Flood buyout bond won’t be on November ballot

Austin City Council

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council voted down an option to put bonds on the November ballot to buyout homes in danger after the Halloween flood of 2013.

The decision was made during a last minute meeting held Friday because Monday is the last day to put anything on the November ballot.

Sheryl Cole supported putting the proposal on the ballot.

“I think it would be a more transparent process,” said Cole. “And I also thought we could do more for flooding city wide but I respect their decision.”

The most popular option among council members was finding an additional $78 million in the budget over the next 20 years to cover the cost.

“This is the fastest option,” said councilman Mike Martinez. “Any other option would only add more time and delay.”

That’s what frustrated homeowners and renters like Edward Reyes want to hear.

“They need to just make a decision to protect the people down here to put them first for once,” said Edward Reyes. “The safety of these people down here is what matters.”

During the council meeting, a couple of homeowners held up an emergency backpack they said they received at a community meeting. They mocked the contents inside as they pulled each one out — a poncho, a whistle, a glow stick and a weather radio they claim does not work well. They were also outraged about remarks made at a neighborhood meeting where homeowners were told to put a ladder on the side of their home to climb to safety if flood waters rise again.

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