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November 24, 2015

State of the City 2015: Making Bryan Better

 

 

 

We’ve been telling you that everything is “Better in Bryan.” But it’s not just a saying to us – it’s our mission. Day-in and day-out we work hard to make Bryan the best place to live and work for our citizens, and the best place to visit for our guests. So what makes Bryan better? It’s our community, our citizens, and our staff, who personify the spirit of Bryan everyday.

 

 

City Manager’s Office

The bottom line is better in Bryan

“By no means are any of these achievements accomplished on my own. It is a team effort, and I have a great team.”
– Kean Register, Bryan City Manager
 
We ended fiscal year 2015 with cash reserves that are $19 million over the current reserve requirement. We developed a five-year plan to spend down reserves to the 90-100-day level, which is considered health by the ratings agencies and maintains our excellent rating. Sales tax revenue is up $600,000 for the year, and property values in Bryan are also up. So, the bottom line truly is better in Bryan.

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Bryan Animal Center

State of the City 2015: Bryan Animal Center

$50,000 donation makes facility improvements possible

In fiscal year 2015, the Bryan Animal Center received a $50,000 donation from the Wheeler Foundation for facility improvements. That money has been used to add overhead awnings to the center’s outside dog kennels, and we are receiving quotes to begin work on a new facility roof and insulation for our indoor dog kennels.

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City Secretary’s Office

Seal of the City of Bryan

Serving citizens of today and tomorrow, while preserving the records of the past

That’s our motto, and it underlies our mission to support, facilitate, and strengthen the City of Bryan governmental process, to serve as a resource for citizens, and to be a link between citizens and the City organization. It never really slows down in the City Secretary’s Office. As the record keeper for the City, there’s always something new to be archived. From City Council meeting minutes, to open-records requests, to birth and death certificates, this department is always on the go, making sure the residents of Bryan have the records and documents that they need.

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Community Development Services

State of the City: Community Development

Helping to build better lives in Bryan – one house at a time

Community Development Services utilizes federal grant money to provide services and make a difference in the lives of Bryan residents who are most in need. With these multifaceted responsibilities, our department has lots of opportunities to shine, and through the funding and oversight of various non-profit organizations, and through administering the City’s housing assistance programs, we have made a significant difference in the lives of Bryan residents in fiscal year 2015.

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Development Services

home construction in Bryan

Residential construction is rising, and the value of commercial projects is way up

Between January 2015 and July 2015, Development Services issued 35 new commercial construction permits compared to 46 for the same period in 2014. Although fewer permits were issued within this period, the project value is significantly higher.

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Engineering Services

Downtown Bryan

Improving the City of today, and engineering the City of tomorrow

In fiscal year 2015, Engineering Services spearheaded the process of creating the City’s first ADA Transition Plan, which was substantially completed, and began an annual program to implement improvements and continue assessments for existing infrastructure and buildings related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. We continued installation of new retro reflective signage in multiple subdivisions including Castle Heights, completing more than 600 work order requests, and we also pursued multiple grant opportunities including Transportation Alternatives Program through TxDOT for pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

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Fire Department

Bryan Fire department members

Some achievements are beyond measure, and this is one of them

The Bryan Fire Department made significant gains and achievements in fiscal year 2015, but perhaps the greatest accomplishment is also the most personal to the members of the Department. Ricky Mantey returned to light duty. Year-in and year-out there will always be lots of positives that come about. There will be new equipment purchases and new benchmarks reached. But it is not every year that we get to have one of our brothers return to duty with us. Everyone knows Ricky’s story and the challenges he has faced since February 2013. So the fact that Ricky was able to rejoin us is not only an amazing accomplishment for him, but it is also the best thing that has happened within the Bryan Fire Department in fiscal year 2015.

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Fleet Services

fleet vehicles

When the City needs someone to look under the hood, they call us

The City of Bryan Fleet Services Department is a vital part of the City’s Support Services. We’re responsible for all the scheduled maintenance and non-scheduled in shop repairs, and emergency roadside service on more than 500 vehicles, and equipment of various types and configurations. These include all City-owned fire apparatus and ambulances, refuse and sewer trucks, construction and infrastructure maintenance equipment, and all standard vehicles and police patrol vehicles (currently excludes Bryan Texas Utilities units and golf carts/equipment). We’re also responsible for repairs on small engine equipment, including saws, weed trimmers, mowers, pumps, etc.

