City of Georgetown hosts Halloween Festival on Oct. 26

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Halloween Festival on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St.

The Halloween Festival, now in its 23rd year, will feature a free Trick-or-Treat Village, along with carnival-style games, food, and a hayride.

Attendees are encouraged to participate in the free costume contest, sponsored by Suddenlink. Costume contest categories and times are as follows: Newborn-2 years at 5:45 p.m.; 3-5 years at 6:15 p.m.; 6-8 years at 6:45 p.m.; and 9-10 years at 7:15 p.m.

Carnival games are 25 cents per ticket, and one or more tickets are required for each game, activity or concession. The hayride through San Gabriel Park will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Hayride tickets are $2 for children ages 1-4 and $3 for age 5 and older. Only cash will be accepted, and quarters and small bills are appreciated.

For the first time this year, music and entertainment will be provided by The Georgetown Project and the Assets After-school Alliance, as part of the national Lights On After-school event, which calls attention to the importance of after-school programs for America’s children, families and communities.

For more information, visit parks.georgetown.org/halloween-festival.

 

New historic district street signs to be installed

New historic district street signsThe City is installing 554 new historic district street signs throughout the Old Town and Downtown historic districts this weekend, Oct. 14-15.

The architectural design detail on the signs was created by Georgetown artist Nick Ramos and was inspired by the large number of Mesker Brothers storefronts in the downtown area. The City of Georgetown is home to one of the largest collection of Mesker storefronts, which incorporate a crest or shell design in the columns and cornice lines. Examples of the design include the Georgetown Art Center and the Dimmit and M.B. Lockett buildings.

The signs are a “red poppy red” color and feature a flower as part of the architectural design. The design pays tribute to the architectural heritage of the Georgetown community and will help identify the districts and promote the historic nature to residents and visitors.

The signs, which were made in Waco and will be installed by Area Wide Protective crews, are partially funded by the Downtown tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ. The TIRZ helps fund improvement projects throughout the downtown area.

The blue street signs that are being replaced will be sold for $10 each during the Nov. 11 Market Days event on the Square. Signs will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis during the event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Library welcomes Meg Gardiner for Hill Country Author Series

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library will host a Hill Country Author Series event Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m., in the Community Rooms of the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., featuring Austin-based author Meg Gardiner. Gardiner’s newest book “UNSUB” was published in June. Lawyer turned author, Gardiner is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer who has written thirteen thrillers.

“UNSUB,” short for unknown subject, tells the story of a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier. This psychological thriller has been bought by CBS Television Studios for adaptation into a TV series.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, the WOW!mobile, online at folgeorgetown.org/event/hcas-meg-gardiner, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974. Refreshments from the Red Poppy Coffee Co. are included.

The event begins at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds are used to fund unbudgeted items and other ongoing library projects.

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.
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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.