Council discusses goals for 2010

Published 7:08 am Friday, January 8, 2010

Flood mitigation and dealing with potential Local Government Aid cuts were again main issues as city council began to set its 2010 goals Thursday night.

The two big topics, both holdovers from 2009’s goals, will join issues like promoting “green” initiatives and spurring economic development on a final list of goals, which council is expected to rank and approve at a future meeting.

When it comes to flood mitigation, city council said protecting Main Street is a big concern. A 12-point plan is in place, but securing funding for all the parts remains a challenge.

If the plan really gets rolling in 2010, council may have to finally decide on what specifically a Main Street wall along the Cedar River would look like — a decision that could be monumental, city administrator Jim Hurm said.

“It’s probably the most important decision in a decade,” he said.

Councilman Brian McAlister brought up LGA during Thursday’s meeting, saying other goals are nice, but the thought of potential cuts needs to remain in everyone’s minds.

“Don’t forget about budget issues,” he said.

Among green ideas discussed Thursday were adding bike lanes to city streets, and possibly simplifying and expanding Austin’s recycling program.

As far as economic development, council members seemed to agree that revitalizing downtown would be key. They said doing what they could at the Main Street fire site, which is privately owned, should be a priority.

City council’s next regular meeting is Jan. 19.