Posts tagged “FY19 budget

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 27)

(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, Sept. 27. 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.

5:20 p.m.

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

5:30 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Towing Ordinance: The proposed amendment would add any motor vehicle unlawfully parked or violating any city code may be towed at the owner’s or operator’s expense.

6:26 p.m.

Code Enforcement Ordinance Revisions

The council discussed possible amendments to city ordinances to provide more consistent code enforcement. Points of discussion include open storage, vegetation, right-of-way maintenance, abandoned shopping carts, and the parking or storing of recreational vehicles, trailers or trucks.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:38 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:47 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:50 p.m.

Proclamations

Mayor Mooney presented a proclamation for College Station firefighters’ “Fill the Boot” campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

6:58 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • James Benham recognized Marine Cpl. Richard Waller as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Fort Worth native died April 7, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
  • Justin Ikpo spoke about criminal behavior in his neighborhood.

7:00 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A BuyBoard contract purchase of $138,750 for traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems Inc.
  • Renewal of a $230,000 Xpedient Mail contract for printing and mailing services.
  • The expenditure of funds for FY19 for items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for inter-local contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $100,000.
  • Adopted fees, rates and charges as provided by Chapter 2 of the city’s Code of Ordinances.
  • An increase the FY18 expenditure limit by $55,000 for a new FY 2018 expenditure limit of $145,000 for police uniforms, body armor and accessories from Miller Uniforms & Emblems.
  • Added language to city ordinances for towing unlawfully parked vehicles.
  • Amended city ordinances related to home solicitation.
  • A contract for the grant of federal HOME Investment Partnership Program Grant Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside funds with Elder-Aid, Inc. in the amount of $200,000 for acquisition and rehabilitation of two dwelling units at 3416-3418 Normand to be used as affordable rental housing for income-eligible elderly households.
  • The $54,224.50 purchase of traffic signs, prefabricated signs and sign blanks from Vulcan Signs Inc. for and the $61,585 purchase of traffic sign hardware and posts from Dobie Supply.
  • An advance funding agreement with the State of Texas, acting through the Texas Department of Transportation, for the Cain/Deacon project.
  • Six master agreements for Real Estate Appraisal Services: Duff & Phelps, LLC; JLL Valuation & Advisory Services, LLC; Lowery Property Advisors, LLC; Paul Hornsby & Company; S.T. Lovett & Associates; Valbridge Property Advisors.
  • Amended the funding agreement with Experience Bryan College Station to increase the amount for FY18 by $194,423 for a total of $594,423 related to the CVB Grant Program.
  • The second reading on a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance with Hawkwood Energy Midstream for pipeline facilities for transporting petroleum products and byproducts.
  • Amended the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding false alarm fees.
  • Amended the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding Fire Department and Planning and Development Services afterhours inspection fees.
  • Changes to guidelines for the city’s housing assistance program funded with grants from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 Council voted on this consent item separately and approved it unanimously:

  • FY19 premiums not to exceed $516,000 for excess liability and workers’ compensation insurance, property/boiler & machinery, commercial crime, EMT liability, auto property damage, cyber liability, unmanned aircraft liability and property, and special events policies.

7:08 p.m. 

FY18 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council approved a $3.8 million amendment to the FY18 city budget. See pages 282-284 for a list of amended items.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:13 p.m. 

FY19 City Budget

The council unanimously approved the city budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year and ratified the increase in property tax revenue.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m. 

FY19 Property Tax Rate

The council unanimously adopted a property tax rate of .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value for FY19, a .08341-cent increase from the FY18 rate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:22 p.m. 

BVSWMA Board Appointment

The council unanimously appointed Mayor Mooney to another term on the BVSWMA Board of Directors.

7:24 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:24 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Oct. 11.

