W.A.N.G. Newsletter MAY - 2021 !

PO Box 5722, Austin, TX 78763-5722

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in this Issue.....

  • Next WANG Monthly Meeting - June 14, 2021
  • City to Zone UT Owned Brackenridge Tract - by Mary Arnold & Holly Reed
  • Eiler's Neighborhood Park by Heidi Gibbons
  • W.A.N.G. Monthly Meeting Minutes for May 2021
  • City of Austin 2021-2022 Budget
  • Meredith Street Storm Drain Project - COA Watershed Protection
  • WANG Board Contacts
  • Propositions: Election Results
  • City of Austin Council Contacts
  • Save MUNY
  • Real Estate Market Update - by August Harris
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Leaf Footed Bugs
  • What's Happening around Austin
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Neighborhood Board Meeting (IN Person!)

Monday, June 14th, 6:30pm

2901 Enfield Road

Austin, TX

WHEN: Second Monday of each Month

To place an item on the Agenda, send email to President@WestAustinNG.com

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


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City of Austin to Zone UT Owned Brackenridge Tracts

by Mary Arnold,

WANG Board,

and Holly Reed,


Once again the University of Texas Board of Regents is seeking to fulfill its fiduciary duties regarding land gifted to UT Austin by George Brackenridge in 1910. Some 145 acres of the land has been leased for Lions Municipal Golf Course since 1924. The current lease with the City of Austin has been a month-to-month lease since May 2019, when a 30 year lease expired, and was only continued month-to-month while the City of Austin and UT negotiate for ways in which UT can secure sufficient income from all the remaining acres to satisfy their sense of a reasonable return, based on the current value of the land. Although the portion of the Brackenridge Tract across Lake Austin Blvd. from the golf course is all being used now for "University purposes," UT wants to consider non-University uses there as well. There now are graduate student housing at Colorado Apartments and Brackenridge Apartments, plus the Biological Field Lab, which is used by students and faculty in the College of Natural Sciences. Those uses now total 135 acres. In addition, three other UT parcels have been identified by UT for city zoning, although they are not adjacent to the Brackenridge Tract.

There are indications that if UT can increase its potential income on the Brackenridge Tract and the other UT tracts, sufficiently, it might consider sale of the golf course to be preserved as an historic course, at an amount somewhat LESS than the current appraised value.

(In 1973, and again in the 1980’s, Lions Municipal Golf Course, became an item of contention between UT, owner of the land, and the City of Austin, who took over the lease from the Lions Club in 1937, and has been leasing the public golf course from UT ever since. In 1973, helping UT move Red River Street through the UT campus earned the city use of the golf course until May 1987. Then through two years of negotiating, a new golf course lease plus a “land plan” regarding non-UT development on other portions of the Brackenridge Tract secured a new 30 year lease for the golf course, with lease payments to UT totaling close to $10 million during that period.)

Now, with Lions Municipal Golf Course having been recognized statewide and nationally, for its almost 100 year history - including its special recognition for the early, 1950, desegregation - accomplished without a lawsuit, we are faced again with a proposal by UT for ways in which UT might be “compensated” for the golf course. Not only is zoning being considered, along with other “entitlements”, but also, a Muny Conservancy has been created, with the goal of raising significant private funds with which to purchase the course from UT for a price that would reflect consideration of the zoning and entitlements granted by the City of Austin, and provide a means of funding needed improvements to the golf course, and ways to showcase the history of the course, and to increase the ways in which members of the public may enjoy the public open space that the course provides. A special district, the Save Historic Muny District, encompassing the golf course and surrounding neighborhoods, was created by the Texas Legislature in 2019 to help preserve this historic place.

With the vaccinations going well for the COVID-19 virus, and cases lessening, we hope that the pressures on the University of Texas and on the City of Austin will be reduced enough to allow participation by both, along with interested citizen stakeholders, to accomplish the requested zoning of the Brackenridge Tract, and other UT tracts, in a very collaborative effort, as called for in the City Council Resolution of December 3, 2020.

