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Stories by Sommer Brugal

Monday, June 26, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Study offers a window into the lives of recyclers

Members of the Zero Waste Advisory Commission embraced the results of a six-month study intended to reveal the recycling habits of Austinites at their most recent meeting. Emlea Chanslor, Austin Resource Recovery public information officer, presented the study’s results. She…

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Austin residents push for more aggressive energy goal

A number of concerned citizens gathered to speak at the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee meeting Monday morning to express their frustration with Austin Energy’s updated Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan. While the updated plan, which was written by…

Monday, June 19, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Animal Advisory Commission weighs Monk parakeet deal

Austin’s population of Monk parakeets has garnered a lot of attention over the past few weeks, with some questioning Austin Energy’s policy for removing the birds’ nests from power lines and utility structures in town. The Animal Advisory Commission heard…

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

SH 45 SW continues to move forward

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District Board of Directors was informed of various updates to State Highway 45 Southwest at its regular meeting May 25. The high-profile transportation project, which hopes to improve mobility for the northern Hays and southern…

Friday, May 26, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Could pocket parks be the new norm?

Grappling with a number of park-deficient areas around the city, various Austin neighborhoods are struggling to find places that could serve as parkland nearby residents can enjoy. This week, members of the Parks and Recreation Board agreed on a possible…

Friday, May 26, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Parks board embraces plans for Republic Square

Ten years after Austin first announced its vision for the remodeling of Republic Square, the space is finally set to make its debut in the heart of downtown Austin this fall. Mandi Thomas, the partnership and development director of the…

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Costly wastewater expansion gets OK

Only a few commissioners raised questions on various recommendations presented at the Water and Wastewater Commission’s regular meeting May 10. But when it came to the approval of interlocal agreements and costs related to the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System…

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Environmental Commission holds off on water quality requirements (again)

Despite the Environmental Commission’s efforts to remove controversial amendments to the Watershed Protection Ordinance at previous meetings, the commission was unable to resolve an amendment relating to water quality control at its regular meeting May 3. Andrea Bates, the environmental…

Monday, May 8, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Public Safety Commission weighs in on tight city budget

In advance of what promises to be a budget process full of tough choices, the Public Safety Commission received a briefing from the Budget Office on Fiscal Year 2017-18 at its meeting May 1. The presentation included information and findings…

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Public Safety Commission calls for refined counting measures of city’s homeless population

Andy Hofmeister, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services division chief, addressed the Public Safety Commission at its May 1 meeting. Hofmeister answered questions of concern regarding the city’s growing homeless population. According to Hofmeister, there were roughly 2,200 homeless individuals in…

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Environmental Commission gets chance with CodeNEXT updates, concerns

CodeNEXT is the talk of the town. So it’s no surprise the main topic of conversation at the Environmental Commission meeting Wednesday evening was no different. The commission heard recommendations from the Watershed Protection Department, but took no formal action…

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Austin Energy proposes Value of Solar for commercial properties

Austin Energy presented a commercial Value of Solar proposal at the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee Monday morning. Danielle Murray, the Solar Energy Services manager at Austin Energy, said the proposed plan would have benefits for both present and future…

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Austin Energy Facilities Master Plan looks to relocate key buildings

Austin Energy presented an update of its Facilities Master Plan at the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee Monday morning. The main goal of the plan, according to Mark Dombroski, deputy general manager and chief financial and risk officer at Austin…

Friday, April 21, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Nancy Pelosi discusses impact of Affordable Care Act on Austin

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Lloyd Doggett hosted a roundtable with a group of Austin-based medical professionals, musicians and technology experts Thursday morning. Discussion at the meeting, held at the Clinical Education Center at Brackenridge, addressed the…

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Austin Energy rebate to help renters

The Electric Utility Commission approved a rebate for the Lodge at Stone Oak Ranch apartment complex on April 17. The rebate, requested by Austin Energy, is meant to help fund energy-efficiency improvements at the complex. The proposed rebate is one…

Monday, April 17, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Barton Springs redevelopment changes hit a wall at the Environmental Commission

The Watershed Protection Department proposed a number of amendments to the Watershed Protection Ordinance at the Environmental Commission’s April 5 meeting. Andrea Bates, the environmental program coordinator at the Watershed Protection Department, said most of the amendments presented were cleanup…

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Environmental Commission supports Red Bluff plans for consolidation

The Environmental Commission unanimously passed a resolution to consolidate three tracts in the Red Bluff area and to work with its surrounding communities to turn the property into a nature wildland preserve at last Wednesday’s meeting. According to Commission Chair…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Transportation Improvement Program costs continue to rise

The Transportation Policy Board discussed amendments made to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan at its meeting Monday night. Among the top concerns mentioned were the continuous cost increases such amendments entail. Resident Kelly Davis cited…

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