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[00:00:03]

WELCOME TO

[CALL TO ORDER]

TONIGHT'S DOWNTOWN COMMISSION.

IT IS MARCH 20TH, 24.

UH, THE TIME IS 5 32.

AND, UM, CALLING US INTO ORDER.

FIRST ITEM IN BUSINESS IS THE CALL OF THE ROLE.

CHRISTINE, WOULD YOU ASSIST WITH THAT, PLEASE? HI, CHAIR HARRIS.

CHRISTINE ASKED FOR ME TO CALL THE ROLE TODAY.

SO, UH, IT'S MY PLEASURE.

UH, AUGUST TERRACE PRESENT.

TANYA ORTEGA.

LIZ KOEL.

PRESENT.

RALPH ISHMAEL.

PRESENT.

DARLY CARD.

BLER.

I TAYLOR MAJOR.

MIKE LEVINE.

HERE.

KIMBERLY LEVINSON? HERE.

SONYA SCHIFFER.

PRESENT.

MARISSA MCKINNEY.

DAVID HOLMES.

PRESENT.

AMY MOCK.

SPENCER SHOEMAKER.

JENNIFER FRANKLIN.

CARL LAROCHE.

THANK YOU JENNIFER.

AND FINALLY, ANN CHARLOTTE PATTERSON.

OKAY.

THAT CONCLUDES THE ROLE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UM, NOW, UH, COMMISSIONER KOAL, WOULD YOU BE KIND ENOUGH TO PROVIDE US AN UPDATE ON YOUR YEAH.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE, PLEASE? YES.

UM, SO I'M PREGNANT AND MY BABY IS DUE, UM, EARLY MIDDLE APRIL.

SO I WILL BE MISSING THE APRIL.

I THINK IT'S 15TH OR 16TH.

UM, UPCOMING COMMISSION HEARING.

I CAN'T REMEMBER THE DATE ON THE, OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD.

SO JUST A REQUEST TO MY FELLOW COMMISSIONERS, UM, TO PLEASE BE HERE IN MY ABSENCE SO WE CAN, WE CAN ACHIEVE QUORUM.

I AM PLANNING ON ATTENDING IN MAY.

WE'LL LIKELY BE REMOTE, BUT THEN EVERYTHING SHOULD RESUME AFTER THAT.

THANK YOU GUYS FOR YOUR, YOUR SUPPORT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALRIGHTY.

UM, THE NEXT ITEM OF BUSINESS IS, UH, PUBLIC COMMUNICATION.

DO WE HAVE ANYBODY SIGNED UP FOR PUBLIC COMMUNICATION? NO, SIR.

UH,

[1. Approve the minutes of the Downtown Commission February 21, 2024 meeting.]

THE NEXT ITEM IS TO APPROVE THE MINUTES.

I HOPE EVERYBODY'S HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE MINUTES.

ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, OR CHANGES THAT NEED TO BE MADE? NO.

NO.

DO I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE? I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES.

I'LL SECOND.

I HAVE A MOTION AND A SECOND.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.

A AYE.

AYE.

OPPOSED? HEARING NONE.

THE MOTION CARRIES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALL

[2. Approve a recommendation to City Council for immediate and future funding that is consistent with other Cultural Districts to support activities in the Red River Cultural District through its management entity, the Red River Merchants Association. Presentation by Nicole Klepadlo, Interim Executive Director, Red River Cultural District. ]

RIGHT, NOW MOVING INTO OUR DISCUSSION AND ACTION ITEMS. THE FIRST ITEM IS TO APPROVE A RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE FUNDING THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH OTHER CU CULTURAL DISTRICTS TO SUPPORT, UH, ACTIVITIES IN THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT THROUGH ITS MANAGEMENT ENTITY, THE RED RIVER MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION, UH, PRESENTATION BY NICOLE , UH, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT.

WELCOME.

IS THIS ON? OH, THERE WE GO.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

CAN YOU NAVIGATE THE SLIDES FOR ME? OKAY.

THANK YOU.

ALRIGHT, SO FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW, UM, WHO THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT IS, WE ARE A COMMUNITY THAT PROVIDES AUSTIN EXPERIENCES THROUGH DIVERSE LOCAL MUSIC, ART, AND FOOD.

UM, AND AN EVER-CHANGING AUSTIN, OUR NONPROFIT REALLY SEEKS TO PRESERVE WHAT RED RIVER'S CREATIVE BUSINESS AND MUSIC SCENE IS, UM, WHERE A COMMUNITY ROOTED IN ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, PERFORMERS, MUSIC VENUES, CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, AND SMALL BUSINESS.

AND WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT OUR DISTRICT EMBODIES THE SOUL AND HEART OF AUSTIN.

NEXT SLIDE.

OUR BOUNDARIES EXTEND FROM FOURTH STREET TO 15TH STREET ALONG RED RIVER, AND WE ACTUALLY KIND OF GO A BLOCK EAST AND WEST IN BOTH LOCATIONS.

SO WE DO ENCOMPASS A LITTLE BIT MORE LIKE THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, UM, HEADED WEST.

NEXT SLIDE.

OUR MA OUR DISTRICT IS MANAGED BY A MERCHANTS ASSOCI ASSOCIATION, WHICH IS ACTUALLY A COALITION OF 50 PLUS BUSINESSES, WHICH DOES INCLUDE FOLKS LIKE THE AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, THE GERMAN TEXAN HERITAGE SOCIETY, AND WATERLOO GREENWAY.

UM, FOR HISTORY HERE, WE WERE DESIGNATED A LOCAL CULTURAL DISTRICT IN 2013, AND THEN IN 2020 WE ACHIEVED A STATE CULTURAL DISTRICT DESIGNATION.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO, OUR IMPACT AS A CULTURAL DISTRICT IS THAT UNIQUELY WE ARE A HUB, A WALKABLE, LIVE MUSIC HUB OF OVER A DOZEN INDEPENDENT LIVE MUSIC VENUES.

UM, IT'D BE REALLY HARD TO FIND THAT SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY.

UM, WE SUPPORT THOUSANDS OF LOCAL MUSICIANS AND PERFORMERS ANNUALLY THROUGH DIRECT FINANCIAL SUPPORT THROUGH OUR ORGANIZATION.

WE FOSTER OVER A THOUSAND PLUS MUSIC AND SERVICE INDUSTRY JOBS IN OUR DISTRICT, AND WE REALLY ARE A BACKBONE TO SOME OF THE MAJOR TOURISM AND ECONOMIC GENERATORS, INCLUDING SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, WHICH JUST ENDED ACL FEST, LEVITATION

[00:05:01]

OBLIVION ACCESS, AND THEN THE GERMAN TEXT HERITAGE SOCIETY HOSTS AN OCTOBER FEST AND SEVERAL OTHER FESTIVALS.

NEXT SLIDE.

UM, OUR ORGANIZATION REALLY, UM, MANAGES A LOT OF HATS IN TERMS OF LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL POLICY ADVOCACY FOR OUR LIVE MUSIC ECOSYSTEM AND ALSO SMALL AND LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT.

WE ARE A CREATIVE ECONOMY HUB FOR FOLKS LIKE PHOTOGRAPHERS, VIDEO PRODUCTION DESIGNERS, FASHION AND ARTISTS, AND DEFINITELY A DESTINATION FOR LOCAL AND TEXAS MUSIC HERITAGE.

FURTHER, WE ARE ALSO AN INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT INCUBATOR.

UM, YOU WILL SEE MUSICIANS THAT KIND OF CLIMB THEIR WAY THROUGH SOME OF THE SMALLER CLUBS WITH SMALLER AUDIENCES TO SOME OF THE LARGER STAGES AND AUDIENCES.

NEXT SLIDE.

DURING THE PANDEMIC, WE PARTNERED WITH HEB AND SEVERAL OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO DELIVER OVER $200,000 IN DIRECT PANDEMIC RELIEF TO 3000 INDIVIDUALS.

AND THOSE WERE FOLKS IN THE MUSIC AND SERVICE INDUSTRY THAT WERE OUT OF A JOB BECAUSE VENUES WERE CLOSED.

AND WE'VE ALSO WORKED WITH THE CITY ON SOME REALLY GREAT CURB APPEAL ENHANCEMENTS, UM, OVER A MILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS.

UM, THAT REALLY, YOU KNOW, GAVE OUR DISTRICTS AND DISTRICT IDENTITY AS WELL AS SOME SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS.

NEXT SLIDE.

WE HAVE TWO SIGNATURE FREE MUSIC FESTIVALS.

UM, THESE ARE FREE WEEK AND HOT SUMMER NIGHTS.

SO FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DON'T KNOW, FREE WEEK HAPPENS IN JANUARY, WHICH IS OUR DEAD OF WINTER, AND IT'S A REALLY, REALLY SLOW TIME FOR THE INDUSTRY.

AND THEN THE NEXT EVENT THAT WE HAVE, UM, UNFORTUNATELY IS IN JULY, WHICH IS OUR DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.

AND THAT IS ALSO A REALLY TOUGH TIME FOR THE INDUSTRY.

EACH OF THESE FESTIVALS IS THREE DAYS LONG.

WE SUPPORT DIRECT PAYMENTS TO OVER 500 MUSICIANS, UM, ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS.

UM, WE AVERAGE 15,000 PEOPLE OVER THREE DAYS, AND THOSE ARE LOCALS AND VISITORS THAT WE'VE SEEN COME IN FROM AS FAR AS GALVESTON, EL PASO, SAN MARCOS.

UM, AND THEN WE LOOK AT WAYS TO SUPPORT INDUSTRY CAUSES AND EVENTS THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS.

THE COOL THING ABOUT THESE EVENTS IS THAT EVERY TIME WE HOST AN EVENT, 15 TO 25% OF MUSICIANS THAT ARE TAKING THE STAGES ARE FIRST TIME PERFORMERS AT EITHER OF THESE FESTIVALS OR AT ONE OF THE MUSIC VENUES IN ON RED RIVER.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO JUST SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM HOT SUMMER NIGHTS, WHICH WAS IN JULY, WE HAD OVER 30 MILLION MEDIA IMPRESSIONS.

