3 takeaways from Tuesday's Travis County Commissioners Court meeting

Travis County commissioners approved a number of items Tuesday morning including a license renewal that will allow STAR Flight to continue providing emergency services to the county.

Travis County commissioners approved a number of items Tuesday morning including a license renewal that will allow STAR Flight to continue providing emergency services to the county.

Travis County will move forward with an assessment of its Fair Housing Act compliance in light of new federal rules aimed at addressing housing segregation.

But with the Trump administration having voiced desire to rescind the new regulations, known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, the future of their implementation is up in the air.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to begin discussions with regional partners on developing the assessment.

The county will prepare the assessment as a line item in the fiscal year 2017-18 budget after an interlocal agreement among the partners has been signed and a funding amount identified. Regional partners include the cities of Austin, Round Rock and Pflugerville as well as the housing authorities of Travis County and the city of Austin.

Park & Ride facilities

The eight Park & Ride facilities proposed in Capital Metro's upcoming service plan are set to be funded, in part, with the county's Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, but commissioners decided to hold off on those discussions until details of the regional transit authority's service plan are clarified.

Recently elected Commissioner Jeff Travillion said he wanted to see further proof the service plan would serve his constituents, especially the ones who struggle with Austin's high cost of living and lack of access to public transit where they live.

Judge Sarah Eckhardt said she wants to explore other revenue sources for funding transit initiatives, such as toll revenue. QECBs constitute debt issued to pay for energy-conservation projects.

Proposed new Park & Ride facilities can be found on this map:

Park and Ride Map

North Campus redevelopment

Travis County commissioners voted to put their support behind the request for tax credits in connection with the county's affordable housing development at the North Campus property. The area spans Airport Boulevard from 5325-5335 Airport.

Plans for the site include about 150 housing units, a 350-car parking garage and office space. Residents would have to meet certain low-income requirements to be able to live there. For some units, a four-person household would have to make no more than $46,680, or 60 percent of the area’s median annual household income, annually to qualify for residency, according to the presentation.

The project is set to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and the first residential units would be available by the end of 2018.

The resolution of support adds 2 points to the scoring for the county's

application for tax credits through the Competitive Housing Tax Credit Program and increases the likelihood it will be awarded the state tax credits, according to county staff.
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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