Posts tagged “Traffic

What’s the deal with the signal timing on University?

By Troy Rother, City Traffic Engineer

Few things are more frustrating than being stuck in seemingly endless traffic.

If you’ve driven down University Drive in Northgate in the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably faced extraordinarily long wait times. A soon as you go through a green light, the next light turns red. At times, it takes 15 or 20 minutes to travel a single mile.

Let me assure you, we share your frustration and apologize deeply for the inconvenience.

Allow me to explain what’s behind all the chaos. It won’t ease your frustration, but at least you’ll know what’s going on.

Our contractor activated the reconstructed Northgate traffic signals on Aug. 22. Regrettably, the signal contractor didn’t have his subcontractors present for the activation as the city had directed. As a result, the detection systems didn’t function properly, which caused the traffic signal to give the maximum green time for all approaches — even if a vehicle wasn’t present on that approach.

Rest assured we’re working diligently with the subcontractors to correct the problem. We’ve developed coordinated timing plans for the corridor and are installing them this week. We’re also working on camera activation, emergency vehicle recognition, and getting the signals to talk to one another.

That said, it’s essential to keep in mind that the focus of the entire project is pedestrian safety in an area bustling with thousands of students. Recent pedestrian accidents in the area – including several tragic fatalities – led the city to work with the university and the Texas Department of Transportation to make necessary changes.

The good news is that we expect to have the final timings installed the week of Sept. 9. The complex project was supposed to be finished months ago, but weather and utility conflicts created numerous delays.

When fully implemented, the signal timings will have an exclusive pedestrian-only phase for walking and cycling traffic to cross University Drive or the minor roadway at the intersection. During this time, all vehicular traffic will be stopped, including right-turning vehicles.

The pedestrian-only phase will undoubtedly create delays for motorists, but benefits include a safer situation for pedestrians and no pedestrian conflicts for vehicles attempting to turn onto University Drive. For example, we observed traffic at the Nagle intersection this week and saw 12 vehicles turning left onto University instead of the usual four because the vehicles didn’t have to wait for pedestrians to cross during motorists’ green light.

Our overriding goal will always be to operate and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system. Unfortunately, the complexities involved sometimes create frustrations and inconveniences for us all. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 


About the Blogger

Troy Rother has been College Station’s city traffic engineer since 2003. He previously served as an engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation and in the private sector with Wilbur Smith Associates. Troy earned bachelor’s (1997) and master’s (1998) degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Improvements along FM2818 to boost safety, mobility

By James Robertson, Assistant Traffic Engineer

It’s not exactly a secret that traffic flow remains a dominant issue as College Station continues to expand.

One of our most heavily congested corridors is FM2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway) from Holleman Drive to George Bush Drive. Consequently, the surging traffic volume has led to a significant increase in crashes in that area.

The problem isn’t being ignored. Far from it.

College Station is working closely with other local agencies to reduce these incidents in both the long and short-term.

Long-term mitigation by the Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Texas Department of Transportation includes widening FM2818 and restricting turning movements at driveways. The City of College Station will join TxDOT – which maintains many of our roads, including 2818 – to conduct a public meeting about the widening project later this year.

In the short term, the College Station Public Works Department has pursued lower-cost operational changes that achieve three primary objectives:

  1. Decrease crashes at signalized intersections by installing protected-only green left-turn indications.
  2. Decrease left-turn lane waiting at FM2818 and Holleman by increasing green time for FM2818 left-turns.
  3. Decrease travel time along FM2818 between Bush and Holleman by increasing the green time for FM2818.

To achieve these objectives, our traffic signal technicians have worked with the city’s traffic engineering staff to implement and calibrate new signal timing plans. We’ve installed protected-only green left-turn arrows at the intersection of FM2818 with Holleman, Bush and Luther Drives.

Using Bluetooth readers installed as part of our Intelligent Transportation System Master Plan, we’ve seen substantial improvements in travel times along FM2818 between Bush and Holleman.

We measured peak morning and evening travel times on Sept. 7 – before the timings were installed – and again on Sept. 27 after installation. The following graphs show that cars are moving faster and the duration of slow traffic is shorter. In fact, the drive from Welsh to F&B Road at 8 a.m. was almost 6½ minutes faster. The drive from F&B to Holleman at 5:45 p.m. was about 3½ minutes better.

Evening Peak Data

Morning Peak Data

Calibrating the new signal timing plans has taken a couple of weeks, and we appreciate the public’s patience. Some of the changes we tried also caused problems in the morning peak time. We worked quickly to get those issues resolved.

The Traffic Engineering Division will continue to monitor travel times along this corridor and work with our partner agencies to improve mobility along this corridor and the entire system.

 


About the Blogger

James Robertson is in his fourth year as College Station’s assistant traffic engineer. He also did extensive graduate work with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute while attending Texas A&M, where he earned master’s (2011) and doctorate (2015) degrees in civil engineering with an emphasis on transportation. James received bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from Michigan State (2008) and psychology from Notre Dame (2007).


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


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

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 Thursday, Aug. 24. 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.

5:34 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

No action was taken out of executive session.

5:57 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:

  • Graham Substation Equipment: The equipment purchased through this bid requires a significant delivery time from the date of purchase and is be installed during the construction of the Graham Road Substation in 2018. The equipment to be purchased includes transformers, a gas circuit breaker, circuit switchers, and 3-phase electric substation transformers. The bid includes delivery, set-up of the transformers on the foundations, filling with oil, and testing.
  • Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: The intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive has stop signs on the Thomas Street approaches. An area resident expresses concerns about appropriate sight lines. Traffic Engineering found that the sight line for vehicles at the stop sign on the westbound approach was inadequate to see vehicles approaching the from the left on Dexter. Consequently, Traffic Engineering recommends making it a four-way stop controlled intersection.
  • Brazos Valley Recycling: 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. Recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Water Well No. 9: The project includes the installation of Well  No. 9 and a collection line on city property to add additional pumping capacity to match population projections and state requirements. Final project costs are expected to be less than what was budgeted in FY17.
  • Water Line Relocation: Staff recommends approval of a construction contract for the installation of a water line west of the FM2818-FM60 intersection. The existing 30-inch water line will be removed or filled with grout.

6:04 p.m.

BVSWMA FY18 Budget

The council approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed budget for FY18, which includes $8.92 million in revenues and $9.44 million in expenses. The budget also reduces the gate rate from $20.50 to $20.00 per ton from Bryan and College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

Park Preserves in ETJ

The council heard a presentation about potential parkland in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The discussion covered parkland needs and possibilities and included the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, current parks and greenways properties, current land purchase efforts, the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, and possible funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Traffic Control Center Award

The council heard a presentation about the national Public Agency Council Achievement Award received by the Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the city’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). The award was presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in Toronto. Pictured below (L-R) are Traffic Signal Technician Jimmy Pletzer, Traffic Signal Technician Juan Gonzalez, Jr., Traffic Systems Superintendent Lee Robinson, Mayor Mooney, Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, and Traffic Systems Foreman Garrett Martinek.

This award recognizes agencies that have achieved excellence through implementing innovative ideas and delivering outstanding transportation engineering, planning, and operations. The TCC helps improve traffic conditions with new technologies and allows signal timings to be changed in real-time during special events or roadway incidents.

Signal performance measure software also allows city staff to better monitor and adjust traffic signal operations. The City of College Station was the first agency in Texas to implement signal performance measures, and others are following our lead.

The TCC pulls together video streams from more than 100 cameras that are shared with the Police and Fire Departments as well as Texas A&M. The video streams are critical when moving 120,000 fans away from Kyle Field after football games. Staff from Traffic Systems, Traffic Engineering and the Police Department man the TCC during the postgame operations, observing the video streams and manipulating signal timings. The TCC is in constant communication with the Kyle Field command center.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:42 p.m.

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

The council discussed the city’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. The initiative is designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive and shareable ideas to tackle problems, deliver results and improve life for residents.

Entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work. The 35 Champion Cities will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support. The five cities with the best ideas will receive millions to implement their ideas at scale.

6:47 p.m.

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

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

The mayor proclaimed September as Still Creek Ranch Month.

7:20 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 Corporal Todd R. Bolding as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Manvel native died June 3, 2004, after being wounded in hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Fred Dupriest of the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group spoke about the city’s planning terminology, specifically how mitigation is not necessarily a benefit.
  • Michael Kuitu and Cathy Liles submitted written comments.

7:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the consent agenda:

  • A $316,746 purchase of various long lead time major equipment for the proposed Graham Substation.
  • A purchase not to exceed $1,145,926 of two 3-phase electric substation transformers for the proposed Graham Road Substation.
  • Renewal of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers multiplied by the approved agreement rates.
  • A $5.6 million contract with Garney Construction to install water well No. 9 and a collection line.
  • A $433,552 contract with Dudley Construction to relocate the 30-inch water line at FM2818 and FM60.

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda:

  • Modifications to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the addition of a four-way stop intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Drive. Councilwoman Brick requested this item be pulled for a separate vote so she could thank the neighborhood residents and city staff.

7:49 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres north of University Oaks Boulevard on the west side of Earl Rudder Freeway. Councilman Barry Moore supported the motion. Three people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to deny a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Office to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item. Two people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.7 acres on the east side of Wellborn Road where Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill is located. The change will make the tract conform with property to the north that will be developed into an HEB store.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:06 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Rural to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:51 p.m.

Off-Street Parking Standards

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amended off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:56 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 11.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also 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.



If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

		
	

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

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

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

Podcast: The future of Bush/Wellborn and why your opinion matters

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

In this edition of the College Station podcast, Texas A&M Transportation Institute Research Fellow Dr. Tim Lomax takes us through what will be one of the most impactful transportation projects ever planned for College Station: a proposed three-tier underpass at the intersection of George Bush Drive and Wellborn Road.

While the project is still a few years away, Lomax already is part of a team that’s genuinely seeking citizen feedback about things like construction schedules and duration of closures.

Lomax explains how citizens can express opinions and concerns that could ultimately influence Texas Department of Transportation designs and plans for the intersection.

