Posts tagged “tax rate

City budget focuses on growth and public safety

2019 budget graphic

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The proposed FY19 city budget presented to the College Station City Council on Aug. 9 totals $360.7 million, about $5 million less than this year.

Yes, you read that right. The city plans to spend 1.37 percent less in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. But before you fret about cuts in our high-quality services, let’s take a closer look.

The decrease is all on the capital projects side. We’re still investing about $108.4 million in vital infrastructure projects, but that includes multi-year projects that were appropriated in FY18 and are still in progress. The operations and maintenance part of the budget includes a $1.9 million boost to address growth and maintain our high level of service.

The General Fund, which pays for public safety, public works, parks, planning and development services, and administration, totals about $83.7 million. The overall budget focuses on core services and maintaining and building the infrastructure for a city that’s grown by more than 25 percent since the 2010 census.

The proposed budget also reflects the 5 percent homestead exemption the city council adopted in June to shift some of the property tax burden off permanent residents. The budget offsets the lost revenue with a property tax rate increase of less than 1 cent, raising it to 50.5841 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The only proposed change in utility rates is a five percent wastewater increase to be used for system improvements needed to keep up with our growth and to replace aging infrastructure.

Tax Rate Remains Low

While property values continue to rise and bring in new revenue, it’s not enough to provide the infrastructure and levels of service our current and future residents need and deserve.

College Station’s proposed tax rate would still rank among the lowest in Texas and would be about a dime less than the state average among similar-sized cities. It’s far less than what you’ll find in other fast-growing areas, including Bryan, which has a tax rate of almost 63 cents.

If you have a $200,000 home in College Station, you’ll pay about $84 a month for 24-hour police and fire protection, streets and traffic management, parks facilities, code enforcement and planning and development services.

That’s a great deal when compared to what you typically pay for cell phone or cable television service.

Public Safety

The mission of the police and fire departments, along with emergency medical services, is to provide a safe community for us to live in and raise our families. The police and fire departments account for more than half of the city’s General Fund budget.

The proposed budgets for the police and fire departments includes funds for new equipment along with pay increases to maintain competitiveness in the local market and increase retention.

Capital Projects and Infrastructure

The $108.4 million proposed for capital improvement projects come from various sources, including general obligation bonds authorized by voters, certificates of obligation supported by tax and utility rates, cash reserves from the General Fund, utility funds, and hotel tax fund.

The capital budget includes about $16.2 million for street and transportation projects such as the extensions to Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail, phase three of the Royder Road project, and the relocation of the Cain Road/Deacon Drive railroad crossing.

Facility projects include the expansion of the library, the new police station, initial phases of a new city hall, and renovations to create a senior and community center in the old Arts Council building at Dartmouth and Colgate.

Utility projects include the implementation of smart electric meters (Advanced Meter Infrastructure), the Graham Road electric substation, and the expansion of the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Parks & Recreation

The parks budget covers significant facility improvements and repairs along with the construction of Southeast Park near the old Rock Prairie landfill and the new synthetic fields at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex. Also included are a new grounds worker and an upgrade to the lightning detection system used throughout our parks system.

City Services

That brings us back to answering the demand of residents for high-quality services, which aren’t possible without the city’s most valuable resource — our workforce. Maintaining a competitive pay and benefits structure allows us to attract — and keep — well-qualified employees to serve our residents and visitors.

The proposed budget includes a 2 percent pay scale adjustment for all positions, a 1½ percent pool for performance pay increases, and a 5 percent boost in the city’s contribution to employee health care premiums.

Public Hearing Dates

The council will review the budget in a series of in-depth workshops from Aug. 20-22, with final adoption of the budget and tax rate set for Sept. 27. A public hearing on the tax rate is set for Sept. 5, followed by a public hearing on the tax rate and budget on Sept. 13.

 


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 (Aug. 9)

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

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 9. 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.

Bear with me, folks — usual blogger Colin Killian is out tonight, so I’ll do my best to keep up. -jgs

Complete agendas and background materials
Previous city council meeting blogs

5:08 p.m.

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

Councilman James Benham is participating by teleconference.

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:

  • Approving an interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the College Station general and special election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
  • A construction contract with DKing Express LLC for $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at Barracks Park.
  • A contract with Brazos Paving Inc for base failure repairs and Type-D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
  • Renewal of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Public Library.

5:20 p.m.

