Southwest Austin - Dripping Springs Edition - February 2021

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 11  FEB. 23MARCH 24, 2021

ONLINE AT

WORST LITTLE HIGHWAYS IN TEXAS ONE OF THE The 3.9-mile stretch of Hwy. 290 through the Y at Oak Hill was ranked the 43rd worst stretch of road in the state on the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The report was issued in December, but used data from before the pandemic in 2019.

Average westbound speed at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday  MPH

Total annual hours lost in trac per mile ,

$ M

Budget for the forthcoming construction project

MOPAC

71

35

290

State ocials say roadways around this intersection, the Y at Oak Hill, reached their capacity more than 20 years ago. A $674million project to address trac begins this summer.

INSIDE

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SOURCES: TEXAS A&M TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY FALCON SKY PHOTOGRAPHY

Samsung requests no city property tax on proposed $17 billion chip plant

G I A N T A M O N G G I A N T S Samsung’s proposed $17 billion chip-making plant would dwarf other recent megaprojects that sought tax incentives in the region. *SAMSUNG IS PROPOSED

$5B $10B $15B $20B

6,000 4,500 3,000 1,500

BY CHRISTOPHER NEELY

one of the largest single economic investments in Texas history. However, in return, Samsung has asked the city for a record tax incentive package for the plant—a 100% property tax rebate for 25 years, according to documents CONTINUED ON 26

Samsung is shopping around a $17 billion, 6.1 million-square-foot chip Semiconductor manufacturing plant, and if the tech giant chooses Austin, one of three U.S. locations under consideration, the project would be

0

0

Samsung 2021*

Samsung (2006/2012, Austin)

Tesla (2020, Del Valle)

Apple (2018, Austin)

SOURCES: COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER, CITY OF AUSTIN, CITY OF ROUND ROCK, CITY OF PFLUGERVILLE, TRAVIS COUNTY, WILLIAMSON COUNTY

SUMMER CAMP GUIDE CAMP GUIDE 2021

Power outages leave Texans in the cold

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IMPACTS

6 WEATHER

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Close tohome.

The care you need is right around the corner. Schedule appointments and get expert care at one of our convenient locations around Austin.

Two hospitals close to home

Baylor Scott &White Medical Center — Austin 5245 W. US Highway 290 | Austin, TX 78735 512.654.2100 BSWHealth.com/AustinMedicalCenter

Baylor Scott &White Medical Center — Lakeway 100 Medical Parkway | Lakeway, TX 78738 512.654.5000 BSWHealth.com/Lakeway

Seven clinics in your neighborhood

Baylor Scott &White Clinic — Austin Circle C 5000 W. Slaughter Lane | Building 6, Suite 100 Austin, TX 78749 Extended Urgent Care hours: Weekdays 8:00 AM — 8:00 PM, Weekends 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM Baylor Scott &White Clinic — Austin Oak Hill 5251 W. US Highway 290 | Austin, TX 78735 Baylor Scott &White Clinic — Austin Southwest 9521 W. US Highway 290 | Suite 105 | Austin, TX 78736

Baylor Scott &White Clinic — Lakeway 3108 S. Ranch Road 620 | Lakeway, TX 78738 Baylor Scott &White Specialty Clinic — Lakeway 200 Medical Parkway | Lakeway, TX 78738 Baylor Scott &White —West Hills Family Health Center 11805 FM 2244, Suite 100 | Bee Cave, TX 78738 Baylor Scott &White Clinic — Bee Cave 16018 W. SH 71 | Bee Cave, TX 78738

BSWHealth.com/Locations | 1.844.BSW.DOCS

Medical Centers: Physicians provide clinical services asmembers of themedical staff at one of Baylor Scott &White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliatedmedical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of thosemedical centers or Baylor Scott &White Health. Clinics: Physicians are employees of Scott &White Clinic, an affiliate of Baylor Scott &White Health. ©2021 Baylor Scott &White Health. 99-ATX-229761_SWAustin Community Impact Ad_SKH Now accepting newpatients. Baylor Scott &White Health accepts most major insurance plans, including Medicare.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Curious about new listings in your neighborhood? Scan me.