THE COOL THING ABOUT THIS IS THIS IS ACTUALLY, UM, NEWS OUTLETS THAT ARE CAPTURING THE ACTIVITIES THAT WE'RE DOING DOWN IN THE DISTRICT HERE IN AUSTIN.

THAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN SAN ANTONIO OR HOUSTON.

WE ACTUALLY GOT SOME COVERAGE IN A SOUTHWEST, UM, FLY MAGAZINE, WHICH WAS REALLY UNIQUE.

UM, WE HAD OUR LARGEST VENUES PARTICIPATING THIS YEAR, WHICH WAS 14 TOTAL.

UM, AND WE HAD 130 BANDS ACTUALLY PLAY HOT SUMMER NIGHTS, WHICH EQUATED TO OVER 400 MUSICIANS.

UM, OUR ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE FOR THAT EVENT WAS 10,000 PEOPLE, AND WE HAD SOME CRE UM, CREATIVE MEDIA PARTNERS, AS WELL AS SOME STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERS AS WELL.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO OUR DISTRICT IS REALLY SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN THE EASTERN EDGE, AND WE CERTAINLY HAVE A LOT OF HORIZON ISSUES.

UM, MOST RECENTLY WE DID APPLY FOR SOME CITY OF AUSTIN HOT FUND HOT FUNDS THROUGH THE ELEVATE PROGRAM AND WERE DECLINED.

UM, IT WAS UNFORTUNATE WE WERE GOING TO USE THOSE FUNDS TOWARDS SOME OF OUR FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES.

ALSO, SOME OF THE, UM, NEW TRENDS ARE THAT GENERAL AND LIQUOR LIABILITY INSURANCE TAXES HAVE INCREASED, UM, FOR OUR MUSIC VENUE.

SO THIS IS AN ADDING ADDITIONAL OPERATIONAL COSTS.

UM, WE ALSO HAVE ON THE HORIZON THE LIVE MUSIC FUND THAT IS DUE TO LAUNCH IN APRIL OF 2024.

FINGERS CROSSED.

UM, THIS WOULD BE A HUGE OFFERING TO THE MUSIC VENUE COMMUNITY.

UM, THE FIRST GRANT PROGRAM THAT WILL ACTUALLY SUPPORT VENUES WITH SOME MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE.

UM, STREAM REALTY, UM, IS, IS LIVE AND ACTIVE ON SIXTH AND RED RIVER.

THEY OWN THE FULL BLOCK OF SIXTH TO SEVENTH.

UM, SO WE ARE WORKING WITH THEM REGULARLY ON TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW DO WE RETAIN THOSE VENUE SPACES AND ACTUALLY IMPROVE THAT PART OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHILE ALSO ACHIEVING SOME OF THEIR BUSINESS GOALS.

UM, WATERLOO GREENWAY CONSERVANCY IS PLANNING TO TAKE, UM, CONSTRUCTION ACTION ON THAT REFUGE AREA.

AND OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT WE'LL TAKE, UM, SOME CAREFUL CONSIDERATION WITH SOME MUCH NEEDED EASEMENTS, BUT WILL IMPACT PROPERTY, UM, SQUARE FOOTAGE ON THE BACKSIDE.

SO WE'VE ASKED, ASKED COUNSEL THROUGH THE PALM DISTRICT PLAN TO PLEASE LOOK AT THOSE IMPACTS TO THOSE PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS.

WE WOULD HATE TO SEE PROPERTY OWNERS LOSE STAGE, YOU KNOW, STAGE CAPACITY OR OPERATIONAL CAPACITY AND FINANCIAL CAPACITY JUST FOR ANOTHER CITY PROJECT.

UM, SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST PRESENT AND FUTURE, WE'VE SEEN THIS FESTIVAL GROW.

WE HAD THE PANDEMIC.

IT'S, YOU KNOW, GETTING IT GETTING ITSELF BACK UP TO SPEED, BUT NOT WITHOUT THE FACT THAT WE WILL BE LOSING A CONVENTION CENTER IN 2025.

UM, AND A LOT OF OUR CONVENTION TRAFFIC DOES FIND ITS WAY DOWN TO RED RIVER DURING THOSE TIMES THAT THEY'RE HERE VISITING.

UM, THE EXPANSION OF THE MEDICAL

[00:10:01]

DISTRICT CAMPUS PROJECT CONNECT I 35 CABIN STITCH AND CERTAINLY, UM, UH, AFFORDABLE PARKING PROGRAM THAT WE JUST CAN'T SEEM TO FIGURE OUT, UM, BECAUSE OUR EMPLOYEES ARE STILL HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME BEING, FINDING AFFORDABLE SPACES TO PARK IN SAFE SPACES TO PARK DOWNTOWN.

SO THIS IS JUST A SNAPSHOT OF SOME OF THE THINGS THAT OUR ORGANIZATION IS ACTIVELY AT THE TABLE TRYING TO NAVIGATE TO ENSURE THAT THE DISTRICT CAN REMAIN WHOLE AS WE GO THROUGH A LOT OF THESE CHANGES.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO WE'RE HERE TODAY, UM, TO ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

THE CITY COUNCIL DID TAKE ACTION ON FEBRUARY 29TH APPROVING A RESOLUTION TO DIRECT THE CITY MANAGER TO RETURN TO COUNCIL WITH AN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DISTRICT FRAMEWORK AND IDENTIFY FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT AND PROVIDE AN UPDATE REGARDING VARIOUS POLICY TOPICS THAT WOULD SUPPORT NEW AND EXISTING CULTURAL HERITAGE DISTRICTS IN THAT RESOLUTION, IT WAS SAID THAT THERE WOULD BE A CONTRACT WITH THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT BY MAY 2ND.

UM, AND SO WE ARE ANTICIPATING AND HOPEFULLY GOING TO BE WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT HERE SOON TO SEE WHAT THAT CONTRACT MIGHT LOOK LIKE.

BUT WE'RE ACTUALLY HERE TO ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT, UM, FOR IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT MANAGEMENT ENTITY, WHICH IS THE RED RIVER MERCHANT ASSOCIATION THAT IS FINANCIALLY CONSISTENT WITH THE FUNDING ALLOCATION GIVEN TO OTHER CITY DESIGNATED CULTURAL AND HERITAGE DISTRICTS.

AND JUST FOR INFORMATION, THERE'S TWO OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN THAT HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AT A LOCAL LEVEL.

AND THOSE ARE THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE DISTRICT AND THE FIFTH STREET MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR.

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE DISTRICT, OUR UNDERSTANDING RECEIVES $300,000 ANNUALLY AND THE FIFTH STREET MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR WE UNDERSTAND HAS RECEIVED $120,000.

SO WE ARE JUST ASKING TO BE GIVEN THE SAME FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS AS THOSE CULTURAL DISTRICTS, UM, SO THAT WE CONTINUE THE GOOD HARD WORK THAT WE ARE PLANNING TO DO AS A DISTRICT.

NEXT SLIDE.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS TO SUPPORT THE MUSIC ECOSYSTEM.

SO THERE IS A BACKLOG OF RESOLUTIONS THAT HAVE EXISTED, UM, FOR SOME TIME.

THIS IS A LIST AND I WON'T GET INTO A LOT OF DETAIL, BUT IF, UM, YOU'RE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT SEVERAL OF THESE, I'M HAPPY TO PROVIDE ONE-ON-ONE, YOU KNOW, SUPPORT WITH THAT.

BUT THESE ARE BULLETS THAT WOULD ACTUALLY GREATLY SUPPORT VENUES, VENUE OPERATIONS, AND THE MUSIC ECOSYSTEM AS A WHOLE, NOT JUST ON RED RIVER.

SO WE CERTAINLY WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU ALL WERE AWARE OF THESE ACTIVITIES.

THE FIRST ONE IS THERE IS A CREATIVE SPACE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

THIS IS THE ONLY PROGRAM THAT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN IN THE WORKS TO SUPPORT RENT SUPPORT AND GAP FINANCING AND INTERIOR PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN INSURANCES FOR CREATIVE SPACES.

AND VENUES HAVE BEEN A PART OF THAT.

AND THERE HAS BEEN SOME DISCUSSION THAT THAT PROGRAM WOULD BE DISCONTINUED AND WE REALLY WANT TO ADVOCATE FOR THAT, THAT PROGRAM TO CONTINUE GOING FORWARD.

ADDITIONALLY, THERE IS A RESOLUTION FROM 2022, UM, THAT WAS TO CREATE A CREATION OF A BONUS AND INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR LIVE MUSIC.

THE GOAL HERE WAS TO WORK WITH PROPERTY OWNERS THAT ACTUALLY OWN SPACES THAT HAVE LIVE MUSIC VENUES IN THEM AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT SORT OF INCENTIVES COULD THE CITY PROVIDE THAT WOULD ENTICE THEM TO RETAIN THE USE AS A MUSIC VENUE.

WHETHER THAT BE THROUGH, UM, REBATES OR UTILITY REBATES OR THOSE SORTS OF THINGS TO SEE HOW WE CAN RETAIN OUR MUSIC VENUE COMMUNITY HERE, JUST WITH AFFORDABILITY CHALLENGES AND THE NEED FOR RETAINING LONGER TERM LEASES.

THE PRIORITIZATION AND COMMITMENT TO A 2018 RESOLUTION, WHICH WAS A LOCATION ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM, WHICH WAS A GAP FINANCING PROGRAM THAT WOULD RETAIN, UM, IN EXCHANGE FOR COMMUNITY BENEFITS SUCH AS BENEFITS LIKE A MUSIC VENUE OR A CREATIVE SPACE THAT WOULD GENERATE TOURISM AND ECONOMICS.

UM, WE ALSO KNOW THAT THE ICONIC VENUE FUND THAT SUPPORTED THE HOLE ON THE WALL.

