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Bryan City Council approves up to $19.5 million in bonds for BTU distribution service center

Bryan City Council approves up to $19.5 million in bonds for BTU distribution service center

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Work toward the new Bryan Texas Utilities distribution service center is continuing to move forward. On Tuesday, the Bryan City Council approved of issuing up to $19.5 million of electric system revenue bonds to cover the construction cost of the project. 

The new building is being constructed adjacent to the current Fountain Street location. Chief Financial Officer Joe Hegwood said a new space is necessary because the current building is more than 50 years old and in need of replacement.

The competitive bond sale will take place March 18, and the proceeds will be delivered to the project construction fund April 15, city of Bryan outside financial adviser Steven Adams told the council.

The bonds will not result in any change in BTU customer electric rates, Hegwood said ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. He said that BTU’s constant growth coupled with the fact that older bonds are being paid off allows officials to issue new bonds without raising rates. 

The council also approved a contract with Project Unity that opens doors for residents to get help paying for their rent. While the council has approved of funding for rent assistance multiple times throughout the pandemic, Director of Community Development Alsie Bond said this new funding is meant to provide relief quickly over the next two to three months. 

The $157,045 contract is meant to go toward rent assistance, including people who have had an eviction filed on them, and program oversight. 

Applicant eligibility is determined by income, and through proof that an individual or family has been affected by COVID-19 and cannot pay their rent. More details on how to receive aid can be provided by Project Unity. Information on how to contact the organization can be found at www.projectunitytexas.org/contact.

College Station also has similar opportunities for rent assistance. Information is available at cstx.gov/RentAssist.

A $1.8 million purchase order was also approved Tuesday night to cover the expenses of disposal fees associated with the lake work at the Bryan Midtown Park. 

The city has been working to increase the depth of the lake from 2 feet to 6 feet, and up to 8 feet deep in some areas. The new agreement pays for Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency to take materials to Twin Oaks Landfill. The city had been moving materials under a different contract in recent months but needed a new agreement to ensure that all costs were fully accounted for. 

Early on in the project, the city tested sections of the lake for contamination to determine what could be done with it. Testing was completed in fall of last year, City Engineer Paul Kaspar said. He added that the results showed that contamination levels were low enough that any contaminated soil could be disposed of in the Twin Oaks Landfill rather than needing to go to a hazardous waste landfill. 

Kaspar said some soil is clean enough that it has been set aside for use on other parts of the park project and on an off-site location that belongs to the contractor. 

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and A&M Regent Phil Adams visited Tuesday’s meeting to be honored with a proclamation in appreciation of allowing the city of Bryan to be called the home of Texas A&M. Up until August, when the A&M System Board of Regents voted on that decision, the designation was held only by College Station. 

For more information on Tuesday’s city council meetings, including presentations about racial profiling, Bryan’s efforts to earn a Municipal Setting Designation, rezoning requests that are part of the implementation of the Midtown Area Plan, and more, go to bryantx.gov

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