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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 13)

(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, Sept. 13. 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.

5:05 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:14 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:

  • Wellborn-Holleman Intersection Project: The $382,122 contract with Binkley & Barfield is for engineering services related to the design of the Wellborn Road-Holleman Intersection Project. Wellborn Road will be elevated to reduce the grade difference with the railroad crossing. Holleman will be widened to accommodate dedicated right and left turn lanes in both directions. The city will manage design and TxDOT will manage bidding and construction.
  • Hawkwood Energy Water Contract: The two-year contract will allow Hawkwood Energy to pump water from ponds on the Hanson South property. Hawkwood will bear the costs and pay the city 10 cents a barrel with a contractual guarantee for at least $150,000 in the contract’s initial year.
  • Hawkwood Energy Franchise: This is the first reading of a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance for oil or gas operations with Hawkwood Energy Midstream, which will pay the city an annual franchise fee of $1 per linear foot of the pipeline franchise area, plus an annual fee of $1,000 for each road or street boring/crossing.

5:22 p.m.

False Fire Alarm Fees

The consensus of the council was to allow the Fire Department to charge a fee for more than three false alarms in 12 months. The Police Department has had false alarm fees in place for several years. The proposed fees range from $85 for four or five false alarms to $143.65 for eight or more alarms.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:27 p.m.

After-Hours Fire Inspections

The consensus of the council was to allow the Fire Department to charge $75 per hour for requests for inspections anytime other than weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:29 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 6 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:06 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 15 as Thank a Police Officer Day. 

6:12 p.m.

Constitution Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week

6:19 p.m.

Historical Marker No. 96

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historical Marker No. 96 for the home at 1106 Carolina St. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 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.

  • James Benham recognized Marine Lance Cpl. Seth Huston as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 19-year-old Perryton native died Aug. 21, 2004, due to enemy action in Iraq.
  • Mary Troy and Susan Adams spoke against closing the Ringer Library for eight months (November-June) during heavy construction work that’s part of its renovation and expansion.

6:31 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A contract not to exceed $2.04 million with Kirksey Architecture for the design of a new city hall building.
  • A $382,122.55 contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the design of the FM2154 and Holleman Intersection Project.
  • The second renewal of a $259,978.42 contract with Andrews Building Service for janitorial services for city facilities and the Northgate District.
  • A temporary all-way stop at the intersection of Keefer Loop and Rock Prairie Road West during construction of the Holleman Drive South construction project.
  • A $4.26 million contract with Primoris T&D Services for construction of the Graham Road Substation.
  • A contract with Hawkwood Energy to purchase pond water from the city’s water wellfield property called Hanson South.
  • The first renewal of annual copy and print services blanket orders not to exceed $120,000 with AlphaGraphics ($80,000) and Copy Corner ($40,000).
  • The first reading on a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance for oil or gas operations with Hawkwood Energy Midstream to construct, operate, maintain, remove, replace and repair pipeline facilities for the transportation of petroleum products and byproducts.
  • The second renewal of a $256,384 contract with Utility Restoration Services for padmount equipment repair and restoration.
  • FY18 funding of $1,073,572 to the Public Agency Retirement Services OPEB Trust.
  • A $101,248.30 contract with Hurricane Fence Company to replace the security fencing at three city water well facilities along Sandy Point Road.
  • A negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Mid-Tex Division regarding the company’s 2018 rate review mechanism filings and a settlement agreement.

6:43 p.m.

Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted the final public hearing on the city’s proposed FY19 tax rate of.505841 cents per $100 of assessed value. The .8341-cent increase would offset the revenue loss from the five percent homestead exemption the council approved earlier this year.

Two people spoke against the tax increase in the public hearing.

The council will vote on the tax rate on Sept. 27.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:45 p.m.

FY19 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted the final public hearing on the city’s FY19 budget, which totals $360.68 million. The council will vote on the budget on Sept. 27.

No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:47 p.m.

Church Street Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 approved the abandonment of a 15-foot wide public utility easement at 603 Church Ave. to accommodate the expansion of St. Mary’s Church. Councilman John Nichols abstained.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:10 p.m.

Single-Family Parking

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to remove the cap of requiring no more than four parking spaces for a single-family dwelling unit in areas designated Neighborhood Conservation in the Comprehensive Plan. The cap will remain for other areas.

Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:25 p.m.

BioCorridor Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to amend the terms and development standards for the BioCorridor Planned Development District, which covers about 147 acres between State Highway 47, Raymond Stotzer Parkway, Turkey Creek Parkway, and the city limit. Councilman Barry Moore abstained.

