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TipSheet: City Council, 3.23.17

Thursday, March 23, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting again today, and 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.

2. Approve a resolution declaring the City of Austin’s official intent to reimburse itself from revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $40,000,000 for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport improvements.
Related to Item(s): 3, 5, 6, 7

5. Approve funding for the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Parking Garage and Administration Offices construction manager-at-risk contract with AUSTIN COMMERCIAL, LP, for the contractual construction cost limitation in an amount not to exceed $220,000,000. (District 2)

6. Approve additional funding for the professional services agreement with M. ARTHUR GENSLER, JR. and ASSOCIATES INC., dba GENSLER to provide additional professional services for the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Terminal/Apron Expansion and Improvements Project in the amount of $2,400,000, for a total contract amount not to exceed $38,400,000.

7.Authorize additional funding to the Construction Manager-at-Risk Contract with HENSEL PHELPS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY in the amount of $20,500,000 for a revised contractual construction cost limitation of $296,500,000 and to increase the contingency funding amount by $1,500,000, for additional construction at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Terminal/Apron Expansion and Improvements project for a total contract amount not to exceed $311,000,000. (District 2)

Monitor’s Take: Though we don’t usually follow such things, here is a bunch of money that is about to go towards expansion at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. For more details on where the millions and millions are going, check out this article from the Austin American-Statesman.

15. Authorize execution of an interlocal agreement with Travis County that commits the City and the County to each procure the services of identified professionals who will address criminal justice-related issues arising from the closing of the Austin Police Department lab that processed DNA evidence; and that commits the City and the County to share the costs of these two professional services contract equally, in an amount not to exceed $1,919,024.
Related to Item(s): 16, 17, 45

16. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 24-month contract with VAN DAAL CONSULTING, to provide consulting services for the Austin Police Department in an amount not to exceed $850,000.
Related to Item(s): 15, 17, 45

17. Authorize negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide forensic biology and DNA analysis services in an amount not to exceed $3,999,144. Related to Item(s): 15, 16, 45

45. Authorize negotiation and execution of a contract with BODE CELLMARK FORENSICS, INC., for forensic serological and DNA analysis of biological evidence, in an amount not to exceed $1,300,000.

Monitor’s Take: This is the city’s half of an interlocal action that was approved by the Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday. The agreement details how to split costs for a consultant that will look at what went wrong, as well as costs to look through the approximately 1,400 cases that were impacted by the lab failure.

18. Discussion and possible action regarding the overall process for selection of a new Austin City Manager.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported last week, most of the conversation in this week’s episode of “the search for Austin’s new city manager” will be about whether prospective candidates should be public, or whether their names should be kept hidden. There is a high chance that this conversation will take much longer than one might think it should.

20. Approve an ordinance authorizing the negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to purchase five properties at high risk of flooding, located at 11509, 11601, 11603, 11605, and 11607 February Drive, in a total amount not to exceed $1,900,000, establishing acquisition and relocation guidelines, and waiving the requirements of City Code Chapter 14-3. (District 1)

21. Approve an ordinance authorizing the negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to purchase four properties at high risk of flooding, located at 11703 and 11705 Charing Cross Road and 11704 and 11706 DK Ranch Road, in a total amount not to exceed $2,000,000, establishing acquisition and relocation guidelines, and waiving the requirements of City Code Chapter 14-3. (District 10)

Monitor’s Take: Though there was kind of a prolonged fight over whether or not to postpone these flood buyouts during Tuesday’s work session, that is most likely what will happen today, at the request of Council Member Delia Garza.

46. Approve an ordinance waiving Chapter 2-7, Article 6 (Anti-lobbying and Procurement) of the City Code regarding solicitations for organics processing services and refuse, recycling, organics, and special waste collections for City facilities.

Monitor’s Take: This here is the latest in the ongoing saga of the city’s organics processing contract, which remains in limbo. In this case waiving the anti-lobbying ordinance is an attempt to figure out what’s going on, essentially.

47. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapters 2-9A, 2-9B, 2-9C, and 2-9D regarding the Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Program.

Monitor’s Take: This proposal, which would change (we hear: reduce) minority- and women- owned business goals for the city, might spark a bit of a battle.

55. Approve a resolution establishing a council working group to examine and provide recommendations on Austin Resource Recovery and Austin Water organics and recycling policies and contracts.

Monitor’s Take: Yay! More advisory groups! But, seriously, anything having to do with Austin Resource Recovery has the potential to bring drama, even if it is “establishing a working group.”

77. C14-2016-0039 – Thornton II – District 5 –Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2413 Thornton Road (West Bouldin Creek Watershed) from general commercial services (CS) district zoning to multifamily residence-moderate-high density-conditional overlay (MF-4-CO) combining district zoning. First Reading approved for multifamily residence-low density (MF-2) district zoning on November 10, 2016

Monitor’s Take: As we reported today, City Council’s last vote, which would have approved MF-2, not MF-4, zoning was the final nail in the coffin for this project. On Wednesday, the developer announced their intention to move forward with a commercial project that will be allowed under the current zoning. It will have no new residences.

78. C14-2016-0063.SH – Villas at Vinson Oak Rezone – District 3 – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 4507 and 4511 Vinson Drive (Williamson Creek Watershed) from family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to townhouse and condominium residence-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (SF-6-CO-NP) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Though this sailed through the Planning Commission with a unanimous vote in December, we expect to hear concerns about flooding and the proposed development again today.

79. C14-2016-0097 – South Congress Residences – District 3 – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 4714 South Congress Avenue (Williamson Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-CO-NP) combining district zoning

80. C14-2016-0106 – 4411 SOCO – District 3 – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 4411 South Congress Avenue and 4510 Lucksinger Lane (Williamson Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-CO-NP) combining district zoning

Monitor’s Take: Though not explicitly connected, both of these cases concern Vertical Mixed Use projects on South Congress Avenue. For your convenience, we smushed them together in this story here, for background.

83. C814-2014-0120 – Austin Oaks PUD – District 10 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second reading of an ordinance amending Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 3409, 3420, 3429, 3445, 3520, 3636, 3701, 3721, 3724, and 3737 Executive Center Drive and 7601, 7718 and 7719 Wood Hollow Drive (Shoal Creek Watershed) from community commercial (GR) district zoning, neighborhood commercial (LR) district zoning, limited office (LO) district zoning and family residence (SF-3) district zoning to planned unit development (PUD) district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: After the last meeting, where Council postponed the case at the very last, late-night moment, they have sworn a solemn vow to take up this huge case at the earliest possible convenience. Testimony is slated to start at an optimistic 2 p.m., and will be continued at 6:30 p.m. or so if needed. Right now, Council is considering second reading for the project, which has a valid petition against it. That means that nine Council members will have to approve the thing.

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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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