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Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Friday, May 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Shelter cat live outcome rate dips below 90 percent

As a no-kill shelter, Austin Animal Shelter has a goal of sending out as many animals into happy homes as possible. Unfortunately, this month, the shelter was able to do that less often for its cats than it has in the…

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite low water usage from Austinites, Austin Water continues to pay down debt

As it happens every year, Austin Water, the city-owned water and wastewater utility, is currently in the midst of planning its budget for the next fiscal year, which will also reflect an updated financial forecast until the year 2023.Although this…

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s infill builders raise $10K to pay for 3,400 student lunches

With an eye toward public education, infill developers in Austin are tackling a new problem.Builders Care Austin, a 501(c)(3) that allows infill builders around town to make philanthropic contributions, has raised $10,000 to help pay off the lunch debts of…

Monday, May 7, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

YMCA and city working together for more parking at Lamar Beach

In late 2016, a revised version of the Lamar Beach Master Plan made its way through City Council. It was designed to benefit all the associated stakeholders of the parkland, West Austin Youth Association, Austin Pets Alive! and Austin High…

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

AISD Board of Trustees contemplates deep cuts to the budget

The Austin Independent School District’s preliminary budget for the 2018-19 school year was released on April 23. On April 30, the members of the AISD Board of Trustees weighed in with their thoughts on how to continue to fund administrators…

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board talks MACC design, and cost

Recently, the advisory board for the the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center wrote a letter to City Council asking to be allocated the full project cost – $40 million – instead of the $15 million that was recently recommended…

Friday, April 27, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board pushes for $62M for pools

Austin pools are in serious need of repairs. Everyone knows that, but the question is how much money the citizens are actually willing to pay to fix them.Currently, $33 million of the proposed 2018 bond package totaling $851 million is specifically…

Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Libraries plan to designate areas for petitioning

After a month of consultations with the Law Department over the language of the rules governing petitioning on library property, the Austin Public Library may have found a compromise.Instead of limiting petitioning to sidewalks surrounding the libraries, which groups have…

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin can now access a database dedicated to the effects of development on trees

The City Arborist Program has just released a new, interactive tool where everyone has access to all active tree permits at any given time online.Not all trees are being tracked on this dashboard. The city arborist only reviews and protects trees…

Friday, April 20, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Energy troubled by hiring concerns

City jobs are notorious for having a prolonged hiring process. However, at Austin Energy, the process has become excruciatingly long, even by its own standards, and it’s starting to have repercussions.At the April 16 Electric Utility Commission meeting, Mark Dombroski, who…

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Energy’s last employee returns from Puerto Rico

At 6:30 p.m. on April 16, Paul Vasquez, the superintendent of system operations at Austin Energy, announced at the Electric Utility Commission meeting that Austin Energy’s last employee had returned from the disaster reparation efforts that Austin had participated in…

Monday, April 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Landfill fix on hold for now

Landfills exist comfortably outside of the public eye until something happens that reminds everyone that their upkeep is a critical component to keep our city functioning.On April 11, Tony Davee, a project manager with Austin Resource Recovery, came to the…

Friday, April 13, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Will PARD ever get enough money to implement recycling in the parks?

In every Austin home, there is the option to trash your waste or recycle it (many even have a composting option available). So why aren’t Austinites given the same opportunity at the city of Austin’s parks and recreational facilities?At the…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

AISD board debates how to prevent a financially insolvent school district

When Austinites passed the $1 billion Austin Independent School District bond that was intended for major improvements in school facilities as well as transportation and district-wide improvements to technology for teachers and students, they knew they were voting to provide…

Monday, April 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends CodeNEXT drainage regulations with review

How many complaints on an issue are sufficient to warrant a change in city code? This question cropped up continually at the April 4 meeting of the Environmental Commission as commissioners worked to pass a resolution regarding CodeNEXT drainage regulations.According…

Monday, April 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Artist Access Program development remains paused

Recently the city paused a program for artist venue space in response to complaints about how it would balance the residential groups’ cultural identities and the programming that would take place in the individual cultural centers.Since 2011, the city has…

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Will petitions be allowed on library property?

Since 2018 began, two individuals with IndyAustin who were gathering signatures for a CodeNEXT petition outside of Austin public libraries have been cited with criminal trespass warnings. Those citations have been rescinded as the city works to clarify their position on…

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioner rocks the boat with concerns about security of Austin Energy software contract

Several years ago, Austin Energy found itself “over a barrel” due to an underbid and underdelivered contract awarded to IBM to create new system software that would bridge Austin Energy’s meters and its billing system. Now one member of the…

Friday, March 23, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission: Former police monitor did not violate city policy

On Wednesday night, the Ethics Review Commission found that former police monitor Margo Frasier was not in violation of any city policy and did not impose any sanctions against her.By clearing Frasier’s name in a 7-2 vote, the commission took…

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s 100-year flood plain looks more like today’s 500-year flood plain

In Austin, flooding has been a concern for decades, but in the last several years, the urgency with which the city is conducting the conversation has escalated. In the last four years alone, Austin has experienced four federally declared flooding…

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