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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Michelle Jimenez

Commissioners hear first public briefing on Formula One

On Tuesday, the attorney representing promoters of the proposed Formula One racetrack in southeast Travis County unveiled a rough plan to county commissioners, the first such briefing to a public entity and one that left the court with a long…

Travis Commissioners debate how to manage Lavaca office project

County Commissioners haven’t forgotten the fiasco associated with the building of the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, which opened behind schedule 10 years ago.   “It was an ever-living nightmare,” Commissioner Ron Davis recalled during last week’s commissioners court meeting.  …

County eyes suspending new subdivisions to develop groundwater rules

Travis County officials, with an eye toward future population growth, are looking to address issues of groundwater availability, particularly in the western part of the county.   Toward that end, commissioners are considering suspending, through Oct. 31, 2011, approval of…

Longtime county employee Joe Gieselman to retire

Joe Gieselman, executive manager of Travis County’s Transportation and Natural Resources Department, announced during Tuesday’s County Commissioners meeting that he plans to retire early next year, after nearly four decades with the county.   “It’s time for me to move…

Austin Energy gets ready to study rate increase

Austin Energy is preparing to kick off a two-year process that officials hope will culminate in a rate increase in 2012 and develop a framework for the “utility of the future.”   The city-owned utility is scheduled to provide an…

AE advisors tell city to cut funds to economic growth office

The Electric Utility Commission, an advisory board to the City Council, rejected Austin Energy’s proposed 2011 budget during its meeting Monday night, setting the condition that millions in funding be shifted from economic development to programs directly related to the…

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Travis County to use pilot program to test employee parking plan

Travis County is on track to implement a pilot program for parking that county commissioners hope will provide some relief to the 650 employees waiting for a space.   The court last week approved moving ahead with the plan, with…

New car policy could cost Travis County $5 million

Sometimes a single word can have a significant impact, and in Travis County’s case, the word “or” could set it back millions of dollars each year, if county commissioners decide to loosen the criteria for replacing old vehicles.   The…

Travis County OKs external audit for Austin crime lab

District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has turned to Travis County officials for help in conducting an independent audit of the Austin Police Department’s crime lab, in light of concerns raised by a former forensic scientist.   On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners…

Travis County officials to begin planning for 2011 bond election

Travis County officials plan to appoint within the next several months a bond committee to review a list of potential transportation projects to be included in a 2011 referendum, County Judge Sam Biscoe said.   However, the price tag isn’t…

Spelman does a double take on water plan at racetrack site

Sometimes things can go by pretty fast at City Council meetings, but one item last week seemed to go by at the speed of a Formula One racer, and Council Member Bill Spelman decided to slam on the brakes.  …

Council OKs $90 million bond election for boardwalk, mobility projects

The City Council on Thursday called for a $90 million November bond referendum that would pay for an eastward extension of the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk, along with a list of other mobility projects.   City officials have made it…

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