SOLD $192K OVER

SOLD $91K OVER

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realtyaustin.com/p/5299643

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SOLD

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4 bds

3.5 ba 3,298 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,191 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 1,650 sq ft

3 bds

2 ba

1,359 sq ft

10212 Banks Ct, Austin, TX 78739 Patricia Webster | 512-924-9923

4615 Tello Path, Austin, TX 78749 Ross Ponder | 512-461-6888

7919 Finch Trl, Austin, TX 78745 Ryan Gamble | 512-791-8641

5113 Greenheart Dr, Austin, TX 78745 Holly McCormick | 512-699-5590

SOLD $67K OVER

SOLD $50K OVER

SOLD $50K OVER

SOLD $48K OVER

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realtyaustin.com/p/1587713

realtyaustin.com/p/7772854

realtyaustin.com/p/8127987

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

2 bds

1 ba

0,936 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

1,850 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 2,584 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 1,619 sq ft

1602 Sylvan Glade, Austin, TX 78745 Ashley Jackson | 512-949-9364

2300 Fair Oaks Dr, Austin, TX 78745 Brad Bradburn | 512-228-9531

190 Kiras Ct, Austin, TX 78737 Alexia Dauterive | 512-636-4006

8407 Longview Rd, Austin, TX 78745 Amy Mills | 512-762-0585

SOLD $40K OVER

SOLD $40K OVER

SOLD $15K OVER

SOLD $11K OVER

realtyaustin.com/p/8838697

realtyaustin.com/p/7573623

realtyaustin.com/p/3873974

realtyaustin.com/p/8193696

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

3 bds

2.5 ba 1,692 sq ft

3 bds

2 ba

1,919 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,111 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,248 sq ft

914 Boatswain Way, Austin, TX 78748 Kristen Jacobs | 512-657-9311

11325 Stormy Ridge Rd, Austin, TX 78739 Tony Elias | 512-351-0823

8000 Bramble Bush Dr, Austin, TX 78747 Mindy Guevara | 512-825-3820

113 Medina Hills Ct, Austin, TX 78737 Kathleen Wilsey | 858-761-8799

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

RAIN IN THE SAVINGS

Landscape Rebates „ Replace healthy turf grass with native plant beds and qualify for up to $1,750 in rebates. „ Using a combination of mulch ( $40 rebate ), compost ( $50 rebate ) and core aeration ( $30 rebate ) ensures water stays on your yard and saves you $120 . Laundry to Landscape Rebate „ $150 rebate to help you buy equipment to reuse laundry graywater (wastewater from bathroom sinks, showers/bathtubs, and clothes washers/ laundry tubs) for watering your landscape. „ Look for EPA’s ENERGY STAR ® or WaterSense ® label when buying new water use appliances or plumbing fixtures. It’s good for your finances and the environment. Irrigation Upgrades „ Receive up to $1,000 in rebates for upgrading your existing irrigation system. „ Rebate of up to $40 for a water timer that gives you more control over hose- end watering.

Rainscape Installation „ Residents and schools can install landscape features (berms, terraces, swales, rain gardens, porous pavement, etc.) to keep and beneficially use rainwater while saving $.30 for every square foot (100 sq. ft. minimum) converted, up to $500 per property. Rainwater Harvesting „ Get a maximum rebate of $5,000 or 50% of the equipment cost, whichever is less, on non-pressurized systems ($0.50 per gallon capacity) or pressurized systems ($1.00 per gallon capacity).

austinwater.org

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMDEEDA: As we were sending this issue to print, perhaps the worst storm in our cities’ histories stripped us of the ability to fulll many of our basic needs. What started out as a playground of uy, white snow for our kids to enjoy quickly turned into a nightmare we could not seem to escape. Thousands of people suered for days without power, boil water notices were issued, roads were deemed impassable and grocery store shelves emptied as long lines of cold shoppers wrapped around the buildings, waiting for a chance to get inside for necessary supplies. I am comforted by the heroic eorts of our rst responders, essential workers and just good old fashioned neighbors acting neighborly. I look forward to a slow news day when words such as unprecedented and historic will once again become rare. In the meantime, let’s look out for one another. Deeda Lovett, GENERALMANAGER dlovett@communityimpact.com

