Posts tagged “parks

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

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

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

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

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

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

Open Facilities

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

Facility Reopening Schedule

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

Remaining Facility Closures

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

Canceled Summer Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


About the Blogger

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


 

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

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

5:11 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:21 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:

  • Gabbard/Thomas Park Improvements: A $538,800 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for improvements at Gabbard and Thomas Parks. The Gabbard project includes a new playground, surfacing, and a shade structure. The Thomas project includes a new play unit and surfacing on the south end and new surfacing and swings on the north end, which will also receive a shade structure on the existing play unit.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project: A $285,675 contract for the professional engineering services related to the Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project, which involves the design of two new fleet fuel stations to replace those at the Public Works Service Center and the Utility Service Center.
  • Relocation Reimbursement Agreement: The final payment of $194,050.05 for work completed under the relocation reimbursement agreement with Explorer Pipeline Company. The contract covers work to relocate and lower the existing Explorer pipeline that crosses the Barron Road right-of-way. The relocation is needed to allow for planned improvements.

6:21 p.m.

YMCA Partnership

The council heard a presentation from the YMCA and discussed a possible YMCA facility in College Station. The consensus of the council was to direct the City Manager’s Office to explore the feasibility of forming a partnership with the YMCA.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:21 p.m.

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

6:32 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:37 p.m.

Smart Irrigation Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed July as Smart Irrigation Month. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Water Services Director Gary Mechler.

6:41 p.m.

Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed July as Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Month.

6:48 p.m.

Historical Markers 101 and 102

The Historic Preservation Committee presented historical markers to the owners of residences at 602 West Dexter St. and 805 Hawthorn St.

The Mathews house on West Dexter was built in the 1920s by Fred and Vera Dean Brison. Fred Brison was a professor in the Texas A&M Horticulture Department and was College Station’s mayor pro tem from 1971-74.

The Hindman House on Hawthorn was built in 1957 by E.H. Andrew, an A&M electric engineering professor. It has been the home of several A&M faculty members, among others.

The city’s Historical Marker Program began in 1991 and has led to markers being awarded to 12 businesses and more than 100 homes. Structures must be at least 50 years old to qualify.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:54 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Marine Capt. Paul C. Alaniz as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 32-year-old Corpus Christi native died on Jan. 26, 2005, in a helicopter crash in Miramar, Calif.

6:55 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $40,000 change order to the contract with Azteca Systems for implementation of premium licensing the Public Works, Water, and Parks and Recreation departments.
  • A $403,137 contract with Musco Sports Lighting for LED lighting upgrades at the Bee Creek Park ballfields.
  • A $538,798.24 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for improvements to Gabbard and Thomas parks.
  • A $261,996.39 contract with Dura-Last for roofing services.
  • A $285,675 contract with Johnson & Pace for engineering services related to the Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project.
  • A $193,342 contract with KIT Professionals for design and construction services for the FM2818 Utility Relocations Project.
  • Final payment of $194,050.05 under the relocation reimbursement agreement with Explorer Pipeline Co.

6:59 p.m.

Mills Park Easement

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a public utility easement at 4501 Mills Park Circle to allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

White’s Creek Rezoning

After public hearings, the council approved a request to change both the land use and zoning from Estate to Suburban Commercial for about 1.3 acres southwest of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and White’s Creek Lane. The changes will allow for small-scale commercial development.

The vote was 6-1 for the land use change, with Councilman Bob Brick voted against the motion. The vote in favor of the rezoning was unanimous.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Northeast Sewer Line Phase 2

The council voted unanimously to approve a $2.35 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project that runs from just north of Raintree Park through the city’s greenway property, east of Wilderness Drive and ends at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:40 p.m.

Rock Prairie Management District No. 2

The council voted unanimously to appoint Hays Glover, Uri Geva, and Mark Lindemulder to the board of directors for Rock Prairie Management District No. 2. The terms end June 1, 2023.

Glover and Geva are current directors, while Lindemulder replaces outgoing Director Randall Rother.

7:43 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items. Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting.

The workshop will resume.

8:07 p.m.

Citizen Survey Results

The council reviewed the results of the 2019 citizen satisfaction survey conducted in April by National Service Research. Participants rated various city services, quality of life issues, community characteristics, and ranked their priorities. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:11 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, July 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.


 

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Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (May 13)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

5:01 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:02 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled no consent items for workshop discussion.

5:45 p.m.

