Austin City Council approves paid sick leave policy, public invited to provide feedback on proposed changes to Manchaca Road and more for South Austinites to know this week, Feb. 19-23

Work Strong Austin holds on Feb. 15, ahead of City Council's vote to approve a paid sick leave policy in Austin.

Work Strong Austin holds on Feb. 15, ahead of City Council's vote to approve a paid sick leave policy in Austin.

A hotly debated ordinance that requires employers to provide paid sick leave for their workers was approved by Austin City Council last week. Here's a few more things to know this week.

Paid sick days measure for Austin workers passes early Friday morning after hours of tinkering, testimony
Austin workers will be paid for sick leave, Austin City Council decided early Friday morning in a measure that affects about 220,000 Austin-based employees and their employers.

Austin City Council voted 9-2 at nearly 1 a.m. to approve the paid sick leave policy on all three readings; council members Ellen Troxclair, of District 8, and Ora Houston, of District 1, voted against the measure.

More than 300 people signed up to speak on the issue, most in support of the ordinance. The vote came more than five hours after public testimony began.

Motorists invited to provide feedback on TxDOT's plan to widen and extend Manchaca Road
The Texas Department of Transportation’s plan to improve mobility on Manchaca Road by widening and extending the thoroughfare will be the topic of discussion at an open house hosted Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The purpose of the project is to improve mobility and connectivity, as well as to provide increased roadway capacity to meet the needs of a burgeoning population, the city’s transportation department officials said.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Menchaca Elementary School, 12120 Manchaca Road, Austin.


January's real estate data for South Central and Southwest Austin show an increase in home prices
Median South Central and Southwest Austin January 2018 home prices have increased by 11.8 percent since January 2017, according to real estate data released Jan. 15 by the Austin Board of Realtors, or ABoR.

South Central and Southwest Austin’s January home prices were higher than both the statewide and Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA, averages; the region’s median home price is above the Travis County average by $19,000.

Retailer H-E-B buys Austin-based delivery company Favor
H-E-B, the San Antonio-based retail chain, announced Thursday its plan to purchase Austin-based Favor Delivery, an app-based delivery service with a network of more than 50,000 statewide delivery drivers.

While Favor will continue to operate independently as a separate brand, the partnership will complement H-E-B’s existing brick-and-mortar stores by expanding how customers choose to shop, pay for and receive products, according to a news release.

Developers of Manchaca Road office space project to break ground in March
A new three-building development, located at 8701 Manchaca Road, Austin, will include 65,000 square feet of microcondo office space for businesses looking to operate locally.

John Cummings, director of marketing for Templar Development, said the micro-condos, or small apartments used as workspaces, will be geared toward small-business owners, such as attorneys, psychologists or CPAs who want to purchase office space in their neighborhood.

Between 25 and 30 offices ranging in size from 150 to 350 square feet will be available for purchase, Cummings said.

Here's how to provide input on Austin ISD's possible renaming of campuses
Austin ISD has announced two opportunities for the public to provide feedback on school namesakes and the possible renaming of campuses.

The open houses are part of an ongoing engagement process the district began last September when the possibility of renaming campuses named after Confederate soldiers and officials first surfaced. The “facilitated discussions” will allow participants to speak openly while also hearing diverse perspectives and concerns, the release said. The historical context behind school names will also be shared.

The meetings will be held Feb. 20 and Feb. 22 at the Austin Community College Eastview Campus Auditorium and the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Gymnasium, respectively.

Private early learning school WonderWell now open on Southwest Parkway
WonderWell, a private early learning school focused on the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education, opened Jan. 3 on Southwest Parkway. The school’s approach aims to inspire a child’s natural curiosity and allow their interests to guide learning.

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.


Photo of three men drinking at a tiki bar
Ramen Tatsu-Ya readies new South Austin concept, plus more area business news

Tiki bar and restaurant Tiki Tatsu-Ya is set to open later this summer.

Minnesota-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware will open a location in La Frontera in late September. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware coming to Round Rock

Minnesota-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware is coming to La Frontera in Round Rock in late September.

The proposed Wild Ridge master-planned neighborhood northeast of downtown Dripping Springs would include 960 homes on 40- to 60-foot-wide lots. (Courtesy City of Dripping Springs)
Master-planned neighborhood in Dripping Springs to bring 960 homes, new roads

The proposed development by Meritage Homes would feature amenities such as a disc golf course.

Q&A: Greg Smith, executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition

Greg Smith is the former superintendent of Clear Creek ISD and became executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition in December 2020. 

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County proposes tax rate for 2021-22 fiscal year, prepares for budget approval process

Due to increasing property values, the property tax rate is expected to be around $0.017 lower in the coming fiscal year.

Photo of school supples
Parents weigh in: What are your considerations heading into the 2021-22 school year?

Community Impact Newspaper seeks parent feedback as we prepare for our annual education edition.

Photo of the Austin Police Department
City of Austin certifies Save Austin Now's petition to increase police staffing, adding it to fall ballot

The measure would require two police officers for every 1,000 area residents, among other provisions.

TxDOT will stop removing trees as a part of the Oak Hill Parkway project until the injunction hearing Sept. 2. (Courtesy Falcon Sky Photography)
TxDOT temporarily halts removal of trees, but Oak Hill Parkway construction continues

Opponents of the parkway see the latest development as a “window of hope.”

Photo of a doctor with a pregnant woman
Austin health experts warn delta variant could pose higher risk for pregnant women

Maternal medicine doctors across Central Texas have seen increasing numbers of pregnant women coming to the hospital with breathing issues and pregnancy complications as a result of COVID-19.

Wayback Burgers makes cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
6 eateries open or coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Trudy's North Star reopens in Northwest Austin and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including Tiff's Treats opening in Hutto.

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning, expecting about 5% of students to apply. (Courtesy Unsplash)
Austin public schools release virtual learning plan

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning, expecting about 5% of students to apply.

student writing on paper
Texas Legislature allows parents to opt for students to repeat grade levels or courses

Senate Bill 1697 is effective for the 2021-22 school year.