Posts tagged “Fun for All Playground

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

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

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

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

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

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

Open Facilities

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

Facility Reopening Schedule

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

Remaining Facility Closures

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

Canceled Summer Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


About the Blogger

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


 

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Splash pads open Sunday at Central, Tarrow parks

By Jackie Rangel, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

When I was a little girl in Houston, we loved trying to keep our balance as cold water splashed on our heads from the filled buckets at a city splash pad. I fondly remember the laughs, giggles, and fun.

Oh, to be a kid again!

Children love splash pads, especially when their parents join them, so slip on your swimsuit and slather on the sunscreen — the City of College Station’s splash pads open Sunday!

With the chill of winter starting to move out and spring approaching, we know you’re more than ready for the fun and exhilaration of tipping buckets, weeping water, and the directional spray areas at our pads at W.A. Tarrow Park and the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. They’re open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Be advised that no lifeguards are on duty, so you must supervise your children. Pets, food, glass objects, alcohol, smoking, vaping, and tobacco are prohibited. We don’t allow toys, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, bikes, scooters, or similar equipment, either.

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

 


About the Blogger

Jackie has worked for the Parks and Recreation Department for almost six years. She’s an active volleyball mom and serves as a referee in our adult volleyball league.


 

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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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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 (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Residential Parking: In the workshop, the council will discuss city ordinances, policies, and practices related to parking in residential areas, including school zones, removal policies, pavement coverage on residential lots, and Aggie football game day parking. The council will also review updates on the city’s traffic calming policy.
  2. Greens Prairie Trail Widening: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $3.28 million contract the reconstruction of Greens Prairie Trail from the city limit west of Woodlake intersection to Royder Road. The project will replace the existing asphalt road with a four-lane minor arterial concrete road.
  3. Fun for All Playground Phase 2: The council will consider a $1.8 million contract for Phase 2 of the Fun for All Playground at Central Park. The second phase includes a stadium with bleachers and a quarter-scale artificial turf field. Citizens and charitable organizations donated about $1.3 million for the project, and $546,000 comes from parkland funds.
  4. FY20 Budget, Tax Rate Adoption: In separate items, the council will consider adopting the proposed FY20 budget and property tax rate. The $341.2 million budget includes a general fund of $105.2 million and capital projects totaling $57.9 million. The proposed tax rate of $0.534618 per $100 assessed value is a $.028778-cent increase and would generate $51.7 million for debt service and city operations. The owner of an average-price home in College Station ($280,000) would pay about $8.58 more per month.
  5. Texas Independence Ballpark Midtown College Station: The council will consider officially naming the new park on Rock Prairie Road East as Texas Independence Ballpark Midtown College Station. The council will also consider naming the complex’s eight ball fields as Gonzales, Goliad, Alamo, San Jacinto, Sabine River, Rio Grande, Red River, and Lone Star. The park had been temporarily called Southeast Park.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian 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 26)

(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 26. 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.

5:26 p.m.

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

Councilmen Bob Brick and James Benham are participating by teleconference. Councilman Jerome Rekrotik is absent tonight.

5:35 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:

  • Carters Creek Wastewater Plant Improvements: The $608,000 contract is for design and construction phase services for centrifuge improvements at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • East Side Sewer and Lift Station: The $267,000 contract is for design and construction phase services for the East Side Sewer and Lift Station Project.

5:47 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council unanimously endorsed the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s FY19 budget, which includes $8.64 million in revenue, $6.42 million in operating expenses, and $3.67 million in capital expenses. Total reserves, cash, and investments are $11.75 million.

The budget also reduces the gate rate for the cities of Bryan and College Station from $20 to $18.50 per ton.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:07 p.m.

Texas Weekend of Remembrance

After reviewing the 2018 Texas Weekend of Remembrance, the council directed staff to continue plans for 2019.

The TWR is a time for military members, veterans, and their families to come together and honor the memory of their lost loved ones through camaraderie and commemoration of their sacrifice. The Memorial Day weekend event allows everyone to show their pride and respect for the men and women who paid the ultimate price.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:08 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney suspended the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:34 p.m.

Historical Markers

The Historic Preservation Committee presented historical markers to St. Matthew Baptist Church (409 Holleman Dr.), Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (1216 Detroit St.), Sterling Whitley (500 Holleman Dr.), Thomas & Sharon Merchant (1102 Detroit St.), Bobby Searcy & Adrian Merchant (1106 Phoenix St.), and Rudell Baker-Wilson (1202 Phoenix St.).

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:39 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.

  • Ann Marsh spoke about ways the city can solve issues caused by trash containers.

