City Council: Thursday Preview (March 10)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing Thursday, March 10 at its workshop (3 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings at city hall. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the complete agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting

System Capacity Impact Fees for Water/Wastewater
The city council will receive an informational presentation regarding the economics of the possible implementation of system capacity impact fees for Water and Wastewater. Dr. Jim Gaines of the Texas A&M Real Estate Center will provide a brief summary on the health of the local economy, followed by a question and answer session with the council.

On Nov. 22, the council directed staff to proceed with the required analysis for potential impact fees to increase system capacity of the Water and Wastewater systems. Since then, a study has been completed regarding the underlying land use assumptions, capital improvements, future growth projections, and rate credits to calculate the maximum impact fees. This information is compiled in an Impact Fee Report that has been approved by the Capital Improvements Advisory Committee (CIAC). The CIAC also has recommended that the impact fees be implemented at zero dollars, and that the existing five impact fee lines remain in effect. This recommendation was based largely on the premise that the economy is not strong enough for impact fees and that their implementation would harm the local market for new housing. On Feb. 10, the council expressed a desire to consult with an economics expert to discuss the economics of impact fees.

Council directed staff to begin looking into these impact fees last year. Here’s how the fees would work: when a building permit is pulled, the builder would pay a fee to compensate the city for the expansion of the water and wastewater systems the new development needs. The fees would ultimately be paid by the new home buyer, which would mitigate any rate increases paid by other residents since the cost of the capital improvements would be removed from the rate structure.

Regular Meeting

Consent Agenda
This is not a complete list. Click here to view all the consent items.

Special Election Set for May 14
This ordinance will order a special election for May 14 for the purpose of considering the recall of Mayor Nancy Berry, Council Member Katy-Marie Lyles (Place 4) and Council Member Dave Ruesink (Place 6). The ordinance amends the ballot language for the recall election. Section 96 of the College Station City Charter does not comply with Section 52.073 of the Election Code. If the special election is held on May 14 in conjunction with the general election, there will be no fiscal impact.

Regular Agenda

Brazos Animal Shelter
The council will discuss a new contract with the Brazos Animal Shelter. At the Jan. 27 city council workshop meeting, staff provided an overview of the current situation involving the contract with the shelter, which runs through September 2013. Staff advised the council that the City of Bryan had provided the Brazos Animal Shelter with notice that their agreement for animal shelter services will be terminated on June 30. Bryan also provided notice to the shelter that the lease agreement for the current facility will expire on June 30.

The City of Bryan released a Request for Proposal (RFP) on Nov. 22 seeking any parties that would be interested in providing shelter services beginning July 1. At the Jan. 27 College Station City Council workshop, staff provided a list of options for consideration. One was to continue to contract with the Brazos Animal Shelter at their new location at 5359 Leonard Road in Bryan. The second option was to seek the availability of contracting with the City of Bryan or the shelter service selected through their RFP process. The third option was to seek a location and facility for College Station to run its own shelter.

Council directed staff to draft a new long-term contract with the Brazos Animal Shelter in which the cost would be calculated off a cost-per-animal model that would be negotiated on a yearly basis. Council also directed staff to study the tag fees collected by the shelter to determine if they could be used to offset the annual contract fee. Finally, the council asked that for a contract provision to allow an auditing mechanism for verification and transparency purposes. The contract would be re-evaluated on a yearly basis and set through a resolution.

Citizens Charter Review Advisory Commission
The council will consider the appointment of up to 11 members to the Citizens Charter Review Advisory Commission. At the Feb. 24 regular meeting, council established the charter review commission and the Sunset Advisory Commission. The council may appoint up seven members to the sunset commission.

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