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Richardson named city’s 2018 employee of the year

Employee of the Year Stephan Richardson and City Manager Bryan Woods.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Parks and Recreation Manager Stephan Richardson was named the City of College Station’s 2018 Employee of the Year during a ceremony before Thursday’s city council meeting. Richardson has been with the Parks & Recreation Department since 2008.

Richardson was among 12 candidates who were nominated by their peers. The nominations were reviewed and judged by a panel of employees representing a cross-section of the organization.

Employee of the Year Nominees

  • Jared Cleere, Officer (Police)
  • Shankar Dayal, Database Administrator (Information technology)
  • Peter Garcia, Environmental Supervisor (Water Services)
  • Venessa Garza, Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Manager (Planning & Development)
  • Carter Hall, Firefighter (Fire)
  • Marshall Karkoska, Lead Line Locator/Inspector (Electric Utility)
  • Lacey Lively (Public Communications)
  • Lisa McCracken, Records Management Administrator (City Secretary’s Office)
  • Stephan Richardson, Manager (Parks & Recreation)
  • Tammie Warren, Compensation Analyst (Human Resources)
  • Eric Watkins, Facilities Maintenance Technician (Public Works)
  • Raney Whitwell, Code Enforcement Officer (Community Services)

Service Awards

The city also recognized its employees who have reached 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.

Employees who reached the milestones of 5, 10 and 15 years of service were recognized at departmental events.

20 years

  • Darrin Allen, Firefighter (Fire)
  • Damian Anderson, Patrol Officer (Police)
  • Brad Ballard, Lieutenant (Fire)
  • Diane Broadhurst, Asset Management Coordinator (Water Services)
  • Dustin Jordan, Patrol Officer (Police)
  • Kristina Keller, Accountant (Finance)
  • Blaine Krauter, Sergeant (Police)
  • Dale Lapham, Water Production Operation (Water Services)
  • Matthew Marek, Project Planning Coordinator (Electric Utility)
  • Scott Montgomery, Meter Technician (Electric Utility)
  • Randall Ray, Crew Leader (Parks & Recreation)
  • Katie Reiter, Sergeant (Police)
  • Carla Robinson, City Attorney (City Attorney’s Office)
  • Bradford Smith, Patrol Officer (Police)
  • Joshua Varner, Captain (Fire)
  • Jimmy Yow, Captain (Fire)

25 years

  • Jeffrey Capps, Assistant City Manager (City Manager’s Office)
  • Tommy Galvan, Fleet Equipment Technician (Public Works)
  • Jerry King, Equipment Operator (Public Works)
  • Robert Mumford, Battalion Chief (Fire)
  • Andrew Murph, Sergeant (Police)
  • Edwin Savage, Field Operations Manager (Water Services)
  • Brian Smith, Plant Operations Manager (Water Services)
  • Doug Wallace, Treatment Plant Superintendent (Water Services)

30 years

  • Craig Anderson, Lieutenant (Police)
  • Billy Bradshaw, Battalion Chief (Fire)
  • Dan McNeill, Firefighter, (Fire)
  • Greg Rodgers, Division Chief (Fire)
  • Wally Urrutia, Division Manager (Public Works)

35 years

  • Lee Robinson, Traffic Systems Division Manager (Public Works)

Lee Robinson with Mayor Karl Mooney and City Manager Bryan Woods.

Congratulations to all and thank you for your service and dedication!

 


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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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Dec. 13)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Dec. 13. 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.

5:03 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action from executive session.

Earlier this afternoon, the council recognized the city’s employee of the year along with employees reaching 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.

5:28 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:

  • Dog Leashes at Lick Creek Park: The ordinance would remove the Lick Creek Park exception to the city’s dog leash requirement and add a designated leash-free area.
  • Lick Creek Park Shade Structure: The $139,516 shade structure over the amphitheater at Lick Creek Park would provide protection from the elements. The cost includes installation. 
  • Water Line along Greens Prairie and Arrington: The $81,089 oversized participation request is to increase the size of about 5,272 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line. The line ties into an existing 12-inch line on the south side of Greens Prairie Road West and extends west and south through the Greens Prairie Reserve subdivision and through the Phase 101 area. 
  • Water Line through Greens Prairie Preserve: The $25,251 oversized participation request is to increase the size of about 1,786 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line. The line extends through the Phase 102 area and ties into the proposed 12-inch lines to the north and south being installed with Greens Prairie Reserve Phase 101. 
  • Gasoline and Diesel Fuel: The $1.4 million contract has firm fixed prices for profit and delivery, allowing the city to pay costs (which fluctuates) plus markup. The estimated expenditures are based on past fuel usage and expenses.
  • Impact Fees Semi-Annual Report: The report documents the fees collected in the service areas. The city adopted system-wide impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways in late 2016. Fee implementation occurred in phases with full implementation occurring this month.

