Del Valle Resource Guide

By Decibel Team | Tuesday, April 5th 2022

Who ya gonna call?

That's the question many Del Valle residents ask themselves over a variety of issues, from garbage collection to malfunctioning lights on highways. Fractured between the city of Austin, municipal utility districts and unincorporated county spaces, it can be challenging to know who is in charge of fixing a particular issue. In order to help cut through some of that confusion, Decibel in partnership with the Austin Monitor, crafted this Del Valle Resource Guide.

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ELECTED OFFICIALS

In Del Valle, determining whether one resides within Austin city limits is crucial, but it’s not easy. Those who live in the city can contact city officials and services when things go wrong, those who don’t should reach out to their county commissioner and other non-city authorities for help.

If the City of Austin is included as your taxing jurisdiction, you can look up your City Council District and Council member using this interactive city map. If there are no city taxes paid, you can look up your Travis County precinct here. (As a note, though those within the city also have a county commissioner as a representative, they are not a first point of contact for questions and services, city council is.)

Austin City Council Members

The Austin City Council is separated into 10 districts, each with their own council member. The council collectively develops city policies and ordinances to provide direction for the city manager.

City council members Natasha Madison, Vanessa Fuentes and Sabino Renteria all serve a portion of the Del Valle area that is spread out across district 1, 2, and 3. To find out what district you belong to use this interactive city map. After finding your district, you may contact the council member that represents that district through their contact information listed below.

To contact District 1 city council member Natasha Harper Madison, call 512-978-2101 or visit the link to send a message.

To contact District 2 city council member Vanessa Fuentes, call 512-978-2102 or visit the link to send a message.

To contact District 3 city council member Sabino Renteria, call 512-978-2103 or visit the link to send a message.

Travis County Commissioners 

Every county in Texas is divided into four precincts. Each precinct is portioned out to have roughly the same amount of people in it. Del Valle sits within both Precinct 4 and Precinct 1. 

Travis County Commissioners primarily focus on the overall public safety of the county while following state regulations. Duties include, but are not limited to, handling building regulations, voting on county issues and maintaining county roads (not city roads.) The commissioners court is equivalent to what city council is for the city of Austin.

Commissioners do not have land use authority but do handle building regulations meaning they can tell you how to build something, but they have no say in where or when you build it.

To get in touch with your commissioner, first try calling or emailing their executive assistants to address your questions or concerns.

To get into contact with Precinct 1 commissioner Jeff Travillion, you can first try calling one of his executive assistants Caitlyn Brown at 512-854-4857 or Deone Wilhite at 512-854-9111. If you’d like to send an email, you can reach the assistants at Caitlin.Brown@traviscountytx.gov, Deone.Wilhite@traviscountytx.gov or reach Commissioner Travillion at Jeffrey.Travillion@traviscountytx.gov.

To get into contact with Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gomez, you can first try calling one of her executive assistants David Salazar at 512-854-9444 or Norma Guerra at 512-854-9144. If you’d like to send an email, you can reach the assistants at david.salazar@traviscountytx.gov, norma.guerra@traviscountytx.gov or reach Commissioner Gomez at Margaret.Gomez@traviscountytx.gov Margaret.Gomez@traviscountytx.gov.

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VOTING JURISDICTIONS

With 230 voting jurisdictions in Travis County, it's not just residents of Del Valle that might have some confusion identifying their elected officials.

In Texas, elections are run by the county. In Travis County, voters have many options to determine the various forces that rule them, tax them and count them as constituents.

One option available is the Travis Central Appraisal District property search, which lists the taxing jurisdictions for any address in the county, along with the associated tax bill. Though that is good information to have, it's not quite complete (for example, your congressperson doesn't tax your property) and can be a little confusing for those that live in apartments.

A more thorough option is votetravis.com, which allows voters to look up their jurisdictional information even when there is no election taking place. (Not registered to vote? Solve that today.) The list of jurisdictions that results might be a little hard to decipher -- this key explains what the list of codes means.

The Travis County Clerk also offers customized sample ballots, a list of polling locations, and real-time wait times once voting has begun.

Similar information about voting sites and requirements can also be found at Vote411, which is run by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters.

To ensure you have a quick and easy experience at the polling place, make sure you bring the documents you require. Know what you can and can't bring to the location and be aware of certain advisories like cell phone usage in the polling place. Make sure you’re informed about Election Day policies.

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LAW ENFORCEMENT

There are two major law enforcement agencies that serve the Del Valle area; the Austin Police Department and the Travis County sheriff’s office.

