City Council Preview (August 25)

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

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Proposed FY 2012 Budget Review
After conducting 12 hours of budget workshops in a four-day period last week (Aug. 15-18), the council will continue its review of the proposed 2012 city budget. The budget workshops will be broadcast in their entirety this week on Suddenlink Ch. 19. Click here for the broadcast schedule. A public budget hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8, with final adoption set for Sept. 22.

Update on Northgate Operations, Parking
The council will receive a workshop update on Northgate District Operations and the Northgate Parking Enterprise Fund. The city has worked with Northgate merchants and other stakeholders to enhance the district’s operations, facilitate public investments and evaluate parking operations. Staff is recommending that the city continue to own and operate district parking operations, along with adjustments in rates in a number of locations that would result in an increase in the number of reduced-rate or free parking spaces. The city will continue to monitor the fund and set rates to adequately cover operating, maintenance and debt costs.

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.

Taxi Ordinance Amendment to Regulate Jitneys
The council will consider an amendment updating the city’s existing taxi ordinance to regulate Jitneys. Staff presented proposed changes to the council in July and was directed to amend the current ordinance to include jitneys. In addition, the council approved the modification of the current definition of a Jitney to a motor vehicle designed to carry 15 or fewer people, including the driver, and used to transport passengers for hire. The ordinance amendment brings jitney operation under the same regulations as a taxi service.

Debt Reimbursement Resolution for Wastewater Utility Projects
The council will consider approval of a “Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt” for expenditures related to Wastewater Utility Capital projects. This resolution would cover expenditures for projects on which spending is estimated to occur in advance of the debt issue scheduled for FY11 and FY12, and does not cover all the debt expected to be issued for these projects. Rather, it covers the debt that is reasonably expected within the time frame covered by the resolution. Additional resolutions may be brought to council for these projects in the future. The projects covered by this resolution include:
FM 2154 Sewer Trunk Line: This project is for the land acquisition, design and construction of a gravity sanitary sewer line, lift station and force main to serve the recently-annexed area east of FM 2154. The total project cost is estimated at $3.33 million.
Bee Creek Parallel (Relief) Trunk Line: This project is for the installation of a gravity line to increase the system capacity of the Bee Creek Trunk Line sub-basin to accept the expected  build-out demand. The total project is estimated at $14.7 million.
Lick Creek Centrifuge Replacement Project: This project will replace the sludge dewatering centrifuge at the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The total project cost is estimated at $1 million.

Construction Contract for Sewer Lift Station
The proposed Scott & White Hospital, located at the southeast corner of North State Highway 6 and Rock Prairie Road, needs sewer service by June 2012. The council will consider a construction contract with Elliott Construction, LLC for not more than $667,182.82 for the construction of a lift station near the intersection. The project will fulfill the city’s obligation of the Economic Development Agreement with Scott & White to participate in the sewer infrastructure that was approved by council in December of 2010. A portion of the cost will be reimbursed by Scott and White upon completion, and the remaining cost will be financed by the Wastewater Capital Improvement Projects Fund.

Landfill Gas Purchase Agreement
The recent closure of the Rock Prairie Landfill gives the cities of College Station and Bryan an opportunity to use landfill gas for producing electricity, so the council will be considering a Landfill Gas Purchase Agreement with the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency in partnership with the City of Bryan. The gas would be metered from the existing gas collection system and would be used as fuel for a future electric generating facility located on the site. The agreement already has been approved by the BVSWMA board and the Bryan City Council.

Tauber-Stasney Parking Removal
In a regular meeting consent agenda item related to the Northgate area, the council will consider the removal parking from Tauber and Stasney Street as part of the Tauber and Stasney Street and Utility Rehabilitation Project. The on-street parking plan was designed to ensure adequate space exists along each street for emergency vehicle access, and is consistent with agreements reached with the Northgate District Association related to the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Project. Parking would be removed from the west side of Tauber and Stasney streets between University and Church, on the east side of Stasney between Church and Cherry, and the west side of Tauber between Cross and Cherry. Although parking spaces are being removed, the plan actually increases available public parking in Northgate since the new on-street parallel parking spaces are completely in the right-of-way for public use.

Regular Agenda

Budget Amendment No. 3
The council will conduct a public hearing and will consider Budget Amendment No. 3 to amend the FY 2010-2011 budget in the amount of $7,699,757. The council also will discuss two contingency transfers and one inter-fund transfer. The city charter allows the council to amend the annual budget when revenues are available to cover increased expenditures. Click here and go to page 118-121 to view a detailed listing of the items in the budget amendment.

Issuance of COs and GOBs
The council will consider approving the issuance of certificates of obligation for $7.9 million for electric and wastewater improvements and general obligation bonds for $1.9 million. The city issues debt to fund various capital projects identified and approved as a part of the annual budget.  General Obligation Bonds are paid primarily through the debt service portion of the property tax rate and are authorized by voters. Utility Revenue Bonds are backed by the revenues of the city’s utilities and are issued as a business activity. These are typically only issued for utility capital projects. Certificates of Obligation normally include at least one additional revenue stream, such as utility revenues, but are considered to be much like general obligation bonds and normally receive a similar rating. Voters approved almost $77 million in the 2008 bond election, and this is the third bond sale from that authorization, which provides for a seven-year capital plan.

Watch Live on Ch. 19
All workshop and regular meetings can be seen live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website.

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