College Station can save money and run sewage through Bryan

70,169 Views | 374 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by Roxie146
threecatcorner
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BiochemAg97 said:

threecatcorner said:

For those who haven't seen the latest yet: https://www.kbtx.com/2023/03/20/bryan-residents-continue-learning-about-college-station-sewer-line-options/


How much more expensive is the lift station option?

At what point do they waste enough money pursuing alternatives that the lift station would be cheaper? They've already approved spending money on surveying the creek. And placing it deeper under the creek sounds like either lots more boring ($) or larger ground disturbance to dig a deeper hole.


The creek option sounds like a super stupid idea. I think you are right. They should just suck it up and go with the lift option, stay in College Station.

They should make A&M and any developers involved in those projects they want approved that will be upping the need for sewer service to cover the cost or at least cover the difference in cost between the lift and their "cheaper" options.

I also realized why I recognized the name Inwood. It's the street BCS Books and Comics is located on, which is just past a creek that is barely past a statue on Texas Ave. that represents the city limits between the two cities. They'll potentially be creating a huge eyesore right where people go between the two cities.

I also really don't want them doing stuff that makes Bryan super mad. They have more than one project that depend on agreements between the two cities. Do they really not remember how much strife there was about the dump (which city was in charge, etc.)?
birdman
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Go look at east entrance of A&M campus. They are putting in some pipelines. I think they're smaller than the proposed lines through Bryan. Look at the giant mess. And look at the width of work space.

Then try to reconcile that with the low impact nonsense that College Station is spouting.
Roxie146
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birdman said:

Go look at east entrance of A&M campus. They are putting in some pipelines. I think they're smaller than the proposed lines through Bryan. Look at the giant mess. And look at the width of work space.

Then try to reconcile that with the low impact nonsense that College Station is spouting.
This is a 24 inch - "minimal impact" - not to mention all the spoils, the storage area needed for the 24 inch pipes, as well as the construction vehicles needed to do all this.

So College Station is proposing to put this in an area that already has Bryan utilities - water, sewer and Atmos Gas.

Who is responsible for the resulting damage to the streets above - all the potholes from the subsidence in future years

Bryan will be paying for this in years to come - we get the damage and loss of property value and College Station gets all the revenue from the sewage lines servicing TAMU, Northgate and the revitalized University/Texas development.

Dumbfounded
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CS is adamant about constructing a gravity flow sewer pipeline. This is why they abandoned the Hensel Park lift station option and selected the Rosemary option. It is the cheapest and easiest option.

It is hard to tell the actual dimensions of the pictured excavation. Let's assume it is 8'-10' deep and 20'-26' wide. Now consider the depth and width of the required excavation for a 20'+ deep (in some areas) gravity flow line run under Rosemary Drive (which is 20' wide).

I don't know the exact resulting dimensions but I would imagine it would be significantly larger than the pit shown above creating significant damage to the immediate adjacencies.

The current Rosemary design includes a combination of open trench and bored construction. There are 8 bore pits in the current design.
threecatcorner
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Dumbfounded said:

CS is adamant about constructing a gravity flow sewer pipeline. This is why they abandoned the Hensel Park lift station option and selected the Rosemary option. It is the cheapest and easiest option.

It is hard to tell the actual dimensions of the pictured excavation. Let's assume it is 8'-10' deep and 20'-26' wide. Now consider the depth and width of the required excavation for a 20'+ deep (in some areas) gravity flow line run under Rosemary Drive (which is 20' wide).

I don't know the exact resulting dimensions but I would imagine it would be significantly larger than the pit shown above creating significant damage to the immediate adjacencies.

The current Rosemary design includes a combination of open trench and bored construction. There are 8 bore pits in the current design.


Why are they so adamant about doing it that way? If/when they mess up people's property, can those Bryan residents sue the city of College Station? If that's a possibility, they need to start adding legal costs to their estimates. The "cheaper" option might not really be cheaper if you include legal costs.
techno-ag
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AG
threecatcorner said:

Dumbfounded said:

CS is adamant about constructing a gravity flow sewer pipeline. This is why they abandoned the Hensel Park lift station option and selected the Rosemary option. It is the cheapest and easiest option.

