Austin CONSTRUCTION NEWS
New Life for the Lakes A Match Made in Bandera Construction Begins on
New Life for the Lakes A Match Made in Bandera Construction Begins on
onstruction to replace the dams at Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid is underway, with the GuadalupeBlanco River Authority (GBRA) issuing the formal notice to proceed. The estimated timeline for Lake Placid is 22 months and 24 months for Lake McQueeney, pending unforeseen weather delays.this permanent solution will ensure the preservation of Lake Placid for generations to come.”
“This is a major milestone for the Lake McQueeney community,” said Lake McQueeney WCID President Bob Worth. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this project will have on the area for generations to come.”
“Thank you to the Lake Placid community for making today possible,” said Lake Placid WCID President Robin Dwyer. “Their overwhelming support of
Hill Country Studios got second and final approval from San Marcos council members to annex and zone land for the project. The approval would allow the studio to utilize 209 acres at 6202 W. Centerpoint Road, San Marcos, TX 78666, in the La Cima master-planned development.
The groundbreaking is expected to begin sometime this year, but the first phase could be open in 2024. When completed, the roughly 820,000-squarefoot motion picture studio could house 12 sound stages, four workshops, and over 200,000 square feet of production office space.
Following the same model as the project nearing completion on Lake Dunlap, construction will include the replacement of the bear-trap style crest gates on each dam with new hydraulicallyactuated steel crest gates. Both projects will also include structural modifications to the existing spillway structures, installation of new mechanical and electrical operating systems, improved backup power, enhanced instrumentation and controls, improved headwater and tailwater measurement tools, new video surveillance, and the addition of a supervisory control and data acquisition interfaces.
After 16 years, Carol was happy with the life she had built with Stan. One ordinary day, as they were relaxing in the living room, Carol was laying on the couch playing solitaire, and she started to notice that the music that Stan was playing was back-to-back love songs. She thought that it was strange for him as his musical tastes are very wide-ranging - but she didn’t comment on it. A few moments later, he
Lights, Camera, Action!
rue love is not instantaneous, it is built over time. For one very special San Antonio couple, they laid a solid foundation of love over the past 16 years which led them to the altar on Saturday, September 16th. Surrounded by 140 friends and loved ones, Carol Wiatrek and Stan Rothman said, “I Do” and became husband and wife.pulled up a chair next to her, sat down, and poured his heart out to her. He said, “I’ve been talking to my daughters, and I told them I realized that if Carol and I ever broke up, and I went out to meet someone new - I’d be looking for Carol. I like the way that sounds… More importantly, I like the way that feels. I’m going to ask her to marry me.” He goes on to explain to Carol that his mother meant the world to him, and showed Carol a ring on his pinky finger that belonged to his mother, and had been passed down to his sister. When his sister learned that he was planning to propose, she told Stan, “I have mom’s ring. I’m not going to do anything with it, and there’s only one person on this earth worthy of wearing it, and that’s Carol.” With tears in her eyes, Carol happily said “Yes!”
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continued from Page 1 — New Life for the Lakes
Both projects also include the installation of a dewatering system that will allow future maintenance activities to be completed with a full lake level, as well as the hardening of the existing earthen dams to achieve compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Dam Safety requirements. Sundt was selected as the general contractor for both projects through a formal competitive procurement process.
“We are ready to get these projects underway,” said GBRA General Manager and CEO Darrell Nichols. “Partnership and cooperation has been the foundation of these projects and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid communities, including the Lake McQueeney WCID, Friends of Lake
McQueeney, the Lake Placid WCID and Citizens United for Lake Placid (CULP).”
Funding for both projects will be at below market interest rates through the Texas Water Development Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program. Per the financing and operation agreements in place between GBRA and the Water Control and Improvement Districts (WCIDs) for each lake, the WCIDs will be responsible for the debt service on the bonds issued by GBRA and for each WCID, as well as future maintenance and operations costs of the new dams. GBRA will continue to own and operate both dams, while contributing all gross revenues from the sale of hydroelectric power generated by each dam back to its respective WCID.
continued from Page 1 — A Match Made in Bandera
Carol Wiatrek has been in the construction industry for years, working for The Builders Exchange of Texas, Associated Builders and Contractors, Longhorn Recycling, and was the Managing Editor of the Construction News! Stan, too, has been in the industry for many years, working for EquipmentShare, and various other equipment rental companies along the way. While they ran in the same circles for years, they never met. Finally, in 2007, while going through her divorce and being a newly single, working mom, Carol fell into a rut going through the motions of life - work and home, and not much else. On top of that, she would be separated from her children for the first time as they were staying with their father for an entire month! Carol knew their absence was going to be very hard for her. Her friend Donna was not going to let her sit at home all alone, so halfway through the month she encouraged Carol to join her for a trip to Bandera, where they could float the river, do some bar hopping, and listen to some live music. During this time, Stan was staying in Bandera while going through a similar situation. Neither one of them were looking to meet someone else, but fate had other plans.
Unfortunately for Carol, fate also sent a very determined admirer her way that night as they were enjoying the bar scene in Bandera. Carol was not interested in her clingy admirer, who happened to be shorter than her, with her height only reaching about 5’1. This man would not be discouraged, and every time they tried to shake him off, he found his way back, and Carol gave him the nickname of “The Tick.” So off they went to Longhorn Saloon to meet up with some friends, with the tick in tow. Carol, trying to shake off the tick, went to sit down at a long table and listen to the music. From several chairs away, Stan said, “Hey, you don’t have to sit down there all by yourself!” Carol smiled and moved over to sit next to Stan. Neither talking, just soaking up the music and the fun atmosphere. A few moments later, a woman with enormous, watermelon-size breasts nearly spilling out of her ill-fitting tank top, walks over and parks her watermelons directly in front of Stan on the table. Smiling at Stan, she revealed her missing front teeth. Stan was polite and chatted with the woman, but whispered to Carol, “Hey you can help me out here at any time.” Carol was in shock, thinking, excuse me? I don’t know you from Adam. What the heck do you want me to do? So,
she did the only thing she could think of, which was to sidle up next to him and rest her head on his shoulder. Boobs got the hint and took herself back to the dance floor, and this was when Carol and Stan first began talking, and laughing. A lot.
After her Bandera adventure, Carol returned to work and one of her co-workers came to her desk and said “Hey, this Cowboy came and dropped off a gift bag for you.” Surprised and a little confused, she opened the bag. It was a “Bandera Survival Kit” complete with Tylenol, Alka Seltzer, bug spray and the like. There was also a card, complete with a sketch of the woman who Carol saved Stan from, right down to the missing teeth and the… watermelons. In the card, he told her that he really enjoyed meeting her, reminded her that she was a good person and wished her the best. Carol was tickled by his gift and called to thank him. They quickly became friends and started talking often, sharing their life stories. Even though they didn’t set out to be more than friends, soon their friendship blossomed into romance.
On their first official date, Carol noticed Stan making the sign of the cross out of respect while passing a church. It was something she had always done as well, while passing a church or cemetery. To her this felt very significant, like a sign from above that they were meant to be together.
When Carol was asked what she most admired about Stan, she replied that he is an amazing parent, he can’t stand rudeness and is playful and fun. He’s always looking out for others and is extremely protective of his family. When asked how she thought Stan would answer that question of her, she said that Stan is always saying that she’s the strongest and hardest working person he’s ever known, while always being extremely unselfish.
During her time working for Construction News, Carol grew very close to Buddy and Reesa Doebbler, who owned the publication. They believed in her and told her that they knew she could do things that she felt that she couldn’t. They became like second parents to Carol, her own having passed away years ago. Carol couldn’t imagine a better person than Buddy to walk her down the aisle, and when she asked him if he would, he said he would be honored to. And last Saturday, he did just that. He escorted a glowing Carol in a beautiful white dress down the aisle to Stan, in his best cowboy hat, to start their new chapter in life as husband and wife. -ndw
Photos courtesy of Dave Clements
Pape-Dawson Engineers, LLC is thrilled to announce the promotion of Toby Flinn, P.E., PMP, to Vice President.
Mr. Flinn’s impressive 27 years of experience includes work as a construction engineer, as a civilian, and as a military officer, where he worked with multinational and inter-agencies on vertical construction, infrastructure development, construction feasibility, civil design, and logistics. His vast skill set includes organizational leadership, contract management, preconstruction efforts, scheduling, permitting and inspections, and onsite engineering.
