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TipSheet: Travis County, 12.19.17

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 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.

5. Receive reports regarding the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with the City of Austin related to Emergency Medical Services (EMS): a. Receive progress report on the development of the FY19 EMS ILA with the City of Austin b. Receive report on the performance of the FY18 EMS ILA with the City of Austin for the months of October and November 2017 (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A remarkable thing about government staff and how they’re awfully distinct from, say, freelance reporters, is that they have a tremendous knack for planning ahead. In this case, the interlocal agreement by which the city provides EMS functions for the county will expire next October, and the bureaucrats are on it! One potential ripple though is the failure of the city to meet specified response time standards in both October and November. If you’re a fan of drama in your interlocal agreement negotiations, this could be an early Christmas gift.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on request from Counseling & Education Services (CES) to authorize a new four-hour marijuana class and related fees. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The county is looking to get into the business of – you guessed it! – higher education with this diversion program. Currently, the county runs an eight-hour marijuana course, but this item would give folks deemed to be low-level risks a four-hour alternative. Though with registration and bathroom breaks, we’re guessing it could go 20 minutes long.

11. Consider and take appropriate action on the following items: a. Approve an order amending Travis County Code Chapter 78, Towing, replacing the language in § 78.001 and § 78.002 b. Approve an order setting fees to be charged by towing companies called by TCSO for non-consent towing (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Get ready to pay a lot more next time you get towed (we’d also advise not creating circumstances such that you do get towed, but we suppose it happens). For the first time since 2012, the court is set to increase rates. The long and short of it: For cars less than two tons, the base tow fee will jump from $175 to $275. The crucial winching fee could also rise from $50 to $75. And for the first time ever, car owners (or renters!) would have to pay a $20 fee for each day their vehicles are locked up.

28. Consider and take appropriate action on a list of projects to be submitted under the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s call for projects to allocate future federal transportation funds for 2019-2022. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: CAMPO is about to make it rain on its various member jurisdictions, which are putting together their lists of potential mobility projects for future funding. Travis County is no exception, but luckily the work for staff was made easier by the citizens committee that helped identify projects for the recent bond propositions. A bunch of items that didn’t make that final list will instead be contenders for the $400 million shower CAMPO has in store, though with so many other counties and cities to compete with, the forecast is not likely to satisfy everyone.

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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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