By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director
Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 9. 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.
Bear with me, folks — usual blogger Colin Killian is out tonight, so I’ll do my best to keep up. -jgs
The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.
Councilman James Benham is participating by teleconference.
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:
- Approving an interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the College Station general and special election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
- A construction contract with DKing Express LLC for $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at Barracks Park.
- A contract with Brazos Paving Inc for base failure repairs and Type-D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
- Renewal of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Public Library.
FY 2018-19 Proposed Budget
Staff presented main points of the proposed budget that council members will discuss in greater detail during upcoming budget workshops (Aug. 20-22). The full proposed budget can be viewed here. Among tonight’s highlights:
- The proposed budget is $360,680,102 (1.37% lower than FY18)
- Budget reflects a 5% homestead exemption voted on by council in June.
- To remain revenue neutral due to the homestead exemption, a tax increase of 0.8341 cent per $100 valuation is included in the proposed budget.
- A 5% increase to the wastewater rate would begin in October to keep up with capital system improvements due to growth and aging infrastructure.
- Pay increase for police to ensure market competitiveness, as well as a pay increase structure for fire personnel. Also funds for more police body cameras, and fire vehicles and rescue equipment.
- Funding for facility maintenance, street maintenance, implementation of neighborhood plans, construction of Southeast Park and renovations throughout the parks system.
- Street and transportation capital projects, including Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail extensions, Royder Road Phase III, and Cain/Deacon railroad crossing relocation.
- Library expansion, new police station, initial phases of new city hall, and renovations to create a senior and community center at Dartmouth/Colgate.
- Advanced Meter Infrastructure implementation for CSU-Electric.
- Continued implementation of new pay structure with necessary salary adjustments + 1.5% pool for merit-based increases.
Public hearings on the proposed tax rate will occur on Sept. 5 and Sept. 13, and a public hearing on the proposed budget will also occur on Sept. 13. Adoption of the budget and tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 27. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:
Neighborhood Conservation Overlay process
Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:
After considerable discussion among council members and city staff, Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop meeting since it was running long. The regular meeting will begin after a short break and then council will resume its workshop meeting.
The regular meeting has started.
Camp Kesem Week (Aug. 12-17) at Texas A&M University was recognized by Mayor Karl Mooney. Pictured with Mayor Mooney are students Samantha Buchanan and Hannah Lykins.
During the Hear Visitors portion of the meeting, citizens are able to address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.
- Mr. Fred Dupriest, representing the College Station Association of Neighborhoods (CSAN), addressed the council about the neighborhood conservation overlay process. Here is his PowerPoint presentation:
- Mr. Jerry Cooper complimented city staff on the efforts undertaken toward ensuring a fair neighborhood conservation overlay process.
- Mr. Buck Prewitt expressed his desire for additional clarification about specific parts of the NCO process, realizing that the council is unable to respond to citizen comments during this portion of the meeting.
The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, with the exception of item 2b, which relates to ordering a general and special election for two city council races and placement of multiple proposed amendments to the city’s charter. That item will be voted on separately. Items passed unanimously:
- Ordinance, in part, ordering a general and special election on Nov. 6, 2018 to elect city council members to Places 4 and 6, and to submit proposed amendments to the city’s charter.
- Approving interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the City of College Station General and Special Election that will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
- Resolution of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan, City of Brenham, Brazos County, Washington County, Texas A&M University, Grimes County and Brazos Valley Council of Governments; designating the Brazos Valley Council of Governments as the Managing Entity for the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System (BVWACS)
- A construction contract with Kieschnick General Contractors, in the amount
of $830,078 for the construction of the State Highway 6 waterline phases I and II.
- Calling a public hearing on the City of College Station FY 2018-2019 Proposed Budget for Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers.
- A bid award for the annual purchase of single phase pad-mounted transformers, which will be maintained in electrical inventory and expended as needed. The total recommended award is $224,500 to Priester-Mell & Nicholson, Inc.
- An amendment to the lease agreement with CEO, Etc., Inc. for lease of City Fiber Optic Cable Facilities.
- Approval of the construction contract with DKing Express, LLC. in the amount of $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at the Barracks Park.
- A bid award for the annual blanket order for electric meters and sockets, to be stored in inventory.
- Approval of a resolution adopting the proposed FY 2019 Community Development Budget and PY 2018 Annual Action Plan.
- The second reading of a franchise agreement with Organix Recycling, LLC.; for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
- The approval of a contract with Brazos Paving, Inc. for base failure repairs and Type D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
- Amending the Code of Ordinances and a resolution that established the fees, rates, and charges regarding establishing fees for the regulation of dockless bike share programs permitted to operate in the City.
- A letter agreement for year 1 of the Professional Auditing Services engagement with BKD, LLP for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 with expenditures totaling $84,000.
- Renewal of the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Bryan for Management of the
Larry J. Ringer Library.
- A bid award for the annual purchase of sodium hypochlorite, the liquid-chlorine
disinfection product used to treat the potable water supply at the Sandy Point Pump Station.
Place-5 Councilman John Nichols read a prepared statement opposing consent item 2b. due to his objection to the proposed charter amendment that would extend council terms from three to four years, and holding elections only during even-numbered years. By a vote of 6 in favor and 1 abstention (Nichols), item 2b passed.
Rezoning from Planned Development District to Wellborn Restricted Suburban
This proposed rezoning applies to 21 acres of land located just south of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and Royder Road. Council approved this item by a vote of 7-0.
Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:
Appointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustments
Mr. James Sharp was appointed by council to fill an unexpired term on the ZBA.
Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting has resumed with item #6, an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance related to the neighborhood conservation overlay process.
Among the council’s direction to staff was to sufficiently notify all residents who may be part of planned meetings related to an NCO effort, as well as those who may live or own property in proximity of such planned meetings. Among the council suggestions was the burden of mail notification being on city staff via the applicant paying a “notification fee,” rather than an application fee, to only cover those hard costs.
There was also great interest among some council members in giving neighborhoods seeking an NCO to have as many options available to them as possible as they construct their petition to the city.
Staff will take council’s collective direction and bring back a revised ordinance to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and then again to the city council.
Meeting is adjourned.
About the Blogger
Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, TX, he also serves as immediate past-president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.
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