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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 23)

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, May 23. 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.

5:24 p.m.

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

5:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

5:50 p.m.

Economic Development Update

The council reviewed the city’s economic development efforts and discussed ways to enhance our economic competitiveness. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Fire Asset Reliability

The council reviewed the Fire Department’s adequacy and response reliability.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:32 p.m.

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

6:38 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Mayor Mooney said item No. 3 on the regular agenda (parking restrictions on Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot) has been pulled and will not be considered tonight.

6:58 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Seven 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. Sean P. Sims as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 32-year-old El Paso native died on Nov. 13, 2004, when his unit received small arms fire while clearing a building in Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Carlos Espina, Eduardo Espina, Carlos Prida, and Raphael Cruzan asked the council to bring soccer fields back to Anderson Park.
  • Donald and Patsy Deere spoke against the proposed parking restrictions on Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot. That item has been pulled from tonight’s agenda.

6:59 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $287,305 contract with Air-Tech Brazos Valley for facilities corrective maintenance services.
  • The $330,029.53 purchase of furnishings from multiple vendors for the renovated Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • An ordinance amendment that clarifies that customers are responsible for placing solid waste containers out for collection and for removing them afterward.
  • An ordinance amendment that clarifies that payment is not a defense for a violation of prohibited parking. Some Northgate parking spaces transition at times to prohibited parking for loading zones or passenger pick-up and the payment system can’t prohibit payment during these times.
  • An ordinance amendment that increases the civil fine for parking without paying in the Northgate Garage from $50 to $115 for payment within 10 days and from $60 to $125 for payment after 10 days.

7:14 p.m.

Parking Restrictions on Poplar, Ash, Live Oak and Nimitz

The council voted unanimously to remove stopping, standing, and parking along one side of Poplar, Live Oak, Ash, and Nimitz Streets, and on one side of a segment of Edelweiss Avenue from 7-9 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. on school days.

Ash Street residents contacted the city about cars parked on both sides of the road that could impede emergency vehicle access. Additional evaluation led the Traffic Management Team to also recommend parking restrictions on Poplar, Live Oak, and Nimitz.

The principal of Rock Prairie Elementary contacted the city about cars parked on both sides of the road during the afternoon pick-up times, which affects the ability to see children crossing. In addition, when vehicles park along Edelweiss, the road effectively becomes a single-lane roadway for a two-direction operation.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:22 p.m.

Landscaping and Mowing Contract

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.06 million contract with Green Teams for citywide mowing and landscape maintenance. The contract does not include regional parks and athletic fields.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:31 p.m.

Wellborn-Holleman Intersection

The council voted unanimously to approve an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at the Wellborn Road-Holleman Drive intersection. The agreement has no budgetary impact and covers work within the state’s right-of-way. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:33 p.m.

Southwood Valley Sewer Line

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.22 million contract with Palasota Contracting for the Southwood Valley Trunk Line Phase 1 Project to increase capacity for development.

The project area starts about 160 feet south of Bee Creek on the west side of State Highway 6, runs south for about 1,000 feet toward the northwest corner of FM 2818 and State Highway 6, then goes southwest about 1,250 feet toward Brothers Boulevard.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Highway 6 Gateway Sign

The council voted unanimously to approve a $149,486 contract with JaCody Construction for a gateway sign located just north of Peach Creek Cutoff along State Highway 6 within TxDOT right-of-way.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:44 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, and Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 13.

 


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.


 

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Weekend of Remembrance honors our fallen heroes

By Gabriela Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor

The custom of honoring lost loved ones by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition. This weekend’s Texas Weekend of Remembrance pays tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Free commemorative events are scheduled from Friday through Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. We invite military members, veterans, their families, and everyone who wants to honor our fallen heroes and celebrate the freedoms granted by their sacrifice.

As part of the Memorial Day weekend, the Texas Weekend of Remembrance not only presents impactful speakers and celebratory music — it reminds us about the everlasting cost of our freedom.

Schedule of Events

Pets and outside food and drinks aren’t allowed, but you may bring plastic water bottles and lawn chairs, and concessions will be available for purchase.

Highlights include:

  • A roll call of the total count those who gave their lives in America’s major conflicts.
  • Gold Star mother MaryKay Edwards will share the story of her son, William “Billy” Lawrence Edwards, who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
  • A rifle salute by the Ross Volunteers and taps played by the Texas Aggie Band bugler.
  • Musical performances by Shane Smith & The Saints and former Iraq combat veteran Scott Brown (USMC) in the Scooter Brown Band.
  • A free breakfast and non-denominational Sunday service led by U.S. Coast Guard Chaplain Benjamin Mayhugh.
  • Adult softball and youth 7v7 football tournaments.
  • A 5K run/walk and 1-mile kids‘ run benefitting Brazos Valley Cares, which supports veterans having financial hardships.
  • Photo opportunities with military vehicles from the Museum of the American GI and Conroe’s Army Reserve Aviation Base.

For more information, visit cstx.gov/TWR or call 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Gabby Salazar is in her fourth year with the City of College Station. Before joining the city, 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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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. Economic Development: In the workshop, the council will review the city’s economic development efforts and discuss ways to enhance College Station’s economic competitiveness.
  2. Parking Removals: In separate items, the council will consider a trio of ordinance amendments to remove stopping, standing, and parking along Poplar Street, Live Oak Street, Ash Street, Nimitz Street, Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot to provide emergency vehicle access; and Edelweiss Avenue during pickup and dropoff times at Rock Prairie Elementary.
  3. Wellborn-Holleman Intersection: The council will consider an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at the Wellborn Road-Holleman Drive intersection.
  4. Southwood Valley Sewer Line: The council will consider a $1.22 million contract with Palasota Contracting for the Southwood Valley Trunk Line Phase 1 Project that will increase capacity for development.
  5. Gateway Signage: The council will consider a $149,486 contract with JaCody Construction for a gateway sign to be located just north of Peach Creek Cutoff along State Highway 6 within TxDOT right-of-way.

