The first day of early voting is Monday, April 19, for the districts 1 and 5 City Council races and the mobility bond election.
The early in-person voting period is April 19-24 and 26-27. Election Day is May 1.
Candidates for Georgetown District 1 are incumbent Mary Calixtro and Amanda Parr. For District 5, candidates are Jason Norwood and incumbent Kevin Pitts.
In the mobility bond election, all City of Georgetown voters will consider Proposition A on the ballot that would authorize $90 million for various street and transportation infrastructure projects. For details about Mobility Georgetown Bond 2021, visit bonds.georgetown.org/2021-mobility-bond.
Early voting polling places, dates, and times are listed at wilco.org/elections.
View council district maps at maps.georgetown.org.
For updates about the election, go to georgetown.org.
We finished collecting debris from the remaining areas as well as from areas submitted for pick up through the online form. Through Thursday, April 1, we collected nearly 14,000 cubic yards of debris from homes within City limits
If you still have debris, here are some options:
- Georgetown solid waste customers who still have tree limb debris can drop it off at the Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive, for $8.25 per cubic yard. There is no limit to how much customers can drop off. Click here for Transfer Station hours.
- Texas Disposal Systems will collect bundled and/or bagged brush and limbs on your April brushy collection day, which is the first recycling pickup day of the month. Find your schedule: texasdisposal.com/waste-wizard
The curbside debris pickup service was provided free of charge to people who live inside City limits.
Tree limb cleanup FAQ
The City of Georgetown has contracted with landscaping firms to pick up tree limbs that resulted from the winter storm Feb. 11-20. This FAQ addresses key questions about the special pickup.
A mural is planned at the Georgetown Art Center, 816 S. Main St., as part of the larger vision of the Downtown Georgetown Cultural District. The Georgetown Public Art Program received a Cultural District grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts for the mural, which will feature the theme of diversity. Four artists with diverse backgrounds and styles, who have already contributed significantly to the collection of local public art murals, will team up on this diversity-themed, street art-style project: Sarah Blankenship (Greetings from Georgetown, TX mural), Norma Clark and Devon Clarkson (Preserving History mural project), and J. Muzacz (El Arbol “The Tree” and Best Friends K9 Heroes murals, which he created in collaboration with veteran artist Jay Rivera).
The mural will be installed in April on the two-story west exterior wall of the Georgetown Art Center, which is adjacent to the entrance of the District Six restaurant (rendering at right). A public painting event is planned in collaboration with the constituents of Art from the Streets and other community members. The colors selected for the mural relate to District Six, as well as the accent colors of the historic Mesker Brothers storefronts of the Downtown Georgetown Cultural District. There will be a mural dedication event in July coinciding with the opening reception of the Georgetown Art Center’s Street Art exhibit.
The mural seeks to raise awareness of the diversity of culture, programming, artists, and arts audiences in Georgetown and honors the community outreach, engagement and education efforts by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Program and the Georgetown Art Center, which is managed by nonprofit group Georgetown Art Works. Each artist’s design represents their unique connection to Georgetown and the inspiration behind it.
Muralist J. Muzacz chose to represent hope, optimism, diversity, and the next generation of youth chasing their dreams by painting a stylized portrait of local Georgetown resident and emerging young artist Kayla Moore, whose utility box painting, “Cloudy Day” can be seen at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue on the Square.
“I love that art students are able to express themselves and share their emotions, struggles, and dreams with the community in such an inspiring way,”Muzacz said. Muzacz is a member of the Texas Commission on the Arts Texas Touring Roster, and the Georgetown Arts and Culture Program received additional grant funding from the TCA to include him as an artist for this project.
Abstract artist Norma Clark chose to represent two separate images that are inspirational and personal to her. One image is the sunflower that represents Brookwood in Georgetown, BiG, a vocational community for adults with special needs. Brookwood believes the citizens of “BiG” are unique like the sunflower seed that can lay dormant for years, but under the right conditions, can grow and bloom.
As the mother of an adult child with special needs, Clark said, “I love incorporating this into my work to inspire others to embrace and welcome unique art and accept unique individuals.”
The second image represented is Southwestern University’s emblem since generations of Clark’s family have a history with the institution.
“This was the place that formed my foundation as an artist, an area that otherwise I would have never explored professionally,” Clark said.
Muralist Sarah Blankenship has a background in historic preservation having worked at the Texas Historical Commission and served on historic preservation boards in Georgetown. Blankenship chose to represent an appreciation of art in public spaces.
“I love to see art in our everyday lives, from restaurants, to workplaces, to our downtowns, even in nature,” she said. “I want it to surround us in unique ways, to be available to a diverse audience, rather than it be thought of for museums or galleries.”
