Posts tagged “pavement standards

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 24. 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.

5:33 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session. (more…)


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: (more…)


Concrete streets will save city money in long run

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By Donald Harmon, Public Works Director

The results of last year’s citizen survey made it clear that maintaining our roadways are among our residents’ top concerns. It’s a priority for the Public Works Department, too.

The poor soils in our area contain highly expansive clays that make proper road construction and maintenance a formidable challenge. A proactive preventive maintenance program and responsible construction standards are essential to extending pavement life and substantially reducing the need for expensive maintenance.

In November, the College Station City Council directed the city to move from asphalt to concrete when building new residential and collector streets. A year-long review found that while initial construction costs for concrete were higher, maintenance and life-cycle costs were lower. Over time, that means concrete provides the best value.

As part of our thorough review, we met extensively with industry experts and area contractors along with representatives of the Greater Brazos Valley Builders Association, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the City of Bryan. Depending on variables such as lot size, roadway width — and if a collector street is involved — the study suggested a cost increase of about $1,400 per lot.

New development builds the majority of our residential and collector streets, and the new standards are without question a substantial expense. The trade-off is that the reduced maintenance costs mean more resources will be available to maintain our 773 lane miles of existing streets.

Our current street inventory includes 645 lane miles of asphalt and only 128 lane miles of concrete, and more than half of our streets are residential as illustrated in the following graphic. Collectors are streets like Victoria Avenue, while Barron Road is an example of an arterial:

streets8

The study showed that over the 30-year lifecycle of a typical residential street, using concrete would reduce maintenance costs by about 63 percent. Even when you factor in the higher initial cost of construction, concrete residential streets are about 20 percent cheaper in the long run.

Over three decades, that adds up to millions of dollars in savings.

What else are we doing?

We’re always looking for advances in materials and technology to address street maintenance concerns. For example, we’re evaluating a new product that’s designed to more effectively seal asphalt pavement from water infiltration, which is one of the leading causes of pavement failure. The initial results of a pilot study look promising.

In addition, a consulting firm will update the pavement condition index for all city streets this spring as part of our ongoing asset management program. Accurate information is critical in determining where to allocate resources to more efficiently maintain our entire roadway network.

We agree that proper street maintenance is essential. That’s why we’re taking responsible steps to improve the quality of our roads now that will benefit the city and its residents for generations to come.

 


donaldharmon_webAbout the Author

Donald Harmon is in his 18th year with the City of College Station and his fourth as director of public works.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Nov. 10)

2014 Council

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 10. 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.

5:46 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz announced the following action taken in executive session:

“I move that the city manager is hereby authorized to settle the claim brought by Kathleen M. Ritch, individually and on behalf of Alannah Ritch and Andrew J. Ritch, in an amount not to exceed $250,000 and to execute a settlement and release containing terms as are customarily contained in settlement agreements.”

6;03 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:

  • Viasat Economic Development Agreement: The agreement provides for Viasat’s expansion into a new 85,000-square foot building on about nine acres in the Biocorridor. The company’s total investment is about $20 million with a minimum property valuation of $15 million by 2019. By the end of the second year following construction, Viasat will add at least 150 new full-time jobs with an average salary of $64,000 and the current payroll will increase by $9.6 million for a total of $17.2 million. In exchange, Viasat will receive an annual cash incentive for six years equal to the ad valorem taxes assessed and paid not to exceed $450,000. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Bee Creek Trunk Line Rehabilitation: The $4.6 million contract with Elliott Construction includes the installation of about 2,000 linear feet of 60-inch and 4,000 linear feet of 54-inch sanitary sewer main along Bee Creek from Carter’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to west of State Highway 6. This contract is for the second of four phases to replace the Bee Creek Trunk Line that runs from Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to about 1,100 feet west of Jones Butler Road. Much of the existing trunk line was constructed in 1973 and was shown to have several surcharging line segments in the 2011 Wastewater Master Plan. The project will install a gravity line to increase the capacity of the trunk line to accept the anticipated build-out demand.
  • Utility Agreement with MUD No. 1: Approval of this item will modify the utility agreement with Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1 to include a surcharge for water and wastewater rates in the MUD without the charge of impact fees. It also specifies that city staff will recommend that the city council establish a Public Utility Corridor across Lick Creek Park for a sewer line to the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The diversion of parkland is on tonight’s regular agenda. The change would allow the Southern Pointe development to proceed. The surcharge would provide the same revenue as impact fees but would be spread over about 20 years. The PUC will have zero cost to the city.
  • Roadway Maintenance Fees: The results of the 2016 Citizen Survey suggested citizens prefer to see additional resources invested in the area of street maintenance. As part of the 2016 budget process, staff evaluated alternative sources to help fund the needed maintenance. After a detailed evaluation of various options, staff recommended implementing a roadway maintenance fee to be paid by citizens and businesses. The fees are based on reasonably equal shares in the total number of vehicle miles generated by all properties in the city limits and would be added to utility bills. The monthly fees would be $7.78 for single family, $6.10 for multi-family and a commercial range of $17.23 to $250. The fee would generate about $4.5 million per year. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:33 p.m.