Currently, Mr. Flinn leads the construction management and inspection efforts for the Alliance Regional Water Authority Program. This high-profile project prepares the Central Texas I-35 corridor for future water demand. It consists of nine concurrent construction packages valued at $420M, two water facilities, and more than 85 miles of water mains spanning three counties.
“Mr. Flinn’s expertise in program and construction management is key to the successful delivery of complex infrastructure projects,” says Cara Tackett, P.E., LEED AP, Managing Principal, Water Resources. “We look forward to Mr. Flinn continuing his outstanding work in his new role as Vice President and leading the growth of services and new offerings at Pape-Dawson.”
Cokinos | Young is excited to share that Jesse Joslin has joined the firm’s Austin office.
Jesse’s practice consists primarily of representing individual and corporate clients in personal injury/wrongful death, construction defect, and complex commercial litigation. He has also successfully represented licensed individuals and entities before various state boards and agencies and at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. A fierce advocate, Jesse works tirelessly to serve the best interests of his clients, whether helping clients avoid litigation or when his clients are involved in a lawsuit. He has experience through all phases of litigation and has obtained favorable results before trial and at trial.
Hoar Construction’s Austin division announces today an increase to its footprint and the opening of a fourth Texas office location in Abilene. Over the past 25 years, the company has established a solid reputation across multiple sectors in Texas with its offices in Houston, Austin, and North Texas. This office in Abilene will be the company’s 11th office nationwide.
The new office will enable the company to better serve clients and projects within the West Texas area. Vice President Jeff Light states, “For almost two decades, we have been serving our clients in West Texas from several other offices in Texas, so we felt it was necessary to open an office that could allow us to be partners in business, and partners in the community.”
Hoar Construction formally established an office in Austin in 2011, but work across the state dates to the 1970s. Initially building for large retail developers throughout the state, the business evolved to serve private and public clients within the higher education and healthcare sectors and is
presently building for clients including Abilene Christian University, Angelo State University, Shannon Medical Center, and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.
Hoar’s presence in the Abilene area began in 2006 when the company was hired to renovate and expand Abilene Regional Medical Center (now part of the Hendrick Medical System). Over the years, Hoar’s presence in West Texas has expanded regionally to include clients in San Angelo, Lubbock and Abilene. In Abilene, Hoar has successfully delivered nine projects at Abilene Christian University, most recently, the renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum. The company is also working on its second project at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.
“Our success in West Texas can be boiled down to an alignment between Hoar’s core values and the values of our clients and trade partners,” says Jeff Light. “This new office will allow us to better serve our existing clients and build relationships that will lead to new opportunities to serve others.”
On the evening of August 12th, 2023, La Cantera Resort was bathed in elegance and excitement as Alterman celebrated its 100th anniversary with a grand gala in the opulent Grand Ballroom. The event brought together over 1,500 employees and guests to commemorate a century of excellence and innovation. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie and celebration, with attendees mingling, networking, and sharing stories of their time with Alterman.
One of the highlights of the evening was the live performance by The Spazmatics. Their music had the crowd on their feet, dancing and singing along to classic hits that spanned the decade.
In keeping with the celebratory spirit, Alterman also introduced a touch of Las Vegas to the event where guests could try their luck at poker, blackjack and roulette.
At the end of the night, over $2,000 was up for grabs for the best gamblers.
The event also featured a touching speech by Alterman’s CEO, Greg Padalecki, who expressed gratitude to all employees, partners, and clients who have contributed to the company’s success over the last century. He emphasized Alterman’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and community engagement as it moves into its second century.
The Gala symbolized a century of resilience, dedication, and growth, while also setting the stage for a future filled with promise and potential. The company’s commitment to excellence was on full display, leaving no doubt that Alterman is poised to continue its legacy of success for many years to come.
Photos courtesy of Mary C. Haskin Photography
Alterman, Inc. is please to recognize Robert Pringle with the Stop Work Authority (SWA) Award for his vigilance in ensuring safety. He exemplified the true essence of SWA by
raising concerns, halting work, seeking guidance, and exploring safer alternatives. Safety is Alterman’s core value, and this recognition highlights their dedication to it.
Northwood Retail is in the early stages to build a 1 million-squarefoot office project as part of a shopping center in Austin that’s adapting toward office space. The developer, along with Endeavor Real Estate Group and Simon Property Group, has submitted construction filings, which is currently called Domain Block C Office.
While the Domain was originally built as a retail-centric destination, it has slowly been welcoming office buildings into its space for the past few years.
Northwood Retail, one of the original developers of The Domain, is mostly known for retail projects. However, the firm buit The Domain Northside, a mixeduse development that includes 633,000 square feet of retail space, 125,000 square feet of office space, 563
multifamily units and a 171-key hotel.
The team plans to demolish an existing parking garage to make way for the new office building. BOKA Powell has been tapped as the project’s architect and Kimley-Horn as the landscape architect.
The tower is set to rise 307 feet tall over 24 floors, according to the filings, on a 5.1-acre site that’s bordered by Rock Rose Avenue and Palm Way. Tenants will be located within the Domain Northside development that’s home to major retailers such as Apple, Sephora and Nordstrom, as well as several restaurant options.
Northwood is in the preliminary planning stages for its office tower that will have 400,000 square feet of office space and a 600,000-square-foot garage.
Publisher Haley Mathews
Editor Andi Mathews
Production Kayla Wallace
Advertising Haley Mathews
Managing Editor: Andi@ConstructionNews.net
College football is back! Friday, 9/1/23 Ridout Barret staff members rocked their Alma Mater(s) at the office in honor of #CollegeColorsDay. What colors are you sporting this season?
Sponsored by: Daiwa USA
Air temperatures are cooling off, and the water temperature is steadily dropping. Signs that fall is upon us! This can be an extremely fruitful and exciting time of year for a bass fisherman. Big bass that have been dormant all summer start to position in more predictable areas and suddenly have an appetite again. Even fish in general seem to be ready to eat. However, fall can offer some very frustrating days as well. It always seems in the fall that some days are good then the very next day it’s super tough. Well, today I’m going to go over the techniques that I use in the fall to ensure that I have the most success possible.
Before I go into what baits I like to use in the fall I’m going to talk about why I use these baits. In the fall when temperature starts to drop so does the water temperature. With the water temperature getting cooler, most of the bait likes to go shallow. When I say shallow, I notice that even though the
bait itself likes to be shallow they are typically still close to deep water. In other words, the bait likes to go to easy convenient locations most of the time.
Now with the baits I like to use. There are two different species of bait that I like to mimic in the fall. Shad primarily and bluegill. Both shad and bluegill love to be shallow as the water starts to cool off and they bring the bass with them. To mimic shad I like the Berkeley J walker, a buzzbait, a fluke, a squarebill and a swimbait. If I’m trying to mimic a bluegill I’m throwing a jig, swim jig, or a Chatterbait.
When I’m throwing a j walker, buzzbait or squarebill, I prefer to fish steeper banks that have some good chunk rock mixed in. And if there is some grass that’s even better! I’ll typically parallel these banks with these baits. They typically produce first thing in the morning but have success throughout the day too. If
Every year, or twice a year if they can swing it, San Antonio Construction News’s new owner, Haley Mathews and some old friends and college buddies go out to hunt and fish to their hearts’ content. This year they found an outfitter that could accommodate both. With 15 fishing ponds to choose from and over 6,000 acres to roam, they arrived to take down some delicious doves and see who would catch the biggest bass. “In the mornings, we hit three of those ponds that produced bass up to 5 pounds. Most were caught dead sticking worms, but some hit swim baits on a slow retrieve and when I mean slow I mean crawling. Water temps were still pretty warm and the fish were not aggressive,” Haley remarks.
The dove didn’t cooperate the way they wanted in the beginning, but with a slight change in the weather pattern their behavior changed and they took some down. Haley and his buddies, Joe Mac Newnham, Jeremy Miller, Chris Byler, Jerry Morgan and Michael Contreras, were ready for whatever the day might bring them- or the evening, when two of their party, (who shall not be named) lost their way on the way back to their cabin and had everyone slightly concerned after about 40 minutes of their absence. Good times.
