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College Station can save money and run sewage through Bryan

61,550 Views | 355 Replies | Last: 17 days ago by happyinBCS
Bryanisbest
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CS gets the property tax revenue of all land and buildings on University Drive except A&M construction on A&M land. Both entities benefit in other ways from all high rise and low rise improvements. Bryan suffers nothing but loss. Loss in beauty and attractiveness of neighborhood as well loss of value of the houses due to destruction of roads, trees, etc.
happyinBCS
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How many will sign up to speak on Thursday, I hope many
Roxie146
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Too late - the decisions will have been made.

If they don't understand by now - they never will.

happyinBCS
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I hope you are wrong I will voice my thoughts and hope others do also
Bryanisbest
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I agree. Further protests will probably not move the Council to back down on the Bev Estates assault, if that's where they are going. The Council has been fully put on notice. Let them decide if they want to go forward. Bob Yancy is a good sensible man. I can't believe he would vote for this.

But if they do go forward, the Bryan Council should just say "No." Then the city of CS will have to file suit, a condemnation proceeding. They will have to prove that they have no other reasonable option but to tear up Bev Estates roads and trees. They do have another reasonable option, enhance the Hensel Park Lift Station. They will be tied up in court for years. Ultimately, they will not be able to carry their burden and lose. Then they will be recognized for the foolish nature of this whole effort to destroy by building a huge sewer through a Bryan neighborhood, especially when Bryan gets no benefit but only suffers loss from this invasion.
happyinBCS
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If COB does not say No do the residents have any legal standing? Could the residents file suit? Sounds like the ball will be in Bryan's court so I sure hope they say NO.
BiochemAg97
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AG
happyinBCS said:

If COB does not say No do the residents have any legal standing? Could the residents file suit? Sounds like the ball will be in Bryan's court so I sure hope they say NO.
.

Doesn't seem like it. The city has utility right of way under city streets. If COB grants CoCS access to the right of way, not sure what the residents can do, other than sue for damages to property after the fact.


Unfortunately, there are several matters between COB and COCS that could all be resolved through negotiation. Would COB allow the sewer to gain leverage in other areas, like the emergency response thing?
Roxie146
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I am all for interlocal agreements - especially in cities that share such integrated borders. It should be a win win for all the citizens.

The use of Rosemary however is not a win win - and it should not be a brokered agreement. The homeowners and the city as a whole will lose should the sewer line be allowed down the street.

And yes there is a right of way - but the street is owned by Bryan and Bryan controls what goes under it. There is legal precedence for this. It is not a state right of way. Bryan controls all the permitting and can control its use.

And there is also precedence for rights when there are alternatives. And College Station has alternatives. Bryan should say no.

With respect for interlocal agreements - College Station wants EMS reimbursement - there needs to be an agreement on this to benefit all. But at some point the Northgate area and all the redevelopment in the University/Texas area is going to necessitate additional resources to adequately serve all the additional College Station retail, tourists, rental property. At some point Bryan may have to invest in its own fire station and EMS to support the south Bryan - south Texas area. And at some point College Station is going to have to ask BTU for increased services for electricity - to increase services to that area which BTU already serves. And who knows what other services the cities may need to share to adequately serve their visitors and citizens.

The Rosemary decision for College Station is a one way, unilateral solution that serves College Station alone.

There is no "community" benefit to this one way decision - there is only a win-lose.

The cities have to work together. I hope they can work together to find a solution not to destroy a historic neighborhood.

College Station did not have to go the way down Rosemary. It was not planned that way in the beginning. The original plan was to replace the lift station and upgrade existing lines.

My personal opinion on this is - this is what happens when outsiders come in to a community not understanding history or traditions and base every decision on financial gain or self promotion.

If we have heard once we have heard at least 50 times that the decision was based on what was the cheapest route for College Station. Well it is not the cheapest for Bryan.

At this point this is an ethical and moral decision - not a financial one.

You do not hurt someone else for your own gain whether it is for personal career progression or political standing.

