Posts tagged “COVID-19

How to avoid penalties at your game day gathering

By Barbara Moore, Assistant to the City Manager

Although COVID-19 continues to impact college towns across the country, many have found a glimmer of economic hope with the return of home football games.  Texas A&M’s season begins this week and will bring much-needed relief to local businesses, despite the limited number of fans allowed at Kyle Field.

While tailgating may look a bit different, opportunities exist to help celebrate the Aggies in pre-game style.

The vast majority of our businesses, residents, and students are doing their best to follow COVID-19 guidelines. But there are a few key things to remember to have a fun, safe, and compliant game day experience.

Restaurants, outdoor seating, and alcohol

Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott increased restaurant capacity to 75% of usual occupancy. Restaurants and other commercial entities can have temporary outdoor seating but must have enough parking for their customers. Fire lanes also must remain open.

Restaurants and other businesses with liquor licenses may serve alcohol in outdoor seating areas, but patrons cannot leave the enclosed area with alcohol. If you have questions about on-premise alcohol requirements, contact the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s Bryan office at 979-260-8222 or visit tabc.texas.gov.

Tailgating and outdoor gatherings

Businesses and restaurants providing outdoor seating don’t need the mayor’s approval of more than 10 people for an outdoor gathering. However, the requirement still applies to other outdoor get-togethers, such as tailgate parties, ring dunk celebrations, birthday parties, and more. 

To request the mayor’s approval for gatherings of more than 10, apply at cstx.gov/covid19.

Many College Station parks have pavilions available for rent. To reserve a pavilion, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 979-764-3486. You’ll still need the mayor’s approval for outdoor events with 10 or more people.

Special events

In some cases, a planned gathering may be large enough to require a special event permit. A special event is defined as:

… a temporary event, gathering or organized activity held outside the confines of a building or permanent structure, including, but not limited to, meetings, entertainment, performances, shows, exhibitions, street fairs, rallies, races, concerts, carnivals, or amusements held on city-owned or private property and sponsored by an applicant who is expected to draw more than 200 attendees.

You need to apply for a special events permit at least 30 days before your event.

Physical distancing

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend businesses continue practicing COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing among customers whenever possible.

Game days are critical to our community’s success, and we share your excitement about the return of Aggie football. With your help, we’ll host all our home games and welcome visitors to experience College Station while remaining safe and healthy.

If you have questions about COVID-19 requirements for businesses, tailgating, or other group gatherings, contact me at 979-764-6327.

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her 14th year with the City of College Station and her second as assistant to the city manager. Barbara served 12 years as neighborhood services coordinator. She previously was the executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was the 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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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 27)

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, Aug. 27. 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 990 7628 0717.  Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

5:27 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:28 p.m.

The council took one action out of executive session, voting unanimously to authorize the interim city manager to negotiate reasonable terms and conditions and execute a letter of intent related to the sale of about 18 acres southeast of Corporate Parkway and State Highway 6 northbound frontage road.

5:30 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

  • Memorial Cemetery Fencing: The $498,941 contract with Vaughn Construction is for installing wrought iron fencing at the city’s Memorial Cemetery. The project will continue the fencing along the cemetery’s north, east, and western property lines. The project is financed through Memorial Cemetery funds, which can only be spent in the cemetery.

6:20 p.m.

Thomas Park Planning

The council discussed future planning and capital projects for Mabel Clare Thomas Park, including roadways, sidewalks, drainage, and other improvements.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:39 p.m.

City Fiber Leasing

The council discussed the status of the leasing of city fiber and additional opportunities. The city’s fiber ring has various spurs of more than 60 miles. Agreements are in place to lease spare fiber to local companies.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:42 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.

6:54 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:01 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • Elianor Vessali encouraged the city to develop a mobile app with pertinent information for residents.

7:04 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda.

  • An agreement not to exceed $112,432.35 with SPS VAR for utility billing system hardware.
  • An annual blanket purchase agreement estimated at $120,000 with Bound Tree Medical for various EMS medical supplies.
  • Removed parking on the south side of Cottonwood Terrace Court from around the cul de sac to Parmer Creek Court; the south side of Mamma Bear Drive between Holleman Drive South and Towers Parkway; the west side of Papa Bear Drive between Hayes Lane and Mamma Bear Drive; both sides of the public alley between the 1000 block of Toledo Bend Drive and the 1100 block of Toledo Bend Drive; both sides of the public alley between the 1100 block of Amistad Loop and the 1100 block of Amistad Loop; and both sides of the public alley between the 1000 block of Amistad Loop and the 1200 block of Amistad Loop.
  • Authorized FY 21 funds for items greater than $100,000 that are exempt from competitive bidding.
  • Appointed Peggy Sherman and Assistant Police Chief Brandy Norris as College Station’s representatives on the Aggieland Humane Society Board.

The council voted separately on this item, which it approved unanimously:

  • A $498,941 contract with Vaughn Construction for the installation of wrought iron fencing for Memorial Cemetery.

7:10 p.m.

