NACA GENERAL MEETING
Thursday February 18, 2010 Little Walnut Creek Library 835 W. Rundberg Lane
Eleanor Langsdorf called the meeting to order at 7:01pm.
The January meeting minutes were distributed and approved with a few corrections noted. Tom Moran is the new branch manager at the Little Walnut Creek Library.
Brian LaCour stated that we have $4,091.70 in the NACA general fund and $6,021.00 is devoted for beautification funds. We currently have 73 members.
Royce Mulholland gave an update on the Malibu Apartments $15 million renovation project. He will soon be the owner of Malibu Apartments. They hope to close in March and start construction and renovation in April or May. Renderings of the remodeling were distributed. A new entrance gate, playground, 476 carports and landscaping will be installed. 48 units will be ADA equipped for the handicap. New bathrooms and windows will be installed. A 37 computer station will be included. Rents will remain affordable for existing residents, so there should be minimal displacement. Time span for completion is fifteen months.
A concern was expressed for emergency vehicle access due to the carports. Royce stated with the reconfiguration of the parking lot will alleviate that problem.
Ann Teich talked about getting out the vote for the March 2nd primaries. Ann encouraged people to walk the neighborhood to encourage their neighbors to vote in the primary in addition to asking about concerns they have about the neighborhood. She distributed a script for volunteers to approach fellow neighbors.
Eleanor asked for volunteer help for It’s My Park Day on March 6th from 9am until noon at Ron Rigsby Park. Equipment will be provided for the plantings. A free t-shirt will be provided.
Susie Milam asked for more volunteer help for the NACA Clean Street days on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 8:30am until 10am. Gloves, bags and grabbers will be provided.
General Meeting: Speaker; Mayor Lee Leffingwell
Mayor Leffingwell is a native Austinite and a graduate of UT.
The Mayor acknowledged the outstanding efforts of the emergency response teams to today’s plane crash at the Echelon Office Building on Research Blvd.
He discussed the current economic situation in Austin which has fared better. In the last 24 months only 2,600 jobs were lost in the city. By comparison, Portland has lost over 50,000 jobs, Seattle 59,000 jobs, Boston 62,000 jobs and Phoenix 132,000. In Austin, unemployment is currently 6.5% which is better than the 10% national figure.
In November the Milken Institute stated that Austin was the best performing city in the country. Grubb and Ellis stated that Austin has the best real estate potential. Portoflio.com stated that Austin was the best city in the country for small business.
The 2010 budget was balanced without any cuts in fire, police and EMS services. Utilities generated $100 million from Austin Energy. The triple A credit rating for the City of Austin has been maintained.
Diversification is being targeted in renewable energy, digital media and medical sciences. Legal Zoom is planning on relocating their corporate headquarters in Austin. A healthcare medical school is also being targeted.
As a goal of the Climate Protection Plan, 30% of the energy portfolio will be converted into renewable energy; wind, solar and biomass. There were concerns expressed about the extra cost for those sources. Austin Energy has already installed solar film on roofs which helps recover a nominal amount of renewable energy.
Transportation; in 2009, Austin is ranked fourteenth in traffic congestion in the large city category. The mayor favors urban rail to help develop the tax base. He proposes a mobility bond package be presented to voters during 2010. This package will include road improvements, bicycle lanes and mass transportation. Someone expressed concerned about Capital Metro denying services to handicap people who submit applications. The mayor suggested that interviews be done to verify if they are qualified. The mayor advocated using existed tracks for urban rail.
Code Enforcement concerns were expressed. The number of officers has increased from 8 to 50 officers. Code enforcement was moved to Solid Waste Services. Eleanor asked if a dedicated court could be established in Austin to handle code enforcement issues and expanding the hours to include weekends. The mayor has not looked into a court but stated if it was successful in Fort Worth it should be successful in Austin. A concern was expressed on how much time code enforcement issues are addressed. The mayor asked for residents to speak to Janet Jackson his assistant with any ongoing code enforcement issues.
Susie asked about statistics on the Smart Car Program. The mayor stated this was pilot project that only city employees are eligible.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.