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Information Technology

Computer Servers - promo image for Information Technology Department

Could you do your work without a computer? Yeah, that’s what we thought

In the 21st century, information technology is an indispensable part of daily life, and is the lifeblood of municipal operations. The needs and expectations of the IT Department’s customers are as diverse as the community we serve. Our customers range from our residents to elected officials, from businesses to visitors, from customers to outside agencies, and, of course, City staff. The IT group provides technology solutions and support operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re here to make sure you’re able to stay connected no matter when or where, and to do it in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

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Bryan+College Station Public Library System

kids at the Mounce Public Library

The library is much more than just books and papers – it’s a shapshot of life

In fiscal year 2015, the Bryan+College Station Public Library System has seen an increase in the number of people coming to the libraries and the number of items that are checked out. We had more than 419,000 visitors, up 4,000 over the previous year. We also had more than 848,000 items checked out.

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Police Department

Bryan Police Department

You, and me, and PD! Together, we’re making the City of Bryan better

Fiscal Year 2015 has been a good year for the Bryan Police Department. We’ve had great achievements across the board, but for our section of the “State of the City” report, we have divided the accomplishments into four main areas: Community, Technology, Training, and Policing Activities.

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Solid Waste

trash can

These guys do one of the most important jobs in the City

The members of the Solid Waste group are like the Mike Rowe of the City of Bryan. They do some “Dirty Jobs.” But without these important and selfless workers, nothing else about this City would really matter. Have you ever tried to live in a city that didn’t have trash pickup for a couple of weeks? We didn’t think so, and who would want to? The members of the Solid Waste group are to be commended for keeping this City clean and making it shine.

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Strategic Projects

State of the City 2015: Strategic Projects

Growth, redevelopment, improvements. We help make those things possible

Stra·te·gic – adjective – Relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.

Yep, that definition sounds a lot like us. The Strategic Projects staff helps facilitate growth and economic development within the City of Bryan through work on projects that have been deemed strategically important to the City. These projects are generally related to economic development, or other planning and development initiatives, and can include working on projects in Downtown North, assisting the Economic Development staff, or working with residential and commercial developers directly. And on the back end of these strategic projects, we also are responsible for monitoring the reporting requirements for projects within an established TIRZ, and making sure that any strategic project complies with the standards and benchmarks set for it by the City Council.

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Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU)

State of the City: BTU

Growth, speed, efficiency, and safety highlight BTU list of achievements

Growth in the BTU system shows no signs of slowing down. The Distribution Division continues to construct new electric facilities in the City and Rural areas of BTU’s territory. Annual system growth is approximately 1,400 new customers connected. In fiscal year 2015, BTU also completed an upgrade to the Meter Sense Meter Data Management System (MOMS), enabling the automation of service orders and improving the speed of business processes. And with safety always on our minds, BTU began the Safety Culture improvement process with Caterpillar Safety Services. All BTU employees participated in the Caterpillar Safety Perception Survey.

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Communications and Marketing

I Am Bryan

State and national awards are nice, but our motivation is to tell your story

“Have you heard? People are talking! The word is out about Bryan.”  |  “I Am Bryan.”  |  “It’s a vibrant place to live and work.”  |  “It’s the “hidden gem of Aggieland.”  |  “Everything is Better in Bryan!”  |  “#BetterInBryan.”

You may have seen or heard some of those words and phrases around town, in advertisements or on social media in the past year. The City of Bryan Communications and Marketing Department won 5 state awards and 1 national award in fiscal year 2015. And while those accomplishments are wonderful, what really motivates us is sharing the amazing stories and accomplishments of the staff members and residents of the City of Bryan. Our job is to get the word out, to grow our audience, to create interesting content, and to draw people into this great city. And guess what? It’s working.

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Coulter Airfield

Coulter Airfield Sign at Dusk

TxDOT grants help fund numerous improvement projects at Coulter Airfield

The future is bright for Coulter Airfield, as fiscal year 2015 saw several key projects completed, with more currently in the works or on the radar. These projects are a testament to the vision for Coulter Airfield and the ongoing improvements of its safety, service, infrastructure, and overall operation. Coulter Airfield’s first-ever business plan was completed with the help of a TxDOT grant that funded 90% of the cost. The field also got a runway shoulder rehabilitation and new airfield lighting, also helped by a TxDOT grant for 90% of the cost. And finally, the field got a new Jet A Fuel Farm upgrade, with TxDOT covering half of the cost of that project. A three-year capital improvement TxDOT project is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed in fiscal year 2017. The project consists of a design phase and two construction phases:

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Economic Development

builder incentive program

Building positive relationships helps spur economic development in Bryan

Economic development in Bryan is thriving and a big reason for that is the relationships that have been developed between developers and the City of Bryan staff members. That’s where our department comes in. We help facilitate those relationships and look to create new ones. And we’ve been busy in fiscal year 2015.

