Fired-up flood victims sound off at City Council meeting

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some fired-up neighbors from the Onion Creek area sounded off about the city’s plans to buy out homes during Thursday’s council meeting at Austin City Hall.

The emotions following the Halloween flood still run high. And, many neighbors say they are confused, especially with the city’s buyout plans.

“I just want something definite being told,” said Dottie Parr, who spoke publicly at the city council meeting. “I just want black and white. We don’t know. We have hearsay…hearsay from the third hand. Are we going to be in the buyout? Are we going to be forced to sell later on?”

City leaders met with the group of concerned residents in a separate room later in the day, furthering the money talk.

Earlier in the day, council members approved the purchase of Grey Rock Golf Club for $9.8 million with a 6-1 vote. The decision had many flood victims wondering why more money wasn’t being offered to them.

“We are coming to talk about that golf club in Circle C,” said Isabel Rios Lopez, who is active with the Homeowners Association in Onion Creek. “[The purchase of Grey Rock for] $10 million…those moneys could be redirected into buying everybody out in a fair way.”

Assistant City Manager Sue Edward told the group the city is making every effort to secure more funding.

“That’s one of the things we’re looking at right now,” Edwards said, “whether we can take some of the money that is not appropriated for buyouts and do that, with some of the money the city has right now.”

Edwards also says a more streamlined system needs to be set up for residents to get their questions answered. Multiple departments have a hand in flood recovery, but that they are doing their best and not just passing the buck, she said.

Many residents still feel they are just getting the runaround.

“We need somebody with more than just, ‘Let’s have a meeting,'” Parr said. “We’ve been meeting now. This is my third meeting this week.”

Among their consent items, city council members approved an item Thursday that directs the city manager to reevaluate the current maps and plans for flood buyouts.

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