  • 01:13 – Project might begin in 2022, after widening of FM2818
  • 02:58 – What can or should be done at Bush/Wellborn?
  • 05:29 – What the intersection could look like in the future
  • 09:08 – Digging three stories down? Sounds complicated…
  • 11:10 – What citizens are being asked to do right now. 24/7 construction? Phased work?
  • 15:00 – People seem to want it done FAST (duh)
  • 19:00 – What about traffic control and cut-throughs during construction?
  • 20:16 – Talks with Texas A&M about possible changes to worker hours, class hours, classroom locations, parking locations, etc.
  • 21:35 – Are special design elements possible?
  • 23:47 – Is the proposed design already in use in some other city?
  • 25:02 – Funding not yet identified. Estimated cost: $40 million+
  • 26:48 – What surprises lurk three stories below ground?
  • 28:00 – How can people voice opinions or concerns?
  • 31:13 – BONUS COMMENT: Lomax avoids left turns

Related Links:

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth 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.

 


 

Podcast Archive

 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 13)

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 Thursday, April 13. 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.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • All-Way Stops on Southern Plantation: The ordinances would create all-way stops on Southern Plantation Drive at the intersections with Alexandria Avenue and Decatur Drive. Public Works evaluated these intersections because of safety concerns expressed by residents, and the Traffic Management Team recommended the changes.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trail Change Order: The project consists of a five-mile hike and bike trail from Creek View Park to Lick Creek Park.The construction contract with Kieschnick General Contractors was awarded in May 2015. The change order reconciles bid quantities to actual construction quantities. A total of $3,860,000 is budgeted, and after this deductive change order is applied, total expenditures and encumbrances will be $3,563,796, leaving a balance of $296,204.

6:45 p.m.

CVB Update

The council received an update from the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, including its rebranding as Experience Bryan-College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

The CVB also presented a video under development (no sound in this version):

7:14 p.m.

Capital Improvement Plan Update

The council received an update on the city’s capital improvement plan.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:14 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney suspended the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break. The council will complete the workshop agenda after the regular meeting.

7:21 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:33 p.m.

Sister Cities Music Week

The mayor proclaimed this week as Bryan College Station and Greifswald, Germany Sister Cities Music Week with a presentation to the Bryan-College Station Sister Cities Association and Greifswald’s Late Night Singers. The choral group performed, and Mayor Mooney read the proclamation in German. Last week, the group performed a series of concerts across the community. Here are a couple of photos:

7:46 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Richard Dabney spoke about the recent addition of LED street lights in his neighborhood and how the brighter lighting could be less intrusive.
  • Ben Roper recognized Army Chief Warrant Officer Wesley C. Fortenberry as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 38-year-old Woodville native died April 11, 2004, when his helicopter was shot down in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Suzanne Droleskey spoke about protecting neighborhood integrity and returning the Unified Development Ordinance to its original meaning.

7:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $131,794 contract with Consolidated Traffic Controls for a school zone flasher system upgrade.
  • The second renewal of a $653,264 annual blanket order with Techline for wire and cable.
  • An ordinance amending the city’s traffic code and adding an all-way stop at the intersection of Southern Plantation Drive and Alexandria Avenue.
  • An ordinance amending the city’s traffic code and adding an all-way stop at the intersection of Southern Plantation Drive and Decatur Drive.
  • Reduced a $3.1 million contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for the Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trail Project by $174,101.52.
  • The renewal of $952,946 in landscape maintenance contracts with Green Teams and Grassmasters.

7:53 p.m.

Summitt Crossing Park Rights-of-Way and Easements

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the establishment of public rights-of-way and easements in a small portion of Summit Crossing Park to allow the addition of a turning lane and associated utilities where Summit Crossing Lane intersects with Highway 30.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Lick Creek Park Water Line Corridor

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the establishment of a public utility corridor to run water lines and other public utilities across Lick Creek Park for the development of Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 1, also known as Southern Pointe. The route across city property and through the park is the only feasible route since the park lies directly between Southern Pointe and the water main on Pebble Creek Parkway.

The public utility corridor and temporary construction are not expected to have a negative impact on the park or its operations. Upon completion, the site will be restored to its original condition.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:02 p.m.

Northeast Sewer Trunk Line Easements

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the establishment of public utility easements in city-owned greenways south of Harvey Road and west of Carter’s Creek for Phase 1 of the Northeast Wastewater Trunk Line Project.

The easements will also provide for future greenways and park development and improvements such as water fountains, trails, and bathrooms. The easements are not expected to have a negative impact on the greenways.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Audit Committee Appointments

The council appointed Mike Ashfield and Nathan Sharp as non-voting members of the audit committee.

8:26 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee Book Project

The council unanimously approved a motion by Councilwoman Blanche Brick to authorize the City Manager’s Office to oversee an update to a College Station history book published in 1988. The Historic Preservation Committee came up with the idea.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:30 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:30 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The workshop will resume.

8:43 p.m.

2017 Council Strategic Plan

The council reviewed its 2017 strategic plan.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:46 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, April 27.

Happy Easter!

 


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.



