Department Operations Updates: January 25, 2023
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
Director: Luis Tamayo
The Parks and Open Space Program partnered with Texas Conservation Alliance and DFW Climate Reality Project to clean up Post Oak Preserve in Seagoville on December 3.
Post Oak Preserve is open to the public for hiking and is also used by the Dallas ISD STEM Environmental Education Center for their education programs. A group of 17 volunteers cleared about 3,500 lbs. of dumped trash. The Parks and Open Space Program again partnered with these same organizations on January 21 to continue clean-up efforts.
Paul S. Dryer was honored for his dedication in his care and maintenance of the Windmill Hill Preserve in Desoto. A formal resolution at Commissioners Court renamed the preserve from Windmill Hill to Paul S. Dryer Preserve on December 6, 2022.
Each quarter Planning and Development reports on projects in review that request incentives to locate in the County, expand their existing facilities, or create and/or retain jobs in Dallas County.
In the last quarter five new projects started review or consideration for incentives. During this same period four projects were closed out. One of these projects, the Nike distribution facility in the City of Wilmer, was approved for incentives.
This quarter saw the start of Dallas County’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
PACE is an innovative financing program that allows owners of commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential properties to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for permanent water conservation, energy-efficiency improvements, and renewable energy retrofits. Since kickoff, staff have received and processed six projects with a value of over $204 million, receiving $37.5 million in financing for water and power efficiency or conservation.
Dallas County receives federal grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to advance community development in low-income areas of the County. During the last quarter Planning and Development, in coordination with grantee cities, oversaw the completion of several projects and advanced many others.
These projects include:
- Cockrell Hill – Waterproject for Dempster Street and Ogden Avenue – Project completed with final payment to be processed January 2023.
- Combine – Water project – Design underway.
- Farmers Branch – Brandywine & Springvale Lane sewer project – Design underway.
- Glenn Heights – Neighborhood survey to assess viability of a project – Door-to-door survey completed, with the City to submit project concepts by the end of January 2023.
- Hutchins – Woodbrook & Woodcrest street reconstruction – Construction to begin spring 2023.
- Hutchins – Senior Center rehabilitation – Design completed and construction underway.
- Lancaster – Touchless entry and water fountains – Project completed.
- Lancaster – Wilson Street reconstruction project – Scheduled to begin by spring 2023.
- Sachse – Sidewalk installation project – City is scheduled to complete the design by January 2023 and begin construction by summer 2023.
- Seagoville – Drainage project and street reconstructions – Construction completed.
- Wilmer – Adams Street water project – Design substantially completed.
As a part of the HUD grants, Planning and Development receives funding dedicated to the Housing Replacement Program (RHP). During the last quarter, the RHP completed construction of a new single family home in Balch Springs at 11517 Elam Circle, and construction began on another home in Seagoville at 511 Dice Street.
Planning and Development has continued to progress on achieving its OKR goals during FY2022-23.
- Design & Bid 5,200 linear feet of CDBG-funded water lines.
- Install 2,500 linear feet of CDBG-funded street reconstruction.
- Install 2,000 linear feet of new 5-foot sidewalk and associated ADA ramps.
Planning and Development is responsible for intake and coordinating review of permits for development in the unincorporated areas of Dallas County. There has been an increase in permit activity during the last quarter.
Significant development permits include:
- 3485 Stonewall Road: Notice of Residential Construction. Applicant submitted an application to construct four new homes on the property.
- 2557 Malloy Bridge: Notice of Residential Construction. Applicant submitted plans to construct two new homes.
- 3485 Stonewall Road: Utility Permit. Applicant was approved to install sewer lines on Stonewall Rd for homeowners to connect to city utilities once completed.
- 1475 S. Roberts Road: Operational Permit. Applicant submitted an application to rent office space for truck parking to conduct their business.
- 166 Stanfield Road: Mobile Home Placement. Applicant submitted an application to remove old mobile home and place a new mobile home on the property.