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

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TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN NOWOPEN 1 Austin-based Ally Medical Emergency Room opened its latest free-standing emergency room in South Austin earlier this winter, according to a Feb. 9 news release by the company. Located at 8721 Menchaca Road, Austin, the medical facility oers emergency and trauma care for conditions including broken bones, infections, asthma attacks, and stomach or chest pain. It also has the capacity to conduct on-site testing, including blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound imaging and COVID-19 rapid testing, according to the company. 512-280-6959. www.allymedical.com 2 HipStirs Lounge opened in November at 3403 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin. The craft cocktail bar also oers food from partner brands Phantasma Kitchen and Lechuza Tacos. Craft cocktail and mocktail-making kits are available on HipStirs’ website

as well as bookings for virtual mixology classes. 512-621-4321. www.hipstirs.com 3 Teal House Coee & Bakery opened its rst brick-and-mortar location at 2304 S. Congress Ave., Austin, on Jan. 30. The business’s menu includes kolaches, croissants, sticky buns, pies and its signature cinnamon rolls as well as coee and espresso drinks. The original food truck on Slaughter Lane remains open. 832-577-4336. www.tealhouse.co 4 Whataburger opened a new Austin location Jan. 28 in the cell phone lot of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 2901 Spirit of Texas Drive, Austin. The restaurant can seat 72 customers, has a 24-7 drive-thru and oers delivery options. Inside seating and curbside pickup are available from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 737-228-1311. www.whataburger.com 5 Asian and seafood restaurant Wok Ur World opened at 6611 S. MoPac,

Austin, on Jan. 16. Open for dine in and takeout, the restaurant includes a menu of Chinese and Thai cuisine, including appetizers, stir-fry, noodles, curry and specialty seafood dishes. 512-660-5220. www.wokurworldatx.com COMING SOON 6 Developing rm ZIF Capital in early January broke ground on Alder , a new townhome community that is set to open in the Oak Hill area this fall. Located at 6821 Wolf Creek Pass in Southwest Austin, the future community will include 22 free-standing townhouse units. Townhomes at Alder went on sale in December. All units include three bedrooms and 3.5 baths and range between 1,828 and 2,224 square feet. 512-778-2111. www.alderaustin.com 7 ArborView, a 62-plus active-living community with 151 total apartment units for rent, will open to residents March 1 at 12100 Archeleta Blvd., Austin.

The project broke ground in 2018 near the entrance of the Greyrock Ridge neighborhood and will include amenities such as a community pool, a dog park and common spaces. 512-858-6984. www.arborviewlife.com 8 As You Are Acupuncture is slated to open two new locations March 1—in South Austin at 4403 Menchaca Road, Austin, and in North Austin at 4107 Medical Parkway, Ste. 100, Austin. The business, which oers acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, will celebrate its rst anniversary April 25. During its rst year, As You Are operated out of an Adams Avenue spot, which will be replaced by the new locations. 512-270-1664. www.asyouareacupuncture.com 9 East Austin’s Drinks Lounge plans to open a second location called Little Drinks Lounge in South Austin in March. Located at the Davis SoCo Apartments at 3801 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 116, Austin, the new spot will have

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COMPILED BY NICHOLAS CICALE

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3

HipStirs Lounge

Teal House Coee & Bakery

The rst tenants at the South Congress Station shopping center are moving in this spring. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