If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings


By
Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

  1. CVB Update: In the workshop, the council will receive an update from the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  2. Capital Improvement Plan Update: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the city’s capital improvement plan.
  3. Strategic Plan Update: The council will have a workshop discussion about its 2017 City Council Strategic Plan.
  4. Sister Cities Music Week Presentation: The council will proclaim April 9-14 as Bryan-College Station and Greifswald, Germany, Sister Cities Music Week with a presentation to the B-CS Sister Cities Association and Greifswald’s Late Night Singers.
  5. Southern Plantation All-Way Stops: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider adding all-way stops at Southern Plantation’s intersections with Alexandria Drive and Decatur Drive. The stops would address safety concerns expressed by area residents.

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 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 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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 23)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 23. 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.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:17 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:

  • All-Way Stop at Eagle-Alexandria: The city’s Traffic Management Team recommends adding an all-way stop at the Eagle Avenue-Alexandria Avenue intersection to improve safety and mobility for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists near Creek View Elementary School. Data shows that the longest delay for northbound Alexandria traffic is 21 seconds per vehicle between 7-8 a.m. With the all-way stop, the average delay on all approaches at that time will be 10-12 seconds. Alexandria also has more vehicles in the morning peak time than Eagle, while the number of vehicles is similar the rest of the day.
  • All-Way Stop at Graham-Alexandria/Schaffer: The city’s Traffic Management Team recommends adding an all-way stop at the intersection of Graham Road and Alexandria Avenue/Schaffer Road to improve safety and mobility for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists near Cypress Grove Elementary School. Data shows that the longest delay for northbound Alexandria traffic with a two-way stop is about 51 seconds per vehicle in the worst conditions. The northbound approach has more than a three-minute delay between 7-8 a.m. With the all-way stop, the average delay in the morning peak will be 23 seconds and in the afternoon will be 16 seconds. Frequent crashes at the intersection also would be mitigated by an all-way stop.

6:26 p.m.

Audit Reports, Annual Financial Report

The council voted unanimously to accept the city’s annual audit reports and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the FY16 fiscal year. The reports summarize the organization’s financial position through Sept. 30.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:05 p.m.

Bee Creek Floodplain Management

The council discussed management of the Bee Creek floodplain. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:13 p.m.

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

7:23 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:33 p.m.

World War I Remembrance Day

The mayor proclaimed April 6 as World War I Remembrance Day with a presentation to the Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee. More than 8,000 World War I veterans are buried in Brazos County, including 30 who died in the war. Pictured below are (L-R): Ellen Fuller, Gerry Hince, Greg Bailey, John Blair, Mayor Mooney, Pamela Marshall, Shawn Carlson, and Steve Beachy.

7:36 p.m.

183rd Reconnaissance Aviation Company

The mayor recognized the 183rd Reconnaissance Aviation Company that served in Vietnam. Veterans of the 183rd will have a major reunion March 30-April 2 in Bryan.  

7:52 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Cpl. Daniel R. Amaya as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Odessa native died April 11, 2004, from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Suzanne Droleskey, Mary Wells and Rachel Smith spoke against a requested replatting in the College Hills neighborhood.

7:52 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A resolution directing publication of notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation, series 2017; and providing an effective date.
  • The renewal of a contract not to exceed $1.5 million with H&B Construction for electric system construction and maintenance labor.
  • An amendment to the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding the single-stream recycling program that updates definitions and proper use of containers and includes assisted collections for disabled homeowners.
  • Added an all-way stop at the intersection of Eagle Avenue and Alexandria Avenue.
  • Added an all-way stop at the intersection of Graham Road and Alexandria Avenue/Schaffer Road.
  • Removed parking along Luther Street West between FM 2818 and Marion Pugh Drive.
  • Removed stopping, standing, and parking along Gilchrist Avenue near Williams Street.
  • Prohibited U-Turns on Wellborn Road at the Wellborn Road and Harvey Mitchell Parkway interchange.
  • A resolution declaring intention to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt not to exceed $1.2 million for information technology and gateway improvement projects that were included in the FY17 Capital Improvements Program Budget.

8:05 p.m.

Rezoning for Harvey Road Apartments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Multi-Family and Natural Areas Protected for about 16 ½ acres along Harvey Road west of the Linda Lane intersection. The change will allow for the development of an apartment complex.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

8:07 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:07 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 13.


About 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 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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

  1. Audits, Annual Financial Report: In the workshop, the council will receive the annual audit reports and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that summarizes the city’s financial position.
  2. Bee Creek Floodplain: The council will have a workshop discussion about management of the Bee Creek floodplain.
  3. World War I Remembrance: The council will proclaim April 6 as World War I Remembrance Day with a presentation to the Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee.
  4. Traffic Movements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider changes to various traffic movements: Adding all-way stops at Eagle Avenue-Alexandria Avenue and Graham Road-Alexandria Avenue/Schaffer Road; removing parking along Luther Street between Harvey Mitchell Parkway and Marion Pugh Drive and along Gilchrist Drive near Williams Street; and prohibiting U-turns on Wellborn Road at the Harvey Mitchell Parkway interchange.
  5. Rezoning on SH 30: The council will consider rezoning about 16 ½ acres west of the State Highway 30-Linda Lane intersection to allow the construction of apartments.

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:                                                                 

 


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 8)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 8. It’s not the official minutes.

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

6:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. Mayor Nancy Berry is absent tonight.