The action amended Sec. 1.2.d to add “Stand-alone multi-family on property located between Turkey Creek Road and the proposed Atlas Pear Drive extension” and Sec. 1.2.e to add to the prohibition, “Multi-Family not part of a mixed-used development except as otherwise allowed in Sec. 1.2.d.”

The remaining sections will be sent back to the BioCorridor Board for review.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:32 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:32 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 27.

 


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. False Fire Alarm Fees: In the workshop, the council will consider allowing the Fire Department to charge a fee for more than three false alarms in 12 months.
  2. City Hall Design Contract: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $2 million contract with Kirksey Architecture for the design of a new city hall.
  3. Tax Rate/Budget Public Hearings: The council will conduct the final public hearings on the city’s proposed tax rate and budget for the 2019 fiscal year. The proposed tax rate is .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value. The proposed budget totals $360.7 million.
  4. Single-Family Parking: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to remove the cap of requiring no more than four parking spaces for a single-family dwelling unit in areas designated Neighborhood Conservation in the Comprehensive Plan.
  5. BioCorridor Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to amend the terms and development standards of the BioCorridor Planned Development District, which covers about 147 acres between State Highway 47, Raymond Stotzer Parkway, Turkey Creek Parkway, and the city limit.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 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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What to do when Ofo becomes an oh no

 

By Aubrey Nettles, Special Projects Coordinator

If you spend much time in College Station these days – especially near the Texas A&M campus – you’ve probably seen a bunch of yellow bikes.

Last spring, Texas A&M partnered with Ofo Bike Share Systems to offer the yellow bikes as an alternative mode of travel on and around campus. Naturally, it didn’t take long for users to venture beyond campus to city streets and neighborhoods.

As the popularity of the dockless bike share program grew, it became clear users needed appropriate guidance on responsible off-campus bike use. Riders are supposed the park the bikes in racks within a geo-fenced area, which includes the campus and a small radius beyond campus.

Unfortunately, the bikes have turned up in a multitude of unintended locations such as grassy areas, sidewalks, roadways – even treetops. Many of the complaints focus on the aesthetic impact of yellow bikes left around town, but they’ve also caused safety concerns.

College Station’s ordinance requires that the program operators must remove bikes reported to be parked incorrectly or left outside the geo-fenced area within two hours from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. or within 12 hours at other times. If they don’t, the company is charged a $125 relocation fee or issued a citation. City code enforcement officers will help enforce the ordinance.

Users can also lose their bike privileges for misuse.

Where to park your yellow bike

Users must park dockless bikes in an upright position in the geo-fence zone that encompasses the area in and around campus.

Dockless Bike Geo-Fence

The bikes should never be parked where they can create a hazard or otherwise impede vehicles or pedestrians.

How to report misplaced bikes

  • Report the issue using the subject line “Dockless Bike Share” on the city’s SeeClickFix code enforcement app. Make sure the location is as accurate as possible.
  • Call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363. They will send a message to Ofo and the area’s code enforcement officer.
  • Send an email to codeenforcement@cstx.gov.

You can find additional reporting information affixed to the bikes.

As always, bicyclists are encouraged to wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and yield to pedestrians.

Enjoy your ride!

 


About the Author

Aubrey Nettles is in her fourth year as special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. She previously served as executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.  


 

Photo Credit: OFO Uh-ohs of College Station Facebook Page

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 23)

(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, Aug. 23. 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.

5:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:04 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

5:54 p.m.

Thomas Park Pool

The consensus of the council was to close antiquated Thomas Pool at the end of the summer and explore new amenities in Thomas Park. Council also requested a survey of residents to determine their preferences.

The 39-year-old facility loses 200,000 gallons of water per month because of cracks in the shell, drains, and joints. It was also found to be noncompliant with state and local codes. Repairs were estimated at $685,000.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:15 p.m.

Exclusive Bike Facilities

The council discussed exclusive bike facilities such as Austin’s Veloway. The consensus was that projects identified in the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan were a higher priority.

Some citizens have expressed interest in a safe place to ride recreational bikes away from vehicles, pedestrians, and pets.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:17 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.

6:31 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:45 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • James Benham recognized Army Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 18-year-old El Paso native died March 23, 2003, when his convoy was ambushed in Iraq.
  • Jonathan Coopersmith spoke about local bicycle issues.
  • Janice Sahm and Joel Cantrell spoke against the closing of Thomas Pool.

6:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply and accept a U.S. Department of Justice 2018 Justice Assistance Grant.
  • A revised agreement to sell reclaimed water to Pebble Creek Country Club.
  • An annual purchase contract not to exceed $120,000 with Bound Tree Medical for EMS supplies.