Pavement Standards

The council voted 4-3 for the city to use concrete in street construction rather than asphalt. Voting against the motion were Councilwoman Julie Schultz, and Councilmen Karl Mooney and Steve Aldrich. A study found that initial construction costs for rigid pavement were higher than for flexible pavement, while the maintenance and life cycle costs for rigid pavement were lower than for flexible pavement. 

An earlier motion to provide a combination of concrete and asphalt standards was defeated, 4-3. Mooney, Schultz, and Aldrich supported the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:44 p.m.

Appraisal District Building

The council heard a presentation about the new office building proposed by the Brazos Central Appraisal District to address concerns with growth, security, customer service, and technology. Approval of the building is on tonight’s consent agenda.

The district’s board of directors has recommended building rather than leasing office space to give the property owners the best value for their tax dollars and to provide improved security, efficiency, and technology for staff and the public.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:12 p.m.

Itinerant Vendor Ordinance

The consensus of the council was to move ahead with new requirements related to itinerant vendors. The changes would exempt mobile medical vendors that provide infusion therapy and would allow more days per year for tent sales. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:12 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:25 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:37 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilwoman Julie Schultz, speaking as a citizen, thanked Mayor Nancy Berry for her service to the community. Berry has been mayor since May 2010 and is presiding over her final council meeting tonight. She will hand the gavel to Mayor-elect Karl Mooney at the Nov. 21 council meeting.
  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Lance Cpl. Shane L. Goldman as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Orange native died April 5, 2004, from injuries received from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Cecelia Yip, Mike Green, and Matthew Fontaine spoke in support of pickleball and encouraged the city to provide adequate facilities for the sport.

7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • An economic development agreement with Viasat regarding nine acres on Health Science Center Parkway.
  • A $3 million contract with Saber Power Services to modify the ring bus and relocate transformer No. 2 at the Greens Prairie Substation.
  • A $4.6 million contract with Elliott Construction for Phase 2 of the Bee Creek Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Rehabilitation.
  • An ordinance recognizing water and sewer utility rates and surcharges established by contract.
  • An amendment to an agreement with McAlister Opportunity Fund that designates an alternate fire station site.
  • Modified the utility agreement with Brazos County MUD No. 1 to include a surcharge for water and sewer service without the charge of impact fees and other related matters.
  • A contract not to exceed $7,880 with Sungard Public Sector for adding the roadway maintenance fee to accounts in the utility billing system.
  • A resolution authorizing banners for the annual Christmas Parade.
  • A resolution approving the purchase of property and construction of a new office building by the Brazos Central Appraisal District.

This item was voted on separately:

  • By a 6-1 vote, the council approved an ordinance approving a roadway maintenance fee to help fund maintenance of city streets. Councilmen James Benham voted against the motion

Note: An inter-local agreement with Brazos County creating an economic development program was pulled from tonight’s agenda.

8:29 p.m.

Parking Removal near Fire Station No. 6

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove parking on one side of the streets in the neighborhood behind Fire Station No. 6. Affected streets are Payton, Banks, Pearce, Columbus, Preston, Churchill, Chappel, Pasler, Turner and Avenue B. The change was recommended to allow adequate access for emergency vehicles.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 8:32 p.m.