T he first hunt they set up between a sunflower field and a small pond. They saw a ton of Inca doves but as most know, they couldn’t shoot those! Haley quips “$500 fine in the state of Texas and they are easy to distinguish, but too fast for this old man to shoot.” For the second hunt, they went to a hay field. No Inca doves this time, and most were flying high. Again, they managed to knock a few birds down. They also managed to catch around 80 bass between the six of them.
“ I used to be a decent shot but lucky for me the other five in the group are still very good at knocking down birds,” Haley says. “We didn’t limit, but hanging with this Motley Crue is fun enough in itself.”
there is too much grass present and it proves difficult to fish those other baits, I’ll throw a fluke or seedless swimbait around the grass as these baits don’t get hung up as often. If I notice the fish are eating a lot of bluegill, I’ll switch it up and throw a green pumpkin Chatterbait and a swim jig around these same areas. Just slow rolling these baits seems to be the most effective way to fish them. Of course, if you hit grass pop them out of the grass as that will activate a lot of reaction bites. Lastly, if you are fishing a lake that has a lot of docks, skipping a jig under those docks can be one of the best ways to catch fish! One of the best days I ever had was in October dragging a jig around docks. Using these techniques will help you traverse through the changing of the seasons and should produce some great days on the water! To schedule your next fishing trip, give Capt. Evan Coleman a call at 512-744-7453 or bigbassinfishing.com.
You have poured your blood, sweat and tears into your own private oasis and suddenly it dawns on you this stuff can get expensive. You realize that the cost of fertilization, vegetation control, habitat improvement and forage fish can really add up. You begin to think, how could I offset these costs? Would there be anybody interested in leasing the fishing rights to my pond or lake? The answer is absolutely. And for many landowners, it could be the line starts here.
As public water becomes increasingly more crowded there is a growing population of fisherman who are willing to pay for that solitude of a private lake or pond. In many parts of the country paying to hunt on private land has been the norm for 40 plus years and over the past decade it has almost become impossible to find a private landowner who does not expect some type of compensation for hunting on their private property. This author believes that fishing is where hunting was 20 years ago and fisherman are willing to pay and in some cases pay handsomely to fish on private land.
However, the question for many is not rather do I believe there is a market for this type of activity, but rather do the pros outweigh the cons. The cons appear rather easy to envision the pros are some things that may not readily come to mind.
• Having strangers on your property can cause a bit of uncertainty. Will they litter? Leave a closed gate open?
Increased fishing pressure can reduce how often your fish will bite artificial bait.
• Collecting money and/or taking a reservation.
• Will they catch and eat all my fish?
• Do I have insurance for this?
• Do I want to provide a boat and maintain that boat?
All these questions are real concerns and should be addressed prior to anyone accessing your property. Having a rules and conduct policy is necessary and should be signed along with a release of liability contract. Making sure that outsiders who pay to fish on your lake understand what is important to you. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Do you allow tent camping?
Are campfires permitted?
• Do any hunting privileges come with your property?
• What areas, if any, would fisherman not be able to access on your property?
• Will you require a catch and release policy?
Do you want a slot limit to remove smaller fish? Will you allow live bait?
The list of questions like this should be in writing along with any other expectations. There should also be
a clear understanding of what happens if any of the rules are broken.
While the cons seem rather easy, perhaps you have not thought about the pros.
Steady stream of income
• Ability to help with fish harvesting. It can be difficult to remove 10 to 20 lbs of bass per acre per year on a larger body of water. Most private lakes never remove enough fish causing the classic case of stunted fish. This is by far the most common problem in private lakes. Simply too many predator fish and not enough food. You must harvest lots of bass, crappie and catfish every year.
• Fisherman can be the eyes and ears to an absentee landowner. Having limited access of pay fisherman coming and going reduces the potential of poachers, vagrants or the uninvited trespassers off your property.
• Leasing your lake stops the phone calls from long lost relatives, 3rd cousins, friends of friends, drive by callers, as you simply tell them your lake is leased.
• Smiles, laughs and giggles of having children and adults catching a fish of a lifetime.
• Cost share expenses with your fisherman. Ask them to pay for some of the management costs of your lake.
• Ask your fisherman to help sink brush piles, fertilize, help with vegetation removal or general cleanup on your property. Most fisherman want to feel some “ownership” in the lake the fish.
• Meet some interesting and humble outdoor enthusiasts. Most are honored to be able to fish on your pond or lake.
In recent years there are companies/clubs who have begun leasing access to private lakes, streams, creeks, and ponds. These companies can take care of the business side of things for a private landowner. These companies take the reservations, collect the monies, carry the liability insurance, convey the rules, consult about your lake management goals, remove the need for you to interact with their members, offer discounted fish stocking rates and keep the pipeline full of new fisherman. But, most of all they remove any hassle for you, you simply allow them access to your pond or lake, and they take care of the rest.
Leasing access to your lake is not for everyone and not every lake would make a good lake to lease. Lakes that tend to qualify for lease should be a minimum of 5 acres; preferably 15 acres or larger. Most fishermen who have the discretionary income to lease access to your lake will live in a metropolitan area where the higher earning jobs can be more plentiful. If someone is going to drive an hour or more to fish, they generally want to fish for several hours; making a one- or two-acre pond
not practical. Lakes that offer an overnight cabin are ideal for the suburban fisherman who must drive 150 to 250 miles to fish. A general rule of thumb is if your fisherman has to drive more than two hours, lodging or recommending a motel close by is necessary. Basically, the thought process is if it is something that you can enjoy for 6 hours or longer than so will another fisherman. If you decide to lease your lake to an individual, small group or club/company, make sure all parties understand the expectation prior to signing your lease. You might be surprised how much money you can generate, how many smiles you create, and how much your lake will thank you.
Steve Alexander is the owner of Private Water Fishing. A private fishing club in Texas with over 900 members and 100 private lakes.
Ranching Heritage Day is one of many 100-year celebration events happening in Texas state parks this year.
Celebrate ranching life with Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD) by visiting with exhibitors, making crafts, playing games, and viewing demonstrations.
Stop by to learn about and experience some of the many facets of ranching history and culture. All ages are welcome.
What to bring: The event is outdoors. Please dress for the weather and bring your own sun protection. Bringing your
own food and drinks is allowed. Snacks and drinks will also be available for purchase at a concession stand. There will be a picnic tables available, but you may also want to bring a folding chair to be sure to have a seat.
Where: The event will be held at the Group Lodge, located 2 miles north of the HQ building.
10600 Bandera Creek Road
Bandera, TX 78003
October 7th, 10am-2pm
Cost: Free admission
Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (GRTU) Youth Trout Camp is a chapter hosted parent/child weekend focused on education, conservation, river ecology, and fly fishing. Girls and boys ages 12-17 with an interest in fly fishing and trout conservation on the Guadalupe River should enroll in GRTU’s Youth Trout Camp. The 2-day, 2-night camp.
January 12-14, 2024
(MLK Jr. Holiday Weekend)
2 days / 2 nights in Riverside Cabins at Rio Guadalupe Resort on the Guadalupe River Tailrace
VISIT WWW.GRTU.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION
• Reserved spot for one (1) youth camper and one (1) parent/guardian per youth
• Food and Lodging
• Lessons in: River Ecology, Natural Resource Conservation, Water Quality & Aquatic Insects & Guided Trout Fishing, Fly Casting & Fly Tying, Guadalupe River 101, Fisheries Management
When I think of the start of fall, I don’t picture the leaves changing colors or putting on jackets while drinking pumpkin spiced drinks. And neither do the fish. To me, the start of fall is cooler temperatures, but not necessarily 75 to 85 degree temps in the daytime, I’m talking about temperatures getting in the 70s at night. Giving those fish some relief from the 90 to 100 plus degree daytime temps. As the water cools down at night, the bait fish continue moving through the fall migration. And the Crappie follow. hether you are targeting brush plies, standing timber, or schools on rocky points. When you find the right spots, the crappie will be thick. The last few trips out have taken less than an hour to limit out each person. With 2 and 3 man limits of 50 and 75 crappie being very common. s usual, jigs and minnows paired with Trika rods will always be on the deck. A Trika 3x or 6x series 7’ Medium Lite Fast action spinning rod paired with a 1000 series spinning reel is my go-to set-up. A number 4 Aberdeen hook with a 1/8 ounce egg weight pegged 12 inches up is my go-to minnow setup. I’ll go to a 1/4 ounce egg weight if it gets windy. For artificials, a 1/8 ounce jig head paired with a natural colored minnow style soft plastic is a great all-day choice. A Bonehead Tackle 2 3/8” Slim Stick or a 2 ½” Minnow are some of my favorites. Moondust is my favorite color for these 2 bait choices. Sometimes they get in a funk, and I will switch to either white, orange/ chartreuse, green/ blue, black/ pink, and occasionally black/ green, to name a few colors. Sometimes, they will want a bigger
profile like a 3” Slim Stick. And other days, you will have to downsize. Some days, they want it jigged, some days on a glide, and other days dead sticked.
