Candidate filing period starts for District 6 special election

The first day to file for candidates who wish to run for the District 6 Georgetown City Council seat is Wednesday, July 28. The filing deadline is Aug. 16.

City Council passed a resolution at its regular meeting Tuesday to call for a special election on Nov. 2 to fill the District 6 vacancy on the council created when Rachael Jonrowe resigned on July 6.

Completed applications for candidacy should be submitted at City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St. To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. A candidate for City Council must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of the term of office and a citizen and qualified voter of the state of Texas and the City of Georgetown. Candidates for council district seats must be a resident of the council district the member would be representing for a period of six months as of the last legal date for filing.

The last day to register to vote for the November election is Oct. 4.

Early in-person voting is Oct. 18-29. Early voting and Election Day polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

For details about the city election, go to government.georgetown.org/city-secretary/elections.

City hosts Economic Development Symposium on Aug. 30

The City of Georgetown is hosting the fifth annual Economic Development Symposium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Ave.

The symposium will feature a lunch and keynote presentation by real estate economist Mark G. Dotzour on the economic outlook for investors and business decision makers.

Each fall the Georgetown Economic Development Department invites a nationally recognized expert to share insightful analysis on a topic of importance to business owners, real estate professionals, and community leaders for its annual economic development symposium.

Past events have highlighted the impact of the presidential election on the economy, how changing retail-customer behaviors ripple through the economy, and workforce trends.

In addition to the keynote speaker, Georgetown City leaders will provide a look back at the year’s important announcements and events and give a sneak peek of those to come.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit invest.georgetown.org/symposium2021.

Healthy yards workshop July 1

Low-cost ways to keep your yard healthy and beautiful

The City of Georgetown is hosting a workshop on maintaining a healthy yard on Thursday, July 1. The free workshop is 1:30-3:45 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

Topics in the workshop include composting, native plants, alternatives to pesticides and commercial fertilizers, reducing pests and weeds, and understanding beneficial insects. The workshop also will cover water use reduction techniques and City rebates from the Water Department. The workshop will present low-cost ways to maintain a healthy yard while reducing stormwater and watershed impacts.

Door prizes and drawings will be included as part of the workshop, and drinks and refreshments will be offered. Items in the free drawings include a dual-chamber tumbling composter (approved for use in Sun City and other HOAs), a soil moisture meter, and a hose-end water use meter.

To register for the free workshop, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/building-healthy-yards-tickets-160076712757. The class is free, but registration is required. Class size is limited to 60 attendees.

Traffic pattern changed at Hwy. 29 & H-E-B

Crews are expected overnight Thursday, June 10, to activate a new traffic signal at University Avenue/SH 29 at HEB and the new Aldi store. The old signal at HEB will be deactivated and removed. The new traffic pattern is expected to be in place by Friday morning. See the map for details about the changes. 

The new median on Hwy 29 is made of vertical delineators and not raised concrete curbing.

There are no signs at the new signal that prohibit U-turns. However, a U-turn may not be possible for large trucks or other vehicles. For drivers exiting the Shell or the shopping center that includes the Jimmy John’s who need to get to I-35, a safer alternate might be to turn into Wolf Crossing at the new signal and use the internal roads to get back to the I-35 frontage road.

The developer of Wolf Crossing paid for new deceleration lanes on Hwy 29 and the I-35 frontage road, as well as a share of other traffic improvements in the area, including the future expansion/rebuild of the Hwy 29 bridge over I-35. The new traffic signal was funded by the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation through the 0.5 percent sales tax dedicated to new transportation improvements related to economic development projects. The cost of the signal was $400,000.

Assistant City Manager Reed accepts job as city manager for City of Cibolo, Texas

Police Chief Nero to serve as interim

Assistant City Manager Wayne Reed has accepted the position as the city manager for the City of Cibolo, Texas. His last day with the City of Georgetown will be June 25. Cibolo City Council approved his hire at its meeting June 8. His first day in Cibolo will be July 12.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the Georgetown team these past five and a half years,” Reed said. “I have been provided opportunities by David Morgan to lead diverse service areas and oversee initiatives to improve the culture and performance of the organization. I’m excited by the opportunity to help a small but fast-growing community implement its vision and become a high-performing organization by working with the City Council to set a course for the future of the community, like we are continuously striving to do in Georgetown.”

