Williamson County Commissioners Court voted Feb. 9 to move forward with a search for a law firm to represent the county in matters relating to the City of Austin’s move to purchase a hotel in Northwest Austin to house individuals experiencing homelessness.

The court directed its general counsel to work with Charlie Crossfield, who works as the county's right of way attorney, to bring the court a recommendation for an appropriate law firm.

The hotel at the center of the debate is located in Northwest Austin within Austin city limits and in Williamson County.

Williamson County officials said they were not informed about the project until it made headlines in late January and that they wished they had been a part of the conversation.

The county initially asked Austin City Council on Feb. 2 to delay a vote on the purchase of the Candlewood Suites hotel for 180 days. Commissioners argued that this would allow for stakeholder input and the completion of an impact study, two steps in the process that county officials said they believe did not happen. Austin City Council voted Feb. 4 to purchase the hotel anyway.

The hotel is located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., Austin, near FM 620. The city plans to purchase the 83-room hotel for $9.5 million.