College Station can save money and run sewage through Bryan

70,281 Views | 374 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Roxie146
Sarvab
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agnerd said:

Sarvab said:

Can someone explain to me how it can possibly be legal for officials in political jurisdiction A to exercise eminent domain against those in political jurisdiction B? Those residents don't get any say in the electoral process of A and don't get to participate in government.

If Texarkana wanted to condemn some land in College Station (like the new city hall, for example) can they just do that?
Texarkana isn't supposed to condemn any land without a "public use" for it. Cities are allowed to take land outside of the city limits because you may own water in a lake outside of city limits, and need to be able to connect to it. Or you may need to drain to a river outside city limits. Or a city wants to expand the road that connects them to the interstate, but its unincorporated. Laws go back to railroad times when a landowner could own a mountain pass and hold the railroads hostage for hundreds of millions of (today's) dollars since it's much more expensive to go around. Yes, even private companies like the railroads can be given eminent domain powers by our elected officials. Federal officials can condemn city property to build a border wall. States can condemn city property to build or expand a state highway. The Texas high speed railroad can force you to sell your land to them so they can build a train. Centerpoint can take ranch land to build power transmission lines or a gas pipeline. Only way to change that is to revise eminent domain laws at the state level. Good luck with that.

It's extremely unusual for a city to take land within another city. I've never actually seen it happen. Preferred method is for City of CS to have an agreement with Bryan to where Bryan condemns the land, purchases it, builds the sewer line, and then charges CS the construction costs plus all maintenance costs.


So... again....what prevents Texarkana from cooking up a public use reason to take land in College Station? I understand the "how" of a political subdivision (federal, state, city, etc) taking land from within their own jurisdiction, but it seems grossly against the principles of our government, for a government actor to take land outside of their elected "sphere of influence". Because if this stands, what's to prevent Bryan from just taking land from College Station for whatever "public use" reason they have?
Roxie146
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In this particular case - with the Phase 4 as designed, there are only 3 homeowners at risk for eminent domain in Beverley Estates. There are more - beyond Beverley Estates including KBTX - the CoCS thinks it has absolute ROW rights to use the street (Rosemary, North and South, and Park Lane). It is not the first time CoCS has used eminent domain to force Bryan property owners into condemnation and mediation. The question is - beyond eminent domain - can one city force its needs on to another city - in this case, can CoCS force its needs on to Bryan and use a Bryan right of way for exclusive rights to a sewer line.
The very fact that there are alternatives should enter in to the decision making.
It is apparent (to this reader) that the CoCS is choosing to go down Rosemary - not because it has to and does not have another choice, but because it is the cheapest (in their estimation) way to get additional capacity for commercial development for Hensel Park (TAMUS) and Northgate.
There are other alternatives. Just because you can does not mean you should.
agnerd
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AG
Lawyers help with that. The taking usually has to include a utility and be connected to the city doing the taking and has to connect the city to a property with a utility need or purpose. A lot of government powers also have to rely on voters to remove politicians from office when they do bad things. Unfortunately that requires that voters be educated, which is whole different set of problems.
AggiePhil
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AG
Line will be underground, should not be a problem above.
Chrundle the Great
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AG
AggiePhil said:

Line will be underground, should not be a problem above.

Yep they'll just magically place it +15' below surface without affecting above
MyNameIsJeff
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AG
BiochemAg97
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AG
Belton Ag said:

happyinBCS said:

correct but it is another town they are choosing to run it through
I was just responding mostly to the posts talking about "heaven forbid they run it through any CS neighborhoods." I'm saying if they could do entirely within CS limits without using lift stations they would have.


They could, just would need to dig a deeper trench. Future maintenance in those deep trench areas would be more expensive too.
BryanTexan
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At the recent public meeting at the City of College Station City Hall, the CS City Manager provided two reasons as to why CS city planners are against updating the Hensel Park lift station:

1) It's "Risky"
2) Cost of Install & Maintenance

It's worth noting that the first meeting of TAMU's "Hensel Park Focus Group" was in 2016, which aligns with College Station city planners initiation of plans for the Phase 4 sewer line project.

