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TipSheet: Travis County, 1.7.20

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available at the Travis County website.

12. Consider and take appropriate action to name members to and the Chairman of the Travis County Exposition Center Redevelopment Engagement and Education Committee. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: The commissioners hope that this new committee will educate the community on the benefits of a new expo center and help galvanize support for the county’s battle against the city of Austin, whose leaders are refusing to relinquish control of a hotel tax that the county needs in order to move forward on the expo center project. Today’s conversation could simply be procedural, but it might also serve as a forum for commissioners to voice their frustrations with the city and consider ways to win the fight. It’s certainly not an issue that Mayor Steve Adler is going to surrender on anytime soon. While the city likely does not need this particular tax to move forward on a convention center expansion, it may need it to pursue the most ambitious expansion project favored by some on City Council.

25. Consider and take appropriate action on developing strategies for eliminating residential drinking water colonias in unincorporated areas in Travis County. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: This was prompted by a situation involving Las Lomitas, a colonia-style subdivision in Southeast Travis County. For years, the residents have been getting their water from a county-owned tap at highly discounted rates. When the county moved to dramatically increase the rates, residents pleaded for relief, which the court granted by delaying implementation of the rate hike and instructing county staff to come up with a discounted rate for those below a certain income threshold. However, the tap will only continue to be open to the public until the end of this year. In the long run, the commissioners agree that the Las Lomitas residents and others in similar developments in rural Travis County should get hooked up to water service.

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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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