‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ screened at back-to-school teen movie night

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department presents “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (PG-13) on Friday, Aug. 6, in San Gabriel Park as part of its annual Sunset Movie Series.

The free, community event will take place in the Legacy pavilion in San Gabriel Park, 445 E. Morrow St. Free parking is available throughout the park.

The movie starts at dusk, around 8:30 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and picnics. Come early for free popcorn, to explore the park, and to visit with vendors.

The movie is rated PG-13. Parents are urged to be cautious, as some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

For more details, visit parks.georgetown.org/sunset-movie-series.

City asks for residents’ feedback about next year’s budget

The City of Georgetown is asking the public to share comments on the preliminary Fiscal Year 2022 budget through an online comment box, which will be up through Sept. 5. Members of the public also can attend any of the public hearings through the budget adoption process. Public comments and feedback will be provided to City Council for its Sept. 14 meeting, during which the council is scheduled to hold public hearings and first readings of both the tax rate and the budget.

The preliminary budget totals $483 million and decreases the City’s property tax rate by 1.4 cents (from 41.8 cents per $100 valuation to 40.4 cents). This is the second year in a row the City has proposed reducing the property tax rate, maintaining the City’s rate as the lowest of all cities in the Austin area with a population greater than 20,000. Council also recently voted to increase the homestead exemption to the greater of $5,000 or 3 percent, contributing to $370,000 in additional taxpayer relief. However, because property values in Georgetown increased 15.4 percent, the average homeowner in Georgetown is expected to pay $71 more in property taxes in the upcoming year.

“We anticipated and budgeted for an economic slowdown last year, but we actually saw considerable acceleration,” City Manager David Morgan said. “Next year’s preliminary budget continues our usual practices of budgeting conservatively and taking steps to reduce the burden on taxpayers while investing in the additional resources needed to keep up with our sustained, exponential growth. This preliminary budget is just the first step in the budget process. I hope residents will check out our website to learn more and share their feedback, so we can fund programs and services that meet their needs and priorities.”

The City of Georgetown budget affects every resident in the city. How the City allocates taxpayer dollars and monthly costs as utility customers determines the level of service customers get in return for City functions, such as providing electricity, drinking water, resources to respond to emergencies, well-maintained streets, a world-class library, and accessible trails.

City staff used the results of recent public feedback opportunities, including the 2020 resident survey and council goals, to develop a preliminary version of next year’s budget, which spans Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022. Staff presented the preliminary budget to City Council on July 26, and the council continued the discussion during its July 27 workshop. The workshops gave the council a chance to weigh options and provide direction so staff can come back in August with a proposed budget that reflects their feedback as well.

Major themes of the preliminary budget are investing in transportation and utility infrastructure, public safety, and customer services, as well as providing the staffing, equipment, and software needed for record-setting growth and development. Adequately funding those priorities—particularly transportation and water capital improvement projects ($90 million), public safety investments, and staffing and resources needed to maintain service levels during Georgetown’s sustained period of high growth—contributed to the preliminary budget being $87 million (or 18 percent) more than the current fiscal year’s budget of $396 million.

For more information about the annual budget process and details and documents about the preliminary FY2022 budget, visit finance.georgetown.org.

Budget adoption timeline

July 26 & 27: Council budget workshops
Aug. 10: First presentation of the full budget; City Council sets maximum tax rate and public hearing dates
Sept. 5: Comments on draft budget close (see form online)
Sept. 14: Public hearings and first reading of both the tax rate and the budget
Sept. 28: Second reading and final adoption of the tax rate and budget

City of Georgetown seeks applications for Civic Leadership Academy

The City of Georgetown is creating a Civic Leadership Academy to educate, connect, and inspire leaders to develop a strong commitment to community service for the greater good of Georgetown.

The academy will provide a learning experience for existing and emerging leaders to understand City services and functions while building the skills and knowledge to succeed in City leadership roles. Participants of the program are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of the promises and challenges facing our community, as well as their role as future City leaders.

