Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 27)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 27. 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.

5:39 p.m.

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

5:50 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:

  • Pecan Trail Agreement with CSISD: The Inter-local agreement with the College Station Independent School District is for the district’s cost participation in the $5.4 million Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project. CSISD will reimburse the city up to $435,000 due to the impact of the proposed Pecan Trail Intermediate School, which requires the addition of deceleration lanes and a traffic signal at the Greens Prairie Trail-Ledgestone intersection.
  • Aggieland Humane Society: As part of the FY17 budget, the council approved $235,000 for services provided by the Aggieland Humane Society.
  • Riverside Parkway Resolution: The resolution supports the designation of State Highway 47 as Riverside Parkway in honor of the former western Brazos County community of Riverside. The approval of assigning a name to a state roadway lies with the Texas Department of Transportation. The proposal originated with the Brazos County Historical Commission in the fall of 2015.
  • Planning & Development Fees: The resolution adjusts application and permit fees for Planning & Development Services as discussed as part of the FY17 budget process. With development activity continuing to be strong, several new positions were recently added in Planning & Development Services to provide timely and accurate reviews and inspections. The proposed fees should offset the associated costs. The resolution has an effective date of Jan. 1 to provide adequate time to notify the development community.

6:41 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

The council discussed possible roadway impact fees that would be charged to new development to help pay for growth. A public hearing and formal action are scheduled for Nov. 10. If approved, the ordinance would take effect Jan. 2.

The consensus of council was to draft the ordinance around Option 2 on slide No. 5 in the PowerPoint presentation:

7;05 p.m.

Roadway Maintenance Fees

The council discussed the fee structure and exemptions for the roadway maintenance fee included in the FY17 budget.  The dedicated fee would generate about $4.5 for annual street maintenance, which respondents cited as a high priority in the 2016 citizen surveyThe fee would be assessed on monthly utility bills.

The consensus of council was to draft the ordinance around Option 1 on slide No. 5 in the PowerPoint presentation:

7:05 p.m.

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

7:16 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:21 p.m.

Municipal Courts Week

Mayor Nancy Berry proclaimed Nov. 7-11 as Municipal Courts Week in Texas. The proclamation recognizes the important work of municipal courts and the principle of judicial independence. Pictured below (l-r) are Customer Services Coordinator Shasi Smith (hidden), Collection Services Coordinator Lucy Coronilla, Deputy Court Clerk Sherry Brown, City Marshal Michael Lundy, Mayor Berry, Judge Ed Spillane, and Court Operations Supervisor Marie Barringer.

cs-court

7:29 p.m.

Conservationist of the Year

The Brazos Groundwater Conservation District board presented former councilman John Crompton with its conservationist of the year award. The organization services the groundwater resources of Brazos and Robertson counties.

A distinguished professor at Texas A&M, Crompton served on the city council from 2007-11 and way mayor pro tem in 2010-11. Pictured below are (l-r) are Water Services Director Dave Coleman, Water Resources Coordinator Jennifer Nations,BVGCD Board Member Judge Tom McDonald, BVGCD Board Member Dr. Bill Harris, Mayor Berry, BVGCD Board Member Alan Day, Dr. John Crompton, BVGCD Board Member David Stratta, and BVGCD Board Member Pete Brien.

cs-water

7:31 p.m.

Good Neighbor Award

The Parks & Recreation Department was recognized for receiving the Good Neighbor Award by Keep Brazos Beautiful, a local non-profit organization dedicated to keeping our community clean and green.

In February, the department joined forces with Atmos Energy to plant 47 trees in Richard Carter Park as part of a program facilitated by The Texas Trees Foundation that’s called 811 Trees. The effort helped beautify one of our most historic parks. Pictured below (l-r) are Parks & Recreation Director David Schmitz and Parks & Recreation Manager Steve Richardson.

cs-tree

7:32 p.m.

Aquatics Red Cross Awards

The Parks & Recreation Department’s Aquatics Division was recognized for receiving two Red Cross awards. The Gold Level Learn-to-Swim Provider Award is given to agencies that teach at least 1,000 children to swim.  In 2016, College Station’s Learn-to-Swim program gave more than 1,800 adults and children ages 6 months and older the opportunity to learn to swim.

The Certificate of Appreciation was given for the city’s commitment to safety, training, drowning prevention, and the certification of more than 100 people with lifesaving skills. Aquatics Supervisor Vera Solis and her staff certified 169 individuals through the Lifeguard Training Program. Pictured below (l-r) are Aquatics Supervisor Vera Solis, Parks & Recreation Manager Kelly Kelbly, Pool Manager Bridget Russell, and Water Safety Instructor Gabrielle Free.

cs-aqua

7:35 p.m.

