Pacesetter Southwestern Division Regional News ServiceServing the men and women of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Southwestern Division Brig. Gen. Jeffrey J. Dorko Commander, Southwestern Division Rhonda James Chief, Public Affairs Southwestern Division Melanie Ellis Editor Fort Worth District Associate Editors Mary Beth Hudson Tulsa District P. J. Spaul Little Rock District Edward Rivera Fort Worth DistrictThe PACESETTER is an unofÂ“ cial publication published under AR 360-1 for members of the Southwestern Division and its retirees. Contents and editorial views expressed are not necessarily the offi cial views of or endorsed by, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army or the U.S. Government. Articles or photographic submissions are welcome. For more information about the PACESETTER, or to make a submission, call your local Public Affairs OfÂ“ ce. On the cover: Mission Concepcion was the site of a breakfast prior to the unveiling of conceptual drawings of the San Antonio River Improvements Project, a $198 million on-going investment by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the San Antonio River Foundation in Â” ood damage reduction, amenities, ecosystem restoration and recreational improvements along 13 miles of the San Antonio River. See story on page 4 2Pacesetter WeÂve had a stellar Â“ scal year Brig. Gen. Jeffrey J. Dorko Civil WorksÂ top brass visit District projects in San Antonio Big Dam Bridge opens over Murray Lock and Dam Unique partnership joins barging industry with Corps, Coast Guard disaster response 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 14 15 16 17 In this issue: 18 12 13 19Hot, dirty work Team Galveston enters another challenging and exciting Â“ scal year Maj. Richard Hansen Endangered cats challenge Real Estate Galveston Public Affairs Chiefs reunite Corpus Christi celebrates Packery Channel opening Tulsa District ready for new challenges Col. Miroslav Kurka Georgia Lewis continues top-notch customer service Dedicated to Â” ood protection Fort Worth District takes on new challenges in FY07 Col. Christopher Martin Onion Creek public meeting answers homeownersÂ questions OverÂ” ows no match for reinforced trench 450 contractors attend San Antonio Industry Day Pacesetter Points
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey J. Dorko Commander, Southwestern DivisionWeÂve had a stellar Â“ scal year ... 3October 2006 Congratulations on completing another successful Â“ scal year! This one was challenging, with the only ÂconstantÂŽ being change. At the close of FY06, our Civil Works obligations totaled over $1 billion. Construction General accounted for close to half of those obligations. Galveston District led the obligations with 48 percent of all dollars obligated for Civil Works. Our Military direct expenses totaled over $726 million, with Military reimbursable expenses totaling over $290 million. With the addition of the Interagency and International Services program, the Southwestern Division executed a program that was well over $2 billion! For our Military Construction program execution, we awarded 32 of 34 projects that are tracked through Command Management Review metrics, including three Base Realignment and Closure projects, totaling $583.42 million. That equates to 18 of 19 Army projects, including three BRAC projects, for a total of $369.68 million; 12 of 13 Air Force projects totaling $193.34 million; and two of two Department of Defense projects totaling $20.4 million. And while our operating budgets will be tight for FY07, our estimated divisionwide total program is right at $2 billion. The break-out by mission: Military Construction, 51 percent, about $1 billion; Civil Works, 24 percent, or $462 million; Support for Others, 18 percent, or $350 million; and, Environmental, 7 percent, some $150 million. In addition to focusing on meeting our obligations for a successful year end, weÂve also been taking care of other business. For example, the division headquarters staff completed functional reviews for the Tulsa District Command Inspection during August. Staff members also traveled to Tulsa for a Command Staff Visit, August 30-31. During those two days, we received a State of the District update from Col. Miro Kurka, and our staffs jointly reviewed Campaign Plan goals, objectives and enablers. We also identiÂ“ ed best practices that could be implemented division-wide, and importantly, identiÂ“ ed barriers that inhibit our business processes. Those Â“ ndings were shared division-wide during a regional teleconference August 31. Civil Works and Military sponsors and projects within Fort Worth DistrictÂs area of operations. Later in September, we were honored to host Mr. Geoffrey Prosch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Environment), at division headquarters. During his visit, he received brieÂ“ ngs on our BRAC and Military Construction Transformation projects. Also visiting division headquarters in September was Ms. Sandra Riley, the CorpsÂ Director of Contracting. She provided information on strategic plans and was receptive to our thoughts on the way ahead. Earlier this month, I gathered with hundreds of folks, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Galveston DistrictÂs North Padre Island (Packery Channel) project. This project is unique in that it epitomizes the CorpsÂ preferred process for similar future projects, i.e., the City of Corpus Christi had a vision, Â“ led a letter of intent, prepared a plan and secured local funding through a bond election, and then followed through with necessary efforts leading to authorization. Again, congratulations on another successful year! You have made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts ... maintaining an A+ across-the-board performance level! Keep up the great work as we face another busy, challenging Â“ scal year. As a result of our CSV in Tulsa, weÂve tweaked the process, made some improvements, and will apply the lessons learned during our visit in Little Rock District this month. Also in August, Galveston District hosted Mr. John Paul Woodley, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), for visits along the coast and meetings with sponsors. In September, Mr. Woodley and Maj. Gen. Don T. Riley, Director of Civil Works, attended the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies Conference in San Antonio. While they were in our area, we were fortunate that they made time to visit both ÂYou have made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts ... maintaining an A+ across-the-board performance level!ÂŽ
Civil WorksÂ top brass visit District projects in San Antonio Ed Rivera Pacesetter Staff 4John Paul Woodley, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Maj. Gen. Don T. Riley, Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 7 for an unveiling ceremony of a portion of the San Antonio River Improvements Project and to tour Fort Worth District projects on Fort Sam Houston. The San Antonio River Improvements Project is a $198 million on-going investment by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, the Corps of Engineers and the San Antonio River Foundation in Â” ood damage reduction, amenity, ecosystem restoration and recreational improvements along 13 miles of the San Antonio River. ÂRestoration of the San Antonio River is a project that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been anticipating for a while and is eager to get construction under way,ÂŽ said Woodley. ÂThrough the use of improved, more environmentally acceptable engineering practices, this project will maintain the Â” ood protection provided today by the river, while recreating a sustainable river ecosystem.ÂŽ From a viewing area overlooking the San Pedro Creek and San Antonio River conÂ” uence, Woodley and local project sponsors talked about design progress, beneÂ“ ts and developments of the Mission Reach Ecosystem, Restoration and Recreation project, a federal project supported by the Corps. Mission Reach improvements focus on ecosystem restoration using a technique known as Â” uvial geomorphology. This technique will transform the straightened river to a more natural replication of the original river Â” ow enhancing Â” ood damage reduction, reducing erosion, reintroducing native vegetation and creating an environment more suitable for recreation and wildlife. ÂToday, the Corps of Engineers has a growing environmental mission and has embarked on a number of environmental restoration projects throughout the nation,ÂŽ said Woodley. ÂThis San Antonio River Improvements Project, in fact, is seen as a model for restoration of a river and its ecosystem in an urbanized setting.ÂŽ According to Woodley, due to development along the river and the need to preserve Â” ood protection for a growing city, full restoration of the river is impractical. ÂThe CorpsÂ Â” ood control engineers, biologists, environmental scientists and historians are working together to design a project that will transform the river from the drainage channel you see today into a healthy, sustainable ecosystem teaming with Â“ sh and wildlife that will once again be enjoyed and appreciated by the residents of San Antonio and that will continue to serve a vital Â” ood control function for this growing city,ÂŽ he said prior to unveiling conceptual drawings of the future look of the channel. Also participating in the unveiling with Woodley and Riley were Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Commissioner Sergio (Chico) Rodriguez, Jim Johnson, Board of Directors, San Antonio River Authority, and Lila Cockrell, San Antonio River Oversight Committee Co-chair. After the media event, Riley went on to Fort Sam Houston for an overview of the upcoming medical projects relative to the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005. Col. Christopher W. Martin, commander, Fort Worth District, said the brieÂ“ ng was primarily for situational awareness and to outline some of the intricacies involved with the projects. ÂBecause we are dealing with a number of customers, we are going to encounter some complexities. Although Maj. Gen Riley is the Corps director of civil works, we felt it appropriate to update him on the military construction projects as well as civil,ÂŽ said Martin. John Paul Woodley, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and Maj. Gen. Don T. Riley, Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unveil artist renditions of a portion of the San Antonio River Improvements Project in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 7 during a media event. Woodley, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), is interviewed by a San Antonio news crew.