If you are in immediate danger, you should call 9-1-1. The emergency dispatch will automatically know your location and forward you to one of these law enforcement agencies depending on where you live. But if you’re looking to get help with some not-so-imminent issues, or to request for patrol in your neighborhood, then it might be a little more tricky to understand who to call.

If you live in an area that is fully annexed by the City of Austin, APD will be helping you out. APD’s coverage area is broken into 17 sections. District representatives are in charge of connecting the community with the police department to resolve neighborhood problems, address safety concerns and aid in the prevention of crime, amongst other duties.

To see what section you fall in, check out this map. If you live in Austin and have a non-emergency you can always call 3-1-1 for help. If you’re calling from a number that doesn’t have a 512 area code then call 512-974-2000.

You can find a list of answers to frequently asked questions on APD’s website. You can also do many other things like file a police report, register a bike or look up crash reports on the APD website.

If you live in Travis County but outside of an APD section, calling 3-1-1 won’t work for you. Instead, you’ll need to contact the non-emergency line at the Travis County sheriff’s office. That number is 512-974-0845. You can find more information about the sheriff’s office on its website.

You can also find information about each law enforcement agency on social media. Agencies suggest following their social media account for updates.

If you are not sure which jurisdiction you live in, you can always look up your address or street name on the jurisdiction map to determine which county you fall into.

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HEALTH CARE

Accessing health care services in the Del Valle area can be complicated. If you seek primary care services such as physical exams or minor disease/injury, you may be able to use one of three clinics in the area, depending on your eligibility.

Del Valle Health Center

The Del Valle Health Center, operated by CommUnity Care, primarily serves low income or uninsured patients seeking primary care services. Availability might be limited depending on your eligibility to receive services.

If you would like to become a new patient, you can contact the Patient Navigation Center by calling 512-978-9015. There you will be able to speak to an eligibility specialist and review which programs you are qualified for.

After checking your eligibility, you can schedule your first appointment one of two ways. You can contact the Del Valle Health Center at 512-978-9760 or schedule online through MyChart. Depending on the time of year and availability of appointments, you may be added to a waitlist.

You can learn more about pre-enrollment, eligibility or how to become a new patient at CommUnityCare online or by calling 512-978-9760

The Del Valle Health Center is located at 3518 FM 973.

Travis County Employee Health Clinic

If you are a Travis County Employee, you can use the Travis County Employee Health Clinic. The clinic provides health care services with no deductible, co-pay or insurance costs to the patient. To learn more about the Travis County Employee Health Clinic, visit their employee benefits page and select the “Travis County Employee Health Clinic” tab.

The Travis County Employee Health Clinic is located at 3518 FM 973.

UT Children’s Wellness Center

The UT Children’s Wellness Center is open to patients ages 0-18. The center accepts most types of insurance and accepts uninsured patients. If you are unable to pay the out-of-pocket cost on the day of the appointment, there are payment plans available. To set up an initial appointment with the UT Children’s Wellness Center, call 512-386-3335.

The UT Children’s Wellness Center is located at 5301 Ross Rd. #H

Emergency Room Access

Del Valle does not have a hospital within city limits. If you need emergency care, you will need to drive to the nearest Austin hospital. One of the closest facilities to Del Valle with emergency care is 8.5 miles away using State Hwy 71 W to St. David's South Austin Medical Center, located at 901 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX.

For details on treatments, specializations and ER wait times at St. David’s South Austin.

Health Education

If you are seeking education about health and wellness, Austin Public Health hosts events and classes in the community. For more information on other Austin Public Health programs held in collaboration with Del Valle.

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FIRE / EMS

If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1 and the operator will route emergency services closest to you. In Del Valle that is Travis County Fire Rescue ESD No. 11 (Station 1101.) Station 1101 is staffed with rescue firefighters and EMT caregivers.

Travis County Fire Rescue ESD No. 11, Station 1101 is located on 9019 Elroy Road, Del Valle, Texas. If you have a non-emergency related question or concern, you can call the station at 512-243-3477 and dial 0 to be connected to staff.

If you live in the unincorporated areas of Travis County and have questions concerning fire investigations, fire inspections or fire code, you can contact the fire marshal’s office. They respond to citizen reports and work with emergency services and fire departments within the area. You may contact the office by calling 512-854-4621. If you need to make a call weekdays after 5:00 p.m. or anytime during the weekend, you will have to contact Travis County sheriff department dispatch at 512-974-0845.

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FOOD ACCESS

The Del Valle area is classified as a food desert. There are two options in the area that you may consider if you need assistance with food access.

The Travis County Del Valle Community Center

Among the resources available at the Del Valle Community Center, is a food pantry where residents can access groceries once every 30 days for their household. The types of food available is dependent on their availability that week.

