The Daily Hustle: 9/14/10

Council makes amends, amendments

Lights out, for now
Lights out, for now (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

If you thought the Hustle was done with the city budget, think again. After our live-blog blowout yesterday, today brings a closer look at the amendments council members offered on the dais.

Amendment 1, Sheryl Cole: Cole, one of the financial hawks on the dais, told the Hustle of her plans to trim Austin Energy's funding of the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office. While really tinkering around the edges of EGRSO's $10 million in AE funding, it's a start:

Amend the proposed budget by:

1) Reducing appropriations in the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office for the Global Commerce Program in the amount of $385,400.

2) Increasing transfers out from Austin Energy to the Economic Incentives Reserve Fund for the Economic Incentives Program in the amount of $333,334.

3) Reducing transfers out from the General Fund to the Economic Incentives Reserve Fund in the amount of $333,334.

Amendment 2, Laura Morrison: Like Cole's EGRSO plans, Morrison's hopes to free up almost a million in extra funds for Health and Human Services social service contracts proved a little ambitious for the budget adoption. However, the $333K Cole kept in the general fund by tweaking EGRSO funding was combined with $47K in savings Morrison found by cutting a proposed position to create over $380K in additional social service funding, and we'll likely see additional H&HS funding proposed by Morrison in upcoming meetings.
Amend the proposed budget of the Health and Human Services Department by:

1) Eliminating the Administrative Assistant position proposed for the internal contract compliance function and reducing associated appropriations in the amount of $47,316.

2) Increasing appropriations in the amount of $380,650 to fund unmet social services needs in the community.

Amendment 3, Randi Shade: A widely supported motion, Shade proposed scrapping the $374K allocated for the Trail of Lights and folding the money back into park maintenance, with the idea of making parks more enjoyable year-round instead of funding one weeklong winter blowout.
Amend the proposed budget of the Parks and Recreation Department by eliminating funding in the amount of $374,044 for the Trail of Lights and reallocating the same amount to fund existing unmet maintenance needs in City parks.
Amendment 4, Mike Martinez: In lieu of a 35-cent reduction to the cost of a 60-gallon trash bin (proposed while the city's trying to incentivize use of the smallest, 30-gallon bin), Martinez proposed keeping the cost the same and using the savings to pad out SWS finances and funnel more money to eco-programs.
Amend the proposed budget of the Solid Waste Services Department by:

1) Maintaining the base customer charge for the 60 gallon cart at the current level of $10.00 per month and increasing projected revenue in the amount of $486,000.

2) Increasing appropriations for Green Events and Zero Waste Programs in the amount of $150,000.

Amendment 5, Chris Riley: Riley's amendment raised demolition and relocation fees for homes by a healthy $115 for controversial historic cases that eat up more staff time than the uncontested ones.
Revise the demolition or relocation permit review fees in the Planning and Development Review Department as follows:

1) $140.00 fee for Total Demolition/Relocation of a principal residential or commercial building, if the building is: a) 40 years or older; b) located within a Local Historic District; or c) located within a National Register Historic District.

2) $25.00 fee for Total Demolition/Relocation of a principal residential or commercial building not addressed in #1 above.

3) $25.00 fee for all Partial or Total Demolitions/Relocations of accessory buildings, or Partial Demolitions of principal building regardless of location.

Suffice to say, all the amendments passed.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: The Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise & Small Business Council Committee meets in the Board and Commission room at City Hall, 310 W. Second, 3pm.

The Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Task Force meets at One Texas Center, Third Floor Conference Room, 505 Barton Springs, 5:30pm.

The Planning Commission meets in City Hall's Council Chambers, 6pm.

The Urban Transportation Commission meets in the B&C room at City Hall, 6pm.

The Community Development Commission meets in the Street-Jones Building, Rm. 400A, 1000 E. 11th, 6:30pm.

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