Posts tagged “tax abatement

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 14)

(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, June 14. 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.

5:05 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session. Councilman James Benham is participating via teleconference.

5:19 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 discussion:

  • A&M Consolidated School Zone: The extension school zone time to 4:15 p.m. around A&M Consolidated High School on Nueces Drive, Welsh Avenue and FM 2818.
  • Stop Signs: The addition of stop signs at various intersections.
  • Wire & Cable: A $712,700 bid award to Techline for the purchase of wire and cable to be maintained in inventory.
  • Tree Trimming Services: A $1.5 million, three-year contract with All Around Tree Service for electric right-of-way tree trimming services.
  • Solid Waste Collection Fees: The first increase in fees for residential solid waste collection services since 2006. The last commercial rate increase was in 2014. Click here to see the proposed rates.
  • Economic Development Incentives: The resolution would re-adopt the city’s guidelines regarding property tax abatement as required by state law.

6:11 p.m.

Homestead Tax Exemption

The council directed staff to bring back an ordinance creating a five percent Homestead Property Tax Exemption. Homestead exemptions remove part of a home’s value from taxation, such as the first $25,000 or $50,000 of assessed value. The ordinance will be considered at the June 28 council meeting.

To offset the estimated revenue loss of $664,000, the council will consider a 3/4-cent tax increase as part of the FY19 budget process later this summer.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

6:36 p.m.

ETJ, Annexation Agreements

The consensus of the council was to extend the city’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) from 3 1/2 miles to five miles. The ordinance will come back for a vote at a future meeting. Council also opted to offer new 10-year annexation agreements to several property owners in the ETJ.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:37 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.

6:47 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:59 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.

  • Robert Rose gave a short presentation on the Austin Veloway and suggested College Station pursue a similar amenity for its citizens.
  • Stacy Watt also spoke in support of a local veloway.

7:02 p.m.

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Girl Scout Gold Award Day in College Station and recognized local girl scout Ashley Poprik for creating a winning documentary entitled Camp for All. Ashley recently graduated from A&M Consolidated High School and plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin.

7;03 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • The extension school zone times to 4:15 p.m. around A&M Consolidated High School on Nueces Drive, Welsh Avenue and FM 2818.
  • The addition of stop signs at various intersections.
  • A $712,700 annual bid award to Techline for the purchase of wire and cable to be maintained in electrical inventory.
  • A three-year, $1.5 million contract with All Around Tree Service for electric right-of-way tree trimming services.
  • A $364,759.40 contract with Palomares Construction for sidewalk improvements along Southwest Parkway between Wellborn Road and Welsh Avenue.
  • An inter-local agreement with the City of Cedar Hill for cooperative purchasing.
  • A $409,825.90 contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the design of the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • The first increase in fees for residential solid waste collection services since 2006. The last commercial rate increase was in 2014.
  • Established fees, rates and charges for commercial and residential burn permits.
  • A $93,272.19 change order to a contract with Acklam Construction and a time extension of 45 days for changes at the Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • A $1.34 million contract with Forbes Bros.Timberline Construction to replace 12 transmission poles and hardware and 5.62 miles of steel shield wire on the transmission line with optical ground wire fiber optic conductor.
  • A $425,203 contract for the purchase of right-of-way for the Capstone/Barron Road Realignment Project.
  • A resolution to re-adopt the city’s guidelines and criteria governing property tax abatement.
  • Ratification of the city manager’s authority to designate Experience Bryan-College Station as the local organizing committee to coordinate the funding application for the 2018 American Quarter Horse Association Youth World Cup and approval of the event support contract.

7:11 p.m.

Rezoning on Lakeway Drive

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Rural to Planned Development District for about seven acres along the south side of Lakeway Drive near the Medical Avenue intersection. The change will allow a senior housing development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:23 p.m.

Non-Residential Landscaping and Buffer Requirements

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding landscaping requirements and buffer standards.

Here’s a summary of the changes:

  • Encouraging drought tolerant irrigation by increasing the point credit from 10 percent to 20 percent for water-conserving irrigation systems.
  • Providing an extra 50 percent increase in landscaping points for Texas native plants.
  • Incentivizing the retention of older or larger trees by doubling the point values for each protected tree.
  • Creating administrative flexibility to waive buffer requirements adjacent to residential common area and exempting buffers adjacent to FEMA 100-year floodplain.
  • Removing the double landscape point requirements for building plots over 10 acres.
  • Removing the heightened 2.5-inch caliper tree requirement for building plots over 15 acres and allowing these sites to meet the 2-inch caliper tree requirement of other sites.
  • Providing water conserving landscaping options such as xeriscaping in lieu of sod.
  • Requiring buffer by developed or proposed use instead of by zoning district.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:14 p.m.

Caprock 31 Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Commercial to Planned Development District for about 31 acres southwest of the Arrington Road-Greens Prairie Road intersection.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Rock Prairie Road Improvements

The council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement with Brazos County for improvements to Rock Prairie Road from Holleman Drive to Wellborn Road. The proposed cross-section of the roadway is two travel lanes, a continuous two-way left turn lane, bike lanes, and sidewalks.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:35 p.m.

Experience B-CS Appointment

The council unanimously appointed Karen Bonarrigo to fill the last two years of Paul Bonarrigo’s term on the Experience Bryan-College Station board. Mr. Bonarrigo is stepping down due to competing responsibilities.

8:35 p.m.

After the council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 28.


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 (Jan. 26)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 26. It is not the official minutes.

9:12 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9.

9:11 p.m.

Residential Parking of Recreational Vehicles

At the request of a number of residents, the council heard a presentation about amending the traffic code to prohibit the parking, storing or standing of recreational vehicles on front yards or lawns, including driveways, of residential properties. The presentation was only for informational purposes, but the council voted 5-2 to direct staff to not move forward with the ordinance. Council Members Blanche Brick and Katy-Marie Lyles voted against the motion. In the public hearing, more than 20 people spoke against the amendment.

The code defines recreational vehicles as “any motor vehicle or trailer designed or used as a travel trailer, camper, motor home, tent trailer, boat, boat trailer, camping trailer, or other similar purposes.” The current code allows recreational vehicles to be parked or stored in front yards without exception. However, the vehicles are not permitted to be parked on the street for more than 72 hours in any 30-day period. Under the proposed amendment, recreational vehicles could be parked in residential driveways for up to 72 hours in any 30-day period, and could still be stored in back yards as long as they were screened from public view. Subdivisions zoned A-O Agricultural Open and A-OR Rural Residential, which includes Foxfire, Williams Creek and Bird Pond Estates, would remain exempt because of their required large lot size.


City Council Preview (Jan. 26)

Here’s a quick overview of some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 26. This blog is not a complete and official agenda.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and can also be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Tax Abatement Guidelines 

The council will hear a presentation regarding the city’s tax abatement guidelines, and will later consider adopting the guidelines as part of the consent agenda in the regular meeting. Local governments often use tax abatement as an economic development tool to attract new industry and commercial enterprises, and to encourage the retention and development of existing businesses. According to the Texas Comptroller, more than 700 tax abatement agreements have been executed by local governments in the state since the early 1980s. The presentation will include an overview of the tax abatement process and describe the statutory requirements for entering into an agreement and designating a reinvestment zone, if the city ever wishes to do so.