Bicycle Safety

The council heard a presentation about possible policies and programs to help create a safer environment for bicyclists. The discussion included crash data analysis and an overview of areas popular with bicyclists.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:02 p.m.

Energy Efficiency Programs

The council reviewed College Station Utilities’ programs that encourage energy efficiency.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:05 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.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:18 p.m.

College Arts Scholarships

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

The 2019 recipients:

College Station High School’s Lindsey Franks was awarded the $5,000 Netta Jackson Simek Emerging Artist Scholarship and plans to study acting at Oklahoma City University.

College Station High School’s Benjamin Moder was awarded a$3,000 scholarship and plans to study design at Carnegie Mellon.

A&M Consolidated High School’s Aimee Deng was awarded a $3,000 scholarship and plans to study painting at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

A&M Consolidated High School’s Jacob Eaker was awarded a $3,000 scholarship and plans to study theatrical design at the University of Texas-Austin.

6:20 p.m.

National Bike Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed May as National Bike Month.

6:23 p.m.

National Public Works Week

The mayor proclaimed May 19-25 as National Public Works Week.

6:34 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.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Navy Airman Adrian M. Campos as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 22-year-old El Paso native died on April 21, 2008, in a non-combat incident in Dubai.
  • Jorge Sanchez spoke about the benefits of protective bike lanes.
  • Robert Rose spoke in support of bicycle safety initiatives.

6:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $1.5 million bid award to H&B Contractors (not to exceed $600,000) and Primoris T&D Services (not to exceed $900,000) for annual electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • The extension of the term of the Employee Health Clinic contract with CHI St. Joseph Health through Dec. 31 to align with the city’s benefit plan year.
  • The city’s emergency management plan that provides a consistent approach to managing natural disasters, man-made disasters or terrorism.
  • Brazos County’s mitigation action plan to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life and property from natural disasters.
  • The reappointment of Brian Hilton as the city’s emergency management coordinator.
  • A $153,394.92 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for upgrades at the Lincoln Recreation Center basketball pavilion, drinking fountains at Lick Creek Park, and concrete pads for benches at the Cove of Nantucket Park.
  • A $9,925 change order to the TriTech subscription service, license and use agreement related to the police CAD/RMS project.
  • The renewal of an annual contract $9,925 with Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officials for city athletic leagues, programs, and tournaments.

6:51 p.m.

FY19 Certificates of Obligation 

The council voted unanimously to authorize $82 million in certificates of obligation to provide resources for a new city hall, streets, parks, information technology, utility improvements, and debt issuance costs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

Sewer Line Easement

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to establish public utility easements for the Huntington sewer trunk line along the perimeter of greenways east of Lakeway Drive and north of Fitch Parkway. The city expects no negative greenway impact.

After a public hearing, the council will consider establishing public utility easements for a sewer line along the perimeter of greenways east of Lakeway Drive and north of Fitch Parkway. The city expects no negative greenway impact.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:58 p.m.

Parks and Recreation Board

The council voted unanimously to appoint Kevin Henderson to fill an unexpired term on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The term expires in January.

6:59 p.m.

After the council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 23.

 


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 Monday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Bicycle Safety: The council will hear a workshop presentation about possible policies and programs to help create a safer environment for bicyclists. The discussion will include a review of crash data and areas that are popular with bicyclists.
  2. Energy Efficiency Programs: Another workshop item is a review of programs offered by College Station Utilities that encourage energy efficiency.
  3. Parks Upgrades: The consent agenda includes a $153,000 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for basketball pavilion repairs at the Lincoln Recreation Center, drinking fountains at Lick Creek Park, and concrete pads for benches at the Cove of Nantucket Park.
  4. Certificates of Obligation: The council will consider authorizing $82 million in certificates of obligation to provide resources for a new city hall, streets, parks, information technology, utility improvements, and debt issuance costs.
  5. Sewer Line Easements: After a public hearing, the council will consider establishing public utility easements for a sewer line along the perimeter of greenways east of Lakeway Drive and north of Fitch Parkway. The city expects no negative impacts on the greenways.

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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Fishing can lead to a lifetime of family memories

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

Do you remember the first day you watched television? How about your best day playing video games? You probably don’t recall much about those moments because they weren’t all that meaningful.

But if you’ve ever fished, you can easily recall details of your best day on the lake or the first time you reeled in a feisty largemouth bass or catfish. Those memorable experiences are why fishing remains one of the country’s most popular pastimes.

