Stories by Seth Smalley

Monday, July 19, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Canyon rimrock complicates reconstruction of Lake Austin boat dock

On July 7, the Environmental Commission approved a variance request to deconstruct and rebuild the Norris boat dock located at 1874 Westlake Drive. Scott Hiers, program manager for the Watershed Protection Department, presented pertinent details to the commission, including site…

Thursday, July 15, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Delta variant may be to blame for rise in hospital admissions

On Tuesday, Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes and Austin Public Health interim Director Adrienne Stirrup updated the Travis County Commissioners Court on Covid-19 and vaccination efforts in the county. “So far, we have not received a confirmed case…

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Housing Authority withdraws removal notice for Oak Valley residents

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court heard from some of the 85 families who were abruptly given notice last week that they would have to leave their homes at the Rosemont at Oak Valley apartment complex by the end of the…

Friday, July 9, 2021 by Seth Smalley

County plans to lower emissions to comply with Clean Air Act

At the June 29 meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court, commissioners discussed strategies to reduce particulate matter emissions with Jon White, director of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, and Adele Noel, the environmental project manager for air quality. “We’re…

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 by Seth Smalley

The ‘elephant in the room’: How will commissioners set their own pay?

At the June 29 meeting of the Commissioners Court, Todd Osburn, county compensation manager, presented elected officials’ salaries to commissioners. The item will be brought before the court again in late July, at which point commissioners will decide between three…

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 by Seth Smalley

County increases homestead exemptions for 65 and up

On June 29, the Travis County Commissioners Court discussed and passed a proposal to increase homestead exemptions for qualifying homes. The item was a follow-up to the previous week’s discussion in which the Planning and Budget Office had recommended to…

Friday, July 2, 2021 by Seth Smalley

County presses pause on Palm School, pending community input

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court discussed what to do about the Palm School. On June 15, commissioners rejected the city’s 2020 offer to buy the Palm School building. The news disappointed many in the Latino community who had…

Thursday, July 1, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Cap Metro board fields 2022 budgetary updates

At the June 28 meeting of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors, members fielded budgetary updates for the 2022 fiscal year. Deputy CFO Kevin Conlan presented the broad budgetary developments, important assumptions as they relate to budget, expenses,…

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 by Seth Smalley

County deliberates joining city to end homelessness

On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court discussed the cardinal question of how to allocate a considerable amount of money coming to the county from the American Rescue Plan Act. Much of the discussion centered on homelessness, and whether the county would…

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Cap Metro proceeds with vision of sustainability

At the June 28 Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting, board members fielded discussion on a yearslong sustainability and planning effort put forward by Capital Metro staffers. Most of the presentation centered around the structure and vision of the plan,…

Monday, June 28, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Want free entry to Barton Springs? Take the bus.

The Zilker Park road loop will be closed from July 6-30 pending construction of new tracks for the fully electric Zilker Eagle, the train formerly known as the Zilker Zephyr. Following slope failure at the previous turnaround (due to erosion from rain),…

Friday, June 25, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Transit partnership fields Orange Line updates for Project Connect

At the June 16 Austin Transit Partnership Board meeting, board members reviewed updates on the Project Connect Orange Line alignment. The Orange Line, which shares several stops with the Blue Line, runs north and south through the center of the…

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Commissioners Court fields next year’s budget plan

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court fielded a budget process explanation for the 2022 fiscal year from Travis Gatlin and Jessica Rio with the Planning and Budget Office. While the first revenue estimates from the adopted budget sat at…

Friday, June 18, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Travis and Bexar counties proceed with plans to electrify vehicle fleets

Travis and Bexar counties are making moves to electrify their vehicle fleets as part of a partnership with the South Central Texas Electric Transportation Compact. In hopes of serving as a model for other counties in the region, the two…

Thursday, June 17, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Brand refresh ushers Cap Metro into coming decade

At the May 24 meeting of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors, Brian Carter, whose title is chief experience and engagement officer, presented the transit agency’s brand refresh proposal to board members. “Over the last couple of years,…

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 by Seth Smalley

After public condemnation, county to rework correctional master plan

A highly anticipated Travis County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday was more contentious than usual and lasted later into the evening to accommodate hours of public comments criticizing a plan to allocate $80 million to fund a new women’s jail. Though…

Thursday, June 10, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Commissioners clap back at justice advocates protesting county jail plan

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday responded to pushback from criminal justice reform advocates upset at the county’s plan to approve a $4.2 million design contract for a new women’s jail. While commissioners ultimately decided to delay the motion…

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Criminal justice reformers push back on county jail renovations

Just outside the Travis County Commissioners Court at 700 Lavaca St. yesterday, a number of criminal justice reform groups held a press conference to protest Travis County’s plan to spend $600 million on construction and renovation of new jail facilities…

Monday, June 7, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Cap Metro board fields updates on Project Connect

At the May 24 Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors meeting, board members heard updates on the progress of Project Connect. Presenters displayed images of partial plans for the Blue Line – called “15 percent design drawings” – and…

Thursday, June 3, 2021 by Seth Smalley

County budget office weighs up new correctional complex

At their May 27 work session, Travis County commissioners fielded a presentation on the 20-year road map for the Travis County Correctional Complex. Representatives from the Planning and Budget Office, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, and the Justice Planning Department…

Back to Top