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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Friday, December 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

After re-election, Adler in ‘do stuff’ mode for 2019

As upbeat as Mayor Steve Adler stays most of the time when talking about the stalled and heavily criticized CodeNEXT rewrite of the city’s land use code, it’s still easy to hear the exasperation and disappointment that lingers over the…

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Budget amendment means new $150M Austin Energy HQ at Mueller

Austin Energy will move its offices on Barton Springs Road to a new headquarters at the Mueller development in North Austin, a move that is expected to save the city roughly $1 million per year.Last week City Council unanimously approved…

Monday, December 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Reporters’ Notebook: On tacos and cities

Bullish on tacos… Anyone who’s heard Mayor Steve Adler invoke his civic pride at events over the past four years has undoubtedly heard him praise the availability and variety of breakfast tacos as a badge of honor for the city.…

Friday, December 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Tourism Commission pushes for broader use of hotel tax dollars

Austin’s Tourism Commission wants to see the city push for more latitude in how to spend local hotel occupancy tax dollars, with an eye toward next year’s session of the state Legislature.At Monday’s meeting, the commission approved a recommendation for…

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Waller Creek taxes ID’d to possibly fund $30M in housing for homeless

City staff members have recommended that City Council consider using funds from the tax increment refinancing zone (TIRZ) created for the Waller Creek improvement project and system of parks as the biggest funding source for providing housing and services for…

Friday, December 7, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin economy looks sunny, with affordability as the biggest cloud

Austin business and policy leaders were shown a optimistic picture of the state and local economy Thursday at the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic forecast, with the smallest concern on the horizon partly a result of the city’s strong…

Thursday, December 6, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Local pols examine impacts, options in state school funding debate

Leaders from all levels of government in Central Texas, plus most of the area’s school districts, learned Wednesday that they could be in for budgetary hits if state lawmakers pass limits on local property tax increases without restructuring the state’s…

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin looks to other music cities as ‘agent of change’ ordinance develops

If Austin is to make real progress in its new round of trying to pass an ordinance intended to calm noise complaints between residential buildings and entertainment venues, a number of lingering issues from the shelved 2017 effort will have…

Monday, December 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

D1 forum looks at city’s role in affordability, health care, displacement

The runoff election to fill the seat of District 1 Council Member Ora Houston may well hinge on the approaches candidates Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar take to persistent East Austin issues such as housing affordability, health care access and…

Friday, November 30, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Renteria, Almanza show stark differences in D3 runoff forum

A recent forum between District 3 City Council candidates Pio Renteria and Susana Almanza – who are siblings – showed that the runoff election may center on how much one of Austin’s fastest-growing areas should change in the years to…

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin, TravCo leaders brace for state laws targeting revenue, local control

Austin leaders have started gaming out the budget cuts and possible staffing and service reductions that would come from possible state caps on property tax increases.At last week’s meeting of the Austin Regional Affordability Committee, city staff briefed a consortium…

Monday, November 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

HAAM eyes new partnerships, funding for long-term stability

The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians is making a year-end push to raise the final $200,000 of its current operating budget, while at the same time fending off concerns from musicians about reduced financial assistance for health insurance plans in…

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Waterfront board waits for progress on city’s development corporation

City staff has been slowed in their work to research and make recommendations on how City Council could move forward with creating an economic development corporation (EDC) that could help facilitate public/private investment deals.The demands of dealing with the October…

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City seeks grants, partnerships to implement tech solutions for homeless

The city’s Innovation Office has applied for a $400,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with the goal of directing the money toward implementing a suite of blockchain technology solutions to help the city’s homeless population.The grant application is…

Monday, November 19, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With $12M for creative spaces, arts/music group starts shaping allocation process

With $12 million for acquisition of creative space approved by voters earlier this month, members of the city’s music and arts commissions will spend the rest of November generating ideas for how to best use the money for saving and…

Thursday, November 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Tech leaders consider autonomous vehicles, scooters and more to solve transit

For all the debate and hope over new transit plans and the potential for light rail to move Austin residents around quickly and efficiently, the city’s growing traffic and transportation problems come down to simple math. That was the point…

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Debate over convention center, hotel tax funds spreads to Music Commission

A recently created music activism group has been thrown into the fray of the debate – largely playing out in meetings of the new Tourism Commission – over how to spend money the city generates through its roughly $100 million…

Friday, November 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City taps UT incubator to meet 2040 zero waste goal

The city and the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas are turning to startup companies to help find a solution to dramatically reduce waste headed to landfills from Austin.ATI’s new Circular Economy Incubator, which launched last month, has…

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Tight D8 race headed to runoff to fill Troxclair’s seat

The City Council seat for Southwest Austin is headed for another runoff to determine new representation for District 8, with incomplete results Wednesday morning pointing to newcomers Paige Ellis, who won 30.5 percent of the vote, and Frank Ward. who…

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Real estate group backs land trusts to preserve affordable housing

With Austin voters about to decide whether the city commits $250 million to increase the local supply of affordable housing, a real estate research group has come out in strong support of cultural land trusts as a tool to prevent…

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