City Council Preview (July 14)

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

Taxicab, Jitney Ordinance Updates

The council will hear presentations from the College Station Police Department regarding updates to existing ordinances that regulate taxicabs and jitneys in the city limits. Jitneys are small motor vehicles such as buses or vans that transport passengers on a route for a shared fare. The council has directed the police department to review both ordinances. The proposed change to the taxicab ordinance would require that rates and fares be posted in a clearly visible place outside the cab. The rates and fares also would need to be posted inside the cab where they are visible by passengers in both the front and back seats. Local cab companies have been consulted in this process and are supportive of the change. The proposed change to the jitney ordinance would require these vehicles to be subjected to the same inspections as taxicabs.

Regular Meeting (7 p.m.)

Consent Agenda

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

Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Inter-local Agreement

The council will consider an inter-local agreement (ILA) with Brazos County and the City of Bryan for the application and acceptance of 2011 Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. JAG-funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals or communities by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes and procedures. The College Station Police Department intends to use this funding to support local initiatives, technical assistance, training, equipment, supplies and information technology projects.  The 2011 JAG allocation for Brazos County is $73,233, which is based upon a statutory, JAG formula that considers the jurisdiction’s share of state population and reported violent crime statistics. The grant has no match requirement. College Station’s allocation will be $17,259.25.

CSU Dispatch Construction Contract

The council will consider a construction contract of $859,874 with JaCody, Inc. for the dispatch addition at the College Station Utilities Center, which will be located adjacent to the existing College Station Utilities administration building on Graham Road. The overall plan for the Utilities Service Center included this building, which increases security for the dispatch operation and provides a storm resistant facility. The construction schedule has been influenced by the designation of CSU as a Transmission Operator by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in 2010. With this designation, CSU is required to meet stringent physical and cyber security requirement for data, equipment, and facilities that control electric transmission lines in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system.

Since CSU did not meet the requirements of NERC at the time it was mandated to become a Transmission Operator, a mitigation plan was filed with NERC showing steps that would allow CSU to become compliant by May 2012. This new facility will allow CSU to provide security for data, equipment, and facilities that control electric transmission facilities, and will meet the requirements set forth by NERC. The new facility is proposed to be built to standards that are equivalent or greater than that of police and fire stations because electric and water dispatch areas are integral to the operation of essential services during normal operations, storms, hurricanes, and emergency events.

The budget for the construction of this project is $1 million, which also includes funds to pay for specialized equipment and wiring. This project and future projects for equipment installation are included in the Electric Capital Improvement Projects Fund.

Lick Creek Park Nature Center Master Plan

The council will consider a professional services contract not to exceed $64,400 with Ray + Hollington Architects, Inc. for development of the master plan for the Lick Creek Park Nature Center, which was approved by the citizens of College Station in the 2008 bond election. The master planning phase will allow city staff, with the guidance of a council-appointed advisory group, to determine strategic placement of the facility, major amenities and features, basic infrastructure needs, construction phasing and to develop a planning-level construction cost estimate. The master plan will also provide a basis for the development of the facility’s operation and maintenance cost. The total project budget for the Lick Creek Park Nature Center project is almost $2.5 million. Council approved $100,000 for the master planning phase of the project and related expenditures.

Regular Agenda

Parks and Recreation Master Plan

The council will consider adopting the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which was unanimously recommended by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission. A component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the master plan identifies the city’s parks and recreation needs for the next 10 years through specific goals, strategies and actions.  The city projects that about 40,000 new residents will call College Station home in the next two decades, which will increase demands and challenges for its parks and recreation facilities and programs. Not implementing the plan would slow the city’s growth and development potential.  

The estimated cost is about $58 million, which includes projects that received voter approval in 2008, projects funded through existing and future parkland dedication or fees – which are paid by developers – and projects funded through future bond initiatives, fees and grants. A Joint Committee comprised of two Planning and Zoning Commissioners, five Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members and a staff resource team met over the past year to help update the plan.

For additional insight, read the blog by Parks and Recreation Director David Schmitz.

Watch the Meetings Live on Ch. 19

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

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