Author Archive

Thousands pour into town for Games of Texas

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Let the Games begin!

The 2019 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas starts Thursday at premier venues across College Station and Bryan. The Games run through Monday.

The Olympic-like festival features roughly 8,500 amateur athletes of all ages from across the state competing in multiple sporting events, mostly in swimming and track and field. Other events are archery, boxing, flag football, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, skateboarding, tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Daily admission tickets are $7 for swimming, and $5 for boxing and track and field, while other events are free. You can also follow the action at facebook.com/taafnation.

The City of College Station, in collaboration with the City of Bryan and Texas A&M, is playing host for the seventh time after conducting the event in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. We’re thrilled to be the host city again.

Last year’s Games attracted more than 19,000 athletes, coaches, families, and volunteers, who made an estimated economic impact of about $7.7 million on our community.

We invite you to help welcome our visitors at the opening ceremonies on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site. Led by the College Station High School Cougar Marching Band, the parade of athletes begins at 7 p.m. A thrilling trampoline show by Flippenout Productions tops off the event.

Traffic Delays, Facility Closures

College Station Parks and Recreation facilities and pools will be closed Thursday through Sunday. Affected facilities include the Parks and Recreation offices, Meyer Senior and Community Center, Lick Creek Nature Center, Lincoln Recreation Center, Southwood Community Center, Adamson Lagoon, and Cindy Hallaran Pool.

Motorists can expect delays around College Station High School throughout the Games as lanes will be minimized to accommodate parking. In addition, Holleman Drive from Dartmouth Street to the former Sears Service Center parking lot will be closed on Friday from 4-9 p.m.

For more information, visit taaf.com/gamesoftexas or call 979-764-3486.

Related Links

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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City of College Station launches new website Thursday

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

When websites first became a big deal in the mid-1990s, a lot of folks thought they were just another technological fad. But about as fast as you can say “Gig ‘em, Aggies,” everyone realized that an organization’s web presence is its most important communications and marketing tool.

In the last quarter-century, websites have become essential to not only businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions, but all levels of government. The City of College Station’s website attracts more than 2.5 million views a year and provides essential information about the city’s activities, programs, and services.

The current website has been operating since 2007, and while 12 years may not seem long, it’s an eternity in the web world. The site has served our community well, but a change is long overdue. It simply has become stale, outdated, and out-of-touch with modern trends and technology.

Thankfully, we launch a fresh new website – featuring brighter graphics and user-friendly navigation with drop-down menus – on Thursday at the familiar cstx.gov. With so much of our web traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, the new site also is optimized for mobile devices.

Our web presence is vital since it’s typically among the first things anyone sees when searching online for information about College Station. Our priority was to develop the site from the users’ perspective, and the result is an easy-to-use, intuitive site that is also aesthetically pleasing. It’s much more secure, too.

Redesigning the website wasn’t a simple endeavor. Our Public Communications team led the effort with assistance from Information Technology staff and web administrators in the various city departments. The new content management system was designed and customized by CivicLive, an experienced national company that specializes in municipal websites.

The main sections of the new site are Departments and City Hall, Residents and Neighborhoods, Business and Development, and Our Community. An “I Want To” tab is a shortcut to find the answers to commonly asked questions. Other shortcut tabs take users to employment information, bids and proposal requests, utilities, maps, e-pay, and more.

The home page also features a prominent search bar, a meeting and event calendar, and the city’s latest news releases, blog posts, and podcasts. The new site will no longer allow users to subscribe to departmental updates (e-notify), although they can still subscribe to the events calendar and documents.

College Station’s population has grown by 50 percent since we launched the old website. The new site better reflects what our community has become. The best part is that it will continue to grow with us. Good websites are always a work in progress as new content is added and we explore new and better ways to communicate with you.

We’ll be tweaking the site and smoothing out rough spots in the coming months. The website exists for your convenience, and we encourage you to contact us with constructive comments and suggestions.

You can email comments or questions to me at llively@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Marketing Manager Lacey Lively has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. She previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.


 

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36 Tsunami swimmers qualify for Games of Texas

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

The College Station Tsunami Swim Team had 36 athletes punch their tickets to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas at last week’s regional meet in Bryan. More than 2,400 swimmers will compete in the Games from July 25-28 at the Texas A&M Natatorium.

