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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.6.18

Tuesday, February 6, 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.

4. Receive update on Pretrial Services operations. (Commissioners Daugherty & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Turns out those ankle bracelets that some folks who may have run afoul of the law have to wear are saving taxpayers a good chunk of change. According to the backup material on this item, the daily cost of a GPS monitoring device is $13.34 whereas the cost of keeping someone locked up in jail runs as high as $113.55 per day. Meanwhile, only 13 percent of folks who bond out of jail are rearrested for a class B misdemeanor or higher before their original case is disposed. The more you know!

5. Consider and take appropriate action on the County’s policies regarding Resolutions of No Objection and Resolutions of Support for Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects, including the adoption of Travis County Code Chapter 77, Affordable and Fair Housing Policy and Procedures. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Some inside-baseball housecleaning here on the procedures by which the Commissioners Court weighs in on certain affordable housing development proposals. Among changes under consideration is a requirement that any potential project be reviewed for proper emergency vehicle access.

21. Consider protest from Airbus Helicopters, Inc. related to the contract award for the purchase of helicopters, and take appropriate action by either: a. Affirming the contract award to AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation; or b. Setting aside the contract award to AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: Some folks refuse to take “no” for an answer, and Airbus Helicopters appears to be one them. Company officials will formally protest the county’s decision last fall to choose another vendor for a new set of STAR Flight choppers. Among other things, Airbus is complaining that the county is facing a financial risk of $55 million for going with AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation instead of it. After hearing the appeal, the Commissioners Court will have to decide whether to uphold its agreement with AugustaWestland or shoot it down.

27. Consider and take appropriate action on Request for Services for Legislative Advocacy Services. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Attention, lobbyists! Start polishing those resumes and cover letters because the county is about to throw the door open in search of a new partner at the state Capitol. Its current contract with Knaupe G R was inked in 2008 and is worth $78,000 annually. Which isn’t a bad sum for working on behalf of a county that no one in power under the pink dome seems to give neither a hoot nor a holler for.

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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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