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

ShowImageWelcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 22. It’s not the official minutes.

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

5:44 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

5:52 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:

  • Hike & Bike Trail Change Order: Kieschnick General Contractors was awarded a contract in May to build about five miles of hike and bike trail from Creek View Park to Lick Creek Park. After bidding, an engineering review discovered several items that needed to be addressed. To mitigate the cost, the scope of work was reduced by removing the trail section along Pebble Creek Parkway and adding bike lanes to the existing sidewalk along Pebble Creek Parkway. The change order reduces the contract amount by $182,397.60.
  • City Employee Loan Option: Through the Community Loan Center of the Brazos Valley’s Affordable Small Dollar Loan Program, city employees could get a low-interest loan of up to $1,000 and have their repayment installments deducted from their bi-weekly paycheck. The loans would be funded and administered directly through the Community Loan Center of the Brazos Valley.

6:20 p.m.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex 

The consensus of the council was to move forward with Phase 1 of the Veteran’s Park and Athletic Complex Build-Out. The project is expected to cost about $3.7 million, which would come from the Hotel Tax Fund.

The project consists of two new synthetic athletic fields, lighting, 160 parking spaces, and amenities such as shade, playgrounds and a splash pad. Located on the University Drive side of the park, the multi-use athletic fields will be similar to the recently installed synthetic turf fields near the American Pavilion.

The local soccer community provided positive feedback at a public meeting in September. Annual operations and maintenance costs are expected to be about $50,000.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:00 p.m.

Brazos Appraisal District Building

The council heard a presentation from the Brazos Central Appraisal District on its desire for a new building due to concerns about growth, security, customer service, and technology. The Brazos Central Appraisal District Board of Directors recommends building rather than leasing office space to give the property owners the best value for their tax dollars and to provide improved security, efficiency and technology for the CAD staff as well as the public. 

The council will consider a resolution supporting the project in November.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:01 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:08 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:10 p.m.

The council voted 6-0 to accept the absence of Councilman James Benham.

7:13 p.m.

Municipal Courts Week

Mayor Nancy Berry proclaimed Nov. 2-6 as Municipal Courts Week. Joining the mayor (below) is Judge Edward Spillane and several court staff: Marie Barringer, Melissa Johnson, Lucy Coronilla, Belinda Cinque, Naomi Neblett, Marleigh Thomasen, Chadd Harkrider, Nikki Ochoa, Dierdre Canon and Abby Bazy.

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7:18 p.m.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Mayor Berry proclaimed October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Receiving the proclamation from the mayor (below) was Ben Roper, College Station’s director of Information Technology.

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7:20 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 Staff Sgt. John W. Russell as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 26-year-old Portland, Texas native died on Nov. 15, 2003, when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq. 

 7:21 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The second renewal of an annual contract for $102,370 with Utility Restoration Services for pad-mount equipment repair and restoration.
  • The second reading of a recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling.
  • A change order reducing by $68,526 the construction contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for the Area 2 Water Line Extension project.
  • A one-year service contract not to exceed $200,000 with Rios Tree Service for landscaping, tree trimming and removal services.
  • A change order reducing by $182,397.60 the contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for the Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trail Project.
  • An agreement with the Community Loan Center of the Brazos Valley to provide city employees with a loan option to be repaid through employee payroll deductions.
  • A $66,670.05 bid award to Vox Construction to build sidewalks on the south side of Dominik Drive from Stallings to Munson.
  • An ordinance amendment to change the condition related to the effective date of a rezoning from November 30 to February 15, and providing an effective date.
  • A resolution stating that the council has reviewed and approved the city’s investment policy, broker-dealer list, and investment strategy.
  • An FY16 hotel tax funding agreement for $386,400 with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley for affiliate funding and annual program and marketing.
  • The 2015 Property Tax Roll of $32,065,351.34.

7:59 p.m.

ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to adopt the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. The document outlines how the city will fulfill federal requirements and improve accessibility for the physically challenged.

Developed with Kimley-Horn and Accessology, the plan identified $3.35 million in needed improvements in its first phase. The evaluation included three public buildings, two parks, 20 signalized intersections, and three miles of sidewalks.

Public outreach included a focus group meeting with related organizations and two public meetings. A draft copy of the plan was also posted online for public comment.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:24 p.m.

UDO, Comprehensive Plan Annual Review

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to accept the annual review of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.

The Comprehensive Plan review assessed significant actions and accomplishments in the past year that advanced the plan’s implementation. The UDO review is part of a continuous effort to keep development codes current and relevant.

To view an interactive version of the report, see pages 128-153 of the regular meeting packet.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:25 p.m.

Brick Appointed to Brazos Transit Board 

The council voted 6-0 to appoint Councilwoman Blanche Brick to the Brazos Transit District Board of Directors.

8:25 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned, and the workshop meeting will resume.

8:32 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, Nov. 12.

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