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Alliance Group named consultant for Hays Committee

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 by Jacob Cottingham

The Hays County Commissioners Court has approved hiring Alliance Transportation Group of Austin as consultant to the newly appointed Transportation Bond Committee.


At its first meeting, the TBC unanimously recommended Alliance after hearing input from Hays County Road Superintendent Jerry Borcherding and Prime Strategy’s Mike Weaver. Alliance was chosen over Wilbur Smith Associates, the only other company to respond to the RFP. 


Director of Planning Jim Harvey said Alliance has worked in Hays County before but said he is not aware of any previous contracts between his company and the county.


On Tuesday, Commissioner’s Court authorized County Judge Liz Sumter to negotiate a contract not to exceed $10,000 for the company to begin organizing the public meetings that will guide the TBC. The funds will come out of the interest from the 2001 road bonds. The next TBC meeting is scheduled for May 29.


The Alliance team will be composed of economists, engineers and planners from several companies including Nancy Ledbetter of Nancy Ledbetter & Associates, Joe Graf, Mark Taylor and Stephen McDonagh of Halcrow, and Jim Harvey and Michael Heath of Alliance Transportation.


“We want to balance the two goals of providing the most effective use of the system while making the best use of the county’s financial resources and use our team to match projects up with funding,” Harvey said.


Sumter said the Alliance group will be working with the TBC to “help focus the committee on exactly the tasks that they need to get done, which is taking a look at how big of a bond the committee thinks it can pass, what kind of projects would be best put in this kind of bond in November, or if those projects would be better suited for a different funding mechanism.”


She added that Alliance would also be involved in the public process, going out and meeting with the public to talk about the bond package and possible projects that might go in the process.


The deadline for projects was May 2, though a few of the projects were submitted May 9 and 12, Sumter said. Six entities have submitted proposals to the committee, she said.

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