It is fundamentally wrong. A bankrupting of morality.
techno-ag
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AG
You had the best worded, most eloquent post on here. Kudos.
threecatcorner
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They're supposed to talk about the sewer issue at CS city council tomorrow.

https://www.kbtx.com/2023/05/24/college-station-agenda-shows-sewer-line-discussion-planned-thursday/ says they're not sure (not sure if that means KBTX or the city) why it's going to take up most of the meeting. My guess is because a lot of people will be talking during the portion of the meeting where they let the public talk. I think it's limited to 2 minutes per person but I don't know if there's any limit to the number of people.
Roxie146
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Mayor John Nichols told The Eagle in February --"Just like the city of Bryan through BTU won't ask its rate payers to run high voltage power lines around the city of College Station because it is more expensive, they get the savings out of that," he said previously. "I don't see how I can ask my rate payers in the city of College Station with our wastewater people to pay an extra $2 million to $5 million to address this problem through a lift station or other things which frankly are not best practices in this case."

Mayor Nichols - there is a fundamental difference in what BTU provides to their end of line customers - including those that live in College Station and the non Bryan rest of the county - and more. They receive a benefit from the line. You are going to need BTU for your University/Texas redevelopment. Your city gets the benefit. You reap the taxes from the development that BTU services.

College Station requires developers to plan and build lift stations to new housing developments - Those who are using the services and additional infrastructure pay for them. Every new homeowner in those developments "pay" for the improvements through their home purchase and utility assessments and property taxes.

With the Rosemary route, you are asking Bryan residents, Bryan taxpayers, and non beneficiaries of the system to underwrite College Station infrastructure. We incur the cost. We do not get any reimbursement to loss of value to our homes and neighborhood. We get no tax benefit.

In fact, our neighborhood is already being impacted by this planning. Just the question of coming down our streets has "scared" home buyers away from the area - ask any realtor.

You won't ask your rate payers to pay for the route but you have no hesitation to ask Bryan residents to pay for the destruction and damage to their properties - we get no benefit from this.

And, you have alternatives.

And you CAN ask the users to pay for the increased infrastructure needs - The Northgate area and the Hensel Park development is predominately commercial - and the additional need is to service new commercial rental and retail customers. They should be the ones underwriting a lift station to serve their requirements - not the citizens of Bryan and not the Rosemary residents.



happyinBCS
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Very interesting KBTX said they won't take a vote and the agenda has been modified to reflect that,, last week it stated, "and possible action" WHY the change ? how long are they not going to show their hand ? could they decide in the dark of the night? I would think by now they have all the information necessary to make a decision so Bryan can decide if they will say NO to the project and then CS can decide if they want to go to court I was incorrect it has not been changed it does say possible action so clearly, they should vote Do you agree? Why would KBTX say they won't vote?
Roxie146
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Sitting in the College Station City Council meeting -

Jennifer Cain - Capital Improvements - made a point to discuss how many BTU lines were in College Station. No one contested the issue she was implying - that BTU is running through College Station - running amuck.

No one - not one of the council members seem to realize that BTU is SERVICING College Station.

Yes Council Member Cunha, a 6 family unit was bought to enlarge a BTU substation but it is to your city's benefit Your city approved midrises as part of the redevelopment of Texas and University. So you don't mind THAT / and you don' t seem to care that you need additional electricity to serve what you want to develop. What hypocrisy.

And your question about the bore depth - you do not seem to understand the construction process - the width of the trenches and the diameter and the width of the bore pits WILL destroy trees -

And this property increases the substation to SERVICE College Station.

And once again Jennifer Cain discussed the risks to a lift station - the same song and dance that the City Manager drilled in to the Rosemary residents. BUT again every gravity line of sewer - everywhere has to be lifted at some point to get to the sewer treatment plant. So College Station has lift stations everywhere. 17 of them.

It is not what they said so much but what they did not say - only one side, and gaslighting their own citizens.

One other item that Jennifer Cain did not communicate to the council members - trenching a 24 wide foot line down Rosemary needs an additional construction easement to accommodate all the machinery needed for the 24 to 30 foot diameter bore pits down Rosemary.

In order to keep homeowners accessibility to their own property - additional destruction for temporary access will also occur.

Again gaslighting by not reporting the entire impact of the construction process.







Hornbeck
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I've been saying for a while, this is pretty much a done deal. I know a lot of folks want otherwise, but I'm thinking CS gets their way in the end.
Roxie146
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More from the College Station city council meeting -

Mrs Cunha - you asked about how many trees would be cut down. You need to ask how long it will take a tree to die because of having it's roots disturbed. You need to ask your own water services people about trees they have to buy because they died after water lines were built. It is not just the construction that will damage the trees.

