City Council

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

5:03 p.m.

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

Earlier this afternoon, the council recognized the city’s employee of the year along with employees reaching 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.

5:28 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:

  • Dog Leashes at Lick Creek Park: The ordinance would remove the Lick Creek Park exception to the city’s dog leash requirement and add a designated leash-free area.
  • Lick Creek Park Shade Structure: The $139,516 shade structure over the amphitheater at Lick Creek Park would provide protection from the elements. The cost includes installation. 
  • Water Line along Greens Prairie and Arrington: The $81,089 oversized participation request is to increase the size of about 5,272 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line. The line ties into an existing 12-inch line on the south side of Greens Prairie Road West and extends west and south through the Greens Prairie Reserve subdivision and through the Phase 101 area. 
  • Water Line through Greens Prairie Preserve: The $25,251 oversized participation request is to increase the size of about 1,786 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line. The line extends through the Phase 102 area and ties into the proposed 12-inch lines to the north and south being installed with Greens Prairie Reserve Phase 101. 
  • Gasoline and Diesel Fuel: The $1.4 million contract has firm fixed prices for profit and delivery, allowing the city to pay costs (which fluctuates) plus markup. The estimated expenditures are based on past fuel usage and expenses.
  • Impact Fees Semi-Annual Report: The report documents the fees collected in the service areas. The city adopted system-wide impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways in late 2016. Fee implementation occurred in phases with full implementation occurring this month.

5:50 p.m.

Legislative Update and Preview

Legislative Consultant Jennifer Rodriguez provided the council with a legislative update and a preview of the 86th Texas State Legislature.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:11 p.m.

Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment

The council received and discussed the results of the recent Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment survey conducted from Oct. 17-Nov. 16 by National Service Research.

The city will use the survey to assess and prioritize parks and recreation services and needs. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:23 p.m.

Veteran’s Park Field Naming

The council discussed the naming of the new artificial turf fields at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 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.

6:40 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:46 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 PFC Larry Isaiah Guyton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Brenham native died in May of 2007 after a bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat in Iraq. 

7:02 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • The $104,674.25 purchase of five police motorcycles from The Ranch Harley Davidson. The action also includes a $4,590 one-year extended warranty and the $30,000 trade-in of five 2015 motorcycles.
  • Removal of the Lick Creek Park exception to the dog leash requirement in the city’s Code or Ordinances and added a designated leash-free area.
  • Authorized the city manager to approve and execute employee benefits contract documents and expenditures related to the employee benefits contracts provided that such expenditures are appropriated from available funds approved from the annual budget and consistent with state and local laws. The action also renewed the city’s contract with Cigna for stop-loss reinsurance for 2019.
  • A $1.23 million contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the design of the Greens Prairie Widening Project.
  • A $104,671 contract with Gessner Engineering for construction materials testing for the new police headquarters.
  • An $81,089 oversized participation agreement that upsizes about 5,272 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line along Greens Prairie Road and Arrington Road.
  • A $25,251 oversized participation agreement that upsizes about 1,786 linear feet of water line from an 8-inch to a 12-inch line through Greens Prairie Reserve.
  • Renewal of a contract not to exceed $250,000 for pavement markings and roadway striping.
  • Extended for one year a $1.4 million contract with Brenco Marketing Corporation for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • The semi-annual report on system-wide impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted unanimously to approve a $139,516 contract with USA Shade & Fabric Structures for a cantilevered shade structure for the Lick Creek Park amphitheater. The contract includes installation.

7:37 p.m.

Rezoning North of Emerald Forest

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres near North Forest Parkway north of the Emerald Forest Subdivision. The change will allow for residential development similar to the existing area.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentations:

7:41 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:41 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting.