The image of the Corinthian column—including a capital featuring leaves and flowers—was specifically chosen because the leaves give a connection to nature, and Georgetown’s parks have been a continual source of spiritual energy for Blankenship. This type of column can be seen on the Williamson Museum on Austin Avenue.
Blankenship’s other images include enlarged and abstracted elements from the Mesker pressed-metal cornices and window caps of the historic downtown buildings. Designs are from the Lockett, Dimmitt, Mileham, and Williamson County Sun buildings and the Georgetown Art Center. The three radiating circles at the bottom right of the mural “represent my family and the three energies we all have to balance in life and as artists from any background: Spiritual, intellectual and warrior,” she said.
Portrait artist Devon Clarkson chose to represent the impact of art education and the importance of engaging children in the process. Clarkson’s own children became the inspiration for the portraits in his section and are shown participating in the creation of the mural.
“My kids were the single most important reason I took a shot at art,” he said.
The second image chosen by Clarkson is an abstracted representation of the bridges in the community, a symbol that is uniquely Georgetown and reminiscent the area’s identification as the “Land of Good Water,” as the original settlements in the area were located where clear, natural spring waters were easily accessible.
For updates on the project, as well as information on other art and cultural events in the Downtown Georgetown Cultural District, visit arts.georgetown.org.
Updated: The City of Georgetown will temporarily close some I-35 mainlanes north of Williams Drive March 28-April 1, to continue construction of the Northwest Boulevard bridge. The overnight lane closures will start each night at 9 p.m., with lanes expected to reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. each morning. All work is weather permitting.
On Sunday and Monday, March 28-29, northbound I-35 will be reduced to one lane.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 30-31, all southbound I-35 mainlanes will be closed and northbound will be reduced to one lane. Southbound traffic will be diverted to the frontage road at the Williams Drive exit.
On Thursday, April 1, southbound I-35 will be reduced to one lane.
Road signs have been placed to alert drivers of the closures. Please use extra caution when traveling through the area.
The Northwest Boulevard bridge is scheduled to be complete this summer.
A global rail maintenance and rail services company plans to start construction later this year on an innovation center for research and development in Georgetown. Loram Technologies, formally GREX, expects to employ 310 people at the center after the expansion, including 150 new positions.
“The vision behind Loram Technologies Inc. is to build on GREX’s successful railroad technology solutions while harmonizing Loram’s mergers and acquisitions activity over the last several years,” Loram Technologies President Greg Grissom said. “By aligning global software, data, and engineering teams, we will accelerate new product development and bring our railroad customers the very best in next generation technology products and field services. Loram is also thrilled to bring further investment into Georgetown with a new state of the art office and manufacturing facility with construction starting in late 2021.”
Loram Maintenance of Way acquired Georgetown-based GREX in 2018. GREX changed its name to Loram Technologies on Jan. 1, 2021, and remains based in Georgetown. The parent company is headquartered in Hamel, Minn., has six global offices, and is a supplier of track maintenance equipment and services for freight railroads, transit systems, and commuter railroads.
Loram expects to invest $17 million in the Georgetown research and development center with an average salary of $60,000. A Georgetown Economic Development Corporation agreement with Loram approved by City Council at its Feb. 23 meeting includes a job retention and creation grant of $1,000 per job, plus an infrastructure reimbursement for a total incentive of $800,000 for the project.
“We are excited to be home to this research and manufacturing facility in Georgetown,” Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “Expanding on the innovation of GREX, a home-grown rail technology company started by Ned Snead, is great. This center adds highly skilled jobs in our community and keeps us on track to strengthen our economy.”
City issues $48M debt issuance, no rate change for customers
Updated, March 24: The City of Georgetown issued about $48 million in a 10-year bond to pay for the unbudgeted energy costs incurred due to February’s winter storm. City Council in a special-called meeting March 2 directed staff to pay the debt over 10 years from electric utility revenues at current rates. Council approved the bond at its regular meeting March 23.
“Even as we got word on the exorbitant cost of energy while we were in the middle of the disaster, our focus was delivering electricity to our customers and controlling the variables we could,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “Another variable we have some control over is the burden placed on Georgetown electric customers as a result of this event, and the steps we took Tuesday will mitigate additional costs for our customers.”
As a result of the planned bond issuance, Georgetown electric customers will see no difference in their electric rates, despite the high energy costs during the storm. The City’s bill currently was due at the beginning of April 2021. Council and staff are committed to retiring this debt as soon as possible, while maintaining competitive rates for customers. Any changes to rates or the bond needed because of an amended bill will be brought before the council for discussion and direction.
