3 things to know before Austin's $720M mobility bond public hearing

Austin City Council could decide Aug. 11 whether to put a $720 million mobility bond proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Austin City Council could decide Aug. 11 whether to put a $720 million mobility bond proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Austin City Council will meet Aug. 11, and among the items on its agenda is whether to put a $720 million bond proposal featuring various transportation projects on the ballot this November.

Council voted in June to approve pursuing the bond package Mayor Steve Adler proposed earlier this year. If approved, the mobility bond would allocate $482 million to implement the city's seven completed corridor plans, $101 million for regional projects and $137 million for other master plans and capital improvements.

Here is what you need to know ahead of the meeting:

1. Public testimony is slated to begin no earlier than 4 p.m. 

At a work session on Aug. 9, council scheduled a public hearing on the proposed mobility bond for 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Because council will deliberate on other items before discussing the bond, the public testimony may not begin at the scheduled time, but will not begin before 4 p.m. Council also agreed Aug. 9 to take a dinner break from 5-6 p.m, so it is unlikely a vote will be taken until after the dinner break.

2. Some council members have voiced concerns over how the bond package was put together

District 1 Council Member Ora Houston said many of her constituents—largely central and north East Austin—are wary over the lack of public involvement in the mobility bond process. City staff said the formation of the proposal was on an "aggressive" timeline of six months between when it was first pitched in May and the election on Nov. 8. District 2 Council Member Delia Garza said she worried about the lack of projects for South Austin.

3. Council has until next week to officially call a November bond election

Council is slated for possible action to call the bond election on Aug. 11, but could wait until the regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 18 to take a vote. The statewide deadline for ordering a bond election Nov. 8 is Aug. 22.

The Austin City Council meeting begins at 10 a.m. in City Council Chambers at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St., Austin. The meeting is live-streamed at www.austintexas.gov/atxn. Check back after 4 p.m. Thursday for live updates from the public testimony and deliberation.
By JJ Velasquez
The Central Austin editor since 2016, JJ covers city government and other topics of community interest—when he's not editing the work of his prolific writers. He began his tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as the reporter for its San Marcos | Buda | Kyle edition covering local government and public education. The Laredo, Texas native is also a web developer whose mission is to make the internet a friendly place for finding objective and engaging news content.


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