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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 22)

2014 Council

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. 22. 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.

Today’s meetings are earlier than usual so that council members can attend The Arts Council’s Celebrate the Arts event at the Brazos County Expo.

2:00 p.m.

The council has gone into executive session and will return at 3 p.m. for the workshop.

3:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Blanche Brick announced that the council authorized City Manager Kelly Templin to settle the lawsuit entitled Conrad Edward Juliao v. City of College Station in an amount not to exceed $251,000. Note (9/27): The correct amount is $215,000, not $251,000.

3:18 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:

  • Financial Advisor Services: In October 2013, council approved a contract with First Southwest Company for a one-year term with up to four one-year options for renewal. This renewal is the third renewal option, and the renewal amount is not to exceed $150,000.
  • Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project: The $4.9 million contract with Hassell Construction is for the widening of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road to Royder Road. The project includes changing the two-lane asphalt road to a four-lane concrete road with raised medians.
  • Greens Prairie Trail Speed Limit: The speed limit along Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road to Royder Road would be reduced to 25 mph for the duration of the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • City-Branded Uniforms: The purchases will be made as needed during the term of the agreement. About 70 percent ($84,000) of the total expenditure will be used by the Parks and Recreation Department for sports leagues. The cost of the shirts will be reimbursed by registration fees charged to program participants. The other 30 percent ($36,000) will be used for employee uniforms for Fire, Public Works, Electric, etc.
  • Four-way Stop at Market-Cottage: The ordinance codifies a 4-way stop at the intersection of Market Street with Cottage Lane due to driver confusion and increasing traffic volume.
  • U-Turn Prohibition at Holleman-Market: The ordinance prohibits U-turns for vehicles traveling southeast on Holleman Drive South at the intersection with Market Street. The intersection lacks sufficient pavement width to complete a U-Turn movement without going over the curb or backing up and making a multi-point turn.
  • No Parking on Cottage, Market and Junction Boys: The ordinance removes parking along Market Street, Cottage Lane, and Junction Boys Road. As part of the traffic mitigation plan, a traffic signal was designed and is being installed at the intersection of Market Street with Holleman Drive. The removal of parking will provide safe and efficient signal operations.

3:30 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. 

3:30 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

3:34 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. Ben Roper recognized Army Spc. Israel Garza as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Lubbock native died April 4, 2004 when his unit was attacked in Baghdad.

3:34 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Renewal of a contract not to exceed $60,000 with Cal’s Body Shop for automobile and truck paint and body repairs.
  • A $256,384 contract with Utility Restoration Services for pad mount equipment repair and restoration.
  • A $53,045 contract with Elliott Construction for emergency sewer line repairs in Woodson Village.
  • The purchase of up to $60,000 of bulk chlorine from Brenntag.
  • Bids totaling $126,000 for city-branded uniforms for parks athletic programs and other city departments from CC Creations ($46,000), Monograms and More ($40,000), and Promotional Designs ($40,000).
  • A financial advisory services consultant contract not to exceed $150,000 with Hilltop Securities, Inc.
  • The expenditure of FY17 funds for items exempt from competitive bidding as described in the Texas Local Government Code and other expenditures for inter-local contracts or fees mandated by state law that are more than $50,000.
  • Premiums of $464,350 for Excess Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Property/Boiler & Machinery, Commercial Crime, EMT Liability, and Auto Property Damage policies. 
  • A $3 million contract with Brazos Paving for Type D hot mix asphalt and emulsion.
  • A $20,000 increase in the blanket order with Chastang Ford for parts and repair services for FY16.
  • A $427,000 contract with Jones & Carter for engineering services related to the design of the Cain/Deacon Rail Road Crossing Switch Project.
  • A $4.92 million contract with Hassell Construction for the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • Temporarily changed the speed limit to 25 mph on Greens Prairie Trail between FM 2154 to Royder Road during the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • An advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for signal improvements at the intersection of Harvey Road and George Bush Drive East. The city’s portion of the project is estimated at $75,000.
  • An advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for signal improvements at the intersection of FM 2818 and Longmire Drive. The city’s portion of the project is estimated at $75,000.
  • All-way stop control at the intersection of Market Street and Cottage Lane.
  • No U-turns for southeast-bound Holleman Drive South at the intersection of Holleman and Market Street.
  • Removed parking along Market Street, Cottage Lane, and Junction Boys Road.
  • A contract not to exceed $230,000 with Xpedient Mail for printing and mailing utility bills, late notices, and inserts.
  • Scheduled a public hearing about possible roadway impact fees for Nov. 10.
  • A $389,313 bid award for the annual blanket purchase of three phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • Termination of a contract with N-LINE Traffic Maintenance for Texas A&M football postgame traffic control.
  • A contract not to exceed $62,000 with Buyers Barricades Houston for Texas A&M football postgame traffic control.

