City Council Meeting Summary (April 14, 2011)
This blog is a short summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 14, and is not the official minutes. Changes made to specific items will be recorded in the minutes, which will be available in approximately two weeks.
Workshop Meeting Highlights
Update on the FY11 Capital Plan
Council voted 6-1 to include the Lick Creek Nature Center and East District Maintenance Shop in the FY2011 Capital Plan. Both projects were part of the 2008 bond authorization. Planning for the Lick Creek Nature Center and detailed design for the East District Maintenance Shop are scheduled to begin this year. However, the council recently voted to remove those projects from a debt reimbursement resolution. A debt reimbursement resolution is simply resolution declaring 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. Staff also updated the council on the status of other projects in the FY2011 Capital Plan.
VOTE: Jana McMillan voted against the motion.
Landscape Maintenance Contracts
Council voted unanimously to award landscape maintenance contracts for city facilities, parks and rights-of-way to multiple vendors for a total of $453,254. The structure of these new contracts will provide for 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. Most important, the sum of all these landscape maintenance contracts is approximately $125,000 under budget. The benefits of this revised approach include a reduction in operating costs and an increased level of service in neighborhood parks. Twenty-six neighborhood parks have been added to the contract and the level of service will increased at each of these facilities, which will allow park staff to focus on maintaining water fountains, fences and play structures. More staff also is available to assist with tournaments and special events that bring tourism to College Station. In addition, Council approved a budget transfer of $26,350 from the Parks and Recreation Department to the Public Works Department, and the transfer of three positions from Parks and Recreation to Public Works, including salary and benefits for half a year totaling $57,392.
Regular Meeting Highlights
The council voted unanimously to approve all but three consent agenda items, which are generally regarded as “housekeeping” items. Here are the three items that were considered individually:
- Amendment to Economic Development Agreement with Scott & White: 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 $1.2 million for any additional cost to bury the overhead power lines, and the city will bear the cost of the bore under State Highway 6. This will set the tone for burying the lines in that general area. There is no requirement for Scott & White to bury the lines, but it is in the city’s long-term interest. BTU lines will be conjoined with College Station’s lines as well. The maximum cost of the bore for the relocation of CSU’s lines 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.
VOTE: The council approved by a 6-1 vote to approve the amendment to the existing Economic Development Agreement between the City and Scott & White Healthcare. Jess Fields voted against the motion.
- Resolution Transferring Ownership of Property to the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency: Staff informed council that this property was purchased under a previous program. The home is estimated at $130,000 and is comparable to homes being built in that neighborhood. A family of four with an income of $40,000 could qualify for that home.
VOTE: The council voted unanimously to table this item until a later time.
- Proposed Changes to Down Payment Assistance Program: Council learned from staff that the cap is a backhand cap under HUD guidelines. The number moves. The current maximum value of a house purchased under FHA is $190,000. The price in the local market has risen and that number has not been adjusted. When a house is sold, the city is repaid and it is no longer a forgivable loan.
VOTE: The council approved by a 4-3 vote the changes to the City’s Down-Payment Assistance Program (DAP) Guidelines. Mayor Nancy Berry, Jess Fields and Jana McMillan voted against the motion.
Non-Annexation Development Agreements
Council approved by a 6-1 vote 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 include a guarantee that the city will not annex the property for a period of 10 years unless the terms of the agreement are violated.
VOTE: Jess Fields voted against the motion.
Council approved by a 5-2 vote 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. The annexation is effective immediately. 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. The city is required to provide full municipal services comparable to the level of services available in other parts of the city that are similar to the annexed area.
VOTE: Jess Fields and Jana McMillan voted against the motion.
Council Agendas and Minutes
(Official minutes of Thursday’s meetings will be available in two weeks)