Outdoor warning sirens to be tested Oct. 7

The City’s outdoor warning sirens will be tested on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. The audible test of the 23 outdoor warning sirens will be for 90 seconds, during which each siren will rotate 360 degrees.

The test that was publicized for Sept. 30 did not occur due to a miscommunication with the company that programmed the siren test.

Monthly tests are now planned for the sirens for the first Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. Testing on the first Saturday of the month rather than the last Saturday of the month will allow for a more consistent testing day. Testing will continue monthly on the first Saturday of every month. No testing will be conducted during severe weather or if there is a threat of severe weather to avoid causing confusion for residents.

The outdoor warning sirens are used to send a message to people who are outside at parks, golf courses, and other outdoor areas to seek shelter. Sirens are activated to warn of tornadoes, severe weather with strong winds, large hail, or a hazardous chemical incident.

The outdoor warning sirens are one method of alerting the public about an impending hazard. Residents are also encouraged to monitor the local news media when severe weather threatens. In addition, residents are encouraged to register their phones to receive emergency alerts from the local 911 center. Sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org. You may register multiple mobile phones or landlines to receive alerts.

Walk or Bike to School Day on Oct. 4

Students in Georgetown will join those from all over the U.S. walking or riding their bike to school on Oct. 4. The annual event marking its 21st year encourages children to walk or bike to school in order to increase physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and help the environment.

A special Walk or Bike to School Day event is planned at Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons in Georgetown. Parents, teachers, and community leaders will participate in the event. After gathering at a number of meeting spots, children will walk or bike to Village Elementary and then join an arrival rally in the gymnasium at the school. Representatives from Safe Place, a Georgetown Utility Systems safety program, and the Georgetown Police and Fire departments also will be at the event to provide information on safety when walking or biking to school.

The event is being organized by the City of Georgetown, Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown Utility Systems, and Georgetown ISD.

Learn more about events happening in places all over the country at www.walkbiketoschool.org. These events build connections among families, schools, and the broader community.

For additional local information, please contact Brian Vickers, Village Elementary School coach, at (512) 943-5000 ext.7437or vickersb@georgetownisd.org.

Georgetown, Round Rock open Mays Street extension

The Cities of Georgetown and Round Rock will celebrate the opening of the Mays Street extension with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Georgetown/Round Rock city limits sign on the new road, which is about a quarter mile north of Bass Pro Drive.

The 1.2-mile roadway, which provides a north-south connection from Teravista Parkway at Bass Pro Drive in Round Rock to Westinghouse Road at Rabbit Hill Road in Georgetown, was a joint effort by the two cities.

“This new roadway will provide another connection between Georgetown and Round Rock that will greatly benefit residents in both cities. The Mays Street extension is also a key economic development driver for properties along Westinghouse Road and will improve our ability to attract new commercial and office projects to southeast Georgetown,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “When neighbors come together in partnership, great things like this project happen, and we appreciate the City of Round Rock working with us to help make this possible.”

The $6.4 million project was funded by the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp., which promotes economic and community development by paying for streets and transportation improvements, in partnership with the City of Round Rock. Round Rock funded 27 percent of the project.

“We’re thrilled to partner with our neighbors in Georgetown in opening up this new roadway,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. “This is regional cooperation at its best, and will give motorists an alternative to I-35 that benefits both communities.”

The four-lane arterial provides a new connection from Georgetown to a retail and commercial area in Round Rock along University Boulevard. The project will also help economic development efforts in southeast Georgetown, including a proposed office project that could include up to 550,000 square feet of flexible office space that is planned near the intersection of Mays Street and Westinghouse Road.

Georgetown City Council approved a construction contract for the project in August 2016 with Austin-based C.C. Carlton Industry LTD, and the company began construction in October.

Retail for Tails event raises funds for animal shelter

The Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter is hosting a community retail sale Sept. 22-23 to raise funds for the Georgetown Animal Shelter.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at the Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park. There is no admission fee.

A variety of vendors will be selling everything from plants to handmade gifts and vintage items. Child-friendly, light snacks will be available for purchase.

Only service animals are allowed in the Community Center.

Contact the Animal Shelter at (512) 930-3592 or at animalsvc@georgetown.org for more information.

Arts and Culture Board seeks grant proposals

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Board is seeking grant proposals for art, music, theatre, and cultural heritage events or projects happening Dec. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018. Nonprofit organizations, schools, informal arts and culture organizations, and individual artists who are creating public art or an event open to the public are eligible to apply.

Grant proposals must be submitted by midnight, Saturday, Sept. 30.

Proposals should include:

• Contact information for someone who is readily available to answer questions about the proposal
• Purpose and description of the event or project
• Amount being requested and total budget, including other anticipated funding sources
• Date, location, admission charge, and anticipated attendance
• Size and demographic makeup of past audiences or participants

Special consideration will be given for events or projects that meet one or more of these criteria:

• Offer free admission
• Include outreach to populations that are traditionally underrepresented
• Have a cultural tourism or economic impact

Organizations or individuals that receive funding will be required to follow up by:

• Recognizing the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board in their advertising and programs
• Submitting a one-page report to the Arts and Culture Board no later than Oct. 31, 2018, with a description of the use of grant funds and copies of event promotion materials

Organizations will be notified by email about funding decisions by October 31, 2017.
More information, including a link to the online form, is available at arts.georgetown.org/grants.