3:39 p.m.

FY16 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $2.4 million transfer from the Community Development Fund to a new Special Revenue Fund that satisfies federal requirements for Community Development Block Grant funds.  

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

4:01 p.m.

FY17 City Budget Adoption

The council voted 6-1 to adopt the city’s FY17 budget and voted unanimously to ratify an increase in property tax revenue. Councilman James Benham voted against the budget motion.

The $341 million budget includes $232.8 million for city operations and $108.2 million for capital projects.  The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

4:08 p.m.

FY17 Property Tax Rate

The council voted unanimously to adopt a two-cent increase in the city’s property tax rate to 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value effective Oct. 1. The tax rate will generate about $37 million to fund general debt service and part of the city’s operations and maintenance costs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

4:09 p.m.

City Manager Templin thanked the council and city staff, especially the Fiscal Services Department, for their work on the budget.

4:12 p.m.

Electric Rate Reduction

The council voted unanimously to approve a one percent decrease in the electric rate effective Oct. 1. The reduction will save customers an estimated $951,464 in FY17.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

4:20 p.m.

Wastewater Rate Increase

The council voted unanimously to approve an eight percent increase in the rates for wastewater services effective Oct. 1. The motion also clarified service connection responsibilities and established a fire flow test fee. 

The rate increase was needed to keep up with the demands of the city’s rapid growth and is expected to generate about $1.2 million a year.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

4:22 p.m.

Public Utility Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to vacate part of a public utility easement in the Spring Creek Commons near Fitch Parkway and Highway 6. The abandonment will allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:16 p.m.

Water/Wastewater Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 to approve system-wide impact fees for water and wastewater services. Councilmen Benham, Councilman Karl Mooney, and Councilwoman Julie Schultz voted against the motion. Note (9/26): Mooney has clarified that he voted for the motion, not against it, making the official tally 5-2.

An earlier motion to phase in the fees over three years failed, 5-2. Schultz and Benham voted for the motion.

The one-time fees will be assessed on new development to pay part of the costs of providing infrastructure in high-growth areas and will generate about $32.4 million in the next 10 years. The fees will be phased in over two years and will help reduce future rate increases for all customers.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:16 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Oct. 13.


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 (2 p.m.) and regular (3 p.m.) meetings. The meetings are earlier than usual so that council members can attend The Arts Council’s Celebrate the Arts event at the Brazos County Expo.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $4.9 million contract with Hassell Construction for the reconstruction of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road to Royder Road. The project includes widening the two-lane asphalt roadway to a four-lane concrete roadway with raised medians.
  2. FM2818-Longmire Signal Improvements: The council will consider an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for traffic signal improvements at the FM2818-Longmire Drive intersection. The city’s portion of the costs is estimated to be $75,000.
  3. FY17 City Budget and Tax Rate: The council will consider approving the proposed $341 million city budget for FY17, along with a two-cent increase in the property tax rate to 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value. The FY17 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
  4. Electric, Wastewater Rate Changes: The council will consider approving a one percent decrease in electric rates and an eight percent increase in wastewater rates starting Oct.1.
  5. Water/Wastewater Impact Fees: After a public hearing, the council will consider imposing impact fees on new development to pay some of the costs of providing water and wastewater services to high-growth areas.

