Give input on a possible 2018 bond; winter storm is coming: Here's 6 things to know in Central Austin this week, Jan. 15-19

TxDOT crews spent Sunday preparing Austin-area roads for a potential winter storm  coming Jan. 16.

TxDOT crews spent Sunday preparing Austin-area roads for a potential winter storm coming Jan. 16.

The Austin area is under a winter storm warning from Monday night through Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Despite the weather, Central Austin residents have other news items to consider. Here's what you need to know this week.



  1. Winter weather preparations begin


Texas Department of Transportation workers spent Sunday morning spraying deicer on highways across Austin in anticipation of Tuesday’s potential winter storm. The department pre-treats the highways days in advance and then waits for the temperature to drop to apply more treatment.





2. Final two public input sessions this week
Every six to eight years, the city government asks the citizenry permission to take out a large loan—to be paid back over 30 years by tax dollars—in order to fund general service projects around the city. For the upcoming 2018 bond election, City Council advised staff and an advisory task force to focus the funding for projects related to transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, existing city facilities, open space and storm water that can be completed in five years.

Here is the schedule for what the Bond Election Advisory Task Force calls its “listening sessions," which run from 6:30-8 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St., Austin

  • Thursday, Jan. 18, ACC Campus South, 1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin







3. U.S. Supreme Court will hear regional gerrymandering case
Further extending a drawn-out legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case over whether Texas’ congressional and House district boundaries discriminate against voters of color.





4. Austin police contract fallout driving officers to other agencies
The Austin Police Association still hasn’t reached a new contract agreement with the city. While that remains in the air, a Central Texas sheriff’s office is hiring former Austin Police Department officers, who are retiring because of the contract fallout.





5. Area clinics continue to see rise in flu cases
Travis County is no exception to a nationwide rise in flu cases this year, according to a news release from Central Health on Jan. 12.

Up to 90 people per day have sought care for flu-like symptoms at Central Health’s 19 CommUnityCare Health Centers throughout Travis County since mid-December. About three-quarters of the patients tested positive for a flu virus.





6. Special Olympics Texas needs volunteers
Volunteer opportunities are available for Special Olympic Texas’ 25th annual Winter Games, set to take place Feb. 2-4, where more than 2,600 children and adults with intellectual disabilities from across the state will gather to compete in bowling, powerlifting and volleyball.


By


MOST RECENT

Photo of a for sale sign
Central Austin home sales ended 2020 on a high note with prices up 13.9% year over year

Like the Austin area at large, Central Austin home sales rose by double-digit percentages in 2020.

About one in 10 Austin ISD students failed a class this fall as the district adjusted to virtual learning. (Community Impact staff)
Failure rates, education gaps increase as nearly 80% of Austin ISD students continue to learn from home

About one in 10 Austin ISD students failed a class this fall as the district adjusted to virtual learning.

RiverPark is a 109-acre project that is set to be phased in over the next 10-20 years along East Riverside Drive in Austin. (Rendering courtesy Sasaki)
Hundreds of acres, billions of dollars: Three major developments to follow in Austin

The EastVillage, River Park and Brodie Oaks projects will see the investment of billions of dollars into condos, apartments, office space, retail space, restaurants and more.

District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, left, and District 10 Council Member Alison Alter will serve successive one-year terms as mayor pro tem. (Courtesy city of Austin/Alison Alter)
East Austin’s Natasha Harper-Madison, West Austin's Alison Alter will each serve one year as mayor pro tem

In a move Austin Mayor Steve Adler called "probably unprecedented," City Council has chosen two mayors pro tem.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has named a new executive director. (Courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority)
James Bass named executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

Bass, the former executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, replaces Mike Heiligenstein, who stepped aside Jan. 24.

Photo of vaccine vials
Austin, Travis County leaders push for improved Austin Public Health vaccine registration portal

Austin Public Health is working to clean up glitches in its portal.

A nearly five-year project to improve I-35 in the area of William Cannon Drive and Stassney Lane is set to finish in mid-2021. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
I-35 news to follow in '21: Work finishing in South Austin, input to be gathered for managed lane projects

While one project in South Austin approaches its final months, the Texas Department of Transportation is gathering input for projects to add nontolled lanes to I-35 over the next several years.

The Texas Legislature is responsible for drawing lines for new state and federal districts. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Redistricting process affecting every level of government gets underway in 2021

The state's process is largely a political one, while the city's process is left to an independent commission.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County votes to accept application for Silicon Silver development incentives agreement

The company behind the project will be named once it submits an application and pays a $150,000 fee—the same as Tesla paid to apply for its hefty 2020 agreement.

Previous headliners included Cody Johnson, Turnpike Troubadours, Aaron Watson and Mark Chestnutt, among others. (Courtesy KOKEFest)
KOKEFest releases dates in Hutto; Marisol's Mexican Grill taking orders in Georgetown and more area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Austin ISD reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases the week of Jan. 4, but that number has decreased for two consecutive weeks, according to the district. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD sees 70% drop in on-campus students over past 2 weeks after district asks families to stay home

The district saw a 11,839-student decline in on-campus learning as AISD families opted for online learning from Jan. 12-22.

City officials are facing growing pressure to address the growing visibility of homelessness in Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sanctioned homeless camp proposal gains attention from Austin leaders as pressure mounts

Mayor Steve Adler said the urgent need for shelter space and housing could overrule initial objections to sanctioned homeless encampments.