City hosts ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ on Aug. 17

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department presents “A Wrinkle in Time” (PG) on Friday, Aug. 17 in San Gabriel Park. The event will take place on the soccer fields located behind the Georgetown Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.

This is a free community event. The event starts at sunset, around 8:30 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and picnics, and are encouraged to arrive early for free popcorn and children’s activities and games beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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

Watch school zones as classes start on Aug. 16

The first day of classes for schools in the Georgetown school district is Thursday, Aug. 16. The Georgetown Police Department reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. As students go back to school, police will be monitoring school zones throughout the city.

Look for the school zones at most of these Georgetown ISD schools:

•  Carver Elementary, 4901 Scenic Lake Drive
•  Cooper Elementary, 1921 NE Inner Loop
•  Ford Elementary, 210 Woodlake Drive
•  Frost Elementary, 711 Lakeway Drive
•  McCoy Elementary, 401 Bellaire Drive
•  Mitchell Elementary, 1601 Rockride Lane
•  Pickett Elementary, 1100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
•  Purl Elementary, 1953 Maple St.
•  Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons
•  Benold Middle School, 3407 Northwest Blvd.
•  Forbes Middle School, 1911 NE Inner Loop
•  Tippit Middle School, 1601 Leander Road
•  Wagner Middle School, 1621 Rockride Lane
•  East View High School, 4490 E. University Ave.
•  Georgetown High School, 2211 N. Austin Ave.
•  Georgetown Alternative Program, 502 Patriot Way
•  Richarte High School, 2295 N. Austin Ave.
•  Williamson County Academy/Lott Juvenile Detention Center, 200 Wilco Way

School zone speed limits are in effect during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing. The fine for speeding in a school zone is $10 per mile over the limit, plus state court costs. This would mean a $100 fine plus $129 in state court costs for driving 30 mph in a 20 mph zone, for example.

State law prohibits the use of a wireless communication device in a school zone during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing.

Arts and Culture Board seeks artist proposals

The City of Georgetown’s Arts and Culture Board has issued a call for artist proposals for the new City Hall and Council and Court buildings, located at MLK Jr. and Ninth streets. Three areas have been identified for artwork.

A theme has not been selected for the spaces to allow each artist an opportunity to present their own vision for the spaces.

Areas selected for artwork include the City Hall rotunda, the area above the Municipal Court transaction window, and the Council and Court Building lobby wall.

The call for art includes a $3,000-$5,000 for each award. Proposals are due by midnight September 30. Artists may submit up to two proposals per area. A separate proposal must be submitted for each area.

The artist will be selected by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board and notified by Oct. 19.

For more information about the project, including submittal requirements, go to arts.georgetown.org.

2019 City budget responds to growth

Roads, firefighters, and upgraded utilities are among the key requests for the fiscal year 2019 budget. The proposed spending plan maintains the current tax rate while preparing the City for the incredible growth that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

The City’s property tax rate will remain 42 cents per $100 of valuation. This is one of the lowest rates in Central Texas. However, home values continue to rise, so the average homeowner will pay approximately $57 more in property taxes to the City. These increases go directly towards maintaining and improving Georgetown’s quality of life.

Even with incredible growth, maintaining Georgetown’s high standards for safety is critical. Fire Station No. 7, located near Hwy. 29 and Inner Loop, is under design. Fourteen new firefighters will be hired to help staff Fire Station 7 to maintain response times across the City. Additionally, a school resource officer will be hired for Wagner Middle School. This ensures an officer is located at each high school and middle school in Georgetown.

Traffic and parking are always key concerns highlighted by citizens. This budget includes the design work to widen three roadways, including Leander Road, Southwestern Boulevard, and SE Inner Loop, to help improve mobility. Voters approved these projects in the 2015 road bond. The City is also planning to construct a new parking garage at Sixth and Main streets and a new parking lot across from the Public Library.

The City owns and operates water and electric utilities. Once again, water rates will remain stable for the coming year. While maintaining rates, the City will be investing significantly in the water system. These investments include improvements to the intake structure at the Lake Georgetown Water Treatment Plant, new water lines to increase water distribution capacity, and new pump stations in areas west of Georgetown and north of Liberty Hill to increase pumping capacity.