The City’s letter of notification of a zoning change that has gone out to landowners and others living within 500 feet of any of the UT zoning cases and presumably to any groups or organizations with a special interest, speaks of “individual stakeholder meetings” on each of the different tracts, “during the week of June 21.” Unfortunately, the letter does not mention how the required “collaboration” with the University of Texas and neighborhood stakeholders and the City of Austin will be accomplished. Nor is there any information as to whether the City staff and UT representatives have already been developing zoning scenarios BEFORE securing “collaboration” with stakeholders, during the six months since the Council’s Resolution of December 3, 2020.

In anticipation of these zoning cases, for which no zoning categories have yet been proposed by City Staff, the West Austin Neighborhood Group has been working with resident architect and board member Joe Bennett and architect Jim Nix to visualize possible non University use development (and appropriate zoning districts) on parts of the Brackenridge Tract, allowing for the preservation of MUNY and WAYA, and taking into consideration the traffic impact, waterfront overlays, a great number of heritage trees, and environmentally sensitive areas. It is clear from this analysis that the minimum level of non University use development UT has indicated they want on the Brackenridge Tract could be attained without developing the MUNY and WAYA Tract.

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CONCEPTUAL SITE PLAN Representing approx. Two Million Square Feet of Mixed Use Residential / Office / Retail space.

WANG’s Position on the Brackenridge Tract supports the development parameters which were negotiated in 1988 and 1989 with the City of Austin, neighborhood stakeholders, golfers, and environmental representatives, and the University of Texas during the formation of the Brackenridge Development Agreement, including preservation of Lions Municipal Golf Course and the West Austin Youth Association, with non-University use development placed on the Town Lake Tracts, the Deep Eddy Tract, Park Street, Boat Town and HEB Tracts, protecting single family neighborhoods from increased traffic, noise and commercial development. WANG also supports the preservation of heritage trees, waterfront overlays and environmentally sensitive areas along Lady Bird Lake.

During the planning process for our Central West Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan, the City of Austin hosted meetings to discuss stakeholders’ interest in the future of the Brackenridge Tract. From this citizen input, Neighborhood Stakeholder Language regarding the Brackenridge Tract was recommended by the Planning Commission for the Neighborhood Plan. WANG supports that neighborhood input, regarding future land use on the Brackenridge Tract:

“7: Encourage the University of Texas to keep the Lions Municipal Golf Course, West Austin Youth Association, and Field Research Laboratory uses in place with consideration made for additional recreational opportunities on site, and to otherwise comply with the parameters established by the 1989 Brackenridge Tract Development Agreement.

The Brackenridge Tract is a vital part of the planning area. Not only does the Tract provide numerous critical functions for research and graduate student family housing, its existing uses are also a valued and integral part of the surrounding West Austin community. The Brackenridge Field Laboratory use is one of the University’s most highly acclaimed and nationally ranked academic programs. In addition, there are Graduate Student Housing uses which support the University’s graduate students and doctoral candidates, and provide diversity in terms of race and economics as well as allowing for residents to interact with each other and learn lessons such as tolerance and understanding. There are also valued public recreational uses at the West Austin Youth Association (WAYA) facility and the historically recognized Lions Municipal Golf Course. Because most of the Tract lies within either the Lake Austin Watershed or the Town Lake Watershed and is within our Drinking Water Protection Zone, any adverse development could degrade the environment and water quality for the citizens of Austin and those downstream from Austin.

It is also recognized that the Tract represents a significant opportunity for both the University of Texas and the community, but that opportunity does not lie solely in its development potential.

8: If the Brackenridge Tract is (re)developed, it should be done in harmony with the adjacent neighborhoods, transportation system and natural resources.”

CWANP Neighborhood Stakeholder Language recommended by Planning Commission RE: Brackenridge Tract 6/22/10

(See Planning Commission backup for 6-22-2010, pages 2-5 - http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/edims/document.cfm?id=139336)

As the City of Austin, the University of Texas, and Neighborhood Stakeholders collaborate on appropriate zoning for development on the Brackenridge Tract, it is essential that the zoning take the following neighborhood input into account:

  • The Lions Municipal Golf Course (141.38 Acres) should remain an affordable, public golf course and open green space in perpetuity, honoring its listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its Civil Rights History. Consideration should be made for the addition of non-golfing recreational opportunities on site.
  • The West Austin Youth Association Tract (14.56 Acres) should remain under the control of this nationally recognized, privately funded, non-profit organization that provides positive recreational opportunities through 30 separate programs for more than 4,000 youngsters annually from throughout Austin.