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.


 

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Public Works’ new truck engineered to save lives

 

By Wally Urrutia, Solid Waste Division Manager

Working on and around roadways and heavy trucks has always been a hazardous job. Thankfully, as technology evolves, our equipment is becoming safer.

The Public Works Department’s new attenuator truck is designed to save lives and lessen the risk of injury in work zones. The mounted device — also known as a crash cushion — absorbs the kinetic injury created by colliding vehicles, reducing the damage to vehicles and the injuries to motorists and workers.

Here’s a closer look at how it works:

The attenuator has become a necessary safety device for highway work zones across the country and will be shared by all divisions in our department.

Since our workers don’t have a giant, friendly Transformer to protect them from harm, we now have the next best thing.

 


About the Blogger

Solid Waste Division Manager Wally Urrutia is in his 32nd 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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Public works boosts our quality of life

By Wally Urrutia, Solid Waste Division Manager

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, stormwater drainage, fleet maintenance, public building maintenance, recycling, and solid waste collection. These services are vital to the safety, health, and high quality of life we enjoy in our growing community.

This week marks the 59th 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 “It Starts Here,” which represents the many facets of modern civilization that grow out of the efforts of the public works professionals.

What starts here? Infrastructure, growth, innovation, mobility, security, and healthy communities are all significant aspects, but the bottom line is that our citizens’ quality of life starts with public works.

National Accreditation

Did you know that College Station is the only city of our size (80,000-150,000 population) in Texas to be nationally accredited in both Public Works and Water Services? 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 130 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 30,000 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.

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed this Public Works Week in College Station at the May 13 city council meeting:

 


About the Blogger

Solid Waste Division Manager Wally Urrutia is in his 32nd 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: Monday’s city council meetings (May 13)

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 Monday, May 13. 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.

5:01 p.m.

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

5:02 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

5:45 p.m.

Bicycle Safety

The council heard a presentation about possible policies and programs to help create a safer environment for bicyclists. The discussion included crash data analysis and an overview of areas popular with bicyclists.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:02 p.m.

Energy Efficiency Programs

The council reviewed College Station Utilities’ programs that encourage energy efficiency.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:05 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:18 p.m.

College Arts Scholarships

The Arts Council of Brazos Valley — through the generous support of local donors — awards multiple scholarships each year to young artists. The College Arts Scholarship is open to graduating seniors in Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties who will attend an accredited college or university with a course of study in the arts, culture or heritage fields. 

The 2019 recipients:

College Station High School’s Lindsey Franks was awarded the $5,000 Netta Jackson Simek Emerging Artist Scholarship and plans to study acting at Oklahoma City University.

College Station High School’s Benjamin Moder was awarded a$3,000 scholarship and plans to study design at Carnegie Mellon.

A&M Consolidated High School’s Aimee Deng was awarded a $3,000 scholarship and plans to study painting at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

A&M Consolidated High School’s Jacob Eaker was awarded a $3,000 scholarship and plans to study theatrical design at the University of Texas-Austin.

6:20 p.m.

National Bike Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed May as National Bike Month.

6:23 p.m.

National Public Works Week

The mayor proclaimed May 19-25 as National Public Works Week.

6:34 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 Navy Airman Adrian M. Campos as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 22-year-old El Paso native died on April 21, 2008, in a non-combat incident in Dubai.
  • Jorge Sanchez spoke about the benefits of protective bike lanes.
  • Robert Rose spoke in support of bicycle safety initiatives.

6:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $1.5 million bid award to H&B Contractors (not to exceed $600,000) and Primoris T&D Services (not to exceed $900,000) for annual electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • The extension of the term of the Employee Health Clinic contract with CHI St. Joseph Health through Dec. 31 to align with the city’s benefit plan year.
  • The city’s emergency management plan that provides a consistent approach to managing natural disasters, man-made disasters or terrorism.
  • Brazos County’s mitigation action plan to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life and property from natural disasters.
  • The reappointment of Brian Hilton as the city’s emergency management coordinator.
  • A $153,394.92 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for upgrades at the Lincoln Recreation Center basketball pavilion, drinking fountains at Lick Creek Park, and concrete pads for benches at the Cove of Nantucket Park.
  • A $9,925 change order to the TriTech subscription service, license and use agreement related to the police CAD/RMS project.
  • The renewal of an annual contract $9,925 with Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officials for city athletic leagues, programs, and tournaments.

6:51 p.m.

FY19 Certificates of Obligation 

The council voted unanimously to authorize $82 million in certificates of obligation to provide resources for a new city hall, streets, parks, information technology, utility improvements, and debt issuance costs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

Sewer Line Easement

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to establish public utility easements for the Huntington sewer trunk line along the perimeter of greenways east of Lakeway Drive and north of Fitch Parkway. The city expects no negative greenway impact.

After a public hearing, the council will consider establishing public utility easements for a sewer line along the perimeter of greenways east of Lakeway Drive and north of Fitch Parkway. The city expects no negative greenway impact.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:58 p.m.

Parks and Recreation Board

The council voted unanimously to appoint Kevin Henderson to fill an unexpired term on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The term expires in January.

6:59 p.m.

After the council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 23.

 


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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