Posts tagged “parks

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

Here are five items to watch:

  1. RVP Incentives Compliance Report: The council will hear a workshop presentation by the Research Valley Partnership about project compliance in 2017.
  2. Controlled Burn Permits: The council will have a workshop discussion on the city’s policies regarding controlled burn permits.
  3. Gabbard Park Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $128,736 contract for replacement of the fence, fishing pier, and walking bridge at Gabbard Park.
  4. Park Structures Contract: Another consent item is a $199,400 contract for architectural services regarding the renovation and rebuild of the Bee Creek concession building and Beachy Central Park’s pavilion and restroom.
  5. Bicycle, Pedestrian & Greenways Master Plan: After a public hearing, the council will consider accepting updates to the city’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan, which was adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan in 2010.

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: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 12)

(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, April 12. 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.

5:44 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:46 p.m.

The council took two actions coming out of its executive session:

  • Unanimously directed the city attorney and city secretary to review of the City Charter and recommend amendments to be considered for a possible charter amendment election in November.
  • Voted 6-1 to negotiate with a search firm to identify candidates for city manager. Councilman Bob Brick voted against the motion.

6:08 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Plan of Work

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the group’s plan of work for 2018, which includes a review of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.

6:11 p.m.

Council Strategic Plan

The council accepted its updated strategic plan for 2018.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:23 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:

  • Rock Prairie Water Tower: The scope of this $988,500 contract includes design, bidding, and construction phase services for the Rock Prairie Elevated Storage Tank Project, which provides for an elevated water tower near Rock Prairie Road and the Scott and White Hospital and two pressure-reducing valves. The locations of the reducing valves will be determined. It will potentially establish a secondary pressure plane generally from the Carter’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Pebble Creek subdivision. The $8.76 million project is necessary to meet state requirements, to relieve demand on the Greens Prairie water tower, and to reduce extreme pressure east of State Highway 6.
  • Surplus Asphalt Millings: The sale and removal of about 19,000 tons of surplus asphalt millings from city property will return $219,450 to the Roadway Maintenance Fund.
  • Non-Annexation Agreements: The eight non-annexation development agreements being considered represent more than 2,000 acres in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The agreements guarantee the city won’t annex the properties for 10 years unless the terms are violated.
  • Habitat for Humanity Down Payment Assistance Guidelines: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) grant funds are used by the city to provide various housing assistance programs to income-eligible households. The Down Payment Assistance Program was approved by council in 2014. The program offers shared equity, gap financing of up to 30 percent of the sales price (capped at $50,000) to qualified applicants. Staff recommends creating separate guidelines for working with Habitat for Humanity clients that better-fit Habitat’s unique program and the needs of its clients. Proposed guidelines provide qualified Habitat for Humanity clients with a 0 percent interest-deferred loan of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a home built by Habitat for Humanity in the city.

6:29 p.m.

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

6:38 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:49 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.

  • Abigail Fields spoke against restricting specific dog breeds by apartment complexes.
  • Nan Crouse of the College Station Association of Neighborhoods encouraged people to get involved in protecting neighborhoods.
  • Constance Woodman spoke against high rental housing costs in College Station.

6:50 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Premier Metal Buyers for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • Habitat for Humanity Down Payment Assistance Program guidelines.
  • Revision of Down Payment Assistance guidelines.
  • A $232,650 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the rehabilitation of parking lots at Brian Bachmann Park and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park.
  • An agreement not to exceed $155,000 with Emergicon for ambulance billing, accounts receivable, and delinquent account collection services.
  • A $98,730 contract with Housley Communications to lay underground conduit for future fiber optic infrastructure as part of a joint bore with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Pronto Services for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • A $988,500 contract with Freese and Nichols for design, bidding, and construction administration for the Rock Prairie Elevated Storage Tank Project.
  • The sale and removal of about 19,000 tons of surplus asphalt millings from city property that will return $219,450 to the Roadway Maintenance Fund.
  • A $4.57 million contract with Dudley Construction for Phase 1 of the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-Out Project.
  • Eight non-annexation development agreements.
  • A real estate contract for the purchase of property needed for the extension of General Parkway. The purchase price is $225,000 with $2,500 in closing costs.

