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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.12.19

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 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.

1. Receive comments regarding a resolution of no objection for Austin Parmer II Apartments to be located at East Parmer Lane and Bellingham Drive, Travis County, Texas 78653. (Action Item 8) (Commissioner Travillion)

8. Consider and take appropriate action on a resolution of no objection for Austin Parmer II Apartments to be located at East Parmer Lane and Bellingham Drive, Travis County, Texas 78653. (Public Hearing 1) (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: This is one part of an application to the Community Development Block Grant to receive a 4 percent tax credit allocation for affordable housing. If the court approves a Resolution of No Objection following a public hearing, the applicant will then apply for the tax credit to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. This development is planned for the intersection of Bellingham Drive and East Parmer Lane in Precinct 1. All of the development’s 280 units will be restricted to residents making 60-80 percent of the area median income.

2. Receive comments regarding a petition to create the Velocity Crossing Public Improvement District in Precinct Four. (Action Item 17) (Commissioner Gómez)

17. Consider and take appropriate action on the creation of the Velocity Crossing Public Improvement District. (Public Hearing 2) (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The court will continue the public hearing on the Del Valle PID before taking a vote on the petition. Last week’s public hearing more or less satisfied concerns about ensuring that money from the PID will be used for affordable housing, either within the PID or in an equally high-opportunity area. With that assurance, the PID is likely to finally be approved.

12. Consider and take appropriate action regarding Indigent Legal Services (ILS) Work Group membership. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The ILS group is meant to guide the county in considering and implementing a potential public defender’s office. Forming the group was a long process consisting of many discussions about who should be represented among the group’s 14 permanent members. Two of those permanent voting members and two alternate members, all representatives of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, are now stepping down after joining the group in late November 2018. The court will now discuss replacing the four criminal defense lawyers.

15. Consider and take appropriate action on budget amendments, transfers and discussion items. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: One of the transfers here involves the county’s renovation of its voter registration system. That system apparently requires better voting locations, which the county is now preparing to explore. Staffers are asking for $5,000 from the Elections Contract Fund to hire a temporary employee to survey 25-50 new voting sites.

21. Receive presentation from Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff on the pilot program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Capital Metro is getting serious about its Green Line commuter rail corridor and needs to establish a relationship with Travis County to prepare for land use decisions regarding TODs along the line. Each of the proposed stops fall within Austin or Manor city limits, but the Wildhorse stop in Precinct 1 is at a Travis County PID. Capital Metro is therefore asking the county to participate in and adopt station plans at Wildhorse, allowing Capital Metro to move forward with an application to the Federal Transit Administration for a TOD Planning Grant.

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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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