Tsunami Games of Texas Qualifiers

Stone Ahrendt Brianna Fogle Cory Majid
Dylan Breese Brett Hyman Caleb Noynaert
Elizabeth Breese Brooke Hyman Connor Noynaert
Maggie Breese Zoe Hyman Evellyn Peacock
Peter Breese Matthew Johnson Will Peacock
RJ Breese Evan Lacefield Mark Poage
Travis Castro Gloria Lacefield Kate Primrose
Ella Coker Liliana Lacefield Elizabeth Quast
Emerson Coker Emilian Landrock Samantha Quast
Isabel Conrey Milana Landrock Emily Stevenson
Pam Criscitiello Benjamin Locke Jason Watkins
Sofia Criscitiello Logan Locke Daniel Wilson

Other events in the Games of Texas are archery, boxing, flag football, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, sand volleyball, skateboarding, soccer, tennis, track and field, and Ultimate Frisbee.

For more information, visit taaf.com/gamesoftexas or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from Texas A&M.


 

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Sewer work will impact Lick Creek Park trails

Click the map to enlarge

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

In a growing city, new and expanded sewer lines are a necessity. Unfortunately, the work involved also can create inconveniences and bring other changes.

That’s the situation we face at popular Lick Creek Park, which is located north of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant near Rock Prairie Road. Work on a new sewer trunk line that runs across the park started Wednesday and will take a couple of months. The good news is that when the project is finished, you’ll notice significant trail surface and drainage improvements.

We deeply regret the inconvenience this necessary work will cause. We recognize that countless joggers, dog walkers, families, track teams and cyclists use the many miles of trails, especially those that tie into the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail in the northeast part of the park.

During construction, parts of the prominent Raccoon Run and Deer Run trails will be subject to intermittent closures. The entrance/exit for the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail will also have to be temporarily shut down at some point.

We encourage you to continue using the park — accessible from the Lick Creek Nature Center — but please respect the barricades and heed the warning signs. They are there for your safety.

Lick Creek Park’s beautiful trails exist because of the treatment plant, which began operating in 1987. Sewer lines were trenched toward the plant before the city developed the trail system years later. The new trunk line will run through the established public utility corridor from Fitch Parkway to the treatment plant.

For more information, please call us at 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 11)

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, July 11. 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.

5:17 p.m.

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

5:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No items were pulled for workshop discussion.

5:44 p.m.

Legislative Update

The council reviewed the recent Texas legislative session, including items affecting the city’s budget process. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:13 p.m.

Community Development Grants

The council discussed the FY20 Community Development Budget and Action Plan. Funding available in the FY20 budget totals $2.9 million, including new federal Community Development Block Grants of about $1.2 million and HOME Investment Partnership Grants of $473,289.

The funds may only be used to benefit low- and moderate-income people, aid in the elimination of slum and blighting influences, or meet an urgent need.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:16 p.m.

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

6:24 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:49 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Eight 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. Orlando A. Bonilla as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 27-year-old Killeen native died on Jan. 28, 2005, in a helicopter accident near Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Diane Davis, Julian McMurrey, Patsy Johnson, and Michelle Raisor spoke about Thomas Park and the restoration of the pool.
  • Donald Deere spoke about the removal of street parking in his neighborhood.
  • Brian Alg spoke against using taxpayer funds for a proposed YMCA.
  • Donna Lamkin spoke about the removal of street parking in the Camelot neighborhood.

6:50 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An estimated annual expenditure of $121,000 for water meters from National Meter & Automation.
  • Renewal of an annual estimated $200,000 contract with Spherion Staffing for temporary personnel services.
  • A $112,225.40 change order for the contract with Garney Construction for Well No. 9.
  • Annual price agreement renewals not to exceed $1.9 million with Knife River ($1.49 Million) and BPI Materials ($438,000) for hot mix asphalt for street maintenance.

6:57 p.m.

Graham Road Speed Limit

The council voted unanimously to reduce the speed limit on Graham Road from 45 mph to 40. A resident requested the change last fall primarily out of concern for the new school at Graham and Longmire, and the city conducted a speed study in April.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:24 p.m.

Camelot Parking Removal 

The council voted unanimously to removed parking on one side of Langford Street, King Arthur Circle, and Lancelot Circle to allow for emergency vehicle access.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:48 p.m.

City Hall Exterior Design

The council reviewed the proposed exterior design of the new city hall on the site of the existing building on Texas Avenue. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:49 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, and Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting.

The council meets again Thursday, July 25.

 


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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Legislative Update: In the workshop, the council will review the recent Texas legislative session, including items affecting the city’s budget process.
  2. Community Development Grants: The council will have a workshop discussion about the FY20 Community Development Budget and Action Plan, which includes $2.9 million in federal grants.
  3. Graham Road Speed Limit: In the regular meeting, the council will consider reducing the speed limit on Graham Road from 45 to 40 mph.
  4. Camelot Parking Removal: The council will consider removing parking from one side of Langford Street, King Arthur Circle, and Lancelot Circle to allow for emergency vehicle access.
  5. City Hall Exterior Design: The council will take a look at the proposed exterior design of the new city hall planned on the site of the existing building on Texas Avenue.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


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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