Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meeting (Aug. 24)

(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. 24. 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.

6:30 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Several people spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

• Ed Udell spoke is support of the College Station Senior Advisory Committee and its mission.
• Cari Bullington, speaking on behalf of a group of five, made a presentation and spoke in favor of a local YMCA facility.
• Jennifer Weber, speaking on behalf of a group of six, spoke against the Northeast trunkline being placed along Rosemary Drive.

7:03 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

• A $122,535 contract with Buyers Barricades Houston for Texas A&M football postgame traffic control.
• A $1.4 million contract with Binkley & Barfield for professional services for the Rock Prairie East Widening Project approved by voters in the 2022 bond election.
• A $7.84 million contract with Brazos Paving for construction services for the Rock Prairie East Widening Project, plus the city’s $392,000 contingency for a total appropriation of $8.23 million.
• The Atmos Mid-Tex 2023 Rate Review Mechanism ordinance.
• FY 24 funding of items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for interlocal contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $100,000.
• The fourth renewal of a $150,000 annual contract with FORVIS for professional auditing services.
• An interlocal agreement with Brazos County Emergency Service District 4 for the transfer of a surplus vehicle.
• An amendment to the FY 23 funding agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley for FY23.
• A $116,900 contract with Elliott Construction to repair of an existing 8-inch wastewater line at Montclair Avenue and Park Place, plus $35,000 in contingencies for a total appropriation of $151,900.

In a separate motion, the council voted 6-1 to approve a resolution directing the Brazos County Tax Office to calculate the FY 25 voter-approved rate in the manner provided for a special taxing unit affected by a disaster declaration. Councilwoman Elizabeth Cunha voted against the motion.

7:42 p.m.

Texas Independence Ballpark

The consensus of the council was to discontinue the Texas Independence Ballpark project on Rock Prairie Road because of significant soil issues. Required site improvements would cost an additional $10-16 million.

The council directed staff to explore other locations for new ballparks and to incorporate the site’s completed infrastructure into a community park. Staff will return with specific options and public input opportunities at a later date.

8:00 p.m.

Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted the final public hearing on the proposed FY 24 property tax rate of 51.3086 cents per $100 valuation. Two people spoke during the hearing.

8:15 p.m.

FY 24 City Budget Adoption

The council voted 6-1 to approve the city’s $492.1 million FY 24 budget. Councilwoman Elizabeth Cunha voted against the motion.

The council also unanimously ratified to property tax revenue increase reflected in the budget.

8:19 p.m.

FY 24 Property Tax Rate Adoption

The council unanimously adopted a FY 24 property tax rate of 51.3086 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, including 21.1442 cents for debt service and 30.1644 cents for operations and maintenance. The rate is lower than FY 23’s rate of (52.4613 cents) but results in a tax increase because of higher property values.

8:30 p.m.

FY 24 Fees, Rates, and Charges

The council unanimously adopted city fees, rates, and charges for FY 24.

8:38 p.m.

Midtown Reserve Concept Plan

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to amend the Planned Development District concept plan for about 33 acres at 5900 Rock Prairie Road in the Midtown Reserve Subdivision.

8:43 p.m.

Richards Street Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from General Commercial to General Suburban for about 0.356 acres at 217 Richards Street. The applicant wants to replat the property into three residential lots.

8:51 p.m.

Holleman Drive Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from General Commercial to Wolf Pen Creek for about one acre at 213 Holleman Drive East. The applicant wants to provide a feasible development opportunity consistent with the rest of the block.

8:52 p.m.

Holleman Drive Conditional Use

The council council unanimously approved a conditional use permit for about one acre at 213-219 Holleman Drive East in the Wolf Pen Creek zoning district. The permit would allow multi-family use on the ground floor of the undeveloped lots at the corner of George Bush Drive East and Holleman Drive East.

9:04 p.m.

Mayor John 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, Sept. 14.

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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