Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Sept. 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 Monday, Sept. 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.

6:31 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

Workshop Meeting Agenda and Background Materials

6:43 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:

  • Westside Community Park: Staff is requesting approval for the $2.5 million purchase of two tracts (48.6 acres and 55.4 acres) and the acceptance of a third tract (7 acres) as a donation to be developed into the Westside Community Park. The property is located on North Dowling Road west of the city. Additional costs will include surveying, environmental reports, title insurance, and closing fees, which are estimated not to exceed $80,000. Funds are budgeted in the Community Park Land Zone B Fund, the Neighborhood Park Land Zone 15 fund, and the Neighborhood Parks Revolving Fund.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Rental Registration Ordinance Amendment: In July, staff provided the council with an overview and update on the rental registration program. The council directed staff to eliminate the requirement to renew the registration of a property on an annual basis and instead require only an initial registration. Staff recommended adding an additional requirement to register four-plex and other types of rental units to assist city staff when responding to an issue, violation, or emergency.

    Staff reviewed the ordinance as adopted and included changes to clarify information for property owners and residents to better understand which properties are subject to the law. The changes include: The title of the ordinance was revised; the types of properties were added to include single-family, townhome, duplex, triplex, fourplex, five-plex & six-plex; a definition of multi-family dwelling was added; a definition of owner occupied was added; clarification that a new registration is required in the event of a change in ownership; change in local contact information must be reported within 30 days; and fee of $15 charged per building.

  • Single-Stream Recycling Agreement: 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. The provision of recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 out of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Transportation Network Ordinance Repeal: The governor recently signed HB100 into law to provide a uniform, statewide approach to regulating and permitting transportation network companies through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The law preempts local control by establishing exclusive power and function solely to the state. As such, the city transportation network company ordinance will be repealed.

7:12 p.m.

Council to repeal city’s hands-free ordinance

The council voted 4-3 to direct staff to bring back an ordinance to repeal the existing city law regarding the use of hand-held communication devices while driving. The state legislature recently took action to ban texting and driving statewide. The city’s ordinance prohibits any use of hand-held communication devices while driving.

The discussion also included a review of a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute on the effectiveness of the city ordinance.

Survey of Wireless Communication Device Use

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:27 p.m.

Long-Term Water Supplies

The council heard a presentation about potential long-term water supplies. College Station’s water comes entirely from groundwater wells. As groundwater reserves are drawn down, the city could be required to reduce its pumping amounts.

Consequently, the city is planning for alternative water supplies that would replace any required cutbacks. Possibilities include direct potable reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, desalination, and surface water.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:28 p.m.

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

7:36 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

Regular Meeting Agenda and Background Materials

7:41 p.m.

Laserfiche Excellence Award

Deputy City Secretary Ian Whittenton was recognized for receiving MCCi’s Laserfiche Excellence Award for its innovative use of Laserfiche. 

7:43 p.m.

Constitution Week

The mayor proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in commemoration of America’s most important document. The celebration of the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1955 when the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside an annual observance. The resolution was adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

7:48 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 16 as Thank a Police Officer Day in College Station. The event is promoted by the College Station Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association

7:49 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one signed up to speak during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

7:49 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An Interlocal agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a 2017 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • An $11.36 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the Lakeway Drive Project.
  • A $2.88 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the Royder Road Expansion Phase 1 Project.
  • Temporarily changed the posted speed limit to 25 mph on Royder Road between the city limit to 700 feet north of Backwater Drive during the Royder Road Expansion Phase 1 project.
  • A $315,000 contract with Brazos Paving for construction of the culvert and replacement of the water line at the intersection of Dominik and Stallings Drive.
  • Awarded a $545,000 contract to C3 Constructors for the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s 4 and 5 Blower Improvements.
  • A resolution naming the authorized representative on the Public Agency Retirement Services’ Public Agencies Post-Retirement Health Care Plan Trust account.
  • An agreement for administrative services with Public Agency Retirement Services in the amount of 0.25 percent of plan assets for financial advisory services on an annual basis, estimated to be $3,250 in this initial year.
  • A $230,000 contract with Xpedient Mail for printing and mailing utility bills, late notices, and inserts.
  • A three-year Interlocal Agreement with the City of Bryan and Brazos County for the City of College Station to provide Emergency Medical Ambulance Service to Brazos County and to receive payments every quarter.
  • The final reading of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement renewal with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers times the approved contract rates.
  • The acquisition of 110.95 acres to be developed into Westside Community Park.
  • A $256,384 contract with Utility Restoration Services for annual padmount equipment repair and restoration.
  • An amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding the working hours for necessary construction.
  • An amendment to the city’s Building and Building Regulations and Single-Family and Duplex Unit Rental Registration.
  • Repealed the city ordinance regarding Transportation Network Companies after the state legislature passed a bill allowing only the state to regulate transportation network companies.

7:51 p.m.

FY18 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed $365.5 million budget for FY18, which is scheduled for adoption Sept. 25.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:58 p.m.

FY18 Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed tax rate for FY18, which is scheduled for adoption Sept. 25. The proposed rate is 49.75 cents per $100 of assessed value, a 2½-cent increase from the current rate.

One person spoke against the tax increase during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:24 p.m.

Fairview Avenue Rezoning at George Bush Drive

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 to approve a request to rezone two lots on the south side of Fairview Avenue at the George Bush Drive intersection. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Linda Harvell joined Mayor Mooney is voted against the motion. The change will allow the relocation of the nearby Aggieland Outfitters store.

Ten people spoke against the zoning change and three for it during the public hearing. One written statement supporting the change also was submitted.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:


10:24 p.m.

The meeting will resume after a short break.

10:34 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

10:37 p.m.

UDO Amendment: Utility Easements

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regarding the location of utility easements. The change is part of efforts to streamline the UDO and will give the city engineer flexibility regarding the location and width of utility easements, which will reduce costs for the developer, staff time for processing waiver requests, and the number of waiver requests considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:40 p.m.

UDO Amendment: Health Clubs

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the UDO to permit health clubs in Commercial Industrial zoning districts. The change allows gyms and exercise facilities to use buildings with a warehouse or industrial character.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:40 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

10:40 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 25.


About the Author

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.

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