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Spring has arrived and so have those wicked mosquitoes

By Barbara Moore, Neighborhood Services Coordinator

The good news is that our days are becoming warmer.

The bad news is that mosquito season is here.

That means it’s time to remind you to take adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the dangerous viruses these pests can carry. West Nile virus has been a mosquito-borne threat for several years, and since 2015, Zika has emerged as another risk.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 12 Zika cases have been reported across the state this year, including one in Brazos County. More than 300 cases were reported in Texas in 2015 and 2016.

State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt recommends these measures to keep mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home:

  • At least once a week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers, and other containers that hold water.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
  • Remove standing water around structures and on flat roofs.
  • Change water in pet dishes every day.
  • Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers each week.
  • Change the water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.
  • Maintain and keep backyard pools and hot tubs clean and free of debris.
  • Cover trash and recycling containers.
  • Water lawns and gardens carefully, making sure to not to over water.
  • Add screens to rain barrels and openings to water tanks and cisterns.
  • Treat front and back areas of your home with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are nearby.
  • Trim and prune overgrown vegetation and shrubs.
  • If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around your home.
  • Consider treating standing water that can’t be drained or is present for more than a week with mosquito dunks to kill mosquito larvae before they breed or hatch.
  • Use mosquito dunks in ponds, creeks, drainage ditches and other areas with stagnant water.
  • Wear insect repellant and cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when possible.
  • Make sure screens on windows are intact and not torn.
  • Limit outdoor activities at peak hours when mosquito activity increases.

Mosquito Abatement Program

The City of College Station’s Mosquito Abatement Program provides free mosquito dunks while supplies last. Based on availability, dunks may be picked up at College Station City Hall in the Neighborhood Services office (979-764-6262) or City Secretary’s Office (979-764-3541) starting Wednesday.

For more information on Zika and West Nile prevention efforts in Brazos County, got to brazoshealth.org.

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her 10th year as the city’s neighborhood services coordinator. She previously served as executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.


 

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Is This A Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

It’s been a long time since Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I talked rumors versus reality in terms of restaurants, retail, and more. This episode of “Is This a Thing?” covers a lot of ground, including flip-flop scenarios about In-N-Out Burger.

Using examples of Academy and Gander Mountain, Nat also gives great insight into why vacant properties stay empty so long.

Total run time: 44:09

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 02:20 – University Drive: Kinds of businesses interested in University Town Center, its challenges; announcements by fall, then construction.
  • 05:45 – Chimney Hill: The Republic Steakhouse and Primrose Path; drive-thru Starbucks looks like a thing; what else has potential; the REAL story about In-N-Out Burger.
  • 10:36 – Burger Mojo update.
  • 11:50 – Century Square: Review of all the recent openings + what else is coming soon. How sustainable are all these businesses?
  • 15:43 – Northgate: Seeing more restaurants and retail interests. Food truck park. Small grocery has to be on the horizon.
  • 18:15 – Texas Avenue: Ace Hardware, Red Lion.
  • 19:15 – Pappadeaux status.
  • 22:05 – Honest talk about Harvey Road.
  • 26:15 – Why “available” buildings aren’t always…available. Example: The old Academy building.
  • 30:15 – Status of the Gander Mountain building.
  • 32:35 – Jones Crossing: Status of H-E-B and more.
  • 33:37 – Chef Tai’s Urban Table (I botch the name).
  • 34:15 – CapRock and Tower Point: Rx Pizza, Casa do Brasil, Ground Shuttle Transit, The Yard, Bottleneck Wine Bar, offices and more.
  • 36:05 – Gringo’s now has a building permit. Walk-On’s moving forward. TaD’s Louisiana Cooking.
  • 37:05 – Stella (from the owners of Harvey Washbanger’s).
  • 38:13 – New car dealerships.
  • 38:40 – Dunkin’ Donuts — anything?
  • 41:00 – Big boxes hit pause on new developments in 2017. Now, “the Amazon Effect” has forced brick-and-mortar brands to be creative with new online partnerships.
  • 43:51 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth 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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Volunteer to help spruce-up McCulloch on April 14

By Raney Whitwell, Code Enforcement Officer

We hear a lot about neighborhood integrity these days, but that vague term means different things to different people. For a code enforcement officer such as me, it means making a neighborhood the best it can be for its residents.