At City Council direction, the City will use the existing power cost adjustment of $0.01375 per kilowatt hour to help cover the cost of the bond as it is paid back over 10 years. For the average residential customer, that amounts to about $10 a month. The current PCA generates about $6 million a year, which would cover the additional, annual debt payment of $5.3 million from the 10-year bond.
The City also is pursuing a surety policy to cover an additional $6.4 million in reserves, which may be required to maintain debt service coverage ratios after the costs from the winter storm. The one-time, up-front payment for the policy will be paid for using existing revenues.
Customers might have seen higher-than-normal electric bills for February due to increased usage. Even with the mandated power outages from ERCOT, heating and reheating of a home consumes considerable energy and is likely to result in higher bills this month. The City has multiple options to help you pay your electric bill, such as funding assistance through partner agencies and in-house customer programs you may qualify for. People can contact Customer Care at 512-930-3640 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
The City currently owes about $48 million for energy used Feb. 14 through 20. About $21 million of that is for about 3,000 megawatt hours. The remaining 13,000 megawatt hours the City used during the storm were generated by providers at contracted rates. Roughly $27 million of what the City owes is for ancillary services, which are charges for reserve or on-demand power supply by ERCOT that cost as much as $25,000 per megawatt hour during the event. For context, the City paid $710,000 in ancillary services in all of 2020. The remaining $21 million is for energy costs, which peaked at $9,000 per megawatt hour. Last month, the average cost per megawatt hour was $20.79. The $9,000 per megawatt hour maximum price was in effect in the ERCOT market for 70 hours from Feb. 16 to 19.
“We’re still hopeful PUCT and legislators find solutions that will help alleviate the financial burden being placed on utilities across the state,” Schroeder said. “I encourage you to reach out to your state representatives and trust we will be doing the same.”
How will the recent winter storm affect my electric bill?
Georgetown rates will not change, but you could see higher bills due to usage.
While it is true that the wholesale price of power increased exponentially for all Texas electric utilities during February’s extreme weather, City of Georgetown electric customers will see no difference in their electric rates at this time. At the direction of City Council, the City of Georgetown took out a loan of about $48 million, to be paid by electric revenue over 10 years, to cover our unbudgeted energy costs from the storm. Interest on the loan will total about $5 million at a 1.73 percent interest rate. Any changes will be communicated publicly through this webpage, other City communications channels, and the media.
If your electric bill was higher than normal for this time of year, it likely was due to how much energy you used during the storm. Heating your home during cold weather uses a significant amount of energy, even more so if you experienced outages and needed to reheat your home. We know some of those outages were in response to ERCOT’s load shed/rotation outage requirements to protect the statewide electric grid from collapsing. We have multiple options to help you pay your electric bill, such as funding assistance through partner agencies and in-house customer programs you may qualify for.
The rest of this page provides more detail on what happened and answers to frequently asked questions about the situation.
Virtual Town Hall about electric costs
Watch the recording of the March 11 town hall. The event featured presentations and Q&A from Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder, City Manager David Morgan, and electric general manager Daniel Bethapudi.
Please note: This information is about City of Georgetown electric customers only. If you are a customer of Pedernales Electric Cooperative or Oncor, you will need to review their information or make contact with them to determine how the storm will affect your bill. Here is a map of the different electric service providers in Georgetown if you aren’t certain.
Electric bills and winter storm impact FAQ
Georgetown electric customers
All adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas beginning Monday, March 29. The Texas Department of State Health Services expects vaccine supplies to increase next week, and providers in multiple parts of the state have made great strides in vaccinating people in the current priority groups. The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations to protect as many Texans as possible.
Click here to join the Williamson County waitlist: https://bit.ly/38P8y74
NOTICE OF INTENTION REGARDING CITY OF GEORGETOWN, TEXAS COMBINATION TAX AND REVENUE CERTIFICATES OF OBLIGATION
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that it is the intention of the City Council of the City of Georgetown, Texas, to issue one or more series of interest bearing certificates of obligation of the City entitled “City of Georgetown, Texas Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation” (the “Certificates”) for the purpose of paying contractual obligations incurred or to be incurred by the City for: (1) constructing, improving and extending the City’s waterworks, sewer and electric system, including (i) water system improvements related to elevated storage tanks, supply lines, pump stations, water lines and water treatment plant rehabilitation and (ii) electric system improvements related to power lines, circuits, capacitors, switching equipment, information technology equipment and vehicles, and (2) professional services including fiscal, engineering, architectural and legal fees and other such costs incurred in connection therewith including the costs of issuing the Certificates.