UM, THIS PROGRAM IS REALLY TARGETED TO HOPEFULLY RECEIVE FUNDING ANNUALLY.

AND WE SEE THAT AS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR VENUES ACROSS THE CITY.

THE CITY HAS A, UM, CHAPTER THREE 80 POLICY THAT IN MY OPINION IS VERY MINIMALLY USED.

UM, THERE'S CITIES ACROSS THE STATE THAT ARE USING THEIR THREE 80 POLICIES TO REALLY DO SOME CREATIVE STUFF AS IT RELATES TO RETAINING CREATIVE, UM, SPACES AS WELL AS SMALL BUSINESSES.

SO, UM, WE WOULD RECOMMEND, AND IT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED BY COUNCIL TO REVISIT THIS POLICY.

THERE'S ALSO IN THE WORKS A DISTRICT FRAMEWORK POLICY, WHICH ACTUALLY FOR ALL OF THESE DISTRICTS, CULTURAL AND BUSINESS LIKE SOUTH CONGRESS, THERE REALLY IS NO POLICY DIRECTING COUNCIL HOW TO SUPPORT THESE DISTRICTS, WHETHER THAT BE THROUGH FINANCIAL OR POLICY OR REGULATORY OR PROGRAMMATIC.

AND WE REALLY SEE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO START THINKING ABOUT HOW DOES THE COMMUNITY AND HOW DOES THE CITY WORK TOGETHER TO INVEST IN THESE

[00:15:01]

SPACES.

AND THEN LASTLY, IS THIS IMPACT ASSESSMENT, JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE EVALUATING ECONOMIC LAND AND OPERATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO CITY CODE TITLE 25 AND THE ADOPTION OF WATERLOO GREENWAY DESIGN STANDARDS AND THOSE SETBACKS.

IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THOSE VENUES ARE STILL WHOLE, ONCE THAT TRAIL IS IN NEXT SLIDE.

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE QUOTES THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM VARIOUS MEDIA SOURCES ABOUT WHAT FOLKS SAY ABOUT THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT.

WE JUST WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL, BUT I WILL TAKE THIS TIME TO ASK, ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT Y'ALL MAY HAVE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

COMMISSIONERS.

COMMISSIONER FEL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRESENTATION TODAY.

UM, I'M A HUGE ENJOYER OF THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT AND APPRECIATE WHAT YOU GUYS DO.

MY QUESTION IS, LET ME PULL IT UP AROUND YOUR CREATIVE SPACE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

I'M GONNA SHARE SOMETHING TOTALLY ANECDOTAL, BUT I KNOW FOR EXAMPLE, TRIP CHARLIE'S HAS BEEN STRUGGLING WITH THEIR RENT, I BELIEVE.

UM, SO FOR A VENUE LIKE THEIRS THAT, YOU KNOW, SUPPLIES AUSTIN, WHICH WITH SUCH A GREAT INCLUSIVE VENUE AND CULTURAL SPACE, LIKE THEY'RE PERFECT WITHIN YOUR PROGRAM, IF THEY NEEDED SUPPORT, HOW QUICKLY WOULD A, WOULD A SPACE LIKE THAT RECEIVE FUNDING? LIKE WHAT IS THE PROCESS LIKE IF THEY NEEDED SUPPORT FOR APRIL'S RENT AND I, AND I DON'T KNOW, I'M JUST MAKING THIS UP.

UM, HOW QUICKLY WOULD THEY BE ABLE TO ACCESS THOSE FUNDS? SO THE CURRENT CREATIVE SPACE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, MY UNDERSTANDING IS NOT ACTIVE.

THE ONLY FUNDING THAT I KNOW OF THAT, UM, WILL BE ACTIVE IS THE LIVE MUSIC FUND, WHICH IS DUE TO LAUNCH IN 2024 THROUGH THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT.

AND THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO APPLY THROUGH THAT FUND TO RECEIVE THOSE FUNDINGS THROUGH AN APPLICATION BASED PROCESS.

OKAY.

SO THAT, THANK YOU FOR CLARIFYING.

'CAUSE THAT'S WHAT I WASN'T CLEAR IS IF THE CREATIVE SPACE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WAS DEFUNCT, WHICH IT IS AND WE WANNA RE-UP IT, MY UNDERSTANDING IS RIGHT NOW THEY'RE EVALUATING THAT PROGRAM TO DETERMINE IF THEY WILL LAUNCH IT AGAIN AND WHAT OUR MESSAGE HERE TODAY IS, PLEASE CONSIDER TO, WHETHER IT'S FUNDING OR PROGRAMMATICALLY, IT DOES FEEL LIKE IT'S JUST ANOTHER RESOURCE THAT NOT ONLY SERVICES MUSIC VENUES, BUT IT ALSO SERVES CREATIVE SPACES.

SO IT HAS HELPED, UM, THEATERS IN THE PAST.

YEAH.

AND WE DO SEE THAT AS A, AS A BENEFIT.

SO WITHIN THIS ASK THEN, HOW MUCH FUNDING ARE YOU ASKING FOR IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL? SO WE ARE ASKING FOR FUNDING THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH WHAT THE OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS ARE RECEIVING.

MM-HMM.

.

AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT RANGE IS 120,000 TO 300,000.

UM, AND SO WE HAVE NOT IDENTIFIED A DOLLAR AMOUNT SPECIFICALLY, BUT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED SOME SPECIFIC ITEMS THAT WE WOULD USE.

THE FUNDING FOR THOSE ITEMS WOULD BE AN ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE REALLY TRYING TO CONVEY IS THAT WITH EVERY LOSS OF A VENUE ON RED RIVER, THERE IS AN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL LOSS THAT THIS COMMUNITY WILL, WILL END UP FEELING AND BE IMPACTED BY.

SO WE WOULD LIKE TO, UM, CREATE AN ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS TO GET THOSE NUMBERS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THOSE.

SECONDLY, WE'D LIKE TO USE THE FUNDING TO ACTUALLY START TELLING THE LIVE MUSIC STORY, UM, THAT AUSTIN HAS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

IF YOU GO TO OTHER COMMUNITIES LIKE NASHVILLE OR MEMPHIS OR COLOR OR DENVER, COLORADO, THEY ACTUALLY DO A REALLY GREAT JOB OF HERITAGE STORYTELLING AS TO WHAT SOME OF THESE VENUES USED TO BE, WHO PLAYED IN THEM, WHO ARE ICONIC ARTISTS.

THOSE ARE A MAJOR TOUR ATTRACTION.

AND IF WE CAN FIND WAYS TO KIND OF DEVELOP OUR INDUSTRY STRONGER HERE, OTHER THAN JUST LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCES, THAT WILL GENERATE MORE FOLKS TO COME HERE.

SO WE, WE SEE OURSELVES AS BEING A LEADER AND BEING ABLE TO GENERATE THAT, THAT HISTORY TO BE ABLE TO SHARE.

UM, WE ALSO ARE LOOKING AT FUNDING TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT OUR FESTIVALS WITH THE MARKETING SIDE OF THINGS.

MM-HMM.

.

UM, AND ALSO TO HIRE OUR, UM, PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM AND OUR, UM, GRAPHIC DESIGN TEAM TO HELP SUPPORT THAT.

IT'S A REALLY BIG PART OF OUR EVENT, UM, AND HELPS US MAKE SUCCESSFUL.

AND THEN ADDITIONALLY, JUST SOME OPERATIONAL SUPPORT.

WE ARE A VERY, VERY SMALL LEAN NON-PROFIT.

UM, I'M THEIR ONLY STAFF PERSON.

UM, AND WE HAVE A PUBLICIST.

AND SO MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS RECEIVE FUNDING, UM, AND THAT FUNDING CAN BE USED FOR THAT REASON, BUT THIS WOULD NOT BE OUR ONLY SOURCE OF FUNDING THAT WOULD BE USED.

SO JUST TO CLARIFY AGAIN, FOR, FOR ALL OF THE THINGS THAT YOU JUST LISTED, YOU'RE ASKING FOR $300,000.

WE ARE ASKING TODAY FOR THE COMMISSION TO SUPPORT A FUNDING ALLOCATION OF 120 TO 300,000.

WE'VE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS NO MONEY.

UM, WE'VE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE'S NO FUNDING FOR THIS.

MM-HMM.

.

UM, AND SO AT THIS POINT WE'RE ASKING FOR IMMEDIATE

[00:20:02]

ALLOCATION WITHIN THAT RANGE, SO IT IS CONSISTENT WITH THOSE OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS.

AND THEN SECONDLY, WE DO KNOW THAT THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT IS WORKING ON A CULTURAL DISTRICT FRAMEWORK THAT THEY PLAN TO BRING BACK IN JULY, WHICH WOULD PROVIDE COUNSEL WITH MORE DIRECTION ON WHAT THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE ON FUNDING THAT SHOULD GO TO COUNT, UH, CULTURAL DISTRICTS, UM, ANNUALLY.

AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT DOLLAR AMOUNT WOULD BE DETERMINED AT THAT TIME.

THANK YOU.

YEAH.

UH, ONE THING I THINK, UH, BEFORE I FORGET TO BEAR IN MIND.

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BRIEFING IN A LITTLE WHILE ON THE EQUITY BASED PRESERVATION PLAN AND WITHIN THAT IS AN ISSUE THAT I BROUGHT UP 10 YEARS AGO, UH, AND ADVOCATED FOR, IT'S CALLED TRANSFER DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS.

MM-HMM.

AND TDRS ARE SOMETHING THAT THE CITY WASN'T ABLE TO DIGEST AT THAT TIME.

YEAH.

BECAUSE IT'S A FAIRLY COMPLEX ISSUE, BUT IT HAS THE CHANCE TO PROVIDE SOME BENEFITS THAT WOULD HELP WITH THIS.

IT ALSO HAS, THERE IS A METHOD THERE THAT COULD BE UTILIZED TO PRESERVE SOME OF OUR PERFORMANCE SPACE.

YES.

SO I, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO, IN THIS CONVERSATION BE VERY COGNIZANT OF GOING FORWARD.

