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TXDOT: Expect delays next week near FM2818-FM60 intersection

By Bobby Colwell, Texas Department of Transportation

Motorists can expect delays next week near the intersection of FM 2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway) and FM 60 (University Drive/Raymond Stotzer Parkway). Pavement surface reconstruction will require limiting traffic to one lane each direction on FM 60 and closing the Turkey Creek eastbound on-ramp near Easterwood Airport.

The closures will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and remain in place until Thursday afternoon. Police officers will be present at each end of the FM 60 overpass to assist with traffic due to the lack of left-turn lanes.

The work is required to switch traffic to the next phase of construction. This phase will last until mid-April, weather permitting. Motorists will not have access to the direct ramps that connect to FM 60 and FM 2818. All maneuvers will use the t-intersection for turning movements.

Drivers can expect this to cause traffic to back up during peak traffic times. TXDOT advises motorists to use alternate routes to avoid delays.

The work is part of the construction of one of only three Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) in Texas. The $14.1 million project is contracted to Knife River Corporation-South and is scheduled to be finished in January of 2019. Traffic is expected to shift into the new DDI configuration in the fall.

TXDOT and its contractor appreciate your patience during construction.

Related Post:

TXDOT starts work Monday on interchange project (March 3, 2017)

 

How to avoid the aggravation of parking tickets

By Eric Chapman, Community Services District Supervisor

Getting a parking ticket is never fun, and it’s always frustrating. It can also cost you a ton of cash – as much as $520 for violations related to handicap parking.

Most parking tickets are issued for violations of local parking ordinances, which are civil offenses. In some cases, you can also be cited for breaking state laws, which are criminal violations under the Texas Transportation Code.

A parking ticket won’t affect your driving record unless you ignore it, throw it away or put it in your glove compartment and forget about it. Failing to deal with a ticket promptly can have serious consequences — including expensive fines – and can result in your vehicle being booted, towed, and impounded. In some cases, you can even lose your driving privileges.

Parking problems always exist in growing communities, especially college towns expanding as quickly as College Station. Most of the time, avoiding the headache of a parking violation is as simple as reading and obeying parking signs.

Our goal is to keep our residential streets safe and accessible for everyone – especially emergency vehicles – while making your parking experience as hassle-free as possible.

The photo montage below illustrates the most common parking mistakes we see in College Station.

For additional information or to check on local parking ordinances, call 979-764-6313.

 


About the Blogger

Eric Chapman is in his ninth year with the city’s Community Service’s Department and has been a district supervisor since 2013.  He worked for Tarrant County from 2005-08 and was a federal correctional officer in Warkworth, Ontario, from 1997-2005. He graduated with honors from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, in 1996.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Jan. 11)

(Standing, L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, James Benham. (Sitting, L-R): Linda Harvell, Karl Mooney (mayor), Barry Moore.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 11. 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.

5:51 p.m.

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

6:13 p.m.

Affordable Housing Developments

The consensus of the council was to support an affordable housing development through the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The city received proposals for six senior developments and one family development. A resolution of support for the application is part of tonight’s consent agenda.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:14 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting.

6:14 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:21 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.

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Capt. Eric A. Allton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial The 34-year-old Houston native died Sept. 26, 2004, when he was struck by a mortar round in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
  • Nate Tidwell invited the council to join the Red Cross on Saturday, Jan. 20 to promote smoke alarm safety.

6:33 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A change order of $55,043 to a construction contract with Acklam Construction for additions or modifications related to ADA compliance and other improvements in The Barracks Park.
  • A $486,761 contract with Palasota Contracting for electric conduit bores across TXDOT right-of-ways.
  • The purchase of three police motorcycles for $61,204.50 from The Ranch Harley Davidson, along with an additional one-year extended warranty ($2,754) and the trade-in of three 2015 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycles for $18,000.
  • A contract not to exceed $1.36 million with Palasota Contracting for concrete curb, gutter and flatwork installation to maintain city infrastructure.
  • A change order of $97,584.48 to a contract with Brazos Paving for concrete curb, gutter, and flatwork.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • An inter-local agreement transferring surplus radio equipment from the City of College Station to the Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
  • The second amendment to the Axon Master Services and Purchase Agreement, increasing the term from five to seven years, increasing the contract value from $706,186.31 to $1,166,698.62, and adding new in-car video camera system hardware, including implementation, warranty, and data storage.

This consent item was pulled for a separate vote:

  • The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution of support for The Huntington at College Station’s application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a 9 percent housing tax credit.

6:44 p.m.

Science Park Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a 70-foot wide street and public utility easement in the Science Park Subdivision to allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:46 p.m.

Willow Branch/Oakwood Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a 7,086 square-foot portion of a 10-foot wide public utility easement on the Willow Branch and Oakwood school sites.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:58 p.m.

UDO Amendment – Nonconforming Uses

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide additional flexibility and leniency on non-conforming uses and structures.

A non-conforming use or structure are properties developed under a previous set of regulations but don’t comply with the Unified Development Ordinance. Allowing for a broader range of modifications can encourage incremental infill and redevelopment, especially on challenging sites.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:00 p.m.

