Council to assess costs for street improvements

Published 8:34 pm Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Austin City Council will declare the costs of a collection of street improvement projects Monday night.

During the council’s meeting, it will focus on public hearings to assess the costs of a number of street and sidewalk improvements. The costs assessed to property owners will total just under $600,000. Each owner would then be responsible for a portion of the fee in order for the work on his or her property to be done.

Separately, the council will address the Austin Police Department’s fees related to seizing and storing vehicles. When officers seize vehicles, such as in response to a DWI offense or the vehicle being used to commit a crime, they spend time and resources to store them.

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The council votes on whether to raise the current vehicle forfeiture. The extra funds would help cover officer and secretarial wages, mailings and supplies related to forfeitures, and the costs of the impound building. Currently, the vehicle forfeiture fee is $100 with a $10 per day storage rate. The fees would rise to $150 and $20, respectively.

Council members will also vote on adopting a recommendation by Marian Clennon to let staff remove objective posts to the city of Austin’s Facebook site. The existing comment policy, based off of the city of Albert Lea’s, permits staff to delete comments only if they fit in certain categories. These include vulgar language, personal attacks and copyright infringement.

The council will also vote on:

—Disbanding the Fire Committee.

—Approving a $10,000 repair of the Riverside Arena’s boiler.

—Authorizing the removal of junk and illegally-stored vehicles from three Austin properties

—Allowing a new middle school to be built at 1800 Fourth Ave. SE that would exceed the maximum building height for the area, 30 feet.