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Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from May 2014

CAPCOG releases housing report

Friday, May 23, 2014

Did you know? Since 1980, the Austin metropolitan area's population has grown five times faster than the U.S. overall.

The population and economic growth in Central Texas is without par, but with it has come rising housing costs in the urban core and changing economic realities.

The region faces a growing imbalance of location and opportunity. Many residents have been displaced from previously affordable neighborhoods to areas that lack community networks and services.

CAPCOG's newly published Housing Opportunity in Central Texas report, created as part of the HUD-funded Sustainable Places Project, summarizes key findings of data analysis, deliberation and application of the many planning tools - built by the project - that will impact future policy decisions. 

> Download the new report
> Discover CAPCOG's Community & Economic Development Division

Available: Training tool against active-shooter threats

Monday, May 19, 2014

CAPCOG Regional Law Enforcement Academy's Use of Force Simulator, a state-of -the-art training tool that helps public safety personnel prepare for potential active-shooter situations and other threats, is available for local jurisdictions.

The mobile simulator, an integrated system using software, a video screen and hundreds of incident scenarios, provides realistic use-of-force training that helps participants develop the skills required of law enforcement personnel armed with both lethal and less-lethal weapons.

Contact RLEA Director Mike Jennings to schedule the tool, which any agency that employs peace officers can use for a nominal fee. > Go

> Learn more about the Use of Force Simulator and related training
> Discover CAPCOG's Regional Law Enforcement Academy

State offers financial incentive for cleaner-running light-duty vehicles

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is accepting applications until 5 p.m. Thursday, June 26, 2015 - or until depletion of funds - to buy or lease eligible new vehicles powered by cleaner-running compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or electric drives. 

With about $7.8 million in funding now available through TCEQ's Light Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program - part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan - qualified applicants may receive up to $2,500 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applicants - governments, companies, individuals and any other legal entity can participate - must meet selected equipment and usage requirements for eligibility.

> Get the grant application and other details at TCEQ's website

At your service: CAPCOG’s new Prosperous Places Program

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Flexibility: Scenario planning is no longer tied to color-coded land-use maps. CAPCOG’s Prosperous Places Program offers a library of Central Texas building models that can portray various development scenarios.

On the heels of the successful three-year Sustainable Places Project comes CAPCOG’s Prosperous Places Program (P3), a host of new planning and economic development services to help local communities proactively seize the future.

P3 offers a suite of analytics tools built to identify opportunities for development and evaluate on a wide range of important planning and economic development issues.

> Bookmark the Prosperous Places Program Web page

The program is a natural transition from the grant-funded Sustainable Places Project, which built the suite of tools and provided revitalization strategies and policy guidance for Austin, Dripping Springs, Elgin, Hutto and Lockhart. These participating communities applied beta versions of the P3 tools to align housing, jobs and transportation options, complement existing community values and strengthen their economies.

For example, the planning team revised the design standards for several city-owned properties, making them more marketable to developers, adaptable to economic changes and attractive to the project’s team of stakeholders.

A key strength of the P3 toolkit? Its basis in financial aspects of planning. The tools incorporate research about what can be built in a community within a given time horizon, grounding public initiatives with market realities.

> Learn about CAPCOG's Community & Economic Development Division

Another strength? Flexibility. Once the data is in hand, the model for a community can be changed quickly, and most indicator outputs become automatic. Multiple scenarios can be created to analyze everything from public sector fiscal impacts (“Can we afford this type of growth?”) to proximity to essential services (“How many people could live within walking distance of the new school?”).

P3 also can deliver realistic, easily revised 3D renderings of potential buildings from the street level.

The project process works on a range of scales. Staff can study development potential of one parcel, examining how policy changes such as zoning and parking requirements could affect the likelihood of development or the efficiency of incentives. P3 also offers tools to look at a whole city district, like the plans created through the demonstration sites of the Sustainable Places Project.

> Get started with Community & Economic Development Director Michael Hennig

Current P3 projects include studying potential transportation mode shifts at the regional level that might come from continued activity-center growth. The City of Austin is using the tools to calculate personal savings and gross-domestic-product growth that could be generated by new transportation investments envisioned in its transit-system exploration, Project Connect.

State grant eyes clean technology

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is accepting grant applications until June 27, 2014, for new-technology initiatives aimed to reduce emissions from facilities and other stationary sources in the state.

The New Technology Implementation Grant Program, part of TCEQ's Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, especially seeks applications involving advanced clean energy, new technology or electricity storage projects.    

> Get the grant details

Older Americans Month 2014: Honoring one of our region’s best assets

Thursday, May 01, 2014

"Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow": Participants (above) enjoy a meal at the Bagdad Activity Center in Leander, Texas. This year’s theme for Older Americans Month in May focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage seniors to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.

Seniors have made countless contributions and sacrifices to ensure a better life for future generations. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May.

The celebration recognizes older Americans for their contributions and demonstrates our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active.

This year's theme, “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.

> Learn more about Older Americans Month

Unintentional injuries among older adults result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths each year. With an emphasis on safety during Older Americans Month, participating agencies and organizations can encourage older adults to learn about various ways to avoid the leading causes of injury, such as falls.

CAPCOG’s Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAA) provides services, support and resources to older adults year-round, and Older Americans Month offers an opportunity to provide specialized information and services regarding injury prevention. This information will help older adults take control of their safety and live longer, healthier lives.

> Explore CAPCOG's Area Agency on Aging

Throughout the month, the Area Agency on Aging will conduct activities and provide tips on how to avoid the leading causes of injury. Some outreach examples:

  • Interactive placemats that spotlight AAA services and offer healthy tips are being distributed to all senior nutrition centers and to all seniors who receive nutritious home-delivered meals throughout the region.
  • A special celebration is scheduled 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at the Onion Creek Senior Citizens Center, 420 Barton’s Crossing, Buda, TX. Call 512-916-6060 for details.

To learn more about ways to support Central Texas seniors and get involved, contact CAPCOG Area Agency on Aging Program Manager Rene Oldstein. > Go 

Adapted with permission from the U.S. Administration for Community Living


> Follow the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area on Facebook

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