6:41 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An amendment to the Solid Waste Facilities Operations Agreement with BVSWMA that governs communications and procedures during extended periods of landfill inaccessibility.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Organix Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • A contract with Pebble Creek Interests for easements needed for the Lick Creek Parallel Wastewater Trunk Line Project.
  • A contract with Aggieland Properties for land needed for the State Highway 47 Electric Substation Project.
  • A second amendment to the lease agreement with Wirestar that increases the leased fiber optic strand miles to 88.74.
  • An annual price agreement not to exceed $1,873,500 with Knife River ($1.44 million) and BPI Material ($438,000) for Type D hot mix asphalt for the maintenance of streets
  • A $209,656 contract with CF McDonald Electric to install purchased VFDs at Sandy Point Pump Station.
  • The removal of parking on the west side of Boyett Street beginning 60 feet north of the intersection of University Drive and ending 130 feet north of University Drive on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
  • The creation of a passenger loading zone in the Northgate Promenade Parking Lot to help address pedestrian safety and traffic congestion issues. The loading zone would be in place from 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
  • Changed the definition of a junked vehicle in the city’s Code of Ordinances to align with the Texas Transportation Code. The amendment also transfers cost responsibility
  • to remove a junked vehicle from the city to the owner.
  • A $60,000 change order for the contractor to bore under Wellborn Road and the railroad track to build an additional feeder to the Jones Crossing development.
  • A $608,000 contract with Jones and Carter for design and construction phase services for the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Centrifuge Improvements Project.
  • A $267,000 contract with Jones and Carter for design and construction phase services for the East Side Sewer and Lift Station Project.
  • A contract not to exceed $120,000 with Krause Paint and Body Shop for heavy truck paint and body repairs.
  • A $800,077.30 bid award for annual blanket purchase agreements for electrical items: KBS Electrical Distributors ($100,044.30), Wesco Distributors ($41,898), Texas Electric Cooperatives ($119,737.50), Techline ($509,373.50), and Anixter ($29,024).

This item was moved to the Aug. 9 council meeting:

  • Renewal of the inter-local agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Library.

6:55 p.m.

Committee Term Lengths and Limits

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to change the term lengths for appointees to various city boards, commissions, and committees to three years – except for the Planning & Zoning Commission – and to remove term limits that aren’t required by law. Planning and Zoning commissioners will continue to be limited to two terms.

The modifications are a response to the declining number of citizens applying to serve. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:09 p.m.

Fun for All Playground

The council unanimously approved a $942,123 construction contract for the first phase of an all-abilities park at Central Park. The Fun for All Playground will be a fully accessible park that will provide inclusive play for everyone.

The improvements will be funded primarily by civic groups and private citizens. Phase 1 includes a playground, swings, splash pad, parking, fencing, and general infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:10 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:10 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The workshop will resume after a short break.

7:17 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

8:21 p.m.

Possible City Charter Amendments

The council discussed possible city charter amendments that may be included in a special election in November: They approved the following items for the ballot:

  • Expand the terms from three to four years for mayor and city council members with regular elections in even-numbered years.
  • Expansion of residency requirement for the city manager and city attorney to allow them to live in the extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  • The mandatory appointment of an internal auditor.
  • Add language permitting the city to specify by ordinance the notice required for competitive bids and proposals.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Aug. 9.

 


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 (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Possible City Charter Amendments: The council will have a workshop discussion about proposed city charter amendments that may be placed on the ballot in the November election.
  2. Historical Marker Presentations: The Historic Preservation Committee will present historical markers to the owners of six homes.
  3. Boyett Parking Removal:  As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider the removal of parking on the west side of Boyett Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The no parking zone would start 60 feet north of University Drive and extend another 160 feet.
  4. Northgate Passenger Loading Zone: Another consent agenda item is the creation of a passenger loading zone in the Northgate Promenade Parking Lot to help address pedestrian safety and traffic congestion issues. The loading zone would be in place from 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
  5. Fun for All Playground: The council will consider a $942,123 contract with CRT GC, Inc. for construction of a Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. The all abilities facility would provide accessible and inclusive play for everyone and will be funded primarily by private donations and civic groups.

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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Renaming of Arts Council Building: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider renaming the Arts Council Building on Colgate Drive as the Bob and Wanda Meyer Senior Community Center.
  2. Fun for All Playground Agreement: Also on the consent agenda is an agreement with the Rotary Club and Noon Lions Club regarding the development and construction of the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park.
  3. Lighting at Bachmann, Beachy Parks: Another consent item is a $1.08 million contract to upgrade the lighting systems at the Bachmann Park soccer fields and Beachy Central Park softball fields.
  4. Ringer Library Construction Contract: The consent agenda also includes a $6.07 million contract for the expansion of the Larry J. Ringer Library, which was approved by voters in 2008. The expansion includes a large program room and a larger children’s area, along with parking lot improvements.
  5. Annexation Public Hearing: In the regular meeting, the council will conduct the second public hearing on the proposed annexation of about 65 acres near Rock Prairie Road West, Holleman Drive South, and North Graham Road.