COURTESY HIPSTIRS LOUNGE

COURTESY TEAL HOUSE COFFEE & BAKERY

“the same neighborhood hangout vibe” as the original East Cesar Chavez Street location, owner Tim Lupa said. It will serve the same cocktail menu as Drinks Lounge but will have its own food menu. www.drinkslounge.bar 10 Rastegar Property Co. is working on a new 50-acre industrial development in Southeast Austin, just south of Tesla’s forthcoming gigafactory and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. According to a Feb. 16 news release, Rastegar’s industrial arm will be constructing six buildings located near SH 130 at 11708 McAngus Road, Austin, totaling 530,000 square feet of industrial space. Rastegar estimated construction at the development will be complete by the third quarter of 2022. www.rastegarproperty.com RELOCATIONS 11 Al’s Formal Wear has rebranded as Dapper & Dashing and relocated to 5400 Brodie Lane, Ste. 250, Sunset Valley, on Dec. 17, according to Store Manager Brittany Beausoleil. The shop oers rental tuxedos, suits and accessories, with brands including Michael Kors, Allure Men, Perry Ellis and their own Dapper & Dashing products. Al’s Formal Wear was previously located at the Barton Creek Square Mall, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. 512-328-3777.

DEVELOPMENTSPOTLIGHT

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South Congress Station

South Congress Station, a shopping center that has been under construction since 2018 at 8900 S. Congress Ave., Austin, is scheduled to have its rst round of retail tenants open this spring with seven businesses under lease. Austin-founded restaurant chain Schlotzsky’s was set to open its third South Austin location at the retail center Feb. 22, oering its traditional menu as well as Cinnabon products. Jet’s Pizza , a national chain serving Detroit- style pizza, also signed a lease this fall to open a new restaurant at South Congress Station. Opening dates for Jet’s Pizza as well as for neighboring restaurant Yoshiko Ramen & Sushi Bar have not been announced by the respective businesses. Pie Bar franchise owners and South Austin residents Lisa and Basil Jackson said they plan to open their dessert bar in late March or early April. The dessert bar has a menu that includes pies, mousse bites, cobblers and cheesecakes, and it will be the rst Austin location for the Lubbock-based brand. Another Lubbock-based chain, sports- themed barbershop Locker RoomHaircuts , is scheduled to open its rst Austin location April 1, according to South Austin franchise owner Kyle Maxeld. The shop will specialize in men’s and children’s haircuts and beard trimmings. Exacta Bookkeeping & Tax Services is planning to open this spring for tax

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Southside Flying Pizza

COURTESY THE VELOX STANDARD

January. The local gallery and boutique oers art with plants as a medium as well as home decor items for sale and has hosted craft events in the past. The store is open for curbside pickup and shopping by appointment due to COVID-19 safety precautions. 512-762-5228. www.articulturedesigns.com 13 South Austin nonprot The Human Potential Center will celebrate its 35th anniversary March 1. Located at 2007 Bert Ave., Austin, the center oers programs designed to “tap the creativity, the love and the playfulness of the human spirit.” www.humanpotentialcenter.org 14 Southside Flying Pizza is celebrating 15 years in the community in 2021. The Austin-based chain owned by Art Goldstein has South Austin locations at A 11600 Menchaca Road, B 2206 S. Congress Ave. and C 1224 S. Lamar Blvd. It serves scratch-made pizzas, chicken wings, sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. The Menchaca location can be reached at 512-440-1626. www.southsideyingpizza.com

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season. The nancial services business oers tax preparation, electronic ling, audit representation, bookkeeping, notary services, and free consultations and tax reviews. The South Austin oce will be the business’s fourth in Central Texas. ATI Physical Therapy , a national chain that already has three South Austin locations, will also open this spring at South Congress Station. ATI Physical Therapy specializes in personalized manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and cardiovascular and strength training.

www.dapperanddashing.com ANNIVERSARIES

12 Articulture Designs celebrated ve years at 6405 Menchaca Road, Austin, in

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened

COMPILED BY NICHOLAS CICALE

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TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Dreamland Dripping Springs

COURTESY CHAZ LUTZ

DRIPPING SPRINGS NOWOPEN 1 Dreamland Dripping Springs , an outdoor entertainment venue that includes pickleball, mini-golf and outdoor concerts along with a beer garden and sports bar, opened Feb. 5. The complex is located on 64 acres of space and includes 54 holes of mini-golf along with four weather-protected pickleball courts. Dreamland will also feature live music on several stages. Owned by Austin resident Steve Kuhn, the venue is located at 2770 W. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs. 512-827-1279. www.dreamlanddstx.com

