Mayor proclaims Oct. 4 ‘SPAM Post 570 Day’

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Austin Mayor Steve King proclaimed Oct. 4, 2021, as “SPAM Post 570 Day” during the Austin City Council’s regular meeting Monday evening.

American Legion SPAM Post 570 was founded by Jay C. Hormel in 1946 as an all-female veteran’s post. Initially having 20 local members, the post recruited women veterans from all over the country and, in 1947, fielded the first all-women drum and bugle corps to compete in the National American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps competition.

The proclamation was issued in honor of the post’s 75th anniversary.

“The post is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans,” King said.

In a vote of 6-0 (Councilwoman Rebecca Waller (First Ward) was absent), the council adopted assessment rolls for various city services during public hearings at the meeting. Assessment rolls were adopted for the following:

• Turtle Creek 2 sanitary sewer;

• Miscellaneous sidewalk and driveway projects;

• Snow removal;

• Garbage and junk removal;

• Weed and grass removal;

• Administrative citations (Park, Recreation and Forestry, Planning and Zoning, Rental Housing and Storm Water);

• Unpaid vacant property fees; and

• A senior deferral for sanitary sewer.

No public objections were raised on the assessments during the hearings.

The council unanimously voted in favor of using $3.635 million of unallocated general fund dollars for one-time projects as follows:

• Fire truck replacement – $1.5 million

• Library renovation fund match – $250,000

• Ruby Rupner Auditorium siding/windows – $80,000

• Senior Center parking lot sidewalk – $80,000

• AMC building acquisition – $200,000

• LED lighting for streets and City Hall – $200,000

• Council chambers audio/visual – $50,000

• Christmas decoration – $40,000

• Affordable housing/daycare – $600,000

• Targeted Area Redevelopment – $500,000

• Discover Austin Tourism Initiative – $120,000

• Additional pool sound system cost – $15,000

The amount of unallocated dollars currently makes up 74% of the city’s general fund, above the 42-48% of unallocated dollars the city normally keeps. This stems from the city receiving CARES Acts funds in 2020; funds that were used for police and fire wages and benefits even though the city had other budgeted revenues to cover those costs.

The council had discussed possibly using the unallocated funds to balance the 2022 budget, but agreed that using one-time money to finance ongoing expenses would result in higher tax levy increases in the future once those funds were no longer available.

The council voted 5-1 on a motion to recommend the single point bridge design option for the Fourth Street Northwest Interstate 90 bridge replacement. The council made the recommendation over a tight diamond design with a signal and a tight diamond design with a roundabout. Councilman Mike Postma (Second Ward) cast the dissenting vote.

The bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2023.