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South Austin group opposes Adler’s bond

Thursday, July 21, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Grassroots opposition to Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million mobility bond proposal is building in South Austin. Last week, the South Central Coalition of Neighborhoods sent a letter to the mayor, City Council members and members of the Bond Oversight Commission to report a unanimous vote against the plan. The coalition represents the Barton Hills, Bouldin Creek, Galindo, Dawson, South Lamar, South River City and Zilker neighborhood associations. The letter acknowledged the “acute need for transportation, roadway, and infrastructure improvements,” but it suggested that the sheer size of the mayor’s package could rob the city of bonding capacity for other projects, including flood mitigation, until 2024. The coalition also urged Council and the Bond Oversight Commission to adopt before Oct. 31 the top three recommendations of the Flood Mitigation Task Force. Pointing out that no city bond package has funded flood mitigation projects since 2006, the coalition asked for Council, the commission and the task force to have a public discussion this August to ensure “critical funding is included in the upcoming bond package.” The coalition’s position echoes that of Council Member Ann Kitchen, who voted last month against moving the bond package forward. Kitchen, whose District 5 includes many of the neighborhoods represented by the coalition, argued that the proposal did not include enough projects in South Austin and could also limit the scale of a comprehensive bond package in 2018.

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