Cane Rosso now offers brunch, City Council Member Ann Kitchen on her opposition to proposed police contract and 4 more things for South Austinites to know this week

Cane Rosso has expanded its menu to include brunch items.

Cane Rosso has expanded its menu to include brunch items.

As 2017 nears its end, local establishments are expanding and new businesses are joining the South Austin community. Major decisions are also being made at the citywide level by top leadership officials. Here's a few more things to know this week.

New Austin airport restaurants named after 'impossible' City Council decision
Local eateries 24 Diner and Parkside Restaurant earned spots in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s upcoming expanded terminal, edging out classic Austin institutions Threadgill’s and Black’s BBQ in a Dec. 14 decision City Council members called one of their toughest.

The winning bid—submitted by HMS Host and D.C. Garrett—scored 0.26 points higher than the bid that proposed Threadgill’s and Black’s BBQ as the new airport tenants—submitted by Paradies.

According to city documents, the airport’s terminal expansion is scheduled for completion by 2019. Garrett said the restaurants will be “ready to go on day one.”

I-35 toll lanes removed from TxDOT plan after state transportation commission sides with top leadership
A move by the Texas Transportation Commission has effectively removed plans to add four managed toll lanes on I-35, despite pleas from Austin officials to support the tolled lanes.

The commission, which is the governing body for the Texas Department of Transportation, approved Thursday an amendment to its 10-year planning document called the Unified Transportation Program that did not include managed toll lanes on I-35 in the Austin area or on I-635 in Dallas. The 2018 UTP now has no projects with any tolled elements.

Faced with pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick over not using propositions 1 and 7 funding on projects with tolled elements, the commission opted to side with the state’s top leadership instead of local officials.

“The leaders have spoken and they’re the ones we take guidance from,” Commissioner Jeff Austin III said.

New holiday season 'hot zones' to target suspected drunken drivers in Travis County
For the first time, area law enforcement teams will target speeding and drunken drivers based on areas of past serious injury or fatal crashes, a Travis County sheriff’s sergeant said.

In previous years, local, county and state law enforcement agencies would assume general patrols over the holiday season, augmented by anti-DWI teams. In Travis County that includes deputies who will work extra shifts thanks to a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

This year’s grant for the Impaired Driving Mobilization program covers 112 overtime hours for DWI patrol deputies between the Dec. 15-31 period, according to Rios who used to head the county sheriff’s traffic enforcement division.

Law enforcement agencies would not reveal exact locations of the hot zone patrols—concerned drivers may try to avoid them—but Rios indicated they would take in sections of I-35 and other high-speed corridors.

Cane Rosso expands menu to offer brunch items
On Dec. 16, Neapolitan pizzeria Cane Rosso began offering brunch on weekends from 11 a.m.-3 p.m at its Sunset Valley location, 4715 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 103, Sunset Valley.

Site permitting underway for a medical office building off south I-35
Medical Towers at Onion Creek, a 37,000-square-foot three-story medical office building, could open in summer 2019.

According to developer Eric Perardi, the building is undergoing site permitting with the city of Austin, and plans are in place to start construction in summer 2018. If approved, the building will be located at the northwest corner of FM 1626 and I-35 in South Austin.

District 5's Ann Kitchen responds to Austin City Council's rejection of the five-year police contract
A proposed five-year contract with the Austin Police Department was sent back to the drawing board by City Council last night, a move which Ann Kitchen, council member for District 5, said was motivated by the belief that the deal was not “fiscally prudent” for the city.

“Unfortunately, as written, the proposed contract would make the hiring of sufficient numbers of additional officers difficult and financially unstable, while also restricting the council’s ability to fund additional health and safety investments in prevention,” Kitchen said in a Dec. 14 letter to her constituents.

Kitchen said she is confident that with further discussion, the city can come to an agreement with the police department on a “fiscally sound, fully accountable contract.”

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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