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Veterans Park complex rated as top 10 sports venue

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager  

Athletes, coaches, and spectators have long considered College Station’s Veterans Park & Athletic Complex to be a premier venue for local, regional and national tournaments.

They aren’t alone.

SportsEvents, a prestigious trade magazine in the sports tourism industry, wholeheartedly agrees.

The publication has named Veterans Park as one of the top 10 multi-use facilities in the country for exceeding expectations and offering a memorable experience. The rankings will appear in the magazine’s June issue.

“Sports events planners find multi-use sports facilities to be a top choice for their events,” SportsEvents Managing Editor Sherri Middleton said. “Multi-use complexes and facilities not only provide a range of fields and courts to host a variety of sports, but many facilities also take it a step further by offering everything a planner could need from a friendly and accommodating staff to upgraded state-of-the-art amenities and more.”

The top 10 facilities (in alphabetical order by location):

  • Blaine, Minn. – National Sports Center
  • College Station, Texas – Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
  • Frederica, Del. – DE Turf Sports Complex
  • Gatlinburg, Tenn. – Rocky Top Sports World
  • Little River, S.C. – North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex
  • Manheim, Pa. – Spooky Nook Sports
  • Mansfield, Texas – Fieldhouse USA Mansfield
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Myrtle Beach Sports Center
  • Westfield, – Grand Park Sports Campus
  • Wichita, Kan. – Wichita Sports Forum

None of this happened by chance.

The fact that our peers and event participants selected Veterans Park & Athletic Complex proves we have established a winning formula that will continue to pay dividends well beyond the hundreds of events we’ve hosted in recent years.

This year alone, we’ve scheduled 30 events – including U.S. Quidditch and USA Archery – that are expected to attract some 35,000 participants. That number doesn’t even include the family members and friends who will come along to watch.

The level of service our parks employees provide, along with the quality of maintenance by our parks and recreation staff, helps set College Station and Veterans Park & Athletic Complex apart. Our success is also a direct result of the strong partnerships we’ve developed throughout our community.

While we’re proud of the high national ranking, we’re far from content.

Sports tourism is a highly competitive industry, and we continually work to enhance the quality of our services. With plans to add two more synthetic fields with lights – giving us 13 multi-purpose rectangle fields and five softball fields – we’ll be able to attract more and larger events in the future.

 


About the Blogger

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Public Works connects us, enhances our quality of life

By Wally Urrutia, Sanitation Superintendent

Most of us take for granted that our trash will be picked up on time, our drinking water will be clean, and our public facilities will be adequately maintained. But College Station’s public works infrastructure, facilities, and services wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated professionals of the Public Works Department.

Efficient and professional public works programs manage our water, sewer, streets, traffic operations, storm water drainage, fleet maintenance, public building maintenance, recycling and solid waste collection. These services are vital for the safety, health and high quality of life we enjoy in our growing community.

This week marks the 57th annual National Public Works Week, which celebrates the thousands of men and women across the United States and Canada who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services known as public works. This year’s theme is “Public Works Connects Us,” which celebrates the role public works plays in connecting our communities with our streets, roads, bridges, and public transportation.

National Accreditation

Did you know that College Station is the only city of our size (80,000-150,000 population) in Texas with nationally accredited Public Works and Water Services departments? Administered by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the accreditation program recognizes agencies that go beyond the requirements of established industry practices.

The College Station Public Works Department consists of eight divisions — Capital Projects, Facility Maintenance, Streets Maintenance, Drainage Maintenance, Traffic Operations, Sanitation, Fleet Services and Administration. Our 123 employees deliver sanitation services and plan, build and maintain the infrastructure that allows our community to grow and prosper.

About Public Works Week

Since 1960, the APWA has sponsored National Public Works Week as a way for its 28,000 members to educate the public on the importance of public works in their daily lives. The occasion is marked each year with scores of resolutions and proclamations from mayors, governors, and presidents.

As we observe National Public Works Week, we honor and thank the employees of our Public Works and Water Services departments for their professionalism, hard work and the high level of dedicated service they provide to our community every day.

 


About the Blogger

Sanitation Superintendent Wally Urrutia is in his 30th year with the City of College Station. He was named Solid Waste Manager of the Year in 2016 by the Texas Public Works Association.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 11)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, May 11. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:03 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No consent items were pulled for workshop discussion.

6:42 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Commission Plan of Work

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the commission’s 2017 plan of work, which includes the Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood integrity, Unified Development Ordinance regulations, and more.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:01 p.m.

Advanced Wireless Research Initiative

The council discussed the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, a federal project that will invest $400 million over seven years in advanced wireless platforms and research. Texas A&M is one of four universities competing for the project. College Station and Bryan could partner with A&M as testing areas for experimental 5G equipment.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:02 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop until after the regular meeting, which will begin after a short break.

7:08 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:12 p.m.

B-CS Travel and Tourism Week

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed May 7-13 as Bryan-College Station Travel and Tourism Week to recognize how travel promotes jobs, economic growth, and personal well-being.

7:16 p.m.

National Public Works Week

The mayor proclaimed May 21-27 as National Public Works Week to recognize public works for providing, maintaining, and improving the structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for the nation’s communities.

7:18 p.m.

National Bike Month

The mayor proclaimed May as National Bike Month to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to try it. Click here for more about biking and here for a map of biking facilities in College Station.

