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Will you be the “Man of the House” on Friday?

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By Samantha Klein, Event Activities Assistant

Help us celebrate Park and Recreation Month Friday night with a free showing of the 1995 family comedy “Man of the House” on our 32-foot inflatable, high-definition screen. This month’s Movie in the Park will be at the W.A. Tarrow Pavilion located at 1000 Eleanor St.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., you can also enjoy nature stations and crafts, a disc golf education and putting station and demonstrations from the Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Door prizes will include city pool passes, Grand Station Entertainment Laser Tron and mini-golf packages, and family passes to Aggieland War Games and Zoomz Paintball.

The movie will start about 8:30 p.m.

Here’s the original movie trailer:

You’re welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and coolers, but the coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Alcohol and glass containers are not allowed, and concessions will be available for purchase.

Pets are welcome, too!

For complete details, visit cstx.gov/movies or call 979.764.3486.

Upcoming Movies in the Park

  • Sept. 11 – “The Avengers” at the American Pavilion, Veterans Park
  • Nov. 5 – “Heavyweights” at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater

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5 tips to help you safely celebrate our independence

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By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

When Francis Scott Key wrote about “the bombs bursting in air” he probably didn’t foresee anyone getting hurt in future celebrations of our nation’s independence.

Still, what would a good, old-fashioned Independence Day celebration be without fireworks?

Since the College Station Fire Department wants safety to be everyone’s priority, here are five tips to help you celebrate safely through the dawn’s early light.

1. Note the location of fireworks stands.

Local ordinances require fireworks stands to be outside the city limits, and fireworks activities should take place farther away from the city than the stand. Fireworks are illegal to possess or use in Bryan-College Station or within 5,000 feet of the city limits. If you violate this ordinance, you may pay up to $2,500 in fines.

2. Know your packaging.

Fireworks packaged in brown paper bags are for professional displays, which means they’re dangerous if not handled by trained personnel. Fireworks designed for the average consumer have packaging with bright colors, trade names, and manufacturing information.

3. Look at the invitation list.

About 25 percent of fireworks-related injuries happen to people under the age of 15, followed by adults in the 25-44 age group. If you’re supervising children or are part of those high-risk demographics, take extra safety precautions and keeping children and yourself at a safe distance from fireworks.

4. Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.

If you think that’s hot, consider that sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees. In 2013, they caused 41 percent of all fireworks injuries. Sparklers are also legally recognized as fireworks and are illegal in the city limits. You might consider using risk-free alternatives such as glow sticks or trying this fun, safe experiment with your kids:

  • Fill a clear jar with warm water.
  • Mix food coloring and a few drops of oil into a small bowl.
  • Pour the oil mixture into the jar.
  • Watch what happens when the liquids combine.

5. Don’t blow your budget.

Let the experts handle the fireworks logistics while you enjoy the “I Love America” Fourth of July Celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Licensed professionals are in charge, and the College Station Fire Department supervises the display.

For more information about these or other fire safety issues, contact me at 979-764-3712 or cseidel@cstx.gov.

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Photo Copyright: maglara / 123RF Stock Photo

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Podcast: Templin says city budget process on schedule

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

This time of the year, don’t even try to find College Station City Manager Kelly Templin in his office. He’s behind closed doors with his staff, looking to the future and planning the city’s next budget.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Mr. Templin about where things stand since the new fiscal year starts in about 90 days.

Podcast Archive

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to listen to the audio file from your system.

 

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Games of Texas offers opportunities to compete, volunteer

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

Last summer, more than 8,400 amateur athletes from across the state descended on Bryan-College Station for four days of spirited Olympic-style competition in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Games of Texas.

Only 220 participants were from B-CS, which meant the rest – along with about 20,000 coaches, relatives and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $6 million into the local economy.

Games of Texas Medals

Photos: 2014 Games of Texas

The 16-sport event returns July 30-Aug. 3 to venues across Bryan-College Station. Multiple age divisions are available in archery, pickleball, youth triathlon, gymnastics, judo, lacrosse, softball, lifeguarding, boxing, golf, skateboarding, soccer, disc golf, swimming, tennis, and track and field.

We love our visitors, but we’d also love to see more Brazos Valley residents accept the challenge of competing. In addition, hosting such a large-scale event requires tons of volunteers to provide a world-class experience for our visitors.

That means you have two opportunities to help make the 2015 Games of Texas even more successful than last year!

Competitors: For more information or to register, go to TAAF.com. Some eligibility restrictions apply, and  registration closes July 17.

Volunteers: If you’re at least 15 years old, click here to see where we need help, then sign up before July 15. You’ll receive free refreshments and a Games of Texas shirt and hat. Click here for more information about being a volunteer.

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New water quality report now available online

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Maintaining a high-quality supply of drinking water is a priority for the City of College Station and our Water Services Department.

It’s obviously important to you, too.

In 2011, I posted a blog titled, “Is Your Drinking Water Dangerous?” that described the contents of our annual drinking water quality report. I turned out to be the most popular post since the city started blogging in 2010, attracting almost 7,000 views.

