Gas rates, AFD female locker rooms on council agenda

AFD Fire Station No. 14 - Women's locker room.
AFD Fire Station No. 14 - Women's locker room.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council is expected to discuss several big items at this week’s meeting.

Agreement with Dallas County for forensic services – APPROVED

There’s a backlog of DNA that needs to be tested, so the city is turning to Dallas County for some help. Council members will decide whether to authorize a 12-month interlocal agreement with Dallas County, acting through the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences at Dallas, for forensic services not to exceed $1,600,000 with five 12-month extension options not to exceed $400,000 per extension option, for a total estimated contract amount not to exceed $3,600,000.

The agreement, which has the goal of clearing the backlog of DNA cases for APD, would end on Sept. 30, 2017.

Increasing gas rates – WITHDRAWN

There will be a public hearing at Thursday’s meeting and city council will consider Texas Gas Service’s proposal to increase customer rates. The last general rate case for Texas Gas Service was back in 2009. Proposed Rates:

Proposed Texas Gas Rates

Sterilization of Austin Animal Shelter animals – APPROVED

This resolution asks the city manager to amend the city code and allow the animal shelter to sterilize and animal if it has been impounded at least one time. In situations where Animal Services Office (ASO) cannot meet the demand to spay/neuter animals, this resolution gives that office the ability to issue vouchers for Emancipet, other rescue partner organizations or contracted veterinarians to perform the service. This is in order to reduce animal births in Austin and aid the city’s “No Kill” policy.

AFD Women’s Locker Rooms – APPROVED

City is considering spending $4.5M to pay for a contractor to finish phase 5 of the project to add female locker rooms and women’s facilities to various fire stations. Currently, 12 stations do not have any changing facilities for female firefighters.

Improving access to municipal services for those with limited English proficiency – APPROVED

Over the summer, the city auditor released the findings of an investigation into Austin’s language access services. The audit pointed out that the city does not have appropriate monitoring structures in place to ensure the language assistant services provides are effectively meeting the needs of the community.

This resolution directs the city manager to create a stakeholder team to develop a “Language Access Implementation Plan.” “Language Access Procedures” should also be developed for city staff to follow.

 

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