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5 things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Canvassing of Election Returns: The council will canvass returns and declare results from the Nov. 6 election for places 4 and 6 on the city council and five city charter amendments.
  2. Vessali Takes Oath of Office: Place 4 Councilwoman-elect Elianor Vessali will take the oath of office, followed by a short reception bidding farewell to outgoing Councilman Barry Moore. Place 6 will be decided in a Dec. 11 run-off between Elizabeth Cunha and Dennis Maloney.
  3. Open Storage: On the consent agenda is an amendment that eliminates the open storage of commodities for sale, lease or inventory in areas zoned rural and allows the storage of materials for private use that are not visible from the public right-of-way.
  4. Accessory Living Quarters: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding off-street parking and the rental of accessory living quarters.
  5. Single-Family Height Protection: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding single-family height protection and building height.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. Please note that we won’t be doing a live blog from this meeting.

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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Holiday cheer returns with Christmas in the Park

 

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least in Stephen C. Beachy Central Park!

College Station’s beautiful Christmas in the Park displays began in 1984 with a couple of light panels and funding from a local family. The displays have grown to more than one million lights and have become a holiday mainstay in our community.

This year, the lights will burn nightly from 6-11 p.m. from Nov. 22 through New Year’s Day.

What’s different this year?

Thanks to a generous donation by Britt Rice Electric, the 90-foot-tall Christmas tree – a community favorite with more than 14,000 bulbs – will be relocated along Recreation Lane to accommodate the ongoing construction of the Fun for All Playground. Despite the move, the tradition of spinning beneath the giant Tower of Power will continue.

We also encourage you to continue the tradition of driving through the 60 strands of lights that envelop Santa’s Lane. We’ll close the drive-thru on the weekends of Nov. 30-Dec.1 and Dec.7-8 to keep everyone safe as you visit Santa, go on hayrides and grab free hot chocolate and cookies. On those nights, you can still walk through Snowflake Forest – made up of 36 snowflakes – and take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddle boat.

Thank you, Parks crews!

Our crews work year-round prepping the light panels to ensure they brightly shine when it’s time to switch them on. The hundreds of illuminated panels – a bulb for every inch – must be taped precisely to preserve the panel’s mesmerizing effects. Cemetery Sexton Ron Schaefer, better known around our offices as Father Christmas, manages workers from all park districts throughout the fall to create nothing less than Christmas magic.

We encourage you to enjoy the time-honored tradition of holiday lights at Beachy Central Park. For more information, go to cstx.gov/Christmas or call 979-764-3486.

 


kkbioAbout 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 (Nov. 8)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 8. 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.

5:31 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action from executive session.

5:41 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:

  • Lakeway Extension Change Order: Staff recommends approval of a $214,000 change order to the Lakeway Drive Extension Project construction contract with Larry Young Paving because of the unforeseen thickness of rock formations.
  • CSU Service Center Expansion: Staff recommends approval of contracts to purchase almost 13 acres of land for $1.67 million with an option to buy two additional acres to expand the College Station Utilities service center.
  • All-Way Stop at Victoria-Castlegate: The amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances would implement an all-way stop at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Castlegate Drive.

6:33 p.m.

Bryan’s Neighborhood Protection Ordinances

Martin Zimmermann, assistant director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Bryan, gave the council a brief overview of Bryan’s Residential Conservation District and a recent ordinance amendment that defines and regulates stealth dorms as “Detached Shared Housing.”

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:48 p.m.

Televising Planning & Zoning Workshops

The consensus of the council is to televise the Planning and Zoning Commission’s workshop meetings. The regular meetings already are televised on the city’s cable channel.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:51 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.

6:59 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:02 p.m.

World War I Centennial Armistice

Mayor Mooney read a proclamation on the Bells of Peace World War I remembrance marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting on Nov. 11, 1918. Some 116,516 Americans died in the war, and another 200,000 were wounded. The United States World War I Centennial Commission calls upon all Americans to toll bells at 11 a.m. on Sunday – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – in remembrance of those who served.

7:07 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.

  • James Benham recognized his great uncle, Lt. Thomas W. Benham, for his service in the U.S. Army in World War I. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 94.

