AUSTIN EDITION Austin, St. Mark's to swap acreage

By Roxana Orellana

Austin will do a land exchange with St. Mark's Lutheran Home.

Austin City Council approved the trade with the nursing home and assisted-living facility Monday. The exchange will be of 2.36 acres on the west side of Main Street adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city plans to use the land as a buffer or for a future expansion of the treatment plant. City Engineer Jon Erichson said the city is planning for an expansion to replace the biosolids open-lagoon storage areas with concrete sludge-storage tanks to meet environmental standards.


St. Mark's is also in agreement with the land trade, according to city officials. With the exchange, the city will have all the property along South Main Street.

St. Mark's would get 2.36 acres of city land, which would allow for future expansion of the facility.

"We feel this land trade is important to us regardless if we build or not," Erichson said. "We don't want anyone building there."

Approving the exchange does not approve an expansion of the treatment plant. The expansion will be voted on as a separate resolution.

Some neighbors have expressed concerned on what the potential expansion in the area would do to their property value. They also said they're worried about the odors, more traffic and aesthetics. A list of people against the expansion was sent to 2nd Ward Council Member Dick Pacholl.

A meeting with residents in the area will be scheduled later this month. More than 60 notices were sent to neighbors in the area of 16th Avenue and 12th Avenue Southwest to inform them of the last meeting on the issue.

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