Public Communications

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 25)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, July 25. 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.

5:22 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman Bob Brick is not present tonight but is joining the meeting via teleconference.

The council took no action out of its executive session, but Mayor Karl Mooney announced that the future agenda item regarding Thomas Park improvements requested on July 11 has been withdrawn. The contract approved at the meeting will move forward.

5:26 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Strategic Behavioral Health: The item concerns the mutual termination of the tax abatement agreement and approval of an economic development agreement with Strategic Behavioral Health.

6:23 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District

The council reviewed recommendations related to the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district and its associated standards and processes.

Based on lessons learned and direction received over the past year, staff presented potential NCO modifications to the council in March, including amendments to the process, district boundaries, specific NCO standards for inclusion, and the number of unrelated as a part of NCO.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, Councilman Brick left the meeting via teleconference at 6:14 p.m.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:23 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The workshop will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

6:32 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:38 p.m.

Professional Engineers Day

The mayor proclaimed Aug. 7 as Professional Engineers Day to recognize City of College Station engineers for their significant contributions to the community through the application of scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity in solving technical, societal, and commercial problems.

6:45 p.m.

A&M Garden Club, La Villita Awards

The mayor recognized recent awards received by the A&M Garden Club and the La Villita Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In May, the A&M Garden Club won a first-place National Garden Club award in the Historic Preservation Project category for its work with the Parks and Recreation Department and community service projects at Richard Carter Park. The club also for first for its educational publication “Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies.”

The La Villita Chapter of the DAR earned a first-place award in the Historic Preservation Contest for at the Texas DAR state convention in March for its historic preservation work. The South Central DAR also awarded the La Villita Chapter a second-place award for its work at Carter Park and during the 80th College Station Celebration event.

6:57 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Army Capt. Anthony R. Garcia as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 48-year-old Fort Worth native died on Feb. 17, 2006, in Tikrit, Iraq, from a gunshot wound.
  • Jorge Sanchez asked the city to support the establishment of a farmers’ market in the Midtown development.
  • Brian Alg spoke against using taxpayer money to fund a YMCA.

6:57 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Set a general election for Nov. 5 to elect a mayor and city council member Place 2, established early voting locations and polling places and made provisions for conducting the election.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County to conduct and manage College Station’s general election Nov. 5.
  • The first renewal of an annual $115,847 contract with DXI Industries for sodium hypochlorite for water services.
  • The first renewal of a contract not to exceed $5 million with Brazos Paving for base failure repairs and pavement treatments.
  • The removal of parking on both sides of Diamondback Drive between Arrington Road and 435 feet west of Oldham Oaks Avenue and both sides of Oldham Oaks Avenue between Diamondback and Crystal Ridge Court.
  • The removal of parking on the west side of Martin Wing Way between Diamondback and Pearl River Court, the east side of Martin Wing Way between Crystal Ridge and Diamondback, the south side of Crystal Ridge from Oldham Oaks to around the cul-de-sac, the north side of Crystal Ridge between Pearl River and Oldham Oaks, around the cul-de-sac and north side of Pearl River to Martin Wing Way, the north side of Pearl River between Martin Wing Way and Crystal Ridge, the south side of Pearl River from Crystal Ridge to around the cul-de-sac, the south side of Pearl River between 225 feet north of Crystal Ridge to 375 feet north of Crystal Ridge, and the north side of Pearl River between 345 feet south of Crystal Ridge and 275 feet south of Crystal Ridge.
  • The mutual termination of a tax abatement agreement and approval of an economic development agreement with Strategic Behavioral Health.
  • The sale of about seven acres in the College Station Business Center near the intersection of State Highway 6 and Gateway Boulevard.

7:05 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s FY20 budget, which reduces the gate rate for the City of College Station and City of Bryan from $18.50 to $17.50 per ton.

The budget includes $6.8 million in operating expenses, $3.8 million in capital expenses, and $9.54 million in revenue.  Total reserves, cash, and investments are $11.23 million.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:13 p.m.

Street Name Changes

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to rename Greens Prairie Road West and Greens Prairie Trail to enhance emergency response efficiency.

The action changes Greens Prairie Road West to Victoria Avenue between Wellborn Road and Victoria, to Woodlake Drive between Victoria and Woodlake, and to Greens Prairie Road between Highway 6 and the city limits. Greens Prairie Trail between Wellborn and the city limits becomes Greens Prairie Road.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:18 p.m.

Multi-Family Parkland Dedication

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve modifications to the city’s parkland dedication program to make land dedication requirements proportional and less complex for multi-family developments.

The audit found that a cost-neutral conversion may be achieved by increasing the land dedication requirements from 49 bedrooms to 278 bedrooms per acre for neighborhood parks and 53 bedrooms to 305 bedrooms per acre for community parks.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:28 p.m.

