Posts tagged “Parks and Recreation

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 24)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 24. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:34 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

No action was taken out of executive session.

5:57 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:

  • Graham Substation Equipment: The equipment purchased through this bid requires a significant delivery time from the date of purchase and is be installed during the construction of the Graham Road Substation in 2018. The equipment to be purchased includes transformers, a gas circuit breaker, circuit switchers, and 3-phase electric substation transformers. The bid includes delivery, set-up of the transformers on the foundations, filling with oil, and testing.
  • Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: The intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive has stop signs on the Thomas Street approaches. An area resident expresses concerns about appropriate sight lines. Traffic Engineering found that the sight line for vehicles at the stop sign on the westbound approach was inadequate to see vehicles approaching the from the left on Dexter. Consequently, Traffic Engineering recommends making it a four-way stop controlled intersection.
  • Brazos Valley Recycling: Staff recommends renewal of years 3-5 of a five-year franchise agreement and general services contract with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable materials. The city pays an annual cost of $880,000. Recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Water Well No. 9: The project includes the installation of Well  No. 9 and a collection line on city property to add additional pumping capacity to match population projections and state requirements. Final project costs are expected to be less than what was budgeted in FY17.
  • Water Line Relocation: Staff recommends approval of a construction contract for the installation of a water line west of the FM2818-FM60 intersection. The existing 30-inch water line will be removed or filled with grout.

6:04 p.m.

BVSWMA FY18 Budget

The council approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed budget for FY18, which includes $8.92 million in revenues and $9.44 million in expenses. The budget also reduces the gate rate from $20.50 to $20.00 per ton from Bryan and College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

Park Preserves in ETJ

The council heard a presentation about potential parkland in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The discussion covered parkland needs and possibilities and included the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, current parks and greenways properties, current land purchase efforts, the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, and possible funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Traffic Control Center Award

The council heard a presentation about the national Public Agency Council Achievement Award received by the Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the city’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). The award was presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in Toronto. Pictured below (L-R) are Traffic Signal Technician Jimmy Pletzer, Traffic Signal Technician Juan Gonzalez, Jr., Traffic Systems Superintendent Lee Robinson, Mayor Mooney, Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, and Traffic Systems Foreman Garrett Martinek.

This award recognizes agencies that have achieved excellence through implementing innovative ideas and delivering outstanding transportation engineering, planning, and operations. The TCC helps improve traffic conditions with new technologies and allows signal timings to be changed in real-time during special events or roadway incidents.

Signal performance measure software also allows city staff to better monitor and adjust traffic signal operations. The City of College Station was the first agency in Texas to implement signal performance measures, and others are following our lead.

The TCC pulls together video streams from more than 100 cameras that are shared with the Police and Fire Departments as well as Texas A&M. The video streams are critical when moving 120,000 fans away from Kyle Field after football games. Staff from Traffic Systems, Traffic Engineering and the Police Department man the TCC during the postgame operations, observing the video streams and manipulating signal timings. The TCC is in constant communication with the Kyle Field command center.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:42 p.m.

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

The council discussed the city’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. The initiative is designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive and shareable ideas to tackle problems, deliver results and improve life for residents.

Entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work. The 35 Champion Cities will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support. The five cities with the best ideas will receive millions to implement their ideas at scale.

6:47 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

The mayor proclaimed September as Still Creek Ranch Month.

7:20 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.

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Lance Corporal Todd R. Bolding as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Manvel native died June 3, 2004, after being wounded in hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Fred Dupriest of the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group spoke about the city’s planning terminology, specifically how mitigation is not necessarily a benefit.
  • Michael Kuitu and Cathy Liles submitted written comments.

7:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda

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

  • A $316,746 purchase of various long lead time major equipment for the proposed Graham Substation.
  • A purchase not to exceed $1,145,926 of two 3-phase electric substation transformers for the proposed Graham Road Substation.
  • Renewal of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers multiplied by the approved agreement rates.
  • A $5.6 million contract with Garney Construction to install water well No. 9 and a collection line.
  • A $433,552 contract with Dudley Construction to relocate the 30-inch water line at FM2818 and FM60.

