Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 28)

gavel[1]Welcome to tonight’s live blog of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings. We’ll post the official minutes on the city’s website at a later date.

Both sessions are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and online at cstx.gov/cstv19. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the website.

5:30 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

5:39 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilwoman Blanche Brick requested a workshop discussion of this consent item:

  • Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trail: This item is a $3.2 million contract for a hike and bike trail from Creek View Park to Lick Creek Park. The project would include on-street improvements west of State Highway 6 and a multi-use path between Highway 6 and Fitch Parkway and along Pebble Creek Parkway connecting Creek View Park to Lick Creek Park. The project was part of the 2008 bond approved by voters, and Public Works Director Donald Harmon clarified that the money can be used only for capital improvements, not general road repair and maintenance. 

6:26 p.m.

Citizen Advisory Committee Bond Recommendations

The council received recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for projects to include in a possible bond election in November. The council established the 23-member volunteer committee last August, and it began meeting in January. The parks, transportation and facilities subcommittees each conducted public forums in March.

The city can issue $45-60 million in bonds without increasing property tax rates. The council will decide in August whether to have the bond election and what projects to include. Here’s the priority list of projects the committee recommends:

Rank Project Est. Cost Pts.
1. Construction of a new police station $28 million 168
2. UPRR grade crossings and roadway improvements $18 million 166
3. Construction of Fire Station No. 7 $4.9 million 139
4. Greens Prairie Road intersection and roadway improvements $21.1 million 133
5. Greens Prairie & Royder roadway safety improvements $14.9 million 121
6. System-wide park improvements $2,545,000 105
7. Neighborhood street safety improvements at Holick, Park Place, Anna and Glade $2 million 103
8. Community center $15,555,000 95
9. Traffic signals $1.5 million 54
10. Sidewalks/oversized participation funds $750,000 43
11. FM 2818 capacity improvement $2 million 39
12. Southeast Community Park development $20 million 29
13. Rock Prairie Road East widening (SH6 to Medical Way) $1.9 million 23
14. Spray park $500,000 18
15. Holleman Drive South widening $11.5 million 18
16. Trails $6.1 million 10
17. Skate park $900,000 0
18. Natatorium $30 million 0

The public may email additional comments to 2015bond@cstx.gov.

6:40 p.m.

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

7:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has begun. Ten-year-old Mark Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 102 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Johnson attends Cypress Grove Intermediate School.

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7:05 p.m.

Arts Council Presentation

The Arts Council of Brazos Valley awarded $10,000 in scholarship funds to five graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue the arts in college. Recipients (pictured below) of the $2,000 grants were Regan Schulman (A&M Consolidated), Savannah Troy (A&M Consolidated), Jared Lascurain (A&M Consolidated), Amber Macha (College Station High), and Nathan Paine (Brazos Christian).

ArtsCouncilScholars

7:13 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people signed up to speak 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. Henry Ybarra III as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 32-year-old Austin native died when a truck tire he was changing exploded on Sept. 11, 2003 in Balad, Iraq. 
  • Judith Beckman talked about problems she had with a recent property assessment.
  • Jerry Kieschnick spoke in support of the hike and bike trail on tonight’s consent agenda.

7:19 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • An annual agreement for $52,000 with Texas A&M for Fitlife testing for firefighters.
  • A $478,339 contract with Brazos Paving for the extension of Eisenhower Street from Ash Street to Lincoln Avenue.
  • A prohibition on right turns on red from southbound Texas Avenue to westbound University Drive.
  • A $405,900 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for design services for the first two phases of the Francis Drive Rehabilitation Project.
  • Establishment of a Joint Annexation Task Force to update the timing, priorities, and phasing of future annexations.
  • The second reading of a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance for oil and gas operations with Halcón Field Services for pipeline facilities and equipment and the transportation of petroleum products and byproducts.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a 2015 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • A negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy on the company’s 2014 and 2015 rate review mechanism filings, along with a settlement agreement with attached rate tariffs and proof of revenues.
  • License and pole attachment agreements with ExteNet for the installation and operation of a distributed antenna system.

Councilwoman Blanche Brick asked for a separate vote on this item: 

  • By a 5-1 vote, the council approved a $3.2 million contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for a hike and bike trail from Creek View Park to Lick Creek Park. Councilman James Benham voted against the motion.

8:38 p.m.

3590 Greens Prairie Road West Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-2 to change the zoning district boundaries from Estate to Restricted Suburban for about 63 acres at 3590 Greens Prairie Road West to allow for the development of residential lots. Councilmen Steve Aldrich and Karl Mooney voted against the motion. An earlier proposal to extend Forest Ridge Drive and terminate it in a cul-de-sac failed by a 6-0 vote. The property is north of Greens Prairie Road West and west of the Castlegate II Subdivision.

Nine people spoke during the public hearing.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:40 p.m.

Annexation Task Force Appointments

The council voted unanimously to appoint Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmembers John Nichols and Steve Aldrich to the Joint Annexation Task Force, with Berry as chair. They will serve alongside three Planning and Zoning commissioners to update the timing, priorities, and phasing of future annexations.

8:40 p.m.

The council will return after a short break.

8:49 p.m.

The regular meeting has resumed.

9:13 p.m.

Non-Residential Architectural Standards Revisions

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to revise and simplify the city’s non-residential architectural standards and related processes in the Unified Development Ordinance. Three people spoke during the public hearing.

For complete details, see pages 257-315 in the regular meeting packet.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:13 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again June 25.

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