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

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, April 27. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:12 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

6:13 p.m.

The council unanimously approved a settlement of the city’s claim against Meadowbrook Insurance Group related to insurance coverage for claims made by the city from 2008-12  The city will be paid $120,000.

6:28 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:

  • Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System: In 2013, The city council approved the first restatement of the inter-local agreement establishing the BVWACS and appointing the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG) to act as the managing entity. In accordance with the ILA, proposed operating and capital equipment replacement reserve fund budgets for FY18 were reviewed and approved by the governing board on April 19. Each of the BVWACS Parties (Bryan, College Station, Brenham, Washington County, Brazos County, Texas A&M) has 30 days to review the proposed budgets. If any BVWACS Party does not agree with the proposed BVWACS budgets as presented, it must provide the governing board with a detailed explanation within 30 days. If approved tonight, funding for the city’s share of the BVWACS FY18 operating budget and capital equipment replacement reserve fund budget will be included in Information Technology’s FY18 operating budget.
  • Texas A&M Transportation Institute: An initiative of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute is developing transportation technologies to improve safety and mobility for roadway users. TTI has the laboratory environment to evaluate these technologies in a controlled setting, but the projects need to be tested under real-world conditions. Components of the city’s Intelligent Transportation System Master Plan (signal communications, central system, Traffic Control Center, and video cameras) would help TTI test and evaluate these technologies. The memorandum of understanding on tonight’s consent agenda outlines the city’s collaboration with TTI on the research, development and pilot demonstration of transportation technologies on local streets. Agreements for deploying specific technologies will be presented to the council at a later date.

6:42 p.m.

Easterwood Airport Update

Easterwood Airport Manager Josh Abramson updated the council on airport projects, including the introduction of a first-class option by American Airlines.

6:56 p.m.

Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan

The council heard a report on the ongoing update of the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan. The planning process began in October and has included a community meeting and an online survey. Any changes are scheduled for adoption in the fall.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:11 p.m.

Open Data Portal Update

The council discussed the city’s open data portal, which was launched in late December after almost two years of planning. The website provides public access to financial and other data sets managed by the city.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:13 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.

7:22 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:27 p.m.

Mental Health Month

The mayor proclaimed May as Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental illnesses and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Julie Overstreet, director of outreach and development for the National Alliance on Mental Health Brazos Valley.

7:29 p.m.

Drinking Water Week

The mayor proclaimed May 7-13 as Drinking Water Week to recognize and celebrate the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney are Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations and Director of Water Services Dave Coleman.

7:31 p.m.

Public Service Recognition Week

The mayor proclaimed May 7-13 as Public Service Recognition Week to honor federal, state, county and local government employees. We’ll post a photo later.

7:38 p.m.

The Mayor thanked Spencer Davis, Texas A&M’s student representative, for his service. David thanks the council and city staff for their help and support.

7:41 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person 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. Andrew J. Creighton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old native of Laurel, Delaware, died July 4, 2010, after being injured in combat three days before in Oruzgan province, Afghanistan.

7:42 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System (BVWACS) FY18 operating budget; authorized the city’s quarterly payments of $46,708.75 for an annual total not to exceed $186,834.97; approved the BVWACS FY18 Capital Equipment Replacement Reserve Fund Budget and payment of the city’s share not to exceed $100,923.69.
  • A $139,481 purchase order with Alfa Laval to overhaul the centrifuge at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A $192,000 contract to replace the coatings and make repairs on structural steel components of four clarifier units at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • The refund of $240,180 in unspent parkland dedication funds in multiple park zones.
  • A memorandum of understanding with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to collaborate on the deployment and testing of TTI-developed technology on city streets.
  • A $101,317.17 change order to a construction contract with JaCody, increasing the contract to $2.2 million.
  • The $136,470 purchase of 15 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems to provide more flexibility for better traffic signal control within the Intelligent Transportation System.

8:22 p.m.

Emerald Parkway Land Use Change and Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 11 acres southeast of the Emerald Parkway-Highway 6 intersection. Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion. Two people spoke during the public hearing.

The changes will allow for development.

8:43 p.m.

After another public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Light Industrial to General Commercial for the same property and from Light Industrial to Suburban Commercial for an additional 5½ acres. Three people spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:58 p.m.

Rock Prairie Road Land Use Change and Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the land use designation from Urban, Village Center, Suburban Commercial, and General Commercial to Urban and General Suburban for about 232 acres on the south side of Rock Prairie Road east of Highway 6.

9:20 p.m.

After another public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to Planned Development District for the same property.

The changes will allow a mixed-use development that includes commercial, office, multi- and single-family residential, parks, and trails. 

Here’s the city’s PowerPoint presentation:

Here’s the presentation by the developer, James Murr:

9:25 p.m.

Harvey Road Land Use Change

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the land use designation from Natural Areas Reserved and Commercial to Natural Areas Reserved and Urban for about six acres at the northwest corner of Harvey Road and Associates Avenue.

The change will allow a multi-family residential housing development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:34 p.m.

Water and Wastewater System Master Plan

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the new Water System Master Plan.

9:35 p.m.

After another public hearing, the council also unanimously approved the new Wastewater System Master Plan.

Both will require significant capital investment in the next decade.

The plans include water and sewer lines needed to serve growth corridors, and the rehabilitation of existing lines. The plans also identify major water and sewer line connections needed in the existing systems to allow them to operate more efficiently and abide by state regulations.

The line locations and sizes have been determined through system models produced by engineering consultants in coordination with Water Services. The master plan maps identify water and sewer lines to be constructed by private development as it occurs, with the opportunity for oversize participation. The maps are the result of engineering studies performed for the city in the last decade.

The utility line sizes are based on existing development trends and the comprehensive land use plan. Property owners requesting land use plan amendments and rezoning will be required to assess the impact to the water and wastewater system master plans and propose any necessary changes.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:36 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee Appointment

The council unanimously appointed Councilwoman Linda Harvell as its liaison to the Historic Preservation Committee.

9:40 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:40 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 11.

About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 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!


One thought on “Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 27)

Leave a Reply