City Council approves appraisal of Turtle Creek flood homes

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Austin City Council lent its support to a plan to minimize flood mitigation impact on homes at the 500 block of 21st Street Southwest along Turtle Creek Monday.

Public Works Director Steven Lang said city officials may leave the 502, 504, 506 and 508 homes at 21st Street Southwest alone, though the city of Austin may build a flood berm along the 508 property, which the city previously bought out.

While other homes are a few feet above the 100-year water mark, council members voted to bring an appraiser to the property at 504 21st St. SW after it was determined the property’s walk-out basement was slightly lower than the 100-year water level.

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The property owners, Sue and Steve Howard, were pleased with the decision, as they had considered selling the property to the city.

Flood mitigation efforts along Turtle Creek are scheduled to start this summer.

In other news, the council:

—Gave its approval to Jay C. Hormel Nature Center employees to move forward on plans for a new visitor center. Nature center officials plan to start fundraising efforts for the $1.7-$3.5 million project on April 22, the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Nature center officials are aiming high, hoping to have a new center with two program rooms, an exhibit and more for residents to enjoy.

The current visitor center was dedicated in 1975, yet the building is in the Austin Municipal Airport’s flight path, which means nothing can be built or rebuilt on that building. Electrical problems found last summer concerned nature center officials and spurred research on a new building.

—Held a public hearing on a Small Cities Development Program grant to improve owner-occupied homes directly east of Hormel Foods Corp.’s Austin plant. Austin was identified as one of the top 36 cities eligible for the grant. The grant award, if successful, would help up to 20 low- to moderate-income families improve their homes. The application date is Feb. 27.

—Approved a contract with the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant employees.

—Gave permission to the Planning and Zoning Committee to remove junk and/or illegally stored vehicles from 2004 Third Ave. NE, 1004 Fourth Ave. NE, 1706 Third Ave. NW, 1509 First Ave. SE, 600 Second Ave. SW, 704 Second Ave. SW, 708 Second Ave. SW, 905 Fourth Ave. SW, 711 Ninth Ave. SW, 1201 10th Ave. SW.