More funding for homeless outreach, bag ordinance before city council

Austin
outside of arch Austin police homeless

AUSTIN (KXAN) – On the heels of a major MLS decision two weeks ago, council will check other items off the to-do list at Thursday’s meeting. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re eyeing…

Homeless Outreach Street Team additional funding

The HOST team works downtown to connect homeless individuals with services necessary to get back on their feet and achieve stability and recovery. This could be through medical or behavioral care, case management, housing, etc. The team is a partnership between Integral Care, the Austin Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, Downtown Austin Community Court and the Downtown Austin Alliance. This item, if approved, would increase funding by $195,000 and go into effect Sept. 1. That would fund a Certified Peer Specialist/Peer Recovery Coach and allow funding to address immediate needs, like obtaining official ID documents and bus passes. A peer specialist is someone who’s walked in their shoes, and in this case, can also address the needs of those with mental health conditions or substance abuse disorders.

Tonight on KXAN, Kylie McGivern catches up with the HOST team on the streets and takes a closer look at what the additional funding would provide.

Single-Use Bag ordinance

This resolution would encourage retailers to continue to honor the city’s 2013 Single-Use Bag Ordinance, while at the same time acknowledging the ordinance is not enforceable by state law. The item would direct the city manager to work with Austin Resource Recovery and the Waste Advisory Commission to identify opportunities for retailer and community education, since the ordinance ties in with the city’s zero-waste goals.

No financial support for organizations that result in the separation of children from their families

This resolution would direct the city manager to develop recommendation ensuring the city does not financially support any organizations “whose activities result in the separation of children from their parent/parents and/or siblings or that result in the mass incarceration of immigrant children.” When asked if there are any organizations in Austin that fit that bill, city staff said it was not aware. None are specifically mentioned in the resolution.

Shipe Neighborhood Park pool renovation

This items seeks to make sure Shipe pool is opened next summer, to the tune of a $3.2 million contract in total. Thursday, the city council will decide whether to approve an additional $1.3 million for renovations. The city originally allocated $3.1 million in 2014 after discovering the pool needed critical repairs.

Public hearings

There will also be several public hearings held Thursday, including:

  • The update of the City of Austin Water and Wastewater Impact Fee Land Use Assumptions and Capital Improvement Plan, including proposed amendments to impact fees
  • The proposed rate and fee changes for Austin Energy as part of the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 proposed budget
  • The City of Austin Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposed Budget
  • The proposed property (ad valorem) tax rate for Fiscal Year 2018-2019

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