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Council hires firm to handle inspections of new Wadley hospital construction

by Karl Richter | August 24, 2021 at 3:09 a.m. | Updated August 24, 2021 at 1:43 p.m.
Texarkana, Texas, City Hall, 220 Texas Blvd., is shown in December 2015.

TEXARKANA, Texas - During a meeting Monday, the City Council approved a $684,000 contract for inspection services during construction of the planned new campus of Wadley Regional Medical Center.

Bureau Veritas North America Inc. of Plano, Texas, won the contract after city staff scored its proposal the highest among three submitted, said Mashell Daniel, director of inspections and code enforcement.

In May, Wadley announced plans to build a new 123-bed hospital at the corner of University Avenue and West Park Boulevard, at a cost of $227 million.

Bureau Veritas provides similar services nationwide and has experience with hospital construction, Daniel said.

"They will be required to have an inspector on on site every day at all times, to provide good service for our contractors that are here," she said. "We're very confident that there'll be able to do a good job."

The Council also was briefed on a request for a permit for a helipad for emergency transportation services at the new hospital. No aircraft will be stored or refueled at the site, Daniel said. The Council will conduct a public hearing and vote on granting the permit during its Sept. 13 meeting.

In other business, no one spoke during a public hearing on the city's proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget. The Council will vote on approving the budget, including a reduced property tax rate, Sept. 13.

If approved, the rate will be reduced 5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, from 70 cents to 65.

The budget as currently proposed plans for about $109 million in total revenue and $118.2 million in total expenditures, leaving a fund balance of $24.3 million at the end of Fiscal Year 2022.

The Council recognized Texarkana Water Utilities Executive Director J.D. Phillips, who is retiring at the end of the month after more than 30 years with the agency.

"J.D. has had an incredible career with TWU and has done a tremendous job. He's been very valuable in leading the water department in many different projects and making sure that daily operations go smoothly," Mayor Bob Bruggeman said.

Assistant Director Gary Smith will take over as TWU's interim executive director.

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