5 things Central Austinites need to know this week


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The northbound section of the MoPac express lane opened the weekend of Oct. 15-16.The northbound section of the MoPac express lane opened the weekend of Oct. 15-16.Courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

1. A section of the MoPac express lane opened this weekend. The open section goes from north of RM 2222 to Parmer Lane and is variably tolled, which means as congestion in the toll and main lanes increase, so will the cost of the toll. Read about the entire MoPac express lane project here.

2. Candidates up for election this November were required to post their campaign finance reports last week. We’ve broken down the reports for you in the races of Austin City Council, State Board of Education, Texas House of Representatives, Travis County Sheriff, Travis County Commissioners Court and the mobility bond. Check back in the week before election day, when candidates post their last campaign finance reports.

3. The city of Austin wants to know how you feel about designating routes for the transport of non-radioactive hazardous materials, or NRHMs, through the city. NRHMs include gasoline, chlorine, sulfuric acid and propane. Right now, NRHMs can be carried on almost any roadway in Austin, but the city wants to create specific routes to maximize safety and minimize the impact on Austinites as well as the environment if an accident were to happen while vehicles are carrying NRHMs. An open house meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in the Ruiz Branch Public Library, Room B, at 1600 Grove Blvd., Austin. Read more about the study and project here.

4. AustOberfest is this Saturday. The event celebrates Central Texas’ German heritage with German-style sausage, beer, a contest stage, bowling and live music. Admission includes unlimited German-style sausage and sides from some of the region’s most notable barbecue figures. The festival is held from 5-11 p.m. at the Austin Saengerrunde, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

5. Austin City Council will meet Friday at 11 a.m. in the boards and commissions room at 301 W. Second St., Austin to discuss a possible tax swap with Austin ISD. Mayor Steve Adler first proposed the possible tax swap—which would consist of AISD agreeing to lower its tax rate and the city agreeing to increase its tax rate by the same or lower amount, reserving funds for additional AISD services—at a SXSWedu Conference & Festival town hall with fellow mayors in March.