Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 24)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 24. 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.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

Tonight’s meeting offers us our first opportunity to allow a city council member to fully participate in an open meeting via video. New state law requires governmental bodies to provide for two-way communication that allows all participants to hear and see one another, including the public.

Barring technical glitches, Place-6 Councilman James Benham will be participating in tonight’s meetings from New York City. Mr. Benham “poses” below with Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilwoman Julie Schultz:


6:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Only one item was pulled for workshop discussion:

  • Updated Drought Contingency Plan: The council will consider adopting an updated Water Conservation Plan and approving changes to the city’s Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan. Included are updated drought stage triggers that more accurately reflect stress caused by high demand or a water supply emergency.
  • Broadband Agreement with BVCOG: This item is for the purchase of broadband networking services through the Brazos County Council of Governments. Adoption of the agreement does not commit the city to any funding commitment, but the city expects to purchase 50 megabytes of bandwidth access per month at a cost of $1,100 per month.
  •  Electronic Storage Upgrade: The project is essentially complete, but this item would declare the city’s intention to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt.
  • Aggies Go to War Exhibit: The council will consider approving $225,000 in hotel tax funding for the Aggies Go to War exhibit. The funding agreement would be with the Research Valley Partnership.

6:48 p.m.

Play for All Inclusive Playground

The council unanimously endorsed a proposed inclusive playground at Beachy Central Park for children with special needs. The park project is a joint effort of the city, the Rotary Club of College Station and the College Station Noon Lions Club.Texas A&M landscape architecture students helped develop the concept plan last fall.

Click here to read Parks and Recreation Director David Schmitz’s blog on the playground.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:05 p.m.

Radio Repeaters for CSFD

The council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of radio repeaters for front line fire response vehicles. The current system has problems transmitting from inside many local buildings, creating a safety issue for firefighters. The repeaters enhance safety and improve the reliability of critical communications. A test repeater already has been installed and the Fire Department has funding in the current budget for two more. It will request 11 additional repeaters in FY15 at a cost of $29,700.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:27 p.m.

FY15 Budget Update

The council was updated on the city’s FY15 budget process and reviewed key budget policies. City staff will prepare the proposed budget in June and July, and will present it to the council in August. Following a series of budget workshops and public hearings, the council will adopt the budget on Sept. 25.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7;38 p.m.

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

 7:46 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

 7:49 p.m.

Municipal Clerks Week

Mayor Berry proclaimed May 4-10 as Municipal Clerks Week, which is designed to increase public awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide. Pictured below from the College Station City Secretary’s Office are (l-r) Deputy Local Registrar Faye Scott, Records Management Coordinator Ian Whittendon, Berry, City Secretary Sherry Mashburn, Deputy City Secretary Tanya McNutt and Secretary Samantha Klein.


7:50 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

 7:51 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved these consent items:

  • An inter-local agreement with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments for broadband networking services.
  • A bid renewal not to exceed $60,303.66 with ProSTAR Industries for the purchase of janitorial supplies.
  • A contract not to exceed $140,000 with Kegley for the annual crack sealing of city streets.
  • A contract not to exceed $148,750 with Brazos Paving for the annual concrete joint sealing of city streets.
  • A $116,440 bid award to Bayer Construction for improvements to the school zones at A&M Consolidated High School.
  • The city’s updated Water Conservation Plan, as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  • The city’s Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan.
  • A resolution declaring intention to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt for the electronic storage upgrade project.
  • Annual water meter purchases estimated at $224,499.54 from Aqua Metric Sales Company through the Houston-Galveston Area Council contract.
  • A funding agreement with the Research Valley Partnership to provide $225,000 in Hotel Tax Funds for the Aggies Go to War exhibit, and approval of the RVP budget for the project.
  • A resolution authorizing the mayor to approve the plan of finance, the issuance of New Hope Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation Student Housing Revenue Bonds, and the project to be acquired with the proceeds of such bonds.
  • The Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System operating budget for FY15 and the city’s quarterly payments of about $53,602 for an annual total of $214,406, and the BVWACS capital equipment replacement reserve fund budget for FY15 and the city’s payment of $63,329.
  • A bid award for $256,955.82 to Vox Construction for the 2014 Community Development Block Grant Neighborhood Sidewalk Project.

7:52 p.m.

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

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