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TipSheet: Travis County, 6.07.16

Tuesday, June 7, 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.

4. Consider and take appropriate action regarding response to flooding in and around Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: While we all enjoy a brief respite from the Biblical Deluge of 2016, temper your joy with the somber knowledge that the recent intense rains have caused serious problems around the region, including several deaths. There’s little in the agenda backup to indicate exactly what the Court will be considering with this item, but it comes just after the commissioners voted recently to launch an investigation into the conditions that led to the deadly floods last Halloween.

6. Consider and take appropriate action on expanding County representation on the City of Austin’s Animal Advisory Commission. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: What we have here is the county asking to increase the size of its litter on the Animal Advisory Commission it supports through an interlocal agreement with the City of Austin. According to the draft resolution asking City Council to add to the one county-appointed seat another four, the county has budgeted nearly $1.5 million for animal services delivered through the interlocal. It remains to be determined whether a denial of the county’s request would be a catastrophe, but conventional wisdom holds that it could be pretty ruff.

10. Consider and take appropriate action on the Civil & Family Courts Capacity Project, including the potential County acquisition of the historic Austin U.S. Courthouse located at 200 West 8th Street, Austin Texas 78701. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: As we reported last month, the Commissioners Court is making moves to try to acquire the U.S. Courthouse space that the federal General Services Administration is looking to unload. To help give it a competitive edge (and to save time and money), the Court voted to begin talks with the architectural firm Gensler Austin, which conveniently has a trove of information about the courthouse that the county will need in its application process. The backup material is mum about what exactly the Court will be discussing on Tuesday — and the agenda suggests those discussions could be taken into executive session — but a cautious bet would be that it will involve Gensler Austin’s response to the county’s overtures.

Programming Note: The Travis County Commissioners will also have a special voting session on Friday, June 10. It appears this meeting will be in lieu of the regular voting session that was set for Tuesday, June 14, but which has since been cancelled. The agenda for the special session appears to be calibrated for a quick approval of all items on a single consent vote. Rather than waste digital ink on the various considerations swirling around matters such as granting permission for a semi-pro rugby tournament at a county park, we invite you to review the full agenda 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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