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Georgetown winter storm FAQs

Updated Feb. 24, 2021

General questions

Are we going to collect any broken limbs or trees in our yards?

A special curbside collection of tree limbs for city residents is starting this week after the winter storm and subfreezing temperatures Feb. 11-20. The special pickup for residents who live in Georgetown city limits is expected to take at least two weeks.

A citywide schedule for the collection will be publicized for next week with maps and dates for the collections. Crews with landscape firms contracted by the City will start this week picking up limbs that are already at the curb.

There is no special fee assessed to city residents for this limb collection.

Click here to find out more.

Are we going to be charged extra for extra trash that wasn’t picked up?
Extra landfill trash that was not picked up last week should be placed at the curb for pickup this week. The Transfer Station is open Feb. 20 thru Feb. 27 to take drop-offs. Please read here for more details.

Otherwise, please put the following items in your cart, and place the cart curbside on your normal day for Texas Disposal Systems to collect:

  • Landfill trash
  • Recycling
  • Yard trimmings or brushy items, such as tree limbs. The City will arrange for extra collections in the near future.

Extra recycling is always free to drop off at the transfer station.

I called the call center, but couldn’t get through to anyone. And I posted my question to social media, but never saw an answer. What gives?
We understand this is a very scary, confusing, and frustrating time, and people have a lot of questions. We have staff working around the clock to answer calls, emails, and post to social media to keep you informed with the latest information we have. However, we know the call center gets backlogged, and questions on social often go unanswered.

Given the prolonged nature of this event, we are having to distribute call center and communications staff across multiple shifts. This limits the number of people available to answer calls and respond to the hundreds of comments we get on social media. That means longer wait times when you call and lack of response to your questions on Facebook and Twitter.

To help address questions with staffing limitations, we work to update our automated voice message when you call with relevant information and post updates as we have them. By the time we’ve created that content, had it approved, and posted, we have a new emergency to notify you about. With limited staffing, that doesn’t give us time to answer individual questions on social media. Please remember, the people who have answers to some of your questions work for our water and electric utilities. They are focused on managing the ongoing emergencies and system failures and can’t always step away to help us answer your questions.

However, while we can’t individually answer your comments on social media, we are logging your questions. We used them to inform this FAQ, which we will continue to update, and will share this information on social media in the hopes it helps answer some of the frequent questions we see there.

Why did the City of Georgetown enact a disaster declaration?

The disaster declaration allows the City to request resources from the county, state, and federal government in responding to the winter storm. Resources could include sheltering needs, cleanup assistance, or emergency response. The disaster declaration is the legal mechanism to seek reimbursement for these expenses. The disaster declaration also authorizes the mayor to effect actions such as evacuations, altering transportation routes, establishing a curfew, suspending deadlines in city ordinances, and other measures to protect life and secure property in an emergency.

The disaster declaration is not the same as the Drought Contingency Plan, which authorizes the City to enact water use restrictions in order to provide for basic domestic use and fire flow.

If I had storm damage, where can I apply for assistance?

If you sustained damages from the winter storm, and you have insurance, contact your insurance company and then FEMA. Your insurance claim information is needed to determine eligibility for federal assistance.

Applications are accepted 24/7 at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling: 800-621-3362.

Why have I not been getting emergency alerts from the City?

If you have already registered to get emergency alerts, you may need to update mobile phone numbers or other contact information at WarnCentralTexas.org. You can register multiple phone numbers to receive alerts. Also, make sure we have a current phone number in your City of Georgetown utility account information. Utility account information also is used for some alerts. You can add or change a phone number for your utility account at https://gus.georgetown.org/customercare/paying-your-bill/.

Can I report winter storm damage and needs?

As we continue to move through last week’s unprecedented winter storm, the City of Georgetown would like to share some ways to communicate your damages and needs.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management is conducting a voluntary survey of damages across Texas. This information helps emergency management officials across the state gain an understanding of damages that have occurred during the recent winter weather. Please consider taking this survey and sharing photos of any damage you have at your business or residence.

CLICK TO SUBMIT SURVEY

In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

CLICK TO SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION

If you sustained damages from the winter storm, and you have insurance, contact your insurance company and then FEMA. Your insurance claim information is needed to determine eligibility for federal assistance.

Applications are accepted 24/7 at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling: 800-621-3362.

Water questions

Do we get a credit for being told to drip my water?
No, there is no way to confirm water use was due to dripping, and it wasn’t mandated. That being said, dripping your water faucet to help pipes from freezing undoubtedly helped ensure our water system wasn’t as damaged as it would have been otherwise, saving you and all of Georgetown even more outages and many thousands of dollars in repairs.
I found a water leak. What do I do?
As service returns and temperatures rise, pipes that have frozen may burst. This is as true for your household pipes as it is for larger City pipes throughout the system.

Georgetown customers are responsible for their water lines up to the meter. The steps differ depending on whose responsibility it is, so the first step is to determine where the leak is coming from.

If you do reach out to the City for assistance, please try to send pictures and/or detail about the leak. That will help us determine the severity/priority and possibly whose responsibility it is, without needing to dispatch crews.

Leaks inside your home

If water is leaking inside your home, you will need to take steps to fix it.

First, determine whether you can control the leak with plumbing valves. If not, you need to turn the water off to the whole house.

Turning off your water

If you need water turned off to the house, call 911 so we can dispatch a technician. Try to manage the water with buckets/towels until we get there. If you can locate and shut off your main water valve, please do so immediately. This will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. Here’s a resource to help you find your main water shut-off valve. If you are unable to locate it, call 512-930-3640.

We know some customers have been without service for days and are in dire need of water. If you have been without water for days, consider filling up bathtubs and pots before shutting off your water valve.

Next, call a professional plumber or other professional. Given the severity of the issue and the possibility of leaks throughout the City, you should plan for longer response times.

Finally, you should consider contacting your insurance provider.

Leaks outside your home

Georgetown customers are responsible for their water lines up to the meter. If the leak is on your property up to your water meter, you will need to follow the steps above to address it. City crews are available to turn off your main water valve if you can’t find it.

If the leak is beyond your water meter and into the public right of way, please notify the City immediately so we can send out a crew. Due to the vast service area of the utility, customers can also be helpful by notifying the utility of any water leaks that they see in public rights of way by emailing leak@georgetown.org.

Finally, we expect there to be a lot of drainage for several days after water services are restored. There will wet spots that might look like leaks. Sending pictures and/or as much description as you can will be critical in helping staff determine if it’s a leak before dispatching crews.

Who covers the cost of broken pipes?
The City will cover the cost of broken pipes up to and including the meter. Property owners are responsible for the cost to repair broken pipes from the meter to their home.
Are we going to get a credit for the power or water we didn’t use?
No. Georgetown water and electric customers are charged for what is consumed, above the base rate.

Electric questions

Why did we keep having power outages?
Two primary reasons: Power outages and rotating outages. Both are tied directly to the severity and longevity of the winter weather that has been hitting the state since last week. Temperatures in Texas reached lower than they have in 30 years, and crews are working around the clock to restore power and share updates as best we can.

Power outages: The winter weather took a devastating toll on electric infrastructure, causing outages like we see at other times. In this instance, inches of ice weighing down tree limbs and on the electric lines themselves are a primary culprit. City crews are actively responding and resolving these power outages as soon as possible, though the icy conditions make travel make that work take longer than it would otherwise.

Rotating outages: These were required by the statewide electric grid – managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – and are not normal. The severity of prolonged winter weather and the condition of the electric grid are such that the energy available statewide could barely keep up with demand. More on this later.

Why did some customers not lose power?
Because Georgetown was mandated by ERCOT to shed so much load to help reduce demand, we have a limited number of non-critical load circuits on which to spread the shed requirements. The parts of our service area that experienced rotating outages were based the circuit they’re on. Areas with power likely share a circuit with a critical load circuit. Critical load circuits include hospitals, control centers, 911, the airport and water/wastewater plants and are not subject to outages.

We tried to limit rotating outages to no more than three hours and keep power on for four hours at a time. It’s not perfect and it might not seem like it sometimes, but we did our best to spread the shed requirements equitably across the city.