I’ll target water depths in 8’ to 12’, 14’ to 18’, and 20’ to 28’. I know this is a broad spectrum, but it all depends on the depth of the bait fish. Some days, they are shallow, and some days, they are deep. The wind will play a big factor where you can successfully fish on the lake. Not every part of the lake has good cover in those depths so you will have to spend some time graphing to find the juice.
I f it’s blowing hard out of the southeast, then the whole north side of the lake is usually too rough to fish out of my boat. Not to mention the wave slap on the hull that will spook the crappie. Especially shallow, thus, I’ll focus on the south shore side of the lake. If we get a good north wind, then I’ll focus on the north shore side of the lake. If the wind isn’t blowing too hard, I will use the wind to my advantage, especially when setting up on my spots. I always come from downwind of my spot before I spot lock over a target.
Look for rocky points, ledges with piles on them near the river channel, or standing timber adjacent to the river or creek channels. Not all of the hard woods are gonna hold crappie so when you find an area that has them, try to expand off that pattern whether it be a depth pattern or a structure pattern.
For more information on crappie fishing in the fall, the gear my clients and I use, or booking info, contact C&C Guide Service at 210-831-4679. Or look us up on Facebook and Instagram @ Casting And Catching Guide Service. Tight lines y’all.
xel Rodriguez and his family had an unforgettable time at the Gunner Thames Rodeo in Wimberley, all thanks to Alterman Inc. employee, Anthony Hernandez! The Gunner Thames Rodeo is a weekend of family fun with a good cause- the foundation supports scholarships for deserving High School Rodeo athletes, Hays County 4H and FFA Projects, and provides funds for families in crisis.
When Axel found out he won tickets, they couldn’t resist the chance to represent Alterman in style with custom shirts and hats made by his wife. Axel’s incredible 9-year-old, Luna Isabelle, stole the show by winning the Calf Scramble event! Her prize was a whopping 25 chickens! But the best part was that, true to the Alterman spirit of giving back, Axel donated the prize to someone else. Alterman INC would like to thank the Roriguez family for representing them at this wonderful event! -ndw
GOOD. 87 degrees. Slot redfish are on the inside of the ends of the jetties biting Spanish sardines and live shrimp. Bull redfish are slow in the back of the jetties on Spanish sardine. Trout are good free lining live croaker at the ends of the jetties in 20-25 feet of water. Trout are near Alcatraz off the bottom with live shrimp. Drum are scattered at the ends of the jetties but most catches are oversized or undersized. Report by Captain Marty Medford, Captain Marty’s Fish of a Lifetime Guide Service.
GREAT. 88 degrees. Redfish are great in 1-4 feet of water on paddle tails and topwaters. Live and cut bait have been doing great in sand pockets. Trout are great early morning moving deeper as the sun rises. 2-4 feet of water over grass and mixed sand pockets targeting bait heavy areas. Down south lures, mirrolures, and live bait have been doing well. Drum are scattered along wind blown shorelines in the marsh. Dead shrimp is working best. Report provided by Captain Damian Hubbs, Top Gun Outfitters.
GOOD. 89 degrees. Tarpon are all over. Bull and slot redfish are good at the ends of the jetties on cut mullet, live finger mullet. Tarpon are in the same area on live mullet, croaker or shrimp. Gorgeous stingrays are a wonderful site around the jetties. King fish near shore rigs, cobia mixed in biting something wiggly such as freelined shrimp or croaker. Report by Captain Doug Stanford, Pirates of the Bay Fishing Charters.
GOOD. 89 degrees. Shamrock Island producing nice trout catches on croaker or live shrimp freelined or under a popping cork. Wells holding trout. Aransas Bay towards Rockport redfish and drum catches near Ellen’s Byte on live finger mullet. Report by Captain Doug Stanford, Pirates of the Bay Fishing Charters.
GREAT. 86-95 degrees. Fishing on Baffin Bay continues to be great and conditions are still hot and dry with water temperatures still reaching the mid 90s at the hottest part of the day. The wind has been very little to non-existent in the morning till afternoon. Grass lines and scattered grass beds in knee to waist deep water has been holding lots of baitfish with some big reds and trout. With these hot days, fish seek shelter in the cool grass where fish not exposed directly to the sunlight, therefore slightly dirty water is where they mostly reside. Topwaters, of all colors and soft plastics with lots of hinge action have been the top producing lures of choice. Continue to stay safe and courteous out on the water and as always, tight lines! Report by Captain Reanna DeLaCruz, Captain Reanna’s Baffin Bay Adventures. Fishing this past week has been on fire. The early morning trout bite has been non stop in deeper water catching limits with croaker. Report by Gilbert Barrera, Baffin Bay Hunting and Fishing.
Port Mansfield FAIR. 88-91 degrees. Fishing has picked up and topwaters have been doing well. Mansfield Knockers worked over shallow grass and potholes have provided big redfish action. Trout have also been holding in the same waters but redfish have ruled the day. Look for this to continue throughout the fall. Report by Captain Wayne Davis, Hook Down Charters.
GOOD. 90 degrees. Weather is perfect for fishing, but expect some rain this weekend. Speckled trout are excellent with live shrimp either free shrimping or with popping cork. Still a lot of fish in deeper water of the Intracoastal near Three Islands. Sheepshead are spawning near the Old Causeway and tips of both jetties. Spanish and king mackerel are fair trolling. Black drum with redfish mixed north of the causeway. Flounder showing up on edge of the intracoastal. Stay safe out there! Report by Captain Lou Austin, Austin Fishing South Padre.
GOOD. 90 degrees. Weather is perfect for fishing, but expect some rain this weekend. Speckled trout are excellent with live shrimp either free shrimping or with popping cork. Still a lot of fish in deeper water of the Intracoastal near Three Islands. Sheepshead are spawning near the Old Causeway and tips of both jetties. Spanish and king mackerel are fair trolling. Black drum with redfish mixed north of the causeway. Flounder showing up on edge of the intracoastal. Stay safe out there! Report by Captain Lou Austin, Austin Fishing South Padre.
Austin SLOW. Water slightly stained; 84 degrees; 0.65 feet below pool. Multiple types of vegetation are now showing up in all areas of the lake. This should help improve conditions to how they typically have been. Bass seem to be very active right now both shallow and deep. Dragging Texas rig worms around edges of docks and creek mouths has been producing a good number of bites. Early start is definitely the way to go right now but you can definitely catch fish throughout the day. Chasing shade lines, and deeper banks in the afternoon has been the ticket. Seeing quite a bit of fish schooled up on baitfish in the river channel as well. Small swimbaits and dropshots are working well. Overall the lake is fishing well and starting to shape up nicely for fall! Report by Carson Conklin, ATX Fishing.
GREAT. Water lightly stained; 81-90 degrees; 24.48 feet below pool. There is a decent white bass bite vertically jigging spoons in 18-45 feet of water when the schools will hold under the boat. The striper bite has been sporadic with fish catches using live bait and trolling, but it seems like it is about being in the right place at the right time. The unstable weather pattern has the fish all over and at all water depths, so lots of moving and looking to find the biting fish and the occasional topwater action. Report by Travis Holland, TH Fishing.
GOOD. Water clear to slightly stained; 85 degrees; 17.24 feet below pool. With cooler mornings the bass bite is improving and will continue to do so. Catching a bunch of bass on topwaters with a spook and a buzzbait in the morning. After the morning bite wears off you can catch some fish flipping grass. Report by Evan Coleman, Big Bassin Fishing.