6:15 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Park Playground Improvements: The $638,000 contract with TF Harper is for improvements and repairs to playgrounds at 15 city parks. The work is expected to be finished by early 2017.

  • Green Prairie-Arrington Road Design Contract: The $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn is for engineering and survey services associated with improvements to the Greens Prairie Road-Arrington Road intersection. The project consists of a channelized right-turn lane, a pedestrian island, a traffic signal, extension of existing drainage structures, signage, and striping.

6:51 p.m.

Game Day Traffic Plan

The council heard a presentation about the city’s partnership with Texas A&M to efficiently move traffic away from Kyle Field after football games. The city has worked with the university and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in this effort for several years.

The partners develop and share preseason traffic control plans that specify road closures and traffic direction on and off campus.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:52 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:01 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols requested a moment of silence for the A&M student who died this morning in an accident involving a city sanitation truck.

7:09 p.m.

400 Fairview Historic Marker

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historic Marker No. 90 to Fred and Shirley Dupriest family for their residence at 400 Fairview. This presentation summarizes the property’s history:

The Dupriests are pictured below with Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols.

historic

7:15 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 17 as Thank a Police Officer Day. Pictured below are (l-r) Craig Anderson, Chris Suel, Leeann Alverez, Jeff Seale,Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols, Brandy Norris, Chuck Fleeger, Barrett Field, and James “Jim Bob” Arnold.

thankyoupolice

7:24 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Pfc. Dustin M. Sekula as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 18-year-old Edinburg native died April 1, 2004, due to enemy fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Tim Powell spoke against the recent rezoning of a large tract of land near the Indian Lakes Subdivision.
  • Landry Tucker spoke about banning earbuds while driving.
  • Jonathan Coopersmith spoke in support of impact fees.

7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $76,929.21 contract with Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds & Water Parks for the removal and installation of a new slide at Adamson Lagoon.
  • A $638,471.75 contract with TF Harper for improvements and repairs to various playgrounds at city parks.
  • A $150,929 contract with GrantCaffey Construction for the City Gateway Signage Project.
  • A $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for engineering and surveying services associated with the Greens Prairie and Arrington Road Intersection Improvements Project.
  • A $456,453 contract with Palasota Contracting for a street rehabilitation project along Nimitz Street from Lincoln Avenue to Ash Street.
  • Price agreements with Osburn Associates ($42,193) and N-Line Traffic Maintenance ($42,447) for roadway signs, posts, and brackets.
  • A resolution authorizing city staff to negotiate the purchase of right-of-way and easements needed for the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project.
  • The appointment of the presiding judges and alternate judges for the Nov. 8 general and special election as recommended by Brazos County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock.

7:30 p.m.

Single Family Height Protection

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide lower density residential height and distance protection.

The change clarifies the provision and adjusts exceptions for properties that may be located in a designated redevelopment area or if the adjacent single-family use doesn’t conform to the property’s zoning.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:35 p.m.

Harvey Hillsides Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to rezone from Rural to Suburban Commercial a small property at the corner of Harvey Road and Pamela Lane. The change would allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Budget

No one spoke during a public hearing on the city’s proposed $341 million budget for FY17. The budget is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:51 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Property Tax Rate

Three people spoke during the second public hearing on the city’s proposed property tax rate of 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value, which will generate about $37 million. The proposed rate represents a two-cent increase.

Robert Rose, Robert Forrest and Richard Dusold spoke against the proposed rate.

The first public hearing on the tax rate was held August 31. The tax rate is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:52 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The workshop meeting will resume.

9:01 p.m.

Water/Wastewater Impact Fee Update

The council received written comments from the Impact Fee Advisory Committee about the proposed water and wastewater impact fee and was updated on the process for possible implementation.

A public hearing and formal action regarding the fees are scheduled for the Sept. 22 council meeting.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:02 p.m.

The mayor pro tem adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 22.


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (August 11)

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, August 11. It’s not the official minutes.

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

6:20 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council members Julie Schultz and James Benham are out of town and are participating via teleconference.

6:39 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Roadway Improvements: The council will consider two contracts for engineering, survey and design services related to the widening of Rock Prairie Road West and capacity improvements to FM 2818.
  • Lincoln Recreation Center Expansion: The project includes a new 15,355-square foot multi-purpose facility with a gymnasium, multiple activity rooms, and support spaces. Once the new addition is complete, the existing facility will also be renovated. The $3.37 million contract includes three bid alternates for building a walkway cover, repairing the existing storage building and leveling the existing gymnasium.

  • Rejection of Underground Cable Bids: The Electric Department has decided not to bid this project for the third time. This work will be completed using existing contracts for various electric construction and maintenance needs and through in-house labor.

6:59 p.m.

FY17 Proposed City Budget

The council got its first look at the city’s proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The council will review the budget in a three-day series of in-depth workshops starting Monday, with final adoption of the budget and tax rate set for Sept. 22. A public hearing on the tax rate is scheduled for Aug. 31, followed by a public hearing on the tax rate and budget on Sept. 8.

Click here to read a more detailed blog post about the budget proposal.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:05 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.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:23 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.

