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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 28)

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, July 28. It’s not the official minutes.

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

5:40 p.m.

The workshop has started. Place 3 Councilman Karl Mooney is absent tonight. Place 6 Councilman James Benham is participating by teleconference.

6:04 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:

  • Bowell Street: The proposed ordinance would make Boswell Street a one-way a street at all times by removing the time-of-day restriction, which makes it difficult for residents along Boswell to obey the state traffic code. Thirteen parents, residents and property owners attended a public meeting on July 6, and all preferred one-way traffic with zero parking restrictions as opposed to two-way operation with parking restrictions during parent pick-up and drop-off times at South Knoll Elementary School.
  • Roadway Impact Fees: The resolution would set Sept. 8 as the second public hearing date regarding the possible imposition of roadway impact fees on new development. The consensus of the council was to delay the item.

6:57 p.m.

Qualifications for Boards and Commissions

The council discussed ways to expand the candidate pool for appointments to the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Advisory Board, Design Review Board, and Landmark Commission. These boards have specialized criteria that sometimes makes it difficult to fill vacancies.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

7:00 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.

7:10 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:16 p.m.

Bryan Rotary Business Performance Awards

The council recognized the 2016 winners of the Bryan Rotary 10 Business Performance Awards, which were presented last month to the area’s 10 fastest-growing, privately owned small businesses. Winners of the Lifetime Business Achievement and Research Valley Commercialization Rising Star awards also were honored. We’ll add a photo here later.

7:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The resolutions setting public hearings on Sept. 8 regarding roadway, water and wastewater impact fees was pulled from tonight’s consent agenda and will be revisited at a later date.

The council voted unanimously to approve the rest of the consent agenda:

  • The FY17 Community Development Budget and PY16 Annual Action Plan to be submitted to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • A $159,200 bid award to Wesco Distribution ($94,260) and Hitachi HVB ($64,940) for electrical substation equipment.
  • An ordinance amendment making Boswell Street a one-way street all the time.
  • A $1.38 million contract with Freese and Nichols for the design and construction phase services for Phases I and II of the Lick Creek Parallel Trunk Line Project.
  • A bid award not to exceed $1.82 million to Knife River ($1.4 million) and Brazos Paving ($427,000) for an annual blanket order for Type D hot mix asphalt for the maintenance of streets.
  • A $326,905 contract with Restocon Corporation for concrete and masonry repairs to the Northgate Parking Garage.
  • An ordinance amendment removing stopping, standing, and parking along Langford Street and Boswell Street near South Knoll Elementary School.
  • An annual water meter contract for a maximum of $463,000 with National Meter & Automation.
  • An $82,291 contract with Smith Pump Company for the rehabilitation of Transfer Pump No. 3.
  • The first renewal of the annual price agreement not to exceed $65,000 with ProSTAR Industries for janitorial supplies.
  • An ordinance authorizing a general and special election on Nov. 8 to elect a mayor and Place 2 city councilmember, and fill a vacancy for the remaining two years of the unexpired term for Place 4 and the remaining one year for Place 3.

The council unanimously approved a motion  by Councilwoman Blanche Brick that the roadway impact fees public hearing be held no later than Nov. 10.

The council also unanimously approved a motion  by Councilwoman Brick that the water and wastewater impact fees public hearing be held no later than Sept. 22.

7:26p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three 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 Marine Pfc. Ricky A. Morris, Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Lubbock native died March 18, 2004, as a result of enemy action in Al Qaim, Iraq.
  • Safia Naqi spoke about the poor maintenance of a private alley that serves residents who live in townhomes north of Southwest Parkway, facing Welsh Avenue and Leona Drive.
  • Dorothy Kirkland also spoke about the alley.

7:35 p.m.

FY16 Budget Amendment No. 2

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve Budget Amendment No. 2, which amends the FY16 budget by $628,873 and includes interdepartmental contingency transfers of $378,266. For items included in the amendment, see pages 187-189 of the regular meeting packet.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

7:43 p.m.

5068 Stotzer Parkway Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0-1 to approve a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Rural to Planned Development District for about six acres at 5068 Raymond Stotzer Parkway to allow for the development of a mixed-use office complex. Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the vote because of a conflict of interest.

