Huge maintenance backlog for historic city buildings

Fire Station No. 4, one of the city buildings in need of maintenance according to the city of Austin (City of Austin Photo)
Fire Station No. 4, one of the city buildings in need of maintenance according to the city of Austin (City of Austin Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Building Services Department for the city of Austin has requested nearly $6 million in funding, quadruple the current spending amount.

Without that funding, department officials say a huge backlog of needed repairs on historical buildings will only continue to grow and make popular venues and locations unsafe for the public.

“Really, it’s a matter of being responsible custodians of the assets we have today,” said Marty Stump, with Project Management at the city’s Parks and Recreation department. “I mean, when things start falling apart, it’s not safe for people.”

One of those locations in need of repair is Zilker Club House. Rustic stone and a view overlooking downtown Austin make the club house “a priceless backdrop for small events,” according to the Parks and Recreation website.

However, a closer examination of Zilker reveals a leaky roof and no air conditioning.

Zilker Club House isn’t the only location though. “There are some facilities that really need some pretty urgent reinvestment to remain operational,” said Stump.

City staff says the requested budget increase of $4.5 million would enable the city to get on top of the maintenance backlog by 2036 and help build up a capital fund.

The city manager is scheduled to present budget recommendations to council at the end of July.

You can share your opinion on the project with city council members my contacting them through the city of Austin website. 

Photos: Buildings in need of maintenance

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