ABSOLUTELY.

I COULDN'T AGREE MORE.

THERE HAVE BEEN STUDY UPON STUDY UPON REPORT UPON REPORT FOR THE LAST DECADE AND TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS HAVE, HAVE BEEN A TOOL IN THERE.

AND I'LL JUST SAY LIKE THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S TOOLBOX, WHETHER IT'S FOR MUSIC VENUES OR JUST BUSINESS IN GENERAL, IS VERY, VERY SLIM.

SO THE IDEA HERE IS THAT NOT ONLY ARE WE, I KEEP POINTING THIS OUT BECAUSE I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT IS THAT IF WE LOOK AT TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS OR DENSITY BONUS OR INCENTIVES AT CERTAIN LEVELS, THOSE ARE ALSO TOOLS THAT CAN BE TRANSFERABLE WHEN WE HAVE TO NAVIGATE THE PROJECT CONNECT RAIL STATION OR WHEN WE HAVE TO NAVIGATE I 35 CAP AND STITCH.

WHATEVER TOOLS WE START DEVELOPING AS A RESPONSE TO SUPPORTING THIS INDUSTRY WILL BE HELPFUL IN THE FUTURE TO HELP OTHER PROJECTS.

AND RIGHT NOW WE JUST HAVE A VERY EMPTY TOOLBOX.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UH, ANYBODY ELSE? YES MA'AM.

YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU HAD APPLIED FOR HOT FUNDS AND THEY WERE DECLINED.

WHAT A, WHAT WERE YOU ASKING FOR TO USE IT AND DO YOU KNOW WHY IT WAS DECLINED? WE APPLIED FOR THE ELEVATE GRANT.

UM, WE ASKED FOR FUNDING TO SUPPORT OUR HOT SUMMER NIGHTS FESTIVAL.

UM, WE APPLIED FOR THE APPEAL AND THE APPEAL WAS DECLINED.

UM, THE ONLY COMMENTS THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DIGEST FROM THE PANELISTS, SEVEN MINUTE COMMENTS WAS THAT THEY WANTED MORE INFORMATION ON THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF WHAT OUR BOARD MAKEUP WAS, THE DEMOGRAPHICS ON WHAT, UM, WHO WE SERVED AND WHO OUR AUDIENCE WAS.

BUT THERE WAS NOT ONE QUESTION IN THE APPLICATION THAT ASKED US TO SUPPORT OR TO PROVIDE DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION.

GOT IT.

AND HAVE YOU BEEN COORDINATING WITH THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE ABOUT SOME OF THE PROGRAMS THEY HAVE COMING FORWARD FOR ACTIVATING SPACES? YEAH, WE'RE DEFINITELY IN COMMUNICATION WITH THEM ON A REGULAR BASIS.

OKAY.

GOOD.

MM-HMM? .

YEAH.

OKAY.

UH, IS THERE ANYBODY ONLINE THAT HAS ANY QUESTIONS? YES, WE'VE GOT, UM, LET'S SEE.

COMMISSIONER PATTERSON.

HI.

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE A QUICK COMMENT ABOUT, UM, THIS TYPE OF FUNDING FOR MUSIC.

I, I THINK IT'S, IT'S REALLY HELPFUL TO THINK OF IT AS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THAT, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE MUSIC HERE IS A HUGE TOURISM DRIVER AND THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT IS A UNIQUE CLUSTER OF VENUES.

UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT, IT'S NOT EXACTLY LIKE GRANT.

I MEAN, IT IS, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS LIKE IT'S A GRANT FUNDING, BUT REALLY TO ME IT'S, IT'S AN INVESTMENT IN THE TOURISM ECONOMY AS WELL.

AND, UM, WITH THE CONVENTION CENTER IS GONNA BE CLOSED FOR FOUR PLUS YEARS.

SO I THINKS MANY OF THESE SPACES THAT ARE SO CLOSE TO THE CONVENTION CENTER, UM, YOU KNOW, THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT IS A BLOCK AWAY AND THESE ARE GONNA BE VERY IMPORTANT SPACES DURING SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, UM, WHICH CURRENTLY, YOU KNOW, USES LOTS OF CONVENTION CENTER SPACE.

SO I JUST THINK THAT THAT'S SOMETHING TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TO, LIKE, THAT WE WANNA PRESERVE THESE VENUES, NOT JUST FOR THEIR CULTURAL VALUE, BUT ALSO FOR THEIR ECONOMIC VALUE.

A HUNDRED PERCENT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS? ALRIGHT.

WE HAVE BEFORE US THIS EVENING A, UH, RESOLUTION, UM, FOR RE IT'S RECOMMENDATION NUMBER 2 0 2 4 0 3 2 0 0 2, UH, TITLED IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE FUNDING FOR THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT.

UH, WHEREAS ON FEBRUARY 9TH, 2024, CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER TO RETURN TO COUNCIL WITH AN ECONOMIC AND

[00:25:01]

CULTURAL DISTRICT FRAMEWORK IDENTIFYING FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT.

AND WHEREAS THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DIS DISTRICT IS THE, IS AUSTIN'S LARGEST GEOGRAPHICALLY CONTIGUOUS COLLECTION OF LIVE MUSIC VENUES, HOSTING LOCAL AND TOURING ARTISTS FROM A DIVERSE RANGE OF BACKGROUNDS AND A WEALTH OF GENRES FROM HIP HOP TO LATIN TO LBT QIA PLUS TO INDEPENDENT ROCK AND MORE.

AND WHEREAS OTHER DESIGNATED AUSTIN CULTURAL DISTRICTS HAVE RECEIVED RECENT FUNDING IN AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $120,000 TO $300,000.

AND WHEREAS AUSTIN'S LIVE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS A PRIMARY DRIVER OF TOURISM, AND WHEREAS AUSTIN'S LIVE MUSIC VENUES FACE DRAMATICALLY ESCALATING RENT AND OPERATING COSTS.

AND WHEREAS THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT PRODUCES TWO ANNUAL FESTIVALS, WHICH ARE COMPLETELY FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

AND ON FEBRUARY 15TH, 2024, CITY COUNCIL PASSED A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER TO INVESTIGATE WAYS TO PRESERVE ACCESSIBLE, INCLUSIVE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC EVENTS, AND TO IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CITY TO SUPPORT AND PROMOTE COMMUNITY EVENTS.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION RECOMMENDS THAT THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL ALLOCATE IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE FUNDING TO THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT CONSISTENT WITH AMOUNTS ALLOCATED TO OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS THROUGH ITS MANAGING ENTITY, RED RIVER MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION.

DO I HAVE A MOTION? SO MOVED THAT WE SUPPORT THE RESOLUTION.

I HAVE A MOTION.

DO I HAVE A SECOND? SECOND.

I HAVE A MOTION AND A SECOND.

OPEN IT UP FOR DISCUSSION.

LET'S DO IT.

COMMISSIONER SCHUMACHER.

HEY.

UM, SO I HAVE ONE QUICK QUESTION.

IS THIS INTENDED TO BE A, A BUDGET RECOMMENDATION OR JUST A SEPARATE RECOMMENDATION? WELL, THE, THEY WILL HAVE TO BUDGET FOR IT, BUT, SO THE, THE REASON I ASK, I GUESS I, I SHOULD JUST CUT TO THE POINT.

UM, UH, I, I HAD THIS HAPPEN ON ANOTHER BOARD OF COMMISSION A WHILE AGO, BUT, UM, IF YOU WANT IT TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE BUDGET PERFORMANCE DIVISION, UM, SOMETIMES IF YOU DON'T PUT LIKE FY 25 OR 24 BUDGET RECOMMENDATION ON THERE, WHEN THEY SCRAPE BCIC FOR BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS, THEY DON'T, SOMETIMES THEY MISS SOME.

UM, SO IT, IT MAY BE WORTH CLARIFYING THAT THIS IS A EXPLICIT RECOMMENDATION FOR THE FY UM, 24 25 BUDGET.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONER PATTERSON HAS HER HAND UP AND IT MAY RELATE TO THIS.

UH, YEAH, I DO.

MUSIC COMMISSIONER, YOU JUST WENT OFF.

SORRY.

AV OR WE TRYING TO, WE CAN'T, DID EVERYBODY'S GO OFF? I THINK EVERYBODY'S GOING OFF ON, YEAH, IT LOOKS LIKE EVERYBODY REMOTE.

ALL OF THEIR MICS GOT TURNED OFF.

HOLD ON JUST A SECOND.

COMMISSIONER PATTERSON, WE'LL BE BACK TO YOU IN THE MEANTIME.

I THINK AT SOME POINT IN TIME AFTER COMMISSIONER PATTERSON HAS HER OPPORTUNITY, IT MIGHT BE WORTH HAVING A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT TO SPECIFY THAT IT'S FOR THE FY 24 25 FISCAL YEAR.

YEAH, AGREED.

ALTHOUGH IT DOES IT WITHIN THE TEXT, IT DOES SAY IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE.

IT DOES SAY IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE.

I THINK WE WOULD JUST, WHAT IS THE CITY'S FISCAL YEAR DATES? UH, SEPTEMBER 30TH IS THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR.

JULY, THEY USUALLY ADOPT THE BUDGET JULY.

ARE THEY BACK ON OR JUNE? UH, THEY'LL ADOPT THE BUDGET IN AUGUST.

IN AUGUST OR INTO SEPTEMBER.

OKAY.

ARE THEY WORKING NOW OR NOT? CORRECT.

AND OUR DEADLINE FOR MAKING BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS IS REALLY THIS COMMISSION MEETING.

YEAH.

THAT'S WHY WE'VE GOT A NUMBER OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE ON TONIGHT.

SO IT MAKES IT INTO THE BUDGET CONVERSATION.

RIGHT.

COMMISSIONER PATTERSON, CAN YOU SAY HI TO SEE IF WE CAN HEAR YOU? NO, NO.

