This article originally appeared in the Friday, March 15, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.
During this week’s city council meeting, a group of architectural firms was adopted by Mission for project specific on-call services.
12 proposals to be part of this pool were received by the city prior to the meeting, and following a few questions from the council, the item was passed unanimously. When projects come up in Mission, City Manager Randy Perez will negotiate terms and services on a project basis before bringing the project to the council.
“Proposals received were referred to an evaluation committee appointed to review and evaluate on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications,” Purchasing Director Eduardo Belmarez said. “The evaluation committee was comprised of the public works director, the parks and recreation director and the city engineer.”
The evaluation committee deemed all the firms acceptable and qualified to perform the services required on an as-needed basis.
Council member Gus Martinez asked Perez what the advantage of having a pool of firms available was for Mission.
“Each of them [the firms] have certain qualifications on a certain area,” Perez said. “Depending on the project that the mayor and council approve in the future, we’ll assign [a firm from the pool] on an as-needed basis.”
Mayor Armando O’caña brought up a scenario from “a few months back” where a pool of firms would have been useful for Mission. When the structural engineering project was approved for the Speer Memorial Library, O’caña said an available pool of firms would have expedited the process and removed the need to go out for bids.
O’caña added the pool will allow the city to proceed with various projects on a more streamlined basis. The firms included in the pool consist of GIGNAC Architects, ZDA Architecture, R.O.F.A. Architects, ERO Architects, WestEast Design Group, The Warren Group Architects, PBK Architects, Alvarado Architects & Associates, Mustard Design & Architects, Milnet Architectural Services, EGV Architects and ARKiiFORM.
“Also when we’re applying for grants, they’re asking for conceptualization ideas,” O’caña said. “And these architects are going to be available for city employees that are applying [for grants].”
Belmarez said the city will be able to ask the pool of architects to assist in developing the preliminary specs, designs or renderings for Mission to be able to compete for grant funding.
Council member Ruben Plata asked what the process for selection would be in the event that multiple firms fall within the same criteria and specifications needed for future projects.
“We would request proposals from each architect based on that specific project, and we would define it based on the scope of the work,” Belmarez said, adding that they would be brought to the mayor and council for final approval.
Council voted unanimously to develop the pool.
During the approvals and authorizations, the final plat approval for The Palms (formerly Taikin Subdivision) at the Meadow Creek subdivision was passed by the council. The subdivision was private, constructed at the southwest corner of One Mile South between Los Ebanos and Scenic Way.
The zoning prior to the meeting was R-1T, and the developer of the land is Taikin Group, LLC, with MAS Engineering, LLC acting as the engineering services.
According to Planning and Zoning Director Jaime Acevedo, the subdivision contains 69 townhome lots that all meet or exceed the area requirements for an R-1T lot.
“There is also one common area for a swimming pool and other recreation amenities that is being proposed,” Acevedo said. “This subdivision will have Mission water and sewer services, and drainage will be via 24-inch storm lines connected to a system along One Mile South.”
Acevedo said the developers are proposing to widen One Mile South.
“The developer is either going to give the city the money for the widening, or they’re going to hold off and do it in the next 90 days,” Acevedo said. “There’s a current project in the area where [the people from the Agua Special Utility District] are going to be expanding a water line.”
Acevedo said, however, that after meeting with the developer, it would be best to hold off on the widening of the street at this time.
Council passed the approval without discussion.