Travis County Commissioners Court http://kut.org en Travis County Employees Could Lose Individually Reserved Parking http://kut.org/post/travis-county-employees-could-lose-individually-reserved-parking <p><em>This story has been corrected. See below.</em></p><p>The Travis County Commissioners Court discussed a proposal Tuesday that could cut individual permit parking for some downtown employees, replacing it with open, or "zoned," parking lot parking.&nbsp;</p><p>The county aims to eliminate a three year-long&nbsp;waitlist for parking that has 320 employees still angling for a spot.</p><p>Travis County auditor&nbsp;Nikki Riley&nbsp;told&nbsp;the commissioners the county pays $120,000 a year for additional spaces so certain employees can have reserved spots.&nbsp;"We are firmly convinced that if we go to zoned parking, we would be able to eliminate the waiting list," she said.</p><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:41:34 +0000 Filipa Rodrigues 9801 at http://kut.org Travis County Employees Could Lose Individually Reserved Parking Travis County Commissioners Decline to Renew Gun Show Contract (Update) http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-decline-renew-gun-show-contract-update <p><strong>Update</strong>:<strong> </strong>Travis County Commissioners effectively ended their contract with Saxet Gun Show today by refusing to renew their contract to operate at the Travis County Expo Center.</p><p>The majority of commissioners <span style="color:#1f497d">declined</span> to renew the contract after the promoter refused to allow background checks for all purchases, not just purchases from federally licensed vendors, which already require checks. The term would have closed the so-called gun show "loophole," says Judge Sam Biscoe.<span style="color:#1f497d"> He estimates 10 percent of purchases at Saxet shows are done without background checks.</span></p><div class="yj6qo ajU"><div class="ajR" data-tooltip="Hide expanded content" id=":l8" role="button" tabindex="0"><img class="ajT" src="https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif" /></div></div><p>"So far we have been unwilling to give them a new contract without background checks as a term,” Biscoe tells KUT. “So as long as they insist on not doing background checks on this 10 percent, unless we change our minds, they’re still without a contract.”</p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:47:05 +0000 Nathan Bernier 9494 at http://kut.org Travis County Commissioners Decline to Renew Gun Show Contract (Update) Travis County Commissioners Support Long-Delayed SH 45 SW http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-support-long-delayed-sh-45-sw <p>Travis County Commissioners have <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CCsQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.co.travis.tx.us%2Fcommissioners_court%2Fagendas%2F2013%2F10%2Fbackup%2Fitem_backup_20131022%2Fvs20131022_item_03.pdf&amp;ei=PG1mUpuAAYn32wWLrIGIDw&amp;usg=AFQjCNECMjRUHYsVlL4LgAHeOe7xh9o5zA&amp;bvm=bv.55123115,d.b2I">approved a resolution</a>&nbsp;by a vote of 4-to-0 supporting the construction of State Highway 45 Southwest. &nbsp;Commissioner Gerald Daugherty pushed for the resolution, after&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.kut.org/2012/11/candidates-battle-over-transportation/">campaigning on getting the roadway built</a>. He says population growth and traffic congestion demands action. And he believes the road could be built while protecting natural resources, despite a pending <a href="http://www.sh45sw.com/about/">environmental review from TxDOT</a> and push-back from environmentalists and stakeholders in the area.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:48:05 +0000 Ryan Groves & Laura Rice 8990 at http://kut.org Travis County Commissioners Support Long-Delayed SH 45 SW Despite Perry Veto, Travis County Bills State for Public Integrity Work http://kut.org/post/despite-perry-veto-travis-county-bills-state-public-integrity-work <p></p><p>Travis County is going to bill the State of Texas for some work done on the Public Integrity Unit. Travis County commissioners&nbsp;<a href="http://traviscountytx.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&amp;MeetingID=1363&amp;MinutesID=1326&amp;FileFormat=pdf&amp;Format=Minutes&amp;MediaFileFormat=wmv">approved the plan</a>&nbsp;Tuesday.</p><p>The Public Integrity Unit deals with white-collar crimes from across the state.&nbsp;It had been paid for with state funds, but&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/perry-veto-integrity-funds-unless-lehmberg-resigns">Gov. Rick Perry vetoed that money</a>&nbsp;when Travis County District Attorney Rosemary&nbsp;Lehmberg&nbsp;refused to resign after&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/travis-county-da-lehmberg-pleads-guilty-gets-45-jail-days-0">pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated</a>.