FY 2018-19 Proposed Budget

Staff presented main points of the proposed budget that council members will discuss in greater detail during upcoming budget workshops (Aug. 20-22). The full proposed budget can be viewed here. Among tonight’s highlights:

  • The proposed budget is $360,680,102 (1.37% lower than FY18)
  • Budget reflects a 5% homestead exemption voted on by council in June.
  • To remain revenue neutral due to the homestead exemption, a tax increase of 0.8341 cent per $100 valuation is included in the proposed budget.
  • A 5% increase to the wastewater rate would begin in October to keep up with capital system improvements due to growth and aging infrastructure.
  • Pay increase for police to ensure market competitiveness, as well as a pay increase structure for fire personnel. Also funds for more police body cameras, and fire vehicles and rescue equipment.
  • Funding for facility maintenance, street maintenance, implementation of neighborhood plans, construction of Southeast Park and renovations throughout the parks system.
  • Street and transportation capital projects, including Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail extensions, Royder Road Phase III, and Cain/Deacon railroad crossing relocation.
  • Library expansion, new police station, initial phases of new city hall, and renovations to create a senior and community center at Dartmouth/Colgate.
  • Advanced Meter Infrastructure implementation for CSU-Electric.
  • Continued implementation of new pay structure with necessary salary adjustments + 1.5% pool for merit-based increases.

Public hearings on the proposed tax rate will occur on Sept. 5 and Sept. 13, and a public hearing on the proposed budget will also occur on Sept. 13. Adoption of the budget and tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 27. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

5:36 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay process

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:20 p.m.

After considerable discussion among council members and city staff, Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop meeting since it was running long. The regular meeting will begin after a short break and then council will resume its workshop meeting.

6:30 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:32 p.m.

Camp Kesem Week (Aug. 12-17) at Texas A&M University was recognized by Mayor Karl Mooney. Pictured with Mayor Mooney are students Samantha Buchanan and Hannah Lykins.

councilpresentationkesem8-9-18

6:36 p.m.

Hear Visitors

During the Hear Visitors portion of the meeting, citizens are able to address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Mr. Fred Dupriest, representing the College Station Association of Neighborhoods (CSAN), addressed the council about the neighborhood conservation overlay process. Here is his PowerPoint presentation:

 

  • Mr. Jerry Cooper complimented city staff on the efforts undertaken toward ensuring a fair neighborhood conservation overlay process.
  • Mr. Buck Prewitt expressed his desire for additional clarification about specific parts of the NCO process, realizing that the council is unable to respond to citizen comments during this portion of the meeting.

 

6:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, with the exception of item 2b, which relates to ordering a general and special election for two city council races and placement of multiple proposed amendments to the city’s charter. That item will be voted on separately. Items passed unanimously:

  • Ordinance, in part, ordering a general and special election on Nov. 6, 2018 to elect city council members to Places 4 and 6, and to submit proposed amendments to the city’s charter.
  • Approving interlocal agreement with Brazos County for the conduct and management of the City of College Station General and Special Election that will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
  • Resolution of the interlocal agreement with the City of Bryan, City of Brenham, Brazos County, Washington County, Texas A&M University, Grimes County and Brazos Valley Council of Governments; designating the Brazos Valley Council of Governments as the Managing Entity for the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System (BVWACS)
  • A construction contract with Kieschnick General Contractors, in the amount
    of $830,078 for the construction of the State Highway 6 waterline phases I and II.
  • Calling a public hearing on the City of College Station FY 2018-2019 Proposed Budget for Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • A bid award for the annual purchase of single phase pad-mounted transformers, which will be maintained in electrical inventory and expended as needed. The total recommended award is $224,500 to Priester-Mell & Nicholson, Inc.
  • An amendment to the lease agreement with CEO, Etc., Inc. for lease of City Fiber Optic Cable Facilities.
  • Approval of the construction contract with DKing Express, LLC. in the amount of $141,399 for repairs to the two existing sand volleyball courts at the Barracks Park.
  • A bid award for the annual blanket order for electric meters and sockets, to be stored in inventory.
  • Approval of a resolution adopting the proposed FY 2019 Community Development Budget and PY 2018 Annual Action Plan.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Organix Recycling, LLC.; for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • The approval of a contract with Brazos Paving, Inc. for base failure repairs and Type D HMAC installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000.
  • Amending the Code of Ordinances and a resolution that established the fees, rates, and charges regarding establishing fees for the regulation of dockless bike share programs permitted to operate in the City.
  • A letter agreement for year 1 of the Professional Auditing Services engagement with BKD, LLP for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 with expenditures totaling $84,000.
  • Renewal of the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Bryan for Management of the
    Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • A bid award for the annual purchase of sodium hypochlorite, the liquid-chlorine
    disinfection product used to treat the potable water supply at the Sandy Point Pump Station.

