Posts tagged “water conservation

Sales tax holiday weekend: Save money, water

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If you’ve had additional time around the house in the last two months, you may have considered sprucing up your landscape with water-efficient plants or replacing your leaky faucets. You just needed a good deal to save a little money.

Thanks to the state comptroller, that deal is here. During this weekend’s sales tax holiday, you can purchase certain water– and energy-efficient products through Memorial Day. The sales tax holiday was created by the legislature in 2015  to incentivize Texans to make the most efficient use of our limited water resources.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, the controller tweaked the rules a  bit. You don’t have to make your tax-free purchases in-store since many people now order online and have the products shipped. A complete explanation of how it all works is on the comptroller’s website.

Tax-exempt items are things you can use to help conserve or retain groundwater (where College Station’s water comes from), recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperature to reduce evaporation. Highlights include:

  • WaterSense labeled products can be bought for business or personal purposes. Business and rental property owners take note!
  • Soaker or drip-irrigation hoses.
  • Moisture controls for sprinklers or irrigation systems such as a rain shutoff switch or soil moisture sensor.
  • Rain barrels. If a barrel isn’t on your project list now, don’t worry — rainwater harvesting equipment is always exempt from state sales tax.
  • Plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Soil and compost.

WaterSense products go through an independent third-party certification process and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. Having water-saving products in your home or business not only trims your water bill but also delivers exceptional performance for years.

Stay cool this weekend, and enjoy your savings!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Sales tax holiday can save you money — and water

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

The Memorial Day weekend in the Brazos Valley will be busy with the Texas Weekend of Remembrance, high school graduations, dance recitals, athletic events, and more.

The return of sunny, warm weather also means it an ideal time to make your home and landscape more efficient. If you upgrade your irrigation controller, install a rain sensor, and add mulch to your drought-tolerant plants this weekend, it’s all tax-free.

The Texas Comptroller’s Office has declared a sales tax holiday from Saturday through Monday on the purchase of certain water– and energy-efficient products. This year marks the third time the tax holiday has provided an incentive for Texans to conserve our limited water resources.

Eligible tax-exempt items are things that can be used to conserve or retain groundwater, recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperature to reduce water lost to evaporation. Among the eligible items are:

  • WaterSense-labeled products.
  • Soaker or drip-irrigation hoses.
  • Moisture control for sprinkler or irrigation systems (rain shutoff switches or soil moisture sensors).
  • Rain barrels (rainwater harvesting equipment is always exempt from state sales tax).
  • Permeable ground cover surfaces that allow water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points.
  • Plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Soil and compost.

WaterSense-labeled products go through an independent, third-party certification process and meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s specifications for efficiency and performance. The beauty is having water-saving products in your home or business that deliver exceptional performance and savings on water bills for years to come.

For more information, visit the Texas Comptroller’s Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday webpage.

Stay cool this weekend and get ready for water and energy savings!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Thomas Park Improvements: In the workshop, the council will discuss options for improvements to Thomas Park. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommends a covered tennis court, a dog park and two covered picnic tables on the park’s north end.
  2. Traffic Signal at Barron-Alexandria: The consent agenda includes a $282,000 contract to install a traffic signal at the Barron Road-Alexandria Avenue intersection.
  3. Water Conservation and Drought Plans: Also on the consent agenda are updates to the city’s drought contingency and water conservation plans.
  4. Bird Pond Road Development: After a pair of public hearings, the commission will consider a request to change the land use and zoning for about 13 acres northeast of the Rock Prairie-Bird Pond intersection. The changes would allow the development of a residential subdivision.
  5. Lick Creek Sewer Line: The council will consider a $10.9 million contract with Thalle Construction for the Lick Creek Trunk Line Project. The sewer line will extend from the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant through the southern boundary of Pebble Creek Country Club and tie into an existing line north of Fitch Parkway.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

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


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State honors BV WaterSmart for conservation impact

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If you’re among the more than 500 College Station residents who’ve signed up to receive irrigation notices from Brazos Valley WaterSmart, you’ve seen the impact of the innovative program on your water bill. For those of us who keep an eye on our precious aquifers, the impact has been even more dramatic.

The program’s goal is to improve residential outdoor water use and reduce landscape overwatering, and it’s succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. When you consider our population has grown by about 30 percent since the 2010 Census, the results are downright astounding.

The water budgets it generates and other interventions such as our irrigation checkups have reduced the number of high-volume single-family residential consumers in College Station by nearly 50 percent.  Since the program’s inception in 2010, the cumulative reduction in water use in College Station is more than 630 million gallons of water. That’s about how much our community consumes in two full winter months.

The program has even had a positive effect on the efficient use of your tax dollars, trimming the City of College Station’s electric bill by at least $110,000 a year because of reduced pumping, treatment, and electricity needed for distribution.

It’s not surprising that others across the state have noticed our miracle on the Brazos.

Last week, Brazos Valley WaterSmart received the prestigious Blue Legacy Award from the Texas Water Development Board as part of “Texas Water Day at the Capitol” in Austin. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated an outstanding and innovative commitment to the state’s mission of promoting responsible management of water resources and the conservation of our water resources.

Brazos Valley WaterSmart is an educational and research partnership of Texas A&M University, the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District, and the City of College Station. That means a lot of outstanding people are behind this tremendous success story.

