City closes library, parks and recreation, and Visitors Center facilities in response to COVID-19
Update: For the latest information on the City’s response to Coronavirus, go to the City of Georgetown Coronavirus (COVID-19) site.
Changes in services made in response to Williamson County mass gathering limitations
The City will close the Georgetown Public Library, most Parks and Recreation facilities, and the Visitors Center effective at 6 p.m. March 16 until further notice in an attempt to limit mass gatherings. Private gatherings at Parks and Recreation facilities that will have fewer than 50 people will not be required to cancel this time.
The Georgetown City Council also has scheduled a Special Called meeting 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19, to extend the local disaster declaration until the Council meeting on April 14.
“We are doing everything we can now to prepare for the reality of confirmed cases in Georgetown and are following county, state, and national guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing large, social gatherings,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “The more we can limit interactions now, before Georgetown has a confirmed case, the less the virus will spread in our community. We appreciate your understanding, patience, and cooperation with these requirements.”
The announcement is in response to new requirements issued by Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell that limit the number of people who can convene at a given time to 50 people or fewer through May 11. The City will continue to monitor the situation daily to determine whether to extend or reduce this timeframe.
Red Poppy Festival
The City of Georgetown and the Red Poppy Festival Planning Committee are pleased to announce the 2020 Red Poppy Festival has been rescheduled to Oct. 23 – 25, 2020. Stay tuned at RedPoppyFestival.com for more details.
“We know this is an important event to this community and have made rescheduling it to a safer time a priority,” Mayor Ross said. “We are looking forward to seeing everyone come out in October for our first-ever POPPtober Fest!”
Georgetown Public Library
The library will be closed to the public starting 6 p.m. March 16 through May 11. People should hold onto their library materials until it reopens. The library does not charge overdue fines.
All WOW!mobile stops and outreach events are canceled through April 3, and Sun City stops are canceled through April 19.
Parks and Recreation Department
The Recreation and Tennis centers will be closed through May 11. All athletic field rentals and practices also are cancelled. Last week’s cancellation of all Parks and Recreation events, programs, and activities has been extended through May 11.
Private events expecting more than 50 people scheduled through May 11 at the Community Center, Parks Administration Community Room, Garey House, or other park pavilion are canceled. Full refunds and free rescheduling are available. For questions specific to parks and recreation facilities, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garey Park will remain open at its regular hours.
Council, Boards, and Commissions meetings
At this time, all regularly scheduled City Council meetings will go on as planned, though staff is working through options to hold these meetings remotely.
The public is encouraged to send written public comment by email to email@example.com and to watch the live stream of the meeting at gtv.georgetown.org or on the Government channel 10. Written citizen comment will be accepted up to 2:15 p.m. Tuesdays for the Workshop meetings and up to 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays for the Regular Council meetings.
The City will not be holding boards and commissions meeting until further notice, unless they have a State statutory requirement. The boards that will continue to meet are:
- Planning and Zoning Commission
- Zoning Board of Adjustment (if needed)
- Historic and Architectural Review Committee
- Building Standards Commission (if needed)
- Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation (if needed)
- Georgetown Economic Enhancement Corporation (if needed)
These meetings will not be streamed on the government channel, but we will continue to post minutes of the meetings. The public is encouraged to send written public comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Time-sensitive items that would have been considered by other boards will go straight to Council for a decision.
The March 26 open house about the Austin Avenues Bridges project has been postponed.
More on Georgetown’s Response
The City has activated emergency plans to maintain staffing levels and provide essential services. We also have implemented the following measures to respond to the situation and to reduce the spread of germs and help reduce the risk of transmission:
- Issued a local disaster declaration March 14. Council will consider extending the declaration until its first, regular meeting in April. The declaration allows the City:
- Allocate resources
- Reorganize personnel
- Enact procedures
- Request state assistance if local resources are insufficient.
- Increased cleaning schedule and sanitation efforts at all City facilities: The City’s cleaning services are cleaning more frequently and with hospital-grade disinfectant, and directors have been instructed to have staff wipe down public spaces every day at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.;
- Promoting hand washing and good hygiene in City facilities, restrooms, and counters;
- Reviewing our Emergency Management Plan to assess and identify current and future needs;
- Holding daily meetings and planning calls to provide updates and share best practices and concerns moving forward.
(All updates can be found on the City of Georgetown’s COVID-19 news page at georgetown.org/coronavirus-information.)