Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (April 26)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 26. It is not the official minutes.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the site.

10:25 p.m.

After discussing the council calendar, future agenda items and various committee and board reports, the meeting was adjourned. The council meets again on Monday, May 14.

10:21 p.m.

The council adjourned the regular meeting and returned to the remaining items on the workshop agenda. The final agenda item about revising the naming policy for city facilities was pushed back to the first council meeting in May.

10:19 p.m.

General Obligation Improvement, Refunding Bonds/Certificates of Obligation

The council unanimously authorized the issuance and sale of up to $38 million in General Obligation Improvement and Refunding Bonds and the issuance and sale of up to $17.3 million in Certificates of Obligation to provide for electric, water and wastewater improvements. The city can save more than $200,000 per year by refunding, or refinancing, some of its previous bonds from 2003, 2004 and 2005.

City voters approved the improvement bonds in 2003 and 2008, and will now issue the remaining $440,000 from 2003 and $4 million from 2008 to provide for street and transportation projects, sidewalk improvements, hike and bike trails and parks and park facilities improvements. The city typically issues debt to fund various capital projects identified and approved as a part of the annual budget.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations received by the council:

10:11 p.m.

Northgate Outdoor Dining and Entertainment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amendments to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to allow sidewalk dining and entertainment in the Northgate District, including the outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages in permitted areas.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

10:03 p.m.

Mobile Food Vendors Ordinance Revisions

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved revisions to the the city’s mobile food vendor ordinance that was adopted in February 2011. The changes include requiring a separate permit for each mobile unit, clarifying on-street sales, reducing the buffer from 300 to 100 feet, changing the hours of operation from three hours to five hours per visit, and providing an exemption for the sale of fresh produce.

9:55 p.m.

Rezoning of 3100 Haupt Rd. (Barracks II)

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the rezoning of 108.88 acres at 3100 Haupt Rd. (Barracks II), which is generally located north of the Buena Vida Subdivision between Old Wellborn Road and Holleman Drive South, to allow additional uses, including a commercial wakeboard ski facility, administrative offices, a maximum 3,500 square foot restaurant and related retail sales.

8:40 p.m.

Rezoning of 3182 Holleman Dr.

After a public hearing, the council approved by a 6-0 vote the rezoning of 5.379 acres at 3182 Holleman Drive South within the University Heights Subdivision Phase 5, which is generally located north of the Las Palomas Subdivision, for multi-family housing. Councilmember Julie Schultz recused herself for a conflict of interest.

8:37 p.m.

Rezoning of 1024 and 1026 Foster Ave.

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the rezoning of .73 acres at 1024 and 1026 Foster Ave., generally located at the intersection of Foster and Francis Drive in the College Hills Estates Subdivision, to allow the construction of a 17-unit apartment building.

8:19 p.m.

Rezoning of 2849 Barron Rd.

After a public hearing, the council approved by a 5-1 vote the rezoning of 3.19 acres at 2849 Barron Road, which is generally located north of the Sonoma Subdivision at the corner of Barron Road and William D. Fitch Parkway with the requirement that the developer build a multi-use path. Councilmember Jess Field voted against the motion, and Julie Schultz recused herself because of a conflict of interest.

An earlier motion to rezone the property to allow the path to be built at a later time was defeated, 4-2, with Councilmembers Jess Fields and Karl Mooney voting for the motion. Julie Schultz recused herself because of a conflict of interest.

7:56 p.m.

Old Arrington Road Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the abandonment of a 1.18-acre portion of right-of-way on Old Arrington Road right-of-way.

7:49 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved these consent agenda items:

  • A Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt for the Dexter Drive Sidewalk project.
  • A Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt for the State Highway 30-Copperfield Signal and Intersection Modifications project.
  • A resolution accepting the 2009 Homeland Security Grant Adjustment Notice from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
  • An Advanced Funding Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to powdercoat new signal poles at the intersection of University Drive and Copperfield as part of TxDOT’s project to widen University Drive from Highway 6 to FM 158. The estimated cost of the city’s participation is not to exceed $4,000.
  • An easement agreement renewal with the Texas A&M University System for the operation and maintenance of the traffic signal at Olsen Road and George Bush Drive.
  • A real estate contract worth $60,448 for the purchase of a 2.377-acre right-of-way and a 1.058-acre public utility easement needed for the Rock Prairie Road East Widening Design and Right-of-way Project.
  • An expenditure of not more than $100,000 in Fiscal Year 2012 to purchase SCADA equipment from the Reynolds Company. These items were exempt from competitive bidding.
  • The renewal of landscape maintenance contracts worth $508,434.22 with Green Teams ($266,629.22), Rainbow Gardens ($90,252), Landscape USA ($50,205), Roots ($12,240) and ProGreen ($81,728). Included are change orders to add additional sites.
  • The cancellation of a $31,650 award to Texas Electric Cooperatives for 15 transformers and approval of a new $31,755 award to HD Supply Utilities.
  • A contract worth $204,000 with Jones & Carter, Inc., for the design of the East Side Sewer Service Project.
  • The third and final reading of a non-exclusive franchise agreement with Waste Management Health Care Solutions, Inc. for the collection and disposal of treated and untreated medical waste from various health care-related facilities.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan for the application and acceptance of a 2012 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

This item was pulled for a separate vote.

  • By a 6-1 vote, the council approved a real estate contract for the sale of city property at 4214 Cripple Creek, which includes an affordable home. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.

7:46 p.m.

The hear visitors portion of the regular meeting has ended. Twelve people spoke about the Lick Creek Greenways Trail and another submitted a written statement.

7:12 p.m.

The council recognized May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month and Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month. Mayor Nancy Berry presented the first proclamation to Jeffrey Francis of the Iron Wolf Motorcycle Club, and the second to Natali Ocampo, who is a psychology major and member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. She also is in the Army National Guard.

7:04 p.m.

The council tabled the rest of the workshop agenda to move onto the  regular meeting.

7:03 p.m.

Northgate Area Development Activities

The council heard an update on the recent significant development activity in the Northgate District area. These private development projects have an estimated new construction value of about $240 million and will house an additional 3,000 residents and more than 90,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation they received:

6:36 p.m.

HOT Funds for Wayfinding Program

The council approved by a 6-1 vote the use of $256,000 in hotel occupancy tax funds for the first phase of the wayfinding program implemented by the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion. In 2005, the BCSCVB and the cities of Bryan and College Station began developing a wayfinding program to provide an easy-to-follow signage system to help visitors find area attractions, facilities, districts and other destinations. The project was suspended due to cost and scope overruns. After Texas A&M announced its new alignment with the Southeastern Conference last fall, the project was resurrected in anticipation of thousands of new visitors and fans coming to the area in 2012.

With a proposed budget of $400,000, the first phase of the program could be in place by September, with proportional funding from each city’s hotel occupancy tax revenue. Seven destinations are proposed in College Station and four in Bryan. As a result, College Station’s portion is $256,000 and Bryan’s portion is $144,000.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:06 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

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