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Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Oct. 20)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Oct. 20. It;s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:08 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

6:11 p.m.

Council Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. These items were pulled for workshop discussion:

  • Munson Avenue Rehabilitation: The Munson Avenue Rehabilitation Project will rehabilitate Munson Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to Dominic Drive. In addition to rehabilitating the pavement, water and wastewater lines will be replaced, and a section of underground duct bank for future electrical utilities will be installed. Total project budget of $2.6 million is included for this project in the Streets Capital Improvement Projects Fund, Water Capital Improvement Projects Fund and theWastewater Capital Improvement Projects Fund. Design of the project is scheduled for FY15 with construction scheduled for FY16.

6:31 p.m.

Gateway Signage

The council heard a presentation regarding gateway signage for the city. The consensus of the council was for staff to move forward with the project.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

6:54 p.m.

Aggieland Humane Society

The council accepted a report from the Aggieland Humane Society. The city’s annual payment of $205,000 in sheltering fees is part of tonight’s consent agenda.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

7:00 p.m. 

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop meeting was adjourned. The regular meeting will begin after a short break.

7:10 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:12 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

7:12 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • A $15,000 FY15 funding agreement with of the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley, and the organization’s budget.
  • A $102,370 contract renewal with Utility Restoration Services for annual pad-mount equipment repair and restoration.
  • Appointed Bill Harris to the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors, subject to approval by the Brazos County Commissioners Court.
  • A resolution stating that the city council has reviewed and approved the city’s investment policy, broker-dealer list and investment strategy.
  • A $144,820 contract with Binkley & Barfield for professional services associated with the Graham Road Rehabilitation Project.
  • A $377,470 contract with Binkley and Barfield for professional engineering services related to the Munson Avenue Rehabilitation Project.
  • A contract not to exceed $150,000 with DIJ Construction for annual pavement markings and striping of roadways.
  • A $77,150.68 change order with Kieschnick General Contractors for the Royder-Live Oak Sewer Extension Project.
  • A $148,400 contract with Freese & Nichols for professional services associated with the Well Field Collection System Loop Project.
  • Renewal of a consulting contract not to exceed $ 150,000 with First Southwest Company for financial advisory services.
  • The award of a $1,575,000 annual contract to Brenco Marketing Corporation for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  •  An annual payment of $205,000 to the Aggieland Humane Society for contracted services.
  • The 2014 Property Tax Roll of $29,803,313.50.

8:11 p.m.

Oil & Gas Permit

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve an oil and gas operations permit to Halcon Operating Company for a second well on a 71-acre tract north of the Holleman Drive South-Cain Road intersection. Councilman Karl Mooney voted against the motion.

An earlier motion to extend the sound wall around the drill site passed unanimously.

The council approved the first well on Oct. 9.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:11 p.m.

The regular meeting has been adjourned. The council meets again Thursday, Nov. 13.

 

Five things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

gavel[1]By Colin Killian, Communications/Marketing Specialist

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Aggieland Humane Society: The council will hear a workshop report about the Aggieland Humane Society. The council will consider the city’s annual payment of $205,000 in sheltering fees as part of the consent agenda.
  2. Veterans Memorial Funding: The council will consider the budget for the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley, along with a $15,000 funding agreement for FY15.
  3. BVGCD Board Appointment: The council will consider appointing Bill Harris to the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District, subject to approval by the Brazos Count Commissioners Court.
  4. Street Rehabilitation Projects: The council will consider contracts with Binkley & Barfield for professional services related to the Graham Road ($144,820) and Munson Avenue ($377,470) rehabilitation projects.
  5. Oil & Gas Permit: After a public hearing, the council will consider approving an oil and gas operations permit to Halcon Operating Company for a second well on a 71-acre tract north of the Holleman Drive South-Cain Road intersection. The council approved the first well on Oct. 9.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A detailed live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and also can be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Related links:                                                                 

 

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 9)

gavel[1]

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 9. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:48 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

6:01 p.m.

Council Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. These items were pulled for workshop discussion:

  • Interlocal Library Agreement: This item would renew the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Library, which will soon be expanded. Under the new agreement, custodial responsibilities will move from the City of Bryan to the City of College Station, and a policy will be implemented to reduce the number of full-time staff through attrition to supplement the library materials budget. The agreement also revises the Twin City Inter-Library Loan Program to allocate expenses more equitably.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

  • Techline Increase: This item increases an existing bid award to Techline by $127,164.56 to allow the purchase of additional needed materials until the annual price agreement can be re-bid next year.

 6:14 p.m.

Change Order Audit

The council accepted the city internal auditor’s change order report, which determined that the city’s processes are effective but need improvement.

The audit found that the city is mostly compliant with relevant statutes, policies, and procedures, but approval practices need to be strengthened. Controls against fraud and abuse are moderately strong, change orders appear to be justified, and controls over prices appear to be sufficient.

However, the study also found that documentation needs to be improved, greater emphasis should be placed on negotiation, and the city should make its ethics hotline available to vendors and their employees. No change orders were identified that shouldn’t have been approved.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

6:34 p.m.