6:56 p.m.

Corrections to Unified Development Ordinance

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve minor corrections to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance such as text omissions, references, and other clerical errors.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:03 p.m.

Butler Tract Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Suburban to General Commercial for about 17 acres along Old Wellborn Road southeast of the General Parkway-Holleman Drive South intersection.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:27 p.m.

Loveless Tract Land Use

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about 11 acres on the west side of Turkey Creek Road about 500 feet south of HSC Parkway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:13 p.m.

Loveless Tract Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0-1 to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Multi-Family for about 11 acres on the west side of Turkey Creek Road about 500 feet south of HSC Parkway. Councilman Barry Moore abstained.

8:15 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:15 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 13.

 


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. Thomas Park Pool: In the workshop, the council will discuss options for the Thomas Park swimming pool. In June, the Parks and Recreation Board voted 4-3 to seek construction of a new pool, and the city’s proposed FY19 budget also includes $1 million for construction of a splash pad.
  2. Exclusive Bike Facilities: The council will also have a workshop discussion about exclusive bike facilities such as Austin’s Veloway. Some citizens have expressed interest in a safer way to ride bikes for recreation that is separate from vehicles, pedestrians, and pets.
  3. Justice Assistance Grant: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply and accept a 2018 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. College Station’s portion is $14,345.45.
  4. Butler Tract Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Suburban to General Commercial for about 17 acres along Old Wellborn Road southeast of the General Parkway-Holleman Drive South intersection.
  5. Loveless Tract Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial to Urban and the zoning from Rural and Multi-Family for about 11 acres on the west side of Turkey Creek Road about 500 feet south of HSC Parkway.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 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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Council reviews general fund, capital projects budget

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council had its first workshop about the proposed FY19 city budget on Monday at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility. The three-hour session primarily covered the city’s general fund and capital projects.

On Tuesday, the council will focus on special revenue funds, enterprise funds, internal service funds, hotel tax fund, and outside agency funding. A third workshop could happen Wednesday if needed.

The Fiscal Year 2019 proposed net budget for the City of College Station totals $360.7 million for all funds, which includes $252.3 million for operations and maintenance and $108.4 million for capital projects.

Proposed FY19 Budget Document

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

General Fund 

The General Fund accounts for city activities typically considered governmental functions, including police and fire, public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development services. Also included are the primary support services for these areas such as fiscal services, information technology, and administrative services in general government.

Proposed FY19 General Fund revenues are $81.4 million, a 3.8 percent increase. The total net taxable certified value of property is about $9.5 billion, an increase of 6.6 percent from 2018. The increase in value is due in part to $403.2 million in new construction and development being added to the tax rolls. Existing property values grew by just over two percent.

Tax Rate

The FY19 Proposed Budget includes a tax rate of 50.5841 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which includes a 0.8341-cent increase on the General Fund side to offset a five percent homestead exemption approved by the city council earlier this year. The proposed operations and maintenance side of the tax rate is unchanged at 28.5502, while the debt service side stays at 22.0339.

Under the new rate, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay about $84 per month. The average tax rate for Texas cities with populations between 75,000-150,000 is about 59 cents. The City of Bryan has a tax rate of almost 63 cents.

The effective tax rate for FY19 — the rate that will raise the same revenues as last year on the same properties —  is 47.8968 cents. The rollback tax rate of 52.2313 cents is the highest that can be adopted before citizens can initiate a petition to lower it back to the rollback rate.

The core services of police, fire, emergency medical services, public works, and parks and recreation account for about 65 percent of the city’s expenses. About 41 percent of new spending requests for FY19 were made by the public safety departments.

Capital Projects

Capital projects account for almost a third of the proposed budget. Included is $34.8 million for electric, water and wastewater utilities, $35 million for streets and transportation, $12.3 million for parks and recreation, and $30.2 million for facilities.

The remainder of the capital projects budget is for special revenue items such as the synthetic fields at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex and the new Southeast Park — which will both be paid for with Hotel Tax Funds — and community development, drainage, parkland and minor sidewalk projects.

Debt Service 

Standard & Poor’s gives the City of College Station an AA+ rating for both general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation. Moody’s upgraded the city’s rating to Aa1 in 2018. The city’s debt service for FY19 is about $20.5 million.

What’s Ahead?

A public hearing on the proposed tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 5 at city hall. A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be Sept. 13 at city hall. Budget and tax rate adoption is set for Sept. 27.

 


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 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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