If you are interested in utilizing the food pantry services, you will need to visit the community center at 3518 FM 973 South with photo identification and complete an application.

Visit the Del Valle Community Center’s website to view their hours of operation.

Central Texas Mobile Food Pantry at Del Valle High School

The Central Texas Food Bank hosts a mobile food pantry outside of Del Valle High School on the first Monday of each month. To utilize the mobile food pantry, you will need to fill out a form to confirm you live in the area of distribution and apply for assistance.

The amount of times you can receive resources from the pantry is dependent upon the availability of food and is subject to cancellation in the case of inclement weather or holidays. To make sure the pantry is open, you can call their mobile hotline at 512-684-2559.

Visit the Central Texas Food Bank resource page for access to their monthly calendar distribution schedule and information on additional assistance programs they offer.

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UTILITIES

As is the case for many things in Del Valle, utilities are a complicated patchwork that varies from neighbor to neighbor.

When it comes to getting utilities set up in this area, you either get serviced by the city of Austin or not. Your address determines which services the city may provide for you and which are limited. If you are unsure if your property is in their coverage zone, you can call Austin Utilities at 512-494-9400 to check.

You can also find out if your home is within city jurisdiction by checking out this interactive map on the city of Austin’s property profile. You can search by address and label by categories of type of land. By clicking “change visible map layers” a menu will appear on the left side of the screen where you can choose the categories you would like to see. If you scroll down on this menu, within the "Boundaries Grids" tab you’ll find “Census, Districts, and Service Areas” and select “Austin Energy Utility service area,” the map will refresh labeling the service areas.

Keep in mind, utility services provided by the City of Austin are regulated by the city, meaning your only option is to get services through the city. City services include drainage, electricity, solid waste, street service, wastewater and water. Austin utility services do not include gas, so you will need to contact a separate provider in the area. For more information about starting, stopping, or transferring utility services at the city, visit the city’s website.

If your property is not able to be serviced by the city of Austin, there are a few service providers in the area you can reach out to request electricity, water services and trash/recycling.

Electricity

If your property lands in Austin’s boundaries, your electricity service is regulated by Austin Energy. To get services started with Austin Energy, you can call Austin Utilities customer service at 512-494-9400, where you can confirm service for your area and schedule a start date. Fees will be discussed during scheduling and will be charged on your first utility bill.

Properties on land not annexed by the city might need to take some extra steps to get service.

In areas not annexed by the city of Austin, residents may have the option to get services from an electric cooperative, which is a membership-run nonprofit. Benefits for members vary depending on the provider, but examples include receiving a share of profits and the ability to decide who governs the cooperative. Energy cooperatives in the Del Valle area include Bluebonnet Cooperative and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

Bluebonnet Cooperative

To get started with service, first check that your property is in their service area by searching your address on its service map. If you are within the service area and would like to get service set up, give their customer service hotline a call at 800-842-7708 and select option 3 to speak with a representative. You also have the option to get started with service using the online portal or by visiting one of their member centers closest to you. For addresses and contact information for member centers, visit the contact page. To learn more about their membership perks, electric rates and how other associated costs are calculated, visit the website.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)

You have a few options to begin the process to get service from PEC. You can fill out a form on the website. A member relations agent will contact you through the phone number listed to begin processing your application for membership with the cooperative. You can also call them at 888-554-4732 and speak with a representative to begin applying for membership. To make the process easier, make sure to have your identifying information and method of payment available. You also have the option to visit one of their offices in person, which you can locate on the map available on the contact page. For more information about PEC services, visit its webpage for connecting service.

Water

If your home is within Austin’s jurisdiction, your water service is provided through the City of Austin. To get services started, you can call Austin Utilities customer service at 512-494-9400 to confirm service to your area by providing your address and schedule a start date.

If you are not clear if you are within Austin’s certified service area, you can also try searching your address on the Public Utility Commission’s CCN viewer. Once you search your address, you may need to zoom out a bit to notice the designated areas marked with a bold outline. If your address lands in one of those highlighted areas, click within the outline to find out what company can service your home.

Trash and Recycling

For residential trash and recycling services, options vary depending on the location of your property. Properties within the Austin annexed areas get trash and recycling services through the Austin Resource Recovery (ARR). This page has information about ARR’s services ranging from residential to commercial. For questions regarding setting up pickup or service information, call 3-1-1.

Addresses that don't fall into the city service areas may use Texas Disposal Systems services. To set up trash/recycling service with Texas Disposal Systems, you can call 800-375-8375 and provide your address to the customer service representative. They will check if they have established service in your area and get you set up for either trash disposal or recycling.