And your comment about the legacy of not damaging the Pin Oak area is hypocritical if you are ok with the damage of the Rosemary area.

Mr Woods is incorrect about the BTU substation - it also serves Hensel Park.


Mr Maloney - if you want BTU to go around College Station to serve south Brazos county, then we in Bryan would like College Station to stay within its own city limit to serve its citizens with sewer. What is good for the gander is good for the goose.

threecatcorner
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Did they do the "hear from citizens" part at the very beginning and there's no chance for anyone besides city council and city staff to talk, ask questions, etc. now?
Roxie146
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Both cities do hear citizens a bit different - but they do allow for comment.

But there is no rebuttal for positions or statements that are not correct.

For example

Supposedly the 2 months of projected "inconvenience" for a homeowner is not too much to ask. Never mind the destruction and never mind that the route is going to take up to 24 months to complete. The answer that pits will be covered over and "everything will be put back" as before is a ridiculous statement.

Note to College Station - you can't put back a 50 year old oaks or established vegetation.

It just boggles the mind how much disinformation was presented. Misleading by not providing full information is as bad as a lie.

And of course there was absolutely no discussion about eminent domain. College Station will have to purchase easements.

Nope not going to happen. If they want easements they will have to condemn and go the eminent domain route.

Apparently 10 easements have to be purchased for the Rosemary route (only 3 are actually on Rosemary and Park) The other 7 are on either ends and join the Phase 3 construction or are in Hensel Park.

11 Easements have to be purchased for the Chimney Hill/Lift Station Route which is where the current line exists. It was implied that all these easements were in Chimney Hill - when none of them are. A convenient fact that was purposefully not told to council. The sewer line easement there already exists. Some of these 11 are actually the same ones listed in the 10 easements on the Rosemary route - they overlap because this line has to connect in the same manner to the Phase 3 route that the Rosemary route is planned to do.

This is my point - telling a partial truth is tantamount to a lie when you know that the whole truth will change an outcome.

It was obvious that the staff presentation was slanted and framed for a preferred position - to come down Rosemary. And the College Station Council bought it hook, line and sinker. They drank the Kool-Aid.

One other thing that was obvious - The College Station City Council dislikes Bryan - very evident. It is easy to point fingers at everyone else when you are not pointing fingers at yourself. The pictures of BTU lines providing electricity to and through College Station were ballyhooed as Bryan encroachment.

Blaming Bryan for decades old lines that were put in before any other development is not the same as purposefully planning a line through a historic neighborhood, knowing you are destroying it.

Especially when there is an alternative to use an existing line that is being rehabilitated anyway.


BCSWguru
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i said it before, its hilarious CS thinks they can run their city services through another city just because they want to. but not at all surprising. Bryan needs to step up and stop this with whatever it takes.
Dumbfounded
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If you aren't into a long read, please skip this post.

The CS staff presentation at the 5/25 City Council meeting included 3 examples where Bryan has installed utilities within CS city limits in an attempt to justify why they have the right to install this trunk line in Bryan. It was like a tit for tat internal discussion in a public forum to sway the public and media but they left out several details which makes their examples an apples and oranges comparison.

1). The first situation is the BTU Cooner Street substation within CS city limits. It is located on Cooner Street at the end of Shady Lane which is in the COB city limits. CS staff said it only serves Beverly Estates (unverified). Bryan bought the initial property in 1985 and subsequently built the substation on COB owned property. In 2006 COB bought the 2 small lots (0.15 acre) immediately South of the substation. In Jan 2023, COB bought the two lots immediately East of the substation for substation expansion.

Apples and oranges. COB is installing utilities on the property they own not running it through a CS neighborhood.

2) another BTU example that I don't have all the facts but as I understand it - BTU serves some areas to the East, West and South that are College Station addresses. CS staff indicated BTU serves 2,000 CS residents but she wasn't sure. BTU indeed installed their service lines through CS city limits but this was to serve CS customers. CS issues construction permits to grant approval for utility companies to install within their city limits. CS could have denied BTU their permit request.