FY 21 Budget Adoption

The council voted unanimously to adopt the city’s $311.5 million FY 21 budget, which includes $264.8 million for operations and maintenance  and $46.74 million for capital projects.

The council also voted unanimously to ratify a property tax revenue increase of about $930,000.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:17 p.m.

FY 21 Tax Rate Adoption

The council voted unanimously to adopt a FY 21 property tax rate of $0.534618 per $100 of assessed value, which is the same as the FY 20 rate. The proposed rate would generate about $49.2 million to fund the city’s general debt service ($0.226443) and part of the General Fund’s operations and maintenance costs ($0.318175).

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Alamosa Street Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the zoning from Townhouse to Planned Development District for about four acres at 3914 Alamosa Street, which is west of Harvey Road and south of Summit Crossing Lane. Councilman John Nichols voted for the motion. Two people spoke during the public hearing.

The change addresses market changes and provides small-lot, single-family homes.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:01 p.m.

TRAP Institute and Expo

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting the city’s bid for the 2022 Texas Recreation and Park Society Annual Institute and Expo. The annual event hosts hundreds of attendees, presenters, vendors, and volunteers and includes more than 80 educational events and an exhibit hall.

8:29 p.m.

Veterans Park Improvements

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.93 million contract with JaCody Construction for drainage, roadway, and playability improvements at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex. The project includes improved drainage and roadways, an additional restroom, sidewalks, and two new playgrounds.

The project is financed through Parkland Dedication funds, Neighborhood Zone 4 & Community Zone C&D, Field Redevelopment funds, and Capital Improvement Project funds. Parkland Dedication, Field Redevelopment and System Wide Park Improvement funds can only be used to improve parks and will be used before CIP funds.

The council also unanimously denied a change order that would have reduced the original contract by $271,352.51 by eliminating the planned addition of two playgrounds and associated features.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:36 p.m.

Extension of Disaster Declaration

The council voted unanimously to consent to the extension of the mayor’s COVID-19 disaster declaration.

8:36 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, Sept. 10.

 


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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Celebrate your child’s B’Earthday at Lick Creek

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Are you looking for a unique birthday experience for your young explorers to celebrate their special day? The Lick Creek Nature Center has the solution.

This fall, the Lick Creek Nature Center is offering B’EARTHday Packages that can be purchased for $75 when you rent a meeting room, outdoor classroom, or the amphitheater. Rentals range from $25-$120 depending on the facility and your residency status. B’EARTHday Packages also include an hour-long activity and hike led by staff.

The package costs cover parties of 10 kids and must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Up to five additional children can be added for $10 each. The birthday child and siblings under three years old are free and don’t count toward the party.

Renters are required to supervise the party and ensure that educational items are used properly and put away. At least two adult chaperones are required at all times, including the hike. Renters must also follow rental policies regarding set-up and clean-up.

We offer three categories based on your child’s interests and age group:

BUGGIN’ OUT • Ages 3-8 • March 1-Nov. 22

Discover the insects that call Lick Creek Park home. Our hike includes a scavenger hunt as we explore the habitats and food sources of local bugs. Activities include crafts and exhibits showcasing our many-legged friends.

DIGGIN’ FOR DINOS • Ages 4-8 • All Seasons 

Calling all explorers! We need your expertise as we explore what makes dinosaurs so great. Activities include digging for dinosaurs, creating our own fossils, and observing dinosaur characteristics. Kids enjoy a fun lesson in an exciting, enriching hands-on environment.

GROW AS WE GO • Ages 7-12 • All Seasons

Sharpen your horticulture skills as we take a look at the plants around us. We’ll discover what plants need to survive and the importance of our interactions with the environment. Activities include crafts, a hike, and planting your own seeds.

With a variety of packages to choose from, the Lick Creek Nature Center has something for every young nature enthusiast’s birthday celebration.

The Parks and Recreation Department follows federal, state, city, and county guidelines to help avoid exposure and transmission of COVID-19 at events, programs, and facilities. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms with a temperature above 99.5 F degrees, or has come in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is prohibited from participating or attending events or programs.

For more information, visit cstx.gov/LickCreek or call 979-764-6216.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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Podcast series explores city’s FY 21 proposed budget

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

After a multi-month, coronavirus-inspired break, the All Up In Your Business podcast is back with a special miniseries: Four episodes that focus on College Station’s Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget.

We’re calling it All Up In Your Budget.

Fiscal Services Director Mary Ellen Leonard joins me to dissect and explain the city’s 330-page budget document, including changes caused by COVID-19, how sustainable we think those are, and what it means to our residents. This budget year is like no other, and we want to make sure residents and taxpayers understand what’s in it, what’s not in it, and why. (more…)


Fall recreation schedule looks different this year

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

In March, our entire world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, schools, travel, and parks and recreation facilities were shut down across the country.

