This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 8 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.
Research Valley Partnership
The council received an update from the Research Valley Partnership (RVP) on its FY 2012 budget request and how the organization will invest for the future. The RVP promotes economic development in Brazos County. The group’s budget request for the next fiscal year is $350,000. The RVP currently receives $300,000 from the city’s general fund. Chief Executive Officer Todd McDaniel said the RVP is concerned with long-term investment and wants to be a catalyst for the area’s economic development and growth. The RVP is seeking to transition from a traditional economic development model to an innovation-to-industry model. The RVP’s FY 2010 budget trimmed expenses by 10 percent, and it has increased private sector and Texas A&M investment.
Fire Station No. 6 Public Engagement Plan
Fire Chief R.B. Alley updated the council on the public engagement plans for Fire Station No. 6, which will be located at the intersection of Tarrow Street and University Drive and is expected to open in late 2012. The station will serve the University Drive Corridor and will provide improved fire and emergency medical services to North College Station and Texas A&M. The public is invited to receive information and review design plans at public meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 13 and Tuesday, Sept. 20. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 27.
Regular Meeting Highlights
Click here to watch the entire regular meeting. Click on individual agenda items listed beneath the video window to view a specific segment.
After a joint College Station fire and police color guard presented the flags, Mayor Nancy Berry read and presented a proclamation for the 9/11 National Moment of Remembrance to the Police and Fire Departments.
The council unanimously 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.
G. Hysmith Skate Park
The council unanimously approved the name G. Hysmith Skate Park for the city’s new skate park located at the Southwood Athletic Park on Rock Prairie Road. The facility was approved by voters in the 2008 bond election. The city conducted a naming contest in early August to solicit input from stakeholders. The name was revealed to the public as part of the park’s grand opening on Sept. 3. Click here to watch a highlight video of the event.
BVSMWA, Inc. Budget
The council unanimously approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed FY 2012 budget and business plan. BVSWMA’s proposed budget revenue is $6.56 million and expenses are $11 million. Bryan Griesbach, Executive Director of BVSWMA, said that Bryan and College Station make up two-thirds of the organization’s revenue. BVSWMA’s FY 2012 revenues are projected at $6.5 million, which is $900,000 less than FY 2011, but expenses are expected to be $512,000 less. Griesbach said landfill revenues are driven by landfill volumes, and BVSWMA has lost a major customer to lower rates offered in the Austin market. They will continue to maintain the same rate to Bryan and College Station. BVSWMA is striving to cut costs and achieve additional operational efficiencies to adjust for loss of revenue.
Proposed FY 2012 City Budget
The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed FY 2012 budget, which includes the lowest property tax rate in a decade and no increases in the electric, water or sanitation rates. The council is scheduled to adopt the proposed budget and tax rate on Sept. 22.
The council did discuss several specific budget items and took several votes:
Arts Council Affiliates: The council voted unanimously to remove the $100,000 in funding for Arts Council Affiliates from the General Fund, then voted 5-1 to fund the Arts Council Affiliates with $100,000 from Hotel Occupancy Tax fund. Council Member Jess Fields voted against the motion.
Research Valley Partnership: By a 4-2 vote, a motion to reduce the allocation to the RVP from the proposed $350,000 to $300,000, the same level as in FY 2011, failed. Mayor Berry and Council Members Ruesink, Blanche Brick and Karl Mooney voted against the motion. The council voted unanimously to charge staff to research which portion of the $350,000 budgeted for the RVP could be realized by application of the Hotel Occupancy Tax.
CVB – Bush Library Funding: The council voted unanimously to fund $50,000 to the George Bush Library and Museum from the Hotel Occupancy Tax, reducing the Convention and Visitors Bureau allocation by $50,000. The council also voted unanimously to fund the CVB in the amount of $1 million from the HOT fund.
Brazos Beautiful: By a 3-3 vote, a motion to reduce by $2,500 the line item in the Sanitation Fund for Keep Brazos Beautiful failed. Brick, Mooney and Ruesink voted against the motion.
Fourth of July Fireworks: By a 5-1 vote, a motion to strike $10,000 for July 4 fireworks from the General Fund failed. Fields voted for the motion.
Council Agendas and Minutes
(Official minutes of Thursday’s meetings will be available in two weeks)