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Austin Water gets an oversight committee

Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City Council voted Wednesday to create an oversight committee to review issues related to the Austin Water Utility. According to the ordinance, such issues range from the utility’s mission and strategic plans to its major purchases and financial status. Council Member Jimmy Flannigan likely had the state’s tax cap bill in mind when he spoke against the ordinance on the grounds that the estimated nearly $100,000 annual cost should be spent elsewhere. However, Mayor Steve Adler said this is a similar situation to Austin Energy, which has an oversight committee that meets nearly every month. With the water utility being a billion-dollar company, Adler said it’s worth it to have that separate oversight. Though he noted, “I don’t know how often it needs to meet.” The ordinance passed 9-1 with Flannigan opposed and Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison off the dais.

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