AM Update: County Considers Apple Again, West Texas Wildfires, San Marcos Talks Alcohol in Parks
County Considers Apple Incentives, Again
The Travis County Commissioners Court will review an economic agreement with computing giant Apple today.
The City of Austin has pledged an estimated $8 million in tax rebates to bring the company here, and the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund is offeringanother $21 million in incentives. But in order for those to go through, the county must also approve a deal to bring Apple here. It would involve Travis County giving Apple between $5.4 and $6.4 million dollars in tax rebates over 15 years. So far, the agreement has been discussed at several Commissioners Court meetings, but hasn’t been finalized yet.
The deal would require Apple to hire 300 workers by the end of 2016. The lowest-paid workers would have to earn an average of at least $35,000 dollars a year.
The commissioners are meeting at 9 a.m. this morning.
Wildfires in Livermore Ranch and Spring Mountain
It looks like wildfire season in Texas has begun: Fire crews in West Texas are battling two fires, each burning about 10,000 acres.
The Texas Forest Service says the Livermore Ranch fire and the Spring Mountain fire are in extremely rugged terrain in Jeff Davis County, about 175 miles southeast of El Paso.
Wind caused the Livermore Ranch fire to jump containment lines yesterday and threaten a nearby resort.
At last update, both fires were 50 to 60-percent contained.
Update 9 a.m.: The Texas Forest Service now says The Spring Mountain fire is 60 percent contained. The Livermore Ranch Fire is not contained at all.
San Marcos Questions Alcohol in Public Parks
The San Marcos City Council is meeting today to discuss potential changes to the city's park code, including laws regulating alcohol and more.
Under San Marcos’ municipal code, it’s unlawful for any person to possess an alcoholic beverage within the fenced area surrounding any city swimming pool, within Children's Park, or within 500 feet of any city softball or baseball field. But when the council meets today at 5 p.m., they'll discuss amending that code to address consumption of alcoholic beverages in "certain parks," as well as the use or sale of alcoholic beverages on any "dam, spillway control, levy, bridge, water feature or structure" in the San Marcos River owned or operated by the city. (So if you were planning on imbibing during your Aquarena Glass Bottom Boat Tour, it may be time to rethink that.)
Also up for discussion today: regulation of barbeque pits and other cooking appliances, as well as settling on a specific regulatory definition for Styrofoam, often used for beer coolers.