Latest

3 things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (about 4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are three items to watch:

  1. Historical Marker Guidelines: In the workshop, the council will discuss the revised City of College Station Historical Marker application guidelines. The new standards are on the regular meeting’s consent agenda.
  2. Rock Prairie-Holleman Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning for about three acres southwest of the Rock Prairie Road-Holleman Drive intersection.
  3. Construction Manager at Risk: The council will consider a $762,010 reduction in the Construction Manager at Risk contract with Vaughn Construction for the new police station. The change order releases funds for work items mitigated through September.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian 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!


							

Bright lights of Christmas in the Park start Nov. 28

By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director

If you’re like me, you struggle with putting out Christmas decorations when your last guest leaves at Thanksgiving.

That’s not the case with the bright and colorful lights that go up for the city’s annual Christmas at the Park.

For more than 30 years, Parks and Recreation crews have spent 6-8 weeks each fall installing the lights and hand-crafted panels at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. That means the effort begins in early October, long before you even thaw your Thanksgiving turkey.

The crews diligently work around fall leagues and events to transition the park into a lighted winter wonderland.  They toil in the heat, cold, rain — and sometimes ice — to ensure a radiant and festive glow when we flip the switch on Thanksgiving Day.

The centerpiece is the Tower of Power, a 90-foot tall Christmas Tree adorned with 14,000 shimmering lights. Thanks to a generous donation by the Britt Rice family, the popular ritual of spinning beneath the giant tree continues.

We also encourage you to take your family’s traditional drive through the 60 strands of lights that frame Santa’s Lane. The only nights that won’t be available are on Christmas in the Park event weekends Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14. We’ll close the drive-thru at 7 a.m. on event days to keep everyone safe as we set-up for visits with Santa, hayrides, and of course, hot chocolate and cookies.

Shuttles will run from 5-10 p.m. from the Post Oak Mall parking lot (JC Penny side) to the park. Handicap parking will be at the park’s softball complex, which is accessible from State Highway 6.

You can still walk through the 36 snowflakes in Snowflake Forest, take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddleboat, and wander along the tunnel on the back trail.

For many local families, Christmas in the Park has become a holiday institution. The Parks & Recreation family invites you to continue the tradition and create new and lasting memories.

 


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!

 

For more information, go to cstx.gov/christmas.

Where there’s smoke, there’s wastewater

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

College Station Water Services’ has started its latest round of smoke testing to evaluate the condition of some of our older wastewater lines. Since today is World Toilet Day, it’s a perfect time to make sure these sewer lines are working properly.

We’ll conduct the tests along University Drive and part of the Eastgate area today through Friday between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If necessary, we may have to extend some of the work to Monday.

World Toilet Day is designed to inspire action about the global sanitation crisis. According to the World Health Organization, a safely managed sanitation service means people can use toilet facilities that are their own, not shared, and we dispose of waste in a manner that protects human health and the environment.

Smoke testing is an indispensable tool that helps us maintain our essential infrastructure by identifying the locations of defects and improper connections. Our technicians blow an odorless and non-toxic smoke into the sewer and wait to see where it might leak.

As part of the process, smoke may exit through vent pipes on roofs, wastewater manholes, and from the ground where there are breaks in the sewer system. It’s also possible that smoke may find its way into service connections and vent from buildings served by the lines.

Our wastewater collection system is designed to treat wastewater, not stormwater, and excess water takes up capacity in the pipes and winds up in our wastewater treatment plants. We must treat like sewage the extra water that gets into our system through inflow and infiltration, and that means higher treatment costs.

Inflow is stormwater that enters the system through direct connections such as downspouts and drains connected to service lines. Infiltration is rainfall that accumulates near sewer lines and enters the system through structural problems such as cracks and holes in the pipes.

We should count ourselves as fortunate that we aren’t among the 4.2 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safely managed sanitation services.

For more information, contact me at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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

 

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Nov. 14)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 14. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

4:04 p.m.

The workshop has started.

4:08 p.m.

Election Results

The council canvassed returns and declared the results of the Nov. 5 general election. John Crompton was elected to the Place 2 city council seat with 3,287 votes. Jerome Rektorik received 2,881 votes. Mayor Karl Mooney ran unopposed and was re-elected to a second term with 5,453 votes.

4:14 p.m.

Municipal Judge Ed Spillane administered the oath of office to Mayor Mooney. Councilman Crompton is absent and will take his oath on Monday.

4:24 p.m.

Council members offered their farewells and thank yous to outgoing Councilman Rektorik, which received gifts from city staff and the Police Department.

4:25 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting will start t 6 p.m. after a reception honoring Rektorik for his service.

5:00 p.m.