 


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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

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. Code Enforcement Revisions: In the workshop, The council will discuss possible amendments to city ordinances to provide more consistent code enforcement.
  2. Cain-Deacon Crossing Project: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an advanced funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to cover work within the TxDOT right-of-way as part of the Cain Road/Deacon Drive Railroad Crossing Switch project.
  3. FY18 Budget Amendment: After a public hearing, the council will consider a $3.8 million amendment to the FY18 city budget. See pages 282-284 of the council packet for a complete list of amended items.
  4. FY19 City Budget Adoption: The council will consider approving the city budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year and ratifying the increase in property tax revenue.
  5. FY19 Property Tax Rate Adoption: The council will consider adopting a property tax rate of .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value, a .08341-cent increase from the FY18 rate.

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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 13)

(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, Sept. 13. 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.

5:05 p.m.

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

5:14 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:

  • Wellborn-Holleman Intersection Project: The $382,122 contract with Binkley & Barfield is for engineering services related to the design of the Wellborn Road-Holleman Intersection Project. Wellborn Road will be elevated to reduce the grade difference with the railroad crossing. Holleman will be widened to accommodate dedicated right and left turn lanes in both directions. The city will manage design and TxDOT will manage bidding and construction.
  • Hawkwood Energy Water Contract: The two-year contract will allow Hawkwood Energy to pump water from ponds on the Hanson South property. Hawkwood will bear the costs and pay the city 10 cents a barrel with a contractual guarantee for at least $150,000 in the contract’s initial year.
  • Hawkwood Energy Franchise: This is the first reading of a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance for oil or gas operations with Hawkwood Energy Midstream, which will pay the city an annual franchise fee of $1 per linear foot of the pipeline franchise area, plus an annual fee of $1,000 for each road or street boring/crossing.

5:22 p.m.

False Fire Alarm Fees

The consensus of the council was to allow the Fire Department to charge a fee for more than three false alarms in 12 months. The Police Department has had false alarm fees in place for several years. The proposed fees range from $85 for four or five false alarms to $143.65 for eight or more alarms.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:27 p.m.

After-Hours Fire Inspections

The consensus of the council was to allow the Fire Department to charge $75 per hour for requests for inspections anytime other than weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:29 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 6 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:06 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 15 as Thank a Police Officer Day. 

6:12 p.m.

Constitution Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week

6:19 p.m.

Historical Marker No. 96

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historical Marker No. 96 for the home at 1106 Carolina St. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:30 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.

  • James Benham recognized Marine Lance Cpl. Seth Huston as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 19-year-old Perryton native died Aug. 21, 2004, due to enemy action in Iraq.
  • Mary Troy and Susan Adams spoke against closing the Ringer Library for eight months (November-June) during heavy construction work that’s part of its renovation and expansion.

6:31 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A contract not to exceed $2.04 million with Kirksey Architecture for the design of a new city hall building.
  • A $382,122.55 contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the design of the FM2154 and Holleman Intersection Project.
  • The second renewal of a $259,978.42 contract with Andrews Building Service for janitorial services for city facilities and the Northgate District.
  • A temporary all-way stop at the intersection of Keefer Loop and Rock Prairie Road West during construction of the Holleman Drive South construction project.
  • A $4.26 million contract with Primoris T&D Services for construction of the Graham Road Substation.
  • A contract with Hawkwood Energy to purchase pond water from the city’s water wellfield property called Hanson South.
  • The first renewal of annual copy and print services blanket orders not to exceed $120,000 with AlphaGraphics ($80,000) and Copy Corner ($40,000).
  • The first reading on a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance for oil or gas operations with Hawkwood Energy Midstream to construct, operate, maintain, remove, replace and repair pipeline facilities for the transportation of petroleum products and byproducts.
  • The second renewal of a $256,384 contract with Utility Restoration Services for padmount equipment repair and restoration.
  • FY18 funding of $1,073,572 to the Public Agency Retirement Services OPEB Trust.
  • A $101,248.30 contract with Hurricane Fence Company to replace the security fencing at three city water well facilities along Sandy Point Road.
  • A negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Mid-Tex Division regarding the company’s 2018 rate review mechanism filings and a settlement agreement.

6:43 p.m.

Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted the final public hearing on the city’s proposed FY19 tax rate of.505841 cents per $100 of assessed value. The .8341-cent increase would offset the revenue loss from the five percent homestead exemption the council approved earlier this year.

Two people spoke against the tax increase in the public hearing.

The council will vote on the tax rate on Sept. 27.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:45 p.m.

FY19 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted the final public hearing on the city’s FY19 budget, which totals $360.68 million. The council will vote on the budget on Sept. 27.

No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:47 p.m.

Church Street Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 approved the abandonment of a 15-foot wide public utility easement at 603 Church Ave. to accommodate the expansion of St. Mary’s Church. Councilman John Nichols abstained.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:10 p.m.

Single-Family Parking

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to remove the cap of requiring no more than four parking spaces for a single-family dwelling unit in areas designated Neighborhood Conservation in the Comprehensive Plan. The cap will remain for other areas.

Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:25 p.m.

BioCorridor Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to amend the terms and development standards for the BioCorridor Planned Development District, which covers about 147 acres between State Highway 47, Raymond Stotzer Parkway, Turkey Creek Parkway, and the city limit. Councilman Barry Moore abstained.

The action amended Sec. 1.2.d to add “Stand-alone multi-family on property located between Turkey Creek Road and the proposed Atlas Pear Drive extension” and Sec. 1.2.e to add to the prohibition, “Multi-Family not part of a mixed-used development except as otherwise allowed in Sec. 1.2.d.”

The remaining sections will be sent back to the BioCorridor Board for review.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:32 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:32 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 27.

 


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


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. False Fire Alarm Fees: In the workshop, the council will consider allowing the Fire Department to charge a fee for more than three false alarms in 12 months.
  2. City Hall Design Contract: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $2 million contract with Kirksey Architecture for the design of a new city hall.
  3. Tax Rate/Budget Public Hearings: The council will conduct the final public hearings on the city’s proposed tax rate and budget for the 2019 fiscal year. The proposed tax rate is .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value. The proposed budget totals $360.7 million.
  4. Single-Family Parking: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to remove the cap of requiring no more than four parking spaces for a single-family dwelling unit in areas designated Neighborhood Conservation in the Comprehensive Plan.
  5. BioCorridor Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to amend the terms and development standards of the BioCorridor Planned Development District, which covers about 147 acres between State Highway 47, Raymond Stotzer Parkway, Turkey Creek Parkway, and the city limit.

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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


		
	

Final FY19 budget workshop focuses on details

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council had its final workshop about the proposed FY19 city budget on Tuesday at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility. The 3-hour session covered special revenue funds, enterprise funds, internal service funds, hotel tax fund, and outside agency funding.

Monday’s initial workshop covered the city’s general fund and capital projects.

The Fiscal Year 2019 proposed net budget for the City of College Station totals $360.7 million for all funds, which includes $252.3 million for operations and maintenance and $108.4 million for capital projects.

Proposed FY19 Budget Document

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

Outside Agency Funding

The city helps fund select outside local agencies through the General Fund, Hotel Tax Fund, Community Development Fund, and Solid Waste Fund.

  • General Fund: Outside agency funding from the General Fund totals $1.45 million. Funded organizations are the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation ($350,000), Arts Council ($35,000 for operations), Noon Lions Club ($15,000 for 4th of July celebration), Aggieland Humane Society ($273,196), Brazos County Health District ($395,065), and the Brazos Central Appraisal District ($383,420).
  • Hotel Tax Fund: Outside agencies get abut $3.44 million from the Hotel Tax Fund: $2 million for the convention & visitors bureau for operational, sales/marketing, promotional, servicing and business development elements; $588,950 for the CVB Grant Program; $114,376 for Easterwood Airport advertising; $290,000 for Arts Council operations and maintenance; $362,476 for Arts Council affiliate funding; $35,500 for public art support through the Arts Council; $25,000 to the Veterans Memorial; and $25,000 for the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce.
  • Community Development Fund: Outside agency funding from the Community Development Fund totals $228,000. Funded agencies are Big Brothers Big Sisters ($29,216), Brazos Maternal & Child Health Clinic ($30,000), Brazos Valley Food Bank ($21,247), Catholic Charities ($5,000), Family Promise ($30,000), Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Clinic ($24,753), Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority ($30,000), Project Unity ($30,000), Twin City Mission ($27,000), and Voices for Children ($30,000).
  • Solid Waste Fund: Keep Brazos Beautiful receives $49,190 from the Solid Waste Fund.