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda:

  • Modifications to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the addition of a four-way stop intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Drive. Councilwoman Brick requested this item be pulled for a separate vote so she could thank the neighborhood residents and city staff.

7:49 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres north of University Oaks Boulevard on the west side of Earl Rudder Freeway. Councilman Barry Moore supported the motion. Three people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to deny a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Office to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item. Two people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.7 acres on the east side of Wellborn Road where Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill is located. The change will make the tract conform with property to the north that will be developed into an HEB store.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:06 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Rural to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:51 p.m.

Off-Street Parking Standards

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amended off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:56 p.m.

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



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Voters’ Choice returns to popular Starlight Music Series

By Gerry Logan, Recreation Supervisor

If you dream of performing on a live stage in front of enthusiastic and appreciative music fans, here’s your chance.

The crowd-pleasing Voters’ Choice contest returns to College Station’s Starlight Music Series this spring after a successful debut in 2016.

Bands and musicians over the age of 16 — and not signed under a promotional authority/contract — can enter for a chance to play at the May 6 concert at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. Entrants must submit one song in an MP3 format along with a YouTube video of the song being performed.

A panel of local judges will select up to 12 finalists based on song originality, stage presence, and creativity. The public will then vote April 4-15 to determine the three artists who will compete at Wolf Pen Creek for these prizes:

1st Place $750 and an artist development package by Revive45
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250

Starlight Music Series

In College Station, the arrival of spring means more than warm temperatures, green grass, and blooming flowers. It also means the return of the popular Starlight Music Series on selected Saturdays at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater.

The free six-concert series opens April 8 and feature a variety of music to fit just about every taste.

Since 2002, the City of College Station has invited citizens to enjoy family-friendly entertainment under the stars. The best parts are that it’s completely free and guests can bring refreshments. Food and drink are also available for purchase on-site.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, and free parking is available at Post Oak Mall. We offer a KidZone area at each concert that features bounce houses and other activities from 6-10 p.m.

Join us this spring for six nights of free musical entertainment under the stars at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater!

2017 Concert Schedule

April 8 Texas Unlimited Band with guest Rosie Flores
May 6 Voters’ Choice winners
May 13 Will Hoge (solo) with guests Bonnie Bishop and Joey McGee
May 27 Def Leggend with guests Infinite Journey and Trio Grande
June 10 Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws with guest Kidd Reece and Mo’ Live Zydeco
June 24 Cory Morrow with guest Cameran Nelson

 

For more information, go to cstx.gov/starlight or contact us at parks@cstx.gov or 979.764.3486.

 


About the Author

Gerry Logan (@GL_sportsguy) is in his fifth year with the Parks & Recreation Department and has served as special events supervisor since 2014. He was previously the sports coordinator for the City of Clinton (Miss.) for three years. A native of Pontotoc, Miss., Gerry is a graduate student at Texas A&M after earning a degree in parks & recreation management from the University of Mississippi in 2010.


 

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Quidditch event attracts 21 teams to town this weekend

Texas A&M Quidditch team members pose for a photo. The team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship hosted at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Texas, Feb. 18-19. Photo source: www.facebook.com/texasamquidditch/

The Texas A&M Quidditch team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Photo source: Facebook.

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Now that our Super Bowl buzz is finally wearing off, College Station is turning its focus to a lesser known sport – Quidditch. And it’s for the same reason Houston and every other major city in America want to host Super Bowls.

The almighty dollar.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex will host the 2017 U.S. Quidditch Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in 21 teams from five different states. It’ll be the first major Quidditch event hosted at a City of College Station facility, and we hope it won’t be the last. Admission is free.

Super Bowl tourism in perspective

Houston reportedly welcomed more than 1.3 million guests for the Super Bowl weekend, with economic impact estimates as high as $350 million for the entire metro. For one weekend, that’s pretty mind blowing.

