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Council considers creating flood task force

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

As Austin continues to recover from the Memorial Day weekend floods, City Council is considering creating a Flood Mitigation Task Force to meet monthly and develop recommendations for future flood preparation and response. Council Member Ann Kitchen, who sponsored the item, brought it up at a Tuesday work session, ahead of a vote at Thursday’s meeting. “The role would be to provide support for staff and also for us to have that community-wide discussion,” she said. The task force would likely consist of 11 or 22 members, Kitchen said, depending on whether Council opts to set membership at one or two appointees per Council member. Council members Ora Houston and Leslie Pool suggested that the task force should look at flooding as a citywide issue, rather than having it focus on specific areas, creeks or watersheds. Council Member Pio Renteria expressed concerns about the structure and cost of the drainage charge on residents and the amount the city allocates to fund capital improvement projects, which is something that the task force could also potentially examine when it begins meeting in September. That would take place after Council adopts a new drainage charge structure, which it is scheduled to do on or by June 18.

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