I am of the opinion that the two reasons provided by the CS City Manager are not at the root of why the Hensel Park lift station must be removed. The location of the lift station presents a blemish on an area where future development by TAMU & CS is anticipated - which is a better explanation as to why CS is adamant about replacing it with a gravity line.

The damaging impact this would cause to one of Bryan's historic neighborhoods appears to be a low priority as TAMU and College Station plan for the future development of Hensel Park.

Many members of the College Station city council previously campaigned on "neighborhood integrity." In the case of Beverley Estates, we will see if "neighborhood integrity" is only meaningful when it applies to the citizens who reside in your voting district, or if "neighborhood integrity" applies to all neighborhoods in our community, particularly historic ones. And what happens to "neighborhood integrity" when TAMU instructs you to ignore it and proceed accordingly?




BiochemAg97
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AG
MyNameIsJeff said:

turfman80 said:

"And the trees are fine."

Couldn't be more wrong. Post oaks are extremely sensitive to root disturbance , including compaction. When you consider that the majority of tree roots are in the top 2 feet of soil and extend out from the trunk 2 times the height of a tree, these types of projects pose a threat to trees well outside the actual trench footprint.
We are typically required to fence off the entire dripline (basically where the branches stop) of any tree to remain within our job sites. No equipment moving under them, no material stored under them, etc. It doesn't take much to stress one out. I've paid upward of $50k for new decent sized oak (maybe 12" caliper?, idk been a while). The trees in this neighborhood are irreplaceable.


City of Bryan needs some sort of tree preservation ordinance that will make it cost prohibitive for CoCS to pay the fines for killing all the trees.

Slip in something that requires replacing with trees on property owned by the "developer" within the city of Bryan.
AG 86 BC
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AG
Tunnel
duffelpud
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AG
[Your posts did not add anything to this thread and if you clutter it up again you will get a ban. -Staff]
Chrundle the Great
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I think you're spot on.

City of cs is trying to clear out a "blemish" and so they're pitching lift stations as risky.

Do some quick math on sanitary line slopes and you'll see why they are ubiquitous in the mostly flat Texas. Trenching below 5' is hard. You can't just cut deep trenches everywhere till you get out of the city center to a plant. So pressurize it at a lift station or you put the poop plant in the middle of town.

Or I guess if you're the cocs you try and shove the terrible logistics of a deep trench on your neighbor city.
EliteElectric
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Chrundle the Great said:

AggiePhil said:

Line will be underground, should not be a problem above.

Yep they'll just magically place it +15' below surface without affecting above
and-


OSHA requires a step back terracing of excavations in 4' increments, so a 16' deep trench would need to be at least 32' wide from centerline

FamousAgg
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Aren't municipalities exempt from OSHA
maroon barchetta
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They certainly operate like it.

They do lots of work where they don't call before they dig and hit other buried utilities, and their safety records are usually not as good as private industry.

If they bring a contractor in to perform this project (if it gets sorted out so it can happen), that contractor will be under OSHA since their are a private industry.

Also, just because an entity is not under OSHA doesn't mean they shouldn't use OSHA as a guideline.
MyNameIsJeff
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AG
EliteElectric
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MyNameIsJeff said:

EliteElectric said:

Chrundle the Great said:

AggiePhil said:

Line will be underground, should not be a problem above.

Yep they'll just magically place it +15' below surface without affecting above
and-


OSHA requires a step back terracing of excavations in 4' increments, so a 16' deep trench would need to be at least 32' wide from centerline




Or one of these. Still need a lot of room on the surface to make it happen, though.
yes, and would still need the same room for equipment to set the shoring up
Chrundle the Great
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AG
Yes, but it's still more complicated than just trench boxes too. Most trench boxes are not structural or if they are a footing has to be excavated too (I think that's what's going on in the background of this pic, where the hole is bigger) so you likely need some combo of this and temporary shoring.

The long story short is it's going to be somebody's entire job and 100s of hours planning out the construction phasing and the health of the trees won't be priority #1.

And even if they believe they designed some kind of trench plan that will 100% protect all trees (not likely) I'd still be against this if I lived in BevEstates just on the simple principle that it will make life hell for 8-12 months with zero benefit to the neighborhood.
Roxie146
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On good authority, a 336 Cat excavator is the excavator needed to dig to the depths of a 24 ft trench.



