Posts tagged “economic development

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

2016-city-council

2016-city-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, Feb. 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.

6:02 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

6:03 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No consent items were pulled for workshop discussion.

6:37 p.m.

Affordable Housing Development

The council unanimously supported the concept of an affordable housing development off Rock Prairie Road East and applications by developers for low-income housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The development will still need to come back to council for approval at a later date.

The 2015 Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan identified rental housing as a priority need for low-to-moderate income individuals and families, as well as the city’s elderly and disabled populations. The FY17 Action Plan and adopted budget allocate funds for acquisition and infrastructure costs related to supporting the development of affordable housing units.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:17 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Districts

The council reviewed the uses and design standards associated with Suburban Commercial zoning districts.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and heard committee reports.

The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:29 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:36 p.m.

2-1-1 Day Proclamation

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed Saturday as National 2-1-1 Day. United Way of the Brazos Valley’s 2-1-1 Texas program is a free information and referral center that connects residents to community resources. When callers dial 2-1-1, they are connected to specialists who ensure the caller’s specific needs are addressed with accurate and prompt referrals.

Pictured below are (L-R): Debbie Eller (City of College Station community services director), Peggi Goss (vice president of community impact), Mayor Mooney, Hilda Salazar (2-1-1 program manager), Katharine Gammon (program and resource coordinator), and CeAnne Jones (communications and outreach coordinator). 

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7:41 p.m.

Local Housing Assistance Partnerships

The council recognized the city’s collaborative partnerships that address local housing assistance. State Farm also presented a check for $8,900 to Rebuilding Together-BCS, whose mission is to transform the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizing their community. Click here to read Community Development Analyst David Brower’s recent blog post about the partnerships.

Pictured below are (L-R): Ron Lightsey (RT BCS board president) Bruce Boyd (State Farm agent), Kelli Smith (State Farm sales leader), Steve Godby (RT BCS executive director), and Janis Godby (RT BCS board secretary/treasurer).  

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7:46 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Spc. Adolfo C. Carballo as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Houston native died April 10, 2004, when he was struck by shrapnel in Baghdad, Iraq.

7:47 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Added the local government investment pool, LOGIC.
  • Added the prime account in the local government investment pool, TexPool.
  • The second renewal of an annual agreement not to exceed $190,000 with the Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officiating services for city athletic leagues, programs, and tournaments.
  • Authorized the city manager or his designees to execute grant applications for Criminal Justice Division funds from the Office of the Governor.

9:00 p.m.

Arrington Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to rezone about 10.5 acres at the intersection of Arrington Road and Old Arrington Road.The change will allow the development of an apartment complex called Caprock 10. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself because of a conflict of interest. 

In the public hearing, seven people expressed concerns about traffic and other issues created by the development.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:04 p.m.

Crescent Point Land Use Change

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation for about six acres at the intersection of Crescent Pointe Parkway and Copperfield Parkway. The change will allow the development of The Crescent Pointe Townhomes. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:07 p.m.

Crescent Point Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about six acres at the intersection of Crescent Pointe Parkway and Copperfield Parkway. The change would allow the development of The Crescent Pointe Townhomes. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:09 p.m.

Stasney and Nagle Easement Abandonments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a pair of public utility easements on Stasney Street and Nagle Street to accommodate the design of a new apartment complex in Northgate. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:12 p.m.

RELLIS External Advisory Council

The council voted unanimously to nominate Mayor Mooney to the external advisory council for the Texas A&M University System’s new RELLIS campus. The nomination was made at the request of Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp.

9:15 p.m.

The council discussed future agenda items.

9:15 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Feb. 23.


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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 been 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 (Nov. 10)

2014 Council

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, Nov. 10. 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.

5:46 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz announced the following action taken in executive session:

“I move that the city manager is hereby authorized to settle the claim brought by Kathleen M. Ritch, individually and on behalf of Alannah Ritch and Andrew J. Ritch, in an amount not to exceed $250,000 and to execute a settlement and release containing terms as are customarily contained in settlement agreements.”