How BV WaterSmart Happened

Faculty, staff and graduate students from the A&M’s Water Management and Hydrological Science degree program, Texas AgriLife Research, and the Texas Center for Applied Technology worked with staff from the city and district to develop the program. Agriculture and Life Sciences Professor Ronald Kaiser is the director.

The research team found that about half of the water used in College Station and Bryan is for landscape, lawn, and outdoor purposes. They knew that helping the community find creative and innovative ways to be more efficient was the key to significant savings.

The six programs they created include weather stations, a website, personalized weekly watering notifications, residential water budgets, free residential irrigation system inspections, water conservation seminars, and public service announcements. Each program focuses on a different aspect of outdoor water usage to educate residents on ways to conserve.

To everyone involved — especially the environmental technicians who work on specifying, installing, and maintaining the weather stations and rain gauges that make up the weather-based watering recommendations — WAY TO GO!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Can you imagine a day without water?

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Think a moment about your typical morning routine.

You wake up and make a steaming cup of fresh coffee or tea before heading to the toilet and the shower. After you get dressed in freshly washed clothes, you eat a nutritious breakfast and clean your dishes in the dishwasher or sink.

Of course, you make your dentist happy by brushing your teeth.

Now, imagine for a moment that you had no water. None of your morning activities would be possible without safe and reliable water and the infrastructure that delivers it to your home.

If you’ve never gone without water, it’s almost impossible to envision a day without it. Your water service may have temporarily been shut off to repair a leak, but you had full confidence that the water would soon flow again.

Today is the fourth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. The Value of Water Campaign is helping hundreds of organizations across the country host events and spearhead projects aimed at raising awareness about the crucial need for investing in our nation’s water infrastructure.

After decades of underfunding, water infrastructure across the nation has aged and needs replacement or significant repairs. Drought, flooding, and population changes have dramatically increased the stress on our water and wastewater systems.

According to the Value of Water Campaign’s report on The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure, a one-day disruption in water services at a national level would result in a $43.5 billion loss in sales for businesses. In just eight days, a national water service stoppage would put nearly two million jobs in jeopardy.

In contrast, for each job created in the water sector, 3.68 jobs are added to the national economy. For every $1 spent on infrastructure improvements, the United States generates $6 in economic returns. That’s a sound investment.

It’s not all gloom and doom. College Station’s water and wastewater systems are young compared to many cities. For the most part, we’ve been able to stay ahead of our infrastructure needs. Each day – including weekends and holidays – our Water Services employees maintain 454 miles of water lines, 363 miles of wastewater lines, nine groundwater wells, and three wastewater treatment plants.

City councils and community leaders through the years have recognized that water is essential to the quality of life and economic competitiveness and have supported the water and wastewater rates necessary to maintain award-winning water and wastewater systems.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Karl Mooney read an official proclamation (at right) for Imagine a Day Without Water to draw attention to the many ways we maintain critical water and wastewater infrastructure.

How you can help

No community can thrive without water, and every American deserves safe, reliable, and accessible water.

You can help by conserving water. Since irrigation water gushing down the street benefits no one, sign up for landscape watering recommendations from Brazos Valley WaterSmart. Every gallon of water saved is a gallon left in the Simsboro Aquifer for later use.

You can also help keep our waterways clean by avoiding over-fertilizing, picking up litter, and disposing of hazardous waste at Household Hazardous Waste collection events like the one scheduled for Oct. 20. Improperly discarded fertilizer, motor oil, and litter make its way into our creeks, which feed into the Navasota and Brazos Rivers – and someone is drinking that water downstream.

A groundswell of communities and partners have come together to promote safe and reliable water systems with Imagine a Day Without Water. We can make a difference by leveraging our collective power, educating our decision-makers, and inspiring our communities to make water infrastructure a priority.

Let’s invest in our water systems, so no American ever has to live a day without water.

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Summer workshops are the key to smart yard irrigation

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

With July being Smart Irrigation Month, it’s an ideal time to improve the efficiency of your outdoor irrigation system.

The City of College Station is here to help.

If learning how to program your sprinkler controller, spot irrigation leaks, and cut your water bills rank high (or at least somewhere) among your summer goals, you’ll want to attend one of College Station Water Services’ free summer workshops.

The first one is Saturday, followed by additional sessions on July 21 and Aug. 4. Each workshop is from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the College Station Utilities Meeting and Training Facility at 1603 Graham Rd.

Each participating household receives a rain gauge, soil moisture meter, and $25 gift card to a home improvement store to start you on your way to saving water. Residents will learn valuable sprinkler system maintenance tips, see the latest in water-saving sprinkler technology, get pro tips from a licensed irrigator, and learn how to receive weekly watering advice from the Brazos Valley Water Smart Network.

If you bring a friend, you’re eligible for a bonus prize!

If you can answer “yes” to at least one of the following statements, make plans to attend one of the workshops.