Several years ago, Texas master angler Shane Wilson was reflecting on his childhood and the positive impact fishing had on him when he had a thought. What if there was an organization that encouraged kids and families discover the joys and benefits of fishing?

Wilson’s inspired idea led to the creation of a non-profit organization called Fishing’s Future in 2007. The angling education program has since grown to 72 chapters from California to London.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Fishing’s Future family angling program will be at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition to teaching basic fishing skills, environmental stewardship, and ethical angling, the free event will outline how the sport can help strengthen families.

Participants are encouraged to bring fishing gear, tackle, and lunch, but a limited amount of supplies will be available. Individuals older than 17 will need a valid fishing license with a freshwater endorsement.

Preregistration is required through Fishing’s Future. For more information, go to cstx.gov/events or call 979-764-3486.

Take advantage of the chance to learn about the physical and mental benefits of fishing and how it can strengthen family bonds and create lifelong memories.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports 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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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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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 (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Park Preserves in ETJ: In the workshop, the council will discuss parkland needs and possibilities in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  2. Traffic Control Center Award: The council will recognize the city’s Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the national award they received for the innovative Traffic Control Center.
  3. Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a request to add a four-way stop at the intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive to improve safety.
  4. Water Well No. 9: Also on the consent agenda is a $5.6 million contract for the construction of the city’s ninth water well to add capacity to meet population projections.
  5. Off-Street Parking Standards: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. 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 done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Construction Activity Hours: In the workshop, the council will discuss changes to the permissible hours of construction activities.
  2. Library Expansion: The council will hear workshop update on the final details regarding the expansion of the Larry J. Ringer Library. The project is ready to bid for construction with completion projected for early 2019.
  3. Southeast Community Park: The council will discuss details of the Southeast Community Park Project, including renderings, funding, projected use, and economic impact.
  4. FY18 City Budget: The final workshop item is a presentation on the city’s proposed FY18 budget. The council will review the document in detail during workshops scheduled Monday-Wednesday of next week.
  5. Chimney Hill Property: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider a request to amend the concept plan for the 8-acre Chimney Hill property on University Drive. The change will allow for redevelopment of the property.

(more…)


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

By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:02 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:

  • New Parks in The Barracks: This item is a $977,391 contract with Acklam Construction for three new parks and upgrades to existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

  • Royder Road Right-of-Way: A $200,000 contract for the right-of-way needed for the expansion and realignment of Royder Road.

6:15 p.m.

Historical Display in Northgate

The council heard a presentation about a concept to recognize the long history of local music and musicians who received their start in Northgate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:25 p.m.

Bike Rack Requirements

The council discussed requirements for bike racks in the city.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:57 p.m.

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

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. The council approved the absence of Place 6 Councilman James Benham.

7:10 p.m.

Seabees’ 75th Anniversary
The council recognized the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, which were known as Seabees. A special presentation involved six Seabees. From left to right, they are Carpenter’s Mate 2nd Class Bill Johnston (World War II veteran), Commander David Coleman, Painter 1st Class Jim Rothermel (World War II veteran), Lt. j.g. Philip Bargas, Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist Stuart Denner, Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist James Michael Guidry and Mayor Mooney.

75th anniversary of U.S. Navy Seabees

7:20 p.m.

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Ben Roper recognized Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 31-year-old West Lafayette, Ohio, native died Oct. 19, 2011, from injuries inflicted by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Border, a Navy Seabee, was a skilled builder with specialties in roads, runways, officers’ huts and bridges.

7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A three-year, $1.8 million contract with McCord Engineering for electrical engineering services.
  • An amendment to the Department of State Health Services Vital Statistics Unit Remote Birth Access Contract that addresses the statement of work, billing, and the contact representative.
  • A $977,391 contract with Acklam Construction for the addition of three parks and upgrades to existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.
  • A $200,000 contract for the purchase of right-of-way for the expansion and realignment of Royder Road.

7:28 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:29 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, March 23.


