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.

’13 Jewish Drivers’ Licenses’ exhibit at Georgetown Public Library

The Georgetown Public Library is hosting an exhibit featuring “13 Jewish Drivers’ Licenses: A Tale of Nazi Destruction, Discovery and Reconciliation” from June 27 through the month of July.

The exhibit is being sponsored by Congregation Havurah Shalom of Sun City.

“13 Jewish Drivers’ Licenses” tells the story of a town in Germany coming to terms with its darkest past. The licenses were discovered in 2017 when the staff of the district offices in Lichtenfels were digitizing the town’s official paper records. The licenses had been revoked by the Nazis in 1938.

The exhibit reveals a story about the discovery, and the exploration by a high school history class to find descendants which led to many places and countries, including Austin, Texas. It is a story about reflection, reconciliation, human connections, and doing the right thing. And it is a story about hope for all of us in today’s tumultuous world.

The exhibit is free and will be open to the public during library hours, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit library.georgetown.org.

Georgetown High School students install mural downtown

Students at Georgetown High School plan to install a mural on the downtown building at 101 E. Seventh St. Now home to Tejas Meat Supply, the building formerly housed Georgetown Municipal Court.

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Advisory Board selected sophomore Peyton Vega’s design from among 16 student designs submitted by art instructor Angela Morin. Morin selected this public art activity as an educational opportunity for her students as part of the Art 1 curriculum.

“The students are learning how they can use art to communicate and connect with others within their community,” Morin said. “They also spent the entire year extensively learning about art history and the legacy that people who came before us created through art. With the creation of the mural, the students will now feel even more connected to that history because they will be connected to a piece of Georgetown history.”

The mural will be painted first on ripstop mural fabric and adhered to the wall of the building. Vega and other students will paint the mural in the classroom in late May. Installation is scheduled for the first week of June.

The goal of this project is to continue to add to the mural every year. This first section of the mural, “Everyone Deserves Kindness,” will claim only a small portion of the wall, which continues the length of the long alleyway between Tejas Meat Supply and the Baked Bear. The art students and their instructor have worked with Brady Clark of Tejas Meat Supply on the placement and size of this first mural section. The Tejas Meat Supply team, as well as the property owner of the building, say they are excited about further collaboration with Georgetown ISD and student artists on the annual additions to the mural.

The mural is jointly sponsored by Georgetown ISD and the City’s Arts and Culture Board. 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.

Georgetown updates COVID-19 safety guidelines

Face coverings no longer required in City facilities, public meetings return to in-person

Effective Monday, May 17, visitors to City facilities will be encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings, and all City Council meetings will return to in-person, per council direction at its May 11 meeting.

In the coming weeks, the City will develop plans to further open its facilities, boards and commissions meetings, programs, and services to the public as safely as possible.

The City will continue to use a number of safety protocols that have been put in place over the past year for the safety of employees and the public. Those continued protocols include physical distancing requirements for visitors and staff, additional cleaning, and keeping up plexiglass at reception areas. Temperature checks will no longer be required upon entry to City facilities, unless the staff or visitor indicates they aren’t feeling well.

All City employees, volunteers, and contractors are encouraged to wear a face mask while working, particularly when:

  • Inside City facilities or vehicles and physical distancing of greater than six feet is not possible
  • Whenever interacting with a member of the public who is wearing a mask

Members of the public will continue to be able to provide comments at City Council and boards and commissions meetings in-person as well as virtually, via Zoom or telephone. Written comments submitted prior to the meetings will be circulated to the elected and appointed officials but will not be read aloud.

Recreation Center

The Recreation Center will open back up to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays starting June 6. Scheduled closures for cleanings will stop June 1, and staff will periodically clean throughout the day.

For updates on Parks and Recreation programs and facilities, check the COVID-19 parks and recreation page and sign up for the Parks and recreation newsletter.

Library

The Library has continued to reinstate services, including allowing 30-minute Chromebook computer use; copying, faxing, scanning, and wireless printing; and making the history room available by appointment. Patrons will be encouraged to limit visits to 30 minutes.

Curbside pickup remains available from two parking spots in the Ninth Street lot from 10 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Library is adding back programming and services in June, including additional seating, study and meeting rooms, Sunday hours, and summer programming. For updates on Library services, please continue to check its COVID-19 FAQ and sign up for the Library newsletter.

Private businesses

Per Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order (GA-34), private businesses continue to have full discretion on which safety measures they require for visitors. If you are asked to wear a mask to enter a business, please respect that business owner’s wishes and choose kindness.

If a customer refuses to wear a face mask, the business can ask that person to leave. If the customer refuses, the business may escalate the issue to a criminal trespassing violation. The business can call the police department’s non-emergency number at 512-930-3510 and officers will respond.

For more information and updates, visit bit.ly/COVID19GTX.

Downtown sidewalk improvements to improve accessibility

Work starts this week on improvements to sidewalks in the downtown Square area to improve accessibility. Projects include street segments that currently do not have sidewalks or segments that do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Sidewalk improvements on Rock Street that start this week include improvements to the intersection at Seventh Street with new ramps, crosswalks, and a new section of sidewalk on Seventh Street west of Rock Street. The Rock Street work also includes sidewalks and parallel parking places on the east side of the street from Seventh Street to one half block south of Eighth Street. This work should be completed in August.

Other work starting this week includes sidewalk accessibility improvements on Eighth Street just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Street and on Eighth Street at the alley between Main and Church streets. These two improvements should be competed in June.

In the month of July, the ADA ramps on Austin Avenue corners at the north side of the Seventh Street intersection and at the corners on the south side of the Eighth Street intersection will be improved.

Sidewalk improvements on the north and south sides of Seventh Street from Main to Church streets are scheduled to start in June and be completed in September. This segment includes new ADA-accessible sidewalks, ramps, crosswalks, drainage improvements, pedestrian railings, and a retaining wall.

The project schedule could change due to weather conditions and other factors.

The project cost is $964,975 funded by revenues from the 2015 Transportation Bond. The contractor is Choice Builders.

City officials concerned about concrete plant near Sun City

City of Georgetown residents and officials are raising concerns about a proposed concrete batch plant on Ronald Reagan Boulevard just south of Hwy. 195. According to the public hearing notice for the plant on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website, the Five Star Concrete plant would be located about 1 mile from homes in the Sun City neighborhood.

Concerns about the concrete plant include dust and noise from plant operations that are not compatible with a large senior adult residential neighborhood. Increased traffic from concrete trucks on Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Hwy. 195 is another concern about the plant.

Since the proposed plant is in the City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, the City has no significant ability to regulate its siting or permitting. Over the past several sessions of the Texas Legislature, there have been significant changes to annexation and development authority in the ETJ that has limited the ability of cities to regulate development. This proposed concrete plant is one of many examples of the challenges that cities will continue to face, leading to inconsistent development standards and uncoordinated growth.

The concrete plant near a residential development demonstrates the need for cities to have some regulatory control over development in the ETJ. City officials look forward to having more dialogue with elected legislative officials about this issue.

The City of Georgetown encourages residents to voice their concerns about the proposed concrete plant at the TCEQ public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, May 10. Residents may submit written comments to TCEQ at or before the public hearing.

For details about the air quality permit hearing for the plant, information on how to submit comments, and how to participate in the online hearing, visit https://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/decisions/hearings/events/2021-05-10-five-star-concrete-inc-ph-164267.