Neighborhood Services

Posting your own “No Parking” sign isn’t a solution

By Esmeralda, Casas, Neighborhood and Community Relations Coordinator

Have you ever returned home to your nice, quiet neighborhood to find an unfamiliar vehicle parked on the street in front of your house? Regardless of whether the car belongs to a neighbor or one of their guests, you find it inconsiderate and annoying.

You call the police and the city’s code enforcement department, but they both tell you that for them to take any action, the vehicle must be blocking a driveway, facing traffic, or be otherwise improperly parked. Neither your neighbor nor his guest has violated the law.

You’re a little miffed to discover you have no legal entitlement to public parking spaces in front of your house. While it may be a nuisance when someone else parks there, it’s not against the law.

In frustration, you post an official-looking sign near your curb. The words “No Parking” in big, red letters are clear for everyone to see.

Problem solved? Not by a long shot.

State law prohibits you from placing or trying to enforce traffic-directing signs on public streets. That means your neighbor hasn’t broken the law – you have. Only city employees can legally install such signs.

If you think that scenario doesn’t happen, think again. We’ve seen a significant rise in residents posting unauthorized signs, especially no parking signs.

The bottom line is that streets maintained by the city are for public use. Unless an authorized sign states otherwise, they are available for anyone to park along.

That doesn’t mean the problem has no solution. The most effective course of action is to have a friendly talk with your neighbor. In most cases, you can work something out.

To report unauthorized signs or improperly parked vehicles, contact Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or submit your concern to SeeClickFix.

 


About the Blogger

Esmeralda Casas is in her first year as the city’s neighborhood and community relations coordinator. She previously served as an education and outreach specialist with the Sexual Assualt Resource Center and as the communications coordinator for The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station. A Rio Grande Valley native, Esmeralda earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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

 


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 bpiscacek@cstx.gov.

 


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.


 

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

 


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 cstx.gov/animalcontrol 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 cstx.gov/solidwaste or contact Solid Waste Services at pubworks@cstx.gov 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 cstx.gov/codeenforcement.

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 brazosvotes.org.

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 cstx.gov 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 llively@cstx.gov.

 


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.


 

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


National Night Out helps build stronger neighborhoods

Sgt. Roy Shelton, CSPD Community Enhancement Unit

The best thing about National Night Out is just seeing neighbors having open discussions about the things that affect their neighborhoods – and what they can do to make those neighborhoods better. As a witness to many National Night Out celebrations through the years, I can attest to the collaborative spirit these events produce.

The cities of College Station and Bryan will observe the 35th National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with numerous block parties and celebrations designed to bring residents and local law enforcement together. College Station police officers will answer questions and provide insight and information about crime prevention and ways to build safer neighborhoods. Residents will also likely cross paths with the mayor, city council members, and city managers.

In College Station, at least 40 neighborhoods participate each year, forging strong relationships and discovering the power of unified neighborhoods. With National Night Out as a starting point, neighbors begin talking more frequently about concerns and issues and work together to resolve those problems.

These neighborhood groups often evolve into an active neighborhood organization that develops a real sense of community.

I hope the synergy created by National Night Out continues to inspire our neighborhoods to get and remain organized, and to stay active long after the celebration is over.

For more information, call 979-764-6234 or email rshelton@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Sgt. Roy Shelton is in his 17th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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


8 ways you can be a good neighbor this school year

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 118,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, best places to raise a family, and best places 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 directly 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 cstx.gov/animalcontrol 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 cstx.gov/sanitation or contact Solid Waste Services at pubworks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3690. You can also download the free MyWaste app to keep up with collection schedules and updates on your mobile devices.

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 time 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 cstx.gov/codeenforcement.

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 brazosvotes.org.

The next city election is Nov. 6.

8. Take advantage of job opportunities

The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to csjobs.cstx.gov 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 llively@cstx.gov.

 


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.


 

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

 


Spring has arrived and so have those wicked mosquitoes

By Barbara Moore, Neighborhood Services Coordinator

The good news is that our days are becoming warmer.

The bad news is that mosquito season is here.

That means it’s time to remind you to take adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the dangerous viruses these pests can carry. West Nile virus has been a mosquito-borne threat for several years, and since 2015, Zika has emerged as another risk.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 12 Zika cases have been reported across the state this year, including one in Brazos County. More than 300 cases were reported in Texas in 2015 and 2016.

