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Despite opposition, Council OKs use of parkland for water plant project

Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Austin Monitor

Following a hearing that went past 10:45pm, Council voted 4-3 tonight to allow Austin Water Utility to use part of the Bull Creek Greenbelt for a permanent retrieval shaft, subterranean tunnel and staging area for a portion of the Water Treatment Plant 4’s Jollyville Transmission Main.

 

Council Members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison and Chris Riley voted against the motion, as they have against previous motions and contracts related to the treatment plant. 

 

About 75 people, including staff, made it to the hearing. Most of those speaking were opposed not just to use of the greenbelt but to construction of the plant.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez made a motion to raise the mitigation fee to $500,000. The utility and parks staff had recommended $273,000, while the  Parks and Recreation Board recommended $1.2 million. 

 

Council Member Sheryl Cole made a friendly amendment to Martinez’ motion, saying the city might need to adjust the mitigation fee. She asked that the AWU staff and the Parks Department staff appear before the City Council Audit and Finance Committee to talk about the formula by which staff arrived at the original number.

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