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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter webinar number 962 3956 1490. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Residential Over-Occupancy: The council will have a workshop discussion about potential alternatives to address residential over-occupancy symptoms due to relationship status issues.
  2. Victoria Avenue Rehabilitation: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $458,400 contract with Jones and Carter to design Victoria Avenue’s reconstruction from Wellborn Road to Woodlake Drive.
  3. Retail Recruitment: In the regular meeting, the council will discuss how the city’s retail strategy has pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to sustain existing businesses and backfill vacant spaces while continuing to recruit.
  4. Alex Caruso Court: The council will consider a resolution naming Castlegate Park’s basketball court “Alex Caruso Court.” A College Station native, Caruso recently won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. He spent countless hours playing and practicing on the Castlegate court across the street from his parents’ home.
  5. COVID-19 Vaccinations: The council will be updated on local COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Related Links:                 

 


About the Blogger Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Noah, Olivia CS’s most popular baby names in 2020

By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications

Like most of you, my 2020 experiences were often difficult ones. The pandemic, political and social unrest — it was a lot.

You know who increased the difficulty even more? The College Station families who welcomed 1,600+ babies during a year like no other. As if going on safari for toilet paper and hand sanitizer wasn’t enough.

As has become tradition, it’s time to examine the 1,640 names we registered in 2020. Some names invoke hope and strength, while others are a nod to past generations. Then there are those that are delightfully original. Nowhere to be found: Rona, K’Rona or Pam Demic. On behalf of a grateful city, I thank you for that… 

So, let’s dive in!

The following numbers and trends are courtesy of Yvette Dela Torre, our amazing deputy local registrar who handles College Station’s vital statistics (birth and death records) reporting.

  Births Girls Boys Twins Triplets
2013 2,159 1,066 1,093 36 sets  
2014 2,460 1,264 1,196 30 sets 1 set
2015 2,494 1,245 1,249 50 sets  
2016 2,307 1,206 1,164 44 sets  
2017 2,398 1,168 1,230 48 sets 1 set
2018 2,016 970 1,046 27 sets  
2019 1,556 772 784 22 sets  
2020 1,640 840 800 21 sets  

Remember that the decline in births that began in 2018 remains attributed to no labor and delivery services being offered at CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital (formerly College Station Medical Center). All hospital births in College Station occurred at Baylor Scott & White Hospital. That will change in 2021, as St. Joes will transition all labor and delivery services from its Bryan facility to College Station.

Most popular BOYS’ first names

  • Noah (9)
  • James, Jackson, Samuel (8) 
  • Benjamin, Elijah, Ezra, Oliver (7)

*Last year’s list: Aiden, Liam and Grayson

Most popular GIRLS’ first names

  • Olivia (11)
  • Emma (10)
  • Ava, Riley, Sofia (9)

*Last year’s list: Olivia, Emma and Harper

More 2020 birth stats

  • Month with the most births: July (166)
  • Month with the fewest births: January (103) 
  • Day with the most births: July 30 (12)
  • Home births: 3

Okay, fam, let’s talk about middle names. Last year, I waggled a finger at College Station parents for their apparent chronic refusal to choose something unique. I mean, look at where we’ve been and where we remain.

2020: Grace, Rose & Marie (tied), Ann

  • 2019: Grace, Rose, Marie
  • 2018: Rose, Grace, Marie
  • 2017: Grace, Rose, Marie
  • 2016: Grace, Marie, Rose
  • 2015: Grace, Marie, Ann
  • 2014: Grace, Marie, Nicole

2020: James, Lee, Michael

  • 2019: James, Lee, Michael
  • 2018: James, Lee, Alexander
  • 2017: James, Alexander, Wayne
  • 2016: James, Michael, Alexander
  • 2015: James, Michael, Lee
  • 2014: James, Wayne, Alexander

Setting that rut aside, here are some 2020 first and middle names that caught my eye and were deserving of some creative categorization.

Reflecting calm during a pandemic

  • Autumn Carolyn Tracy
  • Cherish Lynette Ronae
  • Faith Ann
  • Harmony Evon
  • Harmony Renae
  • Joy Madalynn
  • Juniper Autumn
  • Ocean Grace
  • Serenity Renee
  • Violet Skye

Rockers!

  • Ozzy Sue
  • Hendrix Leigh

Most likely to hit a home run

  • Beau Jaxson
  • Jackie Robinson

Names that also could be commands

  • Chase Michael
  • Chase Josiah
  • Chase Harley
  • Chase Wesley
  • Judge Oliver
  • Judge Wade

Interesting and phonetically nails it

  • Khoopyr Lee (5 Coopers)
  • Linkon Ryder (4 Lincolns)

Y not?

  • Liberti Samone
  • Merci Elaine
  • Triniti Jocile

‘80s primetime television

  • Dallas Jai
  • Dynasti Dan’lya Starr

Thou shalt create a memorable name

  • Moses Stone

But you can call me Rick!

