The groundwork continues for more student housing around Texas A&M. Last week, the College Station city council approved a new high density classification in Northgate that will allow up to six unrelated occupants per unit, as long as each person has their own bedroom. Developer Greg Jasper says the rental cost per bedroom in a six bedroom unit is half the rent of a one-bedroom unit making it the most attractive option for students. The council recently approved for Northgate an eight floor complex with between 700 and 800 beds and enough parking for each bed and retail customers. And, the Texas A&M system board of regents might take action following executive session tomorrow on leasing 55 acres of land at an undisclosed location in Brazos County for more housing that would be controlled by the flagship campus. This is in addition to the 4,000 beds being built or completed on west campus.
Every year the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports how College Station-Bryan compares to the national average in occupational employment and wages. The annual report looks at 22 major occupational groups and more than 300 detailed jobs in the greater College Station metropolitan area. The mean wage for all occupations was $20.09 per hour, which is below the national average of $22.71. But, Economist Cheryl Abbott says there was one category that did stand out. Abbott says the mean hourly wage for the Education, Training and Library group is 27 percent higher than the national average.
And, two years ago, lawmakers committed an extra $300-million to the treatment of mental health problems. Now the state legislature is poised to put an additional $250-million into mental health resources, but there may not be enough doctors available to offer treatment. Senator Charles Schwertner, whose district includes Brazos County, says that’s why offering a loan repayment assistance program is key. The state senate approved the bill which will give doctors up to $160,000 to pay off loans in exchange for up to five years of service. The bill now heads to the house.