This excavator has an 11.6 ft Tail Swing Radius with the front swing radius in the tucked position of approximately 13.6 ft. The reach boom is 21 ft.

Rosemary is only 20ft wide.

In the current design the trench is on one side of the street and not down the middle.

So you have an approximately 82,000 lb, 25ft long excavator(tucked) on a 20ft road.

Not to mention all the additional vehicles needed in support as well as all the safety requirements.

You might as well rebuild a 4 lane street down the middle of North Rosemary with all the damage it is going to do

But that is only on half of North Rosemary - the other half will remain a 2 lane road.

Lovely - so much for neighborhood integrity.
maroon barchetta
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It was mentioned that they plan to bore some portions of this project but you will still need some bore pits on each end and it's not uncommon to dig some "peep holes" or "windows" into the route to make sure the bore is going according to plan.

It is unlikely they could bore the entire route. Making that pull of pipe on the other end would be difficult.
Roxie146
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8 Bore pits - -2 at right angles
maroon barchetta
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Thanks. I haven't looked at the plans.
Bryanisbest
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AG
Mayor Nichols mentions in Feb 8 WTAW interview that BTU uses CS easements to serve CS citizens. Implies this legitimates CS use of Bryan easements in Bev Estates. Ridiculous argument because BTU does it to serve CS citizens. CS is trying to do it to serve themselves. The radio interviewer, Scott Delucia, fails to question and call him out on this important distinction.

CS is not providing sewage service to Bev Estates here. If it was, Nichols' comparison would be appropriate.
Chrundle the Great
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AG
Bobby pointed out the hypocrisy of that argument on wtaw Wednesday, but didn't mention mayor Nichols actually said it which I find interesting. I didn't realize that was a cocs talking point just one Bobby heard and was shooting down.
Bryanisbest
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AG
I listened carefully to the Nichols Feb 8 WTAW interview this afternoon. It is there.
Chrundle the Great
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Bryanisbest said:

I listened carefully to the Nichols Feb 8 WTAW interview this afternoon. It is there.

Oh I wasn't doubting you, just noting Gutierrez wasn't publicly calling out nichols while countering his narrative.
Bryanisbest
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AG
Chrundle the Great said:

Bryanisbest said:

I listened carefully to the Nichols Feb 8 WTAW interview this afternoon. It is there.

Oh I wasn't doubting you, just noting Gutierrez wasn't publicly calling out nichols while countering his narrative.


Gotcha
Roxie146
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Ps
It is a talking point for the CoCS City Manager who has said it multiple times including all 3 meetings with the Beverley Estates HOA and Public Meeting. Mayor Nichols is only repeating a very tired spin.

It is disingenuous. As was stated previously by other writers, the CoCS can not provide all utilities and depends on other groups including BTU to deliver services to areas within their own city limits and ETJ.

Bryan also depends on other utilities as well. Part of the reason is that certain utilities have specific areas that are "certified" as theirs and it may be their choice to deliver to areas within that "certified" area - for example Wixon Valley Special Utility District. But at least these areas in Bryan are contiguous with the Wixon Valley SUD.

The difference is, of course, that you don't circumvent your own city just to provide a service that could be, at least partially, provided by another utility. This is especially true in this case as no one in Bryan benefits by this boondoggle.

It seems that the CoCS has exclusive rights to TAMU and TAMUS and is refusing to use a closer point to point which happens to be in Bryan and part of the Bryan sewage system. It is not the whole solution to their lack of capacity.

But if split, part could go down the 30 inch Cooner street sewer line that was initially designed to provide all the capacity before the lift station was abandoned AND the other part could go down the 24 inch line in the Pin Oak creek to the Bryan facility.

Again - this has been suggested to the CoCS but they refuse to consider this.

One has to ask why TAMU and TAMUS has not weighed in on this. They are complicit.

BUT their needs for infrastructure are borne by both communities, "certified " or not. Exclusivity to one city becomes negated when that very need for infrastructure destroys the neighborhoods in the other city.

TAMU/TAMUS needs sewer capacity. Why is the CoCS the only utility to provide it when Bryan's is closer.

