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City updates Covid-19 construction site enforcement

Friday, May 8, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

The city is working on improving communication around coronavirus-related complaints at construction sites, according to a May 7 memo from 311 and the Austin Code Department. Statewide orders, which have now been relaxed, deemed construction an essential activity, exempt from stay-at-home rules. Austin Public Health has since determined construction sites to be “hotspots,” and the memo was written in response to questions raised at this week’s City Council work session. It contains detailed improvements to proactive enforcement and reporting, with an anticipated release of complaint data on May 11. The city is also working to track repeat offenders through the complaint database. The memo notes, “Early in the process, the team identified a total of 11 addresses with two or more visits where violations were observed. Voluntary compliance was achieved at these locations and, as of May 6, 2020, the team has issued a total of two citations related to repeat violator construction sites.” Finally, the memo explains that the city has improved its 311 process to make uploading photographs easier and by adding a special icon in the 311 app to make reporting complaints easier.

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