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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