Please join WANG in supporting appropriate zoning for this very important part of our neighborhood and the City of Austin. We will send further updates on how you can participate in the process via our E-News. Subscribe today by sending your email address to Newsletter@WestAustinNG.com


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As preservation negotiations continue, with the City of Austin set to initiate zoning on the Brackenridge Tracts, the West Austin Neighborhood Group invites our neighbors to join us in this effort to SAVE MUNY, for everyone to enjoy, forever.

Please visit West Austin Neighborhood Group OR The Muny Conservancy for more information!



by Heidi Gibbons,

WANG Board


If you have ridden your bicycle down on the Hike ‘n Bike Trails lately or walked down the “ramp” by Deep Eddy Pool, you will see that Eilers Park playscape and picnic area is now open! This is a peaceful place to hang out with swings, a jungle-gym to climb (is that what this is still called?), a small slide and a large ceramic turtle to “ride” for small children. In addition there is beautiful, unusual art work at the entrance and 7 picnic tables that can be reserved (see below) for a birthday party or family gathering in a beautiful area outside Deep Eddy Swimming Pool.

Here’s some information from Kanya Lyons, Public Information Specialist Senior, with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department:

Eilers Neighborhood Park was completed in June of 2020 but was kept closed due to the pandemic. In September 2020, the AIPP artwork was completed in the park, but no dedication plans took place as the park was still closed. The park gradually opened in March of this year.

Eilers Neighborhood Park General Park Improvements: https://www.austintexas.gov/department/eilers-neighborhood-park-general-park-improvements

Park patrons are reminded to continue practicing social distancing, hand sanitation and wearing masks. PARD will continue to monitor park capacity and modify operations as needed.

Eilers Neighborhood Park is a reservable site. Visit AustinTexas.gov/ParkEvents, select Picnic Sites/Shelters from the left-hand menu, then scroll to the Picnic Area/Shelter Day Use Reservations section, and click the down arrow for reservation information.


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WANG Minutes

Monday, May 10, 2021

On-Line Virtual Meeting

These are the minutes of the meeting of the West Austin Neighborhood Group Board of Directors held Monday, May 10, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., by Zoom videoconference.

I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:37 p.m. by President Holly Reed. Board members in attendance were, Mary Arnold, Joyce Basciano, Joe Bennett, Sarah Cain, Mike Cannatti, George Edwards, Heidi Gibbons, August Harris, and Blake Tollett.

Not present: Bob Hamilton, Cathy Kyle, Craig Lill, Brady Pedneau

II. Approval of April Meeting Minutes: Postponed.

III. Neighbor Communications

Board discussed the email request of Kathryn Ehlert, seeking volunteers for Johnson Creek Trail Project. Contact information was placed on WANG website and info will be included in the next newsletter.

A small group of volunteers have started a litter-pick up on the last Sunday of the month starting at 8am where 7th street Ts into Winsted or Atlanta. Any and all are invited to come out and lend a hand! Expanding to wanting to plant many trees along the trail. This project will require many skill sets, from grant writing, to leadership, organization- especially computer skills, and plain old sweaty labor. Volunteers should contact kathrynannehlert@gmail.com

IV. Land Matters

A. City Zoning of Brackenridge Tract land: In preparation for upcoming stakeholder meetings, Joe Bennett presented a draft of a site plan with potential (non-University of Texas use) development on the Town Lake Tract, demonstrating how UT’s desired “minimum of 2 million square feet of mixed use development” could be fulfilled on this tract (zoned appropriately.) In this site plan, Lions Municipal Golf Course and the West Austin Youth Association are preserved, and consideration is given to the location of protected / heritage trees, waterfront overlays, and environmentally sensitive areas including the Brackenridge Field Lab. The board discussed what zoning districts would be appropriate for the Brackenridge Tracts, and the number of traffic trips that would be generated by various development uses. Architect Jim Nix emphasized that retail, residential, and office uses generate different trip levels depending on time of day.