It is hard to tell the actual dimensions of the pictured excavation. Let's assume it is 8'-10' deep and 20'-26' wide. Now consider the depth and width of the required excavation for a 20'+ deep (in some areas) gravity flow line run under Rosemary Drive (which is 20' wide).

I don't know the exact resulting dimensions but I would imagine it would be significantly larger than the pit shown above creating significant damage to the immediate adjacencies.

The current Rosemary design includes a combination of open trench and bored construction. There are 8 bore pits in the current design.


Why are they so adamant about doing it that way? If/when they mess up people's property, can those Bryan residents sue the city of College Station? If that's a possibility, they need to start adding legal costs to their estimates. The "cheaper" option might not really be cheaper if you include legal costs.
This has happened before. Remember Walmart wanted to build out on the highway where the hospital is now. It was zoned appropriately but the CS city council blocked it because they did not want a Walmart on the bypass. (I guess Costco is okay tho.) Anyway they were sued successfully, costing taxpayers additional money. But they kept Walmart out of that location.
Tailgate88
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AG
Just drove down Rosemary. Approx 100 signs in yards "Preserve neighborhood lntegrity. Save Rosemary" or something like that.
techno-ag
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AG
Tailgate88 said:

Just drove down Rosemary. Approx 100 signs in yards "Preserve neighborhood lntegrity. Save Rosemary" or something like that.
Let's hope they do better than the "Save Wellborn" campaign did.
threecatcorner
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Tailgate88 said:

Just drove down Rosemary. Approx 100 signs in yards "Preserve neighborhood lntegrity. Save Rosemary" or something like that.


Could probably use signs for "save Inwood and Vine", "Save Pin Oak Creek" too.

Moving it from Rosemary to the street behind it and/or down the creek doesn't exactly seem much better.

Based on that photo of other construction (I think it's somewhere at A&M), what would that mean if they use the creek? Just completely destroying it? Because that picture looked like an area definitely wider and probably at least as deep as the creek was dug up.
Dumbfounded
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Why is CS so adamant about installing a gravity flow sewer pipeline thru Rosemary? Primarily two reasons that CS continues to state publicly.

1) they don't want to adsorb the additional cost to upgrade the Hensel Park lift station. CS has estimated this @ ~$3.5M. It is my understanding that Bryan just approved a $12M sewer project that includes a lift station. Their lift station estimate is ~$1.5M. I would assume the added cost is somewhere between these two figures.

It is my opinion that the financial beneficiaries of this sewer project should bear the added cost. CS, TAMU and the numerous developers constructing or have plans to construct in Northgate, Century Square and Hensel park appear to the the true beneficiaries. Have these 3 entities share in the added cost. This would be a minimal financial impact to each and keep a CS project within the CS city limits.

2) CS doesn't want future maintenance issues w a lift station. It is my understanding that CS currently has ~17 lift stations w more in the works. Will there be a need for maintenance, yes, but this seems more of an excuse not solid reasoning. Bryan operates ~40 lift stations and has publicly stated that 100% of Bryan's sewer runs thru a lift station. They have also stated they have not had a catastrophic failure in the 40 years of operating lift stations.

I assume there is always the option for Bryan residents to sue and it surely would be an added cost and annoyance to CS to defend the suits. I don't know how City governments budget for legal costs. I do know that CS has added a 25% contingency to the sewer project estimates.



Bryanisbest
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AG
Although A&M claims to have no voice or stake in this controversy, you have to wonder because they clearly have plans to develop Hensel Park. The CS lift station in Hensel Park needs to vanish for those plans to go forward. College Station would need to enhance that lift station to avoid destroying Bryan Neighborhoods. You have to wonder what kind of silent agreement there is between CS and A&M. And by the way, A&M's development of Hensel Park could negatively impact another South Bryan neighborhood, North Oakwood, located just across the creek from Hensel.

