Community Services

City engages new tactic to control Northgate birds

By Gus Roman, Assistant Community Services Director

At certain times and places in College Station, it’s understandable if you may think you’ve been hired as an extra in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”


Most of us like birds. Most birds, anyway.

The great-tailed grackles and starlings that gather around certain intersections and parking lots around town are a glaring exception.  Austin-based author James Brush even wrote a book about the Central Text pests titled “Birds Nobody Loves: A Book of Vultures and Grackles.”

Annoying motorists and supermarket shoppers is one thing, but the feathered pests have even infested Northgate. When you start messing with Aggie traditions, you’ve probably gone too far.

A biologist estimated as many as 10,000 birds roost in the trees at dusk. The massive volume of bird droppings they produce cause significant damage to city-owned property in the area and create unsanitary and unsightly conditions. It smells pretty awful, too.

Our janitorial service power washes the area every day, scrubbing benches and sidewalks to keep the place presentable and inhabitable. The daily service costs about $76,000 a year.

Unfortunately, the issue has become even more severe this year, and complaints from merchants and their patrons have intensified.

City staff has used various methods over the years to encourage the birds to leave, including trimming trees, adding lights, and using sonic repellers, decoys, and noisemakers. Each of those schemes seems to work until the clever birds catch on to the ruse.

Earlier this week, we began a different tactic that just might work.

OverWatch Bird Control is employing a variety of non-lethal methods such as lasers and drones to discourage the birds from roosting in the trees in and around the Northgate promenade. The contractor then plans to use birds of prey, or raptors, to threaten and intimidate the wild birds into roosting elsewhere.

The service costs about $6,000 and is expected to take about a week.

We hope our fine feathered friends get the message and move along peacefully, which no doubt would greatly disappoint the late Mr. Hitchcock.


About the Blogger

Assistant Community Services Director Gus Roman is in his fifth year with the City of College Station. He has also worked at the City of San Marcos and the City of Bryan and previously served with the City of College Station from 1995-03. A native of Nicaragua, Gus earned bachelor’s (building science 1989) and master’s (agriculture, land economics and real estate 2006) degrees from Texas A&M.


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8 easy ways for students to thrive in College Station

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

As a former Texas A&M student and now a permanent resident, I love the hustle and bustle that fall brings. Autumn also means football and pumpkin spice latte season. Whoop!

Watching the students move in and gear up for classes brings back fond memories, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer some friendly advice for our new residents.

A common misconception about College Station is that it’s just a college town filled with students. While Texas A&M is the heart and soul of College Station, our community is filled with more than 122,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, the best places to raise a family, start a career, and to retire. As a student living in a neighborhood, you might have a retired couple on one side, a young professional on the other, or a family with little ones. That’s why it’s so important to be a good neighbor so you can avoid citations and enjoy your college years to the fullest.

1. Say howdy

Don’t be shy! Meet your neighbors and exchange contact information so they can call you in case of emergencies or other issues. It’s also a good idea to let them know about any big gatherings you’re planning and ask them to contact you if there are any noise or parking problems. Wouldn’t you rather hear from your neighbor than a police officer?

2. Turn it down a notch

It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise – including barking dogs – especially from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. As a general rule, if you can hear the noise at the end of your property line, it’s too loud. If you are bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, report it to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.

3. Tend to your pets

When not on their owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash, and owners must clean up after them. College Station also has four, off-leash dog parks. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be licensed, tagged, and vaccinated in Brazos County. Even if your pet is licensed elsewhere, you’ll still need to tag them here. You can purchase registration tags through your veterinarian or the Aggieland Humane Society. Learn more at or call 979-775-5755.

4. Talk trash (and recycling)

The process of moving in and out can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. Consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them at the curb for solid waste collection.

Some things to remember:

  • Trash containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.
  • Don’t place your container closer than four feet from fixed objects, mailboxes, cars, or trees.
  • Garbage should be bagged, tied, and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
  • Don’t pile bags or trash on top of or around your container, or the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to empty it.
  • Items too large to fit in your container should be placed neatly on the curb for bulk collection.
  • Brush should be cut into 8-foot lengths or shorter and put in a separate pile.
  • You must remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.

If you have a blue, single-stream recycling container, it’s collected by Brazos Valley Recycling. We encourage you to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Place only clean items in your recycling container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage. Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.

For more information about solid waste or recycling, visit or contact Solid Waste Services at or 979-764-3690.

5. Know where to park

If you park where you’re not supposed to, you can be stuck with a costly citation. Avoid that headache by remembering our 10 most common parking violations:

  1. Parking within 30 feet of a traffic control device such as a stop sign, yield sign or flashing light.
  2. Parking facing traffic – your car must always be parked in the direction of traffic flow.
  3. Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  4. Parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  5. Parking in a handicap space without a handicap placard.
  6. Parking on a yard – if more than half of the vehicle is parked in the grass, it’s a violation.
  7. Parking at expired meters.
  8. Overstaying allotted periods in time-limited parking.
  9. Parking in loading zones.
  10. Blocking driveways so residents can’t get in or out.