Just six months later, many activities have returned, but COVID-19 remains a severe threat. As we approach the fall, the Parks & Recreation Department is faced with tough decisions as we make plans to reopen our facilities and programs. (more…)


Revamped after-school program set for this fall

By Ana Romero, Recreation Manager

The COVID-19 pandemic has led after-school programs across the nation to be reimagined and restructured to safely provide the same high-quality, engaging programs that have been so popular. As parents return to work this fall, the Lincoln Recreation Center’s after-school programs will continue to offer essential support services for families in these uncertain times. (more…)


Proposed city budget reflects COVID-19 challenges

 

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

COVID-19 has affected just about every aspect of our lives since mid-March. At the City of College Station, we expect that impact to continue well into our next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

The city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget —presented to the city council Thursday night — takes a strategic approach to address our community’s short-term, mid-term, and long-term needs in these uncertain times. The council takes a more in-depth look at the numbers beginning with Monday’s first budget workshop, followed by additional sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The budget workshops can be accessed through Zoom. We’ll post the presentations from each day here:

A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be Aug. 13. The council will consider adopting the budget and tax rate on Aug. 27. (more…)


10 smart tips for a safe and festive Fourth of July

By Stuart Marrs, CSFD Public Information Officer

Most of us build our traditional Independence Day celebrations around food, family, and friends, not to mention plenty of bright and colorful fireworks. Unfortunately, fireworks can also cause injuries and damage property, even when properly used.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a professional fireworks display such as the Texas A&M RELLIS campus Fireworks in Bryan Saturday night at the RELLIS Campus.

Can you guess what types of fireworks cause the most injuries? It’s not bottle rockets, roman candles, or even the aerial firecrackers — it’s those innocent-looking sparklers. They produce about a third of all fireworks-related injuries.

Sparklers burn at about 1,200 degrees, Six-times hotter than boiling water. Glow sticks, confetti poppers, and bubbles a much safer alternative for young children.

As you prepare for your Fourth of July celebration, here are 10 essential things to keep in mind:

  1. It’s illegal to discharge fireworks in the city limits.
  2. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, stay at least six feet away from others and wear a face mask, especially indoors. It’s also a good idea to avoid large gatherings, even with your extended family. 
  3. When using fireworks, always read the labels first and wear safety glasses.
  4. Never give fireworks to children. An adult should supervise fireworks activities.
  5. Light one firework at a time, then quickly move away.
  6. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  7. Never re-light a dud. Wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
  8. Always have a bucket of water and a water hose nearby.
  9. Never shoot fireworks near pets. Make sure your pets – especially those sensitive to loud noises – are where they feel safe and comfortable.
  10. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.

If you’re planning a cookout, be sure to practice safe grilling practices, too:

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Stuart Marrs has been with the College Station Fire Department since 2009 and has served as a captain since 2017. He was previously a firefighter with the Huntsville (Texas) Fire Department. Stuart studied communications at Texas A&M and earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from TAMU-Commerce in 2019.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 25)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, June 25. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio will be streamed 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 982 1331 7043.

4:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

4:05 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled no items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda.

6:22 p.m.

Restricted Occupancy Overlay

The council directed staff to obtain additional public input and draft a potential ordinance to allow property owners to request an overlay restricting neighborhood housing occupancy to no more than two unrelated residents. Twelve residents spoke after the presentation, and five submitted written comments.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:22 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

6:32 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

7:09 p.m.

Police Community Outreach

The council discussed the College Station Police Department’s community outreach activities regarding race relations, recruiting and hiring, use of force, and body-worn cameras.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:17 p.m.

Mayor Issues Mask Order

The council offered its unanimous support for Mayor Karl Mooney to mandate the use of face coverings for coronavirus protection inside commercial businesses. Eleven residents spoke after the presentation, and 61 submitted written comments.

Mooney issued the order after the meeting:

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:24 p.m.

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

8:34 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. 

8:45 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

8:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Reduced the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 on Greens Prairie Road from about 1,000 feet west of Woodlake Drive to the Royder Road intersection.
  • The $650,914 purchase of long lead time major equipment for the proposed Spring Creek Substation.
  • The not-to-exceed $639,764 purchase of a ThreePhase electric substation transformer from Virginia Transformer for the proposed Spring Creek Substation.
  • A $19,416 change order to the contract with Elliott Construction for the repair of the Rock Prairie Road water line.
  • The first renewal of Water Services’ annual $115,847 purchase of sodium hypochlorite from DXI Industries.
  • A $288,700 contract with Kimley-Horn & Associates for the design of the rehabilitation of Luther Street from Marion Pugh to Penberthy.
  • The second renewal of a contract not to exceed $432,000 with Brazos Paving for the installation of a one-inch overlay with specialty mix as needed.
  • A $18,867 change order to the contract with Halff & Associates for the design of Lick Creek parking lot and trailhead.

9:31 p.m.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance

The council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to regulate short-term housing rentals such as Airbnb. The ordinance takes effect Oct. 1. Nine residents spoke after the presentation, and one submitted written comments.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:58 p.m.

Munson Traffic Calming

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the neighborhood’s request to repeal an ordinance prohibiting traffic calming on Munson Avenue. Area residents wanted equal access to the traffic calming ordinance that applies in other city neighborhoods. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:08 p.m.