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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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 8)

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. 8. 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.

6:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. Mayor Nancy Berry is absent tonight.

6:15 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:

  • Park Playground Improvements: The $638,000 contract with TF Harper is for improvements and repairs to playgrounds at 15 city parks. The work is expected to be finished by early 2017.

  • Green Prairie-Arrington Road Design Contract: The $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn is for engineering and survey services associated with improvements to the Greens Prairie Road-Arrington Road intersection. The project consists of a channelized right-turn lane, a pedestrian island, a traffic signal, extension of existing drainage structures, signage, and striping.

6:51 p.m.

Game Day Traffic Plan

The council heard a presentation about the city’s partnership with Texas A&M to efficiently move traffic away from Kyle Field after football games. The city has worked with the university and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in this effort for several years.

The partners develop and share preseason traffic control plans that specify road closures and traffic direction on and off campus.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:52 p.m.

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

7:01 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols requested a moment of silence for the A&M student who died this morning in an accident involving a city sanitation truck.

7:09 p.m.

400 Fairview Historic Marker

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historic Marker No. 90 to Fred and Shirley Dupriest family for their residence at 400 Fairview. This presentation summarizes the property’s history:

The Dupriests are pictured below with Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols.

historic

7:15 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 17 as Thank a Police Officer Day. Pictured below are (l-r) Craig Anderson, Chris Suel, Leeann Alverez, Jeff Seale,Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols, Brandy Norris, Chuck Fleeger, Barrett Field, and James “Jim Bob” Arnold.

thankyoupolice

7:24 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Four 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 Marine Pfc. Dustin M. Sekula as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 18-year-old Edinburg native died April 1, 2004, due to enemy fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Tim Powell spoke against the recent rezoning of a large tract of land near the Indian Lakes Subdivision.
  • Landry Tucker spoke about banning earbuds while driving.
  • Jonathan Coopersmith spoke in support of impact fees.

7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $76,929.21 contract with Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds & Water Parks for the removal and installation of a new slide at Adamson Lagoon.
  • A $638,471.75 contract with TF Harper for improvements and repairs to various playgrounds at city parks.
  • A $150,929 contract with GrantCaffey Construction for the City Gateway Signage Project.
  • A $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for engineering and surveying services associated with the Greens Prairie and Arrington Road Intersection Improvements Project.
  • A $456,453 contract with Palasota Contracting for a street rehabilitation project along Nimitz Street from Lincoln Avenue to Ash Street.
  • Price agreements with Osburn Associates ($42,193) and N-Line Traffic Maintenance ($42,447) for roadway signs, posts, and brackets.
  • A resolution authorizing city staff to negotiate the purchase of right-of-way and easements needed for the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project.
  • The appointment of the presiding judges and alternate judges for the Nov. 8 general and special election as recommended by Brazos County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock.

7:30 p.m.

Single Family Height Protection

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide lower density residential height and distance protection.

The change clarifies the provision and adjusts exceptions for properties that may be located in a designated redevelopment area or if the adjacent single-family use doesn’t conform to the property’s zoning.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:35 p.m.

Harvey Hillsides Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to rezone from Rural to Suburban Commercial a small property at the corner of Harvey Road and Pamela Lane. The change would allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Budget

No one spoke during a public hearing on the city’s proposed $341 million budget for FY17. The budget is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:51 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Property Tax Rate

Three people spoke during the second public hearing on the city’s proposed property tax rate of 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value, which will generate about $37 million. The proposed rate represents a two-cent increase.

Robert Rose, Robert Forrest and Richard Dusold spoke against the proposed rate.

