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Floods prevent flood buyout discussion

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

In the aftermath of the Memorial Day weekend floods, City Council has postponed a briefing and discussion about staff’s proposed voluntary flood buyout and relocation policy that was scheduled for Tuesday morning. Mayor Steve Adler noted in Tuesday’s Council work session that Real Estate Services Officer Lauraine Rizer, who would have participated in the briefing, was “flooded in” in a nearby area outside of Austin and would not be able to make it. “We wish her the best. She’s OK, just can’t get here,” he said. “And the rest of the watershed management folks, I might imagine, are dealing with watershed management issues this morning,” he added, referring to the Watershed Protection Department staff, who have been involved in crafting the proposal. Rizer has also been heavily involved in the $60 million Onion Creek flood buyout program and is helping Council prepare for the similar $18 million Williamson Creek buyout, which Council will consider on June 4. The proposed policy is not meant to relate to the two major buyouts, but would guide future decisions on the issue.

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