Posts tagged “federal grants

Federal grants mean more (and safer) firefighters

By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter

Thanks to three federal grants approved Monday night by the city council, the College Station Fire Department will soon have more trained, front-line firefighters available in our community.

The $1.2 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency significantly enhance the department’s capabilities by not only adding firefighters but also equipping stations with diesel exhaust removal systems and providing training for standardized emergency operations management.

One $911,476 grant was awarded through the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program and will help increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters we have available for responding to emergencies.

The other two grants, totaling $286,906, were from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The funds will provide source-capturing diesel exhaust removal systems in three of our fire stations along with the Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Command Training and Certification Program (Blue Card).

Diesel exhaust has been linked to increased cancer rates and is an increasing threat at fire stations as well as fire scenes. The removal system limits the exposure of firefighters and their protective gear by removing exhaust from vehicle areas. We haven’t set an installation date, but we want the vital cancer-reducing equipment installed as soon as possible.

Blue Card provides firefighters a standardized system to safely and effectively manage emergency operations through an online, hands-on training simulator. The system also enables CSFD to become a Blue Card training facility. Blue Card training has already started and encompasses all personnel involved in emergency response. We have 161 people enrolled.

“I’m proud to enhance our capabilities by adding firefighters to serve the citizens, keeping firefighters safe from work-related contaminants, and providing training for use on emergency scenes,” Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan said. “I also thank the College Station Professional Firefighter Association for its continued advocacy and support of firefighter safety and wellness initiatives and its assistance with the grant process.”

CSFD Accepting Applications

The CSFD is accepting applications for firefighters who want to join the department as part of the SAFER staffing. To apply, go to cstx.gov/fire.

 


About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.


 

 

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5 things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Munson Avenue Sidewalks: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $193,000 contract for an eight-foot-wide sidewalk along the west side of Munson Avenue from Dominik Drive to Harvey Road. The project was identified in the city’s ADA Transition Plan and was requested by a resident with access needs.
  2. Fire Department Federal Grant: Another consent item is a $911,476 federal grant to fund new firefighters for three years. The city’s required match contribution is $566,593 for a total budget of about $1.48 million.
  3. Fitch-Rock Prairie Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban, General Commercial, Office, and Natural Areas Protected for about 210 acres at the intersection of Rock Prairie Road and William D. Fitch Parkway. The change would allow for a 175-acre continuation of the Pebble Creek Subdivision with an additional non-residential component.
  4. 1700 George Bush Drive Land Use: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use from Natural Areas Reserved to Urban and Natural Areas Reserved for about 2.7 acres at 1700 George Bush Drive. The change would better align with the property’s zoning and multi-family development and prepare it for marketability and potential redevelopment.
  5. Midtown Area Road Name Changes: After a public hearing, the council will consider renaming Midtown Loop as Durham Loop, Bird Pond Road west of Rock Prairie Road as Town Lake Drive, Pebble Creek Parkway from Highway 6 and Lakeway Drive as Corporate Parkway, and Lakeway Drive between Highway 6 and Fitch Parkway as Midtown Drive.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 12)

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

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 12. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

4:34 p.m.

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

Councilman John Nichols is absent tonight.

4:55 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:

  • Brazos County Health Director: The Brazos County Health Department Board has recommended appointing Santos Navarrette, Jr., as the next health department director.
  • Parking Garage Control System: Staff determined that none of the five proposals received this spring for a parking access and revenue control system in the College Main Parking Garage would fulfill the requirements.
  • Dockless Bike Share Ordinance: Texas A&M entered into an exclusive contract with Ofo for a bike share program in February and the program was launched in March with 850 yellow bikes. A&M plans to expand the fleet to at least 3,000 bikes this fall. The ordinance regulates how the bikes are used off campus.

5:15 p.m.

Community Development Budget and Annual Action Plan

The council reviewed the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development budget and Program Year 2018 Annual Action Plan. The city is required each year to submit to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development an action plan describing projects and activities funded with community development grants.

The grants for PY18 include $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and $502,414 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds.  The budget includes previously programmed but unspent grant funds of $627,616 (CDBG) and $281,579 (HOME).

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:57 p.m.

Middle Housing Zoning Districts

The consensus of the council was to support the creation of a middle housing zoning district as part of the Unified Development Ordinance. Middle housing is a variety of housing types that are between a detached single-family house and a traditional apartment complex.

Duplexes and townhomes are allowed within the existing zoning code, but other types such as patio homes, fourplex, and bungalow courts are also included in the middle housing district. Multiplexes will have a maximum of 12 units for a building and lot. Height will be limited to 3 stories and is subject to the UDO’s single-family height protection rules. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:15 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts

The consensus of the council was for staff to clarify the process regarding changes Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO) Districts section in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. The NCO allows neighborhoods to self-impose additional development standards on single-family properties from options that are generally more restrictive than the standard requirements.

Examples of categories that may be included are changes to minimum setbacks, maximum height, minimum lot size, tree preservation, and on-site parking.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:18 p.m.

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

The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:30 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:41 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Fred Dupriest spoke about neighborhood integrity issues.
  • Shirley Dupriest asked for clarification on aspects of the homestead exemption recently passed by the council.
  • Richard Woodward also spoke about neighborhood integrity issues.

7:43 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The appointment of Santos Navarette, Jr., as Brazos County Board of Health Director.
  • Rejection of proposals for a parking access and revenue control system in the College Main Parking Garage.
  • An $84,301.88 change order to the Greens Prairie Substation contract.
  • Renewal of contracts totaling $290,000 with Spherion Staffing and Kelly Services for temporary personnel services.
  • Extension of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction from 3½ miles to 5 miles beyond the city limits.
  • An ordinance regulating dockless bike share services.

In a separate vote, the council unanimously approved the corrected minutes from the June 28 council meeting.

7:50 p.m.

Holleman Drive South Rezoning

After a public hearing, The council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Planned Development District to General Suburban for about five acres north of the Holleman Drive South-Deacon Drive West intersection. The change will allow for the development of a church.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:55 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change the zoning from Light Industrial to General Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 2½ acres at 1726 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself from the vote, citing a conflict of interest.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, July 26.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (4:30 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Community Development Action Plan: The council will review the proposed Community Development budget and Annual Action Plan. The federal grant amounts for Program Year 2018 include $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and $502,414 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds.
  2. Neighborhood Integrity Issues: In two workshop items, the council will discuss the creation of a middle housing zoning district and changes to the neighborhood conservation overlay district section in the Unified Development Ordinance.
  3. Bike Share Regulations: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider regulations regarding Texas A&M’s dockless bike share program. The university introduced the program with 850 yellow bikes in March and will expand the fleet to at least 3,000 this fall.
  4. Holleman Drive South Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Planned Development District to General Suburban for about five acres north of the Holleman Drive South-Deacon Drive West intersection.
  5. Harvey Mitchell Parkway Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Light Industrial to General Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 2½ acres at 1726 Harvey Mitchell Parkway.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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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.

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