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TipSheet: City Council, 10.20.16

Thursday, October 20, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday. Below is a list of items we’re watching. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

6. Approve a resolution authorizing the issuance by Pilot Knob Municipal Utility District No. 3 of Unlimited Tax Bonds, Series 2016, in an amount not to exceed $3,250,000.

Monitor’s take: By now, y’all have heard the news about Pilot Knob, but this item will not be a chance to revisit the case since the court ruling. That will most likely come in December or January, although we suppose this may be a chance to sound off on that. (The Monitor notes that Council Member Don Zimmerman sent out a press release Tuesday praising himself for his abstention during the first go-round.)

11. Approve a resolution adopting the City’s State Legislative Program for the 85th Texas Legislature.

Monitor’s take: It’s unlikely that this will spark much of a conversation at today’s meeting. However, let this setting of the city’s legislative program be a reminder that the Legislature’s coming, y’all. And this year’s agenda is really similar to years past, emphasizing local control, the maintaining of Austin Energy as a public utility, environmental protections, city planning power and so on. Stay tuned!

22. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 60-month contract with SYNAGRO OF TEXAS-CDR, INC., or one of the other qualified offerors to Request For Proposals CDL2003, for the management of biosolids reuse in an amount not to exceed $9,424,778, with five 12-month extension options in an amount not to exceed $2,185,180 per extension option, for a total contract amount not to exceed $20,350,678.

23. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 12-month revenue contract with ALLEN CLICK, or one of the other qualified offerors to Request For Proposals JXP0501, for the sale and removal of compost material for an estimated revenue amount of $64,500, with five 12-month extension options with an estimated revenue of $64,500 per extension option, for a total estimated revenue amount of $387,000.

Monitor’s take: How does the saying go? Where there’s waste, there’s drama? Well, whatever it is, these two seemingly innocuous items have some drama behind them. Put really simply, without these contracts being approved, Dillo Dirt isn’t being made. And when Dillo Dirt isn’t being made, there can be all sorts of complications. Let us look back to 2013, shall we?

24. Approve an ordinance amending Exhibit A to the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 City of Austin Fee Schedule Ordinance No. 20160914-003 to set administrative fees and rental fees for considering, approving, monitoring, and licensing the use of right of way and transportation infrastructure by wireless service providers for small cell networks.

Monitor’s take: Believe it or not, this is going to be super fun when City Council takes it up. Unfortunately, that won’t be today, because today it will be postponed.

26. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to explore the creation of a Bull Creek Road Area Local Traffic Improvement Fund.

Monitor’s take: This item from Council Member Sheri Gallo’s office is actually pretty interesting. The resolution proposes using increased tax revenue from infill development to fund a Bull Creek Road Area Local Improvement Fund. That fund would be used to mitigate traffic and finance traffic improvements “over and above the developer’s responsibility in the surrounding neighborhoods of the formerly State owned property known as Bull Creek.” That property is now, of course, known as the Grove at Shoal Creek PUD, and as is tradition, this resolution promises to spark a discussion about precedent, development and (of course) traffic.

27. Approve a resolution relating to funding repairs for manufactured homes.

Monitor’s take: This resolution also looks at funding, asking the city manager to look at federal, state and local options (including bonds) to help fix up mobile homes within the city limits.

29. Approve a resolution regarding the hiring and public input process for the selection of a new City Manager.

Monitor’s take: Yeah, the sense we are getting is that this item might linger for a while as City Council hashes out the details of how, exactly, to go about hiring a new city manager now that Marc Ott is leaving. (For the record, we are also betting that the actual hiring process will take a while.)

30. Approve a resolution relating to amenities in mobile home parks.

Monitor’s take: As we discussed last week, this item seems generally supported by City Council, although it has now been amended by sponsor Council Member Pio Renteria to be less “prescriptive” and leave the ultimate form that the ordinance will take up to the city staff and the stakeholder process before it returns to Council.

33. C814-2015-0074 – The Grove at Shoal Creek PUD – District 10 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by zoning property locally known as 4205 Bull Creek Road (Shoal Creek Watershed) from unzoned (UNZ) district zoning to planned unit development (PUD) district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant planned unit development (PUD) district zoning.

Monitor’s take: What to even say about the Grove? Clearly the most important zoning case of the year, Council has already taken it up once (and a few times during work sessions) with the promise of more to come. Mayor Steve Adler has made it clear that he intends to vote on the rezoning on first reading only — and that’s likely to happen given the fact that Council Member Ellen Troxclair will remain on maternity leave, along with her vote.

35. C14-79-065(RCT) – Earl M. McClure – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing to terminate a restrictive covenant on property locally known as 80 Red River Street (Waller Creek Watershed). Staff Recommendation: To grant termination of the restrictive covenant. Planning Commission

Monitor’s take: Though less of a star than the PUD above, this removal of a restrictive covenant was plenty contentious at the Planning Commission. Given the fact that opponents found little sympathy there, and the probable late hour at it will be addressed today, we’ll see if that contention continues.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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