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City council approves resolution to pay back Austin Water customers after boil water notice

The city manager will look at ways to pay back Austin Water customers, either with individual rebates or through infrastructure funding.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council on Thursday approved a resolution that asks City Manager Spencer Cronk to pay back Austin Water customers, either through rebate or infrastructure improvements, for the February boil water notice. The resolution, Item 62, directs Cronk to provide recommendations for mitigating adverse impacts experienced by customers during the event. 

The resolution was approved during the Council's March 3 meeting. It proposes two options for Cronk. The city can either provide a one-time rebate to all Austin Water customers to address adverse water bill impacts, or invest existing Austin Water funding into infrastructure.

Resolution sponsors include the Austin Water Oversight Committee, Council Members Vanessa Fuentes, Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, Kathie Tovo and Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter.

Shortly after the boil notice, Austin Water reported to KVUE at the time that it wasn't planning rebates to customers saying that expected costs of flushing water systems would have been "minimal."

The city council approved an external audit of the utility on Feb. 17, and The Austin Water Oversight Committee held its first meeting days later. The committee created and unanimously approved the resolution during the Feb. 23 meeting

Now that it has been approved, the council will return on March 24 with recommendations and a final decision on the way that customers will be compensated. The additional information will create an outline for how the relief dollars might be used to reinvest in Austin Water's Capital Improvement Plan.

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