The eight month program will meet from 2-6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, except for the first class, which will meet Sept. 30.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15.

To be eligible to attend, participants should be a resident of the City of Georgetown and be able to attend 6 out of 8 sessions.

Benefits of participating in the program include:

  • an enhanced understanding of Georgetown local government, community challenges, and decision-making
  • relationships with other community and local government leaders
  • insight into how to use data to articulate challenges and advocate for resources for your community
  • an in-depth look at how the City works and develop specialized knowledge about the City’s departments and programs
  • information about how to become an effective community leader

To learn more and apply, visit government.georgetown.org/georgetown-civic-leadership-academy.

Public input sought for parks and recreation master plan

The City of Georgetown is looking for community input to guide decisions on the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan through a digital survey. The survey is open July 12 through Sunday, July 25.

The survey also was mailed to a random sample of 4,000 Georgetown households to collect statistically valid results. People who received the survey in the mail should follow the instructions instead of responding to the open-link survey. The open-link survey will give all residents an opportunity to provide feedback, and all responses will be included in the final analysis, which the City expects to share with the public by the end of August.

“The results of this survey will create a priority blueprint for where we can improve, how to grow responsibly, and what programs and recreational opportunities our community needs,” Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly Garrett said.

The master plan will provide a vision for the Parks and Recreation Department and act as a guide during the next 10 years. The master plan will prioritize the community’s desires for upgrading and improving parks and recreational assets to develop goals, policies, and guidelines, as well as an implementation plan. There will be several opportunities for public input throughout the master planning process, which is expected to be completed by January 2022. So far, public engagement to develop the master plan has included a community questionnaire and a public forum in May.

During the master plan process, consultants GreenPlay will look at the existing parks, recreational facilities, and services, and use public input to determine the future level of services that will be needed. GreenPlay also is conducting a needs assessment survey to determine priorities for the parks and recreation system, facilities, and activities; identify potential funding sources and partnerships; and create a plan for how best to support the parks and recreational needs of the community.

To take the survey and learn more about the master plan process, visit gtxparkplan.com.

City begins street maintenance projects this summer

Street resurfacing projects, including a high-performance surface seal treatment and hot-in-place recycling, will be completed throughout the summer.

The work schedule can be affected by weather conditions, mechanical issues, and product availability. For updates on the paving schedule and a complete list of projects, visit transportation.georgetown.org/2021-street-maintenance-projects.

The City is using two types of street maintenance applications:

High-performance surface seal

As part of this surface treatment, a sealant is applied to the surface of the roadway, reducing damage from UV radiation, water, and vehicle traffic.

On the day work is scheduled for surface seal treatment in the Old Mill Crossing, Pleasant Valley, Quail Valley, and portions of Sun City neighborhoods, the streets will be closed to traffic and street parking from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Work scheduled in portions of Berry Creek, Gatlin Creek, and Lakeside at Lake Georgetown will close streets for 24 hours from 7 a.m.-7 a.m.

Hot-in-place recycling

Hot-in-place recycling is an alternative to mill and asphalt overlay in which existing pavement is removed, ground, and mixed with new material to create a new asphalt surface.

Streets will not be closed during repaving; however, drivers should expect delays and are encouraged to choose alternate routes. Flaggers will be present to assist drivers.

For questions about street maintenance projects, contact customercare@georgetown.org.

Council Member Jonrowe resigns

Georgetown District 6 Council Member Rachael Jonrowe has resigned from her seat effective July 6, 2021. She cited personal reasons for her decision when she announced her intention to resign in June.

“Serving on behalf of the residents of District 6 for the last 10 [plus] years has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to being able to continue to connect and serve with many of them, as a friend, in the years ahead,” Jonrowe posted to her official Facebook page Tuesday. “I wish everyone full measures of grace, empathy, and wisdom, as our community continues to deliberate, debate, and vote on issues of vital importance to the current generation and those to come. And I encourage us all to actively search out opportunities to include people with different experiences and points of view in these decisions. I believe we all benefit when we do so…and listen to their voices.”

