Wow, fiscal year 2015 was an amazing year for the Galveston District! The list of accomplishments exceeded my expectations and I could not be more proud of you. Together with our partners, the district carried more than its fair share of the nation’s work load and delivered vital projects, programs and services to the American public. Thank you for your continued efforts to be responsive to our customers and meet our commitments. Not only did you meet commitments, but you also dramatically strengthened key partnerships and increased trust with our stakeholders. The positive reputation of the district continues to grow and the importance of your work is recognized at the national level.
At the town hall, I had the opportunity to highlight many of your accomplishments and provide my assessment of the district’s outlook for FY16 and beyond. What I was most pleased with for FY15 was your ability to deliver on the priorities we set a year ago. Awarding the long overdue Port Arthur Resident Office contract to replace a facility destroyed by Hurricane Ike seven years ago was one of these priorities. Similarly, awarding the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety megaproject was on the top of our priority project list for FY15.
Another example of priorities is the study effort on the coastal Texas and Houston Ship Channel projects. These two nationally significant studies demonstrate the commitment by USACE to solve the nation’s toughest engineering problems. While the studies themselves require a combined $30 million, the construction effort will be on the scale of billions of dollars. The potential benefits are even greater and these projects serve as cornerstones of our Texas coast strategy.
Also in support of our coastal Texas strategy is maintaining our existing infrastructure and supporting non-federal investment. The efforts to maintain our navigation and flood risk management infrastructure were delivered flawlessly with over $130 million executed this past year. Our outgrants, contributed funds, permits and other services for stakeholders, sponsors and the general public continue to demonstrate our relevance to coastal Texas by supporting $100’s of billions in non-federal investment and public-private partnerships.
The outlook for next year could not be more positive. As we finalize our priorities for FY16, I’m eager to hear your feedback. A couple of focus efforts will be on our people and on managing our district knowledge. These two priorities are foundational to delivering on all our other focus areas. In FY16 we will continue to work on refining our Texas coast strategy, strengthening partnerships, streamlining our processes, reducing risks and responding to emergencies. It really takes all of us working together to achieve these lofty goals. Your commitment to the district’s mission is the #1 enabler of our success. Thank you for your support.
Col. Rich Pannell
District Commander, USACE Galveston