Posts tagged “Tree Trimming

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

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 14. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:05 p.m.

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

5:19 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

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

6:11 p.m.

Homestead Tax Exemption

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

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

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

6:36 p.m.

ETJ, Annexation Agreements

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:37 p.m.

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

6:47 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:59 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

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

7:02 p.m.

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

7;03 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

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

7:11 p.m.

Rezoning on Lakeway Drive

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:23 p.m.

Non-Residential Landscaping and Buffer Requirements

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

Here’s a summary of the changes:

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:14 p.m.

Caprock 31 Rezoning

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Rock Prairie Road Improvements

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

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:35 p.m.

Experience B-CS Appointment

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

8:35 p.m.

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

 


About the Blogger

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


 

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

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 13. 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.

5:20 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:55 p.m.

Legislative Update

The council received a legislative update and a preview of the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature.  

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:07 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:

  • College View School Zone: The proposed 30 mph school zone would be near the new College View High School. It will extend from 200 feet east of Holik Street to about 175 feet west of Timber Street. The zone also extends south along Timber about 160 feet from the intersection with George Bush Drive and north along Bizzell Street about 100 feet from the intersection. Holik Street will also have the 30 mph zone from the end of the existing zone to the intersection with Bush. Texas A&M has given the city permission to install and maintain a flashing beacon on Bizzell to notify motorists coming from campus that they are about to enter a school zone.
  • RVP Funding Agreement: As part of the FY17 budget process, the council approved $350,000 from the general fund for the operations and maintenance of the Research Valley Partnership. Councilman James Benham reiterated his opposition to funding the RVP.
  • ESRI Agreement: The ESRI Small Government Enterprise Licenses Agreement allows the city to use most ESRI products without limits on the number of licenses. The three-year contract has an annual cost of $50,000 and saves money when compared to acquiring the appropriate number of individual licenses and paying for annual maintenance and support agreements.
  • Chamber of Commerce Funding: The Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce will receive $25,000 in hotel tax funds in FY17. Councilman Benham thanked retiring executive director Royce Hickman for his service.

7:20 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fees

The council discussed the Impact Fee Advisory Committee’s written comments about possible roadway impact fees and heard an update on the process for implementation.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m.

The mayor suspended the workshop until after the regular meeting, which will begin momentarily.

7:31 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:34

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. Ben Roper recognized Army Spc. Robert Asiaga as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program.

7:38 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $179,760.87 change order for the contract with L.E. Myers Company for additional matting and track equipment due to extreme wet weather conditions on the Spring Creek transmission line upgrade project.
  • A contract not to exceed $750,000 with McCord Engineering for electric engineering services related to the design of the Graham Road Substation.
  • The second renewal of a blanket price agreement not to exceed $136,992 with Cleveland Asphalt Products for emulsified asphalt products for street maintenance. 
  • Renewal of a one-year contract not to exceed $200,000 with Rios Tree Service for landscaping, tree trimming and removal services.
  • A 30 mph school zone on George Bush Drive, Timber Street, Holik Street and Bizzell Street near the new College View High School.
  • Annual water meter purchases of $166,077.52 from Aqua Metric Sales through the Houston-Galveston Area Council contract.
  • The first of two renewal options for the annual EMS supply purchase order not to exceed $80,000 with Boundtree Medical L.L.C.
  • An FY17 funding agreement for $15,000 with the College Station Noon Lions Club.
  • The FY17 budget, a general fund funding agreement for $35,000, and a hotel tax fund funding agreement for $91,000 with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley.
  • FY17 hotel tax affiliate funding and a marketing and public arts support funding agreement for $391,900 with the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley.
  • A FY17 funding agreement for $51,190 with Keep Brazos Beautiful.
  • The FY17 budget and a hotel tax funding agreement for $25,000 with the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley.
  • The FY17 budget and a hotel tax funding agreement for $2,122,616 with the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • The FY17 budget a hotel tax funding agreement for $25,000 with the Bryan/College
  • Station Chamber of Commerce.
  • The FY17 budget and a funding agreement for $102,690 with Easterwood Airport.
  • A FY17 hotel tax grant program funding agreement of $400,000 with the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • A $150,000, three-year Small Government Enterprise ArcGIS License agreement with ESRI.

The council voted separately on this consent item:

  • By a 6-1 vote approved a FY17 general fund funding agreement for $350,000 with the Research Valley Partnership. Councilman Benham voted against the motion.

8:06 p.m.

Capstone-Barron Realignment

The council voted unanimously to move forward with the reconstruction and alignment of Capstone Drive and Barron Road from Fitch Parkway through Wellborn Road. Barron and Capstone will be realigned to intersect Wellborn Road, and the existing asphalt road will be replaced with concrete.

The $5.6 million project was approved in the FY16 city budget and was among the projects recommended by the 2015 Citizen Advisory Committee.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:09 p.m.

Capstone-Barron Project Easements and Right-of-Way

The council voted unanimously to authorize city staff to negotiate the purchase of right-of-way and easements for the Capstone-Barron Realignment Project.

8:14 p.m.