The report contains detailed information about the source of your drinking water, contaminants detected, and the health effects of those contaminants.

Since 1999, we’ve mailed a copy of the report directly to our water customers as required by state law. Back then, the internet was in its infancy and smartphones, tablets and other high-tech communication gadgets still belonged on re-runs of Star Trek.

Twitter, Facebook and blogs such as this one didn’t exist, either.

2014 Report Now Available

Pages from Water Report Postcard-2I’m pleased to say that your drinking water remains superior, but the 2014 report has gone entirely digital. Thanks to a recent rule change, you can now find out about your water quality online, which trims our printing costs significantly.

This year – in place of the full report – we’re mailing our customers a simple postcard with a link where you can find the report online.

Download 2014 Drinking Water Quality Report

If you haven’t already received the postcard, look for it in the coming days. If you’d prefer a printed copy, I’ll be happy to send you one. Just contact me at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

Let us know what you think!

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 25)1

2014 CouncilWelcome to the live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 25. It’s not the official minutes.

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

5:52 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman Steve Aldrich is absent tonight.

5:57 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Inter-Local Agreement for ITS Master Plan: The city is developing the Intelligent Traffic System Master Plan in response to population growth and the expansion of Kyle Field. The plan upgrades traffic signal technology and begins addressing congestion issues. Since the program will also result in better traffic management after Aggie football games, the Texas A&M University System wants to give the city $850,000 to expedite implementation of the plan and procure equipment. TAMUS also will provide $150,000 to the Texas Transportation Institute to review and approve the plan before it provides funds to the city.

6:20 p.m.

84th Texas Legislature Review

The council received an update on legislation passed by the 84th Texas Legislature that directly impacts municipalities.

The HOT tax bill (HB3629) permits Bryan and College Station to use hotel tax revenue to fund the construction, operation or expansion of city-owned sports-related facilities. Among the other bills that passed was one requiring 60 percent approval by a city council before property taxes can be increased.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:30 p.m.

Citizen Board Appointment Process

The council heard a presentation on a new citizen board appointment process that includes interviews with applicants as a way to better consider newer residents who want to serve the community. 

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:04 p.m.

Possible 2015 Bond Election

The council discussed the Citizen Advisory Committee’s recommendations for transportation and parks projects to include on a potential bond election ballot in November. In July, the council will consider the committee’s recommendations for city facilities. Final decisions regarding a bond election will be in August.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:09 p.m.

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

7:18 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Members of Boy Scout Troop 60 -– chartered out of Christ United Methodist Church – led the Pledge of Allegiance.

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7:23 p.m.

Newman 10 Award Recognition

The council recognized local businesses that were recipients of the Bryan Rotary Club/Newman 10 Business Performance Awards earlier this month. Six College Station companies are among the 10 fastest growing small businesses in Brazos County – Exosent Engineering, Cortiers Real Estate, CEO, Etc., Texas Concrete Design, Cedar Lane, and Hotel Solutions. Copy Corner (Anco Insurance Award for Lifetime Business Achievement) and Essentium Materials (Research Valley Commercialization Rising Star Award) also received awards.

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7:31 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Spc. James C. Wright as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 27-year-old Morgan native was killed in an ambush in Tikrit, Iraq on Sept. 18, 2003.
  • Shirley Dupriest spoke about developers no replacing canopy trees as required on replatted properties.

7:31 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Modification of the city’s Code of Ordinances to make it clear that driving a vehicle in a designated bike lane is illegal.
  • The second renewal of a $1.26 million contract with Grid Utility for annual electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • A $204,000 contract with TF Harper for playground replacement at Jack and Dorothy Miller Park.
  • A three-year, $900,000 contract with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories for electrical engineering services.
  • A $65,000 purchase order with Ultra-Tech Systems for ultraviolet system parts.
  • The purchase of four Stryker emergency medical services stretchers for $198,000.
  • The purchase of 10 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems for $90,980 through the Texas Smart Buy Contract.
  • Annual $100,000 contracts with Joe Orr, Inc. and Binkley & Barfield for land surveying and civil engineering services.
  • A $280,000 contract with Mitchell & Morgan for professional engineering services related to the conceptual design of the Lakeway Drive Extension Project.
  • A $208,000 contract with Restocon Corporation for thermal and moisture protection repairs to the Northgate Parking Garage.
  • A $1 million inter-local agreement with the Texas A&M University System to help the city implement the Intelligent Traffic System Master Plan. 
  • A $164,000 contract with Jones & Carter for the conceptual design for the Treatment Plants Equipment Replacement Project.
  • A $239,000 purchase agreement with Zoll Medical Corporation for cardiac monitors/defibrillators.

8:37 p.m.

Aspen Heights Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to table a request to change the zoning district boundaries for about 29 acres along Holleman Drive South across from Saddle Lane and the Quail Run subdivision. Councilman John Nichols voted against the motion.

The change from Rural and General Suburban to Planned Development District would allow a multi-family development. The council will consider the change again in August.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:37 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again July 9.

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