By 2021, City and County of Midland ensure necessary maintenance and construction programs to provide required infrastructure that meets forecasted growth on a rolling 5-year cycle.
Synchronize infrastructure project development between taxing entities and other stakeholders.
Identify and leverage both funding and resource opportunities that accelerate project development and construction.
Produce and maintain an integrated comprehensive strategic plan for infrastructure with a rolling 5-year project horizon.
Q: What is the most important takeaway for the community regarding the Infrastructure objective and strategies?
A: Infrastructure projects will be accelerated in their planning and execution to better serve the growing community in which we live.
Q: How does Priority Midland define “infrastructure”?
A: Civil improvements essential for a safe and healthy community. Improvements include roads and drainage, as well as municipal and franchise utilities such as water, sewage, drainage, power, and communications.
Q: What is meant by “synchronize infrastructure project development” (strategy #1)?
A: Infrastructure project development involves a complex series of activities, including creation of preliminary designs, development of environmental studies, evaluation of project assessments, conducting site surveys, property acquisition, detail design development, utility relocation, assignment of construction funds, and construction. This process is complicated when jurisdictional lines are crossed, and responsibilities overlap. To ensure projects are developed fully, effectively, efficiently, and timely, rigorous synchronization and coordination of activities is required.
Q: Why is infrastructure important for Midland?
A: The immediate need is to increase affordable workforce housing and facilitate the development of schools, parks and other community amenities. Additionally, we want to continue to provide clean and reliable water to each household, and maintain an environmentally safe and healthy community.
Q: Why was infrastructure identified as an area of need for Midland?
A: A combination of historical trends and events have conditioned Midland and Midland County citizens to not to overinvest into its infrastructure. The traditional boom-bust cycle of the region’s major economic engine – the oil & gas industry – has been a major consideration. Additionally, the rate of growth over the last ten years has vastly outpaced our typical infrastructure spending, which has not been able to keep up with that growth. And lastly, increasing cost of construction has diminished the effect of infrastructure spending. The result of these occurrences has resulted in existing systems not being timely replaced or reconstructed while their capacity has been pushed beyond service limits.
Q: Why is 2021 the projected year to achieve this objective (while the objectives for the other focus areas have a 2025 timeline)? Is that enough time?
A: Development of infrastructure projects is a lengthy process involving detailed coordination between governmental entities and private landowners to plan, design, fund, and construct. The 2021 objective is a realistic horizon for governmental entities to staff departments, develop fiscally constrained programs, and design coordinated projects.
Q: What would achieving this objective mean for Midland?
A: The initial objective is to create orderly and enduring system by which infrastructure improvements will be developed in a cost effective and efficient manner. Ultimately, reconstruction of aging facilities, as well as expansion of municipal infrastructure, is essential to increase the inventory of housing and enhancing the quality of place while ensuring a safe and clean environment in which to live.
Q: What characterizes the current state of Midland’s infrastructure?
A: Aging and undersized for a large portion of the Midland area coupled with needing expansion to accommodate current and future growth.
Q: What are the maintenance and construction programs needed to meet the 2021 goal (objective)?
A: The City and County both employ visual pavement rating data to identify, assess and quantify pavement distresses. Midland County annually conducts visual rating and distress inspection on a cyclic portion of its roadway inventory to create a distress database. It then uses this data as an aid for the selection of roadways to include in its rolling 5-year roadway program. The County then allocates funding in each budget cycle for preventative maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction projects in the 5-year plan. The City periodically secures the services of a consultant to visually assess 100% of its inventory.
From this data it creates a 5-year list of projects intended to extend, or restore, the service life of selected roadways. With increasing traffic volumes and vehicle loads, and escalating construction costs, additional funding allocations will be necessary each year to preserve, rehabilitate and reconstruct the expanding systems of roadways in each jurisdiction.
Q: How will infrastructure project development be synchronized between taxing entities and other stakeholders (strategy #1)?
A: Four initiatives are viewed as the path to achieving this strategy. They are:
- City and County leader collaboration sessions;
- Acquire Right-of-Way (ROW) and Public Interest Areas in both City and County (Early Start);
- Develop N.E. Master Development Plan with City, County, TxDOT, and ISD collaboration; and
- Establish a Common Platform for Infrastructure Project Management Platform.
Q: How will funding and resource opportunities be identified and leveraged to accelerate project development and construction (strategy #2)?
A: Five initiatives are viewed as the path to achieving this strategy. They are:
- Identify and develop roadway and transportation projects (Early Start);
- Develop public utility collaboration between the City of Midland, Midland County, and other governing entities (Early Start);
- Establish a Regional Drainage Working Group;
- Adopt a Regional Roadway Cost Share Agreement (under a memorandum of understanding) between City and County; and
- Identify Private Equity Pathways for Investment.
Q: What types of funding and/or resource opportunities are needed (strategy #2)?
A: Acceleration of project development can be achieved with improved entity cooperation, by leveraging existing funding sources with private investment opportunities, and by removing barriers from project development.
Q: Which taxing entities’ needs will be integrated into a comprehensive plan? Is it the full list of seven represented on the Steering Committee (strategy #3)?
A: The principle taxing entities responsible for community infrastructure are the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the City of Midland, Midland County, Martin County, and the Midland County Utility District.
Q: How will the comprehensive plan be created (strategy #3)?
A: Infrastructure planning must be a continuous and collaborative process to constantly meet changing land use and growth requirements. Mandatory and overarching planning processes do not currently exist. Such a process must be achieved through voluntary participation. The only mandated model for cooperative planning is the federally required Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) setting for transportation. This decades-old initiative is built through continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning by participating entities.
Three initiatives are viewed as the path to achieving this strategy. They are:
- Forecast 5-Year Growth Areas (Update Annually) (Early Start),
- Adopt a Current + 5-Year Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (CIP),
- Create a Mechanism for Continuous Program / Plan Management.
Q: How will this work be funded?
A: The Infrastructure initiatives will be largely be supported through public funding leveraged with private equity, as available.
Q: Who is leading this effort?
A: The Infrastructure Working Group consists of a diverse group of engineers, architects, technicians, financial professionals, and public volunteers from across the community to include each taxing entity, local professional service providers, local utility corporations and local natural resource companies. There is a mix of design expertise, municipal planning, and financial knowledge within the group. Together, this creates a team of skills to develop projects, coordinate resources, and implement initiatives quickly.
Q: Who will undertake the work required to meet the objective and strategies?
A: The work is the responsibility of the respective governing entities.
Q: Is there an opportunity for Midland-area residents to get involved with and support this endeavor?
A: Yes. For more information, please fill out the form on the prioritymidland.com homepage, and note your interest in Infrastructure.