6:57 p.m.

Rezoning at Wellborn and Greens Prairie

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to rezone about 35 acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Road West. About 0.9 acres changes from Rural to Suburban Commercial, and the rest changes from Rural to Wellborn Restricted Commercial.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:01 p.m.

Conditional Use Permit for Caprock Bar

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit for a bar at The Yard at Caprock Crossing near the intersection of Greens Prairie Road and State Highway 6.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:38 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Changes

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to add flexibility to Suburban Commercial zoning districts. Significant changes include allowing additional uses and reducing buffer and architectural requirements. 

An earlier motion to eliminate fuel sales from suburban commercial districts passed by a 4-3 vote. Councilmen Jerome Rektorik, Barry Moore, and James Benham voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:49 p.m.

The meeting is again underway.

8:53 p.m.

Removal of Krenek Tap Overlay

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove the Krenek Tap overlay zoning district from properties on the Krenek Tap Road right-of-way. The overlay was adopted in 2004 when the city was considering an urban development concept for property it owns along Krenek Tap.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:55 p.m.

Deletion of Krenek Tap Overlay from UDO

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to delete the Krenek Tap overlay zoning district from the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. 

9:00 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:00 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 26.

 


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: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 22)

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 22. 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.

5:23 p.m.

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

5:27 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:

  • Hanson South Water Sale: As part of tonight’s consent agenda, the council will consider a contract with Burleson Water Resources to pump water from the existing ponds on the Hanson South property for hydraulic fracturing of oil wells. BWR will bear the costs for equipment and pipelines and will pay the city 10 cents a barrel, which is the industry standard rate. The city will have a contractual guarantee for at least $150,000 of revenue for the Water Fund during the first 12 months of the two-year contract. BWR must use an above-ground pipeline to move the water. Prudent safety and environmental protection provisions are also included in the contract.

5:51 p.m.

Basic Public Purchasing

The council discussed the city’s policies, procedures, and legal requirements for spending public funds.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:08 p.m.

Comprehensive Plan 10-Year Update

The council discussed the city’s progress on updating its 10-year Comprehensive Plan.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:45 p.m.

Park Acreage Exclusions

The council discussed why Lick Creek Park and Veterans Park have not been included in the city’s count of community park acreage. It also considered the effects of that acreage exclusion to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and parkland dedication fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:49 p.m.

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

6:58 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:08 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Four 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 Army Lt. Benjamin Britt as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 24-year-old Wheeler native died Dec. 22, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position during a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Jerome Rektorik recognized the College Station Police Department for its quick action last weekend in apprehending the A&M Consolidated High School student who made a terroristic threat on social media.
  • Robert Rose voiced his support for the bicycle parking requirements that will be discussed later tonight.
  • Richard Woodward of the College Station Association of Neighborhoods spoke against the council making zoning changes over the objections of neighborhood residents.

7:09 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Awarded an $83,000 contract to Ramtech Building Systems for a 24-by-56-foot modular office building at the Utility Service Center.
  • A $468,000 contract with CRT Construction for the development of Reatta Meadows Park and upgrades at Crescent Pointe Park.
  • Reissued a not-to-exceed $1.5 million contract with H&B Construction for annual electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • Ratified a contract for Burleson Water Resources to purchase pond water from city water wellfield property called Hanson South.
  • The city’s participation in inter-local cooperative purchasing programs with Choice Partners National Purchasing Cooperative and GoodBuy Purchasing Cooperative. 
  • Amended the building use agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos, changing the terms to month-to-month for the building at 2275 Dartmouth Dr.

7:34 p.m.

Rezoning at Raintree and Highway 6

{this item was corrected from the earlier version}

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve a request to changing the zoning from General Suburban to Suburban Commercial on about 1.9 acres at 2201 Raintree Drive, which was revised from General Suburban to General Commercial. The change will allow for development.

