Court Report

Commissioners Court approves CMAR contract with Morganti Texas, Inc. for new Courthouse

After agreeing on terms at a workshop yesterday, Commissioners Court approved the final negotiated AIA form of Agreement between the county and Morganti Texas, Inc. as Construction Manager at Risk for construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse.
Commissioners Court also approved $515,065 for the pre-construction service fee; approved a Construction Manager Fee of 2.2 percent of the construction cost, and a 3 percent fee for any additional work, said Purchasing Agent Martha "Marty" Salazar.

Morganti was selected using a 1-Step process where a cost proposal is submitted along with qualifications in a competitive environment. As a result, Morganti's fee of 2.2 percent is less than the current market rate of approximately 4 percent, resulting in significant savings to the county, said Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, who led negotiations Monday, on behalf of Commissioners Court.

"We were lucky that when Morganti first presented their proposal to us, that it appeared that there would be two other bidders," Cantu said. "That made Morganti's proposal competitive."

Courthouse Project
L-R: Economic Development Director Michael Leo, Jacobs Project Manager Aaron Sarfati, Jacobs Project Manager Brian McIntyre, Morganti Director of Construction Development Paul Kummer, and Jacobs Project Manager Oscar Garcia.

The Construction Manager at Risk will work closely with the project manager and architectural firm through pre-construction to closely manage the scope, schedule and budget for the construction of the new courthouse.

Click here for updates on the Courthouse Project.

The current courthouse was built in 1954 to serve seven courts. Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said construction could begin as early as the fall.

"The new Hidalgo County Courthouse construction will be done without losing the functionality of the current courthouse and without the need to rehouse any county services," Garcia said. "The new courthouse is designed to last over 100 years and is being built to accommodate the current 24 courts, with an extra six empty courtrooms, and will have the ability to add four more courtrooms, should the need arise."

County hosts premier Emergency Responder training

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The 6th Annual South Texas All Hazards Conference, which provides training for emergency responders, will be held on March 28 and 29 at the McAllen Convention Center.

Health and Human Services Chief Administrative Officer Eduardo "Eddie" Olivarez received approval of an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between the City of McAllen and Hidalgo County for the event. According to Olivarez, the conference has become the second-largest in the state and now attracts attendees from across the country.

"We have people from all over the country coming to this," said Olivarez. "We have 1,600 people pre-registered for this event; that's double from last year at this time."

The conference is not open to the public. Emergency responders and staff who are part of incident response teams are encouraged to attend the conference, which is organized by Hidalgo County Health and Human Services, Hidalgo County Emergency Management, the City of McAllen and Texas Department of Emergency Management, with funding provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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HCLS President Kate P. Horan reports e-Library is showing growth in users.

Free, downloadable books, music and more is available via the County's e-Library program

According to representatives from the Hidalgo County Library System, the Hidalgo County e-Library has registered 1,277 patrons who have downloaded nearly 6,000 eBooks and Audio Books in the six months since its launch.

HCLS Board President Kate P. Horan said the number of users has been steadily rising since the launch on August 31.

"I'm very happy with the results that the e-Library has received," Horan said. "But we will continue to promote it."

In 2017, Commissioners Court invested $400,000 to fund the e-Library in order to promote reading and plans to contribute an additional $70,000 this year for more books and resources. 

"It's exciting to see that South Texas is part of the national trend in literacy," Horan said.

Any Hidalgo County resident, with a valid library card, may register for the e-Library. Users will need the RBDigital app, which is free to download for iOS and Android devices. Click here for more information on the e-Library and HCLS. 

HCLS is supported with funds from Hidalgo County, and is comprised of 13 municipal libraries in Hidalgo County that work together as a federated system.

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Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!

If you missed today's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking hereYou can also watch today's Commissioners Court   and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m. Or watch it on Friday morning at 9 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners Court will be on Tuesday, March 20. 
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court at 9:30 a.m.

Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
Hidalgo County YouTube Channel.
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at

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