City Council holding midday housing summit

Published 2:17 pm Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Austin City Council has a full day scheduled on Monday with a midday housing summit, a regular city council meeting and work session to follow.

The housing summit is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center and will be hosted by 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Mankato. It will address the challenges of workforce housing in southern Minnesota and finding solutions.

Austin is facing housing needs at all levels, according to City Administrator Craig Clark. Predominantly, there is a shortage in middle-class housing needs. The mayor has also started an ad-hoc committee to help address problems and solutions of the housing shortage.

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For all of southern Minnesota, workforce housing is a significant challenge for growing the economy.

There will be two panel discussions, small breakout groups and a keynote address by Walz.

The regularly scheduled council meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of Austin City Hall. The work session will follow.

The city will continue the public hearing for Fourth Drive Southwest. Residents received a memorandum explaining four new options for a new road and possible sidewalk and/or bike trail. The council is scheduled to choose one of the options to proceed with.

Many residents voiced their concerns about a wider road, sidewalk and bike trail being too invasive in their yards at the Feb. 16 meeting.

The council is also slated to approve or deny bids for construction of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center’s new interpretive center. Last week, the Austin Parks and Rec Board awarded construction bid to Met-Con Companies Construction Services from Faribault and moved it onto the council.