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TipSheet: Travis County, 10.20.15

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 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.

6. Consider and take appropriate action on direction to negotiate an interlocal agreement with the City of Austin for the creation of a sobriety center that incorporates the terms recommended by the Austin-Travis County Intergovernmental Working Group. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: After months of studying the ins and outs of building and operating a drunk tank in Austin, an inter-governmental working group is asking for the commissioners to sign off on its recommendations. Readers who have followed this story won’t be surprised to learn that the group wants place the so-called sobriety center in the Medical Examiners Facility on Sabine Street. They also want the county and city to establish a local government corporation to run the center. So far, the means of funding is still undetermined.

7. Consider and take appropriate action on the FY16 interlocal agreement with the City of Austin for central booking and related services. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: This year-long deal is worth close to $6.6 million for the county and highlights what has been a point of contention between the city and Sheriff Greg Hamilton over his adherence to federal immigration policies that have led to deportations of residents picked up on unrelated matters. Conspicuously placed in the agreement is language crafted by City Council that reads, “Whereas, the City and County value our immigrant communities and wish to operate the Central Booking Facility in a manner that reflects our values.”

19. Consider and take appropriate action on the use of current fair market value appraisals and an increase to relocation assistance for residential buyouts in connection with the 2013 Halloween Flood in Precinct Four. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Two years after the devastating Halloween Floods of 2013, Austin’s red hot real estate market is complicating the county’s buyout efforts. According to the backup material, the appraisals the county is using to make its offers are already out of date and need to be updated to reflect higher values. The money used for the buyouts comes from the friendly folks at FEMA.

29. Consider and take appropriate action regarding charge to the Travis County Historical Commission on future use of Palm School. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: As anticipated, the Historical Commission is asking for permission to hire an architectural historian to take an inventory of the Palm School building at Cesar Chavez and Interstate 35. The study has to be done before the county can determine exactly what its options are for redeveloping the site.

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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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