Southside Plaza Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to General Commercial and Natural Areas Protected for 2.26 acres at 4075 State Hwy. 6 South, which is the site of the former Silk Stocking nightclub. The change will allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:05 p.m.

University Heights Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Multi-Family to General Commercial for about 5 acres along Holleman Drive between Paloma Ridge Drive and Kenyon Drive. The change will allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:24 p.m.

Spring Creek Gardens Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Office to Planned Development District for about 1½ acres at 4320 Decatur Dr. The change will allow for the development of a self-storage facility.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:39 p.m.

Annual Comp Plan/UDO Review

After a public hearing, the council accepted the yearly review of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:54 p.m.

Citizen Committee Appointments

The council made citizen appointments to represent the city on various boards and committees. We’ll fill in the appointment list after the meeting.

Architectural Advisory Committee: Bradford Brimley and Ward Wells

B-CS Library Committee: Larry Ringer (chair) and Daniel Rudge

Bicycle, Pedestrian & Greenways Advisory Board: TBA

Design Review Board: Jesse Durden

Parks & Recreation Board: Michael Bota, Joel Cantrell, Paul Dyson, Megan Fuentes, and Madeline Giroir

Planning & Zoning Commission: Dennis Christiansen, Jane Chair (chair), Casey Oldham, and Elianor Vessali

Zoning Board of Adjustments: Randal Allison (alternate), Sherri Echols, Justin Lopez, Howard Mayne (alternate), and Keith Roberts (chair)

7:54 p.m.

Arts Council Appointment

The council voted unanimously to reappoint Patricia Burchfield to another term on the Arts Council board.

7:55 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, and Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The workshop will resume after a short break.

8:04 p.m.

The workshop has resumed. Mayor Mooney announced that the items regarding the procurement card audit and the neighborhood conservation overlay districts have been moved to the Jan. 25 meeting.

8:25 p.m.

New Police Station Design

The council voted unanimously to approve the final design concept for the new $28 million police facility at the corner or Krenek Tap Road and Dartmouth Street.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:30 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, Jan. 25.

 


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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Dream Works Conference focuses on character, service

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a true example of a public servant who helped guide the nation to achieve his dream of becoming a better place. In honor of his lifelong dedication to justice, equality, and service for the greater good, the Lincoln Recreation Center presents the annual Dream Works Conference on Saturday from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Be Transformed by the Renewing of your Mind — Rebuild and Restore!”

Admission is free, and lunch is $5 per plate. The first 50 registrants will receive a free conference shirt.

The conference kicks off with the Keeping the Dream Alive Award Luncheon to celebrate and honor community members who have spent countless hours serving others. The afternoon schedule is filled with breakout sessions featuring engaging and powerful presentations that focus on character, leadership and personal development.

The conference concludes with an evening of praise and worship led by the Brazos Valley Community Choir. Anyone at least 10 years old is invited to rehearse with the choir Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Lincoln Recreation Center. Under the direction of Mr. Matthew Douglass, participants will learn songs the choir will perform. The cost is $5 per person.

Saturday’s Schedule

Registration: 10:30-11 a.m.

Keeping the Dream Alive Awards Luncheon: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The $5 meal ticket includes brisket, loaded potatoes, and ranch beans with all the trimmings catered by Justin Payton of Always Cravin’ Pit BBQ. The luncheon is sponsored by J. White & Associates.

Terrance D. Grant-Malone, pastor of Houston’s Historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church, will be the keynote speaker. Grant-Malone is an articulate orator known for his intellect and high-spirited, powerful preaching. Honorees are LaVerne Young Hawkins, the College Station Police Department’s Community Enhancement Unit, Larreishia McCorr, and Judy LeUnes.

Breakout Session I — Rebuild and Restore: 1:45-2:45 p.m.

  • Renew and Recharge for Adults: The mind and body are not separate. What affects one affects the other. Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Learn how to take care of your thoughts when you’re alone, and take care of your words when you’re with people. Session conducted by Dominique Williams, a health doctoral candidate at Texas A&M.
  • Transformation for Adults: Transformation is not to be confused with change. Session conducted by Life Coach Cory J. Ford and George White, Jr., of J. White & Associates.
  • Conform or Transform for Teens: Are your friends trying to pull you in one direction, but your heart and mind are telling you to go in a different direction? Learn steps to renew your mind and battle negative forces. Session conducted by Minister Donnie Nelson, Jr.

Breakout Session II — Civic Responsibilities: 3-4 p.m.

  • Learn to Give for Adults: The session defines civic responsibility and how citizens can give back in the Brazos Valley. Session conducted by Constable Isaac Butler.
  • Learn to Give NOW for Teens: You are never too young to start learning how to serve NOW. Learn how to give back to your community. Session conducted by Emajie Clements of Texas A&M.

Conversation Matters – Town Hall Discussion: 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Conference attendees converse and address social concerns with a panel of guests.

Praise and Worship: 6-8:30 p.m.

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King through songs, dance and the spoken word with performances by the Brazos Valley Community Choir, Expression of Praise, Ny’gel Starling, JC Cooper and Friends, Steven Johnson, and Spoken Word.

