The Daily Hustle:1/11/11

City Council agenda highlights for Thursday

The Daily Hustle:1/11/11
Photo by John Anderson

Just like the Hustle, City Council is back on their grizzy this Thursday, with their inaugural meeting of 2011.

They're easing back in, as aside from a few hot topics, their return to the dais shouldn't come with too much controversy.

Check it: Agenda highlights for Thursday, Jan. 13's City Council meeting.

Item 2: Increasing Austin Energy appropriations by $17 million to offset decommissioning costs for the Holly power plant. Related to Item 7, below. Recommended by the Electric Utility Commission, with a caveat of “concerns about the large price differentiation between the first and second proposals of approximately $6.1 million, about 25 percent of the project cost, in relation to the small score difference on the evaluation matrix” between the companies bidding on the project.

Item 7: $26 million for the controversial contract with TRC Environmental Corporation for decommissioning Holly.

Item 11: Leveraging federal stimulus dollars with a local matching grant to create a computer training and job search center at the Carver library.

Item 16: Creating fees for a metal recycling permit, meant to cut down on recyclers and buyers purchasing stolen copper, wiring, and scrap. Good for two years, permits are proposed at $50.

Items 17-30: The Purchasing Office agenda, including contracts for the company live-streaming city meetings online, veterinary supplies, and $2 million for a water demineralizer for the Decker Creek Power Station.

Item 31: Authorizing the final payment to former city recyclers Greenstar.

Item 32: Submitting a list of proposed transportation projects to CAMPO, in hopes for federal funds. The list comes to $85 million in requests.

Item 35: Item from council (Lee Leffingwell, Bill Spelman, Mike Martinez) raising hourly compensation for a Substitute Judge from $39.47 to $45.23.

Item 38: Item from Leffingwell and Martinez “directing the City Manager to draft, process, and bring forward for Council consideration Land Development Code amendments to improve stream buffer requirements, protect headwaters and streambanks, preserve floodplains, and improve stormwater controls,” per Environmental Board recommendations.

Item 39: Item from Chris Riley, Sheryl Cole and Martinez asking Marc Ott to “examine ways to reduce City of Austin employee single-occupancy vehicle trips by creating a revenue-neutral or revenue-positive employee commuter benefit program” – incentives for carpooling/car-sharing – “and present results to Council by April 7, 2011.”

Item 40: Item from Laura Morrison and Cole noting, in the wake of the Marshall Apartments controversy, need for “a broad community dialogue that includes stakeholders from neighborhoods all across Austin is needed to establish successful approaches for integrating low-income housing throughout the city.” The resolution calls on Ott to “research best practices on engaging communities and building support for permanent supportive housing projects and report his findings and recommendations to the Comprehensive Planning and Transportation Subcommittee.”

Item 45: The morning's 10:30am briefing regards emission reductions on construction equipment.

Item 46: Council's closed-door executive session revolves around legal issues contained in legislation bestowing meet-and-confer bargaining power to non-public safety city employees.

Items 47-67: The zoning agenda contains a fair amount of action. Items 56/57 amends the city's future land use map to allow disc golf at Guerrero Park, to the consternation of some. Item 55, the Park planned unit development is provoking even more discontent, despite staff recommendation to deny PUD zoning. Appearing on the historic zoning roster are the Driskill Hotel tower, the owner-occupied, $1.8 million-appraised McCrummen-Wroe House, and the never-ending Bradford-Nohra House saga.

At the 3pm time-certain Austin Housing Finance Corporation meeting, the board should name Elizabeth Spencer AHFC director, and conduct a public hearing and receive input on the issuance of $6 million for the Marshall Apartments project.

Items 69, 70: Under Public Hearings and Possible Actions, two appeals to a outdoor music permit issued to the Irie Bean Coffee Bar on South Lamar.

Item 71: An appeal of the outdoor music permit for Rainey Street haunt Lustre Pearl.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: Council's Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise & Small Business Committee meets in the Boards and Commissions room at City Hall, 3pm.

The Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Task Force meets at One Texas Center's Conference Room, 3rd Floor, 505 Barton Springs, 5:30pm.

The Planning Commission meets in Council Chambers, 6pm.

The Urban Transportation Commission and Downtown Commission Joint Subcommittee meets in the B&C room at 6pm.

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