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Pay heed to warrant amnesty and save money, avoid jail

By Ed Spillane, Municipal Court Judge

Since the City of College Station began our warrant amnesty/warrant roundup program in 2007, we’ve cleared more than 6,000 warrants valued at over $2 million. The twice-yearly amnesty period has proven to be a win for defendants and our court because it’s provided a path for people to pay outstanding warrants and avoid jail.

The first warrant amnesty period of 2018 for the City of College Station and Brazos County starts Monday and runs through March 2. Last spring, we cleared 466 warrants valued at almost $180,000.

If you have an outstanding warrant, you can avoid paying a $50 per case warrant fee if you pay the fine in full. During the warrant roundup March 3-11, city marshals, police officers, reserve police officers, and constables will arrest those who haven’t paid their fines.

If you have an unpaid outstanding warrant, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested.

Many cities do the roundup without offering amnesty, but we think the amnesty period is essential because you can make restitution, save a little money, and avoid jail time.

We’ve been a leader in encouraging other courts to participate, and now there is a statewide round-up in March. Our court has even been recognized by The Baltimore Sun as a national leader due to our amnesty program.

Do you have an outstanding warrant?

If the College Station Police Department issued your citation, you can check your warrant’s status at cstx.gov/warrants. You may also call the College Station Municipal Court at 979-764-3683.

No partial payment schedules will be allowed if you want to avoid the $50 fee. The City of College Station accepts cash, cashier’s check, credit cards, money orders, and personal checks. You may also pay your outstanding warrant through our online citation payment system.

If you have an outstanding warrant, I strongly encourage you to take care of it today. It’s a much better option than going to jail.

Related Link:

Podcast: Judge Spillane on warrant amnesty and toughest cases (Oct. 14, 2015)

 


20bec6fAbout the Blogger

Ed Spillane is president of the Texas Municipal Courts Association and has been the presiding judge of College Station’s Municipal Court since 2002. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1985 and earned his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992.


 

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Feed your hunger to compete at the 2018 Senior Games

By Gabby Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor

When you used to think of senior citizens, you probably pictured older adults who were largely inactive, at least in a physical sense. But as the baby boom generation has grown older, that stereotype has changed significantly.

More of today’s seniors tend to be active, social, and vibrant folks who still enjoy physical activities and competition.

The College Station Senior Games was created for these not-so-over-the-hill competitors, offering athletes 50 years-and-older a choice of 14 activities at venues throughout our community. The 2018 games are set for Feb. 23-25, and the registration deadline is Feb. 12.

Events include track and field, swimming, cycling, golf, 5K run, 10K run, bowling, pickleball, disc golf, table tennis, tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, cornhole, and basketball skills. We’re also introducing a recumbent division to the cycling event.

Participants compete in nine age divisions, with team sports divided into three age brackets. Partner and team groups are determined by the age of the youngest partner or team member.

The $30 participation fee includes a shirt and two reception tickets with an additional fee per event. For more information and to register, go to cstx.gov/SeniorGames.

At the age of 91 years and nine months, swimmer Baker Lee Shannon of Houston was the oldest male athlete in 2017. Baker competed in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle, and 100-meter freestyle. Barbara Chenette of Crockett competed in the 5K run and was the oldest female athlete at the age of 81 years and three months.

Photos: A Look back at the 2017 Senior Games

The College Station Senior Games have developed into a respected event that attracts hundreds of participants from as far away as Los Angeles. The success of the local games has even led to our Parks & Recreation Department being named to the state and national senior games board of directors.

If you’re over 50 and still yearn to engage in spirited competition, sign up for the College Station Senior Games today!

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Gabby Salazar is in her third year with the City of College Station. Before joining the city staff, she was the night manager at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena. A product of A&M’s sports management program, Gabby earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and is working toward her master’s. A native of Alamo, she was also a member of the Aggies’ nationally-ranked track and cross country teams.


 