 

Place-5 Councilman John Nichols read a prepared statement opposing consent item 2b. due to his objection to the proposed charter amendment that would extend council terms from three to four years, and holding elections only during even-numbered years. By a vote of 6 in favor and 1 abstention (Nichols), item 2b passed.

7:15 p.m.

Rezoning from Planned Development District to Wellborn Restricted Suburban

This proposed rezoning applies to 21 acres of land located just south of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and Royder Road. Council approved this item by a vote of 7-0.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

Appointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustments

Mr. James Sharp was appointed by council to fill an unexpired term on the ZBA.

7:23 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting has resumed with item #6, an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance related to the neighborhood conservation overlay process.

Among the council’s direction to staff was to sufficiently notify all residents who may be part of planned meetings related to an NCO effort, as well as those who may live or own property in proximity of such planned meetings. Among the council suggestions was the burden of mail notification being on city staff via the applicant paying a “notification fee,” rather than an application fee, to only cover those hard costs.

There was also great interest among some council members in giving neighborhoods seeking an NCO to have as many options available to them as possible as they construct their petition to the city.

Staff will take council’s collective direction and bring back a revised ordinance to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and then again to the city council.

8:25 p.m.

Meeting is adjourned.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth 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, TX, he also serves as immediate past-president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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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. Bike Share Regulations: The council will have a workshop discussion about possible regulations for Texas A&M’s bike share service. The university contracted with a bike share company to launch the program with 850 bikes in March. They plan to expand the fleet to at least 3,000 bikes for the fall semester.
  2. Neighborhood Integrity Issues: In two workshop items, the council will discuss possible changes to the accessory uses, single-family height, and off-street parking standards sections in the Unified Development Ordinance. A pair of community engagement meetings were conducted in late April, along with an extensive survey.
  3. TIRZ Repayment to CSISD: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider authorizing a $1.28 million repayment of unspent TIRZ funds to the College Station Independent School District. The Wolf Pen Creek Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) expired in late 2009.
  4. Rezoning on Aurora Court: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from General Suburban to Duplex for about five acres on Aurora Court near the intersection of Anderson Street and Park Place.
  5. Homestead Tax Exemption: The council will consider authorizing a homestead property tax exemption of five percent of the appraised value of a qualified residence homestead. The exemption would begin in the current tax year.

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: Monday’s city council meetings (Sept. 25)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Sept. 25. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:26 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council took no action out of executive session. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

6:54 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:

  • Research Valley Partnership Bylaws: In June, the RVP voted to amend its bylaws. College Station, Bryan, Brazos County and other oversight entities must approve any changes to the bylaws concerning the appointment and qualifications of directors. A provision allows Texas A&M to join the RVP as a full-funding partner. Existing full-funding partners are the cities of Bryan, College Station and Brazos County, which invest about $350,000 each per year.
  • Hot Mix Asphalt Contract: Four sealed competitive bids were received and opened in August 2015, and Brazos Paving was the lowest responsible bidder. The total contract award for Type D hot mix asphalt is $2,990,750 and the emulsion is $22,800 for a total not to exceed $3,013,550 for materials to be installed on city streets as needed. This is the second of two possible one-year renewals.
  • Royder Road Interlocal Agreement: Due to the traffic impact of the proposed Wellborn Middle School, the need for a traffic signal at Greens Prairie Trail and Royder, a right-turn deceleration lane into the school, and the associated utility relocations were added to the city’s planned roadway project. A total budget of $4.93 million is included for this project in the Streets Capital Improvement Projects Fund. CSISD will reimburse the city up to $450,000 for the deceleration lane, traffic signal improvements, and necessary utility relocations.
  • Arrington Road Interlocal Agreement: The agreement allows Brazos County to finance the improvements to Arrington Road in the College Station city limits. The county will provide property acquisition, grading, drainage, flexible base/asphalt pavement, pavement markings, permanent vegetation, and appropriate signage and maintenance.
  • Hands-Free Ordinance Repeal: A new state law preempts a city ordinance that prohibits the use of a hand-held electronic communication device while driving. The Texas law simply bans texting while driving.
  • Dark Fiber Lease Agreement: On March 26, 2015, council approved an Ordinance permitting the lease of city fiber optic cable facilities. This item is the second lease authorized by the ordinance. The lease will have a financial impact on the city since modest revenue will be obtained from fiber or conduit leases.

