City Council Notebook
Agenda highlights for the Thursday, Sept. 27, council meetingItem 8: Agreement to build a "low cost, 'no-frills' airport terminal" for VivaAerobus at Austin-Bergstrom. Because if anything, flying is distractingly comforting and pleasant already.
Item 15: Funding Early Head Start child-development services from ... Child Inc. Namewise. Who else is mildly unnerved?
Item 19: Allocating $8.5 million in affordable-housing bonds to the Austin Housing Finance Corp. – $5.1 mil for rental housing, $3.4 mil for their homeownership program.
Item 28: Taking $35,000 in Convention and Visitors Bureau grants to refurbish the Old Bakery Emporium on Congress Avenue. Everything old is new again.
Items 33-48: This week's Purchasing Office items include 45kV-63kA circuit breakers, circular steel poles, golf carts, playground equipment, recycled rubber surfacing, a volumetric concrete-mixer truck, and $17.8 million worth of computer and network hardware and maintenance.
Items 52-53: Including new community funding in last year's Holly Good Neighbor Program and detailing funds/projects for this year. Exciting developments – the power plant isn't the only thing catching fire!
Item 54: Sheryl Cole and Jennifer Kim direct the city manager to expand women and minority-owned business-enterprise procurement – to third-party contracts – by Oct. 13.
Item 55: Kim and Brewster McCracken set public hearing on amending Austin's current panhandling prohibitions. How does rush hour, I-35 overpass at 38½ Street work?
Item 58: Serendipitously placed three items later: waiving park rental fees (not to exceed $60 – reach deep, guys!) for House the Homeless' memorial Sunrise Service, Nov. 11.
Items 61-68: Setting public hearings for several other items of interest: requiring sidewalks (or fees-in-lieu) with all new developments, the city's new Lower Colorado River Authority water deal, water conservation, and other energy-conserving measures.
Item 74: Private executive session discussion of "property to be possibly used or purchased as sites for Water Treatment Plant No. 4." Could a swap with the county for our preserve lands be in play, or a new site, outright for the troubled plant? Intriguing ...
Item 81: 2pm presentation on the city's current panhandling laws. Won't somebody think of the children?
Items 86-116: An embarrassment of riches in the day's zoning hearings, including ironing out stubborn spots in the University Hills/Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan, plus Justin Lane, Crestview Station, and the high-density, mixed-use Riverfield development in the North Campus area.
5:30pm Proclamations: Council commemorates News 8 Austin's eighth birthday and the Fire Department's 150th anniversary, but really, we've got to go with Substance Abuse Month.
Item 118: Addendum imploring the Texas Department of Transportation to partner with Austin in developing water-quality controls for U.S. 290 construction. Baby, let's stay together.
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 25, to austinchronicle.com/chronic.