This whole thing now appears to be headed for a condemnation proceeding by CS against Bryan and Beverley Estates. The case law may not be in favor of CS because, in order to condemn, they must show that there is "no other available option" other than a gravity flow route thru Bev Estates. They do have another available option in the Hensel lift station enhancement. In any event, a lawsuit will be a long drawn out affair and very costly to both cities.
EliteElectric
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Also as I mentioned upstream CoCS has built several lift stations RECENTLY. They are not against lift stations
techno-ag
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EliteElectric said:

Also as I mentioned upstream CoCS has built several lift stations RECENTLY. They are not against lift stations
Yup. They're just against a lift station there, it seems.
Roxie146
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Going to share a letter recently sent to the folks on Rosemary from the TAMUS - Apparently TAMU doesn't need the lift station to go……


Quote:

Decisions about the sewage infrastructure are up to the City of College Station, and of course, to some extent, with the City of Bryan. Texas A&M is not a decision maker in this discussion. To build the intergenerational living facility that is being contemplated just north of Century Square by the System, the sewage infrastructure being discussed by the City of College Station is not required. If that infrastructure is built, it might make sense for Texas A&M to connect to whatever infrastructure is available at some point down the road. But I repeat, it is not a necessity for the Texas A&M System to move forward with its plans and we are not driving the decision making.

I know there is also some rumor that Texas A&M wants the current lift station that College Station has located on Hensel Park property removed. That is not true. In fact, the Board of Regents recently approved an extension of the easement late last year. The current efforts to re-do Hensel Park are not about some large commercial development on that land. We are working with both College Station and Bryan to improve the park into a better open space, high quality park. And the planners working on that have been told to assume that the lift station may need to remain at its current location.

Our hope is that the two cities work this out amicably and in a way that makes the best sense for everyone involved, and that the good working relationship that has been built in the last year or so between the two cities, the University and the County continues to grow.

Again, happy to discuss if that's helpful. Thanks.

Greg Hartman
Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President
Texas A&M University
Vice Chancellor | Texas A&M University System

One has to continue to ask - the original plan by CoCS in their Capital Improvement documents was to fund and build a rehabbed lift station in Hensel Park
They already rehabbed Cooner Street sewage lines to accept the increased capacity that the rehabbed lift station would create and with the funding already approved, rehab the lines that Cooner Street lines connect to. This is in line with the additional development that CoCS wants to do in the University and Texas crossroads -

So what changed - why then did they decide it was better to destroy a neighboring city's street when they had already decided to rehab their own lines and stay within their city limits.

All the posturing and narrative that was presented by the CoCS City Manager to the Rosemary neighborhood group who met at CoCS City Hall, touted the unreliability of a lift station - the danger of a lift station - "we don't want lift stations"…….if he said it once he said it 4 times - and yet, just 24 hours before, the City of Bryan Public Works Director informed the Bryan City Council that 100% of Bryan lines at one time or another relied on lift stations. Indeed the CoB Council in that same meeting approved a multi million dollar lift station. AND even more damning - there are lift stations all over College Station.

So what is really going on here -
Tailgate88
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AG
Quote:

Decisions about the sewage infrastructure are up to the City of College Station, and of course, to some extent, with the City of Bryan. Texas A&M is not a decision maker in this discussion. To build the intergenerational living facility that is being contemplated just north of Century Square by the System, the sewage infrastructure being discussed by the City of College Station is not required. If that infrastructure is built, it might make sense for Texas A&M to connect to whatever infrastructure is available at some point down the road. But I repeat, it is not a necessity for the Texas A&M System to move forward with its plans and we are not driving the decision making.

I know there is also some rumor that Texas A&M wants the current lift station that College Station has located on Hensel Park property removed. That is not true. In fact, the Board of Regents recently approved an extension of the easement late last year. The current efforts to re-do Hensel Park are not about some large commercial development on that land. We are working with both College Station and Bryan to improve the park into a better open space, high quality park. And the planners working on that have been told to assume that the lift station may need to remain at its current location.

Our hope is that the two cities work this out amicably and in a way that makes the best sense for everyone involved, and that the good working relationship that has been built in the last year or so between the two cities, the University and the County continues to grow.

Again, happy to discuss if that's helpful. Thanks.

Greg Hartman
Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President
Texas A&M University
Vice Chancellor | Texas A&M University System


COCS, are you listening?