WOULD YOU CHECK AND SEE IF YOU'RE MUTED ON YOUR END? NOW? I, OKAY.

SO IF WE MADE THIS RECOMMENDATION, THEY WOULDN'T SEE ANY MONEY UNTIL SEPTEMBER? IS THAT WHAT WE'RE SEEING? YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT.

YEAH, THERE'S, I, IF THE CITY

[00:30:01]

WERE TO HAVE ANY AVAILABLE FUNDS THAT HADN'T BEEN COMMITTED OR HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM ANOTHER PROJECT, THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO REALLOCATE IT, I THINK.

BUT BEYOND THAT, THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO UNTIL THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR.

DO YOU RECEIVE ANY, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDS THAT YOU RECEIVE? THAT WE RECEIVE? YEAH, WE DO RECEIVE, UM, FUNDING FROM DONORS.

UM, THAT CAN BE AS SMALL AS $5 A MONTH TO AN ANNUAL DONATION OF A THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE.

WE ALSO RECEIVE FUNDING THROUGH SPONSORSHIPS.

SO THROUGH OUR EVENTS WE HAVE A LOT OF SPONSORED PARTNERS THAT HELP SUPPORT THAT.

AND THEN, UM, THOSE PAY FOR OUR MUSICIANS AND THE COST OF THOSE EVENTS.

UM, WE ALSO RECEIVED FUNDING THROUGH GRANTS.

SO WE'VE RECEIVED FUNDING THROUGH THE TEXAS STATE AND SOME, UM, TEXAS COMMISSION OF THE ARTS AND ALSO SOME PRIVATE GRANT OPPORTUNITIES.

I GUESS IT'S OKAY TO ASK QUESTIONS WHILE EVERYBODY'S OFFLINE.

WELL, THIS IS, WELL, WE JUST, WE JUST LOST QUORUM.

YEAH, WE JUST LOST QUORUM.

WHICH GIVES US A CHANCE TO FIGURE OUT THE WORDING ON THIS CHAIR.

WE'RE RECOMMENDING A 10 MINUTE RECESS SO WE CAN WORK OUT THE TECHNICAL ISSUES.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SOMEBODY'S IN THE .

UH, THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION STANDS IN RECESS FOR TECHNICAL ISSUES FOR THE NEXT 10 MINUTES, WE'LL RECONVENE AT 6:13 PM TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES.

TECHNOLOGICAL RECESS.

THERE WERE NO VOTES TAKEN DURING RECESS.

UH, SO IT IS SIX 15 AND WE WILL PROCEED WITH THE MEETING AS, AS SCHEDULED.

SO BEFORE US WAS A RECOMMENDATION, UH, AND, UM, THERE WAS A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT THAT WAS GOING TO BE MADE REGARDING THE ADDITION OF LANGUAGE, UM, THAT, UH, READS, UH, IN THE RESOLUTION THAT THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION RECOMMENDS THAT AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL ALLOCATE IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE FUNDING TO INCLUDE FISCAL, THE FISCAL YEAR 24 25 BUDGET TO THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT CONSISTENT WITH AMOUNTS ALLOCATED TO OTHER CULTURAL DISTRICTS THROUGH ITS MANAGING ENTITY, RED RIVER MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION.

I WILL MAKE THAT AMENDMENT, OR I HAVE THE, THE, THE, THE AMENDMENT IS MOVED.

UM, IT'S, I'LL ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT.

SO I THINK WE DID THAT IN FAIRLY CORRECT ORDER.

OKAY.

WELL, LET'S JUST DO A MUL AGAIN IF WE CAN.

ARE WE AMENDING TO PUT FY IN THERE OR WHAT ARE WE ARE AMENDING TO ADD FISCAL YEAR 24 25.

OKAY.

AND I'M LOOKING AT CHRISTIE WHO'S GOING TO KEEP US ALL COPACETIC HERE AND WITHIN THE BOUND.

YEAH.

SO PRIOR TO THE RECESS, THERE WAS A MOTION TO APPROVE IN A SECOND.

RIGHT? SO NOW YOU'RE RIGHT, YOU'RE ON THE, UH, MOTION TO AMEND.

RIGHT.

AND SO WE JUST NEED TO TAKE A VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT AND THEN MOVE BACK TO MAIN MOTION.

WE'LL, BACK TO THE MAIN MOTION.

MM-HMM? ? YEP.

ALRIGHT.

I READ MY ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER.

.

ALRIGHT.

UH, WE NEED THE MOTION IS SECOND.

IS THERE ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION ON THE MOTION TO AMEND HEARING NONE.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.

AYE.

OPPOSED? HEARING NONE.

THE MOTION TO AMEND CARRIES.

NOW WE GO BACK TO THE MAIN MOTION.

UH, IS THERE ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION ON THE MAIN MOTION? UH, HEARING NONE? DO I HAVE, UH, WELL, HOLD QUESTION.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

OPPOSED? HEARING NONE.

THE MOTION CARRIES.

AND JUST TO CONFIRM, DID COMMISSIONER LEVINE VOTE? I VOTED.

AYE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

UM, THERE WILL BE ANOTHER ITEM BEFORE YOU REGARDING A CULTURAL DISTRICT OVERLAY PRESENTED BY THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT IN A FEW WEEKS, IS MY UNDERSTANDING.

UM, WE HAVE NOT BEEN BRIEFED ON THAT ITEM YET, BUT I WILL FOLLOW UP WITH THE COMMISSION TO PROVIDE SOME MORE, UM, BACKGROUND ON THAT.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT TODAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALRIGHT.

UH, THE NEXT

[3. Approve a recommendation to City Council to appropriate funding during the FY 2025 Budget to equip the Austin Police Department and Transportation and Public Works Department with sufficient barricades to enhance pedestrian safety for Downtown activities and events.]

ITEM IS TO APPROVE A RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO APPROPRIATE FUNDING DURING THE FY UH, 2025 BUDGET YEAR TO EQUIP THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT AND TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT WITH SUFFICIENT BARRICADES TO ENHANCE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY FOR DOWNTOWN ACTIVITIES IN EVENTS.

UH, AND I BELIEVE YOU ARE SPONSORING THAT MOTION.

YES.

WOULD YOU PRESENT IT TO THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDED RECOMMENDATION BY THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION.

THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION RECOMMENDS THAT AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL APPROPRIATE FUNDING IN THE AMOUNT OF $518,291

[00:35:03]

AND 19 CENTS TO PURCHASE 65 MERIDIAN ARCHER MOVABLE STREET BARRICADES AND ASSOCIATED ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED QUOTE FROM THE MERIDIAN RAPID DEFENSE GROUP SALES LLC AND THEREBY EQUIP THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT AND TRANSPORTATION PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT WITH SUFFICIENT BARRICADES TO ENHANCE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY FOR DOWNTOWN ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS.

ALRIGHT.

UM, DO I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE? UH, I'LL MOVE IT.

I HAVE A MOTION.

DO I HAVE A SECOND? SECOND DISCUSSION.

I WOULD SAY THAT THIS IS REALLY NECESSARY.

THIS IS, UM, SOMETHING THAT, UH, WHEN I WAS SPEAKING TO ONE OF THE OFFICERS AFTER THE LAST TIME, WE DISCUSSED THIS HERE AT THE MEETING AFTER, UM, AFTER SOUTH BAYO WAS ACTUALLY TALKING TO ONE OF THE OFFICERS, UH, AFTER THE CAPITOL MARATHON.

THERE WAS ALMOST A FATAL ACCIDENT AFTER THE CAPITOL MARATHON BECAUSE SOMEBODY, UH, DROVE ONTO SOUTH CONGRESS AND RF AND SPUN OUT AND HIT A HOLE.

AND LUCKILY THE MAIN BODY OF PEOPLE HAD GONE THROUGH ALREADY.

SO NOBODY THAT WAS PARTICIPATING IN THE MARATHON GOT HURT.

BUT, UM, THEY WOULD'VE BEEN ABLE TO BLOCK THIS MAJOR INTERSECTION OFF PROPERLY HAD THEY HAD THESE BARRICADES.

NOT HAVING THEM MEANT THAT THEY COULDN'T DO THAT, AND IT WAS JUST GOOD LUCK THAT NOBODY GOT KILLED.

BUT IT'S BETWEEN THAT AND WHAT HAPPENED AT SOUTH BY, IT JUST SEEMS TO ME TO BE REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE THESE, AND THAT THEY BE, HAVING THEM BE OWNING THEM MEANS WE CAN USE THEM FOR MORE EVENTS THAN JUST THE COUPLE A YEAR THAT WE CAN AFFORD TO RENT THEM FOR.

SO IT'S JUST, UH, TO ME IS A HUGE, BOTH COST AND LIFESAVER.

I, I SEE THE EFFICACY OF THIS AND OBVIOUSLY THE MORE IT'S USED, THE MORE COST EFFECTIVE IT IS.

BUT I DO THINK THAT AFTER THEY DEMONSTRATE THEIR VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY FOR THESE VERY EVENT, VARIOUS EVENTS, I WOULD HOPE THAT OUR FOLKS FROM TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC SAFETY COME BACK AND SAY, LISTEN, THEY'RE WORKING SO WELL.

WE HAVE SO MANY EVENTS IN THIS CITY THAT ARE LARGER THAN JUST AROUND SIXTH STREET.

TO, TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT MORE OF THEM, MORE OF MORE OF THE EVENTS, MORE OF THE PUBLIC.

ABSOLUTELY.

AS I COMMENTED TO SOMEBODY TODAY, UH, FOLKS ARE SAFE WITHIN THE BARRICADES.

THEY ARE, BUT THAT ONLY COVERS A LIMITED AREA.

MM-HMM.

.

AND WE HAVE ON ANY GIVEN NIGHT OR FOR ANY GIVEN EVENT, WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WANDERING AROUND A MUCH BIGGER PART OF THE DOWNTOWN.

AND UNFORTUNATELY, THE TRAGEDY THAT UNFOLDED THE OTHER EVENING WAS OUTSIDE THE BARRIERS.