Midtown 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 33 acres at 5604, 5900, and 6102 Rock Prairie Road. The PDD is an expansion of the Midtown development.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:18 p.m.

Special Events Ordinance

The council voted unanimously to approve changes to the special events ordinance that allow the city manager more flexibility in making decisions about special events. The changes also clarify the definition of a special event and the number of days such an event can operate.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:19 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council voted unanimously to consent to the mayor’s recent extension of the disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

10:27 p.m.

Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant

The council voted unanimously to authorize the city manager to apply to the state for grants from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The city will receive about $6.44 million from the fund.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:


10:28 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, July 9.

 


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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets Thursday at by teleconference for its workshop (after 4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. Public comments are allowed through Zoom. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 982 1331 7043. Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

If you want to address the council about any item on the workshop or regular agenda, 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. Restricted Occupancy Overlay: In the workshop, the council will discuss a restricted occupancy overlay ordinance that would allow property owners to request an overlay to restrict occupancy to no more than two unrelated persons in their neighborhood.
  2. Police Community Outreach: The council will also have a workshop discussion about the College Station Police Department’s community outreach activities regarding race relations, recruiting and hiring, use of force, and body-worn cameras.
  3. Face Masks and COVID-19: Another workshop discussion will be the use of face masks for local coronavirus protection. Gov. Greg Abbott last week clarified his executive order regarding face masks. Abbott said individual liberty may not be infringed, but local governments can direct stores and businesses to require masks.
  4. Short-Term Rental Ordinance: In the regular meeting, the council will consider an ordinance restricting non-owner-occupied short-term housing rentals such as Airbnb to General Suburban, Restricted Suburban, and Wellborn Restricted Suburban zoning districts. It would also require evidence of a Homestead Exemption as proof of owner occupancy and grandfather non-owner-occupied STRs that are already operating.
  5. Munson Traffic Calming: After a public hearing, the council will consider the neighborhood’s request to repeal an ordinance that prohibits traffic calming on Munson Avenue. The neighborhood is seeking equal access to the traffic calming ordinance that applies to other neighborhoods.

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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Video: Small business bridge loan program

The City of College Station and the Bryan Business Council partnered with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments in April to create a Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses that have seen a substantial reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses need short-term working capital to cover essential expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities.

– Public Communications Office

 


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 11)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, June 11. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 969 6026 4785. 

6:02 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

6:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Mowing and Landscaping Contract: This is the first renewal of a contract not to exceed $1.1 million with Green Teams is for citywide mowing and landscape maintenance.

6:42 p.m.

COVID-19 Financial Impact

The council voted unanimously to accept the report on the financial impact of COVID-19 on the city’s FY 20 budget along with the year-end estimate.

Estimated pandemic-related revenue losses range from $2.9 million to $4.7 million from sales taxes, parks programs, the municipal court, investments, and facility rentals. Mitigation strategies, which will save about $5.3 million, include a hiring freeze, departmental reductions, and the elimination of summer parks programs.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance 

The council directed staff to bring back a revised ordinance regulating short-term rental housing such as Airbnb. The proposed ordinance addresses requirements for allowable zoning districts, verified owner-occupancy through the homestead exemption, grandfathering of existing STRs, and safety inspections

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:27 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.

8:38 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

8:43 p.m.

The council finished its calendar discussion from the workshop.

8:50 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • Shiva Saravanan requested that CSPD make its use of force policy available on the city website.
  • Nicolas Macri asked the council and police department to consider 8cantwait.org reforms.

8:52 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Cancelled the postponed special runoff election for city council member Place 4.
  • A $2 million funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s contribution for utility relocations for the FM 2818 widening project.
  • The second year of a two-year, $140,000 contract with Precept Insurance Solutions for an online benefits administration platform.
  • The first renewal of a contract not to exceed $1.1 million with Green Teams for citywide mowing and landscape maintenance.
  • Renewal of an annual price agreement not to exceed $712,700 with Techline for wire and cable.
  • A short-term budget for the 60 days before the August 1 contract termination of the agreement with the City of Bryan and Experience Bryan College Station.

8:58 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from General Commercial and Office to MultiFamily, Natural Areas Protected, and General Commercial for about 14 acres at 2325 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, which is located north of the intersection with Texas Avenue.

The change will help attract commercial and residential opportunities to undeveloped property near a major intersection.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:01 p.m.

Glenhaven Estates NPO

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to establish the city’s one remaining Neighborhood Prevailing Overlay district — Glenhaven Estates Subdivision — as a retired zoning district in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. In March, the council removed NPO references to eliminate redundancy.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:21 p.m.

Certificates of Obligation

The council voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $23.7 million in 2020 certificates of obligation for streets, police station construction, information technology, electric and water improvements, and debt costs.

Refunding Bonds

The council voted unanimously to approve the refunding of up to $19.3 million in 2020 general obligation bonds, which will save the city about $2.7 million over their remaining life.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:22 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, June 25.

