Author Archive

Is the color orange really banned in College Station?

By Lauren Hovde, Senior Planner

Have you heard the one about the City of College Station not allowing businesses to have orange on their buildings? Or that we require establishments with predominantly orange accents to add Aggie maroon to their facades?

Those rumors about our architectural regulations are common – but false.

As much as we love Aggie maroon, College Station doesn’t prohibit orange. We don’t require the addition of maroon to comply with our architectural standards, either.

In other words, Whataburger wasn’t forced to add the famous maroon roof panel that proclaims its support for Texas A&M.

The City of College Station has an approved color palette from which businesses may choose the hue of their choice. The palette is anchored by semi-muted tones to maintain cohesiveness throughout the community.

Each building is allowed to use a limited percentage of accent colors so businesses can exhibit individuality and flair. That’s where you see vibrant colors come into play.

Next time you hear someone say College Station has banned the color orange, you’ll know the real story.

 


About the Blogger

Senior Planner Lauren Hovde started her second stint with the City of College Station this spring after serving as a staff planner from 2008-13. She was regional services planner for the Brazos Valley Council of Governments from 2006-08. A native of Josephine, Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M.


 

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Promoting safety with the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

By Bridget Russell, Interim Aquatics Supervisor

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of setting a world record, here’s your chance.

On Thursday, June 22, you are invited to join College Station Aquatics at Adamson Lagoon for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. The free 50-minute lesson begins at 8 a.m. and will cover safe-swim topics for all ages and experience levels. Preregistration is not required.

Since the World Waterpark Association introduced the event in 2010, the City of College Station has helped the organization set world records while promoting water safety and raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson brings together tens of thousands of individuals around the world to participate in the same lesson in a 24-hour period.

Last year, more than 40,000 kids and adults participated in WLSL events in 24 countries, including 50 at Adamson Lagoon. Aquatic facilities from Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston to schools in India taught the lesson with one message in mind — swimming lessons save lives.

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is among the top five causes of death for people from 1-14 years of age. Research shows the risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1-4.

That means drowning is preventable, and swimming is a vital life-saving skill.

In addition to lessons, we offer these tips to keep your kids safe at the pool this summer:

  • Never leave children unattended. Parents are the first line of defense in keeping kids safe in the water. If your child is in the water, you should be, too.
  • Follow posted safety rules and warnings. Teach kids that being safe in and around the water is a personal responsibility — yours and theirs.
  • Teach your children to always swim with a buddy and never alone or in unsupervised places.
  • If you or a family member is a weak or non-swimmer, wear a life vest. College Station pools provide them at no cost.
  • Keep toddlers in shallow play areas.
  • Don’t use air-filled swimming aids such as water wings in place of life jackets. These items provide a sense of false security and may increase the risk of drowning. Swimming aids and other inflatables aren’t allowed in College Station pools.

For information about swim lessons, visit cstx.gov/swim.

 


About the Blogger

Interim Aquatics Supervisor Bridget Russell has served as pool manager for the City of College Station every summer since 2012 and is a certified lifeguard instructor. She also teaches in the Bryan Independent School District. A native of Torrance, Calif., Bridget earned master’s (2012) and bachelor’s (2011) degrees in sport management from Texas A&M.


 

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What happens if you run for city council – and win?

By Tanya McNutt, Deputy City Secretary

In my years as a deputy city secretary, I can’t count the times I’ve heard a newly-elected city council member ask these questions:

  • “What do you mean I can’t (fill in the blank)?”
  • “I have to do WHAT?”

In College Station, city council members devote many long hours to fulfill their responsibilities — and aren’t paid a dime. Before they can serve, they also endure campaigns that take a lot of time, energy, and money.

But what happens after they’re elected?

City Council Places 1, 3 and 5 will be at stake in the Nov. 7 election. If you are considering running, we invite you to attend a free City Council 101 seminar at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at the City Hall Council Chambers.

