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Help plan College Station’s Next 10 at workshops

By Justin Golbabai, Long Range Planning Administrator

Planning for the growth and development of a city is similar to planning for any journey – it begins with knowing the starting point and the final destination. Based on those points, you can make appropriate plans and preparations and then set out knowing that adjustments will be necessary along the way.

The 2009-2030 Comprehensive Plan is the city’s policy roadmap to plan, anticipate, and guide growth and development over 20 years. It’s been 10 years since the plan’s adoption, and it’s time to reassess and discuss where the city should go in the next decade. We’re calling this process The Next 10.

Focus on the Future Workshops

Community input is an essential part of The Next 10. Next week, we will conduct a series of four identical workshops at locations across College Station to gather your input on the city’s present and future growth patterns. We encourage you to attend the most convenient session.

The 90-minute meetings will consider the conditions and trends facing our community and feature small groups to generate insight about your desired outcomes. Whether you are living, working, attending school, or raising a family in College Station, your perspective is vital to the plan’s success.

Here’s the meeting schedule:

Monday, Sept. 23

>> 7-8:30 p.m., Southwood Valley Elementary Cafeteria (2700 Brothers Blvd.)

Tuesday, Sept. 24

>> 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., CSU Meeting & Training Facility (1601 Graham Road)

>> 7-8:30 p.m., Forest Ridge Elementary Cafeteria (1950 Greens Prairie Road)

Wednesday, Sept 25

>> 7-8:30 p.m., Oakwood Intermediate School Cafeteria (106 Holik St.)

If you plan to attend, RSVP on the workshop Facebook page.

College Station is committed to updating its policies to address the issues of today and prepare for those that may arise in the future. By participating in the process, you can help evaluate the city’s direction in light of current trends and community values and to proactively address topics that are important to you.

You don’t have to be an expert, either. You only have to care about your community.

We’ll start analyzing the data we’ve gathered in December and start laying out the plan in the spring. We hope to present a final draft to the city council next summer.

For more information and to sign-up for email updates, visit cstx.gov/TheNext10.

 


About the Blogger

Long Range Planning Administrator Justin Golbabai, AICP CNU-A has been with the City of College Station since 2016. He previously served the City of Austin for nine years in various capacities, most recently as Neighborhood Partnering Program manager. Justin has also worked for the cities of Savannah (Ga.) and Overland Park (Kan.). A native of Windsor, Conn., he received a master’s in public administration from the University of Kansas in 2006, and a bachelor’s in economics and sociology from The University of Notre Dame in 2004.


 

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

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 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.

5:06 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman Dennis Maloney is absent tonight.

The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:10 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Infrastructure Participation Agreement: The agreement prepares a section of The Business Center at College Station Phase II for development with the addition of needed infrastructure, including detention, sidewalks, shared driveway access, and sewer. The city is under contract to sell about seven acres. The agreement details the cost-sharing of infrastructure outlined in the real estate contract. In general, the shared infrastructure will be designed by the city to standards and requirements. Grand Jr. will construct the shared infrastructure, and the city will reimburse for its portion once the items are completed, inspected and accepted.
  • Justice Assistance Grant: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and funds all components of the criminal justice system. The CSPD intends to use this funding to support local initiatives, technical assistance, training, equipment, supplies, or information technology projects that will enhance law enforcement programs.

5:27 p.m.

CodeFest Review

The council reviewed the city’s first CodeFest Aug. 17-18 at the Meyer Center. Funded entirely by sponsorships, the event attracted 45 participants from College Station, Austin, and Houston.

The nine teams developed three apps and six websites focusing on various community needs. The top team won $1,000, with second place taking home $500. A second Codefest is tentatively planned for Jan. 25.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:34 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 6 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:07 p.m.

Constitution Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in College Station in recognition of America’s most important document. The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms, and inalienable rights.