University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Phase II

The council was updated on the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Phase II Project, which will run from Tauber Street to South College Avenue. Phase I was completed in 2012.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

6:43 p.m. 

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop meeting was adjourned. The regular meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

7:03 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:13 p.m.

Proclamations

Mayor Nancy Berry presented proclamations recognizing Oct. 16 as B-CS Habitat for Humanity Day and Oct. 9-11 as College Station Professional Firefighters’ Fill the Boot Days to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Accepting the Habitat for Humanity proclamation (below) was Marco Maina, executive director of Habitat’s local chapter.

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Pictured with Mayor Berry (below), from left to right, are Carrie Dalton, director of business development for the local chapter of the MDA, Assistant Fire Chief Paul Gunnels, student Peter Ramirez, Firefighter Association President Mike Clements, and Firefighter Second-Class Jeffrey Keefauver.

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7:17 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Ben Roper recognized Marine Pfc. Chad E. Bales as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial. A 20-year-old from Coahoma, Bales was killed in a non-hostile vehicle accident in Iraq on April 3, 2003.

7:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • Renewal of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • A three-month extension to the Chimney Hill lease with DVA Renal Healthcare.
  • A bid award of $563,601 for the annual purchase of three phase pad-mounted transformers to be maintained in inventory. The bid will be awarded by line item to the lowest responsible bidder.
  • Renewal of a $78,000 bid award for city-branded uniforms for parks athletic programs and other city departments with CC Creations ($45,000) and Monograms and More ($33,000).
  • A $127,164.56 increase (for a total not to exceed $635,822.81) in an existing award to Techline for electrical items to will be stored in inventory.
  • Renewal of a contract not to exceed $750,000 annually with Payment Processing for electronic credit card processing and merchant account services.
  • A $386,400 funding agreement with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley for FY15 affiliate funding, including annual program and marketing.
  • The FY15 budget and a $100,000 funding agreement with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley for operations and maintenance, with $35,000 coming from the General Fund and $65,000 coming from the Hotel Tax Fund.
  • The FY15 budget and a $25,000 funding agreement with the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce.
  • A $15,000 FY15 funding agreement with the College Station Noon Lions Club.
  • A $250,000 FY15 funding agreement with the B-CS Convention and Visitors Bureau to administer the CVB Grant Program.
  • The FY15 budget and a $1.32 million funding agreement with the B-CS Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • A $350,000 FY15 funding agreement with the Research Valley Partnership.
  • A $698,659.38 contract with Dudley Construction for the 30-Inch Water TransmissionLine Reinstallation Project.

8:14 p.m.

Oil & Gas Drilling and Operations Permit

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to approve an oil and gas operations permit requested by Halcon Operating Co. for a well on a 71-acre tract located northeast of the Holleman Drive South-Cain Road intersection. Councilman Karl Mooney voted against the motion. Seven citizens spoke during the public hearing: Four were against the proposal, one was for it and two expressed concerns.

The proposed site is classified as High Impact under city ordinance since 12 residential buildings are within 1,000 feet of the site. In the original proposal, the well site was within 600 feet of several residential structures, which would have required waivers from those property owners and residents. However, the applicant moved the site outside the 600-foot area. CME Testing and Engineering evaluated the public impact and concluded that the distances to the nearest residential backyard fences should not have a significant adverse effect on human health.

A truck route map also was provided to define and limit the acceptable route, as well as a $250,000 bond to repair road and other damage that may occur through drilling and operations. Access to the site will be from a private drive off Holleman.

The College Station Fire Department will provide emergency response and limited firefighting services, but the operator will be responsible for firefighting within the site in accordance with state regulations. The applicant must also provide and maintain an earthen drive access path at least 10 feet wide outside the site for wildland firefighting access.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:31 p.m. 

Temporary First Street Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to temporarily remove parking along the 300 Block of First Street from Dec. 1-July 1 to allow for emergency vehicle access while an adjacent development is under construction.

Letters were mailed to affected property owners, and the project engineer met with the property owners to discuss the plan. The Northgate District Association was also notified of the temporary parking removal. No Parking signs will be installed by the contractor.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:31 p.m.

Lick Creek Park Right-of-Way and Easements

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to establish easements and street right-of-way across Lick Creek Park needed for development of the Lick Creek Nature Center and the 63-acre tract being sold by the city. The park and adjacent tract for sale are located on Rock Prairie Road south of W. D. Fitch Parkway.

The right-of-way and easements are not expected to have any negative impact to the park or its operations. Announcements of tonight’s public hearing were posted in the Bryan/College Station Eagle on Sept. 11, 18, and 25, and Oct. 2.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:31 p.m.

The regular meeting has been adjourned. The next regular meeting is Monday, Oct. 20.

Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

gavel[1]By Colin Killian, Communications/Marketing Specialist

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Proclamations: The mayor will present proclamations recognizing B-CS Habitat for Humanity Day and College Station Professional Firefighters’ Fill the Boot Day.
  2. University Drive Pedestrian Safety: The council will hear a workshop presentation on the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Phase II project, which will run from Tauber Street to South College Avenue. Phase I was completed in 2012.
  3. Affiliate Funding Agreements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider affiliate funding agreements with the B-CS Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, College Station Noon Lions Club, B-CS Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Research Valley Partnership.
  4. Oil & Gas Permit: After a public hearing, the council will consider approving an oil and gas operations permit ─ with several conditions ─ to Halcon Operating Co. to drill a well on a 71-acre tract north of the Holleman Drive South-Cain Road intersection.
  5. First Street Parking Removal: After a public hearing, the council will consider the temporary removal of parking on the 300 block of First Street to allow for emergency vehicle access while a nearby development is under construction.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A detailed live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and also can be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Related links:                                                                 

 

 

Bond committee will help chart College Station’s future

32084657_lIf you’ve ever wondered how to make a direct impact on what College Station will become in the next decade, here’s your chance.

In August, the College Station City Council established the Bond Citizen Advisory Committee in preparation for the November 2015 bond election. The 23-member committee will eventually recommend facility, park and transportation projects for the council to consider placing on the ballot.

What will CS look like in 10 years?

The committee’s mission will be to not only address what the city must have, but also what it should have. Essentially, the committee will be responsible for helping determine how our built environment will look in 10 or 15 years. Some of the questions the committee will seek to answer include:

  • Should we build new facilities or should we expand existing facilities?
  • Where do we need new park facilities?
  • What type of recreation and leisure facilities should we have?
  • Which streets should be built or expanded to increase capacity?
  • Would certain new streets facilitate economic development?

Like most cities, College Station’s needs exceed available funds, so the committee must be able to prioritize. Is Street A more important than Street B? Is Park A more important than Street A and Street B? Should Building A be constructed now, or can it wait 10 years? Not every need can be met, so the committee must help decide which needs should be met now — and why.

In addition, the committee must operate within the context of practical, political and economic realities.

A Five-Year Plan

The city’s last general obligation bond election — approved in 2008 — was on a seven-year schedule. However, the city council has already requested that the 2015 bond issue be completed on a five-year schedule. Consequently, once the city’s needs have been identified and prioritized, the committee must convince the council and the public that a plan can be executed within five years.

Since bond items will eventually have to be approved by voters, the committee must also convince the council that the identified needs are genuine.

Finally, the committee must recognize that each project comes with a cost. Items in the 2008 bond election totaled of $110.3 million dollars, of which voters approved $76.9 million.

Do you have what it takes?

The Citizen Advisory Committee’s task requires 23 volunteers to selflessly dedicate their valuable time to the process, which includes balancing the practical with the visionary. Members must be keenly interested in College Station’s development and willing to stand behind their recommendations when challenged or scrutinized.

If you want to play in integral role in charting College Station’s future, consider applying for the Bond Citizen Advisory Committee. Besides a significant commitment of time – probably two monthly meetings for 5-6 months – the only requirements are that you be a registered voter and a resident of College Station.

Click here to download an application and learn more about the committee. The application deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact City Secretary Sherry Mashburn at smashburn@cstx.gov or 979-764-3519.

 

Image Copyright: siamimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Public Power Week underscores CSU’s value to community

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By Pat McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

When accessing public power is as easy as flipping a light switch, it’s sometimes easy to forget the men and women who make that possible. Today marks the start of the 28th Public Power Week, which recognizes the thousands of dedicated professionals across the country who provide and maintain our electrical grid infrastructure and services.

A nationwide celebration of public power’s value to its communities, the annual event is coordinated by the American Public Power Association.

Our not-for-profit utilities focus on a single mission — providing reliable electricity while protecting the environment. Community-owned electric utilities power homes, businesses and streets in about 2,000 towns and cities, serving 47 million Americans. Public power serves more than 4.1 million Texans.

Municipal utilities are locally owned and managed with rates and policies set by city councils or citizen boards. Keeping utility service revenue in our community helps maintain low tax rates and provides important funds for public safety, parks and libraries.

Public Power LogoCSU recognized for reliability

Of the 72 publicly owned utilities in Texas, College Station Utilities is one of only five to receive national recognition from APPA as a Reliable Public Power Provider. The designation is based on reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

The 69 employees at CSU and 27 at Utility Customer Service are the foundation for our reliable service and the electric system infrastructure that allows College Station to develop and grow.

Divisions in College Station Utilities include administration, compliance, transmission and distribution, substations, operations, design, metering, key accounts and energy conservation. In addition, Utility Customer Service encompasses customer service, residential accounts, commercial accounts and meters.

We offer our sincere thanks to the employees at College Station Utilities and Utility Customer Service for the hard work, professionalism and dedicated service they provide to our community every day.

 

About the Author

Energy Coordinator Patrick McIntyre has been with College Station Utilities for more than five years. A College Station resident since 1984, Pat also worked in manufacturing for 17 years and was a consultant with the Texas Engineering Extension Service for eight years. A native of Houston, Pat earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M in 1982.

 

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