5October 2006 Big Dam Bridge opens over Murray Lock and Dam Central Arkansas can boast that it has the longest bridge in the nation constructed speciÂ“ cally for pedestrians and bicycles, not vehicles. Though it was not built with Corps funds, Little Rock District oversaw design and construction of this impressive structure as it piggybacked atop Murray Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River. Billed as the Big Dam Bridge at the Sept. 30 ribbon cutting ceremony, the Pulaski County Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge over Murray Lock and Dam represents partnerships at the federal, state, and most importantly, local levels. ÂA great project is the work of many hands and of many organizations, and this bridge is no exception,ÂŽ Little Rock District Commander Col. Wally Walters told the gathering of thousands at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Rising 65 feet above the waterÂs surface, construction of this nearly 4,200-foot-long bridge required special marine-based techniques. The bridge, which has a 14-foot-wide deck, was constructed with weathering steel girders to minimize requirements for future maintenance. It required gentle slopes to assure compliance with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. Looking to the future, the bridge was built with the added feature of being capable of holding two 36-inch utility pipelines. The bridge has united about 17 miles of scenic riverside trails in the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, and future plans call for connecting the bridge and trails with 7,000 acres of city, county, state and federal park land in Central Arkansas. ÂThis is more than just the biggest dam true pedestrian bridge anyone ever has seen,ÂŽ Walters said. ÂIt is the connector of this river and of these hills, which together distinguish the Natural State from its neighbors.ÂŽ The bridge was built with a blend of federal and state transportation funds, as well as local funding from Pulaski County and the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. Joining Walters for the Saturday morning ribbon cutting were Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, who is credited with seeing the project through from inception to completion, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Chairman Carl Rosenbaum, and Arkansas Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration Sandy Otto. Moments after the ribbon was cut, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays led hundreds of bicyclists to cross the bridge, symbolizing the connection created by the bridge between their two cities. A short time later, about 1,500 runners lined up to cross the bridge in a 5 kilometer Fun Run/Walk, including Gov. Huckabee. Little Rock District oversaw design and construction to ensure the project would not conÂ” ict with Arkansas River navigation because the bridge was literally built atop Murray Lock and Dam. Using the dam as its foundation saved an estimated $10 million in construction costs. The contractor was Jensen Construction of Sand Springs, Okla. P.J. Spaul Pacesetter Staff About 1,500 runners begin the gradual climb upward onto the pedestrian bridge at the start of the 5K Fun Run/Walk, part of the bridge dedication festivities. The handicap accessible bridge rises six-and-onehalf stories above the Arkansas River at Little Rock. Dignitaries cut the ribbon Sept. 30 to ofÂ“ cially open the longest bridge in the nation constructed speciÂ“ cally for pedestrians and bicycles, not vehicles. From left are Little Rock District Commander Col. Wally Walters, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Chairman Carl Rosenbaum, and Arkansas Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration Sandy Otto.
Hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit the Gulf Coast hard, causing billions of dollars in damage. Rita alone killed at least 11 people in Texas and Louisiana. More than 100 died in the pre-storm evacuation of Houston due to accidents and exposure deaths. The death toll in Katrina was far higher. But, from something bad, something good often comes. In this case, a new partnership arose, bringing the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association into a unique, emergency response collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard. Over the past years, GICA has become known by the Corps and Coast Guard as the source of information on the operation of the inland barge industry on the Intracoastal Waterway which spans the Gulf Coast. It also serves as an effective single point of contact for the two federal organizations to distribute information and solicit feedback. These abilities came into play when, in 2005, the Gulf Coast was devastated by two of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the area. A more effective and efÂ“ cient incident response team came into being as GICA and the industry it represents joined in the recovery efforts. Who would have more knowledge of the workings of the intracoastal barge movements and trafÂ“ c patterns than representatives of the barging industry? ÂWhat began as a simple communications logistical ÂtoolÂ developed into a trusting, functioning partnership between industry, the Corps and the Coast Guard,ÂŽ said Raymond Butler, executive director of the association, as the partnering of industry with governmental entities for emergency response became a reality. 6Pacesetter Unique partnership joins barging industry with Corps Coast Guard disaster response Prior to the hurricane season of 2005, GICA had developed a method of using industry volunteer vessels and experienced personnel during incidents affecting the movement of barges on the waterway. Following Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, Captain Ed Reioux and his Kirby Marine One a specially equipped response vessel which accompanied MSO Mobile Coast Guard personnel, made the Â“ rst survey of the waterway in the area of destruction near Gulf Shores, Ala. For the next disaster, the GICAÂs Âon the waterÂŽ role has developed into one of conducting immediate assessment of channel conditions. In-depth knowledge of barge fuel loading status, locations and shipment plans played a major role in prioritizing waterway re-openings. The GICA response concept brought another unanticipated beneÂ“ t, that of knowing who does what, and where equipment might be located to serve in response activities. On one occasion, 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel were located within an hour and delivered to Coast Guard Mobile, purely through GICA contact information. This scenario played itself out many times. An empty chemical tow, complete with towboat, was used to transport 50 temporary buoys almost a hundred miles in order to restore safe navigation on the waterway. Aircraft supplied by GICA was used to provide surveillance over parts of the waterway for Corps and Coast Guard personnel. On yet another instance, a GICA member provided his personal aircraft to verify a loose barge Â” eet during Mississippi River re-opening operations. The team, ofÂ“ cially known as ÂGICA RESPONSE,ÂŽ is made up of 13 towing industry members who can be recognized during the next disaster on the waterway by their bright blue shirts carrying a GICA RESPONSE logo. Key Corps members of the response team are Joe Hrametz, Galveston, Michelle Ulm, New Orleans GIWW, Joaquin Mujica, New Orleans Deep Draft, and Nelson Sanchez, Mobile. Capt. Ed Reioux, a member of the GICA Response Team. Marilyn Uhrich Pacesetter Staff
