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Cooperative Purchasing has enabled a Municipal Utility District to create new places of beauty from work recently done byT.F. Harper & Associates through their Job Order Contracting and playgrounds cooperative purchasing contracts through Choice Facility Partners. The cooperative purchasing project was in two Harris County MUDs in the Houston area.
Harris County Municipal Utility District 230 recently completed a $2.6 million, 10-month park construction improvement project using the facilities purchasing cooperative Choice Facility Partners and T.F. Harper & Associates. The cooperative purchasing project excavated an existing detention basin that was overgrown with vegetation, and created a beautiful park, which now has a wet bottom (pond) with multiple islands, overlooks and plazas, a streambed, sustainable native plants, and trails connected by bridges.
Talley Landscape Architects, Inc., and the MUD’s governing board chose to use the Choice Facility Partners Job Order Contracting cooperative purchasing program because “it gave us flexibility and advantages,” according to Merrie Talley, owner, Talley Landscape Architects, Inc. “It was better suited for what we were trying to accomplish, which was negotiating a contract with safeguards on the costs while being compliant with state laws.”
“I am appreciative of the Job Order Contracting process [available through the facility purchasing cooperative], which is allowing municipalities and governmental agencies like a MUD to have some control over their budget AND their project’s quality,” said Talley.
They selected TF Harper & Associates as the Choice Facility Partners cooperative purchasing Job Order Contractor to handle the job, which included reshaping the detention basin, allowing for two miles of accessible trails, all while adding detention capacity to protect the neighborhood in case of an extreme event. “I have found TF Harper to live up to their reputation which is to get a good, sound job done,” she said. She noted that the facility cooperative purchasing contractor -TF Harper’s - biggest strength is coordinating a diverse combination of talents and trades, including utility work, excavation and grading, concrete work, irrigation and landscape development. At the grand opening of Mandolin Gardens Park, a special effort was made to identify their subcontractors, because all worked together in such a synergistic way under the cooperative purchasing contract.
“When you get into this kind of project, you need somebody who is really a general contractor,” Talley said.
Talley was committed to creating a sustainable, functioning ecosystem, so even though Houston is in a state of drought, when they held the dedication and grand opening in July, the park featured a “phenomenal landscape… with deep root growth due to the biological augmentation of the soil in preparation of planting.” The other fabulous result of the cooperative purchasing contract use is that the park is popular with butterflies, dragonflies and a great variety of birds.
Mandolin Gardens Park is located just off FM249 outside the beltway in Houston; take the exit for Grant/Schroeder/Perry Road.
For more information on how to become a member of HCDE to access facility services through the Choice Facility Partners cooperative purchasing program, go to the membership page to download an interlocal contract.
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