6:32 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Army Capt. Sean E. Lyerly as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 31-year-old Pflugerville native died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 20, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Jacob Prazak of the College Station Professional Firefighters Association spoke about an effective new cancer screening for firefighters. He also spoke in support of the proposed increase in the property tax rate.
  • David Scott spoke against the process behind the clearing of trees in Lick Creek Park for the installation of a sewer line. He asked the city to restore the habitat that has been destroyed.
  • Donell Frankes spoke about the sewer work in Lick Creek Park. She said the scheduling of the work caused significant disruption to park programs and activities.
  • Jackie Girouard spoke about the destruction of Lick Creek Park caused by the sewer pipeline work.
  • Cheryl Lewis spoke about the threat to native vegetation and water resources in Lick Creek Park.
  • Sandy Dillard spoke about the threat to vital bird habitat in Lick Creek Park.

6:33 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A participation agreement with Grand Jr. for constructing public infrastructure. City participation is not to exceed $208,851, excluding fixed fees.
  • Documents relating to the property owners association in The Business Center at College Station.
  • FY20 funds for items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for inter-local contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $100,000.
  • A negotiated settlement agreement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp.-Mid-Tex Division regarding the company’s 2019 rate review mechanism filings with rate tariffs and proof of revenues.
  • Amendments to certain sections of the city’s Code of Ordinances related to the Northgate Parking Garage Gate.
  • The annual price agreement not to exceed $120,000 with Corn’s Collision Center for heavy truck paint and body repairs.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a 2019 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The addition of a four-way stop intersection at Church Avenue east and westbound at Second Street and the public way of the Northgate surface parking lot.
  • Renewal of contracts for prefabricated signs and sign blanks with Vulcan Signs ($54,224.50) and for posts and hardware with Dobie Supply ($61,585.00).

6:42 p.m.

FY20 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The total budget is about $341.2 million. The budget is scheduled for adoption Sept. 26. Two people spoke in the public hearing, one against waste in the budget and the other in support of the city’s workforce.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

FY20 Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted its final public hearing on the city’s proposed FY20 property tax rate of .534618 per $100 of assessed value, a $2.8778-cent increase. The proposed rate would generate $51.7 million in revenue for general debt service and operations and maintenance. Five people spoke against the rate increase. (Blogger’s note: I originally wrote here that one of the speakers supported the increase. I misunderstood the intent of the speaker’s statement and regret the error.)   

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

Rock Prairie-Fitch Rezoning

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda and will be considered at a later date.

7:19 p.m.

Texas Avenue South Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial, Urban, and Natural Areas Reserved for almost nine acres at 2709 Texas Avenue South. One person spoke in the public hearing.

The change will allow for commercial and multi-family development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:29 p.m.

University Drive East Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use from Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres at 3030 University Drive East. The changes would allow for a medical office in an existing building.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

University Drive East Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Light Industrial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres at 3030 University Drive East. The changes would allow for a medical office in an existing building.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:42 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

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


 

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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 (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Budget Public Hearing: The council will conduct a public hearing on the city’s proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The total budget is about $341.2 million and is scheduled for adoption Sept. 26.
  2. Tax Rate Public Hearing: The council will conduct its final public hearing on the city’s proposed FY20 property tax rate of .534618 per $100 of assessed value, a $2.8778-cent increase. The proposed rate would generate $51.7 million in revenue for general debt service and operations and maintenance costs.
  3. Rock Prairie-Fitch Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban, General Commercial, Office and Natural Areas Protected for about 210 acres south of the Rock Prairie Road-William D. Fitch Parkway intersection. The change would allow for a 175-acre continuation of the Pebble Creek Subdivision.
  4. Texas Avenue South Land Use: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial, Urban, and Natural Areas Reserved for almost nine acres at 2709 Texas Avenue South. The change would allow for commercial and multi-family development.
  5. University Drive East Land Use, Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider requests to change the land use (Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial) and the zoning (Light Industrial to General Commercial) for about 1.3 acres at 3030 University Drive East. The changes would allow for a medical office in an existing building.

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.


