Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 10)

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

gavel[1]Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 10. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:06 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • RVP Bylaw Changes: The Research Valley Partnership recently amended its bylaws to add additional voting members to its board of directors. It also made a change to allow the extension of a member’s board service if that member is an elected official. 
  • Parking Enforcement Assistance: City staff has identified a process for Community Services staff to assist with parking enforcement to help address neighborhood integrity and public safety issues. City ordinance currently provides authority for the issuance of parking citations or summons to parking enforcement officers, code enforcement officers, and peace officers. The revision would provide additional authority to other designated code enforcement officials and Community Services staff members with code enforcement duties.

  • Traffic Code Revisions: Staff has identified the need for clarification and an addition to the city’s traffic code. The first revision clarifies the title of Chapter 10 Section C by changing the word “powers” to “authority.” The second change expands authority for enforcement of parking-in-the-yard violations in residential areas with or without a fee charge. Officers would not be required to see money change hands to determine a violation. Officers will identify the person responsible for the property and first issue a warning, but repeat offenders will be issued citations.

7:00 p.m.

Keep Brazos Beautiful

The council heard a report from Keep Brazos Beautiful about the non-profit group’s activities. KBB has requested $56,690 in FY16 from the city’s Sanitation Fund, a $3,950 increase from FY15.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 7:08 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:17 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.  Arthur Erickson and Gaston Schweitzer of Boy Scout Troop 1222 (below) led the Pledge of Allegiance. Erickson is a freshman at A&M Consolidated High School and Schweitzer is a seventh grader at A&M Consolidated Middle School.


7:25 p.m.

2015 Games of Texas Recognition

The council recognized the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation, and Parks & Recreation Department staff for their involvement and support of the 2015 Games of Texas. A presentation was also given to Mayor Berry and City Manager Kelly Templin for helping to make the event a success. Pictured below with Templin, Mayor Berry and Parks staff are Maj. James Carney and Staff Sgt. Richard Strelsky or the Texas Army National Guard (far right) and TAAF Executive Director Mark Lord (far left):


7:30 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Berry proclaimed Sept. 19 as Thank a Police Officer Day. Pictured with Mayor Berry are (left to right) Officer Kyle Zulkowski, Officer Gavin Smart, Officer Neal Spencer, Assistant Chief Billy Couch, Chief Scott McCollum, Assistant Chief Brandy Norris, Assistant Chief Chuck Fleeger, Sgt. Sean Beatty, Lt. Chris Perkins, and Officer Long Le.

PD Proclaimation

7:37 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three 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 Sgt. Keelan L. Moss as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Houston native was aboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter when it was shot down near Al Fallujah, Iraq on Nov. 2, 2003. 
  • Michelle Raisor spoke against closing city pools on the current schedule and asked that the Cindy Hallaran Pool on Rock Prairie Road be re-opened.
  • Judith Beckmann spoke about the unlawful use of an easement on her property.

7:38 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda. Item 2n, an economic development agreement with the College Station Science Park, was pulled from the agenda and will be considered at the Sept. 21 council meeting:

  • A pole attachment license agreement with Suddenlink Communications.
  • New sales prices for spaces in the city’s municipal cemeteries.
  • The first of two readings of an ordinance amending the residential recycling collection franchise agreement with Texas Commercial Waste.
  • A deductive change order of $60,690 to the contract with Elliott Construction for the Cooner Street Reconstruction Project.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate for the purchase of land and an easement needed to provide a buffer from the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • An annual blanket purchase order of $60,000 with Heil of Texas for parts and repair services for the city’s refuse trucks.
  • The renewal of a contract not to exceed $60,000 with Cal’s Body Shop for annual automobile and truck paint and body repairs.
  • Selected Branch Banking & Trust as the city’s depository bank, approved a three-year bank depository contract, designated the city manager or his designee to administer depository services, and authorized the maximum expenditure of funds for the term of the contract. The cost for depository services is not expected to exceed $35,000 in any year of the contract.
  • Amended the city’s Traffic Code to allow Community Services staff to assist with parking enforcement.
  • Cancelled the Nov. 3 General Election for city council Places 4 and 6 since Councilmen John Nichols (Place 4) and James Benham (Place 6) are unopposed for re-election.
  • Amended the city’s Traffic Code to clarify language and provide expanded authority for enforcement of the city’s yard parking ordinance in residential areas.

 This item was pulled for a separate vote:

  • By a 6-1 vote, the council approved a motion by Councilman James Benham to reject the bylaws of the Research Valley Partnership regarding the appointment and qualifications of directors, and to request a comprehensive bylaw amendment that addresses: 1) methods of notification to the city and further definition of approval of council with a 45-day window to respond; 2) voting representation on the executive committee for the City of College Station; and 3) an explanation of why the RVP needs a third self-appointed board member. Councilwoman Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

7:41 p.m.

Public Utility Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to abandon 0.138-acres of a public utility easement at 952 William D. Fitch Parkway to allow for development. Councilwoman Schultz abstained.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:45 p.m.

Public Hearing on FY16 Tax Rate

No one spoke during a public hearing on the city’s proposed FY16 tax rate of 45.25 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is the same as the current rate. The first hearing on the tax rate was Sept. 2. The council will vote on the tax rate on Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. at city hall.

The tax rate is expected to generate just over $32 million to fund the city’s general debt service and a portion of the General Fund’s operations and maintenance costs.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:48 p.m.

Public Hearing on FY16 City Budget

No one spoke during a public hearing on the city’s proposed FY16 budget. The budget totals $304.2 million, which includes $86.7 million for capital projects and $217.5 million for operations and maintenance. Budget adoption is scheduled for Sept. 21.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:49 p.m.

BVSWMA Board Appointment

The council unanimously voted to appoint Councilman Karl Mooney to another three-year term on the BVSWMA Board of Directors.  

8:00 p.m.

CVB Board Appointments

The council unanimously voted to appoint Jim Lewis, Jim Ross and Councilman John Nichols to two-year terms on the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors. 

8:00 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again Monday, Sept. 21.

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