6;03 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Viasat Economic Development Agreement: The agreement provides for Viasat’s expansion into a new 85,000-square foot building on about nine acres in the Biocorridor. The company’s total investment is about $20 million with a minimum property valuation of $15 million by 2019. By the end of the second year following construction, Viasat will add at least 150 new full-time jobs with an average salary of $64,000 and the current payroll will increase by $9.6 million for a total of $17.2 million. In exchange, Viasat will receive an annual cash incentive for six years equal to the ad valorem taxes assessed and paid not to exceed $450,000. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Bee Creek Trunk Line Rehabilitation: The $4.6 million contract with Elliott Construction includes the installation of about 2,000 linear feet of 60-inch and 4,000 linear feet of 54-inch sanitary sewer main along Bee Creek from Carter’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to west of State Highway 6. This contract is for the second of four phases to replace the Bee Creek Trunk Line that runs from Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to about 1,100 feet west of Jones Butler Road. Much of the existing trunk line was constructed in 1973 and was shown to have several surcharging line segments in the 2011 Wastewater Master Plan. The project will install a gravity line to increase the capacity of the trunk line to accept the anticipated build-out demand.
  • Utility Agreement with MUD No. 1: Approval of this item will modify the utility agreement with Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1 to include a surcharge for water and wastewater rates in the MUD without the charge of impact fees. It also specifies that city staff will recommend that the city council establish a Public Utility Corridor across Lick Creek Park for a sewer line to the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The diversion of parkland is on tonight’s regular agenda. The change would allow the Southern Pointe development to proceed. The surcharge would provide the same revenue as impact fees but would be spread over about 20 years. The PUC will have zero cost to the city.
  • Roadway Maintenance Fees: The results of the 2016 Citizen Survey suggested citizens prefer to see additional resources invested in the area of street maintenance. As part of the 2016 budget process, staff evaluated alternative sources to help fund the needed maintenance. After a detailed evaluation of various options, staff recommended implementing a roadway maintenance fee to be paid by citizens and businesses. The fees are based on reasonably equal shares in the total number of vehicle miles generated by all properties in the city limits and would be added to utility bills. The monthly fees would be $7.78 for single family, $6.10 for multi-family and a commercial range of $17.23 to $250. The fee would generate about $4.5 million per year. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:33 p.m.

Pavement Standards

The council voted 4-3 for the city to use concrete in street construction rather than asphalt. Voting against the motion were Councilwoman Julie Schultz, and Councilmen Karl Mooney and Steve Aldrich. A study found that initial construction costs for rigid pavement were higher than for flexible pavement, while the maintenance and life cycle costs for rigid pavement were lower than for flexible pavement. 

An earlier motion to provide a combination of concrete and asphalt standards was defeated, 4-3. Mooney, Schultz, and Aldrich supported the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:44 p.m.

Appraisal District Building

The council heard a presentation about the new office building proposed by the Brazos Central Appraisal District to address concerns with growth, security, customer service, and technology. Approval of the building is on tonight’s consent agenda.

The district’s board of directors has recommended building rather than leasing office space to give the property owners the best value for their tax dollars and to provide improved security, efficiency, and technology for staff and the public.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:12 p.m.

Itinerant Vendor Ordinance

The consensus of the council was to move ahead with new requirements related to itinerant vendors. The changes would exempt mobile medical vendors that provide infusion therapy and would allow more days per year for tent sales. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:12 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.

7:25 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:37 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.

  • Councilwoman Julie Schultz, speaking as a citizen, thanked Mayor Nancy Berry for her service to the community. Berry has been mayor since May 2010 and is presiding over her final council meeting tonight. She will hand the gavel to Mayor-elect Karl Mooney at the Nov. 21 council meeting.
  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Lance Cpl. Shane L. Goldman as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Orange native died April 5, 2004, from injuries received from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Cecelia Yip, Mike Green, and Matthew Fontaine spoke in support of pickleball and encouraged the city to provide adequate facilities for the sport.

7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • An economic development agreement with Viasat regarding nine acres on Health Science Center Parkway.
  • A $3 million contract with Saber Power Services to modify the ring bus and relocate transformer No. 2 at the Greens Prairie Substation.
  • A $4.6 million contract with Elliott Construction for Phase 2 of the Bee Creek Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Rehabilitation.
  • An ordinance recognizing water and sewer utility rates and surcharges established by contract.
  • An amendment to an agreement with McAlister Opportunity Fund that designates an alternate fire station site.
  • Modified the utility agreement with Brazos County MUD No. 1 to include a surcharge for water and sewer service without the charge of impact fees and other related matters.
  • A contract not to exceed $7,880 with Sungard Public Sector for adding the roadway maintenance fee to accounts in the utility billing system.
  • A resolution authorizing banners for the annual Christmas Parade.
  • A resolution approving the purchase of property and construction of a new office building by the Brazos Central Appraisal District.

This item was voted on separately:

  • By a 6-1 vote, the council approved an ordinance approving a roadway maintenance fee to help fund maintenance of city streets. Councilmen James Benham voted against the motion

Note: An inter-local agreement with Brazos County creating an economic development program was pulled from tonight’s agenda.

8:29 p.m.

Parking Removal near Fire Station No. 6

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove parking on one side of the streets in the neighborhood behind Fire Station No. 6. Affected streets are Payton, Banks, Pearce, Columbus, Preston, Churchill, Chappel, Pasler, Turner and Avenue B. The change was recommended to allow adequate access for emergency vehicles.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 8:32 p.m.

