TDH: 5/24/11

Rapid bus, ABIA cell-phone waiting, historic zoning before council

TDH: 5/24/11
Photo courtesy Flickr user Rutlo [CC]

After two weeks away from the dais, City Council convenes this Thursday. And judging from their 98-item agenda, you can tell they've been gone. After the jump, agenda highlights including funding for rapid bus service, a cell-phone waiting area at the airport, Lady Bird Lake boardwalk action, historic zoning changes and much more.

Agenda highlights for City Council's Thursday, May 26 meeting:

Item 2: A resolution further formalizing and providing more notice regarding Austin Energy's rate changes.

Item 5: Setting a run-off election for June 18, at a cost of $528,000.

Item 7: Contracting with DPR Construction for building the Austin Energy System Control Center Project in the amount of $58 million, plus contingency costs. The SCC has been relocated from Downtown to Montopolis.

Item 8: $2.5 million in ADA-approved sidewalks and ramps.

Item 14: Change order no. five for the city's House Park Skate and BMX park, bringing total to over $1.1 million, The city says the park, first pitched back in 2004, is 90% complete at this point.

Item 17: Amendment to the contract with Carter & Burgess for work on the Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake; “additional services include public outreach, revision of permitting, bid and construction documents, surveying services, bid phase support, construction phase support and extended warranty services … in the amount of $990,000, for a total contract amount not to exceed $3,030,000.”

Item 18: Additional $69,959, bringing total contract amount to $2,653,659, for Casabella Architects to change signage of the semi-newly christened Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, and to perform a parking study for the MACC and surrounding, crowded Rainey Street area.

Item 19: The city OKs selling a parcel at Mueller to AISD for a Performing Arts Center.

Item 28: Interlocal agreement between Austin and City of Galveston pertaining to short-term sheltering of hurricane evacuees. “These agreements will update and replace current agreements that were approved by the City Council in 2006,” reads back-up. “As the 2011 hurricane season approaches, it is important that these agreements be updated.”

Item 31: Agreement between the city and The Trail Foundation for the latter to contribute $3 million in donations towards the former's Lady Bird Lake boardwalk. Sez back-up, “This agreement establishes the policies and procedures by which the contribution will be made.”

Items 32-63: The purchasing office agenda.

Items 64-67: Think I have this right: Receiving $500,000 in TxDoT/Fed funding for travel time and traffic count sensors (64), bolstered by an additional contribution from Capital Metro (65, 67), to begin bus rapid transit service that can “hold” lights for buses “which will improve their travel time and schedule reliability.”

Item 73: Starting Items from Council; from lead sponsor Lee Leffingwell, directions to open a free cell phone waiting area at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport no later than January 1, 2012.

Item 74: From Leffingwell, “a resolution authorizing the City Manager to take necessary steps, including legal action, to protect the interests of the citizens of Austin as it relates to state and federal redistricting legislation.”

Item 75: From lead sponsor Laura Morrison, an item returning $550,000 in left over social service funds from last year back to the Health and Human Services Department; the item also calls for the city manager “to solicit recommendations from the Early Childhood Council on the types of programs needed to fill the gap in social services for Austin youth and bring back a report to Council by June 23, 2011.”

Item 76: The return of changes to the city's tax-abating, historic zoning program, postponed from a meeting earlier this month. The measure from Morrison and Bill Spelman preserves the $2,500 tax cap.

Item 79: The 10:30am briefing is on happenings at the Mueller development.

Items 84-94: The meeting's zoning agenda; several of the cases (Items 84-87, non-profit LifeWorks plans for development along Chicon) come with requests to postpone.

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