Georgetown’s energy 100 percent renewable with solar plant

Georgetown will officially be powered with 100 percent renewable solar- and wind-generated energy on Sunday, July 1, when the city begins receiving electricity from the Buckthorn solar plant in West Texas.  The 154 megawatt solar farm, owned by NRG Yield and operated by NRG Renewables, provides power for the City utility, making Georgetown one of the largest cities in the U.S. to be 100 percent renewable.

At a ribbon-cutting event at the Buckthorn facility on Thursday, Mayor Dale Ross said, “Buckthorn represents more than just energy. It represents a defining moment in history when renewable energy officially became competitive with fossils fuels on the cost of energy.”

Georgetown officials were joined at the ribbon cutting by representatives from Pecos County; NRG Energy; Wells Fargo, who provided financing for the solar farm; and Swinerton Renewable Energy, who constructed the solar facility.

The 1,250-acre Buckthorn solar plant located 15 miles north of Fort Stockton contains 1.7 million solar panels. The panels are mounted on a single-axis tracking system that rotate over the course of each day to maintain a 90-degree angle to the sun in order to maximize output. The plant is in Pecos County, which has the second-highest radiance factor in the state. Radiance is a rating for available sunlight.

In addition to the Buckthorn solar farm, Georgetown’s energy providers include Spinning Spur 3, a wind farm near Amarillo owned by EDF Renewable Energy, and the Southwest Mesa and South Trent wind farms in West Texas owned by AEP.

As of July 1, Georgetown takes another step forward in continuing to provide customers with 100 percent renewable energy. Together the wind and solar contracts provide enough energy to cover the City’s electric usage. Since April 2017, Georgetown has been 100 percent renewable based on the state’s system of accounting for renewable power based on renewable energy credits.

Boil water notice lifted

The City of Georgetown has lifted the boil water notice for affected customers in the area north of Liberty Hill. This notification will be hand-delivered to all customers in the affected area. For a map of the boil water notice area, please click here.

This past weekend there was a large water pump failure that reduced pumping capacity. A reduction in outdoor irrigation is the most effective way to help reduce the impact of this failure. The pump repair is underway.

Suspension of outdoor irrigation and unnecessary water use is still in effect. The affected area is generally west of the City of Georgetown and around Liberty Hill. For a map of the area where irrigation is still suspended, please click here.

Updates on this situation will be posted at georgetown.org.

Boil Water Notice Rescinded

On June 25, 2018 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the City of Georgetown public water system, PWS TX2460001 to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals, or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

The public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of June 27, 2018.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Glenn Dishong at 512-930-3640, 300-1 Industrial Ave, Georgetown, Texas, 78626.

Outdoor irrigation is still prohibited. The pump that failed is still being repaired. Please check georgetown.org for updates each day.

Western District customers asked to suspend outdoor irrigation

Georgetown Utility Systems is asking for a suspension of all outdoor irrigation for areas in the Western District, formerly called the Chisholm Trail SUD. This weekend there was a large pump failure that reduced pumping capacity in the Western District. A reduction in outdoor irrigation in the Western District is the most effective way to help reduce the impact of this failure.

A boil water notice has been issued for a portion of the Western District as a precaution due to sustained low pressure and an inability to adequately flush water system in the area.

While the water pump is out, adequate water pressure is affected by outdoor irrigation use by customers in the Western District. The utility is working to repair the pump that is out of service. The pump is being serviced offsite by a specialist. The City is purchasing a second pump to help create redundant pumping capacity.

A revised irrigation schedule for the Western District will be issued after the boil water notice is lifted. The boil water notice was the result of interrupted water pressure. If the system can maintain adequate water pressure, then the boil water notice should be lifted within three days. Again, the most effective way to ensure adequate water pressure is for Western District customers to suspend outdoor irrigation.

Customers in the boil water notice area are able to shower and bathe. Affected customers are asked to boil their water prior to consumption (e.g., brushing teeth, drinking, etc.). Customers are able to use a dishwasher if using the heat dry setting. Finally, customers are asked to empty their ice maker bucket and then refill them after the boil water notice has been lifted. Please refer to the boil water notice on the City’s website for details.

(Water pump suspended by crane at right.)

Boil water notice for some Western District customers

The City of Georgetown is issuing a boil water notice for some customers in the Georgetown Utility System service area. The affected subdivisions include: Barmor Inc., Bear Creek Country Estates, Bear Creek Ranch, Bridle Gate, Carriage Oaks Estates, Cierra Springs, Cierra Vista, Clearwater Ranch, Estates At Northgate, Hidden Meadows Of Liberty Hill, Hilltop At Stable Oaks, Indian Oak Estates, Liberty Hill RV Park, Northwest Acres, Phillip Lane Estates, Quarry Lake Estates, Rolling Hills, Stage Coach Hill, Stone House Estates, Stonewall Ranch, Sundance Estates, Sundance Ranch, Sunny Hill Mobile Home Park, and Sunrise Acres.

This map shows the affected area for the boil water notice.

