For the past few years we’ve been working to share the amazing story of our City and to show the world how everything is “Better in Bryan.” To do that in earnest, we needed help – your help. And you, the residents of Bryan, joined our cause. You liked us on Facebook, you shared our Tweets, you posted your own great stories and photos with our #BetterInBryan hashtag. You truly personified what it means to be "Better in Bryan," and you helped us spread that message for all the world to see.
There's a lot of work that goes into making a City an awesome place to live. The employees of the City of Bryan work tirelessly to provide you with the best services and local government possible. That's the way We make Bryan "better." But it's not just the government that makes this City great. It's the residents the government serves. It's you. You are the beating heart of this fantastic City, and you are truly what makes Bryan "better."
As we share with you our State of the City for fiscal year 2016, know that at the end of the day, all of these things are done for you. Because you are our customers, you are our bosses, you are our friends. We want to do the best job for you that we can. We want to make sure that together, we can keep improving our City. So when someone asks you the question, "Why Bryan?," you can proudly tell them, "Because it's just better."
Coulter Field completed a few key projects in FY16. These projects are a testament to the vision for Coulter Field and the ongoing improvements of its safety, service, infrastructure, and overall operation.
Coulter Field is currently underway on a three year Capital project that is scheduled to be completed by FY19. In an effort to provide a seamless transition from our deferred maintenance projects into our next set of potential revenue enhancement projects, Coulter Staff has already begun the planning phase for a set of projects to include:
All of the proposed projects would have to be approved by TxDOT through their CIP process. Airport Staff will work on a letter of interest to send to TxDOT in Early FY17 in order to start the approval process, and hope to be in the design phase sometime in late FY18-early FY19.
In an effort to “give back” to the community we have been encouraging and utilizing the airport for special events that involve the community. One of our key objectives is to not only offer our asset to the flying community, but also to the taxpayers who help fund it. This year we will have had four special events one of which was the “Great American Steak Out” held at Coulter for the third consecutive year to benefit Scotties House. This event sold out and brought in over 850 people from our community, as well as the surrounding area. The net charitable contributions totaled over $120,000. The second event held was a private birthday party held in an airport hangar, the third was the first American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball, and last is the Red Wasp Film Festival. It is our belief that the continued effort to “give back” will only help to grow the support and sustainability of our airport.
Since January 2016, the City of Bryan has issued 75 new commercial construction permits compared to 35 for the same period in 2015. Total permit valuation has increased from $122,682,271 (January to July) in 2015 to $156,043,171 over the same period in 2016. The total permit valuation accounts for all residential permits including multi-family, commercial permits for new construction and renovation, as well as various other permit types.
Below is a list of projects that have been recently completed or in the building or development process. This list is not exhaustive, but contains a good sampling of projects across the City of Bryan.
The Comprehensive Plan is a long-term guide for the community that defines community values, identifies community opportunities and weaknesses, and provides direction on how and where the community should grow, develop and redevelop. The Parks Master Plan provides guidance on current and future parks and recreation facilities, including ways to enhance existing parks and how to plan for future needs.
A large component of the planning process included collecting citizen input and working with business owners, developers and City staff to determine existing conditions and areas for improvement. The proposed draft includes the input collected during the public engagement portion of the update and highlights recommendations and actions pertaining to various City policies and programs. Some of the chapters of the Plan include Land Use, Municipal Services, Economy, Wellness, Education, Community Appearance, Transportation and Parks and Recreation.
Both the Comprehensive Plan and the Parks Master Plan are nicknamed Blueprint 2040 because of their impact on the next 20+ years of development in Bryan.
The Facility Maintenance group provides various levels of maintenance to 26 City buildings and facilities as well as 45 parks and parks buildings. The Department’s responsibilities range from light to moderate remodeling including carpentry, plumbing, painting, HVAC, and lighting, to electronic energy management systems, electronic access/security control systems, playground construction/maintenance, graffiti removal, parks lighting, custodial services, and project design and development. The building and park areas maintained present a very diverse and wide array of maintenance needs.
In the year since the last State of the City address, the Bryan and College Station Public Library System has grown in both scope and capability. Our accomplishments encompass all areas of service, from programming to facilities, and have enhanced the services available to all citizens of the cities of Bryan and College Station.
