissioners on the 2010 Edward Aquifer Authority Effectiveness Report.

During his presentation, James pointed out some proposed legislation before the Texas Legislature that affect water issues including Senate Bill 332 (relating to the ownership of groundwater).

The report required no action from the court.



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