We’ve dreamed of a better community. It’s time to wake up and find solutions.  As Dr. King said, “The time is always right to do the right thing.”

For more information and to register, visit cstx.gov/DreamWorks or call 979.764.3779.


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has worked for the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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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 first workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings of the new year.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts: In the workshop, the council will discuss additional flexibility for the single-family Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District. The proposed changes would allow more customization to better target neighborhood issues without overregulating other areas.
  2. Low Income Housing Tax Credits: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the need for more affordable rental units in College Station, summaries of Fair Housing requirements and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, and recent development proposals.
  3. New Police Station Design: The council will hear a workshop update about the latest design concept for the new police station.
  4. Southside Plaza Rezoning: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider a request to rezone just over two acres at 4075 State Highway South to allow for development. The property is the former site of the Silk Stocking nightclub.
  5. Nonconforming Structures: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility for non-conforming uses and structures. Non-conforming properties are those that were developed under previous regulations but no longer comply with the UDO.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 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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Jayden, Ava CS’s most popular baby names in 2017

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

No offense to the 48 sets of twins born in College Station in 2017, but the biggest stars of the year may have been Dylan, Hayden, and Lilliana Willis — the first triplets to be born here since 2014.

These 99 babies were among the 2,398 born in College Station last year, according to Yvette Dela Torre, our award-winning deputy local registrar whose vital statistics reporting has the precision of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band’s four-way cross.

By the way, Yvette has led the College Station Vital Statistics Division to three consecutive — the coveted three-peat! — five-star exemplary awards, the state’s highest honor for vital reporting efforts. She’s kind of a big deal.

Let’s take a look at numbers and name trends:

Births Girls Boys Twins Triplets
2013 2,159 1,066 1,093 36 sets
2014 2,460 1,264 1,196 30 sets 1 set
2015 2,494 1,245 1,249 50 sets
2016 2,307 1,206 1,164 44 sets
2017 2,398 1,168 1,230 48 sets 1 set

Most popular boys’ first names

  • Jayden (18)
  • Elijah, Jackson (15)
  • Noah (12)

Jackson and Noah are repeats from 2016, but where did Elijah and Jayden come from? Which celebrities or characters are you people following?

Most popular boys’ middle names

  • James (45)
  • Alexander (17)
  • Wayne (15)

Most popular girls’ first names

  • Ava (16)
  • Emma (14)
  • Camila, Charlotte (13)

Camila and Charlotte? Fans of the royals, are you?

Most popular girls’ middle names

  • Grace (62)
  • Rose (58)
  • Marie (54)

More 2017 birth stats

  • Month with the most births: August, September (241)
  • Month with the fewest births: April (141)
  • Days with the most births: Aug. 30 & 18 (16)

Honorable Mentions

In the spirit of Rob Clark’s stellar work for the Bryan-College Station Eagle covering the dozens of oddly-named bands at the annual South by Southwest Music Festival, I’d like to put a spotlight on some of my favorite College Station baby names from 2017.

Biblical

There were, of course, dozens of names on our list from the Bible but, to me, these seemed less common than Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, etc:

Abel Job Magdalene Mordecai
Delilah Lazarus Messiah Shepherd
Ezekiel

Solid

Unsure if these are all boy names or a mix, but they make me want to speak them aloud in my McGruff the Crime Dog voice:

Cash Creed Legend Ryder
Crew Duke Maximus Stryker

States

Arizona Dakota Kansas Virginia

Nature

Autumn Honey Magnolia Violet
Daisy Lily Mahogany Willow

The Old West

Boone Danger Remington Savannah
Cheyenne Jack Daniel Ridge Shiloh
Colt Justice Rowdy Temper

Kings and Queens

Majesty Reign Royalty Roi’yale Unique
Princess Royal Royalty Mi’Treasure

Ahhhhh…

These should be the chill babies in town:

Aurora Haven Lovely Paisley
Destiny Joy Luna Serenity
Dream Joy Peace Memoree Sincere
Fable

Shakespearean

Romeo
Juliet

Presidential

Carter Kennedy Madison Reagan
Hayes Lincoln Monroe Tyler

Somewhat Musical

Franklin Layla Melody Presley
Journey, Journei Liv Tyler Pearl

Collegiate

Berkeley
Princeton

Major Cities

London Sydney Denver Memphis
Paris Brooklyn Houston

Awesome Apostrophes

Dra’dynn Ja’Vory Ke’Darian My’Syiah
Ja’Niyah Jua’Quariah Mar’Kaeveious  

Born on the Holidays

9:  Easter 4:  Halloween 4:  New Year’s Eve 1:  Independence Day
6:  Labor Day 4:  Thanksgiving 3:  Valentine’s Day 0:  New Year’s Day
5:  Memorial Day 4:  Christmas Eve

College Station ended 2017 with a population estimate of 117,774, thanks in part to our 2,398 newest College Stationers (Stationeries? Stationites? Station Wagons?).

Here’s to a fruitful 2018!

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


Triplet photo courtesy of Christopher and Heather Willis.

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