Author Archive

Discussion about short-term rentals set for Nov. 18

By Brian Piscacek, Assistant to the City Manager

The City of College Station invites residents to join city staff on Monday, Nov. 18, for a discussion about short-term housing rentals.

The informal gathering will be at 6:30 p.m. at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility at 1603 Graham Road. We’ll also serve light refreshments.

The idea of homeowners renting out their homes has evolved through online platforms such as Airbnb and expanded in College Station with the demand created by Aggie football weekends. The recent growth of short-term rentals across the nation has been dramatic, with Airbnb alone logging a half-million transactions last year in Texas.

Our discussion includes an overview of the short-term rental model and its impact on our community. We’ll address current conditions, solutions adopted by other municipalities, and elements of a prospective ordinance.

We’d like to hear not only from residents, but also real estate professionals, lodging operators, and short-term rental hosts. Elected and appointed city officials may be in attendance, but city staff will lead the activities, including small group discussions.

For more information, contact me at bpiscacek@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Brian Piscacek has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as assistant to the city manager for special projects since early 2019. He was previously a community development analyst. Before coming to College Station, Brian worked for Texas Tech and the North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. He earned bachelor’s (2007, Political Science/History) and master’s (2009, Public Administration) degrees from Tech.


 

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Former councilman Jones passes away at 72

Tony Jones

We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of former City Councilman Tony Jones (1979-83), who died Nov. 3 at the age of 72. Jones also served as a Brazos County Commissioner. His public, private and professional contributions to our community will not be forgotten.

– Public Communications Office


Jingle Bell Fun Run celebrates 30th year on Dec. 8

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

The Jingle Bell Fun Run is a fun run in its truest sense. The two-mile race isn’t timed and is intended to be a fun way to kick off the annual B-CS Christmas Parade.

Sunday, Dec. 8 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jingle Bell Fun Run and is an ideal opportunity to mark “competing in a fun run” off your bucket list. The event starts at 2:15 p.m., followed by the parade at 3 p.m.

The run starts at the corner of University Drive and South College Avenue and ends at the corner of Texas and Elm Avenue. We’ll have a shuttle waiting for you at the end of the route and, knowing how much dogs enjoy a brisk jaunt, they’re welcome, too.

To commemorate the run’s anniversary, we’ll feature more swag to complement your jingle bells and t-shirt so you can run (or walk) down Texas Avenue in style. The entry fee is only $15 and includes a shirt if you register by Nov. 17. The fee is $20 during the Nov. 18-24 late registration period, but you aren’t guaranteed a shirt.

Packet pick-up is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Join us as we celebrate 30 years of the fabulous Jingle Bell Fun Run. See you at the finish line!

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years and is in his second year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


 

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Live Blog: 2019 City Council Election

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live election blog from the Brazos Center. The results are also available on the City of College Station’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

All 25 voting centers reporting and early/absentee votes (8:52 p.m.)

Although the totals don’t include provisional, military and late mail-in ballots, those numbers are not sufficient to affect the outcome. The vote will be officially canvassed and Crompton will be sworn into office at the Nov. 14 city council meeting.

Voter turnout in Brazos County was about 14 percent.

Thanks for following us tonight!

 


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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Why don’t we have more cable and internet options?

By Brian Piscacek, Assistant to the City Manager/Special Projects

Contrary to popular belief, the City of College Station does not limit local cable television or internet service options.

So why doesn’t our community have more choices?

First, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) grants cable and telecommunications franchises at the state level. The city of College Station has nothing to do with it.

From there, market forces come into play. Generally speaking, new providers find it cost-prohibitive to enter a market where an established franchisee already has the necessary infrastructure in place. In our case, the local cable franchisee has built its vast infrastructure over many years.

That’s why Suddenlink Communications is our community’s primary cable TV and internet provider.

Suddenlink’s infrastructure is located in the city’s public right-of-way, a publicly-owned space through which authorized telecommunications and cable companies provide their services. In return, companies such as Suddenlink pay quarterly franchise fees to the city.

A competitor is free to invest in our market and offer those services. In fact, a handful of smaller internet and telecommunications providers are available in parts of our area.

If you have questions about your bill or concerns about your service, your best bet is to contact the company. Even the PUC doesn’t maintain regulatory authority over cable television service, despite issuing the franchises.

 


About the Blogger

Brian Piscacek has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as assistant to the city manager for special projects since early 2019. He was previously a community development analyst. Before coming to College Station, Brian worked for Texas Tech and the North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. He earned bachelor’s (2007, Political Science/History) and master’s (2009, Public Administration) degrees from Tech.


 

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Federal grants mean more (and safer) firefighters

By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter

Thanks to three federal grants approved Monday night by the city council, the College Station Fire Department will soon have more trained, front-line firefighters available in our community.

The $1.2 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency significantly enhance the department’s capabilities by not only adding firefighters but also equipping stations with diesel exhaust removal systems and providing training for standardized emergency operations management.

One $911,476 grant was awarded through the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program and will help increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters we have available for responding to emergencies.

The other two grants, totaling $286,906, were from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The funds will provide source-capturing diesel exhaust removal systems in three of our fire stations along with the Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Command Training and Certification Program (Blue Card).

Diesel exhaust has been linked to increased cancer rates and is an increasing threat at fire stations as well as fire scenes. The removal system limits the exposure of firefighters and their protective gear by removing exhaust from vehicle areas. We haven’t set an installation date, but we want the vital cancer-reducing equipment installed as soon as possible.

Blue Card provides firefighters a standardized system to safely and effectively manage emergency operations through an online, hands-on training simulator. The system also enables CSFD to become a Blue Card training facility. Blue Card training has already started and encompasses all personnel involved in emergency response. We have 161 people enrolled.

“I’m proud to enhance our capabilities by adding firefighters to serve the citizens, keeping firefighters safe from work-related contaminants, and providing training for use on emergency scenes,” Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan said. “I also thank the College Station Professional Firefighter Association for its continued advocacy and support of firefighter safety and wellness initiatives and its assistance with the grant process.”

CSFD Accepting Applications

The CSFD is accepting applications for firefighters who want to join the department as part of the SAFER staffing. To apply, go to cstx.gov/fire.

 


About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.


 

 

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