City Council Notebook

Town Lake Animal Center threatens to swallow the evening, and Will Wynn hates morning congestion.

Agenda highlights for the Thursday, October 11 council meeting:

Item 5: Picking up the legal bills for former Officer Julie Schroeder in the civil suit brought against her by the family of Daniel Rocha, fatally shot by Schroeder during a traffic stop on June 9, 2005. As Mike Martinez puts it, he may not like that they have to do it, but since she was on-duty, they're legally bound to do so.

Item 25: Some paper-shuffling over the Advance Funding Agreement with TxDOT over who pays how and what for the proposed Lance Armstrong Bikeway. It used to be that TxDOT was going to build it and then the city would pay their share: now that's flipped, so the city needs to get its shovels out and send TxDOT the bill.

Item 31: Paying for two new gas turbine generators from GE Energy Inc. for the Sand Hill Energy Center. Yup, gas, not wind turbine. Heavy sigh.

Item 35: Buying 40,000 "smart" electric meters to track energy load in the Austin Energy Grid, saving 44,000 vehicle trips sending engineers to see how much the system is using and helping gauge peak load better.

Item 56: Approve appointments to citizen board and commissions, to Council subcommittees and other intergovernmental bodies and removal and replacement of members.

Item 60: Shift the rules about the auditor so they can only be removed during their five-year term by a three-fourths majority in the council.

Item 62: The Town Lake Animal Center relocation plan, which has been pulled off the consent agenda and placed on the public hearings, so it won't be heard until 6.15pm, so everyone can get their say. Buckle in, this will be a long one.

Item 63: When the Travis County Medical Examiner moves from out of their current city-owned facility next to Breckenridge, they'd like it to become a central city-owned mental facility.

Items 15, 16: Eminent domain for the Govalle SSO - West 5th and 6th Street and Govalle 3-Parker Lane/Metcalfe Road Wastewater Improvement Projects are both pushed back to next week.

Items 48 (24-month contracts with Moore Medical, Southern Safety Sales and Tri-Anim Health Services Inc.), 61 (the Kim/Martinez proposal to throw out the existing plans for Town Lake Animal Center), and 74 (the executive session discussion about the June 18 water agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority) all withdrawn pending corrections.

Will Wynn is also looking to bring up a new ordinance next week to deal with the big building projects downtown by restricting heavy construction deliveries between 7.30 and 9.15am. Apparently there was a big jam in West Downtown this morning because Cesar Chavez was busy and someone tried to get a big truck through the area, causing lots of people to be late for work. Now that's reflexive policy-making.

And today's live music at 5.30pm will be from Matt Hensley of the Austin Classical Guitar Society.

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