Special Revenue Funds 

  • Roadway Maintenance Fee: The Roadway Maintenance Fee is paid monthly by residents and businesses to help fix potholes and properly maintain streets. Preventive maintenance also reduces the need for costly road reconstruction. Revenues and expenditures for FY19 are projected to be $4.89 million.
  • Water Impact Fee: The Water Impact Fee is assessed for permits issued for new water connections to fund existing and future capital improvement projects that serve new developments. FY19 revenues are expected to be $301,933, which will be transferred to the Water Fund for the debt service payment for projects related to Well No. 9.
  • Wastewater Impact Fee: The Wastewater Impact Fee is assessed for permits issued for new sewer connections. FY19 revenues are projected to be $1.81 million. A transfer of $328,881 to the Wastewater Fund is proposed for debt service payment for the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion.
  • Roadway Impact Fee: The Roadway Impact Fee funds existing and future capital improvement projects that serve new developments. Four separate funds were created for the four service territories where the fee is collected. Fees collected in a service area must be used for capital projects there. FY19 revenues are expected to be $683,000, which will be used for the Capstone/Barron Realignment project, and the rehabilitation of Fitch Parkway from Rock Prairie Road to Tonkaway Lake.
  • Community Development: The Community Development Fund is used to account for grants received from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by the city for use in revitalizing low- and moderate-income areas and addressing the needs of low and moderate income citizens. Grant amounts in FY19 include $1.73 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and $783,993 in HOME Investment Partnership Grant funds.

Enterprise Funds

  • Electric: No electric rate increase is proposed. FY19 revenue is estimated to be $105.1 million with a $76.1 million operating budget. Planned electric capital projects are expected to be about $20.4 million.
  • Water: FY19 revenue is estimated to be almost $17 million with an $8.5 million operating budget. Planned water capital projects are expected to be about $17 million.
  • Wastewater: A 5 percent wastewater rate increase is proposed to support significant capital projects. The FY19 operating budget is $7.3 million with revenues estimated at $19.2 million. Planned wastewater capital projects are expected to be about $29.3 million.
  • Solid Waste: The Solid Waste Fund accounts for collecting and disposing of residential and commercial refuse. FY19 revenues are estimated to be $10.9 million with an operating budget of $8.7 million.
  • Northgate Parking: The Northgate Parking Fund accounts for revenues and expenditures from Northgate parking facilities. FY19 revenue is estimated to be $1.5 million with an operating budget of about $1.3 million.

Property Tax Rate

The council voted unanimously to conduct public hearings on the proposed tax rate on Sept. 5 (7 p.m.) and Sept. 13 (6 p.m.) at College Station City Hall, along with adoption of the tax rate on Sept. 27.

The FY19 proposed budget includes a tax rate of 50.5841 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which includes a 0.8341-cent increase on the General Fund side to offset a five percent homestead exemption approved by the city council earlier this year. The proposed operations and maintenance side of the tax rate is unchanged at 28.5502, while the debt service side stays at 22.0339.

Under the new rate, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay about $84 per month. The average tax rate for Texas cities with populations between 75,000-150,000 is about 59 cents. The City of Bryan has a tax rate of almost 63 cents.

The effective tax rate for FY19 — the rate that will raise the same revenues as last year on the same properties —  is 47.8968 cents. The rollback tax rate of 52.2313 cents is the highest that can be adopted before citizens can initiate a petition to lower it back to the rollback rate.

