Department Operations Updates: January 31, 2022
This post includes a summary of recent Dallas County department operations updates relevant, specifically, to members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.
Team updates include:
- Planning and Development
- Consolidated Services
- Public Works
- Facilities Management
- Fire Marshal’s Office
Planning and Development
Director: Luis Tamayo
In the program year ending September 30, 2021, Planning and Development, through its partner cities, used Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to install more than 2,400 linear feet of water and sewer lines and reconstruct more than 8,000 linear feet of streets.
Dallas County receives approximately $2 million each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to operate a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Last year, these programs represented 38 major activities for 171,000 people in 12 cities.
These programs include activity services such as code enforcement, housing and financial counseling, and infrastructure construction such as street, sewer, and water improvements. The County also has two rounds of CARES Act funding ($1,353,211 and $1,736,493) available to be used for viable projects.
Beginning October 1, 2021, and utilizing both CDBG and CARES Act funding, the department anticipates it will begin three project phases (design, bid, and construction) on the following projects, to be completed in 12 cities:
- Balch Springs Street Reconstruction (Cochise Drive & Rustic Trail): Design complete for both streets; construction bid process began in November. To insure adequate funds are available, a request to transfer funding from a previously approved project was approved by Court. Construction to begin soon after bid award in January 2022.
- Cedar Hill Sewer and Road Improvements (Hickerson Street): Construction of 2,450 linear feet of sewer line and roadway construction completed December 2021.
- Cockrell Hill Water Project for Dempster Street and Ogden Avenue: Bids for this project opened on October 21, 2021; two bids received, re-bid on December 23, and once final funding is approved, to be awarded by February 2022. To insure adequate funding is available, a request to transfer funds from a previously approved project will be submitted for Court approval by February 2022.
- Combine Water Project: Currently under design with anticipation that design will be completed by February 2022.
- Duncanville Sidewalk Reconstruction Project (Forest Hill): Design completed; construction bid to be awarded January 2022, with construction to begin soon afterwards.
- Farmers Branch (Hollandale Water/Sewer Project): Design completed; bid process underway, to be awarded February 2022, with construction to begin soon afterwards.
- Glenn Heights: Funding previously programmed for street reconstruction of Morgan Heights but completed without the use of CDBG funding. Funding is now available for other eligible projects within the city and in combination with CARES Act Round II funding. A survey will be conducted by phone in January 2022 to determine eligibility for another viable project.
- Hutchins: Rehabilitation of a senior center is anticipated by spring 2022. Street reconstructions to be completed by Road and Bridge by summer 2022.
- Lancaster: Installation of touchless entry and water fountains is anticipated by spring 2022.
- Sachse: Installation of sidewalks is anticipated by summer 2022.
- Seagoville: A drainage project was awarded in August 2021 to fix area flooding by reconstructing streets with construction underway. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by February 2022. Street reconstructions (Ard Road and Simmons Road) to be completed by Road and Bridge by summer 2022.
- Wilmer Adams Street Water Project: Currently under design with design completion anticipated by February 2022. Utilizing CARES Act Funding, a senior services/fire station rehabilitation project to be used for Meals on Wheels distribution is anticipated by spring 2022.
In the last quarter, Planning and Development completed a Replacement Housing Program project at 11924 Echo Street in Balch Springs and started two new projects located at 419 Johnson Street in Wilmer and 1517 Elam Circle in Balch Springs.
The Dallas County Replacement Housing Program is funded by Housing and Urban Development. It is a forgivable grant that demolishes substandard low/moderate income owner-occupied housing that is too dilapidated to be economically repaired and replaces it with a new 1,050 square foot, energy efficient 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home.
11924 Echo Street in Balch Springs
419 Johnson Street in Wilmer
1517 Elam Circle in Balch Springs
The Trails and Preserve Program (TAPP) Board welcomes a new member from District 1, Amy Martin.
Ms. Martin was appointed to the TAPP Board in November. She is the North Texas Wild columnist for GreenSource DFW and the author of upcoming books “Wild Dallas-Fort Worth: Explore the Amazing Nature of North Texas” and “Itchy Business: How to Treat Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash.”
The project to repair the collapsed diversion wall and dredge the channel at the historic Grapevine Springs Preserve was completed in November.
The City of Coppell, who maintains the preserve on behalf of Dallas County, led the project with County participation. The project was a testament to the years-long successful partnership between the County and City.
The Park & Open Space Program is currently hiring for the newly created Open Space Coordinator position.
This position will be a volunteer coordination and relationship building position, working to build public involvement and investment in the County preserves. We look forward to welcoming a future team member later this year!