Don't even think about trying to sell this as a money-saving decision. Should we make a list of things you have spent taxpayer money on that make orders of magnitude of less sense?

Tap the brakes. Do the right thing.
AggiePhil
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AG
I wonder how this whole thing would change if COCS annexed the Rosemary area.
techno-ag
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AggiePhil said:

I wonder how this whole thing would change if COCS annexed the Rosemary area.
Kinda hard to do since it's in the Bryan city limits.
Roxie146
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Probably would have a revolt by both the homeowners who intentionally chose Bryan to live in as well as the Bryan taxpayers who will lose by the reduction of property values and property taxes.

And that question of damages continues to be a question College Station can not answer or refuses to explain.

Loss of property value due to loss of neighborhood integrity and ambiance hurts Bryan - so how does College Station propose to compensate Bryan for the loss of property value.

It doesn't. And therefore Bryan should just say - "Stay in your own city limits, College Station."

There is no pathway through Bryan that does not damage property values.

College Station has an alternative route that it originally planned. USE it and stay out of Bryan.


Dumbfounded
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A report on KBTX 10:00pm news last night stated "as tension between the Cities of Bryan and CS continue for a number of reasons, COB received legal advice on how to deal with Eminent Domain claims coming from outside the city". The Rosemary sewer issue was one of the reasons mentioned.

A lot of the current public pressure is being applied to both CS and Bryan city councils and Mayors, primarily to keep the sewer project within CS's city limits and the Hensel Park lift station option. Eminent Domain was mentioned in a speech by a Bryan resident during the last CS city council meeting. Another Bryan resident mentioned the likely hood of numerous lawsuits being filed by Bryan residents against CS. The rhetoric, although very professional and in a non threatening way, is being ratcheted up.

It is my understanding that Bryan residents have met w COB councilmen to request the COB to "just say no" to CS. Simply don't agree to issue the required construction permit that allows CS to begin construction of a Bryan option.

Is the COB requesting Eminent Domain legal advice due to their concern that "saying no" will force CS to take legal steps to enact Eminent Domain as their only remaining option to construct their sewer project through a Bryan neighborhood. Is Bryan simply trying to understand their legal rights and what ramifications could come from just saying no.

FamousAgg
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Glad both cities are spending all this time and resources to improve our community. This is very productive!
BiochemAg97
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UninformedInternetBlogger said:

Glad both cities are spending all this time and resources to improve our community. This is very productive!


Would be interesting for someone to add up all the money wasted from unnecessary litigation, both from pointless lawsuits filed by cities and lawsuits against cities that should have been avoided.

Then run a campaign against the incumbents based on their waste of resources due to unnecessary litigation.

On the other hand, it seems wherever you put the sewer line, homeowners might sue to stop it from being in their neighborhood. So maybe CoCS figures they will pay the same amount in litigation regardless.
Roxie146
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BiochemAg97 said:

UninformedInternetBlogger said:

Glad both cities are spending all this time and resources to improve our community. This is very productive!


Would be interesting for someone to add up all the money wasted from unnecessary litigation, both from pointless lawsuits filed by cities and lawsuits against cities that should have been avoided.

Then run a campaign against the incumbents based on their waste of resources due to unnecessary litigation.

On the other hand, it seems wherever you put the sewer line, homeowners might sue to stop it from being in their neighborhood. So maybe CoCS figures they will pay the same amount in litigation regardless.
Except in this case, CoCS would avoid litigation if it rehabbed its existing lines - Increase the capability of the Hensel Park lift station - no eminent domain, no lawyers - funds spent on lines not courtrooms.

FYI Last night - CoB voted to update and decommission a whole plant by approving a lift station - If I read the Eagle article correctly.
birdman
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A bunch of yall are confused. Eminent domain is different than existing easement rights. I haven't dug into things but College Station isn't using eminent domain. And they don't have a leg to stand on because there are alternatives.

College Station wants to use their rights under the current easement.
Roxie146
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In both of their currently proposed routes, CoCs will have to use eminent domain to force current homeowners to "sell" their property so that they can construct its sewer line.

