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Photos: McMahan sworn in as College Station Fire Chief

Jonathan McMahan was sworn in Friday afternoon as College Station’s new fire chief in a ceremony at Fire Station No. 6.

Here are some photos:

Judge Ed Spillane administers the oath to Chief McMahan.

Judge Ed Spillane administers the oath to Chief McMahan.

Chief McMahan received his pin from Chief Michael Brandt of Arizona’s Northwest Fire District.

Chief McMahan received his pin from Chief Michael Brandt of Arizona’s Northwest Fire District.

City Manager Kelly Templin congratulates Chief McMahan.

City Manager Kelly Templin congratulates Chief McMahan.

(L-R) Councilman Jerome Rektorik, Mayor Karl Mooney, Councilwoman Linda Harvell, Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan, Police Chief Scott McCollum, Councilwoman Blanche Brick , and City Manager Kelly Templin.

(L-R) Councilman Jerome Rektorik, Mayor Karl Mooney, Councilwoman Linda Harvell, Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan, Police Chief Scott McCollum, Councilwoman Blanche Brick, and City Manager Kelly Templin.

College Station Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan.

College Station Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan.

Photos by Jon Carpenter

– Public Communications Office

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 23)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 23. 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.

6:09 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • BerryDunn Contract Change Order: In 2014, the city approved a $645,638 contract with BerryDunn for the management of the ICE project. In August, council approved a $107,475 change order for additional services and expenses. At the time, the schedule for utility billing implementation was not final. As of February 10, the remaining fund balance is $2,312 for services and $22,520.78 for travel and expenses. Projected hours to complete the HR/payroll, utility billing and fixed assets implementation total 1,550 hours ($263,000), with $37,990 in estimated expenses. This change order adds funds to cover the associated hours and costs.

6:49 p.m.

Police Facility Design Update

The council heard an update on the conceptual design of a new police facility, which will be located southeast of the Dartmouth Street-Krenek Tap Road intersection. The $28 million station would almost double the number of available workstations.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:51 p.m.

Northgate Cultural and Historical Display

The council voted unanimously to postpone this presentation until the March 9 meeting. 

7:10 p.m.

Commercial Land Preservation

The council discussed the city’s role in promoting the development of existing and potential commercial properties. The consensus of the council was to move forward with proactive retail recruitment, which includes identifying available property for retailers. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:14 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.

7:21 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:28 p.m.

XYZ Atlas Project

Artist Jennifer Chenoweth of Austin introduced a local project based on what she’s done in the state capital:

XYZ Atlas: The Experience Map of Bryan & College Station asks why we feel a sense of belonging to a place by mapping experiences and collecting stories that document our highs and lows.

XYZ Atlas is an interactive public art project. We create art, maps, and activations that affect community health and well being, urban planning, and cultural tourism with diverse outreach strategies to reach art lovers and underserved communities of all ages.

We are working in the Bryan and College Station communities and expect to schedule a final exhibition in May.

The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts Challenge America, Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations, Texas Commission for the Arts, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. 

art-presentation

7:32 p.m.

National Service Recognition Day

The mayor proclaimed April 4 as National Service Recognition Day. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Curt Sterner, Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) coordinator.

volunteer-proclaimation

7:39 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Sgt. William C. Eckhart as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Rocksprings native died April 10, 2004, in an explosion in Baqubah, Iraq.
  • Mike Clements, president of the College Station Firefighters Association, recognized and thanked Joe Don Warren (below with certificate) for his service as the city’s interim fire chief. Jonathan McMahan will be sworn-in as the new fire chief on Friday.

fire-presentation

7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The annual traffic contact report required by the state.
  • Authorized the city manager to submit a grant application to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to fund 80 percent of the salary and benefits for a crime victim’s advocate.
  • An amendment adding “Creation of an Audit Committee” to the city’s code of ordinances.
  • A resolution consenting to the Bryan City Council providing economic development incentives to ViaSat, Inc.
  • A $4.79 million contract with Freese and Nichols for design, bidding, and construction phase services for the expansion of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A change order increasing by $279,500 a contract with BerryDunn for project management services and expenses.
  • Authorized the mayor to sign an inter-local agreement with the City of Bryan to extend the common boundary of the College Station/Bryan Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).
  • The Semi-Annual Report for Impact Fees.
  • Renewal of a building use agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley through March 6, 2018, for the building located at 2275 Dartmouth Dr.
  • A resolution of support for Rock Prairie Village’s application for low-income housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

7:49 p.m.

Luther-Jones Butler Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about three acres southeast of the Luther Street-Jones Butler Road intersection. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest. The change will allow for mixed-use, commercial and multi-family development.

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:55 p.m.

Wellborn Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about one acre northeast of the Wellborn Road-Greens Prairie Road intersection. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:09 p.m.

