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TipSheet: City Council, 8.4.16

Thursday, August 4, 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.

10. Authorize the negotiation and execution of an agreement with the Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council, KLRU TV-18 Austin, for production underwriting of the Austin City Limits television concert series from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2021 in an amount not to exceed $250,000 annually, for a total contract amount not to exceed $1,250,000.

Monitor’s take: Did you know that Austin’s beloved institution, Austin City Limits (the television show), is underwritten by the city? According to a written city staff answer to a question about the contract posed by Council Member Ora Houston: “The agreement with KLRU for production underwriting of the Austin City Limits concert series has been in place since 2008. Council authorized the negotiation and execution of the agreements with KLRU from 2008-2011 and 2011-2016. The cost of the agreement with KLRU increased $25,000 annually during the 2011-2016 contract period resulting in an additional $125,000 over the 5 year term. The annual cost of the agreement from 2008-2011 was $225,000.”

15. Approve a resolution consenting to the issuance of multi-family private activity bonds by Austin Affordable PFC, Inc., an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, in an amount not to exceed $12,000,000 to finance, in part, the rehabilitation of an existing multi-family rental development to be known as the Pathways at North Loop Apartments, located at 2300 West North Loop Boulevard. (District 7)

16. Approve a resolution consenting to the issuance of multi-family private activity bonds by Austin Affordable PFC, Inc., an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, in an amount not to exceed $11,000,000 to finance, in part, the rehabilitation of an existing multi-family rental development to be known as the Pathways at Georgian Manor Apartments, located at 110 Bolles Circle. (District 4)

17. Approve a resolution consenting to the issuance of multi-family private activity bonds by Austin Affordable PFC, Inc., an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 to finance, in part, the rehabilitation of an existing multi-family rental development to be known as the Pathways at Manchaca Village Apartments, located at 3628 Manchaca Road. (District 5)

18. Approve a resolution consenting to the issuance of multi-family private activity bonds by Austin Affordable PFC, Inc., an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, in an amount not to exceed $7,000,000 to finance, in part, the rehabilitation of an existing multi-family rental development to be known as the Pathways at Northgate Apartments, located at 9120 Northgate Boulevard. (District 4)

19. Approve a resolution consenting to the issuance of multi-family private activity bonds by Austin Affordable PFC, Inc., an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, in an amount not to exceed $7,000,000 to finance in part the rehabilitation of an existing multi-family rental development to be known as the Pathways at Shadowbend Ridge Apartments located at 6328 Shadow Bend. (District 2)

Monitor’s take: Acting on a 2014 directive from the “old” City Council, these five proposals to preserve old housing in order to retain affordable housing are now before City Council. Worth noting: The buildings are in Districts 2, 3, 4 and 7, and they will be financed through bonds.

28. Approve a resolution authorizing the acceptance of $750,000 in grant funding from the State of Texas, Governor’s Office, Criminal Justice Division to implement the Austin Police Department’s APD Body-Worn Camera Program. Related to Item #29.

29. Approve an ordinance accepting $750,000 in grant funds from the State of Texas, Governor’s Office, Criminal Justice Division; and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Austin Police Department Operating Budget Special Revenue Fund (Ordinance No. 20150908-001) to appropriate $750,000 for the Austin Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera Program. Related to Item #28.

Monitor’s take: Well, we’ve been talking about APD body cameras for quite a spell now. Where do things currently stand? Well, the last we heard, the contract had been put on hold due to a lawsuit. However, that injunction ended on Aug. 1, so we’ll just have to see what happens. Here, for reference, is what transpired the last time the matter was before Council and it looked like the whole thing had been wrapped up. This item, of course, only concerns acceptance of state money for the program, but there’s the context for you.

31. Approve an ordinance authorizing negotiation and execution of an Advanced Funding Agreement with Texas Department of Transportation for the construction of an urban trail from E. 12 Street to the Capital Metro MLK Jr. Metrorail Station; and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Public Works Department Operating Budget Special Revenue Fund (Ordinance No. 20150908-001) to accept grant funds in the amount of $1,114,326 from the Texas Department of Transportation; and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Public Works Department Capital Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-002) to transfer in and appropriate $1,114,326 from the Public Works Department Operating Budget Special Revenue fund for an urban trail. (District 1).

Monitor’s take: Hey, look! A new place to ride your bike, courtesy of TxDOT. According to the backup, this is just the beginning: “This project is also part of the overarching vision for the Eastlink Trail, which strives to connect popular destinations on the east side of Austin from Bartholomew Pool and park to Lady Bird Lake and Butler park trail.”

54. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop a pilot program allowing citizens to participate in the general citizen’s communication portion of regularly-scheduled open council meetings via videoconference.

Monitor’s take: This is a novel idea that already has some support on Council. For more info, we wrote about how it would work in today’s edition.

55. Approve a resolution relating to the Building and Standards Commission.

Monitor’s take: Panel 2, we hardly knew ye. Just over a year ago, the city’s Building and Standards Commission divided into two panels to address its caseload. But, since then, Panel 2 has not met and, in fact, only has three of its members appointed. However, Panel 2 Panel 1 is doing much better than that and has resolved the original case backlog. This resolution, therefore, proposes recombining the two panels into one and, in the process, limiting its size to 11 members.

56. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to review the City’s current graffiti abatement strategies, study nationwide best practices for graffiti abatement, and recommend changes to the City’s strategies.

Monitor’s take: This past spring, City Council approved a graffiti abatement contract in what was a surprisingly contentious process with a lot of delay. Now, a couple of months down the road, it looks like Council would like to change how the city handles the whole thing.

69. C14-2014-0198 – One Two East – District 1 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 1109, 1105, and 1107 North IH 35 Service Road Northbound (Waller Creek Watershed)

Monitor’s take: Hey-o, just a heads up that this once-contentious request has been withdrawn, if you were fixin’ to get riled up about it.

70. C14-2016-0023.SH – Elysium Park – District 7 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 3300 Oak Creek Drive (Walnut Creek Watershed) from industrial park-conditional overlay (IP-CO) combining district zoning and rural residence (RR) district zoning to multifamily residence-moderate-high density-conditional overlay (MF-4-CO) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s take: There was opposition to this project when they wanted backup for tax credits for affordable housing. And now, a rezoning request at the same location faces a valid petition – which means that Council will have to OK that rezoning with a supermajority, or nine votes.

79. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 to establish requirements for tenant notification and tenant relocation assistance for certain multi-family and mobile home projects.

Monitor’s take: This is a big deal, but it also will be postponed, as the Planning Commission is still considering the proposal.

80. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 15-2 relating to the drainage charge.

Monitor’s take: Last summer, the city was forced to revamp its drainage fee. These are small changes to that revamp. Specifically, Council will consider adding incentives for storm water control measures, revising the drainage charges for accessory dwelling units and clarifying exemptions.

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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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