</p><p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:53:52 +0000 Laura Rice 8890 at http://kut.org Despite Perry Veto, Travis County Bills State for Public Integrity Work County Commissioners Approve Some Proposed Roads Near F1 Racetrack (Update) http://kut.org/post/county-commissioners-approve-some-proposed-roads-near-f1-racetrack-update <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="375" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=201079182274657105434.0004e6a9c8c4df667ade0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;ll=30.162494,-97.628632&amp;spn=0.055657,0.077248&amp;z=13&amp;output=embed" width="451"></iframe><br><em><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=201079182274657105434.0004e6a9c8c4df667ade0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;ll=30.162494,-97.628632&amp;spn=0.055657,0.077248&amp;z=13&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Proposed Roads Near F1 Racetrack</a> in a larger map</small></em></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Update:</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Travis County Commissioners have agreed to fund the construction of a new road in Del Valle near the Circuit of the Americas track using non-taxpayer approved bonds. Commissioner Margaret Gomez, who represents the area where the road will be built, says the project is critical for economic development.</span></p><p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 14:56:57 +0000 Phoebe Flanigan & Mark Gwin 8731 at http://kut.org Travis County Looks at Funding Options for Public Integrity Unit http://kut.org/post/travis-county-looks-funding-options-public-integrity-unit <p class="p1">The future of the <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/tribpedia/public-integrity-unit/">Public Integrity Unit</a>&nbsp;- an arm of the Travis County's District Attorney's Office with about 600 statewide fraud cases open that was recently defunded by Gov. Rick Perry - is anything but certain.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Today, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/">Travis County Commissioners Court</a>&nbsp; looked at some alternatives to fund the office, which could shutter its doors on Sept. 30 and leave 31 employees jobless.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 23:38:26 +0000 Joy Diaz 8272 at http://kut.org Travis County Looks at Funding Options for Public Integrity Unit County Commissioners Say Maintaining Roads Costs Counties http://kut.org/post/county-commissioners-say-maintaining-roads-costs-counties <p>Gov. Rick Perry’s <a href="http://bit.ly/15UAn5n">addition of transportation</a> to the special session yesterday may mean more funding for Texas highways.</p><p>But Travis County Commissioners sent <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/712226-travco-sjr-letter.html">a letter today</a>&nbsp;to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House arguing the Texas Department of Transportation relies too heavily <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/712226-travco-sjr-letter.html">on Central Texas counties</a> to fund improvements to the state highway system.</p><p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 19:39:33 +0000 Andrew Weber 8073 at http://kut.org County Commissioners Say Maintaining Roads Costs Counties Update: Bruce Todd to Replace Travis Co. Commissioner Eckhardt http://kut.org/post/update-bruce-todd-replace-travis-co-commissioner-eckhardt <p><strong>Update</strong>: Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd is returning to the Travis County Commissioners Court.</p><p>County Judge Sam Biscoe has selected Todd to be interim Precinct 2 Commissioner, an office Todd held before he was elected Mayor of Austin in 1991.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 20:15:23 +0000 KUT Staff 7829 at http://kut.org Update: Bruce Todd to Replace Travis Co. Commissioner Eckhardt Travis County Commissioners Hope for Property Tax Flexibility http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-hope-property-tax-flexibility <p><a href="https://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/">Travis County Commissioners</a> met today and spent a lengthy amount of time discussing a bill that may not see legislative light of day.</p><p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB3348">HB 3348</a> from Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, would amend the Texas Constitution to give cities and counties flexibility in setting property tax rates – allowing them to set a tax rate of a specific dollar amount instead of the 20 percent traditionally used for property tax exemptions. &nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:51:39 +0000 Andrew Weber 7092 at http://kut.org Travis County Commissioners Hope for Property Tax Flexibility New Rules Reversed at Hippie Hollow, Austin's Clothing-Optional Park (Update) http://kut.org/post/new-rules-reversed-hippie-hollow-austins-clothing-optional-park-update <p><strong>Update: </strong>Travis County Parks reversed its decision to change boating rules at Hippie Hollow on Lake Travis at a public meeting last night.</p><p>In fact, after about a week of tension between Travis County Parks and people who frequent Hippie Hollow, the meeting ended with laughter and applause.</p><p>“This is a great example of a grass roots movement. Where people are trying to reach out the administrators who work in their government and the guys come to the table and listen to what the folks have to say,” Friends of the Hollow member Randall Huntsinger said. Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:46:38 +0000 Tyler Pratt 6755 at http://kut.org New Rules Reversed at Hippie Hollow, Austin's Clothing-Optional Park (Update) PolitiFact: Austin Has Low Unemployment, High Poverty http://kut.org/post/politifact-austin-has-low-unemployment-high-poverty <p>A Travis County Commissioner says local prosperity is shadowed by rising poverty. In this week’s PolitiFact check-in, KUT’s Emily Donahue spoke to Gardner Selby of the <em>Austin American-Statesman</em>’s <a href="http://www.politifact.com/">PolitiFact Texas</a>.