Here are some photos from the reception:

6:01 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:10 p.m.

Historical Business Marker No. 13

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historical Business Marker No. 13 to A&M United Methodist Church. We’ll post a photo here later.

6:16 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

Councilman Elianor Vessali recognized Army CW4 Clarence E. Boone as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 50-year-old Boone was from Fort Worth and died Dec. 2, 2003, Kuwait City, Kuwait, of a heart attack.

6:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A $296,971 contract with Stantec Consulting Services for the design and construction phase services for the Carters Creek Blower Buildings Nos. 2 & 3 Project.
  • A master agreement not to exceed $150,000 with The Reynolds Company for Rockwell automation products and services for maintenance of Water Services Department SCADA infrastructure.
  • A Groundwater Return Flow Option Agreement and a Groundwater Return Flow Purchase Agreement with Blanchard Refining Company.
  • The third and final renewal of a $278,996.44 contract with Andrews Building Service for janitorial services at city facilities.
  • The annual BVWACS operations, maintenance and capital budget.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the first Restated Economic Development Agreement with StataCorp. Councilman Bob Brick abstained.

6:24 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell-Dartmouth Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use from Urban to General Commercial for about 2.3 acres on the south side of Harvey Mitchell Parkway east of the Dartmouth Street intersection to allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell-Dartmouth Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Townhouse to General Commercial with Corridor Overlay for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:38 p.m.

Graham-Longmire Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Suburban Commercial with Natural Areas Protected for about 1.6 acres at the south corner of the Graham Road-Longmire Drive intersection. The applicant plans to build an optometry office.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:41 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. 

 


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 (4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Election Results: In the workshop, the council will canvass the returns and declare the results of the Nov. 5 general election for mayor and Place 2 on the city council.
  2. Rektorik Reception: After the workshop, the council will have a public reception for outgoing Councilman Jerome Rektorik to thank him for his service.
  3. Historical Marker: To start the regular meeting, the Historic Preservation Committee will present Historical Business Marker 13 to A&M United Methodist Church.
  4. Harvey Mitchell-Dartmouth Changes: After public hearings, the council will consider changing the land use and zoning for about 2.3 acres on the south side of Harvey Mitchell Parkway east of the Dartmouth Street intersection to allow for commercial development. The land use would change from Urban to General Commercial, and the zoning would go from Townhouse to General Commercial with Corridor Overlay.
  5. Graham-Longmire Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Suburban Commercial with Natural Areas Protected for about 1.6 acres at the south corner of the Graham Road-Longmire Drive intersection. The applicant plans to build an optometry office.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as an 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!


							

Live Blog: Tuesday’s city council special meeting

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12. It’s not the official minutes.

The session can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:46 p.m.

The meeting has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

6:49 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The 2019 property tax roll of $52,020,670.30.
  • A $261,600 funding agreement with the Aggieland Humane Society.
  • A $145,000 funding agreement with Easterwood Airport and the airport’s FY 20 budget.
  • A $325,000 funding agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley for operations and maintenance and the Arts Council’s FY 20 budget.
  • A $25,000 funding agreement with the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce and the chamber’s FY 20 budget.
  • A $397,976 agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley for affiliate funding and art and tourism marketing.
  • A $17,500 funding agreement with the College Station Noon Lions Club.
  • A $350,000 funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation.
  • A $2,561,073 tri-party funding agreement with Experience Bryan College Station and the organization’s FY 20 budget. College Station‘s portion of the agreement is $1,962,904, with Bryan contributing $598,169.
  • A $49,190 funding agreement with Keep Brazos Beautiful.
  • A $669,114 funding agreement with Experience Bryan College Station for its grant program.
  • A $25,000 funding agreement with the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley and the group’s FY 20 budget.
  • Banners for the annual BCS Christmas Parade.
  • An annual $1.4 million contract with Fikes Wholesale for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Renewal of an annual price agreement not to exceed $912,608 with Techline for electric distribution poles.
  • Renewal of the $130,000 annual award with C.C. Creations ($65,000) and M&M Apparel ($65,000) for city-branded uniforms for Parks programs and city departments.
  • A three-year contract not to exceed $292,973 with AESI for NERC compliance consulting.
  • Authorized the city manager to the release grant funds from the Office of the Governor Homeland Security Division for police bomb squad EOD enhancements, and to release grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program for police patrol bicycles.
  • A Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt relating to capital vehicle purchases.
  • Participation in an inter-local cooperative purchasing program with the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance.
  • The first one-year renewal of agreements not to exceed $188,360.95 with BWI Companies ($97,498.87) and Helena Agri ($90,862.08) for athletic field maintenance materials.

6:50 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council’s workshop and regular meetings are Thursday.

 


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!