Author Archive

Youth football showcase fills local hotels this weekend

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

Now that the Super Bowl buzz is wearing off, College Station welcomes 120 youth football teams to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex this weekend for the Texas Youth Football All Star Showcase

The tournament includes 3,500 football and 250 cheer athletes from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Arizona. The influx of about 8,000 visitors for the event has filled local hotels to capacity. 

Participants are selected from 21 regions, and the winners of each age division (7U/8U/9U/10U/11U/12U/13U) are invited to the National Youth Football All Star Showcase this summer in San Antonio. 

Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday: Check-In & Opening Ceremonies: 3-8 p.m.
  • Saturday: Games: 8 a.m.-7:15 p.m.; Cheer Competition: 2:15-3:15 p.m.
  • Sunday: Games: 8 a.m.-7:15 p.m.; Cheer Competition: 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Monday: Championship Games: 1-3 p.m.

Heavy traffic and delays are expected in and around the complex. Organizers have imposed a $40 gate fee for entrance, and mask-wearing is mandatory for all athletes, coaches, and spectators unless they are on the field playing.

Local Impact

The economic impact is similar to the 2019 Games of Texas, but the showcase is being played at a single facility.

The Parks & Recreation Department has had exhaustive meetings with health officials and tournament organizers to ensure established safety guidelines and protocols are met or exceeded. The city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining our facilities, while tournament organizers will provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators.

We’ll continue to adapt to the evolving situation by adjusting operations. Our overriding mission is to safely attract customers to town while helping our residents and businesses recover from the pandemic.

If you encounter these visitors in our city, please thank them for being here and wish them an enjoyable stay!


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 14 years and is in his fourth 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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter webinar number 957 6653 1244. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Local Elections: In the workshop, the council will discuss the pros and cons of holding local general elections in November of odd-numbered years. The city is already transitioning council terms from three years to four years, with elections in November of even-numbered years. Providing for general elections in odd-numbered years would require a special charter amendment election.
  2. Rock Prairie Management District Bonds: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider consenting to Rock Prairie Management District No. 2’s sale and issuance of unlimited tax road bonds (series 2021) not to exceed $2.5 million. The bonds’ repayment will be by residents and businesses in the district, which includes about 270 acres on the east side of State Highway 6 between Rock Prairie Road and Fitch Parkway.
  3. Vaccination HUB: Another consent agenda item is an inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to establish and support a COVID-19 vaccination HUB and sharing the costs. The city’s maximum contribution is $100,000.
  4. Hike & Bike Trail Parking Lot: In the regular meeting, the council will consider a $329,000 contract with Aggieland Construction for the Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trailhead and parking lot project. The work also includes an access road to Midtown Drive that will also serve as a driveway for the CSU substation located west of the proposed parking lot.
  5. LULAC Oak Hill Rehabilitation: The council will consider a request for support from LULAC Oak Hill Apartments — a 49-unit apartment complex at 1105 Anderson St. — for the complete rehabilitation of the property, proposed costs, and potential funding source. The complex is a supportive housing complex for income-qualified elderly residents. 

Related Links:                 


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. 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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Do you have to pay rent during the pandemic?

By David Brower, Community Development Analyst

The economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that many families are struggling to make ends meet after losing income. Essential responsibilities such as paying rent have become exceedingly difficult. 

In September, the Centers for Disease Control issued a temporary eviction moratorium, allowing some property owners to pause evictions for nonpayment of rent in certain circumstances. The moratorium remains in effect through March 31. 

If you are unable to pay rent, you might wonder what this means for you. Do you have to pay your rent? The short answer is yes. 

An eviction paused under the moratorium doesn’t erase current or past due rent. You may still be charged late fees, penalties, and other fees for unpaid rent. 

The eviction moratorium pauses evictions for rent nonpayment if the following seven conditions are met for each adult on a lease, and a signed declaration is submitted to your landlord:   

  1. You’re unable to pay your total rent because of a decrease in household income or extraordinary medical expenses.
  2. You’re making your best effort to make timely partial payments that are as close to the total amount due as circumstances allow.
  3. You’ve made your best effort to get all available government assistance.
  4. You meet one of these conditions:
  • You made less than $99,000 in 2020 (or $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
  • You weren’t required to report any income to the IRS.
  • You received a CARES Act stimulus check.
  1. If evicted, you’d likely become homeless, move into a homeless shelter, or move into new housing shared by other people in close quarters.
  2. You understand that you’re responsible for paying unpaid rent, you may be charged fees for due rent, and you must continue to comply with your lease terms.
  3. You understand that when the CDC order expires on March 31, you may be subject to eviction if you have unpaid rent or fees.