5:50 p.m.

Legislative Update and Preview

Legislative Consultant Jennifer Rodriguez provided the council with a legislative update and a preview of the 86th Texas State Legislature.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:11 p.m.

Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment

The council received and discussed the results of the recent Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment survey conducted from Oct. 17-Nov. 16 by National Service Research.

The city will use the survey to assess and prioritize parks and recreation services and needs. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:23 p.m.

Veteran’s Park Field Naming

The council discussed the naming of the new artificial turf fields at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 p.m.

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

6:40 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:46 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • James Benham recognized PFC Larry Isaiah Guyton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Brenham native died in May of 2007 after a bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat in Iraq. 

7:02 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • The $104,674.25 purchase of five police motorcycles from The Ranch Harley Davidson. The action also includes a $4,590 one-year extended warranty and the $30,000 trade-in of five 2015 motorcycles.
  • Removal of the Lick Creek Park exception to the dog leash requirement in the city’s Code or Ordinances and added a designated leash-free area.
  • Authorized the city manager to approve and execute employee benefits contract documents and expenditures related to the employee benefits contracts provided that such expenditures are appropriated from available funds approved from the annual budget and consistent with state and local laws. The action also renewed the city’s contract with Cigna for stop-loss reinsurance for 2019.
  • A $1.23 million contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the design of the Greens Prairie Widening Project.
  • A $104,671 contract with Gessner Engineering for construction materials testing for the new police headquarters.
  • An $81,089 oversized participation agreement that upsizes about 5,272 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line along Greens Prairie Road and Arrington Road.
  • A $25,251 oversized participation agreement that upsizes about 1,786 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line through Greens Prairie Reserve.
  • Renewal of a contract not to exceed $250,000 for pavement markings and roadway striping.
  • Extended for one year a $1.4 million contract with Brenco Marketing Corporation for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • The semi-annual report on system-wide impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted unanimously to approve a $139,516 contract with USA Shade & Fabric Structures for a cantilevered shade structure for the Lick Creek Park amphitheater. The contract includes installation.

7:37 p.m.

Rezoning North of Emerald Forest

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres near North Forest Parkway north of the Emerald Forest Subdivision. The change will allow for residential development similar to the existing area.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentations:

7:41 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:41 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting.

The council meets again next Wednesday to canvass the votes from Tuesday’s run-off election, and  Dennis Maloney will take the oath of office as the Place 6 councilman. The council’s next full-agenda meeting is Thursday, Jan. 10.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


About the Blogger

Public Communications Manager Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the city since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian 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 (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Employee of the Year: Before the workshop, the council will recognize the city’s employee of the year along with employees reaching 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.
  2. Legislative Update: In the workshop, the council will receive a legislative update and a preview of the 86th Texas State Legislature.
  3. Parks & Recreation Survey: The council will hear a workshop presentation and discuss the results of the Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment survey conducted this fall by National Service Research.
  4. Lick Creek Dog Leash Ordinance: Among the items on the consent agenda is an ordinance removing the Lick Creek Park exception to the city’s dog leash requirement and adding a designated leash-free area.
  5. Rezoning Behind Emerald Forest: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres near North Forest Parkway north of the Emerald Forest Subdivision. The change will allow for residential development.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 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.


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Seven ways to reduce your holiday fire risks

By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter

If you’re the observant type, you may notice the beautiful holiday wreaths that adorn College Station’s six fire stations. Wreaths are hardly uncommon this time of year, but those displayed at our firehouses are a bit different.

The wreaths were initially illuminated entirely with white lights, but with each structure fire we fight in December, a light changes to red. We hope as many white lights as possible are still shining brightly at the end of the month.

Follow these seven tips to help us keep the lights white:

  1. Candles cause more than half of home fires caused by decorations. Keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
  2. Real Christmas trees should be watered frequently and removed a few days after Christmas.
  3. If you purchase a pre-lit, artificial tree, make sure it has a UL classification mark indicating it meets safety standards.
  4. Nearby heat sources start about 80 percent of Christmas tree fires. Keep your tree and decorations at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, radiators, or heat vents.
  5. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly connect holiday lights.
  6. Check smoke detectors monthly to verify they work properly and have one on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
  7. Christmas Day is the second leading day for cooking fires. Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, or near any outside cooking fires.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more safety tips and updates.

 


About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.


 

Local leaders duel in Salvation Army Mayor Ring Off

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The cities of Bryan and College Station seem to relish the opportunity to compete in just about anything – even Christmas.

But don’t worry, we aren’t competing to see who can attract the most business or tourists, at least not this time. Instead, how about a little friendly competition to help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, toys, financial assistance and counseling to those in need in the Brazos Valley?

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney and Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson will participate in the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas campaign by ringing bells and collecting donations at local Walmart stores on Saturday from noon-1 p.m. Mooney will be at the College Station Walmart, while Nelson will be at the Bryan Walmart on Briarcrest.

