Blanco Road, seen here under construction, is one of the roads TxDOT is offering San Antonio in a "turnback" program. The state would give local control of the road, but the city would be responsible for future maintenance.
Many of the roads that take you to work, school, the grocery store and home are owned and maintained by the state, but the Texas Department of Transportation wants to transfer control of those roads to cities with more than 50,000 people.
Generally speaking, cities don't want that burden.
As city leaders looked at a $50 million shortfall the City of San Antonio's draft budget, cuts to library hours and park maintenance were on the table. The ad valorem tax on property, where the city raises much of its funds, has remained flat since 2009 while property valuations have resulted in more money for city coffers.
Community organizations protested and city councilors responded.
As ideas continue to be generated for the redevelopment of Hemisfair Park, city council has approved additional funding to the agency planning the future of the previous World’s Fair site. The corporation is also seeking public input on what the park should look like.
In it’s 2014 budget city council has approved $1.15 million to the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation. Omar Gonzalez, Hemisfair’s planning and operations director, said that’s more than double what the organization has received before.
With more than 70 delegate agencies, the city council each year funds the organizations to help them accomplish their missions, but this time the council had to make cuts to meet its objective of balancing the budget.
San Antonio budget director Maria Villagomez said the agencies, with the exception of Haven for Hope, took a five percent cut.
It's not enough for District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, who has said every non-essential service should be eliminated.
If an amendment remains in place when San Antonio City Council votes on the budget this week, then the doors at city libraries will stay open all week long.
Library board chair Jean Brady cautioned that nothing is final until the city council votes Thursday on the proposed budget. But right now it looks like library funding will be restored to keep branch libraries open.
"If this funding’s been restored then that means we’ll be at seven days a week doing business as usual," Brady said Monday. "We’re delighted."
We look at the city's fitness goals with P.E. teacher and chief, Mayor Julián Castro. With the recent announcements that both San Antonio and the nation as a whole are seeing a drop in obesity rates among different segments of the population, are we more conscious of our health?
Ahead of the start of classes on Aug. 26, San Antonio City Council members are hosting community-wide back-to-school fairs in each of their districts.
At the same time, the city's budget is closing in on adoption and deep cuts will have to be made. Mayor Julián Castro is recommending a cut to member discretionary funds, which are known as City Council Project Funds and are used for community events like the back-to-school fairs.
Mayor Julian Castro talks with supporters following his State of the City address at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. He and the council will hear a final proposed budget on Aug. 8 before final adoption on Sept. 12.
The San Antonio City Council will again hear from city staff on a proposed budget that has a budget gap of up to $50 million dollars.
For that reason, city manager Sheryl Sculley and her team have been meeting with each city department and going over their programs to figure out how to close that gap.
Sculley says she will not reduce the most important city services to the public, including police and fire protection. That was also the request of city council members who outlined their priorities for the budget last month.