Latest

Prepare for possible impacts of Hurricane Harvey

The City of College Station, The City of Bryan, Wixon Valley, Kurten, Brazos County, and Texas A&M are closely monitoring the progression of Hurricane Harvey. We are in direct communication with the National Weather Service and the State Operations Center concerning this storm and its potential impacts to the Brazos Valley.

UPDATES: Brazos Community Emergency Operations Center Blog

While the impacts across the state and along the coast may vary, locally we are expecting heavy rains and flooding conditions beginning late Friday with the potential to continue through the weekend and into early next week.

We urge residents to prepare by taking these actions:

  • Make a disaster supply kit, to include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, food, and water. For a list of what to include in your disaster kit, visit gov/build-a-kit.
  • Bring in or have a shelter in place for outside animals.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Remember to turn around, don’t drown. For information about road closures visit drivetexas.org (TxDOT roads) and brazoscountytx.gov.
  • Bring anything inside that could be picked up by high winds.
  • Secure your garbage and recycling containers.
  • Check with neighbors and family members and make sure they are aware of your safety plans.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Monitor local weather conditions.

As we monitor this storm, we will continue to release information as it becomes available.

— Nathan Dennis, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office


Turn Around, Don’t Drown

The National Weather Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management urge you to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways. Drivers often underestimate the power of flood waters. When water is running across a road, drivers should always turn around and choose a different route.

  • Six inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide.
  • Twelve inches of water can float many cars. Two feet of rushing water will carry off pick-up trucks, SUVs, and most other vehicles.
  • Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
  • In flash floods, waters rise so rapidly they may be far deeper by the time you are halfway across, trapping you in your vehicle.
  • Flash floods are especially treacherous at night when it is hard to see how deep waters may be or how fast water is rising.
  • Floodwater weakens roadbeds. Drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

Lives can be saved if Texas drivers follow this one rule: when there’s water on the road, turn around, don’t drown.

— Brian Hilton, College Station Emergency Management Coordinator

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 24)

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, Aug. 24. 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.

5:34 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

No action was taken out of executive session.

5:57 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:

  • Graham Substation Equipment: The equipment purchased through this bid requires a significant delivery time from the date of purchase and is be installed during the construction of the Graham Road Substation in 2018. The equipment to be purchased includes transformers, a gas circuit breaker, circuit switchers, and 3-phase electric substation transformers. The bid includes delivery, set-up of the transformers on the foundations, filling with oil, and testing.
  • Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: The intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive has stop signs on the Thomas Street approaches. An area resident expresses concerns about appropriate sight lines. Traffic Engineering found that the sight line for vehicles at the stop sign on the westbound approach was inadequate to see vehicles approaching the from the left on Dexter. Consequently, Traffic Engineering recommends making it a four-way stop controlled intersection.
  • Brazos Valley Recycling: Staff recommends renewal of years 3-5 of a five-year franchise agreement and general services contract with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable materials. The city pays an annual cost of $880,000. Recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Water Well No. 9: The project includes the installation of Well  No. 9 and a collection line on city property to add additional pumping capacity to match population projections and state requirements. Final project costs are expected to be less than what was budgeted in FY17.
  • Water Line Relocation: Staff recommends approval of a construction contract for the installation of a water line west of the FM2818-FM60 intersection. The existing 30-inch water line will be removed or filled with grout.

6:04 p.m.

BVSWMA FY18 Budget

The council approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed budget for FY18, which includes $8.92 million in revenues and $9.44 million in expenses. The budget also reduces the gate rate from $20.50 to $20.00 per ton from Bryan and College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

Park Preserves in ETJ

The council heard a presentation about potential parkland in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The discussion covered parkland needs and possibilities and included the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, current parks and greenways properties, current land purchase efforts, the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, and possible funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Traffic Control Center Award

The council heard a presentation about the national Public Agency Council Achievement Award received by the Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the city’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). The award was presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in Toronto. Pictured below (L-R) are Traffic Signal Technician Jimmy Pletzer, Traffic Signal Technician Juan Gonzalez, Jr., Traffic Systems Superintendent Lee Robinson, Mayor Mooney, Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, and Traffic Systems Foreman Garrett Martinek.

This award recognizes agencies that have achieved excellence through implementing innovative ideas and delivering outstanding transportation engineering, planning, and operations. The TCC helps improve traffic conditions with new technologies and allows signal timings to be changed in real-time during special events or roadway incidents.

Signal performance measure software also allows city staff to better monitor and adjust traffic signal operations. The City of College Station was the first agency in Texas to implement signal performance measures, and others are following our lead.

The TCC pulls together video streams from more than 100 cameras that are shared with the Police and Fire Departments as well as Texas A&M. The video streams are critical when moving 120,000 fans away from Kyle Field after football games. Staff from Traffic Systems, Traffic Engineering and the Police Department man the TCC during the postgame operations, observing the video streams and manipulating signal timings. The TCC is in constant communication with the Kyle Field command center.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:42 p.m.

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

The council discussed the city’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. The initiative is designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive and shareable ideas to tackle problems, deliver results and improve life for residents.

Entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work. The 35 Champion Cities will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support. The five cities with the best ideas will receive millions to implement their ideas at scale.

6:47 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

The mayor proclaimed September as Still Creek Ranch Month.

7:20 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two 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 Marine Lance Corporal Todd R. Bolding as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Manvel native died June 3, 2004, after being wounded in hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Fred Dupriest of the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group spoke about the city’s planning terminology, specifically how mitigation is not necessarily a benefit.
  • Michael Kuitu and Cathy Liles submitted written comments.

7:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the consent agenda:

  • A $316,746 purchase of various long lead time major equipment for the proposed Graham Substation.
  • A purchase not to exceed $1,145,926 of two 3-phase electric substation transformers for the proposed Graham Road Substation.
  • Renewal of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers multiplied by the approved agreement rates.
  • A $5.6 million contract with Garney Construction to install water well No. 9 and a collection line.
  • A $433,552 contract with Dudley Construction to relocate the 30-inch water line at FM2818 and FM60.

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda:

  • Modifications to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the addition of a four-way stop intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Drive. Councilwoman Brick requested this item be pulled for a separate vote so she could thank the neighborhood residents and city staff.

7:49 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres north of University Oaks Boulevard on the west side of Earl Rudder Freeway. Councilman Barry Moore supported the motion. Three people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to deny a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Office to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item. Two people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.7 acres on the east side of Wellborn Road where Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill is located. The change will make the tract conform with property to the north that will be developed into an HEB store.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:06 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Rural to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:51 p.m.

Off-Street Parking Standards

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amended off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:56 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 11.

 


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 been 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 (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Park Preserves in ETJ: In the workshop, the council will discuss parkland needs and possibilities in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  2. Traffic Control Center Award: The council will recognize the city’s Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the national award they received for the innovative Traffic Control Center.
  3. Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a request to add a four-way stop at the intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive to improve safety.
  4. Water Well No. 9: Also on the consent agenda is a $5.6 million contract for the construction of the city’s ninth water well to add capacity to meet population projections.
  5. Off-Street Parking Standards: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers.

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 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 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.


 

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


							

City seeks public feedback on revisions to UDO


By
Justin Golbabai, Planning Administrator

Have you ever wondered why even new neighborhoods in College Station have so many trees? Or how commercial properties can be compatible with adjacent residential neighborhoods?

The city’s Unified Development Ordinance governs the development of land in College Station and to an extent, within our 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The UDO’s purpose is to promote your health, safety, and general welfare.

College Station’s UDO is under review, and changes could be on the way to create more flexibility for development in our growing city.

A pair of public meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at College Station City Hall (1101 Texas Ave.) will provide residents and developers two opportunities to provide input about possible UDO revisions. The first meeting will be from noon-1:30 p.m. A second meeting covering the same material will be from 5-6:30 p.m.

The meetings will focus on these topics:

  • Suburban Commercial Zoning Districts: How to increase the development viability of the Suburban Commercial zoning district in a way that’s compatible with surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Non-Residential Landscaping Requirements: Feedback on the city’s landscaping requirements, including streetscaping and buffer standards, and on ways to provide more options to conserve water.
  • Requirements for Redeveloping Non-Conforming Properties: How to provide more flexibility to redevelop properties that don’t comply with the UDO.
  • Streamlining the Preliminary Plan Process: How we can effectively streamline the preliminary plan process.

For more information, contact me at 979-764-3826 or jgolbabai@cstx.gov.

 

 


About the Blogger

Planning Administrator Justin Golbabai has been with the City of College Station since 2016. He previously served the City of Austin for nine years in various capacities, most recently as neighborhood partnering program manager. Justin has also worked for the cities of Savannah (Ga.) and Overland Park (Kan.). A native of Windsor, Conn., he received a master’s in public administration from the University of Kansas in 2006, and a bachelor’s in economics and sociology from Notre Dame in 2004.


 

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

 

Podcast: Couch on the roof, goat in the driveway — the world of Code Supervisor Julie Caler

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler makes her first appearance on the podcast and explains how she and her crew work to keep the city looking good. Sometimes, that means dealing with some odd or difficult situations.

In this episode, we cover topics ranging from parking and trash violations to hoarders and goats.

Total run time: 24:30
00:00 — Show open.
00:45 — What exactly do you and your staff do?
02:07 — Code used to be proactive, then reactive — now what are you?
03:53 — Most-common code issues in College Station?
04:45 — Why no parking in the grass?
06:25 — Most-egregious issues related to trash?
08:25 — How much of a problem is parking in yards?
09:23 — What are your Texas A&M home football game days like?
10:28 — Open storage is…fun? Bedroom suites on the roof??
13:00 — What about issues in back yards?
14:25 — Boats, trailers and RVs.
14:52 — Weeds and grass.
16:33 — Dealing with hoarders.
20:50 — Goats?
22:30 — Jay gives Julie a pop-quiz.
23:25 — Show close.

 

Podcast Archive

 


About the Blogger

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.


 

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

 

City launches improved Code of Ordinances website

By Adam Falco, Senior Assistant City Attorney

Navigating 1,500 pages of local ordinances has never been simple, even in the digital age. But starting today, the City of College Station has a new online system to make it easier for you to find the information you need.

The new website organizes the code into a logical and sequential order. Now you can do key word searches to find everything from chickens to the Dixie Chicken.

Last year, the City Secretary’s Office, city attorneys, city staff and a staff attorney at Municode reviewed the Code of Ordinances, removing conflicting or obsolete ordinances. We changed no other content.

MuniCode then reorganized – or recodified — the Code by matching the structure used by many other cities use across the country. The new streamlined Code is searchable by chapter, article, division, and section. The Unified Development Ordinance remains substantially the same and is an appendix.

The website also includes a searchable City Charter with a fee resolution that contains city fees, rates, and charges. Comparative tables are included to locate old section numbers and state law references.

The City Council approved the recodification on Aug. 10. As always, a hard copy of the Code of Ordinances is available at the City Secretary’s Office.

College Station Code of Ordinances

 

 


About the Blogger

Senior Assistant City Attorney Adam Falco has been with the City of College Station since 2007. He received his law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2006 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Texas A&M in 2003. Adam is a Houston native.


 

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