Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 24)

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, Aug. 24. 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.

5:34 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

No action was taken out of executive session.

5:57 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:

  • Graham Substation Equipment: The equipment purchased through this bid requires a significant delivery time from the date of purchase and is be installed during the construction of the Graham Road Substation in 2018. The equipment to be purchased includes transformers, a gas circuit breaker, circuit switchers, and 3-phase electric substation transformers. The bid includes delivery, set-up of the transformers on the foundations, filling with oil, and testing.
  • Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: The intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive has stop signs on the Thomas Street approaches. An area resident expresses concerns about appropriate sight lines. Traffic Engineering found that the sight line for vehicles at the stop sign on the westbound approach was inadequate to see vehicles approaching the from the left on Dexter. Consequently, Traffic Engineering recommends making it a four-way stop controlled intersection.
  • Brazos Valley Recycling: Staff recommends renewal of years 3-5 of a five-year franchise agreement and general services contract with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable materials. The city pays an annual cost of $880,000. Recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Water Well No. 9: The project includes the installation of Well  No. 9 and a collection line on city property to add additional pumping capacity to match population projections and state requirements. Final project costs are expected to be less than what was budgeted in FY17.
  • Water Line Relocation: Staff recommends approval of a construction contract for the installation of a water line west of the FM2818-FM60 intersection. The existing 30-inch water line will be removed or filled with grout.

6:04 p.m.

BVSWMA FY18 Budget

The council approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed budget for FY18, which includes $8.92 million in revenues and $9.44 million in expenses. The budget also reduces the gate rate from $20.50 to $20.00 per ton from Bryan and College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

Park Preserves in ETJ

The council heard a presentation about potential parkland in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The discussion covered parkland needs and possibilities and included the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, current parks and greenways properties, current land purchase efforts, the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, and possible funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Traffic Control Center Award

The council heard a presentation about the national Public Agency Council Achievement Award received by the Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the city’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). The award was presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in Toronto. Pictured below (L-R) are Traffic Signal Technician Jimmy Pletzer, Traffic Signal Technician Juan Gonzalez, Jr., Traffic Systems Superintendent Lee Robinson, Mayor Mooney, Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, and Traffic Systems Foreman Garrett Martinek.

This award recognizes agencies that have achieved excellence through implementing innovative ideas and delivering outstanding transportation engineering, planning, and operations. The TCC helps improve traffic conditions with new technologies and allows signal timings to be changed in real-time during special events or roadway incidents.

Signal performance measure software also allows city staff to better monitor and adjust traffic signal operations. The City of College Station was the first agency in Texas to implement signal performance measures, and others are following our lead.

The TCC pulls together video streams from more than 100 cameras that are shared with the Police and Fire Departments as well as Texas A&M. The video streams are critical when moving 120,000 fans away from Kyle Field after football games. Staff from Traffic Systems, Traffic Engineering and the Police Department man the TCC during the postgame operations, observing the video streams and manipulating signal timings. The TCC is in constant communication with the Kyle Field command center.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:42 p.m.

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

The council discussed the city’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. The initiative is designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive and shareable ideas to tackle problems, deliver results and improve life for residents.

Entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work. The 35 Champion Cities will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support. The five cities with the best ideas will receive millions to implement their ideas at scale.

6:47 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

The mayor proclaimed September as Still Creek Ranch Month.

7:20 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 Marine Lance Corporal Todd R. Bolding as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Manvel native died June 3, 2004, after being wounded in hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Fred Dupriest of the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group spoke about the city’s planning terminology, specifically how mitigation is not necessarily a benefit.
  • Michael Kuitu and Cathy Liles submitted written comments.

7:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the consent agenda:

  • A $316,746 purchase of various long lead time major equipment for the proposed Graham Substation.
  • A purchase not to exceed $1,145,926 of two 3-phase electric substation transformers for the proposed Graham Road Substation.
  • Renewal of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers multiplied by the approved agreement rates.
  • A $5.6 million contract with Garney Construction to install water well No. 9 and a collection line.
  • A $433,552 contract with Dudley Construction to relocate the 30-inch water line at FM2818 and FM60.

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda:

  • Modifications to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the addition of a four-way stop intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Drive. Councilwoman Brick requested this item be pulled for a separate vote so she could thank the neighborhood residents and city staff.

7:49 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres north of University Oaks Boulevard on the west side of Earl Rudder Freeway. Councilman Barry Moore supported the motion. Three people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to deny a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Office to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item. Two people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.7 acres on the east side of Wellborn Road where Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill is located. The change will make the tract conform with property to the north that will be developed into an HEB store.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:06 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Rural to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:51 p.m.

Off-Street Parking Standards

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amended off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:56 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 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!


Leave a Reply