TAAF Member City of the Year

Mark Lord, executive director of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation, presented the organization’s Member City of the Year Award to the Parks & Recreation Department. The award recognizes the department’s efforts to promote and improve athletic programs for the TAAF as well as our residents.

The City of College Station has been associated with TAAF for more than 40 years. In recent years, the city has played host to a number of TAAF state tournaments as well as the 2014 and 2015 TAAF Summer Games of Texas. Pictured below are (l-r) Athletic Activities Assistant Ward Davis, Mayor Berry, TAAF Executive Director Mark Lord, and Recreation Supervisor Gene Ballew.

cs-taaf

7:38 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 Spc. Scott Quentin Larson as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Houston native died April 5, 2004, when his convoy was ambushed in Baghdad.

7:38 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda with the exception of the economic development agreement with Viasat, which was pulled from tonight’s consent agenda and will come back at a later date.:

  • A contract B/CS Habitat for Humanity for $239,074 in HOME Investment Partnership Grant funds for the acquisition of land at 1116 Carolina and the construction of three affordable single-family homes.
  • The $124,704 purchase of replacement firewalls from Solid Borders, Inc. to protect the Electric Utilities’ Bulk Electric System (BES) cyber assets. 
  • A resolution stating that the council has reviewed and approved the city’s investment policy, broker-dealer list, and investment strategy.
  • The 2016 property tax roll of about $37 million.
  • A $309,000 contract with Jones & Carter for the final design and construction phase services for the Carters Creek Electrical Improvements Project.
  • An inter-local agreement with the College Station Independent School District for the district’s cost participation in the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • A resolution allowing the mayor to sign an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for signal and pedestrian improvements on State Highway 6 at Rock Prairie Road.
  • A $358,000 contract with Jones & Carter for the final design and construction phase services of the southern portion of the Royder Road Expansion Project.
  • A resolution declaring intention to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt for Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Public Safety facility improvement projects and equipment purchases in the FY17 Capital Improvements Program Budget.
  • A resolution authorizing a $235,000 expenditure to the Aggieland Humane Society.
  • The $499,529 purchase of five variable frequency drives from The Reynolds Company to replace the existing water production units.
  • Renewal of the annual purchase contract not to exceed $150,000 with The Reynolds Company for parts and service for Water Services’ SCADA system.
  • A resolution supporting the designation of State Highway 47 as Riverside Parkway.
  • A resolution updating the fees for development applications and permits.
  • A change order of $20,174 to the contract with Proview Advanced Administrator for additional data management services, reporting services, and administration fees.

7:43 p.m.

Williams Creek Lake Estates Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to rezone about 14 acres at 2242 Carll Lane, which is located northwest of the Rock Prairie Road-Fitch Parkway intersection, to allow the development of medium density single-family lots.

Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the vote.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:05 p.m.

Rezoning at Wellborn Road-Harvey Mitchell

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to rezone about 71 acres at the southeast corner of the Wellborn Road-Harvey Mitchell Parkway intersection. The change would allow the development of townhomes, duplexes, and apartments as well as commercial uses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:09 p.m.

Deacon Drive West Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to rezone about 24 acres located south of Deacon Drive West and east of Holleman Drive South to allow the development of townhomes. Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the vote.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:07 p.m.

Comp Plan Amendment – Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenways

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the realignment of Royder Road to Wellborn Road, but to delay additional changes to  the city’s Comprehensive Plan regarding transportation facilities in the Wellborn area. Council asked staff to gather more feedback from area residents about the other recommended changes. 

A motion to deny the recommended updates was defeated, 4-2. Councilman Steve Aldrich and Councilwoman Blanche Brick supported the motion.

A motion to delay the recommended updates until early January was defeated, 4-2. Aldrich and Brick supported the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:07 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

9:14 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

9:20 p.m.

Highway 30 Land Use near Veterans Park

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation for about seven acres of Highway 30 frontage across from Veterans Park and Athletic Complex to allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:25 p.m.

Highway 30 Rezoning Near Veterans Park

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning for about seven acres of Highway 30 frontage across from Veterans Park and Athletic Complex to allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:31 p.m.

Highway 6 Lane Use North of Fitch

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the land use designation for about 58 acres north of Fitch Parkway on the east side of Highway 6 to allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:32 p.m.

Highway 6 Rezoning North of Fitch

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to rezone about 58 acres north of Fitch Parkway on the east side of Highway 6 to allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:32 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume. 

9:39 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. 10.


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.


 

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