City Council to discuss high-dollar spending items

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by FOTI KALLERGIS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

kvue.com

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 11:58 AM

AUSTIN -- The Austin City Council will discuss a number of high-dollar items Thursday, including a $7 million payout to demolish an East Austin power plant. They will also discuss adding more security cameras to downtown Austin. 

Public safety is near the top of the council's agenda Thursday. Members will consider adding additional cameras to the Central Business District in downtown Austin, and they will look into signing a $750,000 contract to support the Austin Police Department's High Activity Location Observation Program. There are already a number of cameras in the downtown Entertainment District and along Rundberg Lane. Those cameras were installed using a federal grant obtained by the Austin Police Department.

Along with the Halo cameras, the council will consider adding more manpower on the ground for EMS. They are looking at adding a new unit that would include six medics at a cost of about $170,000. The money will also go towards getting new equipment and operating expenses for the new unit. The medics will most likely be assigned to ESD 4 in Eastern Travis County and will serve the Austin's Colony community.

Another issue the council will take up is where to hold events and festivals once renovations begin at Auditorium Shores. Council members will vote to allow City Manager Mark Ott to explore the feasibility of striking a deal with Camp Mabry to host future events. If a deal can be reached, Ott will be allowed to negotiate a price and draw up a contract for council consideration.

The City recently accepted $3.5 million from C3 presents to revamp Auditorium Shores. The renovations will close down the park for about a year. The face-lift includes a new off leash area for dog owners and improvements to the grassy areas and irrigation system. The work is expected to begin as early as September. The hike and bike trails will stay open.

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