Kirk Watson wins Austin mayoral runoff race by very narrow margin "Austin voters have chosen Kirk Watson as their next mayor, in a tight race decided by a few hundred votes. In November, neither Watson nor State Rep. Celia Israel received more than 50 percent of the vote in the race for Austin mayor, forcing a December 13 runoff." (Britny Eubank, KVUE-ABC)

Samsung, Linde Ch. 313 applications approved ahead of potential suburban projects "Just weeks before the state's controversial Chapter 313 incentives program comes to an end, one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers and one of its largest industrial gas suppliers have been approved for millions in tax breaks for their proposed projects northeast of Austin." (Justin Sayers, Austin Business Journal)

Texas Department of Transportation allocates $250M for walking, biking in 2023 "Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have increased on Texas roads in recent years. In an attempt to change this, the Texas Department of Transportation is putting $250 million toward projects for sidewalks, bike lanes and other projects." (Hannah Norton, Community Impact)

Demolition Approved for 18th and Guadalupe Corner in Downtown Austin "The City of Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission approved a permit this week for the demolition of the Dunham & Jones law offices located at 1800 Guadalupe Street, and it’s kind of a funny story. The building, a handsome former apartment structure dating back to 1923, was originally determined in a report from city staff to be an exceptionally well-preserved example of Colonial Revival-style architecture, worthy of historic zoning — however, further research by the applicant reversed this conclusion by proving that the most defining cosmetic elements of the building were actually added during a renovation in 1984, as a replica of that architectural style. Whoops." (James Rambin, Towers)

Despite drought, Austin Water still supplying raw water to golf course "Austin Water continues to supply the River Place Country Club with a combination of reclaimed water and raw water from Lake Austin to irrigate its golf course. 'The amount and need for lake water is the sole discretion of River Place Golf Group, as they use raw water to fill the effluent pond when the pond levels are low during times of little or no rain,' an Austin Water spokesperson told the Austin Monitor." (Nina Hernandez, Austin Monitor)

Clock is ticking to turn dirt for lagoon neighborhood "Since October 2020, a 78-acre dirt plot in one of the region's fastest-growing suburbs has been the talk of Williamson County. It was then that officials in Leander announced a public-private partnership to build the billion-dollar Leander Springs project, complete with a 4-acre lagoon, up to 1,600 multifamily units, a hotel and more than 1 million square feet of commercial space north of Austin. While the project has progressed some — securing incentives and final zoning approval — the land remains vacant." (Justin Sayers, Austin Business Journal)

US military official says Austin is crucial to building Army of the future "As the U.S. Army looks to the future, Austin is playing an crucial role in those modernization efforts, says Gabriel Camarillo, undersecretary of the Army. Austin is home to Army Futures Command, a public-private initiative that leads modernization projects for the Army. U.S. military leaders chose Austin as the headquarters for Army Futures Command in 2018, and the agency has grown its presence in the region over the past several years." (Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman)