BG Reads | News You Need to Know (June 17, 2019)



REGULATION: New City of Austin Mandatory Alternative Water Systems Proposed

At an Austin Energy Green Building seminar last week, the Bingham Group learned of a new proposal from the City of Austin that could make onsite alternative water systems mandatory for new commercial development over 250,000 square feet.

Examples of these systems, also referred to as water reuse or water recycling systems, include rainwater, greywater, stormwater, and condensate water systems.

The City’s desire is to have non-potable water supplied through these onsite systems. The effort was directed by the City Council via an amendment to a larger motion adopted on May 2, 2019 to provide direction on the Land Development Code revision process (i.e., CodeNEXT)… (LINK TO POST)


City to pay up to $8.6M for South Austin parcel for new homeless shelter (Austin Monitor)

City Council is expected to vote this week on approving the purchase of a commercial building in South Austin that will serve as the city’s second homeless shelter.

A pair of resolutions slated for Thursday’s Council meeting spells out the details of the move to purchase 1.6 acres of property at 1112 W. Ben White Blvd. from Alma Tierra Ventures LLC for a maximum of $8.6 million. The building on that property will be renovated to provide up to 100 beds for the homeless, with an operational structure geared toward helping residents move into permanent housing of their own… (LINK TO STORY)

Google confirms Austin expansion, will begin moving in next year (Austin Business Journal)

As expected, Google Inc. is expanding in Austin. The technology giant confirmed June 14 it has leased up two yet-to-be-competed office buildings in downtown and on the east side.

Austin Business Journal previously reported that Google had leased 150,000 square feet at Saltillo in East Austin and the entire 35-story, 723,000-square-foot tower known as Block 185 rising downtown.

But this is the first official world from the California-based internet company that is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) although many questions remained unanswered.

Google also on June 14 said it would invest $600 million to develop a data center in Midlothian near Dallas… (LINK TO STORY)

City Council commits to repeal of Lake Austin tax exemption (Austin American-Statesman)

This week, Austin City Council members say, they will repeal a decades-old ordinance that made hundreds of waterfront homes on Lake Austin exempt from city property taxes.

The American-Statesman first reported last week that about 400 properties lining Lake Austin, many of them multimillion-dollar dwellings, have been exempted from city property taxes since at least 1986. The properties have an average value of $2.1 million and would have generated an estimated $3 million in tax revenue last year, according to initial estimates based on Travis County property records… (LINK TO STORY)


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs $250 billion budget with no line-item vetoes (Texas Tribune)

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state’s roughly $250 billion budget Saturday, bringing a session-long effort to address the Legislature’s top priorities — school funding and property taxes — to a close.

A spokesman for Abbott confirmed that the governor signed the budget without issuing a single line-item veto, a mechanism that allows him to shrink the budget where he sees fit.

The 2020-21 budget, which state lawmakers approved in May, includes a significant boost in spending compared with two years ago. Lawmakers had billions of dollars more to spend thanks to a positive economic forecast and revised revenue estimates from oil and natural gas production taxes. Total spending is up 16% from the budget the Legislature approved in 2017… (LINK TO STORY)

Uber wants to fast-forward to 'cities of the future,' starting in Dallas (Dallas Morning News)

When Uber envisions the future, it not only wants to put urban air taxis and drones in the skies. It also wants to transform how people navigate cities and how they live in them. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the San Francisco-based tech company wants to turn today's cities that are getting denser and more polluted into "cities of the future that are fundamentally green and built for people."

To do that, he said, cities need transportation options that range from cruising down the street on an electric scooter to commuting through the skies. One of the first places Uber wants that to play out is Dallas-Fort Worth: It's one of the first three markets for Uber Elevate, an initiative to launch the aerial ride-sharing service… (LINK TO STORY)

Whataburger sells majority interest in iconic burger chain to investment banking (Dallas Morning News)

Beloved Texas fast-food chain Whataburger has sold a majority interest in the company to investment banking firm BDT Capital, the company announced this morning. The family who founded the iconic burger chain will remain minority stakeholders in the company, and the headquarters will remain in San Antonio.

"Together, BDT and the Whataburger team will begin exploring expansion plans –– while staying true to the brand it has been over the past 69 years," the company said Friday. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. It's expected to close later this summer… (LINK TO STORY)


Who Made The Cut: DNC Announces Primary Debate Contenders (NPR)

The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday the list of presidential candidates who will take the stage at the first primary debates, on June 26 and 27.

To accommodate the massive field of candidates, the debates will be spread over two nights, with 10 candidates taking the stage for each two-hour debate.

Here are the candidates who the DNC said have made the cut, in alphabetical order… (LINK TO STORY)


Episode 50 - Featuring New Senior Consultant Tina Bui

On Episode 50 we take a quick recap of past odd twelve months since launching on May 26, 2018. It has been a journey of development in terms of show and production development.

A BIG THANKS to all our past guests, listeners, and the team who makes the show possible!

Bingham Group CEO A.J. Bingham also introduces our newest Senior Consultant, Tina Bui.

You can listen to this episode and previous ones on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play at the links below. Please leave a review and rating. Share and subscribe today!


The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.


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