But Houston couldn’t do it alone.

The state’s event trust fund paid $25.4 million to help build up to the big game, and Houston was asked to guarantee an impressive array of complimentary services. When Dallas bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the trust fund awarded $32.1 million, and the city pooled its vast resources to win over the National Football League.

What does this mean for College Station?

Although College Station will never host a Super Bowl, Texas A&M’s collegiate events are the Super Bowl equivalent to our local economy. According to a recent study by A&M’s Division of Finance and Administration, Aggie sporting events and related campus activities attracted 1.3 million visitors and $385 million to the regional economy in 2013. The numbers for 2016 likely exceed those estimates.

The City of College Station and Bryan College Station Sports & Events capture bids on a variety of sporting events each year that add significant value to our community. The successful bid to host our first U.S. Quidditch regional will not only spur the weekend economy, but it could also lead to additional opportunities for us to host more Quidditch tournaments.

We expect the event to attract about 300 visitors who will spend money for two days on local hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.

How do we land these events?

College Station competes with other cities to host these types of events and the economic benefits they bring. But like Houston, we can’t do it alone.

The U.S. Quidditch bid manual describes what the organization typically asks of a host community in incentives and services. While it’s no Super Bowl request, it requires host communities to commit a significant level of time and resources.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Bryan College Station Sports & Events leveraged the Texas A&M Quidditch team’s participation in national and regional competitions to assemble our pitch.

Supporting new business for local hoteliers, retailers, and restaurateurs is what drives this effort, and Quidditch is certainly not the first successful pitch we’ve had. Here are a few other notable visitor-based events hosted by College Station thanks to winning bids submitted by our dedicated Parks and CVB sports event managers:

When it’s all said and done, these events will have attracted more than 50,000 visitors who injected $20-25 million into our local economy.

Free Quidditch youth clinic

Still not sure what to think? Come out to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex on Saturday or Sunday and see what sports tourism looks like in action.

As a friendly gesture to fans and curious onlookers, U.S. Quidditch will conduct a free clinic on Quidditch Field 3 to teach kids and young adults about the sport. The clinics will last about an hour and a half and will start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

They’ll provide the equipment, too, so no need to bring your broomstick.

We’ll see you this weekend at Veterans Park!

Source: U.S. Quidditch

Graphic: U.S. Quidditch

 


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J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Updates will help make playground visits safe, memorable

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By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

When nostalgia and childhood memories stir, what comes to mind?

For many of us, it’s sometimes a playground where we once spent countless hours climbing the equipment or running circles in an open field. Those playgrounds allowed our imaginations to take us anywhere.

The classic yellow slides and chain-link swings have been favored features in just about every park in the country. Playgrounds provide the ultimate place for children to explore, exercise and develop their creative and social skills. These memorable experiences are integral to developing young minds and bodies, so it’s vital for us to continue providing, safe, play-friendly spaces.

Improvements are on the way

The City of College Station values the benefits and importance of playgrounds. In September, the College Station City Council unanimously approved more than $600,000 for improvements and repairs to play areas in 15 city parks. Construction began in October and is expected to be finished by early 2017.

An essential element for a safe play space is the playground’s surface or foundation. Eco-friendly, durable rubber surfacing will be installed near swings and other play areas, and new play units, swing sets, and exercise equipment will be added. The changes and updates will enhance safety and help prevent injuries.

