Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Jan. 22)

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

6:06 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

6:14 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Traffic Signal Controllers: The Intelligent Traffic Systems Master Plan includes the purchase of 80 traffic signal controllers for $200,000 to replace existing controllers and improve the functionality of the traffic signal system. Because the traffic signal controller has a long production lead time, staff is recommending this item be purchased now to expedite delivery. The rest of the equipment can be ordered later and scheduled to arrive at the same time as the controllers.
  • Health Department Ordinance: An amendment to the city’s code of ordinances regarding permits for food establishments would make the ordinance consistent with other local entities. The first change states that if a food establishment is found to be operating without a permit, it must close immediately until a permit is issued. It also provides for a re-inspection fee. The second change addresses permit suspension and clarifies the time frame that a permit may be revoked after a third suspension in a 12-month period. It also addresses the process for getting a new permit issued. The final change states that failure to pay permit fees and other related fees when due may result in a permit suspension.

6:33 p.m.

ERP Replacement Project Update

The council was updated on the city’s Enterprise Resource Planning Replacement (ERP) Project. In 2013, the city hired BerryDunn to evaluate the existing ERP system, which is the software the city uses to conduct its business activities.

Consequently, the city decided to purchase new software and selected three vendors — Tyler Technologies for financial, human resources, payroll and utility billing; CRW Systems for permitting, code enforcement, licensing and inspection applications; and Cayenta for work management, including fixed assets. The current ERP system vendor is Sungard Public Sector. Staff training on the new systems will begin this spring.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:53 p.m.

Open Data Initiatives

The council heard a presentation about the idea of open data, which makes government data available to be freely used, reused and distributed. Closely linked to the concept are hackathons, where programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers and interested citizens collaborate on software projects or methods to make government data more accessible or useful.

Many of the goals associated with open data will be assisted by the ERP Replacement Project. Other open data initiatives, including a possible hackathon, are under consideration.

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 meeting was adjourned. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:14 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:19 p.m.

Texas A&M Soccer Recognition

Mayor Nancy Berry recognized the 2014 Texas A&M women’s soccer team for advancing to the NCAA College Cup for the first time in school history. The Aggies captured the Southeastern Conference title for the second straight year and won a school-record 22 matches.

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7:33 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Five people during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Three encouraged the city to apply its taxi cab regulations to app-based rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. One asked the council to rename a local park after a citizen who recently died.

Ben Roper recognized Army Cpl. Tomas Sotelo, Jr., as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Houston native traveling in a convoy in Baghdad, Iraq on June 27, 2003, when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle.

7:34 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • A $137,505 contract to purchase the property at 128 Southland Street to allow for preservation of floodplain and a future greenway trail.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate for the purchase of public utility easements and temporary construction easements for the Well Field Collection System Loop Project.
  • The purchase of 80 traffic signal controllers for $200,000 from Iteris as part of the Intelligent Traffic System Master Plan.
  • An annual price agreement of $86,400 with Kolkhorst Petroleum for fleet oils and lubricants.
  • Annual tire purchases and retread services of $272,000 from Southern Tire Mart through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An amendment to the city’s code of ordinances regarding permits for food establishments.
  • Authorized the city’s participation in the ERCOT congestion revenue rights market and codified procedures for managing risk exposure and the maintenance of associated documents, providing a severability clause, declaring a penalty and providing an effective date.
  • The Semi-Annual Report on Impact Fees.

 7:36 p.m.

Rezoning of 3270 Rock Prairie Road West

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to change the zoning district boundaries from General Suburban to Townhouse for about 1.84 acres at 3270 Rock Prairie Road West to allow for development of high-density single-family lots, townhomes and duplexes. Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself because of a conflict of interest.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:41 p.m.

Annexation Service Plan, Public Hearings

The council unanimously authorized staff to prepare a service plan for the annexation of about 200 acres generally bordered by Wellborn Road, Royder Road and Greens Prairie Trail. The owner of about 70 of those acres petitioned the city for annexation last year. The council also scheduled public hearings for March 10 at 7 p.m. at Greens Prairie Elementary School, and March 12 at 7 p.m. at College Station City Hall.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:42 p.m.

Zoning Board of Adjustments

The council unanimously appointed Johnny Burns as chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

7:55 p.m.

Oil and Gas Regulations

City Engineer Alan Gibbs is giving a presentation on possible amendments to the city’s oil and gas ordinance, including a road maintenance agreement and associated fees, and a financial assurance agreement to cover bond and insurance requirements. In addition, the changes include a requirement that drilling sites not be located within 600 feet of any structures or parks — unless waived by the property owner – or within 1,000 feet of schools, hospitals, child or adult care facilities, or group residential buildings.

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance changes later tonight after a public hearing.

Here is Gibbs’ PowerPoint presentation:

8:41 p.m.

Council is still discussing the proposed changes with Gibbs. A big crowd is on hand, and more than 40 people have signed up to speak during the public hearing. This photo doesn’t include the overflow seating at the north end of the corridor:

CrowdFracking

9:03 p.m.

The public hearing has started.

10:53 p.m.

The public hearing has concluded. Of the 41 citizens who spoke, 12 were for the ordinance as presented, 4 were generally for it but thought some provisions were too restrictive, 23 were against it because it wasn’t restrictive enough, and two thought it needed more work and should be tabled. Six others provided the council with written comments.

Council will take a short break before considering the ordinance.

11:22 p.m.

A motion by Councilman Karl Mooney to measure the 600-foot setback from the site pad to the property line rather than a structure was defeated, 5-2. Councilwoman Blanche Brick joined Mooney in supporting the motion.

A motion by Brick to increase the residential setback distance from 600 to 1,000 feet was defeated, 5-2. Mooney joined Brick in supporting the motion.

11:35 p.m.

The council unanimously voted to amend the city’s oil and gas ordinance to include a road maintenance agreement and associated fees, and a financial assurance agreement to cover bond and insurance requirements. In addition, drilling sites may not be located within 600 feet of any structures or parks — unless waived by the property owner – or within 1,000 feet of schools, hospitals, child or adult care facilities, or group residential facilities. 

11:35 p.m.

The regular meeting has been adjourned. The next regular meeting is Feb. 12.

 

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