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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.27.18

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 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.

1. Receive comments regarding a resolution of no objection for Travis Flats to be located at 5335 Airport Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78751. (Commissioner Travillion)

13. Consider and take appropriate action on a resolution of no objection for Travis Flats to be located at 5335 Airport Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78751. (Public Hearing 1) (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The county’s first proprietary affordable housing project made headlines last year when it failed to qualify for crucial low-income housing tax credits thanks in part to state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ intervention on behalf of separate project. Not to be deterred (entirely), the county and its partner, DMA Development, are try-try-trying again. The process requires a public hearing in front of the Commissioners Court as well as a resolution of no objection. We will eat a newsroom’s worth of hats if either of these pro forma steps generates any amount of controversy on the dais.

9. Receive update on planning process for the new women’s facility at the Travis County Correctional Complex. (Commissioners Daugherty & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The county is closing in on a key milestone in its planned overhaul of the aging facilities at the Del Valle jail complex. The court will soon consider releasing $6.6 million in certificates of obligation for design and pre-construction costs of a new unit for female inmates. The total cost of the new facility is estimated to be $97 million, which is several million dollars more than recently anticipated. The hike, according to the backup, is due to notification from the Sheriff’s Office that the original plans for 336 beds would need to be revised to account for the jail’s growing population. The new estimate is based on a capacity of 411 beds, potentially setting up a discussion on the dais about the expectations for jail inflows and outflows and the efficacy of various county-sponsored diversion programs.

17. Receive presentation on Lagos Public Improvement Districts in eastern Travis County. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The latest PID in the pipeline would deliver 1,700 single-family residences, 866 apartments, 350,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail space, all on 675 acres just south of Manor. The developer will deliver a presentation featuring other highlights of the project, including the planned public improvements he is proposing to build in order to obtain PID status. It’s worth noting that nothing is guaranteed as staff is still considering the merits of the development and has not yet determined a recommendation for the court’s consideration.

23. Consider and take appropriate action on the Program Verification Report dated February 27, 2018, and the Schematic Design dated February 27, 2018, for the Renovation and Restoration of the New Travis County Probate Court Building Project (formerly the U.S. Historic Federal Courthouse Project). (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: If, like us, you’re dying to know how county planners are hoping to transition the historic U.S. courthouse into its new life as the Travis County Probate Court Building, pay attention to this briefing. It will reveal the floor-by-floor schematic designs that will lay out how four probate courts will ultimately fit into the eight-decade-old building. The presentation will feature both vintage photographs as well as detailed diagrams. Squee!

27. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s participation in the design and construction of some Safety Priority transportation projects. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The CTRMA has proven itself to be one of the most prodigious road-building outfits in town, so why not hire the agency to lay down some county-owned asphalt? That’s the meat of this proposal, which would recruit the toll-road operator to expand Elroy Road and Ross Road in southeastern Travis County. Together, the projects would cost $33.3 million. Staff is recommending that money come from the $94.9 million in certificates of obligation the court approved last year to cover urgent safety-related projects.

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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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