The Fireside by the Lake development near Lake Ray Hubbard has seen significant progress. In addition to the amenity center, 101 permits have been issued for new residential construction in this subdivision of over 140 homes off Bobtown Road near Lake Ray Hubbard.
Director: Greg Gray
Facilities is managing the renovation of the Sallyport located at the Lew Sterrett Jail Complex.
This project includes a thorough power washing, new paint, and parking lot striping. The project also incorporates energy efficient LED lighting which saves on utility costs and provides a safer environment for officers while inmates and accused are brought in and out of the jail complex.
Facilities is working on a renovation project in the Frank Crowley Courts Building that includes the addition of a new courtroom and the redesign of the Public Defenders work space.
Also included is office space renovations for several departments, including the Criminal Justice Department and Pretrial Services. The new courtroom is in support of the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility Program (SAFP) and will be presided over by Judge Francis. The Public Defenders renovation provides CJIS compliant office space for their team.
A new running track was recently constructed at the Sheriff’s Academy located at the South Dallas complex.
This running track provides a known distance track for deputy candidates to train on during their path to becoming Dallas County Sheriff Deputies. The track is also open to other County employees to pursue their fitness goals. The track will have bleacher seating and an exercise area and will be contained in a safe and secure fenced-in area.
The George Allen Courts Building recently underwent an exterior upgrade to the marble.
The building has several areas where the marble had become stained and broken. Facilities sourced the new marble from the original quarry and partnered with a vendor to remove and replace the aged marble.
Our department takes great pleasure in recognizing Brent Luneau for his outstanding work ethic and dedication to Dallas County Facilities Management Department.
Brent moved to Dallas from St. Albans, Vermont, in 2008 and began his career with Dallas County in our carpentry shop in 2013. Since then, his role has expanded to include more than just carpentry. He is responsible for the signage throughout the County, including directories, room numbers, and reserved parking.
He gets the job done no matter the size of the task, and Brent is always there to support his teammates. He recently completed a locksmith course and now has the skills to change locks and cut keys to help us better serve our customers. Brent is dependable, flexible, and knowledgeable—three things that make him so valuable to our department.
Director: Christopher Hooper
Consolidated Services is making significant strides towards continuous improvement in how Dallas County does business. These developments include the modernization of facilities, expansion of green fleet infrastructure, acquisition of state-of-the-art records management software, and the successful and fully operational launch of the new P25 public safety radio system.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is preparing to build a second Home Chemical Collection Center.
Recognizing our significant impact as the nation’s ninth largest county, HHW further solidifies its commitment to protecting and preserving the environment as it partners with Facilities Management in beginning the planning phase in designing a second collection center. The new facility will be located in South Dallas and will provide better access to residents of the southern sector who may have underutilized or not accessed these services. Groundbreaking of the second facility is anticipated later this year.
Records Management is launching new state-of-the-art records management software, Gimmal Physical.
The Records Management Division (RM) is taking steps to replace its current records management software RMGain, acquired in 2001, with Gimmal Physical. Gimmal Physical is widely used by local governments and is the official records management software of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. This new software is cloud-based and will allow Records Management to continue to maintain a 90% fulfillment rate for file requests. Some capabilities that will enhance and streamline are Records Management operations are:
- Greater records search abilities
- File request can be accomplished through the software electronically by departments
- Destruction dispositions will have greater accuracy
- Customizable reports through Microsoft Reporting
- Electronic records management attached to the physical records data for easy access
Records Management is in the planning and design phase of constructing a new records facility with groundbreaking anticipated in late 2023.
The new facility will be climate-controlled with enhanced security features and will consolidate more than 240,000 boxes currently housed at two separate locations. Both permanent and transient records will be housed in this modern structure. These activities have been made possible only through continued partnership and collaboration with the Office of Budget & Evaluation, Purchasing, Facilities Management, and Information Technology.