2 Austin-based Factory Mattress opened a new store Feb. 2 at 12680 W. Hwy. 290, Ste. 100, Dripping Springs. The first tenant to open at the still under construction Ledgestone Commercial shopping plaza, Factory Mattress offers discounted sleep furniture including mattresses, bed frames, memory foam pillows and mattress covers. 512-825-6483. www.factorymattresstexas. com/locations/dripping-springs 3 The Hays County Beekeepers Association opened a store at 12919 Nutty Brown Road, Austin, in mid- January. According to Nathalie Biggie, the owner of the Bee Mindful school in Austin and one of the new store’s operators, the HCBA Beekeeping Store has a selection of beekeeping equipment and honey bees,

while also offering bee advice and help with applying for bee-related agricultural exemptions. The store also has local honey and beeswax products, such as candles, for sale. 512-699-0605. www.hayscountybeekeepers.com/store 4 Regal Awnings opened on Jan. 15 at 12707 Nutty Brown Road, Bldg. B-100, Austin. The locally owned business takes measurements, crafts and installs awnings for both residential and commercial buildings across Central Texas. Regal Awnings is located at the Nutty Brown Business Park, which has also welcomed Shower Doors of Austin and The Golf Club over the past two years. 512-829-5220. www.regalawnings.com

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY JACK FLAGLER & GREG PERLISKI

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REPUBLIC OF TEXAS BLVD.

James Bass will take over as executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in 2021.

SENDERO DR.

SOUTHWEST PKWY.

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COURTESY CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL MOBILITY AUTHORITY

MOBILITY AUTHORITY NAMES NEWLEADER For its entirety of its existence from 2003 through 2020, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority had one leader. Mike Heiligenstein was the rst and only executive director for the Mobility Authority for nearly two decades. That will change this year. On Jan. 27, The Mobility Authority’s board of directors approved James Bass, former executive director at the Texas Department of Transportation, to replace Heiligenstein as the next executive director of the organization. Bass will ocially take over later in the year upon the conclusion of the 87th Texas Legislative Session. Until then, according to the Mobility Authority, Chief Financial Ocer Bill Chapman will continue to serve as interim executive director. According to his ocial TxDOT biography, Bass has worked for the state department since 1985. He became TxDOT’s chief nancial ocer in 2005 before being named executive director in 2016.

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COMPLETED PROJECTS 1 183 South nishes after ve years of construction The 183 South project, which added tolled express lanes as well as nontolled general lanes to a stretch of US 183 through East Austin, was fully completed in February. Drivers now pay $2.30 to travel the entire section of the toll road. The northern portion of the project, which was already tolled, opened in 2019. The nal pieces of the project to open are the direct connector ramps between 183 Toll and Hwy. 71—those are set to become active in late February. During the time of its construction, the 183 South project was the largest and most expensive project in the area. In addition to the tolled lanes, improvements were made to the nontolled general-purpose lanes, and shared-use paths were added for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Timeline: 2016-21 Cost: $743 million

communities of west Travis County, was completed in February. Crews from Austin Public Works replaced the road base on Southwest between Mission Oaks Boulevard and William Cannon Drive with a denser material, which the city said will last longer and support increased trac. Crosswalk striping and shoulder improvements were also included in the project. In addition, Austin Public Works completed some routine maintenance on a separate stretch of Southwest between William Cannon and Amarra Trail in December. The project was funded by Proposition G, which provided money for transportation projects as part of the $925 million bond package voters passed in 2018. Timeline: November-February 2021 Cost: $7.3 million Funding source: 2018 city of Austin bond

Funding source: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority toll revenue bonds, federal loans, Texas Department of Transportation loans

COURTESY AUSTIN PUBLIC WORKS

2 Southwest Parkway project wraps up A four-month project to rehabilitate Southwest Parkway, which serves as a connection between Austin and the

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF FEB. 19. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SWANEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