Hotel Tax Fund

The Hotel Tax allows the city to collect up to its existing tax rate of 7 percent on rental income of hotels and motels. Projected Hotel Tax Fund revenues are about $5.7 million. About $6.73 million in hotel tax funds will cover the new synthetic fields at Veterans Park, Southeast Park development, sports tournament promotions, qualifying parks programs and events, and the preferred access agreement payment to Texas A&M.

Insurance Funds

The City of College Station is partially self-insured for property & casualty and general liability, workers’ compensation, and unemployment compensation.

  • Property & Casualty: Total proposed revenues for the Property & Casualty Insurance Fund are about $1 million with $1.3 million in expenses.
  • Employee Benefits: Proposed income in the Employee Benefits Fund are $13.5 million, which includes a 5 percent increase in city-paid employee health insurance premiums. Other proposed expenditures include $465,689 for the Employee Health Clinic and about $1.1 million for the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Trust.
  • Workers’ Compensation: FY19 proposed revenues are $590,000, and proposed expenditures are $537,651.
  • Unemployment Insurance: FY19 proposed revenues (investment earnings only) are $3,500 with claims costs of $60,000. Revenues typically are collected as a percentage of each employee’s salary, but in FY17 the decision was made to forego collection due to increased working capital in recent years. That decision was extended to FY18 and FY19.

Other Internal Services Funds

  • Equipment Replacement: In FY19, $7.4 million is proposed for the replacement of various equipment, including $6.6 million for city vehicles.
  • Fleet Maintenance: FY19 estimated revenues are projected at $2.5 million with expenses of $2.4 million.
  • Utility Customer Service: Revenues and expenditures of $3.2 million are proposed for FY19.

What’s Ahead?

A public hearing on the proposed tax rate is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 5 at city hall. A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 at city hall. Budget and tax rate adoption is set for Sept. 27.

 


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 been a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.



If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Council reviews general fund, capital projects budget

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council had its first workshop about the proposed FY19 city budget on Monday at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility. The three-hour session primarily covered the city’s general fund and capital projects.

On Tuesday, the council will focus on special revenue funds, enterprise funds, internal service funds, hotel tax fund, and outside agency funding. A third workshop could happen Wednesday if needed.

The Fiscal Year 2019 proposed net budget for the City of College Station totals $360.7 million for all funds, which includes $252.3 million for operations and maintenance and $108.4 million for capital projects.

Proposed FY19 Budget Document

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

General Fund 

The General Fund accounts for city activities typically considered governmental functions, including police and fire, public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development services. Also included are the primary support services for these areas such as fiscal services, information technology, and administrative services in general government.

Proposed FY19 General Fund revenues are $81.4 million, a 3.8 percent increase. The total net taxable certified value of property is about $9.5 billion, an increase of 6.6 percent from 2018. The increase in value is due in part to $403.2 million in new construction and development being added to the tax rolls. Existing property values grew by just over two percent.

Tax Rate

The FY19 Proposed Budget includes a tax rate of 50.5841 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which includes a 0.8341-cent increase on the General Fund side to offset a five percent homestead exemption approved by the city council earlier this year. The proposed operations and maintenance side of the tax rate is unchanged at 28.5502, while the debt service side stays at 22.0339.

Under the new rate, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay about $84 per month. The average tax rate for Texas cities with populations between 75,000-150,000 is about 59 cents. The City of Bryan has a tax rate of almost 63 cents.

The effective tax rate for FY19 — the rate that will raise the same revenues as last year on the same properties —  is 47.8968 cents. The rollback tax rate of 52.2313 cents is the highest that can be adopted before citizens can initiate a petition to lower it back to the rollback rate.

The core services of police, fire, emergency medical services, public works, and parks and recreation account for about 65 percent of the city’s expenses. About 41 percent of new spending requests for FY19 were made by the public safety departments.

Capital Projects

Capital projects account for almost a third of the proposed budget. Included is $34.8 million for electric, water and wastewater utilities, $35 million for streets and transportation, $12.3 million for parks and recreation, and $30.2 million for facilities.