7 A hundred years or so ago when Italian miners in the McAlester area were making an entrance to a coal mine, they shoved the debris over a nearby ledge. By the time they were done, a three-story tall gob pile of rock, dirt, coal, and waste had been created. There it sat for a century on what eventually became property managed by the Corps of Engineers for Eufaula Lake. It continued to sit and, during that time, some of the burned sandstone in the pile even gained historical status. Still, it sat -until this February when a wildÂ“ re reached the gob pile, and set it aÂ“ re. It is still burning eight months later. ÂIt doesnÂt take a great deal of oxygen for coal to burn,ÂŽ says Jim Harris, environmental manager in Operations Division. A contractor for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission is now trying to put out the Â“ re. Funding comes from the OfÂ“ ce of Surface Mining. Leading up to this effort, an Environmental Analysis was completed (during which the signiÂ“ cance of the historical burned sandstone or Âred dogÂŽ was noted) and real estate work was done to give access to the site. The mine entrance is not on government-managed land, but the ledge and 100-foot long, 15-foot deep gob pile are. And theyÂre hot. ÂItÂs 20 degrees hotter standing on top of the pile than on the surrounding dirt,ÂŽ Harris said. Work had to stop shortly after it Hot and dirty work Mary Beth Hudson Pacesetter Staff began because the Â“ re was so hot it damaged the track hoe. And, to make matters worse, Harris said, ÂIt stinks.ÂŽ And itÂs dangerous. Not only is the surface very hot Â… in places itÂs very thin. According to an article entitled ÂFire in the HoleÂŽ in the McAlester News, Âas the coal underneath the surface burned, it turned into a powder-like substance. While the grass and dirt above appeared normal, it had little or no support underneath.ÂŽ Any person or animal walking on it faced the danger of breaking through and being burned. The contractor will pull the gob off the pile, put it in rows, and let it burn out. One concern is that the gob Â“ re could start a vegetation Â“ re. There is also some concern that if a coal seam becomes ignited, an underground Â“ re could move outside the boundaries of the gob pile. Another is that the rows will continue to be very hot as they burn. ÂThis stuff will give you the hot foot even after it has been spread out,ÂŽ said Charles Schrodt, environmental specialist with the Corps. OCC plans to mark the area with caution tape while the gob burns. When the nineteenth and twentieth century miners shoved dirt, rock, and coal over the ledge near the entrance to the No. 4 Union Coal Mine, they didnÂt know they were adding fuel to a Â“ re that would start burning in February 2006. The contractor is dwarfed by the gob pile created by miners in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century on land now managed by the Corps at Eufaula Lake. Dust and smoke Â” y high as work gets under way to extinguish the gob pile Â“ re which has been burning since February.
8Pacesetter In the last few weeks, nearly all Galveston District employees have reÂ” ected on where they were and what they were doing one year ago as Hurricane Rita bore down on the Texas coast. Many of you spent dozens of hours caught in trafÂ“ c trying to evacuate, watching your vehicleÂs fuel and temperature gauges move in opposite directions, wondering if you were going to get out of the stormÂs way. Some of you dutifully reported to the alternate District Operations Center at AddickÂs Reservoir, or to Fort Worth, to keep the district functioning and to begin the recovery and clean-up process as rapidly as possible. After the storm, our survey crews were incredibly busy, assessing the conditions in hundreds of miles of channels. With remarkable speed, you had navigation throughout the district back on line. Some of you spent months away from your families while working at the Recovery Field OfÂ“ ce in Beaumont and your co-workers picked up your workload. All of you excelled in your jobs, and the Corps and the entire nation owes you a debt of gratitude. One year later, not a single hurricane has entered the Gulf! While we joke about the success of our Âhurricane repellent,ÂŽ I urge you to carefully review your preparedness for another evacuation, both at work and at home. Does your supervisor know your evacuation plan, to include the route and destination? Is your contact information at that destination up to date? Do you know how to contact the district to let us know you are safe? For those lucky enough to report to the alternate EOC, do you know how to get there, what to bring, and what your duties will be when you get there? By the time this passage is in print, the 2006 hurricane season will be drawing to a close, but it is important that we remain prepared year-round. Maj. Richard Hansen Acting Commander, Galveston District Team Galveston enters another challenging and exciting Â“ scal year There simply is not enough time to react by the time a hurricane or tropical storm is in the middle of the Gulf. Hurricanes aside, the district, and all of the division, is experiencing another Âperfect storm,ÂŽ with end-of-Â“ scal year closeout, CFO audit, P2 conversion, and a heavy fourth quarter contract award schedule. Planning for the January National Security Personnel System conversion for supervisors is thrown in as a bonus. Similar to your work after Rita, your professionalism, teamwork, and quality efforts in the last several months have been superb. IÂd like to especially thank everyone who supported the visit of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Mr. John Paul Woodley, Jr., at the end of August. The entire visit ran like clockwork from beginning to end, and was a tremendous success. For new business, I ask every employee, from new to seasoned, to look at the Regional Leadership Development Program and see what it offers you, and what you can offer to it. This program promises to be valuable and exciting, but it cannot be successful without participation. The enrollment Âopen seasonÂŽ begins 15 October and ends 10 December. DonÂt miss out! Supervisors, encourage your employees to enroll, and be ready to support with your comments in a ÂChief ChatÂŽ lunch meeting or as a mentor. IÂll close by saying it is a privilege to continue to serve you in whatever capacity I am needed. Thank you for all of your support, from all over the division, over the last few months. It has been simply incredible. Team Galveston and the Southwestern Division are moving forward together in another challenging and exciting Â“ scal year in 2007. Â Similar to your work after Rita, your professionalism, teamwork, and quality e orts in the last several months have been superb.ÂŽ New bridge near Wallisville -John Darton, Texas Department of Transportation District Engineer from Beaumont, speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the $65 million I-10 bridge as trafÂ“ c crosses behind him on the 55-year-old bridge currently spanning the Trinity River. The Oct. 3 ceremony was held at the Wallisville Lake ProjectÂs Mayes Island picnic grounds. Galveston DistrictÂs Acting Commander Richard Hansen participated in the ceremony. Arthur Janecka, Deputy District Engineer, Programs and Project Management, Johnny Rozsypal, chief, Operations Division, Marilyn Uhrich, Public Affairs and staff of the Wallisville Lake Project attended the affair.
