City Council Meeting Live Blog (Nov. 21)

7:31 p.m.

The council meeting was adjourned. 

7:30 p.m.

November Election Returns

The council canvassed returns and unanimously declared the result of the Nov. 8 special election on Proposition No. 1: 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? The official canvass of the election would reflect that 2,204 votes were received for the proposition and 3,369 votes were cast against it. The result is that Proposition No. 1 failed and that the city’s charter will not be amended.

7:25 p.m.

Bond Payment on University Drive Property

The council unanimously authorized the city to pay off the part of the bond associated with the property at 701 University Drive East. In 2009, the City of College Station issued $31.3 million in Certificates of Obligation, including $2.6 million to acquire about 7.2 acres of land at 701 University Drive East as the site for a convention center. In July, the city council halted plans to build a convention center on the property. As a result, the council had to take remedial action to maintain the tax-exempt status of the Certificates of Obligation. Paying off the bond removes the federal tax limitations on its use and since the bonds are not callable until 2019, an escrow account will need to be established. The amount of bonds to be paid off is $2.3 million, and the amount needed to fund the escrow account is $2.7 million. Funding sources include a $2.3 million principal payment from the Hotel Tax Fund and a $410,367 interest payment from the Chimney Hill Fund. When the property is eventually sold, the proceeds will go back to the Hotel Tax Fund. A budget amendment will be prepared for the Dec. 8 council meeting to appropriate the funds.

Here’s the Powerpoint presentation received by the council:

 

7:08 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved all the consent agenda items except (c), which was approved by a 6-1 vote with Council Member Jess Fields voting against. Item (c) was a resolution approving a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG) grant application for $10,700. The BVCOG has $51,672 in funding from the TCEQ for FY 2012 solid waste implementation project grants. The city’s Public Works Department completed the grant application and the funds will be used to purchase a smart phone application called My-waste and Brazos Valley Earth Day advertising.

7:15 p.m.

The College Station Fire Department presented a check for $5,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness.

7:08 p.m.

Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski handed College Station Mayor Nancy Berry The Brazos Boot, officially marking A&M Consolidated High School’s recent football victory against Bryan High.

7:02 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

4:20 p.m.

The workshop has ended and council has gone into executive session. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

4:05 p.m.

Council Attendance Policy

The council unanimously approved a policy for council attendance at boards and committees to be included in the existing Council Relations Policy and Code of Ethics. Section B (Council Responsibilities), Section 8,now reads:

When a council member is appointed to serve as liaison to a board, the council member is responsible for keeping all council members informed of significant board activities; therefore, regular attendance to the assigned board is of great importance. In the event a council member is absent from three meetings in a twelve month period that are considered unexcused as defined in ordinance 2406, the City Secretary shall notify the council member by letter requesting an explanation for the absences. After reviewing the explanation for absences, if the City Council finds that the absences are unexcused, the City Council may choose to remove the council member from the assigned board for non-attendance at the board meetings.

3:53 p.m.

Local Preference

The council discussed a local preference policy in bid/contract awards on a case-by-case basis. The city can legally give preference to a bidder whose principal place of business is in College Station if the bid is within 3 percent of the lowest bid price. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t recognize Bryan or Brazos County outside of College Station for inclusion as local. The council must determine that the local bidder offers the best combination of price and additional economic development opportunities.

Here is the Powerpoint presentation received by the council:

 

3:30 p.m.

Wolf Pen Creek Festival Area Project

By a 6-1 vote, the council approved a staff recommendation to proceed with the bidding and construction of a project that includes only the festival area in Wolf Pen Creek Park, and does not include previously-planned amenities such as a water feature. About $1.34 million is available for the festival area project. Some funds from the Wolf Pen Creek Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIF), which expired in December 2009, will be returned to local taxing authorities. Brazos County will receive more than $600,000 and the College Station Independent School District could get more than $1.2 million.

Click here to read a more detailed press release.

Here’s the Powerpoint presentation received by the council:

 

3 p.m.

Workshop meeting is called to order.

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