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Pfc. Leroy Sandoval Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 21-year-old Houston native died March 26, 2004, due to hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Another citizen informed the council about a dangerous intersection.

7:24 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda, except for item 2i (setting water/wastewater impact fees public hearing dates):

  • A contract with Elder-Aid, Inc. for a $200,000 grant of federal HOME Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Set-Aside funds for the acquisition and rehabilitation of two existing dwelling units to be used as affordable rental housing for income-eligible elderly households.
  • A $571,102.50 Contract with Binkley and Barfield for engineering and surveying services associated with the FM 2818 Capacity Improvements Design Project.
  • A $152,500 contract with Jones & Carter for the final design and construction phase services for the Lick Creek Generator Replacement Project.
  • A $3.37 million contract with JaCody Construction for renovations to the existing facility and construction of a new multi-purpose building for the Lincoln Recreation Center.
  • A $650,326 contract with Binkley & Barfield for professional engineering services related to the design of the Rock Prairie Road West Widening Project.
  • A $51,600 bid award to Techline for the purchase of distribution line sensors.
  • The rejection bids for the University Drive Underground Cable Installation Project.
  • The second renewal of an annual blanket order not to exceed $140,000 for copy and printing services with Alphagraphics ($80,000), Copy Corner ($40,000), and Office Depot ($20,000).
  • Renewal of a $525,996 annual purchase award with Techline for electric distribution poles.
  • A $64,515.85 annual bid award to Greenville Transformer Company for transformer repair and rebuild services.
  • Called a public hearing on the City of College Station’s FY17 Proposed Budget for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • A $149,049 contract with Hahn Equipment Company for the replacement of the Lick Creek Raw Lift Pumps and Variable Frequency Drives.
  • An amendment to the FY16 funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau to allow for the repayment of $30,000 related to the acquisition of a site for a visitor information center. The original agreement allowed for reimbursement of legal and architect fees associated with a new joint facility with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley in the same amount.

7:38 p.m.

Land Use at 8607 Rock Prairie Rd.

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the land use designation from Estate and Suburban Commercial to Restricted Suburban for about 16 acres at 8607 Rock Prairie Road to allow for development. Councilwoman Schultz recused herself from voting because of a conflict of interest.

The property is located north of Rock Prairie and west of Fitch Parkway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:42 p.m.

Right-of-Way Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon part of a right-of-way at 600 First St. to accommodate redevelopment in the Northgate area.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:50 p.m.

Traffic Impact Analyses

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove the single-family residential development exemption from the Traffic Impact Analysis rules. The change requires a traffic impact analysis be included with a preliminary plan application where applicable.

The original ordinance provided an exemption for Northgate zoning districts and single-family zoning districts. In 2009, the Comprehensive Plan called for the requirement for traffic impact analyses to be extended to single-family developments. As part of the Five-Year Comprehensive Plan Evaluation & Appraisal Report, the recommendation was made to require traffic impact analyses for single-family residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:54 p.m.

Wireless Devices and Distracted Driving

The council voted 6-1 to amend the city’s traffic code to restrict the use of wireless communications devices such as cell phones while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle. Exceptions include the use of a hands-free device and while at a complete stop. Councilman James Benham voted against the motion.

An earlier motion to add a 90-day education period to the amendment passed 6-1, with Benham voting no. The ordinance takes effect in 90 days.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:57 p.m.

Board Appointments 

The council voted unanimously for these board appointments:

  • Historic Preservation Committee: Anat Geva.
  • Parks and Recreation Board: Megan Fuentes.

8:57 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, August 25.


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


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

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, July 14. 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.

5:43 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:05 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:

  • Takings Impact Assessment: Since possible water and wastewater impact fees have the potential to be enacted in only portions of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, a required Takings Impact Assessment was conducted and found that the proposed fees do not constitute a regulatory taking.
  • Parks Mobile Stage: The $160,000 mobile stage would enhance the city’s tournaments and special events. Hotel Occupancy Tax funds were allocated in the FY15 budget for the purchase and were transferred to the FY16 in February.
  • Parks Fishing Piers: Contracts totaling about $65,000 would cover repairs to the fishing pier at Brothers Pond Park and replacing the pier at Central Park with a floating pier that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • Traffic Adjustments Near Schools: Proposed changes to traffic movements near Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School include no left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood and College View driveways, no left turns from Timber Street into the College View driveway, removal of stopping, standing and parking along streets around College View, Oakwood and A&M Consolidated Middle School, and the addition of a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.

6:19 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve the FY17 budget for the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency (BVSWMA). The budget includes revenues of about $7.55 million and expenses of about $8.26 million. It also reduces the gate rate for College Station and Bryan from $21.19 per ton to $20.50.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:00 p.m.

Wireless Communication Devices While Driving

After a presentation by Police Chief Scott McCollum, the council directed staff to bring back a draft ordinance regarding the use of wireless communications devices by drivers. The ordinance modification would provide a mechanism for enforcement and deterrence.

McCollum said driver inattention while using wireless communication devices is a growing public safety concern. While the state legislature has recently considered laws regarding the use of these devices while driving, the bills have failed. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:00 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Jerry Smith asked for an ordinance amendment to allow small markers at the Aggie Field of Honor for family or double monuments placed on adjoining spaces.

