Austin city leaders look for more money for unfunded projects

Austin city council has identified nearly 16-million dollars they say they need to tack on to this year's 3-billion dollar budget. Austin Deputy C-F-O Ed Van Eeno says one of the unanticipated cost is 476-thousand dollars to have city employees temporarily take over running Austin's cemeteries, "The cemetaries, I believe you are aware, the vendor who has provided those services for many, many, many years hasd decided he will not be renewing their contract.  We have five city owned cemeteries, approximately 200 acres."

Council is asking for 10-million for affordable housing projects, 3-million to open three city trails on a 24-hour basis and various other projects. They began discussions at a special-called mid-year budget meeting yesterday, but put off any decisions until mid-February.  Chief Art Acevedo worries not adding any public safety for watching the trails overnight, saying it puts citizens at risk at a dangerous time for the city.  Acevedo says his department doesn't have the staff to take on any more right now as they are 100 officers short already.

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