WAS OUTSIDE THE BARRIERS.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND SO IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING TO MITIGATE THE, UM, MISBEHAVIORS NO.

THAT MIGHT OCCUR BEYOND THOSE.

BUT IF, IF THESE WORK AS WE BELIEVE THEY WILL FOR A MERE HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, UH, I WOULD HOPE THAT THAT, UH, THEY COME BACK AND SAY, LET'S EXPAND THE PROGRAM, LET'S EXPAND IT, GET SOME MORE SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO MAKE OUR PUBLIC SAFE AT ALL OF THESE EVENTS.

AGREED.

ALRIGHT.

ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION? UH, COMMISSIONER SCHUMACHER? UH, YEAH.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO, UM, THANK THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION FOR BRINGING THIS AND ALSO FLAG FOR YOU THAT, UH, THE URBAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING IN OUR TRANSPORTATION PUBLIC WORKS, UH, BUDGET RECOMMENDATION, UH, QUOTE, WORK WITH A PD TO PURCHASE 65 MERIDIAN ARCH REMOVABLE STREET BARRICADES INTO AN TO ENHANCE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY.

AND THEN WE PUT SEED DOWNTOWN COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION 20 23 0 6 2 1 AND ANY SUBSEQUENT 24 25 RECOMMENDATIONS.

UH, SO THE UTC HAS, UH, PROACTIVELY SUPPORTED THIS RECOMMENDATION.

UH, AND, UM, I ALSO THINK IT'S, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE'RE HIGHLIGHTING THAT THIS NEEDS TO BE A JOINT EFFORT OF TPW, UM, AND AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT.

UM, IN TALKING WITH TPW STAFF, THEY HAVE, UH, I THINK A LOT OF CREATIVE USES ABOUT HOW THEY CAN USE THIS, UM, YEAR ROUND, UH, AND, UH, REALLY ENHANCE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY, UH, BEYOND JUST EVENTS, YOU KNOW, FOR THINGS LIKE NEIGHBORHOOD BLOCK PARTIES.

UM, AND THIS CAN REALLY BE AN ASSET FOR THE WHOLE CITY, UH, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR DOWNTOWN.

ABSOLUTELY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALRIGHT.

UH, ARE THERE ANY OTHER COMMENTS, QUESTIONS? ALRIGHT.

UH, ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION, PLEASE SAY AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

OPPOSED? HEARING NONE.

THE MOTION CARRIES.

THANK Y'ALL VERY MUCH.

I THINK THIS IS A GREAT FIRST STEP.

ME TOO.

UH, OR NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS OF PROTECTING THE PUBLIC.

ALL RIGHTY.

UH, THE NEXT ITEM

[4. Approve a recommendation to Council regarding Downtown graffiti policy with updated information presented by Chair Harris, Downtown Commission.]

IS FROM ME.

[00:40:01]

UH, IT REGARDS THE, UH, GRAFFITI GRAFFITI POLICY THAT, UH, WE AS A DOWNTOWN COMMISSION APPROVED LAST YEAR, UH, IT WAS PRESENTED TO COUNCIL, UH, COUNCIL DIDN'T ACT ON IT.

UH, IN THE INTERIM, ANOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ALL HAVE NOTICED IT AS MUCH AS I HAVE, BUT GRAFFITI SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE AND WORSE AND WORSE ACROSS TOWN.

AND, AND THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT JUST AFFECTS DOWNTOWN, ALTHOUGH IT, IT HAS A PROFOUND IMPACT ON DOWNTOWN, BUT IT'S SPREADING ACROSS THE CITY.

AND IT'S, UH, IT COSTS TAXPAYERS, IT COSTS THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

WE HAVE SOME OF THE NUMBERS FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

BUT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT DRAMATICALLY AFFECTS THIS CITY.

AND IT IS SPIRALING, SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL.

AND, UM, SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE FOUND FROM THE WORKING GROUP LAST YEAR IS THAT THERE IS NOT A STRUCTURED, COHESIVE PROCESS FOR, UH, TAKING CALLS ON GRAFFITI.

MM-HMM.

, WHEN YOU CALL 3 1 1, IT'S ROUTED TO THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

UH, WHICH SEEMS A BIT STRANGE, BUT THAT'S WHERE IT GOES.

AND THEY HAVE A PERIOD OF TIME TO EVALUATE IT.

UH, AND THEN AT SOME POINT IN TIME, IF IT'S ON CITY PROPERTY, A A CITY DEPARTMENT MAY DEAL WITH IT.

UM, IF IT IS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, THAT BECOMES A WHOLE DIFFERENT MATTER.

UM, WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT WITH PRIVATE PROPERTY, UNLESS THERE IS A CODE VIOLATION OF ANOTHER SORT, CODE ENFORCEMENT WILL JUST PROVIDE A NOTICE, A NOTICE OF CONVENIENCE THAT YOUR BUILDING HAS BEEN TAGGED.

UM, I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH A CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO SAID THEY DIDN'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING.

SO UNFORTUNATELY, UH, WE HAVE A PROBLEM GETTING WORSE AND WORSE AND WORSE.

UH, I HAD ASKED THE DIFFERENT CITY DEPARTMENTS AND OTHER, UH, ORGANIZATIONS THAT WE ENGAGED WITH DURING THE WORKING GROUP MEETINGS, UH, THAT WHO HAD PROVIDED US WITH SOME DATA.

RIGHT.

UH, AND YOU WILL SEE SOME OF THAT DATA IN THE RESOLUTION FROM LAST YEAR IN FRONT OF YOU.

UM, I CAN TELL YOU THAT, UH, TXDOT OVER THE LAST YEAR HAS EXPERIENCED A 146 OR 46% INCREASE IN THE VOLUME OF, UH, VANDALISM THAT, OF GRAFFITI THAT THEY'RE HAVING TO DEAL WITH 46% IN ONE YEAR.

YEAH.

I SAW ONE SIGN THAT HAD GOTTEN TAGGED AND THEY FINALLY, YOU KNOW, CHANGED IT OUT FOR A NEW SIGN.

AND LITERALLY 24 HOURS LATER, IT WAS TIME TOGETHER.

MM-HMM.

, I MEAN, THIS IS REALLY OUTTA CONTROL.

YEAH.

UM, WELL, AND THAT'S A GOOD POINT THAT I'LL GET BACK TO C-T-R-M-A THAT HANDLES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MOPAC, MOST OF THIS VANDALISM HAPPENS WITHIN THE CORE PART OF MOPAC.

UH, AND I CAN TELL YOU THERE'S AN, THERE WAS A MOPAC SIGN THERE.

YOU KNOW, THERE IS AN EXTENSIVE AMOUNT THAT'S THAT'S COME ON LATELY, BUT IT'S GONE UP 129% SINCE LAST YEAR.

WOW.

AND THOSE ARE JUST TWO EXAMPLES.

DAA, UH, THEY HAD, UH, 5,900 INCIDENTS, UH, WHERE THAT, THAT THEY ACTUALLY DID THE ABATEMENT, BUT IT WAS MORE THAN THAT, THAT WERE REPORTED.

UM, THEY SPENT NEARLY A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ABATING IN THE DOWNTOWN PIT ALONE.

RIGHT.

AND THEY'RE, WITHOUT GOING INTO TOO MUCH DETAIL, UM, SOME OF THESE FOLKS ARE GETTING UP ON TOP OF BUILDINGS AND DEFACING THE BUILDINGS FROM THE TOP.

AND THAT IS AN EX INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS COST.

WELL, IT'S DANGEROUS FOR THEM.

IT'S DANGEROUS FOR THE PUBLIC BELOW.

IT'S COSTLY TO REMEDIATE.

UM, AND IT'S, IT'S A GAME.

YEAH.

AND, UM, TAG YOUR IT.

YEAH.

AND SO, UM, I WISH I HAD PARS INFORMATION LAST YEAR OR, UM, 2023 OR 2022.

PARD SPENT OVER $600,000 IN THEIR PRECIOUS FUNDS, ABATING VANDALISM THROUGHOUT OUR PARKS.

AND THAT WAS, THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH TO GET THE JOB DONE.

UH, SO ANYWAY, UM, THE INTENT OF THIS WAS TO, AND I, AGAIN, I WISH I HAD, UH, BUILDING SERVICES, UH, WITH THE CITY SPENT ROUGHLY HALF A MILLION.

UM, BUT WE HAD REQUESTED A MINIMUM BUDGET AMOUNT TO CREATE A DEPARTMENT THAT WOULD FOCUS SOLELY ON GRAFFITI.

AND YOU, YOU CAN READ THROUGH THE RESOLUTION, WE CAN TRY TO MAKE IT AS THOROUGH, THOROUGH AS POSSIBLE.

YEAH.

AND THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

AND WE ARE COMING UP TO BUDGET AGAIN.

WE DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT ANOTHER RESOLUTION WAS NECESSARY.

THE EXISTING BUDGET, UH, I

[00:45:01]

MEAN, REQUEST WAS OUT THERE.

THE RESOLUTION WAS OUT THERE.

WE JUST WANTED TO BRING THIS BACK TO YOU TO SAY THAT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE DID LAST YEAR THAT WE, THAT THE COUNCIL HAS YET TO ACT ON.

I KNOW THERE IS SOME MOVEMENT WITHIN, UH, AT LEAST SOME MEMBERS OF COUNCIL WHO ARE SEEING THIS PROBLEM THROUGHOUT THEIR DISTRICT AND WANNA DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

SO HOPEFULLY THIS CYCLE WILL SEND A GENERAL REMINDER THAT THIS IS STILL OUTSTANDING, PROBABLY UNDERFUNDED AT THIS POINT.

UH, YOU KNOW, 4 MILLION MIGHT BE MORE OPERATIVE OR BETTER THAN TWO TWO, BUT, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, UM, THAT I WAS IN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT, AND NOT NECESSARILY TO GO INTO A RESOLUTION, BUT AT ONE POINT IN TIME, UH, AEROSOL CANS HAD TO BE BEHIND CAGES AT, AT LIKE THE, THE BOX CONSTRUCTION STORES AND WHATNOT.

