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Environment

Council rejects renaming Pan American park but adds plaque to honor Castillo

Toward the end of its Thursday meeting, City Council decided not to add the name of Tony Castillo to Pan American Neighborhood Park in East Austin, but to honor him with a plaque at the park instead. That vote was…

Council to debate controversial rate increase for Austin Energy customers this fall

With stakeholders awaiting the conclusion of the hearing review process, City Council’s Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee heard updates Tuesday from the electric utility on what to expect as the 2022 base rate review case approaches the homestretch. Following a…

City moving ahead with five-year food security plan

The Office of Sustainability will soon begin recruiting community members interested in helping to create the city’s first comprehensive food plan, which is intended to address food scarcity and build up the community’s resilience to withstand natural disasters. The plan…

Parks board continues talks about alleviating 'flagrant' violations of leash laws

Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board recommended Monday to create more fenced off-leash dog areas in the hopes of decreasing the rising number of citizens allowing their dogs to roam parklands leash-free where they are not permitted to do so. Austin…

Trash and scooters still clogging Austin creeks, study finds

The city’s attempts to keep garbage out of local creeks are still being stymied by discarded motorized scooters, according to the findings of a roughly six-month analysis of 20 watersheds throughout Austin. A memo released last week presented the findings…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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