Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 9)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 9. 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 has started. Councilman James Benham is out-of-town but is participating by videoconference.

6:00 p.m.

Brazos County Vote Centers

Brazos County Clerk Karen McQueen briefed the council on a proposal to implement county-wide vote centers for Election Day. The plan includes 25 polling locations the first year, which could be reduced by 50 percent in following years. A pilot program in several Texas cities has resulted in lower costs and more convenient options for voters.

At tonight’s regular meeting, the council will consider a resolution to support the county’s application to the state to establish the vote centers in place of precinct polling places. 

Polling locations would still need good internet connections, direct recording electronic voting machines, and electronic poll books that check-in voters systemwide in real time. For local elections, every race in which the voter is eligible to vote would be on one ballot, and the voter could go to any polling location in the county. Locations would also need to be placed so that voters are not disenfranchised.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:54 p.m.

Local Mass and Public Transit Operations

The council received an update from Peter Lange of Texas A&M Transportation Services and John McBeth of the Brazos Transit District (BTD) on local mass and public transit operations.

BTD’s fixed-route system started in 1989 and now includes seven fixed routes, an express route to A&M, and seven ADA paratransit, curb-to-curb routes that serve Bryan-College Station and the university. BTD has 16 buses that cover 141 miles of fixed routes, while A&M has 80 buses and uses 65 during normal service. The A&M system has 42 miles of campus routes and 80 miles of off-campus routes that run within a 3.6-mile radius of campus.

Since 2011 BTD has allowed A&M students to ride free by showing their student identification cards, and A&M allows the general public to ride its system by showing a BTD ID card. A&M and BTD have asked The Texas Department of Transportation for $40 million from the Texas Mobility Fund to purchase 60 40-foot buses for A&M and 20 35-foot buses for BTD.

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.

7:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:51 p.m.

Hear Visitors

More than a dozen people 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 Staff Sgt. Hector R. Perez as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 40-year-old Corpus Christi native died when his military convoy came under attack north of Al Hawd, Iraq on July 24, 2003.

A total of 12 people spoke against allowing Texas A&M to use Veterans Park and Athletic Complex for parking for the Aggie football game day shuttle. Mayor Berry said the council will address the issue at its April 23 meeting.

One person spoke against the annexation ordinance on tonight’s regular meeting agenda.

7:51 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council unanimously approved the entire consent agenda:

  • A resolution supporting Brazos County’s application to the Texas Secretary of State to establish Election Day vote centers in place of individual precinct polling places.
  • An annual price agreement for $60,200.40 with Daco Fire Equipment for protective clothing.
  • An amendment determining public need and necessity for the city to initiate, complete, and acquire property at the northwest corner of the intersection of West OSR and Sandy Point Road in Bryan for the Well Field Collection System Loop Project.
  • A bid award of $659,700 to Techline for the annual purchase of wire and cable to be maintained in electrical inventory.

7:54 p.m.

Public Utility Easement Abandonment 

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon part of a public utility easement to accommodate the expansion of the gym at A&M Consolidated High School.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:00 p.m.

Rezoning at 8500 Earl Rudder Fwy. South

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning district boundaries from General Suburban to General Commercial and Natural Areas Protected for more than 30 acres northwest of the FM2818 and State Highway 6 intersection to allow for development.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:09 p.m.

Conditional Use Permit 

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit extending a wireless telecommunications tower from 35 feet to 70 feet at 2504 Texas Ave. South.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:35 p.m.

Capstone PDD Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to amend the Planned Development District (PDD) for the Capstone development to allow removal of a small commercial area along Holleman Drive South and replace it with multi-family use. Councilwoman Blanche Brick voted against the motion.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:41 p.m.

Parking Removal on Cherry Street

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to remove parking on the south side of the 300 block of Cherry Street to allow aerial fire apparatus access to a proposed apartment development. Councilwoman Blanche Brick voted against the motion.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:43 p.m.

Annexation Ordinance

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to annex about 233 acres generally bordered by Royder Road, Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Trail. The annexation service plan can be found on pages 89-98 of the regular meeting packet. The service plan effectively acts as a contract between the city and residents in the annexed area.

Two additional public hearings were conducted in March.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:43 p.m.

The regular meeting has been adjourned. The next council meets again on April 23.

 

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