For more information, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Help For Renters webpage.

To get referrals to area resources and rent assistance, dial 2-1-1 for free help. Trained specialists are available around the clock, with services available in more than 90 languages.


About the Blogger

David Brower has been a community development analyst for the City of College Station since he graduated from Texas A&M in 2008.


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Ranked voting an unlikely path for College Station

By Mary Ann Powell, Deputy City Attorney

Whatever your political opinions are, we can all agree on one thing — voting is essential.

Various factions push an array of voting reforms to solve whatever problems they perceive in the way we elect our leaders. In parts of the country, a concept called ranked-choice voting has captured the imagination of some as a way to eliminate costly run-off elections.

In College Station, we went a year with a vacant city council seat because the COVID-19 pandemic forced delays in a run-off stemming from the November 2019 election.  

Ranked-choice voting is an election system that would apply when more than two candidates run for a public office. Voters rank their choices in order of preference. Suppose no candidate receives 50% of the votes. In that case, the candidate receiving the least “1” votes is eliminated, the second choice of the eliminated candidate’s voters is distributed among the remaining candidates, and so on.  

The process continues until a candidate receives a majority of the votes and is declared the winner.

Ranked-choice voting would eliminate run-off elections while ensuring the winning candidate reflects the preferences of a majority of voters, reducing the chances of a less-preferred candidate playing the role of a spoiler.

However, some experts say the system’s complexity may also confuse many voters and election administrators. They also argue that ranked-choice voting is manipulative and runs counter to the democratic process when voter confidence in the system is already low, at least in national elections. 

Could ranked-choice voting happen in College Station? It’s unlikely.

As enticing as some may find the concept — it’s been adopted in about 20 U.S. cities — it isn’t allowed under the Texas Constitution. Amending the constitution requires approval by two-thirds of each house of the legislature, then several state statutes would need to be overturned.

Finally, for College Station to adopt ranked-choice voting, residents would have to approve it in a city charter election. 

In other words, it can’t happen any time soon.



About the Blogger

Mary Ann Powell has been the city’s deputy city attorney since 2015. She has almost three decades of municipal legal experience, previously serving as city attorney in Sugar Land and Missouri City and as assistant city attorney in College Station and Missouri City. An Iowa native, Mary Ann received a bachelor of arts from St. Louis University in 1981 and a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law School in 1986.


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Essential city information while website is down

The city website ( has been unavailable since Thursday afternoon. We sincerely regret the inconvenience.

Our vendor is working on the problem and hopes the issue is resolved soon. In the meantime, we offer these links and contact information if you have business with the city.

City Manager’s Office


City Secretary’s Office


College Station Utilities


To report an electric, water or wastewater outage, call the 24/7 hotline at 855-528-4278. 

Community Services




Municipal Court


Parks & Recreation


Planning & Development Services


Public Works 



  • Non-Emergency: 979-764-3600 
  • Call 911 for emergencies.


  • Non-Emergency: 979-764-3700, 
  • Call 911 for emergencies 

– Public Communications Office


Egg Scramble brings the egg hunt to you

By Ana Romero, Recreation Manager

With spring on the horizon and Easter approaching, the Parks & Recreation Department has devised a way to help the Easter Bunny during the COVID-19 pandemic — a socially distant, candy-filled egg hunt.

The success of Eggtober last fall showed us how — a socially distant, candy-filled egg hunt.

From March 22-27, we’ll bring the hunt to you with Egg Scramble. We offer two personal egg hunts for all ages, and you may purchase as many 25-egg bundles as you like for $15 each. The eggs are filled with allergy-friendly candy. 

Front Yard Egg Hunt (College Station residents only)

Our staff hides eggs in your front yard to your preferred difficulty level. You select the day and time that works best, and your yard will be ready. Delivery times are available Monday-Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Hunt level options include easy, medium, or difficult.
DIY Hunt

You can opt for the do-it-yourself option if you don’t have a College Station address, you’d like to gift it to someone, or if you want to personalize it. We’ll provide the treat-filled eggs and a door hanger, which you can pick up at the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. 

Pick-ups are available March 22-26 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 979-764-3486 when you arrive, and we’ll bring it to the curb.

Register now through March 12 at or call 979-764-3468. You can also register at our Beachy Central Park office. For more information, visit


About the Blogger

Ana Romero is in her fourth year as recreation manager. She previously served the City of McAllen as recreation supervisor, community center manager, and aquatics superintendent. Ana earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M in 2001.


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