The remainder of the capital projects budget is for special revenue items such as the synthetic fields at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex and the new Southeast Park — which will both be paid for with Hotel Tax Funds — and community development, drainage, parkland and minor sidewalk projects.

Debt Service 

Standard & Poor’s gives the City of College Station an AA+ rating for both general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation. Moody’s upgraded the city’s rating to Aa1 in 2018. The city’s debt service for FY19 is about $20.5 million.

What’s Ahead?

A public hearing on the proposed tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 5 at city hall. A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be Sept. 13 at city hall. Budget and tax rate adoption is set for Sept. 27.

 


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 been a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


 


City budget focuses on growth and public safety

2019 budget graphic

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The proposed FY19 city budget presented to the College Station City Council on Aug. 9 totals $360.7 million, about $5 million less than this year.

Yes, you read that right. The city plans to spend 1.37 percent less in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. But before you fret about cuts in our high-quality services, let’s take a closer look.

The decrease is all on the capital projects side. We’re still investing about $108.4 million in vital infrastructure projects, but that includes multi-year projects that were appropriated in FY18 and are still in progress. The operations and maintenance part of the budget includes a $1.9 million boost to address growth and maintain our high level of service.

The General Fund, which pays for public safety, public works, parks, planning and development services, and administration, totals about $83.7 million. The overall budget focuses on core services and maintaining and building the infrastructure for a city that’s grown by more than 25 percent since the 2010 census.

The proposed budget also reflects the 5 percent homestead exemption the city council adopted in June to shift some of the property tax burden off permanent residents. The budget offsets the lost revenue with a property tax rate increase of less than 1 cent, raising it to 50.5841 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The only proposed change in utility rates is a five percent wastewater increase to be used for system improvements needed to keep up with our growth and to replace aging infrastructure.

Tax Rate Remains Low

While property values continue to rise and bring in new revenue, it’s not enough to provide the infrastructure and levels of service our current and future residents need and deserve.

College Station’s proposed tax rate would still rank among the lowest in Texas and would be about a dime less than the state average among similar-sized cities. It’s far less than what you’ll find in other fast-growing areas, including Bryan, which has a tax rate of almost 63 cents.

If you have a $200,000 home in College Station, you’ll pay about $84 a month for 24-hour police and fire protection, streets and traffic management, parks facilities, code enforcement and planning and development services.

That’s a great deal when compared to what you typically pay for cell phone or cable television service.

Public Safety

The mission of the police and fire departments, along with emergency medical services, is to provide a safe community for us to live in and raise our families. The police and fire departments account for more than half of the city’s General Fund budget.

The proposed budgets for the police and fire departments includes funds for new equipment along with pay increases to maintain competitiveness in the local market and increase retention.

Capital Projects and Infrastructure

The $108.4 million proposed for capital improvement projects come from various sources, including general obligation bonds authorized by voters, certificates of obligation supported by tax and utility rates, cash reserves from the General Fund, utility funds, and hotel tax fund.

The capital budget includes about $16.2 million for street and transportation projects such as the extensions to Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail, phase three of the Royder Road project, and the relocation of the Cain Road/Deacon Drive railroad crossing.

Facility projects include the expansion of the library, the new police station, initial phases of a new city hall, and renovations to create a senior and community center in the old Arts Council building at Dartmouth and Colgate.

Utility projects include the implementation of smart electric meters (Advanced Meter Infrastructure), the Graham Road electric substation, and the expansion of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Parks & Recreation

The parks budget covers significant facility improvements and repairs along with the construction of Southeast Park near the old Rock Prairie landfill and the new synthetic fields at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex. Also included are a new grounds worker and an upgrade to the lightning detection system used throughout our parks system.

City Services

That brings us back to answering the demand of residents for high-quality services, which aren’t possible without the city’s most valuable resource — our workforce. Maintaining a competitive pay and benefits structure allows us to attract — and keep — well-qualified employees to serve our residents and visitors.

