AUSTIN (KXAN) – Here are some of the items to expect on Thursday’s Austin City Council agenda:
Taking action for childcare, music, legacy businesses
It’s no secret some of the hardest-hit local businesses this year have been childcare centers and music venues.
While Austin has provided some assistance, council expects to approve sources of money for $15 million in three funds: the Austin Childcare Provider Relief Grant ($5 million), the Austin Music Venue Preservation Fund ($5 million) and the Austin Legacy Business Relief Grant ($5 million).
The latest question has been where the money would come from.
If nothing changes, one action would transfer $3.7 million in temporary use of right-of-way (ROW) fee revenue from the Austin Transportation Department. Another directive would make available $8.5 million in extra anticipated sales tax revenue.
City Manager Spencer Cronk would also be asked to come back with budget amendments that would propose taking money from alley and street vacation fees.
This is all being done under the effort called Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES). There may be additional proposed amendments to these resolutions, which would be taken up Thursday.
Feeding student caregivers
The city has been funding emergency meals for caregivers of students in Austin-area schools, and a contract extension with the Austin Public Education Foundation will provide an additional $1.5 million to this effort.
This also allows local vendors preparing the meals to be able to continue paying their employees during the pandemic, when many businesses have struggled.
City staff say the additional money will provide an estimated 10 weeks of meals.
Austin Code and reimagining public safety
Council expects to pass an ordinance directing the city to identify improvements with Austin’s Code Department identified by a couple of different audits, including one from 2016. That audit found there was “lack of management oversight” when looking into a variety of code cases.
The other aspect of this item would call on Cronk to develop budget and fee amendments necessary to “effectively re-imagine eligible and feasible enforcement within the context of the re-imagining public safety process outlined in this year’s budget.”
“The Austin Code Department, as a department that is part of the City’s Public Safety Outcome Group, has the infrastructure to potentially expand its duties in line with Public Safety Reform work,” city documents say.
Walter E. Long Vision
Council is expected to approve the previous postponed vision plan for Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.
The proposed park vision plan was developed based on citizen feedback and includes program and amenity elements such as a nature center, multiple camping areas, a comprehensive trail network, visitor center, cultural center and premier event spaces with supporting facilities.