State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt recommends these measures to keep mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home:

  • At least once a week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers, and other containers that hold water.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
  • Remove standing water around structures and on flat roofs.
  • Change water in pet dishes every day.
  • Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers each week.
  • Change the water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.
  • Maintain and keep backyard pools and hot tubs clean and free of debris.
  • Cover trash and recycling containers.
  • Water lawns and gardens carefully, making sure to not to over water.
  • Add screens to rain barrels and openings to water tanks and cisterns.
  • Treat front and back areas of your home with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are nearby.
  • Trim and prune overgrown vegetation and shrubs.
  • If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around your home.
  • Consider treating standing water that can’t be drained or is present for more than a week with mosquito dunks to kill mosquito larvae before they breed or hatch.
  • Use mosquito dunks in ponds, creeks, drainage ditches and other areas with stagnant water.
  • Wear insect repellant and cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when possible.
  • Make sure screens on windows are intact and not torn.
  • Limit outdoor activities at peak hours when mosquito activity increases.

Mosquito Abatement Program

The City of College Station’s Mosquito Abatement Program provides free mosquito dunks while supplies last. Based on availability, dunks may be picked up at College Station City Hall in the Neighborhood Services office (979-764-6262) or City Secretary’s Office (979-764-3541) starting Wednesday.

For more information on Zika and West Nile prevention efforts in Brazos County, got to brazoshealth.org.

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her 10th year as the city’s neighborhood services coordinator. She previously served as executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.


 

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

 

 


Volunteer to help spruce-up McCulloch on April 14

By Raney Whitwell, Code Enforcement Officer

We hear a lot about neighborhood integrity these days, but that vague term means different things to different people. For a code enforcement officer such as me, it means making a neighborhood the best it can be for its residents.

That’s why we came up with the idea of neighborhood integrity days, where we organize volunteers from local churches and non-profits to spruce up our community’s older neighborhoods with improved landscaping and routine maintenance. We invite you or your organization to participate in our inaugural Neighborhood Integrity Day for the McCulloch subdivision from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 14.

Located across from the Lincoln Recreation Center on Holleman Drive, McCulloch is College Station’s oldest neighborhood — and one of our most historically significant.

This volunteer day is the perfect opportunity for individuals, youth groups, faith-based organizations, and other non-profit service groups and agencies to serve their community in a positive, substantial way. Our ultimate goal is to build meaningful relationships while enhancing neighborhood pride.

You can help by volunteering, recruiting others to participate, or donating money or supplies. Your group has the option of adopting a home in the neighborhood and supplying the labor and some of the materials needed for cleaning siding, painting, repairing fences, planting flowers or shrubs, removing brush, and a host of other activities.

The possibilities are virtually endless.

We’ll also provide free mosquito dunks to residents and have booths set up on Nevada Street to distribute useful information about city programs and services, including homeowner assistance, crime prevention, pet care, recycling, parks and recreation, and much more.

You can donate money through Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity and can contribute materials such as mulch, soil, plants and other supplies by contacting me at 979-764-3829 or rwhitwell@cstx.gov. I can let you know what items we still need and make convenient pick-up or drop-off arrangements.

The McCulloch spruce-up day is the first of its kind in College Station. We hope its success leads lead to similar events in our other historic neighborhoods in the future. Help us make our neighborhoods the best they can be!

 


About the Blogger

Raney Whitwell is in her third year with the City of College Station and has been a code enforcement officer since 2016. 


 

Photo Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro/123RF Stock Photo

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

 


7 ways students can survive and thrive in CS

By Kathleen Meredith, Public Communications Assistant

People from all walks of life call College Station home, and we want to live in a community that values its residents — families, retirees and college students alike. Creating and sustaining harmony in our neighborhoods is everyone’s responsibility.

Most full-time residents understand our ordinances, but many college students don’t — especially those who are living here for the first time. When I first moved to College Station as a student, I wasn’t aware of many of our city codes, either.

By taking these tips to heart, you’ll make your neighborhood a happier, healthier place.

1. Say howdy

Once settled into your new home, introduce yourself to your neighbors and offer them your contact information in case of emergencies or other problems. It’s also a good idea to notify your neighbors when you plan to host a large gathering and invite them to contact you directly with noise or parking complaints.

2. Turn it down a notch

It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise, especially from 10 p.m.-7 a.m. Barking dogs count. 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 your property, dogs must be on a leash and owners must clean up after them. 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 cstx.gov/animalcontrol or call 979-775-5755.

4. Talk trash (and recycling)

The process of moving in and out of a home can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. You might consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them out for sanitation 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.
  • Garbage should be bagged, tied and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
  • Don’t place your container closer than four feet from other containers, mailboxes, cars or trees.
  • 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 bulky 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 clear plastic. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.

For more information about sanitation or recycling, visit cstx.gov/sanitation or contact us at  pubworks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3690. You can also download the free MyWaste app to keep up with collection schedules and updates on your mobile devices.

5. Know where to park

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

  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 time 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.
  • 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, and selling parking spaces on your property is a business.

You can review a complete list of code violations at cstx.gov/codeenforcement.

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 brazosvotes.org. The next city election is Nov. 7.