There will be a $1.35 increase in the monthly wastewater fee to help cover the cost of new wastewater lines, expanding a treatment plant, and reducing our environmental impacts on the aquifer. Even with this increase, Georgetown has one of the lowest combined water and wastewater bills for the average user in the region.

The city’s electricity is now purchased from 100 percent renewable energy sources. While purchased power costs are fixed, this year the City will increase the monthly base electric charge to cover costs related to needed improvements in the electric system, including replacing poles, relocating electric lines, and increasing system capacity. Georgetown electric customers will see an increase of $4.80 on their monthly bills. This increase helps Georgetown maintain one of the most reliable electric systems in the state.

The City is also taking steps to plan for the future. The budget includes a position to enhance information technology security, a position to expand the business process improvement team, and increases to financial reserves across the City. This budget includes the first full year of operations for Garey Park, as well as a new parks maintenance position. Resources for planning, permitting, and engineering to help respond to the City’s growth also are included.

The total budget is $354 million. This includes 31 new positions, as well as performance-based merit increases for current employees.

The proposed budget is available at finance.georgetown.org. Public hearings on the budget and property tax rate will be held Aug. 14 and 21. The City Council is expected to vote on the adoption of the budget on Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.

City street maintenance projects begin this summer

Street resurfacing on city streets with hot-in-place recycling has begun and is expected to continue through late September. Additional street resurfacing projects include a double-course surface treatment beginning Aug. 6 and a high-performance surface seal treatment, which is expected to begin later this summer.

The work schedule can be affected by weather conditions, mechanical issues, and product availability.

For a complete list of projects with a map as well as an up-to-date schedule, visit transportation.georgetown.org/2018-street-maintenance-projects.

 

Citizen Police Academy fall session

The Citizen Police Academy is a 12-week course taught by police officers to educate citizens about all aspects of the Georgetown Police Department. Classes in the fall 2018 academy include code of criminal procedure, accident investigations, use of force, crime scene investigations, hostage negotiations, special weapons and tactics, and victim services. The deadline to apply is Aug. 15.

Weekly classes are on Thursday evenings Aug. 23 through Nov. 8. Class sessions are 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The first class will be held in the training room of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road.

There is no charge to attend the academy, but seating is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications are available at the Georgetown Police Department reception desk at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center or by emailing a request to randy.mcdonald@georgetown.org. All applicants will be notified of acceptance via email.

City partners with Lyft on pilot

The City of Georgetown has partnered with Lyft to offer rides in Georgetown with the transportation network company. The program is a limited-time promotion to allow the City to learn about rideshare use in Georgetown.

Rides that originate in the Georgetown city limits are eligible for the Lyft partnership. Lyft passengers are responsible for the first $2 of the cost of the ride. The City will then pay up to $10 above that initial passenger payment. The passenger is responsible for any additional cost of the ride. The promotion allows for up to 10 rides per customer.

“The City understands that ridesharing has a role in providing reliable transportation to the citizens of Georgetown,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Transportation networking companies have become one piece of the puzzle as it relates to regional mobility solutions, and the City looks forward to partnering with Lyft during this pilot program to study how ridesharing can provide benefits to our region.”

To use the promotion on a Lyft ride in Georgetown, download the Lyft app on an iPhone or Android smartphone and set up a Lyft account using a credit card. Then add the code GTOWNTX18 to the promo section of the Lyft app before you request your ride. Note that you must be in “personal” mode for the code to apply. You will only need to enter the code one time. Once you have requested your ride, “applied credit” is displayed on the ride payment screen.

Data from the limited-time promotion will help the city to better understand ride use patterns for a transportation network company. Ride data available to the City after the pilot will not include names or addresses of riders or any credit card information.

July 4 Celebration at San Gabriel Park

The 35th annual Sertoma Club Family July 4 Celebration and fireworks display will be held at San Gabriel Park on Wednesday, July 4. The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Sertoma Club service organization with assistance from the City of Georgetown.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. at San Gabriel Park with live entertainment throughout the day at the gazebo. The festival also includes arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a petting zoo, classic and antique cars, and rides for children and adults. Admission to the event is free; however, there are fees for some activities.