GOOD. Water stained; 83 degrees; 0.34 feet below pool. Fishing patterns will hold
steady until the winter months. Catfish are good in 30 feet of water with punch bait. Crappie continue to be good with minnows and chartreuse jigs in 16-22 feet of water over brush piles. Report by Jess Rotherham, Texas Crappie Fishing Service.
SLOW. Water lightly stained; 86 degrees; 86.16 feet below pool. Few reports and anglers on the water due to the limited access and low water level.
Travis FAIR. Water slight stain; 83-85 degrees; 50.63 feet below pool. Lake Travis is fishing great for bass. The topwater bite has been good using walking style baits along the shores as the bass are chasing bait up tight. You can move out to deep water ledges, points and humps to catch some good ones as well. Report by Bryan Cotter, Texas Hawgs.
Walter E. Long
SLOW. Water stained; 1.00 above pool; 87 degrees. Bass fishing has improved with the best bite on calm and cooler days. Bass will be spread out until the weather cools, making it hard to locate schools along the shore but there is some schooling action when it is not too windy. Bass can be caught on topwaters, frogs, worms, swimbaits, grubs or underspins. Fish are spread out till it cools off some more. Still catching some big ones around the shores. The crappie and bream bite are good. Reports of hybrid bass starting to school, so keep an eye out. Report by David Townsend, Austin Fishing Guide. Bass are good with frogs early and Texas rigged 4-5 inch worms in the grass are catching some nice ones up to 6 pounds. If you want to catch plenty of big bluegill, sunfish, crappie and some bass, throw tiny worms and craw worms on tiny ball head jigs or roadrunners and you’ll load the boat. Report by Bryan Cotter, Texas Hawgs. Crappie are good in 12-18 feet of water using chartreuse and black jigs. Report by Jess Rotherham, Texas Crappie Fishing Service
Often imitated, this is the ultimate dove recipe: doves la Mancha, Spanish style grilled doves with herbs and smoked paprika. Easy to make, fast and lip-smacking good.
Super simple, this lets you get all primal with your Labor Day bag of fat, juicy doves. Why? Because you pluck ’em, gut ’em and then grill and eat the birds whole.
Pluck a dove? Seriously. Doves are the easiest bird to pluck, and I can do one in about 90 seconds once I get my groove on. Shooting them for me is the hard part. As I get older its getting more expensive. Shot ratio to bird is about 10-1. But that’s another story for another time back to the recipe.
Not only does plucking make the bird look nicer — like a little baby chicken — but you also get to eat the legs, which are fantastic, if a bit small. I normally leave one digit on the wings because it keeps the breast meat moister, but you don’t have to.
Doves la Mancha is crazy easy. Once you have your plucked doves, you smear melted butter or olive oil all over the birds, then salt them, inside and out.
Stuﬀ the little cavities with fresh herbs: I use rosemary, thyme, sage.
You’ll grill your doves over a very hot ﬁre, ideally charcoal or wood. The general idea is to grill them breast side up for most of the time, with the grill cover down. This smoke roasts your birds.
As they grill — and remember this will only be for a few minutes because you want to serve dove meat medium, not well done — you paint the doves with olive oil or bacon fat, and sprinkle with smoky Spanish paprika; regular paprika is OK, too.
Give this dove recipe a go this dove season. But fair warning: If you do, you might never go back to breasting out your doves again…
• 12 doves
1. Coat the doves with olive oil and salt them well. Stuﬀ each cavity with sage, rosemary, and a bay leaf.
as part of the National Environmental Policy Act. With that decision delivered, TxDOT’s I-35 Central project is slated to move into its final design and review phase before construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2024.
The I-35 Central project is an eight-mile project track running from U.S. Hwy. 290 East to SH 71 and Ben White Boulevard.
• Kosher salt
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 bay leaves
• 12 to 24 sage leaves
• 2 sprigs rosemary, cut into short lengths
• 1/4 cup melted bacon fat, butter, or duck fat
• Spanish smoked paprika
• Black pepper
2. Get your grill hot and clean the grates. Set the doves breast side up and cook them over medium-high heat, with the grill cover closed, for 6 minutes. Open the grill cover and turn the doves over so the top of the breast is wedged between grill grates. Paint the birds with some bacon fat. Let them cook this way for a minute or two, just to get a little color. Turn the doves on their sides and grill for another minute or two — for each side. Paint with more bacon fat.
3. Dust with the smoked paprika and the black pepper and move the birds to a platter. Let them rest for 5 minutes. Eat with your ﬁngers and serve with a bowl to put the bones in. A simple tomato salad is a good accompaniment, as is a loaf of crusty bread.Sarah Houser Commercial Insurance Agent The Nitsche Group Austin, TX
Sarah Houser is a Commercial Insurance Agent with The Nitsche Group Insurance Agency where she works to empower her clients to grow their business while feeling supported and secure.
Since 1949, The Nitsche Group has grown deep industry roots, built strong relationships with top insurance carriers, and cultivated a specialized understanding of insuring industries including contractors, agribusiness, oil and gas, and construction. After nearly 75 years in the business, The Nitsche Group continues to serve some of the largest construction companies in the state.
Sarah has specialized in construction insurance since joining The Nitsche Group, but truly found her footing within the industry during her time with the Bastrop Chamber. There, Sarah’s passion for helping businesses ignited as she worked closely with owners to grow their operations, spotlight their work within the community, & assist in expanding their networks. Through this work, Sarah established a network of her
own within the construction industry and beyond.
Sarah describes herself as an all or nothing type of person, which is evident in each project she throws herself into. Her enthusiasm is not only contagious but also motivating, encouraging those around her to strive for excellence. One she begins something she is wholeheartedly driven to make it a reality.
This dedication extends beyond her career and clients and spurs on her work within the community and industry.
Sarah is a member of The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) - Austin Chapter, an organization she says has truly inspired her.
“It’s amazing to see these women who have been running these companies for decades,” said Sarah. “It’s such a unique experience, and I am so excited to be a part of it.”
Sarah’s excitement and passion was recognized by NAWIC and she was named 2023’s “Newcomer of the Year.” Immediately on the heels of this award, Sarah was installed to the NAWIC Austin Chapter’s Board of Directors
and also serves as the Chairman of its Annual Golf Tournament. NAWIC is an association committed to championing women to impact the direction of the construction industry by providing education, support, community and advocacy for women in the construction industry.
When she’s not taking care of clients or making waves in the community, Sarah enjoys clay shooting, learning to golf, and spending time with her son and fiancé. She mentions that her favorite gift from her Fiancé, other than her engagement ring, is her shotgun— being that her favorite hunting season is dove.
If you ask Sarah what the secret to her success has been, she’ll tell you that its being focused on how she can help people. She also sites that her teams, the people that have been working in the industry with decades of experience, are instrumental to her and the success of her clients. She has certainly found her niche with The Nitsche Group. -ndw
On August 31st, golf enthusiasts from all over the industry gathered at TPC San Antonio for Alterman’s 6th Annual Golf Classic. This highly anticipated event, which featured a sold-out 72 teams, played both championship courses. All proceeds from the tournament went to benefit the Alterman Foundation, emphasizing Alterman’s commitment to giving back to the community.
“The Alterman Golf Classic is more than just a golf tournament; it’s an opportunity to make a positive impact in our communities” remarked Greg Padalecki, CEO and President, “I’m thrilled to see this event continue to grow and raise funds for such meaningful causes.”
The event’s sponsors generously contributed to the raffle prize pool, making it even more enticing to aid the fundraising.
“We believe in the power of community, and events like the Golf Classic allow us to give back in a meaningful way,” said Jamie Lambrecht, coordinator of the event, “The success of this year’s tournament reinforces our commitment to supporting initiatives that make a positive difference in our local communities.”
Alterman’s 6th Annual Golf Classic was more than just a day of golf; it was a day of giving back and making a difference. With a sold-out event and record-breaking participation, it’s clear that the community’s support for Alterman’s charitable endeavors remains as strong as ever.
