Stories by Jo Clifton

Thursday, June 4, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Committee takes on task of fixing two retirement systems

After hearing about impending problems with two of the city’s retirement systems, the employees retirement system (COAERS) and the Austin police retirement system (APRS), the City Council Audit & Finance Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to designate itself as a legislative…

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Cities, Texas Gas Service agree to settlement

Attorneys for Central Texas cities including Austin and Gulf Coast cities including Beaumont and Port Arthur, along with attorneys representing the staff of the Texas Railroad Commission, have reached a settlement agreement with Texas Gas Service for a rate increase…

Friday, May 29, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs rule changes for old Motorola site

Last week City Council gave preliminary approval for a number of changes to an existing land development agreement at the site of the old Motorola chip fabrication facility at 3443 Ed Bluestein Blvd., giving area residents hope for much-needed jobs…

Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Jo Clifton

APD community engagement audit finds some improvement but data lacking

Although the Austin Police Department has put considerable effort into improving its community policing efforts over the past four years and there have been some positive impacts, an audit by the Office of the City Auditor concluded there was insufficient…

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs SOS amendment for Lantana tract

With the blessing of the Save Our Springs Alliance, City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a zoning change on the Lantana property at 7415 Southwest Parkway, allowing for the development of multifamily housing instead of the office complex…

Friday, May 22, 2020 by Jo Clifton

City to exit driver’s license hold contract with DPS

City Council voted unanimously Thursday to direct the city manager to discontinue the city’s participation in a state Department of Public Safety program that places holds on driver’s licenses when people fail to pay or miss payments on class C…

Thursday, May 21, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Opposition to RV park diminishes

Although members of the Lower Boggy Creek Neighborhood Association have opposed a zoning change that would allow construction of an RV campground, cafe and convenience store on Delwau Lane, it appears that they will accept the new development after negotiating…

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 by Jo Clifton

UT, city start negotiating a development deal

In response to a City Council request in February, the University of Texas has presented the broad outline of an agreement for developing its Austin properties, including the Brackenridge tract, the Pickle Research Center West, Sematech in East Austin, and…

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Public Safety Commission gives EMS a boost, criticizes APD

On Monday the city’s Public Safety Commission unanimously recommended an additional $2.3 million for Austin-Travis County EMS to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, while rejecting almost every request from the police department for additional funding.The commission also voted to recommend…

Thursday, May 14, 2020 by Jo Clifton

With businesses shut, Austin Water’s revenues fall

Austin Water, which contributed an extra $5 million to the city’s utility customer assistance program and cut rates by 10 percent in an effort to help those affected by the coronavirus, has itself felt the impact of business closures on…

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Delwau campground zoning moves forward

A zoning change that would allow property owners to open a campground for recreational vehicles, a convenience store and cafe at 7715 Delwau Lane took the next-to-last step forward last week, as Council approved General Commercial Services-Mixed Use (CS-MU) zoning…

Friday, May 8, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council rejects Texas Gas Service rate hike

City Council voted unanimously Thursday to reject new rates proposed by Texas Gas Service. The vote came as no surprise. The decision had strong support from a group of environmental and consumer advocates who wrote a letter to Council last…

Thursday, May 7, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Resolution seeks help to make Austin more resilient

Austin has long been recognized as a leader in green energy and environmental sustainability. Now, under a resolution sponsored by Council Member Leslie Pool, Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Kathie Tovo, Natasha Harper-Madison and Alison Alter, Council is asking…

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 by Jo Clifton

TCAD stands out in not appraising property values this year

The Travis Central Appraisal District stands alone among six districts surveyed in its decision not to update property appraisals this year, according to a special report by the Austin city auditor. The failure to update property values has caused considerable…

Friday, May 1, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Environmental, consumer groups oppose gas rate hike

Nine leaders of environmental and consumer organizations have sent a letter to the mayor and City Council urging them to reject the rate increase proposed by Texas Gas Service and restructure its rates in a manner designed to help low-income…

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council hears good news, bad news on coronavirus

Two researchers from the University of Texas Covid-19 Modeling Consortium told Council Tuesday that the orders from Mayor Steve Adler and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to stay home and avoid spreading the virus have delayed and possibly even prevented a…

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Abbott says his order overrides local disaster rules

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday the first phase of reopening the state for business in response to an apparent lessening of Covid-19 cases that have sent the nation into an economic tailspin. Abbott claimed he had the authority to allow…

Friday, April 24, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Annexation planned for McKinney Falls tract

Sometime in the next few months, the city will likely be annexing a 55-acre tract in Southeast Austin and granting zoning to allow development of the property as a light industrial (LI) site. The matter was on Thursday’s agenda, but…

Thursday, April 23, 2020 by Jo Clifton

City utilities offering more help with bills

Austin Energy and Austin Water, two enterprise departments that help fund the city’s operations, are giving back to the community in the form of reduced electric and water and wastewater bills during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each utility is also contributing…

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Austin gets millions to deal with coronavirus

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to climb, Austin and Travis County learned this week they would receive $170.8 million and $54 million, respectively, from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to help local governments deal with the crisis.During a…

Back to Top