Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 23)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 23. 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.

6:09 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • BerryDunn Contract Change Order: In 2014, the city approved a $645,638 contract with BerryDunn for the management of the ICE project. In August, council approved a $107,475 change order for additional services and expenses. At the time, the schedule for utility billing implementation was not final. As of February 10, the remaining fund balance is $2,312 for services and $22,520.78 for travel and expenses. Projected hours to complete the HR/payroll, utility billing and fixed assets implementation total 1,550 hours ($263,000), with $37,990 in estimated expenses. This change order adds funds to cover the associated hours and costs.

6:49 p.m.

Police Facility Design Update

The council heard an update on the conceptual design of a new police facility, which will be located southeast of the Dartmouth Street-Krenek Tap Road intersection. The $28 million station would almost double the number of available workstations.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:51 p.m.

Northgate Cultural and Historical Display

The council voted unanimously to postpone this presentation until the March 9 meeting. 

7:10 p.m.

Commercial Land Preservation

The council discussed the city’s role in promoting the development of existing and potential commercial properties. The consensus of the council was to move forward with proactive retail recruitment, which includes identifying available property for retailers. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:14 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:21 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:28 p.m.

XYZ Atlas Project

Artist Jennifer Chenoweth of Austin introduced a local project based on what she’s done in the state capital:

XYZ Atlas: The Experience Map of Bryan & College Station asks why we feel a sense of belonging to a place by mapping experiences and collecting stories that document our highs and lows.

XYZ Atlas is an interactive public art project. We create art, maps, and activations that affect community health and well being, urban planning, and cultural tourism with diverse outreach strategies to reach art lovers and underserved communities of all ages.

We are working in the Bryan and College Station communities and expect to schedule a final exhibition in May.

The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts Challenge America, Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations, Texas Commission for the Arts, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. 


7:32 p.m.

National Service Recognition Day

The mayor proclaimed April 4 as National Service Recognition Day. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Curt Sterner, Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) coordinator.


7:39 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Sgt. William C. Eckhart as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Rocksprings native died April 10, 2004, in an explosion in Baqubah, Iraq.
  • Mike Clements, president of the College Station Firefighters Association, recognized and thanked Joe Don Warren (below with certificate) for his service as the city’s interim fire chief. Jonathan McMahan will be sworn-in as the new fire chief on Friday.


7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The annual traffic contact report required by the state.
  • Authorized the city manager to submit a grant application to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to fund 80 percent of the salary and benefits for a crime victim’s advocate.
  • An amendment adding “Creation of an Audit Committee” to the city’s code of ordinances.
  • A resolution consenting to the Bryan City Council providing economic development incentives to ViaSat, Inc.
  • A $4.79 million contract with Freese and Nichols for design, bidding, and construction phase services for the expansion of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A change order increasing by $279,500 a contract with BerryDunn for project management services and expenses.
  • Authorized the mayor to sign an inter-local agreement with the City of Bryan to extend the common boundary of the College Station/Bryan Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).
  • The Semi-Annual Report for Impact Fees.
  • Renewal of a building use agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley through March 6, 2018, for the building located at 2275 Dartmouth Dr.
  • A resolution of support for Rock Prairie Village’s application for low-income housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

7:49 p.m.

Luther-Jones Butler Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about three acres southeast of the Luther Street-Jones Butler Road intersection. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest. The change will allow for mixed-use, commercial and multi-family development.

The change will allow for mixed-use, commercial and multi-family development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:55 p.m.

Wellborn Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about one acre northeast of the Wellborn Road-Greens Prairie Road intersection. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:09 p.m.

Arrington Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about 12 acres south of the South Oaks Drive-Arrington Road intersection. The change will allow for a multi-family development. Councilwoman Blanche Brick voted against the motion.

A total of 19 people spoke or provided written comments during the public hearing. All opposed the rezoning.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

10:15 p.m.

Spring Creek Local Government Corporation

The council voted unanimously to approve a certificate of formation for the Spring Creek Local Government Corporation and appointed John Nichols and Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Jane Kee to the initial board of directors.

The non-profit government corporation was created to promote economic development anchored by College Station’s next business park.

10:18 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

10:18 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, March 9.

14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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 been 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!