Posts tagged “federal grants

$1.8 million in federal funds available for COVID-19 aid

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

The City of College Station will make about $1.8 million in federal funds available for two grant programs aimed at helping College Station’s low-to-moderate income residents pay their rent and their employers keep them on the payroll.

Sources for the funding are the CARES Act, Community Development Block Grants, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. Some of the funds are being re-purposed from previously planned programs. 

The City of College Station Community Development Division will process applications for assistance to residents and businesses affected by the outbreak. 

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

The Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program uses $475,000 in HOME funds to provide rent assistance to qualifying households for up to three months. The households are eligible for up to $1,000 each month, including payment of unpaid rent for May.

Payments will be made directly to the landlord indicated on the lease, which must have started on or before March 1.  After completing an online eligibility application, grant recipients will be selected by a random drawing. If selected, recipients have one week to provide the necessary documentation. 

Applications will be available on cstx.gov, starting at 12:01 a.m. on June 1 and closing at 11:59 p.m. on June 7.

For more information, email us at RentAssistance@cstx.gov.

Economic Assistance Grant Program

The Economic Assistance Grant Program for small businesses opens the second round of applications today with about $500,000 in CDBG funds. The application deadline is noon on Friday, June 5. Up to $40,000 in community development grant funds will be available for small College Station businesses that will retain or create jobs for mostly low-to-moderate income residents.

The amount granted will be determined by the number of full-time equivalent employees who work each week (FTE=total number of hours worked during the week divided by 40). Businesses must provide proof they were impacted financially by COVID-19. They will also need to report for 60 days to demonstrate they meet the job retention or creation requirements.

For more information, email us at EconomicAssistance@cstx.gov.

Additional Assistance

Additional assistance will be provided to local agencies working to meet the needs of College Station residents. Previously, $30,000 in CDBG funds was provided to Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul to assist residents with rent and utility payments.

An additional $500,000 in CDBG Public Service Agency funding will be available to programs that address needs caused by COVID-19, including medical, food, rent, utilities, and other basic needs. A request for proposal will be released on Monday for agencies interested in addressing these coronavirus-caused needs. Specific Information will be released when programs have been selected for funding.

Community Development staff are available to provide technical assistance to residents or businesses interested in applying for aid. If you need help, call us at 979-764-3778. Similar programs are available for Bryan residents. For more information, go to bryantx.gov

We understand the community’s needs are high, and these resources will not be able to help everyone. Residents are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 for information regarding other available assistance.

  


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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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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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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City creates program to aid local small businesses

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

While the COVID-19 outbreak has arrived with a high human cost, it’s increasingly evident that the economic impacts could be substantial as well. In response, the City of College Station has created an Economic Assistance Grant Program for our small businesses with low-to-moderate income employees.

The city council unanimously approved the program’s guidelines as part of a special Monday afternoon teleconference meeting.

Funded with almost $300,000 in CDBG Economic Development Funds, the program could help prevent job losses for employees with families in the low-to-moderate household income range, such as a family of four that earns under $54,800 a year. In the long term, the program could also contribute to job creation or enable businesses to reach their pre-disaster employment numbers.

Grants of up to $40,000 will be available, based on the number of employees. Businesses need to provide information regarding their business before and after implementation of the COVID-19 declarations, including financial documents, employee information, and their willingness to comply with local, state, and federal requirements. 

To apply, click the link below, register as a vendor, and download the required documents. After you log-in, click on Current Bids and the Eco Assistance Grant link, where you can upload the documents.

New applications are reviewed and funds awarded each week, and each entity may receive only one grant. We expect the requests to outpace the available funds.

Funds will be disbursed in four installments, with the first distributed after the agreement is executed. Subsequent payments will be made following the submission of payroll documentation showing that the funding has helped retained job funding. 

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

 


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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City council Monday teleconference (March 30)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council will conduct a special teleconference meeting Monday to discuss issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The council’s executive session — which is closed to the public — will be at 3 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.

Items on the agenda include an emergency grant program for small businesses, a delay in the city’s run-off election, and the possible deferment of hotel occupancy tax collection.

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.

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 on uses for federal grants

By Raney Whitwell, Community Development Analyst

Each year, the City of College Station receives about $1.5 million in federal grants that benefit low- and moderate-income residents through nonprofit programs, economic development, and improved housing and infrastructure.

We need your help in determining how to use these funds in the best way to address our local needs. You can either take a short survey or attend a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at the Lincoln Recreation Center.

The public hearing will include presentations about fair housing and the requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Grant (HOME).

Public input will play an essential role in the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan we’ll submit in August to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive planning and evaluation tool that guides priorities, goals, and strategies for the next five years.

You can also submit your feedback to the Community Services Department at 979-764-3778 or by emailing Community Services Director Debbie Eller at deller@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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Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Feb. 10)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Feb. 10. It’s not the official minutes.

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

5:29 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of the council’s executive session.

5:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Fitch/Wellborn Interchange: The $1.34 million contract is for the preliminary design of the Fitch Parkway/Wellborn Road Interchange and the Wellborn Road Widening Project. The contract’s scope includes the feasibility study of an interchange at Fitch and Wellborn that would include a separated grade crossing of the Union Pacific railroad tracks and connect into the city roadway network west of the tracks. The scope also includes the feasibility study and schematic design for widening Wellborn Road from Graham Road to Greens Prairie Road.

5:47 p.m.

Consolidated Plan for Federal Grants

The council discussed the 2020-24 Consolidated Plan for federal grants received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The process includes a community needs assessment, housing market analysis, and housing conditions survey.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:05 p.m.

Smoking Ordinance and Vaping

The council discussed health concerns about vaping and possibly adding electronic cigarettes and vaping to the city’s smoking ordinance. The consensus of the council was for staff to bring back an ordinance for consideration.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:09 p.m.

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

6:19 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:26 p.m.

United Way 2-1-1 Day

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed Saturday as United Way of the Brazos Valley 2-1-1 Day

6:28 p.m.

Fun for All Playground

The Fun for All Playground Committee presented an $875,000 check to the city for the second phase of the playground’s construction. 

6:32 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.

  • Denise Snyder spoke against CSU’s implementation of advanced digital electric meters.

6:33 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $1.34 million contract with Halff Associates for the preliminary design phase services for the SH 40/FM 2154 Interchange and FM 2154 Widening Project
  • A law enforcement mutual aid agreement with Texas A&M, Blinn College, the Brazos County Sheriff, Brazos County Precinct 1-4 Constables, and the City of Bryan.
  • A $180,575 contract with Jamail & Smith Construction to replace CSU’s warehouse lift/freight elevator.
  • The second and last renewal of the annual meter reading contract not to exceed $560,000 with Alexander’s Contract Services.
  • A contract for a not to exceed $123,190 with Ramtech Building Systems for the purchase, delivery, and installation of a modular building for CSU.
  • A contract not to exceed $250,000 with DIJ Construction for annual pavement striping and markings.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Texas Commercial Waste for the collection of demolition and construction debris, recyclables, and organic waste from commercial, industrial and multifamily locations.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Maroon Dumpsters for the collection of demolition and construction debris, recyclables, and organic waste from commercial, industrial and multifamily locations.
  • An inter-local cooperation agreement and a resolution of support and consent for the City of Bryan Municipal Setting Designation Application.

6:38 p.m.

FY 20 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $6.25 million amendment to the city’s FY 20 budget. For more details about the amendment items, see page 291 of the agenda packet. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:40 p.m.

Yellow Tanager Court Right-of-Way

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the abandonment of a small portion of right-of-way west of the Yellow Tanager Court-Cinnamon Teal Drive intersection in the Bird Pond Phase 2 Subdivision. The abandonment allows the development of the nearby Waterford Estates.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:44 p.m.

Mission Ranch Easement

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the abandonment of a 15-foot wide portion of an unused public utility easement in the Mission Ranch development. The abandonment allows for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:10 p.m.

Advanced Electric Meter Contracts

The council voted unanimously to approve contracts of $6.8 million with Landis+Gyr Technology and $517,000 with IPKeys Power Partners to support the implementation of CSU’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Meter & Operational Data Management (MODM) System.

The item wasn’t a public hearing, but resident Denise Snyder spoke about what she claims are the negative health effects of the meters.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:15 p.m.

Data Backup and Recovery Contract

The council voted unanimously to approve a five-year agreement not to exceed $517,118 with Freeit Data Solutions for data backup and recovery.

The IT Department is replacing internet firewalls, desktop antivirus software, and email protection systems. Enhanced data protection is necessary to combat the increasing sophistication of cyber attackers and in preparation for disasters.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:17 p.m.

Board and Commission Appointments

The council approved the appointment of Linda Harvell to the Spring Creek Local Government Corporation, Mayor Mooney to the Architectural Advisory Committee, and John Nichols to the Compensation and Benefits Committee.

7:20 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again Thursday, Feb. 27.

 


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 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:

  • Plan for Federal Grants: The council will have a workshop discussion about the 2020-24 Consolidated Plan to receive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Smoking Ordinance and Vaping: Another workshop item is a discussion about health concerns regarding vaping and adding language to the smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes and vaping.
  • Fun for All Playground: At the start of the regular meeting, the Fun for All Playground Committee will present an $875,000 check to the city.
  • FY 20 Budget Amendment: The council will consider A $6.25 million amendment to the city’s FY 20 budget. For a detailed listing of amendment items, see page 291 of the agenda packet.
  • Advanced Electric Meter Contracts: The council will consider contracts of $6.8 million with Landis+Gyr Technology and $517,000 with IPKeys Power Partners to support the implementation of the electric utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Meter and Operational Data Management (MODM) System.

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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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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