That’s why we came up with the idea of neighborhood integrity days, where we organize volunteers from local churches and non-profits to spruce up our community’s older neighborhoods with improved landscaping and routine maintenance. We invite you or your organization to participate in our inaugural Neighborhood Integrity Day for the McCulloch subdivision from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 14.

Located across from the Lincoln Recreation Center on Holleman Drive, McCulloch is College Station’s oldest neighborhood — and one of our most historically significant.

This volunteer day is the perfect opportunity for individuals, youth groups, faith-based organizations, and other non-profit service groups and agencies to serve their community in a positive, substantial way. Our ultimate goal is to build meaningful relationships while enhancing neighborhood pride.

You can help by volunteering, recruiting others to participate, or donating money or supplies. Your group has the option of adopting a home in the neighborhood and supplying the labor and some of the materials needed for cleaning siding, painting, repairing fences, planting flowers or shrubs, removing brush, and a host of other activities.

The possibilities are virtually endless.

We’ll also provide free mosquito dunks to residents and have booths set up on Nevada Street to distribute useful information about city programs and services, including homeowner assistance, crime prevention, pet care, recycling, parks and recreation, and much more.

You can donate money through Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity and can contribute materials such as mulch, soil, plants and other supplies by contacting me at 979-764-3829 or rwhitwell@cstx.gov. I can let you know what items we still need and make convenient pick-up or drop-off arrangements.

The McCulloch spruce-up day is the first of its kind in College Station. We hope its success leads lead to similar events in our other historic neighborhoods in the future. Help us make our neighborhoods the best they can be!

 


About the Blogger

Raney Whitwell is in her third year with the City of College Station and has been a code enforcement officer since 2016. 


 

Photo Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro/123RF Stock Photo

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 22)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 22. 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.

5:37 p.m.

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

6:03 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:

  • Easterwood Mutual Aid Agreement: The mutual aid agreement with Easterwood Airport provides aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment response and joint use of the fire station at the airport.
  • Easterwood Inter-Local Agreement: The inter-local agreement with the Texas A&M University System will allow the College Station Fire Department to continue to operate out of Fire Station No. 4 and also sets fees for CSFD to provide aircraft rescue and firefighting services to Easterwood Airport. The airport will pay the city $211,368 annually through 2020.
  • Naming of Arts Council Building: The proposal it to re-name the Arts Council Building as the Bob and Wanda Meyer Senior Community Center. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Fire Code Amendment: The amendment to the city’s fire code would allow law enforcement and fire officials to temporarily suspend a certificate of occupancy for 24 hours for establishments that are overcrowded or are in violation of life safety codes.
  • Certificates of Obligation: This item would direct publication of notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation, series 2018, and provide an effective date. The certificates issued will be used to fund street, public facilities, electric, water and wastewater projects, and pay debt issuance costs. The maximum amount of Certificates of Obligation indebtedness that may be authorized is $55 million.
  • Ringer Library Construction:  The Larry J. Ringer Library Expansion Project was approved by voters in 2008. The $6.07 contract with Aklam Construction.  The project includes a 12,000-square-foot addition and the renovation of the existing 16,000-square-foot building. The expansion consists of a large program room and a more substantial children’s area, along with parking improvements. The library is expected to remain open during the 15 months of construction, with periodic closures based on the project’s phasing.

6:16 p.m.

Impact Fee Credit Policy

The council heard a presentation on a policy for credits to impact fees. Impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways took effect in December 2016. The initial one-year grace period expired in December 2017, and requests have since been made for impact fee credits.

When a developer installs infrastructure that improves system capacity, it may be appropriate to credit the cost of that infrastructure against its impact fees. The draft impact fee policy strives to balance being fair to developers and not undermining the premise of impact fees, which is to raise revenue for system improvements.

Staff will meet with the development community and solicit its feedback, consider their comments, and revise the draft policy as needed before bringing it back to the council to consider adoption.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

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

6:27 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:35 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.

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army 1st Lt. Ryan T. Sanders as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 27-year-old College Station native died June 4, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his tank in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Hugh Stearn asked that neighborhood residents be given equal time to developers when development proposals are brought before the council.