7:22 p.m.

Affordable Housing Update

The council reviewed the city’s efforts and programs to promote affordable housing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:25 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.

7:32 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:40 p.m.

Joe Orr, Inc. cited as Texas Treasure Business

Joe Orr, Inc. was recognized by Mayor Mooney for receiving a Texas Treasure Business Award from the Texas Historical Commission. Joe Orr is one of only 383 businesses from across the state to make this prestigious list, which pays tribute to businesses that have provided employment opportunities and support to the state’s economy for 50 years or more. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Henry Mayo, Joe Orr’s vice president.

Here’s Mr. Mayo’s PowerPoint presentation:

7:45 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Lance Cpl. Pedro Contreras as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Program.  The 27-year-old from Harris, Texas, died from hostile fire on June 21, 2004, in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Casey Oldham introduced Matt Prochaska as president and CEO of the Research Valley Partnership.

7:52 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • Modifications to Article III of the Bylaws of the Research Valley Partnership, Inc.
  • FY18 funds for items exempt from competitive bidding as described in the Texas Local Government Code and other expenditures for interlocal contracts or fees mandated by state law greater than $100,000.
  • First renewal of a $256,078.42 annual contract with Andrews Building Service for janitorial services for city facilities and the Northgate District.
  • An interlocal agreement for the cost participation by the College Station Independent School District in the Royder Road Widening Phase I Project.
  • Prohibited left turns for vehicles traveling northbound on Brothers Boulevard into the Southwood Valley parent pick-up and drop-off driveway 815 feet north of Deacon Drive.
  • An interlocal agreement with Brazos County regarding Arrington Road.
  • Authorized the city manager or his designee to execute documents necessary for a grant application for Criminal Justice Division funds from the Officer of the Governor.
  • Prohibited parking on the west side of Boyett Street beginning 60 feet north of the intersection with University Drive and ending 130 feet north of University Drive.
  • An amendment to the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System interlocal agreement that adds Grimes County as a BVWACS party.
  • A bid award not to exceed $479,168 for the annual blanket purchase of three-phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • An annual water meter purchase of a maximum amount of $463,000 with National Meter & Automation, Inc.
  • Repealed the city ordinance regarding the use of wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.
  • A license agreement with Lakeridge Living for a 69.55-square-foot encroachment into the public utility easement located at 1198 Jones Butler Road.
  • An agreement for CEO, Etc., to lease city fiber optic cable facilities.
  • FY17 funding of $1,493,809 to Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS) OPEB trust.
  • FY18 insurance premiums not to exceed $500,223 for excess liability and workers’ compensation, property/boiler & machinery, commercial crime, EMT liability, auto property damage, cyber liability and special events policies.

This item was pulled for a separate vote:

  • The council voted 5-1 to approve an annual contract not to exceed $3,013,550 with Brazos Paving for Type D hot mix asphalt and emulsion. Councilwoman Julie Schultz voted against the motion.

7:58 p.m.

FY17 Budget Amendment No. 3

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved Budget Amendment No. 3, which amends the FY17 budget by $114,357 and includes a contingency transfer of up to $400,000 to cover expenses related to hurricanes Harvey and Maria.

The amendment includes $49,957 to cover expenses incurred by members of the Police Department to participate in the presidential inauguration in January. Another $4,000 is for expenses for a homicide investigation seminar hosted by CSPD. Funds for both of those items were subsequently reimbursed.

In addition, the Fleet Maintenance Fund is expected to be over budget by about $60,000 because of unexpected expenses for parts, repairs, and overtime.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:03 p.m.

FY18 Budget Adoption

The council voted unanimously to adopt the city’s $365.7 million budget for FY18 and 5-1 to ratify a $5.8 million increase in property tax revenue. Councilman Jerome Rektorik voted against the ratification.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:11 p.m.

FY18 Tax Rate Adoption

The council voted 5-1 to adopt the FY18 property tax rate of 49.75 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which includes .220339 cents for debt service and .277161 cents for operations and maintenance. Councilman Jerome Rektorik voted against the motion.

The 2½-cent increase from FY17 is entirely on the debt side and will be used to fund a new police station. The new rate is expected to generate about $43.3 million to fund the city’s general debt service and part of its operations and maintenance costs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

Councilwoman Linda Harvell was not feeling well and has left the meeting.

8:18 p.m.

Utility Rate Ordinance Modification

The council voted 5-0 to implement two changes to utility fees and rates. 

