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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.3.16

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 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 the issuance of a Mass Gathering Permit for Untapped Beer and Music Festival to be held on May 14, 2016, at 9507 Sherman Road, Austin, Texas 78742. (Commissioner Gómez)

7. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the issuance of a Mass Gathering Permit for Untapped Beer and Music Festival to be held on May 14, 2016, at 9507 Sherman Road, Austin, Texas 78742. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Festival season is in full swing here in Travis County. After the controversial cancellation of Levitation this past weekend (newly installed Fire Marshal Anthony Callaway made the decision in anticipation of severe weather that didn’t exactly live up to its billing), Carson Creek Ranch is set to play host to the Untapped Beer and Music Festival. Since noise and hours of operation don’t seem to be sticky issues with this event, expect little controversy about it on the dais. Worth noting, however, is that this massive booze festival at a venue virtually inaccessible to anything but cars could be one of the first tests of a TNC-less Austin should voters reject Prop 1 on May 7 and Uber and Lyft carry through with their pledges to skip town. Be careful, everyone!

12. Consider and take appropriate action on the Bicycle Safety Task Force’s Summary and Recommendations Report. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Fans of two-wheeled, self-propulsive transport: Start your, er, engines. After more than a year of cooking up ways to improve bicycle infrastructure in Travis County, the Bicycle Safety Task Force is coming back with an ambitious set of twelve proposals for the Court to consider. Staff is only recommending approval of three, which would use 2011 bond money to fund specific projects and also identify future projects and also create a permanent Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. As for the rest — which include the creation of a bike & pedestrian planner position, changing subdivision design rules to include bicycle standards, and the development of a Vision Zero policy to work towards eliminating transportation-related deaths — staff would rather study the financial impacts and report back to the Court at a later date.

16. Receive update and take appropriate action on the next steps in adopting and implementing the recommendations of the Minority and Women-owned and Historically Underutilized Business Disparity Study. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Looking to beef up its hiring policies towards minority- and women-owned contracting firms, the Court will consider a full slate of 19 staff recommendations. Those range from making it easier for those businesses to get access to capital to adopting a formal policy for the firms.

18. Authorize Purchasing Agent to finalize and issue a request for proposal for each of the following in Throckmorton County: a. Solar Energy Project b. Wind Energy Project (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The sun is rising on the mighty Empire of Travis County. Did you know that the Texas Constitution gifted more than 19,000 acres of land in Throckmorton County to Travis? Any revenue generated off of that land must be funneled into local schools. For decades, it’s been used for grazing and hunting leases, but the Court is now eyeing the opportunity to work with the private sector to set up solar and wind energy projects on our colonial lands. Could annexation be next? (Answer: No.)

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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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