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Happy 82nd anniversary, College Station!

By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications

Happy 82nd anniversary, College Station!

On Oct. 19, 1938, area residents overwhelmingly voted 271-39 to incorporate as a city after a petition was initiated several months earlier.

To that point, College Station had been the simple name of a train station mail stop since 1877, a year after a small, rural college opened its doors near the railroad tracks. But the members of the growing community dreamed of more.

Among the many fabulous finds in College Station’s Project HOLD (Historic Online Library Database) is imagery of that original visionary petition. You can see the envelope dated March 24, 1938, and the petition addressed to the Honorable County Judge of Brazos County, Texas, that references June 2, 1938.

The petition expressed the desire of the undersigned to call an election about incorporation. The unincorporated town, it read, “contains six hundred inhabitants or over…” An accompanying hand-drawn map of the “Proposed City of College Station” reflects “A. & M. Colledge [sic],” two rail lines, “New Hwy No. 6” (now Texas Avenue), “Zoo Lake,” and “Creamery.”

The signatures on the petition include many who became the first chosen and, later, elected leaders of this new city, including Binney, Jones, Gabbard, Langford, Long, Lipscomb, Orr, Munson, Quisenberry, Patranella, and Kemmerer.  

The documents are a reminder of the profound changes that can occur within a generation or two. In 1938, A. & M. College of Texas had 5,582 students. Today, enrollment at the flagship campus of Texas A&M University is 65,684, and College Station is the 20th fastest-growing city in the United States.

Other recent accolades for College Station include being among the top U.S. cities for best public schools, best cities to raise a family, best college towns, and best cities for business, careers, household income growth, and economic advancement.

Here’s to the next 82 years!

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 12th 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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Video: Now for Something Completely Positive!

Take a look back at some of the positive things that happened in the City of College Station in September:

A College Station woman caught a massive bass at the Central Park pond, Visit College Station — the city’s new tourism division — began a strategic partnership with Santa’s Wonderland, site work began for the new, three-million-gallon elevated water storage tank at Midtown Drive and State Highway 6, and the Fire Department unveiled a new diesel exhaust capturing system to protect our firefighters from carcinogens.

Now that’s something completely positive!

– Public Communications Office

Campaign aims to make CS a holiday destination

By Aubrey Nettles, Economic Development Manager

Many people see visions of festive winter wonderlands and Santa loading his sleigh at the North Pole when they think of Christmas.

That may be about to change.

Visit College Station, in partnership with Santa’s Wonderland, wants to make our community THE destination for holiday celebrations.

We are introducing Christmas in College Station, a series of holiday events and specials throughout the city. The goal is to attract visitors who stay overnight, providing a significant boost to our local economy. The partnership encourages Santa’s Wonderland visitors to extend their stay in College Station to enjoy festive events and cheerful specials.

More than 300,000 visitors from across the nation visit Santa’s Wonderland each year, and more are on the way thanks to a breathtaking expansion to what was already an unmatched holiday destination.

Making its debut in 2020 is Illuminations Ice Arena, the region’s premier outdoor ice skating venue. Guests can glide on a sheet of real ice surrounded by thousands of holiday lights under the bright Texas stars. Other new attractions include Santa’s Farm and a second Trail of Lights, walkable elements featuring family-friendly adventures, hand-crafted Texas light displays, tunnels, and even a live nativity scene.

And Christmas in College Station isn’t just for visitors — residents and area businesses can join in the fun, too!

HOLIDAY SPECIALS

We encourage College Station businesses to create a holiday special for a day, weekend, week, or entire season (Nov. 20-Dec. 31). What you do is up to you. The deadline to submit your holiday special is Monday, Nov. 2. Be sure to deck the halls of your establishment to create an ultimate Christmas experience!

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

Create unique photo booths for the public to capture the perfect holiday photo. The Arts Council of Brazos Valley will create a map highlighting the picture-perfect locations.

HOLIDAY ARTISAN MARKET VENDORS

If you’re an artisan or curator, reserve your spot at the Holiday Artisan Market at Century Square from noon-4 p.m. on Dec. 20. The registration fee is $25 and includes tables, chairs, linens, and signage. Spots are limited, so reserve yours today.

SANTA-CERTIFIED HOTELS

Do you have family or friends coming to town for the holidays and don’t have enough room at your place? Check out the deals at our Santa-Certified Hotels.

EVENTS

Christmas in College Station’s offerings include Howdy Holly-Days at Northgate, the Holiday Artisan Market at Century Square, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert, For King & Country’s A Drummer Boy Drive-In Live: “The Christmas Tour” at Reed Arena, the city’s traditional Christmas in the Park, and much more.

Are you planning a holiday event that will be open to the public? Add it to our campaign!

Stay updated on all the holiday events and specials at ChristmasInCS.com.


About the Blogger

Aubrey Nettles is in her second year as the city’s Economic Development Manager. She also served four years as the special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. Before coming to College Station, she was the executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.  