The first change establishes a unified account creation fee and deletes the existing connection fees that cause confusion and are not compatible with the city’s new billing system. The change simplifies the fee to create an account with College Station Utilities. The next item on tonight’s agenda establishes the amount of the account creation fee, which is revenue neutral.

The second change implements a council decision from November to add a 50 percent surcharge to water and sewer customers in Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1, also known as the Speedway MUD or Southern Point development. The surcharge will help offset the cost of adding utility capacity to meet the development’s demands. It provides the same revenue as impact fees would but stretches it over 20 years.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Fitch-Rock Prairie Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to Suburban Commercial, Estate and Natural Areas Protected for about 35 acres northwest of the intersection of William D. Fitch Parkway and Rock Prairie Road. The change will allow for development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:06 p.m.

Rezoning East of Emerald Forest

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to deny a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres east of the Emerald Forest Subdivision near the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The change would have allowed for a single-family residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:09 p.m.

Northgate Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to abandon a public utility easement at 203 First St. to allow for the development of the mobile food truck park in Northgate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:13 p.m.

Associates Avenue Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Commercial Industrial to Multi-Family and Natural Areas Protected for about six acres on Associates Avenue behind Sam’s. The change will allow for a multi-family residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:17 p.m.

Barron Cut-Off Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to General Suburban for about 14 acres at 3387 Barron Cut-Off Road. The change will allow a single-family residential development.

Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the discussion because of a conflict of interest.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:24 p.m.

White’s Creek Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from Rural to Estate for about five acres at 15590 White’s Creek Lane. The change will allow for residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:25 p.m.

BVSWMA Appointment

The council voted 5-0 to appoint Rick Floyd to the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s board of directors.

9:30 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:30 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again for a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 2. The next regular meeting is Thursday, Oct. 12.

Thanks for joining us. Good Night!

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also been 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 (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Affordable Housing Update: In the workshop, the council will be updated on the city’s efforts and programs to promote affordable housing.
  2. Arrington Road Interlocal Agreement: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an interlocal agreement with Brazos County to allow the county to pay for improvements to Arrington Road within the city limits.
  3. Hand-Held Ordinance Repeal: Another consent agenda item is the repeal of the city ordinance prohibiting the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. The ordinance was recently preempted by state law, which bans texting and driving.
  4. FY18 Budget/Tax Rate Adoption: The council will consider adopting the city’s proposed $365.7 million budget for FY18, along with a 2½-cent increase in the property tax rate to 49.75 cents per $100 of valuation.
  5. Rezoning near Carters Creek Plant: The council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 46 acres east of the Emerald Forest Subdivision near the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The change would allow a single-family residential development.

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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Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Sept. 11)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Sept. 11. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:31 p.m.

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

Workshop Meeting Agenda and Background Materials

6:43 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:

  • Westside Community Park: Staff is requesting approval for the $2.5 million purchase of two tracts (48.6 acres and 55.4 acres) and the acceptance of a third tract (7 acres) as a donation to be developed into the Westside Community Park. The property is located on North Dowling Road west of the city. Additional costs will include surveying, environmental reports, title insurance, and closing fees, which are estimated not to exceed $80,000. Funds are budgeted in the Community Park Land Zone B Fund, the Neighborhood Park Land Zone 15 fund, and the Neighborhood Parks Revolving Fund.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Rental Registration Ordinance Amendment: In July, staff provided the council with an overview and update on the rental registration program. The council directed staff to eliminate the requirement to renew the registration of a property on an annual basis and instead require only an initial registration. Staff recommended adding an additional requirement to register four-plex and other types of rental units to assist city staff when responding to an issue, violation, or emergency.

    Staff reviewed the ordinance as adopted and included changes to clarify information for property owners and residents to better understand which properties are subject to the law. The changes include: The title of the ordinance was revised; the types of properties were added to include single-family, townhome, duplex, triplex, fourplex, five-plex & six-plex; a definition of multi-family dwelling was added; a definition of owner occupied was added; clarification that a new registration is required in the event of a change in ownership; change in local contact information must be reported within 30 days; and fee of $15 charged per building.

  • Single-Stream Recycling Agreement: Staff recommends renewal of years 3-5 of a five-year franchise agreement and general services contract with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable materials. The city pays an annual cost of $880,000. The provision of recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 out of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Transportation Network Ordinance Repeal: The governor recently signed HB100 into law to provide a uniform, statewide approach to regulating and permitting transportation network companies through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The law preempts local control by establishing exclusive power and function solely to the state. As such, the city transportation network company ordinance will be repealed.

