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TipSheet: Travis County, 6.20.17

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 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 the issuance of a mass gathering permit for Sierra Nevada Beer Camp to be held on June 24, 2017, at 9507 Sherman Road, Austin, Texas 78742. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The public hearing for this permit application two weeks ago brought out a handful of neighbors who had concerns about, among other things, how traffic would be managed for this single-day outdoor beer festival at Carson Creek Ranch. At the time, none of the concerns appeared to rise to the level of a deal-killer, and a last-minute decision by the court to not allow the party to happen this Saturday would be, as far as we can remember, without precedent. Far be it from us, of course, to root for weird, newsy drama.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on budget amendments, transfers, and discussion items. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: It’s hard to believe, but the preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 is set to drop in just over one month. While an initial revenue estimate is more than $20 million higher than the estimate last year, budget writers are seeing dark Texas State Capitol-shaped clouds on the horizon. One of Gov. Greg Abbott’s marching orders for legislators in the upcoming special session includes stricter revenue caps, which could drastically alter local governments’ wiggle room when it comes to spending and taxing. How the court directs staff to proceed through the uncertainty will be something we keep our peepers on.

20. Receive progress report from the 2017 Citizens Bond Advisory Committee process. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: On the eve of the launch of the county’s public feedback fishing trip, the court will hear an update on the CBAC’s efforts to put together a list of potential transportation and other infrastructure projects that could go to a voter referendum this November. The first of six public meetings is scheduled for this Wednesday, giving county residents their first chance to weigh in on a discussion that has already caused significant sparks among the members of the court.

22. Consider and take appropriate action on the following interlocal agreements (ILAs) with Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro): a. ILA to continue providing funding to Capital Metro for operating Routes 233 (Far Northeast Feeder) and 237 (Northeast Feeder.) b. ILA to develop a Transit Development Plan for current and future transit services in unincorporated Travis County (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Capital Metro has been operating the Nos. 233 and 237 in northeast Travis County with the county’s help since July 2015. And, according to staff, the ridership compares favorably to the No. 214, which services Lago Vista. Now both the agency and the county are prepared to invest in expanded service in the area, with the help of federal funds.

23. Consider and take appropriate action regarding an update from Capital Metro staff about Project Connect Phase 1 project selection and public engagement preliminary results. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: Speaking of Capital Metro, it is now the court’s turn to hear the latest on the agency’s much ballyhooed Project Connect, the planning effort focused on high-capacity transit investments designed to move people into, out of and around Central Austin. The first phase of the effort is almost done, meaning the potential investment corridors are being finalized. At least two of them – Airport Boulevard, on which sits the county’s North Campus, and the Green Line rail route from downtown Austin to Elgin via Manor – are identified by county staff as being “of particular interest to Travis County’s long range plans.”

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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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