The city will be spending about $86,000 less on the Mission Tennis Center.
This Monday, Oct. 14, the city of Mission held a regular council meeting. A change order was presented during the meeting that broke down how the removal of various portions of the existing equipment on the property will result in a cost savings for the center, which will be located at Birdwell Park (located at Stewart Rd and E. 24th St.).
“[It] included shade structures for the bleacher area from the contract at a savings of $45,000, this we did in-house,” Parks and Recreation Director Brad Bentsen said. “The corrugated concrete spillway was at a savings of $6,500, [because] the city engineer felt it was not needed at this time.”
Utility adjustments provided a savings of $10,000, which was considered a contingency provided it was needed for the adjustments. There was a savings of $24,500 of the $30,000 contingency fund, and of that $5,500 was spent for the provision of stitched holes for the passing of wind through the park windblocks.
The original contract price to construct the Mission Tennis Center was $1,901,700. The savings, $86,000, makes up about 4.5 percent of that contract.
“The total contract price now is $1,815,700,” Bentsen added, saying they have a tentative opening of the tennis center scheduled for Tues. Nov. 26, 2019.
The Mission Tennis Center will include 16 tennis courts, a walking trail, workout stations and playscapes, along with resurfacing the grounds and improvements on lighting and fencing. The groundbreaking for the Mission Tennis Center was held Mon. Nov. 5, 2018.
The city was also authorized to enter into interlocal agreements with the city of Peñitas and the city of Palmhurst to provide temporary housing for prisoners. It includes the temporary housing and detention of prisoners awaiting arraignment, subject to the availability of space.
“The temporary housing of prisoners will be at a cost of $54 per prisoner per day,” Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez said. “The cost includes detention, transportation and meal costs.”
Both contracts started Oct. 1, 2019 and will end on Sept. 30, 2020. This is a renewal of existing contracts that started last year.
The funds accrued from holding the detainees goes into the city’s general fund, according to Dominguez. Council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa asked how much money the city has received from Palmhurst and Peñitas in the last year of detention, and Dominguez could not give her the exact figures right away.
“Our records section records the number of prisoners that come in for the month, they are given to my secretary,” Dominguez said. “My secretary invoices them, but I’ll give you those numbers.”
Council member Ruben Plata said he likes to work with the city’s neighbors, but felt $54 was a big liability on Mission. Ortega-Ochoa followed, saying that she wasn’t sure if it was burdening the Mission jails.
Dominguez explained that Mission’s understanding with Peñitas and Palmhurst is once the prisoners are brought in to a Mission facility, they have 24 hours to remove them.
“Usually a prisoner is brought in the evening hours, or early morning hours,” Dominguez said. “The next day the investigator types out all the arraignment paperwork and gets arraigned by the judge, so really they’re in and out of our facility.”
The contracts were approved unanimously by the council.
The city also entered into a contract with Safe Track, LLC, dba Safe Global Services in order to provide additional security measures to Mission in relation to the Mexico border.
“[Safe Track, LLC] will provide a number of security and intelligence services to the city of Mission as it relates to our proximity to the U.S./Mexican border and the need to be aware of any potential threats to our International Bridge, our border and our community,” Dominguez said. “The contract will provide for indemnification as requested by the city council.”
The total amount of the yearly contract is $15,600. After speaking with a representative of Safe Track, LLC, Dominguez was able to negotiate the monthly rate down from $1,700 to $1,300 per month.
The police department will also be receiving an upgrade in existing technology utilized throughout the organization. Mission amended the contract the department held with Tyler Technologies, Inc. in order to upgrade the Standard Software License and Services Agreement.
“Our organization is in need of upgrading our software and our services agreement,” Dominguez said. “The total expenditure of the project is $611,745.”
The PD has been in a partnership with Tyler Technologies (formerly known as New World Systems) since 1991. The first year’s payment for the upgraded tech – which will cost $338,757.24 – is being covered through the National Information-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) grant from the Office of the Governor.
The remaining amount ($272,987.60) will be paid over the next three years starting on Oct. 1, 2020.
This article originally appeared in the Friday Oct. 18, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.