I'm hearing that the City is going to raise electric rates to profit off the disaster.

Many of our customers are concerned that their utility bills will see a huge spike as has been reported in the state and national media.

No. Our utility rates will not increase during this unprecedented weather event. However, the electric usage will likely be much higher than normal due to almost two weeks of extreme cold weather, which may result in higher than normal bills this billing period.

We are an electric utility owned by the City of Georgetown. The retail rates are set by City rate ordinances. Rates can only change if the City Council changes the electric rate ordinance.

Over the next two weeks, we will fully evaluate the financial impacts of the weather event including the cost of energy. City council will then address the financial impacts as necessary.

 

Proposed Voluntary Annexation of 36.21 Acres

The City of Georgetown is considering a voluntary annexation of property into the city limits. A Public Hearing will be held at the December 8, 2020 meeting at 6:00pm. City Council meetings are located at the City Council Chambers, 510 W. 9th Street.
The area being considered for voluntary annexation is an approximately 35.298-acre tract of land out of the F. Hudson Survey, Abstract No. 295, and a 0.902-acre portion of Rabbit Hill Road, a variable width roadway, generally located at 1051 Rabbit Hill Rd, to be known as Aaker Acres (2020-10-ANX).
After holding the required public hearings, the City Council will consider an ordinance for the annexation.
For additional information, please contact Nat Waggoner in the Planning Department, 512-930-3584 or email at nat.waggoner@georgetown.org.

Public input call-in details updated for today’s council meeting

The initial posting for the workshop and regular meeting agenda had an error in the call-in number and password. The posting has been updated with the correct numbers. Refresh the posting page to see the correct numbers. Go to agendas.georgetown.org to see the agendas for the workshop that started at 2:30 p.m. and the regular meeting that starts at 6 p.m.

Mobility projects in Georgetown

Mobility and increased traffic consistently have been top issues cited by residents in Georgetown in citizen surveys. Since we can’t close a gate to keep people from moving to our wonderful city, we have implemented mobility projects to keep us moving as our population grows.

In 2015, Georgetown voters approved a $105 million bond for transportation and mobility projects. Two of the larger 2015 bond projects, Southwest Bypass and Rivery Boulevard Extension, have already been completed. Northwest Boulevard extension and bridge over I-35 is under construction and should be complete by early 2021.

Other transportation or mobility projects are being proposed, are in the planning stage, or are funded and in the process of being implemented. I’d like to share with you some details about projects in each of those categories respectively—road projects that are being proposed, bicycle projects that are in the planning phase, and pedestrian crossing improvements in Sun City that are funded and will be happening next year.

Williamson County road bond election

Residents will be voting on Williamson County bond election propositions on the Nov. 5 ballot. Proposition A includes road projects and Proposition B includes parks and recreation projects. The road projects in Proposition A include these projects in Georgetown:

  • Southwest Bypass extension from State Highway 29 to Wolf Ranch Parkway would construct a roadway and include intersection improvements at SH 29.
  • Southeast Inner Loop Extension from SH 29 to Sam Houston Avenue would construct a roadway with a bridge over SH 130.
  • Four projects in Sun City include: 1) CR 245 from north of RM 2338 to Ronald Reagan Boulevard involving reconstructing and widening to four lanes, 2) Ronald Reagan Boulevard at Silver Spur Boulevard turn lanes involving constructing intersection improvements, 3) Ronald Reagan Boulevard at Sun City Boulevard turn lanes involving construction of intersection improvements, and, 4) SH 195 northbound off ramp at Ronald Reagan Boulevard involving construction of exit ramp.

Go to wilco.org/bondelection to find out more about these projects and others on the November 5 ballot. Early in-person voting is Oct. 21-26 and Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. Go to wilco.org/elections for details on polling locations and hours.

Bicycle Master Plan

An initial draft of a Bicycle Master Plan for Georgetown presents a blueprint for future transportation projects to create a safe bicycle network in Georgetown. The plan includes a system of bike lanes on streets, off-street paths, and pavement markings or signs to indicate bicycle routes. The plan also includes ideas for bicycle rack locations, activities, signs, maps, and educational efforts to help bicycle mobility.

You can learn more and talk with City staff at a public open house on the Plan on October 23 at 6 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. After public input and review by several City boards and commissions, the Plan is scheduled for review and adoption by the City Council in November and December. Read the draft of the Plan and find out more about the review process at transportation.georgetown.org/bike-plan.

Pedestrian crossings in Sun City

City staff has worked with Sun City residents for the past year on ways to enhance pedestrian safety. As a result, the City Council approved funding last month to add pedestrian crossings with signal flashers at eight intersections on Sun City Boulevard and Del Webb Boulevard. The project will include pedestrian crossing signs as well as push-button activated flashing beacons to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians. Walkers can push a button to activate the flashing lights and let drivers know that they are present. The beacons and signs are being ordered and manufactured. They should be installed early next year.

As you can see, mobility efforts in Georgetown include roads improvements for our vehicles as well as projects for bicyclists and pedestrians. To find out more about transportation and mobility projects in Georgetown, go to georgetown.org.

Our award-winning City

It’s no secret that there are trials and tribulations associated with running a fast-growing city like Georgetown. But it’s important to put these challenges in context. One thing that is often overlooked is your overall cost for city services. When you consider city taxes, electric, water, sewer, trash, and other expenses, Georgetown is one of the more affordable cities in Central Texas.

Another misconception is that Georgetown is just a small country town. The City is already a nearly $440 million organization with more than 750 employees. And while the City Council and I work hard each day to help the City maintain its world-class small-town charm, I am also focused on expanding employment opportunities and preparing for the growth we know will come.

Finally, no doubt you have read about or been affected by the unique challenges facing Georgetown, most notably our increased costs in electricity. Thankfully, because we can recruit and retain top talent, the City has been able to assemble a new team, who is working each day to make improvements, not only in our electric utility, but across all city departments.

However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would be remiss to dwell only on the negative and not share some of the great things that happened this year. The City of Georgetown has been honored to receive a number of awards recently. These recognitions have been for a variety of departments and programs across the City. You may have missed some of these announcements, so I’d like to take a minute to recount some of the great work done in Georgetown this year.

No. 3 safest city in Texas

Georgetown was ranked as the No. 3 safest city in Texas according to a scoring of cities above 50,000 population in 2019. The ranking by SafeHome.org gave Georgetown an overall safety score of 86.49 on a 100-point scale. The ranking also placed Georgetown at 62 among the safest cities in the U.S., which means that Georgetown is in the top 25th percentile in the U.S. among safe cities. Georgetown is one of only four cities in Texas to make it to the top 100 safest cities on the national level. The safest cities rankings are based on FBI crime statistics, the police officer-to-population ratio in a city, crime trends, and demographic factors.

Police Accreditation

The Georgetown Police Department earned the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Recognized Law Enforcement Agency award in May after a more than two-year application process that included a critical review of the agency’s policies, procedures, facilities, and operations. Georgetown is only the 154th agency out of more than 2,700 agencies in the state to receive the recognition.

The TPCA’s recognition program evaluates a police department’s compliance with nearly 170 best practices for law enforcement agencies developed by Texas law enforcement professionals to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service and the protection of individual’s rights. These best practices cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.

Reliable Public Power Provider, Diamond Level

The City of Georgetown electric utility attained diamond level status under the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider program in 2019. This is the program’s highest level of recognition and is only awarded after a rigorous application process and outside review. The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Georgetown is one of six public power providers in Texas to receive the diamond designation. In total, only 254 of the more than 2,000 public power utilities nationwide hold the RP3 designation. Georgetown Utility Systems had been a platinum designee since 2016.

Georgetown receives 2019 National Main Street accreditation

The City of Georgetown’s Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

In the past 15 years, the Main Street Façade & Sign Grant Program has awarded more than $469,000 to 80 downtown businesses and property owners. Most recently in May, the Georgetown Main Street Program presented Lark and Owl Booksellers with a $20,500 Main Street Façade & Sign Grant.