  • You water three or more times per week and are afraid that scaling back your schedule will damage your lawn.
  • You have a small lot or water only a small backyard, but your summer water bill exceeds $30-40.
  • You’ve had high summer bills in the past and want to avoid a repeat.
  • You don’t receive weekly watering recommendations from Brazos Valley Water Smart.
  • Your driveway or front sidewalk is wet after every irrigation cycle.
  • You have dry spots in your yard despite regular watering and don’t know how to fix it.
  • You don’t know how much water your system uses or how much your lawn needs.
  • Your irrigation system doesn’t have a rain shut-off device — or you don’t know what one is!
  • You see fogging or misting when your sprinkler system operates.

For more information or to register, contact Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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College Station’s new water rates take effect July 1

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

College Station Utilities hasn’t increased water rates since 2010 thanks to improved conservation efforts by our customers and the implementation of impact fees on new development.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

Last fall, the College Station City Council unanimously approved a six percent increase in water rates as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The council deferred the increase until the fourth quarter, which begins July 1.

College Station has grown more than 25 percent since that last rate increase. That means we need additional water wells to keep up with demand, along with another water tower on the east side of Highway 6. Without one-time impact fees, we’d need a 15 percent rate increase to pay for those necessities.

Water Usage Rates

Here’s a comparative breakdown of the old and new water rates:

Customer Class Usage Per 1,000g before July 1

Per 1,000g after July 1

Residential 10,000 gallons or less $2.26 $2.40
11,000 – 15,000 gallons $2.94 $3.12
16,000 – 20,000 gallons $3.61 $3.83
21,000 – 25,000 gallons $4.28 $4.54
26,000 gallons or more $4.96 $5.26
Commercial Indoor usage $2.49 $2.64
Commercial Outdoor usage (irrigation) $2.68 $2.84

You’ll be charged $2.40 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000, $3.12 for the next 5,000, and up the tiers as usage increases.

Your Monthly Bill

More than half of our residential water customers use 10,000 gallons of water or less each month, but some are consistently in the 26,000 gallons-and-up rate block. If you’re a 10,000-gallon user, you’ve paid about $32.79 a month for your water since 2010, which includes a $ 10.19 meter charge. If the existing rates had been indexed annually to inflation, you’d be paying $36.19 today, or $3.40 more. Under the new rate – which includes a $10.80 meter charge – you’ll pay $34.80.

That comes out to about 35 cents for 100 gallons of clean, pure water that’s rated as superior by state regulators. The chart below includes the monthly residential meter charge, which varies by meter size.

Usage Bill before July 1 Bill after July 1 Increase
10,000 gallons $32.79 $34.80 $2.01
15,000 gallons $47.49 $50.40 $2.91
30,000 gallons $111.74 $118.55 $6.81
50,000 gallons $210.94 $223.75 $12.81

Keep Your Costs Down

The City of College Station offers proactive programs to help customers reduce water waste and trim their bills, including free landscape irrigation checkups, direct outreach to the highest water users, rebates on water-saving products, and weekly watering recommendations from Brazos Valley WaterSmart.

Efficient water use is the least expensive way to make our supplies more sustainable, and it keeps your rates lower over time. Your water bill payment is an investment in our water future, ensuring that we can continue to provide you – and generations to come – with high-quality water.

For more information about water rates or conservation, go to cstx.gov/water or call us at 979-764–3660.


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


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Sales tax holiday a chance to save water, money

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Memorial Day weekend in the Brazos Valley means it’s time to Remember the Fallen, along with high school graduations, dance recitals, athletic events, and more. But if you can carve out the time, it’s also a great time to make your home and landscape more efficient.

And it’s all tax-free.

The Texas Comptroller’s Office is offering a sales tax holiday on the purchase of certain water and energy-efficient products from Saturday through Monday. The sales tax holiday was made possible by legislation passed in 2015, and this year marks the second time the tax holiday has provided an incentive for Texans to conserve our limited water resources. In addition to tax savings, rebates for toilets and rain barrels are available for College Station water customers.

Eligible items are things that can be used to conserve or retain groundwater, recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperature to reduce water lost to evaporation. Mulch is on the list because it is an excellent way to cool the soil, suppress weeds, and help plants use water efficiently. You can’t go wrong with a good thick layer of organic mulch.

Other tax-exempt items include:

  • WaterSense-labeled products.
  • Soaker or drip-irrigation hoses.
  • Moisture controls for sprinkler or irrigation systems (i.e., rain shutoff switches).
  • Rain barrels or an alternative rain and moisture collection system.
  • Permeable ground cover surfaces that allow water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points.
  • Plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Water-saving surfactants.
  • Soil and compost.

WaterSense labeled products go through an independent third-party certification process and meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. The beauty of WaterSense is having water-saving products in your home or business that deliver exceptional performance and savings on your water bills for years to come.

For more information, visit the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday page on the Texas Comptroller’s website. Stay cool this weekend and enjoy water and energy savings!

 

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


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3 steps to Fix a Leak and save money

 

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

More than one trillion gallons of water from easy-to-fix leaks are wasted in U.S. homes each year. That’s why the City of College Station is joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to encourage you to find and fix leaks during this week’s annual Fix a Leak Week.

Sponsored by the EPA’s WaterSense program, Fix a Leak Week can help you improve the water efficiency of your home by finding and repairing leaks. In an average home, leaks waste more than 10,000 gallons of water annually – enough to wash 270 loads of laundry. That makes for a hefty water bill, too.

You can identify leaks in your home and start saving today with these three simple steps:

1. Check

Check your water bill and water meter for signs of leaks. If winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month for a family of four, you probably have leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.

