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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPARA PUBLICACION INMEDIATAWharton and Fort Bend County officials gathered at the Department of Public Safety's Pierce office Thursday morning to officially break ground on a new communications tower. The $1.5 million tower is being funded through a Fort Bend County Homeland Security grant, but placed at Pierce to cover the airways of Wharton County as part of a 13-county Houston Galveston Area Council of Governments effort.
As part of the agreement, Wharton County along with the cities of El Campo and Wharton will have to take over maintenance of the tower. Representatives from Wharton County along with the cities of El Campo and Wharton were on hand for the brief ceremony behind the station. It's part of an effort to cover 26,000 square miles with radio signals, John Chaney of Harris County Regional Radio said, adding "this is a big piece toward what is happening" - coverage from Galveston to Dallas. Wharton City Councilman Domingo Montalvo called the soon-to-be constructed tower a "big tool in order to do more for citizens" while El Campo Mayor Phillip Spenrath praised the effort as assisting with planning for the future. As Hurricane Ike picks up speed and grows into a bigger storm, the city of Houston and Harris County Emergency Management are beginning to evacuate residents. Governor Rick Perry of Texas has already put the National Guards of Texas on standby to help with the emergency situation created by the approaching hurricane Ike. Mayor Bill White Of Houston and a Harris County Judge Ed Emmett have issued orders for mandatory evacuations of residents living in Harris County zip codes 77586 (Zone A), 77058, 77059, 77062, 77520, 77546, 77571, 77598 (Zone B) beginning at noon today.
Here is a Houston Area Zip Code map showing Houston Evacuation Zones and Harris County Evacuation Zones. In February 2014, the City began to offer quicker payment on invoices in exchange for early payment discounts. While the net 30 – and, even net 45 (payment within 45 days of receipt of invoice) –term of payment is commonplace in various industries, some vendors desire to get paid faster.


The Public Works department is responsible for providing Water, Sewer, Streets, Mosquito Spraying, Animal Control, Code Compliance, Facility Management, Fleet Management for our city. When disaster strikes, having an emergency plan, and emergency supply kit and a way to stay informed is key to making sure your family is ready. Agencies in Harris and Fort Bend counties rely upon an incompatible 700-800 megahertz system. Alan Spears said in an e-mail to the Leader-News, adding the tower should be complete by the end of February.
Eventually, we should be able to communicate from one end of the state to the other," he added.
Handicapped residents, senior citizens and others with special needs are being evacuated this morning. He has also issued a disaster declaration for about 88 counties of Texas that are most likely to affected by the Hurricane.
While this program is still in its infancy, the City has been able to save $108,838.11 from February 2014 to April 2015 (see graph below).
Early payment discounts allow the vendor to entice their clients in to paying quickly – generally within 10 or 20 days – by offering a small discount on the invoice’s full amount. Some need it to increase cash flow, others like the certainty in being able to reduce their accounts receivable sooner, and some have high borrowing costs compared to the discounts they offer. In the graph below, you’ll notice a spike in February and March 2015 (FY15 periods 8 and 9); this is because a vendor on a large purchase that was paid out in those two months offered the City friendly early payment discount terms of payment that the City paid within. Once the tower is complete and new equipment purchased, Wharton County emergency responders will be able to communicate with their Fort Bend County and Houston counterparts.


Also, residents of low lying areas in the Houston area and Harris County will also start evacuating today following a mandatory evacuation order that has been issued. FEMA and other federal agencies are working hard to make sure that all emergency preparation are in place following President Bush’s declaration of emergency in the State of Texas. This model of purchasing on account or credit is common in government and larger private sector companies. As the program continues to develop, the City is looking to expand its offering of quicker payment to construction and other capital projects in the coming months. As more procurements and vendors opt into the program, discounts taken will increase around the same time the bigger procurements come up for payment. Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall somewhere south of the Galveston and will bring with Hurricane 4 power winds and big wave surges. The City's tradition of paying net 30 (paying within 30 days) provides a balance of allowing the City ample time to verify and process the invoice while also ensuring the vendor receives payment within a reasonable amount of time. This means if the client pays in 10 days or less, a $100 invoice would only be $98; otherwise, the invoice is due in full within 30 days from receipt. Generally, the discount – a couple of percentage points on the face value of the invoice – is far more than the company could earn in interest on holding the cash for an extra couple of days. A mandatory evacuation order is also in place for the entire Galveston island and was issued by the Mayor of Galveston.



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