Council to discuss rental ordinance, 2015 budget

Published 4:31 pm Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Austin City Council is wrapping up the year with a full schedule of items to consider at its last public meeting of 2014.

The council will consider passing a rental registration ordinance, set its 2015 budget and tax levy and accept $475,000 in grants from the Hormel Foundation.

The city requested $777,000 for 11 projects earlier this year, which includes renovations to Riverside Arena, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center education program funding and event funds for various happenings throughout the year such as Freedom Fest and the Austin ArtWorks Festival.

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The Foundation only funded nine of those requests, however. A $17,000 request for a fire department boat and a $20,000 request to convert street lights to LED lighting were denied. In addition, the Foundation will fund half of the city’s requests for $500,000 for Riverside renovations and $31,500 for a new air conditioning unit at the senior center.

Council members will also discuss an ordinance to mandate property owners and managers to register with the city. Registration would be free for owners who took an educational course on landlord and tenant rights through the city, but council members discussed potential re-registration fees at its last work session.

The council narrowly moved the ordinance to a public meeting by a 4-3 vote with Mayor Tom Stiehm acting as a tiebreaker for then-absent Council Member Judy Enright.

The council will also pass its 2015 budget and set a 4.98 percent tax levy increase for next year.