In Georgetown, Reed led development-related departments, including planning, public works, systems engineering, permitting and inspections, as well as human resources and community services. Reed was instrumental in leading the City’s administration of special-purpose districts, like Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) and Public Improvement Districts (PIDs), to facilitate responsible growth management. His mantra, which he is carrying with him to Cibolo, is to put systems in place to ensure organizations are “vision inspired, mission focused, values driven, and performance based.”

“I’m thankful for Wayne’s contributions to Georgetown,” City Manager David Morgan said. “He was critical in improving our development processes and managing the pressures of growth, and he helped improve the efficiency and services of the entire organization by championing our performance management program. I’m thrilled for his new opportunity and look forward to hearing more great things about Wayne’s continued achievements in Texas. Cibolo is lucky to have him.”

Reed has more than 25 years of local government experience in both Colorado and Texas. Prior to arriving in Georgetown Jan. 25, 2016, Reed worked as a deputy city manager in Centennial, Colo., where he managed community development, public works, and the Office of Innovation for the growing Denver suburb with 107,000 residents. Before that role, he served as Centennial’s community development director. Reed also previously held the position of planning director for the Town of Berthoud, Colo., and served as a planner for the City of Arvada, Colo., and Denton, Texas.

A graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design, Reed also served as a sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserve. Reed is a certified planning professional and a member of the International City/County Management Association, American Public Works Association, American Institute of Certified Planners, and the American Planning Association.

Effective June 14, Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero will serve as interim assistant city manager in Georgetown while the City uses a search firm to fill the position. The goal is to have a new assistant city manager in place by Oct. 1, which is the start of the next fiscal year. Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida will serve as interim police chief while Nero fills the role.

“Chief Nero has been a key leader in our community and organization,” Morgan said. “I appreciate him stepping into this interim role while we search for a replacement.”

Juneteenth celebration events June 12 and 19

The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association will host a virtual event on Saturday, June 12, and an in-person event on Saturday, June 19, to celebrate Juneteenth. Both events are free and open to the public.

June 12 virtual event

The virtual event from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, will address education, health, and justice for all. Panelists for the online event are Eastview High School Principal La Toya Easter, Wayne Sneed from the Austin ISD Police Department, and Derrick Neal, Williamson County and Cities and Health District executive director.

To register for the online event, visit gccmatx.com/community.

June 19 in-person event

An in-person Juneteenth celebration is noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19. The event is at 801 West St. next to the historical Shotgun House. Featured guests include the Saving Grace Praise Team, gospel singer Chad Jackson, and keynote speaker Wesley Jarmon, a retired administrator for the Federal Communications Commission and founder of the Ernest Everett Just Foundation whose mission is to foster academic excellence for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Juneteenth history

Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston and reported that the Civil War was over and slavery had ended. The Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves had been in effect since Jan. 1, 1863, but word did not reach Texas for more than two years. Juneteenth was declared an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.

D.B. Wood Road project open house June 17

The City of Georgetown will host an open house meeting to provide information on the project to widen D.B. Wood Road from Hwy. 29 to Oak Ridge Road on Thursday, June 17. The open house meeting at 6 p.m. will be in the training room at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road. A short presentation about the project by City staff will be given at 6 p.m., followed by time for questions and answers.


The project that will enhance safety and connectivity will widen D.B. Wood Road from the existing two-lane road to four lanes with a center two-way left turn lane. A 10-foot wide shared-use path for pedestrians and bicycles along the west side of D.B. Wood Road also may be included in the project. This project was approved by the voters in the 2015 City transportation bond. Construction is expected to start in 2022 and be completed in 2024.

Another project to widen D.B. Wood Road from Oak Ridge Road to the Public Safety Operations and Training Center was approved in May by Georgetown voters as part of the 2021 Mobility Bond. Timing for this additional project has not yet been determined. City Council is actively working on a schedule for all 2021 Mobility Bond projects.

Exhibits showing the proposed improvements for the current project will be available for review at the open house. A brief presentation will be made during the open house and project team members will be available to answer questions.

All interested residents are encouraged to attend the open house and provide input on the project.

Public comment

People can provide comments either verbally or written no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, June 24. Written comments may be emailed Joel Weaver, project manager, at joel.weaver@georgetown.org or mailed to: ATTN: Joel Weaver, City of Georgetown, 300-1 Industrial Ave, Georgetown, TX, 78626. Please include your name, address, and phone number.

