Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Monday, February 22, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Council members criticize Cronk’s silence on call for food assistance

Members of City Council have criticized City Manager Spencer Cronk for what they characterize as a poor response to their call last week to have the city set up a food assistance program for residents without food or water in…

Friday, February 19, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City’s power, water committees begin looking at post-storm improvements

City Council members closely tied to Austin’s energy and water utilities have started mapping out their priorities for determining what led to this week’s massive infrastructure failures and what can be done in the future to prevent hundreds of thousands…

Thursday, February 18, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

With energy, water recovery slow, Austin leaders look for answers

With the city’s energy and water utility systems vastly over capacity, local leaders are pushing for immediate solutions to improve residents’ safety and looking at how the state can prevent a similar statewide failure in the future. As of Wednesday…

Friday, February 12, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City opens up grants to help legacy businesses hit hard by Covid-19

A new city program set to go live next week will give long-running hospitality businesses throughout the city another possible source of Covid-19 relief. The first round of the Legacy Business Relief Grant, which was designed to help restaurants, bars,…

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Local leaders say Samsung deal could boost middle-skill jobs

As city staffers continue to work behind the scenes negotiating an economic incentive package with Samsung to bring a $17 billion manufacturing operation to Austin, some local leaders see the deal as a large positive step for increasing so-called middle-skill…

Thursday, February 4, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Adler praises planned talks on homelessness, pushes for clear timeline

In a presentation at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Austin Chamber, Mayor Steve Adler praised a soon-to-be-announced partnership between the group and other local organizations around plans to address the city’s homeless population. Adler’s comments during the event hinted at…

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks department considers ways to standardize its partnerships

The Parks and Recreation Department is continuing its work creating uniformity and standards in partnerships with nonprofit organizations that are expected to play a larger role in maintaining and improving parks facilities in the coming years. At last week’s Parks and…

Friday, January 29, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks board asks Council to update rules for naming facilities, features

The city will change its rules for naming parks and the amenities within them, in a move to increase equity and add more public input to the process commonly used to honor community leaders. The Parks and Recreation Board voted…

Thursday, January 28, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks board pushes for easement, land dedication on S. Congress project

The Parks and Recreation Board found that a development along South Congress Avenue adjacent to Williamson Creek must provide parkland as part of its site plan approval process, and cannot pay a fee in lieu of that donation. The board…

Monday, January 25, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Council proposes focus on four encampments in HEAL resolution

The city will focus on four encampments as the first phase of a plan to reduce the growing homeless population by providing housing and support services. The resolution, called the HEAL (Housing-Focused Homeless Encampment Assistance Link) Initiative and slated for the Feb.…

Friday, January 22, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

EDC creators explain priorities for creative space, affordable housing

Some of the main architects of the city’s fledgling Economic Development Corporation assured members of the local real estate and development community Wednesday that the entity was not created to interfere with or compete for private sector business deals. That…

Friday, January 15, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City distributes $1.34M in venue assistance, with more funding on the way

The city has awarded $1.34 million in assistance to live music venues that have been mostly or entirely closed since March, with another round of city funds available and billions in federal assistance on the way soon. As of this…

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Lodging industry slows push for hotel tax to fund housing, aid for homeless

Leaders of the city’s lodging industry have slowed their push to create a new tax on hotel stays that would indirectly free up money to fund services for the homeless. The Tourism Commission received an update at its Monday meeting…

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission eyes funding apart from hotel tax among 2021 priorities

The Music Commission wants to decrease the role that Hotel Occupancy Tax will play in funding arts and music programs in the coming years, possibly relying more on the city’s General Fund or other revenue sources while the local hospitality…

Friday, December 18, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City lays out diversity goals in next round of arts, tourism funding

Groups that have been historically overlooked and underrepresented in the city’s cultural community will have priority in the Economic Development Department’s spending for cultural and tourism programs in the next budget year. During an online meeting held last Saturday, the…

Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts, Music Commission meeting aims to multiply $12M creative space bond

A joint meeting of the arts and music commissions expected to take place Sept. 11 could help multiply the dollar value of the city’s creative space bond using a new development entity. The date for the meeting hasn’t been set,…

Monday, August 31, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Council eyes September for EDC creation, with S. Congress and music venues as priorities

City Council is expected to vote next month to approve the legal documents that would create an economic development corporation, or EDC, that many members see as a remedy for threatened arts spaces, housing for the homeless and other real…

Thursday, August 27, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City opens process for using $12M approved to preserve creative spaces

The city has launched the process of finding properties and organizations that could be matched in the next 12 months for public-private partnerships focused on preserving creative spaces around the city. The newly released request for information is the first step…

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Community Development Commission to study new uses for police funding

The Community Development Commission has formed a working group to recommend how City Council should make reductions to the Austin Police Department budget, and may move to sign to recent resolutions from three other commissions in support of the budget…

Monday, August 24, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

ULI panel explores the lessons of transit-oriented development

With transit-oriented developments likely to become more prevalent as Austin relies more on mass transit in the coming years, the planners and builders involved in their creation are confronted with the issues of affordability, displacement and appropriate economic incentives. Those were…

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