Significant improvements to city parks and facilities await as the new fiscal year begins

Significant improvements to city parks and facilities await as the new fiscal year begins

For the Parks and Recreation Department – along with the rest of your municipal government – our new fiscal year begins Friday. And, yes, we’re thrilled about the possibilities for FY 22. Here’s a glimpse of some of the improvements planned for the coming year. Continue reading Significant improvements to city parks and facilities await as the new fiscal year begins

Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Jan. 26)

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

9:12 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9.

9:11 p.m.

Residential Parking of Recreational Vehicles

At the request of a number of residents, the council heard a presentation about amending the traffic code to prohibit the parking, storing or standing of recreational vehicles on front yards or lawns, including driveways, of residential properties. The presentation was only for informational purposes, but the council voted 5-2 to direct staff to not move forward with the ordinance. Council Members Blanche Brick and Katy-Marie Lyles voted against the motion. In the public hearing, more than 20 people spoke against the amendment.

The code defines recreational vehicles as “any motor vehicle or trailer designed or used as a travel trailer, camper, motor home, tent trailer, boat, boat trailer, camping trailer, or other similar purposes.” The current code allows recreational vehicles to be parked or stored in front yards without exception. However, the vehicles are not permitted to be parked on the street for more than 72 hours in any 30-day period. Under the proposed amendment, recreational vehicles could be parked in residential driveways for up to 72 hours in any 30-day period, and could still be stored in back yards as long as they were screened from public view. Subdivisions zoned A-O Agricultural Open and A-OR Rural Residential, which includes Foxfire, Williams Creek and Bird Pond Estates, would remain exempt because of their required large lot size.

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Parks and Recreation Master Plan Focuses on Efficiency

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan that will be presented to the city council on Thursday identifies College Station’s parks and recreation needs for the next 10 years and provides guidance, goals, strategies and actions on how to best address those needs.  A component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the parks master plan lays the groundwork for policy change, capital projects, operational and administrative change, and recreation programming.  In addition, the proactive plan is responsive to our budget needs and is aligned with contemporary best practices in parks and recreation facilities and program delivery.

The core intent of this innovative plan is to improve efficiencies in our parks and programs, and its implementation will require additional funding over the next 10 years.  Given the current economic climate and budgetary constraints the city faces, successful implementation will require a thoughtful and incremental approach.  The availability of reliable funding for acquisition, development, operations and maintenance will play an integral role in the plan’s success.  A special emphasis is placed on approaches that meet needs in the most effective, practical and efficient manner. 

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Wastewater: Rapid Growth Demands Responsible Planning

When water runs down their drain or their toilet is flushed, many people give little thought about what happens to the wastewater, but collecting and treating that wastewater is one of the most vital core services provided by the City of College Station. With as many as 40,000 new residents expected in the next two decades, meeting our wastewater collection and treatment needs presents considerable challenges. That’s why a responsible Wastewater Master Plan has been developed by city staff and HDR engineers

The City of College Station owns, operates and maintains a reliable wastewater collection, treatment and disposal system for close to 84,000 residents and businesses (the A&M campus is not part of the system). The collection system consists of about 300 miles of gravity sewers and nearly seven miles of force mains.  Treatment and disposal systems are provided by the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which combine to treat an average annual influent dry weather flow of approximately seven million gallons per day. 

This plan quantifies the cost of providing needed services and facilities, and recognizes the significant investment residents previously have made on similar services and facilities.  Failure to implement the plan will result in lower service levels, reduced economic activity and could slow the city’s growth potential.

A Challenge and an Opportunity
Our Wastewater Master Plan study has concluded that our collection system and treatment plants will require significant capital investment in the next two decades to keep up with our rapid growth.  Rehabilitation of the collection system in older parts of town has become essential, and sewer trunk lines also must be upgraded to handle the increasing load.  In addition, our two major treatment plants will require expansion in the 2020s if the growth projections are accurate. 

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