Photos courtesy of Mary C. Haskin Photography
Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week celebrates the contributions of women in the residential construction industry and supports efforts to promote, train, advance, and add more women to the field. Sept. 11-15 HBA members had an action packed week starting with volunteering with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition + Taylor Morrison where they helped build a house for a family in Central Texas at no cost to the family for the pilot episode of the show’s reboot. Later in the week the ladies socialized at the picture-perfect Taquero Mucho to get to know other home building professionals over tacos & cold drinks. A big highlight of the weeklong event was the inspiring and insightful morning with the Women Impacting Housing Leadership Panel. This panel brought together top female public sector professionals to discuss the biggest housing issues for our region, as well as their experiences as women in leadership. -alm
1st Place: Texas First Rentals
2nd Place: Lone Star Electric Supply
3rd Place: Huband Mantor Construction
1st Place: Bell & McCoy
2nd Place: Sourceblue
3rd Place: Vanjen
Establishments with 100 or more employees in designated high-hazard industries (listed in Appendix B to Subpart E of 29 CFR Part 1904) must electronically submit to OSHA detailed information about each recordable injury and illness entered on their previous calendar year’s OSHA Form 300 Log and Form 301 Incident Report (29 CFR 1904.41). This includes the date, physical location, and severity of the injury or illness; details about the worker who was injured; and details about how the injury or illness occurred.
All the establishments required to submit information from their OSHA Form 300 Log and OSHA Form 301 Incident Report to OSHA under this rule are already required to collect and retain this information, and are currently required to electronically submit to OSHA information from their OSHA Form 300A Annual Summary.
Retains the requirement for all establishments with 250+ employees in industries that must routinely keep records to submit the OSHA Form 300A Annual Summary. Each establishment must provide their legal company name when submitting their data.
Which establishments have to submit?
Establishments that had a peak employment of 100 or more employees during the previous calendar year meet the size criteria. The designated industries are listed in Appendix B to Subpart E of 29 CFR Part 1904. In construction, the industry
classification code for foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors (NAICS 2381) would be required to submit the additional data to OSHA.
OSHA estimates approximately 50,000 establishments will be required to submit their case-specific injury and illness data. OSHA estimates they will submit information on approximately 750,000 injury and illness cases annually. Focusing the requirements on establishments with 100 or more employees in higher hazard industries means that fewer than one percent of establishments in the country will submit additional data, but the injury and illness data submitted by those establishments will comprise nearly 30% of all reportable occupational injuries and illnesses.
OSHA estimates it will cost affected establishments with 100 or more employees an average of $136 per year to comply. The data must be electronically submitted through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) at https://www.osha.gov/ injuryreporting/ita/. The ITA will begin accepting 2023 injury and illness data on January 2, 2024. The due date to complete this submission is March 2, 2024. The submission requirement is annual, and the deadline for timely submission of the previous year’s injury and illness data will be on March 2 of each year.
Construction projects involve a collection of contractual chains, with the involved parties cooperating— hopefully—to achieve a common goal: Successful completion of the project, on time, on budget, and of good quality. These contractual relationships are, however, often fragile in nature, and when things go awry, as they occasionally do, disputes follow. These disputes can escalate and lead to even more expensive and time-consuming litigation or arbitration, the two primary formal mechanisms for resolving disputes. Litigation involves proving claims through trial in court, while arbitration is essentially a private, though not necessarily confidential, trial. Arbitration offers many advantages over litigation, with efficiency and cost-savings often identified as the main benefits. But, while valid, those general positions only scratch the surface of the advantages offered by arbitration. The true advantage is control over the process—control that is often not exercised to its full potential. For any company involved in construction, it is worth having a better understanding of the means of control available to determine whether the use of arbitration may be a preferred means of resolving disputes.
Applicable rules. Arbitration is often administered by an arbitral institution, such as the American Arbitration Association. Such groups frequently offer constructionspecific governing rules that provide for detailed processes and structure for the arbitration, which the parties then do not have to create. When referenced in an arbitration agreement, the rules are generally viewed as being a part of that agreement. Even in non-administered arbitration (e.g., where there is no arbitral institution involved), the question of how various procedural matters will be addressed will arise. It is worth giving thought at the contract drafting stage as to whether it would be beneficial to modify applicable rules or add to them where they fall silent on an issue.
Arbitrator’s qualifications. Being able to choose, or participate in choosing, the arbitrator is one of the most significant advantages of arbitration. An arbitrator can be identified who has a particular skill set, knowledge, or experience, or possesses other qualifications or traits. This can eliminate or reduce the need to present basic, industry-specific information in the arbitration itself (e.g., “what is a change order?”). Additionally, it is common in larger cases for there to be group of three arbitrators deciding a case. This allows for a greater range of experience and knowledge, and reduces the impact that a “rogue” arbitrator might have. There is no equivalent in trial-level litigation.
Exchange of information. The exchange of information—documents in particular—often drives up the cost of litigation and arbitration. Attorneys have a tendency to gravitate towards what is familiar, often including litigation concepts such as interrogatories and other written discovery tools in the arbitral context. But it does not have to be that way. Certain discovery tools may be ignored, limited (e.g., in quantity, time duration), or eliminated entirely, thus saving time and cost.
Limits on arbitrator’s power. Contracts may, and often do, contain limits on one or both parties’ ability to recover certain types or amounts of damages or costs (e.g., damages for delay, consequential damages, etc.). Generally, such contractual terms are enforceable, and arbitration agreements can be drafted to give further effect to such terms by framing them as limits on the arbitrator’s power.
Recovery of attorney fees. Parties often, but not always, want to have the right to recover attorneys’ fees if they win. One of three different scenarios will usually apply:
(1) the contract mandates or permits for the recovery of attorneys’ fees; (2) the contract is silent on the recovery of attorneys’ fees; (3) the contract bars the recovery of attorneys’ fees. There may be variants within these scenarios, including
fee-shifting and caps on recovery. The logic is sound in that someone who prevails wants to be made whole. However, there are potentially unintended consequences in allowing for such recovery. When attorneys’ fees are recoverable, a risk analysis includes the potential for an expanded negative result, where the losing party might not only have to pay an adverse arbitration award, but also the attorneys’ fees incurred by the winning party. But the prospect of such recovery may also embolden a party with the stronger position (or perceived stronger position). When a party has no prospect of recovering its attorneys’ fees, the party is encouraged to conserve costs, knowing that it will not recoup them. Thus, the focus of a risk analysis is on the merits of the dispute. There remains a risk that a party may be inclined to adopt harsher or unreasonable approaches as a means to gain negotiating leverage, knowing that their exposure to attorneys’ fees is lessened or non-existent.
The type of arbitration award. A judgment in litigation generally contains no to minimal reasoning, while arbitration offers the parties various options. An arbitration award may be issued that offers no reasoning—known as a standard award—or may provide a reasoned analysis. Standard awards generally involve less time to prepare and, by extension, are less costly, though they offer minimal insight as to why the particular result was reached. Given the limited information provided, they are—at least theoretically— more insulated from post-award attack, such as a motion to vacate the award. Reasoned awards involve more time to prepare and are more expensive. With the analysis that they offer, there is often less of a question as to why a particular party prevailed. However, empowered with greater information as to why a given result was reached, a non-prevailing party may be provided with a better opportunity to seek to have the award vacated. If there is not an agreement on the form of the award, the arbitrator can generally decide. The issue can also be directly addressed in the arbitration agreement itself.
The final hearing. Litigation does not always proceed uninterrupted or swiftly, and court’s schedules may be particularly difficult to coordinate with as in-person hearings or trials are often required. Conversely, many aspects of the arbitration process are typically conducted remotely. Most communications with the arbitrator and any case manager, in the case of an administered arbitration, are handled via email. Procedural matters requiring a hearing are generally conducted by telephone or video conference. Like a trial, a final hearing in arbitration is typically conducted in-person, but arbitral rules often permit and encourage flexibility.
Arbitration offers a fully customizable process, ranging from the selection of the governing rules and qualifications of the arbitrator to the nature of the final award, and everything in between. Viewing the advantages of arbitration as involving merely efficiency and cost-savings, though accurate, does not fully encompass the advantages that arbitration offers. Those involved in the construction are well-served to understand these advantages, and incorporate aspects of control when drafting and negotiating contracts, and when dealing with disputes in a formal proceeding.
R. Carson Fisk is a shareholder in the Austin, Texas office of Andrews Myers P.C., where he practices in the area of construction law and regularly serves as an arbitrator. He is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He may be reached at cfisk@ andrewsmyers.com.
ith interest rates and energy prices on the rise, it appears that a slowdown in certain construction segments may be on the horizon— or already underway. Especially as we move into 2024.
