Council denies contributing to wellness study

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Austin City Council voted 4-3 Monday to reject contributing $2,000 at this time to a feasibility study for a wellness center.

Austin Medical Center and the YMCA have partnered to plan for a new wellness center, and have asked for donations for a study to determine the need for such a facility.

Council member Norm Hecimovich asked if it would be possible to table the vote until the city learns what local government aid it will receive — staff believe there will likely be cuts in state funding.

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“Obviously, this is a project we would like to get moving on,” said Dr. Tim Johnson of AMC, explaining that they would “appreciate any consideration.”

Johnson said AMC and the YMCA would like to begin at the end of January, at the latest.

Council member Scott Pacholl moved to approve the $2,000 request for the study; Jeff Austin, John Martin, Pete Christopherson and Hecimovich voted against the donation and the vote failed.

Council members pointed out that they could possibly address another request at a later time.

The city has received three requests total for the study; the Port Authority has approved $2,000 and the Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority has yet to vote on the request.