Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Nov. 14)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 14. 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.

Aldrich, Berry Take Oaths of Office 

Earlier today, the council canvassed the votes from the Nov. 5 election, and Steve Aldrich and Nancy Berry were sworn into office by municipal judge Ed Spillane.


Aldrich takes over the Place 2 seat that was vacated when Jess Fields decided not to run for re-election. Berry was ran unopposed for a second term as mayor.


Farewell to Fields

A short reception was held to honor Fields, who was elected in 2010 as a 22-year-old student at Texas A&M. He was the youngest council member in the city’s history.  Fields is pictured below with his infant daughter, Lacey.


6:18 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Steve Aldrich and Kelly Templin are attending their first council meeting in their official capacities — Aldrich as a councilmember and Templin as city manager.

6:52 p.m.

High Speed Railway Update

The council received a presentation from Texas Central Railway President Robert Eckles on plans to build a high-speed, high-tech between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston in the next decade. At around 200 miles per hour, the bullet train could travel between the two metropolitan areas in about 90 minutes. Texas Central Railway, a private, for-profit Texas company, is working closely with Central Japan Railway to use the N700-I Bullet Train system.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:05 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop was recessed. The regular meeting will start momentarily.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:10 p.m.

University Title Company Recognition

The council recognized University Title Company as a sponsor of the historical exhibit at the Bush Library that celebrates the 75th anniversary of College Station’s incorporation as a city. University Title was unable to attend a sponsor recognition event at the library on Tuesday. Mayor Berry presented Celia Goode-Haddock with a framed copy of the city’s 75th anniversary poster signed by the mayors of College Station from the last five decades.

7:15 p.m.

Scott & White B/CS Marathon Day

The council recognized Dec. 8 as Scott & White B/CS Marathon Day.

7:17 p.m.

Nurse Practitioners Week

The council proclaimed this week as Nurse Practitioners Week.

7:21 p.m.

Ashley Michalsky Recognition

The council recognized Ashley Michalsky, customer services coordinator for the municipal court, for recently receiving the distinguished service award from the Texas Court Clerks Association. Mayor Berry proclaimed today “Ashley Michalsky Day” in College Station.

7:32 p.m. 

Hear Visitors

Two people and one group spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. The group represented the Brazos Valley Symphony, Brazos Valley Chorale and the Texas A&M Century Singers. They thanked the city for its support and dedicated their Dec. 24 performance in honor of the city’s 75th anniversary. The second speaker discussed city regulations on how many unrelated people can live in a residence, and the third talked about city regulations regarding bed and breakfasts.

7:33 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • An annual blanket purchase order of $55,000 with Chastang’s Bayou City Ford for the purchase of replacement parts for repairs on city sanitation vehicles.
  • Renewal of a contract not to exceed $544,720 with Brazos Paving for the annual concrete curb, gutter and flatwork blanket purchase order.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation’s advance funding agreement with Northpointe Crossing.
  • A contract not to exceed $814,597 with Spherion Staffing for an Enterprise Resource Planning Project Manager. This contract replaces the contract approved in July.
  • A contract for $587,500 with Blastco Texas to recoat and repair the 5 million gallon water storage tank.
  • A bid award to the lowest responsible bidder for the purchase of materials for the F&B Double Circuit Electric Feeder Project, which will be maintained in inventory until the time of the project.
  • A bid award of $291,030 to Techline for the purchase of concrete poles for the F&B Double Circuit Electric Feeder Project.
  • A bid award of $528,328.58 to the lowest responsible bidder for the annual purchase of transformers.

7:56 p.m.

Lincoln Recreation Center Expansion 

The council voted unanimously to endorse the conceptual design for the $4.3 million Lincoln Recreation Center Expansion, which was approved by voters in the 2008 bond election. The original scope of the project included an 8,000-10,000-square foot facility expansion. As part of the preliminary design, staff did condition and use assessments of the existing facility, which confirmed that the structure is in good condition but needs updates, and that renovations are necessary for operational flexibility and more efficient use of space. Asbestos also was identified in the several locations.

As a result, staff is recommending a 15,000-square foot facility that will include a new gym and meeting/activity rooms. The renovations to the existing building and the addition of the new facility will provide operational flexibility and provide additional meeting space.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:32 p.m.

Lane Use Change for 1201 Norton Lane

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 against a motion to change the land use designation of about 5.4 acres at 1201 Norton Lane – located the corner of Norton and Wellborn Road – from estate to general commercial. Mayor Berry and councilmembers James Benham and Julie Schultz voted for the motion. Two people spoke against the designation change during the public hearing, and one spoke for the motion.

8:56 p.m.

Land Use Change for 1600 University Dr.

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the land use designation of about 4.4 acres at 1600 University Dr. – located at the corner of University and Glenhaven Drive – from institution/public to general commercial to allow for development by Pappas Restaurants.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:00 p.m.

Cedar Creek Plaza Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to re-zone about 7.4 acres at 2900 N. Graham Rd. from planned development district to business park industrial to allow for development.

9:09 p.m.

Impact Fee Update 

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to accept a report to update specific impact fees and amend associated land use assumptions and the capital improvements plan. The affected impact fees are Graham Road Sewer, Spring Creek Sewer, Alum Creek Sewer, Harley Water and Steeplechase.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:58 p.m.

Municipal Utility Districts

The council discussed a policy on the creation, operation, and dissolution of municipal utility districts located within the city’s incorporated limits or its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

10:13 p.m.

Game Day Housing

The council discussed city regulations of short-term rentals of homes in residential areas and possible revisions to the same. Increased attendance at Texas A&M football games has stimulated interest in the short-term rental of homes in residential areas of the city. City code generally classifies such uses as a hotel or bed and breakfast and limits their applicability in residential neighborhoods, essentially prohibiting hotels and limiting the operations of bed and breakfast establishments. Staff suggested that it come back with a new permitted use that would address vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and motels/hotels.

10:13 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The council meets again Monday, Nov. 25.

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