Water Boil Notice area map 6-25-18

Georgetown Utility Systems water customers are experiencing service interruption due to a large water pump outage. Pump repairs are in progress. The repair may take up to two weeks to complete. Customers in the affected area are asked to stop outdoor water use and any other unnecessary water usage until Thursday.

Due to reduced distribution system pressure the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the City of Georgetown / PWS TX2460001 public water system to notify affected customers to boil their water prior to consumption (e.g., washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions).

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customers that rescinds the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Glenn Dishong at 512-930-3640, 300-1 Industrial Ave, Georgetown, Texas, 78628.

Water service notice for Western District customers

Georgetown Utility Systems water customers along Hwy. 29 west of DB Wood are experiencing service interruption due to a water pump outage. Landscape irrigation is making the situation worse. Pump repairs are in progress. The repair may take up to two weeks to complete.

Customers in the affected area are asked to stop outdoor water use and any other unnecessary water usage until further notice. An updated watering scheduling will be released later today.

A map is forthcoming. Remember #NoWateringMonday. To check your schedule go to gus.georgetown.org/water/watering-days/

Census: Georgetown is Sixth Fastest-Growing City in U.S.

Yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates showing that Georgetown is ranked sixth on the list of fastest-growing cities in the country with a population of more than 50,000. Georgetown’s growth rate was 5.4 percent from July 1, 2016, through July 1, 2017, resulting in a population estimate of 70,685.

Georgetown was the fifth fastest-growing city in the U.S. on the list released last year by the Census for the period from July 1, 2015 through July 1, 2016. Georgetown was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. on the list released in 2016 and was the second fastest-growing city in the prior year.

Georgetown’s population was 47,400 in the 2010 decennial census. According to today’s estimate, Georgetown added 23,285 residents with a growth rate of 49 percent from 2010 to 2017.

The news release from the Census about the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. in 2016 to 2017 is at www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/estimates-cities.html.

City Council District 1 election results

The Williamson County Elections office as of 10:04 p.m. on May 5 has posted final unofficial voting results for the City Council election on May 5 in Georgetown.

These are the unofficial voting results as of 10:04 p.m. with 27 of 27 polling locations reporting:

Race Candidate Votes Percent
District 1 Anna Eby 137 53.52
Mary Calixtro 119 46.48

To see a complete May 5, 2018, election results, go to wilco.org/elections.

Flag for City of Georgetown

The City is planning to create a City of Georgetown flag that would be flown at city facilities and used for ceremonial occasions. The proposed flag design features the City logo on a white background.

Feedback on the flag design can be shared via this survey link.

Thank you for your input.

Crack seal street resurfacing in Sun City starts May 10

The City of Georgetown Public Works Department will begin street crack sealing operations on Thursday, May 10, on streets in Sun City. Hours of work will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The work is scheduled to be complete in areas indicated by Friday, June 1. The work is weather-dependent and rain days will extend the duration of the project.

Residential streets included in the crack seal application include those in Sun City neighborhoods 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 35, 36, 60, and 63. These neighborhoods include those along Del Webb Boulevard between Williams Drive and Berry Creek, as well as some neighborhoods along Whispering Wind Drive. (Click on map to see larger version.)

Crack sealing is a cost-effective method that helps to preserve and prolong overall pavement life. This work is in preparation for a High Performance Pavement Sealant program planned for later this summer. The sealant is a new product to be used in Georgetown with a track record of good results in other cities.

There will be minimal delays to traffic and driveway access of 15 to 30 minutes while the product is being applied and curing. Work will not occur on scheduled solid waste or recycling collection days.

Georgetown Public Library wins National Medal

Georgetown Public Library Wins National MedalThe Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Georgetown Public Library as one of 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The award will be presented at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., in May.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross shared the National Medal award announcement at a public reception at the Georgetown Public Library on May 1. The reception was held in the lobby of the Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

At the Georgetown Public Library, patrons encounter three words as they enter the building: Engage, Enlighten, Empower. This is the mission statement that drives the library to serve as a catalyst for community wellbeing and enrichment. Library staff reimagine and reinvent the library through patron-centric library services, innovative partnerships with organizations and agencies, and creative, engaging programming.

“Winning the 2018 IMLS National Medal is truly an honor for our library and community,” Georgetown Public Library Director Eric Lashley said. “It is rewarding for our staff, volunteers, and community partners to be recognized at the national level for our efforts to engage, enlighten, and empower our community.”

Georgetown Public Library Wins National MedalSelected from 29 national finalists, the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive. The San Antonio Public Library is the only other public library in Texas to have won the IMLS National Medal in the past.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the 10 distinctive recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

As part of the ceremony and celebration, Georgetown community member Rosie Rocke will travel to Washington, D.C., with Lashley to accept the National Medal on behalf of Georgetown Public Library and provide a personal account of the power the library has had in the community. After Rocke’s husband died in 2013, the library became her safe haven. The super-volunteer notes that “the library was my grief counselor. It made my transition to a widow easier.”

Following the ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit the Georgetown Public Library and provide an opportunity for Georgetown community members to share stories of how the library has affected their lives. These stories are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

To see the list of 2018 National Medal recipients and learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov.