City Manager Update - Feb 28

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It has been a bizarre week with weather conditions and City closures. Here are the highlights for the week.


Public Information: 

In the Public Information Office, the hot topics for media coverage this week were the two shootings that took place last weekend; the City Council meeting; Animal Services Facility groundbreaking; an arrest made in a case for criminally negligent homicide; and a statement sent out on how the City is preparing for the Coronavirus.  Social media posts were created on the City Facebook page for John Norman’s Swearing-in Ceremony, a traffic alert for the road closure at Midkiff and Golf Course due to a failing manhole, City Council, the Animal Services Facility Groundbreaking, City employees participating in the blood drive on Thursday, and our “Department of the Month” spotlight with Solid Waste highlighting Larry Sanchez and Ismael Guzman.  Social Media posts were created on the Police Department Facebook page for the shooting that took place on Saturday, February 22, 2020, the Women’s Self Defense Class, Officer Testing, theft of a baby stroller, and the MPD Awards Banquet.  The PIO team also met with CISD to discuss our social media calendar for informing the citizens on our new Utility billing.

Administrative Services: 

Staff coordinated the City Council interviews for the Presiding Judge position. The Council interviewed four candidates with extremely strong legal backgrounds.  Judge Timothy Meek was selected and accepted an offer for the position.  City Council will have the first reading of the appointment at the March 9th City Council meeting and the second reading at the March 24th meeting. Judge Meek has over 24 years of legal experience to bring to the court; of which is five years of experience at Midland Municipal Court.

Community Services: 

At the site of the Animal Services Facility, the building pad will be completed in a few days.  Erosion control and silt fence are in place.  The contractor is proposing an alternative approach to connect to the waterline.  This should save funds and trees and create fewer traffic issues on Fairgrounds Road.

Despite the weather, the cart path project is moving along.  All concrete on the back 9 of Quail will be complete by the end of the week.  They are also pouring the 12-foot-wide path at #1 Road Runner today.  The curbing on #2 and #3 Road Runner have also been poured.  The process of backfilling along the cart path edges is ongoing.  They should be caught up to the cement crew by the end of next week.  The project is approximately 50% complete.  Hopefully, we will speed up with the forecasted good weather.

Staff met with Stephanie Martin and Tommy Hudson with Centennial Park to discuss the possibility of park wi-fi, late-night events, street closures, and the sale of alcohol. 

Wildlife Services started their laser beam treatment at intersections along northMidland Drive in an effort to disperse the concentration of birds in the area. The treatment is being done at night and they are communicating with the PD on nights they are working. They believe it will take a couple of weeks to work.

Fire: 

The 2019 Midland Fire Department(MFD) Annual Awards Banquet is being held Friday, February 28th (TONIGHT) at the Bush Convention Center.  

Our entire department renewed its American Heart Association CPR certification this week. 

We participated in a Region 4 planning meeting for upcoming disaster drill presented by the Texas Department of Emergency Management.  We also worked with dispatch and PRO QA on defining our emergency medical responses with our new emergency medical dispatch software.


Utilities: 

On Thursday, February 27th, a contractor struck a water service line on Neely close to Lee High School (LHS).  The water had to be turned off to LHS in order to repair the broken line.  Water & Wastewater (W&WW) crews were able to get the line fixed and water back on at LHS in an hour.

On February 25th, Utilities and Engineering departments met with Freeze and Nichols to talk about scoping out services for the Engineering design manual.  This manual will help engineering companies streamline designs by knowing what is expected by the City.  The manual should also help cut down review time by the City.

The Army Corps of Engineers reviewed the NE water distribution plans and determined the transmission line is running through two wetlands on the north side of the City.  We will have to contract with a specialist to determine what, if anything, needs to be done to mitigate any damage from the construction.  This could delay the advertisement date


CISD: 

The CISD staff will say best wishes and happy retirement to End User Support Supervisor, Robert (Bob) Hise.  Bob has been in the information and technology industry for more than 40 years and a part of the City of Midland team since 2014.  He will be missed!

CISD staff met with ACI Connections for access control planning, which was a project recently approved by City Council.  This project will provide greater facility security through integrated badge access, panic buttons and cameras, as well as the City’s network access.  The ACI team has ordered the equipment and began hiring local contracting staff.  Work should begin soon.


General Services: 

The Central Fire Station Locker Room renovation continues.  There was an unexpected problem with a leaky overhead water pipe that will be repaired for approximately $1,900.  The project is expected to be complete by the end of next month (March).

The staff is still working on the Workforce Housing proposals.  We expect to have an appraisal of the 11.72-acre tract of land at the corner of Loop 250 and Lamesa Road by the March 24th City Council meeting.

Proposals were opened on February 28th for the construction of Fire Stations 5 and 11 at 2:00 p.m.  The lowest proposal came in $1.4 million over the expected budget and staff will present make a recommendation for an award at the March 24th City Council meeting.


Engineering: 

Staff has been busy with several projects.  Tradewinds Boulevard is the final stages of completion and is currently being striped. 

Construction started this week on a new pedestrian crossing on Wadley Avenue at Wrigley, in front of Abell Junior High School. This enhanced crossing will include a small raised median on Wadley to allow students to cross in two stages with a refuge area in the middle.  Overhead flashing beacons, similar to those at the Concho crossing on Illinois Ave, will also be included.  This will replace the uncontrolled crosswalks at Heritage Avenue and the school district will construct new sidewalk on site to connect this crossing to the school’s main entrance at a later time.

 

  • The Grafa Park Storm Drain Replacement project continues as the contractor has started work along Golf Course Road and has closed two lanes of traffic to replace the existing storm drain pipe. 

  • The intersection of Golf Course Road and Midkiff Road will be closed beginning in the night time hours on Tuesday, March 3rd.  Repairs are expected to last four to six weeks and the intersection will be closed during repairs.

 

Road & Utility Bond Project

  • Year 2- Louisiana Ave Paving - Paving of Louisiana nearing completion. Manhole and water valve adjustments will take place over the next few weeks.
  • Year 2-Michigan Ave Paving – Construction of concrete and ADA is ongoing. Paving to begin in March.
  • Year 2 - Wood Dr. & Oriole Dr. Paving- utilities work nearing completion. Concrete is being placed now. Paving will start in a few weeks.
  • Year 2- Bluebird Ln-Contractor is installing storm drain. Relocation of waterline is complete. Paving work is delayed by Franchise Utilities.
  • Year 2- Carter Ave Water and Paving- Waterline work is complete. Base and paving is being held up by Franchise Utilities.
  • Year 2 – Year 2 – Bankhead Hwy Paving has begun and expected to be completed in March.