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TipSheet: Travis County, 8.02.16

Tuesday, August 2, 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. Also, a programming note this week: Due to the funeral services for Travis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, the Commissioners Court meeting will get off to a delayed start at 1 p.m.

10. Consider and take appropriate action on procedures for Public Improvement District (PID) review, creation, financing and management. (Commissioner Gómez)

11. Consider and take appropriate action on the formation of a team to work on the proposed WildHorse Ranch PID. (Commissioner Davis)

Monitor’s Take: It seems that City Council Member Ora Houston’s dramatic in-person plea two weeks ago to slow down on the county’s creation of the WildHorse Ranch Public Improvement District got the Commissioners Court’s attention. The discussion of these two items is primed for a healthy clash between PID-skeptic Commissioner Brigid Shea and WildHorse Ranch’s personal champion Commissioner Ron Davis.

14. Consider and take appropriate action regarding construction funding for the new South Community Center. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: When the Court gave the green light over a year ago to start construction on the new South Community Center in Precinct 4, they left it to future budget discussions to hash out the project’s $2.8 million price tag. Back then, construction was set to begin this year and be finished by Jan. 2017. The new community center will double the size of its aging predecessor and come equipped with a shiny new medical clinic.

18. Consider and take appropriate action on a request to approve an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for a traffic signal at RM 620 and Steiner Ranch Boulevard and use of 2001 Bond Precinct Two Surplus Investment Income. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Frankly, we’re sorta surprised that there isn’t already a stoplight at this intersection of a high-speed highway and a highly populated road.

24. Approve contract award for professional consulting services for completion of an application for obtaining real property for historic monument purposes to acquire the Historic U.S. Federal Courthouse located at 200 West 8th Street in Austin, Texas, to Gensler Austin. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: County officials have repeatedly stressed that the chance to acquire a piece of surplus property from the federal government at no cost wouldn’t technically be achieved at no cost. Aside from the potential renovations and maintenance cost the county would have to cover if it scores control of the historic U.S. Courthouse on W. 8th Street, the county also has to fork over some cash just to put itself in the running. The contract with the architectural firm Gensler Austin is worth $98,600, which at $1.59 per square foot is a pretty decent deal in downtown Austin.

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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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