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TipSheet: Travis County, 12.11.18

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

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 full agenda can be found on the Travis County website.

6. Receive update and report from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and the Planning and Budget Office related to: a. Classifications system and housing challenges in the jail system b. Adult System Master Plan Review c. Women’s Facility Advisory Board Draft Report (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez wrote a letter to the Commissioners Court on Nov. 30, urging the court to take action in building a proper women’s facility at the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle. Hernandez said the complex suffers from structural problems that will cost more to repair than to abandon as well as design problems that impede the use of best practices and require creative use of space to house the female inmates. In March, Hernandez appointed a six-member advisory committee that has outlined a vision for the new facility in a draft report, which will be presented to the court Tuesday morning.

13. Consider and take appropriate action on: a) Revised cash flow and issuance schedule for voter-approved road bonds and permanent improvement bonds, and critical safety projects. b) Recommendations on the use of existing certificates of obligation and other balances to reduce FY19 debt issuance, along with related budget adjustments. c) FY19 project lists for winter and spring issuances. d) Update to FY19 debt model. e) Adoption of an order authorizing publication of notice of intent to issue certificates of obligation (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Last Tuesday, the Commissioners Court heard from Transportation and Natural Resources about the 2017-2022 Bond Program’s progress. The bond features about four times more projects than usual and has been further complicated by new construction requirements accompanying the adoption of new rainfall standards based on the Atlas 14 regional rainfall totals study. Among other things, the court will be discussing financial details of the roughly $300 million bond and the effect of Atlas 14 on the revised cash issuance schedule.

17. Consider and take appropriate action on an interlocal agreement with the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) to provide regional air quality planning activities to address ozone pollution in Central Texas. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: When Gov. Greg Abbott eliminated the Low Income Vehicle Repair, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program (LIRAP) in the last legislative session, CAPCOG was forced to turn to Clean Air Coalition participants, including Travis County, to make up for the loss of funding for the air quality program. To ensure the continuation of the program, which seeks to study air quality, educate the public and reduce emissions, Travis County has dedicated $104,326 to CAPCOG from the fiscal year 2019 budget.

18. Set a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, to receive comments regarding changes to Travis County Code Chapters 464 & 482 to reflect the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlas 14 rainfall intensity data. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: The court heard from the Public Works Department on Oct. 9 regarding NOAA’s Atlas 14 study, which found that rainfall totals have increased significantly in recent decades. Rainfall intensity data had not been updated since 1994 and was not reflective of the intense rainfalls the region has experienced since the last study was conducted. Rainfall standards have an impact on infrastructure requirements and are also used for FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The adoption of the Atlas 14 rainfall totals added $22 million to the 2017-2022 Bond Program.

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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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