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TipSheet: Travis County, 1.23.18

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its website.

7. Consider and take appropriate action on request from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) to accept a donation from the Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association of 12 pairs of video recording safety glasses (with a total value of $2,114.29) for use by TCSO SWAT. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Old and busted are chest-mounted body cameras. The new hotness are recording devices embedded in a pair of safety glasses that, according to a memo written by Sheriff Sally Hernandez, “provide the best user perspective because they follow the head movements of the user.” The TCSLEA purchased a dozen sets of the video glasses last year, and it’s up to the Commissioners Court to sign off on the donation.

8. Consider and take appropriate action regarding endorsement of the Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Led primarily by Workforce Solutions, a whole menagerie of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors helped put together this master plan last year whose broad goal is to increase middle-skill job opportunities for low-income residents across the region. The city’s Economic Prosperity Commission and Planning Commission have already endorsed it and City Council is scheduled to take a crack at it this year.

10. Receive an update regarding County-owned property in Throckmorton County. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: An independent monitor recently visited the 18,820 acres Travis County owns up in Throckmorton County and will report her findings to the court on Tuesday. Thanks to the magic of backup materials, we can tell you (SPOILER ALERT) that everything up there seems to be in fine shape. The county obtained the land through state grants back in the 19th century. Dubbed the Travis County School Lands, the spread is used for cattle grazing and energy production (basically all there is to do in that part of the country). All revenues the county receives from those operations are funneled to the various school districts within its own borders.

13. Receive briefing on impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The recent revisions to the federal tax code didn’t just affect how much individuals or corporations will render (or not render) unto Caesar. Indeed, the changes also have large implications for local governments and their beloved bond markets. The county’s experts have surveyed the scene and will report their findings to the court. Based on the presentation attached in the backup, this one is gonna get wonky.

21. Consider and take appropriate action regarding license agreement with Stalwart Films for use of a portion of Reimers Ranch Park (parcel that was purchased from Eugene Reimers with 2011 Bond funds) as a filming location in Precinct Three. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Turns out there’s a show on AMC called “The Son” and it’s filmed right here in Travis County. The first season wrapped up production in 2016 and now Pierce Brosnan, Electra Avellan, Javier Bardem, and the rest of the cast and crew are hoping to come back to shoot season two. The deal is worth $5,000 per month to the county, and lest anyone fear that public parkland is being sold out to profiteers, the parcel of Reimers Ranch Park the production company is asking for is closed to the public anyway.

A1. Approve contract award for the construction of the Austin Travis County Sobriety Center, IFB No. B1711-010-JE, to the lowest bidder, Tegrity Contractors, Inc. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: This late addition to the agenda would clear the way for Tegrity Contractors to build the long-planned Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center in the old Medical Examiner’s Office at 1213 Sabine St. Tegrity’s bid to overhaul that building into a space where police can drop off intoxicated people rather than take them to jail was $707,770. The proposed contract period is listed at 150 days, so the center could be up and running by this summer.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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