The Austin City Council held its organizational meeting for 2021 Monday evening at the Austin City Council Chambers, and the meeting also saw a new Mayor for the city take the oath of office.

Former 2nd Ward City Councilman Steve King was sworn in as the 34th Mayor of the City of Austin at Monday night’s meeting, plus two first-term Austin City Councilmen, Oballa Oballa from the 1st Ward and Michael Postma from the 2nd Ward were sworn in earlier in the day, as was 3rd Ward City Councilman Paul Fischer, who is starting his second term.  In other business, Mower County Administrator Trish Harren presented the city with the food drive plaque for 2020 as the city edged the county in the annual contest between the two entities to donate food to the Salvation Army food shelf.  The city of Austin and Mower County combined to donate 4,283 pounds of food to the food shelf during the contest, and the two entities have raised a total of 63,433 pounds of food since the contest began back in 1993.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the Austin City Council approved a resolution designating depositories for checking and investment of public funds for the city for 2021, and they also approved setting the city’s mileage reimbursement rate for 2021 at $.56 per mile.  The council also approved the appointment of Walter Davis to the city’s Cable Television Committee, with a term expiring December  31st of 2021, and they also approved a DNR grant application, which Public Works Director Steven Lang stated would be amendment number seven to the Turtle Creek Comprehensive Flood Risk Reduction Project.  Lang stated to the council that the estimated cost of the remaining work will total $63,200, and is proposed to be funded with a 50% DNR grant and 50% by the local option sales tax.  The proposed grant request for 50% of the project will total $31,600.

The Austin City Council also approved public hearings for seven different street improvement projects for 2021 to be held during their meeting February 16th.  The projects will include a joint venture between the city and Mower County concerning the realignment of 31st St. NW from Oakland Avenue W to 5th Avenue SW totaling $1.4 million to improvements to the intersection at 4th St. and 3rd Ave. NW totaling $397,000.

The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Austin City Council will be held on Tuesday, January 19th at 5:30 p.m. at the Austin City Council chambers.