7:12 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda:

  • Approved a $160,000 mobile stage for the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Adopted a Takings Impact Assessment in the event impact fees for water and sewer service are adopted.
  • A $291,000 bid award to KBS Electrical Distributors for single phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • Contracts totaling about $65,000 with Jamail and Smith Construction and EZ Dock of Texas for the repair of the Brothers Pond Park fishing pier and the installation of new, ADA compliant, fishing pier at Central Park.
  • Renewal of the annual blanket order not to exceed $816,500 with Brazos Paving for cement stabilized base rock and Type D grade recycled crushed concrete base.
  • A $144,000 contract with Jamail & Smith Construction for replacing A/C chillers at the Police Department.
  • Amended the traffic code to prohibit left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School driveways and left turns from Timber Street into the College View High School driveway.
  • Amended the traffic code to prohibit stopping, standing, and parking near the schools along George Bush Drive, Holik Street, Timber Street, Anna Street and Glade Street.
  • Amended the traffic code to add a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate the purchase of land needed for the Royder Road Expansion Project.
  • An annual blanket order not to exceed $95,194.40 with BWI Companies for athletic field maintenance materials including fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, infield material, grass seed, and turf amendments.
  • A contract renewal not to exceed $526,000 with Knife River Corporation for the annual purchase of Type II, FGSMA hot mix asphalt.
  • Contracts for temporary staffing services to Spherion Staffing (not to exceed $380,000) and Kelly Services (not to exceed $80,000), ratification of FY16 expenditures for temporary employment services with Express Services ($17,588.22) and Spherion ($35,011.27), and anticipated expenses with Spherion ($21,744.40).

7:15 p.m.

Land Use Assumptions/Capital Improvement Plans

City Engineer Alan Gibbs gave a short presentation on land use assumptions and capital improvement plans for potential water, wastewater and roadway impact fees. The presentation introduced the next two items.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:48 p.m.

Water-Wastewater Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the land use assumptions and a capital improvement plan for potential water and wastewater impact fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:04 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve the land use assumptions and a capital improvement plan for potential roadway impact fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:07 p.m.

Brewster Cove Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to rezone from Rural to General Suburban about 22 acres at 3451 Barron Cut-Off Rd. The change will allow for a multi-family development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:45 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Campus Housing

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-3 against a request to change the land use from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about five acres near the northwest corner of the Harvey Mitchell Parkway-Raymond Stotzer Parkway intersection. Councilmembers Julie Schultz, Karl Mooney, Blanche Brick and John Nichols voted against the motion.Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmembers James Benham and Steve Aldrich supported it.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:46 p.m. 

The mayor adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop will resume.

9:13 p.m.

Old Wellborn Road Traffic Analysis

The council reviewed the city’s traffic analysis of Old Wellborn Road and General Parkway.  The study was conducted to evaluate alternative routes to help reduce traffic congestion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:20 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, July 28.


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

5523701_l

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

  1. Wireless Communication Devices: The council will hear a workshop presentation about possibly restricting the use of wireless communications devices such as cellphones while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.
  2. Fishing Piers at Parks: The council will consider contracts to repair the fishing pier at Brothers Pond Park and replace the pier at Central Park with one that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  3. Harvey Mitchell/Raymond Stotzer Interchange: The council will consider an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of the interchange at Harvey Mitchel Parkway (FM2818) and Raymond Stotzer Parkway (FM60). The project includes pavement, traffic signals, lighting, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
  4. Traffic Movement Near Oakwood, College View: The council will consider these changes to traffic movement near Oakwood Intermediate and College View High School: No left turns from Holik Street into the Oakwood and College View driveways; no left turns from Timber Street into the College View driveway; the removal of stopping, standing and parking along streets around College View, Oakwood and A&M Consolidated Middle School; and the addition of a 30-minute parking zone near the schools along Holik Street.
  5. Impact Fees: After public hearings, the council will consider land use assumptions and capital improvement plans for possible water, wastewater and roadway impact fees.

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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


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

5523701_l

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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Podcast: College Station’s Deputy City Manager Chuck Gilman

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Some of College Station’s largest departments are Electric, Water, Public Works, Parks and Planning — and they all answer to the same guy: Deputy City Manager Chuck Gilman.

In this podcast, the civil engineer talks about his unplanned path to being second-in-charge, why he obsesses over unresolved issues he sees when driving around town, and how he’d love to find a way — in a perfect world — to stagger the start times of schools (including Texas A&M) to ease traffic congestion.

Podcast Archive (more…)


5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meeting

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

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

  1. Rental Registration Update: The council will receive a workshop presentation about new software that allows online registration and renewal of rental properties.
  2. Impact Fees: The council will discuss the pros and cons of implementing impact fees for transportation and water/wastewater infrastructure.
  3. University Drive Safety Improvements: The council will consider a contract for creating a final detailed design of Phases 2-5 of the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project.
  4. School Traffic Movements: The council will consider changes to traffic movements near three elementary schools as requested by the College Station Independent School District: a) No left turns from Welsh Avenue into the Rock Prairie Elementary driveway; b) No left turns from Brothers Boulevard into the Southwood Valley Elementary driveway; and c) No left turns from Eagle Avenue into the public alley north of Newport Lane during drop-off and pick-up times at Creek View Elementary.
  5. Arts council Board: The council will consider appointments to the Arts Council of Brazos Valley’s board of directors.

