Austin Pets Alive! land use agreement among council agenda items this week

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Here’s what we’ll be watching for at Thursday’s Austin City Council meeting.

Austin Pets Alive! no-kill agreement: Passed

City council passed an item that allows Austin Pets Alive! to continue housing animals at the city-owned Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC).

APA! takes in animals the city can’t due to space constraints. The city manager is being asked to negotiate new animal intake requirements with the organization based on a specific percentage of how many animals the city takes in. APA! would be required to provide monthly reports to the city’s Animal Services Department and Animal Advisory Commission.

The terms would require the animals pulled by APA! to be at “high risk for euthanasia,” defined as:

  • Treatable “parvo puppies” and “bottle kittens” on the at-risk list
  • Small dogs on the at-risk list
  • At least five behaviorally-challenged large dogs each month

It’s the latest development following a stalemate in negotiations between the city and APA! over a long-term land-use agreement. APA! has occupied TLAC since 2011 and aids the city in its goal to be “no-kill.”

A yes vote Thursday would also allow the nonprofit to accept animals from outside the immediate five-county area, provided that APA! meets the minimum intake requirements. This was one of the main sticking points in negotiations between the two sides.

“Expanding the geographic area that Austin Pets Alive! may source animals from will support the City’s No Kill animal sheltering policy by enabling APA’s continued contributions to Austin Animal Center’s live outcome rate through their operation of the TLAC as an animal adoption center,” city staff noted in council documents.

Airport TSA checkpoint upgrades: Approved

A construction contract will allow more baggage scanners at TSA checkpoints in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The goal is to help screen more passengers quickly, with the city anticipating more traffic at AUS.

“Currently during peak times, [AUS] is experiencing longer times than usual at [security checkpoints], resulting in passenger frustration and missing scheduled flights,” according to staff in documents to council members. “Additionally, upcoming for 2021-2022 flight schedules from air carriers forecasts 135+ more flights during peak times.”

The project was put on hold due to fewer passengers because of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff said.

Corrections to AFD plan review fees: Approved

The Austin Fire Department is correcting fire alarm and sprinkler review plan fees originally approved for this year, pending council approval. Without the corrections, the city says customers will be overcharged. This affects those paying the plan review fees for 1-10 devices.

The corrections would lower the fire alarm system plan review fees from $117 to $58. The fire sprinkler review plan fees would drop from $204 to $58. More on the fees here.

Resolution condemning recent acts of hate: Approved

Council passed a resolution condemning acts of hate and directing the city manager to improve Austin’s response to hate with the help and input of local community groups.

Antisemitic signs have appeared in Austin the past few days and have some community members concerned for their safety and looking for support.

“The resolution will condemn acts of hate, antisemitism, racism and bigotry,” said a statement from Council Member Alison Alter’s office.

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