The Daily Hustle: 2/7/11

Previewing City Council's meeting preview

The BBQ-merda Triangle
The BBQ-merda Triangle

City Council returns to the dais this Thursday. It's a slow meeting, so the most interesting news may be the process surrounding it – in the wake of City Hall's Open Meetings fracas, all agenda items appear on a Wednesday worksession including the whole council. So think of this as a preview of a preview.

Agenda highlights for City Council's Thursday, February 10, 2011 meeting:

Item 3: An ordinance setting this spring's May 14 council elections.

Item 7: Selling the 400 square foot remnant of a city lot Downtown to adjacent Stubb's BBQ for $46,000.

Items 9,10: Adopting budgets for the Austin Downtown Public Improvement District and the East Sixth Street PID, at $2,785,721 and $100,350, respectively.

Item 11: Fleet Services receives $5 million-plus in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality funds. According to backup, that buys 18 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuse trucks for Solid Waste Services; five CNG sweepers (three for Solid Waste Services, one for Public Works and one for Airport); two diesel hybrid bucket trucks for Austin Energy; and two electric hybrid trucks for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Item 15: Appropriating $75,000 of Austin Water funds to defend AW against the Spicewood Springs Road Tunnel Coalition's Water Treatment Plant No. 4 lawsuit. AW's procuring the legal services of Scott, Douglas & McConnico.

Items 17-19: Acting on recent recommendations making it easier to create community gardens.

Item 26: Per the city's authority, delaying a rate increase by energy transmission firm Oncor; “Oncor has requested a total increase in revenue of $350 million, which is an estimated 12.7 percent increase in state-wide residential delivery rates. The increase would mean about $5.00 more per month for an average residential customer.” The city can delays for 90 days for study, until May 13.

Item 29: Item from council (Mike Martinez, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison) “amending Chapters 9 and 14 of the City Code relating to sound amplification and temporary events and declaring an emergency.” Backup's not up yet, but it's almost certainly the SXSW-necessitated return of temporary sound permits; the emergency declaration lets them go into effect immediately.

Items 35-37: Three 10:30am briefings: “Austin/Travis County Year at a Glance: Fiscal Year 2009-2010;” a briefing on Austin Energy's controversial rolling blackout practices; and an update on Municipal Utility District policies.

Items 38-46: A sparse zoning agenda, including three historic zoning requests.

Item 49: Stubb's returns, this time in a public hearing to request extending their floodplain variances to 2012.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: The Public Safety Commission meets in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall, 4pm.

The Austin Music Commission meets in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall, 6pm.

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