 


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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (no sooner than 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. 

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. Public comments are allowed through Zoom. To join the meeting, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 969 6026 4785. 

To address the council 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. COVID-19 Financial Impact: In the workshop, the council will discuss the FY 2020 year-end estimate and the financial impact of COVID-19 on the city’s budget.
  2. Short-Term Rental Ordinance: Another workshop item is a discussion about council-suggested elements of a possible ordinance to regulate short-term rental housing.
  3. Harvey Mitchell Rezoning: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider a request to change the zoning for about 14 acres at 2325 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South — located north of the intersection with Texas Avenue — to help attract commercial and residential opportunities.
  4. Certificates of Obligation: The council will consider approving up to $23.7 million in 2020 certificates of obligation for streets, police station construction, information technology, electric and water improvements, and debt issuance costs.
  5. Refunding Bonds: The council will consider approving up to $19.3 million in 2020 general obligation refunding bonds, which will save the city about $1.4 million over the remaining life of the issues.

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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Rescheduled summer sports events can help us recover

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

What does a sports event or tournament look like in the era of COVID-19? As participants, coaches, and spectators, we’ll soon find out.

Through his executive orders, Gov. Greg Abbott has paved the way for adult and youth sports competitions to begin. The City of College Station will host its first tournament June 19-21 with more than 100 girls’ softball teams from around the state.

The challenges of recent months have led us to this point. Typically, our tournament season ramps up in April and runs through the end of July. Since the pandemic began, our goal has been to bring tourism back to College Station while maintaining the safety of our citizens, guests, and staff.

Our department has had exhaustive meetings with local health officials and tournament organizers to ensure safety guidelines and protocols laid out by the governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are met or exceeded. The city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining our facilities, while tournament organizers will provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators.

In March, we halted eight tournaments slated to bring about 400 teams to town. Our team worked diligently to reschedule several of the events, allowing us to keep about 300 teams. Along with three new tournaments — attracting about 150 teams — we maintained millions of dollars of economic impact in our community.

Here’s a look at our summer schedule:

  • June 19-21 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • June 27-28 — Tournament of Champions 7v7 Football
  • June 27-28 — USSSA Budweiser Invitational
  • June 30-July 3 — Battle for Texas 7v7 Football
  • July 7-12 — SSUSA Senior Softball
  • July 11-12 —The Summer Games 2020
  • July 17-19 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • Aug. 1-2 — The Summer Games 2020
  • Aug. 29-30 — Aggieland Friendship Cup

We’ll continue to adapt to the evolving situation by adjusting our operations. Our overriding mission is to safely bring customers to town while helping our residents and businesses recover.

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 13 years and is in his third year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


 

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Video: Don’t be afraid to call 911 during pandemic

The College Station Fire Department has seen a significant decrease in calls for emergency medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. When heart attacks, strokes, and other medical emergencies happen, time is of the essence.

Our EMS and fire personnel follow all the recommended CDC guidelines and precautions. If you need emergency medical attention, please don’t hesitate to call 911 and get the help you need.

– College Station Fire Department

 

 


5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (no sooner than 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed 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 998 0711 3729.

If you want to address the council about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — 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. Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider Tenant-Based Rental Assistance guidelines to assist households unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 disaster declarations. The guidelines would reprogram $475,000 in existing federal grants.
  2. Former Police Station: Another consent item is a three-year, $1.02 million lease of the old police station at 2611 Texas Avenue to International Leadership of Texas.
  3. TxDOT Funding Agreements: The council will consider two advance funding agreements with the Texas Department of Transportation. The city would contribute about $35,000 for signal improvements at the intersection of George Bush and Dexter Drive and $323,345 for signal improvements that are part of the FM 2818 widening project.
  4. Dowling Road Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural, Office, and Light Commercial to General Commercial for about 15 acres at 95 North Dowling Road B, 101 North Dowling Road A & B, 103 North Dowling Road, and 107 North Dowling Road. The change would better fit the Comprehensive Plan’s designation for more intense uses.
  5. Short-Term Rental Ordinance: The council will consider regulating short-term housing rentals such as Airbnbs. The proposed ordinance would place the units into three categories and restricts the zoning district based on owner occupancy. The directive would also provide clarity on bed-and-breakfast facilities and establishes regular inspections.

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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Parks & Recreation: What’s open and what’s not?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The post was updated on June 18.  

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

As Gov. Greg Abbott continues his plans to open Texas, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has been making plans for reopening spaces, facilities, and programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We base our discussions on federal, state, and local guidance to prioritize public health and safety.

Regrettably, budget reductions resulting from a significant decline in sales tax revenue are also a factor. Remember also that phased reopenings aren’t an immediate return to normal operations. They include necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.

Here’s a look at our current situation, including some answers to your most frequent questions.