Water meters also have a leak indicator. If there is a plus (+) sign on your digital water meter, or if a red dial is moving — even slowly — when water isn’t being used, that’s a sign of a leak. Look for dripping faucets, showerheads, sprinklers, and other fixtures. Silent toilet leaks, a common problem that can send water bills soaring, can be detected by placing a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If any color appears in the bowl during that time, you have a leak.

Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots too.

2. Twist

Apply pipe tape to ensure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and showerheads a firm twist with a wrench. If you can’t stop the drips yourself, contact a licensed plumber. For additional savings, twist a WaterSense labeled aerator onto each bathroom faucet to save water without noticing a difference in flow. Faucet aerators cost a few dollars or less and can save a household more than 500 gallons each year — enough for 180 showers.

3. Replace

If you just can’t nip that drip, it may be time to replace your fixture. WaterSense-labeled models use at least 20 percent less water and are independently certified to perform as well or better than standard plumbing fixtures. Replacing an old, inefficient showerhead with a WaterSense-labeled model will shrink your household’s water footprint by 2,900 gallons annually while still letting you shower with power, thanks to EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria. With less hot water passing through, WaterSense labeled showerheads can also save enough energy to power your television for a year.

Replace your old toilet using 3½ gallons per flush or more with a WaterSense-labeled toilet, and you could be eligible for a rebate of up to $100.

Get Involved

Grab a wrench this week or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or licensed irrigator to address leaking toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation systems around your home.

If you find and fix a leak, take a picture (a leaky selfie?) and share it on Twitter (#ifixleaks). For more information on how to save water, go to cstx.gov/water or contact me at jnations@cstx.gov.

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 12)

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, Oct. 12. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:31 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council took no action on items discussed in executive session.

6:38 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:

  • Investment Policy: The Public Funds Investment Act requires an annual review and approval of the city’s investment policy and investment strategies. The act further requires that the governing body adopt a written instrument by rule, order, ordinance, or resolution stating that it has reviewed the investment policy and investment strategies and that the written instrument so adopted records any changes to either the investment policy or investment strategies. The City of College Station adopted an irrevocable OPEB trust on Sept. 11 and added to the investment strategy is the investment guideline for this trust.
  • Rio Grande Subdivision Parking Removal: This ordinance removes on-street parking on the northeast side of Little River Street beginning at the intersection of Harvey Mitchell Parkway South and extending 175 feet northwest to the intersection with a private alley.
  • Cordova Ridge Subdivision Parking Removal: This ordinance removes on-street parking on the northwest side of Cordova Ridge Court beginning at the intersection of Renee Lane and extending 640 feet southwest into its cul-de-sac.

7:05 p.m.

Water Conservation Update

The council heard a presentation by Texas A&M Professor Ron Kaiser, who has developed diagnostics to estimate how much water has been saved by local water conservation efforts. Kaiser provided a summary of significant achievements and ongoing programs.

He said the BVWaterSmart website and weekly notifications have played a significant role in reducing the amount of water wasted by overwatering landscapes.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:08 p.m.

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

7:18 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:24 p.m.

Municipal Courts Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Nov. 6-10 as Municipal Courts Week to recognize the importance of municipal courts, the rule of law, and the fair and impartial administration of justice. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney are Municipal Court Judge Ed Spillane and the municipal court staff.

7:28 p.m.

Fill the Boot for MDS

Mayor Mooney recognized the College Station Fire Department for its participation in the recent Fill the Boot for Muscular Dystrophy event. Mooney proclaimed Oct. 26-28 as Fill The Boot Days in College Station. For more than 60 years, Fill the Boot has been a national firefighter tradition that gives hope and support to families affected by muscular dystrophy. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney are representatives of the College Station Fire Department.

7:37 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. John Ellison spoke about the poor behavior he frequently witnesses on weekends in Northgate.

7:38 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Renewal of a not-to-exceed $150,000 contract with Hilltop Securities for financial advisory services.
  • A $25,000 funding agreement with the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley and its annual budget.
  • A $350,000 funding agreement with the Research Valley Partnership.
  • A $15,000 funding agreement with the College Station Noon Lions Club.
  • A $390,868 funding agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley for art and tourism marketing.
  • A $25,000 funding agreement with the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce and its annual budget.
  • A $114,376 funding agreement with Easterwood Airport and its annual budget.
  • A $325,000 funding agreement with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley and its annual budget.
  • A $2,280,236 tri-party funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and its annual budget. College Station’s share is $1,846,991 and Bryan’s is $433,245.
  • A $49,190 funding agreement with Keep Brazos Beautiful.
  • Estimated awards totaling $130,000 to CC Creations ($65,000) and M&M Apparel ($65,000) for city-branded uniforms.
  • A $400,000 funding agreement with the Brazos Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau to administer its grant program.
  • A $3.29 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Eastgate Rehab PH IV
  • Project.
  • A $301,495 contract with Binkley & Barfield for engineering services related to the preliminary design of the Greens Prairie Road and Greens Prairie Trail projects.
  • A $258,200 contract with Freese and Nichols for the Drainage Capital Plan.
  • A resolution stating that the city council has reviewed and approved the city’s investment policy, broker-dealer list, and investment strategy.
  • Annual water meter purchases estimated to be $166,078.27 from Aqua Metric Sales Company through the Houston-Galveston Area Council contract.
  • Removed parking on the northeast side of Little River Street beginning at the intersection with Harvey Mitchell Parkway South and extending 175 feet northwest to the intersection with a private alley.
  • Removed parking on the northwest side of Cordova Ridge Court beginning at the intersection with Renee Lane and extending 640 feet southwest into its cul-de-sac.
  • An amendment removing contradictory language from a Community Development Block Grant funding contract with Brazos Valley Community Action Programs for affordable rental activity at 1112 Waynesboro Ct.
  • An amendment removing contradictory language from a Community Development Block Grant funding contract with Twin City Mission for affordable rental activity at 2404 Blanco Dr.
  • An ordinance amendment to allow the CSPD SWAT team to have key box access.

