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Council approves $385M bond package

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TWC News: Council approves $385M bond package
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The Austin City Council Friday passed a $385 million bond package to present to voters this November.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the council had to make tough decisions during the process and prioritize projects. Earlier this week, council members were deadlocked on the details of the bond package, particularly the burden it could place on Austin taxpayers.

While council only approved $385 million, the city had $1.5 billion in needs. City leaders were forced to make cuts to certain projects to stay at the $385 million mark, which they say means Austinites won't see a tax hike.

However, not everyone in the city is happy with the cuts.

Residents of the Dove Springs neighborhood in southeast Austin say it’s time for their voices to be heard, but their wishes for new police substation were cut from the bond proposal. Members of the community protested outside of city hall Friday, saying public safety could be at risk if the area continues to be neglected.

"In the past years, we have had an increment of about 40 percent of our population in Dove Springs, and our crime rate has gone up a lot, and we don't have a police substation. They removed that 10 years ago," southeast Austin resident Isabel Rios said.

Austin police are still trying to find a way to effectively patrol the area, and say it will be an issue to be considered in the future, but likely not this year. The Dove Springs community still wants to seek neighborhood improvements, like after school programs for area youth, and that still could be achieved through the city's budget process.

Click here for more information on the city's bond development.

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