Open Facilities

  • Basketball courts
  • Community and neighborhood parks (Directory)
  • Disc golf courses
  • Dog parks
  • Larry J. Ringer Library
  • Lick Creek Park
  • G. Hysmith Skate Park
  • Pavilions and shelters
  • Playgrounds (use is discouraged)
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Stephen C. Beachy Central Park office
  • Tennis courts

Facility Reopening Schedule

  • Athletic Fields – June 1 for practices; June 15 for tournaments
  • Lick Creek Nature Center office and restrooms – June 1 (open Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m.)
  • Park restrooms and water fountains – June 1
  • Veterans Park & Athletic Complex – May 23

Remaining Facility Closures

  • Adamson Lagoon
  • Cindy Hallaran Pool
  • Fun For All Playground and splash pad
  • Lincoln Recreation Center
  • Meyer Senior & Community Center
  • Southwood Community Center
  • W.A. Tarrow splash pad

Canceled Summer Programs

  • Tsunami Swim Team
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Water Safety Instructor Certification
  • Swim Lessons
  • 5V5 Basketball League
  • Summer Youth Basketball
  • Summer Softball & Kickball Leagues
  • Starlight Music Series
  • Challenger Bowling
  • Water Aerobics
  • Mini Summer Camps
  • College Station Senior Games (Sept. 25-27)

For your convenience, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Are playgrounds open?
Yes, but their use is discouraged. Citizens should stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with them and follow other CDC guidelines.

Is Lick Creek Park open?
Yes, the trails are open. The office and restrooms will open on June 1. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m-5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.

Is Veterans Park & Athletic Complex open?
The park will open on May 23. The restrooms and athletic fields open on June 1.

When will the pools and splash pads open?
Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season due to budgetary constraints, limited resources and continued health and welfare concerns regarding social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. We will decide at the end of July regarding the possibility of opening splash pads.

Will you have swimming lessons this year?
Swim lessons have been canceled for the 2020 season. Click here for three water safety resources to help keep your family safe.

When will the Lincoln Recreation Center’s full-day summer camp open?
The summer camp has been canceled due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. At this time, we are planning to offer the after-school program, beginning Aug. 13.

When will the Summer Parks Guide be published?
The summer guide will not be published. We are committed to providing updated information through our website.

Who will enforce minimum health protocols for non-city-sponsored youth sports and tournaments?
User groups and tournament organizers are responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing minimum health protocols for their events at our facilities. The city is responsible for sanitizing restrooms, trash cans, and fields.

When will senior adult programming resume?
Senior programming won’t resume until the fall. People 65 years and older and those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

Are dog parks open?
Yes, Barracks, Steeplechase, and University Park are open.

Can you fish at College Station ponds?
Yes, you can fish at Brothers Pond, Cy Miller, John Crompton, and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park ponds. You must have a freshwater fishing stamp if you’re 17 or older. For information on pond stocking, harvest regulations, and license requirements, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Are cemeteries open?
Yes, the Aggie Field of Honor and the College Station Cemetery are open for visitation. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to sunset, and on Sunday from 6 a.m. to sunset.

We understand the vital role our department plays in our community’s quality of life, especially during these challenging times. We are faithfully working to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities while responsibly addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 14)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, May 14. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom (passcode 200514) or call 888-475-4499 (meeting number 912 7257 8218).

6:07 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:12 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled these items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda:

  • Cemetery Maintenance Shop: The proposed $160,000 contract will include project evaluation, conceptual design, design development, final design and documentation, bidding, and construction services for the new maintenance shop at the College Station Memorial Cemetery. The project’s cost is covered through the Memorial Cemetery Fund.
  • Recycling Franchise Agreement: Tonight is the first reading of a franchise agreement with Howdy Disposal for the collection of demolition and construction debris, recyclables, and organic waste from commercial, industrial, and multifamily locations.

6:25 p.m.

Central Park Expansion

The council discussed the conversion of about 59 acres of city-owned property into parkland for expanding Stephen C. Beachy Central Park to about 106 acres. The council will vote on the conversion as part of the regular meeting’s consent agenda.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:29 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.

6:36 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:41 p.m.

National Public Works Week

The mayor proclaimed May 17-23 as National Public Works Week.

6:48 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • David Flash spoke about a troubling decline in complaints against the police department in recent years. He was concerned that total complaints have fallen significantly — despite rapid population growth — and asked the council to look into the matter. (Mr. Flash’s comments were edited May 28 to provide clarifying context).
  • Derek Arredondo asked the city to better support youth baseball.

6:50 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A contract not to exceed $165,129 with Air Cleaning Technologies for installing vehicle exhaust removal systems at three fire stations.
  • A $160,000 contract with Arkitex Studio for design and construction consultation for a new maintenance shop at College Station Memorial Cemetery.
  • A five-year residential recycling collection franchise agreement and general service agreement not to exceed $4.54 million with BVR Waste and Recycling.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Howdy Disposal for the collection of demolition and construction debris, recyclables, and organic waste from commercial, industrial and multifamily locations.
  • A $3.79 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the construction of Royder Road Phase 2.
  • An ordinance changing the posted speed limit to 50 mph on Wellborn Road from about 600 feet north of Victoria Avenue to about 2,600 feet south of Victoria Avenue during the Royder Road Phase 2 project.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District for its cost participation in the Royder Road Phase 2 project.
  • A $273,243.41 change order for the contract with Thalle Construction Company for the Lick Creek Trunk Line.
  • The conversion of 40.5 acres of greenway and 18.8 acres of city-owned property to parkland to be added to the existing 47.1 acres of Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. The total park acreage will be 106.4 acres.

