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What's Doing at City Hall?

An incentives package, a possible rate case settlement, and more

By Amy Smith, 8:30PM, Wed. Feb. 27, 2013

The big-name items on City Council's Thursday agenda is a morning briefing on a proposed incentive package for National Instruments, which will include time for public comment. But the bigger-name item comes Friday with a special meeting to consider a rate case settlement.

That meeting, set for 12:30pm, will mostly play out in executive session after which Council may vote on the deal. The city's proposal to square things up with the out-of-city appellants, comes just days before hearings are scheduled to start before the Public Utility Commission, whose staff has been knifing up Austin Energy's defense of an electric rate increase as part of the appeal process.

But before the Friday meeting, Council has to get through a relatively light Thursday agenda. So, back to National Instruments (agenda item #48). The company wants to invest $80 million in an Austin expansion plan, with some upfront financial incentives from the state, county, and city. The city would chip in $1.7 million worth of incentives, with Council approval.

Also on the Council agenda:

Item #2: Approve a resolution to change the name of a city water/wastewater utility service center, at 6301-B Harold Court, to the Timothy Louviere Service Center. Louviere was a senior pipeline technician and a longtime water utility employee until his untimely accidental death in 2012.

Item #13: A proposal to authorize a $2 million loan to a development affiliate of Eureka Holdings Inc. (called 2007 Travis Heights, LP), to demolish and build 170 new housing units at 2324 Wilson Street in South Austin. The funding would be made on the condition the developer receives tax credits by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Item #34<: A resolution urging Congress "to enact legislation accomplishing comprehensive immigration reform." (Brought by CM Mike Martinez, with Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison.)

Item #35: A resolution "signifying the City Council's intent to endorse efforts to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing gun crime" (CMs Tovo, Morrison, and Bill Spelman).

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