The council meets again next Wednesday to canvass the votes from Tuesday’s run-off election, and  Dennis Maloney will take the oath of office as the Place 6 councilman. The council’s next full-agenda meeting is Thursday, Jan. 10.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


About the Blogger

Public Communications Manager Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the city since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian 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. Employee of the Year: Before the workshop, the council will recognize the city’s employee of the year along with employees reaching 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.
  2. Legislative Update: In the workshop, the council will receive a legislative update and a preview of the 86th Texas State Legislature.
  3. Parks & Recreation Survey: The council will hear a workshop presentation and discuss the results of the Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment survey conducted this fall by National Service Research.
  4. Lick Creek Dog Leash Ordinance: Among the items on the consent agenda is an ordinance removing the Lick Creek Park exception to the city’s dog leash requirement and adding a designated leash-free area.
  5. Rezoning Behind Emerald Forest: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres near North Forest Parkway north of the Emerald Forest Subdivision. The change will allow for residential development.

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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Local leaders duel in Salvation Army Mayor Ring Off

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The cities of Bryan and College Station seem to relish the opportunity to compete in just about anything – even Christmas.

But don’t worry, we aren’t competing to see who can attract the most business or tourists, at least not this time. Instead, how about a little friendly competition to help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, toys, financial assistance and counseling to those in need in the Brazos Valley?

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney and Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson will participate in the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas campaign by ringing bells and collecting donations at local Walmart stores on Saturday from noon-1 p.m. Mooney will be at the College Station Walmart, while Nelson will be at the Bryan Walmart on Briarcrest.

The Mayor Ring Off has been a holiday tradition for many years. The problem is that the Bryan mayor – regardless of who it is – always seems to raise the most cash.

It’s time the good folks in College Station came together to bring that winning streak to an end. With the proper spirit of Christmas, of course.

If you happen to stop by Walmart on Saturday, say hello to Mayor Mooney and drop your spare change into that famous red kettle. You’ll be helping a bunch of your fellow residents in the process.

You can also donate online at salvationarmybcs.org. Click “Mayor Ring Off” and choose Mayor Mooney.

Speaking of the iconic red kettle, do you know the history behind it? I didn’t, either, until visiting with Paul and Analese Ryerson of The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station. Here’s the story, courtesy of The Salvation Army:

History of the Red Kettle

Joseph McFee, The Salvation Army’s captain in San Francisco, resolved in December of 1891 to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor. But how would he pay for the food? As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind. Suddenly, his thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. On the Stage Landing, where the boats came in, he saw a large pot into which passersby threw charitable donations.

The next morning, he secured permission from the authorities to place a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing, at the foot of Market Street. No time was lost in securing the pot and placing it in a conspicuous position so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferryboats. Thus, Captain McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States but the world.

By Christmas 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations in various sections of the West Coast area. The Sacramento Bee of that year carried a description of the Army’s Christmas activities and mentioned the contributions to street-corner kettles. Shortly afterward, two young Salvation Army officers who had been instrumental in the original use of the kettle, William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis, were transferred to the East.

They took with them the idea of the Christmas kettle. In 1897, McIntyre prepared his Christmas plans for Boston around the kettle, but his fellow officers refused to cooperate for fear of making spectacles of themselves. So McIntyre, his wife, and sister set up three kettles at the Washington Street thoroughfare in the heart of the city. That year, the kettle effort in Boston and other locations nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy.

In 1898, the New York World hailed The Salvation Army kettles as “the newest and most novel device for collecting money.” The newspaper also observed, “There is a man in charge to see that contributions are not stolen.” In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years.

Today, donations to The Salvation Army kettles at Christmas help support the nearly 30 million people served by the Army through shelters, after-school programs, addiction-recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance, and many other social services. Kettles can now be found in many foreign countries such as Korea, Japan, Chile, many European countries and Australia.

Wherever people find The Salvation Army, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to those who would otherwise be forgotten all year long – to the aged and lonely, the ill, the inmates of jails and other institutions, the poor and unfortunate.

In the United States, kettles at Thanksgiving and Christmas, although changed since the first utilitarian cauldron set up in San Francisco, help make it possible for The Salvation Army to do the most good possible for nearly 30 million people each year.

 


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 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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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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!