City Council: Thursday Preview (April 14)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Thursday (April 14) at its workshop and regular meetings. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the complete agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Update on FY11 Capital Plan
The city council will receive a summary on the status of capital projects included in the city’s FY11 Capital Plan, including the Lick Creek Nature Center and East District Maintenance Shop. Council approved the capital plan last fall as part of the FY11 Approved Budget.

In February, council voted to exclude the Lick Creek Nature Center and East District Maintenance Shop from the debt reimbursement resolution, which declares the council’s intent to reimburse the general fund for expenses associated with the design and/or construction of a capital project with long-term debt. However, both projects were included in the FY11 Capital Plan, and planning for the Lick Creek Nature Center and detailed design for the East District Maintenance Shop are scheduled to begin this year. Staff is seeking direction on the schedule for both projects.

Landscape Maintenance Contracts
Council will consider awarding landscape maintenance contracts to multiple vendors in a total amount of $453,254 for
city facilities, water and wastewater facilities, electrical facilities, parks and rights-of-way. The sum of these contracts is approximately $125,000 under budget.

The contracts also will provide an increased level of service at neighborhood parks, allow for more efficient use of the city’s irrigation specialist, and eliminate unnecessary cuttings during dry periods. In 2009, the city’s landscape maintenance contracts totaled $497,581. To reduce the city’s 2010 operating budget, staff met with contractors and renegotiated the scope of services and the fee, which reduced the sum paid for landscape maintenance to $443,301.

Three vacant landscape maintenance positions in Public Works and three vacant landscape maintenance positions in Parks and Recreation were left vacant in 2010 to reduce operating expenses. For the FY2011 budget, the decision was made to eliminate the six vacant positions budgeted at $212,565 and transfer $162,565 to the landscape maintenance budget, resulting in an overall budget reduction of $50,000. After other adjustments during the budget process, the landscape maintenance budget for FY 2011 was set at $578,223.

Earlier this year, staff changed its approach by soliciting proposals for all of the city’s landscape maintenance needs, except regional parks and athletic fields, so the contractor’s proposals could be compared to the city’s cost to perform the same work. This includes right-of-way mowing and right-of-way shredding, which historically has been completed by city employees in the Public Works Department.

In 2011, the landscape maintenance contractor will service an additional 26 neighborhood parks, and the overall cost to the city will be significantly lower. Budget transfers will be made within the various funds to move the additional budget appropriation from the grounds maintenance category to the contingency accounts within each fund to potentially be used for future shortfalls in other expenditure categories this year.

Council also will consider transferring three vacant positions in Parks and Recreation to Public Works, including salary and benefits for half a year totaling $57,392.

Regular Meeting (7.p.m)

Consent Agenda

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

Amendment to Scott & White Economic Development Agreement: Along the eastern frontage road and crossing at State Highway 6 are numerous aerial electrical lines owned by both College Station Utilities and Bryan Texas Utilities. To enhance the general aesthetics of the proposed development, the city and Scott & White Healthcare agree that the existing overhead electrical lines should be buried. Scott & White will pay for all materials and labor to bury the existing overhead electrical lines if the city pays only for the bore underneath State Highway 6 for the College Station Utilities lines. The maximum cost of the bore for the relocation of CSU’s lines under is $77,386, which would come from the Economic Development Fund and would be transferred to College Station Utilities to do the work. No funds will be paid directly to Scott & White to facilitate the aesthetic upgrade.

Amendment to School Resource Officer Inter-Local Agreement: Working with administrators in the College Station Independent School District, the College Station Police Department has determined that the objectives of the School Resource Officer program can be met by reducing the number of officers at the high school from two to one. This action would allow the police department to add the additional sworn officer to the Criminal Investigation Division.

Regular Agenda (7 p.m.)

Non-Annexation Development Agreements
Council will consider three non-annexation development agreements associated with the Wellborn annexation. In
compliance with state statute, the City of College Station extended 13 non-annexation development agreement offers to owners of property located within the area identified for annexation. The three non-annexation development agreements represent 35.9 acres or approximately 5.3 percent of the original area identified for annexation.

The non-annexation development agreements contain the following provisions:
• A guarantee that the city will not annex the property for a period of 10 years unless the terms of the agreement are violated.
• A promise by the owner(s) to use the property in a way that is consistent with the city’s Agricultural Open zoning district.
• A promise by the owner that no person will file a plat or related development document for the property.
• A provision that a violation of the agreement by the landowner by commencing development will constitute a petition for voluntary annexation.
• A provision requiring building construction allowed by the agreement to comply with the applicable city codes and ordinances.
• A provision that the agreement be recorded in the property records at the County Clerk’s Office so that the agreement will run with the land.

A Fiscal Impact Analysis projecting costs and revenues upon full build-out of the proposed annexed areas was developed when preparing the exempt annexation package. The annexation development agreements may have the effect of extending the time required to reach ultimate build-out.

Wellborn Annexation Ordinance
Council will consider an ordinance annexing approximately 649 acres located in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction generally known as the Wellborn area. Close to 200 people live in the one-square mile area. Should the council vote in favor of the annexation, it would go into effect immediately.

In December, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend moving forward with the annexation process. The annexation service plan has been completed and two public hearings were held in March. The annexation service plan effectively acts as a contract between the city and the residents of the annexed area. If the ordinance is approved, the city will provide full municipal services comparable to the level of services available in other parts of the city that are similar to the Wellborn area.

The annexed area would immediately be provided with police and fire protection, emergency medical services, solid waste collection, and road and street maintenance. Additional services would include building permitting and inspections, planning and development services, animal control, code enforcement, economic and community development and recycling collection.

While the city would not begin to receive property tax revenues from the annexed area until late in 2012, residents would be eligible to vote in the next municipal election on May 14. Although the item is not posted as a public hearing and the hear visitors portion of the meeting only allows comments on items that are not listed on the agenda, Mayor Nancy Berry has added an opportunity for those who live within the proposed annexation area to offer comments.

The city’s Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in May 2009, identifies the Wellborn area for annexation for the following reasons:
• Provides control of gateway frontage (i.e., FM 2154);
• Part or all of area qualifies for non-annexation development agreements;
• Area is adjacent to the city on two or more sides; and,
• Preserves existing character

The Comprehensive Plan also proposes the creation of a future district plan that respects and preserves the appeal of the Wellborn area. It states, in part, “The area contains elements of a rural historic community (e.g., cemetery, community center, post office) which contribute to a unique character that the area residents have stated a strong preference to retain. The focus of this district plan should be working with the residents to identify and retain the elements of the community that contribute to its rural character.”

Watch the Meetings Live on Ch. 19
The workshop and regular meetings can be seen live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online at the Previous council meetings are archived on the site.

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