USACE Galveston District launches real estate application; streamlines federally-controlled property process

GALVESTON, Texas (Dec. 14, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District’s Real Estate Division launched an updated real estate application earlier this month that outlines the process required to use federally-controlled property located within the USACE Galveston District.

“Applicants were faced with the daunting task of navigating through an unfamiliar process to request the use of federal lands,” said Jody Rowe, the Technical Services Branch Chief for the USACE Galveston District Real Estate Division. “We understand that this will always be a complex process but we’re working to clarify the process so that applicants are in the best position to have their applications evaluated.”

According to Rowe, nearly 300 active requests to use a portion of the 283,000 acres of federally-controlled land overseen by the district are managed each year, which range from licenses for temporary uses to requests for easements to build on federal land.

“Staff identified areas in the Real Estate Outgrant Program that if better understood by the applicant in advance, could potentially save applicants’ time and taxpayers’ tens of thousands of dollars annually,” said Rowe. “Taking into consideration that there are a multitude of variables that need to be evaluated with each request, we redesigned the application to include information that guides applicants through the process step by step.”

Even with these changes, Rowe adds that there is still more that needs to be done to familiarize applicants with the Real Estate Outgrant Program – a program to authorize the use federal property managed by the USACE Galveston District and establish the timeframe, consideration, conditions and restrictions of its use by way of an outgrant instrument, such as a lease, easement or a license.

“We recognize that applicants can feel overwhelmed by this process and we are planning a series of virtual training webinars in 2016 to help answer additional questions,” said Rowe. “Real estate, regulatory and navigation staff will be on hand to offer a Pipeline Webinar in March 2016 and a Navigation Construction Webinar in June 2016.”

In addition to the webinars, Rowe notes that staff will be working to launch an e-newsletter and instructional videos to address frequently asked questions. Additionally, she suggests that applicants call the Real Estate Division at 409-766-3800, email staff at swg-re@usace.army. mil or visit the Real Estate Division webpage at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/RealEstateDivision.aspx.

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 270 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.

For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.

U.S. Army’s Chief of Engineers visits Tulsa District

U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, met with members of the Tulsa District's Leadership Development Program Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa District office.  Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships.  (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)
U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, met with members of the Tulsa District’s Leadership Development Program Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa District office. Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships. (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)

TULSA – The U.S. Army’s top engineer visited Oklahoma to thank Tulsa District employees for their service and hard work, Dec. 7-8.

Lieutenant Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander praised Tulsa District employees for their efforts to protect life and property during the May and June floods of 2015.

Bostick began his visit with a tour of Keystone Dam and its hydropower facilities and the Keystone Bridge replacement project, which was completed in early 2015. The bridge spanning Keystone Dam connects Highway 151A to the north and south banks of the Arkansas River and is one example of cost sharing between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation contributed $6 million to the project.

Bostick then hosted a session on multipurpose reservoirs with stakeholders from the Kansas Water Office, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Southwestern Power Administration and Southwestern Power Resources Association to discuss hydropower and water supply in the region.

U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, held a town hall meeting for members of the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa District office.  Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships.  (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)
U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, held a town hall meeting for members of the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa District office. Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships. (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)

According to Bostick, the Corps of Engineers is engaged in the discussion of water supply at all levels.

“There is a very real and great concern on water supply and what the Corps’ role is in that,” said Bostick. “The Corps is very actively thinking and working in the interagency from a National Level on the water supply issue. It’s a national and international issue of importance, and we are working with the interagency partners to determine what role the Corps has and we’re aggressively pursuing ways that we can help and that’s happening at the local level as well.”

U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, views informational material on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System while attending a stakeholder meeting Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.  Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships.  (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)
U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, views informational material on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System while attending a stakeholder meeting Dec. 8, 2015 at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships. (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)

The final day of the visit included a tour of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and meetings with port operators from the Oklahoma portion of the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The Port of Catoosa is the nation’s most inland freshwater port.

The MKARNS is a 445 mile water highway that connects Eastern Oklahoma to the Mississippi River.

“This is a great port, not only the Port of Catoosa but all of the other ports along the MKARNS and we understand the great value that they add, not only to the local economy but to the national economy,” said Bostick. “I often say that our inland waterways and our ports are the economic backbones of this country and talking with all of the stakeholders on the MKARNS, they fully appreciate that. They’ve invested their own money to ensure that it remains a relevant and viable part to the local and national economy. Most importantly, I think we’ve got great teamwork and understanding at the local level and that’s really very important for us to move forward successfully.”

U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, is briefed on power plant operations Dec. 7, 2015 at the  Keystone Dam Powerhouse, near Mannford Okla.  Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships.  (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)
U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, is briefed on power plant operations Dec. 7, 2015 at the Keystone Dam Powerhouse, near Mannford Okla. Bostick visited the Tulsa District to thank district employees for their hard work in meeting challenging mission requirements and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships. (U.S. Army Photo by Preston L. Chasteen/Released)

The visit culminated with meetings with the Tulsa District’s Leader Development Program and a town hall meeting in which Bostick recognized 11 Tulsa District employees with Chief of Engineers Coins of Excellence, presented DeFleury Medals to Keith Francis from Assistant District Counsel at the Tulsa District and Terry Rupe, the chief of Real Estate.

Bostick wrapped up the town hall meeting by answering questions from Tulsa District employees.

During the town hall, Bostick praised the Tulsa District’s flood risk management efforts, specifically with regard to communicating with the public.

“The work of the Tulsa District in response to the floods of May 2015, could not have been done better. They are the example of how this should be done. I know Brigadier Gen. [David] Hill [Southwestern Division Commander] and Col. [Richard] Pratt [Tulsa District Commander] have been able to engage with the senior leadership of the Corps of Engineers,” said Bostick. “They talked about some of the things they were doing. Some were new lessons for me to see how the social media really spiked and demonstrated the ability of the district, not only to accomplish the work that needed to be done, but then to communicate in a rapid fashion to the American public so that the people of Tulsa understood areas of threat, areas of safety and the ongoing efforts by the Corps of Engineers.”