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

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 25. 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.

5:13 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:35 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Commission Plan of Work

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss the commission’s 2019 plan of work, which includes items related to the Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood integrity, and the Unified Development Ordinance.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:39 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • Drought Contingency and Water Conservation Plan: The 2014 Drought Contingency Plan update contained several revisions from the previous version adopted in 2009. The proposed plan does not make significant changes from 2014. The 2019 plan maintains year-round encouragement of voluntary water conservation, in accordance with guidance from the state.

6:04 p.m.

Thomas Park Improvement Options

The council discussed improvement options for Thomas Park. City staff recommends completing the plan over multiple years, staying in the first year within the $1 million budgeted for FY19. The Parks and Recreation Board recommends spending the $1 million on a covered tennis court, a dog park and two covered picnic tables on the park’s north end.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:05 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop, which will resume after the regular meeting. The council will take a short break.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:20 p.m.

Groundwater Conservationist of the Year

The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District presented Pebble Creek Country Club with its Groundwater Conservationist of the Year Award for commercial irrigation.

6:23 p.m.

National Community Development Week

The mayor proclaimed this week as National Community Development Week.

6:26 p.m.

Municipal Clerk’s Week

The mayor proclaimed May 5-11 as Municipal Clerks Week.

6:07 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Hear Visitors is underway. Citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.


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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


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 (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Thomas Park Improvements: In the workshop, the council will discuss options for improvements to Thomas Park. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommends a covered tennis court, a dog park and two covered picnic tables on the park’s north end.
  2. Traffic Signal at Barron-Alexandria: The consent agenda includes a $282,000 contract to install a traffic signal at the Barron Road-Alexandria Avenue intersection.
  3. Water Conservation and Drought Plans: Also on the consent agenda are updates to the city’s drought contingency and water conservation plans.
  4. Bird Pond Road Development: After a pair of public hearings, the commission will consider a request to change the land use and zoning for about 13 acres northeast of the Rock Prairie-Bird Pond intersection. The changes would allow the development of a residential subdivision.
  5. Lick Creek Sewer Line: The council will consider a $10.9 million contract with Thalle Construction for the Lick Creek Trunk Line Project. The sewer line will extend from the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant through the southern boundary of Pebble Creek Country Club and tie into an existing line north of Fitch Parkway.

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.

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Why our citizen survey is worth your time and effort

By Bryan C. Woods, City Manager

Few things annoy me more than reaching into my mailbox after a long day and finding junk mail or some long, tedious survey sent from some political party or group. Many of these surveys have no tangible benefit and, if you’re like me, you promptly file them in the nearest recycling bin.

The City of College Station’s 2019 Citizen Survey, which was mailed to about 8,000 randomly selected College Station addresses, is not one of those surveys.

Why is this particular survey worth your time and effort? The answer is simple: you’re helping us determine the best and most efficient use of your hard-earned tax dollars.

For us to compile accurate information, we need a high level of participation. As we move into our Fiscal Year 2020 budget process this summer, it’s imperative that we understand your preferences and what you think should be our priorities. The survey data will help us responsibly and effectively plan for the future while prioritizing our existing needs.

With our high rate of growth expected to continue, it’s crucial that we base our decisions on the best available information.

If you didn’t receive a mailed survey, I encourage you to participate in the online survey. The individual surveys are completely confidential and take only a few minutes to complete. The cut-off date is Tuesday, April 30, and we hope to have the results in hand sometime in June. You can email questions to

Take the Survey

Since surveys help us better understand your desires, they are the key to improving our performance and providing better value for your tax dollars. Our 2019 citizen survey is among the most productive ways you can participate in your local government.

Related Link:


About the Blogger

Bryan Woods has been College Station’s city manager since December 2018. He came from the city of New Braunfels, where he served as capital programs manager and then assistant city manager from 2014-2018. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a master’s from University of Missouri-Truman School of Public Affairs. He also serves as a civil engineer corps officer in the United States Navy Reserve.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Saturday’s Open House your key to all things summer

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

With summer around the corner, this the perfect time to start thinking about your summer plans. The City of College Station Parks & Recreation Department offers plenty of opportunities for all ages to fill your days with fun.

Join us for the Parks Summer Open House on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon at the Southwood Community Center. Our enthusiastic and experienced staff and instructors will be on site to provide more information and to answer your questions on youth summer camps, senior programs, special events, employment opportunities, aquatic programs athletic leagues and library activities.

Attending the Parks Summer Open House also comes with some perks such as early registration for youth camps and swim lessons and a $5 off coupon for programs or camps. The coupons are limited to one per household.

Keep kids active with our full day and mini summer camps, which offer outdoor exploring, nature discovery, sports, performing and creative arts, out of town field trips and more. Camps are a fun way to keep kids engaged as they create new friendships, learn new skills and build self-esteem in a captivating environment.
Nothing is better than a trip to the pool on a hot summer day. Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool offer swim lessons, special events, and activities throughout the summer. Strong swimming skills not only make kids safer in the water; they also allow them to have more fun. Our swimming lessons build those skills and teach kids all kinds of aquatic games.

