Posts tagged “small business

Podcast: How tourism can fuel business recovery

For the first time since the pandemic changed everything, I interviewed Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz. In spite of the local, state and federal funding put into the hands of local businesses, we still lost far too many.

So, now what?

In this episode of All Up In Your Business, Natalie talks about her dual role of supporting local businesses while aggressively working to bring in more jobs that diversify College Station’s economy. She also explains how her office’s brand-new tourism division aims to bring people to College Station at a time when there is still a reluctance to travel, attend events, and visit destinations.

This episode also features Economic Development Manager Aubrey Nettles, who is leading a holiday campaign to make College Station the Christmas destination in Texas, thanks in large part to a strategic partnership with Santa’s Wonderland. 

Nat finishes up with a few fun biz updates on things coming soon to College Station.

All Up In Your Business is available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube. Please subscribe, rate, and recommend!

Have a suggestion for a future topic or interview, or just want to say hi? Send to jsocol@cstx.gov  

 


About the Blogger Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 22)

Standing (L-R): John Crompton, Bob Brick, Dennis Maloney. Sitting (L-R): Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, John Nichols.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 22. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 910 2349 1784. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

5:12 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

5:28 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled these items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda:

  • Northgate Parking Removal: The ordinance would add “No Parking Here to Corner” signs at entrances and exits to public garages and parking areas in the Northgate District, and also addresses four intersections with sight clearance concerns in the area. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Water/Wastewater Impact Fee Study: The $300,000 contract with Freese & Nichols is for an update to the  2016 water and wastewater impact study. The contract will include the calibration of the existing water and wastewater extended-period models, updates to water and wastewater capital improvement plans, and updates to land use assumptions to determine the potential maximum fees under the Texas Administrative Code.

5:49 p.m.

Neighborhood Street Sign Toppers

The council voted unanimously to approve the Neighborhood Street Sign Toppers Program, which involves installing sign toppers on existing city traffic-control signs at prominent neighborhood locations.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:04 p.m.

Destination Marketing

The council discussed and endorsed the city’s destination marketing strategy for tourism and economic development.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:34 p.m.

Small Business Advisory Group

The council discussed the formation of a small business advisory group and ways the city can engage with the small business community.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:38 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

6:55 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:01 p.m.

Bill Harris Proclamation

The mayor issued a proclamation honoring Dr. Bill Harris for representing the city on the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District’s board of directors from 2013 to 2020.

7:04 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

7:05 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda.

  • The renewal of master agreements not to exceed $30,000 each for real estate appraisal services with Duff & Phelps, JLL Valuation & Advisory Services, Lowery Property Advisors, Paul Hornsby & Company; S.T. Lovett & Associates, and Valbridge Property Advisors.
  • An annual price agreement not to exceed $900,204 with KBS Electrical Distributors for electric three-phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • The renewal of an inter-local agreement with Brazos County for housing College Station Class C misdemeanor prisoners in the Brazos County Jail.
  • Annual price agreements not to exceed $1,351,302 for electric warehouse inventory materials with Anixter ($32,803), KBS Electrical Distributors ($288,083), Techline ($999,886), and Wesco Distribution ($30,530).
  • The removal of street parking at entrances and exits to public garages, parking areas, and certain intersections in the Northgate District.
  • A $140,000 funding agreement with Catholic Charities to provide case management and assistance to residents affected by COVID-19.
  • A $257,234 lease agreement for the property at 614 Holleman Drive East among the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of College Station and TRDWind Wolf Pen.
  • The first renewal of the master agreement not to exceed $150,000 with The Reynolds Company for Rockwell Automation products and services to maintain SCADA infrastructure.
  • A $4.61 million contract with Brazos Paving for base failure repairs and pavement treatments.
  • An ordinance prohibiting left turns from Gilchrist Avenue to Williams Street on school days.
  • A $300,000 contract with Freese & Nichols to update the city-wide water and wastewater impact study.
  • The 2020 Property Tax Roll of $52.5 million.
  • A real estate contract to convey one-acre of city-owned property at 1820 Harvey Mitchell Parkway in Bryan.

7:18 p.m.

Bond Refunding

The council voted unanimously to approve the issuance and sale of as much as $17,085,000 of Certificates of Obligation Series 2012 and General Obligation Refunding and Improvement Bonds Series 2012. The refunding would reduce overall bond costs by about $2.19 million (amount corrected 10/23).

