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TipSheet: Travis County, 3.6.18

Tuesday, March 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.

7. Consider and take appropriate action on Travis County funding for the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) Pay for Success Project. (Commissioners Shea & Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: ECHO is gearing up to launch a program aimed at providing 250 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals who are “repeat users of the criminal justice and healthcare systems.” This item is the Commissioners Court’s opportunity to commit its support for the so-called Pay for Success Project by offering up $600,000 for its first year. That money would be held in an account as a “good-faith” payment while ECHO seeks private funding for the program’s operation to the tune of $15 million to $17 million. The homeless advocacy organization envisions the county committing to five annual payments of $600,000, which according to our calculators comes out to be a total of $3 million in Travis County taxpayer support.

11. Consider and take appropriate action on the following: a. Updated cash flow and issuance schedule for 2017 voter-approved Road Bonds and Permanent Improvement Bonds, along with critical safety projects b. FY18 project list for spring issuance c. Adoption of an order authorizing publication of notice of intent to issue certificates of obligation d. Update to FY18 debt model. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: This seemingly procedural step in the wake of last year’s bond bonanza is positioned to be our best guess for high drama at Tuesday’s meeting. Tucked away in the large list of bond projects that staff is seeking debt issuance for this month is the first $6.2 million installment of a larger effort to build a new facility for female inmates at the county’s Del Valle jail complex. Activists opposed to the plan – which would increase the current inmate capacity – have scheduled a public event outside of the Commissioners Court headquarters at 700 Lavaca Street at 10 a.m. today. Presumably, this will happen after the court considers this item.

22. Approve Modification No. 1 to Contract No. 4400003392, Lord, Aeck, Sargent, Inc., for Architectural/Engineering Services for the Renovation and Restoration of New Travis County Probate Court. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: This item represents the first modification to the agreement between the county and the outfit charged with transforming the old U.S. courthouse into the new Travis County Probate Court. This change would increase the original cost by just nearly $143,000 to a total of $2.06 million. It’s worth keeping in mind that the county obtained the historic building from the federal government without spending a dime on it.

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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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