Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 8)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

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. 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:43 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

5:44 p.m.

Gilman Appointed Interim City Manager

The council unanimously appointed Chuck Gilman as interim city manager, effective April 1. Gilman has been deputy city manager since 2014. Before that, Gilman served as the city’s public works director. He will fill the role vacated by Kelly Templin, who will leave at the end of March to become director of the RELLIS Campus for the Texas A&M University System.

6:10 p.m.

Texas Weekend of Remembrance

The council unanimously endorsed the Texas Weekend of Remembrance, a special event scheduled for Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).

The event will be a time for military members, veterans, and their families to come together and honor the memory of their lost loved ones through camaraderie and commemoration of their sacrifice. The TWR could become a precursor to Memorial Day and restore its original intent by allowing everyone to show their pride and respect to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:16 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:

  • Electric Switchgear: The not-to-exceed $539,000 bid award to Techline is for the annual purchase of pad-mounted 15 kV solid dielectric switchgear.
  • Southeast Park Design Project: The $1.22 million contract with Halff Associates is for design and construction phase services for the Southeast Park Project. The facility will ultimately include 8 ballfields with associated infrastructure and amenities. The contract provides construction services for Phase 1, which is proposed to include four ballfields. The overall project will be funded by $6 million in certificates of obligation and $4 million in hotel occupancy tax revenue. The debt for the project hasn’t been issued, but expenditure in advance of issuance was authorized by the council in November.

6:17 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop, which will resume after the regular meeting.

6:17 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:25 p.m.

CSHS State Championship Football Team

The council recognized College Station High School’s state champion football team. The Cougars began their 2017 season with a 1-2 record but won its remaining 13 games to finish the year at 14-2. The Cougars defeated Aledo High School, 20-19, in the 5A-Division II state championship game on Dec. 23 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The district opened the doors of College Station High School not six years ago and did not achieve full enrollment until the 2014-15 school year. 

6:30 p.m.

2-1-1 Day

The mayor, acting on behalf of the City of Bryan and Brazos County, proclaimed Feb. 11 as 2-1-1 Day. 2-1-1 Texas is a program of United Way of the Brazos Valley in partnership with the State of Texas Health and Human Service Commission.

6:32 p.m.

Shen Yun Performance Day

The mayor proclaimed Feb. 13 as Shen Yun Performance Day.

6:41 p.m.

Science and Technology LEGO League

The council heard a presentation from the Science and Technology LEGO League about a water conservation app. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney are members of H2Owls (l-r): Yura Song, Sami Mahapatra, Izzy Toth, Miriam Demlow, Bowen Tian and Claire Connally.

6:50 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people spoke as part of Hear Visitors when citizens address the council on items that don’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Lt. Tim Cunningham as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 26-year-old College Station native died April 23, 2008, in a vehicle accident in Balad, Iraq.
  • Morgan Heien spoke against item 2f on tonight’s consent agenda, which would remove parking along one side of Oney Hervey Drive.
  • Larry Johnson spoke in favor of item 2f on tonight’s consent agenda, which would remove parking along one side of Oney Hervey Drive.

6:51 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A not-to-exceed bid award of $539,000 to Techline for the annual purchase of pad-mounted 15 kV solid dielectric switchgear.
  • A contract amendment for PGAL to use the Construction Manager-at-Risk project delivery method for the design of the new police headquarters.
  • A $109,060 bid award to Techline for materials related to transmission pole replacement.
  • An advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for voluntary local government contributions to transportation improvement projects with no required match for the FM 2818 Widening Project.
  • Removed parking on the west side of Oney Harvey Drive to the end of the road, on the east side from Holleman Drive to 140 feet down the east side of Oney Harvey Drive, on the north side of Southland Street to the end of the road, and from Wellborn Road to 125 feet down the south side of Southland Street.
  • A change order reducing reduction the contract with Larry Young Paving by $253,599.11 for the Royder Road Expansion Project.
  • A $1.22 million contract with Halff Associates for design and construction phase services for the Southeast Park Project.
  • An annual not-to-exceed $150,000 contract with All-Around Tree Service for landscaping and tree trimming and removal services.
  • The annual traffic contact report required by the state.

6:58 p.m.

Angry Elephant Conditional Use Permit

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a conditional use permit for a bar called the Angry Elephant in an existing commercial space at 650 William D. Fitch Parkway, which is near the southwest corner of the intersection with Arrington Road. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself from the vote.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:16 p.m.

Comp Plan Amendment and Rezoning Criteria

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding the criteria used in considering Comprehensive Plan amendments and rezonings. An earlier amendment to change some of the wording in the amendment also passed unanimously.

No criteria in the UDO assists applicants and guides decision makers in their consideration to amend the Comprehensive Plan. The questions asked of applicants are taken from guidance provided by the Comprehensive Plan to analyze amendment requests. While the amendment adds language to the UDO, it offers predictable expectations for applicants, and sound decision points to policymakers when considering changes to the city’s long-range plan.

The criteria in the UDO for rezonings have been criticized for being difficult to understand and confusing to apply. The amendment is intended to establish clear standards for rezoning with less redundancy.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m.

Wolf Pen Creek Design District

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve criteria for administrative approval of site plans, buildings, and signs in the Wolf Pen Creek Design District. The changes are intended to streamline the development review process.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

FY18 Budget Amendment No. 1

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s FY18 budget by $3,079,541 and to increase the full-time employee count by two. A $54,000 inter-fund transfer was also included.

See pages 104-105 of the regular meeting packet for more details of the budget amendment.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:47 p.m.

Board and Committee Appointments

The council voted unanimously to make these appointments:

  • Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeal: Joseph Fix, Janet Kountakis, Bill Mather, James Sharp, Rachel Smith, Elianor Vessali (alternate).
  • Design Review Board: Ray Holliday.
  • Historic Preservation Committee: Gerald Blackmon, Gerald Burgner (chair), Shirley Dupriest, Helen Frisk, Louis Hodges, William Wright.
  • Joint Relief Funding Review Committee: Nancy Berry, Chace Murphy.
  • Zoning Board of Adjustments: Howard Mayne, James Sharp (alternate).

7:49 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:49 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop will resume after a short break.

7:59 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

8:12 p.m.

Capital Improvement Plan Update

The council discussed the status of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, including projects recommended by the Citizen Advisory Committee.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Krenek Tap Overlay

The consensus of the council was to move forward with a city-initiated rezoning to remove the Krenek Tap Overlay zoning district. The concept of deleting the zoning district from the city’s Unified Development Ordinance requires the rezoning of properties under the overlay to remove its application.

The Krenek Tap Overlay zoning district was adopted in 2004 to enhance the views along Krenek Tap Road and create a sense of identity for the city, not only along the municipal property but along Krenek Tap Road. At the time, the city was pursuing a City Centre Concept for the development of the municipal property.

The overlay heightens the development standards for properties along Krenek Tap — including single-family — by requiring parking behind structures and limitations on façade and fence materials and roof and signage options. The overlay is applied to properties from the Krenek Tap right-of-way and back 750 feet in each direction.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:36 p.m.

Public Hearing Notifications

The council discussed community notification requirements and practices for cases involving a public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:46 p.m.

Non-Residential Landscaping Standards

The council discussed the city’s non-residential landscaping requirements, including streetscaping, buffer standards, and options for encouraging water conservation.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:49 p.m.

Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition

The consensus of the council was to provide a budget for a council representative to attend meetings of the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition. The estimated cost would be about $900, which includes airfare and hotel accommodations but not meals. 

8:53 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Feb. 22.


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 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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