Community Services

City creates program to aid local small businesses

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

While the COVID-19 outbreak has arrived with a high human cost, it’s increasingly evident that the economic impacts could be substantial as well. In response, the City of College Station has created an Economic Assistance Grant Program for our small businesses with low-to-moderate income employees.

The city council unanimously approved the program’s guidelines as part of a special Monday afternoon teleconference meeting.

Funded with almost $300,000 in CDBG Economic Development Funds, the program could help prevent job losses for employees with families in the low-to-moderate household income range, such as a family of four that earns under $54,800 a year. In the long term, the program could also contribute to job creation or enable businesses to reach their pre-disaster employment numbers.

Grants of up to $40,000 will be available, based on the number of employees. Businesses need to provide information regarding their business before and after implementation of the COVID-19 declarations, including financial documents, employee information, and their willingness to comply with local, state, and federal requirements. 

To apply, click the link below, register as a vendor, and download the required documents. After you log-in, click on Current Bids and the Eco Assistance Grant link, where you can upload the documents.

New applications are reviewed and funds awarded each week, and each entity may receive only one grant. We expect the requests to outpace the available funds.

Funds will be disbursed in four installments, with the first distributed after the agreement is executed. Subsequent payments will be made following the submission of payroll documentation showing that the funding has helped retained job funding. 

For more information, email me at


About the Blogger

Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is in her 21st year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.



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City seeks public input on uses for federal grants

By Raney Whitwell, Community Development Analyst

Each year, the City of College Station receives about $1.5 million in federal grants that benefit low- and moderate-income residents through nonprofit programs, economic development, and improved housing and infrastructure.

We need your help in determining how to use these funds in the best way to address our local needs. You can either take a short survey or attend a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at the Lincoln Recreation Center.

The public hearing will include presentations about fair housing and the requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Grant (HOME).

Public input will play an essential role in the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan we’ll submit in August to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive planning and evaluation tool that guides priorities, goals, and strategies for the next five years.

You can also submit your feedback to the Community Services Department at 979-764-3778 or by emailing Community Services Director Debbie Eller at


About the Blogger

Community Development Analyst Raney Whitwell is in her fifth year with the city. She’s also served in code enforcement and in the City Secretary’s Office. A native of Bremond, Raney earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Sam Houston State.


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Online options for reporting non-emergency issues

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The City of College Station offers two online options for citizens to report non-emergency issues. The Police Department monitors one, and Code Enforcement handles the other.

Let’s take a look at how each platform works and what issues you may report to each. These tools don’t apply when health, life, property or the environment is at risk. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1.

Non-Emergency Police Issues

The Police Department’s Citizen’s Online Police Report System is for reporting seven types of non-urgent offenses:

  • Vehicle burglary
  • Credit/debit card abuse
  • Criminal mischief
  • Identity theft
  • Harassment
  • Lost property
  • Property theft

If the crime you need to report isn’t listed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 979-764-3600.

When completing your online report, fill out the form completely and accurately with as much detailed information as possible. If you can, include serial numbers and the value of stolen or damaged property. CSPD may not assign an investigator to every case, and they may contact you for additional information.

The system confirms your submission is complete by displaying the message “Your online police report has been submitted.” Keep the temporary report number until a permanent number is assigned. Your report is also printable.

For financial crimes, the police won’t investigate until you submit a completed Financial Crime Packet at the police station at 2611 Texas Ave.

Code Enforcement Issues

Code Enforcement’s online work order reporting system is SeeClickFix, a website and app for reporting public works issues or code violations you want the city to address. Examples include trimming trees that block traffic signs or signals, faulty water fountains in parks, accumulated trash or garbage cans left out, and illegally parked or junk vehicles.

If the reported issue isn’t code-related, our staff forwards the report to the appropriate city department. Through SeeClickFix, we’ll let you know which department is addressing the problem along with a phone number to call with questions or updates.

When submitting an online report, remember a few basic rules:

  1. SeeClickFix isn’t a social media platform for discussion and debate.
  2. Don’t post personal information about yourself or your property.
  3. Don’t post derogatory nor profane language or verbally attack others. We’ll immediately remove such posts.

If you have questions about SeeClickFix, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Remember: These systems are not interchangeable; they are designed to report specific issues. Don’t report lost or stolen items on SeeClickFix, and don’t submit code violations to the police.


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

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


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Discussion about short-term rentals set for Nov. 18

By Brian Piscacek, Assistant to the City Manager

The City of College Station invites residents to join city staff on Monday, Nov. 18, for a discussion about short-term housing rentals.

The informal gathering will be at 6:30 p.m. at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility at 1603 Graham Road. We’ll also serve light refreshments.

The idea of homeowners renting out their homes has evolved through online platforms such as Airbnb and expanded in College Station with the demand created by Aggie football weekends. The recent growth of short-term rentals across the nation has been dramatic, with Airbnb alone logging a half-million transactions last year in Texas.

Our discussion includes an overview of the short-term rental model and its impact on our community. We’ll address current conditions, solutions adopted by other municipalities, and elements of a prospective ordinance.

We’d like to hear not only from residents, but also real estate professionals, lodging operators, and short-term rental hosts. Elected and appointed city officials may be in attendance, but city staff will lead the activities, including small group discussions.

For more information, contact me at


About the Blogger

Brian Piscacek has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as assistant to the city manager for special projects since early 2019. He was previously a community development analyst. Before coming to College Station, Brian worked for Texas Tech and the North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. He earned bachelor’s (2007, Political Science/History) and master’s (2009, Public Administration) degrees from Tech.


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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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