Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 26)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Elianor 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. 26. 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.

5:39 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:50 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:

  • Bingo Fee Collection: The resolution continues the city’s share of the prize fees awarded at bingo games conducted in College Station after Jan. 1 as required by new state law.
  • Holleman Drive Speed Limit: The ordinance would change the speed limit from 60 mph to 40 on Holleman Drive South between North Dowling Road and Rock Prairie Road. A recently completed project widened Holleman to four lanes with a median/center turn lane.

6:19 p.m.

Residential Parking

The council reviewed city ordinances, policies, and practices related to parking in residential areas. The discussion included parking in school zones, parking removal policies, parking pavement coverage on residential lots, and game day parking.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:40 p.m.

Traffic Calming Policy

The council received an update on the city’s traffic calming policy, which allows staff to be more responsive to resident’s requests and creates a ranking matrix of neighborhood plans based on safety criteria.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:47 p.m.

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

6:57 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:03 p.m.

MDA Fill The Boot Days

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Oct. 10-12 as the College Station Fire Department’s “Fill the Boot” days benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

7:07 p.m.

TAAF Games of Texas

Mayor Mooney presented a shadow box to Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Executive Director Mark Lord. The box contains mementos from the TAAF’s 2019 Summer Games of Texas that were conducted here in July. Lord also presented the city with a plaque in appreciation of its support of the games.

The event attracted 8,461 athletes from across the state to compete in 12 sports. Only 130 participants were local, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $8.1 million into the local economy.

7:10 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person 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. Rowdy J. Inman as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 38-year-old Panorama Village native died of combat wounds on Dec. 22, 2007, in Mosul, Iraq.

7:15 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • Renewal of six master agreements for real estate appraisal services with Duff &

Phelps, JLL Valuation & Advisory Services, Lowery Property Advisors, Paul Hornsby & Company, S.T. Lovett & Associates and Valbridge Property Advisors.

  • A $144,060, three-year contract with Frontier Communications for a 2-gigabyte internet connection.
  • A resolution adopting the Fire Department’s fees, rates, and charges.
  • Annual blanket orders not to exceed $1,065,070.50 for electric inventory items: Techline ($658,887), KBS Electric ($253,115), Texas Electric Cooperative ($92,975), and Anixter ($60,093).
  • A resolution approving the continued receipt of a share of the bingo prize fees awarded at bingo games conducted in College Station after Jan. 1.
  • FY20 insurance premiums for all lines of coverage not to exceed $650,000, including Excess Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Property/Boiler & Machinery, Commercial Crime, EMT Liability, Auto Property Damage, Cyber Liability, Unmanned Aircraft liability and property, and Special Events.
  • Renewal of the annual price agreement not to exceed is $503,214.55 for electric three-phase pad mount transformers with KBS Electrical Distributors.
  • A $3.28 million contract with Larry Young Paving to construct Phase 1 of the widening of Greens Prairie Trail.
  • An ordinance temporarily changing the posted speed limit to 30 mph on Greens Prairie Road from 1,000 feet west of Woodlake Drive to the Royder Road Intersection during the Greens Prairie Road Widening Project.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted unanimously approved a motion by Councilman John Nichols to postpone until Oct. 7 the vote on the ordinance changing the posted speed limit on Holleman Drive South from North Dowling Road to the Rock Prairie Road Intersection. The limit in the ordinance was 40 mph, and Nichols motion asked that it be 45.

7:26 p.m.

Assistance to Firefighters Grant

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution accepting a $315,597 Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The funds will be used for the Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Command Training and Certification Program and source-capturing diesel exhaust removal systems for fire stations.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:40 p.m.

Fun for All Playground Phase 2

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.8 million contract for Phase 2 of the Fun for All Playground at Central Park. The second phase includes a stadium with bleachers and a quarter-scale artificial turf field. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:46 p.m.

Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $325,000 amendment to the FY19 city budget. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:18 p.m.

FY 20 Budget Adoption

The council voted 6-1 to adopt the city’s FY 20 budget of $341.2 million, which includes a general fund budget of $105.2 million and capital projects totaling $57.9 million. Councilwoman Elianor Vessali voted against the budget. A public hearing on the budget was Sept. 12.

In a second vote, the council voted 6-1 to ratify the increase in property tax revenue reflected in the budget. Councilwoman Vessali voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

FY 20 Tax Rate Adoption

The council voted 5-2 to adopt the FY 20 proposed property tax rate of $0.534618 per $100 assessed value, a $.028777-cent increase. Councilwoman Vessali and Councilman Jerome Rektorik voted against the motion. The proposed rate will generate $51.7 million for debt service and city operations. Four residents spoke against the tax increase.

Public hearings on the tax rate were Aug. 22 and Sept. 12.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:06 p.m.

Texas Independence Ballpark Midtown College Station

The council voted unanimously to officially name the new park on Rock Prairie Road as Texas Independence Ballpark Midtown College Station. The council also named the complex’s eight ball fields as Gonzales, Goliad, Alamo, San Jacinto, Sabine River, Rio Grande, Red River, and Lone Star.

The park had been temporarily called Southeast Park.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:22 p.m.

Texas A&M Ticket Reselling

The council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance related to Texas A&M ticket reselling, along with an inter-local agreement with the university for related law enforcement assistance. 

Reselling of A&M football tickets often results in unsuspecting buyers purchasing invalid or counterfeit tickets. The ordinance requires a university permitting process. It doesn’t impact the occasional resale of personal tickets. The agreement allows university police to help the city with enforcement.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:24 p.m.

BVSWMA Board Appointment

The council voted 6-0-1 to reappoint Councilman John Nichols to the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s board of directors. Nichols abstained from the vote.

9:24 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:24 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Oct. 7.


About the Blogger

Colin Killian 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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