The first public hearing on the tax rate was held August 31. The tax rate is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:52 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The workshop meeting will resume.

9:01 p.m.

Water/Wastewater Impact Fee Update

The council received written comments from the Impact Fee Advisory Committee about the proposed water and wastewater impact fee and was updated on the process for possible implementation.

A public hearing and formal action regarding the fees are scheduled for the Sept. 22 council meeting.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:02 p.m.

The mayor pro tem adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 22.


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. Impact Fee Update: The council will receive the Impact Fee Advisory Committee’s written comments on proposed water and wastewater impact fees and hear an update on the process for possible implementation. The fees would be assessed on new development to help cover the cost of necessary infrastructure.
  2. Park Repairs: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $638,000 contract for improvements and repairs to several city parks. The work is scheduled to be done this fall and winter.
  3. Gateway Signage: The consent agenda also includes a $151,000 contract for construction of a gateway monument sign to be located at the State Highway 6-University Drive interchange. The sign is scheduled to be in place by next spring.
  4. Nimitz Street Rehabilitation: The council will consider a $450,000 contract for the rehabilitation of Nimitz Street from Lincoln Avenue to Ash Street. The project is scheduled for completion in the spring.
  5. Budget/Tax Rate Public Hearings: The council will conduct public hearings on the proposed $341 million city budget and a two-cent increase in the property tax rate to 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value. The council will vote on the budget and tax rate at a 3 p.m. meeting on Sept. 22.

The council meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous 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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Inspirational “After the Fire” program visits B-CS

afterpic

By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

Early one January morning in 2000, arsonists set fire to a dormitory at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. Roommates Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons crawled through the smoke in the direction they were used to going.

They didn’t know they were crawling right into the fire.

Simons suffered third-degree burns on his palms, second-degree burns on his head and face, and a significant amount of smoke inhalation. Llanos’ coat ignited, causing third-degree burns from his head to his torso.

Simons and Llanos, along with 56 other injured students, were transported to St. Barnabas Medical Burn Unit in nearby Livingston. Three classmates died, and a pair of freshmen were eventually charged with the crime. The fire started when they set a bulletin board banner on fire as a prank.

Simons and Llanos spent years recovering from their physical and emotional injuries. Since that tragic day, they have advocated fire safety and prevention and served as a voice for burn victims across the country through a free program called After the Fire.

The pair will be in Bryan-College Station Sept. 13-15 for a series of seven presentations about their experiences:

Tuesday, Sept. 13

  • Bryan and Rudder high schools, (students only)
  • Texas A&M’s Rudder Theater, 7 p.m. (public, college students)

Wednesday, Sept. 14

  • A&M Consolidated and College Station high schools (students only)
  • Texas A&M’s Rudder Theater, 7 p.m. (public, college students)

Thursday, Sept. 15

  • Texas A&M’s Rudder Theater, 1:30 p.m. (public, city staff, sponsors, guests)

Shawn and Alvaro will be introduced at each presentation by Bryan firefighter Ricky Mantey, Jr., who was severely burned in the tragic Knights of Columbus Hall fire in 2013.

The College Station Fire Department, Bryan Fire Department, and Texas A&M’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety are hosting the presentations, which are sponsored by Siemens and Standard Automatic Fire Enterprises.

For more information about the program, contact CSFD Public Education Officer Christina Seidel at cseidel@cstx.gov or 979-764-3712.


SeidelAbout the Author

Christina Seidel has been the College Station Fire Department’s Public Education Officer since 2013. She previously served as executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley and was a teacher for several years in her hometown of Lockhart. Seidel earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Texas in 2001.


 

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Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

GamedayParking

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team for a road game can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park can be daunting.

That’s certainly the case in College Station.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to Kyle Field as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

The laws are designed to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe, which means emergency vehicles can respond if needed, and cars are kept off the grass to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides numerous safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or jcaler@cstx.gov.

Game Day Information

IMG_4223Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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


 

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