Latest

Family-friendly Starlight Music Series enters 17th year

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

For 17 years, the Starlight Music Series has attracted lovers of all types of music to enjoy free, family-friendly entertainment under the stars at the beautiful Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater.

The 2018 Starlight Music Series begins May 5, followed by shows on May 19, June 2 and June 9. Families, friends, and visitors are invited to bring their picnic baskets, coolers, blankets and lawn chairs for four Saturday nights of rockin’ fun.

Gates open for each concert at 6 p.m. and the shows start at 7. Free parking is available at Post Oak Mall, with handicap parking located off Colgate Drive. Pets are not allowed.

Here’s the entertaining lineup:

May 5: Bri Bagwell with guest Reagan Quinn
A four-time Texas female vocalist of the year, Bri Bagwell is a contemporary artist with a honky-tonk heart. She has steered clear of the Nashville star-making machine and works without a manager or a record contract, earning fans through extensive touring and independently released recordings.

May 19: Infinite Journey with guest Cherry Bomb
Infinite Journey is an international Journey tribute band based in Dallas that has played high-energy shows across the country since 2012. The five-piece group delivers a musically immersive Journey experience, focusing on the overall sound, solos, and soaring vocals that made Journey so iconic.

June 2: Hotel California
Traveling all the way from Canada, Hotel California is North America’s best tribute to The Eagles. They look and sound like The Eagles and are the next best thing. Covering all of the favorites from “Take it Easy” to “Life in the Fast Lane” and even “Hotel California.”

June 9: Cupid & The Dance Party Express with guest Mi’chel Rose & Zydeco Players
Louisiana-born R&B vocalist Bryson Bernard, popularly known as Cupid, first sang in his church choir and was encouraged by his pastor father. Cupid shuffled his way into hearts of millions with an up-tempo party song “Cupid Shuffle,” which also inspired the popular dance craze of the same name.

Refreshments

You may bring refreshments, but no kegs or glass containers are allowed, and coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Concessions are available for purchase.

Seating & Smoking

Chairs are welcome but not in designated blanket-only seating areas. Smoking is not allowed in the main seating area, but we provide two designated smoking areas.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/starlight or contact the Parks & Recreation Department at parks@cstx.gov or 979.764.3486.

We’ll see you under the stars!

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

Electric linemen brave elements to keep your power on

By Patrick McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

Since the invention of the Edison light bulb in 1879, electric linemen have been keeping the nation energized. More than 115,000 men and women install and maintain the nine million miles of electric grid that meet the nation’s power needs, including the 28 who serve at College Station Utilities.

That’s why the United States Congress and the City of College Station are recognizing Wednesday as National Lineman Appreciation Day (#ThankaLineman) as a way to honor the hard-working folks who protect public safety and energize our economy by keeping the power on.

Linemen are also a vital part of the first-responder community alongside police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. In most cases, other first responders can see their emergency issues, but electricity is invisible, which makes for an extremely hazardous environment during storms. While big events require all-hands-on-deck, most routine trouble calls are handled by two-person crews.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, being an electric lineman ranked among the 10 most dangerous jobs. Unlike most occupations, linemen spend a large part of their working lives well above the ground maintaining electrical infrastructure. Our linemen work with voltages as high as 138,000 volts down to the standard 120-volt power in your home.

College Station Utilities is also committed to the construction of reliable, underground utilities. Our electric grid is more than 56 percent underground, which requires our electric personnel to be knowledgeable in both overhead and underground systems.

Please join us in thanking the highly skilled and dedicated linemen who work all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions, to keep your lights on.

 


About the Author

Patrick McIntyre is energy coordinator for College Station Utilities and is responsible for the energy conservation and key accounts programs. Pat joined CSU as a key accounts representative in 2009. He previously worked for 17 years in the manufacturing sector and eight years as a consultant with the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Pat graduated from Texas A&M in 1982 with B.S. in Industrial Distribution and has lived in the area since 1984.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

Why doesn’t College Station have a Waffle House?

By Jennifer Prochazka, Economic Development Manager

On Monday, I received an email asking a simple question: Why has the City of College Station not reached out to Waffle House or made plans to build one in our community?

