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TipSheet: Travis County, 7.6.17

Thursday, July 6, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

This week, the Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Thursday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s office hosts a copy on its website.

2. Receive update on DNA issues related to the closure of the Austin Police Department Forensics Sciences Center’s DNA testing lab, and take appropriate action. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Maybe you’ve heard about the mold found on hundreds of sexual assault kits stored inside an Austin Police Department fridge? Now the Commissioners Court is gonna hear about it, and there’s a decent chance they’ll be none too happy about it.

12. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the installation of an electric vehicle charging station at the 800 Lavaca Street parking garage, street level along Guadalupe Street. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: The massive parking garage across the street from Travis County HQ could soon get a single electric vehicle charging station. Previous discussions of these stations have drawn what we will politely characterize as skepticism from Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. But, according to the backup, the county won’t pay a dime for this piece of infrastructure, so maybe Daugherty will withhold his discontent. On the other hand, maybe he won’t, since the county will be on the hook for the power that users get from the station.

13. Approve setting a public hearing on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, to receive comments regarding the prioritized candidate list of projects as selected by the 2017 Citizens Bond Advisory Committee. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Another important milestone in the ongoing quest to set a bond referendum this November. The court has until mid-August to determine exactly what projects it will ask voters to approve for debt financing. Fun!

18. Authorize Purchasing Agent to commence negotiations with the highest-ranked firm for Request for Qualifications (RFQ) No. Q1703-009-PS, Architectural/Engineering Services for the Restoration and Renovation of the Historic Austin Federal Courthouse. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The recommendation here is to go with the firm Lord Aeck Sargent to renovate the U.S. Courthouse the county recently obtained from the federal government. No word on the price of the contract, but it’s worth noting that LAS beat out Gensler, the firm the county used as a consultant when it was campaigning to receive ownership of the building from the General Services Administration.

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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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