It is a taking of privately owned property against the wishes of the owner. There is compensation but no amount of compensation can address the damage that this construction will do to the street or the creek.

In this case homeowners do not want to sell because it reduces the value of the property never mind the destruction of neighborhood integrity from the construction.

Whether you are on Pin Oak Creek or North/South Rosemary, there are no Easements that will allow the sewer line to be completed without "buying" land from current homeowners.

Under eminent domain as a private citizen you have no choice -


College Station has a choice- it can rehab the lift station and rehab its own lines and stay within its own city limits.
happyinBCS
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As I said way back the residents on Rosemary need to ban together and get the best condemnation lawyer in the state and that would be in Houston. I know of a situation where the state was condemning a very small piece of a person's land for the widening of the existing roadway the state offered 75K as their last and final offer and when the attorney was finished, they paid 450K. If the residents ban together and the final price is XXX then CS will drop it and run away.
Roxie146
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It is not always about the money-

No amount of money will bring back a historic neighborhood that is destroyed

No amount of money can bring back 100yo trees- multiples of them - never mind the rest of the vegetation, foxes, birds, and other wildlife that are protected by the existing green-spaces

No amount of money will bring back an ambiance that Rosemary Drive and its homeowners have protected since its development in 1937 -

All for what - a sewer line that can go elsewhere.
happyinBCS
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I fully understand my point is IF they propose to use eminent domain to purchase the land from each property owner THEN you fight it with the best there is and the price will be so high CS will run with their tail between their legs. I did not mean to imply taking the money my point is very simple fight any condemnation thought they might have to the point they can't afford it It is very clear all CS likes to do is sue and you can win.
Roxie146
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Im not sure you understand eminent domain - if it comes to that - for the private citizen - if CoCS goes down the eminent domain route they can start the project while you are in litigation - by that time the damage is done.

By the time they get to mediation or a trial - the project is done. Damage and destruction are complete - all that remains is the paying the invoice to the attorney and what is left is yours along with the sewer line that no one in Bryan will benefit from.


birdman
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Unless I've misread everything, it's not eminent domain.

There is an existing pipeline under the neighborhood in Bryan. It is there because of an easement. That's a legal document that you can read in Brazos County Clerk's office.

When the original pipeline was installed, it might have been 12 inch diameter. Now they need a 24" diameter to handle the capacity. (I've just using sample numbers).

They don't need eminent domain to widen a pipeline. They might need eminent domain to make the easement wider.

It's about 98% chance that agreement states something like "an easement for sewer in Bryan". There are no restrictions on size of pipe. There is no 20 year time limit. There will be nothing that says you can't redo the pipeline and make it bigger. It will be open ended agreement and simple.

It's 2% chance that it has restrictions.
Roxie146
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College Station's first set of plans go through at least 3 private properties - which means 3 opportunities for eminent domain. They want at least a 30 foot wide track through these properties

If they go through the back lot route it is 15 properties - 15 eminent domain litigations - at lease a 30 foot swath of destruction down the creek.

AND lets not forget the temporary construction easement in addition to all of the above.


The line is not just through an existing easement - it is through private property - eminent domain is the only way they can take it if the homeowner says no.


Roxie146
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College Station has no current line going anywhere on Rosemary or Pin Oak Creek - there is nothing to enlarge or widen


What they are proposing is all NEW - in fact they are abandoning lines they already have - the lift station and lines feeding the 24/30 inch line on Cooner Street

They can however use what they have (in College Station) and rehab that without eminent domain.
happyinBCS
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I am confused by your facts so a government power in one city can take land in another city? The power lies with the city how can Ft Worth take land from Dallas residents?
Roxie146
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happyinBCS said:

I am confused by your facts so a government power in one city can take land in another city? The power lies with the city how can Ft Worth take land from Dallas residents?
Welcome to eminent domain.

Yes it happens - all too frequently.
happyinBCS
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I would think that would be true for the State like my example above it was the state of Texas widening the roadway. Have you verified with an independent attorney not connected to this small-town crap CS puts out.
Roxie146
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Learned a long time ago

Trust, but verify.


 
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