Each quarter, Planning and Development reports on projects in review that request incentives to locate to the County, expand their existing facilities, or create and/or retain jobs in Dallas County. During the last quarter, 16 projects were still under review or consideration for incentives.
Three projects considering incentives to locate in Dallas County are no longer under consideration. This includes two projects that did not meet County policy and one project that chose an out-of-state location.
During the last quarter, one project receiving Dallas County assistance held its groundbreaking ceremony. Evolve Biologics, locating in Sachse, will start building its state-of-the-art plasma biologics processing center, which will employ over 340 people.
Director: Christopher Hooper
Dallas County’s Fleet Operations executes the County’s objective of “Excellence in Service” as it promotes safety green technology and driver training to all County employees that operate more than 700 vehicles on Dallas County roadways.
Fleet Operations has re-launched its Smith System Driver Training Courses since its postponement in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providing driver training to Dallas County employees helps decrease the amount of preventable accidents. In FY2021, Dallas County spent more than $240,000 in body shop repairs. Our Fleet Operations leadership team collaborated with fleet liaisons in other service departments to determine a best-practice approach to addressing preventable accidents. Since the driver training courses re-launch, 67 additional employees have completed the driver training and are now safer on Dallas County roadways. While in-person training is on hold, virtual classes are offered, and all employees interested are encouraged to register for upcoming courses. Anyone interested in registering for driver training classes should contact Julio Cuin at 214-653-6529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Automotive Service Center purchased two all-electric buses (EV) for use at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) and Juvenile Department.
HHS will utilize its EV for home delivery meal services to senior citizens who would otherwise be required to receive transportation or drive-up meal service at each senior center location. In addition, the department provides physical and mental fitness activities, health and wellness programs, benefits counseling, community engagement, social and recreational activities as well as several County resources and assistance programs specific to senior adults within Dallas County. The Juvenile Department will utilize its EV for administrative purposes related to education, social, and recreational activities for youth services within Dallas County.
Records Management and Mail Operations Divisions manage the storage and destruction of County records, as well as the processing and distribution of in-house mail and courier services for all of Dallas County. Records Management has redefined how it tracks and reports data.
With the help of third-party consultant TMAC, Records Management’s reporting platform has been reimagined with the creation of dynamic dashboard elements, managed by interactive controls. The dashboard shown below is a visual at-a-glance display of all Records Management data.
Mail Operations plans to include its own dashboard similar to Records Management in the coming months.
Mail Operations recently transitioned its staff from Renaissance Tower to the ground floor of the newly renovated Records Building. Mail Operations has also just upgraded its mail machines to new state-of-the-art equipment, with an additional mail machine placed at the new Records Building mailroom location.
Director: Alberta Blair, P.E.
The Dallas County Public Works (DCPW) remains committed to Building Community, Building Trust, and Building Change. We continue this pursuit by utilizing our five objectives: Revitalizing Partnerships, Revolutionizing Effectiveness, Leveraging Technology, Preparing for the Future and Investing in People.
DCPW is composed of four different divisions, each with key roles and responsibilities: Program Engineering Management Division (PEMD), Property Management & Utility Coordination (PMUC), Transportation & Planning (T&P), and Engineering & Construction (E&C). Each of these divisions does great work independently, but the work together is truly remarkable. The Dallas County Major Capital Improvement Program (MCIP) 7th Call for Projects and the annual DCPW Utility Awards Program are great examples of this “all hands on deck” approach and partnership effort for DCPW as we move “onward and upward” in 2022.
As 2022 begins, progress continues on the Dallas County Major Capital Improvement Program (MCIP) 7th Call for Projects, and DCPW is working with the cities and towns to confirm priorities and local commitment on the selected projects.
These projects will help improve essential regional connectivity and mobility across the County, guided by the recently adopted Dallas County Mobility Plan. This 7th edition of the MCIP Call for Projects is facilitating construction of transportation infrastructure during the targeted timeframe of FY2022 through FY2025 with a total of $270M in County MCIP funding and at least $270M in required matching funds from cities, towns and other participating agencies.
The 7th MCIP Call for Projects resulted in over 140 application packets from 24 different cities and towns in Dallas County.
Project evaluation criteria categories listed below were utilized to help evaluate the projects to be selected for committing County MCIP funding towards.
Project Evaluation Criteria
|Evaluation Criteria Description|
|Regional Mobility||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that affect multiple jurisdictions and increase access to regional travel demand generators.|
|Congestion & Traffic Impacts||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that maximize the efficiency of vehicular travel within the roadway network.|
|Multimodal Connectivity||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that enhance access and connectivity between multiple modes of transportation.|
|Economic Vitality||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that strengthen and increase economic opportunity and provide benefit to historically underutilized areas.|
|Environmental Stewardship||This goal seeks to protect environmental resources and prioritize projects that are compatible with the natural environment.|
|Safety||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that support a safe transportation system for all users.|
|Feasibility & Ease of Implementation||This goal seeks to prioritize projects that are shovel-ready or have demonstrated support among all project sponsors.|
The selected projects will be implemented after entering into agreements between the County, the participating communities, and as necessary, other transportation agencies. Each community has been provided the opportunity to submit projects and funding requests based on what is most essential to serving their own local and regional transportation needs.