9October 2006 Protection of two rare and endangered cats is underway in south Texas as the Galveston DistrictÂs real estate crew starts the unique job of purchasing easements from farmers and ranchers along the United States side of the Rio Grande. The easements will cover an area 108 feet wide, an approximate 291 acres that will provide an undisturbed wildlife corridor paralleling the river for the rare cats and other animals. The cats are the jaguarundi and ocelot, two increasingly rare animals found living in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The easements are for the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, United States Section (USIBWC). They carry a two fold purpose, to allow entry along the river for clearing and snagging obstructions from its waters and to provide a wildlife corridor for the cats and other wildlife. Only about twice the size of a housecat, the ocelot spends most of its time high in the trees. It hunts at night with speed and ability, prefers a scrub habitat and loves to swim. It is often referred to as one of Endangered cats challenge Real Estate OfÂ“ cethe most beautiful of cats. Historically, the ocelot ranged most of Texas, Arizona, much of Mexico and Central and South America. In 1982, it was added to the federal endangered animal list. The jaguarundi has been on the endangered list since 1976. It weighs from 16 to 20 pounds with a solid color coat, either rusty-brown or charcoal gray. Jaguarundis hunt mainly in early morning and evening and live alone except during the mating season of November and December. Preferring the brush country in south Texas and the lower Rio Grande Valley, these cats are becoming increasingly rare. Historically, the USIBWC has been required to obtain verbal permission or letters of agreement from individual landowners to enter on private lands to conduct Âvegetation maintenanceÂŽ on the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy Counties. Maintenance is required prior to each Â” ood season to assure the project is in the best hydraulic condition to handle Â” ood waters. When landowners canÂt be reached to agree to this annual expedition, vital delays can occur. The easements will acquire a 108wide corridor that includes both the vegetation maintenance strip and, as mitigation for the environmental impacts of clearing brush, the wildlife corridor. This provides more efÂ“ cient access to private property and eliminates the need to contact individual landowners every time maintenance crews work in the area. The maintenance strip will be approximately 75 feet wide. Thirty-three feet will remain undisturbed in its natural state for the cats and other wildlife. Landowners have expressed concern over the easements, according to Salvatore Arcidiancono, from Real EstateÂs Acquisition, Management and Disposal Branch. Previous meetings in the area to discuss the project have brought out the landownersÂ concerns. ÂInnate distrust of federal ofÂ“ cials, concern about fencing of the corridor and loss of the use of the land are concerns,ÂŽ he said. ÂWe are looking at about 60 ownerships, but over 200 tracts of land.ÂŽ The real estate workers will be asking for right-of-entry on the property to allow for surveying and appraisal of the tracts. This will be followed by negotiation with the owners to arrive at a fair and equitable compensation for the encroachment of the easement. Michele Thomas Pacesetter Staff Ocelot Jaguarundi
10Pacesetter More than 80 years of experience came together recently when all three public affairs chiefs to hold the position since the Galveston District was established came together at a recent retirement dinner. The Public Affairs OfÂ“ ce was created from the Engineering Technical Information OfÂ“ ce in the late 1950s. Following his duty in the Air Force during World War II, Gildo John ÂMitchÂŽ Micheletti started out in the Corps as a messenger and rose to be chief of the Â“ rst public affairs ofÂ“ ce in Galveston District. He served in that capacity from 1950 until he retired in 1982. Ken Bonham came to the Public Affairs OfÂ“ ce in Galveston in 1971, working under MitchÂs leadership. He worked early in his career as photographer, reporter, writer and sports editor at newspapers in Laughton, Enid and Oklahoma City, Okla. Moving on, he spent from 1966 to 1969 in public relations for the American Medical Galveston Public Affairs Chiefs reunite Association, then joined the government serving in the public affairs ofÂ“ ce at Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, Ill. He retired in 2000. Phyllis Bledsoe adds 23 years of government service to the ofÂ“ ce, arriving in Galveston following KenÂs retirement in 2000. Prior to that, she was chief of public affairs at the U.S. Army Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas. She began her career in communications with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Washington, D.C. GALVESTONÂS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE STARTS HERE -Three generations of Public Affairs Chiefs for Galveston District were together at a recent retirement dinner. Left to right are Ken Bonham (70+ years), Phyllis Bledsoe (60+ years) and Gildo John ÂMitchÂŽ Micheletti (80+ years). The Lake Texoma Land Sale Project Delivery Team was named Tulsa DistrictÂs PDT of the quarter during a recent Civil Works Project Review Board. Despite several unexpected challenges and substantial obstacles, the successful land transfer was accomplished under budget. During this very visible and somewhat contentious land transfer, the PDT managed to satisfy customers whose expectations, at times, conÂ” icted. Two state agencies, the Commissioners of the Land OfÂ“ ce and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, were customers. Both were intimately involved in the process; however, their ideas, opinions, and end goals varied greatly. The PDT was determined to achieve some level of satisfaction for all while maintaining compliance with guidance and regulations. Immediately prior to the inception of this project, Corps Headquarters completely changed the format for land transfer packages. The PDT put together one of, if not the Â“ rst, transfer package with the new format. The team was informed by headquarters that the package would likely be used throughout the Real Estate Community of Practice as an example of how to complete the process correctly. Working with headquarters to ensure the package was complete and accurate proved to be a challenge as well. The Southwestern Division Regional Integration Team had never used this new transfer package, so they were learning the process along with the PDT when typically they are depended upon for guidance. The 558 acres of government property on Lake Texoma ultimately purchased by the Lake Texoma Land Sale team takes quarterly honors Commissioners of the Land OfÂ“ ce is expected to revitalize the economy of southeast Oklahoma and the Texoma region with resort and lakefront development. (l-r): Col. Kurka, Cynthia Kitchens, Louis Vogele, Marjorie Courtright, Bill Barnhart, Ida Lafayette, Steve Nolen, Ron Jordan, and Joel Fuchs. Jan Hotubbee, Keith Francis, Doug Beck, and Everett Laney are not pictured. Marilyn Uhrich Pacesetter Staff
11October 2006 Corpus Christi celebrates Packery Channel opening An exuberant crowd was on hand October 6 for the ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the opening of Packery Channel and the completion of the project officially known as ÂThe North Padre Island, Nueces County, Texas Storm Damage Reduction and Environmental Restoration Project. The project, controversial from its inception some 40 years ago, not only opened the sand filled channel, but also widened the beach an average of 550 feet and provided a jettied entrance channel that extends 1,400 feet into the Gulf of Mexico and 800 feet landward on both sides of the channel. The jetties are designed to Packery Channel jetties are fast becoming a favorite spot for fishing. protect the channel from shoaling. The construction contract was awarded by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District Luhr Bros., Inc. and King Fisher Marine Services, LP, a joint venture, on July 30, 2003 in the amount of $21,375,044. Completion of the project was originally scheduled for September 21, 2005 but was delayed due to damage by the storms of 2005 and 2006. Authorization set the cost share at 65 percent federal and 35 percent local with the local sponsor being the City of Corpus Christi. An estimated cost of $34.986 million was established, based upon the original design done for Nueces County before they withdrew as local sponsor. A value engineering analysis performed on the design by the Galveston District resulted in a project cost savings of $4.75 million, according to Project Manager Carl Anderson. Corpus Christi Mayor Henry Garrett referred to the cost estimate of 40 years ago as being in the vicinity of $1.7 million. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was praised for her efforts in providing congressional funding for the project. ÂShe was our Guardian Angel .ÂŽ said Mayor Garrett. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Mayor Henry Garrett cut the ribbon, opening Packery Channel Oct. 6, 2006. At the right is Mark Scott, city councilman On the left is County Commissioner Chuck Cazales.
