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TipSheet: Travis County, 12.5.17

Tuesday, December 5, 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.

2. Receive comments regarding a proposed Sidewalk Payment in Lieu code amendment to Travis County Code Chapter 82, Travis County Development Regulations, and Title 30, Austin/Travis County Subdivision Regulations. (Action Item 19) (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

19. Consider and take appropriate action regarding a proposed Sidewalk Payment in Lieu code amendment to Travis County Code Chapter 82, Travis County Development Regulations, and Title 30, Austin/Travis County Subdivision Regulations. (Public Hearing 2) (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Sidewalks are en vogue, no doubt, and this effort is counterintuitively aimed at putting down more pedestrian pavement. Under the current universe of rules, developers can seek waivers from sidewalk requirements, and the thinking goes that, in some cases, it totally makes sense in far-flung subdivisions on topographically challenged land. However, if those waivers are granted, there are no trade-offs. This code amendment would require those lucky developers to pay into a fund that would bankroll sidewalks in areas of the county that probably do need them.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on proposals regarding the provision of wildlife management services in the unincorporated areas of Travis County. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The coyotes are back. The epic fight over lethal versus non-lethal wildlife abatement procedures may find some resolution as the court weighs three options brought forth by staff: 1) Continue its contract with Texas Wildlife Services, 2) Contract with the City of Austin Animal Services Office, or 3) Do both! Staff recommends the third way, even though it would cost twice as much ($87,000).

34. Consider and take appropriate action on the following items: a. Approve order exempting the purchase of a Sciex 3500 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS) from AB Sciex, LLC from the competitive procurement process pursuant to County Purchasing Act § 262.024(a)(7)(a) b. Declare a Mass Spectrometer System as surplus property and authorize its use for trade-in for the acquisition of new Sciex 3500 Mass Spectrometer, pursuant to Texas Local Government Code § 263.152(a)(2) (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The cool thing about democracy and such is that we all can claim partial ownership of cool stuff like mass spectrometers. The Sciex 3500 model would replace a defective unit the county purchased in 2009. With a $20,000 trade-in credit, the new machine will come in a hair below $138,000. And this thing comes fully loaded too. According to the backup material, it’s got a heated IonSpray probe for use in the Turbo V Source and even accepts flow rates from 5 to 3,000 ul/min without splitting!

38. Consider and take appropriate action regarding an appointment to the Travis County Healthcare District (DBA Central Health) Board of Managers. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The Commissioners Court continues its quest to replace outgoing Central Health Board Member Clarke Heidrick. No decision will be made today, but a subcommittee of county staffers that reviewed the applications will submit its list of preferred candidates to the court. The final selection is set for Dec. 19.

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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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