Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Energy to turn over Holly Power Plant site by December

The bitter reminder of decades of pollution that the Holly Street Power Plant presents to the residents of the Holly neighborhood will soon disappear.As of the Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Sept. 26, the plant is in its final…

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Will city composting ever make it to multifamily residences?

Some people in Austin saw a new, green compost bin waiting at the curb when they arrived home from work this week. However, although the city of Austin’s single-family residence composting program is entering its next phase, the next question…

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

In a gesture of goodwill, the city wants to reward those who are reusing their stormwater

Most Austin residents are aware of the sometimes economically painful reality of fixed stormwater drainage charges adding up on their monthly bills. However, after years of operating under this system, the Watershed Protection Department is changing its approach by rolling…

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Upper Boggy Creek Trail one step closer to reality

After a contentious debate among the commissioners, the Environmental Commission approved a variance request submitted by the Public Works Department to widen the design of a concrete trail from 12 feet to 14 feet on Sept. 20 with only Vice…

Friday, September 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s creative culture holds weight in economic incentives revision

In response to City Council direction in March, Austin’s Economic Development Department has spent the better part of the year meeting with specific groups in the community that have a stake in how the city approaches policies such as business…

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

After a successful first year, the Art Space Assistance Program will not continue

The Art Space Assistance Program that is aimed at assisting creative-focused nonprofits facing permanent displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at substantially higher rates did not receive funding from City Council for 2018.Council approved $200,000 of General…

Monday, September 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection begins testing to change Waller hydrology

After two years of toying with the possibility of emulating the natural hydrology of Austin’s pre-urbanized watersheds through man-made controls, the Watershed Protection Department is finally putting its theories to the test at Reilly Elementary School.Reilly Elementary sits at the…

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s Blackland Prairie remains unexpectedly unrecovered

On Wednesday, graduate engineer Lindsay Olinde and Mateo Scoggins, a senior environmental scientist from the Watershed Protection Department, presented the Environmental Commission with the unexpected findings on Blackland Prairie riparian corridors.Contrary to the hypothesis that this historically less-urbanized and –…

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Aquatic Master Plan Task Force moves forward

It’s no secret that Austin city pools are on life support. Last month, City Council put off a vote on the dense and troubling Aquatic Master Plan. Instead, Council members created a task force to take a closer look at…

Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Whose job it is to provide recycling in Austin parks?

Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance mandates that by Oct. 1, all commercial properties in Austin will be required to provide recycling. However, open spaces, including public parks, are not included in the current ordinance, which leaves the Parks and Recreation Department…

Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Equity Office asks city to look through a new lens

In the fall of 2016, the city of Austin readjusted its rudder and straightened itself on a course toward equity. Ten months ago, Brion Oaks stepped in as the chief equity officer of the newly established Equity Office, which is…

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Concerned citizens and commissioners display disapproval at SOS amendments

On Wednesday night, it was standing room only at the Environmental Commission meeting as concerned citizens gathered to express their dissent over the Watershed Protection Department’s seven proposed amendments to the current Land Development Code.Six of these stand-alone amendments were…

Friday, August 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection reports on youth outreach successes

Just as it does every year, the Watershed Protection Department came to present a summary of its Youth Education outreach program to the Environmental Commission. Susan Wall, who is the department’s conservation program coordinator, on Wednesday updated the commissioners on…

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water will not be raining down new rate increases in 2018

For the first time in 15 years, Austin Water Utility will not be increasing its rates. On Aug. 9, Austin Water presented its $614.8 million Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget proposal to the Water and Wastewater Commission for approval.Joseph Gonzales, the…

Monday, August 14, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

City puts environmental inequity under the lens

Austin’s first chief equity officer has hit the ground running. Last year, Brion Oaks took the position as head of the new Equity Office, and he is now hard at work introducing an “equity lens” intended to focus city departments…

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

City discusses the future of Austin waterways in the face of zebra mussel infestation

The city needs to batten down the hatches and get ready for the zebra mussel invasion, according to Liz Johnston, environmental program coordinator for the Watershed Protection Department. On Wednesday, Johnston brought the Environmental Commission up to speed on the…

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