The AIA’s Consensus Construction Forecast panel, comprised of leading economic analysts, is predicting commercial construction to slow to under 1% in 2024 with commercial spending anticipated to decrease by 1.4% across all sectors. Additional spending cuts are likely, including the industrial sector, of nearly 3%.
When this happens, we tend to see contractors shift their focus towards government projects. The reason behind this shift is straightforward: even with the slowdown, people continue to move to Texas, and infrastructure has to be built to keep up with this growth.
So, while work in other sectors of commercial construction slow down, projects within the government sector tend to remain steady. This is a nobrainer pivot for any business minded contractor, and we’re already seeing a shift that direction.
Bid lists that featured just 4 contractors a year ago now have 12 to 20, which tells me the shift is underway. So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd and secure these projects?
If you are new to the bonding world, we’ll start with the ABCs of Bonding and what you should know to be competitive.
A – Your Agent
The foundation of any successful bonding program starts by selecting the right agent.
The right agent can help you determine the kinds of bonds you need as well as the size and scope of them. While there are many great insurance agents out there, few specialize in surety bonding. Out of roughly 1,000 insurance agents, there are likely only 10% that truly specialize in surety bonding.
An agent who specializes in surety bonds will know what a surety company is looking for in terms of presentation of financials and will be able to help a contractor clearly and effectively communicate with the bonding company regarding a proposed project. Without the correct guidance from an agent specialized in surety bonds, setting up a bond line can be a painful and unsuccessful process.
So how do you determine which agent is the right you?
Be straight forward and ask them how much surety business they handle. If they’re hesitant to answer or beat around the bush, then they likely don’t have the experience needed to offer you surety guidance. Look for an agency that either deals exclusively in surety bonds or one that has a dedicated department. If they don’t have a team set up that is experienced in handling surety bonds, it’s a red flag that they likely won’t be a fit for you and your needs.
Beyond experience with surety bonds and insurance, the ideal agent should have an extensive understanding of the construction industry. More specifically, your agent should be familiar with and understand the area where your company plays ball.
And don’t shy away from asking for recommendations from other contractors you know. The surety world is quite small, and you will often hear the same names being mentioned. A good agent should have a solid reputation from working with construction companies similar to yours, while still understanding that no two contractors are the same. The right agent will understand that your business is not like any other, and will work to get to
Wknow you, your company and your specific circumstances.
B – Bond Company
Choosing the right Surety Bond Company is crucial, and just like in every aspect of life, it’s important to know that not everything will be a good fit. They can look great on paper, but just wouldn’t work out in the long run.
You need to make sure that the Bonding Company you are with is right for you. While looking for a company that suits your needs, keep in mind that just because the bond company has a reputation for being “good,” it doesn’t mean they will be right for you. The Honda Civic is a great car, but it wouldn’t be a great fit on my ranch. It’s hard to haul round bales in a trunk. The same can be true about bond companies.
If you need to have a 5-million-dollar line, you don’t want to be with a company that specializes in 1-million-dollar-lines. The reverse is also true. Neither you nor the bonding company should strain to be a fit for one another.
When looking for a bonding company, be sure to ask what their surety capacity is. If it doesn’t align with your needs, then you should look elsewhere. It wouldn’t make sense to work with a Bond Company that cannot help you achieve the goals you have for your company.
Once you find the right bond company for your needs, keep in mind that your needs may change over time. There may come a day that the bonding company which was once a great fit no longer meets your needs. Don’t be afraid to speak with your agent about moving bond companies as your needs grow or change.
When you start down the road to surety bonds, you will find many things that are important. But the single most important item is capital. More specifically your company’s “working capital.” I have seen bond lines completely destroyed by neglecting their working capital.
Working capital refers to a business’s ability to pay off its current liabilities (items owed) with its current assets. Think of your businesses’ capital as the blood pressure of your bonding program. The bond company will use working capital as a metric to determine the strength and risk of your company. The stronger your business appears, the more likely a bond company is to want to work with you.
To achieve this, every contractor should work with an experienced construction-oriented CPA (Accountant). Working with a CPA can result in faster surety decisions, greater ease of doing business and higher levels of bonding. A CPA can also ensure that reporting to the Bond Company is in order. Without this support, your entire bonding program could fall apart.
If you decide to begin working on bonded jobs, be sure you keep the ABCs in mind. Work with an experienced agent, find a bond company that fits your needs, keep an eye on working capital and team up with a good CPA.
About Jeff Norwood: Jeff Norwood is a Partner with The Nitsche Group Insurance Agency with 25 years of industry experience. As a seasoned insurance agent, Jeff specializes in guiding businesses through the complex world of coverage, compliance, and surety bonds, particularly for clients in the construction and finance sectors. Jeff can be reached at 254493-4600 or emailed at JeffN@TNGins.com.
to all our valued construction peers! As an accountant, I know that our world of ledgers and balance sheets may seem distant from the hustle and bustle of construction sites. However, some recent accounting changes might significantly affect how our industry operates, especially regarding our contracts. Let’s dive into these changes and simplify them for our community.
Contract Assets and Liabilities: What Are They?
In plain terms, contract assets and liabilities are all about money we’re owed for work we’ve done, and money we’ve been paid for work we’re yet to do. These concepts have always been around, but new accounting standards (known as ASC 606 and IFRS 15) are changing how we deal with them.
• Contract Assets: Imagine you’ve finished half of a construction project. You’ve done the work, but you haven’t yet received the full payment for it. This ‘yet-to-be-billed’ amount is a Contract Asset. Think of it as a placeholder for money you’ve earned but haven’t seen yet.
• Contract Liabilities: Now, on the flip side, let’s say a customer pays you upfront for a job you haven’t started. That money is a Contract Liability. It’s essentially a promise that you’ll complete the work for which you’ve already been paid.
The Big Accounting Change
Earlier, we used to lump these assets and liabilities under broad terms like ‘unbilled work’ or ‘prepaid contracts.’ But new rules, make us report our earnings in more detail. Doing so affects how investors, banks, and even your own team gauge the company’s health and plan for the future. Here’s the lowdown:
1. Details, Details, Details: Instead of broadly listing out what’s owed or what’s prepaid, businesses need to break down and match earnings with the specific work done.
2. Timing Shift: This might mean that the way we show our earnings can shift. Instead of recognizing everything when we get paid, we’ll now show it when we do the work.
3. Transparency is Key: The new rules encourage businesses to share more about their contracts. This means letting stakeholders know how and when you expect money to come in or go out.
To make this crystal clear, let’s go through a quick example featuring a fictional construction company called BuildCo.
BuildCo lands a $1 million contract to construct an office building. The client pays half upfront—that’s $500,000. According to the new accounting rules,
Hellothis $500,000 is a contract liability. BuildCo can’t count this as ‘earned’ money until they’ve done the work. As they complete different stages of the project, they can slowly recognize this as revenue.
At the halfway point of the project, BuildCo estimates they’ve done $600,000 worth of work. They have only been paid $500,000 so far, so they now have a contract asset of $100,000. This means BuildCo can record this $100,000 as revenue they’ve earned but haven’t yet billed the client for, as well as recognize revenue for the $500,00 they received up front.
What Does This Mean for Construction Firms?
This might sound complicated, but it’s essential info for running a construction business in today’s world. The way you record contract assets and liabilities can impact your cash flow, your working capital, your project budgets, and even the contracts you agree to in the first place.
1. Negotiating Contracts: Being clear on these rules can help when you’re negotiating new projects. For example, you might opt for milestone payments to better align with when you can recognize revenue.
2. Cash Flow: Properly recording contract assets and liabilities can give you a clearer picture of your cash flow, which is vital for any construction business.
3. Company Valuation: Accurate accounting can influence how much your business is worth, which is key if you’re looking to sell, merge, or secure loans.
Wrapping It Up
In essence, these new accounting rules are making us all sharpen our pencils and pay more attention to the fine print. It might take a bit of getting used to, but the result is a more transparent and efficient construction industry. So, spend some time training your accounting team on these new standards or even consult with accounting experts to make sure you’re on the right track.
In the ever-changing world of construction, keeping up with the rules of the game is not just smart—it’s essential for staying in the game.