Hensel Park borders the city limits of Bryan. And Bryan's 24 inch sewer line would be right next to the proposed alternative line for the CoCS.

Remember that the CoCS is abandoning a line and a lift station to construct, at great cost, a line that goes around North College Station in to Bryan to reach a sewer treatment center across the bypass to the west of the new Academy.

How this makes financial sense is the question. To construct a line that goes right past an existing sewage treatment center, even if it is not your own, makes no sense.

It is neither a fiduciary nor an environmental best use of resources.
techno-ag
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AG
Well said.
Roxie146
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Further information - the following map/diagram comes from a study done for CoCS 2021 Water and Wastewater Impact Fee Update Study - page 13 shows the location of lift stations and subsequent forced flow to wastewater treatment plants. These include specific lift stations designed to serve named developments - think roof tops - so it seems to me that CoCS is happy to do a lift station if it serves tax payers and if it serves their continued city expansion East, South and West. BUT not North - because it can not expand north - no new city taxpayers.
Some of the named lift stations are Mission Ranch LS, Castlegate LS, Creek Meadow LS, Crooked Creek Path LS, Rock Prairie LS, Aggie Acres LS, Luther Street LS, Westminster LS, Indian Lakes LS, Southern Point LS, Fox Fire LS, Eastside LS as well as a couple of non named LS's along the bypass.

I guess rehabbing the Hensel Park LS is too costly because there are no additional rooftops to pay for it - so instead they are going to destroy a non tax paying historical neighborhood in an adjacent city so that the commercial needs of Northgate and TAMU/TAMUS are further served.

Good for me but not for thee. The ethics of this stinks to high heavens.

If you want to look at this study go do an open records request at CoCS.
https://www.cstx.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=12410917&pageId=13470860

the screen shot is small





threecatcorner
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Seems like City of CS ought to charge developers who've been putting in high rises in Northgate area and creating the need for expanded sewer services the cost of upgrading that lift station. If they don't want to pay for upgrading sewer services, stop approving so much development.

Also seems like whatever arborist said the trees will be fine is risking their professional license (or whatever arborists have)
PS3D
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BiochemAg97 said:

MyNameIsJeff said:

turfman80 said:

"And the trees are fine."

Couldn't be more wrong. Post oaks are extremely sensitive to root disturbance , including compaction. When you consider that the majority of tree roots are in the top 2 feet of soil and extend out from the trunk 2 times the height of a tree, these types of projects pose a threat to trees well outside the actual trench footprint.
We are typically required to fence off the entire dripline (basically where the branches stop) of any tree to remain within our job sites. No equipment moving under them, no material stored under them, etc. It doesn't take much to stress one out. I've paid upward of $50k for new decent sized oak (maybe 12" caliper?, idk been a while). The trees in this neighborhood are irreplaceable.


City of Bryan needs some sort of tree preservation ordinance that will make it cost prohibitive for CoCS to pay the fines for killing all the trees.

Slip in something that requires replacing with trees on property owned by the "developer" within the city of Bryan.


That would cripple CoB development and infrastructure improvement if they went with that, while any "tree replacement fee" just becomes another vector for corrupt politicians to launder money.

Is the issue trees or ED abuse? You have to pick one. If College Station pays Bryan for use of the right of way or some other quid pro quo, they will happily throw the neighborhood under the bus.
Roxie146
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2 issues
1. College Station does not have to pay for use of the Right of Way to anyone- much less Bryan
2. Nothing in the Right of Way is safe from destruction - trees, vegetation, mailboxes, - and none of it is reimbursable



It is apparent that College Station requires a lift station for new development - more than likely paid for by the developer -

Why is this situation any different? TAMUS wants to develop Hensel Park for commercial use - more developers want to put mid to high rises in Northgate -

Why are they not paying for the lift station? - and use the already expanded Cooner Street 30 inch line

Why is the cost being put on the taxpayers of College Station (12M+ for Phase IV)and the destruction being paid by the citizens of Bryan?
threecatcorner
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Exactly. Make the developers (including A&M) pay for the lift station.
rockelle
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College Station folks need to be contacting their council members. This is a bad look and a "crappy" move by COCS. And make no mistake, TAMU has their hands all in this also but COCS is doing the fighting on the front line. Despicable.
 
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