SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio is taking on 183 projects in its 2022 bond package, and planning to focus most of the $1.2 billion worth of projects on infrastructure improvements including streets and sidewalks, parks, drainage, public safety facilities, and housing.
On Tuesday the San Antonio City Council discussed which companies will receive the contracts to carry out that work. Out of 140 contracts awarded, only three were issued to companies or businesses outside of San Antonio.
Local contractors will do the bulk of the work so the city’s people can enjoy the benefits.
People like to have up-to-date facilities to take advantage of, including Nancy Collins who enjoys daily walks in Brackenridge Park. It started as something she could do on her lunchbreak to enjoy the scenery in the park.
“I love the Sunken Gardens, I’ve been walking here for five years every single day,” Collins says.
She says she sees a lot during her walks and thinks it could use some improvements.
“Cleaning up the bathrooms by the zoo office, refurbishing some of the stone work, maybe cleaning it,” Collins said.
Brackenridge Park is just one of 183 projects on the list for the 2022 bond.
On Tuesday, the city council was briefed on the mass selection of contractors that will do the work across the city.
140 contracts are being awarded to 97 consultants. The contracts are broken down into three categories including civil engineering, landscaping, and architecture.
According to the city’s presentation, minority and woman-owned award utilization is 20 percent above the aspirational goals set by the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy Program. However, some concerns were brought up councilmembers including Clayton Perry.
“I think it’s something we need to go forward and try to change, it makes no sense to me,” Councilman Perry asked why Veteran-owned businesses were not considered, and the city says they do not qualify for the program.
“There’s some state law, that, perhaps we’ll have to work on changing that Councilman Perry expressed interest in doing,” Assistant City Manager Rod Sanchez said, adding the city wants to improve communication with people about these projects and others.
“We want them to know what we’re doing, what we plan to do and also get their feedback, how can we do things better so we’re not impacting your business as much,” Sanchez said.
Collins hopes the short-term headaches are outweighed by the long-term impacts in Brackenridge Park and many others.
“Any kind of improvements here would be awesome,” Collins added.
The city will formally sign off on the mass selection of contractors next week.
The city says two projects in the 2022 bond have begun, but many are still in the design phase.
“This is just the very beginning. These are the folks that are going to be designing these projects,” Sanchez adds.