Plan for emergencies during National Preparedness Month

(From left) Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida, Emergency Management Coordinator Chad Berg, Fire Chief John Sullivan and Mayor Dale Ross at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting.In recognition of the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency, Mayor Dale Ross proclaimed September National Preparedness Month in Georgetown during the Sept. 12 City Council meeting.

Each of us can take action to prepare, and there are many things residents can do to prepare for an emergency such as a fire or flood, including making and practicing plans yourself, friends and family as well as participating in preparations for neighborhoods and communities.

Emergency experts encourage you to put together a go-bag or disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information. Also, think about the supplies you have on hand. You may not need to evacuate, but what if you had no electricity or no water? Extra canned or boxed foods, water, and pet food can help your family be self-sufficient for a few days, if necessary. Write out your plan, think of evacuation routes and shelter plans, and practice your plan with your household. For more information, including checklists and tips, go to ready.gov, a website of the Department of Homeland Security.

Could your 911 center contact you in an emergency? Georgetown residents can sign up for emergency alerts from the City or Williamson County at WarnCentralTexas.org, which is a regionwide emergency alert system. Alerts about flooding, tornadoes, or other life-threatening emergencies are sent by text message or by voicemail.

In an emergency, the best sources of local information are often local TV and radio stations and local media websites. Drivetexas.org is a site by the Texas Department of Transportation with real-time data on road closures across the state. To find out about road closures in the Austin metro region, including Georgetown, go to ATXfloods.com, a site with real-time information on road closures due to flooding.

The City of Georgetown uses a number of social media platforms to inform residents, including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor. Follow the City of Georgetown at  facebook.com/CityofGeorgetown and twitter.com/GeorgetownTX. Nextdoor is an effective way for the City to send alerts about emergencies or other urgent issues such as power outages, water outages, or road closures. Sign up at Nextdoor.com.

Being prepared in case of an emergency can help first responders by knowing how to respond during an emergency and what to do if there is a disaster as well as how to help yourself and others until help arrives.

Southwest Bypass Segment 1 groundbreaking Sept. 8

Update: The ground breaking for the Southwest Bypass segment 1 project in Georgetown will be at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. The ground breaking will be held at the driveway at I-35 southbound frontage road just south of SE Inner Loop. The event was postponed last week due to Hurricane Harvey.
The City of Georgetown and Williamson County will break ground on a section of Southwest Bypass from I-35 to west of the Georgetown Railroad on Aug. 28 at 11:30 a.m. The project is part of two overlapping segments that will eventually tie into the City’s Southwest Bypass connecting Hwy. 29 at D.B. Wood Road to RM 2243/Leander Road, which is anticipated to open in 2018.

The ground breaking will be held at the driveway at I-35 southbound frontage road just south of SE Inner Loop.

The approximately half-mile segment will take approximately 12 months to complete. The second segment will connect Segment 1 to RM 2243/Leander Road. Construction on the second segment is expected to begin in summer 2018. The road is expected to be completed by early 2020.

The City is managing the project, which is being funded by Williamson County. Engineering firm HDR designed the project, which is being constructed by Jordan Foster Construction.

National Night Out on Oct. 3

Officer Delta Jolly and neighbors during a National Night Out block party.National Night Out, an annual event to support safe neighborhoods, is on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in Georgetown. Block parties are being organized from 6 to 9 p.m.

Online registration for National Night Out block parties in Georgetown ends Friday, Sept. 22.  Registering your block party provides the information to the Georgetown Police Department so that an officer or other City employees or officials can visit your block party.

Last year there were more than 100 registered National Night Out events in Georgetown. Georgetown Police Department officers as well as other local law enforcement officers, elected officials, Georgetown firefighters and EMS technicians, and other City employees attended block parties in Georgetown.

The Georgetown Police Department is hosting a reception for hosts of NNO block parties at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B Wood Road.

To register your National Night Out block party in Georgetown, go to pd.georgetown.org/national-night-out.

Vote for the Best of Georgetown, TX

Where can you find the best kid-friendly restaurant in Georgetown? Where is the best live entertainment? The best hotel or bed and breakfast? The best boutique?

Tell us your favorites during the month of September in the Best of Georgetown, TX contest. Vote online at Bestof.Georgetown.org from Sept. 1 to 30.

The list of winners will be posted at Bestof.Georgetown.org.

Winning businesses receive window decals as well as certificates showing their award and category. In addition, the business name will be listed on the 2017 winners flyer at the Visitors Center and on the Bestof.Georgetown.org website for one year. Winners will have access to the Best of Georgetown 2017 logo for use in their websites and printed material.

The annual Best of Georgetown, TX contest is sponsored by the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Labor Day closings

City of Georgetown offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4 for the Labor Day holiday. This includes these locations:

  • Airport Terminal, 500 Terminal Drive
  • Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St.
  • Economic Development, 809 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh 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 lobby,
    3500 D.B. Wood Road
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive

The Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St., will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Swimming Pools and Aquatics

The Williams Drive pool at 3201 Williams Drive will reopen Saturday, Sept. 2, for three days through Monday, Sept. 4. Hours are 1 to 7 p.m. each of those three days. Other outdoor seasonal pools have closed for the summer season.

The splash pads at San Jose Park, 1707 San Jose St., and at the Art Center, 816 S. Main St., will remain open through the month of September.

Recycling and solid waste

There will be regular recycling and solid waste collection for City of Georgetown customers on Monday, Sept. 4. Please place carts at the curb by 7 a.m. on your scheduled pickup day. For questions, call Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715.

The Collection Station at 250 W.L. Walden Drive will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.