The proposed budget includes a 2 percent pay scale adjustment for all positions, a 1½ percent pool for performance pay increases, and a 5 percent boost in the city’s contribution to employee health care premiums.

Public Hearing Dates

The council will review the budget in a series of in-depth workshops from Aug. 20-22, with final adoption of the budget and tax rate set for Sept. 27. A public hearing on the tax rate is set for Sept. 5, followed by a public hearing on the tax rate and budget on Sept. 13.

 


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

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

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

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 9. 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.

Bear with me, folks — usual blogger Colin Killian is out tonight, so I’ll do my best to keep up. -jgs

Complete agendas and background materials
Previous city council meeting blogs

5:08 p.m.

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

Councilman James Benham is participating by teleconference.

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:

  • Approving an interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the College Station general and special election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
  • A construction contract with DKing Express LLC for $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at Barracks Park.
  • A contract with Brazos Paving Inc for base failure repairs and Type-D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
  • Renewal of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Public Library.

5:20 p.m.

FY 2018-19 Proposed Budget

Staff presented main points of the proposed budget that council members will discuss in greater detail during upcoming budget workshops (Aug. 20-22). The full proposed budget can be viewed here. Among tonight’s highlights:

  • The proposed budget is $360,680,102 (1.37% lower than FY18)
  • Budget reflects a 5% homestead exemption voted on by council in June.
  • To remain revenue neutral due to the homestead exemption, a tax increase of 0.8341 cent per $100 valuation is included in the proposed budget.
  • A 5% increase to the wastewater rate would begin in October to keep up with capital system improvements due to growth and aging infrastructure.
  • Pay increase for police to ensure market competitiveness, as well as a pay increase structure for fire personnel. Also funds for more police body cameras, and fire vehicles and rescue equipment.
  • Funding for facility maintenance, street maintenance, implementation of neighborhood plans, construction of Southeast Park and renovations throughout the parks system.
  • Street and transportation capital projects, including Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail extensions, Royder Road Phase III, and Cain/Deacon railroad crossing relocation.
  • Library expansion, new police station, initial phases of new city hall, and renovations to create a senior and community center at Dartmouth/Colgate.
  • Advanced Meter Infrastructure implementation for CSU-Electric.
  • Continued implementation of new pay structure with necessary salary adjustments + 1.5% pool for merit-based increases.

Public hearings on the proposed tax rate will occur on Sept. 5 and Sept. 13, and a public hearing on the proposed budget will also occur on Sept. 13. Adoption of the budget and tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 27. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

5:36 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay process

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:20 p.m.

After considerable discussion among council members and city staff, Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop meeting since it was running long. The regular meeting will begin after a short break and then council will resume its workshop meeting.

6:30 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:32 p.m.

Camp Kesem Week (Aug. 12-17) at Texas A&M University was recognized by Mayor Karl Mooney. Pictured with Mayor Mooney are students Samantha Buchanan and Hannah Lykins.

councilpresentationkesem8-9-18

6:36 p.m.

Hear Visitors

During the Hear Visitors portion of the meeting, citizens are able to address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Mr. Fred Dupriest, representing the College Station Association of Neighborhoods (CSAN), addressed the council about the neighborhood conservation overlay process. Here is his PowerPoint presentation:

 

  • Mr. Jerry Cooper complimented city staff on the efforts undertaken toward ensuring a fair neighborhood conservation overlay process.
  • Mr. Buck Prewitt expressed his desire for additional clarification about specific parts of the NCO process, realizing that the council is unable to respond to citizen comments during this portion of the meeting.