4 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 (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are four items to watch:

  1. Historical Display in Northgate: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about a concept to recognize the long history of local music and musicians who received their start in Northgate.
  2. Bike Rack Requirements: The council will also have a workshop discussion about requirements for bike racks in the city.
  3. Seabees’ 75th Anniversary: The council will recognize the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, which were known as Seabees.
  4. The Barracks’ Parks: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $977,000 contract for three new parks and the upgrade of four existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:                                                                 

 


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Major changes underway at popular Lick Creek Park

lick-creek-park-sign
By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Staff Assistant

For almost 30 years, if you wanted a quick escape from the busy sounds of our growing community, you probably headed for the peaceful solitude of Lick Creek Park, the area’s premier nature preserve. If you’ve been there in recent months, your search for serenity may have been interrupted by the sounds of hammers and bulldozers.

But don’t worry, it’s only temporary — and the results will be worth it.

The 515-acre park on East Rock Prairie Road is undergoing extensive improvements, including the construction of a long-awaited nature center.

Established in 1987 as part of land negotiations to create a city industrial area, Lick Creek Park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. The park offers five miles of marked trails and provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.

lick-creek-walkingdogsIt’s also the city’s largest off-leash dog park.

Lick Creek Nature Center

In the 2008 bond election, residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection. Torrential rains last spring and summer caused additional delays.

Thankfully, the nature center’s construction and other improvements in the park are underway and are expected to be finished by May.

The nature center will soon be the park’s focal point and will provide citizens and visitors an educational opportunity to learn about the animals and plants that call the park home. Features include a 2,400-square foot building with a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, an amphitheater and native plant displays.

Other Improvements

As a part of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge to help save the threatened butterfly population, the park will include a monarch-friendly demonstration garden and a butterfly trail with abundant milkweed — the butterfly’s host plant — and other nectar-producing plants. The site will be a prime spot to watch the monarchs’ annual migration and metamorphosis.

The rerouting of trails will improve the flow and create a major pathway that connects the nature center to the park’s west entrance at Pebble Creek Parkway, which is the trailhead for the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail that winds more than five miles across town to Creek View Park.

lickcreek2Trail surfaces also will be upgraded, and new signage and maps will guide visitors through the trail system.

Meanwhile, informational signage throughout the park will identify trees, plants, birds, insects, butterflies, and wildlife. Benches along trails and at each trail intersection will allow visitors to pause and enjoy the park’s beautiful scenery.

Bicycle racks will also be accessible at the four major entry ways.

Don’t wait to enjoy Lick Creek Park

Although the improvements won’t be finished until the spring, the park remains open. You can still enjoy the park’s natural design, but be cautious and obey signs noting construction and closed areas.

Portions of the park that are closed include the Rock Prairie Road entrance and parking lot, Yaupon Loop Trail, and part of Post Oak Trail. Parking is available in the equestrian lot off Rock Prairie Road northwest of the main entrance.

The improvements and amenities will enhance one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and make it more accessible – and enjoyable — for young and old alike.

For more on College Station’s park system, go to cstx.gov/parks.


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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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 (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Impact Fee Update: The council will receive the Impact Fee Advisory Committee’s written comments on proposed water and wastewater impact fees and hear an update on the process for possible implementation. The fees would be assessed on new development to help cover the cost of necessary infrastructure.
  2. Park Repairs: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $638,000 contract for improvements and repairs to several city parks. The work is scheduled to be done this fall and winter.
  3. Gateway Signage: The consent agenda also includes a $151,000 contract for construction of a gateway monument sign to be located at the State Highway 6-University Drive interchange. The sign is scheduled to be in place by next spring.
  4. Nimitz Street Rehabilitation: The council will consider a $450,000 contract for the rehabilitation of Nimitz Street from Lincoln Avenue to Ash Street. The project is scheduled for completion in the spring.
  5. Budget/Tax Rate Public Hearings: The council will conduct public hearings on the proposed $341 million city budget and a two-cent increase in the property tax rate to 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value. The council will vote on the budget and tax rate at a 3 p.m. meeting on Sept. 22.

The council meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links                                                                  

 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Pitch, Hit & Run gives youngsters chance at spotlight

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By Ward Davis, Athletic Activities Assistant

PHR LogoMy two favorite words in the English language are Opening Day.

Those words are synonymous with the start of baseball season. When I was growing up, opening day was treated as a holiday in my house and like most kids, I dreamed of playing in the big leagues.

Thanks to the Major League Pitch, Hit and Run Competition, local youngsters will have a chance to live their dreams. Presented by Scotts, the competition gives boys and girls ages 7-14 the opportunity to display their core baseball and softball skills.