Here’s a list of the major updates:

  • CASTLEGATE: Removal of pea gravel from swing area, installation of new rubber surfacing, the addition of swings and chains, and painting of existing swing set.
  • CASTLEROCK: Removal of pea gravel from swing area, installation of new rubber surfacing, the addition of new swings and chains, and painting of existing swing set.
  • EDELWEISS: New swings and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • GEORGIE K. FITCH: New play units and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • JACK & DOROTHY MILLER: New surfacing for the walking path.
  • LINCOLN RECREATION CENTER: New swings and replacement of surfacing in swing area.
  • LIONS: New play units and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • OAKS: New play unit and relocation of existing rubber surfacing.
  • SANDSTONE: New fitness equipment.
  • SOUTHERN OAKS: New swings and replacement of surfacing in swing area.
  • STEEPLECHASE: New swing set and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • STEPHEN C. BEACHY CENTRAL: New play unit and addition of rubber surfacing.
  • THOMAS: New fitness equipment
  • UNIVERSITY: Removal of pea gravel in swing area, installation of a new swing set and rubber surfacing.
  • WOODCREEK: New play unit and addition of rubber surfacing.

The City of College Station Parks and Recreation Department offers 34 parks featuring play units for your kids to explore, enjoy, and make fond childhood memories they’ll carry the rest of their lives.

We invite you to share your experiences in our parks on Twitter with the hashtag #CSTXparks.

 


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek features candy, activities

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By Gerry Logan, Special Events Supervisor

Instead of hopping neighborhoods and navigating dark streets this Halloween, take your family to the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site on Friday, Oct. 28 for Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek, where more than 100,000 pieces of free candy will be available.

From 5-10 p.m., Wolf Pen Creek will become a five-acre trick-or-treating paradise, thanks in part to 80 candy booths hosted by local businesses, non-profits and other groups. Activities include a mini hay maze, Paw Paw’s Party Train, bounce houses, local food vendors and more. Admission is free.

Torrential rains forced us to cancel last year’s fun, but you’ll notice some new features since the inaugural event in 2014.

In addition to providing candy in its on-site courtyard, the Arts Council of Brazos Valley will unveil a new family-friendly exhibit called “Tales of the Summer.” The summerthemed show includes original paintings, photographs, and sculptures by dozens of Brazos Valley artists.

We’ve also replaced the hay rides with shuttles from Post Oak Mall due to safety concerns. From 4:45-10:15 p.m., two accessible Texas A&M buses will transport guests to and from the Arts Council of Brazos Valley building and the Post Oak Mall parking area nearest the park. The festival site is also an easy walk from the mall.

Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek is the place to be for safe Halloween fun!

For more information, go to cstx.gov/Halloween or call 979-764-3486.


aaeaaqaaaaaaaajnaaaajdyxm2qzndbjlwywnjitngexny1intziltkznmvkmduwzgvkmgAbout the Author

Gerry Logan (@GL_sportsguy) is in his fourth year with the Parks & Recreation Department and has served as special events supervisor since 2014. He was previously the sports coordinator for the City of Clinton (Miss.) for three years. A native of Pontotoc, Miss., Gerry is a graduate student at Texas A&M after earning a degree in parks & recreation management from the University of Mississippi in 2010.  


 

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Enjoy NFL football on Wolf Pen Creek big screen

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By Gabby Salazar, Event Activities Assistant

As a Texan, I’ve learned that all you need for a great football watch party are the three “F’s”– football, food, and friends.

You can find all three at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater.

On Monday, we invite you and your friends to put on your lucky jerseys and watch Monday Night Football on our 32-foot inflatable HD screen as the Houston Texans take on the Denver Broncos and Texas A&M’s own Von Miller. On Sunday, Oct. 30, we’ll show the Dallas Cowboys‘ game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Admission is free. Gates open at 6 p.m. and both games kick off at 7:30.

Concessions won’t be available, so be sure to bring your favorite tailgating food and drinks. Glass containers and kegs aren’t allowed, and coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs — and your pets are welcome, too!

For more information, visit cstx.gov/events or call 979-764-3486.

 


0868913About the Author

Gabby Salazar is in her third year as a recreation assistant for the City of College Station. Before joining the city staff, she was the night manager at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena. A product of A&M’s sports management program, Gabby earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and her master’s in 2016. A native of Alamo, she was also a member of the Aggies’ nationally-ranked track and cross country teams.


 

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