City Council Meeting Summary (August 11)

This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on August 11 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

Click here to watch the entire workshop meeting. Click on individual agenda items listed beneath the video window to view a specific segment.

Proposed FY2012 City Budget
The council received its first glimpse of the city’s proposed FY 2012 budget, which includes the city’s lowest property tax rate in a decade and recommends no rate increases for electric, water or sanitation services. The council will conduct four days of budget workshops next week (Aug. 15-18), followed by a public hearing on Sept. 8. Final adoption of the budget and tax rate is set for Sept. 22.

Click here for the press release about the budget presentation.

Click here to see the entire proposed budget.

Regular Meeting Highlights

Click here to watch the entire workshop meeting. Click on individual agenda items listed beneath the video window to view a specific segment.

Consent Agenda

The council approved all the consent agenda items. This is not a complete list of all the consent items, so click here to view the complete list.

Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Laboratory and SCADA Building
The council approved a construction contract of not more than $1,066,051.13 with G.W. Williams, Inc., for the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Laboratory and SCADA Building, along with transfers of $20,077 from the Water Capital Improvement Projects Fund contingency and $101,913 from the Wastewater Capital Improvements Projects Fund contingency. The project includes a 2,994-sq. ft. laboratory and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) building, a 1,372 linear foot 8-inch water line, and associated site improvements. SCADA is the electronic monitoring system the Water Services Department uses to control its wells, lift stations, pump stations, elevated storage tanks and wastewater treatment plants. The Water Services Department environmental laboratory and the SCADA server room are currently housed in buildings that do not meet general industry standards. Since both systems require a clean, climate-controlled environment, staff sought the solution of combining both in a single building. In addition to the building, this project includes the construction of an offsite water line. The water line will provide the necessary fire flow needed based on the size and materials of the proposed building.

Chimney Hill Clean-out and Asbestos Abatement
The council approved a resolution for asbestos abatement and debris removal from unoccupied areas in the Chimney Hill Retail Plaza at a cost of $49,961. The plaza has asbestos-containing material, trash and debris in some areas of the unoccupied portion of the building. In late May, Mustang Remediation cleaned a section of the building at a cost of $9,539 so the city could lease the space. Mustang’s quote of $49,961 for the remainder plus work already performed brings the final cost of the project to $59,500. Funds are available from lease revenues that have been collected from property tenants.

Sale and Official Statements Regarding GOBs and COs
The council approved the Notices of Sale and Preliminary Official Statements regarding the city’s general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation. This is the next step in the process of issuing long term debt for the city’s capital projects. The bond sales will occur on August 25, when the city council will consider ordinances authorizing the issuance of the General Obligation Bonds and Certificates of Obligation. The General Obligation debt issue will provide resources for street and park improvements totaling more than $1.9 million. The Certificates of Obligation debt issue will provide resources for electric and wastewater improvements and debt issuance costs totaling more than $7.9 million. Staff reviewed the impact of these debt issues on the city’s ability to meet debt service requirements and the effect they may have on property tax or utility rates.

BCS Mobility Initiative FY 2011 Funding
The council approved an Inter Local Agreement with the Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization for the funding of the BCS Mobility Initiative (BCSMI) for FY 2011. To get ahead of the congestion curve that is closing in on Bryan/College Station, area leaders came together in 2006 to develop a regional concept for transportation operations in the Brazos Valley. Leaders, staff and transportation stakeholders at the cities of Bryan and College Station, the Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization, Brazos County, the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas A&M and the Texas Transportation Institute formed a working group that established priorities to move the mobility initiative forward.

Regular Agenda

Citizen Appointments to Boards and Commissions
The council made appointments to various city boards and commissions from 83 applications that were received by the City Secretary’s Office from April through July. The City Secretary’s Office will conduct mandatory orientations for all boards, committees and commissions later this month.

Special Charter Amendment Election
The council approved an ordinance to call a special election on Nov. 8 to amend the city charter by changing the timing of municipal elections and extending the length of council members’ terms. The action was taken to comply with a new state law. The ordinance passed by a 4-3 vote. Council members Blanche Brick, Karl Mooney, Katy-Marie Lyles and Julie Schultz voted for the motion. Mayor Nancy Berry and council members Jess Fields and Dave Ruesink voted against it.

At stake is whether elections will be in May of odd-numbered years, which would result in council members’ terms being extended from three to four years, and term limits being extended from six to eight years. If the charter amendment is defeated, the elections would move to November and terms would remain at three years with six-year term limits. In June, a law was enacted to bring Texas into compliance with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act. The act requires that ballots be provided to military and overseas voters 45 days before the election date, which led to conflicts with the existing May election schedule.

Here is the actual ballot language the council adopted:

FOR/AGAINST: Shall the Charter of the City of College Station be amended to provide for the regular election of the Mayor and City Council to be held in May of odd-numbered years with the Mayor and City Council serving four (4) year term lengths for no more than eight (8) consecutive years?

Links
Video Archive of Council Meetings

Council Agendas and Minutes
(Official minutes of Thursday’s meetings will be available in two weeks)

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