The property is located at the southeast corner of the Stotzer Parkway and HSC Parkway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

7:56 p.m.

Wellborn Zoning Districts

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance in regard to the creation of the Wellborn Estate, Wellborn Restricted Suburban, and Wellborn Commercial zoning districts under the Wellborn Community Plan.

Adopted in 2009, The Wellborn Community Plan identifies 10 future land use and character designations and calls for the creation of zoning districts that align with the plan’s objectives. The two new residential districts and one new commercial district will only be permitted in the Wellborn Community Plan Area.

The new districts were developed from feedback received from community members along with the Wellborn Community Plan:

  • Wellborn Estate: This designation is generally for areas that, due to public service limitations or a prevailing rural character, should have limited development activity. These areas will tend to consist of low-density single-family residential lots of two acres or more but may be one acre if clustered around undeveloped open space.
  • Wellborn Restricted Suburban: This district is generally for areas that should have a moderate level of development activity. These areas will tend to consist of medium-density single-family residential lots (minimum 20,000 square feet) and may be clustered for reduced lot sizes (minimum 8,000 square feet). When using the cluster option, open space should be provided so density is not increased. Such open space should be in addition to a minimum open space requirement of 15 percent of the developing area.
  • Wellborn Commercial: This district is generally for concentrations of commercial activities that focus primarily on nearby residents. Such uses will be limited in size and not accommodate for drive-thru services. Specific design elements should be incorporated into such developments to limit the visual impact and enhance the community’s defined character.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

7:58 p.m.

Wellborn Zoning District Animal Control 

The council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Code of Ordinances to allow domestic livestock, fowl, and rabbits without a permit in the newly-created Wellborn Estate zoning district.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

8:01 p.m.

Design Review Board Appointments 

The council voted unanimously for two appointments to the Design Review Board.

8:01 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, August 11.

 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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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 (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Boswell Street Changes: The council will consider consent agenda items to make Boswell Street one-way all the time and to remove stopping standing and parking along Boswell and Langford Street near South Knoll Elementary School.
  2. Lick Creek Trunk Line: The council will consider a $1.38 million contract for the design and construction of a sewer trunk line to serve the Lick Creek sewer shed.
  3. Impact Fees Public Hearings: The council will consider setting Sept. 8 as the second public hearing date regarding the possible imposition of water, wastewater and roadway impact fees on new development.
  4. Special City Council Election: The council will consider authorizing a general election for Nov. 8 to elect a mayor and Place 2 city councilmember, and a special election to fill the remaining two years for Place 4 and one year for Place 3. Place 4 Councilman John Nichols and Place 3 Councilman Karl Mooney are running for mayor and must surrender their current seats in November.
  5. Budget Amendment: The council will consider a $628,873 budget amendment and interdepartmental contingency transfers of $378,266. For items included in the amendment, see pages 187-189 of the regular meeting packet.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links                                                                 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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How you can help save the monarch butterfly

40725911 - closeup butterfly on flower (common tiger butterfly)

By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

The dazzling monarch butterfly weighs less than a dime but soars on wind currents for thousands of miles on a remarkable annual journey.

The monarch migrates to Mexico in the winter to avoid the cold of Canada, then returns in the warmer months. The incredible flight can be up to 3,000 miles and may take up to four generations.

The monarch’s brilliant orange, black, and white colors make it the most recognized of all butterflies. Once a common sight in the summer, its population declined by 90 percent from 1995 to 2014.

Last weekend, the Rio Brazos Audubon Society took part in the annual North American Butterfly Count at several area parks. During more than seven hours in the field, the group counted 201 butterflies from 30 species. Only two were monarchs.

Monarch factsThe primary culprit is the decline of the milkweed plant due to changes in agricultural practices. Although not a farmer’s favorite, milkweed is a vital source of the food for the monarch. The plant fuels their flight and provides a place for the next generation to begin its pilgrimage.

Thanks to concerted efforts of enthusiasts and government entities, the monarch is slowly regaining its reign, but its numbers are nowhere near the one billion that once fluttered across the United States.

Mayor’s monarch pledge

The National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services initiated an effort to save the butterfly population by creating the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. The campaign calls on government leaders to commit to specific actions in their communities to protect the threatened butterfly.

