Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Monday, October 25, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Adler wants Music Commission to be ‘more creative’ with $2.3M Live Music Fund

Mayor Steve Adler wants the new Live Music Fund that is supported by hotel tax revenues to produce a city-financed music venue, record label or some other business entity to train Austin music professionals in the coming years. In an…

Friday, October 22, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City sees details of homelessness strategy, with push to raise $115M

City Council learned in detail Thursday how its $210 million in federal aid, bond funds and other allocations will be used to address and possibly end homelessness over the next three years. The presentation by Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey…

Thursday, October 21, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Panelists look at impacts, opportunities brought by Tesla and others

With Austin an increasingly popular relocation choice for major companies and public institutions, the area’s infrastructure, employment dynamics and education systems are in for significant impacts in the coming years. That was the messages panelists had for local real estate…

Monday, October 18, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Environmental, neighborhood groups call for ‘rewilding’ Zilker Park

One of the city’s main environmental groups hopes to increase biodiversity and reduce the impact of visitors to Zilker Park by pushing for more natural growth of trees and other plant life in the popular central city park. The Save Our…

Friday, October 15, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown business report finds problems for daytime demand, music venues

A new report on Austin’s downtown economy finds that there is a persistent weakness in weekday business, and that entertainment businesses concentrated around East Sixth and Red River streets have been slow to recover from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.…

Thursday, October 14, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Council pushes Music Commission for further review of funds to promote industry growth

City Council has asked the Music Commission to take another look at the proposed guidelines for the new Live Music Fund, with some on the dais questioning whether the program fits the intent of Council action taken two years ago…

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

PARD proposes delaying fee change that would double parkland costs for developers

The Parks and Recreation Department will likely ask City Council to delay a scheduled doubling this budget year of the fees developers pay to fund the acquisition and development of parkland around the city. The dramatic increase is the result…

Monday, October 11, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Cultural trust RFP expected as new EDC considers handling Live Music Fund

The city’s new economic development corporation could issue its first call for development partners next month, with the goal of preserving or creating spaces that can be used by local musicians and arts groups that are increasingly being displaced. At…

Thursday, October 7, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Covid relief for musicians expected by December, with Live Music Fund taking shape

Local musicians impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to receive federal relief funds by December, thanks to alterations to a pair of music funding programs recommended by the Music Commission. As of last month, city staffers had been concerned…

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

UT report says Austin could be more welcoming to immigrants

The city’s Equity Office is supporting the findings of a recent report published by University of Texas researchers who found there is work to be done to increase the economic and civic participation of immigrants locally. The report, titled “Advancing…

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Project Connect panel looks at planning, equity concerns attached to transit system

With the city and county moving forward on the assortment of transit and community development projects included in Project Connect, leaders involved want community members to realize the many other public and private interests that play into the multibillion-dollar effort.…

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Report pushes police to improve training, communication with disabled Austinites

A new report based on feedback from residents with disabilities calls on the Austin Police Department to make improvements to its training and practices concerning interactions with residents experiencing mental health issues, hearing loss or other disabilities. The report comes…

Monday, September 27, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts Commission decides on Covid relief funds, hears concerns on equitable contract funding

The Arts Commission has given City Council its recommendations for how best to use federal Covid-19 relief dollars planned for creative arts organizations before the end of the year, with staff still examining how to restructure hotel tax-funded contracts and…

Friday, September 24, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Tovo eyes historic preservation funds for undisclosed property negotiations

The grant program that uses Hotel Occupancy Tax money to help improve historic sites could be put on hold for a year so the city could use its funding to purchase historic sites. At City Council’s Audit and Finance Committee…

Thursday, September 23, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Celia Israel opts to exit state seat, explore mayoral run

State Rep. Celia Israel has moved closer to entering the city’s 2022 mayor’s race, forming an exploratory committee for that campaign and opting not to run for reelection for the seat she has held since 2015. Israel announced her move…

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Fee changes to Downtown Density Bonus Program delayed until November

City Council and boards and commissions will have to wait until November to see the latest proposal on adjustments to the costs developers will have to pay to avoid adding affordable housing units to downtown development projects. Staff members were…

Monday, September 20, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown Commission wants financing plan, study on convention center expansion

With the city expected to begin entering into engineering and design contracts next spring related to a revised expansion of the Austin Convention Center, the Downtown Commission has asked for a detailed financing plan and market analysis for the public…

Friday, September 17, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Early redistricting map reflects population growth of Northwest Austin

City Council districts for the rest of the decade will largely look the same as those created in 2013, based on the reveal of the preliminary map that has been in the works for much of this year. While the…

Thursday, September 16, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission’s oversight could further delay emergency funds for musicians

The Music Commission has asked city staff for more input and involvement in how a pair of financial assistance programs for Austin musicians will be carried out, with an emergency aid fund tied to Covid-19 possibly delayed three weeks as…

Friday, September 10, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

‘No Way on Prop A’ campaign opposes police staffing initiative

A political action committee focused on defeating a November ballot proposal that would significantly increase the size of the Austin Police Department held its first formal campaign event Thursday. More than 80 community groups and more than three dozen local…

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