Hometown Parade July 4

A July 4th Hometown Parade in San Gabriel Park begins at 11 a.m. at the low-water crossing near the College Street bridge and ends at the gazebo. Participants should gather at 10:30 a.m. at the low-water crossing. Kids are encouraged to decorate their wagons or bicycles for the parade. Motorized vehicles and pets are not permitted in the parade. The annual parade is sponsored by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Union State Bank.

Fireworks July 4

The fireworks display begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will be launched from the McMaster Athletic Fields on North College Street. Fireworks can be viewed from San Gabriel Park, VFW Park, and other areas in Georgetown. The main entrance to San Gabriel Park is via Chamber Way on North Austin Avenue.

Parking

Limited parking in San Gabriel Park includes the parking lots at the Show Barn and the Rodeo Arena. Attendees also are encouraged to park at Georgetown High School and carpool to San Gabriel Park. Limited handicapped parking is available in designated areas in San Gabriel Park.

Both the McMaster Fields parking lot and the Parks and Recreation Administration parking lot at North College Street and W.L. Walden Drive will be closed on July 4 due to their proximity to the fireworks fall zone.

College Street and McMaster Fields Closure

Due to the fireworks fall zone, North College Street will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, from approximately 9 to 11 p.m. between the traffic circle and Holly Street. Parking, standing, or sitting along North College Street in that segment will not be permitted during this time.

The McMaster Athletic Fields will be closed all day on Wednesday, July 4.

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, 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 maps.georgetown.org/fireworks-ban-area-map.

First Friday mural celebration

The City of Georgetown will celebrate two murals during the First Friday event in July. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. on July 6. Light refreshments will be provided at both murals, and both artists will be on hand to discuss their work until 8 p.m.

The first mural is entitled “Discover Georgetown All Over Again”, located on the east wall of Grape Creek, 101 W. Seventh St. This mural was designed by Sarah Blankenship and completed in 2006 with help from local artists. It depicts icons of Georgetown’s past, including the 1912 Southwestern University homecoming, an 1898 parade on Main Street, and Georgetown’s namesake George Washington Glasscock.

City staff will be on hand to take pictures and capture interviews with people who want to share their memories of the mural. The City must replace the entirety of the plaster on the wall due to the extensive failure of the existing stucco. The mural will be removed beginning the week of July 9. Once the work is complete, the City will host a call for art to install a new mural.

The second mural, entitled “Honoring the Past and Innovating the Future” is the work of artist Mila Sketch. Work is underway on the new mural, located on the west wall of Boomtown Escapes, 215 W. Eighth St. The design was selected by the City of Georgetown’s Arts and Culture Board this spring. It depicts six existing buildings including the Georgetown Palace Theater, the M.B. Lockett building, and Southwestern University’s Cullen Building, as well as imagined futuristic buildings and infrastructure.

To learn more about public art in Georgetown, please visit arts.georgetown.org.

Neighborhood traffic management policy proposed

The City of Georgetown is asking for feedback on a proposed neighborhood traffic management policy. The goal is to take a holistic approach in addressing concerns expressed by residents about traffic speeds or volume on residential streets.

The intent of the draft policy is to provide an objective and comprehensive framework to better address adverse levels of speeding and traffic volume on residential streets and be responsive to resident concerns.

The policy works to identify issues, involve the public and City Council in the decision making process, develop possible solutions to mitigate the issues, ensure compliance with City policies, and create a budgeting process to implement approved solutions.

There will be a public meeting on the proposed policy on Monday, June 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.  Comments from the public on the proposed policy will be collected, recorded, and shared with City Council prior to their next workshop on the policy.

To review the draft policy, click here. The City Council reviewed the initial draft of the policy at the regularly scheduled workshop on June 12, which is available to watch at gtv.georgetown.org. You can download the presentation here. Residents can submit comments on the policy via this survey. The comment period will close Friday, June 29, at 11:59 p.m.