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

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

6:00 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:18 p.m.

National Sojourners Presentation

College Station Cemetery Sexton Bob Hole (pictured below just over Mayor Nancy Berry’s right shoulder) was recognized by Brazos Valley Chapter 378 of National Sojourners for his work to identify veteran graves for flag placement and collection twice each year. More than 800 graves are marked at the College Station City Cemetery, the Aggie Field of Honor and Memorial Cemetery. Also recognizing Mr. Hole were representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Children of the American Revolution, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans. 

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6:45 p.m.

Northgate Parking Rates

The council was briefed on the city manager’s changes to Northgate District parking rates. The Northgate parking fund has never operated at full cost recovery. Staff believes that focusing on peak rates and special events will raise the revenue needed to close the fiscal gap while having a minimal impact on Northgate businesses.

In June, the council’s Budget and Finance Committee recommended approval of adjustments to the parking garage game day rate, the surface parking lot peak rate, and charging for parking at the street meters during peak hours. The committee also agreed to offer free weekday parking from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. on the promenade surface lot with conditions. Staff worked closely with the Northgate District Association on the new rate structure. The new rates are expected to be implemented by August 19.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:56 p.m.

Economic Development Master Plan

The council received an update on the city’s Economic Development Master Plan. A consultant team has helped staff develop the plan as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. The council has previously received presentations on the plane’s first two phases. Phase I identified existing conditions, trends, opportunities, challenges and barriers to economic development. Phase II reviewed the city’s economic incentive program, economic development structure, current districts, redevelopment areas, and included an overview of a recent business survey.

Phase III, which will serve as the formal Economic Development Master Plan, includes six strategic initiatives, goals, strategies, and actions to seize opportunities and overcome challenges. Council is expected to continue the discussion with a public hearing on August 8.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:03 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop was adjourned.

7:04 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Councilmembers James Benham and John Nichols are absent tonight.

7:06 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

7:09 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The consent agenda consist of “housekeeping” items that require council approval.

The council unanimously approved these consent items:

  • A contract for $44,145 with Cherwell Software for software licensing, and a contract of $43,401 with Flycast Partners for services to configure and implement the software. The total project cost is $87,546.
  • A contract not to exceed $526,000 with Knife River for the purchase and installation of hot mix asphalt.
  • Changed the traffic control at the Park Place-Fairview Avenue intersection from a two-way to a four-way stop.
  • A change order of $6,462 to a contract with Green Teams for landscape maintenance.
  • A bid award of $66,530.46 to Greenville Transformer Company for annual transformer repair and rebuild services.
  • A commercial loading zone in a portion of the Northgate promenade parking lot and adjusted parking rates.
  • Contracts for $55,511.74 and $19,703.59 with Siemens Industries ($75,215.33 total) for purchasing and installing security equipment at the Northgate and Switch Station substations.
  • An ongoing agreement for emergency medical service and emergency ambulance transport with the City of Bryan, South Brazos County Fire Department, and volunteer fire departments from Brazos County Precincts 2, 3 and 4.
  • An amendment to the current lease with DVA Renal Healthcare, formerly  known as Gambro Healthcare, in the Chimney Hill Shopping Center.

The council approved of these consent items with a 6-1 vote, with Councilmember Jess Fields voting against all three motions:

  • A contract not to exceed $814,597 with Spherion for an Enterprise Resource Planning project manager.
  • A Substantial Amendment to the 2012 Annual Action Plan that includes moving $1.33 million from the New Construction Project to Community Housing Development Organization Reserve. The funds will be used for the acquisition, development and construction of affordable housing units or the rehabilitation of existing housing units.
  • Designated the executive director of Planning and Development Services to sign all required Action Plan applications, grant agreements, certifications, evaluations, and other forms and agreements required by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for all Community Planning and Development Grant Programs for program years 2007-12.
7:38 p.m.
Budget Amendment No. 3

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to amend the FY13 budget by about $1.81 million. The amendment adds a regular full-time position, and includes three inter-fund transfers and a contingency transfer. A detailed listing of items in the amendment can be found on pages 67-69 of tonight’s agenda packet. Council voted 6-1 to include a $151,419 amendment for ERP consulting services and project management. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:41 p.m.

Northgate Micro-Wineries and Breweries

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to allow micro-wineries or micro-breweries in certain areas of Northgate. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:45 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee Appointments

The council unanimously appointed Louis Hodges and Ken Rogers to the Historic Preservation Committee, which helps collect and preserve the city’s history.

7:45 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The council meets again August 8.

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