Bryan City Council discusses Midtown development and approves public safety initiatives

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 9:38 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Bryan City Council discussed Midtown development and public safety in their Tuesday meeting. The council unanimously approved the purchase of two ambulances for the city and voted to enter into an agreement with TxDOT to install new license plate readers at major intersections.

Bryan Police now have five permanent license plate readers, crucial for arrests, as many crimes involve vehicles. The locations of the readers haven’t been disclosed, but the police aim to work with TXDOT to install them on four state roads.

License Plate Reader
License Plate Reader(KBTX)

The Bryan Fire Department plans to expand its vehicle fleet by adding two fully equipped ambulances, approved in last year’s budget at a cost of just over $800,000.

City leaders note a 37% increase in ambulance responses since FY 2020 due to considerable growth in run volume.

“The safety of our citizens is paramount to us. To take care of our community, we have to have a good working apparatus and that includes replacing them when they get old and making sure that we have top-of-the-line equipment to take care of any emergency that we might face,” said DJ Capener, Bryan Assistant Fire Chief of EMS.

City of Bryan Fire Department's Assistance Fire Chief of EMS DJ Capener.
City of Bryan Fire Department's Assistance Fire Chief of EMS DJ Capener.(KBTX)

The City Council also authorized the Mayor to execute a Second Amendment to a Pre-Development Consultant and Master Development Agreement with Lero and Associates, Inc. This aims to encourage high-density redevelopment of BCD-owned properties in Bryan’s Midtown Area.

Deputy City Manager Joey Dunn emphasized the long-term nature of the project, stating, “We want to continue that effort. It’s still a lot of work to be done. This is a long-term project so another year is probably not enough to get you know what people have seen in the way of the plans.”

City of Bryan Deputy City Manager Joey Dunn
City of Bryan Deputy City Manager Joey Dunn(KBTX)

The Second Amendment extends the original agreement from 36 to 48 months, with an additional $50,000 for consulting services.

Renderings shared by the city depict a transformative project along South College Avenue, featuring a mix of commercial and residential spaces.

"The proposed redevelopment is located on South College Avenue across from Hensel Park, within...
"The proposed redevelopment is located on South College Avenue across from Hensel Park, within walking distance of Century Square, and behind the Northgate Entertainment District," the City of Bryan shared on Tuesday.(Renderings shared by City of Bryan)

“It includes a lot of elements. It has its own sort of identity. It’s really an ambitious plan but it is definitely the vision moving forward for the City of Bryan to see that area redeveloped and enhance that whole neighborhood as well,” Dunn added.

City officials say that developments of this magnitude take years, emphasizing the importance of preserving the existing single-family and residential areas. While there might not be visible construction soon, significant work is happening behind the scenes to bring this vision to life.

“We want to do everything we can to preserve the nature of the existing single-family and residential area. We’re going to take our time and do this right again to preserve and enhance the neighborhood but also create something that wasn’t ever there before,” said Dunn.