Bird scooters, new housing, and road improvements all coming to Austin

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – On Monday the Austin City Council met and made progress on plans for a new mode of transportation, new housing, and road improvements all coming to town.

The city council approved 75 Bird scooters to be brought to Austin within the next few weeks.

Mayor Steve King said the Bird scooters will not cost the city anything because Bird will handle all of the scooters and transactions.

Austin’s Police Chief spoke with Albert Lea’s Public Safety Director to see how it has gone there for the past two years.

"I think as you look at Austin we might just be a very scooter friendly town we can get anywhere in our town without ever having to go onto a freeway, so I think you give the folks as many opportunities as they can to traverse our town and this is just another mode of transportation," Austin Mayor Steve King said.

The former YMCA building is expected to be finished in December with 91 units of market-rate housing.

Also in December, the city will find out if a $16 million dollar 40 unit housing project will be built near the Post Office.

This would be for low to moderate-income housing.

Mayor King said the state is still deciding which housing project will be funded, but he is confident they will get it.

"It has to be energy star compliant also what makes Austin stick out better also is we have some community buy-in. The Hormel Foundation is putting $600,000 towards it, the city of Austin will put about the same amount through tax increment financing," Mayor King said.

Recently 5th Ave. and 40th St. were annexed into Austin, and the gravel road in that area will soon be paved.

From 2023 to 2026, all five bridges along I-90 will be reconstructed thanks to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

"It seems like a long time 2023 to 2026 but it will be here before you know it but that is a lot of construction and really improving our community with not just bridges but some are really aesthetically pleasing you know just different than a concrete structure they are gonna have some design into them so it will be very impressive as you are driving down 90 through each of our exits," Mayor King said.

There will also be $3,600 coming to Austin thanks to a community survey.

Residents will soon get a survey to give feedback to the city on things like parks and trails.