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TipSheet: City Council, 5.18.17

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting again today. 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. Authorize negotiation and execution of interlocal agreements with the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Leander for the reimbursement of costs related to the expansion of the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System. (District 6)

Monitor’s Take: Curious about wastewater system expansion? We’ve got you covered! Here’s an article about this item, which would approve about $21 million for the expansion.

8. Authorize negotiation and execution of a commission agreement with Beili Liu, in an amount not to exceed $202,500 for artwork for the Austin Energy District Cooling Plant #3 Project (District 9).

9. Authorize negotiation and execution of a design agreement with Marc Fornes, dba THEVERYMANY, in an amount not to exceed $1,550,000 for artwork at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Parking Garage/Administration Building Project (District 2).

10. Authorize negotiation and execution of a commission agreement with Janet Zweig, in an amount not to exceed $950,000, for artwork for the Terminal/Apron Expansion and Improvement Project at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. / (District 2).

Monitor’s Take: Art! About $2.7 million worth of art! According to the backup, the city has spent $7.6 million through the Art in Public Places program over the past five years, mostly at the airport.

11. Approve a resolution creating the Art Space Assistance Program as an economic development program of the City, and approve program guidelines.

Monitor’s Take: It looks like this item will most likely be postponed until Council’s June 8 meeting, while staff works out some of the details of this proposal, which is designed to keep artists in the city. It will, coincidentally, give staff a little more time to come up with answers to the long (long!) list of questions from Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo about its implementation. In the meantime, we have a story today about what this whole thing is.

12. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to transfer out $3,500,000 to the General Fund; and amending the General Fund Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to increase the transfer in by $3,500,000 from the Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund; and appropriating $3,500,000 to increase expenditures in the Austin Fire Department Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to provide additional overtime funds that are needed due to the high number of sworn fire vacancies and the requirement to maintain four-person staffing requirements.

Monitor’s Take: As Jo Clifton reported Wednesday, Council continues to bicker about this item, but it’s hard to see how it won’t pass.

14. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 2-5 relating to procedures for City Council meetings, public hearings, appeals, and committees, and City Code Chapter 15-9 relating to utility rate hearings.
Related to Item #15

15. Approve a resolution adopting procedures for City Council meetings, public hearings, and appeals.
Related to Item #14

Monitor’s Take: After lots (and lots) of discussion, Council may be ready to move forward with these resolutions, which are a first or second step toward making their meetings run smoother (and faster). However, given the discussion on Tuesday, we are expecting that there are a few details to be worked out. Tovo, in particular, had questions about some of the changes and seemed concerned that things like cutting speaker times from three minutes to two were not being effectively communicated to the public.

18. Approve a resolution initiating amendments to City Code Chapter 25-2 to create a new Rosewood Park Capitol View Corridor, and directing the City Manager to process the amendment to be presented to Council on or before August 17, 2017.

Monitor’s Take: This corridor is part of a larger proposal that would extend Capitol View Corridors to the east. This corridor was singled out because it goes right over the Brackenridge Hospital site and the prospect of a new (undefined) corridor, which would limit the height of what could be built there, throws a wrench in that development process, which is just getting started. At any rate, it looks like this is going to be postponed until the end of the year, after Council Member Ora Houston struck a deal for what to do in the meantime.

34. Authorize negotiation and execution of a professional services agreement with the following five staff recommended firms (or other qualified responders) for Request for Qualifications Solicitation No. CLMP217: PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF, INC.; HALFF ASSOCIATES, INC.; AECOM TECHNICAL SERVICES, INC.; KIMLEY-HORN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.; and URBAN DESIGN GROUP PC (WBE-FW), for engineering services for the 2017 Corridor Mobility Preliminary Engineering Reports Rotation List, for an estimated period of two years or until financial authorization is expended, with the total amount not to exceed $2,500,000 divided among the five firms. (Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 9)

35. Authorize negotiation and execution of a professional services agreement with the following eight staff recommended firms (or other qualified responders) for Request for Qualifications Solicitation No. CLMP218: BINKLEY & BARFIELD, INC.; COBB, FENDLEY & ASSOCIATES, INC.; HDR ENGINEERING, INC.; FREESE AND NICHOLS, INC.; PAPE-DAWSON CONSULTING ENGINEERS, INC.; LJA ENGINEERING, INC.; STANTEC CONSULTING SERVICES, INC.; and ALLIANCE TRANSPORTATION GROUP, INC. (WBE-FW), for engineering services for the 2017 Local Mobility Preliminary Engineering Reports Rotation List for an estimated period of two years, or until financial authorization is expended, with the total amount not to exceed $4,000,000 divided among the eight firms. (Districts 1, 2, 5, 6)