WEATHER Power outages leaveAustinites in the dark and cold for days on end

Millions of Texans huddled for warmth beneath blankets and layers of winter clothes, lined up for hours outside of grocery stores to buy necessary supplies and melted snow for use in toilets as widespread power and water outages stretched on for days across the state following a winter storm Feb. 14. Mandated outages began in Austin in the early morning hours of Feb. 15, when the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s energy grid, directed local utility providers to take power oine in order to avoid a statewide blackout. At the peak of the outages, Austin Energy reported more than 200,000 customers without power, or over 40% of its users. Even before the lights came back on, residents left out in the cold were asking questions of public ocials about how the disaster happened. “This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and nd long-term solutions,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Feb. 16 statement. State Rep. James Talarico, DRound Rock, said in a statement ERCOT must be held accountable, but “that’s not where the blame lies” and politicians will also need to answer tough questions. “People are burning furniture to heat their homes, melting snow to ush their toilets, risking carbon BY JACK FLAGLER & BEN THOMPSON

monoxide poisoning to protect their children. If Texas was a country, we would call it a ‘failed state,’” Talarico said in the statement Feb. 17. What went wrong Since 1970, ERCOT has managed the power grid that covers most of Texas. It adjusts prices for power sup- ply, making sure supply and demand are in balance to deliver power to customers. According to CEO Bill Magness, ERCOT made preparations for the winter weather and had a plan. “I don’t think there was any underestimation of the seriousness of this storm,” he said. What did surprise ERCOT was the signicant amount of energy supply that became unavailable the night of Feb. 14. Winterization eorts that were sucient for previous storms were not enough this time, as wide-ranging issues from ice on wind turbines to natural gas plants that could not oper- ate due to cold temperatures caused a signicant shortage. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, a chemical engineering professor and chief energy ocer at the University of Houston, said he believes the state’s reliance on market conditions to manage supply and demand is partially responsible for the lack of power, given providers’ lack of incentive to begin production well in advance of a supply shortage. The shortages aected energy pro- viders of all types, and Krishnamoorti said there should have been a better

Lines wrapped around the back of the HEB store in the Mueller neighborhood Feb. 16. (Photos by Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Snow and ice covered Austin roads after winter storms the week of Feb. 14.

Emergency services were at capacity for days responding to distress calls.

plan in place. “We knew that it was going to get too cold for us to be able to generate enough wind, and there were turbine issues. ... That was not the big story,” he said. “I think [it was] the lack of preparation to get coal-red power plants, natural gas-red power plants [and] nuclear going, having adequate natural gas supply, and having that started ahead of time. Really a lack of preparation.” With so many power suppliers unable to deliver, ERCOT told local utilities across Texas to cut power. In years past, that conservation would be achieved through rolling black- outs, in which customers would lose power for minutes at a time before the outages rotated to others. However, locally, the demand constraints for Austin Energy were so severe that ocials said they were

unable to roll blackouts. The utility took as many users oine as it could without aecting critical infrastruc- ture such as hospitals, re stations and water utility facilities. If those measures were not taken, Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent said the whole system could have gone black. “That would take not just days to restore power but weeks, and even longer for some customers through- out the ERCOT footprint,” Sargent said. Power was mostly restored by Feb. 19, but thousands of Austin Water customers remained without service. As the water utility was working to restore service, director Greg Mesza- ros said residents should prepare for multi-day outages. Those who did have water were under a citywide boil notice as of press time.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Austin & Dripping Springs

