County receives update on GLO tower project


Some 27 planholders have registered on CivCast and downloaded plans for the proposed Gonzales County Radio Communications System Improvements project, a representative from an engineering firm told Gonzales County commissioners during an update Monday, July 8.

Anna Aldridge, Hanson Professional services vice president and senior project manager, told commissioners she is pleased with the number of people who have shown interest in the project, which has been rebid by the county. She called it “a pretty decent number.”

“We sent out notices as required and recommended, including to a number of historically underutilized businesses,” Aldridge said. “Motorola has downloaded the plans. I haven’t seen that LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) has downloaded the plans yet, although they have downloaded and reviewed the addenda to the bid. We have not received any questions so far at this time, and until Motorola and LCRA start reviewing the bid plans, I don’t anticipate any questions for the next couple of weeks.”

The deadline for bids for the county’s new emergency radio tower system will be 2 p.m. Sept. 12, at which time the bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. A non-mandatory pre-bid conference will be held at the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office Tower site, 202 FM 532, Gonzales, at 11 a.m. July 16, although Aldridge said she did not know how many, if any, vendors will attend as a previous pre-bid conference was held earlier this year.

Gonzales County originally had opened bids Monday, April 15, for the tower project, which is being paid for through a $6,071,588.57 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the General Land Office Mitigation Funding cycle as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The county received just the one bid from LCRA and two notices of intent to no-bid and protest from Motorola and Victoria Communications Systems (VCS). In June, the court voted to reject the LCRA bid after Aldridge had told commissioners GLO representatives verified and clarified they would require the county to rebid the project since there was only one bid received.

The county ran notices for bids in the June 20 and June 27 editions of the Gonzales Inquirer and on CivCast, giving potential bidders up to 12 weeks to submit bids.

The advertisement states: “The project generally consists of a P25 Phase 2 standards-based 700/800 MHz trunked radio system to provide greater county-wide communications coverage and message capacity. Components include: 3 new towers, 2 new shelters and 3 emergency backup generators, trunked radio network with geographically-redundant central control systems, interface with, or replacement of existing dispatch console equipment, and redundant IP-based microwave backhaul.” Bid and contract documents, including drawings and technical specs, can be obtained at the judge’s office or on under Gonzales County.

Erin Thompson, director of programs for Langord Community Management Services, the grant administrator, asked commissioners if the county had reached out to the landowner where the Belmont tower site is to be built at 18762 N State Highway 80 — Brian Schauer, who is also the Belmont VFD fire chief. Thompson indicated Schauer will need to review a draft deed the title company has put together for the property.

She also said the county will need to submit an extension request to the GLO by the end of July as the amount of time originally given for the grant would have run out before bids are opened in September.