8. Take advantage of job opportunities

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

Have a great year — and Gig ‘Em!

 


About the Blogger

Kathleen Meredith is in her first year as public communications assistant with the City of College Station. She previously served as a communications assistant in Texas A&M’s Mechanical Engineering Department and interned with the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo’s marketing department. Kathleen earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications/journalism from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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

 

 


Warmer weather means mosquito season has arrived

By Barbara Moore, Neighborhood Services Coordinator

The good news is that our days are becoming warmer.

The bad news is that mosquito season is here.

That means it’s time to remind you to take adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the dangerous viruses these pests can carry. For several years, West Nile virus dominated the headlines with several documented cases in Brazos County. In the last couple of the years, Zika has emerged as another threat.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 12 Zika cases have been reported across the state this year, including one in Brazos County. More than 300 cases were reported in Texas in 2015 and 2016.

State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt recommends these measures to keep mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home:

  • At least once a week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers, and other containers that hold water.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
  • Remove standing water around structures and on flat roofs.
  • Change water in pet dishes every day.
  • Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers each week.
  • Change the water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.
  • Maintain and keep backyard pools and hot tubs clean and free of debris.
  • Cover trash and recycling containers.
  • Water lawns and gardens carefully, making sure to not to over water.
  • Add screens to rain barrels and openings to water tanks and cisterns.
  • Treat front and back areas of your home with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are nearby.
  • Trim and prune overgrown vegetation and shrubs.
  • If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around your home.
  • Consider treating standing water that can’t be drained or is present for more than a week with mosquito dunks to kill mosquito larvae before they breed or hatch.
  • Use mosquito dunks in ponds, creeks, drainage ditches and other areas with stagnant water.
  • Wear insect repellant and cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when possible.
  • Make sure screens on windows are intact and not torn.
  • Limit outdoor activities at peak hours when mosquito activity increases.

Mosquito Abatement Program

The City of College Station’s Mosquito Abatement Program provides free mosquito dunks while supplies last. Please contact me at 979.764.6262 or bmoore@cstx.gov to check on availability.

For more information on Zika and West Nile prevention efforts in Brazos County, got to brazoshealth.org.

Related Links:

  


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her ninth year as the city’s neighborhood services coordinator. She previously served as executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.


 

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

 

 


Podcast: The state of the Zika threat in College Station

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Our incredibly wet spring was followed by a bone-dry summer — until the recent round of storms swept through Texas and other southern states. Mosquito populations are expected to flourish, leading many experts with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control to believe Texas and Louisiana will become the next hot spots for the Zika virus.

In this edition of our podcast, Neighborhood Services Coordinator Barbara Moore talks about the state of Zika in College Station and throughout Brazos County, and how local authorities are approaching this new, and very real, health threat.

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 


csf_jsocolJay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. He’s a native of Breckenridge.


 

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

 


How to make mosquito season less annoying (and risky)

By Barbara Moore, Neighborhood & Community Relations Coordinator

As we move into spring, everyone wants to spend time outside enjoying the pleasant, sunny weather. Unfortunately, warmer temperatures also mark the return of those pesky mosquitoes and the risks they bring.

Mosquito bites are certainly itchy and annoying, but they can also make you sick. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to protect you and your family.

Mosquito (more…)


Four easy ways to create neighborhood harmony

GoodNeighborGuidelings_2

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

Our growing community of 103,245 people consists of an uncommon blend of college students, families and retirees. With so many different lifestyles, it can be difficult to establish harmonious relationships with your neighbors.

It doesn’t have to be.

By following these four simple suggestions, we can help each other enjoy living in our terrific neighborhoods. (more…)


Podcast: Neighborhood problem-solver, beaver expert

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

In this podcast, College Station Neighborhood Services Coordinator Barbara Moore discusses the challenges of her role in a fast-growing university city. She also explains why beavers cause her issues and why she sees herself as an ambassador for the city.

(more…)


3 common misconceptions about code enforcement

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

When it comes to code enforcement, misconceptions are bountiful. It’s time to take a closer look at some of the myths that surround our services and to clarify the role of the city’s Code Enforcement Division.

First, let’s attempt to separate myth from reality by addressing three of the most common misconceptions:

Myth No. 1: Code Enforcement tickets violations immediately.

code3Reality: Our goal is to educate the resident, property owner and any person associated with a property. The process begins with a door tag, or in the case of trash can being left out after collection day, a can tag.

(more…)


5 handy tips to help students thrive in College Station

We Love TAMU

 

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

If you’re a student either returning to College Station or moving here for the first time, learning about basic city ordinances is probably not high on your to-do list. But if you ignore our local laws, you might find yourself paying some costly citations out of your already tight budget.

As one of America’s top college towns, we want to help you avoid that so you can concentrate on more important things – like Aggie football!