The program is designed to help candidates better understand the requirements, duties, and limitations of the office, as well as open meetings laws and conflicts of interest. We’ll cover our form of government, the role of city staff, and discuss the critical issues facing our community.

Our goal is to help potential candidates make informed decisions about running and to gain an accurate understanding of what’s expected if they are elected.

The filing period to run for council is July 24-Aug. 24. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens, qualified Texas voters, and College Station residents for at least one year before Election Day.  Candidate information packets are available at the City Secretary’s Office at College Station City Hall.

For more details, contact me at 979-764-3580 or tmcnutt@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

A certified Texas municipal clerk, Tanya McNutt is in her 10th year as College Station’s deputy city secretary. She served as city secretary in Madisonville from 1998-2008.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 8)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:18 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

6:19 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers didn’t pull any consent items for workshop discussion.

6:49 p.m.

Thoroughfare Planning Update

The council heard an update on the proposed Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map and the College Station Thoroughfare Plan.

In 2016, the MPO began seeking public feedback regarding a draft of the 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map, which covers Brazos County and includes major thoroughfare classifications of minor arterial, major arterial, super arterial, and freeway. The concept does not depict minor collectors or major collectors, which are smaller thoroughfares on municipal thoroughfare plans.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:14 p.m.

Capital Project Funding

The council discussed the funding of capital projects that address the city’s infrastructure needs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:16 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. 

7:16 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:21 p.m.

Girl Scout Gold Award

Mayor Karl Mooney recognized Whitney Browning for receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest achievement. The mayor proclaimed today as Whitney Browning Day in College Station. Browning is pictured below with the mayor and her mother, Nancy.

7:32 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Pfc. Clayton W. Henson as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Stanton native died April 17, 2004, when his convoy was ambushed in Dwaniyan, Iraq.
  • George Dresser asked the council to find solutions to help preserve neighborhoods.
  • Emily Jane Cowen, representing the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group, asked to partner with city staff and council to preserve the neighborhood.

7:32 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda:

  • An $816,000 consultant contract with Kimley-Horn for design and construction phase services for the Woodson Village Utility Rehabilitation Project.

7:36 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:36 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 22.

 


About the Author

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 been 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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3 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 (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. The council has a short agenda this week, so here are three items to watch:

  1. Thoroughfare Plan: In the workshop, the council will hear an update on the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s proposed 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map and the College Station Thoroughfare Plan.
  2. Capital Projects Funding: The council will have a workshop discussion about funding capital projects.
  3. Woodson Village Utility Rehabilitation: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an $816,000 consultant contract for design and construction phase services for the replacement of water and sewer lines near Haines Drive, Glade Street, Dexter Drive, and Timm Drive.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. 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 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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Podcast: Heart of local aquatics moves on after 30 years

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

This edition of the podcast is one where our guest is being interviewed for the very first time — but we’re actually saying goodbye.

Vera Solis served as College Station’s pools supervisor for 30 years. In this interview — recorded on her next to last day with the city — Vera talked about how she approached the profession, her legacy, where College Station could use another pool, and what her next adventure is all about.

Run time: 23:00

  • 00:00 – Opening comments.
  • 00:40 – Her start with College Station and in the aquatics industry.
  • 02:26 – Water activities were part of her own childhood.
  • 03:40 – What College Station Aquatics looked like in the mid-1980s.
  • 05:40 – How did you set out to change things?
  • 08:20 – Any changes in how you do what you do?
  • 09:50 – Will we always have public pools?
  • 12:20 – About the safety of College Station pools.
  • 14:00 – Proudest moments from the past 30 years.
  • 16:00 – Other highlights.
  • 16:50 – What did you NOT accomplish that you hope the next person does? (spoiler: establish another pool…)
  • 17:50 – What else would be nice? (yet another spoiler: water park)
  • 19:35 – What’s your legacy?
  • 20:15 – You’re now going to do what?
  • 21:30 – Final thoughts.

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 

Podcast Archive


Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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