City Council Thursday Preview (May 12)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Thursday (May 12) 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.)

External Audit Review
The city council will receive the city’s annual audit reports and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010. The Council Audit Committee received the audit report on May 4. The city’s charter, fiscal and budgetary policies — and state law — require the city council to designate a qualified public accountant or accountants who, at the end of the fiscal year, make an independent audit of accounts and other financial transactions of the city government.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan
The city council will receive an update on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which is rooted in the community vision established by the residents of College Station. The plan identifies the city’s parks and recreation needs for the next decade and the goals, strategies and actions needed to address them.  A joint committee comprised of two Planning and Zoning Committee commissioners, five Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members, and a staff resource team have been working to update the plan, which last was revised in 2003.

Deer Control in Foxfire
The city council will hear an assessment of the deer population and control options for the Foxfire Subdivision. The College Station Police Department’s presentation will provide an overview of potential risks if the deer population continues to increase, an assessment of the deer population, stakeholders views of the situation, homeowners activity to date, and a review of the pros and cons of potential control options. The College Station Police Department has met with members of the Foxfire Wildlife Committee, a State Wildlife Biologist and Texas Parks and Wildlife to identify possible solutions. 

Regular Meeting  (7.p.m)

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

Electric Utility Exemption to Competitive Bidding
The city council will consider a resolution adopting procurement procedures for the City of College Station’s Electric Department as an initial step to allow the city to participate with BTU in the methane gas-to-electricity project planned for the Rock Prairie Road Landfill. Adoption of these procurement procedures would allow CSU to participate in the contract already developed by BTU for the purpose of constructing the gas engine plant necessary to produce electricity and purchase the methane gas.

Safety Improvements at FM2818 and George Bush Drive
The council will consider an Advance Funding Agreement (AFA) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for safety improvements at the FM 2818 and George Bush Drive (FM 2347) intersection. The estimated cost of the city’s participation is not to exceed $17,160.

The Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the Federal High Risk Rural Road (HRRR) Program have funds available through TxDOT to make these improvements, which will include high-level signal heads for FM 2818, flashing yellow arrow for permissive left turns, confirmation (enforcement) lights, and radar vehicle detection. Other improvements to the intersection will include new video detection cameras, internally-lighted street name signs, a new battery back-up system, and bronze powder coat poles and mast arms.

After the new equipment is installed, the city will be allowed to re-use the existing signal equipment — valued at $15,600 — at other locations. The existing battery back-up system can be installed at another high-volume intersection in the city and the LED signal heads can be installed at one of the city’s nine remaining intersections that use incandescent light bulbs.

The portion of the budget allocated for the internally-lighted street name signs and related mobilization — estimated at $8,926 — will come from the traffic system safety improvement funds approved as part of the 2003 General Obligation Bond. The part of the budget for the bronze powder-coated poles and mast arms and related mobilization — estimated at $8,234 — will come from traffic system funds budgeted for public works traffic operations in the general fund.

Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Resolution
The council will consider a resolution supporting the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Feasibility Study, which was initiated by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to evaluate transportation improvements along US 190 and Interstate 10 from El Paso to the Texas-Louisiana border. These improvements are intended to enhance the connection between major U.S. Army installations and the ports of Corpus Christi and Beaumont. The study will assess the feasibility of improvements such as widening existing highways and upgrading highway sections to meet interstate standards.

The study’s primary focus is on an east-west route that would follow Interstate 10 eastward from El Paso and then follow US 190 from Pecos County to Killeen and Fort Hood. From Killeen, the route would follow US 190 and Interstate 35 to Temple, then follow US 190 and other existing routes to College Station. The route continues on to Interstate 45 and Huntsville and US 190 through East Texas. The total stretch of proposed highway upgrades is approximately 860 miles.

The Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition was formed in 2001 to promote these improvements and has worked closely with the TxDOT and numerous cities, counties, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and regional councils of governments. The approved FY11 budget included $5,000 for annual membership costs associated with the coalition.

Regular Agenda

BioCorridor Inter Local Agreement
The city council will consider the final draft of the Inter Local Agreement between the cities of College Station and Bryan for the joint development of the Research Valley BioCorridor. The agreement was reached through a third-party legal counsel and represents the input and policy guidance of the BioCorridor Policy Committee, which consisted of the mayors and mayors pro tem of both cities.

The agreement establishes the initial size of the development, provides for Ad Valorem revenue sharing on real and personal property, and will exist only in a defined area.  It also incorporates current economic development guidelines, adopts joint building/site design standards and provides for phased roadway infrastructure.  The Research Valley BioCorridor is shaping up to be a transformative project that will have a positive economic impact on the Brazos Valley for many decades.

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.