7:01 p.m.

Economic Development Master Plan

The council voted unanimously to adopt the updated Economic Development Master Plan as part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The original Economic Development Master Plan was adopted in 2013.

The plan is designed to ensure that growth and development advance the city’s economic development objectives. The process also enhances College Station’s goal of “ensuring a diversified economy; generating quality, stable, full-time jobs; bolstering the sales and property tax base; and contributing to a high quality of life.”

In developing the plan, staff engaged with local residents, business owners and operators, and community leaders to understand their vision and to review and formulate pragmatic strategies.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:37 p.m.

Impact Fee Credit Policy

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a credit policy for system-wide roadway, water, and wastewater impact fees. The policy establishes standards for determining projects for which credit is eligible, the process requirements for obtaining credit, and the methods for applying credit to projects.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:28 p.m.

Impact Fees Policy Update

The council voted 3-3 on an update of system-wide impact fee policies. In a tie vote, the motion fails:

  • The city shall update its land use assumptions and capital improvements plans at least every five years, commencing approximately from the date of adoption of such plans, and shall recalculate the impact fees based thereon in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 395 of the Texas Local Government Code, or in any successor statute.
  • The city may review its land use assumptions, impact fees, capital improvements plans and other factors such as market conditions more frequently than provided in subsection (a) to determine whether the land use assumptions and capital improvements plans should be updated and the impact fee recalculated accordingly, or whether the maximum allowable or assessable impact fees as set out in Exhibits H, M, or R herein, or the imposed impact fees or collection rates set out in Exhibits I, N, or S herein should be changed. Imposed impact fees or collection rates may be amended without revising land use assumptions and capital improvements plans at any time prior to the update provided for in subsection (a), provided that the impact fees to be collected do not exceed the maximum allowable or assessable impact fees assessed.
  • If at the time an update is required pursuant to subsection (a) the city council determines that no change to the land use assumptions, capital improvements plan or impact fee is needed, it may dispense with such update by following the procedures in Texas Local Government Code § 395.0575.
  • The city may amend by resolution the imposed impact fees or collection rates set out in Exhibits I, N, or S herein, at any time prior to the update provided for in subsection (a), provided that the number of service units associated with a particular land use shall not be increased.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:28 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

8:38 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

9:13 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

The council voted unanimously to not conduct a public hearing at the May 28 city council meeting to consider changing the collection rate per service unit for roadway impact fees.

9:21 p.m.

Police Station Under Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve a $403,836 reduction in the contract with Vaughn Construction for the new police station, completing the project under its original $29.5 million budget.

10:11 p.m.

Thoroughfare Plan Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Thoroughfare Plan by modifying the alignment of a future minor arterial between Koppe Bridge Road and Clay Pit Road and by removing a future minor collector between the Meadow Creek Subdivision and Minter Springs Road.

The roads are located in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. 

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:16 p.m.

Burgess Lane Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural and Planned Development District to Business Park for about six acres at 8822 and 8850 Burgess Lane. The property is part of the proposed Fujifilm campus expansion.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:21 p.m.

Biomedical Way ROW Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a 0.693-acre portion of right-of-way southeast of the intersection of HSC Parkway and Biomedical Way to allow for the expansion of the Fujifilm development.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:29 p.m.

COVID-19 Relief

The council voted unanimously to approve amendments to the city’s 2015-19 Consolidated Plan that allow the city to more quickly and efficiently address local needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic with federal funds.

The city is entitled to receive $697,507 in additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in Fiscal Year 2019 and has prepared substantial amendments to the Citizen Participation Plan, 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan and the 2019 Annual Action Plan to secure those funds.

Community Development staff consulted with counselors from CSISD and 2-1-1 to determine the most requested assistance. Additionally, a public survey was conducted to determine how important these identified needs were as well as requesting input about additional needs.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:37 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, May 28.

 


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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Video: Thank You to the COVID-19 Pandemic Heroes

– Public Communications Office

 

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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 Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/91272578218, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 912 7257 8218.

If you want to address the council about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — 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. Central Park Expansion: In the workshop, the council will discuss converting about 59 acres of greenway and city-owned property into parkland for expanding Stephen C. Beachy Central Park to about 106 acres. The council will vote on the conversion as part of the regular meeting’s consent agenda.
  2. Royder Road Project: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $3.8 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the second phase of the Royder Road project, which will widen and realign the road from Backwater Drive to Wellborn Road. A related consent item lowers the speed limit from 60 mph to 50 mph in the construction zone along Wellborn Road.
  3. Police Station Under Budget: In the regular meeting, the council will consider a $403,836 reduction in the contract with Vaughn Construction for the new police station, which will complete the project under its original $29.5 million budget.
  4. Impact Fees: The council will consider several items related to roadway, water, and wastewater impact fees, including updates, a credit policy, and an adjustment to the roadway fee collection rate. The credit policy discussion will include a public hearing.
  5. COVID-19 Relief: The council will consider amendments to the city’s 2015-19 Consolidated Plan to allow the city to more quickly and efficiently address local needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic with federal funds.

