Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Sept. 22)

gavel[1]By Colin Killian, Public Communications Office

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Sept. 22. 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.

5:31 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

5:52 p.m.

Council Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. These items were pulled for workshop discussion:

  1. Police Tasers and Body Cameras: This item would provide bicycle and motorcycle police officers with body cameras and deploying additional Tasers on patrol.
  2. Game Day Traffic Control: This item is a $54,389 bid for traffic control equipment for the final four Texas A&M home football games.
  3. Bridgewood Water Line ImprovementsThis item is a $282,353 city participation agreement with the developer for roadway and water line improvements in the Bridgewood Subdivision, including the new Spring Creek Elementary School.
  4. University Drive Improvements: This item is an advanced funding agreement with TxDOT for the design of raised medians and pedestrian improvements on University Drive from Texas Avenue to Tarrow Street.

6:08 p.m. 

City Facilities Risk Assessment

The council heard a presentation from Internal Auditor Ty Elliott on his risk assessment of city facilities. Of the city’s 36 facilities, city hall poses the most risks, according to Elliott. He recommended that significant investment be made regarding city hall to mitigate risks associated with safety, security, efficiency and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

6:23 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items and committee reports, the workshop meeting was adjourned. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:02 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:09 p.m.

Proclamations

Mayor Nancy Berry presented a proclamation recognizing Sept. 21 as Alzheimer’s Awareness Day, when Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrated their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Accepting the proclamation from Mayor Nancy Berry (below) were three members of the Alzheimer Association’s Houston & Southwest Texas Chapter: volunteer Susan Pennington, Outreach Coordinator Julie Kutac, and volunteer Melody Adams.

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Mayor Berry also recognized Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 5-11, 2014). On Oct. 7, the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Brazos Valley will host its Celebration of Hope and Discovery event and invites the public to attend and support efforts aimed at improving lives of persons and families affected by mental illness. Accepting the proclamation from Mayor Nancy Berry (below) were board member Janice McBride and Executive Director Jody Shultz.

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7:09 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.

7:10 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • Rejected of all proposals received for the Electric Substation Automation and Enhancement Project.
  • A master agreement not to exceed $150,000 with The Reynolds Company for Rockwell Automation products and services.
  • A city participation agreement for $282,353 for the roadway and water line improvements in the Bridgewood Subdivision.
  • FY15 funds for items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for interlocal contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $50,000.
  • An increase in Emergency Medical Services fees.
  • An amendment to the letter agreement with Ingram, Wallis & Co. for professional auditing services for FY14.
  • Second renewal of a $230,000 contract with Xpedient Mail for printing and mailing of utility bills, final notices and inserts.
  • An award bid not to exceed $136,992 to Cleveland Asphalt Products to provide emulsified asphalt products for street maintenance.
  • Second renewal of a $57,931 contract with JNA Painting and Contracting for interior and exterior painting of city buildings.
  • An increase of $330,000 in solid waste disposal fees to the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency.
  • A consultant contract for $232,350 with Kimley-Horn and Associates for a preliminary engineering report on the Eastgate Utility Rehabilitation Phase IV Project.
  • An advance funding agreement with the State of Texas, acting through the Texas Department of Transportation, for the design of raised medians and pedestrian improvements on University Drive.
  • A $219,516 contract with Gattis Engineering for the detailed design of the University Drive Raised Median Project.
  • Rejection of a bid for traffic control for the first two Texas A&M home football games, and the award of a $54,389 bid to N-Line Traffic Control for traffic control equipment rental for the last four A&M home football games.
  • Three contracts with TASER International for Tasers and body cameras for the College Station Police Department.
  • The city’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance, property/boiler & machinery, commercial crime, EMT liability, and auto property damage policies for FY14. Premiums for all lines of coverage for FY15 are $454,832.86.
  • A real estate agreement for the purchase of right-of-way along Rock Prairie Road between State Highway 6 and Normand Drive.

7:13 p.m.

Change of Zoning Boundaries

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning district boundaries from Rural to General Commercial and Overlay for a .48-acre tract at 960 William D. Fitch Pkwy. to allow for development.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

7:18 p.m.

FY14 Budget Amendment No. 5

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a $7.66 million amendment to the FY14 budget, most of which comes from the Electric Utility Fund to cover higher-than-expected purchased power and wheeling charges. Wheeling is the transfer of electrical power from another utility’s service area.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

7:58 p.m.

Temporary Parking Removal on First Street

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to postpone a decision to temporarily remove parking along the 300 block of First Street. The closure would be from Nov. 10-July 1, and would accommodate nearby construction and ensure access for emergency vehicles.

Council asked staff to work with the developer and the Northgate District Association to replace the 10 lost parking spaces with additional spaces elsewhere in the area, bringing back a workable solution to the Oct. 9 council meeting.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:31 p.m.

Comp Plan Evaluation & Appraisal

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to accept the Comprehensive Plan Five-Year Evaluation and Appraisal Report, which includes about 65 recommended modifications. Public outreach included an online survey, a public open house meeting, focus groups, and a public review.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:38 p.m.

FY15 Budget Adoption

The council voted unanimously to adopt the city’s $253.1 million FY15 budget and also voted unanimously to ratify the property tax increase. A public hearing on the proposed budget was held Sept. 11.

During a series of budget workshops in August, the council increased the proposed budget by $47,018. Specific changes are outlined in the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:43 p.m.

FY15 Tax Rate Adoption

The council voted unanimously to adopt a new property tax rate of 45.25 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The 2.6-cent increase will generate about $1.6 million in additional revenue that will be used for public safety and transportation-related infrastructure. Property taxes are used to fund the city’s general debt service and part of the operations and maintenance costs of the General Fund.

Public hearings on the tax rate were conducted Sept. 3 and Sept. 11.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:51 p.m.

Commercial Sanitation Rate

The council unanimously approved a 15 percent rate increase for commercial sanitation collection services to cover rising fuel costs. The rate increase is expected to generate about $389,261 in revenue.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

8:51 p.m.

Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Committee  

The council unanimously approved the appointment of Brandon Boatcallie and Jon Denton to the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Committee.

8:51 p.m.

The regular meeting has been adjourned. The next regular meeting is Oct. 9.

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