7:58 p.m.

Northpoint Crossing Modification

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to modify the concept plan of the existing Planned Development District at Northpoint Crossing. The change will reduce the width of sidewalks along Northpoint Crossing Drive to allow for the redesign of head-in parking and improve site identification and wayfinding.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:22 p.m.

Arrington Road Thoroughfare Alignment

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to realign a future minor collector with Harpers Ferry Road at the intersection with Arrington Road. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Linda Harvell voted against the motion. Brazos County is reconstructing a portion of Arrington and requested the Thoroughfare Plan amendment to improve safety and efficiency in the corridor.

An earlier motion to delay the vote until additional information could be obtained failed by a 5-2 vote. Brick and Harvell supported that motion.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:22 p.m.

The council is taking a short break.

9:32 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

10:38 p.m.

Roadway Impact Fee Collection Rate

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 against reducing the roadway impact fee collection rate to zero. Councilwoman Julie Schultz and Councilman James Benham voted for the motion. The action would have reduced anticipated revenue for roadway capital improvement projects by about $12 million over the next decade.

The council adopted the one-time fees last year on new development to help mitigate the estimated $134 million in capital improvements needed in the next 10 years. Maximum fees were adopted with a lower collection rate phased in over a three-year period, with the initial fees scheduled to start Dec. 1. The adopted collection rate is about 9 percent of the maximum identified by state law.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:00 p.m.

Parkland Dedication Comp Plan Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Comprehensive Plan to revise neighborhood and community park zones.

The amendments change neighborhood park zones to no longer include College Station’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and to combine some of the zones. The changes also reduce community park zones from four areas to two by combining Zones A & B into one zone west of Highway 6 and combining Zones C & D into another zone east of Highway 6.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:30 p.m.

Parkland Dedication UDO Revisions

After a public hearing, the council voted for staff to bring back reworded revisions to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding the broader use of Parkland Dedication Fees.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:39 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

11:39 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Oct. 26.

 


About the Blogger

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


 

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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. Water Conservation Update: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about local water conservation efforts, including a summary of significant achievements and ongoing programs.
  2. Funding Agreements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider annual funding agreements with the Memorial for All Veterans of the Brazos Valley, Research Valley Partnership, Noon Lions Club, Arts Council, Chamber of Commerce, Easterwood Airport, Experience B-CS, and Keep Brazos Beautiful.
  3. Eastgate Water/Wastewater Rehabilitation: Another consent agenda item is a $3.3 million contract for Phase IV of the rehabilitation of water and wastewater lines in the Eastgate area.
  4. Northpoint Crossing Change: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to amend the concept plan for about 11 acres in the Northpoint Crossing Subdivision. The change would reduce sidewalks along Northpoint Crossing Drive to allow for the redesign of parking and would modify the sign ordinance to improve site identification and wayfinding.
  5. Roadway Impact Fees: After a public hearing, the council will consider reducing the roadway impact fee rate to zero. The fees are imposed on new development to help offset the city’s cost of building new roadways. The existing rate is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 and is expected to generate $12 million in the next decade.

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

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

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


 

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This weekend’s tax holiday can save money — and water

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If your landscape needs a spruce-up, this weekend is the ideal time to upgrade your irrigation controller, install a rain sensor, and add mulch to your new drought-tolerant plants.

And it’s all tax-free.

The state comptroller’s office is offering a sales tax holiday Saturday through Monday on the purchase of certain water-efficient products. The tax holiday was made possible by legislation passed in 2015 that provides an incentive for Texans to conserve our limited water resources.

Eligible tax-exempt items can be used to conserve or retain groundwater, recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperature, which reduces evaporation. For example, mulch is tax exempt because it cools the soil and helps retain water.

Other tax-free items include:

  • WaterSense labeled products.
  • Soaker or drip-irrigation hose.
  • Moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system.
  • Rain barrel or an alternative rain and moisture collection system.
  • Permeable ground cover surface that allows water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points.
  • Plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Soil and compost

WaterSense-labeled products go through an independent, third-party certification process and meet the EPA’s specifications for efficiency and performance. The beauty of WaterSense is having water-saving products in your home or business that deliver exceptional performance and savings on water bills for years to come.

In addition to tax savings, rebates for toilets and rain barrels are available for College Station water customers.

Take advantage of this opportunity to help conserve our water resources while saving yourself some cash. For more information visit the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday page on the Texas Comptroller’s website.

