Want to catch up on local news? Here are five stories impacting Austin metro residents.

1. Austin restaurant saves thousands on water bills working around restrictions

As Austin's drought persists, the city remains under Stage 2 water use restrictions. Despite rules limiting how much water businesses and residents can use, one restaurant has found a creative way to keep its lush, tropical landscape thriving without using a single drop of the city's supply.

The upscale Mexican restaurant Fonda San Miguel collects water condensation from its four air conditioning units that is then used to water plants every day. According to the property manager, Diego Rodriguez, the innovation is saving thousands in water bills.

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2. Austin Energy charge increase coming in October amid extreme heat, power pricing

Austin Energy customers can expect to see their power bills increase slightly beginning in October, a change utility officials attributed to "extraordinarily high" electricity costs spurred by this summer's record heat. This is ahead of a separate billing change coming in November.

AE's utility bills include several components, some of which are based on customers' monthly power usage and some of which are standardized across all bills.

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3. Removal of sick 100-year-old tree at Barton Springs delayed

A tree that has been leaning over the deck of Barton Springs Pool for about 100 years will go on to see another day as Austin Parks and Recreation department officials delay its removal.

The pecan tree, “Flo,” which has a fungal infection, was not honored in a ceremony on Sept. 13 or removed on Sept. 14 as PARD officials review “additional considerations,” according to a news release.

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4. UT to open research station in Dripping Springs

Dripping Springs will be the next location of a research and conservation site from The University of Texas.

The Hill Country Field Station, recently announced by the university, will be located at Mirasol Springs, a development on the Pedernales River from Steve Winn, founder of RealPage and CEO of Mirasol Capital, companies focused on the real estate industry.

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5. Travis County expands paid family leave program 1 year after creation

Travis County employees are set to receive a total of 12 weeks of paid parental leave as commissioners unanimously approved an expansion of the program Sept. 12.

“As a parent, I know how important those first few weeks are with a newborn,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. “And I’ll never forget that time that I had with my kids when they were in those early stages. And I want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can as a Travis County employer to make sure that we’re offering that same opportunity to our Travis County family.”

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