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 8)

Standing (L-R): John Crompton, Bob Brick, Dennis Maloney. Sitting (L-R): Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, John Nichols.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 918 7308 4263. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

5:14 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

5:20 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled this item for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda:

  • Investment Policy, Broker-Dealer List and Investment Strategy: The Public Funds Investment Act requires an annual review and approval of the city’s investment policy and investment strategies. The act also requires the governing body to state that it has reviewed and adopted the policy and strategies. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:01 p.m.

Thoroughfare Landscaping

The council discussed the costs of landscaping on city-owned thoroughfares.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:03 p.m.

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

6:17 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:24 p.m.

Community Planning Month

The mayor proclaimed October as Community Planning Month.

6:27 p.m.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The mayor proclaimed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

6:27 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

6:28 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda.

  • An agreement with Avinext not to exceed $791,399 for the computer network upgrade project.
  • The first renewal of an annual $1.4 million contract with Fikes Wholesale for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • The second one-year renewal of athletic field maintenance materials agreements not to exceed $188,360.95 with BWI Companies ($97,498.87) and Helena Agri-Enterprises ($90,862.08).
  • A resolution stating that the city council has reviewed and approved the city’s investment policy, broker-dealer list and investment strategy.
  • A three-year interlocal agreement with the Texas A&M University System to pay the city $904,699 for aircraft rescue and fire fighting personnel, equipment, operational responsibilities, and command and control of the joint-use fire station at Easterwood Airport.
  • A resolution appointing Gary Mechler as a member of the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors, subject to approval by the Brazos County Commissioners Court.

7:24 p.m.

Comp Plan Evaluation and Appraisal Report

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to accept the Comprehensive Plan’s 10-Year Evaluation and Appraisal Report. The report features a list of possible strategies and actions, considerations for future map changes, and a summary of community and stakeholder input.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:30 p.m.

FY 20 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to increase FY 20 budget appropriations by $1.2 million due to the receipt of federal CARES Act funding. The city has incurred the expenses defined by the guidelines and is eligible for reimbursement.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:33 p.m.

Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to abandon part of a public utility easement at 1200 Foxfire Drive. Utilities in the easement have been abandoned, removed, and rerouted to accommodate development of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:46 p.m.

Replat Notification

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide a mailed notice of replat approvals to surrounding property owners in accordance with state law.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:51 p.m.

Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to abandon part of a public utility easement at 4427 Rocky Meadows Drive. The 10-foot wide portion of the easement is no longer necessary, and the remainder is adequate to serve existing public infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:55 p.m.

Highway 6 Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a request to change the zoning from Light Commercial and Rural to General Commercial for about 10 acres at 4111 State Highway 6 South. The change would help attract commercial opportunities to vacant land near a major highway.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:57 p.m.

Councilman John Nichols offered his thanks to Bill Harris, who has represented College Station for nine years on the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors. 

8:04 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council’s next workshop and regular meetings are set for Thursday, Oct. 22.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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Wilderness first aid class prepares you for emergencies

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many College Station residents to head outside to enjoy our beautiful parks. If you’re like me, you also enjoy visiting nearby campgrounds or participating in other outdoor recreational activities. 

But dangers lurk in the great outdoors, too, which is why you should always be prepared for any possible emergency.

That’s where the Parks & Recreation Department’s Wilderness & Remote First Aid Certification course comes in. The program’s purpose is to provide you with the first aid skills to adequately respond to emergencies and provide care in remote areas where emergency medical services aren’t readily available. These skills can also be invaluable in urban disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. 

The course is based on the Boy Scouts of America Wilderness First Aid Curriculum and Doctrine Guidelines and aligns with OSHA’s Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training programs. When to complete the class, you’ll receive a digital certificate that’s valid for two years.

The two-day course will be Oct. 24-25 from 9 a.m-5 p.m. at Lick Creek Nature Center. Participants must be at least 14 years of age and must have a current adult CPR/AED certification. Registration ends Friday, Oct. 23, and the cost is $150.

Sign up to receive our weekly Recreation Connection eNewsletter for updates on our programs and  events. For more information, contact me at blittlefield@cstx.gov or 979-764-3725.

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in her second year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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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 meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings will be streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 918 7308 4263. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Thoroughfare Landscaping: In the workshop, the council will discuss the costs for landscaping on city-owned thoroughfares.
  2. Comp Plan Evaluation and Appraisal Report: After a public hearing, the council will consider accepting the Comprehensive Plan’s10-Year Evaluation and Appraisal Report. The report features a list of possible strategies and actions, considerations for future map changes, and a summary of community and stakeholder input.
  3. FY 20 Budget Amendment: After a public hearing, the council will consider increasing FY 20 budget appropriations by $1.2 million due to the receipt of federal CARES Act funding. The city has incurred the expenses defined by the guidelines and is eligible for reimbursement.
  4. Replat Notification: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to include the option of providing a mailed notice of replat approval to surrounding property owners.
  5. Highway 6 Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Light Commercial and Rural to General Commercial for about 10 acres at 4111 State Highway 6 South. The change would help attract commercial opportunities to vacant land near a major highway.

Related Links:                 


About the Blogger

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