Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meeting (Aug. 10)

(L-R): Mark Smith, Linda Harvell, William Wright, John Nichols (mayor), Dennis Maloney, Elizabeth Cunha, and Bob Yancy.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Director

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting starts after 6 p.m. and is streamed live on Optimum Channel 19 and You can participate online through Microsoft Teams by entering Meeting ID: 223 427 023 174 and Passcode: MvPmTr. You can also call 833-240-7855 and enter Conference: 952 310 468#. 

6:10 p.m.

The meeting has started. The council took no action after its executive session.

6:18 p.m.

Allison Dohrman Day

Mayor John Nichols proclaimed Allison Dohrman Day. A member of the Road Rascals Special Olympics Cycling Team, Dohrman won silver and bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Games this summer in Berlin, Germany.

6:27 p.m.

Lights Out Nights

Mayor Nichols proclaimed March 1-June 15 and Aug. 1-Nov. 30 as Lights Out Nights in College Station. The initiative is aligned with Lights Out Texas and aims to ensure the safe passage of migrating birds by encouraging residents to turn off non-essential lighting from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. during the fall and spring migration periods.

Artificial lights attract and disorient migrating birds, leaving them confused and vulnerable to collisions with buildings and other hazards.

6:31 p.m.

National Health Center Week

Mayor Nichols proclaimed this as National Health Center Week in appreciation of the contributions HealthPoint makes to our community and the health of its residents.

6:35 p.m.

Twin City Mission Celebration

Mayor Nichols presented a proclamation celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Twin City Mission. The facility was established as a homeless shelter in 1962, providing lodging, meals, and clothing. Today, the organization creates hope, acceptance, and stability in a safe and caring environment for all in need.

6:53 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Four person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item not appearing on the posted agenda.

• Sherry Frisk spoke about the state historic marker that will be dedicated on Sept. 8 at the College Station cemetery. She also expressed her appreciation for the city’s support of the Never Forget Veterans Garden.
• Katharine Edwards spoke about the city’s enforcement of the no-more-than-four-unrelated ordinance.
• Tre Watson spoke about the Lincoln Recreation Center being a neighborhood facility.
• Mary Linne, speaking on behalf of a group of eight Bryan residents, spoke against a potential College Station sewer line underneath Rosemary Drive.

6:59 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

• A $250,000 annual blanket price agreement with Bound Tree Medical for emergency medical supplies.
• The Program Year 2023 Annual Action Plan and Fiscal Year 2024 Community Development budget.
• A $570,993 contract with Freese and Nichols for effluent filters Phase 1 outfall improvements at the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
• A $784,080 contract with Jerry and Patricia Windham for the purchase of four acres on Greens Prairie Road for the future Fire Station No. 7 approved by voters in the November bond election.
• An award not to exceed $882,766 to Techline for di-electric switchgears.
• A purchase not to exceed $854,150 of single and three phase transformers from KBS Electrical Distributors and Techline for a total expenditure of $1.66 million.
• Renewal of an interlocal agreement with Texas Department of State Health Services for vital statistics and data use.

8:00 p.m.

Middle Housing Zoning Changes

The council discussed modifications to the Middle Housing zoning district based on public feedback. The consensus was to more forward with staff recommendations regarding shared housing uses and the number of allowed parking spaces in front yards.

9:05 p.m.

Recreation and Convention Centers

The council discussed the potential of recreation and convention centers in College Station and directed staff to continue gathering pertinent information. Eight people spoke during the public hearing.

9:05 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

9:15 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

9:38 p.m.

FY 24 Tax Rate

The council unanimously accepted the certified voter approval property tax rate of 51.3086 cents per $100 of valuation as part of the proposed FY 24 city budget. The proposed rate is 1.1527 cents lower than the FY 23 tax rate of 52.4613.

The council called a public hearing on the proposed tax rate for the Aug. 24 council meeting.

The original tax rate in the proposed budget was .514426, but it was lowered after the city received updated estimated taxable property values from the appraisal district. Property taxes fund the city’s general debt service and a portion of general fund operations and maintenance.

9:49 p.m.

UDO Document Edits

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved formatting and content edits to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. The edits are clean-up items, not policy changes.

10:14 p.m.

Bicycle and Off-Street Parking

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved modifications to bicycle and off-street parking requirements in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance.

10:37 p.m.

Elder Aid Funding Agreements

The council unanimously denied two federal funding agreements with Elder Aid – a $170,000 Community Development Block Grant agreement to acquire the property at 700 Pasler and a $189,650 HOME Investment Partnership Program agreement to construct a single-family house on the lot.

10:45 p.m.

Housing Action Plan Steering Committee

The council unanimously approved the creation of a Housing Action Plan Steering Committee to advise and provide community input on the plan’s development regarding ways to create housing opportunities for the local workforce and low-to-moderate-income population.

11:05 p.m.

Ponderosa Truck and Trailer Parking

The council voted 6-1 to approve an amended ordinance prohibiting commercial motor vehicles and trailers from parking on the south side of Ponderosa Drive. Councilwoman Elizabeth Cunha voted against the motion.

Since an ordinance was approved last month prohibiting parking along the south side of Ponderosa, a business owner said he could not receive overnight rental trucks. The change allows parking on that part of the street.

11:08 p.m.

Mayor Nichols adjourned the meeting after the council discussed its calendar, items of community interest, committee and board reports, and future agenda items.

The council meets again on Thursday, Aug. 24.

About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. He has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., Killian graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.

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