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Stories by Caleb Pritchard

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Commissioners Court tackles Tax Office troubles as disturbing audit is released

Travis County will have to face “some honest and possibly difficult conversations” during the upcoming budget process if it wants to avoid a repeat of the alleged crimes that have rocked the Tax Office, according to Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant.Elfant…

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Elfant to address Tax Office fraud investigation

Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant will brief the Commissioners Court on Tuesday morning about the fraud investigation that landed seven people in jail on Friday, four of them Tax Office employees.“There I will be able to provide details on…

Monday, May 21, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

City planners picture fewer cars on Congress

Imagine if the main street of Texas had wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes and no pull-in parking spaces.That’s one potential outcome of the city of Austin’s Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative.Last week, the Public Works and Planning and Zoning departments…

Friday, May 18, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Solution for Shoal Creek landslide coming soon

City engineers are getting closer to figuring out how to fix a catastrophic landslide that knocked out a portion of the Shoal Creek Trail earlier this month.“By the end of next week, we’re probably going to have an idea of…

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Contractor apologizes for racist remark at county meeting

The contractor who used a racial slur against Latino immigrants during a Travis County-sponsored meeting last week is apologizing.Aaron Cabaza, president of Aaron Concrete, sent an email to county staff on Tuesday afternoon expressing regret for his remarks at a…

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Contractor drops racial slur at county meeting, participants say

A Travis County-led stakeholder discussion between construction contractors and labor interests reached a boiling point last week when one of the participants used a racial slur, according to people at the meeting.Multiple sources confirmed to the Austin Monitor on Monday…

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro: Perhaps a stopgap plan for fill-in-the-gap stops

Reversing course, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now planning to use temporary signs and posts for at least some of the agency’s long-awaited new MetroRapid stops.Since announcing in 2016 the eight pairs of stops intended to fill in key…

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Transportation Department revises sweeping taxi recommendations

The Austin Transportation Department staff has scaled back a set of draft recommendations aimed at saving the city’s flagging taxi franchises.On Tuesday evening, Acting Mobility Services Division Manager Jacob Culberson revealed to the Urban Transportation Commission a revised version of…

Friday, May 4, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Stuck in park, the CTRMA looks beyond tolls

The agency primarily known for building toll roads in the Austin region is spitballing some new ideas as state policy keeps its activities largely in a holding pattern.Last week, board members of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority briefly discussed…

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

It’s lit: Project brings long-awaited improvements to Shoal Creek Trail

It took nearly 37 years, but the Shoal Creek Trail Gap Project is finally complete.On Tuesday, the Public Works Department lifted the barricades on the short section of the trail that traces the creek on its bend from West Fifth…

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Purple pipe to save water, Travis County tax dollars

Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea gathered members of the media at the Heman Marion Sweatt Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon to tout a water conservation program that will save millions of gallons of drinking water per year.Those savings are courtesy of…

Monday, April 30, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Dockless companies suspend operations after Council approves regulations

Traffic-burdened Austin has one fewer mobility option after this weekend.On Sunday, both LimeBike and Bird appeared to have removed their shared-use electric scooters from the city’s streets in response to City Council’s vote on early Friday morning that created a…

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Lingering senior staff vacancy vexes Commissioners Court

Not only can Travis County not find someone to fill its open county executive of operations management position, it can’t even find a recruiting firm to help with the search.That was how Tracey Calloway, director of the county’s Human Resources…

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro votes on paratransit provider contracts

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors voted Monday afternoon to put the agency’s paratransit operations in the hands of a single contractor.The pair of votes to authorize agency CEO and President Randy Clarke to negotiate agreements with Ride…

Monday, April 23, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Commissioners Court delays action on worker safety recommendations

The Travis County Commissioners Court will put off for several weeks a decision on a package of proposals aimed at strengthening protections for construction workers on county projects.Last Tuesday, the court discussed 10 recommendations set forth by Purchasing Office staff…

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Mobility Committee doesn’t not want Council to add Project Connect to November bond

After some brief dais drama on Tuesday, City Council’s Mobility Committee unanimously endorsed the idea of at least talking about putting $15 million in Project Connect seed money on the November ballot.The 4-0 vote nudged forward a request made by…

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Dockless scooters and bikes zip through Mobility Committee

City Council’s Mobility Committee learned on Tuesday afternoon that when it comes to dockless bikes and scooters, the last foot is the technology’s biggest problem.That was the message at least from Jason JonMichael, assistant director of smart mobility with the…

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Project Connect’s big hopes hinge on small investment

Project Connect’s path to an estimated $8 billion worth of high-capacity transit investments could be washed out if City Council and Austin voters don’t greenlight a $15 million installment this year, according to the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s director of…

Friday, April 13, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Palm School survey offers ground rules for redevelopment

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Thursday received a long-awaited report on the historic bona fides of the county-owned Palm School building during a briefing that offered potential redevelopment scenarios of the 19th-century downtown Austin structure.All of those scenarios would…

Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Council revisits draft Corridor Construction Program during work session

Tuesday’s City Council work session featured a swap of information between city staff and Council members regarding the draft Corridor Construction Program.Council delayed a vote on the draft program at its March 22 meeting. That vote set the stage for…

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