(more…)


Lincoln Center, neighborhood thrive after years of investment

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By Steve Beachy, Former Parks & Recreation Director (1978-2007)

In 1978, the Lincoln Center and the surrounding neighborhood were in a severe state of neglect.

The old school buildings showed the years of little or no maintenance. Holleman Drive was a narrow roadway with broken pavement and no curbs or gutters. Eleanor Street and adjacent streets were unpaved and had a tendency to become impassable during heavy rains. Sidewalks, street lights, and paved parking were nonexistent.

The area also had numerous substandard homes, vacant houses and properties overgrown with weeds and brush. The poorly maintained softball field and two youth baseball fields fell far short of meeting the needs of our small but growing college-oriented community.

A lack of funding for potential improvements made the situation grim.

A steady renaissance (more…)


Fast-paced Ultimate Frisbee comes to College Station

ultimate

By Ward Davis, Athletic Activities Assistant

The Parks and Recreation Department prides itself on providing quality athletic programs, including the addition of exciting new sports to our lineup of adult and youth leagues.

One of those recent additions is Ultimate Frisbee, a non-contact team sport that has quickly gained popularity around the world.

By teaming up with BCS Ultimate, we hope to encourage local interest and participation. Registration is underway for our Coed Ultimate Frisbee League for ages 16 and up, and play begins Feb. 24.

“Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport focused on camaraderie and good sportsmanship as well as athleticism,” BCS Ultimate League Manager Stephanie Browning said. “Coed teams are led by members of Bryan-College Station Ultimate. Players from novice to advanced levels participate together on balanced teams in a multi-week league. Fundamentals, strategy, and instruction are integrated each week.”

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Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

gavel[1]The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Recycling Program Update: The council will receive a workshop update on the city’s recycling program and possible areas for expansion.
  2. Renaming of Raintree Park: The council will consider changing the name of Raintree Park to Art and Myra Bright Park at the request of the neighborhood.
  3. Automated Metering Infrastructure: The council will hear a workshop presentation on the benefits and challenges of implementing automated metering for the city’s water and electric services.
  4. CSISD Natatorium: The council will consider approving a $61,739.92 reimbursement to the College Station Independent School District for use of the CSISD natatorium for city programs and activities.
  5. Hotel Tax Legislation: The council will consider a resolution expressing support for proposed state legislation to expand the use of hotel occupancy tax funds for the construction and operations of city-owned parks and recreational facilities.

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Parks help create a lifetime of fond memories

By Lance Jackson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor

5435262_lI treasure the times when my elderly mother talks about her life experiences, but I also have to admit that the family historian and researcher in me wants to capture a little oral history, too.

She recently was reminiscing about her childhood in Temple and how our family’s athletic prowess began with her playing baseball with the boys at Baker Field, our neighborhood park. I played there many times myself as a kid. Our conversation made me wonder just how long the old baseball park has existed. 

I contacted the Temple Parks & Recreation office and was informed that it dates to 1946.

My mother says she could hit with the best of the boys and was just as fast. I believe her, too. She was later proud to support and watch her five boys playing Little League at that same park. All the local kids dreamed of playing at Baker Field and we’d sometimes sneak out there for pick-up games, but since it was considered the big boy field, we were always chased off.

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Our Top 5 Blog Posts from 2014

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Do you have any idea how difficult it is convincing you to abandon your news, sports and entertainment sources long enough to read about our exciting world of city government?

It’s plenty tough, believe me. In 2014, as with previous years, we tried to present you with useful, reliable information through this blog. It seemed to have worked: There were more than 57,000 views to 120 blog posts. Which ones were the most popular?

Glad you asked. Based on number of views, here are the top five posts that earned your interest and attention.

No. 5
10 game day parking citations you can easily avoid (more…)


Five things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

gavel[1]By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Mayor Pro Tem: The council will elect a mayor pro tem to a one-year term to act as mayor when the mayor is absent or disabled.
  2. Neighborhood Integrity Advisory Group: The council will discuss recent neighborhood integrity efforts and the possible formation of a group to advise on neighborhood integrity issues.
  3. Lick Creek Property Sale: The council will consider the sale of about 63 acres of city-owned property next to Lick Creek Park. The $1.55 million in proceeds would go into the General Fund.
  4. New Playground Equipment: The council will consider approving a $99,403 contract for playground replacement at Bee Creek and Thomas Parks.
  5. Oil & Gas Regulations: The council will receive an update on the ongoing review of the city’s oil and gas regulations. 

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