The open house meeting will be streamed live on Zoom. To access the meeting and participate on Zoom, go to https://georgetowntx.zoom.us/j/94617134572. The webinar ID is 946 1713 4572. You also can participate in the Zoom meeting by phone at one of these toll-free numbers: 833-548-0276 or 833-548-0282. Use the webinar ID: 946 1713 4572.

 

Flash flooding, severe weather expected June 3-7

Georgetown residents should be prepared for severe weather through Monday, June 7.

The National Weather Service is projecting Georgetown and other areas of Central and East Texas could receive up to an additional 4 inches of rain. Considering the rain Georgetown has received in recent weeks, the ground and waterways already are saturated and therefore more prone to flooding. Other threats in addition to flooding include damaging hail and wind and isolated tornadoes.

Georgetown residents should take steps now to prepare for flooding and damaging, severe weather. The following areas are particularly prone to flooding given their proximity to waterways and flood areas. People who live in and/or travel through these areas should use caution:

  • Quail Valley toward 19th Street
  • Golden Oaks/Shady Hollow/Airport Road
  • Berry Creek entrance off Hwy. 195
  • Along San Gabriel River + Lake Georgetown + Berry Creek + other bodies of water & low bridges

City staff are preparing barricades, clearing brush, and organizing staffing to make sure we can respond to the storm. Blue Hole trail crossing remains closed. The San Gabriel Park pedestrian crossings are open as of June 3, but are likely to close again with flooding.  We have canceled our outdoor warning siren tests for Saturday, June 5.

While the City will share Georgetown-specific updates as needed, residents should use the following resources for helpful tips and updated information as the situation changes.

Resources

Emergency alerts

Prepare for flooding

Forecast updates

Road closures due to flooding

Flood stage information

City of Georgetown

  • Water and electric outages: gus.georgetown.org/outages/
  • If you’re experiencing an outage that you don’t see on the outage map, please call 512-930-3640. Make sure to call from the phone number associated with your account, because our phone system can recognize the number and update our system automatically, without speaking to a representative. Use of this automated system is critical for after hours and when our phone system is inundated with calls.
  • City Twitter: twitter.com/georgetowntx
  • City Facebook: facebook.com/CityofGeorgetown/
    • Note: Please refer to the other resources listed above for more up-to-date information on the storm. We try to be as responsive as possible, but the City’s social media channels are not monitored 24/7. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Vaccines available near Georgetown Public Library

The City of Georgetown, in partnership with Curative, Inc., has opened a COVID-19 vaccination site, in tandem with its ongoing testing efforts, in the parking lot at 717 Martin Luther King Jr. Street, which is north of the Georgetown Public Library. The walk-up site will operate on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Individuals 12 and older are eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine offered at the site.

“As the community shifts away from mass vaccinations to more localized efforts, it’s important that residents who are newly eligible or have not had a chance to get their jab still have easy access to vaccines,” said Georgetown Community Services Director Jack Daly. “We really appreciate Curative for staffing this convenient, no-cost-to-the-patient site in Georgetown that will be available every day of the week.”

Registration is encouraged before visiting the vaccine site; however, walk-ups are welcome. Patients younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

To register for a vaccine, visit https://curative.com/sites/28951 or call 888-702-9042. To schedule a COVID-19 test visit https://curative.com/sites/28951.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the WCCHD website at www.wcchd.org/COVID-19 or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

City seeks applications for 2021-22 Sculpture Tour

The City of Georgetown is seeking entries for the 2021-22 Sculpture Tour, a juried, year-long outdoor exhibit in the busy Georgetown Cultural District. Applications will be accepted from 12:01 a.m. June 1 to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 1.

Each sculptor may submit up to three sculptures for consideration. Eighteen sculptures will be selected by the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board to be featured in the tour, which includes outdoor exhibits around the Square, at the Georgetown Public Library, the Georgetown Recreation Center, and Wolf Ranch Town Center.

Sculptures will be installed in November and will be on display until October 2022. All sculptors with works selected to be in the tour will be awarded a cash prize, including $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second, and $750 for honorable mention.

For more information, including submission guidelines, visit arts.georgetown.org.