(more…)


College Station to spray for West Nile mosquitoes

mosquito-1318443083oGdIn the next few days, the City of College Station will be fogging areas where mosquitoes tested positive last week for the West Nile virus. Targeted fogging operations will continue through mosquito season if additional positive tests occur.

The best defense against mosquitoes are mosquito dunks, which are available for purchase through the city’s Mosquito Abatement Program. The non-toxic dunks are specially designed to kill mosquito larvae before they hatch.  When used consistently in standing water where mosquitoes are likely to breed, dunks are an effective way to control and reduce mosquito populations around your home.

(more…)


Dunk Dynasty: How a city program helps keep West Nile virus at bay

Moorequote2

We hear it every year around this time: To protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, follow the four Ds, and that’s absolutely true:

  • Drain standing water around your home
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants
  • Dawn and dusk are times to avoid being outdoors
  • DEET is the active ingredient in the insect repellent you should use

Those are wise steps to take, but there’s evidence an additional step heightens your protection even further.

(more…)


Nichols: Managing the impact of neighborhood rental properties

For-rent-sign[1]The City of College Station is experiencing almost unprecedented growth stemming largely from the expansion of enrollment and research and development budgets at our institutions of higher education. These changes bring many opportunities for business development, employment, new retail experiences, and expanded regional and national recognition.

They also bring many challenges. We live with, and try to adapt to, the pressures of increasing traffic congestion and the transition of many commercial and residential neighborhoods.

The rapid expansion of rental properties into neighborhoods zoned for “single families” and long thought to be designed mainly for traditional owner-occupancy is the focus of intense current discussion by many residents and rental property owners. In College Station, the definition of permitted occupancy in what are designated as “Suburban Residential” and related similar zones is “no more than four unrelated individuals.”

(more…)


How the revised soliciation ordinance will make you safer

799602_f52011The College Station City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve changes to the city’s current solicitation ordinance and to address aggressive solicitation.

During his council presentation, Assistant Police Chief Billy Couch noted increases each year in the number of police calls related to aggressive solicitation. This steady increase, combined with concerns from our citizens, prompted the need for tougher restrictions on solicitation. We believe the changes will help protect citizens from solicitors who use aggressive tactics in neighborhoods and in public places.

(more…)


National Night Out builds stronger neighborhoods

To me, the best thing about National Night Out is just seeing neighbors having open discussions about the things that affect their neighborhoods — and what they can do to make those neighborhoods better. As a witness to many National Night Out celebrations through the years, I can attest to the collaborative spirit these events can produce.

The cities of College Station and Bryan will observe the 29th National Night Out on Tuesday with numerous block parties and celebrations designed to bring residents and local law enforcement together. College Station police officers answer questions and provide insight and information about crime prevention and ways to build safer neighborhoods. Residents will also likely cross paths with city officials such as the mayor, city council members and city managers.

In College Station, at least 40 neighborhoods participate each year, many for the first time, forging strong relationships and discovering the power of unified neighborhoods. With National Night Out as a starting point, neighbors begin talking more frequently about concerns and issues, and work together to resolve those problems. These neighborhood groups often evolve into a strong neighborhood organization that develops a true sense of community.

(more…)


Battling mosquitoes is as easy as a dunk

When summer arrives in Texas, it always brings along some familiar friends — heat, humidity and a lot of mosquitoes. While we can’t do much about the first two, we can take proactive steps to help control those annoying and potentially dangerous pests.

In recent years, the infamous West Nile Virus has frequently emerged from the annual mosquito invasion. Mosquitoes in Bryan and College Station have tested positive for the virus again this summer, and residents are looking for effective ways to deal with the issue. Cities used to rely on fogger or spray trucks in mostly vain attempts to control mosquitoes, but most now distribute mosquito dunks as a more environmentally-friendly and effective solution. The City of College Station still does targeted spraying and applies mosquito dunks in ditches, culverts and creeks where large mosquito populations exist. 

(more…)


HOAs are Subject to Open Records Requests?

Reforms Mean Major Changes for Homeowner Associations

Last year, the Texas Legislature passed a number of sweeping laws that are having a significant impact on how homeowners associations operate. The new laws require greater compliance with state regulations than before, and many HOAs were not fully prepared to deal with those changes. Since College Station has more than 60 HOAs, it was important for us to identify established experts to help educate our HOAs about what this all means to them. 

Texas Community Association Advocates is a statewide advocacy group that represents HOAs and the interests of association communities in the legislative process. Through the TCAA, we found experts who were willing to help our HOAs prepare for the changes, which took effect Jan. 1. In late February, Sandy Denton, past president of the TCAA, and Marc Markel, a real estate and property rights attorney, presented in-depth information to about 80 representatives of our local HOAs.

(more…)