Texas A&M researcher and butterfly enthusiast Craig Wilson introduced the operation to College Station Mayor Nancy Berry and Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski, who signed the pledge in January.

To honor the promise, the City of College Station is creating a monarch-friendly demonstration garden at Lick Creek Park and a butterfly trail near the new Lick Creek Nature Center. In addition, mowing schedules have been altered to allow milkweed to grow, and milkweed and other plants that benefit pollinators are being placed in community and school gardens to educate and engage our citizens.

The College Station Parks & Recreation Department is collaborating with Keep Brazos Beautiful and the A&M Garden Club to help restore and conserve the declining population. More than 50 pounds of milkweed seed has been planted at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Richard Carter Park, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Memorial Cemetery, and the Aggie Field of Honor.

In 2009, Wilson collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create People’s Garden, a small monarch garden across from Wolf Pen Creek Park that has become a registered waystation featuring milkweed and other nectar flowers.

How you can help

As Wilson said, “If you plant it, they will come.”

We encourage everyone with a bit of a spare garden space to plant native milkweed and other nectar-producing plants. Becoming part of this community effort will help one of the great wonders of nature continue and will give you a front row seat to watch the spectacular metamorphosis and migration.

Wilson will be part of a free community planning meeting on Friday, July 29 about developing habitat for monarchs and other pollinators. The meeting will be from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the USDA Building (1001 Holleman Dr. East) and will feature representatives from a variety of community groups.

To register, send your name and phone number to amgc4u@gmail.com.

In the meantime, here are some tips for your garden:

  • Prime time for planting milkweed is early June and July.
  • Pick a spot with lots of sunshine.
  • Light soils are better than those with heavy clay.
  • Gardens need a combination of milkweed and nectar plants such as Black-Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, and Joe-Pye Weed.
  • Make sure your garden is pesticide free.
  • Look for the monarch caterpillar in July, August, September, and October.

Are you ready to do your part? Stop by Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd. on weekdays between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to receive two free milkweed seed packets per household. For more information, call 979-764-3486.

We also invite you to share your milkweed garden through social media by using the hashtag #CSTXPARKS.

Plant milkweed, save the monarchs!

 


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her first year as a recreation assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in December with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

Monarch Photo: pat138241/123RF Stock Photo

 

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

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

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

5:43 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:05 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:

  • Takings Impact Assessment: Since possible water and wastewater impact fees have the potential to be enacted in only portions of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, a required Takings Impact Assessment was conducted and found that the proposed fees do not constitute a regulatory taking.
  • Parks Mobile Stage: The $160,000 mobile stage would enhance the city’s tournaments and special events. Hotel Occupancy Tax funds were allocated in the FY15 budget for the purchase and were transferred to the FY16 in February.
  • Parks Fishing Piers: Contracts totaling about $65,000 would cover repairs to the fishing pier at Brothers Pond Park and replacing the pier at Central Park with a floating pier that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • Traffic Adjustments Near Schools: Proposed changes to traffic movements near Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School include no left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood and College View driveways, no left turns from Timber Street into the College View driveway, removal of stopping, standing and parking along streets around College View, Oakwood and A&M Consolidated Middle School, and the addition of a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.

6:19 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve the FY17 budget for the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency (BVSWMA). The budget includes revenues of about $7.55 million and expenses of about $8.26 million. It also reduces the gate rate for College Station and Bryan from $21.19 per ton to $20.50.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:00 p.m.

Wireless Communication Devices While Driving

After a presentation by Police Chief Scott McCollum, the council directed staff to bring back a draft ordinance regarding the use of wireless communications devices by drivers. The ordinance modification would provide a mechanism for enforcement and deterrence.

McCollum said driver inattention while using wireless communication devices is a growing public safety concern. While the state legislature has recently considered laws regarding the use of these devices while driving, the bills have failed. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:00 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 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. Jerry Smith asked for an ordinance amendment to allow small markers at the Aggie Field of Honor for family or double monuments placed on adjoining spaces.