36. Authorize award and execution of a construction contract with MUNIZ CONCRETE & CONTRACTING, INC. (MBE-MH), for Local Mobility Americans with Disabilities Act Sidewalk and Ramp Improvement Group 19 City Wide – Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity for a total contract amount not to exceed $10,000,000 for a term of 12 months, or until financial authorization is expended (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 9).

37. Authorize negotiation and execution of a professional services agreement with the following four staff recommended firms (or other qualified responders) for Request for Qualifications Solicitation No. CLMP220: MWM DESIGNGROUP, INC. (WBE-FW); KLOTZ ASSOCIATES, INC.; dba RPS KLOTZ ASSOCIATES, HDR ENGINEERING, INC.; and CIVILITUDE, LLC (MBE-MA), for engineering services for the 2017 Local Mobility Field Engineering for Pedestrian, Bikeway and Urban Trail Rotation List for an estimated period of four years or until financial authorization is expended, with the total amount not to exceed $4,000,000 divided among the four firms.

Monitor’s Take: Though mobility bond items have been sailing through Council with an almost-disappointing efficiency thus far, there are a couple of things worth noting here. For one, the mobility bond now has its own section on the agenda. For another, it’s nice to see that sidewalk improvements and bike paths are getting their due so early in the process, despite the region’s unfaltering love affair with roads.

40. Approve an ordinance relating to the creation of a temporary plaza in the South Central Waterfront Area; and waiving certain code requirements and associated fees.

Monitor’s Take: This ordinance would make the little “bat island plaza” in front of the new Yeti store a reality. Food trailers (of course!) coming soon.

43. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to conduct a lighting inventory study in West Campus and to implement such strategies as are recommended by the study to increase pedestrian safety.

Monitor’s Take: Like it says on the tin, this resolution would take a look at lighting in the West Campus area, with the aim of increasing safety for pedestrians and residents in general.

45. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to take appropriate legal action related to Senate Bill 4 (a state law relating to enforcement of immigration law by local governmental entities).

Monitor’s Take: As we reported Wednesday, this resolution could give the city the option of suing over the recently approved “sanctuary cities” law. Though Attorney General Ken Paxton has already sued City Council, the city manager and the Travis County sheriff over the law, this resolution would allow the city to take the state to court if that suit is dismissed. The last time Council addressed immigration, there was a very fiery discussion on the dais, but it’s unclear whether that will repeat this time around, of course.

53. Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal of the decision of the Historic Landmark Commission to grant a demolition permit for property located at 1207 W. 22½ Street and 1209 W. 22½ Street. (HDP-2016-0468 and HDP-2016-0469) (District 9)

Monitor’s Take: After a brief bit of testimony last week, Council has vowed to take this appeal up early in today’s meeting. Basically, this is an appeal of a demolition permit that a neighbor filed because they believe the homes slated for demolition are historic.

57. NPA-2016-0005.03 – 2509 Montopolis Drive – District 3 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20010927-05, the Montopolis Neighborhood Plan, an element of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, to change the land use designation on the future land use map (FLUM) on property locally known as 2507, 2509 and 2511 Montopolis Drive, in addition to adjacent 1.36 acre tract (Country Club East Watershed) from Industry land use to Mixed Use land use. Staff Recommendation: To deny Mixed Use land use. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant Mixed Use land use. Owner/Applicant: John Robert Stratton. City Staff: Maureen Meredith, 512-974-2695.

58. C14-2016-0113 – 2509 Montopolis – District 3 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 2507, 2509 and 2511 Montopolis Drive (Country Club East Watershed) from general commercial services-neighborhood plan (CS-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To deny general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning. Agent: Drenner Group (Leah Bojo). Owner: John Robert Stratford. City Staff: Andrew Moore, 512-974-7604.

Monitor’s Take: If you recall, this was the case that caused the Planning Commission to wonder whether it was time for an Imagine Austin update. It’s up for first reading today.

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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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