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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City seeks public input this week on COVID-19 relief

By Raney Whitwell, Community Development Analyst

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of College Station seeks citizen input this week on five potential Substantial Amendments to the city’s 2015-19 Consolidated Plan. The changes would allow the Community Services Department to more quickly and efficiently address local needs. 

The Substantial Amendments adhere to federal regulations related to citizen participation in community planning and development programs, along with applicable waivers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).

A virtual public hearing will be Thursday at 5 p.m. You can join the meeting online at zoom.us/i/2800371990 or by calling 1-888-475-4499 and entering number 280-037-1990. 

You can mail written comments (postmarked no later than Friday) to City of College Station Community Services, P. O. Box 9960, College Station, TX  77842, or email them to rwhitwell@cstx.gov. You can also call 979-764-3778 and leave a comment.                      

The amendments to the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan, Citizen Participation Plan, and 2019 Action Plan for federal funds are available for a five-day public review and comment period that ends Friday. Here’s the text for each amendment:

Substantial Amendments

SA No. 1: Revises the Citizen Participation Plan to include the use of virtual public meetings, clarifies the description of public hearings for the Consolidated Plan, and adds a section to address citizen participation during a disaster declaration.

SA No. 2: Revises the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan to include as a goal statement in the Disaster Response Plan, including policies and procedures to address local impacts of these disasters as allowed by HUD guidance, waivers, and streamlined regulations and the addition of Tenant-Based Rental Assistance as a project.

SA No. 3: Revises the 2019 Action Plan to enable the city to receive and administer $697,507 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding from HUD, including $500,000 of CDBG-CV funds to public service agencies and $197,507 to economic development.

Eligible CDBG activities include assisting low- and moderate-income households with rental and utility assistance for up to three months, food assistance programs, business assistance to retain employees, and support of other COVID-19 response services, such as medical and health-related services. 

Those funds and additional CDBG funding that may be available through the CARES Act will be used for the same purposes of the initial allocations, which were intended to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.                       

SA No. 4: Reprograms $312,479 of FY 2019 CDBG funds from acquisition to economic development.

SA No. 5: Reprograms FY 2019 HOME funds from owner-occupied rehabilitation ($46,575), homebuyer assistance ($301,246), and from new construction ($152,677 ) to tenant-based rental assistance ($475,000) and tenant-based rental assistance security deposits ($25,498) in response to COVID-19 and though HOME waivers.

For more information, email me at rwhitwell@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Community Development Analyst Raney Whitwell is in her fifth year with the city. She’s also served in code enforcement and in the City Secretary’s Office. A native of Bremond, Raney earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Sam Houston State.


 

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Small business program helps retain 121 local jobs

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

The City of College Station’s Economic Assistance Grant Program distributed $282,802 to 16 small businesses, 188 individuals, and 101 families (households of two or more people).

It also helped businesses retain 121 full-time equivalent positions.

Using CDBG Economic Development funds, the program was intended to help prevent job losses for employees with families in the low-to-moderate household income range. In the long term, the program may also contribute to job creation or enable businesses to reach their pre-disaster employment numbers.

Additional funding will be available in mid-May.

 


About the Blogger

Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is in her 21st year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.


 

 

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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 Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/174248177, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 174-248-177.

If you want to address the council about any item on the workshop or regular agenda, 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. Short-Term Rentals: In the workshop, the council will review a draft ordinance that would regulate short-term housing rentals.
  2. Thomas Pool Demolition: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $132,000 contract with Aggieland Construction for the demolition of the Thomas Park swimming pool.
  3. City Hall Construction: The council will consider Amendment No. 2 to the construction manager at risk contract with Core Construction that accepts the guaranteed maximum price of $25.8 million for construction of the new city hall.
  4. Disaster Declaration Extension: The council will consider consenting to the mayor’s renewal this week of the city’s COVID-19 Declaration of Disaster.
  5. Small Business Bridge Loan: The council will consider a funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments to administer the city’s COVID-19 Small Business Bridge Loan Program. The program will provide working capital for small businesses while they await federal disaster loans.

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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City council Thursday teleconference (April 16)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council will conduct a special teleconference meeting Thursday to discuss community recovery efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The council will also consider future agenda items and an update to its annual strategic plan.

The executive session — which is closed to the public — begins at 5 p.m., followed by the public portion of the meeting. A live audio feed will be available on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online at cstx.gov/cstv19.

Citizens who want to comment must register before the meeting starts by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov. Written comments also may be emailed to CSO@cstx.gov. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/6226605081, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 622-660-5081.

The council’s next regular meeting is Thursday, April 23, and will also be by teleconference.

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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