Jonrowe was serving her fourth term on City Council, after being most recently reelected in November 2020. The City Charter and the Texas Constitution require a special election within 120 days of a vacancy, which coincides with the Nov. 2, 2021, election.

“While I was surprised and saddened by Jonrowe’s resignation from City Council, I fully support her decision to prioritize her family and her health,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “I thank her for her service to this community and wish her well in her future endeavors. I know that she will remain an active participant in Georgetown. I look forward to working with the next representative of District 6.”

Jonrowe served on multiple boards during her time on the council, including the boards for the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation, the Downtown Georgetown tax increment reinvestment zone board, the Transportation Advisory Board, and the Animal Shelter Advisory Board. As a volunteer in the community, she has helped organize letter-writing, voter registration, and get-out-the-vote drives and works to encourage greater diversity and participation in local government.

While a City Council member, Jonrowe was committed to encouraging more people to “be aware of who their representatives are, get involved, and encourage accountability and transparency.” She said her personal goal, as an elected representative, was to do her part to make sure decisions made at City Council reflected the needs and desires of her district and benefited the people of Georgetown.

Jonrowe was born and raised in Austin and moved to Georgetown in May 2006. Jonrowe and her husband, Brian, have four children, and she is a co-owner of Lark & Owl Booksellers, 205 Sixth St., Ste. 101.

Kittens in the Library

The Georgetown Animal Shelter will host a kitten adoption event from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 16 at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The shelter will bring kittens available for adoption to the library, where there will be opportunities to meet, pet, and, hopefully, adopt some kittens.

Adoption fees are $35 at the event, and kittens will be able to go straight home with their new families. A cardboard carrier and kitten food will be provided to adopters.

For more information about animal adoptions, visit pets.georgetown.org.

Public invited to cast ballots for People’s Choice Award in library sculpture exhibit

For 13 years, Georgetown Public Library has hosted the Texas Society of Sculptors’ annual summer show. The competitive, juried exhibit is a popular tradition in Georgetown that includes sculptures throughout the building on both the first and second floors. Participating sculptors from across the state work in wood, glass, bronze, ceramics, and more. Most pieces in the exhibit are available for purchase.

This year’s exhibit opened Sunday, June 20, and lasts through Friday, Sept. 17. The show includes a People’s Choice Award decided by library visitors, who cast votes for their favorite three pieces out of the 78 pieces in the show. To cast a vote, pick up a ballot in the library’s lobby and place it in the ballot box no later than 5 p.m. Saturday, July 31. The sculptor of the piece with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award and a cash prize at a reception in the library at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15.

Prizes determined by this year’s exhibit juror, Graeme Durant, curatorial assistant at Umlauf Sculpture Garden + Museum, include first, second, and third place, as well as three honorable mentions. These will be announced Aug. 15, in addition to the People’s Choice and Librarians’ Choice awards. Prizes are funded by the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board.

The library will also host a sculpture demonstration featuring several of this year’s sculptors demonstrating various techniques and processes. The free event will be held in the library lobby, 402 W. Eighth St., from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.

For more information about this year’s exhibit and events, contact Technical Services Librarian Dana Hendrix at dana.hendrix@georgetown.org or TSOS Exhibit Coordinator Linda Wilde at lzorawilde@gmail.com.

Public comment sought on proposed City Charter amendments

Georgetown City Council will host a public hearing July 13 during its regular meeting to get feedback on proposed amendments to the City’s charter.

The City Charter is the legal document establishing a municipality and defines the structure, powers, functions, and procedures of local government.

City Staff and members of the council-appointed Charter Review Committee identified several potential charter amendments, which were presented to the council at its May 25 workshop for discussion and direction from City Council. Direction from the council was sent back to the committee for consideration and to be drafted into a final report that outlined the committee’s recommendations to the council.