Teen Court state champion team

A team of three student attorneys from Georgetown won the teen court state competition in April 2019. Linsey Jensen, Taylor Price, and Matthew McCarthy took first place in the final round in which they competed against a team from Allen. The annual state competition in which three-person teams of teen attorneys are scored for their lawyering skills in mock trials is sponsored by the Teen Court Association of Texas. A Georgetown Teen Court team won the state competition previously in 2016. This is the eighth year that Georgetown sent a team to participate in the teen court state competition.

Shelter maintains no-kill status

For the fourth year in a row, the Georgetown Animal Shelter has achieved a live outcome rate above 90 percent, which means it is considered a no-kill shelter. The save rate was 94 percent for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30.

The live outcome rate is notable for an open-admission public shelter. Factors in the 94 percent live outcome rate include a high rate of animal adoptions, the number of animals returned to owners, and the cleanliness of the shelter which results in healthy animals.

Family Place Library Designation

The Georgetown Public Library was designated a member of the Family Place Libraries national network in August. The designation is given to libraries providing a welcoming community environment with resources to help families nurture their children’s development and early learning during the first years of life.

The library’s new Family Place offers residents a specially designed space in the children’s area for young children to play, share books, and meet other families. The Family Place hosts a collection of books, toys, music, and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, parents, and caregivers, as well as librarians specially trained in child development and family support.

Georgetown announced as Texas Slam host

The United States Tennis Association announced that Georgetown won the three-year bid to host the Texas Slam, one of the largest junior tennis tournaments in the country. Approximately 1,000 participants ages 11 to 18 compete in the annual tournament.

Georgetown submitted a proposal to host the 2020-22 Texas Slam tournament. A special selection committee was formed to review all the proposals. Because of the unique nature of the Texas Slam, the selection committee focused on the strength of the proposals as it relates to the commitment and involvement of the host community. The committee highlighted the more than 150 tennis courts in Georgetown, as well as the more than 3,500 hotel rooms in the area.

Library Director named Texas Librarian of the Year

At the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association, Georgetown Public Library Director Eric Lashley was named Librarian of the Year. The annual award is given to a librarian in Texas who has shown extraordinary leadership and service within the library community over the past 12 to 18 months.

The Librarian of the Year award recognizes that Lashley has implemented “innovative approaches to the technological and existential challenges libraries face and developed a dynamic, beloved public library that is a model for others across the state and the country.”

As you can see, this year Georgetown has gotten recognition for many of our departments, programs, and places by statewide and national organizations. We can all feel proud about those honors for our city.

New jobs, retail, and commercial development

If 2020 follows the recent trend, we can expect many new people will begin to call Georgetown home in the next year. Our town has been one of the top-10 fastest-growing cities in the country for the past five years in a row. Since 2010, our population has increased more than 56 percent.

Why are so many people moving here? There are many reasons—our safe neighborhoods, top-notch parks, award-winning library, and having the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. All of this contributes to an authentic sense-of-place that makes Georgetown unique.

Despite its challenges, it is fair to say that the phenomenal growth we are experiencing also is our biggest opportunity. Georgetown is currently seeing a significant increase in retail and commercial development. These projects add jobs to our local economy and attract investment that strengthens the tax base for our schools and local government services.

Given the key role that commercial development plays in our local economy, the City of Georgetown remains focused on expanding employment opportunities, while preparing for the growth that we know will come. Our community wants the city to grow in a strategic way, while retaining its character and “small town charm.”

Several significant commercial projects that fit into our overall economic development strategy are currently under construction or have recently opened. These include office, mixed-use, industrial, and retail developments.

Office and professional services

A key economic development strategy is to encourage more professional service businesses in Georgetown. Sedro Crossing, a 170,000-square-foot professional medical and office development, broke ground earlier this year on Williams Drive. This represents the largest office project in Georgetown to-date.

Mixed-use developments including Riverplace and Heritage Court are also on schedule to open in 2020, bringing new residential, office, and retail space to downtown. Riverplace will be the new home to WBW Development, a company relocating from Killeen in a strategic move to attract talent.