7:23 p.m.

Municipal Clerks-City Secretaries Week

The mayor proclaimed May 7-13 as Municipal Clerks-City Secretaries Week to recognize municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for communities and local governments.

7:55 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Sgt. Christopher Ramirez as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 34-year-old McAllen native died April 14, 2004, from combat injuries sustained in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Twelve people — most members of iMatter Youth, a climate change awareness group — spoke about their Climate Change Report Card for College Station. They asked College Station to move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.

7:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Two change orders totaling $226,865.20 to the Greens Prairie Substation contract.
  • A resolution stating that the city council has reviewed and approved the amended investment policy broker-dealer list.
  • Renewal of an agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District to transfer its water through the College Station water system.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety for the use of the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.
  • A three-year contract not-to-exceed $850,000 annually with Global Payments Direct for merchant card and credit card payment processing services.

8:47 p.m.

Platting & Replatting in Older Subdivisions

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance that corrects language from 2012 that inadvertently allowed new lots as small as 5,000 square feet in older residential neighborhoods. Eight people spoke during the public hearing.

The adopted amendment includes additional language that provides flexibility when calculating the average lot width and is described fully in slide No. 6 (version 2) in the PowerPoint presentation:

9:32 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about five acres northwest of the Mitchell Parkway-Raymond Stotzer Parkway intersection. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

The change will allow a multi-family and commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:36 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Zoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Commercial Industrial to Planned Development District for the same property. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:40 p.m.

Harvey Road Land Use

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the land use designation from Urban to General Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved for about three acres east of Copperfield Parkway and south of Harvey Road. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:44 p.m.

Pavilion Avenue Thoroughfare Plan Amendment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the Thoroughfare Plan by changing the classification of Pavilion Avenue from a major to a minor collector. The road is located southeast of the Highway 6-Sebesta Road intersection.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

10:02 p.m.

Certificates of Obligation

The council unanimously authorized the issuance of up to $70 million in certificates of obligation to provide for streets, police station construction, information technology, and electric and water improvements.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:03 p.m.

New Capital Projects, Refunding Bonds

The council unanimously authorized the issuance of up to $36.6 million in bonds for new capital projects ($17.6 million maximum) and the refunding of existing bonds ($19 million maximum) to take advantage of lower interest rates. The refunding will save about $1.4 million over the remaining life of the bonds.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:03 p.m.

The council had no future agenda items to discuss.

10:03 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume.

10:04 p.m.

The council decided to move the item regarding the city’s plan for municipal property to a future date.

10:07 p.m.

The council discussed its calendar and received committee reports and mMayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 25.

The council meets again on Thursday, May 25.


About the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Podcast: Why does Mayor Mooney want to walk your neighborhood?

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Mayor Karl Mooney has a new way to connect with citizens: a monthly “Walk With the Mayor.” In this episode of the city podcast, Mayor Mooney said he especially wants to connect with residents who may not feel comfortable coming to city hall but still have issues or concerns they want the mayor to see and understand.

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.

Podcast Archive


Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth 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. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Advanced Wireless Research Initiative: In the workshop, the council will discuss a federal project that will invest $400 million over seven years in advanced wireless platforms and research. Texas A&M is one of four universities competing for the project. College Station and Bryan could partner with A&M as testing areas for experimental 5G equipment.
  2. Municipal Property Master Plan: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the city’s efforts since the late 1990s to plan for municipal properties.
  3. Rezoning at Mitchell-Stotzer: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use and zoning designations for about 4.7 acres northwest of the Harvey Mitchell-Raymond Stotzer intersection. The change would allow a multi-family and commercial development.
  4. Platting in Older Subdivisions: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to correct language from 2012 that inadvertently allows new lots as small as 5,000 square feet in older residential neighborhoods. The amendment would restore protection to these areas.
  5. Bond Issuance: The council will consider authorizing up to $70 million in certificates of obligation to provide for streets, police station construction, information technology, and electric and water improvements. The council will also consider up to $36.6 million in bonds for new capital projects and the re-funding of existing bonds.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links                                                                 

 


About the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and served as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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New water meters will improve accuracy, planning

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

College Station Water Services is replacing about 5,000 residential water meters to allow the city to more accurately monitor water usage, plan for future water needs, and support water conservation.

The project began in April and is expected to be complete in June. You won’t be charged for your new meter, which will be replaced in order of billing cycle to allow you to begin a fresh cycle with the new meter.

The contractor won’t need to enter your home or business to do the replacement, but they may walk through your yard to access the water supply valve. Our water meters are located below ground in plastic, concrete or cast iron meter boxes with lids, typically near the sidewalk or curb.

The contractor’s vehicles are marked “Contractor for College Station Water Services.” If you’re home, the workers will let you know before briefly shutting off your water. If you aren’t home, they’ll leave a tag on your door to let you know they replaced your meter.

As with any measuring device, meters can become less accurate as they age. Water meters more than a decade old can significantly under-register flows. If the new, more accurate meter results in a slightly higher water bill, that means your old meter wasn’t registering all the water you used.

If you experience any problems or leaks with the new meter, please call College Station Utilities Dispatch at 855-528-4278. Choose option 2 to report a water issue and leave your contact information.

If you have any questions or concerns, call Water Services at 979-764-3660.

 


About the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and received a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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