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Environmental Commission likely to continue review of water extension requests

Thursday, June 17, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Members of the City Council Audit & Finance Committee agreed Wednesday that the city’s Environmental Commission should continue to review Austin Water’s proposals to extend service within the Drinking Water Protection Zone. They will forward their recommendation to the full Council. The department had planned to streamline its extension procedures by eliminating presentations not only to the Environmental Commission, but to the Zoning and Platting Commission, Planning Commission and Resource Management Commission. Assistant Director Joseph Gonzales told the committee he had met with Bobby Levinski, an attorney with the Save Our Springs Alliance, when environmentalists expressed concerns about eliminating input from the Environmental Commission. Gonzales explained that Austin Water was now recommending continuing to brief not only the Environmental Commission but also the Resource Management Commission. Members of the Council committee will recommend to the full Council that they adopt a policy that eliminates trips to the two zoning commissions but maintains reporting to the other two groups. The Environmental Commission recently voted to oppose granting a wastewater service extension request in the environmentally sensitive Bull Creek Watershed. As a result, Council postponed voting on the matter until July 29. Levinski was among those urging Council not to grant the request.

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