City Council Meeting Summary (June 9)
This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 9, 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
BVSWMA: First amendment to Solid Waste Facilities Operations Agreement
The city council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the Solid Waste Facilities Operations Agreement that was initially approved by the cities of Bryan and College Station in June 2010. It describes the relationship between the cities and the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency, and how the landfill accepts and disposes of waste and operates the facility. The amendment gives BVSWMA more flexibility in establishing rates for waste disposal that don’t inadvertently impact the cities in a negative fashion. The council also approved a rate schedule brought forward by BVSWMA. In it, the cities remain unaffected, but external customers’ rates will increase for solid waste and special waste.
BVSWMA, Inc.’s new Twin Oaks Landfill in Grimes County is scheduled to open June 27.
Regular Meeting Highlights
The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda. This is not a complete list, so click here to view all the consent items.
Service Disconnect Agreement with Wellborn SUD
The council approved an agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District to disconnect service for non-payment issues. In several new developments, Wellborn SUD provides the water service and the City of College Station provides sewer service. These customers are billed separately by the two service providers, which can create a problem in the event of non-payment of the city’s sewer bills. It is not feasible to disconnect sewer service, leaving the city no practical means to enforce payment requirements. Wellborn SUD has agreed to assist the city in this situation, and the agreement will allow the city to request that Wellborn SUD disconnect a customer’s water service until that customer becomes fully paid on their sewer bill. The city will pay a reasonable $50 service fee for these disconnects. The agreement has been written to comply with state law, ensuring that service disconnects will not be done if a serious health issue would result.
If the WSUD board also approves the agreement, city staff will return to a future council meeting to request a modification to the utility rate ordinance to recoup the $50 service fee paid to WSUD. Current city policy requires the disconnected customer pay all disconnection costs, so the $50 fee from WSUD should also be passed along to that customer.
COPS Hiring Recovery Program Grant
Council authorized the College Station Police Department to apply for, and potentially accept, a 2011 COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, which could be used to fund six full-time, entry-level police officers.
Grant funding would only be provided for current entry-level salary and benefits, while associated costs would be the responsibility of the grantee agency. CHRP grants provide 100-percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions. When federal funding ends, grantees must retain the positions awarded under the grant for at least 12 months after the funding expires. The retained CHRP-funded position(s) should be added to the grantee’s law enforcement budget with local funds, over and above the number of locally-funded positions that would have existed in the absence of the grant.
Rezoning for 3100 Haupt Road
The city council also approved the rezoning of approximately 109 acres located at 3100 Haupt Road from Agricultural Open (A-O) to a Planned Development District PDD). This future development is known as The Barracks II Subdivision, which the applicant describes as:
“…a community of blended land uses that co-exist to form a sustainable, attractive and desirable place to live and work. This development will consist of townhomes, detached homes, commercial properties, parks, and other amenities that target the 18-30 year old demographic population. The Concept Plan has been developed with strong consideration given to the guidelines outlined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. It includes unique, innovative designs that will serve as models for similar developments in the City.”
The applicant’s concept plan proposed a mixture of residential, commercial and office uses. Commercial endeavors would include an indoor shooting range, car wash, commercial amusement, office and retail. Three detention ponds would be necessary to serve the development, and plans call for those to become a water ski park and wakeboarding area.
Councilmember Julie Schultz recused herself from hearing or voting on this item.
A protest was filed by an adjacent landowner, who, based on his research of similar facilities, believed the ski park element would be too intrusive and inappropriate for the area. This protest set-up a scenario that required a “super-majority” of the city council — six out of seven — to approve the rezoning in order for it to take effect. With Councilmember Schultz unable to vote on the item, it meant a unanimous vote was needed.
After lengthy debate among many speakers and councilmembers, the rezoning passed with a unanimous 6-0 vote that included approval of an amendment that prohibits construction of the proposed ski park. The council expressed its eagerness to hear more about the ski park so it can reconsider the proposal.
Council Agendas and Minutes
(Official minutes of Thursday’s meetings will be available in two weeks)