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

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

5:03 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:21 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Annexation Plan: The proposed ordinance directs staff to prepare a service plan for the area west of College Station identified for annexation. The service plan will contain the details related to the provision of specific municipal services to the property upon annexation and must be complete and available for public inspection before the public hearings. The ordinance also establishes the two required public hearings: March 19 at 6 p.m. and March 22 at 6 p.m., both at city hall. A fiscal impact analysis will be performed as part of the annexation process. 
  • Water Oversize Participation: The city is requesting construction of an 18-inch water transmission line associated with the development of the Brazos Valley Auto Complex. The developer’s engineer demonstrated that a 12-inch water line was adequate for the proposed development. The agreement covers the difference in cost between the 12-inch water line and the 18-inch water line along State Highway 6 South. A total of $149,805.60 is recommended for this project from the Water Capital Improvement Projects Fund.
  • Pershing Point Parking Removal: The proposed ordinance removes on-street parking on the north side of Hayes Lane from the intersection with Towers Parkway west to Papa Bear Drive, on both sides of Regiment Way, and on the north and west sides of Papa Bear Drive from the intersection with Towers Parkway and extending west and south to 120 feet southwest of the intersection with Hayes Lane. The developer of the Pershing Pointe Villas subdivision chose to construct a standard-width residential street and remove some on-street parking to comply with the Unified Development Ordinance. No parking signs were installed when the roads were built. 
  • Summit Crossing Parking Removal: The proposed ordinance removes on-street parking on the north side of Alamosa Street between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the south side of Buena Vista between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the east side of Dakota Lane between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista, and on both sides of the public alley between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista. The developer of the Summit Crossing subdivision chose to construct a standard-width residential street and remove some on-street parking to comply with the Unified Development Ordinance.No parking signs were installed when the roads were built. 
  • Holleman South Widening: The $9.44 million project will reconstruct Holleman from North Dowling to Rock Prairie Road West. Improvements include replacing the two-lane asphalt pavement with a four-lane concrete section, a median/center turn lane, curbs, gutters an underground storm sewer, a sidewalk on the west side, and a multi-use path on the east side. The project also includes the installation of a traffic signal at Rock Prairie West and the new elementary school entrance, as well as illumination along the corridor.

5:38 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee

The council reviewed the Historic Preservation Committee’s annual report.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:42 p.m.

Procurement Card Program Audit

The council received the results of an audit of the city’s procurement card program, which found the city is mitigating risk, encouraging the efficient and effective use of procurement cards, and achieving the program’s objectives. The report said some controls could be strengthened to further reduce risk. For the full document, go to pages 7-23 in tonight’s workshop packet.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:47 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts

The council discussed providing additional flexibility in single-family Neighborhood Conservation Overlay districts.

Overlay districts are designed to provide additional standards for new construction and redevelopment in established neighborhoods to promote development that is compatible with the neighborhood’s existing character. A primary goal is to balance the need for the renewal of vacant or underused properties.

Planning and Development Services Staff is working with the Southside neighborhood on an application to form an NCO District for the College Park, Oakwood, and Dulaney neighborhoods. The neighborhoods feel the Unified Development Ordinance language governing NCO options are overly restrictive and rigid and asked for additional flexibility to allow more customization to better target neighborhood issues without overregulating other areas.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

Arts Council Building Renovation

The council discussed the renovation of the Arts Council building on Colgate Drive and its use as a community center that emphasizes senior programming. The $973,000 project includes reconfiguring the layout to better accommodate community activities, addressing ADA issues, and replacing the HVAC.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

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

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:13 p.m.

Historical Marker Presentations

Two historic markers were presented by College Station’s Historic Preservation Committee.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

Plaque No. 92 will be placed on the home at 700 Thomas, which is owned by Jim and Stephanie Russ. This home, built in 1953, is the former residence of Dr. O.D. Butler and his family. The late Dr. Butler was a legendary figure in the history of Texas A&M through his leadership in agriculture. The Russes are pictured with Mayor Mooney and HPC Chairman Lou Hodges.

Plaque No. 93 will be placed on the home at 601 Montclair, which is owned by Jeff and Brenda Hood. This home — likely built by members of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets in 1910 or 1911 — is among the original faculty homes to have been moved from campus into a nearby neighborhood. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney and Chairman  Hodges is resident Paul Dutton.

7:16 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks, Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 24-year-old College Station native died April 28, 2007, when he was struck with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire during combat operations in Salman Park, Iraq.

7:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $560,900 contract to JaCody Construction to purchase and replace screw lift pumps at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A change order decreasing by $52,182 a contract with McDonald Municipal & Industrial. The new contract total is $1,074,287.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • Annual tire purchases and retread services not to exceed $230,000 from Southern Tire Mart through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An annual blanket purchase order not to exceed $120,000 with Siddons-Martin Emergency Group for repair parts and labor for fire trucks through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An ordinance directing staff to prepare a service plan and establish public hearing dates and times for the annexation of about 65 acres on the city’s west side.
  • A $149,805.60 oversize participation agreement with Bkck Ltd. for a new water main along State Highway 6 South near its intersection with Sebesta Road.
  • Removed parking on the north side of Hayes Lane from the intersection with Towers Parkway west to Papa Bear Drive, on both sides of Regiment Way, and on the north and west sides of Papa Bear Drive from the intersection with Towers Parkway extending west and south to 120 feet southwest of the intersection with Hayes Lane.
  • Removed parking on the north side of Alamosa Street between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the south side of Buena Vista between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the east side of Dakota Lane between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista, and on both sides of the public alley between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista.
  • A $9.44 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the construction of the Holleman Drive South Widening Project.
  • A resolution for the Strong and Sustainable Grant Program that repeals a previous resolution and delegates authority to the city manager to administer and implement the program policy.

