City Council Preview (Jan. 12)

After a month-long break for the holidays, the College Station City Council will have its first meeting of 2012 on Thursday, Jan. 12, with topics ranging from the city’s tree trimming program to an update on the Medical District. This blog is intended as a quick overview of just some of the topics the council will be considering and is not a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the official agenda packets.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. The Public Communications Office’s live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and also can be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Citizens Charter Review Commission

The council will discuss a possible timeline for a charter amendment election, as well as areas of the city charter that need to be addressed. The Citizens Charter Review Commission had just begun its charter review last spring when a new state law shifted its focus to addressing the city election date, which was resolved with a charter amendment election in November. The commission is ready to resume its charter review but needs to know when the council expects the next charter amendment election. The earliest possible date for the election is November 2012, which will also include the presidential election. The other available dates are May and November in 2013.

Automated Street Light Monitoring System

The council will receive an update on the Automated Street Light Monitoring System, which College Station Utilities installed in 2009-10. More than 5,000 street lights in the CSU service territory are monitored on the system, which provides street light outage information, system diagnostics and allows for controlling times the lights are operational. The system also provides substantial energy savings.

Tree Trimming and Clearing Program

The council will hear a presentation on College Station Utilities’ tree trimming contract and its program for removing trees near power lines. A tree trimming contractor handles CSU’s right-of-way tree trimming and clearing requirements, and helps customers safely remove trees that touch overhead power lines. Because of the drought and the rising number of dead trees in the area, changes have been made to the new contract, which the council will consider as part of the consent agenda.

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.

Electric System Right-of-Way Clearing/Tree Trimming

The council will consider awarding a three-year contract to Rios Tree Services for electric system right-of-way clearing and tree trimming. The contract is for just under $1.3 million, or about $430,000 per year.  Standard electric utility practices have recommended a three-year trimming cycle. Most of the tree trimming expenses will be funded out of the electric utility’s departmental operating budget, and a small portion will be funded out of the electric utility’s Capital Improvement Projects fund for new power line extensions.

MDT System Replacement

The council will consider approving the purchase of $268,156 worth of equipment and services from Moseley Associates for replacing the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) System, which provides wireless public safety data communications. In September, the council approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Plano for a cooperative purchasing agreement, which allows College Station to piggyback on Plano’s contract with Moseley Associates.

Northgate Street Meters

The council will consider a contract with IPS Group, Inc. to upgrade the Northgate Street Meter System. The contract is for a one-time cost of $88,614 and an on-going annual cost of $20,475, and provides for a comprehensive upgrade of the city’s on-street meter parking assets in Northgate. After more than a decade of heavy use, the existing meters have reached the end of their serviceable life and are obsolete. An additional driving factor behind this project is the street and sidewalk rehabilitation work involving Tauber Street and Stasney Street, which creates 72 new on-street parking locations and increases the total number of on-street parking spaces in Northgate to 105. The proposed meter system will provide patrons with both coin and credit card payment options, similar to the existing system in the Northgate surface parking lot. The system would also more effectively track meter usage, maximize time spent on enforcement, and significantly reduce meter downtime.

Interconnection Agreements with BTU and Entergy Texas

The council will consider an electric transmission interconnection agreement with Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU), which is required by The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) when two entities are connected on the electric transmission grid. The purpose is to clearly define the point of interconnection, the ownership of equipment and the responsibility for maintaining and operation that equipment. The council also will consider a required electric transmission interconnection agreement with Entergy Texas, Inc. (ETI). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered a connection between ETI and the ERCOT transmission grid to provide emergency assistance during natural disasters or other emergencies declared by the Governor of Texas.

Agreement with BV Softball Umpires Association

The council will consider a one-year Agreement for Services with the Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officiating services for city athletic leagues, programs and tournaments. The amount is for a maximum of $190,000 and is funded through the Parks and Recreation Department’s General Fund and the Hotel Occupancy Tax.  The contract would provide officiating services for all city-operated athletic leagues and programs as well as tournament play. Payment is made prior to each season based on the number of scheduled games. The association then pays the individual umpires for actual games called.  The actual number of games is verified at the end of each season. Tournaments are handled in the same manner.

Lease Extension for Gambro Healthcare

The council will consider a one-year lease extension for Gambro Healthcare of Texas for a space in the Chimney Hill Shopping Center.  Effective in August, the minimum monthly rent will increase from $21,531.61 to $22,177.09. In 2012, Gambro will provide $261,600 in lease revenue to the City of College Station.

Regular Meeting (7 p.m.)

Rezoning 1401 Arnold Road

After a public hearing, the council will consider a rezoning request for 17 acres at 1401 Arnold Rd. This property is located west of the College Station Medical Center and south of the Southwood Community Park. A senior residential complex and other medical facilities are planned for the area, which is located within the Medical District.

Medical District Update

The council will receive an update on the College Station Medical District Master Plan. In 2011, the council entered into a contract with a consultant team to assist in developing the Medical District near the intersection of State Highway 6 and Rock Prairie Road. In addition to the consultant team, the council established an advisory group consisting of various stakeholders.  The advisory group, consultant team and staff completed their work on the draft plan for the Medical District in late 2011.

Council Strategic Plan

The council will discuss its Strategic Plan and related strategies. Specifically, the council will consider strategies dealing with economic development.

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