Posts tagged “capital improvement program

Major changes underway at popular Lick Creek Park

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By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Staff Assistant

For almost 30 years, if you wanted a quick escape from the busy sounds of our growing community, you probably headed for the peaceful solitude of Lick Creek Park, the area’s premier nature preserve. If you’ve been there in recent months, your search for serenity may have been interrupted by the sounds of hammers and bulldozers.

But don’t worry, it’s only temporary — and the results will be worth it.

The 515-acre park on East Rock Prairie Road is undergoing extensive improvements, including the construction of a long-awaited nature center.

Established in 1987 as part of land negotiations to create a city industrial area, Lick Creek Park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. The park offers five miles of marked trails and provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.

lick-creek-walkingdogsIt’s also the city’s largest off-leash dog park.

Lick Creek Nature Center

In the 2008 bond election, residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection. Torrential rains last spring and summer caused additional delays.

Thankfully, the nature center’s construction and other improvements in the park are underway and are expected to be finished by May.

The nature center will soon be the park’s focal point and will provide citizens and visitors an educational opportunity to learn about the animals and plants that call the park home. Features include a 2,400-square foot building with a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, an amphitheater and native plant displays.

Other Improvements

As a part of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge to help save the threatened butterfly population, the park will include a monarch-friendly demonstration garden and a butterfly trail with abundant milkweed — the butterfly’s host plant — and other nectar-producing plants. The site will be a prime spot to watch the monarchs’ annual migration and metamorphosis.

The rerouting of trails will improve the flow and create a major pathway that connects the nature center to the park’s west entrance at Pebble Creek Parkway, which is the trailhead for the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail that winds more than five miles across town to Creek View Park.

lickcreek2Trail surfaces also will be upgraded, and new signage and maps will guide visitors through the trail system.

Meanwhile, informational signage throughout the park will identify trees, plants, birds, insects, butterflies, and wildlife. Benches along trails and at each trail intersection will allow visitors to pause and enjoy the park’s beautiful scenery.

Bicycle racks will also be accessible at the four major entry ways.

Don’t wait to enjoy Lick Creek Park

Although the improvements won’t be finished until the spring, the park remains open. You can still enjoy the park’s natural design, but be cautious and obey signs noting construction and closed areas.

Portions of the park that are closed include the Rock Prairie Road entrance and parking lot, Yaupon Loop Trail, and part of Post Oak Trail. Parking is available in the equestrian lot off Rock Prairie Road northwest of the main entrance.

The improvements and amenities will enhance one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and make it more accessible – and enjoyable — for young and old alike.

For more on College Station’s park system, go to cstx.gov/parks.


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 9)

2014 Council

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

Many of the items on tonight’s agenda were carried over from the scheduled May 26 meeting, which was cancelled because of hazardous weather.

3:35 p.m.

The workshop has started.

4:49 p.m.

Pavement Standards

The council heard a presentation by Public Works Director Donald Harmon about pavement standards for city streets and roads. Harmon said asphalt pavement is cheaper in the short run, but concrete is easier to maintain and could be a more cost-effective option in the long term.

Council asked staff to come back with more information before it makes any decision.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

5:05 p.m.

Wastewater Capital Projects

The council is hearing a presentation from Water Services Director David Coleman about wastewater capital projects that are needed to stay ahead of development in the next decade.

Coleman said as the Wastewater Master Plan and the Impact Fee Study near completion, the picture is becoming clearer for what capital projects are required. He said the city is nearing capacity in its large trunk collection lines and treatment plants, which means a significant annual capital investment is necessary.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

5:05 p.m.

Executive Session

The council has gone into executive session. 

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

6:27 p.m.

Joint Meeting with P&Z

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to review the commission’s 2016 Plan of Work.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:42 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:

  • Public Urination Ordinance: The amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances would help deter public urination and defecation, especially in the Northgate District.
  • Impact Fee Hearings: The resolutions set public hearings on roadway, water, and wastewater impact fees for the July 14 council meeting.
  • Food Establishment Sanitation: New state regulations render the city’s food establishment ordinances outdated. The amendments would reflect those changes.
  • Employee Health Clinic: The contract with CHI St. Joseph Health would open an exclusive health clinic to provide non-urgent care for city employees, dependents ages 5 and up, and retirees enrolled in the city’s Group Health Insurance Plan.

6:59 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:09 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:16 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. 

  • Frank Duchmasclo provided the council with pictures of a senior center in Caldwell to show what Caldwell is doing for its senior citizens.
  • Ben Roper recognized Army Pfc. Ervin Dervishi as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 21-year-old Fort Worth native died Jan. 24, 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baji, Iraq.

7:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An ordinance amendment regarding public urination and defecation.
  • A grant application to the governor’s office for hotspot technology.
  • A $177,000 contract with Jones & Carter for the design, bidding, and construction phase services for Phases I and II of the State Highway 6 Waterline Project.
  • A $52,120 contract with Brown, Reynolds, Watford Architects for services related to the design of the traffic operations renovation as part of the ITS Master Plan Implementation project.
  • The $90,980 purchase of 10 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems to replace cabinets and provide functionalities with the new Intelligent Transportation System.
  • The Semi-Annual Report on Impact Fees.
  • A contract not to exceed $465,688.60 with CHI St. Joseph Health to provide employee health clinic services and operations management.
  • A negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp. (Mid-Tex Division) regarding the company’s rate review mechanism filings, and a settlement agreement on rate tariffs and proof of revenues.
  • Authorized the city manager to execute documents necessary for submitting the SWAT Night Vision Equipment Grant application for Criminal Justice Division funds from the Office of the Governor.
  • Set a public hearing for Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at College Station City Hall to consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plan for roadway impact fees.
  • Set a public hearing date for Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at College Station City Hall to consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plan for water and wastewater impact fees.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Renewal of the annual city-wide land surveying services and civil engineering services contracts with Joe Orr and Binkley & Barfield for a total of $100,000.
  • A five-year lease agreement estimated at $198,456 annually with Texas Commercial Waste for refuse containers.
  • A signal interconnect agreement with Union Pacific Railroad to allow the City of College Station to construct, maintain and operate a new signal facility at Greens Prairie Trail’s at-grade road crossing intersection.
  • An $80,000 bid award to GDS Associates for electric NERC compliance consulting services.
  • A $465,457.05 bid award for annual price agreements for various electrical items to be stored in inventory: KBS Electric Distributors ($97,493), Stuart C. Irby ($31,802), Graybar Electric ($55,135.30), Techline, Inc. ($244,126.75), and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. ($36,900).
  • A bid award of $94,422 for the purchase of three 145kV potential transformers and three outdoor breakers to be maintained in electrical inventory and expended as needed.
  • A bid award of $290,356.14 for annual price agreements for electric meters and sockets to be stored in inventory: Priester-Mell & Nicholson ($160,891.14), KBS Electrical Distributors ($12,465), and Anixter ($117,000).
  • A resolution amending the authorized representatives on the local government pool account, TexPool.
  • A resolution amending the authorized representatives on the local government pool account, Texas Short Term Asset Reserve.
  • Updated the city’s food establishment ordinances to reflect new state regulations.

7:18 p.m.

Easement Abandonment on Holden Circle

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a public utility easement at 4928 Holden Circle to allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:59 p.m.

Municipal Utility District Consent

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to grant conditional consent to form up to five municipal utility districts in the City’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, generally located along Peach Creek between FM 2154 and State Highway 6 South.

The proposed MUDs will develop, operate, maintain, and issue bonds for financing the construction of needed infrastructure for the districts and levy and assess a tax on property within the districts to pay associated operational and maintenance expenses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:12 p.m.

Crossroads Self Storage Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the future land use from Restricted Suburban to General Commercial and Suburban Commercial for about nine acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Trail.

Crossroads Self Storage is located on the property, and the amendment generally allows commercial uses that cater to nearby residents and the larger community.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:15 p.m.

Crossroads Self Storage Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about nine acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Trail.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:15 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 23.


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 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.


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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

5523701_l

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (3:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Pavement Standards: The council will hear a workshop presentation on pavement standards for the city’s streets and roads.
  2. Wastewater Capital Improvements: The council will discuss wastewater system capital projects that are needed to stay ahead of development. The city’s collection lines and treatment plants are nearing capacity.
  3. Joint Meeting with P&Z: The council will have a joint workshop meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the commission’s 2016 Plan of Work. This part of the workshop is scheduled to start between 5:30-6 p.m.
  4. Employee Health Clinic: The council will consider a contract with CHI St. Joseph Health to operate an employee health clinic to provide non-urgent care for employees, dependents (ages 5 and up) and retirees enrolled in the city’s Group Health Insurance Plan.
  5. Municipal Utility Districts: After a public hearing, the council will consider granting conditional consent to a developer’s request to form up to five Municipal Utility Districts in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proposed MUDs would finance needed infrastructure by assessing a tax on properties within the districts.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:                                                                 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 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.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Jan. 28)

2014 Council

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. 28. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:15 p.m.

The workshop has started. (more…)


5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

council meeting

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Affordable Housing Tax Credit: In the workshop, the council will discuss a proposal to develop affordable housing through the state’s low-income housing tax credit process. The presentation will include an overview of the rental housing market and the need for more affordable units.
  2. Private Sewer Line Inspections: The council will hear a presentation on enabling the inspection of private sewer lines and requiring repairs to help prevent wastewater overflows during heavy rains. In older parts of the city, the joints of clay lines can pull apart, and the lines are susceptible to cracking.
  3. Capital Plan Update: The council will be updated on the Capital Improvement Plan.
  4. Police Station Planning: The council will discuss the city’s next police facility, including space planning, possible sites, design schedule and budget.
  5. Open Carry at City Meetings: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider prohibiting the open carry of handguns at meetings of city governmental entities, including council meetings.

(more…)


Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

College Station City Council

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch: (more…)