The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Hustle: 6/15/10

By Wells Dunbar, June 15, 2010, 9:18am, Newsdesk

As the city readies its public forum on the city budget tonight, City Manager Marc Ott releases preliminary recos for another omnibus package, the November transportation bond election. Looks like it's happening after all! So is TDH, below the fold.

The Transportation Office issued a massive press release outlining the November bond package. It's slated at $85 million, $70.8 of that is for “immediate construction” projects, and $14 million to design and engineering.

However, the release hints at alternate funding mechanisms for projects, as council had debated whether the city could afford a succession of three bond elections in four years. “Projects in the draft bond package include studies that will be conducted in conjunction with regional partners and that aim to develop regional funding solutions. All projects on the 'A' list of prioritized mobility needs will be addressed using general obligation bonds or other means of available funding.” And those proposed projects include the following:

* Interim Improvements for the “Y” at Oak Hill
* Guadalupe/Lavaca Transit Improvements/Sidewalk Enhancements
* 3rd St. Reconstruction/Lance Armstrong Bikeway
* Airport Boulevard Corridor Arterial Improvements
* MLK Corridor Preliminary Engineering
* Manor Road Redesign
* Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake
* Traffic Signalization Improvement – US 183 between US 290 and US 71
* Mopac Corridor Downtown Access Preliminary Engineering
* Sidewalk improvements on Burnet Rd, Manchaca, Brodie Ln
* Bike Crossing at Jollyville and 183
* Rundberg Roadway Extension
* Rails to Trails – Austin to Manor

Whether this is the best use of the money can be debated; you can add you two cents at the open house on the bond package this Thursday at City Hall, 301 W. Second, from 4-8pm.

What the hell else is happening?

City calendar highlights: Council's Public Health and Human Services Committee meets in the Board and Commission room at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 3pm, talking social service contracts and the “live outcomes” plan for Austin's animal center.

The Library Commission meets in the Austin History Center's Reception Room, 810 Guadalupe, noon.

The Renaissance Market Commission gathers at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez, 6pm.

The Zoning and Platting Commission meets in council chambers, 6pm. Nine public hearings are on the agenda.

And, as mentioned, the city is hosting a budget input forum at the Austin Convention Center tonight, from 6-9pm.

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