And that’s the bottom line! Stay tuned for more insights that help you build better and smarter.
Last September, Nunnelly General Contractors broke ground to begin building Silos Elementary school for Medina Valley ISD, in the Silos Master Planned Community. Now they are about six months away from completion of this massive project- the school campus will sit on 17 acres, and will be nearly 100,000 square feet.
I was able to speak with Matt Fischel, On-site Project Manager for Nunnelly. He led the application for this job with the district, and ultimately, two companies were chosen to interview for the job. Matt was thrilled that all of their hard work paid off when he was informed they had been awarded the project. The planning and coordination required for this project is immense, and right now the budget sits around a whopping $42 million. Having worked on several school projects already,
Subcontractors: Chapman Sitework, D&W Painting, Ericstad Masonry, IES Electrical, JR Waterproofing, Millard Drywall, Ohaver Plumbing, Turner Roofing, Texas Saffire, Urban Concrete, Victoria Air, Zinsmeyer Steel
including the Somerset Performing Arts center and Central Catholic High School, Matt was well prepared for this challenge. Silos Elementary School will be built
Established in 1952, the Texas Architectural Foundation (TAF) allows deserving students to pursue their dreams of an architectural education, and to enhance the quality of the academic experience at Texas universities. Since its inception, TAF has distributed approximately $2.8 million in scholarships and grants to more than 2,500 students at the various programs in Texas. In 2023, TAF awarded more than $94,000 to 58 recipients!
TAF’s success and strength comes from the generosity and goodwill of its donors, which include architects, architecture firms, and Texas AIA components, as well as other associations, organizations, and individuals dedicated to excellence in architectural education.
TAF Spotlight Recipient
Lei’Aylah L.A. Anderson-Combee
Lei’Aylah L.A. Anderson-Combee is a dedicated 20-year-old architecture student at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. She currently focuses on her studies and works as a Night Operations Front Desk Assistant and is a recipients of an AIA Wichita Falls Chapter Scholarship.
“This scholarship aids my financial security as I am an individual provider of my college funding for my future in architecture. My worries were focused solely on making ends meet for my following semester, hindering my education, however, my focus can and will be shifted to re-adjust where I began to falter. Thanks to TAF and its generosity in the furthering of architectural education, this is possible.”
with safety in mind first. From ballistic glass to overlapping windows in the classrooms and state of the art surveillance, that has been the number one priority.
Matt was also excited by the science lab that is very high end, something not typically seen in elementary schools. They have also planned to install acoustic panels in many colors to ensure the gym and cafeteria are lively, fun spaces. The library will be vibrant and full of color, with a Storybook Section that will feature beautiful, artistic cabinetry and a large A-Z art installation that was designed by the district Library Director.
Many Master Planned Communities are embracing the model of hosting an elementary school, which is both convenient for students and families and helps foster community growth in these new neighborhoods. Matt says he certainly sees a lot of children walking and playing in the Silos already. Next fall, they will step inside their brand new school. -ndw
Bartlett Cocke, the San Antonio businessman who founded Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, died peacefully at his San Antonio home surrounded by those he loved.
Bartlett was born in San Antonio and graduated from Alamo Heights High School (Class of ’48). Bartlett continued to The University of Texas where he studied business. His service as SAE rush chairman no doubt contributed to the “five-year plan” he pursued at UT, but as he matured, he began honing the strong work ethic, self-discipline, and sense of purpose that would characterize him. Bartlett joined the Air Force in 1953, rising to First Lieutenant. Stationed in Germany, he controlled flights between Frankfurt and Berlin and fighter jets in southern Germany.
Two years later Bartlett returned to the US where he worked for Browning Construction Company. He set out on his own in 1959 with a handful of tiny jobs. He first rented a small office from his best friend, Frank Prassel (with whom he later calculated he ate over 2,000 Wednesday lunches). He then bought his own property on Perrin Beitel Road. In 1969 the company was incorporated as Bartlett Cocke Jr. Construction Co. and participated in the construction of Hemisfair Park, and in 1981 completed its first high-rise office building, One Riverwalk Place. Today his former company is 64 years old with additional offices in Austin and Houston. While he was gratified for each project he built, he was proudest
that he built a business, and what brought him the greatest satisfaction was that employees could become shareholders in the company.
Bartlett served as President of the Associated General Contractors of Texas and of San Antonio, President of the KLRN Endowment Fund, and on the Alamo Heights School Board and the boards of Alamo National Bank and Broadway Bank. He was inducted into the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and established the Bartlett Cocke Executive-in-Residence Scholarship Fund at UTSA College of Business. Bartlett served in many roles at Christ Episcopal Church including Sunday school teacher, youth leader, member of a rector search committee, and Senior Warden. A book lover, he read more than 60 biographies of Winston Churchill. Bartlett encouraged his children to pursue educational opportunities that sometimes took them far from home and toward vocations they could develop on their own.
MTL Construction getting a building pad prepped & ready for Tex-Mex restaurant, Z’ Tejas in Kyle
Pape-Dawson Engineers has partnered with Costello as part of its strategy to grow its industryleading civil engineering practice within Texas and across the United States.
Established in 1991, Costello is a Houston-based civil engineering and surveying firm with 195 employees between Houston and Austin. The firm’s impressive resume includes numerous water and wastewater facilities, master drainage plans, residential developments, and transportation projects. The partnership brings expanded capabilities to Pape-Dawson clients, including landscape architecture and structural services.
“Costello’s reputation in the civil
engineering industry and its consistent status as one of Houston’s Best Places to Work are both testaments to the values and success of the company’s leadership,” said Pape-Dawson CEO, Sam Dawson. “This partnership provides added resources and expertise to better serve our combined client base in one of the largest cities in the nation.”
“Costello is thrilled to join the Pape-Dawson family,” said Dustin O’Neal, President/CEO of Costello. “We are excited to expand our capabilities, strengthen our commitment to serving our clients, and provide even more opportunities to our outstanding team members. Together, we are the premier firm in the state of Texas.”
Content submitted by Associations to Construction News
ABC CTX Associated Builders & Contractors Central Texas Chapter
Oct. 12: Bourbon and Bubbles, 6-9pm, To RSVP for this event, email email@example.com
Oct. 26: Boots & Bling - Excellence in Construction Awards Gala, 6-9:30pm. Event contact, Tricia Churchill, tchurchill@ abccentraltexas.org
Greater Austin Contractors & Engineers Association
Oct. 6: Coffee Chats, TBD, Contact: info@ aceatx.com, 512-893-7076
Associated General Contractors Austin
Oct. 27-28: Rodeo & BBQ Cook Off, Mayfest Park, 25 American Legion Dr., Bastrop
American Institute of Architects Austin
Oct. 5: GRAN Tour: CoXist, 12-1pm
Oct. 28-29: 37th Annual AIA Austin Homes Tour
Home Builders Association Greater Austin
October 12: HBA Oktoberfest Social, 5-7pm, K&N Appliance Gallery, 7719-A Burnet Rd.
October 18: HBA Builder Panel Discussion with the Young Professionals Council
October 27: HBA Golf Classic at the Teravista Golf Club, Register for these events at HBAAustin.com
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association
Oct. 22: Regular & Associates Meeting, 11:30am at The Petroleum Club
Oct. 25: Joint Industry Fund Meeting, 11:30am, MCA-SMACNA Office
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Oct. 27: Austin NARI 4th Annual Workforce Development Foundation Chili Cook-off & Cornhole Tournament, 11am-7pm. Contact Kayvon at 512-375-2601 or kayvon@ austinnari.org
National Utility Contractors Association
Oct. 2: Austin Fall Golf Tournament, 8am5:10pm, Shadow Glen Golf Club, 12801 North Lexington St., Manor
Oct. 20: Live Trench Training, 7am-1pm, PGC General Contractors, 1501 Blackjack St., Lockhart
Roofing Contractors Association of Texas
Oct. 4: Annual Golf Tournament, 12-5pm, Wild Cat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd, Houston
Texas Air Conditioning Cooling Contractors Association
Oct. 6: Annual Golf Tournament, 7:30am3pm, Shadow Glen Golf Club, 12801 Lexington St., Manor.
Texas Society of Architects
Oct. 28-29: AIA Austin Homes Tour, www. aiaaustin.org/programs/homes-tour