Now that Austin voters have approved Proposition A, Capital Metro is getting to work implementing Project Connect. The first steps: creating an oversight body and beginning construction on some early components.
Proposition A raised the city's property tax rate about 20% to help pay for Project Connect, a $7.1 billion overhaul of Austin's transit system that includes two light rail lines, an underground downtown tunnel and an expanded bus rapid transit system.
It passed with the support of 58% of city voters, after two previous light rail initiatives failed in 2014 and 2000.
"This really is the starting line," Capital Metro Chief Counsel Kerri Butcher said at a board meeting on Monday. "For a long time, the election seemed like the finish line."
With the commitment of local property tax revenue, Capital Metro is now focused on establishing the Austin Transit Partnership, a local government corporation that will oversee the implementation of Project Connect.
The board will include five members. For its first two years, it will include a member of Austin City Council who will later be replaced by a council appointee, such as a local resident or Capital Metro customers. It will also include a member of the Capital Metro board and three community experts, from fields such as capital project management, sustainability and community engagement.
Interested applicants can submit a resume and letter of interest here through Dec. 2.
A nominating committee will submit nominees for appointment to the board at a Dec. 18 joint meeting of City Council and the Capital Metro board.
The inaugural ATP board will meet for the first time on Jan. 20 to approve bylaws, elect officers and adopt an interim budget.
Meanwhile, this winter, Capital Metro will begin construction on the Broadmoor station—a $24 million addition to the red line, a commuter rail running from Leander to downtown— and design on the McKalla station, both in North Austin.
Next year, the transit agency will approve funding for anti-displacement initiatives, host virtual community meetings about the planned light rail lines and, later in the year, begin construction on two MetroRapid bus lines: one serving the Expo Center corridor, from the University of Texas at Austin and downtown along Manor Road and Loyola Lane, and the other Pleasant Valley Road.
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- City, Capital Metro form oversight board for Project Connect - austonia ›
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- Federal Transit Administration awards $750K for Project Connect - austonia ›
- City launches $65M in Project Connect anti-displacement plan - austonia ›
So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
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