 

8:22 p.m.

Land Use at Rock Prairie and Fitch

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Restricted Suburban to General Commercial for about 29 acres south of the Rock Prairie Road-Fitch Parkway intersection. Mayor Karl Mooney, Councilman Bob Brick, and Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion.

The change will allow for development. One person spoke during the public hearing.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:05 p.m.

Bicycle Parking Requirements

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Code of Ordinances related to bicycle parking requirements.

An earlier motion to change additional language in the existing ordinance failed, 5-2.  Councilmen Barry Moore and Jerome Rektorik voted for the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:16 p.m.

Non-Residential Architectural Standards

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to ease the city’s non-residential architectural standards related to screening, architectural features, and the color palette:

  • Amendments to Section 2.2 “Planning and Zoning Commission” and Section 2.8 “Administrator” include the removal of authority in reference to the color palette.
  • Amendments to Section 5.8 “Design Districts” and Section 5.10 “Overlay Districts” include the removal of references to the color palette.
  • Amendments to Section 7.10 “Non-Residential Architectural Standards” include removal of references to the color palette, removal of mechanical screening requirement for all zoning districts other than Suburban Commercial and Wellborn Commercial, and add architectural relief options.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:17 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:17 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, March 5.

 


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. Comp Plan 10-Year Update: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation on the 10-year update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
  2. Reatta Meadows Park: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $467,980 contract for the development of Reatta Meadows Park, along with upgrades to Crescent Pointe Park.
  3. Rezoning at Raintree and Highway 6: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from General Suburban to General Commercial for about two acres on Raintree Drive north of the State Highway 6 intersection. The change would allow for development.
  4. Land Use at Rock Prairie and Fitch: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use designation from Restricted Suburban to General Commercial for about 29 acres south of the Rock Prairie Road-Fitch Parkway intersection. The change would allow for development.
  5. Non-Residential Architectural Standards: After a public hearing, the council will consider easing the city’s non-residential architectural standards related to screening, architectural features, and the color palette.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog post 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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Lick Creek Nature Center to be unveiled Saturday

By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

Many people consider the 515-acre Lick Creek Park to be the crown jewel of College Station’s park system.

On Saturday, that precious jewel takes on an even shinier gleam with the grand opening of the long-awaited Lick Creek Nature Center. From 9 a.m.-noon, we cordially invite you to enjoy education stations, guest speakers, and guided tours through the 2,400-square-foot facility and the park’s many trails.

The free event begins with a welcome ceremony and ribbon cutting, followed by guided tours every half hour starting at 9:30 a.m. We’ll serve light refreshments, and dogs on leashes are welcome. Horses and bikes are not permitted.

Residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center as part of the 2008 bond election. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection.

The nature center serves as the focal point of the picturesque park, which is located at 13600 Rock Prairie Rd. As the area’s premier nature preserve, the park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. It offers five miles of marked trails and provides ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.

The facility features a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and an amphitheater available to rent for receptions, classes, meetings and more. Additional improvements and amenities have enhanced one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and made it more accessible — and enjoyable — for young and old alike.

The nature center’s mission is to provide exceptional experiences while educating and inspiring visitors to explore, respect, and protect the natural world. The Parks and Recreation Department is teaming with community partners and organizations to host educational classes, programs, and events for all ages to enhance appreciation of the environment and encourage wildlife conservation and stewardship.

The nature center officially opens to the public on Nov. 1. Operating hours will be weekdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.

Paid classes already are underway. A few of the offerings include:

  • Outdoor education field trips.
  • Weekly Saturday programs such as birdhouse building contests, campfire building demonstrations, storytelling, survival tips, etc.
  • Saturday Showcase: once-a-month traveling education exhibits.
  • Self-led nature walk/wildlife identification scavenger hunt.
  • Birding 101 and guided nature walks.
  • Sunrise and sunset yoga classes.
  • Wild Wednesday: weekly hands-on programs to get you up close and personal with native critters and plants.
  • Friday Family Hikes: bring a picnic and hike before dinner with your family.
  • Little Ag Producers: youth learn how to identify, grow, harvest and prepare local vegetation.
  • Sunday Safety Series: learn snake and insect identification and bite protocol and outdoor and trail bike safety.