(more…)


Bypass Holleman to Harvey Mitchell to ease postgame traffic stress

Avoid Holleman Map 2015

By Troy Rother, City Traffic Engineer

As much as we all love Aggie football, there’s one thing we dread when football season arrives – the gameday traffic around Kyle Field.

We’ve worked closely with Texas A&M and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to develop a cohesive plan to move traffic more efficiently after games. Under this plan, Wellborn Road is temporarily converted to four southbound lanes from George Bush Drive to Southwest Parkway, where it changes to three southbound lanes, then to FM 2818, where it returns to the normal two lanes.

The contraflow lanes better accommodate the traffic from George Bush Drive, Kyle Field, and the Westside Parking Garage and allows easier access to nearby highways. (more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 25)

2014 CouncilWelcome to the live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 25. It’s not the official minutes.

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

5:52 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman Steve Aldrich is absent tonight.

5:57 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:

  • Inter-Local Agreement for ITS Master Plan: The city is developing the Intelligent Traffic System Master Plan in response to population growth and the expansion of Kyle Field. The plan upgrades traffic signal technology and begins addressing congestion issues. Since the program will also result in better traffic management after Aggie football games, the Texas A&M University System wants to give the city $850,000 to expedite implementation of the plan and procure equipment. TAMUS also will provide $150,000 to the Texas Transportation Institute to review and approve the plan before it provides funds to the city.

6:20 p.m. (more…)


Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

College Station City Council

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

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

  1. Board Appointment Process: In the workshop, the council will discuss a process for appointing citizens to city boards that results in improved consideration of new residents who want to serve their community.
  2. Possible 2015 Bond Election: The council will have a workshop discussion on the Citizen Advisory Committee’s recommendations for transportation projects to include in a potential bond election in November. The focus will shift to facilities and parks projects in July.
  3. Newman 10 Awards Recognition: Prior to the regular meeting, the council will recognize College Station’s recipients of the recent Bryan Rotary Club/Newman 10 Business Performance Awards.
  4. Playground Replacement at Miller Park: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $200,000 contract to replace the playground equipment at Jack and Dorothy Miller Park with shaded structures.
  5. ITS Master Plan Agreement: The council will also consider an inter-local agreement for Texas A&M to provide $850,000 to help develop and implement the city’s Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Master Plan.

(more…)


Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

gavel[1]By Colin Killian, Public Communications Office

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

  1. Updated Parks Master Plan: The council will hear a workshop presentation on the updated master plan for Southeast Community Park, Lick Creek Greenway and use of the Rock Prairie Landfill property, which has potential for park development.
  2. All-Way Stop at Cross and Dogwood: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider implementing an all-way stop control at the intersection of Cross and Dogwood streets to improve pedestrian safety and mobility.
  3. Hearing on FY15 Budget, Tax Rate: The council will conduct public hearings on the city’s FY15 budget and a proposed 2.6-cent increase in the property tax rate. The budget and tax rate are scheduled for adoption Sept. 22.
  4. Halcon Energy Mineral Lease: After a public hearing, the council will consider entering into a mineral lease with Halcon Energy for oil, gas and related hydrocarbons on about 26 tracts of land generally located near Wellborn Road and FM2818.
  5. E-Cigarette Ordinance: The council will consider an ordinance prohibiting the purchase, possession and use of e-cigarettes by minors, but will not be considering restrictions on where e-cigarettes can be used. If approved, the ordinance will become effective in 20 10 days.

(more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 26)

gavel[1]

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

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:53 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilmember Julie Schultz is in California and is participating through a video feed. State law requires governmental bodies to provide for two-way communication that allows all participants to hear and see one another, including the public.

6:01 p.m. (more…)


TxDOT: SH 6 ramp and lane closures to start Tuesday

TXDOT_2000px[1]The Texas Department of Transportation sent out this press release earlier today. Please note that these closures will be for about three months:

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Texas Department of Transportation’s contractor will close two SH 6 northbound ramps and a northbound frontage road lane between Harvey Road and University Drive.

The SH 6 northbound exit ramp to Harvey Road will be closed and traffic wanting to access Harvey Road will be detoured to the SH 30 exit ramp. Additionally, the SH 6 northbound entrance ramp will be closed and traffic wanting to enter SH 6 will have to use the next entrance ramp. These ramp closures allow the contractor to remove the existing ramps and construct new ramps.

(more…)


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

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 24. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:09 p.m.

The workshop has started. Karl Mooney is absent tonight.

(more…)


City works to reduce gameday traffic congestion

Game Day Traffic

As much as we all love Aggie football, there’s one thing we dread when football season arrives – the increased traffic around Kyle Field.

In the early 1990s, the city worked closely with Texas A&M to develop the Go With the Green Plan to move traffic in and out of the area after football games. The plan has worked well, but the rapid growth of the city and the university – not to mention all the new visitors from the SEC – means it must be tweaked and updated.

(more…)