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In this Site Plan, Lions Municipal Golf Course and the West Austin Youth Association are preserved and consideration and/or flexibility is given to the location of protected / Heritage trees, waterfront overlays, and environmentally sensitive areas.

B. 509 Hearn St.: new restaurant: some neighbors are concerned about the proximity to the street of a structure built in the front yard and city code violations, plus potential traffic issues with parking on both sides of the narrow street to access this location. Blake Tollett showed the board a Compatibility Waiver and Off-Site Parking request for this address from 1985, which states a conditional overlay for the hours of operation allowed being after 5:00 PM and 15 off site parking place use at the office across the street. WANG will invite the restaurant owner to the next board meeting.

V. Transportation

A. City Council is considering a resolution that will amend the existing Transit Oriented Development (TOD) code to allow more density along streets, and in areas, where Cap Metro’s Project Connect train lines and buses will run. Joyce Basciano indicated that amendments to the resolution are being considered that will allow neighborhoods to be consulted before zoning changes are made. Vote postponed to May 20th.

VI. Membership no news

VII. Communications

A. Lewis Carnegie, the firm WANG hired to update the website, has finished new design and will migrate to a new WordPress template soon.

B. We are targeting to mail/deliver our print newsletter before the end of May 2021. Board discussed content for the newsletter, including results of City Proposition Ballot election.

VIII. ANC Liaison

Council Member MacKenzie Kelly visited ANC’s (virtual) monthly general membership meeting to introduce herself and converse with members. City Manager Spencer Cronk and Assistant City Manager Rodney Gonzales gave an update on Winter Storm Uri. Austin Water Director Greg Mezaros and Austin Energy Director Jackie Sargent were also in attendance to answer specific questions about water and power grid issues related to the storm.

Happy Harris brought up the fact that Google Fiber installation continues in neighborhoods across Austin. The most recent installation was in Bryker Woods. John Michael Cortez, the recently appointed Government and Community Affairs Manager for Google Fiber is the community’s point of contact at JMVC@google.com

IX. Treasurer’s report

  • Checking $ 11,069.64
  • July 4th $ 507.85
  • Oak Wilt $ 1,210.95
  • TOTAL $ 12,788.44

X. Items from Board Members

A. Tarrytown 4th of July Parade: Board Member Sarah Cain reported that she and Charisse Sayers will not be chairing the parade this year. She has spoken to a potential new chairperson who is interested in taking over the organization of the parade. Happy Harris asking Council Member Alter’s office about City policy regarding parades this summer.

B. Save Historic Muny District

  1. Meeting on May 11th 2021
  2. The City has not yet notified citizens about zoning cases for property in Brackenridge Tract, which is disappointing.
  3. Interlocal agreement between SHMD and City of Austin for a vendor for concession at Muny was approved by the City. The City I now waiting on UT to approve the Vendor, chosen by the SHMD as that approval is required in the golf course lease.
  4. Texas Legislature Bills to extend SHMD moving along. Senate Bill was approved unanimously. Senate Bill was sent to the House for approval, and approved. On Governor’s desk to be signed.

XI. New Business

A. Next meeting will be Monday, June 14, 2021 at 6:30 PM Location TBD

XII. Adjournment: President Reed adjourned the meeting at 8:19 PM.



The City wants to hear from all of us!

Learn More about the City of Austin Budget and take our survey!

It’s that time of year, and the City of Austin wants to encourage our residents to weigh-in as the City plans for its next Budget. It’s important that we hear from you and your families to help the City prioritize services that impact how you live, work, play, shop and more.

To learn more about the City of Austin Budget, view the full video by clicking on the links. While there take our short survey!

English video

Video de presupuesto en español


Johnson Creek Trail Project Needs Volunteers!