Industrial and commercial

Texas Speed and Performance, one of the largest high-performance auto engine parts retailers in the country, announced their expansion plans this year. The Georgetown-based company plans to construct 200,000 square feet of industrial space on Aviation Drive near the Airport. Half of the space will be speculative for industrial tenants.

The Westinghouse Business Center, a 98,000-square-foot business park on Westinghouse Road, will provide speculative space for a variety of commercial uses, such as medical, technology and professional services, as well as retail space.

Holt Caterpillar’s new regional 85,000 square-foot facility on Airport Road for the sale and service of construction equipment is set to open in the next month. The dealership will have a net benefit to the City of more than 13 million dollars over 10 years.

Retail and downtown

In addition to the Academy Sports and Outdoors on SH 29, the first stores at Wolf Crossing are beginning to open. When complete, the 200 million dollar, 250,000-square-foot retail center will feature restaurants, medical facilities, a hotel, and a grocery store – all identified as targets in the City’s 2016 economic development retail analysis.

Even with all this growth, we haven’t forgotten what makes Georgetown unique – our historic downtown. The most beautiful town square in Texas has experienced incredible reinvestment. In fact, in 2019 alone, we’ve had over 11 million dollars in private commercial development in downtown.

New shops, restaurants, bars, offices, apartments, and a bookstore have all opened this year – with more retail slated for 2020. The increase in unique consumer experiences has truly created a live-work-play atmosphere for every age.

The City Council’s vision for Georgetown—a caring community honoring our past and innovating for the future—is apparent in many ways across the city. From major infrastructure investments in projects like the Southwest Bypass, to the public art in downtown, we are a city committed to retaining our character while paving the way for opportunity.

Public safety and quality-of-life top 2020 priorities-September 2019

Making investments to enhance community safety and quality of life are key priorities for the fiscal year 2020 budget plan for the City of Georgetown. Budget specifics and the tax rate are being discussed and approved this month by the City Council.

Georgetown’s population growth remains an important factor for the budget. This year Georgetown was ranked the seventh-fastest growing city in the U.S. with more than 50,000 residents by the U.S. Census Bureau. Georgetown has been one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in the country each of the past five years.

Maintaining quality of life and community safety while responding to population growth are core elements of the proposed 2020 budget. These themes are evident in the programs and projects proposed for 2020.

Public safety: Two patrol officers, one community engagement officer, two emergency communications operators, and one digital forensics investigator are proposed for the Police Department to respond to growth in the city. An additional code enforcement officer and a fire protection engineer also address growth demands. The budget also includes operational costs and staffing for Fire Station 6 and Fire Station 7, scheduled to open in 2020.

Parks: New projects include the design of the third phase of the renovation of San Gabriel Park, an update to the Parks Master Plan to guide future parks development, plans for regional trail development, and upgrades to the Heritage Community Gardens near Annie Purl Elementary.

Transportation and mobility: Responding to a top priority for residents, mobility projects include widening Leander Road from Norwood Drive to Southwest Bypass, widening Southwestern Boulevard from Raintree Drive to SE Inner Loop, the next phase of sidewalk improvements, and continued funding for GoGeo transit. Construction on the Northwest Boulevard bridge over I-35 funded in 2019 will continue in 2020.

Electric utility: A new energy portfolio management contract, a new risk management policy, and a new general manager for the electric utility are all currently underway and included in the 2020 budget. New feeder and transformer improvements and other upgrades address growth in our service area.

Water utility: New major projects addressing our growing population include the expansion of the Lake Water Treatment Plant water intake, a Round Rock supply pump station and ground storage tank, the Stonewall Ranch pump station, and other line upgrades. Major wastewater projects include the next phase of the Berry Creek wastewater line, the San Gabriel wastewater line, and rehabilitation of the San Gabriel Wastewater Treatment Plant, and other lift station and line upgrades.

Other new positions funded in the budget include a new director of community services to add focus to animal services, code enforcement, and emergency management; a director of communication and public engagement; staff for the Visitors Center, purchasing, and the Georgetown Public Library; and program managers for performance management, business improvement, and staff training. The 2020 budget includes a total of 15.5 new positions compared to 30 in the 2019 budget.