7:12 p.m.

Council to repeal city’s hands-free ordinance

The council voted 4-3 to direct staff to bring back an ordinance to repeal the existing city law regarding the use of hand-held communication devices while driving. The state legislature recently took action to ban texting and driving statewide. The city’s ordinance prohibits any use of hand-held communication devices while driving.

The discussion also included a review of a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute on the effectiveness of the city ordinance.

Survey of Wireless Communication Device Use

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:27 p.m.

Long-Term Water Supplies

The council heard a presentation about potential long-term water supplies. College Station’s water comes entirely from groundwater wells. As groundwater reserves are drawn down, the city could be required to reduce its pumping amounts.

Consequently, the city is planning for alternative water supplies that would replace any required cutbacks. Possibilities include direct potable reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, desalination, and surface water.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:28 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.

7:36 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

Regular Meeting Agenda and Background Materials

7:41 p.m.

Laserfiche Excellence Award

Deputy City Secretary Ian Whittenton was recognized for receiving MCCi’s Laserfiche Excellence Award for its innovative use of Laserfiche. 

7:43 p.m.

Constitution Week

The mayor proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in commemoration of America’s most important document. The celebration of the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1955 when the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside an annual observance. The resolution was adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

7:48 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 16 as Thank a Police Officer Day in College Station. The event is promoted by the College Station Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association

7:49 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one signed up to speak during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

7:49 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An Interlocal agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply for and accept a 2017 Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • An $11.36 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the Lakeway Drive Project.
  • A $2.88 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the Royder Road Expansion Phase 1 Project.
  • Temporarily changed the posted speed limit to 25 mph on Royder Road between the city limit to 700 feet north of Backwater Drive during the Royder Road Expansion Phase 1 project.
  • A $315,000 contract with Brazos Paving for construction of the culvert and replacement of the water line at the intersection of Dominik and Stallings Drive.
  • Awarded a $545,000 contract to C3 Constructors for the Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s 4 and 5 Blower Improvements.
  • A resolution naming the authorized representative on the Public Agency Retirement Services’ Public Agencies Post-Retirement Health Care Plan Trust account.
  • An agreement for administrative services with Public Agency Retirement Services in the amount of 0.25 percent of plan assets for financial advisory services on an annual basis, estimated to be $3,250 in this initial year.
  • A $230,000 contract with Xpedient Mail for printing and mailing utility bills, late notices, and inserts.
  • A three-year Interlocal Agreement with the City of Bryan and Brazos County for the City of College Station to provide Emergency Medical Ambulance Service to Brazos County and to receive payments every quarter.
  • The final reading of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement renewal with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers times the approved contract rates.
  • The acquisition of 110.95 acres to be developed into Westside Community Park.
  • A $256,384 contract with Utility Restoration Services for annual padmount equipment repair and restoration.
  • An amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding the working hours for necessary construction.
  • An amendment to the city’s Building and Building Regulations and Single-Family and Duplex Unit Rental Registration.
  • Repealed the city ordinance regarding Transportation Network Companies after the state legislature passed a bill allowing only the state to regulate transportation network companies.

7:51 p.m.

FY18 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed $365.5 million budget for FY18, which is scheduled for adoption Sept. 25.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:58 p.m.

FY18 Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed tax rate for FY18, which is scheduled for adoption Sept. 25. The proposed rate is 49.75 cents per $100 of assessed value, a 2½-cent increase from the current rate.

One person spoke against the tax increase during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:24 p.m.

Fairview Avenue Rezoning at George Bush Drive

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 to approve a request to rezone two lots on the south side of Fairview Avenue at the George Bush Drive intersection. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Linda Harvell joined Mayor Mooney is voted against the motion. The change will allow the relocation of the nearby Aggieland Outfitters store.

Ten people spoke against the zoning change and three for it during the public hearing. One written statement supporting the change also was submitted.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

 

10:24 p.m.

The meeting will resume after a short break.

10:34 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

10:37 p.m.

UDO Amendment: Utility Easements

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regarding the location of utility easements. The change is part of efforts to streamline the UDO and will give the city engineer flexibility regarding the location and width of utility easements, which will reduce costs for the developer, staff time for processing waiver requests, and the number of waiver requests considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:40 p.m.

UDO Amendment: Health Clubs

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the UDO to permit health clubs in Commercial Industrial zoning districts. The change allows gyms and exercise facilities to use buildings with a warehouse or industrial character.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:40 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

10:40 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 25.

 


About the Author

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 been 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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