Contacting your utility provider

While paying utility bills may have an obvious downside in terms of your bank account, those bills are also your easiest path to help those encountering trouble with electricity, water, trash collection or other essential services. Utility bills should include contact information that can be handy in such a situation. At the very least, they give customers the name that they should look for when trying to seek help.

Understanding your Utility Rights

If you need to file a complaint with your utility provider or the PUC, it’s a good idea to brush up on your rights as a customer. Visit the PUC website for information on your utility rights.

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PERMITTING

If you are considering making changes to your property, you might need a permit before starting any work. The location of your property and the type of permit you need determine which office you have to apply through, whether it’s the city of Austin, Travis County, or both.

Some areas are under review by the city of Austin and/or Travis County, meaning some property owners might have to go through a joint process between both offices.

For permits that must go through the city of Austin, you can find permit application forms online, separated by types of project. Some applications can be completed through the web portal. For general information about the types of permits the city offers, visit its website.

For permits that must go through Travis County, you can find the application forms online or apply online through the MyPermitNow portal. The website also has general information on the types of permits offered by the county.

While getting your application together, make sure to keep fee schedules associated with your permit type in mind so you can plan accordingly. You can find more information on fee schedules and other available resources through the city of Austin’s website.

If you would like help through the permitting process, the city’s Development Process Team offers help connecting citizens with guided resources for every step of the process. You can also set up a free 20-minute appointment with the Permitting and Development Center.

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ROADS

Austin is known for its awful traffic, but figuring out who manages roads in Del Valle might be just as stressful. In Texas, the state, city and county governments all manage roadways and in Del Valle there are roads that fall into each jurisdiction.

Any roads with a number in them are owned by the Texas Department of Transportation or TxDot. For example, Farm-to-Market Road 183 and 71 are roads in Del Valle that fall under the state jurisdiction. If you want to report an issue with a TxDot road you can do so on its website or call 512-463-8588. If you need immediate assistance with a road call 512-832-7000.

County roads in Del Valle are managed by the road and bridge division within Travis County's Transportation and Natural Resource office. For non-emergency road maintenance requests like filling a pothole or asking for a stop sign, you can email roads@traviscountytx.gov or call 512-854-9433. If you’re calling after 5 p.m. or for an emergency like a road issue halting traffic call the county sheriff’s office at 512-974-0845. You can find more information and maps of county road projects on its website. While the county does not have the authority to fix state roads, they do lobby for road improvements. You can reach out to your County Commissioner about any road issues and they will lobby the state to get them fixed. Keep in mind that this tends to be a slow process.

For roads that are managed by the City of Austin, you can call 3-1-1 to report an issue. If you are out of the service area of 3-1-1 or call and can’t connect, try calling 512-974-2000. You can also submit a request by emailing austin311@austintexas.gov or by downloading the Austin 3-1-1 app.

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TRANSPORTATION

Capital Metro is the main public transportation service in Austin and has limited service to surrounding areas of Travis County, Manor and Leander. Check CapMetro’s service area map to find out if you live in any part of that service area.

There is only one CapMetro bus route that serves the Del Valle community - The 271 Del Valle Feeder. You can check the route and schedule for that bus.

If you have a disability and live within ¾ of a mile corridor from a regular fixed route, like the 271 Feeder, then you can use MetroAccess. You can find eligibility requirements, information on service area and fares in their Rider’s Guide.

If you don’t have a disability or live outside of CapMetro’s service area, there’s one other transit option for you. The Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) has two transit options for folks in Del Valle. One is the Interurban Coach Line. The 1518 Purple Line goes from Bastrop to Austin and stops at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

If you don’t live close to the airport and are in a non-urbanized area of Travis County, CARTS also offers the Country Bus Service. The Country Bus Service is available to Del Valle residents Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The service will pick you up at your home, take you to your destination and then back home again. To schedule a ride call 512-478-RIDE.

While CARTS does try to accommodate same-day requests when possible, it’s recommended to call the day before your trip, because the schedule fills up. You can even schedule recurring rides for things like a regular doctor's appointment or a weekly trip to the grocery store. The fare will depend on your destination. It costs $2 for a one-way trip somewhere in town; $4 for a one-way trip within the county; and $6 to go anywhere outside of the county. Discounted rates apply for people with disabilities or those over the age of 65. All CARTS buses and vans are accessible, but if you need special accommodations, mention that when scheduling a ride.

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EDUCATION

Online registration is required of all new and returning students enrolling in Del Valle Independent School District schools. There are nine elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school in the Del Valle ISD. The school zone boundaries go beyond Del Valle and include some areas of Creedmoor, Mustang Ridge and sections of southeast Austin.

