Travis County & City of Austin Updates

Travis County and the City of Austin have issued a handful of orders this week in response to the severe weather and COVID-19. Additionally, a boil water notice remains in effect for the City of Austin. Highlights are below.

  1. Travis County prohibits price gouging. On Tuesday, February 16th, Travis County issued an order to prohibit exorbitant prices for groceries, beverages, toilet articles, and ice; restaurant, cafeteria, and boarding-house meals; medicine, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, and supplies; hotel rooms, motel rooms, or other temporary lodging; and transportation. This definition is slightly different than the DTPA’s § 17.46 prohibition on price gouging for fuel, food, medicine, or other necessities during a disaster declaration. The order is attached as the supplement to the disaster declaration. A news article is below.
    https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2021/02/18/travis-county-judge-extends-covid-19-restrictions.html
  2. On February 16th, Travis County and the City of Austin issued new COVID-19 orders. The orders are attached. The attached Travis County order has the differences flagged from the December order. The key updates are below:
    • Foreclosure prohibition language was broadened to include the prohibition of gatherings for any public sale of “writs of execution, tax levies” and it “applies to any public sales conducted at any location owned by Travis County.” Previously, the December order stated “[a]ll gatherings for foreclosure sales, both judicial and non-judicial, are hereby prohibited.” See Paragraph 10 of the February 16th Travis County order.
    • All deadlines or expiration dates imposed by the County for site plans, subdivisions, development permits, and similar applications are extended until December 31, 2021. It was previously March 15th, 2021.
    • The local COVID-19 restrictions and bans on gatherings are extended through April 21st, 2021.
  3. On February 14th, Travis County issued a disaster declaration through February 21st, 2021 in response to the severe weather. The order is attached.
  4. A city-wide “Boil Water” notice remains in effect. The notice is unlikely to be lifted before Friday due to testing requirements.
    https://www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs

A couple of news articles for context are below.
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/mayor-adler-water-treatment-plant-back-online-impact-on-length-of-boil-water-notice-not-yet-clear/
https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/17/winter-weather-texas-southwest-austin-lost-creek-boil-water-notice/6782508002/