Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 31)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 31. 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.

6:16 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

6:20 p.m.

Executive Session Actions

The council unanimously authorized City Manager Kelly Templin to negotiate a reasonable and favorable settlement in a pole attachment collection matter. The council also unanimously approved and ratified the terms of a settlement agreement with Embrace Brazos Valley.

6:26 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Notice of Certificates of Obligation: The Series 2016 certificates of obligation will be used to fund street, public facility, water and wastewater projects, and pay debt issuance costs. The maximum amount of indebtedness authorized is $30.5 million. The issue will not affect the property tax rate, and the impact on utility rates will be reviewed as part of the financial forecast and FY17 budget. The design of a new Police Station is included and projections indicate a new station will require a future tax increase. For the specific projects funded by the COs, see pages 44-45 in the regular meeting packet.
  • Ringer Library Design Contract: The $8.39 million expansion of the Larry J. Ringer Library was approved by voters in 2008. The scope includes design and construction administration services for a 12,000-square foot expansion and renovation of the existing facility, including parking improvements. The scope also includes evaluating and upgrading the current technology used by library staff, including the book drop off, and a new children and youth area. A conceptual plan was developed last year and presented to council in December. This contract is for the final design for the expansion.

6:33 p.m.

FY15 CAFR and Audit Reports

The council reviewed the city’s annual audit reports and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the 2015 Fiscal Year. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:59 p.m.

Fun for All Playground Update

The council heard a presentation about the new Fun for All Playground, an all-abilities accessible facility at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. The playground will be funded mostly by donations by private citizens and civic groups. The design contract is included on tonight’s consent agenda.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:05 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.

7:15 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:20 p.m.

National Community Development Week

Mayor Nancy Berry recognized this as National Community Development Week with a proclamation presented to the city’s Community Services Department. The designated week focuses on the importance of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. Among the uses for those funds are expanding and improving public facilities and infrastructure, and providing an adequate supply of safe and affordable housing for our citizens.

Related Blog: Community grants have made College Station better

Pictured below (l-r): Community Development Analysts Brian Piscacek and David Brower, Mayor Nancy Berry, and Community Services Director Debbie Eller.


7:25 p.m.

Layne and Keiko Westover presented Mayor Berry with a gift from the City of Koriyama, Japan, in gratitude for College Station families who hosted 10 Japanese middle school and high school students last week.

7:37 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two 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. Roland L. Castro as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 26-year-old San Antonio native died Jan. 16, 2004, of a non-hostile gunshot wound in Camp Cedar II, Iraq.
  • Robert Rose spoke about local air quality issues and asked the council to consider monitoring stations.
  • Buck Prewitt asked the council to delay a discussion of concrete pavement scheduled in April until an additional stakeholder meeting could be conducted. He also commented on the Impact Fee Advisory Committee.
  • Stephanie Turner spoke against a recent council decision to forbid left turns from Brothers Boulevard into the Southwood Valley Elementary School driveway.

7:38 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, with the exception of item 2m (handbills on public facilities), which will be considered at a later date:

  • A $137,644.43 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for new chain link fences and wood decking at Bee Creek, Jack and Dorothy Miller, Luther Jones, Central, and Wolf Pen Creek parks.
  • A contract not to exceed $1.5 million with H&B Construction for annual electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • A bid award of $52,425 to the lowest responsible bidder for electric capacitor banks.
  • The first renewal of an annual price agreement not to exceed $659,700 with Techline for wire and cable.
  • A resolution directing publication of notice of intention to issue Series 2016 certificates of obligation.
  • A $207,390 contract with Luna Architecture & Design for engineering services related to the design of the Fun for All Playground Project.
  • A $727,453 contract with Komatsu Architecture for the design, bidding, and construction administration for the Larry J. Ringer Library Expansion project.
  • A $167,088 contract with SJ&J Construction for the Southland Drainage Improvements project.
  • A $944,474 contract with Mitchell & Morgan for engineering services related to the preliminary and final design and associated construction services for the Lakeway Drive-Pebble Creek Parkway Extension Project.
  • A $58,000 contract with Civil Engineering Consultants for the preliminary engineering report related to the reconstruction of Park Place, Holik, Glade, and Anna streets.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District for the relocation of district infrastructure due to roadway improvements at Greens Prairie Trail and Wellborn Road.

7:44 p.m.

Sterling Northgate Apartments Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove parking along the 500 block of First Street and the 200 block of Spruce Street to allow aerial fire access to the Sterling Northgate Apartments that are under development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:55 p.m.

Wellborn Super Storage Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about two acres occupied by A&M Super Storage near the intersection of Greens Prairie Road and Wellborn Road.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:14 p.m.

Impact Fee Advisory Committees

The council voted unanimously to appoint Randy French and Don Hellriegel to the Roadway Impact Fee Advisory Committee. The council also voted unanimously to appoint French, Hellriegel and Roger Kirk Joseph to the Water and Wastewater Impact Fee Advisory Committee.

In February, the council adopted an ordinance allowing the Planning and Zoning Commission to serve as the Impact Fee Advisory Committee. The amendment provides flexibility to allow the appointment of additional ad hoc members.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:14 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 14.

Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and has worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.

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