No rate changes are proposed for water, wastewater, electric, or drainage utilities. A 75-cent increase in the monthly solid waste and recycling fee for residential customers is proposed to reflect increased operational costs by Texas Disposal Systems.

The proposed 2020 budget includes a property tax rate of 42 cents per $100 property valuation, which is the same rate as 2019. For an average home in Georgetown valued at $285,357, city taxes would increase by $30 from 2019. While the tax rate is the same as last year, the increase in valuation will increase the taxes paid for the average home.

The budget public hearing and the first public hearing on the proposed tax rate was on Sept. 3. The second public hearing on the tax rate is Sept. 10. Adoption of the budget ordinances is set for Sept. 10 and Sept. 24. Fiscal year 2020 starts Oct. 1. Go to the City of Georgetown website at georgetown.org to see details about the proposed 2020 budget or to see the complete schedule for budget hearings and adoption.

MLK Day closings on Jan. 20

City of Georgetown offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. There will be normal solid waste and recycling collection on Jan. 20.

City offices and facilities closed Jan. 20 for MLK Day include the following:

  • Animal Shelter, 110 Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Municipal Court, 510 W. Ninth St.
  • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College St.
  • Planning Department, 406 W. Eighth St.
  • Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.
  • Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Police Records and Fire Support Services offices, 3500 D.B. Wood Road
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive

Garey Park, 6450 RM 2243, will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Visitors Center at 103 W. Seventh St. will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.

The Collection Station at 250 W.L. Walden Drive will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.

GoGeo bus service

There will be no service Monday, Jan. 20.

Solid Waste and Recycling Collection

There will be normal residential solid waste and recycling collection for Texas Disposal Systems customers in the City of Georgetown on Monday, Jan. 20. For questions about solid waste collection, call TDS at (512) 930-1715.

Georgetown to host thousands for tennis tournament 2020-22

Georgetown got some good news recently about a major event that is expected to have a significant tourism impact on our city. We know that the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas is a big attraction for tourists, but the Square is not our only major attraction. Every year our sports and recreation facilities and our parks bring thousands of tourists and visitors to our city for sports tournaments and other recreational or sporting events.

The United States Tennis Association announced in July that Georgetown won the three-year bid to host the Texas Slam, one of the largest junior tennis tournaments in the country. Approximately 1,100 participants ages 11 to 18 compete each year in the annual tournament held in June. Along with family members and other spectators, Georgetown can expect 3,000 to 4,000 visitors each year in 2020-22 for the Texas Slam tournament.

The Texas Slam is the premier junior event of the year for USTA Texas. The nine-day tennis tournament brings players, their families, and coaches from across the state of Texas. Georgetown was chosen to host the Texas Slam tournament in 2020-22 by a special USTA selection committee that reviewed multiple proposals.

Junior Tennis Council Chair Robert Rubel worked with the USTA selection committee to review the bids. “The committee has worked hard over the past several weeks evaluating all of the proposals for the Slam bid,” said Rubel in July. “After careful evaluation of all bids, the volunteer committee unanimously selected Georgetown as the future home of the tournament.”

The selection committee focused on the strength of the proposals related to the commitment and involvement of the host community. In selecting Georgetown, the committee highlighted the more than 150 tennis courts in Georgetown including courts at the Georgetown Tennis Center, Berry Creek Tennis Center, Sun City Texas, Southwestern University, the two Georgetown high schools, and three middle schools.

The Texas Slam is projected to generate an economic impact of $1.8 million per year. That economic impact includes hotel rooms, meals at restaurants, shopping, and other local purchases. The tournament is expected to fill an average of 400 hotel rooms per night for seven nights and will likely fill most of the 800 hotel rooms in Georgetown for the first nights of the tournament.

Our award-winning parks and recreation facilities, top-notch school facilities, Southwestern University, and our Beautiful Town Square will continue to attract sports tourism and recreation events to our community. These events are a significant engine of economic activity for Georgetown.

In June next year, if you see these young tennis players and their families on our tennis courts, in our restaurants, at our parks, or in our shops, I hope you will join me in welcoming them to Georgetown.