One councilman said "why didn't BTU go around CS instead of through CS?" and then answered his own question by stating "because it was the easiest and cheapest way to get service to South CS same situation w the sewer line, it is the easiest and cheapest option to run through Beverly Estates" (paraphrased).

Apples and oranges. CS could have denied BTU'S construction permit application to install through CS and forced BTU to make a business decision to stay out of CS city limits but they didn't do that because this installation was to serve South CS. CS benefited from this improvement. COB and Bryan residences will not benefit from the new sewer line.

3). They showed a graphic of 3 sections of COB sewer lines that are installed in CS city limits that serve Bryan residents. They indicated it is ~2.83 miles of pipe.
A) the shorter run was installed ~ 1981 which is still an open field - no disruption to an existing neighborhood
B) there is one that starts immediately South of the gas station on 29th street that runs through the Winter Park neighborhood. It was installed ~ 1979. 100 Winter Park was built in 1983 - no disruption to an existing neighborhood.
C) the longest of the three sections starts at 29th Street, runs parallel to Autumn Cir and exits through Vinyard Ct. It was installed ~ 1982. I looked up three residences along this route. 812 Autumn Cir built in 1981, 1018 Autumn Cir built in 1982 and 1203 Vinyard Ct built in 1995.

Apples and Oranges - two sections of COB sewer were installed before neighborhood development and had no disturbance to CS residents. The one on Autumn Cir appears to have been installed in conjunction with the development of the Autumn Cir neighborhood where there was ongoing construction. Horrible misrepresentation of the facts to try and justify going through an historic neighborhood that was established in 1938. And as Roxie stated above all council members and the mayor all asked questions to perpetuate the misrepresentation. They indeed took it hook line and sinker

Again, CS staff and City Council, we're trying to show a tit for tat to justify the Rosemary option. It is my opinion that only the tit was exposed and not the tat. I am sure the COB has many tats they have done over the years to support CS's growth.

The presentation and follow up questions sure looked like an orchestrated effort to say "COB encroached on CS w these three instances so that justifies us going through Beverly Estates".

The Beverly Estates residents that were present not only were disappointed but were down right mad at the public display put on by CS staff and the City Council. I can tell you this will not end well if CS approves to move forward w the Rosemary option. The addition cost to go the Hensel Park lift station route is ~ $3.8M. This is a drop in the bucket when you consider the ramifications and the potential legal challenges with easements, condemnation, eminent domain, civil lawsuits, etc.

One speaker said "Go back to the basics of what makes a city great. The character of it, integrity of it, morals of its actions, honesty in its dealing with citizens. Putting this sewer line in Bryan down Rosemary or otherwise does not show any of these traits a city should carry". Amen to that
Bryanisbest
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AG
Hornbeck said:

I've been saying for a while, this is pretty much a done deal. I know a lot of folks want otherwise, but I'm thinking CS gets their way in the end.



What about the end after the end? There really will be no end to the aftermath of the offense of this incursion adorned with the lies used to justify it. Such as, "Bryan has lines thru CS so we are entitled to go thru Bryan." But Bryan's lines were to serve CS. CS's new sewer is to serve CS. See the excellent history provided by Dumbfounded above.
BCSWguru
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all great points. even after reading that, I think most of us fully expect CS to try and strong arm the Rosemary deal. For having such an educated city, they sure do elect some real head scratchers.
Bob Yancy
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For anyone who wishes to make a suggestion or ask a question, my email is byancy@cstx.gov and I welcome the feedback and thoughtful debate!
trouble
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AG
I'm sorry but according to multiple people I've talked to about this issue who were at the meeting (not just the ones who posted here) the city did not "clear the air" . Instead, they increased the amount of misinformation. If the CoCS insists on going forward with this, they should hire an outside source to investigate and research the options and implications of each and not rely on simply the city staff.
maroon barchetta
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trouble said:

I'm sorry but according to multiple people I've talked to about this issue who were at the meeting (not just the ones who posted here) the city did not "clear the air" . Instead, they increased the amount of misinformation. If the CoCS insists on going forward with this, they should hire an outside source to investigate and research the options and implications of each and not rely on simply the city staff.


They can hire an outside consultant.

