Thursday’s College Station city council meeting included an update on adjustments as the result of the local coronavirus disaster declaration.
One of the bullet points in the slideshow referred to enforcement actions taken by College Station police.
Officer Tristen Lopez tells WTAW News between March 11th and April 6, CSPD dealt with 17 emergency order violations.
CSPD has had four offense or incident reports, eight written warnings, and five tickets.
Lopez says the violations fall into two groups, too many unrelated people at one location and businesses who remain open when they are considered non-essential.
Lopez says the department has fielded around 100 calls from residents with questions and those reporting suspected violations.
Residents are invited to call CSPD’s non emergency number, 979-764-3600.
Click below for comments from Tristen Lopez, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.
The council also received the following information:
General Operational Changes
• City facilities closed to the public through April 30th
• Utilizing cloud-based video communications for internal and external meetings
• Maintaining flexibility with personnel and employing telework when possible
• Placing the health and safety of employees, their families, and our community as the highest priority
• Proactively analyzing prospective budgetary impacts and preparing for an uncertain landscape
Department Activities Actions Taken
• Public Works: Providing solid waste collections, street maintenance, fleet services; minimum service levels on traffic concerns and facility maintenance
• Capital Projects: Construction continues at New City Hall, Lick Creek WWTP expansion, Lick Creek trunk line, and Greens Prairie Rd.
• Police: Continuing to answer and dispatch all calls; utilizing online reporting when applicable; 13 enforcement actions taken under Mayor/Council Orders
• Planning & Development Services: Land development activities continue, including plats, site plans, permit issuance, and inspections; applications and payments accepted online only
• Fire: Redirected existing resources to respond more effectively to prospective COVID-19 cases; procured necessary PPE and supplies
• Legal: Implemented electronic contract routing
• Parks & Recreation: Providing necessary maintenance and mowing with nominal staff; placed over 150 signs in parks encouraging social distancing
• Public Communications: Frequent website updates to educate, inform, and instruct related to local and state actions; heavy graphic design and Channel 19 content for effective visuals
• Fiscal Services: Most staff working remotely; continued with implementation of new utility online payment portal
• Economic Development: Working with the local business community to provide resources and relief
• Electric: Maintaining critical infrastructure; non-essential personnel supporting budget, project implementation, and planning
• City Secretary’s Office: Rotating staff schedule to maintain office operations such as receiving mail; all other essential functions are handled remotely
• Information Technology: Expanded telework capabilities by rolling out 120 laptops and issuing 145 VPNs; established call center infrastructure; coordinated online meeting software
• Community Services: Staff working remotely or in limited capacity; coordinating with Economic Development and Finance to provide CDBG assistance to affected businesses
• Water: Staff working remotely except those physically operating facilities
• Public Works: Reduced service levels regarding proactive/preventative maintenance
• Planning & Development Services: Not conducting Board or Commission (or otherwise in-person) meetings
• Fire: Suspended some health/safety education efforts, inspections temporarily
• Legal: Currently accepting but not processing Open Records Requests due to staff working remotely; no bench or jury trials with the closure of Municipal Court, through pre-trial
conferences are ongoing remotely
• Parks & Recreation: Closed several parks facilities to the public; postponed or canceled various recreation programs, special events, athletic leagues, and tournaments
• Economic Development: Delaying the adoption of the Economic Development Master Plan; limited industry and retail recruitment
• Electric: Currently unable to perform energy audits
• Information Technology: Holding back on some non-essential technology initiatives
• Community Services: Code Enforcement focused on essential health and safety concerns
• Police: No longer training, permitting, or offering standard ACO operations
• Water: Suspended preventative maintenance activities of infrastructure and facilities
Actions Underway in Response to COVID-19
• Public Works: Full implementation of PPE for staff
• Internal Audit: Proposing to shift from a single comprehensive audit study to several smaller scope reports
• Planning & Development Services: Created new digital processes; implemented new protocols for field inspections
• Fire: Coordinating initiatives with CEOC; proactively planning for exposure mitigation
• Legal: Legal assistance related to emergency orders, new initiatives, and contracts
• Parks & Recreation: Reducing travel, delaying projects, and postponing the purchase of parks equipment
• Water: Managing staffing levels and training to allow for flexibility in response to evolving conditions
• Police: Continuing to access PPE for staff
• Public Communications: Proactive social media messaging and monitoring, answering questions, and redirecting issues to be addressed
• Fiscal Services: Developing various models/scenarios and analyzing mitigation strategies; providing emergency purchasing and payables support
• Economic Development: Implementing a HOT collection policy to grant relief to local hotels; coordinating a bridge loan program to further assist businesses in need
• Information Technology: Enhancing electronic processes and online communication for employees
• Community Services: Code Enforcement/Northgate staff assisting with education efforts of local and state orders; Community Development coordinating approx. $700,000 CDBG allocation from CARES act