For more information on classes, special events, and facility rentals, go to cstx.gov/parks.

Related Blog:


About the Blogger

Hallie Kutch is in her third 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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Get ready for the October monarch migration

By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

After enduring the summer heat, fall is always a welcome relief in Texas. It’s also an ideal time to sow nectar plants for the monarch butterfly migration and to prepare your gardens for the spring.

Texas is an important stop in the journey since it’s situated between the butterflies’ main breeding grounds in the north and their wintering areas in the south. The monarchs funnel through the Lone Star State in both fall and spring.

Monarch Garden Tips

The butterflies are expected to pass through the Brazos Valley in early October, according to Jane Cohen, the A&M Garden Club’s butterfly chair. She recommends growing nectar-producing plants to benefit the monarchs. The blooming flowers provide a sweet liquid that provides energy for the insects as they travel.

Here are 14 nectar plants to consider for your garden:

  • Black-Eyes Susan
  • Zinnia
  • Plumbago
  • Cassis
  • Goldenrod
  • Pipe-Vine
  • Purple Mist
  • Passion Vine
  • Senna
  • Sunflower
  • Hollyhock
  • Purple coneflower
  • Lantana
  • Joe-Pye Weed

Cohen says it’s best to plant in locations with plenty of sunshine since adult butterflies typically prefer to feed in the sun.

Vibrant colors such as red, yellow, orange, pink and purple tend to attract adult butterflies the most, and they also are drawn to patches of the same plant or color of flowers. It’s a good idea to incorporate continuous-blooming annuals in islands of color, or clusters of nectar plants and is beneficial to include milkweed either nearby or mixed.

You should also be mindful of the flower’s orientation. It’s important that flower blossoms are flat-topped or clustered to make a platform for the butterfly to land and walk. Butterflies need nectar throughout the adult phase of their life span, so plant for a continuous bloom so that when one plant stops blooming, another begins.

More About Milkweed

Milkweed is the only plant the caterpillar eats and is where butterflies lay their eggs. That makes an abundance of milkweed vital, especially in the spring. Milkweed can be planted in early fall, but the seeds are best planted in November when it’s too warm for the ground to be frozen, but too cool for the seeds to sprout until spring.

Tropical milkweed is a primary monarch food source, but it should be cut back to the ground in late fall to encourage the butterflies to continue their journey to Mexico.

An excellent way to start your garden is to pick up two free Butterfly Retreat seed packets from our Central Park office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd. Each pack covers more than 20 square feet and contains a wildflower mix that’s perfect for creating a butterfly habitat.

Educational Opportunities

  • Butterflies in the Brazos Community Meeting: Share your ideas and plans to promote monarch butterflies and other pollinator habitats on Wed., Sept. 27 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Brazos Center. The free gathering includes education about local groups and their efforts to increase awareness about butterfly preservation, native plants for butterflies, and other pollinators. We will also explore ways to involve residents and identify community partners for networking along with an overview of basic gardening tips. The program will feature speakers from the A&M Gardening Club, Texas Master Naturalist, Keep Brazos Beautiful, Native Plant Society, Master Gardeners, Monarch Gateway, the USDA/TAMU Future Scientist Program, and the College Station Parks & Recreation Department.
  • Landscaping and Plants for Butterflies: Ann Boehm of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Master Gardeners and Butterflies in the Brazos will give an overview on landscaping and plants for butterflies. The free class will be Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Producers Ag Center (1800 N. Texas Ave.) in Bryan. You don’t need to RSVP.

We also invite you to visit our community demonstration gardens that were created by local community organizations:

For more information, go to cstx.gov/monarchs.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Kutch is in her third 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.


 

Photo Copyright: xkardoc/123RF Stock Photo

 

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