Arrington Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about 12 acres south of the South Oaks Drive-Arrington Road intersection. The change will allow for a multi-family development. Councilwoman Blanche Brick voted against the motion.

A total of 19 people spoke or provided written comments during the public hearing. All opposed the rezoning.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

10:15 p.m.

Spring Creek Local Government Corporation

The council voted unanimously to approve a certificate of formation for the Spring Creek Local Government Corporation and appointed John Nichols and Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Jane Kee to the initial board of directors.

The non-profit government corporation was created to promote economic development anchored by College Station’s next business park.

10:18 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

10:18 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, March 9.


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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 been 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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Senior Games prove age doesn’t have to be a limitation

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By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

Olympic great Jackie Joyner-Kersee once said “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”

Joyner-Kersee knows a little about persevering over perceived limitations. She overcame severe asthma to become arguably the greatest female athlete of all time. The world record Joyner-Kersee set in the heptathlon at the 1988 Olympics still stands.

When she says age isn’t a limitation, she means it.

16599461806_0066f537cb_oThat philosophy will be on full display Friday through Sunday when 400 dedicated athletes will compete in the Brazos Valley Senior Games at venues across Bryan-College Station. Admission is free. Click here for a schedule of events

The 50 years-and-older participants will face off in track and field, swimming, basketball, cycling, golf, 5K run, bowling, horseshoes, pickleball, disc golf, washers, table tennis, tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, cornhole and basketball skills. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each event and age group.

Photos: 2016 Brazos Valley Senior Games, 2015 Brazos Valley Senior Games

These athletes seek competition to prove that health and fitness don’t have an age limit. Driven with purpose and dedication, they’ve dismissed boundaries and prove that athleticism and passion don’t have to fade as the years pass.

Here are a few of the fierce athletes who will be competing this weekend:

  • Baker Lee Shannon of Houston is the oldest male athlete at the age of 91 years and nine months. He is competing in four swimming events – 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
  • Barbara Chenette of Crockett is the oldest female athlete at the age of 81 years and three months. She is competing in the 5K run.
  • Michael McDavid of Buchanan Dam is competing in 16 events – all in track & field – more than any other participant.
  • Joe Durrenberger of Los Angeles traveled 1,484 miles to compete in four track & field events – discus, hammer throw, javelin and shot put. Durrenberger was a standout basketball player at Rice in the mid-1950s, setting a Southwest Conference record with 30 rebounds against Baylor in 1956 (with 32 points). He’s also an actor who has appeared in several movies and television series, including Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Jim Gerhardt of Houston, a 1952 Olympian, will compete in his fifth Brazos Valley Senior Games. He’ll participate in four track & field events — the discus, hammer throw, javelin, and shot put. Gerhardt placed 11th in the triple jump at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. He and Durrenberger are members of the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame.
  • Joe Barger of Austin will compete in seven track events – 50M, 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, 1500M and 5K run. The 91-year-old is a survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
  • DeEtte Sauer of Houston will compete in five swimming events – 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 individual medley. Sauer has won 50 swimming medals in various local, regional and national senior games and is a member of the Texas Senior Olympics Hall of Fame.

Facts & Figures

  • Total Athletes: 400 (268 men, 132 women)
  • States Represented: 5 (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and California)
  • Brazos Valley Athletes: 57
  • Out-of-Town Athletes: 343
  • Volunteers: 140

Participants by Sport

  • 5K Run: 27
  • Basketball: 6 teams
  • Basketball Free Throws: 18
  • Basketball Skills: 16
  • Bowling: 37
  • Cycling: 41
  • Cornhole: 16
  • Disc Golf: 7
  • Golf: 29
  • Horseshoes: 16
  • Pickleball: 110
  • Swimming: 23
  • Table Tennis: 17
  • Tennis: 14
  • Track & Field: 92
  • Washers: 13

This event couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors. We offer our sincere thank you to the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, CHI St. Joseph Health, Innovative Fitness, KIND Snacks, Piranha Fitness Studios, Pita Pit, Signature Care, and Waldenbrooke Estates.

Need proof that age doesn’t have to be a limitation? Pick your favorite sport and venture out to watch these inspiring athletes compete this weekend.

 


 

312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 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.


 

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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 (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. New Police Facility: In the workshop, the council will hear an update on the design of a new police facility on the southeast corner of the Dartmouth Street-Krenek Tap Road intersection.
  2. Commercial Preservation: The council will also have a workshop discussion about the city’s role in promoting the development of existing and potential commercial properties.
  3. Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant: On the consent agenda is a $4.79 million contract for services associated with the expansion of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  4. Arrington Road Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to Multi-Family for about 12 acres south of the South Oaks Drive-Arrington Road intersection. The change would allow for development.
  5. Spring Creek Local Government Corporation: The council will consider approving the certificate of formation and bylaws of the Spring Creek Local Government Corporation, a non-profit government corporation created to promote economic development anchored by College Station’s next business park. The council will also consider initial board directors.

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:                                                                 

 


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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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Are address numbers required on homes, businesses?

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By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Have you ever had a problem finding an unfamiliar home or business?

Even with the prevalence of GPS on our smartphones, locating some places remains difficult if the building isn’t identifiable from the street. That can create serious problems not only for visitors, deliveries and service calls but also for first responders in an emergency.

That’s why almost all cities, including College Station, have ordinances that require clearly displayed address numbers for homes and businesses.

What’s required?

house-numbers-poleIn College Station, the address number for houses must be at least two inches high on both sides of a mailbox near the curb, or at least four inches high on the house or a prominently displayed sign.

For businesses, the numbers must be at least four inches high and have at least a half-inch stroke width in the main body. They should also be made of a durable material.

The color of the numbers should also provide a contrast with the background. For example, brass or black numbers on a dark background are hard to see from the street, especially at night.

In addition, be sure your numbers won’t be obstructed by bushes and shrubs as they grow. If it’s behind a bush and can’t be seen from the street, you’re violating the ordinance.

Does the curb count?

2900-arroyo-st-s-002You may occasionally find a flyer on your door from a business that paints address numbers on curbs. The flyers sometimes claim that if you don’t have your address on the curb, you’re violating city ordinance.

While it’s certainly not a bad idea to display your house number on the curb, our ordinance only requires it to be on your house, mailbox or a prominent sign on your property.

For more information about properly displaying your address, contact Code Enforcement at codeenforcement@cstx.gov.

Related Link:

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


 

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Quidditch event attracts 21 teams to town this weekend

Texas A&M Quidditch team members pose for a photo. The team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship hosted at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Texas, Feb. 18-19. Photo source: www.facebook.com/texasamquidditch/

The Texas A&M Quidditch team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Photo source: Facebook.

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Now that our Super Bowl buzz is finally wearing off, College Station is turning its focus to a lesser known sport – Quidditch. And it’s for the same reason Houston and every other major city in America want to host Super Bowls.

The almighty dollar.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex will host the 2017 U.S. Quidditch Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in 21 teams from five different states. It’ll be the first major Quidditch event hosted at a City of College Station facility, and we hope it won’t be the last. Admission is free.

Super Bowl tourism in perspective

Houston reportedly welcomed more than 1.3 million guests for the Super Bowl weekend, with economic impact estimates as high as $350 million for the entire metro. For one weekend, that’s pretty mind blowing.

But Houston couldn’t do it alone.

The state’s event trust fund paid $25.4 million to help build up to the big game, and Houston was asked to guarantee an impressive array of complimentary services. When Dallas bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the trust fund awarded $32.1 million, and the city pooled its vast resources to win over the National Football League.

What does this mean for College Station?

Although College Station will never host a Super Bowl, Texas A&M’s collegiate events are the Super Bowl equivalent to our local economy. According to a recent study by A&M’s Division of Finance and Administration, Aggie sporting events and related campus activities attracted 1.3 million visitors and $385 million to the regional economy in 2013. The numbers for 2016 likely exceed those estimates.

The City of College Station and Bryan College Station Sports & Events capture bids on a variety of sporting events each year that add significant value to our community. The successful bid to host our first U.S. Quidditch regional will not only spur the weekend economy, but it could also lead to additional opportunities for us to host more Quidditch tournaments.

We expect the event to attract about 300 visitors who will spend money for two days on local hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.

How do we land these events?

College Station competes with other cities to host these types of events and the economic benefits they bring. But like Houston, we can’t do it alone.

The U.S. Quidditch bid manual describes what the organization typically asks of a host community in incentives and services. While it’s no Super Bowl request, it requires host communities to commit a significant level of time and resources.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Bryan College Station Sports & Events leveraged the Texas A&M Quidditch team’s participation in national and regional competitions to assemble our pitch.

Supporting new business for local hoteliers, retailers, and restaurateurs is what drives this effort, and Quidditch is certainly not the first successful pitch we’ve had. Here are a few other notable visitor-based events hosted by College Station thanks to winning bids submitted by our dedicated Parks and CVB sports event managers:

When it’s all said and done, these events will have attracted more than 50,000 visitors who injected $20-25 million into our local economy.

Free Quidditch youth clinic

Still not sure what to think? Come out to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex on Saturday or Sunday and see what sports tourism looks like in action.

As a friendly gesture to fans and curious onlookers, U.S. Quidditch will conduct a free clinic on Quidditch Field 3 to teach kids and young adults about the sport. The clinics will last about an hour and a half and will start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

They’ll provide the equipment, too, so no need to bring your broomstick.

We’ll see you this weekend at Veterans Park!

Source: U.S. Quidditch

Graphic: U.S. Quidditch

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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