6. Know the code

Many people don’t think about city codes until it’s too late. These are our most common code violations, which can also result in hefty fines:

  • Open Storage: Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use, like a couch.
  • Yard Maintenance: Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
  • Flyers/Signs: Nothing should be placed on utility poles, street signs, or in the public right-of-way.
  • Selling Parking Spaces: It’s illegal to operate a business in a residential neighborhood in College Station. Selling parking spaces on your property is a business.

You can review a complete list of code violations at

7. Get out and vote

Since you are affected by these codes and ordinances, it might be a good idea to participate in your local government by voting. To register to vote in Brazos County, go to

The next city election is Nov. 5.

8. Take advantage of job opportunities

The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to to see the latest listings and to apply.

Good luck this year!

Note to Permanent Residents: You can help College Station keep its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest cities by helping your new neighbors out through understanding, education, and kindness. My office, Public Communications, has welcome bags available for free that includes information from this blog and more. For more information, email me at


About the Blogger

Lacey Lively serves as the chief information officer for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board. She has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. Lacey previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.


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How yellow bikes turned out to be a community asset

By Debbie Eller, Community Services Director

When Texas A&M ended its bike share contract with ofo in December, you probably thought you’d seen the last of those yellow bicycles.

Not quite. And contrary to what you may be thinking, that’s a good thing. (more…)

Northgate Parking Garage goes cashless Friday

By Eric Chapman, Northgate District Supervisor

In recent years, the City of College Station has noticed a steady decline in cash transactions at the Northgate College Main Parking Garage. More than 80 percent of garage patrons now pay with debit or credit cards. 

The entire parking garage industry is rapidly going cashless, and several local garages have already transitioned to this type of system.

Consequently, the Northgate garage will be cashless — and more user-friendly — starting Friday. Going cashless means the garage will operate more efficiently, and Northgate staff can focus on more productive duties. (more…)

SeeClickFix remains a valuable reporting tool

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

See. Click. Fix.

It’s as easy as that for citizens to report code enforcement, public works, and other non-emergency issues to the City of College Station.

The online application allows anyone with internet access to report and easily track updates to their concerns.  It empowers you and your local government to take care of and improve our neighborhoods in a tangible and meaningful way.

SeeClickFix can be accessed through desktop computers, smartphones or other mobile devices. Better yet, it’s simple to use and creates a higher level of accountability through timely communication between you and your city.

How do you use it?

The most popular way to use SeeClickFix is with a smartphone or tablet. Mobile devices make it easy to take and submit photos, which help city staff quickly identify problems and determine how to resolve them as efficiently as possible. Go to your device’s app store for a free download. The system can also be accessed through the city’s mobile-friendly website.

Pinning or entering an exact address will help staff locate and resolve the issue in a timelier manner.  Remember, pictures say a thousand words so whenever possible, please provide a picture of your concern.  If you have specific questions, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363, and we will be happy to answer your questions.

In addition, problems phoned into Code Enforcement are entered into SeeClickFix, which allows us to count the numbers and types of reported cases accurately.

How does it work?

SeeClickFix incorporates code enforcement, public works, parks and even outside agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation to address the issues you report. While code enforcement is the clearinghouse for SeeClickFix, we ensure the proper agency addresses your specific issue.

Sometimes we receive updates, and sometimes we don’t.  But we can always provide you with direct contact information if you have specific questions for that agency.

SeeClickFix is not a social media site but an online reporting work order system. That means posting personal information or vulgar or inappropriate language will cause your post to be flagged and removed.

Who responds and how?

The type of concern reported determines who responds. While most issues are directed to code enforcement, not all issues are code related. Most potholes, street lights/sign issues are sent to either Public Works or TxDOT, depending on the location. Issues concerning parks are sent to the Parks and Recreation Department and so on.

Each agency has procedures for responding to concerns on SCF, and while we may get updates from some agencies, we don’t get updates from them all.

Code Enforcement will respond to issues that are possible code violations. An officer will investigate, and if a violation is found, the officer will proceed with a code case in our tracking system.

Some cases take longer than others to resolve, such as junk vehicles or weeds and grass, but a typical case is resolved within 10 days.

SeeClickFix isn’t 911

SeeClickFix isn’t monitored 24/7, so don’t report public safety concerns such as suspicious persons, robberies, threats to life, etc. on. Always call 911 when a real emergency exists.

SeeClickFix has proven to be a valuable tool for our citizens and has helped the city become more efficient and effective at resolving everyday issues. We hope you will continue to use it when you see something that needs to be addressed.

Just go to to report an issue.

Keep seeing and clicking, and we’ll keep fixing!


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


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Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team to Kyle Field can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park your vehicle can be daunting.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to the stadium as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

Our parking ordinances are designed to make our streets and neighborhoods safe. Emergency vehicles need to be able to respond if needed, and cars must be kept off yards to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.


For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or

Game Day Information

Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


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