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Environment

Harper-Madison argues against increasing parkland fees

Austin’s residential parkland dedication fees, which the city uses to buy parkland, more than doubled last year as the price of land increased. Now city budget writers are proposing to double those fees again for 2023. Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison…

Parks board passes guidelines for the sale of alcohol in parks

After much discussion, Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board has posted a set of guidelines that will help them decide when to approve conditional use permits that would allow for the sale of alcohol in city parks. With the recommended guidelines…

Dove Springs getting a new trail: Donde Corre el Agua

In the summer of 2020, in the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dove Springs community members began to wonder how they could better use a section of the local greenbelt that had become neglected. The unmarked trail, which is overgrown…

Travis County calls on LCRA to 'get serious' about water conservation

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution July 19 requesting that the Lower Colorado River Authority accelerate a change to its Highland Lakes water management plan. If LCRA cooperates, a “more protective” approach would be implemented to reflect Central…

Featured Collection: Sixth Street

Stream reveals details of six possible new Sixth Street music venues

Stream Realty Partners is eyeing the possibility of turning at least six of its properties on East Sixth Street into music venues, including a plan to convert the former Buffalo Billiards space into a daytime food hall with music in the evenings.…

Austin Energy amends initial proposal at base rate review conference, but critics say it's not enough

As the grid works overtime to absorb record-breaking heat, the battle over energy prices continues. Austin Energy met face-to-face with stakeholders earlier this month with its proposal to raise and restructure rates, citing mounting revenue gaps threatening the utility’s finances. The…

Austin Water addresses effect of drought on agriculture

Texas’ current drought is affecting both Austin residents as well as the crops grown outside of the city. At Wednesday’s Water and Wastewater Commission meeting, representatives from Austin Water explained the far-reaching effects of the drought and efforts made to…

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Here's what it would take for ERCOT to start rolling blackouts

Texans woke up Monday morning to a familiar fear, worried that the state’s electric grid may not provide enough energy to see them through the day. While the anxiety is understandable, a shortfall of energy reserves on the system does…

Trail project moves to complete Oltorf-Riverside connection

The city’s Public Works Department is gearing up to finally complete a 3.5-mile urban trail that would connect Mabel Davis and Roy G. Guerrero Park in Southeast Austin. The new trail segment would bridge the existing gap between trails ending…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Parks board agrees to honor lifetime resident with plaque

The Parks and Recreation Board heard strong opinions about the renaming of Pan American Neighborhood Park at its June 27 meeting. The board had previously received an application from family members to rename the park in honor of longtime resident…

Environmental advocates say Fayette coal plant is 'poisoning' residents, push city to test water

Danny Fetonte worked at a coal power plant decades ago in Pennsylvania. He was responsible for taking the lids off the ovens so more coal could be dropped in to run the generators. “Everybody that worked in it was black…

Austin sees success with youth rowing program

The Austin Rowing Club reported on the success of the STEM to Stern program at the Parks and Recreation Board’s Monday meeting. STEM to Stern, which was brought to the city by the Rowing Club and the Boys & Girls…

Austin struggled to hire summer employees. Then, it failed to pay some on time.

At least 34 employees with Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, including some who care for children as part of city-run summer camps, went as long as a month without pay because of a clerical error. At least one employee’s paycheck…

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