Austin City Council Meets Oct. 21, Nov. 4, Nov. 18 301 W. 2nd St., Austin www.austintexas.gov/department/ city-council Dripping Springs City Council Meets Nov. 2, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. 511 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs www.cityofdrippingsprings.com Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Oct. 26, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court MEETINGSWE COVER AUSTIN The process to redraw 10 City Council districts is nearing a close, after the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission unanimously approved its final map draft Oct. 6. The process involved several rounds of community feedback based on new census data. The ICRC vote came after commissioners tweaked their previous draft map, and likely represents the final version that will be presented to council by Nov. 1. CITY HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN On Sept. 28, the Austin Planning Commission voted to allow alcohol in certain parts of Waterloo Park. On the same day, the parks and recreation advisory board voted against a recommendation to allow alcohol at Zilker Cafe, near Zilker Park and Barton Springs. The parks and recreation board, which approved the Waterloo request previously, makes recommendations to the planning commission. AUSTIN The city is on track to have a record number of traffic fatalities in 2021, with a projected 105-110 deaths, according to Lewis Leff, Austin’s transportation safety officer. This is part of a national trend, he said. Austin is showing a promising decline in the number of traffic injuries. He also said that Austin is on pace to have fewer deaths than other large Texas cities. AUSTIN The city of Austin is one step closer to redeveloping land near the Austin American-Statesman building, following the approval of a planned unit development, or PUD in October. This is an area where many Austinites watch bats fly out from under the South Congress Avenue bridge. AUSTIN The public health department is preparing for the eventual rollout of Pfizer vaccines for children ages 5-11. APH interim Director Adrienne Sturrup told local officials Oct. 12 that an effort is underway to prepare for the added 114,519 Travis County residents that will become eligible for the vaccine if the FDA authorizes it for use in 5- to 11-year-olds later in October.
Travis County confirms Samsung negotiations are ongoing
PROMISED GROWTH Samsung said its new factory will create at least 1,993 jobs. In return, the company is asking for tax breaks on the $17 billion facility, though the exact terms Travis County has offered are not yet publicly available. $17B Investment SOURCE: TRAVIS AND WILLIAMSON COUNTY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER semiconductor facility in North 1,993 jobs Austin, is considering several other locations for its new facility, including Taylor in Williamson County. The company’s negotiations with Williamson County, Taylor and Taylor ISD have progressed further; city and county officials agreed at a Sept. 8 joint meeting to approve proposed development incentives for Samsung. Samsung has not announced an official decision on where it will locate its new facility. Travis County has not released its incentives proposal yet.
BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE
the county and Samsung since Williamson County and the city of Taylor unanimously approved an economic agreement with Samsung, pending the company’s approval. Hector Nieto, Travis County public information officer, said Travis County and Samsung are not yet at the stage of releasing a draft of an economic incentives agreement, which the county must post publicly, per its own Chapter 28 economic development incentives policy. “This is kind of the first ‘here are things we’d like to see in an agreement,’” Nieto told Community Impact Newspaper . “We’re at the level of, ‘Here are the things we’d like to see, and tell us if this is something you’re amenable to so that way we can put up a first draft.’” Samsung, which has an existing
TRAVIS COUNTY On Oct. 5, Travis County commissioners voted to direct staff to present Samsung, which is eyeing the area for a $17 billion semiconductor facility, with a preliminary term sheet for a potential performance-based tax incentives agreement for the project, dubbed Project Silicon Silver in documents posted earlier in 2021. The vote came following a discussion in executive session and was the first public move by commissioners to progress negotiations with Samsung since July, when the county said it received an application for Chapter 28 economic development incentives from the company. This vote represents the first public movement on talks between
Austin seeks public feedback on spending homelessness funds
BY BEN THOMPSON
AUSTIN Months after Austin officials approved a plan directing more than $100 million in federal relief dollars toward the city’s homeless strategy, the city is looking to hear from residents on how that money should be spent. City Council voted in June to use up to $106.7 million of Austin’s more than $260 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding on homelessness, contingent on other entities contributing millions more to local housing and service efforts. Council passed its ARPA outline with the expectation that city staff would develop a spending plan for the homelessness dollars by mid-summer, in part informed by community feedback, although that process had not publicly moved forward until October. Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey was scheduled to brief council on spending plans Oct. 21, after press time. Input is also being collected through a survey accessible via a new SpeakUp Austin page. “As a community, we have an exciting opportunity to dramatically expand our homelessness response and make significant and sustainable change,” Grey said.
The city of Austin revealed new crosswalks to honor National Coming Out Day. (Courtesy city of Austin)
City reveals rainbowcrosswalks onNational ComingOut Day
BY DARCY SPRAGUE
progressive Pride flag that provided the basis for the crosswalk includes black and brown stripes to represent people of color, and baby blue, pink and white, which represent the transgender community.” Three nearby utility boxes were also painted for the occasion. The Austin area is home to the third-largest concentration of LGBTQ residents in the country, according to an estimate in a 2020 national study.
AUSTIN On Oct. 11, the city of Austin revealed painted crosswalks such as the Pride flag at the intersection of Colorado and Fourth Street to honor National Coming Out Day. “This placemaking activation installed by the city conveys a message of hope, support and acceptance to all who live in and visit Austin,” city representatives said in a statement. “The
Community members can provide their feedback on spending homelessness funding at www.speakupaustin.org/american-rescue-plan-act- homelessness-investment-priorities
SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • OCTOBER 2021
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