COMPILED BY NICHOLAS CICALE & CHRISTOPHER NEELY

Austin City Council Meets March 4, 25 www.austintexas.gov/department/ city-council Dripping Springs City Council Meets March 9, 16 www.cityofdrippingsprings.com Sunset Valley City Council Meets March 2, 16 www.sunsetvalley.org Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court Meetings are currently being held virtually, not in-person. MEETINGSWE COVER member, Todd Purcell stepped down Feb. 9. Purcell served as mayor from 1999 until May 2020, when he transitioned to a council member role, vowing to stay on to help the city complete its budget cycle and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Purcell said he knew that assignment would be temporary. “I’ve done 25 years of public services. Nothing strange is going on with council; nothing’s up. It’s just time,” he said. Purcell’s seat will be lled in the May 1 election. CITY HIGHLIGHTS SUNSET VALLEY A 9-acre tract of land among three Brodie Lane shopping centers in South Austin’s business district could be converted into a park, although Sunset Valley City Council members said they are still very early in the review process. City Council got a rst look Feb. 2 at plans that would turn the undeveloped land into parkland with a small trail system and ponds. Mayor Marc Bruner said the next step is gathering public feedback on the proposal through a possible town hall or community meeting later this year. DRIPPING SPRINGS After serving Dripping Springs for more than 20 years as mayor and council

May 1 election ballot set inAustin

DRIPPING SPRINGS HEADS TO THE POLLS Early voting in Travis and Hays counties runs April 19-27. In the Dripping Springs ISD board race, the top three vote-getters are elected.

AUSTIN City residents will head to the ballot box this spring to weigh in on a menu of changes to the city’s democratic processes as well as a handful of largely controversial policies around homelessness following City Council approval of ballot language Feb. 9. Voters will be asked whether they support aligning the mayoral election with the presidential election cycle; implementing a system of ranked- choice voting if and when it is allowed by state law; eliminating the city manager position and transitioning to a strong mayor form of a government; creating an 11th City Council district; and implementing a campaign nance system that does not limit campaign spending and oers $25 to every voter to donate to campaigns of their choice. Discussions around strong mayor and ranked-choice voting have been happening in the background for years but the PAC Austinites for Progressive Reform, formed in July 2020, drafted a petition that garnered enough support to put the issues on this May’s ballot. A petition drafted by Save Austin

now to reinstate penalties for public camping, sitting and lying down— which City Council repealed in 2019— drewmore than 26,000 valid signatures to earn a place on the May 1 ballot. Three ordinance changes related to homelessness are also in play. Voters will be asked whether they support reinstating the criminal penalties for camping in public, sitting, lying down or sleeping on downtown and university sidewalks, and aggressive solicitation. Austinites will also see two other questions this spring. One could give the local reghters union the ability to force labor negotiations into arbitration if they and the city reach an impasse. This, too, was brought by valid petition. The other, brought by City Council, asks voters if they support City Council creating the position of director of the oce of police oversight. That brings the total number of propositions Austin voters will be deciding upon May 1 to eight. The next City Council and mayoral elections will be in 2022, and any charter changes would come into play after those elections are decided.

*INCUMBENT

DRIPPING SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL

Place 1: Taline Manassian* Place 3: Charlie Busbey Georey Tahuahua Place 5: Travis Crow* Sherrie Parks

DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD

Jerey Aylstock Thaddeus

Max Hunsicker Kay Kizziar Shannon O’Connor* Tricia Quintero Stefani Reinold

Fortenberry Lynn Henson Mary Janes Hetrick* Stephanie Holtzendorf

SOURCES: CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS, DRIPPING SPRINGS ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Austin Police Chief BrianManley retires, says heart was no longer in it

AUSTIN Brian Manley announced Feb. 12 that he will step down from his post as Austin Police Department chief March 28. Manley, who has held the position for more than two years, said the city deserved a chief who was fully committed to the demands of the role. City Manager Spencer Cronk said that he would “immediately start to conduct a national search for our next chief” and that he would appoint an interim chief by the start of March.

Manley said he was ready to take on “the next phase of life.” “I know in my heart that it is time for me to pursue that next opportunity,” Manley said. “And I don’t feel that I can give my full attention to the duties of the chief of police as demanded if my heart is now looking for that next opportunity.”

Brian Manley

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

At Caliterra in Dripping Springs we’ve got plenty of room for friends, family, fun and fresh air! Come experience the stunning natural beauty, wide open spaces, views of Onion Creek and explore unique amenities like The Cove pool complex, The Front Porch coffee shop, and The Hall community center. You’ll soon discover everything here has been developed – or left undeveloped – to make room for the good life.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2021

C A M P G U I D E

GUIDE

A noncomprehensive list of summer camps in the area

COMPILED BY NICHOLAS CICALE

Parents looking for summer camps for their kids have a number of options to choose from in the Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs areas, including virtual options. Listings are accurate as of press time, but information is subject to change.

