Local News Headlines–4/30/2013

When the A&M System board of regents meets tomorrow, they will be discussing the Kyle Field stadium redevelopment project.  Originally pegged at $425-million, the regents will be asked to change the project scope and budget.  Details are not in the nearly 500 page agenda book.  That will be revealed during the regents meeting. The chancellor is also asking for authority to negotiate funding agreements with the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the City of College Station, and Brazos County.  A change in state law is required to allow hotel occupancy tax money meant for the now-closed College Station Conference Center to be redirected to help fund Kyle Field.  In return, off-campus groups are supposed to have the chance to rent on-campus facilities at cost. In a related item, a system-wide construction update includes a $16-million expansion at the Bright Center. At 43-percent completion, it is expected to open in mid-September.  This includes a new sports nutrition center on the north side and a larger main lobby area on the south side.

A small piece of land on the Texas A&M campus will be generating property tax money.  That’s because a private developer is in charge of Campus Pointe, a combination of student housing, a convention center, a hotel, and retail along University between Texas and College. The College Station City Council at its last meeting approved an agreement with the A&M System to collect property taxes and receive revenue from providing electricity. The university will supply water and sewer service. More than 300 housing units will be built, along with a hotel and a convention center.

And, service arrangements have been announced for College Station City Manager Frank Simpson, who died Saturday afternoon of an apparent heart attack. A public visitation will be this evening from 5 to 7:30 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in College Station, followed by a rosary.  A memorial service will be held tomorrow morning at 10 at the church, followed by a reception. College Station City Hall will be closed tomorrow from 9:30 until 2 to allow employees to attend the service.  Mayor Nancy Berry announced yesterday that Kathy Merrill was appointed interim city manager and the city council will hold a special meeting Thursday at noon to begin moving forward following Simpson’s unexpected death.