Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 8)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 8. 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 meeting has started. Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmembers Blanche Brick and James Benham are absent.

6:30 p.m.

Wastewater Master Plan Update (Northgate)

The council heard a presentation on a Wastewater Master Plan update that’s intended to keep up with new development in the Northgate area. Wastewater capacity is adequate to serve currently planned developments, but infrastructure upgrades will be needed before additional developments can occur. Improvements will be to the Hensel Park Lift Station and the Northeast Trunk Line.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:01 p.m.

Proposed Budget Lowers Tax Rate

The council was presented with the proposed FY14 city budget, which includes a reduced property tax rate for the third straight year and no increases in electric, water, wastewater, drainage or residential sanitation rates. A 15 percent increase is proposed for commercial sanitation rates, which haven’t changed since 2006. The proposed tax rate of .425958 cents per $100 valuation would be College Station’s lowest since 1993.

The proposed budget totals about $255.4 million, a one percent increase from the $253.4 million budgeted in FY13. A public budget hearing is scheduled for the Aug. 22 council meeting, with budget adoption set for Sept. 12. The council will review the proposed budget at a series of workshops from Aug. 19-21.

Proposed FY14 City of College Station Budget

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:02 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and the regular meeting has started.

7:04 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one signed up to speak during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council about items that don’t appear on the posted agenda.

7:10 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved these consent agenda items:

  • Moved the council meeting scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 to Monday, Oct. 7.
  • A change order of $105,427.80 to a contract with HDR Engineering for the preliminary engineering report on Phase 2 of the University Drive Pedestrian Improvement Project.
  • An inter-local agreement with with Texas A&M to split the cost of a $100,000 football game day traffic study that will be used to reduce traffic congestion before and after Aggie games.
  • A $99,223 contract with Freese and Nichols for a football game day traffic study. The city and Texas A&M will split the cost.
  • An amendment to an inter-local agreement with Texas A&M to provide sewer service to each other’s facilities in various locations.
  • The internal auditor’s Fire Department asset management audit.
  • The first renewal of copying and printing price agreements with Tops Printing ($40,000), Copy Corner ($40,000), Office Depot ($20,000) and Cerqa ($20,000).
  • Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22 at city hall regarding the city’s proposed FY14 budget.
  • Bid awards of $81,350 to KBS and $112,243 to Priester-Mell & Nicholson for various pad-mounted distribution transformers to be maintained in inventory.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate the purchase of an easement for the 30-Inch Transmission Line Reinstallation Project.

These consent item were voted on separately:

  • By a 3-1 vote, the council approved a $3.93 million contract with Dudley Construction for two synthetic turf athletic fields at Veterans Park. The fields will help the city attract additional athletic events to benefit the local economy. Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.
  • By a 3-1 vote, the council approved the FY14 Community Development Action Plan and budget, which includes about $1.4 million in new federal grants to benefit those with low and moderate incomes.  Councilmember Jess Fields voted against the motion.

7:14 p.m.

Easement Abandonments on Graham Road

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the abandonment of a 5,077-square foot public utility easement and a 624-square foot public utility easement at 1846 Graham Road to allow for the development of a hotel.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:04 p.m.

Rezoning at Bridgewood and Barron Crossing

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the rezoning of 75.07 acres located south of William D. Fitch Parkway between Barron Road and Victoria Avenue. The zoning changes from Single-Family Residential/Agricultural Open to Planned Development District. Proposed development includes residential and Suburban Commercial land uses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:04 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned, and the workshop will resume.

8:12 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop was adjourned. The council meets again Aug. 22.

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