Since Waffle House is the mecca of waffle aficionados across much of America, the question is reasonable — and it’s one we hear a lot.

So why don’t we have a Waffle House?

Restaurants such as Waffle House are planned and built by private businesses. We proactively recruit many companies, including restaurants, and we’ve pursued Waffle House for several years. Unfortunately, its management has repeatedly said it has no plans to expand to College Station anytime soon.

The role of the city’s Economic Development department is to identify commercially zoned property with good visibility and access that companies such as Waffle House would find attractive. We then help that business navigate our development and permitting processes.

I’m a big fan of waffles and would love to see a Waffle House in College Station. If you have an influential contact who could change the company’s decision and bring a location here, you’d be a local hero.

Get to work!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Prochazka has been the city’s economic development manager since 2016 and has been with the City of College Station since 2000. She previously worked in Planning & Development Services. Since 2015, Jennifer also has been an adjunct economic development specialist with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. She is a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M (Environmental Design) and earned a master’s in Urban Planning from A&M in 2002.


 

Photo Copyright: dehooks/123RF Stock Photo

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 12)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 12. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:44 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:46 p.m.

The council took two actions coming out of its executive session:

  • Unanimously directed the city attorney and city secretary to review of the City Charter and recommend amendments to be considered for a possible charter amendment election in November.
  • Voted 6-1 to negotiate with a search firm to identify candidates for city manager. Councilman Bob Brick voted against the motion.

6:08 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Plan of Work

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the group’s plan of work for 2018, which includes a review of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.

6:11 p.m.

Council Strategic Plan

The council accepted its updated strategic plan for 2018.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:23 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:

  • Rock Prairie Water Tower: The scope of this $988,500 contract includes design, bidding, and construction phase services for the Rock Prairie Elevated Storage Tank Project, which provides for an elevated water tower near Rock Prairie Road and the Scott and White Hospital and two pressure-reducing valves. The locations of the reducing valves will be determined. It will potentially establish a secondary pressure plane generally from the Carter’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Pebble Creek subdivision. The $8.76 million project is necessary to meet state requirements, to relieve demand on the Greens Prairie water tower, and to reduce extreme pressure east of State Highway 6.
  • Surplus Asphalt Millings: The sale and removal of about 19,000 tons of surplus asphalt millings from city property will return $219,450 to the Roadway Maintenance Fund.
  • Non-Annexation Agreements: The eight non-annexation development agreements being considered represent more than 2,000 acres in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The agreements guarantee the city won’t annex the properties for 10 years unless the terms are violated.
  • Habitat for Humanity Down Payment Assistance Guidelines: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) grant funds are used by the city to provide various housing assistance programs to income-eligible households. The Down Payment Assistance Program was approved by council in 2014. The program offers shared equity, gap financing of up to 30 percent of the sales price (capped at $50,000) to qualified applicants. Staff recommends creating separate guidelines for working with Habitat for Humanity clients that better-fit Habitat’s unique program and the needs of its clients. Proposed guidelines provide qualified Habitat for Humanity clients with a 0 percent interest-deferred loan of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a home built by Habitat for Humanity in the city.

6:29 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:38 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:49 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Abigail Fields spoke against restricting specific dog breeds by apartment complexes.
  • Nan Crouse of the College Station Association of Neighborhoods encouraged people to get involved in protecting neighborhoods.
  • Constance Woodman spoke against high rental housing costs in College Station.

6:50 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Premier Metal Buyers for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • Habitat for Humanity Down Payment Assistance Program guidelines.
  • Revision of Down Payment Assistance guidelines.
  • A $232,650 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the rehabilitation of parking lots at Brian Bachmann Park and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park.
  • An agreement not to exceed $155,000 with Emergicon for ambulance billing, accounts receivable, and delinquent account collection services.
  • A $98,730 contract with Housley Communications to lay underground conduit for future fiber optic infrastructure as part of a joint bore with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Pronto Services for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • A $988,500 contract with Freese and Nichols for design, bidding, and construction administration for the Rock Prairie Elevated Storage Tank Project.
  • The sale and removal of about 19,000 tons of surplus asphalt millings from city property that will return $219,450 to the Roadway Maintenance Fund.
  • A $4.57 million contract with Dudley Construction for Phase 1 of the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-Out Project.
  • Eight non-annexation development agreements.
  • A real estate contract for the purchase of property needed for the extension of General Parkway. The purchase price is $225,000 with $2,500 in closing costs.

