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College Station City Council votes unanimously to move forward on remote pay parking system

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - From ethics to elections, department budgets, and even parking, the College Station City Council covered a wide variety of topics at Thursday’s meeting.

The most notable action coming from council during their July 22 meeting was their unanimous vote for city staff to proceed with the proposed remote pay parking system.

Ethics kicked off the workshop session of the meeting.

“After a review, I am able to report to you that, at the moment, the council and the city does not have a code of ethics that would apply to committee and board appointments,” College Station City Attorney Carla Robinson told council during the meeting.

It’s unclear at this time if council or staff will pursue creating a code of ethics.

Council also adopted the 2022 Annual Action Plan and community development budget, funding the second year of its five-year plan. Some of the projects and programs that are set to receive funding include owner-occupied housing assistance, homebuyer assistance, and some local nonprofit organizations.

But the most extensive point of discussion surrounded the proposed remote pay parking system. City staff revealed some more specific details on what it could look like. Staff says roughly 6,200 parking spaces throughout the city’s residential neighborhoods could be included in the program.

“If 3,000, which is approximately half of all these available spaces, are parked at a rate of $5 an hour, times five hours for a football game, that would equal approximately $75,000 in revenue from one football game,” staff planner Amy Albright said.

The council also provided some suggestions on how the revenue could be used.

“The money that’s generated by having paid parking, what’s the game plan?” College Station City Councilwoman Linda Harvell said. “It’s going to go to maybe the neighborhood park, or as you mentioned I believe, sidewalks, so it doesn’t wind up in the general fund never to be seen again, as far as being a benefit to the neighborhoods and actually putting money back into it.”

College Station City Manager Bryan Woods says staff will use a multi-phase approach now that council has given them the green light to continue crafting the parking system.

“We’ll have to nail down all the technical aspects of it and really zero-in on how we’re going to do these things,” Woods said. “One of the big components is getting out and talking to the public, the neighborhoods, and our partners in the community and understanding what kind of impact this would have on them. Once we understand how we’re going to implement it and what some of the challenges are, we’ll bring it back to council and give them a more firm plan.”

The council was supposed to discuss an ordinance ordering elections for council places four and six and amendments to the city charter this November. One of those amendments, if approved by the voters, would move city elections to odd-numbered years. That item was moved to the August 3 special meeting agenda.

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