The City Council tentatively proposes to consider for first and final reading at a meeting to commence at 6 o’clock, p.m., on the 11th day of May, 2021 at Council Chambers, 510 W. 9th Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626, the passage of an ordinance authorizing such Certificates which ordinance shall be entitled “ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF CITY OF GEORGETOWN, TEXAS COMBINATION TAX AND REVENUE CERTIFICATES OF OBLIGATION, SERIES 2021A; LEVYING AN AD VALOREM TAX AND THE PLEDGE OF CERTAIN REVENUES IN SUPPORT OF THE CERTIFICATES; APPROVING AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT, A PAYING AGENT/REGISTRAR AGREEMENT AND OTHER AGREEMENTS RELATED TO THE SALE AND ISSUANCE OF THE CERTIFICATES; AND AUTHORIZING OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE CERTIFICATES.” The maximum amount of Certificates of Obligation that may be authorized for such purpose is $23,500,000. The City Council presently proposes to provide for the payment of such Certificates from the levy and collection of ad valorem taxes in the City as provided by law and from the surplus revenues of the City’s utility system in an amount not to exceed $10,000, being the combined waterworks, sewer and electric system, remaining after payment of all operation and maintenance expenses thereof, and all debt service, reserve and other requirements in connection with all of the City’s revenue bonds or other obligations (now or hereafter outstanding) which are payable from all or any part of the net revenues of the City’s utility system.
Due to the ongoing public health concerns regarding the COVID 19 virus, and as may be authorized by Executive Order of the Governor of Texas, such meeting regarding the Certificates to be held on May 11, 2021 may be conducted via a free public video conference or other lawful electronic means. In such event, information regarding how to access the meeting and public participation in the meeting will be available on the City’s website and in the agenda posted no less than 72 hours before the May 11, 2021 meeting at the following internet address: https://government.georgetown.org
The following information is required pursuant to Texas Local Government Code, Section 271.049: As of March 9, 2021, the aggregate principal amount of all outstanding debt obligations of the City secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes is $222,670,000. As of March 9, 2021, the combined principal and interest required to pay all outstanding debt obligations of the City secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes on time and in full is $283,895,475. The estimated combined principal and interest required to pay the Certificates on time and in full is $31,668,958.33. The estimated interest rate for the Certificates is 3.00%. Such estimates take into account a number of factors, including the issuance schedule, maturity schedule and the expected ratings of the proposed Certificates. Such estimated interest rate is provided as a matter of information but is not a limitation on the interest rate at which the Certificates may be sold. The maximum maturity date of the Certificates is August 15, 2041.
CITY OF GEORGETOWN, TEXAS
Sally Miculek was selected to serve as the director of the Georgetown Public Library following the retirement of Eric Lashley in January. After a nationwide search, Miculek was chosen from a number of qualified applicants. She had been the assistant library director for Georgetown for the past seven years and previously worked in the Austin Public Library system.
“Sally’s character and skillset are a perfect fit for the next leader of our beloved library,” City Manager David Morgan said. “With Sally as our next director and the talents of our staff, I’m excited about the future of our library and our ability to meaningfully serve, partner with, and engage the community.”
Miculek is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. She has extensive experience in children’s services, as well as in developing special programming and cultural events. In Georgetown, she organized special community projects, such as documentary films, panel discussions, and art exhibits during Black History Month and Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month.
“The Georgetown Public Library is a great organization, because the entire leadership of the City of Georgetown shares a philosophy of values-based service to the community,” Miculek said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to help the Library navigate the many opportunities presented by the growth and change that animate the Georgetown community.”
Miculek will oversee the programming and materials for the Georgetown Public Library, which was awarded the national gold medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences in 2018. She will focus on the Library’s mission to engage, enlighten, and empower the community through outstanding service delivery with a team of 35 employees, 19 of whom are full time. She will also support partnerships with several community organizations, including the Friends of the Library, the nonprofit organization that provides significant fundraising and volunteerism for library services.
“Sally’s passion for serving the Georgetown community was evident throughout the selection process,” Assistant City Manager Laurie Brewer said. “She has the ability to work with advisory and advocacy groups, as well as other community partners to continue to provide outstanding cultural programming for our library.”
The Georgetown Library’s circulation was more than 556,000 in 2019 and more than 386,000 in 2020.
City of Georgetown water customers in the Liberty Hill, Stonewall, and County Road 200 (see red area on map) areas are asked to limit water use starting at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 7 through 10 p.m. on Monday, March 8.
During this time, the City of Georgetown water utility will be replacing a valve in an elevated water storage tank (water tower) that was damaged during the February freezing weather event. The water storage tank will be out of service for a few hours during the repair work.
The water utility will use pumps to maintain water pressure during the repair, however limiting water consumption to indoor uses only will allow the tank to recover as quickly as possible. A reminder that Mondays are no-watering days.
If you have any questions, contact City of Georgetown Customer Care at email@example.com or 512-930-3640.