7:45 p.m.

Rezoning in 200 Block of Holleman

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning district boundaries to Planned Development District for about 5.6 acres in the 200 block of Holleman Drive in the Pooh’s Park Subdivision. The change will allow the development of 62 detached townhouses designed for students.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

8:44 p.m.

Land Use at Rock Prairie and Fitch

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to deny a request to change the land use designation to General Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved for about 35 acres north of the intersection of Rock Prairie Road and William D. Fitch Parkway. Councilmen Jerome Rektoik and Barry Moore voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:56 p.m.

Rezoning on Greens Prairie Road West

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning district boundaries to Planned Development District for about eight acres at 3596 Greens Prairie Road West. The change will allow the development of senior assisted-living housing that looks similar to nearby homes.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:57 p.m.

Parks & Recreation Board Appointment

The council voted unanimously to reappoint Ann Hays to another term on the Parks & Recreation Board.

9:59 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:59 p.m.

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

10:00 p.m.

The council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

10:00 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop. The council meets again on Thursday, Feb. 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.


 

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

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts: In the workshop, the council will discuss additional flexibility for the single-family Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District. The proposed changes would allow more customization to better target neighborhood issues without overregulating other areas.
  2. Arts Council Building Renovation: The council will hear a workshop presentation about plans to renovate the city-owned Arts Council Building on Colgate Drive into a community center that emphasizes senior programs.
  3. Holleman Drive South Widening: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $9.44 million contract for the Holleman South Widening Project, which will reconstruct the road from North Dowling Road to Rock Prairie Road West. The project  ̶  identified as a priority by a citizen advisory committee  ̶  includes a four-lane concrete roadway, a median and center turn lane, a sidewalk on the west side, and a multi-use path on the east side.
  4. Holleman Drive East Rezoning: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider a request to rezone about 5½ acres in the 200 block of Holleman Drive East to allow for the development of 62 detached townhouses designed for students.
  5. Greens Prairie Road Rezoning: After another public hearing, the council will consider a request to rezone about 8 acres at 3596 Greens Prairie Road West to allow for the development of senior assisted-living housing that looks similar to nearby homes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

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.


 

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TXDOT: Expect delays next week near FM2818-FM60 intersection

By Bobby Colwell, Texas Department of Transportation

Motorists can expect delays next week near the intersection of FM 2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway) and FM 60 (University Drive/Raymond Stotzer Parkway). Pavement surface reconstruction will require limiting traffic to one lane each direction on FM 60 and closing the Turkey Creek eastbound on-ramp near Easterwood Airport.

The closures will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and remain in place until Thursday afternoon. Police officers will be present at each end of the FM 60 overpass to assist with traffic due to the lack of left-turn lanes.

The work is required to switch traffic to the next phase of construction. This phase will last until mid-April, weather permitting. Motorists will not have access to the direct ramps that connect to FM 60 and FM 2818. All maneuvers will use the t-intersection for turning movements.

Drivers can expect this to cause traffic to back up during peak traffic times. TXDOT advises motorists to use alternate routes to avoid delays.

The work is part of the construction of one of only three Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) in Texas. The $14.1 million project is contracted to Knife River Corporation-South and is scheduled to be finished in January of 2019. Traffic is expected to shift into the new DDI configuration in the fall.

TXDOT and its contractor appreciate your patience during construction.

Related Post:

TXDOT starts work Monday on interchange project (March 3, 2017)

 

How to avoid the aggravation of parking tickets

By Eric Chapman, Community Services District Supervisor

Getting a parking ticket is never fun, and it’s always frustrating. It can also cost you a ton of cash – as much as $520 for violations related to handicap parking.

Most parking tickets are issued for violations of local parking ordinances, which are civil offenses. In some cases, you can also be cited for breaking state laws, which are criminal violations under the Texas Transportation Code.

A parking ticket won’t affect your driving record unless you ignore it, throw it away or put it in your glove compartment and forget about it. Failing to deal with a ticket promptly can have serious consequences — including expensive fines – and can result in your vehicle being booted, towed, and impounded. In some cases, you can even lose your driving privileges.

Parking problems always exist in growing communities, especially college towns expanding as quickly as College Station. Most of the time, avoiding the headache of a parking violation is as simple as reading and obeying parking signs.

Our goal is to keep our residential streets safe and accessible for everyone – especially emergency vehicles – while making your parking experience as hassle-free as possible.

The photo montage below illustrates the most common parking mistakes we see in College Station.

For additional information or to check on local parking ordinances, call 979-764-6313.

 


About the Blogger

Eric Chapman is in his ninth year with the city’s Community Service’s Department and has been a district supervisor since 2013.  He worked for Tarrant County from 2005-08 and was a federal correctional officer in Warkworth, Ontario, from 1997-2005. He graduated with honors from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, in 1996.


 

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