City Council Preview (July 25)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Monday, July 25, at its workshop and regular meetings. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the entire agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Arts Council of Brazos Valley
The city council will hear a report from the Arts Council of Brazos Valley regarding the organization’s activities.

Review of City-Owned Real Property
The council will receive a presentation about the real properties owned by the city and the options available if the council wishes to liquidate real property.

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.

Traffic Signal Construction
The council will consider awarding a $276,591.75 construction contract to Allstate Signal and Construction for the installation of traffic signals throughout the city. The item was approved by city voters in the 2008 Bond Election.  As part of this construction contract, the contractor will install $128,068.50 worth of equipment and material purchased by the city. 

Legal Research Materials      
The council will consider approving expenditures of not more than $55,000 for Westlaw online research services and printed materials for the city’s Legal Department. The city annually enters into a service agreement with West Group for access to Westlaw, its online research product.  The city also purchases printed materials from West Group to maintain and update the city’s legal library. To save money, the Legal Department is converting many of the printed materials to online services and discontinuing some printed volumes for which other existing sources are available.

Victoria Avenue Extension Construction Contract
The council will consider awarding a $1.8 million construction contract for the Victoria Avenue Extension Project to Knife River, Inc. More than $2.45 million is budgeted in the Streets Capital Fund, $228,375 in the Water Capital Fund, and $47,000 in the Wastewater Capital Fund for a project budget of more than $2.73 million. A total of $403,783.21 has been spent or committed to date, leaving a balance of more than $2.32 million. The bid for the street portion of the project is significantly under budget.

Cemetery Committee Membership
The council will consider reducing the size of the Cemetery Committee from nine to seven members at the recommendation of the committee. The committee was expanded from seven to nine members in 2006 to assist in the planning and construction of the Memorial Cemetery and Aggie Field of Honor, which was completed in 2009.

Community Development Action Plan and Budget
The council will consider approving the Community Development Department’s FY 2012 Action Plan and Budget, authorizing new allocations and the expenditure of remaining balances. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that the plan and budget be received by August 16. Amounts available next year include more than $1.66 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Grant (HOME) funds, along with various carry-over amounts from previous allocations.

The council reviewed the plan and budget in June, and the city received input from citizens in a series of public hearings and program committee meetings.  Plan goals and objectives were developed in accordance with the department’s Strategic Business Plan to best meet the unique needs of lower-income citizens, and to provide support for families working toward self-sufficiency.  Each year, the city must submit an Action Plan to HUD that includes descriptions of projects and activities to be carried out with grant funding. 

CDBG and HOME funds may only be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the elimination of slum and blighting influences, or meet a particular urgent need.  In addition, CDBG funds may be used to meet local needs through a wide range of community development activities, while HOME funds may be used only for affordable housing activities. Historically, the city has used these funds for a variety of programs and activities, including affordable housing programs, direct services to low-income families, and infrastructure and public facility improvement in the city’s low-income areas.

Regular Agenda

Impact of New State Law on City Elections
The council will conduct a public hearing and discuss how a new state law will affect local elections. Texas Senate Bill 100 was signed into law in June by Gov. Rick Perry and takes effect Sept. 1. The city’s options include purchasing election equipment, moving city elections to November or changing the terms of office to two- or four-year staggered terms. Each option has implications that include cost, length of holdover in the affected positions, legal interpretations and public desire.

For more details about the potential impacts of SB 100, read City Secretary Sherry Mashburn’s blog.

Sunset Advisory Commission
The council will discuss recommendations by the Sunset Advisory Commission and the appointment of council members to boards and commissions.  This temporary committee was charged with reviewing boards and commissions that have completed their mission or have become obsolete. In June, the council appointed three of its members and asked them to have their review finished by July 21. 

The council also will appoint fellow council members to various community boards and commissions, including the Audit Committee, Lick Creek Park Nature Center Advisory Committee, and the Transportation Committee.

Watch 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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