“Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” film screening

The City of Georgetown will hold a free public screening of the new documentary “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” in the Georgetown Public Library’s Hewlett Room on Monday, Dec. 11. The screening starts at 7 p.m., which is the same time as the premiere of the film on HBO.

In “Happening,” filmmaker Jamie Redford embarks on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier across the U.S.

The film (rated TV-14) includes an appearance by Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, who along with Chris Foster of Georgetown Utility Systems, will attend the screening at the library. After the 70-minute film ends, Mayor Ross and Foster will offer remarks and then take questions from the audience about renewable energy and Georgetown’s energy supply.

(Pictured: Director Jamie Redford talks with Mayor Ross in Monument Cafe during the filming of “Happening” in Georgetown in 2015.)

Highlighting innovators and entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, “Happening” follows Redford—grandson of a longtime Chevron worker and son of actor/environmental advocate Robert Redford—on an enlightening cross-country journey to discover the current state of clean energy and see what lies on the horizon.

Find out more about the film and see a trailer at happeningthemovie.com.

Georgetown is included in the film because of the power contracts that will make the City of Georgetown one of the largest municipally-owned utilities in the U.S. to supply its customers with 100 percent solar and wind energy. The long-term agreements also allow Georgetown to provide competitive electric rates and hedge against price volatility for energy produced by fossil fuels.

To learn more about Georgetown’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy, go to gus.georgetown.org/renewable-energy.

New water tower in Sun City

This month the City of Georgetown will begin construction on a new elevated water storage tank, commonly known as a water tower, in Sun City. The new 2 million gallon water tank will be built next to the existing tank that is located adjacent to Sun City Boulevard about 500 feet north of Texas Drive. (A rendering of the new tank is pictured.)

The existing 400,000 gallon water tank was built in 1995 when Sun City was expected to contain 6,500 homes. However, Sun City is now expected to have more than 10,500 homes at final build-out. A larger tank is needed to support the demand from the homes in Sun City and the surrounding area.

The new tank will help regulate and maintain a more consistent water pressure throughout most of Sun City as a result of less fluctuation in the tank’s water level.

The new storage tank will be very similar in design and appearance to the elevated water tank that was recently constructed on D.B. Woods Road at Cedar Breaks Road. It will have a capacity of 2 million gallons and be the same height as the existing tank, which is 165 feet tall. The pedestal section of the tank will be made of steel-reinforced concrete and the bowl section will be fabricated from steel. The new water tank will cost $3.2 million, funded by water utility revenues. Construction is expected to take up to 400 days.

The new water storage tank was designed by Dunham Engineering and will be constructed by CB&I. The contract to construct the tank was a competitive bid approved by the City Council in September. CB&I has constructed more than 400 similar tanks and a total of more than 25,000 elevated water tanks in the company’s 123-year history.

The existing tank will remain in service until the new tank is completed. Shortly after, the existing steel tank will be removed in sections and lowered to the ground via a separate contract.

Construction on the new water storage tank is expected to start in the next two weeks and be completed by early 2019. Construction hours will be limited to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a few times during the construction process when hours will extend beyond those times, such as during the concrete pouring process for the pedestal.

Hike and bike trail segment closed for a month

A segment of the San Gabriel River Trail, also known as the hike and bike trail, will be closed for four weeks starting on Nov. 27. The closure is for reconstruction of the trail surface to meet gradient limits of current accessibility guidelines.

The trail segment is a 0.6-mile concrete section from Rivery Park to a point in San Gabriel Park west of the confluence of the two forks of the San Gabriel River. Other segments of the trail will remain open, including the loop around San Gabriel Park.

The trail work should be completed by Dec. 22, weather permitting.

In the future, other segments of the San Gabriel River Trail from Rivery Park to Booty’s Road Park will be closed for accessibility improvements.


Groundbreaking for downtown civic campus Nov. 28

The City of Georgetown will break ground on Nov. 28 to start the renovation of two City buildings that will be part of a civic campus for City government offices. The groundbreaking ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. in front of the future City Hall building at 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St.

Known as Downtown West, the new civic campus will include a City Hall and Council Chamber and Municipal Court Building as well as the existing Georgetown Public Library that opened in 2007, the Historic Light and Water Works office building, and a public parking lot on Eighth Street.

The former public library building at 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St. is being renovated to become a new City Hall office building. The 1987 library building was vacated when the new Public Library opened one half-block to the east. City Hall will include offices for City management, City Secretary’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, Economic Development, Finance, Human Resources, and the Mayor. The building renovation will retain most of the limestone exterior walls as well as structural beams and the foundation.

Adjacent to the new City Hall will be the new Council Chambers and Municipal Court. The City office building at 510 W. Ninth St. currently called the Communication and Technology Building will be renovated to become the Council Chambers and Municipal Court. An addition on the east side of the building will include the new City Council Chamber that also serves as a municipal courtroom. The addition also houses a jury room and council meeting room. Offices for Municipal Court and Accounting will be on the first floor in the existing structure. Currently the building houses the Information Technology Department, which will remain on the second floor.

A walkway and green space area will connect the Council Chambers and Municipal Court with City Hall. The one-block section of Ninth Street between the two buildings and adjoining green space can be used for events.

The $13 million project is funded by proceeds from the sale of City buildings, municipal bonds, and fee revenues. Construction should be complete in 12 months. The architect for the project is Lawrence Group and the contractor is Balfour Beatty.

The current Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St., and City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St., and Council Chambers and Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh St., will be sold for retail or commercial use. A request for proposals to purchase each building will be released in early-2018.

The new civic complex on Eighth and MLK streets will centralize several offices that are currently in buildings scattered throughout the city. In addition to providing needed facility space, the new civic campus enables easier collaboration for City employees and convenience for residents using City services.

City Vendor Meet and Greet Dec. 5

Do you have a business in landscaping, printing, plumbing or electrical services, graphic design, road construction, automotive maintenance, civil engineering, or architectural services? Do you sell vehicles, asphalt, medical supplies, or specialized software?

If so, you may have an opportunity to do business with the City of Georgetown.

Find out more at the City Vendor Meet and Greet on Dec. 5. Sponsored by the City of Georgetown Purchasing Department, the fair is 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, 1 Chamber Way in Georgetown.

At the event there will be an opportunity to meet with employees in the Purchasing Department and find out more about the City’s process to accept bids, proposals, and qualifications. A variety of other City staff will be at the event. Light refreshments will be provided.

If you’d like to attend the fair, please RSVP by Nov. 30 by sending an email to the Purchasing Department at purchasing@georgetown.org. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Purchasing Department at (512) 930-3647.

I-35 Sidewalk Ribbon Cutting

The City of Georgetown will celebrate the opening of the I-35 sidewalk from Leander Road to University Avenue with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. The event will be held at the southeast end of the Wolf Ranch Town Center parking lot.

The sidewalk provides a north-south connection from Leander Road at I-35 to University Avenue at Wolf Ranch Town Center in Georgetown. The $900,000 project was funded by the City of Georgetown. The sidewalk is approximately 1 mile and includes a switchback section on the south bank of the South San Gabriel River.

“This new sidewalk will provide a key connection between residents who live around Leander Road to restaurants, shopping, and jobs on Highway 29, and vice-versa. This investment allows people in Georgetown to have a safe and accessible route along a key corridor in our city,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “This project was possible because of the good work and dedication of former Councilmember Keith Brainard. Keith’s pragmatism and diplomacy prioritized this project and made it a reality.”

The engineering firm for the project was Kennedy Consulting and the construction contractor was Patin Construction.

Airport Master Plan update workshop Nov. 16

Plans for the future development and operations of the Georgetown Municipal Airport will be shared at a public workshop on Nov. 16 as part of the Airport Master Plan update. The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Georgetown Communications and Technology Building, 510 W. Ninth St. There will be a brief presentation at 5:45 p.m.

There also is a Planning Advisory Committee meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The meeting is open to the public to observe proceedings.

The Master Plan update provides a blueprint for future operations and development of the Airport, including a layout plan for future development at the Airport, a list of appropriate land uses, and a 20-year list of capital projects.

The Georgetown Municipal Airport opened in 1945. The last update to the Airport Master Plan was in 2005. Coffman Associates, an aviation consulting firm specializing in airport planning studies, is assisting the City on the current update process.

To see Airport Master Plan update documents and more information go to georgetown.airportstudy.com.

Mosquito Sample Tests Positive for West Nile  

A mosquito trap sample collected Tuesday on the north side of downtown Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. This testing is part of the City of Georgetown’s participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s Integrated Mosquito Management program. The positive test was indicated in lab results received yesterday afternoon from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.

The sample was collected from a trap on the north end of the downtown area on Oct. 24. The species of mosquito that tested positive for West Nile Virus was Culex quinquefasciatus, also known as the Southern house mosquito. This species of mosquito has a flight range of about one mile.

Cooler overnight temperatures and windy conditions for the next few days mean that the application of an insecticide with a truck-mounted sprayer would not be effective. With nighttime temperatures in the 30s and 40s, mosquitoes will not be active and would not come into contact with the insecticide spray. Also, the use of an insecticide with a truck-mounted sprayer is not recommended when winds exceed 10 mph.

The City continues to use larvicide tablets to treat standing water found on public property. Residents are encouraged to drain any sources of standing water to remove mosquito breeding areas.

What you can do

Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus.  As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 3 Ds of mosquito safety.

  • Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,
  • Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, and
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

For more information, go to the WCCHD website at www.wcchd.org or visit the Texas Department of State Health Services West Nile website at txwestnile.org.

Traffic signal changes help mobility on Williams Drive

The City is using new traffic signal technology along the Williams Drive corridor to help improve mobility on the roadway. Flashing yellow left-turn arrows are now operating and in the next week, the city will implement new traffic signal timing that will better synchronize signals along the corridor.

The signal synchronization is the first project to be implemented from the Williams Drive Study adopted by City Council in August. The study was completed in partnership with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization through its Platinum Planning Process.

The project was made possible because of the utility fiber network that the City has put into place in the past several years connecting City facilities and infrastructure.

The flashing yellow arrow signals are operational along the corridor from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road, with the exception of the Del Webb Boulevard intersection. Flashing yellow arrow signals allow drivers to make left turns while yielding to on-coming traffic and pedestrians.

In conjunction with signal operation and timing improvements, the City will also install monitoring devices and backup batteries at all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

Monitoring devices at signals allow City staff to see and adjust signal performance remotely, and the batteries will prevent traffic signals from shutting off during electrical outages in all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

Georgetown vision statement: Survey #2

The City of Georgetown is seeking input on a community vision statement. There were 550 responses to the first visioning survey in September. The results of that survey and a community visioning session held last week led to a list of phrases to be considered for a vision statement.

Take this quick survey to give feedback on these phrases for a vision statement: surveymonkey.com/r/GeorgetownCV. The survey should take one to two minutes.

Results of this second visioning survey will be shared with the City Council at their workshop meeting on Oct. 10. The City Council will use the survey results to create a vision statement for Georgetown.

The goal of the community visioning process is to gather ideas from community members and the City Council to develop a vision statement for Georgetown. The vision statement will serve to help align the community’s future direction and serve as a building block for City Council goal-setting, updating the City’s comprehensive plan, and future branding initiatives.