 


About the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and received a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


Image Copyright: raywoo/123RF Stock Photo 

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Ready to help College Station win a national challenge?

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Is College Station one of the country’s most water-wise communities?

We think so, but we need your help to prove it.

Throughout April, College Station will participate in the Sixth Annual Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, a friendly, nationwide competition to determine what cities are the most water-wise. To win, cities must have the highest percentage of residents take the challenge.

College Station will compete in the 100,000-299,999 population category won last year by Ventura, Calif, which had 350 residents participate. In 2016, the event awarded prizes to nearly 1,000 residents in winning cities.

What’s in it for you, besides the pride of living in a nationally recognized water-wise community? Quite a bit, actually.

If you’ve entered the prize drawing and we finish at the top, you could win:

  • A new Toyota Prius (grand prize).
  • A $1,000 shopping spree at a home improvement store.
  • 50 Greening Your Cleaning Gift Baskets from Earth Friendly Products.
  • 50 Toro EVOLUTION® Series controllers (equipped w/ Smart Connect®, Weather Sensor, and additional 4-station module).
  • 50 Cree 6-pack dimmable (84 percent less energy) LED light bulbs.
  • 50 Avex Brazos Autoseal® water bottles (set of 2)
  • 25 EcoFlow® shower heads from Waterpik.

How to participate

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney challenges you to conserve water, energy and other natural resources through a series of informative, easy-to-use online pledges. Teachers and students are encouraged to take part in the Classroom Water Pledge Challenge to earn prizes for their school.

To participate, click on one of the following links from April 1-30 and take the pledge. Encourage your friends and neighbors to take it, too.

The pledge asks residents to take simple actions to save water, such as fixing leaky faucets, taking shorter showers, and using energy efficient appliances — because saving energy also saves water.

Presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, the campaign was created in 2011 to complement existing municipal water conservation programs, promote drought resiliency and healthy watersheds, and reduce stress on aging water infrastructure. In 2016, residents from 4,100 cities pledged to reduce water consumption by 1.9 billion gallons — enough to fill 2,877 Olympic-size swimming pools.

That’s a lot of water!

Related Links:

 


About the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and received a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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3 simple steps to save big on your water bill

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

More than one trillion gallons of water are wasted in American homes each year because of easy-to-fix leaks. That’s why the City of College Station is joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week to encourage homeowners to find and repair leaks during the annual Fix a Leak Week.

In the average home, household leaks waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year. That’s enough water for 270 loads of laundry.

You can identify leaks around your home and start saving today with these three simple steps:

1. Check

Check your water bill and water meter for signs of leaks. If your water use this winter exceeded 12,000 gallons a month for a family of four, you probably had leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when you’re not using any water. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. Water meters also have a leak indicator – if there is a (+) sign on a digital water meter, or if the red dial is moving at all when you’re not using water – that’s a sign of a leak.

Check for dripping faucets, showerheads, sprinklers, and other fixtures. Silent toilet leaks, a common culprit of high water bills, can be detected by placing a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If any color appears in the bowl during that time, you have a leak. Don’t forget to check your irrigation system and spigots, too.

2. Twist

Apply pipe tape to make sure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and showerheads a firm twist with a wrench. If you can’t stop those drops yourself, contact a licensed plumber.

For additional savings, twist a WaterSense-labeled aerator onto each bathroom faucet to save water without affecting flow. Faucet aerators only cost a few dollars can save a household more than 500 gallons each year—enough for 180 showers.

3. Replace

If you just can’t nip that drip, it may be time to replace the fixture. Look for WaterSense-labeled models, which use at least 20 percent less water and are independently certified to perform as well or better than standard fixtures. Replacing an old, inefficient showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model will shrink your household’s water footprint by 2,900 gallons annually while still letting you shower with power, thanks to EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria.

With less hot water passing through, WaterSense-labeled showerheads can also save enough energy to power a television for a year. If you Replace an old toilet that uses 3.5 gallons or more per flush with a WaterSense-labeled toilet, you could be eligible for a $100 rebate.

How do you get started?

First, click here to take the WaterSense Pledge, then follow WaterSense on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest tips.

Finally, grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or certified irrigation professional to repair your leaky toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation systems.

The water you save will help conserve our precious water while saving you a substantial amount of money.

 


7204119348_7a9cc790a2_oAbout the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator for more than 15 years after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and earned a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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

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 25. 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.

5:30 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:39 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:

  • Resealing Concrete Joints on Streets: The $591,000 contract with Scodeller is for the resealing of concrete joints on city streets. The contract includes cleaning, sealant and traffic control, and may be renewed for up to two additional one-year terms.
  • Game Day Traffic Control Agreement: As part of the city’s partnership with the Texas A&M University System and other local agencies, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and city staff developed a traffic control plan to move traffic efficiently after A&M football games. Funds have been appropriated in the Public Works Street Division budget to cover the cost of traffic control deployment. Staff intends to bid the deployment of the equipment and this ILA will allow A&M to cover up to $57,000 of the annual cost.

6:17 p.m.

Water Conservation Efforts

The council heard a presentation about the city’s water conservation efforts, including rebates, irrigation checkups, water waste reductions, conservation-oriented water rates, reclaimed water, rainwater harvesting and the Brazos Valley WaterSmart network.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:31 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Boy Scout Troop 1300 led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Scout

7:05 p.m.

Mayor Nancy Berry presented a plaque to Planning & Development Services Director Lance Simms recognizing his department for receiving the 2016 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence issued by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Presentation1

7:08 p.m.

Mayor Berry presented a proclamation recognizing Municipal Court Operations Supervisor Marie Barringer for becoming a certified court manager after her recent graduation from the Court Management Program. The program is sponsored by the Institute for Court Management and the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. Since 2000, about 500 court professionals from across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have achieved certification.

Presentation2

7:10 p.m.

The council thanked Wayne Beckermann of Texas A&M’s Student Government Association for representing the A&M student body at council meetings over the last year. Beckermann introduced student senators Joseph Hood, Ben DeLeon, and Carter Stratham, and announced that Stratham would be the new student liaison to the council.

7:13 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. Ben Roper recognized Army Spc. Michael G. Karr, Jr., as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old San Antonio native died March 31, 2004, when an improvised explosive device hit his armored personnel carrier in Habbaniyah, Iraq.

7:13 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A resolution allowing the mayor to sign a $43,500 advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s cost participation in the reconstruction of the FM 2818 and FM 60 interchange.
  • A resolution setting Sept. 22 (3 p.m.) as a public hearing date regarding possible water and wastewater impact fees.
  • Renewal of an inter-local agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • Bid awards of $114,500 to Wesco Distribution and $10,020 to CAPP, USA for distribution circuit breakers and relays.
  • A change order increasing the contract with BerryDunn by $107,475 for additional project management services and expenses.
  • A $67,410 contract with Stantec Consulting Services for final design and construction phase services for the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Blower Replacement Project.
  • A $59,400 contract with DXI Industries for up to 90,000 gallons of sodium hypochlorite solution for the disinfection of the public drinking water supply.
  • Ordered a general and special election on Nov. 8 to elect a mayor and Place 2 city councilmember, and to fill a the final two years of the unexpired term for Place 4 and the final year of the unexpired term for place 3. The ordinance also establishes early voting locations and polling places, and making provisions for conducting the election.
  • A contract not to exceed $591,000 with Scodeller Construction for concrete joint resealing on city streets.
  • A $580,450 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the design and construction phase services for Phase I of the Northeast Trunk Line Project and a preliminary engineering report for the phases 2-4.
  • A five-year Inter-local agreement with Texas A&M to equally share in the traffic control device deployment costs under the Texas A&M Football Postgame Traffic Control Plan. The anticipated annual maximum reimbursement from A&M is $57,000.
  • An $85,043 contract with N-Line Traffic Maintenance for 2016 A&M football game day traffic control implementation.

7:33 p.m.

Science Park Comp Plan Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Business Park to General Commercial for about 14 acres near The Science Park across Earl Rudder Freeway from Beachy Central Park. The change will allow for commercial development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:42 p.m.

Science Park Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Planned Industrial to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.  

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:51 p.m.

Horseback Court Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Restricted Suburban and Natural Areas Protected for about 13 acres at 2744 Horseback Court. The change will allow for residential development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:51 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 8.


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 Texas A&M Athletics. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

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. Water Conservation Efforts: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the city’s water conservation programs.
  2. Northeast Sewer Trunk Line: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $580,000 contract for design and construction services for Phase I of the Northeast Trunk Line Project and a preliminary engineering report for future phases.
  3. Game Day Traffic Control Agreement: The consent agenda also includes a five-year inter-local agreement with Texas A&M to share the deployment costs of traffic control devices. The expected maximum annual reimbursement from the university is $57,000.
  4. Rezoning Near The Science Park: After a pair of public hearings, the council will consider a request to change the land use and zoning designations for about 14 acres along the Rudder Freeway frontage road near The Science Park. The changes will allow for commercial development.
  5. Horseback Court Rezoning: The council will consider a request to change to zoning from Rural to Restricted Commercial and Natural Areas Protected for about 13 acres at 2744 Horseback Court.

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.


 

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A free way to spruce up your sprinklers and save money

W4W 018

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Twice in recent weeks – even before the heavy rain stopped – I was contacted by several homeowner associations after residents complained about slippery, algae-covered sidewalks caused by irrigation runoff.

Apparently, some irrigation systems are in dire need of a Sprinkler Spruce Up.

If learning how to program your sprinkler controller, spot irrigation leaks, and cut your water bills rank high among your summer goals, you’ll want to attend one of three free workshops hosted by College Station Water Services in observance of Smart Irrigation Month.

The first workshop is Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Mediterranean Room at Pebble Creek Country Club. Participating households will receive a rain gauge, soil moisture meter, and a $25 gift card to a home improvement store. You’ll even get a chance to meet Flo the Spokesgallon (pictured above) from the EPA WaterSense program.

You’ll also learn valuable sprinkler system maintenance tips, see the latest in water-saving sprinkler technology, get tips from a licensed irrigator, and learn about weekly watering recommendations from the Brazos Valley Water Smart Network.

If you can’t make it Saturday, we’ll repeat the class twice in July:

  • Saturday, July 9: 10-11:30 a.m., Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (Training Room), 2200 North Forest Pkwy.
  • Saturday, July 23: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Castlegate II Event Center, 4205 Norwich Dr.

