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

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, May 11. 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.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:03 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No consent items were pulled for workshop discussion.

6:42 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Commission Plan of Work

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the commission’s 2017 plan of work, which includes the Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood integrity, Unified Development Ordinance regulations, and more.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:01 p.m.

Advanced Wireless Research Initiative

The council discussed the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, a federal project that will invest $400 million over seven years in advanced wireless platforms and research. Texas A&M is one of four universities competing for the project. College Station and Bryan could partner with A&M as testing areas for experimental 5G equipment.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop until after the regular meeting, which will begin after a short break.

7:08 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:12 p.m.

B-CS Travel and Tourism Week

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed May 7-13 as Bryan-College Station Travel and Tourism Week to recognize how travel promotes jobs, economic growth, and personal well-being.

7:16 p.m.

National Public Works Week

The mayor proclaimed May 21-27 as National Public Works Week to recognize public works for providing, maintaining, and improving the structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for the nation’s communities.

7:18 p.m.

National Bike Month

The mayor proclaimed May as National Bike Month to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to try it. Click here for more about biking and here for a map of biking facilities in College Station.

7:23 p.m.

Municipal Clerks-City Secretaries Week

The mayor proclaimed May 7-13 as Municipal Clerks-City Secretaries Week to recognize municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for communities and local governments.

7:55 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Thirteen 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. Christopher Ramirez as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 34-year-old McAllen native died April 14, 2004, from combat injuries sustained in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Twelve people — most members of iMatter Youth, a climate change awareness group — spoke about their Climate Change Report Card for College Station. They asked College Station to move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.

7:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Two change orders totaling $226,865.20 to the Greens Prairie Substation contract.
  • A resolution stating that the city council has reviewed and approved the amended investment policy broker-dealer list.
  • Renewal of an agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District to transfer its water through the College Station water system.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety for the use of the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.
  • A three-year contract not-to-exceed $850,000 annually with Global Payments Direct for merchant card and credit card payment processing services.

8:47 p.m.

Platting & Replatting in Older Subdivisions

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance that corrects language from 2012 that inadvertently allowed new lots as small as 5,000 square feet in older residential neighborhoods. Eight people spoke during the public hearing.

The adopted amendment includes additional language that provides flexibility when calculating the average lot width and is described fully in slide No. 6 (version 2) in the PowerPoint presentation:

9:32 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about five acres northwest of the Mitchell Parkway-Raymond Stotzer Parkway intersection. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

The change will allow a multi-family and commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:36 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Zoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Commercial Industrial to Planned Development District for the same property. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:40 p.m.

Harvey Road Land Use

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the land use designation from Urban to General Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved for about three acres east of Copperfield Parkway and south of Harvey Road. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:44 p.m.

Pavilion Avenue Thoroughfare Plan Amendment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the Thoroughfare Plan by changing the classification of Pavilion Avenue from a major to a minor collector. The road is located southeast of the Highway 6-Sebesta Road intersection.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

10:02 p.m.

Certificates of Obligation

The council unanimously authorized the issuance of up to $70 million in certificates of obligation to provide for streets, police station construction, information technology, and electric and water improvements.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:03 p.m.

New Capital Projects, Refunding Bonds

The council unanimously authorized the issuance of up to $36.6 million in bonds for new capital projects ($17.6 million maximum) and the refunding of existing bonds ($19 million maximum) to take advantage of lower interest rates. The refunding will save about $1.4 million over the remaining life of the bonds.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:03 p.m.

The council had no future agenda items to discuss.

10:03 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume.

10:04 p.m.

The council decided to move the item regarding the city’s plan for municipal property to a future date.

10:07 p.m.

The council discussed its calendar and received committee reports and mMayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 25.

The council meets again on Thursday, May 25.

About the Author

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