To find out which school zone your household falls in, you can visit the Del Valle schoolzone finder.

There are a couple steps in the process of new student enrollment, one of which includes registering online. For information on documents required for registration, visit the DVISD website.

If you have any questions or concerns, your first point of contact is the Parent and Community Liaison on the campus. You may request a meeting with the liaison to address your questions or to help find the place that can. Contact information for DVISD’s schools can be found here.

DVISD offers various experiential learning opportunities for students in different subjects and after school programs. Its Career & Technical Education program provides students with the opportunity to explore different career fields, from health science to finance.

College education is available to Del Valle residents through Austin Community College upon acceptance. The closest ACC locations to the area are the Riverside or Eastview campuses, but students are not limited to these campuses should they be interested in registering for courses at a different campus. The admissions webpage has more information on enrolling in ACC.

Austin PBS provides resources for kids ages 2-18. Austin PBS KIDS content airs on two channels, Austin PBS (18.1 over the air) and Austin PBS KIDS (18.4 over the air). A list of cable, satellite and digital channel listings can be found here.

Pbskids.org offers children educational games and videos from PBS KIDS shows so children can learn while they play. Pbs.org/parents offers information, activities and tips for parents.

Austin PBS in partnership with Bright by Text also provides research-based tips and links to trusted child development resources for subscribing caregivers. This texting service is available in English and Spanish. Text SMARTATX to 274448 or visit here to sign up.

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CHILD CARE

Finding reliable child care in Del Valle is not easy. Del Valle is considered a child care desert, which means there are three times as many children as there are slots at licensed facilities. At best, Del Valle and the surrounding areas have 25 seats per every 100 children. At worst, there are zero.

Potential sources for child care in the community include schools, licensed child care centers and licensed home facilities.

If you are a Del Valle ISD employee or student, you may use the Child Development Center. First make sure to complete a pre-enrollment form to reserve a spot on the waiting list. For more information concerning enrollment documentation or tuition costs, visit the center’s website or call 512-386-3727.

If you are not a DVISD employee or student, you may consider using a licensed home facility or a child care center. Licensed homes provide child care within a home, typically to a smaller group of children depending on the size of the home and how many caretakers are at the location. Licensed child care centers operate out of a commercial space and are capable of caring for a greater number of children than a licensed home because of building capacity and hired staff.

To get started on your search for licensed facilities, you may visit the Texas Health and Human Services website and utilize their Texas Child Care database. Enter your home address and the database will pull up the nearest child care providers along with their address and phone number. You can call the child care facility and ask about their availability. If full, some centers might have waiting lists you can be put on in the case a space opens up. For more information, contact the facility you are interested in.

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LIBRARIES

Del Valle is officially serviced by the East Travis Gateway Library District. According to the official history on the district’s website, it was launched in 1982 after a young boy from rural southeast Travis County told Austin’s then-mayor Carole McClellan that he could not afford the non-resident fee at Austin Public Library.

In 1983, the district’s first library -- the Elroy Community Library -- opened. It was completed in 1988. Its sister library, the Garfield Community Library, opened in June 2010.

Any Texas resident with a valid address may sign up for an East Travis Gateway library card. If you would like a physical library card, you can get one by visiting either the Elroy Library at 13512 Farm-to-Market Road 812 or the Garfield Library at 5121 Albert Brown Drive.

Additionally, those that live within city of Austin boundaries are entitled to a free Austin Public Library card, and residents can use all of the services offered by the library. To find out if your residence is within the city limits of Austin, call 512-974-7475 or enter your address into the city’s Jurisdictions Web Map.

Regardless of where they are located, any student enrolled in a Travis County school can receive a free library card at APL. If you’d like to apply, register on Austin Public Library’s website.

Non-students have a few options if they want to access Austin Public Libraries. Non-resident cards can be purchased for $120 per year. Alternatively, those who don’t live within city limits can apply for a free TexShare Card , which grants limited borrowing privileges at more than 500 libraries across Texas, including Austin Public Library branches.

Finally, for residents and non-residents alike, Austin Public Library offers an “eCard” that grants access to the city’s Virtual Library. The eCards are free to adult residents, and $22 for any adult who lives in Texas, but outside of the Austin city limits. Apply for an APL eCard here.

Use of library resources at both library systems while at any library branch remains free, and open to all. Public, unsecure WiFi is available at both East Travis Gateway locations 24/7. To find out if on site WiFi is available after business hours at Austin Public Libraries, contact your local branch. APL also lends mobile hotspots to patrons.

To find the closest Austin Public Library branch to you, visit their website for locations and hours.

For more information on the Del Valle library locations, visit the East Travis Gateway Library website.


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