These workshops are for you if:

  • You have a sprinkler system but fear that scaling back your watering schedule will kill your lawn.
  • You’ve had high summer water bills in the past and want to avoid sticker shock again.
  • You’re curious about how slight adjustments to your watering schedule could save you money.
  • Your neighborhood or homeowner association collectively seeks to reduce the amount of water use and runoff – and clear up those algae-ridden sidewalks!

For more information or to register, please contact Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


7204119348_7a9cc790a2_oAbout the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator for more than 15 years after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and  Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and earned a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Please don’t respond to heat by watering every day

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Broken head2The summer heat wave started a little later than usual this year, but it’s here. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been outside at mid-afternoon lately.

When it comes to your water supply, it’s not a surprise that higher temperatures mean a rise in the demand. Unfortunately, many of our residents have started watering every day while others have irrigation systems in disrepair.

As a result, our community’s water consumption has gone from 12 million gallons a day in early July to more than 21 million gallons just a month later. In fact, we’ve used more than 20 million gallons every day since July 22.

That’s stunning.

(more…)


3 reasons to attend a lawn irrigation workshop

sprinkler-spruce-up_infographic

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If learning how to program your sprinkler controller and saving on your water bills rank high among your summer goals, you’ll want to attend one of two free workshops conducted this week by College Station Water Services.

The first session is Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility at 1603 Graham Rd. and the second is Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. at Pebble Creek Country Club. We’ll also provide light refreshments and door prizes.

UPDATE (6/25): Thursday’s session has been cancelled. (more…)


New website helps you water smarter

BVWS

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Have you ever wondered when you should water and for how long? Just how much water does your lawn really need, anyway?

Not long ago, answers to those questions were just guesswork.

Thanks to the innovative new Brazos Valley Water Smart website, those days are gone for good. Now you can receive free weekly email alerts to help you decide whether your lawn needs water that week or not – and that means a healthier lawn and a leaner water bill.

Based on weather stations and rainfall data collected across Brazos County, the weekly recommendations are tailored specifically to your neighborhood, which helps you know when to water and when to turn your irrigation controller off.

(more…)


Podcast: Coleman responds to city’s water worries

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Director of Water Services Dave Coleman may be the happiest guy on the city staff, but he’s leading the charge on a very serious issue: protecting and preserving our water supplies for generations to come.

Coleman has been Director of Water Services for the City of College Station since 2005. Before joining the city, he served more than two decades as a civil engineer corps officer in the U.S. Navy. A native of Wichita Falls, David received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M in 1981, earned a master’s in construction engineering from Stanford, and also attended the U.S. Naval War College.

In this podcast, Coleman talks conservation, how using treated effluent is saving millions of gallons of drinking water a day, and why his hometown implemented the desperate solution of drinking “potty water.”

Click below to listen. Soundcloud may not play in older versions of Internet Explorer.

 

(more…)


Are you staying within your water budget?

Pages from Letter

Since the historic drought of 2011, we’ve heard about other parts of Texas implementing water restrictions, dealing with Stage 3 water emergencies, battling low lake levels, and searching for new water supplies. While much of the state remains abnormally dry with moderate to extreme drought conditions, the dry spell hasn’t had an immediate impact on College Station because our water supply comes from groundwater wells.

College Station has become a leader in water conservation through our inclined water rates and the implementation of a reclaimed water system to irrigate Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, which saves about 300,000 gallons of potable water a day.

(more…)


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

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 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.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started.

Tonight’s meeting offers us our first opportunity to allow a city council member to fully participate in an open meeting via video. New state law requires governmental bodies to provide for two-way communication that allows all participants to hear and see one another, including the public.

Barring technical glitches, Place-6 Councilman James Benham will be participating in tonight’s meetings from New York City. Mr. Benham “poses” below with Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilwoman Julie Schultz:

cs-benham

6:18 p.m. (more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 10)

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 10. 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.

6:10 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

6:42 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting, but these items were pulled for workshop discussion:

  • Free Parking on Boyett Street: Approval of this item would establish four free parking spaces on the west side of Boyett from Patricia Street to Church Avenue, which would bring to 17 the number of free on-street parking spaces in the Northgate District.
  • USGS Joint Funding Agreement: The joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for stream stations would help provide actual field-measured data for the calibration of engineered flood studies. The city’s regulated floodplains impact hundreds of properties valued at millions of dollars, and many of the city’s major capital projects are influenced by flood studies, which also impact associated flood insurance rates and development regulation.
  • Water Conservation Grant: The inter-local agreement includes a $57,500 grant from the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District to create a system to help residents avoid overwatering their landscapes and lawns. The system would include a weather station and rain gauges that auto-report to a database and website created by Texas A&M Agri-Life.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Replacement Project: The consent agenda includes two items related to the ERP project to replace the city’s wide-ranging business software: (1) A $69,000 software maintenance and support agreement and a $531,000 license and installation agreement with CRW Systems, Inc.; and (2) a master agreement for $1,421,077 with Tyler Technologies for software licenses and implementation services.
  • Emergency Management Plan: The 2014 Emergency Management Plan outlines the approach of local government entities to emergency operations and provides general guidance for emergency management.

7:07 p.m.  (more…)