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Assistance

After a public hearing, the council discussed COVID-19 assistance provided by the city to residents and businesses, other community needs caused by the pandemic, and an additional $822,000 in available CARES Act funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:02 p.m.

Baylor Scott & White Reimbursement

The council voted unanimously to approve a public health reimbursement of $748,000 with CARE Act funds to Baylor Scott & White for public health labor expenses and supplies related to COVID-19.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:04 p.m.

CHI St. Joseph Reimbursement

The council voted unanimously to approve a public health reimbursement of $641,168 with CARE Act funds to CHI St. Joseph Regional Health Center for public health labor expenses and supplies related to COVID-19.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:17 p.m.

Greenway to Parkland Conversion

The council voted unanimously to approve the conversion of 110.5 acres of greenway property to parkland in the area bordered by the Midtown Business Park, Rock Prairie Road, and State Highway 6.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:27 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council unanimously voted to extend the mayor’s COVID-19 disaster declaration.

8:29 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council’s next workshop and regular meetings are set for Thursday, Nov. 12.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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 (canceled)

Note (10/10): Today’s workshop and regular meetings of the College Station City Council have been canceled due to a software change by Zoom, implemented Wednesday, that prevents citizen participation via a toll-free phone call. Work is underway to reschedule today’s agenda items. An announcement with those details is forthcoming. We apologize for the inconvenience.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings will be streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 988 5610 4149. Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. TxDOT Projects: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the Texas Department of Transportation’s College Station projects.
  2. Small Business Association: The council will have a workshop discussion about creating a small business association to enhance economic development and engage with the business community.
  3. Definitions of Family and Related: Another workshop topic is possible modifications to the city’s definition and enforcement of the terms “family” and “related” as they apply to the number of unrelated persons that may reside together. While new definitions are considered, the development of a Restricted Occupancy Overlay has been put on hold.
  4. Easement Abandonment: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider abandoning part of a 20-foot wide public utility easement because of encumbrances experienced with the Holy Cross Lutheran Church’s site plan.
  5. Replat Notification: After a public hearing, the commission will consider an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance that adds the option of mailing a notice of replat approval to surrounding property owners.

Related Links:                                                            

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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City creates program to aid local small businesses

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

While the COVID-19 outbreak has arrived with a high human cost, it’s increasingly evident that the economic impacts could be substantial as well. In response, the City of College Station has created an Economic Assistance Grant Program for our small businesses with low-to-moderate income employees.

The city council unanimously approved the program’s guidelines as part of a special Monday afternoon teleconference meeting.

Funded with almost $300,000 in CDBG Economic Development Funds, the program could help prevent job losses for employees with families in the low-to-moderate household income range, such as a family of four that earns under $54,800 a year. In the long term, the program could also contribute to job creation or enable businesses to reach their pre-disaster employment numbers.

Grants of up to $40,000 will be available, based on the number of employees. Businesses need to provide information regarding their business before and after implementation of the COVID-19 declarations, including financial documents, employee information, and their willingness to comply with local, state, and federal requirements. 

To apply, click the link below, register as a vendor, and download the required documents. After you log-in, click on Current Bids and the Eco Assistance Grant link, where you can upload the documents.

New applications are reviewed and funds awarded each week, and each entity may receive only one grant. We expect the requests to outpace the available funds.

Funds will be disbursed in four installments, with the first distributed after the agreement is executed. Subsequent payments will be made following the submission of payroll documentation showing that the funding has helped retained job funding. 

For more information, email me at deller@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is in her 21st year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.


 

 

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City council Monday teleconference (March 30)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council will conduct a special teleconference meeting Monday to discuss issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The council’s executive session — which is closed to the public — will be at 3 p.m., followed by the public portion of the meeting. A live audio feed will be available on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online at cstx.gov/cstv19.

Items on the agenda include an emergency grant program for small businesses, a delay in the city’s run-off election, and the possible deferment of hotel occupancy tax collection.

Citizens who want to comment must register before the meeting starts by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov. Written comments also may be emailed to CSO@cstx.gov. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/6226605081, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 622-660-5081.

Related Links:                                                            

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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