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Privatization questions rankle union, expose rift between commission and city staff

A resolution that would explore the idea of a public-private partnership for collection of residential garbage, recycling and yard trimmings stalled out Wednesday night at the Zero Waste Advisory Commission, where commissioners opted to table the resolution and take no…

Customers seek changes in AE rate case

An unusual coalition of consumers has written to City Council to request that it slow down the proposed schedule for Austin Energy’s upcoming rate case. In addition, the consumers – including semiconductor giants Samsung and NXP as well as the…

Council members react to water meter audit

Although Austin Water and Austin Energy staff said at a City Council Public Utilities Committee meeting Wednesday that recent audits found the city’s water billing system to be accurate, the Council members who sit on that body said they still…

Council approves new recycling standards for construction material

In a victory for environmentalists, City Council voted Thursday to approve an ordinance that sets limits on the amount of material from a construction or demolition site that can go to waste. The ordinance, which passed 8-3, with Council members…

Low-Income Weatherization Program scrutinized

The Office of the City Auditor and the City Council Audit and Finance Committee put Austin Energy’s Low-Income Weatherization Program under the microscope on Wednesday, finding that customers are satisfied with the program overall but that it needs improvement. The…

Austin Monitor Radio: 600 MW of solar power?

The Sierra Club’s Cyrus Reed and city of Austin Electric Utility Commission chair (and former Austin Energy employee) Michael Osborne join Austin Monitor publisher Mike Kanin to talk about the potential of as much as 600 megawatts in additional solar…

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Full-scale solar option remains on table

In spite of a lengthy debate about how much solar capacity the city should contract into next month, the City Council Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee did not appear to rule out any options at its meeting on Thursday. The…

Citywide compost pickup plan faces resistance

Based on comments that a few City Council members made at Thursday’s budget work session, it appears that a proposed citywide, curbside organics collection rollout could get transformed into an opt-in program – if it remains in the forthcoming city…

Citywide compost pickup may be on the way

The blue recycling bin that many Austinites leave on their curbs may soon have a counterpart – a green organics collection bin. While a citywide compost pickup program boasts obvious environmental benefits, it would come at a cost to taxpayers,…

New ozone standards may be challenge for Austin

The Austin area has a strong track record for meeting federal ground-level ozone standards, but a proposal to tighten regulations means that the region will likely have to work harder to stay in attainment. Failing to do so could make…

Judges propose rollback in water rate case

A pair of administrative law judges appears to have dealt a major blow to the city of Austin in an ongoing water and wastewater rate case brought by a group of wholesale customers in 2013. The judges, Pratibha Shenoy and…

Parks Department sat on Metz Pool repair bid for nearly 6 months

Although the city’s Parks and Recreation Department ordered the repair of an East Austin neighborhood pool in late April, it appears that the department had bids for the work for some time. This, even as department officials initially told residents…

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