Design Review Board Membership

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved changes to membership qualifications for the Design Review Board, which is responsible for considering requests largely related to subjective matters such as alternative buffer standards and site plan design in the Wolf Pen Creek zoning district. The changes address concerns about the challenges of making appointments to the board.

The city’s Unified Development Ordinance defines membership criteria of appointees so that expertise is balanced between those with business acuity, personal experience in a design district, and general public opinion.

8:34 p.m.

Drainage Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a small public drainage easement at Holleman Drive South and Market Street to accommodate the recent development of The Junction, a multi-family project.  The property owner will maintain the existing drainage area and infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:42 p.m.

Utility Corridor in Lick Creek Park

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to establish a public utility corridor across Lick Creek Park needed for the development of Brazos County Municipal Utility District  No. 1, also known as Southern Pointe. Since the park lies directly between Southern Pointe and the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the route is the only feasible option.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:42 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

8:51 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

9:51 p.m.

Rezoning on Earl Rudder Freeway South

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to deny a request to change the zoning from Suburban Commercial to Planned Development District for about seven acres north of Raintree Drive along Earl Rudder Freeway South. Mayor Berry and Councilwoman Schultz voted for the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:06 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to approve an ordinance implementing roadway impact fees on new development, effective Dec. 1. Councilman James Benham voted against the motion. The fees are estimated to generate about $12 million in the next decade to help fund the capital costs of new roads needed to accommodate the city’s growth.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:17 p.m.

College Hills Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from General Suburban to General Commercial for about 1.2 acres on George Bush Drive East in the College Hills Estates. The change will allow for commercial redevelopment opportunities.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:17 p.m.

Before adjourning, Mayor Berry noted it was her final council meeting. She thanked her fellow council members and city staff for the positive working relationship they’ve had since she was first elected in My 2010.

The council meets again on Monday, Nov. 21.


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 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 (June 9)

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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 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.

Many of the items on tonight’s agenda were carried over from the scheduled May 26 meeting, which was cancelled because of hazardous weather.

3:35 p.m.

The workshop has started.

4:49 p.m.

Pavement Standards

The council heard a presentation by Public Works Director Donald Harmon about pavement standards for city streets and roads. Harmon said asphalt pavement is cheaper in the short run, but concrete is easier to maintain and could be a more cost-effective option in the long term.

Council asked staff to come back with more information before it makes any decision.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

5:05 p.m.

Wastewater Capital Projects

The council is hearing a presentation from Water Services Director David Coleman about wastewater capital projects that are needed to stay ahead of development in the next decade.

Coleman said as the Wastewater Master Plan and the Impact Fee Study near completion, the picture is becoming clearer for what capital projects are required. He said the city is nearing capacity in its large trunk collection lines and treatment plants, which means a significant annual capital investment is necessary.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

5:05 p.m.

Executive Session

The council has gone into executive session. 

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

6:27 p.m.

Joint Meeting with P&Z

The council conducted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to review the commission’s 2016 Plan of Work.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:42 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:

  • Public Urination Ordinance: The amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances would help deter public urination and defecation, especially in the Northgate District.
  • Impact Fee Hearings: The resolutions set public hearings on roadway, water, and wastewater impact fees for the July 14 council meeting.
  • Food Establishment Sanitation: New state regulations render the city’s food establishment ordinances outdated. The amendments would reflect those changes.
  • Employee Health Clinic: The contract with CHI St. Joseph Health would open an exclusive health clinic to provide non-urgent care for city employees, dependents ages 5 and up, and retirees enrolled in the city’s Group Health Insurance Plan.

6:59 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:09 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:16 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Frank Duchmasclo provided the council with pictures of a senior center in Caldwell to show what Caldwell is doing for its senior citizens.
  • Ben Roper recognized Army Pfc. Ervin Dervishi as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 21-year-old Fort Worth native died Jan. 24, 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baji, Iraq.

7:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An ordinance amendment regarding public urination and defecation.
  • A grant application to the governor’s office for hotspot technology.
  • A $177,000 contract with Jones & Carter for the design, bidding, and construction phase services for Phases I and II of the State Highway 6 Waterline Project.
  • A $52,120 contract with Brown, Reynolds, Watford Architects for services related to the design of the traffic operations renovation as part of the ITS Master Plan Implementation project.
  • The $90,980 purchase of 10 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems to replace cabinets and provide functionalities with the new Intelligent Transportation System.
  • The Semi-Annual Report on Impact Fees.
  • A contract not to exceed $465,688.60 with CHI St. Joseph Health to provide employee health clinic services and operations management.
  • A negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp. (Mid-Tex Division) regarding the company’s rate review mechanism filings, and a settlement agreement on rate tariffs and proof of revenues.
  • Authorized the city manager to execute documents necessary for submitting the SWAT Night Vision Equipment Grant application for Criminal Justice Division funds from the Office of the Governor.
  • Set a public hearing for Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at College Station City Hall to consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plan for roadway impact fees.
  • Set a public hearing date for Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at College Station City Hall to consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plan for water and wastewater impact fees.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Renewal of the annual city-wide land surveying services and civil engineering services contracts with Joe Orr and Binkley & Barfield for a total of $100,000.
  • A five-year lease agreement estimated at $198,456 annually with Texas Commercial Waste for refuse containers.
  • A signal interconnect agreement with Union Pacific Railroad to allow the City of College Station to construct, maintain and operate a new signal facility at Greens Prairie Trail’s at-grade road crossing intersection.
  • An $80,000 bid award to GDS Associates for electric NERC compliance consulting services.
  • A $465,457.05 bid award for annual price agreements for various electrical items to be stored in inventory: KBS Electric Distributors ($97,493), Stuart C. Irby ($31,802), Graybar Electric ($55,135.30), Techline, Inc. ($244,126.75), and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. ($36,900).
  • A bid award of $94,422 for the purchase of three 145kV potential transformers and three outdoor breakers to be maintained in electrical inventory and expended as needed.
  • A bid award of $290,356.14 for annual price agreements for electric meters and sockets to be stored in inventory: Priester-Mell & Nicholson ($160,891.14), KBS Electrical Distributors ($12,465), and Anixter ($117,000).
  • A resolution amending the authorized representatives on the local government pool account, TexPool.
  • A resolution amending the authorized representatives on the local government pool account, Texas Short Term Asset Reserve.
  • Updated the city’s food establishment ordinances to reflect new state regulations.

7:18 p.m.

Easement Abandonment on Holden Circle

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a public utility easement at 4928 Holden Circle to allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:59 p.m.

Municipal Utility District Consent

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to grant conditional consent to form up to five municipal utility districts in the City’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, generally located along Peach Creek between FM 2154 and State Highway 6 South.

The proposed MUDs will develop, operate, maintain, and issue bonds for financing the construction of needed infrastructure for the districts and levy and assess a tax on property within the districts to pay associated operational and maintenance expenses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:12 p.m.

Crossroads Self Storage Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the future land use from Restricted Suburban to General Commercial and Suburban Commercial for about nine acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Trail.

Crossroads Self Storage is located on the property, and the amendment generally allows commercial uses that cater to nearby residents and the larger community.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:15 p.m.

Crossroads Self Storage Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about nine acres near the intersection of Wellborn Road and Greens Prairie Trail.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:15 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 23.


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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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 (3:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Pavement Standards: The council will hear a workshop presentation on pavement standards for the city’s streets and roads.
  2. Wastewater Capital Improvements: The council will discuss wastewater system capital projects that are needed to stay ahead of development. The city’s collection lines and treatment plants are nearing capacity.
  3. Joint Meeting with P&Z: The council will have a joint workshop meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss the commission’s 2016 Plan of Work. This part of the workshop is scheduled to start between 5:30-6 p.m.
  4. Employee Health Clinic: The council will consider a contract with CHI St. Joseph Health to operate an employee health clinic to provide non-urgent care for employees, dependents (ages 5 and up) and retirees enrolled in the city’s Group Health Insurance Plan.
  5. Municipal Utility Districts: After a public hearing, the council will consider granting conditional consent to a developer’s request to form up to five Municipal Utility Districts in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proposed MUDs would finance needed infrastructure by assessing a tax on properties within the districts.

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:                                                                 


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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