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3 things to know about the Austin City Council's March 23 meeting

Items on the council's agenda range from repairs for shelters to continued ice storm recovery.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council will reconvene at City Hall Thursday morning. 

Here's a look at a few of the important items on the council's agenda.

Council members are set to continue their discussion of renovations for two City-owned shelters. The council is set to ratify construction contracts for the renovations on Thursday. 

One of the properties expected to receive renovations is Pecan Gardens, formally known as Candlewood Suites, in northwest Austin. The other is the North Bridge shelter off of Interstate 35. These shelters are both hotels the City bought to help house those who are 55 years old and over, who are chronically homeless and who have a disability. 

Last year, the properties experienced forms of vandalism that have resulted in the need for renovations, which are expected to cost about $510,000.

The council voted Thursday to approve extending a contract for consultants to continue reviewing the Austin Police Department's training academy curriculum.

In 2020, the City reimagined the academy to include more de-escalation and bias training. In a memo sent to the mayor and council members last week, Interim Assistant City Manager Bruce Mills said the consultants – Kroll and Associates – recommended that the existing process be replaced with a new community input and curriculum review structure.

Finally, the council approved several items on Thursday's agenda related to continued recovery following February's ice storm. Council approved resolutions to direct the city manager to: 

  • encourage the use of underground electric lines in areas where the City is planning capital projects in the public right-of-way
  • perform an inventory of emergency generators and assess back-up power at Austin Fire Department and Austin-Travis County EMS stations
  • develop a plan for converting existing overhead electric distribution lines to underground electric utility distribution lines and advancing the development of underground electric utility infrastructure in new construction projects

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