College Station City Manager discusses road to recovery after pandemic challenges

Bryan Woods returned in April after a year deployment in the Navy Reserves.
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - College Station’s City Manager is back in the office this spring after a year deployment in the Navy reserves. Bryan Woods returned in April, but was still connecting on city business while serving in the Middle East.

He said the city is on a path to recovery after the pandemic started and shared his vision for what lies ahead.

Latest sales tax figures for March were at $3.2 million. That’s 44 percent higher than March last year and 33 percent higher than March 2019.

“We’re still you know, not exactly clear what’s going to happen moving forward. But we’re not making adjustments like we did last year,” said Woods.

Woods says he’s seeing signs of recovery progress, from sales tax, to business getting closer to normal at Texas A&M.

“The students are coming back to A&M in the fall which is a fantastic thing for us, so we’re planning for a lot of those things like we have in the past. At the same time we’re being really smart and strategic about how we set things up,” he said.

Some of their strategies include studying trends and revenues as they prepare for budget workshops.

In 2020, the city reduced its budget and braced for economic challenges as small businesses, restaurants, and the hospitality industry suffered due to COVID-19.

“Definitely tourism took a huge hit across the nation and certainly in our economy,” said Woods. “It’s something that’s going to be a focus for us because that industry really was was hit hard and we need to put a lot of effort and resources into helping it recover,” he said.

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney is also optimistic about the road to recovery.

“Post recovery is looking pretty good. If you had asked me maybe a year and a half ago or so where we would be today I wouldn’t have thought that we could be recovering this fast or this well,” said Mooney.

“We’re very optimistic right now. But it also means we’re going to see some challenges. We’ve got more folks moving into College Station than ever before,” said Mooney.

“Although the community’s done a great job, this has been incredibly challenging for business and residents. So you know we’re tracking everything we can do from a governmental standpoint to help support that,” said Woods.

Budget workshops start next month with a deadline to finalize the city budget in August.

College Station’s new fiscal year starts October 1.

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