6:57 p.m.

Rezoning at Wellborn and Greens Prairie

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to rezone about 35 acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Road West. About 0.9 acres changes from Rural to Suburban Commercial, and the rest changes from Rural to Wellborn Restricted Commercial.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:01 p.m.

Conditional Use Permit for Caprock Bar

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit for a bar at The Yard at Caprock Crossing near the intersection of Greens Prairie Road and State Highway 6.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:38 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Changes

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to add flexibility to Suburban Commercial zoning districts. Significant changes include allowing additional uses and reducing buffer and architectural requirements. 

An earlier motion to eliminate fuel sales from suburban commercial districts passed by a 4-3 vote. Councilmen Jerome Rektorik, Barry Moore, and James Benham voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:49 p.m.

The meeting is again underway.

8:53 p.m.

Removal of Krenek Tap Overlay

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove the Krenek Tap overlay zoning district from properties on the Krenek Tap Road right-of-way. The overlay was adopted in 2004 when the city was considering an urban development concept for property it owns along Krenek Tap.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:55 p.m.

Deletion of Krenek Tap Overlay from UDO

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to delete the Krenek Tap overlay zoning district from the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. 

9:00 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:00 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 26.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as 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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


							

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Elevated Water Storage Tank: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $988,000 contract for design and administrative services for an elevated water storage tank off Rock Prairie Road near the Scott & White Hospital. The $8.77 million project is needed to meet state requirements and reduce excessive pressure east of State Highway 6.
  2. Veterans Park Buildout: Also on the consent agenda is a $4.57 million contract for Phase 1 of the build-out of Veterans Park & Athletic Complex. The project will be funded by hotel tax revenue and includes two additional synthetic turf fields, a restroom, lighting, drainage, parking, and other amenities.
  3. Rezoning at Wellborn-Greens Prairie: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to rezone about 35 acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Road West. About 0.9 acres would change from Rural to Suburban Commercial, and the rest would go from Rural to Wellborn Restricted Commercial.
  4. Suburban Commercial Zoning Changes: After a public hearing, the council will consider changes to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to add flexibility to Suburban Commercial zoning. Significant changes include allowing additional uses and reducing buffer and architectural requirements.
  5. Krenek Tap Overlay Removal: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to remove the Krenek Tap overlay zoning district, which was adopted in 2004 when the city was considering an urban development concept for property it owns along Krenek Tap Road.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as 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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


							

Podcast: Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

After 10 years of owning and operating The Republic Steakhouse in College Station, executive chef Wade Barkman is finally building his own restaurants – an updated Republic, plus a brand-new concept that shares a common slab – from the ground up.

In this podcast, Wade talks about life leading up to this point, and what people can expect with these new properties.

Total run time: 32:03

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 01:00 – PART ONE: Wade starts from the beginning, including how he found Texas A&M, moved on to culinary school, then California, Vegas (thank you, Aggie Network) and finally back to CS in 2006.
  • 08:20 – Wade finds his restaurant location — home to three or four previous ones. (Can you name them?)
  • 11:42 – The highs and lows of Chimney Hill: Why did Wade stay?
  • 14:30 – How he found a concept — The Republic — that the town needed, even if he wasn’t a steakhouse guy.
  • 17:48 – Why dozens of restaurants have come and gone in 10 years, but The Republic has survived. “I would not wish this business on anyone.”
  • 19:47 – PART TWO: The Republic is being recreated + Primrose Path, a “gastro-pub wine bar.”
  • 21:13 – The differences between the old Republic and the new one.
  • 24:14 – What is Primrose Path going to be?
  • 26:58 – Will you miss the old building, or take anything with you to the new place?
  • 28:07 – How was your development experience with the city of College Station?
  • 30:11 – Sometime in fall 2018: Republic will open, with Primrose Path doing so about a month later.
  • 30:49 – What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of food?
  • 31:49 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth 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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!