Good Neighbor Fund Helps Families Through Difficult Times

Each month, families facing a serious crisis like a job loss or medical emergency seek help from local nonprofits like The Caring Place. That support, including assistance with utility bill payments, can make a crucial difference when it seems as though there is no place to turn.

Recently one family of eight was helped by the Good Neighbor Fund, a program sponsored by Georgetown Utility Systems and administered by The Caring Place.

When the father lost his job, suddenly the parents had no means to provide for their six children, ranging in age from 4 to 16. During the father’s two-month period of looking for work, The Caring Place helped with assistance for food, clothes, and utility bills. After this difficult time, both parents were able to find work again. The kids are doing fine as well.

The father of that family says the assistance from The Caring Place “made a huge impact upon helping out our family in a time of need. This also helped minimize the stress put upon my family and me on trying to feed the family while I looked for a new job. We are all very grateful to the genuine concern your organization showed towards my family in a time of need.”

Each month, a similar story plays out for many families in Georgetown. Your donation to the Good Neighbor Fund can help The Caring Place meet the daily need for emergency assistance.

City of Georgetown utility customers can make a monthly pledge online to The Good Neighbor Fund and change or discontinue that pledge at any time. It only takes a minute to fill out the online pledge form at billing.georgetown.org/gnf. Call Customer Care at (512) 930-3640, or email customercare@georgetown.org for details.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey

The City of Georgetown is currently in the process of completing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Input from the community is needed for the project team to identify and analyze potential hazards affecting residents and recommend possible actions to reduce their impact. Hazards can include droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other major disasters.

A public participation survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/CityofGeorgetown.

The goal of the Hazard Mitigation Plan is to minimize or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from known hazards by identifying and implementing cost-effective mitigation actions. Mitigation is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.

Questions about the Hazard Mitigation Plan should be addressed to H2O Partners, planning consultants for the project. Contact Cathy Meek with H2O Partners at (888) 328-4151, ext. 2, or by email at cathy@h2opartnersusa.com.

Airport Tower Funding From TXDOT and City Approved

Update: Today the FAA has delayed tower closures until June 15th.  So the City contracts and funding of the tower will not begin until June 16th if TxDOT allows the grant to be extended to that date.

The Georgetown city council voted this morning to accept an emergency short-term grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help fund staffing of the control tower at the Georgetown Municipal Airport. The TXDOT grant provides 90 percent of the funding for tower staffing by air traffic controllers. The City will fund the remaining 10 percent of the staffing cost. The city council approved the funding arrangement in a special meeting to address the tower funding issue.

The 90/10 funding arrangement is on an emergency basis for 90 days. The state and local money replaces federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration that ends on April 7. Funding was cut for FAA contract employees at airport control towers as a result of sequestration federal budget cuts that took effect in March.

Yesterday, the Texas Transportation Commission approved the emergency state funding program for control towers at 14 airports in Texas. The TXDOT funding program is a reimbursement grant in which the City of Georgetown will pay the expected $158,687 cost to staff the tower for 90 days and will later be reimbursed by TXDOT for 90 percent of the cost. The City’s portion of the 90-day cost is projected to be $15,868.70. City funding will come from the Airport Fund or General Fund programs that have experienced cost saving in the 2013 Budget.  Staff will present those options to City Council at the April 23rd regular meeting.

The city council also approved a contract with Robinson Aviation to provide the air traffic controllers to staff the control tower. Controllers with Robinson Aviation have worked under an FAA contract to staff the Georgetown control tower since it opened in 2007.

If FAA funding for tower operations is restored before the 90-day period, then the TXDOT and City funding for tower operations would be discontinued.