  • Richard Toahere Kanani Kamuela

Will always have the coolest motorcycle

  • Tron Leonardo

Deserving of a throne crib

  • Queen Deity

Yvette Dela Torre’s faves

Remember Yvette, our deputy local registrar? This year, I asked for her favorite names among the 1,640 on the list. Her answers not only made me realize I should’ve been doing this all along, but also because it reveals her current obsession with Vikings and the Outlander book series.

  • Aoife: Irish Gaelic: Beauty, warrior princess
  • Athena: Greek goddess of wisdom and war
  • Braven: Brave to be born during a pandemic!
  • Calum: Scottish Gaelic: Dove
  • Freya: Noble lady; Norse goddess of love and fertility

Thanks to all the Noahs and Olivias, College Station ended 2020 with a population estimate of 124,710.

Oh, one more thing from Yvette: She tells me that January 2021 is showing big numbers for babies born in College Station. Think there might be a Pam Demic or a Charmin Purell among them?

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 12th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Reminder: CS prohibits cell phone use while driving

By Ofc. Tristen Lopez, CSPD Public Information Officer

More than 30 signs are displayed around College Station to inform motorists that the city’s hands-free mobile device ordinance is in effect. 

The hands-free requirement applies to anyone using a cell phone while operating a vehicle (including a bicycle) on a public roadway in College Station, which includes typing, sending or reading texts, and making calls. Fine amounts range from $25-$500.

You may pick up your device while driving only if:

  • You’re at a complete stop.
  • It’s an emergency.
  • You’re selecting music on your device. (state requirement)

Please don’t drive distracted.

 


About the Blogger

Tristen Lopez is in his 12th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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Master life-saving CPR through blended learning

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

Becoming CPR certified is an empowering thing. 

Employers are impressed by CPR-trained candidates because it demonstrates their level of dedication and an ability to act quickly and efficiently. CPR certification also enhances self-confidence while providing the skills to save lives.

More than 325,000 sudden cardiac arrest cases are reported each year, making it the leading cause of death in adults. Proper CPR raises the survival rate by 40%, which means it’s often the difference between life and death. 

CPR classes are incredibly beneficial, but who has time for that? Your schedule is busy enough juggling work, the kid’s after-school activities, and every other curveball life throws your way.

That’s why online CPR classes have gained such popularity, especially blended learning programs.

The blended learning format is for ages 12+ and combines online learning and in-person skills with instruction like what you receive in traditional classes. But blended learning reduces the time needed for class and allows you to finish the online learning at your own pace. You can even finish ahead of the scheduled class. 

The online learning part takes 2-3 hours and must be completed before attending the in-class session. In class, you use a mannequin, practice real-life scenarios, and a certified instructor evaluates your skills. After completing both portions, you’re issued a two-year certificate from the American Red Cross. 

In-person classes at the Meyer Senior & Community Center are scheduled for 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.  

Registration ends the Friday before each class. Register online or by calling 979-764-3486. The cost is $75 per person.
For more information, contact me at brussell@cstx.gov or 979-764-3450.

 


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as the aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from A&M.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Jan. 14)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 14. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 982 9390 0006. If the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

6:35 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of its executive session.

6:45 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled these items from tonight’s consent agenda for discussion:

  • Midlothian Agreement: The agreement authorizes the City of College Station and the City of Midlothian to jointly prepare bids and proposals for the purchase of goods and services. It also allows the cities to piggyback each other’s bids and contracts when in our best interest.
  • Xpedient Printing Contract: The renewal contract with Xpedient Mail for $210,000 is for utility bill printing and mailing services.
  • Woodson Village Rehabilitation: The $5.05 million contract with Elliott Construction is for the rehabilitation of water and wastewater lines in the area of Haines Drive, Glade Street, and Dexter and Timm Drive.
  • Agreement with CSISD: The $250,000 funding agreement with the College Station Independent School District for a Family Empowerment Program to serve families experiencing hardships caused by COVID-19.
  • Elder Aid Grant: A $464,000 contract for the grant of federal HOME Community Housing Development Organization set-aside funds to Elder-Aid is for the purchase and rehabilitation of four affordable rental units at 3332-3334 Longleaf and 3308-3310 Bluestem.

6:50 p.m.

Brick Elected Mayor Pre Tem

The council voted unanimously to elect Bob Brick to serve a one-year term a mayor pro tem to act as mayor during the mayor’s disability or absence.

7:18 p.m.

Texas Legislature Update

The council heard a legislative update and preview of the 87th Texas Legislative session, which began Monday.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:19 p.m.

The worksop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting.

7:24 p.m.

Planning Excellence Award

Mayor Mooney recognized the Planning and Development Services Department for receiving the Planning Excellence Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

7:39 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • Wyatt Galbreath proposed a new city flag that he designed.
  • Lorraine Madewell spoke about reducing restrictions on chickens in residential areas.
  • Michael Weinstein spoke against local COVID-19 restrictions.