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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Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (May 16)

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 Monday, May 16. 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.

5:28 p.m.

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

5:45 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:

  • University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements:  The resolution would allow the mayor to sign an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for cost participation in the University Drive Pedestrian Improvements Project, which will begin at near Lodge and extend through College Avenue. The project will improve pedestrian mobility and safety while balancing acceptable levels of traffic.

 

  • Water Service Area Swap: The objective is to clean up the official boundary lines of the water service area to allow the city and Wellborn Special Utility District to serve where they are best positioned and make the water system more efficient. The changes affect four locations and have been endorsed by the WSUD board.
  • Fitch-Victoria Traffic Signal: The project will include new traffic and pedestrian crossing signals at the intersection of Fitch Parkway and Victoria Avenue along with associated pavement markings and sidewalks. The signal is expected to be operating by the fall.
  • Munson Avenue Construction Contract: The Munson Avenue Rehabilitation Project will rehabilitate Munson Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to Dominic Drive. The improvements will include new concrete pavement, the rehabilitation of water and wastewater lines and the installation of a section of underground duct bank for future electrical utilities.

6:50 p.m.

CVB Performance Audit

The council discussed city Internal Auditor Ty Elliott’s audit of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, which receives most of the city’s hotel occupancy tax revenue.

Elliott said the CVB’s accounting procedures and controls have improved since the last audit in 2011 but added that the CVB also has a relatively large amount of liquid assets. In addition, certain cost analysis methods may be able to aid the CVB in better understanding project returns.

According to Elliott, the CVB’s direct impact on bringing events to the College Station and Bryan area has not significantly changed since 2011, with the most impact being on sports events. The CVB’s expenditures have also increased since 2011, especially on marketing and personnel.

Elliott said employee turnover at the CVB appears to be high and that some of CVB’s strategic goals seem disconnected from its mission. He added that the Destination Marketing Association International calculator could be a useful tool for internal CVB decision making, but policymakers should be skeptical of using the calculator to provide justification for funding requests.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:07 p.m.

Status of Police Facility Design

The council was updated on the design status of a new police facility at the southeast corner of the Dartmouth Street-Krenek Tap Road intersection. 

The consensus of the council was to move forward with the size estimate of 79,000 square feet and to modify the Krenek Tap Overlay to better accommodate construction. Upon the recommendation of staff, the council decided not to house Fire Department administrators in the building. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:11 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.

7:19 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:23 p.m.

National Public Works Week

Mayor Nancy Berry proclaimed this as National Public Works Week with a presentation to several employees of the city’s Public Works Department. The week is designed to recognize the contributions public works officials make every day to our health, safety, comfort, and quality of life.

Pictured below with Mayor Nancy Berry are Senior Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, Assistant Director of Public Works Emily Fisher, Street/Drainage/Irrigation Superintendent Marshall Wallace, and Crew Leader Jason Best.

PublicWorks

7:25 p.m.

National Bike Month

Mayor Berry proclaimed May as National Bike Month with a presentation to members of the city’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Advisory Board. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month promotes bicycling as a healthy activity that helps the environment. Pictured with Mayor Berry below are Councilwoman Blanche Brick, Greenways Program Manager Venessa Garza, and Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways board members Tina Evans and Brandon Boatcallie.

BicycleMonth

7:28 p.m.

Annual Arts Council Scholarships

The Arts Council of Brazos Valley and Brazos Valley Art League, through the generous support of the Astin Winkler Charitable Trust, award multiple scholarships each year to promising young artists in the Brazos Valley. The College Art Scholarship is open to graduating seniors in Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, or Washington counties who will attend an accredited college or university with a course of study in the arts, culture or heritage fields. 

This year’s scholarship recipients are Ester Araujo and Bryson Bounds from A&M Consolidated High School, and Mitchell Bradford of College Station High School. Pictured below with these excellent students are their families, members of the College Station City Council and representatives of the Arts Council Brazos Valley.

ArtsCouncilScholarships

7:39 p.m.

Brazos Valley Fashion Week

The mayor received a donation of $43,361.02 from Brazos Valley Fashion Week to benefit the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. Upon completion, this playground for people of all ages and abilities will be the only facility of its kind in the region. Considerable work and support for the cause came from students of Lindsay Zahn’s Project-Based Sociology Class at A&M Consolidated High School, who produced this video:

Representing that class tonight were Kacey Corbett, Jailene Lopez and Hailey Phillips, who are pictured below with members of the College Station City Council, representatives of the Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs who are spearheading the private fundraising, Parks and Recreation Department employees, and project supporters.