6:47 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these items on the consent agenda:

  • An inter-local mutual aid agreement with (Easterwood Airport regarding aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment response and joint use of the fire station at the airport.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Texas A&M University System to allow CSFD to continue to operate out of Fire Station No. 4 and sets fees for CSFD to provide aircraft rescue and firefighting services to Easterwood Airport.
  • An agreement with the Rotary Club of College Station and College Station Noon Lions Club for the development of the Fun For All Playground at Central Park.
  • A $1.08 million contract with Musco Sports Lighting for athletic field LED lighting upgrades at the Bachmann Park soccer fields and the Beachy Central Park softball fields.
  • An amendment to the city’s fire code that allows fire and law enforcement officials to temporarily suspend a certificate of occupancy for a 24-hour period for overcrowding.
  • A resolution directing publication of notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation, series 2018, and providing an effective date.
  • Amended the posted speed limit on Holleman Drive South between Rock Prairie Road West and North Dowling Road to 30 mph during the Holleman Drive South Widening Project.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District for reimbursement of construction costs of Wellborn water line relocations necessary for construction of the Holleman South Widening Project.
  • A $220,759.22 change order to the Lincoln Recreation Center construction contract with JaCody, Inc.
  • Renewal of landscape maintenance contracts with Green Teams and Grassmasters totaling $952,946.
  • A $6.07 million contract with Acklam Construction for construction of the Larry J. Ringer Library Expansion Project.
  • A license agreement with Angel Hermanos, Ltd., a Texas Limited Partnership regarding a 300-square-foot encroachment of a sign within the public utility easement in the L.O. Ball Memorial Subdivision.

This consent item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted unanimously to rename the Arts Council Building on Colgate Drive as the Bob and Wanda Meyer Community Center. 

6:57 p.m.

Annexation Public Hearing

The council conducted the second public hearing on the proposed annexation of about 65 acres near Rock Prairie Road West, Holleman Drive South, and North Graham Road.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:01 p.m.

Apache Corporation Mineral Lease

The council voted unanimously to award a bid and enter into a mineral lease with Apache Corporation for oil, gas and related hydrocarbons on city-owned land at the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and at the electric substation near Switch Station Road. The city will receive royalty payments and a lease bonus subject to the terms of the lease.

The mineral interests were advertised in January and received one sealed bid from Apache. The company has provided information showing that the drilling pad and facilities for the well sites will be located outside the city limits and that operations will not occur on the surface of the city-owned lease tracts.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:04 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

The council thanked City Manager Kelly Templin for his service. Tonight was Templin’s final council meeting.

7:04 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 12.

 


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

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

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. Renaming of Arts Council Building: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider renaming the Arts Council Building on Colgate Drive as the Bob and Wanda Meyer Senior Community Center.
  2. Fun for All Playground Agreement: Also on the consent agenda is an agreement with the Rotary Club and Noon Lions Club regarding the development and construction of the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park.
  3. Lighting at Bachmann, Beachy Parks: Another consent item is a $1.08 million contract to upgrade the lighting systems at the Bachmann Park soccer fields and Beachy Central Park softball fields.
  4. Ringer Library Construction Contract: The consent agenda also includes a $6.07 million contract for the expansion of the Larry J. Ringer Library, which was approved by voters in 2008. The expansion includes a large program room and a larger children’s area, along with parking lot improvements.
  5. Annexation Public Hearing: In the regular meeting, the council will conduct the second public hearing on the proposed annexation of about 65 acres near Rock Prairie Road West, Holleman Drive South, and North Graham Road.

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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Beware opportunists taking advantage of hail damage

By Brian Binford, Planning & Development Services Building Official

Weather-rated calamities seem to bring out the best in most folks. We saw that up close when Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast last summer.

Unfortunately, these situations can bring out the worst in a few people, too.

While Sunday’s hailstorm certainly wasn’t a large-scale disaster, it did enough damage to set opportunists and scammers in motion. An elderly College Station resident received a suspicious call this morning from a roofing company that offered to evaluate her home for damage.

If you get such a call, check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is legitimate and has a good reputation.

Roofing contractors must be registered with the City of College Station and are required to obtain a building permit to roof or replace shingles and decking on residences. Homeowners who do the work themselves don’t need to register as a contractor, but they must apply for a permit before construction.

To obtain a permit, click here or contact Planning & Development Services at 979-764-3570.

 


About the Blogger

Brian Binford is a certified building official and has been with the City of College Station since 2008. He’s a graduate of Sam Houston State.


 

Photo Copyright: studiodin/123RF Stock Photo

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