Our buildings have been improved and are still improving. The Clara B. Mounce Library installed an updated camera security system that provides better safety and accountability for patrons and staff alike. The Mounce Library also installed new audio/visual equipment in the Meeting Room that will enhance media experiences from formal presentations to movie viewing. The Ringer Library, together with the City of College Station and Komatsu Architecture, reviewed a 30% completion plan and pricing submittal that brings us closer to breaking ground on the renovation and expansion of the building.
The Libraries continue to be a cornerstone for resources in early childhood development. The Mounce Library will soon be receiving national recognition as a Family Place Library on August 25, 2016; this was a grant funded endeavor that included extensive training and specialized equipment procurement. As a Family Place Library, Mounce will be offering multi-week courses in childhood development for parents to attend with their children, who will also have access to new toys and guided educational experiences. The Ringer Library continues to offer its Literacy Starts @ Birth workshops, which have been attended by more than 300 people in the last year. Literacy Starts @ Birth offers parents, caretakers, and educators of children from newborn to 5 years old an opportunity to learn about how to best prepare children for success in learning to read.
The Libraries’ relationships with the community and other organizations continue to thrive. We received $45,254 in grants and donations to support library programs and services this year, which have been very well attended. We completed a record setting Summer Reading Program for children, teens, and adults with over 5,000 participants. 18,190 people attended more than 300 programs, and the community’s teenagers gave more than 3,000 hours of their time to us through our Teen Job Skills Training Program to run the Summer Reading Program desk. Additionally, more than 30 local businesses participated in programs and donated thousands of coupons for reading incentives.
Mounce, Ringer, and Carnegie continue to be positive representatives for our parent organizations. Library staff regularly appear on local radio to promote programs, and the Ringer expansion has also been discussed twice on local news spots. Summer Reading Program events were featured on the front page of the Eagle three times this summer and in several separate online photo galleries. Mounce and Ringer staff participated in a live remote broadcast with KBTX for National Book Lovers Day.
The Libraries are seeing more people come through our doors, and we are also checking out more materials. More than 5,600 new library patron accounts were created in FY16, and we had more than 430,000 unique visits. Overall, the Library System experienced an 8.5% increase in the number of people visiting and an almost 12% increase in the number of books and media items that were checked out from FY15. The visualizations below reflect total numbers of visits and check-outs. We are projected to circulate just under 1 million items in FY16.
FY17 will bring new challenges, and the Library System is confident that we will build upon these accomplishments as we provide equal opportunity access to information, high quality book and multimedia materials, programs, exhibits, and online resources to meet the needs of a diverse community for lifelong learning, cultural enrichment and intellectual stimulation.
The officers of the Bryan Police Department provided professional and effective services for the citizens of Bryan. We responded to over 64,000 calls for service in the past year. Our School Resource Officers worked in partnership with the Bryan Independent School District, making sure our schools provide a safe environment for our students.
The Bryan Police Department conducted numerous successful investigations during the past year. Arrests were made for crimes ranging from drug possession to murder. We also proactively attacked crime using criminal intelligence and the Compstat process, successfully arresting burglars, tire & rim thieves, robbers, and other felons.
We continue to use Baylor/Scott and White Hospital to conduct forensic examinations on most adult sexual assault victims and other cases where forensic medical examinations are necessary. This partnership was established between the Bryan Police Department, the College Station Police Department, TAMU Police Department, Brazos County Sheriff s Department, the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office and Baylor/Scott and White Hospital. The partnership was formed to provide compassionate and professional forensic services to crime victims of the Brazos County.
Falco, our beloved K9 officer, retired in FY 2016 and we purchased two new K9 officers and selected two new handlers. They are going through rigorous training and the K9 officers should be working in FY 2017
The City of Bryan Employee Health Center was established in March of 2011, and in January of 2016 the City welcomed Bryan Independent School District as a partner. The school district brought an additional 3,500 lives to the clinic operation. Consequently, the Center was relocated to a larger location, increased the number of staff members, and extended hours. Employees and their dependents on the City or school district’s health plan can obtain primary or acute care at the facility. The Center is managed and operated by CHI/St. Joseph Health.
The Travis B. Bryan Municipal Golf Course underwent several repairs this year, including renovations of tees, collars, and approaches. And the Zone Shootout, our weekly summer Wednesday night tournament had the largest number of participants in recent history with an average of more than 40 players competing each week.