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Facility Services

Heritage Park

We take care of the buildings and parks that form the backbone of the City

The Facility Services 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.

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Fiscal Services

image of money to represent fiscal services department

Saving millions, improving transparency – just another fiscal year at the office

The mission of the Fiscal Services Department is to ensure financial accountability, to effectively manage the City’s assets, to provide appropriate financial information for the evaluation of the City’s activities, and to support all departments within the City of Bryan by providing cost-effective, procurement of goods and services at the best value to the City. What that all really means is that Fiscal Services manages the money. And without their accounting and financial expertise, as well as their skill at producing a yearly budget, it would be pretty hard to get anything done around the City of Bryan.

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Human Resources

Bryan Municipal Building - promo image for Human Resources Department

From hiring to retiring, we’re here to support and take care of you

Human Resources is responsible for recruitment, benefits (excluding insured plans), training and educational opportunities, classification and compensation, civil service (police and fire), employee relations, and personnel records. In fiscal year 2015, we, along with our consultants, completed two separate market/salary studies (City of Bryan and BTU) and implemented pay range and market pay adjustments. We also coordinated and implemented a quarterly or as-needed “new supervisor/manager” training academy and coordinated and implemented a quarterly employee recognition/appreciation program.

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Municipal Court

gavel photo - promo for municipal court

We find the Municipal Court – GUILTY –
of being awesome at everything they do

The Bryan Municipal Court is responsible for adjudication of all Class C misdemeanors, which is inclusive of Traffic, Penal, City Ordinances, Education Code and Alcohol Beverage Code. The Court processes an average of about 20,000 cases a year and also issues an average of about 5,500 warrants a year. We collect more than $2 million in revenues for the City of Bryan and the State of Texas. But that’s just the legal stuff. Check out all of the other cool things we did in fiscal year 2015.

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Parks and Recreation

kids playing in splash pad sprinklers

How do you spell fun in Bryan, Texas?
P-A-R-K-S-A-N-D-R-E-C-R-E-A-T-I-O-N

Over the last year the Parks and Recreation Department has continued researching, evaluating and drawing up plans for new parks, facilities, and programs. The main initiatives for the year were focused on the Parks Improvement Plan, preparing for the construction of a pool in Sadie Thomas Park, finding the right location for the construction of a new skate park, hiring a consultant for the Parks Master Plan, and hosting the 2015 Games of Texas Summer Games.

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Risk Management

Bryan Municipal Building - promo image for Human Resources Department

Risk Management means being here to help you live a healthier, happier life

In fiscal year 2015, the Risk Management department initiated an Interlocal Agreement with Bryan ISD to extend the City’s Employee Health Center services to Bryan ISD employees and dependents enrolled in Bryan ISD’s self-insured risk pool, and we amended our agreement with St. Joseph Regional Health Center to provide this service. Extending this service to Bryan ISD may allow expanded hours for employees to access the Employee Health Center. In fiscal year 2015, the Employee Health Center received a 97 percent Good/Excellent satisfaction rating from City employees. Bryan’s Employee Health Center has served as a model for other public entities in our community.

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Streets and Drainage

street close up picture

If you like to drive or walk in Bryan, we’re here to make your journey better

Potholes, sidewalk cracks, street flooding and drainage problems. These are big issues to the residents of Bryan, and when these issues come up, you need a team of responsible and talented individuals to fix them. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we have here at the City of Bryan.

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Travis B. Bryan Municipal Golf Course

State of the City 2015: Golf Course

New golf carts don’t make a golf course, but they sure don’t hurt either

Fiscal year 2015 saw several improvements at the Travis B. Bryan Municipal Golf Course. The course has been a Brazos County golf tradition for more than 90 years, but your golf cart really shouldn’t feel like it is 90 years old also. So we acquired a new fleet of golf carts and expanded the cart storage pavilion. Our goal is to provide the public with a quality golf experience that includes exceptional service and a comfortable atmosphere for all ages, and our improvements this year help us do that.

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