Cain Road Crossing Closure

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to close the Cain Road crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad with the opening of the new Deacon Drive Union Pacific Railroad Crossing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:33 p.m.

Southwood Sidewalk Project

The council voted unanimously to support and authorize a grant application to the Texas Department of Transportation for the Southwood Sidewalk Project to fill a sidewalk gap and help provide a safe route to schools between the Southwood Valley and South Knoll/Southside neighborhoods.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:58 p.m.

Brazos County MUD No. 2 Consent

The council voted unanimously to consent to the formation of Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2 and up to four additional municipal utility districts in the Millican Reserve development in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction along Peach Creek between Wellborn Road and Highway 6.

The MUDs will develop, operate, maintain, and issue bonds to finance infrastructure for the districts and levy and assess a tax on district properties to cover associated expenses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:58 p.m.

Brazos County MUD No. 2 Partnership

The council conducted the first of two public hearings on a proposed strategic partnership agreement with Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2 that outlines conditions for district annexation and limited-purpose commercial annexation. No one spoke during the hearing.

The second public hearing is scheduled for the August 22 council meeting when the council can vote on the agreement.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Brazos County MUD No. 2 Utilities

The council voted unanimously to approve a utility agreement covering water, wastewater, and roads with Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2.

The MUD lies within the Wellborn Special Utility District for water service and itself provides for wastewater treatment and collection, including a treatment plant, shared sewer lines, and lift stations. Roads will be constructed to county standards and owned and maintained by the county.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:00 p.m.

Brazos County MUD No. 2 Development

The council voted unanimously to approve an agreement with Millican Land Development, RB Meadows, and Rock Barn Conservation Partners that regulates development in Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2. The agreement addresses land use, density, and compliance with standards comparable to development in the city.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:01 p.m.

After the council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume.

8:04 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The council returned to executive session to discuss an additional item.

The council meets again on Thursday, Aug. 8.

 


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!


		
	

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 (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Neighborhood Conservation Overlay: In the workshop, the council will consider recommendations related to the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district and its associated standards and processes.
  2. CS Business Park Land Sale: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a contract to sell about seven acres at the south end of the College Station Business Center to a light industrial user.
  3. Renaming Greens Prairie Road West: After a public hearing, the council will consider renaming Greens Prairie Road West to maximize efficiency for emergency responders. The action would change the name to Victoria Avenue between Wellborn Road and Victoria, to Woodlake Drive between Victoria and Woodlake, and to Greens Prairie Road between Highway 6 and the city limits. Greens Prairie Trail between Wellborn and the city limits would become Greens Prairie Road.
  4. Cain Closing at Rail Crossing: After a public hearing, the council will consider closing the Cain Road crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad with the opening of the new Deacon Drive crossing.
  5. Brazos County MUD No. 2: The council will consider four items related to the formation of Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2 in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction along Peach Creek between Wellborn Road and Highway 6.

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!


		
	

Thousands pour into town for Games of Texas

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Let the Games begin!

The 2019 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas starts Thursday at premier venues across College Station and Bryan. The Games run through Monday.

The Olympic-like festival features roughly 8,500 amateur athletes of all ages from across the state competing in multiple sporting events, mostly in swimming and track and field. Other events are archery, boxing, flag football, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, skateboarding, tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Daily admission tickets are $7 for swimming, and $5 for boxing and track and field, while other events are free. You can also follow the action at facebook.com/taafnation.

The City of College Station, in collaboration with the City of Bryan and Texas A&M, is playing host for the seventh time after conducting the event in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. We’re thrilled to be the host city again.

Last year’s Games attracted more than 19,000 athletes, coaches, families, and volunteers, who made an estimated economic impact of about $7.7 million on our community.

We invite you to help welcome our visitors at the opening ceremonies on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site. Led by the College Station High School Cougar Marching Band, the parade of athletes begins at 7 p.m. A thrilling trampoline show by Flippenout Productions tops off the event.

Traffic Delays, Facility Closures

College Station Parks and Recreation facilities and pools will be closed Thursday through Sunday. Affected facilities include the Parks and Recreation offices, Meyer Senior and Community Center, Lick Creek Nature Center, Lincoln Recreation Center, Southwood Community Center, Adamson Lagoon, and Cindy Hallaran Pool.

Motorists can expect delays around College Station High School throughout the Games as lanes will be minimized to accommodate parking. In addition, Holleman Drive from Dartmouth Street to the former Sears Service Center parking lot will be closed on Friday from 4-9 p.m.

For more information, visit taaf.com/gamesoftexas or call 979-764-3486.