</p><p>PolitiFact tackled a claim by Travis County commissioner Sarah&nbsp;Eckhardt&nbsp;who, in an email, said conditions are tough despite "present prosperity."</p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:25:00 +0000 Emily Donahue 6750 at http://kut.org PolitiFact: Austin Has Low Unemployment, High Poverty Possible EMS Program Would Expand Coverage http://kut.org/post/ems-program-could-expand-coverage-not-ambulances <p>The Commissioners Court didn’t renew an Austin/Travis County EMS contract last night. They’ll wait until next week to do that. But county commissioners did show some love for a new proposal that would create a unit of paramedics roaming the city in trucks tending to those sick and injured&nbsp;Austinites in need of assistance.</p><p>Sounds familiar right? <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Strangely enough, they’re not ambulances.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 19:56:46 +0000 Andrew Weber 6212 at http://kut.org Possible EMS Program Would Expand Coverage Travis County Ends Bid to Ban Gun Shows at Expo Center http://kut.org/post/travis-county-ends-bid-ban-gun-shows-expo-center <p></p><p>Travis County commissioners have <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/commisioners-court-weigh-gun-shows-update">opted against halting gun shows</a> at the Travis County Expo Center.</p><p>The commissioners court was set to discuss the possibility of banning gun shows at the County Expo Center today. But after consulting with legal counsel behind closed doors, commissioners unanimously approved a different motion.</p><p>County Judge Sam Biscoe proposed that the county honor all existing gun shows at the expo center, but ask the director of the center to liaison with the court about&nbsp; future shows, especially events including “any licenses involving any usually high safety risks.”</p><p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 19:56:34 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Laura Rice 6193 at http://kut.org Travis County Ends Bid to Ban Gun Shows at Expo Center NRA Rallies Members in Support of Travis Gun Shows http://kut.org/post/nra-rallies-members-support-travis-gun-shows <p>The National Rifle Association is asking its members to contact Travis County Commissioners-- publishing Commissioners’ names, phone numbers and email addresses on the NRA website.</p><p>Travis County is considering banning gun shows at the County Expo Center and the NRA is asking its members to get involved.&nbsp; Commissioners’ staffers say they’re getting up to 200 emails each day, along with calls and faxes, many from out-of-state.</p><p>County Judge Sam Biscoe says Commissioners will probably vote on the issue next Tuesday, but the outcome may depend on legal issues.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 23:51:26 +0000 Mark Dewey 6147 at http://kut.org NRA Rallies Members in Support of Travis Gun Shows Want to Run on the Circuit of the Americas Track? http://kut.org/post/want-run-circuit-americas-track <p>Travis County Commissioners are <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/pdfs/10-23-12_Public_Hearing_Formula_Run.pdf" target="_blank">holding a public hearing</a> this morning over granting a mass gathering permit to the Circuit of Americas and RunTex for a race at the track. But it wouldn’t be a Formula 1 race, or even a race involving vehicles.</p><p>RunTex wants to put on a 5k that would allow participants to run<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/video-german-designers-show-austins-f1-racetrack" target="_blank"> <em>on</em> the Circuit of the Americas track</a>. The track course is 3.4-miles long, slightly longer than a 5k.</p><p>The event, planned for Saturday, Nov. 3, would also serve as a sort of open house and would allow attendees explore part of the COTA facility. Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:44:18 +0000 Laura Rice 5423 at http://kut.org Want to Run on the Circuit of the Americas Track? Fire Chief Wants His District to Keep Some F1 Sales Tax Revenue http://kut.org/post/fire-chief-wants-his-district-keep-some-f1-sales-tax-revenue <p>The fire chief who leads the emergency service district around the Circuit of the Americas track is going before the Travis County Commissioners today to <a href="http://the District will still be providing daily service to the track, but without the benefit of tax revenue. Further, the District has already invested significant tax dollars in order to meet the potential risks involved in the mass gathering of 120,000 visitors occupying the racetrack." target="_blank">ask them to consider a tax deal</a> if the track area is annexed by the City of Austin.</p><p>Fire Chief Ken Bailey leads <a href="http://www.traviscountyfirerescue.org/about_us.cfm" target="_blank">Emergency Service District #11</a>. Emergency service districts are entities created by the state to provide services to unincorporated areas, like the land around the Circuit of the Americas track.&nbsp;Bailey wants the city to keep the district in place, and let the district keep some of the sales tax revenue generated by the track to hire staff to respond to potentially increased calls.