The Johnson Creek Trail Project was formed by a group of neighbors in order to help keep the trail clean, and work with the City of Austin on trail improvements. Volunteers are needed! Any and all are invited to come out and lend a hand!

  • · Litter-pick up on the last Sunday of the month starting at 8 AM where 7th Street meets Winsted.
  • · Planting trees along the trail
  • · Grant writing and organization

Please CONTACT: Kathryn Ehlert at kathrynannehlert@gmail.com and put JCTP in subject line



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On Thursday, May 20, the Austin City Council approved the construction contract for the Meredith Street Storm Drain Improvements project in the amount of $3,485,119.

We anticipate that construction will begin in July or August. We will set up a virtual meeting around that time to discuss what to expect during construction.

During this project, we will be installing new storm drain pipes and expanding existing pipes on the following streets:

  • Meredith Street, between 3605/3607 and Rockmoor Avenue
  • Leberman Lane, near the intersection with Meredith Street
  • Rockmoor Avenue, between Meredith Street and Cherry Lane
  • Cherry Lane, between Rockmoor Avenue and the bend at Scenic Drive
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The planned storm drain system is in yellow on the map above. Green lines represent the existing storm drain pipes. Click on the map to download a larger, printable pdf.

There's more information on our website. Please direct questions to:

  • Fredrick Reza, Project Manager, 512-974-7204 or Fredrick.Reza@austintexas.gov
  • John Middleton, Project Sponsor, 512-974-3515 or John.Middleton@austintexas.gov

Austin Public Works Project Update

click to see update on the Austin Public Works Project


WANG Board of Directors & Committee Members

Organized 1973......"To preserve our neighborhood and protect it from deterioration"

Board of Directors

All Current Members (click on name to send email)

Honorary Committee Members






Click HERE for rates and more information or email us at....


Results of the May 1st City Election on Eight Propositions

The most controversial proposition, Proposition B, passed with a vote of 57%. Proposition B makes it a criminal offense with a penalty to 1) sit or lie on a public sidewalk or to sleep outdoors in or near the Downtown and UT campus area; 2) solicit at specific hours and locations in a public area in an aggressive manner and 3) camp in a public area not designated by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Proposition F, another controversial proposition, failed with 86% of the vote against changing our city government from “council-manager” to “strong mayor-council.”

Proposition G also failed. It was tied to Proposition F and would have created an additional geographic city council district,

Proposition A passed with the greatest amount, 81% of the vote, and amends the City Charter to give the Austin Firefighters Association the authority to require the city to participate in binding arbitration of all issues if the City and the Association reach an impasse during collective bargaining negotiations.

Proposition C passed allowing for a Director of Police Oversight to be appointed or removed in a manner established by City Council ordinance. Duties shall include the responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability as it relate to policing.

The mayor’s election date was changed from the gubernatorial years to the presidential election years by Proposition D. This means that our mayor elected in 2022 will serve a 2-year term (instead of 4-year) and then starting in 2024, we will once again elect our mayor for a 4-year term.

Ranked-choice voting passed for city elections if it is allowed by state law (it currently is not) with the passing of Proposition E.

Proposition H, known as “Democracy Dollars,” failed. This would have created a public campaign finance program giving each voter two $25 vouches to donate to the candidates of his/her choice.


District 10 News

Council Member Alison Alter, Chief of Staff

RE: Neighborhood Pool Openings

Hi Kurt,

I’m writing to you on behalf of the West Austin Neighborhood Group board. I’m hoping you can point us in the right direction, or put us in contact with someone who has answers to questions about reopening neighborhood amenities, specifically Reed Park Pool, Westenfield Park Pool, Howson Library and the local splash pads. We had a neighbor join our meeting tonight (cc’ed here) saying that she’s had a lot of difficulty getting a hold of anyone who can give her answers. As a mother of young children myself, I’d love to know if and when our local pools and library will reopen. I’m seeing that a lot of neighborhood pools in other areas of town are open or opening soon and it would be a real disappointment to not have access to these amenities during these hot summer months, especially since no one was able to enjoy them last summer. Do you know when these amenities will reopen in west austin? Or do you know who can help us get these answers?