Design Review Board Membership

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved changes to membership qualifications for the Design Review Board, which is responsible for considering requests largely related to subjective matters such as alternative buffer standards and site plan design in the Wolf Pen Creek zoning district. The changes address concerns about the challenges of making appointments to the board.

The city’s Unified Development Ordinance defines membership criteria of appointees so that expertise is balanced between those with business acuity, personal experience in a design district, and general public opinion.

8:34 p.m.

Drainage Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a small public drainage easement at Holleman Drive South and Market Street to accommodate the recent development of The Junction, a multi-family project.  The property owner will maintain the existing drainage area and infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:42 p.m.

Utility Corridor in Lick Creek Park

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to establish a public utility corridor across Lick Creek Park needed for the development of Brazos County Municipal Utility District  No. 1, also known as Southern Pointe. Since the park lies directly between Southern Pointe and the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the route is the only feasible option.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:42 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

8:51 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

9:51 p.m.

Rezoning on Earl Rudder Freeway South

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to deny a request to change the zoning from Suburban Commercial to Planned Development District for about seven acres north of Raintree Drive along Earl Rudder Freeway South. Mayor Berry and Councilwoman Schultz voted for the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:06 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve an ordinance implementing roadway impact fees on new development, effective Dec. 1. Councilman James Benham voted against the motion. The fees are estimated to generate about $12 million in the next decade to help fund the capital costs of new roads needed to accommodate the city’s growth.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:17 p.m.

College Hills Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from General Suburban to General Commercial for about 1.2 acres on George Bush Drive East in the College Hills Estates. The change will allow for commercial redevelopment opportunities.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:17 p.m.

Before adjourning, Mayor Berry noted it was her final council meeting. She thanked her fellow council members and city staff for the positive working relationship they’ve had since she was first elected in My 2010.

The council meets again on Monday, Nov. 21.


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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 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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Is This A Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 2)

Podcast

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

In our second episode of “Is This A Thing?,” City of College Station Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz shares the latest info on restaurants, retail and more that appear to be legitimate “things” for the city:

  • 1:49 – UNIVERSITY DRIVE: OshKosh/Carter’s, Pappadeaux, Chimney Hill, Dunkin’ Donuts, Century Square, new high-rise and much more.
  • 12:32 – TEXAS AVENUE: Windham TRYP and new retail/restaurants, Haverty’s.
  • 14:30 – ROCK PRAIRIE ROAD: Planned retail + Smoothie King and four pad sites for casual dining.
  • 16:27 – TOWER POINT: Carp’s Bar & Grill, Freddy’s, Bahama Buck’s, PetSmart, Gold’s Gym, Jimmy Changa’s.
  • 17:13 – CAPROCK: Zaxby’s, Blue Baker, Mad Taco, Brazilian Steakhouse.
  • 18:30 – New Academy vs. old Academy.
  • 20:47 – Proliferation of walk-in emergency rooms.
  • 23:14 – What Nat hopes to talk about next time.

Related Links

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 


csf_jsocolAbout the Author

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. He’s a native of Breckenridge.


 

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Is this a thing? What’s coming to town, and what’s not

Podcast

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Everyone wants to know what’s coming to town: new restaurants, stores and other interesting destinations. But what’s rumor and what’s real?

In a new twist to College Station’s podcast, we quiz Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz about a variety of possible projects across the city. The overarching question: Is this a thing?

Podcast Archive

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 


csf_jsocolAbout the Author

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. He’s a native of Breckenridge.


 

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Podcast: Faster internet will enhance our economy, quality of life

Benham quote3

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

The College Station City Council recently inked an agreement allowing an ultra-high-speed internet provider to lease available city-owned fiber strands.

In this edition of the podcast, our guest is Place-6 City Councilman James Benham, who not only makes his living in the world of technology, but is committed to expanding College Station’s tech infrastructure and quality of life.

Podcast Archive (more…)


College Station has plenty to be excited about

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

lNqMKLast week, a travel site called Gogobot placed College Station No. 1 on its list of the Most Exciting Cities in Texas.

Yes, you read that right.

We all love College Station, and it’s certainly not a boring place these days. But THE most exciting city in the best state in America?

Even those of us who spend most of our waking hours at city hall had a hearty chuckle about that one.

Then, late Tuesday, I noticed another list.

WalletHub, a popular financial blog, said College Station has the fifth fastest-growing economy in the country. We’re ranked fourth among mid-sized cities (100,000-300,000 population). Our neighbors in Bryan are No. 8 overall and No. 2 among small cities (under 100,000 population). (more…)