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TipSheet: Travis County, 3.2.21

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by Seth Smalley

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 entire agenda is available at the Travis County website. The meeting will be streamed live on the Travis County website and the Travis County YouTube channel.

Item 1: Receive comments regarding a request to authorize the filing of an instrument to vacate a drainage easement located along the rear lot line of Lot 14, Block H, Wells Branch, Phase E, Section 3, a subdivision in Precinct Two. 

Monitor’s Take: The Commissioners Court will begin with a public hearing regarding tool authorization to vacate a drainage easement in Wells Branch. Expect this item to be brief.

Special Joint Session Covid Updates

Monitor’s Take: Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott and Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard will join the Commissioners Court for a special joint session with City Council. As usual, expect the Covid brief to occupy a significant portion of the morning. Covid case numbers have been declining for about a month straight as vaccination infrastructure in the county is ramping up. Following the Covid updates, the joint session will adjourn and a regular voting session will commence.

Item 4: Winter weather fallout update

Monitor’s Take: Last week, county commissioners listened to statements from local officials regarding the impact of winter storm Uri and the county’s response to the disaster. County Executive Chuck Brotherton, Travis County Judge Andy Brown and County Information Officer Hector Nieto detailed the implementation of county programs in response to the severe winter weather. The efforts included mass water distribution, cold-weather shelters and a boil-water notice. This week, they continue the discussion. Though the brunt of the crisis is over, many residents are still dealing with the lasting structural damage.

Item 13: COVID-19 drive-thru mass vaccination contracts

Monitor’s Take: Commissioners will discuss contracts related to the Travis County mass drive-thru vaccine operations at the Circuit of the Americas. Contracts will include agreements for site rental, tent rental and other services needed to operate the vaccination events. Staffing agreements, consulting services, and food and beverage purchase agreements will also be up for discussion.

Items 19 & A1: Debris Management

Monitor’s Take: The county will take action regarding disaster debris disposal related to winter storm Uri. The county will also consider waiving repair permit fees for developments damaged by the storm.

Editor’s Note: Andy Brown is on the board of the Capital of Texas Media Foundation, the parent nonprofit of the Austin Monitor.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.

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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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