City Council Meeting Summary (Sept. 22)

This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 22 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.

Council Liaisons to City Boards and Committees

The council consensus was to postpone the appointment of council liaisons until after the Sunset Advisory Commission reports its findings.  The Council will continue to attend meetings on a rotating basis at the Design Review Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Council Member Julie Schultz will serve as interim liaison for the Historic Preservation Committee. Liaisons would represent the council on city boards and committees that lack council representation, and would not have voting or other privileges reserved for full members.

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.

Consent Agenda

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.

Traffic Code Amendment Regarding Junked Vehicles

The council amended the traffic code to make the city’s definition of a junked vehicle consistent with the state’s definition. The current ordinance allows exceptions for hobbyists with antique or specialty vehicles.

Animal Shelter Funding

The council authorizing funding of $169,512.90 for FY 2012 for the Brazos Animal Shelter.  The council previously 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. 

Regular Agenda

Rock Prairie Road Bridge Improvements

After a public hearing, the council approved a professional services contract for $452,900 for the Rock Prairie Road Bridge Improvement Project.  The contract includes environmental clearance, design, bidding and construction administration for the improvements to the existing bridge over State Highway 6.  A recent 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 project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.

The Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization has allocated $4.6 million received from the Texas Department of Transportation 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. 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.

Adoption of the City’s FY 2012 Budget

By a 6-1 vote, the council adopted the city’s amended FY 2012 budget. Council Member Jess Fields voted against the motion. The council also unanimously ratified an increase in property tax revenues. Prior to those votes, the council voted separately on several items in the budget:

  • Restore Funding to Add Fluoride to the City’s Water Supply: By a 6-1 vote, the council decided against restoring $42,000 to the budget to continue the fluoridation program. Council Member Blanche Brick voted to restore funding.
  • Reduce Proposed Funding for the Research Valley Partnership:  By a 5-1 vote, the council decided to reduce the funding for the RVP in FY 2012 from the proposed $350,000 to $325,000. The RVP received $300,000 from the city in FY 2011. Council Member Julie Schultz voted against the motion and Brick abstained.
  • Addition of Internal Audit Department Position: The council unanimously voted to increase the budget for the Internal Audit Department for one additional employee. 
  • Addition of $10,000 to Christmas in the Park Budget: By a 4-3 vote, the council denied a motion to add $10,000 to the Christmas in the Park program to maintain a more decorated presence in Central Park. The program will move to Wolf Pen Creek this year in an effort to save $25,000. Council Members Katy-Marie Lyles, Shultz and Brick supported the motion.

Property Tax Rate Adoption

By a 6-0 vote, the council adopted the 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. The effective tax rate of $0.437995 is expected to generate about $25 million.

Wastewater Utility Rates

By a 6-1 vote, the council approved an ordinance to raise rates for wastewater service by 5 percent, effective Jan. 1. 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 will generate about $12.7 million in sewer revenues.   

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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