</p><p>Bailey says, right now, if the City of Austin annexes the track, the city would benefit from a 0.5 percent sale tax along with property tax revenue. Instead, Bailey is proposing that&nbsp;ESD #11 pay the city one-third of the district's 1.5 percent sales tax: equal, he says, for the city either way. Tue, 16 Oct 2012 13:31:49 +0000 Laura Rice 5344 at http://kut.org Fire Chief Wants His District to Keep Some F1 Sales Tax Revenue Commissioners Approve Tax Break to Lure Company to Austin http://kut.org/post/commissioners-approve-tax-break-lure-company-austin <p><a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/voting_session_agenda.asp" target="_blank">Travis County Commissioners</a> voted four to one this morning in favor of <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/2012/10/backup/item_backup_20121009/vs20121009_item_21.pdf" target="_blank">providing economic incentives</a> to HID Global. The company makes ID cards and key-card readers.</p><p><a href="http://www.hidglobal.com/" target="_blank">HID Global</a> is looking at building a manufacturing and distribution center in Northeast Austin. It would create more than 270 jobs over 10 years. In return, the county would give the company at least a 40 percent discount on county taxes over that time.</p><p>County Commissioner Ron Davis represents the area including Northeast Austin.</p><p>“I just think it’s overall a big deal all across the community and I think it’s a win, win, win, win, win, win-type situation for all of us," said Davis.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 19:31:35 +0000 Laura Rice 5286 at http://kut.org Commissioners Approve Tax Break to Lure Company to Austin Travis County Commissioners Voting On Tax Increase http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-voting-tax-increase <p>Travis County Commissioners will vote today on a <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/planning_budget/press_releases/tax_rate_vote_20120925.asp" target="_blank">property tax increase</a>. The proposed rate would increase from 48.55 cents to 50.01 cents per $100 of taxable value.</p><p>The county says the new tax rate will increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by nearly three percent.</p><p>Commissioners will <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/vscurrent_official.pdf" target="_blank">also hear public comment</a> on offering economic incentives to HID Global, which is considering building a manufacturing and distribution center in Northeast Austin.</p><p>The State of Texas is <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-state-considering-incentives-agreement-id-company" target="_blank">already offering HID Global</a> $1.9 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund. And the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-consider-incentive-plan-hid-global" target="_blank">City of Austin is considering</a> offering the company close to a million dollars in rebates on taxes for real estate and equipment purchases. The city plans to <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/city-council/council-meetings" target="_blank">hold a public hearing</a> on the issue Sept. 27.</p><p> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:44:15 +0000 Laura Rice 5150 at http://kut.org Travis County Commissioners Voting On Tax Increase AM Update: 9/11 Memorials, Travis County Tourism Tax, UT Helping Students Make the Grade http://kut.org/post/am-update-911-memorials-travis-county-tourism-tax-ut-helping-students-make-grade <p>Today marks 11 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Here's information on remembrance events and other stories making news today:</p><p><strong>Local 9/11 Memorial Events</strong></p><p>There are several events scheduled today across Central Texas to <a href="http://voicesofseptember11.org/dev/memorials.php?mem_id=349" target="_blank">mark the anniversary</a> of the September 11 terrorist attacks.</p><p>At 10 a.m., <a href="http://iafflocal975.org/index.cfm?section=15&amp;pagenum=245" target="_blank">Austin firefighters will climb the Pleasant Valley Drill Tower</a>. Wearing full gear, they’ll climb up and down the equivalent of the height of the World Trade Center.</p><p>At noon, there will be a <a href="http://www.capevent.legis.state.tx.us/" target="_blank">9-11 Memorial and pipe and drum performance</a> in the Texas Capitol Rotunda.</p><p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:49:47 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh & Laura Rice 5056 at http://kut.org AM Update: 9/11 Memorials, Travis County Tourism Tax, UT Helping Students Make the Grade Travis County Extends Burn Ban http://kut.org/post/travis-county-extends-burn-ban <p>Travis County commissioners voted unanimously this morning to extend the burn ban into October. The county is <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/hot-dry-weather-burn-bans-severe-drought-conditions" target="_blank">still in a moderate drought</a> and we’ve had several days of record breaking temperatures and low relative humidity.</p><p>Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee says <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/fire_marshal/pdf_files/burn_bans/burn_ban_20120807.pdf" target="_blank">the burn ban</a> appears to be working.&nbsp;</p><p>“I have spoken with several of the fire chiefs out west this morning where the county is the driest, and they are reporting very little activity other than a few runs for people who are burning when they should not have been, and between the fire departments and the sheriff’s office, they have taken care of those," Lee says.</p><p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 17:39:17 +0000 Nathan Bernier 5013 at http://kut.org Travis County Extends Burn Ban