12Pacesetter Col. Miroslav Kurka Commander, Tulsa District Tulsa District ready for new challenges Happy Fiscal New Year! We just completed FY 2006 Â… a very difÂ“ cult year for Tulsa District, Â“ nancially, given an extremely austere Operations and Maintenance budget that stretched our Â“ scal resources to the breaking point. We also faced many other challenges including: a drought, extended hurricane relief missions, numerous questions from the public and stakeholders about our actions, the CFO audit, a Southwestern Division Command Staff Visit, rapidly escalating construction costs, and uncertainty caused by numerous changes to the personnel and logistics systems. We completed the Â“ scal year without a RIF, without a cut in services to the public, all the while maintaining good affordability. Not only that, we excelled in most areas, and our excellent performance is totally due to you our hard working, dedicated, tenacious, innovative, and exceptionally competent workforce. Your expeditionary mindset was demonstrated time and again through support to the War on Terrorism (85 of you deployed in past three years six are currently deployed) and in hurricane response (more than 200 of you deployed last year). Additionally, this expeditionary mindset has created a Âcan do, never quitÂŽ attitude for basic missions and allowed the district to thrive in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) environment. You are a world-class workforce that is fully capable and maintains excellent efÂ“ ciency and effectiveness through interdependence with our sister districts and by maximizing all sources of expertise including the privatesector AE community. Your efforts in military and environmental programs have made us second in USACE in overall customer satisfaction for many years in a row. You have done this by routinely meeting metrics and providing great quality, cost efÂ“ cient facilities and services on time. Two examples of your excellence are the Fort Sill Family Housing and Vance AFB Enhance Force Protection projects. Despite rapidly escalating construction costs and limited contractor interest, you were able to overcome large cost issues and award these projects within the programmed amount before the end of the Â“ scal year deadline. Additionally, you demonstrated tireless dedication at the end of year for military O&M awards in a funding environment that was changing daily. In the civil works arena, you have excelled on unique projects, maintained excellent Congressional and stakeholder relationships, and completed an impressive number of projects including: Arkansas City Local Protection; Tenkiller Spillway; Canton Spillway Anchor Installation; Tar Creek Subsidence Study; Hulah/Copan Reallocation Study; Texoma Reallocation Study; Wister Reallocation Study; Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan; Environmental Assessment and Lease Revision at Skiatook; Eisenhower Park Lease Revision/Renewal at Texoma; Texoma Generator Rewind; Texoma Land Transfer; Candy Lake Land Transfer; and the construction of Least Tern Island, critical dredging, and key plate-seal repairs on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Additionally, you served over 25 million visitors and kept them safe at our 38 projects. You are fantastic! As we enter FY 2007, your outstanding abilities and performance gives me supreme conÂ“ dence in our ability to meet and overcome all challenges. We still live in a VUCA world and we have many obstacles to overcome. However, we have an excellent Tulsa District Campaign Plan that gives us our direction and focus: -Continuing to support GWOT missions. -Disaster response as required. -Maintaining good relationships with our many stakeholders, the public, and Congress. -BRAC construction at Fort Sill and at Vance Air Force Base. -Excellent quality military work on time and to cost. -Delivering quality and safe recreational services to the great American public at our 250 parks. -Maintaining our vast operations infrastructure at 38 projects. -Meeting aggressive execution schedules for our civil works construction projects and studies. -Working with Southwestern Division and Fort Worth District to achieve signiÂ“ cant improvements in FUDS execution. -Continuing to shape the district and develop the workforce to meet the challenges of the future. As a result of the Southwestern Division Command Staff Visit, we are making some minor reÂ“ nements to our Campaign Plan. I will send the reÂ“ ned SWT Campaign Plan out by the end of October and then provide a monthly e-mail update on the campaign plan execution to highlight progress in meeting its goals and objectives. Tulsa District is Â” exible, focused on execution, regional, and Project-ManagementBusinessProcess based. We have great people, a great plan, and are part of a great Southwestern Division Team. We are absolutely relevant, ready, responsive, and reliable and we are ready for any challenge Â… bring it on! ESSAYONS!
