Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (August 11)

2014 Council

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, August 11. 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.

6:20 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council members Julie Schultz and James Benham are out of town and are participating via teleconference.

6:39 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Roadway Improvements: The council will consider two contracts for engineering, survey and design services related to the widening of Rock Prairie Road West and capacity improvements to FM 2818.
  • Lincoln Recreation Center Expansion: The project includes a new 15,355-square foot multi-purpose facility with a gymnasium, multiple activity rooms, and support spaces. Once the new addition is complete, the existing facility will also be renovated. The $3.37 million contract includes three bid alternates for building a walkway cover, repairing the existing storage building and leveling the existing gymnasium.

  • Rejection of Underground Cable Bids: The Electric Department has decided not to bid this project for the third time. This work will be completed using existing contracts for various electric construction and maintenance needs and through in-house labor.

6:59 p.m.

FY17 Proposed City Budget

The council got its first look at the city’s proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The council will review the budget in a three-day series of in-depth workshops starting Monday, with final adoption of the budget and tax rate set for Sept. 22. A public hearing on the tax rate is scheduled for Aug. 31, followed by a public hearing on the tax rate and budget on Sept. 8.

Click here to read a more detailed blog post about the budget proposal.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

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.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:23 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 Marine Pfc. Leroy Sandoval Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 21-year-old Houston native died March 26, 2004, due to hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Another citizen informed the council about a dangerous intersection.

7:24 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, except for item 2i (setting water/wastewater impact fees public hearing dates):

  • A contract with Elder-Aid, Inc. for a $200,000 grant of federal HOME Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Set-Aside funds for the acquisition and rehabilitation of two existing dwelling units to be used as affordable rental housing for income-eligible elderly households.
  • A $571,102.50 Contract with Binkley and Barfield for engineering and surveying services associated with the FM 2818 Capacity Improvements Design Project.
  • A $152,500 contract with Jones & Carter for the final design and construction phase services for the Lick Creek Generator Replacement Project.
  • A $3.37 million contract with JaCody Construction for renovations to the existing facility and construction of a new multi-purpose building for the Lincoln Recreation Center.
  • A $650,326 contract with Binkley & Barfield for professional engineering services related to the design of the Rock Prairie Road West Widening Project.
  • A $51,600 bid award to Techline for the purchase of distribution line sensors.
  • The rejection bids for the University Drive Underground Cable Installation Project.
  • The second renewal of an annual blanket order not to exceed $140,000 for copy and printing services with Alphagraphics ($80,000), Copy Corner ($40,000), and Office Depot ($20,000).
  • Renewal of a $525,996 annual purchase award with Techline for electric distribution poles.
  • A $64,515.85 annual bid award to Greenville Transformer Company for transformer repair and rebuild services.
  • Called a public hearing on the City of College Station’s FY17 Proposed Budget for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • A $149,049 contract with Hahn Equipment Company for the replacement of the Lick Creek Raw Lift Pumps and Variable Frequency Drives.
  • An amendment to the FY16 funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau to allow for the repayment of $30,000 related to the acquisition of a site for a visitor information center. The original agreement allowed for reimbursement of legal and architect fees associated with a new joint facility with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley in the same amount.

7:38 p.m.

Land Use at 8607 Rock Prairie Rd.

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Estate and Suburban Commercial to Restricted Suburban for about 16 acres at 8607 Rock Prairie Road to allow for development. Councilwoman Schultz recused herself from voting because of a conflict of interest.

The property is located north of Rock Prairie and west of Fitch Parkway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:42 p.m.

Right-of-Way Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon part of a right-of-way at 600 First St. to accommodate redevelopment in the Northgate area.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:50 p.m.

Traffic Impact Analyses

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove the single-family residential development exemption from the Traffic Impact Analysis rules. The change requires a traffic impact analysis be included with a preliminary plan application where applicable.

The original ordinance provided an exemption for Northgate zoning districts and single-family zoning districts. In 2009, the Comprehensive Plan called for the requirement for traffic impact analyses to be extended to single-family developments. As part of the Five-Year Comprehensive Plan Evaluation & Appraisal Report, the recommendation was made to require traffic impact analyses for single-family residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:54 p.m.

Wireless Devices and Distracted Driving

The council voted 6-1 to amend the city’s traffic code to restrict the use of wireless communications devices such as cell phones while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle. Exceptions include the use of a hands-free device and while at a complete stop. Councilman James Benham voted against the motion.

An earlier motion to add a 90-day education period to the amendment passed 6-1, with Benham voting no. The ordinance takes effect in 90 days.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:57 p.m.

Board Appointments 

The council voted unanimously for these board appointments:

  • Historic Preservation Committee: Anat Geva.
  • Parks and Recreation Board: Megan Fuentes.

8:57 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, August 25.

Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) 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 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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!