Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 25)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 25. 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.

6:01 p.m.

The workshop has started. Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmember James Benham are absent tonight.

6:31 p.m.

CSU Electric Reliability Award

The council recognized College Station Utilities for its recent award from American Public Power Association for providing the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. CSU was one of only four public power utilities in Texas to earn the award. Pictured below are (l-r) Matt Marek, electric transmission distribution supervisor; Timothy Crabb, director of electric utilities; Tony Michalsky, assistant director of electric utilities; Mayor Pro-Tem Karl Mooney; and Jon Blalock, utility dispatch operations superintendent.

CSU Electric Staff

6:45 p.m.

Electric Outage Viewer

The council heard a presentation about College Station Utilities’ new web-based outage viewer  that enables customers to access real-time electric outage information. The viewer is part of CSU’s new outage reporting system, which began operating in March. The viewer map shows where outages are occurring, number of affected customers, estimated time of repair, and if a crew has been assigned. The viewer also can be accessed with smartphones and tablets that have the appropriate data capabilities.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:56 p.m.

2013 Bond Sale and Refunding 

The council heard a presentation on the city’s 2013 bond sale and refunding, and financing structure. The city plans to issue $9.25 million in General Obligation Bonds and $10.45 million in Certificates of Obligation Bonds in Fiscal Year 2013. Refunding is issuing new debt to replace and pay off existing debt. Refunding some of its bonds from 2005 could save the city about $1.5 million due to lower interest rates.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:59 p.m.

After the council discussed the council calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop was adjourned. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:10 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Zac Watson of Boy Scout Troop 977 led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Fire Chief R.B. Alley led the opening prayer. Zac and his fellow scouts are sponsored by First United Methodist Church in Bryan.

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Boy Scout Troop 977

7:26 p.m.

Fire Department’s Alley, Gunnels Honored

The council recognized Fire Chief R.B. Alley III for being named the Texas Fire Chiefs Association’s Fire Chief of the Year, and Captain Paul Gunnels for receiving the group’s President’s Award for Excellence for his work and leadership in establishing the Best Practices Recognition Program. Alley and Gunnels are pictured below with Mayor Pro-Tem Karl Mooney.

Fire Department Recognitions

7:27 p.m.

No one signed up to speak during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item not on the posted agenda.

7:36 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 4-1 to remove this item from the consent agenda to be voted on at a later meeting when all seven council members are present. Councilmember Julie Schultz voted against the motion:

  • A contract for $281,500 with Ray + Hollington Architects, Inc., for the development of the Lick Creek Park Nature Center.

The council unanimously (5-0) approved these consent agenda items:

  • Annual contracts with Green Teams, Inc. ($562,483), Roots Landscaping, LLC ($17,500) and Landscaping, LLC ($17,500) for landscape maintenance of city sites.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate the purchase of right-of-way and an easement for the Barron Road East Extension Project.
  • An Advance Funding Agreement amendment with the Texas Department of Transportation for the Rock Prairie Road Bridge Improvements Project.
  • A resolution supporting development of the State Highway 249 Corridor.
  • A contract for $186,289 with DELTAWRX to lead the city through the replacement of the current Computer Aided Dispatch, Police Records Management system and several ancillary systems.
  • Directed publication of Notice of Intention to Issue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2013.
  • A contract for $314,495 with Trusty Construction Co. for the replacement of rotten wooden utility power poles.
  • A contract for $140,850 with Allco LLC, for construction of a prefabricated restroom building at the G. Hysmith Skate Park.
  • A contract for $83,097.87 with Evans Enterprises Inc., to recondition water transfer pumps 1, 2 and 3 at the Sandy Point Pump Station.
  • An price agreement of $122,242.43 with BWI Companies for the annual purchase of athletic field maintenance materials including fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, winter over-seed, infield material, grass seed and turf amendments.
  • A contract for $101,419 with BerryDunn to lead the RFP process for the replacement of the city’s current ERP system.

The council pulled this item for a separate vote:

  • Voted 4-1 to approve a $25,000 funding agreement for FY13 with the Research Valley Partnership (RVP) for the Gig U project. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.

8:21 p.m.

Wellborn Community Plan

After a public hearing, the council unanimously (5-0) approved the Wellborn Community Plan for the area generally located within the boundaries of Capstone Drive, I&GN Road, Barron Cut-off Road, Greens Prairie Road West, Royder Road and FM 2154.

For more than a year, staff has worked with area residents to develop a plan to address land use, design, and mobility. The plan includes 19 tasks for the next 6-10 years, including amendments to the Future Land Use and Character Map, creation of new zoning districts, intersection and thoroughfare improvements, new sidewalks and bicycle improvements.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:25 p.m.

Public Utility Easement Abandonment 

After a public hearing, the council unanimously (5-0) approved the abandonment of a 0.0707 acre, 10-foot wide public utility easement in the Williams Creek Subdivision to allow for the development of a single-family home.

8:40 p.m.

Campus Pointe Agreement with TAMUS

The council unanimously (5-0) approved an agreement with the Texas A&M University System related to the System’s Campus Pointe development north of University Drive between Texas Avenue and College Avenue. The city has interests in traffic access and mobility, drainage, pedestrian connectivity and utilities. As part of the agreement, A&M will cover water and wastewater services and the city will provide electric service. As a private development, the property will be taxable.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:40 p.m.

The meeting has been adjourned. The council meets again May 9.

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