Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 12)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 12. 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.

5:06 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman Dennis Maloney is absent tonight.

The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:10 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Infrastructure Participation Agreement: The agreement prepares a section of The Business Center at College Station Phase II for development with the addition of needed infrastructure, including detention, sidewalks, shared driveway access, and sewer. The city is under contract to sell about seven acres. The agreement details the cost-sharing of infrastructure outlined in the real estate contract. In general, the shared infrastructure will be designed by the city to standards and requirements. Grand Jr. will construct the shared infrastructure, and the city will reimburse for its portion once the items are completed, inspected and accepted.
  • Justice Assistance Grant: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and funds all components of the criminal justice system. The CSPD intends to use this funding to support local initiatives, technical assistance, training, equipment, supplies, or information technology projects that will enhance law enforcement programs.

5:27 p.m.

CodeFest Review

The council reviewed the city’s first CodeFest Aug. 17-18 at the Meyer Center. Funded entirely by sponsorships, the event attracted 45 participants from College Station, Austin, and Houston.

The nine teams developed three apps and six websites focusing on various community needs. The top team won $1,000, with second place taking home $500. A second Codefest is tentatively planned for Jan. 25.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:34 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 6 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:07 p.m.

Constitution Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in College Station in recognition of America’s most important document. The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms, and inalienable rights.

6:32 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Seven people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Army Capt. Sean E. Lyerly as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 31-year-old Pflugerville native died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 20, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Jacob Prazak of the College Station Professional Firefighters Association spoke about an effective new cancer screening for firefighters. He also spoke in support of the proposed increase in the property tax rate.
  • David Scott spoke against the process behind the clearing of trees in Lick Creek Park for the installation of a sewer line. He asked the city to restore the habitat that has been destroyed.
  • Donell Frankes spoke about the sewer work in Lick Creek Park. She said the scheduling of the work caused significant disruption to park programs and activities.
  • Jackie Girouard spoke about the destruction of Lick Creek Park caused by the sewer pipeline work.
  • Cheryl Lewis spoke about the threat to native vegetation and water resources in Lick Creek Park.
  • Sandy Dillard spoke about the threat to vital bird habitat in Lick Creek Park.

6:33 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A participation agreement with Grand Jr. for constructing public infrastructure. City participation is not to exceed $208,851, excluding fixed fees.
  • Documents relating to the property owners association in The Business Center at College Station.
  • FY20 funds for items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for inter-local contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $100,000.
  • A negotiated settlement agreement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp.-Mid-Tex Division regarding the company’s 2019 rate review mechanism filings with rate tariffs and proof of revenues.
  • Amendments to certain sections of the city’s Code of Ordinances related to the Northgate Parking Garage Gate.
  • The annual price agreement not to exceed $120,000 with Corn’s Collision Center for heavy truck paint and body repairs.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a 2019 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The addition of a four-way stop intersection at Church Avenue east and westbound at Second Street and the public way of the Northgate surface parking lot.
  • Renewal of contracts for prefabricated signs and sign blanks with Vulcan Signs ($54,224.50) and for posts and hardware with Dobie Supply ($61,585.00).

6:42 p.m.

FY20 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The total budget is about $341.2 million. The budget is scheduled for adoption Sept. 26. Two people spoke in the public hearing, one against waste in the budget and the other in support of the city’s workforce.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

FY20 Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted its final public hearing on the city’s proposed FY20 property tax rate of .534618 per $100 of assessed value, a $.028778-cent increase. The proposed rate would generate $51.7 million in revenue for general debt service and operations and maintenance. Five people spoke against the rate increase. (Blogger’s note: I originally wrote here that one of the speakers supported the increase. I misunderstood the intent of the speaker’s statement and regret the error.)   

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

Rock Prairie-Fitch Rezoning

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda and will be considered at a later date.

7:19 p.m.

Texas Avenue South Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial, Urban, and Natural Areas Reserved for almost nine acres at 2709 Texas Avenue South. One person spoke in the public hearing.

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:29 p.m.

University Drive East Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use from Natural Areas Reserved to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres at 3030 University Drive East. The changes would allow for a medical office in an existing building.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

University Drive East Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Light Industrial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres at 3030 University Drive East. The changes would allow for a medical office in an existing building.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:42 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 26.


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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2 thoughts on “Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 12)

  1. Your comment about four people speaking against the tax rate increase and one in support is poorly worded and could easily be misconstrued. The one who did not speak in “direct” opposition to the rate increase said he did not “begrudge” the city raising the tax rate because they had frivolous capital projects they wanted to spend money on. He also pointed out the deceptive way the city compares CS tax rate to other cities. I had an opportunity to speak to him and he did NOT want to appear to support the tax increase.
    your comment makes it appear that this blog is solely a propaganda wing of the city council’s wishes.

    1. That’s a fair point, and I’ve made the correction. I assure you that no one on the city council has ever asked that I word things in a way that’s favorable to them individually or as a group. Any mistakes are entirely mine.

      Thanks for the comment.