 

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Monday’s inaugural community conversation: Thomas Park

By Barbara Moore, Assistant to the City Manager/Special Projects

On Monday, Sept. 16, the City of College Station will host the first of what we hope will be many community conversations. We invite you to join us at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Lincoln Recreation Center at 1000 Eleanor St. for the inaugural topic of Thomas Park.

We’ll serve light refreshments and provide childcare.

The primary goal of these conversations is to listen and share information about important community issues. To reduce the formality of these discussions, we’re hosting them away from city hall and removing the usual stressors of lecterns, gavels and speaker time limits. Let’s talk to and learn from one another.

While elected and appointed officials may be in attendance, the conversations will be led and facilitated by City Manager Bryan Woods and city staff.

A second community conversation, one that focuses on code enforcement, is being organized for early next year, and we’ll provide those details when they’re worked out. Because this is a continuing series of conversations on topics of importance to our community, we are open to your suggestions. Feel free to email me at bmoore@cstx.gov.

We hope to see a full room at our first community conversation to help us fully understand the issues that shape our city.

 


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her 13th year with the City of College Station and her first as assistant to the city manager. Barbara served 12 years as neighborhood services coordinator. She previously was the executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was the director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.


 

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Learn about field hockey at free clinic Sept. 13

By Trish Winkle, Field Hockey Clinic Instructor

Did you know field hockey is among the world’s most popular sports?

When it came to the United States more than a century ago, field hockey was played predominately on the east coast. In recent years, it found its way across the country — even to parts of Texas.

Field hockey players use a long, hook-shaped stick to hit a hard plastic ball up and down a grass or turf field.  The idea is to score as many goals as you can in the opponent’s goal. Field hockey has many unique rules and shares more similarities with soccer than ice hockey.

Our free clinic on Friday, Sept. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is open to anyone from three-years-old to adult with any ability or mobility level. No need to preregister, either.

The clinic features fun stations where you can learn more about the game’s equipment, rules, and skills. You can spend as little or as much time as you like at each station, but if you finish them all, you can win field hockey sticks and balls, t-shirts, lessons, and more.

The great thing about trying field hockey for the first time is that it’s new to almost everyone else around College Station, too. Regardless of whether you’ve played sports or haven’t found your niche yet, everyone is pretty much on the same level.

The clinic’s primary purpose is to introduce you to an exciting new sport in a fun atmosphere. We invite you to join us!

For more information, call 979-764-3468.

 


About the Blogger

Trisha Winkle is a former collegiate field hockey player who has coached at the club, high school, and collegiate levels. A native of New Jersey, Trish has recently moved to the area to work in Texas’s A&M’s Education Abroad program. In her free time, she shares her love of field hockey.


 

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Hysmith Skate Park celebrates 8th anniversary

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

Even in the intense heat of a Texas summer, passersby will notice dozens of people of all ages perfecting their skateboarding skills at the G. Hysmith Skate Park on the eastern edge of Bachmann Park.

Eight years ago today, the City of College Station opened the park in memory of Garrett Hysmith, an energetic, ambitious middle-schooler with a passion for skateboarding. The 13-year-old passed away in 2005 after a courageous nine-year battle with cancer. His family, friends, and community members convinced the city council to make Garrett’s dream of a local skate park a reality.

The G. Hysmith Skate Park is a popular venue for skateboarders of all skill levels. The lighted facility features a covered spectator area, a large pro-style flow bowl, a pool-type bowl, and a long, linear street course that includes hundreds of feet of varying terrain and scalable elements.

Since the park opening in 2011, the Parks and Recreation Department has added restrooms and a covered shelter atop the hill near the bowls for spectators to marvel at the skills of potential Olympians.

Yes, skateboarding is now an Olympic extreme sport and is featured as part of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. While our community may not offer many opportunities for other extreme sports devotees, we offer a superb venue for skateboarding enthusiasts to pursue their passion.

Happy Anniversary, G. Hysmith Skate Park!

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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