Outside consultants tend to come up with solutions that were recommended offline by the people writing the check to them.
AggieCVQ
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I respect Bob for posting here at least. Maybe not for deleting comments but for trying to engage with the plebs.
Bob Yancy
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For anyone who wishes to make a suggestion or ask a question, my email is byancy@cstx.gov and I welcome the feedback and thoughtful debate!
threecatcorner
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Not sure what your "win/win" is. Hopefully it's a new option (like getting A&M to help with costs of lift station).

Thanks for coming on here and reading what people have to say, especially ones that attended the meeting and posted here what they'd have liked to have said to council but couldn't (where they noticed staff misleading council, other questions council should ask staff).
happyinBCS
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don't quite understand why you deleted your entire post. I did not take a screen shot of it but think it would be beneficial to others that did not have a chance to read it especially the part when you said you could not support the Rosemary extension.
maroon barchetta
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Maybe he got pushback from his peers.
trouble
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Most likely. I wish I had quoted it instead of just replying
Roxie146
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happyinBCS
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Any news on this front ? The Eagle has an article but wanted to charge me to read it
Bob Yancy
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The tree expert previously relied upon by the residents has ratified the bore pit method of pipe installation as the "gold standard" of tree protection were we to go the Rosemary route. In simpler terms, no trees would die, with the exception of those trees located near the bore pits. It's also possible we could locate the bore pits away from any trees, thus ensuring no trees would die. This notwithstanding I as one member of Council indicated I cannot support the Rosemary route.

City staff have done and are doing everything possible to address Bryan residents' concerns while saving CS taxpayers $3.8 million. I've called upon Texas A&M, the City of Bryan and Century Square Phase II developer fees to assist us in covering the cost delta between the Rosemary and Cooner street routes.

I'm ready to put the matter behind us. We have more important issues and I'd rather this not come between our cities anymore. It's unfortunate that it has given the fact that both cities have known about this project for years and had planned working together on it going back to at least 2017. That has been lost in this. We cannot constantly weave our way around city limit lines with the volumetric and necessary infrastructure investments necessitated by growth. Today Rosemary, tomorrow _____? It's just a matter of time until the next one.

Perhaps we can make an exception for Rosemary. I ask everyone to remember that when the next one comes.

Thanks. Constructive and objective and civil responses requested in the Aggie tradition, please.
Mr.Short-termMemory
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AG
happyinBCS said:

Any news on this front ? The Eagle has an article but wanted to charge me to read it
https://www.kbtx.com/2023/06/13/sewerline-conversations-continue-heated-council-meeting-monday-night/

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Monday night's College Station Council meeting got a bit heated when a sewer line project was discussed.

Staff are looking at multiple options for the project including a gravity-fed sewer line through the Beverly Estates neighborhood in Bryan or a lift station with updated infrastructure in College Station city limits.

Residents have been showing up to city meetings for months pressing for answers. But, the council and staff told the group those answers wouldn't be known until the location is decided.

Councilman Bob Yancy spoke to the room about his lack of support for the Beverly Estates option, but also neighbors to be kinder to staff as they work through this issue.

One of the newest Beverly Estates residents, Lesley Walton, told KBTX she knew this issue was going on when she decided to move in, but had no idea plans could include tearing up the entrance to her home.
"We could potentially have a hole dug right in front of my house and into my yard. We have three kids and we need to be able to get in and out of the driveway in and out of my street and there's only one entrance and one exit," she said.

Residents went back and forth with staff during the meeting about the focus of their concerns at the project's beginning. Staff told neighbors that concerns began with trees and now they are working to solve those issues. The access issue was brought up at the beginning of these conversations. This is where staff told neighbors they wouldn't understand the scope until a location is picked.

Residents brought presentations to staff regarding comments about Bryan's infrastructure landing in College Station. There are electrical lines and sewer lines from Bryan that run through College Station, which is something staff said was their point of bringing it up. Residents pushed back saying that infrastructure and property were purchased before current homes were laid. They said the situation was different and was comparing unlike things.
happyinBCS
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Thank you for being on the record with your No vote on the Rosemary drive project. Maybe the council could sell the Macy's property they should have never bought for enough gain to make up the difference. I viewed the property on LoopNet prior to COCS purchasing it and I think it was listed around 7 million I don't know what we (the taxpayers paid for it) but thanks again for your wise decision on the project and possibly other council members will also be a NO vote
 
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