Austin City Council spends about $14M in midyear budget amendments

Austin City Council allocated about $14 million through midyear budget amendments Feb. 12 and put about half a million dollars aside for property tax relief or other contingencies in 2014.

The council started with about $12.1 million in one-time expenditure funding and about $2.2 million in recurring expenditure funding. City staff found the funding through various sources, including 2012 general fund surplus, improved sales tax projection and contractual obligations, and the critical one-time fund.

Three items, including cemetery maintenance and operations, civil service system implementation and funds for the establishment of council districts were approved under a separate motion for a total amount of about $600,000 in one-time funds and about $300,000 in recurring expenditures because these items are mandated by law.

Other projects funded by the council included affordable housing for $10 million in one-time expenditures, the 24-hour hike and bike trail pilot for $350,000 in one-time expenditures, wildfire fuel mitigation for about $236,000 in one-time expenditures and about $845,000 in recurring expenditures, and Child Inc. summer school programs for about $557,000 in one-time expenditures.

Near the end of the process, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole moved to allocate the remaining $497,000 of combined one-time and recurring funding for 2014 property tax relief or other contingencies.

"Mayor, I am highly disappointed that we have taken and spent $14 million and have not reserved any sums of money for property tax relief or any other contingencies," Cole said before making a motion to save the remaining funds.

Councilman Bill Spelman said there's a strong possibility that not all the money allocated in the mid-year budget amendments will be spent, and some of that money could go back into the general fund.

"Although that looks like a very small percentage of the amount of money we started with, it is likely to grow over the next few months," he said.

Spelman specifically mentioned the low likelihood of having two tax credit programs under affordable housing funding and the possibility that Austin Playhouse would not be able to raise enough money to continue its projects.

At the end of the amendment discussion, Mayor Lee Leffingwell said he was voting against the amendments because the additional expenditures would make creating the next budget more difficult.

"All of these are good projects and deserve attention and perhaps even deserve funding," he said. "But I believe we need, at this point in time, to preserve the maximum amount of money that we can to address problems in the next fiscal year. A lot of these items are going to have an impact on our next budget. This is my official prediction, this is going to be the year when we're going to be struggling to find the funds we need for all the basic services that we have to do every year."

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

The Broadmoor Campus is proposed to have a new MetroRail station. (Rendering courtesy Brandywine Realty Trust)
City to work with Capital Metro on financing new Broadmoor and McKalla Place rail stations as development boom looms

Austin City Council expects the new Austin FC stadium and massive mixed-use development planned for McKalla Place and the Broadmoor Campus to result in heightened demand for public transit.

Ricardo Lowe, a research associate at the Institute of Urban Research Policy and Analysis at the University of Texas, asks a question at an Austin ISD community meeting Nov. 12 held at Eastside Memorial High School. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper
As community engagement meetings wrap up, AISD trustees set to vote on four school closures Nov. 18

The AISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on four elementary school closures at its Nov. 18 meeting.

Austin's Rainey Street District has become one of the most popular entertainment districts in the city.
Rainey Street fund rises from ashes to preserve Mexican-American heritage in booming district

The Mexican-American heritage inside the Rainey Street District has been waning for years as development continues to heighten.

The Atlas 14 rainfall study found Austin to be at a much higher flood risk than previously understood.
Acknowledging expanded risk, Austin moves to prohibit additional density in city’s flood-prone areas

A recent federal flood risk study found Austin's flood risk to be significantly higher than previously understood.

The 10,000-seat Moody Center at The University of Texas is scheduled to open in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)
Groundbreaking for Moody Center at The University of Texas set for Dec. 3

The UT Board of Regents gave final approval Nov. 14 to a $38.5 million project to realign Red River Street around the new basketball arena.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council green lights $8 million Rodeway Inn plan for homeless shelter transition, vows to address crime in the area

South Austin neighbors raised concerns that criminal activity in the area will put homeless individuals who enter the shelter at risk.

Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. (Courtesy Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)
Toxic algae blooms are becoming more common, scientists say

Months have passed, but the capital city still has signs up warning of ongoing dangerous conditions in Lady Bird Lake.

Community members examine updated zoning maps at land development code town hall in October.
Land development code rewrite heads to City Council for final approval, marking home stretch of nearly 7-year process

Austin's long-awaited land development code rewrite is heading to City Council for final approval.

Crews work on updating a section of I-35 in Central Texas (Courtesy TxDOT)
Central Texas transportation agencies investing millions in I-35 for new lanes, intersection improvements aimed at aiding mobility

About 20 miles of I-35 through Central Texas will see an infusion of $400 million in state and federal funding to add one to two additional lanes in an effort to improve mobility.

Permanent supportive housing facility opens in East Austin

Terrace at Oak Springs, a facility that will provide permanent supportive housing to 50 people who were …

Lucien, Stirling and Gray moves to North Central Austin

Financial advisory group Lucien, Stirling and Gray relocated Oct. 31 from its former location at 4005 …

Red's Porch closes last remaining location

Red’s Porch closed Oct. 10 due to failing to pay rent according to a notice posted by the landlord, …

Back to top