7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Annual purchases not-to-exceed $150,000 for auto parts, shop equipment, and services from NAPA Auto Parts through the Purchasing Solutions Alliance.
  • A cooperative purchasing inter-local agreement with the City of Midlothian.
  • An annual blanket purchase order estimated at $150,000 for repair parts and labor for fire trucks from Siddons-Martin Emergency Group through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An annual blanket purchase order estimated at $180,000 for repair parts and labor for fire trucks from Lonestar Freightliner Group through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • Annual tire purchases and retread services not to exceed $300,000 from Southern Tire Mart through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • Renewal of a $210,000 contract with Xpedient Mail.
  • Temporarily changed the speed limit on FM 2818 for the FM 2818 widening project.
  • A $1.93 million contract with Freese and Nichols for the final design of the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant diversion lift station and force main project.
  • A $5.06 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Woodson Village Rehabilitation Project.
  • A purchase not to exceed $130,353 for a single 145kV S &C Mark V circuit switcher from Priester Mell & Nicholson.
  • A $148,223.75 change order to a contract with Techline for pad-mounted solid di-electric switchgears.
  • A change order deducting $100,000 from the contract with CF McDonald Electric to install previously purchased VFD at Dowling Road Pump Station.
  • An annual blanket order not to exceed $668,000 with Brazos Paving for cement treated base and Type D Grade 1 cement treated recycled crushed concrete base.
  • The removal of parking along Fall Circle.
  • The removal of parking along Buena Vista Drive, Lonetree Drive, Estes Park, Black Hawk Lane, and Silverthorne Lane.
  • A $250,000 funding agreement with College Station Independent School District for the COVID-19 Family Empowerment Program.
  • A $464,000 contract for the grant of federal HOME Community Housing Development Organization set-aside funds to Elder-Aid for the purchase and rehabilitation of four affordable rental units at 3332-3334 Longleaf and 3308-3310 Bluestem.

7:45 p.m.

FY 21 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $4.22 million amendment to the city’s FY 21 budget that mostly covers expenditures budgeted in FY 20 that won’t be received until FY 21. The full amendment is detailed on page 131 of the meeting packet.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Comp Plan, UDO Review

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance Annual Review. The document highlights the major Comprehensive Plan initiatives and UDO amendments that occurred in FY 2020.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:09 p.m.

Pershing Pointe Zoning Change

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Townhouse to Planned Development District for about five acres of the Pershing Pointe Villas townhouse development near the intersection of Deacon Drive West and Holleman Drive South. The change would provide additional single-family housing types for the unplatted part of the development.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:19 p.m.

Cain Road Zoning Change

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from R-4 Multi-Family to Planned Development District for about 11 acres at 3445 Cain Road. The change would allow attached single-family townhomes.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:31 p.m.

Facilities Maintenance Relocation

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $145,175 contract with The Arkitex Studio for the design of the Facilities Maintenance Relocation Project.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:14 p.m.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The council was updated on local COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:16 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council voted unanimously to extend the mayor’s COVID-19 disaster declaration.

9:34 p.m.

Council Member Appointments

The council made appointments to its internal committees.

9:48 p.m.

Board and Commission Appointments

The council made appointments to city boards, committees, and commissions.

9:55 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The workshop will resume after a short break.

10:04 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

11:03 p.m.

Residential Over-Occupancy

The council discussed options for addressing the symptoms of over-occupancy in residential neighborhoods. The discussion will continue to future council meetings.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

11:31 p.m.

Rental Registration Cost Analysis

The council discussed the Rental Registration Program and a cost analysis of the registration fee. The discussion will continue to future council meetings.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

11:34 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The council’s meets again on Thursday, Jan. 28.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Registration underway for Friday Night Lights 7v7

By Samantha Holman, Event Specialist

Although the Super Bowl marks the end of football season for much of the country, it’s just the beginning in College Station, thanks to the new Friday Night Lights 7v7 football league.

Unlike traditional youth recreational leagues, Friday Night Lights 7v7 focuses on fast-paced, competitive play for teams preparing for their school’s next season. 

Registration is team-based with no individual signups. Teams must provide two sets of jerseys, — one light color, and one dark — and play one or two games a night. Games are governed by high school 7v7 rules, with each team providing an age-appropriate football. Teams submit a roster before their first game that verifies participants and their current grade.

Age groups are grades 3-4, grades 5-6, and grades 7-8. Registration closes Sunday, Feb. 28, and the season runs March 5-April 30. Register online or by calling 979-764-3486. The cost is $550 per team.

Games are scheduled on Fridays between 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. Times are subject to change based on the final number of teams. 

For more information, go to cstx.gov/sports or call 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger Samantha Holman is in her second year as an event specialist in the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of San Antonio, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Texas A&M in 2018.


 

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