October 2006 Georgia Lewis, administrative assistant at Keystone Lake, is Tulsa DistrictÂs Customer Care Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter, FY06. Lewis is well known for the positive attitude, professionalism, and energy that she constantly displays. She serves as an excellent face to the public and handles myriad administrative tasks with an unbeatable attitude. She was instrumental in helping Programs and Project Management and Real Estate Â“ nalize the resale of lands at the former Candy Creek Lake project. She has trained and worked with many of the volunteers who augment the Keystone ofÂ“ ce staff. According to her nomination, Lewis is especially good in providing administrative assistance to the Keystone Powerhouse staff, the Information Management/ Operations Radio Shop staff, and other federal and state agency partners in the Â“ eld. It reads, ÂThis creates a real sense of ÂteamÂ with other Corps and federal/non-federal public servants and greatly enhances the ability of this ofÂ“ ce to maximize our resources in managing public lands.ÂŽ This is not the Â“ rst time Lewis has been named Customer Care Employee of the Quarter. She shared that honor last year with other workers in the disbanded Administration Support Unit that manned the Tulsa District Welcome Center. Georgia Lewis continues topnotch customer service Tulsa District kicked off its 2006 Combined Federal Campaign in early October. This yearÂs theme is ÂBe the MiracleÂŽ and the districtÂs goal is $45,000. Col. Kurka welcomed employees and proponents of the campaign and spoke to the importance of the annual drive. Guest speaker was Chrissy Shackle, grants coordinator for The Salvation Army. Marjorie Courtright, Engineering and Construction, is leading Tulsa DistrictÂs campaign this year. She urges all employees to peruse the catalog of approved agencies and remember that ÂEvery gift can change a life.ÂŽCampaign chair Marjorie Courtright at the Combined Federal Campaign kick off. Looking for miracles, be the miracle 13
Deputy commander comes on board Lt. Col. Bernie Thomson, new deputy district commander for Tulsa District, is the Â“ rst female to Â“ ll that position. She shrugs off that distinction, saying, ÂThatÂs par for the course.ÂŽ Thomson has been the Â“ rst female many times throughout her Army career -the Â“ rst to command a line company in a combat heavy battalion (A Co., 43d Engineer Battalion), the Â“ rst to deploy in a hostile environment (Somalia), and the Â“ rst female engineer to receive the Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. She is a graduate of the City University of New York, School of Architecture, and earned a masterÂs degree in civil engineering construction management from the University of Washington. Her varied and interesting career includes combat assignments, deployments to such far Â” ung places as Somalia, Mogadishu, Iraq, and Honduras, and relief effort support. The latter saw her in Florida following Hurricane Andrew, and Haiti after the devastating mudslides. She has Corps experience, having served as a project manager in Seattle District during the C-17 beddown at McChord Air Force Base where she managed over $41 million in projects. Most recently, Col. Thomson was assigned to Fort Carson as the strategic planner to support Base Realignment and Closure and transformation initiatives. Newly arrived in Tulsa District, sheÂs busy meeting the work force and being reacquainted with myriad programs, projects, problems, and priorities that comprise a full-service U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district. She and her husband, Jay, have two children. Her full biography is posted on the Tulsa District web site. 14Pacesetter emember Halloween 1998? If you lived in Arkansas City, Kansas, you would. That year, a two-day deluge led to the worst Â” ood of the century in a city that had already seen its share of Â” ooding. The Â” ood that began Halloween day 1998 forced more than 2,000 residents from their homes and caused millions of dollars in damages. In August this year, a dedication ceremony marked the completion of a local Â” ood protection system designed to help protect much of Arkansas City from river Â” ooding. The project has spanned decades and involved the work of city, state, and federal ofÂ“ cials since 1970. Bill Smith was project manager and Steve Rous was quality assurance representative. The project consisted of Â“ ve miles of levee along the Arkansas River, one-and-a-half miles along the Walnut River, and the rechannelization of two miles of Walnut River, as well as all associated drainage structures. Materials used included 1.3 million cubic yards of Â“ ll, 1 million cubic yards of channel excavation, and 250,000 tons of rock. Speaking at the ceremony, John Roberts, deputy district engineer for project management, said, ÂThe project was built in three phases with three different contractors. Quite remarkably, however, it was completed without a single construction contract claim and at a cost which was $13 million less than the original construction estimate.ÂŽ He praised the long line of ofÂ“ cials who have championed the project and noted the difÂ“ culty in obtaining funds in times of an austere budget. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said the devastation of the 1998 Â” ood spurred him to put funding the levee project at the top of his agenda. As Halloween 2006 approaches, Arkansas City residents have much less to fear. Quality Assurance Representative Steve Rous (left) poses with Rep. Tiahrt with the levee as a backdrop. Rous has been working on the project for about a decade and Rep. Tiahrt has helped shepherd the funding through Congress. A view of the levee at the Archer Daniels Midland plant.
15October 2006The leadership development program teaches participants key lessons on leadership. Lessons include: learning about the various types of leaders, the Team, as we begin the challenges of Fiscal Year 2007 I want to take this time to highlight a few of our districtÂs accomplishments of the past year. As part of the Pacesetter division, the district paved the way for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Military Construction Transformation in awarding the product lines for Fort Bliss, Texas. As we continue with the MILCON Transformation process we must ensure we continue sharing our best practices and lessons learned with the entire Corps team to ease the transition. Our Contracting Division set a new contracting landmark for largest contract dollars obligated in a Â“ scal year. The district obligated $810 million in contract actions in FY06. Of the $810 million, $276 million was obligated during the month of September, with $72 million alone obligated on September 30. This is a phenomenal accomplishment by our Project Delivery Teams collectively, with an amazing effort on the last day of September well into the night by many folks, but most noteworthy in Contracting, Programs and Project Management Division, Engineering and Construction, OfÂ“ ce of Counsel, and Resource Management. And, we can expect an even larger obligation rate in FY07 as we move forward with the execution of the multi-billion dollar programs for San Antonio, the Department of Homeland Security, the continuation of our Ft. Bliss Expansion Program, as well as moving out with the Centers of Standardization contracts for which the Fort Worth District is one of the eight Centers of Standardization. In addition, I want to take a moment and applaud our Operations Division. In the early 1970s we recorded almost 60 recreational fatalities per year with six fewer operational lakes. Our lakes have averaged about 25 public recreational fatalities annually for the last Â“ ve years. Despite the extra hot and dry summer and increased numbers of visitors we were able to keep drownings below the average with 23 this year. The most important energy behind the Corps water safety program comes from our Â“ eld level park rangers and lake managers. They work closely with our partner public safety agencies in supporting their lake patrol and enforcement activities. Rangers spend many hours in patrol boats, vehicles, on bicycles or on foot contacting our visitors, correcting illegal or unsafe behavior, and offering information about how to safely enjoy Corps lakes and parks. Staff members from the lakes as well as district headquarters also work with local and regional public safety education and awareness groups to attain the maximum exposure which can be supported by the limited resources available. Fort Worth District has worked to gain partnerships through Water Safety Coalitions, three in the State of Texas. These have been developed and sustained with district membership in the Coalitions. These partnerships bring in a variety of resources to help in our outreach to the public on water safety. I am proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the future outstanding work the district will accomplish. Let us continue to make time for our families and lend a hand to those in our district family with deployed family members. As always, I am proud to be part of the best Army Engineer District in all of the Corps. Essayons! Col. Christopher W. Martin Commander, Fort Worth District With the closeout of FY06 we take up the new challenges of 07 ÂI am proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the future outstanding work the district will accomplish.ÂŽ Leadership Development shapes, develops District employees different roles leaders take, and more about each individualÂs leadership abilities and skills. The program allows for participants to shadow senior leaders, attend leadership training and seminars as well as meet other colleagues in various departments. Participants are invited to attend senior-level meetings and discussions regarding issues and decisions on the future of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The participants have see Leadership on page 16 Lauren LeCren Leadership Development Program
