Rollingwood officials extend original disaster declaration by 30 days

Rollingwood City Council met for a special meeting March 25. (Community Impact Staff)
Rollingwood City Council met for a special meeting March 25. (Community Impact Staff)

Rollingwood City Council met for a special meeting March 25. (Community Impact Staff)

The city of Rollingwood held a special meeting March 25 and voted to extend by 30 days a disaster declaration originally issued March 18.

The March 18 declaration was operational for seven days and authorized officials to commandeer or use any private property or temporarily acquire by lease or other means sites for temporary housing units or emergency shelters for evacuees, subject to compensation requirements.
Under the declaration, the city is also authorized “to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress disease, including quarantine, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress from the city and fining those who do not comply with the city’s rules.”

Any violation of the rules within the declaration constitute a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.



City Attorney Charles Zech clarified that Rollingwood's declaration of disaster gives mayors discretion to implement certain restrictions associated with the disaster.

"The extension continues the disaster declaration for the period of time that [council] determined to extend it," Zech said. "It also extends the mayor's plenary powers ... to act independently to meet any fluid situation."

Cities may only make restrictions more strict than the county's restrictions and may not lessen Travis County's order, Zech said, adding that Rollingwood's declaration is important for two reasons: It allows for more funding for the city for expenses related to the disaster, and it allows the mayor to act on a local level in response to the disaster.


Dyson and council also discussed the need to halt commercial construction within city limits, at least for the next couple of weeks.

"It's just kind of one of these things where we're trying to figure out how to balance out the health and safety of the greater community," Dyson said.

The idea right now, Dyson said, is to contact contractors and let them know city officials are working on determining what exact residential construction restrictions are in place based on county orders, and hopefully, projects can wrap up by Friday, March 27. Contractors may then speak with city officials, who will determine how to move forward with construction projects on a case-by-case basis, he said.

As Rollingwood officials work to get their questions answered regarding county restrictions, the city's communications with contractors will come absent clarification from Travis County officials, and it is better to err on the side of caution, he said.

"Obviously, we want to preserve all kinds of loss," Dyson said. "Some of these projects are very close to completion ... within a few weeks. So shutting them down for a few weeks could actually exacerbate problems for a few of our citizens unnecessarily."
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

Lakeway City Council plans to meet in person at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lakeway City Council to host in-person meeting Sept. 21

Lakeway City Council plans to meet in-person Sept. 21 for the first time since March, when the spread of COVID-19 prompted meeting restrictions.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus testing site in Pflugerville to move and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Kido Home launched in late August offering preschool classes in a virtual setting. (Courtesy Kido)
River Place preschool Kido launches virtual learning platform

The Kido Home platform is available for children ages 2-6 and will feature online small-group classes led by trained instructors.

Trustees met Sept. 17 to discuss reopening campuses. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)(Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD prepares for roughly half its students to return to campus Sept. 21

Eanes ISD officials met virtually for a special called meeting Sept. 17 to discuss reopening campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Central Health administrative building in Austin
Central Health finalizes budget with increased tax rate, more health care services for low-income residents

Local health care district Central Health is budgeting a nearly $20 million increase in health care delivery services for Austin’s low-income residents.

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Baylor Scott & White Health to host 9 Austin-area drive-thru flu shot clinics

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock.

Four Points Outdoor Eatery will open by early October. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Outdoor eatery coming to the Four Points area

Four Points Outdoor Eatery is anticipating to be fully open in late September or early October and will feature between eight and 10 international food trailers and a covered patio.

A band performs at the Mohawk on Red River Street. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Six months into pandemic, Austin officials scrambling to save music venues, child care facilities and restaurants

City Council is set to begin making choices on which businesses to try to save on Oct. 1.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free virtual broadcast of ACL Music Festival to be held Oct. 9-11 and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.