The Mayor Ring Off has been a holiday tradition for many years. The problem is that the Bryan mayor – regardless of who it is – always seems to raise the most cash.

It’s time the good folks in College Station came together to bring that winning streak to an end. With the proper spirit of Christmas, of course.

If you happen to stop by Walmart on Saturday, say hello to Mayor Mooney and drop your spare change into that famous red kettle. You’ll be helping a bunch of your fellow residents in the process.

You can also donate online at salvationarmybcs.org. Click “Mayor Ring Off” and choose Mayor Mooney.

Speaking of the iconic red kettle, do you know the history behind it? I didn’t, either, until visiting with Paul and Analese Ryerson of The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station. Here’s the story, courtesy of The Salvation Army:

History of the Red Kettle

Joseph McFee, The Salvation Army’s captain in San Francisco, resolved in December of 1891 to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor. But how would he pay for the food? As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind. Suddenly, his thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. On the Stage Landing, where the boats came in, he saw a large pot into which passersby threw charitable donations.

The next morning, he secured permission from the authorities to place a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing, at the foot of Market Street. No time was lost in securing the pot and placing it in a conspicuous position so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferryboats. Thus, Captain McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States but the world.

By Christmas 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations in various sections of the West Coast area. The Sacramento Bee of that year carried a description of the Army’s Christmas activities and mentioned the contributions to street-corner kettles. Shortly afterward, two young Salvation Army officers who had been instrumental in the original use of the kettle, William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis, were transferred to the East.

They took with them the idea of the Christmas kettle. In 1897, McIntyre prepared his Christmas plans for Boston around the kettle, but his fellow officers refused to cooperate for fear of making spectacles of themselves. So McIntyre, his wife, and sister set up three kettles at the Washington Street thoroughfare in the heart of the city. That year, the kettle effort in Boston and other locations nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy.

In 1898, the New York World hailed The Salvation Army kettles as “the newest and most novel device for collecting money.” The newspaper also observed, “There is a man in charge to see that contributions are not stolen.” In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years.

Today, donations to The Salvation Army kettles at Christmas help support the nearly 30 million people served by the Army through shelters, after-school programs, addiction-recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance, and many other social services. Kettles can now be found in many foreign countries such as Korea, Japan, Chile, many European countries and Australia.

Wherever people find The Salvation Army, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to those who would otherwise be forgotten all year long – to the aged and lonely, the ill, the inmates of jails and other institutions, the poor and unfortunate.

In the United States, kettles at Thanksgiving and Christmas, although changed since the first utilitarian cauldron set up in San Francisco, help make it possible for The Salvation Army to do the most good possible for nearly 30 million people each year.

 


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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Youth hoops leagues focus on fun and fundamentals

By Bobbie Cantu, Athletics Supervisor           

If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids active during the colder months, winter youth basketball leagues are a great option. The City of College Station Parks and Recreation Department is committed to providing every kid the opportunity to play basketball regardless of their skill level.

Youth basketball provides players with a fun and exciting way to learn basic skills, teamwork, strategy, and sportsmanship. The goal is to foster positive, child-oriented attitudes by keeping winning in perspective, having fun, and improving physical fitness. Coaches focus on creating an exciting but relaxed atmosphere while focusing on fundamentals.

We offer four age divisions, which are determined by the player’s age as of March 1: 6-7 Coed (6-7 years), 10U Boys/Girls (8-10 years), 12U Boys/Girls (10-12 years), 14U Coed (12-14 years).

Registration ends Dec. 14, and the league will run from Jan. 7-March 7. You can register online at cstx.gov/sports, by calling 979-764-3486, or stopping by our Central Park office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. The cost is $60 per participant, which includes a team jersey. Players are charged a $10 reorder fee for ordering the incorrect size.

Players can register for Monday/Wednesday/Saturday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday practices. Games are played on weeknights between 6-9 p.m. and on Saturdays between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. All practices and games are at College Station Independent School District gyms and the Lincoln Recreation Center. Gym locations vary depending on age and availability, and participants can’t request a specific location.

The format of the league is an eight-game, round-robin schedule. Each player accumulates a minimum of two quarters of playing time for each game they participate.

Volunteer to coach

Parents are their kids’ greatest fans, and we encourage them to get involved as volunteer coaches. Without dedicated volunteers, our programs can’t grow and prosper. We need coaches for every age division. No experience is required, and we provide you with the help and resources you need for a fun and successful season.

If you’re interested in applying to be a volunteer coach, go to cstx.gov/sportsvolunteer and fill out the form. Volunteer must complete a background check.

 


About the Blogger

Athletics Supervisor Bobbie Cantu is in her second year with the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of Weslaco, she earned a sports management degree from Texas A&M in 2017 and is pursuing a master’s in sport and fitness administration.


 

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