16Pacesetterturns the table on this old methodology and stresses that individual strengths and weaknesses are part of who we are. Instead of focusing on weaknesses, the book encourages the reader to focus on strengths. Developing teams based upon individual strengths creates a productive team by allowing each individual to participate in an area where they are strong. The tier II group has a wide range of strengths. The strengths of some make up for the weaknesses of others. The paradigm shift that 2012 represents creates new opportunities for which the Corps must adapt. Using new ideas such as developing peopleÂs natural strengths and forming teams based upon those individual strengths would aid the Corps in adapting to the new mentality. Unlike other federal agencies, which have one focus, the Corps has many areas of focus. As both military and civil works aspects change, the Corps will need strong leaders to play an integral part in keeping everyone together. Each leader will have different strengths and as we continue to change and work together, we will use our different strengths to become stronger overall. Onion Creek Public Meeting answers homeowners questions, fears Never is there more of an opportunity for Corps representatives to shine or to falter than when facing a crowd of unhappy, misinformed taxpayers. For civil works projects, studies are a requirement. Once an in-depth feasibility study is complete, the National Environmental Policy Act process dictates that public input be included and the study presented for review and comment. After years of study, that is what recently happened in the Austin and Wharton, Texas, areas. The long title of the study is the Lower Colorado River Basin Phase 1, Texas Interim Feasibility Report and Integrated Environmental Assessment Volumes I, II, and III. It is a draft report and, as you can imagine with an ofÂ“ cial title that long, it is a rather thick report. ÂPublic input is very important due to the geographical size and the numbers of homes which will be impacted by implementation of all phases of the proposed project,ÂŽ said Rob Newman, a project manager with the Fort Worth DistrictÂs Planning, Environmental and Regulatory Division. In the area of interest, Onion Creek Forest and Yarrabee Bend, there are 410 homes that will be bought out to provide Â” ood protection and the area will be developed into park land. There were approximately 250 people in attendance at this particular public meeting, one of Â“ ve conducted over a two-week period. Some homeowners where ready to sell and move that night during the meeting, but the majority were not happy that the City of Austin, the non-federal sponsor, and the federal government wanted to buy their dream retirement homes and convert the area into a park. And, to make the matter even more complicated, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been authorized funds to buy out a portion of the homes. ÂOur proposed plans will impact some homeowners, but will give protection to the largest number of people possible while still keeping the impacts opportunities to learn about the 2012 vision and the new initiatives. The 2012 vision is an example of the changes in the Corps processes and demonstrates how crucial leadership is to the future of the Corps. This yearÂs tier I and tier II groups were assigned several books to read. One book in the required reading was ÂNow Discover Your StrengthsÂŽ by Marcus Birmingham. The book asks the reader to answer a series of questions that identiÂ“ es the readerÂs strengths. Most people have been trained since childhood to work on improving weaknesses. The author Clay Church Pacesetter Staff to the environment to a minimum,ÂŽ added Newman. Project managers for the City of Austin and the Corps used PowerPoint presentations and open question and answer periods to address citizenÂs questions and concerns about the study. Not everyone in attendance left happy but the ofÂ“ cials present did the best they could to give the most current and accurate information to the homeowners. Elston Eckhart, project manager, talks to area homeowners about the proposed plan and the study history. Leadership continued from page 15
17October 2006Clay Church Pacesetter Staff As the warm mid-September Hill Country night turns into day, workers scurry around their equipment prepping for the dayÂs work. The fact that, from the Canyon Lake spillway overlook, neither the workers nor their equipment look large or menacing does not take away from the project that they work to protect. Protecting the spillway crest is their mission. Lessons learned from the Â” ooding event in 2002 indicated that to ensure the structural integrity of the spillway, a steel reinforced concrete trench would be the best modiÂ“ cation to the structure. The July 2002 event saw an uncontrolled Â” ow over the spillway of almost 67,000 cubic feet per second following days of rain in the watershed of over 50 inches in some locations. The lake rose to an all time historic high elevation of 950.23 feet, a little over seven feet from the top of the emergency spillway at 943 feet, and just over 41 feet from the conservation pool level of 909 feet. The Â” ow over the emergency spillway forged a gorge that revealed dinosaur tracks and evidence that led to an agreement between the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Corps last fall to open the area below the spillway for limited public viewing and research. Acting Canyon Lake Manager Judy Scott said, ÂConstruction workers will be excavating a deep trench along the entire length of the spillway crest and Â“ lling it with concrete and steel. This hardened barrier will prevent any future erosion of the spillway crest should a Â” ood event cause water to Â” ow over it again. The current work will not damage or affect the downstream spillway gorge.ÂŽ The large rock trenching machine will dig the trench three feet wide, 1,276 feet long and 20 feet deep according to Ron Miller, Supervisory Civil Engineer Technician for the Little River Project OfÂ“ ce. He added that approximately 2,836 cubic yards of concrete will be used along with double mats made with reinforced steel rebar in the construction of the hardened barrier. Another positive aspect of the project is that the spoils from digging the trench will be used by Comal County for roads in the CountyÂs sports complex. Work on the spillway should be completed by the end of March 2007.OverÂ” ows no match for reinforced trench Canyon Lake spillway dinosaur tracks are fenced off and covered to protect them while work is being accomplished on the spillway hardened barrier. A section of the massive 20-foot-deep by threefoot-wide trench is shown prior to the double steel rebar mats being placed and concrete poured. Photo by James Harvey, Canyon Lake Civil Engineer TechnicianPark Attendants: Serving as the image of the CorpsEric Pedersen Lavon Lake Staff Working as a park ranger for the Corps of Engineers is not what one would call an easy job. Frequently, we are pulled in many different directions, attempting to do more with less. It is becoming more difÂ“ cult than ever before for the rangers to be the face of the Corps to the public. Chances are, the Â“ rst time a visitor enters one of our projects, the Â“ rst person that will greet him or her will be a park attendant, not a ranger. First impressions make the difference, and so do the park attendants at Lavon Lake. From the moment a visitor enters our parks to the time to check out, the visitor is made to feel at home and like a part of a larger family. Not every project is fortunate enough to have attendants like this, but at Lavon Lake, we have three. Ben and Colleen Tracy have been working at Lavon Lake for 11 years. Every February, they pack up their RV and depart from their home in Ben Wheeler, Texas, and head for East Fork Park, where they work as park attendants from March until October. Whatever the day has in store for them, be it checking in campers or helping a picnicker Â“ nd lost keys, the TracyÂs always approach it the same way: with dedication and a smile. Both Ben and Colleen enjoy working with the public, and being park attendants keeps them busy, something very important to these two dedicated people. Teddy and Barbara Cole, our other set of park attendants at East Fork Park, have been with us for 7 years. When these two are not at home in Celeste, Texas, you can Â“ nd them keeping a close eye on East Fork and offering a helping hand to any park visitor who may need it. Meeting new people and working with the public is a reward that the ColeÂs receive from this kind of work, and they have maintained many friendships with campers over the years. Robert and Ann Creed have been the see Volunteers on page 19
