Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 26)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 26. 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 has started. Councilman Karl Mooney is absent tonight.

5:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Barron Road Improvements: The council will consider a $328,164 contract for roadway, sidewalk and drainage improvements on Barron Road between William D. Fitch Parkway and W.S. Phillips Parkway. Phillips Parkway south of Barron will provide a continuous connection back to Greens Prairie Road, including the new elementary school. This project consists of the construction of new sub-grade, pavement, curbs, median, sidewalks, drainage structures, and associated striping improvements. A budget of $335,000 is included in the Streets Capital Improvement Projects Fund and $50,000 is included in the Drainage Fund.

5:44 p.m.

FY14 Financial and Audit Report

The council voted unanimously to accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and audit reports for Fiscal Year 2014. The reports provided a summary of the city’s financial position as of Sept. 30.

Jimmy Ingram of Ingram, Wallis and Co., the city’s external auditor, praised the work of the Fiscal Services staff and reported that the audits revealed no major issues. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:44 p.m.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-Out

The council unanimously voted to move forward with the concept design of a proposed build-out of Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Funded with hotel tax revenues, the project would include four additional full-size athletic fields, lighting, 750 new parking spaces, and amenities such as shade, playgrounds and splash pads.

Located on the University Drive side of the park, the multi-use athletic fields would be constructed of synthetic turf, similar to two existing fields near the American Pavilion. One of the fields will be designed as a championship field with seating for about 1,700 spectators and room to add portable bleachers and berms that would expand the capacity to about 2,850. Restrooms, locker rooms, storage and a press box are also included to make the facility attractive to the many sports organizations that would be attracted to Veteran’s Park.

After the concept design phase, council would still have to approve the project itself. 

Under state law, hotel occupancy tax revenues can only be used to enhance and promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. In addition, usage must clearly fit into one of nine categories, one of which is upgrading existing municipal sports facilities. These funds can’t be used for public safety, streets, etc.     

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:55 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.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:08 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • An all-way stop at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Tarrow Street.
  • A $328,164.35 contract with Brazos Paving for roadway, sidewalk and drainage improvements along Barron Road from William D. Fitch Parkway through the W.S. Phillips Parkway intersection.
  • A $80,887.86 contract with CLM Energy Services for the Rock Prairie Road 8-inch water line.
  • A $325,000 contract with Freese & Nichols to update the city’s Wastewater System Master Plan.
  • A license agreement with the College Station Independent School District to provide a sewer system connection for 101 Lee St.

7:11 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Ben Roper recognized Army Sgt. Melissa Valles as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 26-year-old Eagle Pass native died in Balad, Iraq, on July 9, 2003 as a result of non-combat injuries. 

7:13 p.m.

Kate Lane Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to allow remove parking on one side of Kate Lane between Keefer Loop and Summerway Drive.

In February, a police officer contacted the Fire Department and asked if on-street parking limits emergency vehicle access along Kate Lane between Keefer Loop and the newly constructed Summerway Drive. The Fire Department evaluated its ability to maneuver along the access road in February, then requested the removal of parking along one side of the street. The Traffic Management Team reviewed the request and recommended approval of the request. City staff will send a letter to the affected property owners about the parking removal ordinance.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:15 p.m.

112 Navarro Drive Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to change the zoning district boundaries from Rural to Suburban Commercial for 1.9 acres at 112 Navarro Drive, located at the southeast corner of the Navarro-Wellborn Road intersection, to allow for development.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:26 p.m.

Fiber Optic Cable Facilities

The council unanimously voted to add a new section called “Lease of City Fiber Optic Cable Facilities” to the city’s Code of Ordinances to encourage economic development. The ordinance provides a severability clause, declares a penalty and provides an effective date.

The development of next-generation bandwidth services in the community includes exploring the option for commercial entities to lease spare city fiber or conduit. The city will earn modest revenue from fiber or conduit leases.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:26 p.m.

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

 

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