CITY & COUNTY
News from Austin & Travis County
Austin City Council will meet May 4 and 18 at 10 a.m. and May 16 at 9 a.m. 301 W. Second St., Austin www.austintexas.gov/ austin-city-council Travis County Commissioners Court will meet May 4, 9, 16, 18 and 23 at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court MEETINGS WE COVER sitting vacant, Austin City Council approved a $10.98 million contract to supplement the airport’s staff and avoid the possibility of significant baggage operation failures that city staff warned are on the horizon. HIGHLIGHTS TRAVIS COUNTY Commissioners are eyeing a second salary increase for correction officers as the department is down about a third of its staff with more than 260 vacancies. The county’s corrections department has seen a 129% increase in vacancies since March 2022. The potential pay increase is still undecided with more discussion expected to come this spring. AUSTIN The city is recruiting East Austin residents to link neighbors with resources to help them stay in their homes. The new displacement prevention program will bring on 15 Colony Park and Dove Springs residents for part-time work sharing city housing information. After a one-year pilot, the program could be extended and expanded. AUSTIN On April 13, City Council voted to start the process of removing parking minimums for bars. The city’s land code requires bars to build a minimum number of parking spaces, a practice some officials hope to end to help local businesses and discourage drunk driving. AUSTIN With many of Austin- Bergstrom International Airport's luggage technician positions
Long-range plan calls for new library branches
GROWING THE SYSTEM
11 libraries proposed to be maintained
11 proposed to be expanded or replaced
4 new libraries proposed
Austin Public Library’s new long-range plan calls for branch enhancements across the city.
SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN/COMMUNITY IMPACT
on March 23. The outline will be used to guide the organization and its programs, including a long-term facilities plan. The plan states many library facilities do not have enough space to meet community needs, a trend that was found to be inequitable; South Austin libraries have “less than half” of the space needed to provide for
their communities. Going forward, the APL aims to grow its facilities and add new branches throughout the city. The new plan states more than half of APL’s 20 branches should be expanded. Additionally, each geographic quadrant of the city is recommended to receive a brand- new library branch.
BY BEN THOMPSON
AUSTIN With the city’s library system lagging behind the city’s growth, Austin leaders approved a strategic plan for ensuring library access across town. The Austin Public Library finalized a new long-range plan regarding its system, which City Council adopted
BY KATY MCAFEE TRAVIS COUNTY Commissioners unanimously voted for a third-party performance audit of Central Health, the county’s hospital district for low-income residents, on April 4. Mazars USA will begin the audit in May, compile a draft report by November and present the final report next January at a cost of $845,200. The audit will assess Central Health’s work on meeting the needs of the county’s poor population, its financial accountability, its public transparency and record-keeping; and its legal compliance. Central Health CEO Mike Geeslin voiced concern regarding the audit’s price tag, saying the district only budgeted up to $350,000 for an audit. Ted Burton, Central Health’s vice president of communications, said it is unclear if the audit will affect property owners within the Central Health taxing district. Burton also said Central Health undergoes annual financial audits that have come out clean since 2005. The third-party audit comes after local activists, attorneys and community groups called for increased scrutiny of Central Health and alleged the hospital district lacked financial and operational transparency. Central Health audit on tap
ENERGY UNDERGROUND Much of Austin’s power grid is already located below ground, and city officials are interested in burying more lines going forward to improve resiliency.
5,000 MILES of lines are above ground.
7,000 MILES of lines are below ground.
Buried lines could cost 10 TIMES more per mile.
Austin weighs burying power lines BY BEN THOMPSON SOURCE: AUSTIN ENERGY/COMMUNITY IMPACT AUSTIN City Council voted to consider moving more of Austin’s power lines underground in the wake of February’s ice storm and related widespread power outages. Two resolutions approved March 23 ask city staff to weigh moving power lines underground as part of other ongoing city projects and to draft a feasibility study with cost esti- mates for burying more lines in other high-priority areas. The new study does not yet have an estimated cost and will likely take several months.
This study has been approved by The University of Texas at Austin Institutional Review Board
Learn More/ Más Información
A Type 2 Diabetes Support Program https://austinymca.org/programs/salud-salud/
Un Programa de Apoyo para la Diabetes Tipo 2
Los participantes recibirán una membresía de 6 meses para la YMCA
Participants receive a 6-month YMCA family membership
For more information,| Para más información, Vanessa Sweet: 512-956-8818
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