Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (March 28)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 28. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:07 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:08 p.m.

Simpson named city manager

Frank SimpsonThe council unanimously voted to select Frank Simpson as city manager. Simpson was named interim city manager in January when David Neeley retired. He had served as deputy city manager since 2011, overseeing  Public Works, Water Services, and the Electric Utility. Simpson came to the City of College Station after serving as city manager of Missouri City for seven years (2004-11). He previously served as city manager of Webster (2001-04) and Center (1995-01), and was an assistant city manager in La Marque (1994-95).

Simpson began his long municipal government career as a public utilities worker for the City of College Station in 1986 while attending Texas A&M. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1988 and a master’s in public administration from A&M in 1990. Simpson worked in various administrative capacities with the City of College Station from 1989-93. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children.

6:56 p.m.

City Software Upgrade

The council unanimously accepted a report and recommendations from BerryDunn Consultants about the city’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The complete report is available on pages 6-62 of the council’s workshop packet.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:57 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and the council will take a short break. The council will resume the workshop agenda at the end of the regular meeting, which will begin momentarily.

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Fire Chief R.B. Alley led the Pledge of Allegiance and the opening prayer.

7:14 p.m.

The council recognized Texas A&M University Police Chief Elmer Schneider, Jr., who is retiring after more than 40 years. College Station Police Chief Jeff Capps expressed his appreciation to Schneider and Mayor Nancy Berry presented him with a proclamation honoring his service. Pictured  Pictured below are Chief Capps, Dee Ann Schneider, Chief Schneider and Mayor Berry.

Elmer Schneider Presentation

7:19 p.m.

The council heard a presentation from the Aggieland Humane Society on its donation of dog park equipment.

7:32 p.m.

Five people spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Four spoke against the proposed private landfill west of the city, and one spoke against the paving of McCullough Road.

7:37 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved these consent agenda items:

  • A $2.27 million contract with Elliott Construction for Phase 1 of the Bee Creek Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Rehabilitation.
  • A $1.45 million contract with Glenn Fuqua, Inc., for the Bird Pond Road Rehabilitation Project.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate for the purchase of right-of-way needed for the University Drive Pedestrian Improvement Project.
  • A ground lease from the Texas A&M University System for property for an electric substation, an interIocal agreement with Texas A&M providing the terms and conditions for the substation, and the release of an existing right-of-way easement.
  • A bid award and contract for $735,545 with WEG Electric Corp. for the purchase of a transformer for the new Northgate Substation.
  • A city participation agreement of $67,101.59 for waterline improvements in the Northpoint Crossing Subdivision.
  • An agreement to sell reclaimed water to Pebble Creek Country Club.
  • Police safety equipment and supplies from Smith & Wesson ($56,551.35); rifle accessories, ammunition and tactical vests for SWAT from GT Distributors ($100,560.32); and tactical vests for patrol from ArmorUP ($23,220.00).

These consent items were voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-1 to authorized city staff to negotiate for the purchase of right-of-way needed for the University Drive Pedestrian Improvement Project. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.
  • The council unanimously approved a city participation agreement of $67,101.59 for waterline improvements in the Northpoint Crossing Subdivision.
  • The council unanimously approved changes to the city’s animal control ordinances.
  • The council voted 6-1 to approve the transfer of surplus radio equipment to the City of Brenham. Councilmember Fields voted against the motion.

7:57 p.m.

Budget Amendment 

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a $961,834 amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 budget that includes these items:

  • $451,781 for or the addition of two police officers and the purchase of additional police equipment, including patrol rifles and bulletproof vests.
  • $325,000 to cover higher-than-projected claims cost in the Workers’ Compensation Fund.
  • $66,959 for security improvements at the Public Works Service Center , including access card reader controls ($49,940) and closed-circuit video monitoring of the surrounding parking areas and fuel area ($17,019).
  • $18,094 for the replacement of 12 microphones and the Digital Signal Processors and amplifiers in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • $100,000 (including a $50,000 interfund transfer) to cover the additional costs of a two-course seal coat on McCullough Road, Live Oak Street, Madison Street, Church Street and Royder Road in the Wellborn area.

For a complete description of these items, see pages 127-128 in the council’s regular agenda packet.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:19 p.m.

Highway 6 South Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve the rezoning of 7.547 acres at 4080 State Highway 6 South to allow for development. Mayor Berry voted against the motion.

8:23 p.m.

Right-of-Way Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an ordinance abandoning a 0.10-acre right-of-way in the College Heights Subdivision.

8:23 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The council will resume the workshop agenda.

8:31 p.m.

Wellborn Area Plan

The council received an update on the Wellborn Area Plan that is being developed to address community character, land use, and mobility. Area residents, landowners and business owners have provided guidance for the plan’s goals, strategies and actions. This plan is the fourth neighborhood, district and corridor planning effort since the city’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2009. The plan is scheduled for adoption after a public hearing on April 25.

Here is the PowerPoint Presentation received by the council:

8:40 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the meeting was adjourned. The council meets again April 11.

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