The Austin Chronicle

City Council Notebook

By Wells Dunbar, September 25, 2007, 10:21am, Newsdesk

Agenda highlights for the Thursday, September 27 council meeting

Item 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. Name-wise, who else is mildly unnerved?

Item 19: Allocating $8.5 million in affordable housing bond dollars to the Austin Housing Finance Corporation – $5.1 mil for rental housing, $3.4 mil for their homeownership program.

Item 28: Taking $35K in Convention and Visitors Bureau grants to refurbish the Old Bakery Emporium on Congress Ave. 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 Manger to expand women and minority-owned business enterprise procurement – to third-party contracts – by October 13.

Item 55: Kim, Brewster McCracken set public hearing on amending Austin's current panhandling prohibitions. How's rush hour, I-35 overpass at 38 1/2 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, November 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 LCRA 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 TxDOT to partner with Austin in developing water quality controls for US Highway 290 construction. Baby, let's stay together …

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