MM-HMM.

, UH, AND SOME OF THE OTHER ONES, AND THEY'VE NOW GONE FOR SOME REASON.

BUT THAT WAS BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE USING THE PAINT THE AEROSOL FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

AND, UM, RATHER THAN GO TO THAT EXTREME AND TO PUT BUSINESSES UNDER, UH, SOME BURDEN THEY MIGHT NOT LIKE.

ONE OF THE SUGGESTIONS THAT I CAME UP WITH WAS TO HAVE THE CITY PLACE SIGNAGE AT IN FRONT OF ANY DISPLAY OF AEROSOL PAINT CANS, UH, THAT SAYS, YOU KNOW, THESE ARE THE PENALTIES AND THEY ARE OUTLINED IN STATE STATUTE.

AND, UH, PERHAPS IF FOLKS KNOW THAT THERE CAN BE CONSEQUENCES, AND SOME OF THEM ARE FAIRLY EXTREME, I MEAN, IT CAN RISE TO A FELONY, UH, THAT, UM, THEY PERHAPS MAY MAKE ANOTHER DECISION AND IT WOULD BE FAIRLY IN INOBTRUSIVE, FAIRLY COST EFFECTIVE, BUT HOPEFULLY DO SOME GOOD IN THE PROCESS.

ANYHOW, SOMETHING THAT WE'RE NOODLING OVER RIGHT NOW.

COMMISSIONER HARRIS? YES, MA'AM.

MY APOLOGIES.

BUT, UH, COMMISSIONER LEVINE JUST STEPPED OFF THE DAIS, SO WE'VE LOST QUORUM.

SO I JUST ASK IF COMMISSIONER LEVINE, UM, CAN PUT HIS CAMERA BACK ON AND STEP BACK INTO THE MEETING.

WE MIGHT NEED TO TAKE A RECESS.

SO COMMISSIONER LEVINE, IF YOU CAN HEAR US, UM, PLEASE PUT BACK, UH, IT WOULD BE GREAT FOR YOU TO COME BACK INTO QUORUM, UM, BY TURNING YOUR CAMERA ON.

I DON'T HAVE HIS INFO, SO I CAN'T, I APOLOGIZE TO THOSE THAT ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING.

WE ARE, WE HAVE MOMENTARILY FALLEN OUT OF QUORUM BECAUSE OF, UH, REQUIREMENTS WITH REMOTE ATTENDEES.

WE'LL RESUME THE MEETING, HOPEFULLY MOMENTARILY.

CHAIR HARRIS, MAYBE WE COULD TAKE A FIVE MINUTE RECESS.

OOPS, SORRY, JUST A MOMENT.

WE'RE GONNA TAKE A FIVE MINUTE RECESS WHILE WE WAIT FOR COMMISSIONER LEVINE TO RETURN.

I APOLOGIZE YOU TO LISTEN TO ME DRONE ON AND ON ABOUT GRAFFITI.

UM, ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? I JUST WANTED TO ADD A COMMENT AND THAT IS, IT'S NOT JUST A VISUAL BLIGHT AND IT'S NOT THE COST OF PROPERTY DAMAGE, IT LOWERS PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE PERCEPTION OF PUBLIC SAFETY, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THING.

WELL, AND ONE THING, UH, THAT COMMISSIONER LEVINSON ME MENTIONED WAS, UH, DAMAGE TO STREET SIGNS.

MM-HMM.

,

[00:50:01]

UH, AND IF YOU'VE NOTICED, UH, ON THE HIGHWAY SIGNS YEP.

ON FRONT AND ON BACK, UH, THAT MEANS PEOPLE ARE OVER THE RIGHT OF WAY WITH SPRAY CANS.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND AS I MENTIONED LAST YEAR, NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN IF SOMETHING FALLS, UH, WHETHER IT'S A PERSON FALLING ON A CAR OR IN THE ROADWAY OR A CAN FALLING ON THE CAR ON THE ROADWAY, BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN.

AND, UM, SO ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO MITIGATE THAT IS, IS GOOD.

BUT ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE LEARNED LAST YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE REFLECTIVE COATINGS ON THESE SIGNS, THEY CAN'T BE CLEANED.

THEY HAVE TO BE REPLACED.

SO EVERY TIME YOU SEE SOMEBODY THAT'S HAD A GREAT TIME SPRAYING ALL OVER A STOP SIGN, THAT STOP SIGN IS RUINED.

IT HAS TO BE REPLACED.

UM, A MOPAC I 35 SIGN, THINK ABOUT THE COST BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO GET OVER THE RIGHT OF WAY TO REPLACE THAT SIGN.

SO IT IS A TREMENDOUS BURDEN AND, AND IT'S A PUBLIC SAFETY RISK.

THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CLIMBING ON TOP OF THESE BUILDINGS THAT ARE CLIMBING ON ABANDONED BUILDINGS, WELL, YOU KNOW, THEY SHOULD HAVE TRES THOSE TRESPASS SIGNS UP, BUT THAT'S CRIMINAL TRESPASS, BUT BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN THERE.

MM-HMM.

, UH, I THINK THE, ONE OF THE ANALOGIES IS THE BROKEN WINDOW THEORY.

UH, AND IT DOES, IT DOES HAVE A TENDENCY TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LESS SAFE.

AND IT'S NOT JUST ABANDONED BUILDINGS.

NOW THEY'RE GETTING MORE AGGRESSIVE WITH BUILDINGS THAT ARE IN USE.

THAT'S RIGHT.

ONGOING BUSINESSES.

YEAH.

YEAH.

AND RESIDENCES.

YEAH.

SO I WANTED TO BRING THAT TO YOUR ATTENTION.

UH, AND UH, I THINK IT NEEDS TO, IT, WE NEED TO PRESS COUNSEL ONCE AGAIN SAYING THIS WAS OUT HERE.

THIS WAS OUT HERE LAST YEAR.

THE SITUATION, IT'S ONLY GOTTEN WORSE BECAUSE, UH, UH, THE ONE THING THAT I WOULD ADD IS THAT, UH, WHEN I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE PROCESS AND IT GOING THROUGH 3 1 1 GOING PUBLIC HEALTH, THEN BEING DISPENSED OUT TO WHOEVER WOULD, WOULD GO THROUGH THE ABATEMENT PROCESS, BEST PRACTICE SAYS THAT GRAFFITI HAS TO BE REMEDIATED WITHIN 48 HOURS.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND IF, IF PUB, IF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS TO REVIEW IT, YOU'RE, YOU'RE WELL BEYOND WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE.

THERE ARE, WE HAVE PEER CITY, SAN ANTONIO IS A GREAT ONE.

THERE ARE PEER CITIES THAT ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.

AND THIS IS NOT TO FAULT TO ANYBODY AT THE CITY.

THERE JUST IS NO STRUCTURE IN PLACE.

YEAH.

AND IT WOULD, WE, WE TALK ABOUT UNDERSTAFFED FOLKS AT AT THREE ONE ONE AT OUR CALL CENTER, UH, IF THEY'RE HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS, RATHER THAN HAVING A DEDICATED, UH, TEAM RESPONDING TO THIS, IF, YOU KNOW, FREES UP SOME, SOME RESOURCES FOR, FOR THOSE SORTS OF CALLS.

ANYHOW, I DID WANNA BRING IT BACK TO YOUR ATTENTION.

UH, IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE'VE ALREADY ADDRESSED, BUT, UH, IF, IF WE FEEL LIKE, UH, THERE'S A ANOTHER RESOLUTION THAT NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT FORWARD, WE CAN CERTAINLY DO THAT AT OUR NEXT MEETING IF IT'S THE WILL OF THE COMMISSION.

SO, DO I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS FROM ANYBODY ANYWHERE? I HAVE A QUESTION.

COMMISSIONER KOFA.

YEAH.

I JUST HAVE A QUESTION IN TERMS OF, UM, IT SAYS ESTABLISH AN OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE ANTI GRAFFITI UNIT OF NO LESS THAN 2 MILLION ANNUALLY TO FUND, UH, FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT AND RESOURCES NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAM.

ANY THIRD PARTY GRAFFITI ABATEMENT, SERVICE CONTRACTS.

DO WE KNOW IF COUNSEL APPROVED THAT FUNDING? THEY DID NOT.

THEY DIDN'T DO ANY.

SURE.

RIGHT.

BUT IF THEY WERE TO, WHAT DEPARTMENT WOULD THE ANTI GRAFFITI UNIT LIVE WITHIN, HAS THAT BEEN DISCUSSED? THAT'S, THAT HAS BEEN DISCUSSED.

AND I DON'T THINK ANY DEPARTMENT HAS, HAS, UH, SPOKEN UP THAT THEY WANT TO BE THE OWNERS OF THIS.

I WAS GONNA SAY, BECAUSE POTENTIAL IDEA, IF NO DEPARTMENT WANTS TO OWN THIS, IS THAT THAT FUNDING COULD BE DISTRIBUTED TO DIFFERENT, UM, LIKE, UM, LIKE NOT NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE AT LIKE PUDS OR PIS POTENTIALLY, IF THERE WAS A WAY TO DISTRIBUTE IT, LIKE IF THERE WAS OTHER CREATIVE WORKAROUNDS.

WELL, PART OF THIS IS TO CONSOLIDATE THE EFFORT MM-HMM.

TO STREAMLINE THE EFFORT RATHER THAN SURE.

THIS PERSON.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW EACH DEPARTMENT PART BEING A GOOD EXAMPLE, UM, TAKES CARE OF THEIR OWN PROPERTIES AND, BUT THERE'S, THERE'S NO RELIABLE CONSISTENT REPORTING BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS.

THERE'S, AS IT WAS EXPLAINED TO US, IF, IF, LET'S SAY A SIGNAL BOX IS TAGGED, UM, TRANSPORTATION OR STREET BRIDGE OR SOMEBODY MM-HMM.

