AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thursday marks the last meeting before Austin City Council breaks until August. Because of that, the schedule is jam-packed with items below just some of the quick highlights.
UPDATE: At 1:30 a.m. Friday, the Austin City Council voted to begin the process of putting the mobility bond on the November ballot. The vote was 8 to 3. Ann Kitchen, Delia Garza and Ora Houston voted no.
Council members will continue consideration of whether to put a mobility bond to a November vote. The deadline to determine ballot language is August, and Thursday is the last council meeting before council members take a break for July. Dozens of businesses and community organizations announced their support for a $720 million proposal on Wednesday, part of Mayor Steve Adler’s “Go Big” plan. In a recent survey, the city asked 1,200 voters from all 10 council districts if they would approve a $720 million mobility bond package; 56 percent of people said yes, 36 percent said no and 8 percent were unsure. If approved, the mobility bond carries a tax impact of $5 per month for the average household.
Transportation Network Services Ordinance — Approved
An ordinance that requires fingerprinting ultimately led to Uber and Lyft’s exit, but there is still no clear plan for enforcement. A new ordinance aims to change that, one that would fine rideshare companies who do not submit fingerprint data to the city. The city set a benchmark to have at least 50 percent of rideshare company drivers fingerprinted by Aug. 1. Although the proposed ordinance would fine companies up to $500 if they don’t submit fingerprint data, it does not include punishments or fines for companies that submit reports which show numbers below the 50 percent figure.
Taxicab Co-op — Approved
Approve an ordinance to grant a taxicab franchise to ATX Coop Taxi.
Sobriety Center — Approved
A sobriety center could be located in the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, if commissioners and council approve a proposal finalized two weeks ago. Sobriety centers are places to hold publicly intoxicated people considered a danger to themselves or others. The could also provide support and encourage treatment for alcoholism. Sobriety centers also act as a jail alternative for minor public intoxication offenses.
New Central Library Funding
At this week’s city council meeting, the city is asking for approval to reallocate $1.3 million to fund the necessary items for the completion of the new central library. Construction for the project continues on West Cesar Chavez Street at Shoal Creek. The completion date for a finished building has moved from March to November of this year, ultimately pushing the new library’s opening date to spring of 2017. Because of that, services that need to extend beyond the original contractual competition date include reviewing contractor submittals, addressing design issues and other administrative changes needed due to construction. In 2006, Austin voters approved a $90 million bond for the 198,000 square foot downtown library. In 2010, library facilities manager John Gillum said $90 million wasn’t enough which led to the city asking for another $30 million, bringing the cost up to $120 million.
City Manager Compensation — Approved
Approve a resolution relating to the compensation and benefits for the city manager.
Automatic License Plate Recognition System — Approved
APD has asked council to approve a five-year contact with Vigilant Solutions for a total of $900,000. The commander who oversees APD’s Technology Unit says this would be far more efficient than manually typing in each license plate number. Police say having the ability for cameras to scan plates would make locating stolen cars or fleeing vehicles more efficient.
APD Body Cameras, Smartphones Contracts — Approved
Approve a contract with Taser International to provide body-worn cameras for APD officers and a contract with AT&T for the purchase of smartphones to enhance the functionality of those body cameras.
Demolition Permit Applications
This resolution would direct the city manager to require all applications for demolition permits of buildings 50 years or older, dedicated to civic uses, have a hearing before the Historic Landmark Commission. Currently, the Historic Preservation Officer has the discretion to issue administrative approvals for demolition permits on buildings this old.
Solar Power Contract
The city will approve spending $900,000 on a contract with Pecan Street Inc., to provide residential solar power and storage services. This is part of an ongoing solar power project located in the Mueller development. This item was approved by City Council.
To view the full council agenda, click here.