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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Safety, transit planning among priorities at start of budget input sessions

If the opinions expressed during the second of the city’s 11 community budget input sessions is any indication, City Council members will be considering sizable shifts in public safety resources later this summer before adoption of the city’s next $3.9…

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council votes to move ahead with People’s Plan to combat displacement

City Council’s push to address the area’s rising cost of living could soon include components of a plan put forward by a coalition of community groups to prevent low-income residents from being priced out of Austin. At last week’s meeting,…

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

After community input, the wait is on for soccer team’s Austin proposal

After a blitz of community input sessions in recent weeks, representatives of the group looking to move a Major League Soccer franchise to Austin have a firm grasp on what they have to do to meet what they admit is…

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Heavily amended events ordinance passes, ending six-year struggle to manage large gatherings

A heavily amended version of the city’s long-proposed special events ordinance was given its third reading and final approval Thursday, setting the stage for the next steps in creating a new framework for planning and regulating large gatherings throughout the…

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts, culture groups joining forces for bond request likely to exceed $100M

Representatives from the city’s three ethnic cultural centers will join forces with members of the Arts and Music commissions to ask City Council for a bond package request that could add up to more than $120 million.At Monday’s meeting, the…

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Six years gone: Music Commission again asks Council to halt special events ordinance

The Austin Music Commission has asked City Council to put on hold nearly six years of work on updating and revamping of the city’s regulations covering special events.At Monday’s meeting, the commission approved a resolution that calls the current draft…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Incentive proposals target middle class, creatives in push to address affordability

After more than a year of community input and research, the city is taking the next steps to dramatically overhaul its policies for economic incentives to grow businesses in Austin.The proposed changes, which will be presented at today’s City Council…

Friday, May 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Talking climate change, national water experts in Austin look for answers

With temperatures creeping toward the triple digits and area rainfall totals falling below historical averages, Austin’s environmental and public planning communities recently got a look at the ways local governments across the country are planning to deal with water management…

Friday, April 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Dell Med School using grant money for population, teen mental health

A grant of nearly $1 million from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is paying for a pair of programs at the University of Texas’ Dell Medical School that will attempt to advance treatment of teenage mental health and the…

Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Real estate leaders tackle equity, housing affordability at ULI breakfast

Austin’s ability to continue its rapid economic and population growth while trying to keep longtime residents from being forced out due to affordability issues was the topic of the day at Wednesday’s breakfast meeting for the Urban Land Institute. The…

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts programs could showcase diversity under ‘inclusion rider’ concept

Austin’s Music and Arts commissions are in the early phase of a push to make the city’s contracts for cultural services take steps to reach out to underrepresented groups, in an attempt to give more opportunities to those who have…

Monday, April 23, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Events ordinance approaching completion, with rules TBD

It appears that the city’s ordinance to manage the thriving and lucrative special events industry in Austin is finally about to become a working part of local code.City Council is expected to have a third reading and final approval of…

Friday, April 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Chamber conference tackles pains (and gains) of Austin businesses

Business owners and leaders gathered Thursday for the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s State of Talent conference sounded a common refrain: Life in a bustling and fast-growing population center doesn’t guarantee easy days of cash registers that ring by themselves.Rather, compounding…

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Extra bond requests – $65M and counting – bring worry for cultural centers

Requests for additional funds for cultural and arts needs in a bond proposal expected to be voted on in November are causing worry from community groups that sticker shock could put much-needed funding at risk.Some of those concerns bubbled up…

Monday, April 16, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Fund to preserve workforce housing begins the hunt for first 1,000 units

A group of real estate investors focused on preserving housing for Austin’s middle-class workforce is on the hunt for properties, with the goal of purchasing up to 1,000 apartment units within the next year.The Austin Housing Conservancy announced last week…

Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Creative ‘hubs’ requests moving forward for $40M bond ask

The questions surrounding a movement to build multiple creative “hubs” – or possibly one single campus – for Austin’s arts and music communities are becoming somewhat clearer as proponents of those groups continue talks ahead of an August decision on…

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

People’s Plan to combat gentrification headed to Council

Ahead of its planned fall release of recommendations to combat gentrification in Austin, the city’s Anti-Displacement Task Force has endorsed a broad plan created by community organizers.At its meeting last week the task force voted 12-1 to recommend City Council…

Monday, April 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council approves preservation projects with $5.5M from hotel tax

More than a dozen projects related to the preservation of Austin’s historic buildings will move ahead, with more to follow in coming budget years, using money from the city’s portion of its Hotel Occupancy Tax.Last month City Council approved a…

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission’s ‘hub’ concept prompts request for $15M bond increase

The Austin Music Commission is asking City Council to add $15 million to November’s bond package to buy or build property that could be used as a music hub to support the city’s flagging music industry.At Monday’s meeting the commission…

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Drug cases pinch SIMS budget as local opioid abuse grows

A surge in substance abuse cases, specifically opioids, in Austin’s music community has put one of Austin’s most well-known music nonprofits in financial trouble and on the lookout for public and private dollars to combat a growing health crisis.The SIMS…

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