City Council Preview (Sept. 22)
Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Thursday, Sept. 22, 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.)
Council Liaisons to City Boards and Committees
The city council will consider appointing liaisons to represent the council on city boards and committees that lack council representation. The liaisons would serve in an ex-officio capacity only and would not have voting or other privileges reserved for full members.
Council Strategic Plan
The council will review the progress on its strategic plan update and provide direction to staff. The council began updating the plan at its annual retreat in July, when it reviewed current and projected conditions that affect the operation of city government, and affirmed its commitment to the adopted Vision Statement, Organizational Mission Statement, and Core Values.
Regular Meeting (7 p.m.)
This is not a complete list of consent agenda items. Click here to view all the consent items.
Traffic Code Amendment Regarding Junked Vehicles
The council will consider amending the traffic code to make the city’s definition of a junked vehicle consistent with the state’s definition. The Texas Legislature recently approved HB 1376, which defines a junked vehicle as: A vehicle that is self-propelled and displays an expired license plate or invalid motor vehicle inspection certificate or does not display a license plate or motor vehicle inspection certificate; and is wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, or discarded; inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property, or 30 consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property. This amendment will enhance the ability of police and code enforcement to address junked vehicles in the city.
Disposal of Surplus Personal Property
The council will consider an repealing a city ordinance regarding the “Disposition of Abandoned or Unclaimed Property; Disposition of Salvage or Surplus Property; and Disposition of Seized Weapons, Explosive Weapons, or other Prohibited Contraband.” The ordinance has not been changed since 2001 and has proven to be inefficient and ineffective. In some cases, it requires a minimum of 45 days before disposition can be made. Staff recommends including a section in the Purchasing Policies and Procedures Manual for the disposition of city surplus or salvage property. The policy would govern the disposition of all surplus property other than land and would allow for the timely disposal of surplus property through recycling, auction, competitive bidding, trade-in, charitable donations, and other means. The quicker disposition of surplus property will result in revenue being received sooner.
Animal Shelter Funding
The council will consider authorizing expenditures for the Brazos Animal Shelter in the amount of $169,512.90 for FY 2012. In March, the council approved an Interlocal agreement with the Brazos Animal Shelter that took effect on July 1. The payment will be adjusted annually for each year the agreement is in effect. The shelter’s budget will be different than in the past since it no longer contracts services for the City of Bryan. Due to the uncertainty of the exact operating expenses, the city has agreed to meet with shelter representatives on a quarterly basis in FY 2012 to ensure the agreed funding level is appropriate.
Public Hearing on Rock Prairie Road Bridge Improvements
The council will conduct a public hearing about a professional services contract for the Rock Prairie Road Bridge Improvement Project. The $452,900 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. includes environmental clearance, design, bidding and construction administration for the improvements to the existing bridge over State Highway 6. Kimley-Horn prepared a traffic study of the Rock Prairie Road Corridor earlier this year to collect data and make recommendations to alleviate traffic congestion. The report concluded that the Rock Prairie Road Bridge will be operating at an unacceptable level of service by 2016 if the bridge is not expanded.
The Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization (BCSMPO) identified the Rock Prairie Road Bridge as the No. 1 priority in its Metropolitan Transportation Plan and has allocated $4.6 million received from TxDOT for the project. The city is responsible for funding the engineering design and environmental work and TxDOT will manage construction. The city is obligated to deliver final plans and specifications, including environmental clearance, by April 2013.
This project was not included in the city’s FY 2011 budget because the project was not defined when the when the budget was developed. A total of $567,000 has been transferred from the Barron Road Widening Phase II project since that project is expected to cost significantly less than the amount authorized in the 2008 bond election. The “Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt” is necessary because the long-term debt has not been issued for the project. The debt is scheduled to be issued in the next fiscal year.
Adoption of the City’s FY 2012 Budget
The council will consider adopting the city’s FY 2012 proposed budget. The council received the proposed budget on Aug. 11 and conducted budget workshops from Aug. 15-18, followed by a public hearing on Sept. 8. The city charter requires the council to adopt a budget no later than Sept. 27.
Tax Rate Adoption
The council will consider adopting a proposed FY 2012 property tax rate of $0.437995 per $100 assessed valuation. The rate includes a debt service portion of $0.201536 and an operations and maintenance portion of $0.236459. In August, the council discussed the tax rate and decided not to consider a rate higher than the effective rate of $0.437995. As a result, no additional public hearings or notices were required. The effective tax rate of $0.437995 was used to prepare the proposed budget and is expected to generate about $25 million.
Wastewater Utility Rates
The council will consider approving an ordinance to raise rates for wastewater service by 5 percent, effective Jan. 1. Electric, water and sanitation rates will not be increased for FY 2012. In addition to inflation and increased operating costs, additional funds are required to support the capital requirements described in the Wastewater Master Plan, which was approved by the council in June. The proposed rate increase would generate about $12.7 million in sewer revenues.
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.