Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Jan. 12)

9:13 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned. The council meets again on Jan. 26.

9:12 p.m.

Council Strategic Plan Update

The council discussed its Strategic Plan and considered strategies dealing with economic development. The plan calls for the diversification of College Station’s consumer-oriented economy through tourism, regional athletic events, a regional medical center and other possibilities. A primary goal also is to keep property taxes among the state’s lowest and maintain competitive utility rates.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:


8:32 p.m.

Medical District Update

The council received 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.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:


8:01 p.m.

Rezoning 1401 Arnold Rd.

After a public hearing, the council approved by a 6-0 vote a rezoning request for 17 acres at 1401 Arnold Rd. Council Member Julie Schultz abstained. 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.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:


7:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

These items were passed by a unanimous vote (7-0):

  • Three-year contract worth $1,294,002.40 to Rios Tree Services,. Inc. for electric system right-of-way clearing and tree trimming.
  • Renewal worth $75,000 annually for the rental of heavy equipment from Mustang Rental Services of Bryan.
  • Purchase not to exceed $268,156.95 for the upgrade of the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) System from Moseley Associates.
  • Contract to upgrade the Northgate Street Meter System with IPS Group, Inc. in the amount of an initial one-time cost of $88,614 and an on-going annual cost of $20,475.
  • Amendment to the Enterprise Agreement (EA) for Microsoft software.
  • Electric transnlission Interconnection Agreement with Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU).
  • Electric transmission Interconnection Agreement with Entergy Texas, Inc. (ETI).

This item was passed by a 6-1 vote, with Council Member Jess Fields voting against the motion:

  • Renewal of an Agreement for Services with the Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officiating services for City athletic leagues, programs and tournaments for an amount not to exceed $190,000 per year.

7:10 p.m.

Parks and Recreation Recognition

The regular meeting began with the presentation of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Silver Member City Award and individual service awards to the Parks and Recreation Department. The Silver Member City Designation is based on the number of individual participants, teams and officials that are registered. Parks and Recreation staffers recognized for their commitment to the TAAF and their work with the Texas Games were Jana Church and Sheila Walker.

A Wise Wager

Mayor Nancy Berry and the city council enjoyed the tasty payoff of the mayor’s winning bet with the Evanston (Ill.) mayor on the Meineke Car Car Bowl. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl sent Mayor Berry a large portion of Hecky’s Barbeque from the popular Evanston eatery. Texas A&M defeated Northwestern, 33-22, on New Year’s Eve in Houston. Thanks, Mayor Tisdahl .. and thanks, Aggies!

5:01 p.m.

The workshop meeting has been adjourned. The council has gone into executive session and will return for the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

4:44 p.m.

Tree Trimming and Clearing Program

The council heard a presentation on College Station Utilities’ tree trimming contract and its aggressive 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 tonight’s consent agenda. A good overview of the program was posted on the city blog earlier this week.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:


4:19 p.m.

Automated Street Light Monitoring System Saves $60,000 Each Year

The council received a highly-positive update on the Automated Street Light Monitoring System, which was installed by College Station Utilities 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. College Station has the only complete street light monitoring system in Texas. It has reduced power usage by 300,000 kWh per year, resulting in $60,000 in annual savings. The system remains on track to pay for itself in five years.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:


3:55 p.m.

Charter Amendment Election

By a unanimous vote, the council selected November 2012 for a charter amendment election, and determined that public hearings regarding proposed amendments will be conducted at council meetings. 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 last November. The council also considered May and November 2013 for the charter amendment election.

3:19 p.m.

Mayor Berry congratulated Council Member Fields on his recent engagement.

3:13 p.m.

The workshop meeting is underway.

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