MIGHT GO OUT AND THEY MAY HAVE PAINT ON THEIR TRUCK AND

[00:55:01]

THEY GO AND PAINT IT OVER, THEY MAY NOT REPORT THAT AS AN INCIDENT.

MM-HMM.

.

SO THE NUMBERS THAT WE SEE FROM 3 1 1 AND FROM THESE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS ARE PROBABLY GROSSLY UNDER REPORTED IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO.

BUT IT ALSO, WE, WE CAN'T, UM, WE CAN'T DEFINE HOW EXTENSIVE THE COST IS BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THE METRICS.

YEAH.

RIGHT.

UM, I, THE, ONE OF THE METRICS THAT WAS IN THE, THE, THAT WAS PRESENTED LAST YEAR WAS THAT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, THIS WAS A $12 BILLION PROBLEM VANDALISM PROBLEM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

IT'S ONLY GOTTEN MORE SINCE THEN.

SO I GUESS LIKE, JUST TO, TO OUTLINE IT, ONE OF THE ISSUES IS NOT JUST THE FUNDING, BUT ALSO WHO THE SPONSOR WOULD BE ESSENTIALLY.

SO WHERE, WHERE IT WOULD, COULD HAVE SUGGEST THAT BASICALLY WHAT THE CITY NEEDS TO DO, AND IT MIGHT NOT BE THE ONLY THING IT HANDLES, IT NEEDS TO CREATE A DEPARTMENT OF NUISANCE ABATEMENT.

AND, AND THAT PROBABLY NEEDS TO LIVE UNDER SAY A BUILDING SERVICES TYPE OF AREA.

SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES.

BUT THAT'S WHAT THEY NEED IS THEY NEED A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT OF NUISANCE ABATEMENT.

AND IT WOULD INVOLVE THIS, AND IT MIGHT INVOLVE OTHER THINGS TOO.

UM, BUT THAT WAY YOU WOULD HAVE THEM CONSOLIDATED IN ONE AREA AND IF YOU GAVE THEM A DECENT BUDGET, UH, YOU MIGHT FIND THAT SOMEBODY, YOU KNOW, WOULD BE WILLING TO OVERSEE THEM.

WELL, AND IT CODE ENFORCEMENT MIGHT BE THE CODE ENFORCEMENT MIGHT BE THE RIGHT PERSON TO OVERSEE THEM.

SO IF YOU MADE A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT OF NUIS AND ABATEMENT UNDER CODE ENFORCEMENT, THAT SEEMS TO BE A LOGICAL PLACE TO PUT THEM.

WHEN WE HAD THESE DISCUSSIONS, WE ASKED THEM WHERE THEY THOUGHT IT WAS BEST THAT IT RESIDE.

AND I THINK THERE WERE ONGOING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT.

BUT THAT'S A WONDERFUL IDEA.

SO AGAIN, THIS, THE PURPOSE OF THIS WAS TO REPORT FROM, UH, THE YEAR THAT'S GONE BY, UM, THE MONEY THAT WAS REQUESTED IN THE LAST BUDGET OR IN THE, IN THE RESOLUTION LAST YEAR WAS CONSISTENT WITH THE MONEY THAT WE'RE ALREADY SPENDING.

IT'S JUST RIGHT.

MM-HMM.

, IT'S JUST DISPERSED.

SURE.

546,000 FROM PARKS AND REC, 437,000 FROM BUILDING SERVICES.

YEP.

AND THAT'S NOT EVEN ALL THE DEPARTMENTS TDOT AND MM-HMM.

.

WELL, AND THEN THE AMOUNT OF MONEY DAA SPENDS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY DA SPENDS, WHICH IS ANOTHER A HUNDRED PLUS THOUSAND, THIS WOULD ALLEVIATE A LOT OF BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS ON THOSE OTHER DEPARTMENTS TOO.

THAT'S RIGHT.

IT, YEAH, WE CONSOLIDATE THE EFFORT BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT HAVING TO ADDRESS IT.

THAT'S RIGHT.

MM-HMM.

.

AND THEN THAT'S 500 K THAT DEPARTMENT ISN'T HAVING TO SPEND.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WELL, AND IN PARKS CASE, EVERY DOLLAR THAT THEY'RE NOT HAVING TO SPEND TO MAKE GRAFFITI IN OUR PARKS GOES TO MAYBE MAKING OUR PARKS BETTER.

THAT'S RIGHT.

OKAY.

BUT I, I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME ON THIS.

AGAIN, IF, IF ANYBODY ON THE COMMISSION FEELS THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO, TO SEE COME FORWARD IN THE FORM OF RESOLUTION, I MAY ACTUALLY PLAY AROUND WITH THIS AND COME BACK WITH A RESOLUTION, UH, FOR NEXT MONTH.

SO, OKAY, , THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UM, WE'LL MOVE ON.

UH,

[5. Presentation on the Downtown Historic Survey by Emily Payne with HHM, Inc., on behalf of the Planning Department, Historic Preservation Division. ]

THE NEXT ITEM IS, UH, PRESENTATION ON THE DOWNTOWN HISTORIC SURVEY.

I SEE EMILY PAYNE OUT THERE.

UH, WELCOME.

UH, AND UH, THE FLOOR IS YOURS.

HELLO.

OKAY.

HELLO EVERYBODY.

MY NAME'S EMILY PAYNE.

I'M AN ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN WITH HHM AND ASSOCIATES HERE IN AUSTIN.

UM, WE'VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF WORKING WITH THE CITY ON A SERIES OF HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEYS OVER THE YEARS.

AND WE'RE CURRENTLY WORKING TO SURVEY, UM, DOWNTOWN AUSTIN, UM, BROADLY SPEAKING, UM, ROUGHLY FROM I 35 TO MOPAC AND LADYBIRD LAKE TO MLK.

SO TONIGHT WE'RE GONNA TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE SURVEY BOUNDARY, THE PROJECT SCHEDULE AND STATUS, UM, OUR SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY FOR THE SURVEY, BECAUSE I'M FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS THAT WE GET ASKED ABOUT HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEYS IN GENERAL, AND THEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC INPUT, UM, AND ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE.

SO THE SURVEY BOUNDARY, UM, AS I MENTIONED, IS ROUGHLY LADYBIRD LAKE TO MLK AND MOPAC TO I 35.

UM, THAT EXCLUDES, UM, RECENTLY SURVEYED AREAS.

SO FOR EXAMPLE, WE COMPLETED 2019 TO 2020, UM, A SURVEY OF WEST DOWNTOWN AUSTIN THAT, UM, RESULTED IN A NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICT THAT WAS JUST LISTED.

AND THERE ARE ANOTHER, UM, COUPLE OF RECENTLY SURVEYED AREAS, RECENT, UM, LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICTS THAT ARE EXCLUDED AND WILL REUSE

[01:00:01]

THAT PRIOR SURVEY AND DESIGNATION DATA TO KIND OF KNIT TOGETHER A DATA SET FOR THIS WHOLE AREA.

SO IT'S ABOUT, UM, 1,553 PARCELS THAT WE ESTIMATED, UM, IN THE AREA.

SO OUR SCHEDULE AND STATUS, UM, WE KICKED OFF IN OCTOBER.

UM, WE WORKED WITH THE CITY TO DEVELOP THE FIELD WORK METHODOLOGY COLLABORATIVELY.

AND RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN OUR FIELD WORK AND COMMUNITY COORDINATION PHASE.

SO WE ARE RIGHT HERE, UM, BASED ON OUR SCHEDULE.

I THINK WE'RE GONNA CONTINUE THAT COMMUNITY COORDINATION A LITTLE LONGER UNTIL UNTIL MAY.

WE'RE GONNA, UM, TRY TO ADD AN EXTRA PUBLIC MEETING SINCE IT IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT, UM, AREA FOR THE PUBLIC.

AND THEN WE'LL, UH, HAVE OUR RESEARCH DESIGN AND BEGIN OUR RESEARCH THROUGH THE SUMMER, UM, ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY INPUT AND DELIVER A FIRST DRAFT IN OCTOBER.

UM, ANOTHER DRAFT THAT WILL GO OUT TO THE PUBLIC IN JANUARY AND THEN TRY TO FINISH UP AT THE END OF FEBRUARY, 2025.

SO OUR CURRENT STATUS, WE'VE, WE HAVE ABOUT FOUR RESOURCES LEFT THAT WE HAVE TO GO SURVEY THAT ARE ALL THOSE HARD ONES WHEN YOU NEED NO TRAFFIC TO, TO SURVEY BRIDGES.

UM, AND WE'VE, THERE ARE ABOUT, UM, 1,989 RESOURCES SURVEYED TO DATE.

UM, WE ARE ALSO, UH, COMPLETING CITY DIRECTORY RESEARCH FOR, UM, EVERY HISTORIC AGE ALMOST, UH, FRIDAY, THAT IT RETAINS A DECENT DEGREE OF PHYSICAL INTEGRITY.

UM, AND THAT'S CURRENTLY COMPLETE.

AND WE'RE NOW, WE'RE MOVING ON TO OCCUPANT RESEARCH, LOOKING FOR THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OCCUPANTS FOR ALL OF THESE HOUSES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE NOT JUST LOOKING AT ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE, BUT ALSO CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.

UM, SO THAT KIND OF, RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN THAT EVALUATION STAGE.

WE'VE DONE THE SURVEY, WE'VE DONE THE FIRST CHUNK OF RESEARCH, WE'RE NOW DOING ANALYSIS AND TRYING TO, UM, SET PRIORITIES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS.

OKAY.

THE SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY OF THE SURVEY.

SO WE USED A GIS, UM, UH, FIELD MAPS.

UM, SO WE USED GIS IN THE FIELD.

SO BEFORE GOING OUT TO THE FIELD, WE PRE-POPULATE ALL OF THE PRIOR DESIGNATIONS, THE CAD DATA, UM, EVERYTHING WE CAN