7:12 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda:

  • Approved a $160,000 mobile stage for the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Adopted a Takings Impact Assessment in the event impact fees for water and sewer service are adopted.
  • A $291,000 bid award to KBS Electrical Distributors for single phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • Contracts totaling about $65,000 with Jamail and Smith Construction and EZ Dock of Texas for the repair of the Brothers Pond Park fishing pier and the installation of new, ADA compliant, fishing pier at Central Park.
  • Renewal of the annual blanket order not to exceed $816,500 with Brazos Paving for cement stabilized base rock and Type D grade recycled crushed concrete base.
  • A $144,000 contract with Jamail & Smith Construction for replacing A/C chillers at the Police Department.
  • Amended the traffic code to prohibit left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School driveways and left turns from Timber Street into the College View High School driveway.
  • Amended the traffic code to prohibit stopping, standing, and parking near the schools along George Bush Drive, Holik Street, Timber Street, Anna Street and Glade Street.
  • Amended the traffic code to add a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate the purchase of land needed for the Royder Road Expansion Project.
  • An annual blanket order not to exceed $95,194.40 with BWI Companies for athletic field maintenance materials including fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, infield material, grass seed, and turf amendments.
  • A contract renewal not to exceed $526,000 with Knife River Corporation for the annual purchase of Type II, FGSMA hot mix asphalt.
  • Contracts for temporary staffing services to Spherion Staffing (not to exceed $380,000) and Kelly Services (not to exceed $80,000), ratification of FY16 expenditures for temporary employment services with Express Services ($17,588.22) and Spherion ($35,011.27), and anticipated expenses with Spherion ($21,744.40).

7:15 p.m.

Land Use Assumptions/Capital Improvement Plans

City Engineer Alan Gibbs gave a short presentation on land use assumptions and capital improvement plans for potential water, wastewater and roadway impact fees. The presentation introduced the next two items.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:48 p.m.

Water-Wastewater Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the land use assumptions and a capital improvement plan for potential water and wastewater impact fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:04 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the land use assumptions and a capital improvement plan for potential roadway impact fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:07 p.m.

Brewster Cove Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to rezone from Rural to General Suburban about 22 acres at 3451 Barron Cut-Off Rd. The change will allow for a multi-family development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:45 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Campus Housing

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 against a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about five acres near the northwest corner of the Harvey Mitchell Parkway-Raymond Stotzer Parkway intersection. Councilmembers Julie Schultz, Karl Mooney, Blanche Brick and John Nichols voted against the motion.Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmembers James Benham and Steve Aldrich supported it.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:46 p.m. 

The mayor adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop will resume.

9:13 p.m.

Old Wellborn Road Traffic Analysis

The council reviewed the city’s traffic analysis of Old Wellborn Road and General Parkway.  The study was conducted to evaluate alternative routes to help reduce traffic congestion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:20 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, July 28.


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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. Wireless Communication Devices: The council will hear a workshop presentation about possibly restricting the use of wireless communications devices such as cellphones while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.
  2. Fishing Piers at Parks: The council will consider contracts to repair the fishing pier at Brothers Pond Park and replace the pier at Central Park with one that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  3. Harvey Mitchell/Raymond Stotzer Interchange: The council will consider an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of the interchange at Harvey Mitchel Parkway (FM2818) and Raymond Stotzer Parkway (FM60). The project includes pavement, traffic signals, lighting, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
  4. Traffic Movement Near Oakwood, College View: The council will consider these changes to traffic movement near Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School: No left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood and College View driveways; no left turns from Timber Street into the College View driveway; the removal of stopping, standing and parking along streets around College View, Oakwood and A&M Consolidated Middle School; and the addition of a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.
  5. Impact Fees: After public hearings, the council will consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plans for possible water, wastewater and roadway impact fees.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:                                                                 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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Podcast: Our first look at single-stream recycling numbers

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station’s single-stream recycling program made its debut in January. Since then, we’ve all wanted to see the data. Has participation been good? Are citizens putting the right stuff in their blue bins, or are they fouling up the system by throwing bad stuff in the wrong container?

I’ve been waiting for that data, too. Podcast guest Heather Woolwine, College Station’s Recycling and Environmental Compliance Manager, shares her perspective on the ups and downs of the program’s first four months.

Podcast Archive

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

 


csf_jsocolAbout the Author

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh 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. He’s a native of Breckenridge.


 

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