Updated: Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 5:46 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 12:43 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin City Council had a busy day Thursday. Among the items passed, a Federal Legislative Agenda asked for certain grants for the Austin Police Department, including a mobile training facility and security cameras in high crime areas.
"We're not actually preventing crime with cameras; we're only displacing it," said Debbie Russell, with the Central Texas Chapter of ACLU.
Council Member Mike Martinez said the council should have discretion on any money that the Federal government gives to the city.
"Just because it's free money, doesn't mean its good policy," said Martinez.
The federal request also includes a $2 million request to complete the trail on the south side of Lady Bird Lake. The trail sees up to 15,000 people per day, and the gap in the trail is dangerous according to the request.
City officials were quick to point out the legislative agenda was not tied to the Federal stimulus package under the Obama administration.
The City of Austin took some flack in the national media recently for a list of "shovel-ready" stimulus projects like a $886,000 Frisbee golf course.
The request "...has nothing to do with the stimulus package," according to City of Austin Government Relations Director John Hrncir.
The council also declined to join the South Texas Nuclear Project. Council members and Austin Energy said the project would be too costly.
The vote on the 320-acre solar power array in Webberville will not take place until March 5. Martinez said the $250 million project might be too costly at a time when the city is slashing money from the budget.