7:08 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $350,000 contract with Duro-Last for roofing city hall and annex buildings.
  • A $125,184.51 assist-in-construction request by Bryan Texas Utilities.
  • A $350,000 relocation reimbursement agreement with Explorer Pipeline Company.
  • A $213,963.46 change order to the Lakeway Drive Extension Project contract with Larry Young Paving.
  • A contract with Olive Margaret Arnold for the $1.67 million purchase of 12.84 acres and the option to buy two additional acres needed for the expansion of the CSU service center.
  • An ordinance implementing an all-way stop at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Castlegate Drive.
  • A change order deducting $54,300 from the contract with Weisinger to replace the pump assembly and motor for Well 7.

7:24 p.m.

New City Hall Exterior Rendering

The council unanimously approved Kirksey Architecture’s exterior rendering of the new city hall, which will be located behind the existing facility on Texas Avenue. The rendering was completed with input from the council’s Architectural Advisory Committee:

The site was dedicated this afternoon:

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:49 p.m.

Electric Advisory Board

The consensus of the council was to continue exploring the creation of an electric advisory board to govern College Station Utilities. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:50 p.m.

Sister Cities Appointment

The council unanimously appointed Councilman John Nichols as College Station’s Representative to Sister Cities.

7:52 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:52 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Nov. 19.

 


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 (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Bryan’s Neighborhood Protection Ordinances: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the City of Bryan’s Residential Conservation District and a recent ordinance amendment that defines and regulates stealth dorms as “Detached Shared Housing.”
  2. Televising Planning & Zoning Workshops: The council will have a workshop discussion about televising the Planning and Zoning Commission’s workshop meetings. The regular meetings are televised on the city’s cable channel and streamed online.
  3. CSU Land Acquisition: Among the items on the consent agenda is a $1.67 million contract for almost 13 acres of land needed for the expansion of the College Station Utilities Service Center.
  4. New City Hall Rendering: In the regular meeting, the council will review an architectural rendering of the exterior of the new city hall.
  5. Electric Advisory Board: The council will discuss the possible creation of an electric advisory or independent utility board for CSU.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

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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Updated: 2018 city election results

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 and on Suddenlink Channel 19.

UPDATED (11/14): Provisional, mailed, military ballots and other previously uncounted votes were tabulated and added to the Election Day returns on Tuesday, Nov. 13. 

The votes for the Place 6 council race will be canvassed at the Nov. 19 city council meeting. The Place 4 spot will be decided in a run-off election on Dec. 11 between Elizabeth Cunha and Dennis Maloney.

Joe Guerra, Jr. 10,606 48.8 %
Elianor Vessali 11,133 51.2 %

Vessali is elected.

 

Elizabeth Cunha 8,456 40.5 %
Craig Hall 6,156 29.5 %
Dennis Maloney 6,287 30.1 %

The Place 6 city council seat will be decided in a runoff election on Dec. 11 between Elizabeth Cunha and Dennis Maloney. 

 

City Charter Amendments

For 18,005 70.1 %
Against 7,695 29.9 %

The proposition passes.

 

For 18,997 74.5 %
Against 6,499 25.5 %

The proposition passes.

 

For 17,828 75.1 %
Against 5,916 24.9 %

The proposition passes.

 

For 18,364 73.3 %
Against 6,699 26.7%

The proposition passes.

 

For 16,155 69.6 %
Against 7,073 30.4 %

The proposition passes.

 


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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City of College Station reinstates ofo’s permit

The City of College Station on Friday reinstated the permit required for ofo — the Beijing-based dockless bike share company — to operate outside the Texas A&M University campus.

As long as the company continues to meet city requirements, ofo’s permit to operate in College Station remains valid through Aug. 23, 2019 — one year from its original issue date.

Texas A&M has an exclusive contract with ofo to operate the bicycles on its campus, but a city ordinance governs how dockless bike-share businesses operate beyond campus boundaries. A&M Transportation Services has indicated it will transition its dockless bike-share system to a new vendor after the fall semester.

ofo’s permit was revoked Oct. 12 due to multiple violations of College Station’s ordinance governing dockless bike-share programs. Among the violations was a lapse in automobile liability insurance coverage, which prevented ofo’s paid drivers from legally operating vehicles used to gather and relocate the yellow bikes.

In addition to its automobile liability insurance coverage reestablished, ofo also paid $5,785 in outstanding citations and replenished its $5,000 escrow account with the city.

– Public Communications Office