Sarah Cain

West Austin Neighborhood Group

Board Member

Dear Sarah,

​The most recent memo on our Aquatics facility is available here. As you will read in that memo, both pool facilities you mentioned were identified as damaged by Winter Storm Uri which is part of the reason their opening has been delayed. The memo details that they anticipate that the pool will be able to open in July so long as our staffing situation continues it's current trajectory. To that end, if you or other neighbors know anyone in the neighborhood interested and willing to be a lifeguard, please direct them to LifeGuardAustin.com.

The most recent information on our library facilities is available here. As you will find from that link, Howson library will re-open on June 28th.

We include regular updates on these issues in our District 10 newsletter which is distributed at least twice a month. You can subscribe to that newsletter using the link below to receive those updates as well.

If you have additional questions after reviewing those links, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Kurt Cadena-Mitchell

Chief of Staff - Council Member Alison Alter



Contact your City Council Representatives:

(click on name to send email)

Email All of the Council: Entire Council and Mayor

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click on text above


Help support the neighborhood click here and Join WANG

Please mail application and check to: West Austin Neighborhood Group PO Box 5722 Austin, TX 78763-5722 Annual Memberships (Nov 1-Oct 31) $50-Friend Level; $100-PATRON Level; $150PatronPlus $30-FAMILY Level; $15-SENIOR Level; $250-BENEFACTOR Level


Updates: N.Tarrytown Water & Wastewater Renewal Project

Austin Water - North Tarrytown Water and Wastewater Renewal Project

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Leaffooted bug adults may be mistaken for stink bugs while the immatures may get confused with assassin bug nymphs. Leaffooted bugs are larger than stink bugs and have an elongated body. Often, leaffooted bugs have an expanded region on their hind leg that looks similar to a leaf, hence the name leaffooted bug. Adults are fairly large and grayish-brown. Immatures, or nymphs, look similar to adults, but are often reddish-orange in color and do not have fully developed wings.

Leaffooted bugs feed on a variety of fruits, nuts and seeds, such as tomatoes, peppers, pecans or sunflower seeds. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts with which they puncture fruit to suck out juices. The opening left behind after the mouthpart is withdrawn can allow access to secondary invaders like bacteria or fungus.

Leaffooted bugs can be managed by hand-picking (be sure to wear gloves if utilizing this method), using hand-held vacuums to suck the insects off the plant, or by treating the plants with pesticides. If choosing to use a pesticide, read the product label and make sure it can be used in the area you are treating (i.e. vegetable garden).

For more information or help with identification,

contact Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600.

Check out my blog at www.urban-ipm.blogspot.com

This work is supported by Crops Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27188 /project accession no. 1013905] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service or the Texas A&M AgriLife Research is implied.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides equal access in its programs, activities, education and employment, without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


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Click on the link City Stage photo above

(Austin Center for Events)

for more info of everything happening around Austin !!!!

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Wear a Mask in large groups & Social Distance when recommended


Join the West Austin Neighborhood Group

on the First Tuesday of every month

STAY INFORMED on local topics and issues that

effect you and the Neighborhood!

  • · The City of Austin Land Development Code Rewrite
  • · The Brackenridge Tract Development
  • · Transportation – Austin Metro
  • · Lion’s Municipal Golf Course
  • · Redbud Trail Bridge Project
  • · Mayfield Park & Preserve
  • · The Austin State School
  • · Deep Eddy Pool & Park
  • · Neighborhood Parks
  • · Walsh Landing
  • · Camp Mabry
  • · District 10
  • · And more…
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Emergency Numbers:



Ambulance (EMS) .............................911

Police Dept.......................512-975-5000


Austin ISD......................................512-533-6000

Casis Elementary School.............512-414-2062

Austin High School.......................512-414-2505

O.Henry Middle School...............512-414-3229


City of Austin........................................512-494-9400

Texas Gas Service.............................1-800-700-2443

Grande Communications...................512-220-4600

AT&T (new service)...........................1-800-464-7928

Time Warner Cable (Cust. Svc)...........512-485-5555

Austin/Travis Hazardous Waste.........512-974-4343