In the spirit of onward and upward, the range of applications being pursued demonstrates the growing commitment for a stronger, more diverse transportation system for Dallas County.
The DCPW’s Utility Awards Program was presented virtually on November 17, with award winners representing a wide range of partners, including TxDOT, Dallas Water Utilities, AT&T and Kinetic Solutions (a consultant to Spectrum). Our most prestigious award, the Utility Partner of the Year, was presented to Jose Puente, P.E., with Dallas Water Utilities (DWU).
Read the full story here to learn more about all of the award winners.
Director: Greg Gray
Dallas County recently purchased 1300 Mockingbird Lane.
Community Supervision and Corrections (Adult Probation) currently occupies two floors of this facility, as does HHS Contact Tracing Division. The building is approximately 150,000 square feet of office space that will provide space for current and additional operations within the County. We are excited to bring this property into our portfolio and are looking forward to the improvements to come.
The Oak Cliff Government Center is now officially open for business.
The new 43,000 square foot building replaces the Old Oak Cliff Government Center that was built in 1962, with an addition constructed in 1981. The building also includes a three-story parking garage to address the significant parking needs at this location. The new facility is a modern design that provides much-needed space for the departments, modern amenities such as touchless faucets and water fountains, a large open concept public area that helps with customer flow, training space, and—of special note—artwork and tapestries that represent the culture of the Oak Cliff area, created by local artists in the community.
The North Dallas Government Center COVID modifications are complete.
The modifications include public stairwells to the upper floors, main entry improvements to separate the flow of customers, and a remote work center for employees. We’d like to thank all the departments in the North Dallas Government for their flexibility and teamwork during construction. Their participation and input directly led to the successful completion of this project while still fully supporting customers.
Our department maintains over 50 elevators throughout the County, with a goal of providing reliable vertical transportation to staff and customers throughout our facilities. Elevator modernizations, or upgrades, are an important part of that.
Elevator upgrades in the George Allen Courts Building are complete and ready to provide years of trouble-free service. Upgrades to the Lew Sterrett B Building elevators are ongoing, with only two elevators remaining. Upgrades to the elevators at the North Dallas Government Center are expected to start at the end of January and finish in June 2022.
The South Dallas Government Center has been formally recognized as a LEED Silver building!
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. LEED improvements include improved air quality through increased filtration and higher quality materials, energy usage reduction, decreased water consumption, and even recycling during the project.
Facilities Management has introduced the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) program to Dallas County.
The CMMS will be utilized to receive, process, and complete work orders in Dallas County. Facilities Management expects the new CMMS to modernize the work order request process, allowing each department greater control and awareness of work order statuses. Currently the CMMS is deployed in the adult detention facilities, with the rest of the County being introduced to the system in a controlled rollout to each department through June 2022.
Our department recognizes Joe Morris, Nessemon “Willy” Koulai, and Darius Henderson, who make up the Dallas County COVID Sanitation Team. They work Monday through Friday on the evening shift to disinfect public corridors, high occupancy areas, and several back-of-the-house areas—such as common breakrooms—to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Together, they cover more than 3 million square feet of space a week and respond to numerous emergency disinfection requests each week. We are grateful for their commitment to completing their disinfection duties every week and helping ensure a better environment for staff and customers.
Fire Marshal’s Office
Director: Robert De Los Santos
Deputy Fire Marshal Mary Walton has received Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Deputy Fire Marshal Mary Walton exemplifies the title of public servant and is always looking for ways to help citizens. Nowhere was that more evident than during the Dallas County unincorporated cleanup event on August 8, 2021. Read the full story here of how Walton went above and beyond to help one resident in need and inspired community action.
Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office welcomes Deputy Fire Marshal Michael Murphy to the department.
Deputy Murphy transferred from the County Marshal Service to the Fire Marshal’s Office. He has 27 years of investigative experience with Texas Department of Public safety, including a wealth of experience with salvage vehicle and recycling compliance. Deputy Murphy’s experience will be a valuable compliance and enforcement resource for Dallas County unincorporated.
The abatement division recently merged into the Fire Marshal’s Office to align with the County’s continuous improvement initiatives: to create and maintain a high-performance workforce, excellence in service delivery throughout County operations, and to improve health and wellness for the Dallas County community.