Related Links

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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

 


City of College Station launches new website Thursday

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

When websites first became a big deal in the mid-1990s, a lot of folks thought they were just another technological fad. But about as fast as you can say “Gig ‘em, Aggies,” everyone realized that an organization’s web presence is its most important communications and marketing tool.

In the last quarter-century, websites have become essential to not only businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions, but all levels of government. The City of College Station’s website attracts more than 2.5 million views a year and provides essential information about the city’s activities, programs, and services.

The current website has been operating since 2007, and while 12 years may not seem long, it’s an eternity in the web world. The site has served our community well, but a change is long overdue. It simply has become stale, outdated, and out-of-touch with modern trends and technology.

Thankfully, we launch a fresh new website – featuring brighter graphics and user-friendly navigation with drop-down menus – on Thursday at the familiar cstx.gov. With so much of our web traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, the new site also is optimized for mobile devices.

Our web presence is vital since it’s typically among the first things anyone sees when searching online for information about College Station. Our priority was to develop the site from the users’ perspective, and the result is an easy-to-use, intuitive site that is also aesthetically pleasing. It’s much more secure, too.

Redesigning the website wasn’t a simple endeavor. Our Public Communications team led the effort with assistance from Information Technology staff and web administrators in the various city departments. The new content management system was designed and customized by CivicLive, an experienced national company that specializes in municipal websites.

The main sections of the new site are Departments and City Hall, Residents and Neighborhoods, Business and Development, and Our Community. An “I Want To” tab is a shortcut to find the answers to commonly asked questions. Other shortcut tabs take users to employment information, bids and proposal requests, utilities, maps, e-pay, and more.

The home page also features a prominent search bar, a meeting and event calendar, and the city’s latest news releases, blog posts, and podcasts. The new site will no longer allow users to subscribe to departmental updates (e-notify), although they can still subscribe to the events calendar and documents.

College Station’s population has grown by 50 percent since we launched the old website. The new site better reflects what our community has become. The best part is that it will continue to grow with us. Good websites are always a work in progress as new content is added and we explore new and better ways to communicate with you.

We’ll be tweaking the site and smoothing out rough spots in the coming months. The website exists for your convenience, and we encourage you to contact us with constructive comments and suggestions.

You can email comments or questions to me at llively@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Marketing Manager Lacey Lively has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. She 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!

 


36 Tsunami swimmers qualify for Games of Texas

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

The College Station Tsunami Swim Team had 36 athletes punch their tickets to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas at last week’s regional meet in Bryan. More than 2,400 swimmers will compete in the Games from July 25-28 at the Texas A&M Natatorium.

Tsunami Games of Texas Qualifiers

Stone Ahrendt Brianna Fogle Cory Majid
Dylan Breese Brett Hyman Caleb Noynaert
Elizabeth Breese Brooke Hyman Connor Noynaert
Maggie Breese Zoe Hyman Evellyn Peacock
Peter Breese Matthew Johnson Will Peacock
RJ Breese Evan Lacefield Mark Poage
Travis Castro Gloria Lacefield Kate Primrose
Ella Coker Liliana Lacefield Elizabeth Quast
Emerson Coker Emilian Landrock Samantha Quast
Isabel Conrey Milana Landrock Emily Stevenson
Pam Criscitiello Benjamin Locke Jason Watkins
Sofia Criscitiello Logan Locke Daniel Wilson

Other events in the Games of Texas are archery, boxing, flag football, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, sand volleyball, skateboarding, soccer, tennis, track and field, and Ultimate Frisbee.

For more information, visit taaf.com/gamesoftexas or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from Texas A&M.


 

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

 


Sewer work will impact Lick Creek Park trails

Click the map to enlarge

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

In a growing city, new and expanded sewer lines are a necessity. Unfortunately, the work involved also can create inconveniences and bring other changes.

That’s the situation we face at popular Lick Creek Park, which is located north of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant near Rock Prairie Road. Work on a new sewer trunk line that runs across the park started Wednesday and will take a couple of months. The good news is that when the project is finished, you’ll notice significant trail surface and drainage improvements.

We deeply regret the inconvenience this necessary work will cause. We recognize that countless joggers, dog walkers, families, track teams and cyclists use the many miles of trails, especially those that tie into the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail in the northeast part of the park.

During construction, parts of the prominent Raccoon Run and Deer Run trails will be subject to intermittent closures. The entrance/exit for the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail will also have to be temporarily shut down at some point.

We encourage you to continue using the park — accessible from the Lick Creek Nature Center — but please respect the barricades and heed the warning signs. They are there for your safety.

Lick Creek Park’s beautiful trails exist because of the treatment plant, which began operating in 1987. Sewer lines were trenched toward the plant before the city developed the trail system years later. The new trunk line will run through the established public utility corridor from Fitch Parkway to the treatment plant.

For more information, please call us at 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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