Posts tagged “community development

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 27)

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, July 27. 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.               

6:05 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman James Benham is participating tonight via teleconference. (more…)


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

  1. Community Development Budget/Action Plan: In the workshop, the council will review the proposed FY18 Community Development Budget and Action Plan to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  2. Three FM2818 Rezonings: In the regular meeting, the council will consider requests to change the zoning and land use designations for three properties along FM2818 near State Highway 6 to allow for development.
  3. Land Use Change North of TWS: The council will consider a request to change the land use designation for about 100 acres north of the Texas World Speedway to allow for commercial development.
  4. Rezoning on University Drive East: The council will consider a request to change the zoning designation for about 36 acres south of the FM158-University Drive East intersection to allow for infill commercial development.
  5. UDO Amendments: After a public hearing, the council will consider amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance regarding trees in single-family developments, screening of retaining walls, and visual treatment of drainage features.

(more…)


City, local groups join forces to help residents in need

house_help

By David Brower, Community Development Analyst

When the City of College Station’s Community Services Department is unable to help a citizen in distress, we reach out to other community partners to see if they can help.

Two recent examples show how these partnerships are paying huge dividends in our community.

Recently, an unstable tree was threatening to fall on a home. The owner didn’t have the money to get the tree removed, so the city contacted a local church with a disaster relief ministry. Members of the congregation who had been trained to take down trees removed the dangerous timber at no cost, averting a potential catastrophe.

Another vivid example is a senior woman who lives in a 50-year-old house. Although she’s been diligent in maintaining her home, major systems are failing and need to be replaced. She can’t handle the large expenses on her fixed income, so she contacted the Community Services Department for help.

She qualified for assistance through our Housing Minor Repair Program, and we helped her replace her malfunctioning – and dangerous – electrical breaker box. We also took care of a drainage problem in her backyard.

Then, with temperatures dropping below freezing, her heater suddenly went out, too.

We reached out to an organization called Rebuilding Together Bryan/College Station, which is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization. Founded by Steve Godby, the local chapter serves low-income homeowners who are over the age of 62 or are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. Families with children under 18 may also qualify.

Rebuilding Together BCS uses a network of business, faith groups, and other nonprofits to supply funds and volunteers for their projects. They immediately provided a space heater and within days raised funds to replace her furnace.

These are just two of many success stories that illustrate how the city takes advantage of our resources through collaborative partnerships to make our community a better place.

For more on the City of College Station’s housing assistance programs, go to cstx.gov/housingassistance.

 


David BrowerAbout the Author

David Brower has been a community development analyst for the City of College Station since 2008. He is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

 

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

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, June 23. 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.

5:37 p.m.

The workshop has started. Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilman James Benham are absent tonight, but Benham is participating via teleconference.

5:45 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Easterwood Funding Agreement: The agreement would provide$141,300 in hotel tax funds to Easterwood Airport for advertising, solicitation activities and promotional programs to attract tourists and conventions to the area.

6:07 p.m.

Community Development Budget and Action Plan

The council heard a presentation about the proposed FY17 Community Development budget and PY16 Action Plan. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the city to submit an annual action plan describing projects and activities funded with community development grants.

New grant amounts include $983,111 in Community Development Block Grant funds and $372,121 in HOME Investment Partnership Grant funds. The budget includes previously programmed but unspent CDBG ($291,526) and HOME ($747,466) grant funds, along with expected income of $33,930 from HOME reconstruction loans and recaptured CDBG ($2.4 million) funds from the sale of property.

CDBG and HOME funds may only be used to benefit low- and moderate-income people, aid in the elimination of slum and blighting influences, or meet an urgent need. CDBG funds may also be used to meet local needs through community development efforts while HOME funds may only be used for affordable housing activities.

The proposed plans and budget were developed with public input through a series of hearings, program committee meetings, and other citizen input. The final draft of the action plan and budget will be presented to council on July 28.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 p.m.

RVP Compliance Report

The council discussed the Research Valley Partnership’s 2015 Compliance Report.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:37 p.m.

Impact Fees Progress Report

The council heard a progress update on water, wastewater and roadway impact fees. Early this year, engineering firms were hired to study the possible implementation of the impact fees, and the council established Impact Fee Advisory Committees.

In the coming months, several items will be presented to the council for action.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:59 p.m.

Citizen Survey Results

The council received a presentation on the results of the 2016 citizen survey conducted in April. Participants were asked to rate various city services, quality of life issues and community characteristics, and to rank their priorities.

The vast majority of respondents rated the overall quality of city services as good or excellent (84 percent). The city’s customer service also received high marks (85 percent). Traffic congestion was the respondents’ biggest priority and concern, followed by street and road maintenance. The top-rated desired community trait was “ease of car travel around town.”

About 90 percent of the respondents gave good or excellent ratings to College Station as a place to live and raise a family, and about the same number would recommend College Station as a place to live. Most the ratings were similar to the 2012 survey, but the city showed significant improvement as a place to do business (up five points) and for image and reputation (up seven points).

The city paid NSR $9,850 to administer the survey.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

Here’s the complete summary report from NSR:

7:04 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports, Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:14 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:24 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:

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Staff Sgt. Joe L. Dunigan, Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 37-year-old Belton native died March 11, 2004 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Karen Pitts spoke against development near the Nantucket subdivision, especially planned roads, in South College Station.
  • Tim Powell, an Indian Lakes resident, also spoke against the expanded roads that would support the development.

7:24 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the City of College Station General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
  • A $141,300 funding agreement with Easterwood Airport and the airport’s FY16 budget.
  • A $60,823.81 contract with Gomez Floor Covering for the installation of new flooring at the Utility Customer Service building and Fire Station No. 5.
  • The $156,630 purchase of vehicle detection equipment from Iteris to replace outdated video processors.
  • A letter agreement with Ingram, Wallis & Co. for professional auditing for the year ending Sept. 30, 2016 ($102,000) and for the year ending September 30, 2017 ($105,000).
  • A $30,000 blanket order with The Eagle for a new not-to-exceed total of $78,000 for FY16.
  • A five-year, $706,186 agreement with TASER International for the purchase and support of TASER products and services, including body cameras, in-car video cameras, and data storage.

7:28 p.m.

3120 Holleman Drive South Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change the zoning from Multi-Family to Townhome for about 14½ acres south of Cain Road at 3120 Holleman Drive South between Holleman Drive and Old Wellborn Road. Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the vote.

The change allows for townhome development consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:28 p.m.

The mayor pro tem adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, July 14.


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

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. Community Development Action Plan: The council will hear a workshop presentation on the proposed FY17 Community Development Budget and PY16 Action Plan to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  2. Impact Fees: The council will hear a progress update on the study of water, wastewater and roadway impact fees.
  3. Citizen Survey Results: The council will receive the results of the 2016 citizen survey that was conducted in April to help assess and prioritize a wide range of services and needs.
  4. Easterwood Airport Funding: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an agreement to provide $141,300 in hotel tax funds as part of Easterwood Airport’s FY16 budget.
  5. Police Cameras: The council will consider a five-year, $706,000 agreement with TASER International for body and in-car video cameras and data storage.

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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Community grants have made College Station better

By David Brower, Community Development Analyst

Since 2011, College Station has received about $7.2 million in federal community development grants. As part of National Community Development Week, it’s informative and enlightening to look at the positive impact these funds have had on our city.

Tarrow Park 3 5.27.2011Our Community Services Department coordinates with other city departments, social service agencies, businesses and other governmental entities to ensure the grants are used in the most effective way to address our most pressing needs.

(more…)