Funforall

7:43 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Ben Roper recognized Army Pfc. James D. Parker as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Bryan native died Jan. 21, 2004 in a mortar attack near Ba’qubah, Iraq. Members of the Parker family were present for the recognition.

7:43 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A resolution allowing the mayor to sign an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s cost participation in the University Drive Pedestrian Improvements Project.
  • Changes to the water service area boundaries between the city and the Wellborn Special Utilities District.
  • A change order reducing the Graham Road Rehabilitation Project contract with Elliott Construction by $96,826.
  • A contract not-to-exceed $150,000 with Crossroads Asphalt Preservation for the surface sealing of city streets.
  • A $182,645.29 contract with Jamail & Smith Construction for facility corrective maintenance services. Contract pricing is available through an interlocal cooperative purchasing agreement with Buyboard.
  • A $66,895.25 contract with Binkley & Barfield for professional engineering services related to the design of traffic signal and intersection improvements at the intersections of Harvey Road at George Bush Drive East and Harvey Mitchell Parkway at Longmire Drive.
  • A $265,597.50 contract with Larry Young Paving for sidewalk improvements along Langford Street.
  • A $680,335.37 contract with Brazos Paving for a new traffic signal at the intersection of Fitch Parkway and Victoria Avenue.
  • A $2.45 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Munson Avenue Rehabilitation Project.
  • A lease with the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency for the use of the Twin Oaks Law Enforcement Training Facility by the Police Department.
  • A $250,694 contract with Layne Christensen Company to repair the pumps in Wells 6 and 8.
  • A utility agreement with the Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1 board addressing the provision of water and sewer service to the district.
  • The appointment of the Aggieland Humane Society’s executive director as the local rabies control authority.

7:49 p.m.

Wellborn Settlement Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about 26 acres between Wellborn Road and Royder Road near Greens Prairie Road West. 

The change will allow the development of clustered single-family residences.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:51 p.m.

150 Graham Rd. Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the zoning from Light Industrial and Heavy Industrial to Suburban Commercial for a 1/2-acre at 150 Graham Rd.

The change will allow the development of a daycare facility and retail/office space.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:55 p.m.

Agreement with MUD No. 1

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a strategic partnership agreement with Brazos County Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 1 that outlines the terms and conditions for annexing the area.

The city council created the district in 2014 for the Texas World Speedway property.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:57 p.m.

Easement Abandonment at 105 Holik St.

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to abandon a public utility easement at 105 Holik St. to accommodate a building expansion on CSISD property.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:03 p.m.

Jane, Eisenhower Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance removing parking on both sides of Jane Street and Eisenhower Street between University Drive and Cooner Street.

The change was made to allow emergency vehicle access to the proposed Embassy Suites development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:05 p.m.

Northgate Park Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance removing parking on part of Boyett Street to allow fire department access to the proposed Northgate Park Apartments development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:25 p.m.

Certificates of Obligation 

The council voted 6-0 to authorize the issuance of up to $30.5 million in Certificates of Obligation (Series 2016) to provide resources for streets, police station design and initial project costs, information technology, electric and water improvements, and debt issuance costs.

This debt issue will not affect property tax rate or utility rates.

General Obligation and Refunding Bonds

The council voted 6-0 to authorize the issuance and sale of up to $56 million in General Obligation Improvement and Refunding Bonds (Series 2016) to achieve savings due to lower interest rates.

The refunding is estimated to reduce the overall cost of the bonds by at least 12.618304 percent over their remaining life, saving at least $3.96 million. The savings will help the city by providing an additional margin council may choose to use for projects not currently funded.

The refunding will not impact the property tax rate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:25 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 26.


Colin KillianAbout 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 done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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 (about 5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Annual Audit Reports: In the workshop, the council will review the city’s annual audit reports and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
  2. Fun for All Playground: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the Fun for All Playground, an all-abilities accessible area in Beachy Central Park. The project is funded primarily by private donations and civic groups. A $207,390 design contract is part of the regular meeting’s consent agenda.
  3. Ringer Library Expansion: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $727,453 contract for the final design of the Ringer Library expansion and renovation. Voters approved the $8.4 million project in 2008.
  4. Lakeway-Pebble Creek Extension: The council will consider a $944,474 contract for engineering services related the $15.1 million Lakeway Drive-Pebble Creek Parkway Extension Project.
  5. Impact Fee Advisory Committees: The council will consider appointing advisory committees to study roadway, water and wastewater impact fees.

(more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 26)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 26. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:30 p.m.

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

5:42 p.m. (more…)