News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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ACEC Texas













MEMBER UPDATE

September 11, 2020

















ACEC National Recap of AASHTO Audit Committee Meeting
on Firm Overhead & PPP Loan Forgiveness


On August 28th, ACEC National Vice President for Transportation Programs Matt Reiffer and FAR consultant Dan Purvine led a meeting between ACEC member firm representatives, CPA firms, and State DOT auditors at the virtual American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Audit Committee Conference.
There were approximately 170 participants in the liaison meeting, the vast majority of whom were DOT representatives.


To read the complete article, please click on the following link: Meeting Recap

Payroll Tax Deferral Guidance

ACEC National recently shared a new payroll tax deferral guidance document, which can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Payroll Tax Deferral Guidance Document . An important note is that the guidance does not explicitly say that employers must defer withholding and transmitting the payroll taxes, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has said publicly several times that it is optional.

If you have any questions, please contact Katharine Mottley, ACEC National Vice President for Tax and Regulatory Affairs, at KMottley@ACEC.org .

Texas Comptroller Releases FY 2020 Tax Revenue, and August 2020 Revenue

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has released totals for fiscal 2020 state revenues, in addition to announcing monthly state revenues for August. August 31st marks the final day of the state's fiscal year. Notably for ACEC Texas, we have included a breakdown of the tax revenue collections that serve as the primary state sources of funding for the State Highway Fund (SHF) for FY 2020 (compared to FY 2019).

To view the complete article and tax revenue numbers, please click on the following link: Report on FY 2020 Tax Revenue





















AGENCY NEWS & UPDATES

















Texas Department of Transportation


















TxDOT Letter to Employees & Clarification

 

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Executive Director (ED) James Bass shared a letter with agency partners that was sent to all TxDOT employees last week. Mr. Bass mentioned that as the agency is facing uncertainty with revenues, efforts are being implemented to “….allow us to keep as much funding as possible in our programs that help ensure public safety through construction, maintenance, and grant expenditures.” He concluded with that TxDOT remains committed to the delivery of our programs and with the help of trusted partners, we will be successful.

To view the letter, please click on the following link: TxDOT Letter to Employees.

Note of Clarification from ED Bass : Director Bass reached out to ACEC Texas regarding some confusion on “Management Consultants” mentioned in the letter. He stated that “Management Consultants” are those agreements where the primary purpose is to “study and advise” the department, as such these do NOT include professional services agreements such as engineering, architecture, surveying, or real estate appraising services, amongst others. He concluded by stating that the overriding point of the letter is to reduce our internal costs in an effort to keep as much money as possible directed to our project development and delivery activities, and our member firms are a large part of those project development activities.









Texas Water Development Board


















TWDB to Consider Prioritizations for FIF

 

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a hearing on September 17th to consider approving the project prioritizations for the 2020 Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) cycle. The Board will establish the amount of funds available for applications and discuss the necessary details for potential projects. The 2019 Legislature created the FIF program to provide funding for flood mitigation projects, which was approved by voters in November 2019 (Prop. 8). Accordingly, a one-time transfer of $793 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to the FIF was made.

In early 2020, the TWDB began accepting abridged applications from entities requesting FIF funding for flood projects. Over 286 applications were received, requesting over $2.394 billion. The TWDB Executive Administrator (EA) has prioritized these applications as a recommendation to the Board, and the Board is now required to identify the amount of funds available for applications and establish the structure of financing and the terms of any subsidy. Following Board approval of the prioritization list, the EA will announce deadlines for full applications to be submitted.

To view the project prioritization list, please click on the following link: TWDB FIF Prioritization Project List (Page #5).



























2020 Short Course














Virtual 2020 Texas Transportation Short Course

The Texas Transportation Short Course is scheduled to be conducted virtually on October 13-14, 2020. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) are working on a range of Short Course program activities that will provide a unique opportunity to exchange important technical information that improves transportation in Texas.In order to attend the event virtually, you must complete the registration process and provide payment to TTI Event Management & Planning (EM&P) by Monday, October 5, 2020.

TxDOT planners and their TTI colleagues are developing an excellent program that will include both technical and interactive opportunities. We are confident the conference will be of value to all who attend. Information, updates and registration links for the program can be found at the following link: 2020 Texas Transportation Short Course Information.













UPDATES & REMINDERS













Memorial Service for Mr. Bill Klotz, P.E.

In our ACEC Texas Member Update on June 19th, we honored Mr. Bill Klotz, P.E., who passed away on June 10th. At the time due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Klotz family was unable to have a memorial service for Bill. They have announced that they will be holding a memorial service on Saturday, September 12th at 1:00 PM at Tallowood Baptist Church, located at 555 Tallowood Rd. in Houston.

Bill served as President of the Consulting Engineers Council of Texas (the predecessor to ACEC Texas) in 1978-79, as Chairman of the Texas State Board of Professional Engineers, and as President of the ACEC Houston Chapter. While studying at Texas A&M University, Bill was called away to serve in World War II as a 2nd Lieutenant and navigator on a B-24 bomber. Following WWII, Bill completed his degree in Civil Engineering and worked for Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) in Houston and Victoria. Following his time at LAN, Bill served as Director of Public Works for the City of Houston. In 1985, he and his son, Wayne, started the engineering firm Klotz Associates, where Bill remained until his retirement in 1987.


















Reminder! QBS Study Participation Request

A reminder to please take a moment to help ACEC National with their new study to examine the use and benefits of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) at the state and local government levels. The attached letter describes the project in greater detail and the need to gather a large pool of project data to analyze for the study. To participate, please see the following brief online questionnaire for you to submit project information. Please note that all information submitted will be strictly confidential and viewed only be the research team. The goal is to provide new metrics and tools to defend and promote QBS in our states and address challenges, particularly with local government procurement.






















ACEC National 2020 Fall Conference









Register today for the virtual 2020 ACEC Fall Conference on October 28th – 30th! The Conference schedule features six General Sessions with featured speakers and industry panels, 14roundtables, 18 business education sessions, nine vendor “solution center” presentations, a virtual exhibit hall, networking breaks, the annual awards Program, and even a couple of happy hours. Take advantage of Early Bird rates until September 30th, when rates then go up $100 after.


























ACEC National Engineering Influence Podcast









New Podcast Available!
"Choosing the Right Insurance with
ACEC Life Health Trust"

ACEC National announced today a new podcast available online featuring John Krebsbach from the LHT discussing how to choose the best insurance.

To listen, please click on the following link: Engineering Influence Podcast













 
 
     
     









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Calendar

10/6/2020
Central Texas Virtual Chapter Meeting-10/06/20

10/7/2020
ACEC Central Texas and San Antonio Transportation Series: Session 1