 

6:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, with the exception of item 2b, which relates to ordering a general and special election for two city council races and placement of multiple proposed amendments to the city’s charter. That item will be voted on separately. Items passed unanimously:

  • Ordinance, in part, ordering a general and special election on Nov. 6, 2018 to elect city council members to Places 4 and 6, and to submit proposed amendments to the city’s charter.
  • Approving interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the City of College Station General and Special Election that will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
  • Resolution of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan, City of Brenham, Brazos County, Washington County, Texas A&M University, Grimes County and Brazos Valley Council of Governments; designating the Brazos Valley Council of Governments as the Managing Entity for the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System (BVWACS)
  • A construction contract with Kieschnick General Contractors, in the amount
    of $830,078 for the construction of the State Highway 6 waterline phases I and II.
  • Calling a public hearing on the City of College Station FY 2018-2019 Proposed Budget for Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • A bid award for the annual purchase of single phase pad-mounted transformers, which will be maintained in electrical inventory and expended as needed. The total recommended award is $224,500 to Priester-Mell & Nicholson, Inc.
  • An amendment to the lease agreement with CEO, Etc., Inc. for lease of City Fiber Optic Cable Facilities.
  • Approval of the construction contract with DKing Express, LLC. in the amount of $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at the Barracks Park.
  • A bid award for the annual blanket order for electric meters and sockets, to be stored in inventory.
  • Approval of a resolution adopting the proposed FY 2019 Community Development Budget and PY 2018 Annual Action Plan.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Organix Recycling, LLC.; for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • The approval of a contract with Brazos Paving, Inc. for base failure repairs and Type D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
  • Amending the Code of Ordinances and a resolution that established the fees, rates, and charges regarding establishing fees for the regulation of dockless bike share programs permitted to operate in the City.
  • A letter agreement for year 1 of the Professional Auditing Services engagement with BKD, LLP for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 with expenditures totaling $84,000.
  • Renewal of the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Bryan for Management of the
    Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • A bid award for the annual purchase of sodium hypochlorite, the liquid-chlorine
    disinfection product used to treat the potable water supply at the Sandy Point Pump Station.

 

Place-5 Councilman John Nichols read a prepared statement opposing consent item 2b. due to his objection to the proposed charter amendment that would extend council terms from three to four years, and holding elections only during even-numbered years. By a vote of 6 in favor and 1 abstention (Nichols), item 2b passed.

7:15 p.m.

Rezoning from Planned Development District to Wellborn Restricted Suburban

This proposed rezoning applies to 21 acres of land located just south of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and Royder Road. Council approved this item by a vote of 7-0.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

Appointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustments

Mr. James Sharp was appointed by council to fill an unexpired term on the ZBA.

7:23 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting has resumed with item #6, an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance related to the neighborhood conservation overlay process.

Among the council’s direction to staff was to sufficiently notify all residents who may be part of planned meetings related to an NCO effort, as well as those who may live or own property in proximity of such planned meetings. Among the council suggestions was the burden of mail notification being on city staff via the applicant paying a “notification fee,” rather than an application fee, to only cover those hard costs.

There was also great interest among some council members in giving neighborhoods seeking an NCO to have as many options available to them as possible as they construct their petition to the city.

Staff will take council’s collective direction and bring back a revised ordinance to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and then again to the city council.

8:25 p.m.

Meeting is adjourned.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, TX, he also serves as immediate past-president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


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. Proposed FY19 City Budget: In the workshop, the council will get its first look at the city’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. After a series of budget workshops (Aug. 20-22) and public hearings on the tax rate (Sept. 5) and budget (Sept. 13), the council is scheduled to adopt the budget Sept. 27.
  2. Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts: Another workshop item is a continued discussion about clarifying the process for establishing Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts as well as options to change that section of the city’s Unified Development Ordinance.
  3. State Highway 6 Water Line: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an $830,078 contract for construction of water lines from the intersection of State Highway 6 and William D. Fitch Parkway to Venture Drive and from the future intersection of Pebble Creek Parkway to St. Joseph Urgent Care.
  4. Community Development Budget and Action Plan: Another consent agenda item is the Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Budget and Program Year 2018 Action Plan, which includes objectives and recommendations for projects and programs that support the low-to-moderate income population.
  5. Wellborn Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Planned Development District to Wellborn Restricted Suburban for about 21 acres south of the Greens Prairie Road West-Royder Road intersection.

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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!