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Stories by Mark Richardson

Thursday, January 29, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Travis Commissioners hear TCAD, legislative issues

Property tax relief is high on the agenda for the Texas Legislature this session, and Travis County is getting its ducks in a row to follow the issue over the next few months. Along that line, it heard updates from…

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Travis County sets bond election for November

On Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners chose November over May to go to the voters with a bond election to fund construction of the planned Civil and Family Courthouse project. Plans for the facility call for a 14-story, 511,000-square-foot building with…

Thursday, January 22, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Travis County revives Bicycle Safety Task Force

Travis County is looking to revive its Bicycle Safety Task Force, which has been dormant since before voters approved funding for bicycle safety projecta in a 2011 bond election. The task force — which is getting several new stakeholders and…

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners ponder best date for bond election

Travis County Commissioners began a series of discussions Tuesday to determine the best schedule to fund and build the proposed new $294 million Civil and Family Courthouse building. The main decision will be whether to go to Travis County voters…

Friday, January 16, 2015 by Mark Richardson

GOP wants to restore Secure Communities program

A recent agreement between the City of Austin and Travis County over booking services at the county jail could be in jeopardy if congressional Republicans succeed in reversing President Obama’s executive orders on immigration policy.House Republicans voted out a bill…

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Travis seeks delay in BSEACD-TxDOT agreement

Travis County Commissioners voted Tuesday to ask the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District board for a three-week postponement of a hearing planned this week on an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation over environmental standards for the construction…

Monday, January 12, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Court looks to limit rise in TravCo health care costs

With annual cost overruns projected to be more than $7 million this fiscal year, Travis County Commissioners are looking at ways to curb the skyrocketing cost of providing health care for employees and retirees.According to figures prepared by county staff, health care…

Friday, January 9, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Aquifer district cancels SH45 meeting with TxDOT

The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District postponed a planned meeting Thursday at which the district’s board planned to consider a controversial agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation regarding construction of State Highway 45 Southwest.Aquifer board officials said they…

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Partisan politics arise at new Commissioners Court

Travis County Commissioners met for the first time Tuesday with new County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Pct. 2 Commissioner Brigid Shea on the court. The spirit of cooperation and goodwill present when the new court convened lasted about an hour before…

Monday, January 5, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Renteria is ready to work on issues in District 3

District 3 City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria came out of a crowded field of about a dozen candidates and won a runoff over his sister, Susana Almanza, to represent the central-east district with a majority of Hispanic constituents.Following his…

Friday, January 2, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Houston plans to be strong advocate for District 1

District 1 Council Member-elect Ora Houston says that while her new office will be downtown at City Hall, she does not plan to become a stranger back in her Northeast Austin district.“One of the things I have found is that…

Friday, December 19, 2014 by Mark Richardson

County seeks federal guidance on SH45 SW project

Travis County is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for “guidance” on how to avoid environmental damage to the sensitive Flint Ridge Cave during the construction and operation of the proposed State Highway 45 Southwest toll road.County officials are…

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Prosecutors ask for extra staff to meet regulations

Told by the County Attorney David Escamilla and District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg that Travis County’s judicial system is in a crisis, County Commissioners Tuesday approved advertising for additional paralegals to help prosecutors comply with the Michael Morton Act.The Michael Morton…

Monday, December 15, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Some Commissioners question incentive deals

Travis County Commissioners reviewed the county’s economic development agreements last week, and despite the fact that they bring billions of dollars in investments and create thousands of jobs, some members of the court wonder whether the county really needs such…

Monday, December 8, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Adler, Martinez highlight differences in forum

Just 10 days away from the Dec. 16 runoff election, mayoral candidates Steve Adler and Mike Martinez worked hard Sunday to put some daylight between their positions on a number of key issues, including affordability, transportation, taxes and budgets.KUT, KLRU…

Friday, December 5, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Anti-lobby complaint filed on Long Park golf plan

A complaint filed Thursday with the City of Austin alleges violations of the city’s No-Contact Rule between the developers of the proposed Walter E. Long Park golf courses and city employees. Community activist Brian Rodgers filed the complaint after obtaining…

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 by Mark Richardson

County OKs Land Water and Transportation Plan

Despite the fact that Texas counties have very little real control over how unincorporated land is developed, Travis County is giving it its best effort, as Commissioners approved a comprehensive Land Water and Transportation Plan on Tuesday.The plan, the result…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Aquifer district finishes Habitat Conservation Plan

After a decade of research, public input and development, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District is sending its completed draft Habitat Conservation Plan, approved last month, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for approval. The aquifer district board’s…

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners delay Central Health appointments

Travis County Commissioners, after finding out there were almost 40 applicants to choose among, decided Tuesday to bring the two new members of the court into the process to help fill two vacancies on the Central Health board of managers.Based on…

Monday, November 24, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Austin, Travis get ready for 84th Texas Legislature

With the specter of dealing with a Texas Legislature that has become even more conservative — if that is possible — with the Nov. 4 election, the City of Austin and Travis County reviewed and approved their respective legislative agendas…

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