Summer fun isn’t just for the kids. The Parks Department has plenty to offer to adults and seniors, too, with daily activities, open gym, workout classes, athletics, nature programs, aquatic fitness, swim lessons and more.

Looking for a summer job?

If you’re at least 16 years old, you can get paid to play. We’re hiring recreation assistants for youth summer camps to serve as counselors, activity instructors, trip leaders, and support staff. We also need lifeguards for our pools, instructors to teach swim lessons, and Tsunami Swim Team coaches. If you aren’t certified, we offer American Red Cross water safety instructor and lifeguard certification programs.

Visit the Parks Summer Open House to secure your place — you won’t want to miss all the fun!

Online registration begins Monday, April 29. For more information, visit or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as a marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports 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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Brave linemen dedicated to keeping your power on

By Patrick McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

Since the invention of the Edison lightbulb in 1879, electric linemen have been keeping the nation energized. More than 227,000 men and women install and maintain the nation’s nine million miles of electric grid that meet our power needs, including the 28 who serve at College Station Utilities.

That’s why the United States Congress and the City of College Station are recognizing Thursday as National Lineman Appreciation Day (#ThankaLineman) as a way to honor the hard-working folks who protect public safety and energize our economy by keeping the power on.

Linemen are also an essential part of the first-responder community alongside police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. In most cases, other first responders can see their emergency issues, but electricity is invisible, which makes for an extremely hazardous environment during storms. While big events require all-hands-on-deck, most routine trouble calls are handled by two-person crews.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, being an electric lineman ranks among the 10 most dangerous jobs. Unlike most occupations, linemen spend a large part of their working lives well above the ground maintaining electrical infrastructure. Our linemen work with voltages as high as 138,000 volts and as low as the standard 120-volt power in your home.

College Station Utilities is also committed to the construction of reliable, underground utilities. Our electric grid is more than 56 percent underground, which requires our electric personnel to be knowledgeable in both overhead and underground systems.

Please join us in thanking the highly skilled and dedicated linemen who work all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions, to keep your lights on.


0000072EPAbout the Blogger

Patrick McIntyre is energy coordinator for College Station Utilities and is responsible for the energy conservation and key accounts programs. Pat joined CSU as a key accounts representative in 2009. He previously worked for 17 years in the manufacturing sector and eight years as a consultant with the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Pat graduated from Texas A&M in 1982 with B.S. in Industrial Distribution and has lived in the area since 1984.



If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Franklin tornado yet another reminder to be prepared

By Brian Hilton, Emergency Management Coordinator

Saturday’s tornado in nearby Franklin destroyed much of the town with winds of 136-165 mph. Fortunately, only about a dozen minor injuries were reported, but the dangerous EF-3 twister served as another wake-up call for the Bryan-College Station community.

As if we needed another warning.

Texas leads the nation with an average of 137 tornadoes each year, and more than 60 percent of these storms occur from April to June.

Only three years ago, a tornado battered several neighborhoods along a two-mile path in Bryan, damaging more than 150 homes. In December 2006, a twister moved south to north for five miles across central College Station and did considerable damage along FM2818, Southwest Parkway, and Texas Avenue.

The National Weather Service rated both of those tornadoes as EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds estimated at 110 miles per hour. Since 2000, Brazos County has experienced about a dozen EF-0 or EF-1 tornadoes.

While our community has had its share of funnel clouds and tornado scares over the years, we’ve managed to escape any loss of life or catastrophic damage. In fact, straight-line winds and microbursts have caused more property damage here than twisters.

Although strong tornadoes are uncommon in our area, Saturday’s storm in Franklin reminds us that powerful tornadoes can happen here. And as the 2016 Bryan tornado proved, even small twisters have the potential to be violent.

Those storms are vivid reminders of why it’s important to know how to prepare and react to a tornado. These links provide in-depth information about what to do before, during and after a tornado:

National Weather Service videos:

Stay Informed

Bryan and College Station do not have outdoor tornado sirens. College Station voters defeated a proposition to fund sirens in the 1990 bond election.

When severe weather approaches, pay close attention to local radio and television stations. They do an excellent job of providing pertinent information, including tornado watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service, but tornadoes can occur even if a watch or warning has not been issued.

In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials. If a violent storm approaches the Bryan-College Station area, these are the best ways to monitor events and get timely information:

Recommended Mobile Apps

Some useful mobile apps are available for smartphones and tablets. Many of these have emergency alert capabilities. Here are some recommended apps that you can find in your favorite app store:

  • American Red Cross Tornado App
  • FEMA
  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • NOAA Radar Pro

Just because tornadoes have been rare in our area doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be vigilant and well-prepared. Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms, and we should always stand ready to handle whatever comes our way.


About the Blogger

Brian Hilton has been the City of College Station’s emergency management coordinator since 2003 when he retired as sergeant first class after 20 years in the United States Army. He also serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee for the Brazos Valley Council of Governments. A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Hilton attended Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!