18Pacesetter 450 local contractors attend San Antonio Industry Day The Fort Worth District, through a local partnership with the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the City of San Antonio and the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, hosted an Industry Day forum at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center August 15. The forum was not only for contractors interested in competing for $2.2 billion worth of construction projects at San Antonio military bases over the next Â“ ve years but also an opportunity for the Corps to receive feedback from local contractors as to the capabilities of the San Antonio community in tackling the tremendous amount of construction projects. John Rodgers, chief, Construction Contracts Branch, briefed a group of more than 450 San Antonio contractors on the importance of completing a market survey. The survey will be used by the Corps to determine construction capability and contracting strategies for the San Antonio area due to implementation of the Base Realignment and Closure decision in 2005. As per the BRAC decision in 2005, the U.S. government will be soliciting bids on new hospitals, clinics, surgical centers and research laboratories in addition to building new barracks, dormitories, medical training facilities, garages, youth centers, Â“ re stations, vehicle maintenance facilities and physical Â“ tness centers. According to Rodgers, the government wants to be able to gauge the capability and capacity of the contracting community regarding this major program. The initial planning effort includes gathering information about contractors who are interested in performing on contracts. ÂFrom the survey information, the government can then make decisions about types of contracts, set-asides for various small business categories, and how to make the right plans for the entire contracting community,ÂŽ said Rodgers. In addition to the feedback being solicited from contractors, the Corps will also provide valuable information in order for businesses to enhance their decision-making processes. The business community needs information from the government so that they can make wise business decisions as well, and according to Rodgers, the government can help them by making information available. The industry day was a great start. ÂWe will have to be smart in how we approach this work in order to take full advantage of the great capabilities of the contractor community, continued Rodgers. ÂThe small business aspect is particularly important in that the agility and innovativeness of those Â“ rms is valuable to a successful program.ÂŽ After morning brieÂ“ ngs, contractors got the opportunity to hear answers to questions Corps representatives received from attendees throughout the morning. Changing to a panel format, government experts took turns answering questions on a variety of subjects to include construction, contracting, small business and partnerships. ÂI was very pleased with the Industry Day,ÂŽ said Lt. Col. John C. Dvoracek, deputy commander, Fort Worth District. ÂWe received excellent support and assistance from the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, had a great turnout and were able to provide those attending with information on the large construction program coming to San Antonio, and I appreciate everyone who supported or attended the event.ÂŽ Edward Rivera Pacesetter Staff John Rodgers, chief, Construction Contracts Branch, Fort Worth District, briefs a group of more than 450 local contractors on the importance of completing the market survey attached to the Base Realignment and Closure decision in 2005.
19October 2006Pacesetter Points CondolencesWillie Edward ÂBillÂŽ Armstrong 80, a Tulsa District retiree, passed away Oct. 7. He was a World War II Navy veteran and a former maintenance worker at Oologah, Elk City, Hulah, and Copan Lakes. Retiree Jack G. Cartland Jr ., 86, died Sept. 16. James William Carver 81, retiree, died Aug. 6. Dan J. Fair, husband of Theresa Fair Budget Analyst, Management Support Branch, Operations Division, passed away Friday, Sept. 22 in Weatherford. Randy Frost a Civil Engineering Technician in Operations Maintenance Section, passed away recently. He had 35 years of service with the Corps, having also served in Engineering & Construction before moving to Operations. Emily HarbaughÂs stepfather, Jerry D. Keller, passed away Sept. 23. Arnold Holt, father of Terry Holt lead ranger at Marion Reservoir, died Aug. 8. Dennis Johnson a Park Ranger at Lake Whitney, died at his home, Oct. 13. Jerry A. Kite retiree, died Sept. 12. He retired from the Oologah Lake OfÂ“ ce in December 2005. Haley Renae Leonard was born July 24. She weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Her mother, Amy, works at Central Oklahoma Resident OfÂ“ ce. Keith and Dawn Rice welcomed their daughter, Alexis Anli Sept. 30. She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20 and one-half inches long. Brenda Tschoerner and her husband Donald of the Granger Lake OfÂ“ ce are pleased to announce the birth of their granddaughter, Sadie Marie Tschoerner, on Sept. 9. She weighted 9 pounds 1.6 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Jonathan Polk park ranger at Fort Gibson Lake, lost his grandmother, Lila OÂConnor, recently. William Christopher Powell Jr. 82, retiree, died Sept. 22. Brande SernerÂs grandfather, Gene Culbreath, passed away and services were Oct 11. Vernon Small a summer hire ranger at Stillhouse / Belton Lakes passed away Sept. 15. Charley Floyd Smith 73, retired work leader, died Sept. 20. Alan Quentin Steinecke Jr. 61, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 6, at an Arlington hospital. He was employed by the Corps in Engineering and Construction and worked on many projects throughout the world, including recent service in Iraq. David Durward Wheeler died Thursday, Sept. 14, at a Longview, Texas, hospital. Mr. Wheeler retired from the Corps in 1980 as the Chief of Surveying, Construction and Maintenance. Mr. Wheeler was inducted into the Fort Worth District Distinguished Civilian Employee Gallery in 1985. Herman Leroy Windom 75, retiree, passed away Aug. 11. Family mattersMat and Rebecca Laney of Fort Gibson are the proud parents of daughter Matyson Ann, born Friday, Aug. 25. She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Proud grandfather is Everett Laney biologist, Planning and Environmental Division.RetirementsKenneth Borah, retired from the Fort Worth District with 34 years and one month of service, all with the district. Gary Earls, Biologist in Planning Division, Southwestern Division Programs Directorate, retired Sept. 29 with more than 32 years of service. Annabeth Lee, Emergency Management Specialist, Southwestern Division Operations Center, retired Sept. 29 with more than 27 years of service. CongratulationsDuring the blood drive held at the Tulsa District ofÂ“ ce in September, 46 employees volunteered to give blood, 45 units were collected, and there were four Â“ rst-time donors! Charlotte Waldron will join the Southwestern Division headquarters Oct. 29. Waldron, Administrative Support Assistant for the Programs Directorate, comes to the division from Portland District. park attendants at Lavonia Park for the last 7 years. After retiring and settling down in Sedalia, Mo., the CreedÂs were looking for work, but didnÂt want to be tied down. The opportunity to become park attendants was just what they were looking for. When they are on duty, you can bet that Lavonia Park will be clean and running smoothly. Campers enjoy seeing them on a daily basis, and having them around adds a sense of comfort. By having park attendants like the TracyÂs, ColeÂs and CreedÂs, the rangers at Lavon Lake can be assured that the public is in good hands. We can feel conÂ“ dent that our visitors will have the best experience possible while at Lavon, and that they will leave with a smile and great memories. It is a pleasure to work with such dedicated, hard-working and friendly people, and we look forward to working with them for a lot longer. Volunteers continued from page 17