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Top Morning Stories 1/30/12: AISD Out of Financial Emergency?

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Photo by KUT News
Austin ISD is expected to lift a declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight.

School Board to Withdraw Financial Exigency

The Austin ISD board is expected to withdraw the district's declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight. AISD declared itself to be in a state of fiscal emergency last February, which allowed the district to cut more than 1,000 positions. The district says they now have enough money in reserve to cover an anticipated deficit year. 

The school board will also discuss plans to construct a new north-central Austin elementary school and a performing arts center, slated for the Mueller neighborhood. Tonight's meeting will be at 7 p.m. at AISD offices on W. Sixth St.

Plastic Bag Forum
Tonight there will be a forum on the future of plastic and paper bags in Austin. Austin City Council approved a resolution last November to develop an ordinance for phasing out use of plastic bags at retail checkouts. Austin Resource Recovery has been tweaking the timeline for implementing the new ordinance, the types of retailers it involves and the fees charged for bags. The council may take action on the ordinance as early as March.

Tonight's meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall. It is possible to participate in the forum by calling 1-888-886-6603 and using 18004# by or by joining online.

During last week's Changing Austin, KUT’s Matt Largey sat down with Larry Schooler, the city’s community engagement consultant,  to discuss the proposed ban and the reactions the city has gotten from the public so far. You can hear that interview here.

Changes to 183-A Coming in April

Increased traffic on Highway 183-A, the toll road leg of the 183 roadway, has prompted the central Texas Mobility Authority to accelerate the development of the northern extension of 183-A. The extension will be a limited-access toll road with three lanes in each direction.

A total of 5 miles of road,  from FM 1431 to north of RM 2243, will be added by April. Schematics, construction updates and toll information about 183-A can be found here

As the Statemsan has reported, MoPac (Loop 1),is set for an expansion of its own soon.

A federally required environmental study is in its final stages, with approval likely in the fall. The mobility authority, deputized by the Texas Department of Transportation to develop the project, has refined what it will do: add a fourth express toll lane on each side of MoPac(Loop 1) from just north of Lady Bird Lake to near Parmer Lane in far North Austin.