Commissioners select firm for work at county airport


Gillespie County Commissioners met Monday to approve a selection of the Gillespie County Airport Advisory Board’s engineering firm to complete Phase II of its Capital Improvement Project.

Garver, an Austin-based firm that specializes in small airport work, was the board’s top choice. Garver has experience with smaller airports and has existing contracts with TxDOT.

In October 2019, the airport and county were notified by the Texas Department of Transportation that the contractor they had used in the past, would no longer be doing work for TxDOT.

“In 2019, TxDOT aviation notified us that we needed to get a consultant engineer to contract the work as the other group had been sold and had no interest in dealing with work in rural areas,” Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher said.

Members of the Airport Advisory Board were tasked to send out a request for quotes (RFQ).

Six bids were received and evaluated, based on four criteria. Results and recommendations were sent to TxDOT on April 6. TxDOT will provide approval for the committee’s recommendation.

“The committee did a thorough job walking through the process and there was a consensus in the ranking. I thought they did an excellent job,” Dennis Neffendorf, commissioner Pct. 3 said.

Gillespie County Airport Manager Tony Lombardi stated he thought the process would be much quicker and work would have started on the new apron but the process has been more tedious.

“We are expecting TxDOT to officially approve this by the end of the month and following, we will begin work out at the airport,” he said.

Road, bridge work

Neffendorf requested funds for drainage repair near the Pedernales River bridge crossing on Old San Antonio Road. Work will be completed by W3 Weinheimer and is expected to cost $6,974.

Neffendorf will move funds from his paving project budget into his road and bridge funds.

Commissioners also approved that RFQ’s be accepted for work to be done on the Pfiester Road bridge.

Firms experienced in hydraulic analysis will be considered.

“After working with Garret Bonn from the City of Fredericksburg, I need to find a firm that is capable of doing both a hydraulic analysis and completed the bridge reconstruction,” Neffendorf said.

Firms would submit plans, specifications and all cost estimates associated with the project.

Commissioners approved both agenda items and will begin accepting requests.

Budget transfers

A line-item transfer in the Precinct 3 budget was made to cover repairs to the Boos Lane bridge. Repairs are necessary due to a recent review by TxDOT that did not pass the engineering safety review.

The county is given a 30-day notification process in which TxDOT reviews bridges that are unsafe and need repairs.

The west side of the Boos Lane bridge has major erosion and it is expected to cost $3,500 to fix.

There are two other bridges in Precinct 3 that will also need repairs in the near future, Neffendorf said.

Commissioners also:

• Approved hiring two new jailers in the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office.

• OK’d signature of documents that will be used for potential reimbursement from the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Funds will be used to reimburse the county for COVID-19-related expenses. It is estimated that around $1,800 in expenses will be submitted, but as the pandemic continues, more funds will likely be submitted.

• Set a meeting for 9 a.m. Monday, April 27 at the Gillespie County Courthouse.