Fleet Operations is gearing up to complete several large-scale projects as we welcome Douglas Hildebrand to the team.
Douglas Hildebrand was onboarded late last year and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from private and public fleets, including more than 25 years in the public sector. He has directed fleets for the City of Odessa and the City of Dallas. Douglas is enthusiastic about his role and the opportunity to assist in taking Fleet Operations to the next level. When stopping by for a fuel fill-up or other vehicle service, please look him up—he would be happy to visit with you.
Dallas County currently has 10 electric vehicles in inventory with another dozen or more scheduled for delivery. Thanks to our partnership with Facilities Management, installation of additional infrastructure is in queue as Fleet Operations was able to purchase six solar charging units with the Commissioners Court approval in December.
This EV charging technology is transportable, 100% renewable, off the electrical grid, and has an aesthetic design that fits in the size of a single parking spot. This highly advanced technology can charge as many as six vehicles simultaneously within minutes.
Following extensive consultation and collaborative talks with IT, Fleet Operations is in the process of installing a new GPS system named Geotab.
The acquisition of this software allows additional reporting solutions (telematics) that are unmatched by our current system. Over 500 units have been installed on Dallas County fleet, and all remaining units are on target to be installed by the end of January. Customer training dates will be announced following the completion of these installations.
Beginning this month, Fleet Operations is implementing new software called AssetWorks Fleet Focus, which should be fully operational in late 2023.
This program replaces the current antiquated system and integrates with other existing fleet management systems our staff uses every day. AssetWorks Fleet Focus integration capability will allow the transition from a paper-intensive operation to a completely paperless one.
The Law Library published its first FY2023 article, “Organizational Resources in Texas,” on its website on November 15, 2022.
In addition, it was distributed to all Dallas County Judges, court coordinators and personnel, Dallas Bar Association Communications, Legal Aid stakeholders, and local law school personnel. Preparation for the second FY2023 article is beginning in January 2023, to be published in February.
The Law Library has secured grant funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, managed by Texas Legal Services Center, to implement a legal kiosk at the Law Library.
The kiosk will enable stakeholders to access free legal information, information on legal aid, conduct legal research, and attend court hearings online. This is all possible through our partnership with Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) and collaboration with Dallas County departments such as Information Technology and the District Attorney’s Office.
Dallas County Wireless Radio Communications Division, in collaboration with City of Dallas and other partner municipalities, successfully launch the P25 Public Safety Radio System.
The Wireless Radio Communications Division wrapped up its five-year radio communications project during the first week of January. The new system (P25) replaced the previous system which was established over 40 years ago and last had a refresh more than 20 years ago. The P25 system allows the following key enhancements:
- Enables encrypted communications, which cannot be intercepted by a third party
- Enables interoperability allowing different agencies to communicate among themselves, even if they have different P25 equipment
- Enables GPS and location services on the radio device, enhancing user safety in an emergency
- Enables access to superior quality and highly secured radio coverage with 29 total sites
- Equips each new and existing site with antennas to both transmit and receive communications, backup power, and firewalls for IT security
The Wireless Radio Communications team has implemented monthly vendor training for new radio users to ensure proper procedures for usage and maintenance. While the P25 system is 100% fully operational, additional system testing is ongoing.
Fire Marshal’s Office
Director: Robert De Los Santos
Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office is in the final stages of outfitting and placing a new mobile command unit in service.
The newly acquired command unit will service the Fire Marshal’s Office, County Marshals Service and the County Fire Rescue divisions. The new unit will allow continuity of operations with Dallas County Emergency Management and provide a coordination platform for major incident response within the Dallas County and North Texas area.
To align with Dallas County performance improvement initiatives, the Fire Marshal’s Office has aligned adult and juvenile detention facility inspection cycles to coincide with quarterly reporting to the Commissioners Court.
This change will allow inspection data and corrective action data to be captured in the same reporting year and quarterly cycle to the court.