Cost: $150 per week 512-593-5393 www.neurongarage.com

5

6 Snapology Austin Lego and robotics camps oer programs in which campers use Lego building bricks to explore STEAM and literary concepts while also learning social skills. IP Dates: June 1-Aug. 13 Ages: 4-12 Cost: $250-$395 per week A Circle C Community Center 7817 LaCrosse Ave., Austin B Snapology Austin Discovery Center 1910 Fortview Road, Austin 512-368-9090 www.snapology.com 7 St. Gabriel’s Catholic School will hold its annual summer camps oering sessions in a variety of areas with subjects and programs varying through the summer. Campers work in the school’s d.lab for Making, a collaborative space that promotes experiential learning with an emphasis on innovation, solution- seeking and collaboration. IP Dates: June 7-Aug. 23 Ages: 3-14 www.sgs-austin.org/summercamp 8 The University of Texas UTeach Outreach camps focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Campers master concepts and virtually explore campus, interact with industry professionals and see research labs. V Dates: June 7-Aug. 6 Ages: 8-16 Cost: $550 512-471-4992 https://outreach.uteach.utexas.edu/camps Cost: $150-$300 per week St. Gabriel’s Catholic School 2500 Wimberly Lane, Austin 512-600-6468

IP In person V Virtual

scheduled to be virtual, and access to Zoom and Google Drive is required. In- person summer camp workshops may be added at a later date. V Dates: June 7-25; June 28-July 2; July 5-9; July 12-30; Aug. 2-6 Ages: Grades 2-12 Cost: $125 for spring break camp, $125-$300 for summer camp 512-542-0076 www.austinlibrary.org 4 Mad Science and Crayola Imagine Arts Academy camps have multiple locations across the Austin area. Programs are designed to include exciting hands-on science and art activities for children as campers become junior scientists or artists and experience a variety of adventures. IP V Dates: June 1-Aug. 13 summer camp Ages: 5-12 Cost: Starts at $18 virtual and $58 in-person per day Multiple locations 512-892-1143 www.austin.madscience.org, www.austin.imagineartsacademy.com 5 Neuron Garage oers weekly engineering camps that give children a chance to use recycled materials to build structures such as roller coasters for marbles and cardboard castles while being supervised and led virtually. Neuron Garage is looking at possible options for an in-person camp this summer as well, although representatives said those details are not yet available as of press time. V Dates: June-August Ages: 7-12

ACADEMIC 1 ATX Kids Club oers its annual mobile camp of educational eld trips with an additional focus on health and tness. Campers are supervised as they explore Austin via Capital Metro transportation services with weekly themes including nature, the arts, Texas and diversity. Financial assistance is available as are extended care options. IP Dates: June 7-Aug. 27 Ages: 4-12 Cost: $375 per week Mobile camp with drop-o and pickup locations around Austin 512-234-5437 www.atxkidsclub.org 2 Austin Eco Bilingual School Spanish immersion camps are based on an adventure book about travels across the world. At the camp, students are “fully immersed” in the Spanish language and are exposed to new phrases and vocabulary through cooking, art, dancing and music. The camp is split into 11 one- week sessions. Part-time and full-time camps are oered. IP Dates: May 28-Aug.20 Ages: 2-8 Cost: $180-$320 per week Austin Eco Bilingual School 8707 Mountain Crest Drive, Austin 512-299-5731 www.austinbilingualschool.com 3 Badgerdog Creative Writing workshops allow children to work with writers to explore, experiment, imagine and create new written works for publication. Camps are currently

Neuron Garage

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Snapology

COURTESY SNAPOLOGY

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Art+Academy

COURTESY ART+ACADEMY

ARTS&PERFORMANCE 9 Art + Academy oers programs where young artists can improve their drawing and painting skills. Classes aim CONTINUED ON 18

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