Wellborn SUD Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Wellborn Commercial for the Wellborn Special Utility District office, which is located on three acres northeast of the Greens Prairie Road West-Live Oak Street intersection.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:29 p.m.

Tarrow Townhomes Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Office to Planned Development District for about 1.6 acres at the intersection of Tarrow Street and Autumn Circle. The change will allow the development of townhouses.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:32 p.m.

Parking Removal on Louise and Second Street

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove parking along one side of the 300 block of Louise Street and the 400 block of Second Street to allow aerial fire department access to the proposed Louise Townhomes development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:35 p.m.

Easement Abandonment at A&M Church of Christ

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon part of a public utility easement on the A&M Church of Christ property at 2475 Rudder Freeway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:01 p.m.

Northgate Mobile Food Court

The council voted 5-2 to approve a conditional use permit for a long-term mobile food court at 203 First Street in the Northgate District. Beer and wine sales must cease at midnight and a minimum of two security officers must be provided from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

Councilmen Steve Aldrich and Karl Mooney voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:01 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

10:07 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

10:09 p.m.

Easement Abandonment at School Sites

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon part of a public utility easement near the Willow Branch and Oakwood school sites.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:11 p.m.

Summit Crossing Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Planned Development District to Townhouse for about 14.6 acres north of Harvey Road and west of FM 158. The change will allow the continuation of the existing Summit Crossing townhouse development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:13 p.m.

Easement Abandonment on Redmond Drive

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a public utility easement to accommodate the design of a residential development on Redmond Drive.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

10:14 p.m.

BioCorridor Board Appointment

The council voted unanimously to appoint Johnny Burns to replace Barry Moore as one of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s representatives on the BioCorridor Board. Moore resigned to run for city council.

10:15 p.m.

BVSWMA Board Appointment

The council voted 6-0 to appoint Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols to the BVSWMA, Inc. Board of Directors. Nichols abstained. Mayor Nancy Berry’s term on the board expired Sept. 30.

10:15 p.m.

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

10:18 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, Oct. 27.


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

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


 

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Why is the City Cutting Down Green Trees?

Admit it. You probably didn’t even know the city had a Forestry Department, much less the important role it plays in maintaining the quality of your city parks. Despite our perceived anonymity, we’ve noticed an uptick in the number phone calls we’ve received — and they all seem to be asking the same question:

“Why the heck are you cutting down perfectly good, green trees?”

Well, it’s partly true, but there’s more to the story. When it comes to trees, green doesn’t always mean “perfectly good” since many defects can’t be seen by the naked eye. The last thing the forestry crew wants to do is randomly remove good, healthy trees, which obviously provide many positive benefits.  Besides, cutting down a tree and cleaning up the mess takes a lot of hard work.

We consider many factors before we decide to remove a tree, but our top priority is public safety. Falling trees can cause serious injuries and even be deadly. Under the Arborist Code of Ethics, we have to “…protect clients, employers, employees and the public from conditions where injury and/or harm are reasonably foreseeable …”  As professional tree people, we follow extensive guidelines and checklists, as well as good old intuition, to maintain our trees and keep them from becoming hazardous. While a tree may have green leaves and appear to be healthy, its bark and the soil underneath it often tell a completely different story. Our job is to prevent problems by detecting and removing these dangerous trees.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Jan. 12)

9:13 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned. The council meets again on Jan. 26.

9:12 p.m.

Council Strategic Plan Update

The council discussed its Strategic Plan and considered strategies dealing with economic development. The plan calls for the diversification of College Station’s consumer-oriented economy through tourism, regional athletic events, a regional medical center and other possibilities. A primary goal also is to keep property taxes among the state’s lowest and maintain competitive utility rates.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

 

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CSU’s Tree Trimming Program Reduces Wildfire Risks

In September, a dangerous wildfire was ignited at Harvey Mitchell Parkway and State Highway 6 when high winds snapped the trunk of a hollow tree and it fell into a power line. The tree was still green and offered no indication that it would create a dangerous situation. After a summer of extreme drought, the blaze spread quickly and threatened nearby neighborhoods and businesses. If not for the rapid response of the College Station Fire Department and others, the situation could have been grim.

Fires caused by discarded cigarette, outdoor burning, cars, barbeque pits and other sources caused tremendous havoc across Texas in 2011, and will continue to be a threat until the drought ends.

Drought Has Increased Danger

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City Council Preview (Jan. 12)

After a month-long break for the holidays, the College Station City Council will have its first meeting of 2012 on Thursday, Jan. 12, with topics ranging from the city’s tree trimming program to an update on the Medical District. This blog is intended as a quick overview of just some of the topics the council will be considering and is not a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the official agenda packets.

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

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Citizens Charter Review Commission

The council will discuss a possible timeline for a charter amendment election, as well as areas of the city charter that need to be addressed. The Citizens Charter Review Commission had just begun its charter review last spring when a new state law shifted its focus to addressing the city election date, which was resolved with a charter amendment election in November. The commission is ready to resume its charter review but needs to know when the council expects the next charter amendment election. The earliest possible date for the election is November 2012, which will also include the presidential election. The other available dates are May and November in 2013.

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