At its June 8 meeting, City Council reviewed the committee’s final recommendations and gave its recommendations for charter amendments.

Proposed amendments include changes related to:

  1. Term limits
  2. Council qualifications
  3. Council vacancies
  4. Rules of procedures
  5. Procedures to enact legislation
  6. Franchise agreement notifications
  7. Public lead initiative, referendum, and recall requirements
  8. City structure language

Details of proposed changes can be found at Georgetown.org/2021-charter-amendment-election.

The council is expected to consider the first reading to call a charter amendment election at its July 27 meeting. The second reading would be Aug. 10.

If approved, the charter amendments would be on the Nov. 2 ballot. Early voting and Election Day information will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

City facility closings on July 5

City offices and facilities will be closed Monday, July 5, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Unless otherwise stated below, facilities and services will have their normal operating hours Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3.

Facilities closed on Monday include:

    • Airport management offices (terminal will be open), 500 Terminal Drive
    • Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive
    • City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
    • Council and Courts Building (including Municipal Court), 510 W. Ninth St.
    • Georgetown Art Center, 816 S. Main St.
    • Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
    • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College St.
    • Planning Department, 809 Martin Luther King Jr. 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

Details about other holiday closures for City facilities and services can be found here.

Pools Schedule for July 4 and 5

Friday through Monday, July 2 through 5, the outdoor pools at Village and Williams Drive will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. each day.

The outdoor pool at the Recreation Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 2, and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 3. The outdoor Recreation Center pool will be closed Sunday and Monday, July 4 and 5.

The River Ridge pool will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 5. It will be closed Friday through Sunday, July 2-4.

The outdoor splash pads at San Jose Park, Rabbit Hill Park, and downtown at Ninth and Main streets will be operating July 2 through 5.

July 4 fireworks show

The Sertoma Club will provide a July 4 fireworks display in San Gabriel Park at dusk Sunday, July 4.

GoGeo bus service

There will be no service Monday, July 5. GoGeo does not provide services on Sundays.

Regular solid waste and recycling collection

There will be regular solid waste and recycling collection for City of Georgetown customers on Friday and Monday, July 2 and 5. For questions about trash or recycling collection, call Texas Disposal Systems at 512-930-1715.

The Collection Station at 250 W.L. Walden Drive will be open normal hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Monday, July 2 and 5.

Personal fireworks prohibited

By City of Georgetown ordinance, fireworks are not allowed in the city limits of Georgetown or within 5,000 feet of the city limits, unless they are used in a permitted display authorized by the Georgetown Fire Department. This area outside city limits includes, but is not limited to, the neighborhoods of Cedar Hollow, Crystal Knoll, Escalera, Fountainwood, Indian Creek, Logan Ranch Road, Lost Rivers, Oak Crest, Olde Oak Estates, Serenada, Shady Oaks, Turtle Bend, and Woodland Park, Northlake subdivision, and areas along D.B. Wood Road.

Violations can lead to fines of up to $2,000 per firework. To view a map showing the 5,000-foot boundary, go to

https://gis.wilco.org/maps/?viewer=countymapxdev.

To view firework exemptions permissible by City code, visit https://bit.ly/2CSOnIg.

Fireworks can be triggering for veterans and pets

Please remember that loud noises like fireworks can be triggering for our veterans.

Fireworks also can be upsetting for pets. Please do not bring dogs to the July 4 event in San Gabriel Park and make sure your dog(s) is secure inside your home, particularly during the evenings of the holiday weekend. Georgetown animal control officers pick up several loose dogs around the Fourth of July and New Year’s holidays, many of whom are never reunited with their owners.

If your dog has a tendency to become anxious at loud noises, please consider staying home with the animal; playing music in the house to drown out the noise of fireworks; and/or buying a product that “hugs” the dog. Your veterinarian also may be able to provide a tranquilizer for the dog.

For more ideas on keeping your dog safe this holiday, please see the article, “10 Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips.