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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 9)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, July 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 997 0027 4418. Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

5:55 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled no items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda.

6:24 p.m.

Parkland Expansion

The council voted unanimously to support the conversion of about 196 acres of greenways to parkland. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board unanimously passed the motion in June.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:28 p.m.

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

6:39 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. 

6:44 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

6:45 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Estimated annual expenditures of $125,000 with Badger Meter for water meters.
  • A $2.35 million contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for the Southside Safety Improvements Project.
  • An oversized participation agreement that upsizes about 1,466 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to an 18-inch water line through the Traditions Phase 24 and 25 subdivision.
  • An ordinance consenting to Order No. 3 under the mayor’s declaration of disaster regarding face coverings inside commercial businesses as proclaimed on June 25.

7:05 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve BVSWMA’s proposed FY 21 budget, which was approved by the BVSWMA Board of Directors on June 17. The City of Bryan is expected to consider it on July 14.

The landfill’s FY 21 budget revenue is $9.5 million, operating expenses of $7.1 million and capital expenses of $4.98 million. Total reserves, cash, and investments are $11.75 million. The budget also reduces the gate rate for both cities from $17.50 to $15 per ton.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:11 p.m.

Wellborn Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District — with a base zoning district of Wellborn Commercial — for about seven acres at 14565 and 14575 Wellborn Road. The change allows the development of low-density commercial uses that provide services to nearby neighborhoods.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:01 p.m.

Community Development Plans, Budget

The council voted unanimously to direct staff to move forward with the FY 21 (PY 20) Annual Action Plan, FY 21 Community Development Budget, and 2020-24 Consolidated Plan.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:10 p.m.

Taxing Unit Under Disaster Declaration

The council voted unanimously to defer lowering the voter approval tax rate — formerly known as the rollback tax rate — from 8% to 3.5% for FY 21. The Texas Legislature mandated the change during its last session, but it agreed that cities with disaster declarations in place should retain the option of deferring implementation of the change if faced with catastrophic revenue losses.

The council’s decision doesn’t increase the tax rate, but it potentially could help ensure that it doesn’t have to be lowered (rolled back) so the city can continue providing emergency response and other critical city operations.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:19 p.m.

MUD No. 1 Road Improvements:

The council voted unanimously to consent to the issuance of up to $2 million in road improvement bonds by Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1

8:29 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, July 23.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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We need your input about College Station’s future

By Alyssa Halle-Schramm, Long Range Planning Administrator

As part of the City of College Station’s 10-year review of its Comprehensive Plan, we’ve created a virtual workshop to gather your input on our community’s future. The online Community Choices Workshop will be live from July 13 through Aug. 3.

A series of activities will help you make choices about how and where the city grows. To participate, go to cstx.gov/TheNext10 starting Monday. You can also join an email list to stay up-to-date with project news. 

The Next 10

The Next 10 is an extensive effort to evaluate the city’s Comprehensive Plan, consider recent growth and best practices, and identify city policies that need updating. The Comprehensive Plan is the strategic guide that expresses the community’s values and aspirations. It establishes a long-range vision for development, housing, transportation, parks, the environment, economic development, and other related topics.

College Station’s plan was adopted in 2009 and covers a 20-year horizon. It’s meant to be a living document that’s regularly evaluated and updated. Since we are 10 years into the plan, we need your input about how the next decade should unfold.

Last summer, the initiative began with the establishment of the Evaluation Committee and meeting with community leaders. We also conducted a series of public workshops and an online survey to get input about the existing plan. You can review that feedback at cstx.gov/TheNext10.

These efforts will result in an Evaluation and Appraisal Report — anticipated this fall — that recommends changes to the Comprehensive Plan. Once the city council accepts the report, we’ll begin drafting update amendments, which will be made available for public feedback and will go through the public hearing process at planning & zoning commission and city council meetings. Formal updates are expected to be made in 2021.

How to Participate

By living, working, attending school, or raising a family in College Station, you know our community. We encourage you to share your ideas and opinions to ensure College Station’s direction represents the community’s authentic voice. The input you provide will be an essential component of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report.

In one Community Choices Workshop activity, you’ll be asked about potential improvements to the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map, which serves as a guide for how areas of the city may develop. Several updates are being considered, including renaming, simplifying, and refining the Future Land Use category definitions and changes to how land uses apply to various areas. You’ll be asked to react to examples of potential changes.

In another activity, you’ll be able to share your preferences on scenarios that illustrate potential options for six areas. The scenario planning activity uses performance-based criteria to depict trade-offs among possible outcomes. Please note that the alternatives are hypothetical scenarios meant to test options and solicit feedback.

You’ll be asked to choose one of three options — how the area is developed today, an anticipated outcome under existing policies, or what may be possible with policy changes. You can provide open-ended feedback about your likes and dislikes, and anything else you’d like us to know.

The future can unfold in many ways. Your participation in the virtual Community Choices Workshop will help us more accurately gauge the community’s preferences.

For more information, visit cstx.gov/TheNext10 and watch the videos. You can also contact me at 979-764-3570 or aschramm@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Long Range Planning Administrator Alyssa Halle-Schramm has been with the city since 2018. She previously worked at Austin Community College, UT-Austin, and Hanover County (Virginia). A native of Wilmington, N.C., Alyssa earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from North Carolina-Wilmington in 2010 and master’s degrees in public administration and urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech in 2013.


 

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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 meets by teleconference for its workshop (after 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The meetings will be streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 997 0027 4418. Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Parkland Expansion: The council will consider converting about 196 acres of greenway to parkland. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board unanimously passed the motion in June.
  2. Southside Safety Improvements:  As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $2.35 million contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for Southside safety improvements. The project includes the rehabilitation of Park Place, Holik Street, Glade Street, and Anna Street near Oakwood Intermediate School, A&M Consolidated Middle School, and College View High School.
  3. Wellborn Road Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District — with a base zoning district of Wellborn Commercial — for about seven acres at 14565 and 14575 FM 21. The change would allow the development of low-density commercial uses that provide services to nearby neighborhoods.
  4. Community Development Plans, Budget: The council will consider the proposed 2020- 2024 Consolidated Plan, FY 2021 (PY 2020) Annual Action Plan, and FY 2021 Community Development Budget.
  5. MUD No. 1 Road Improvements: The council will consider consenting to the issuance of up to $2 million in road improvement bonds by Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1.

Related Links:                                                            

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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Pandemic spotlights vital role of parks and recreation

 

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The services and programs provided by municipal parks and recreation departments have always been indispensable to a community’s well-being and overall quality of life. If that wasn’t clear before the COVID-19 pandemic, it certainly is now.

A survey by the National Recreation and Park Association found that 83% of adults say exercising at local parks, trails, and open spaces has been vital to maintaining their mental and physical health during the outbreak.

We celebrate Park and Recreation Month throughout July by highlighting the powerful role our College Station Parks and Recreation staff and professionals across the country play in health and wellness, conservation, economic impact, and social equity.

In College Station, our nationally-recognized program ensures that residents and visitors have adequate access to parks and green space. Our inventory includes 54 developed and seven undeveloped parks covering almost 1,400 acres. Amenities include: 

  • 35.5 miles of walking trails
  • 44 exercise stations
  • 58 play units
  • 28 swing sets
  • 3 dog parks
  • 1 skate park
  • 10 ponds

We invite you to join us in celebrating Park and Recreation Month by picking up a grab bag filled with parks-themed coloring pages, activities, monarch-friendly milkweed seeds, and more. Stop by the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office on weekdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you call 979-764-3486 when you arrive, we’ll bring it out for curbside pickup.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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10 smart tips for a safe and festive Fourth of July

By Stuart Marrs, CSFD Public Information Officer

Most of us build our traditional Independence Day celebrations around food, family, and friends, not to mention plenty of bright and colorful fireworks. Unfortunately, fireworks can also cause injuries and damage property, even when properly used.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a professional fireworks display such as the Texas A&M RELLIS campus Fireworks in Bryan Saturday night at the RELLIS Campus.

Can you guess what types of fireworks cause the most injuries? It’s not bottle rockets, roman candles, or even the aerial firecrackers — it’s those innocent-looking sparklers. They produce about a third of all fireworks-related injuries.

Sparklers burn at about 1,200 degrees, Six-times hotter than boiling water. Glow sticks, confetti poppers, and bubbles a much safer alternative for young children.

As you prepare for your Fourth of July celebration, here are 10 essential things to keep in mind:

  1. It’s illegal to discharge fireworks in the city limits.
  2. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, stay at least six feet away from others and wear a face mask, especially indoors. It’s also a good idea to avoid large gatherings, even with your extended family. 
  3. When using fireworks, always read the labels first and wear safety glasses.
  4. Never give fireworks to children. An adult should supervise fireworks activities.
  5. Light one firework at a time, then quickly move away.
  6. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  7. Never re-light a dud. Wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
  8. Always have a bucket of water and a water hose nearby.
  9. Never shoot fireworks near pets. Make sure your pets – especially those sensitive to loud noises – are where they feel safe and comfortable.
  10. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.

If you’re planning a cookout, be sure to practice safe grilling practices, too:

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Stuart Marrs has been with the College Station Fire Department since 2009 and has served as a captain since 2017. He was previously a firefighter with the Huntsville (Texas) Fire Department. Stuart studied communications at Texas A&M and earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from TAMU-Commerce in 2019.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 25)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, June 25. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 982 1331 7043.

4:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

4:05 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled no items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda.

6:22 p.m.

Restricted Occupancy Overlay

The council directed staff to obtain additional public input and draft a potential ordinance to allow property owners to request an overlay restricting neighborhood housing occupancy to no more than two unrelated residents. Twelve residents spoke after the presentation, and five submitted written comments.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:22 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

6:32 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

7:09 p.m.

Police Community Outreach

The council discussed the College Station Police Department’s community outreach activities regarding race relations, recruiting and hiring, use of force, and body-worn cameras.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:17 p.m.

Mayor Issues Mask Order

The council offered its unanimous support for Mayor Karl Mooney to mandate the use of face coverings for coronavirus protection inside commercial businesses. Eleven residents spoke after the presentation, and 61 submitted written comments.

Mooney issued the order after the meeting:

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:24 p.m.

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

8:34 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. 

8:45 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

8:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Reduced the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 on Greens Prairie Road from about 1,000 feet west of Woodlake Drive to the Royder Road intersection.
  • The $650,914 purchase of long lead time major equipment for the proposed Spring Creek Substation.
  • The not-to-exceed $639,764 purchase of a ThreePhase electric substation transformer from Virginia Transformer for the proposed Spring Creek Substation.
  • A $19,416 change order to the contract with Elliott Construction for the repair of the Rock Prairie Road water line.
  • The first renewal of Water Services’ annual $115,847 purchase of sodium hypochlorite from DXI Industries.
  • A $288,700 contract with Kimley-Horn & Associates for the design of the rehabilitation of Luther Street from Marion Pugh to Penberthy.
  • The second renewal of a contract not to exceed $432,000 with Brazos Paving for the installation of a one-inch overlay with specialty mix as needed.
  • A $18,867 change order to the contract with Halff & Associates for the design of Lick Creek parking lot and trailhead.

9:31 p.m.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance

The council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to regulate short-term housing rentals such as Airbnb. The ordinance takes effect Oct. 1. Nine residents spoke after the presentation, and one submitted written comments.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:58 p.m.

Munson Traffic Calming

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the neighborhood’s request to repeal an ordinance prohibiting traffic calming on Munson Avenue. Area residents wanted equal access to the traffic calming ordinance that applies in other city neighborhoods. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:08 p.m.

Midtown Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about 33 acres at 5604, 5900, and 6102 Rock Prairie Road. The PDD is an expansion of the Midtown development.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:18 p.m.

Special Events Ordinance

The council voted unanimously to approve changes to the special events ordinance that allow the city manager more flexibility in making decisions about special events. The changes also clarify the definition of a special event and the number of days such an event can operate.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:19 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council voted unanimously to consent to the mayor’s recent extension of the disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

10:27 p.m.

Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant

The council voted unanimously to authorize the city manager to apply to the state for grants from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The city will receive about $6.44 million from the fund.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:


10:28 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, July 9.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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