Breakfast Bites: Inside the Millennial Mind

Matt Glazer headshotThe next Breakfast Bites meeting on Sept. 20 will feature Matt Glazer on the topic of Inside the Millennial Mind. The informal meeting starts at 8 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The talk will start at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided. Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program.

Glazer’s talk will provide a deeper understanding of myths surrounding generational workforces, tips on how to engage diverse age groups within our economy, and knowledge of trends in Central Texas. Glazer is an entrepreneur, a community engagement expert, and the former executive director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce.

With this meeting, the Breakfast Bites event is now combining with the Downtown Lowdown meeting. The new meeting format includes a speaker on a downtown topic followed by updates on events and initiatives in the downtown. The new combined meeting will be scheduled quarterly.

At the Sept. 20 meeting there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Art Center and Public Library events
  • Historic street signs update
  • Austin Avenue Bridges update
  • Downtown sidewalk projects
  • Founders Park update
  • Best of Georgetown and Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • Downtown sales tax trends

Also, learn about updates from downtown partner organizations and find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Memorial Stair Climb on Sept. 11 in Georgetown

firefighter and police officers climbing stairsGeorgetown firefighters and police officers will participate in a memorial stair climb at the Georgetown ISD athletic stadium on Monday, Sept. 11. The climb is done each year as a tribute to first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Participants will climb the equivalent of 110 stories—the height of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with an invocation by Fire Lieutenant Brad Cox followed by comments from Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan and Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero. One firefighter and one police officer will post the colors before the climb begins. The Georgetown Fire Department Pipe Band will be at the event and will play prior to the climb.

The firefighters on the climb will be wearing firefighting gear including boots, helmets, protective pants and jackets, and air packs. Police officers will carry extra tactical gear on the climb. Participants will pause for a moment of silence at the times that each of the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

The gate to the stadium opens at 7:30 a.m. for the event. Members of the public and the news media are welcome to attend the event and observe.

The Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex is located behind Georgetown High School at 2211 N. Austin Ave. in Georgetown.

K-9 Kerplunk on Sept. 9

The Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an end of summer swim party for dogs Saturday, Sept. 9. The event is from 10 a.m. to noon at the Georgetown Recreation Center Outdoor Pool, 1003 N. Austin Ave.

Proof of current rabies vaccination is required to attend, and only shot records will be accepted. The cost is $5 per dog; humans get in free. No more than one dog will be allowed per person. A person 18 years or older must accompany dogs, and dogs must be leashed when not in the water.

For more information, including a complete list of rules, visit parks.georgetown.org/k-9-kerplunk.

Georgetown prepares for Hurricane Harvey

The City of Georgetown is preparing for Hurricane Harvey and coordinating with other government agencies for potential flooding and infrastructure impacts in the region.

City of Georgetown staff will be monitoring the situation throughout the event. If flooding occurs in Georgetown and people are in need of emergency shelter, the City will open shelters and direct residents to them. If you encounter a flooded roadway, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

City departments including Police, Fire, Georgetown Utility Systems, and Parks and Recreation are making storm preparations, adding staffing as needed, and preparing equipment and supplies.

For information on what you should do to prepare in advance of rain and wind from Hurricane Harvey or other hazards, go to ready.gov.

Residents are encouraged to register mobile and landline phones to receive emergency alerts from the City or Williamson County at WarnCentralTexas.org, which is a region-wide emergency alert system. By registering a phone and location you will receive emergency alerts about dangerous flooding, threatening tornadoes or high winds, or other life-threatening emergencies.

Cities, counties, and school districts in the Central Texas region are coordinating to host people who have evacuated from the Texas Coast at emergency shelter locations.

No donations of items such as toiletries, clothing, or food are being collected at government offices or school locations. Monetary donations can be accepted online for disaster relief organizations.

The American Red Cross is asking for volunteers who can work at emergency shelters in the Austin metro area. Trainings will be offered on Friday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. at the American Red Cross office, 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, TX 78723. Find out more at redcross.org/volunteer or call 1-800-928-4271.

Check the City of Georgetown website as well as City social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor to see updates about emergency response related to Hurricane Harvey.

Former Mayor George Garver remembered

Former Georgetown Mayor George Garver passed away on July 27 at his residence in Prairie Village, Kansas. He was 85.

Garver was elected mayor in 2008 and was re-elected to a second term in 2011. He and his wife Alice lived in the Sun City neighborhood in Georgetown from 1997 through 2016.

In the six years that Garver served as mayor, the City of Georgetown completed a number of significant projects including the widening of Williams Drive, the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Fire Station 5, and the construction of the new Lakeway Drive Bridge over I-35. Garver also served as a member of the policy board for the Capital Metropolitan Planning Organization during his tenure as mayor.

“Mayor Garver gave of his time and energy to serve the city he loved,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “He contributed to our community in so many ways as an educator and a leader, and we appreciate his service.”

Prior to his two terms as mayor, Garver served as interim superintendent for Georgetown ISD. His career prior to Georgetown included positions as the dean of the college of education at Arizona State University West, superintendent of Houston ISD, and other superintendent positions.

The Garver family will host a Celebration of Life to remember and appreciate George Garver on Aug. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. The public open house reception will be in the City Council Chamber at 101 E. Seventh St. on the Courthouse Square in Georgetown.

Budget for 2018 builds for the future

New roads and capacity for a growing city are among key items in the proposed City budget for the 2018 fiscal year, presented yesterday to the City Council by City Manager David Morgan. The budget supports City services, builds infrastructure for the future, and provides competitive compensation for employees, while lowering the tax rate and slowing the impact of future tax rate increases from bond projects.

The proposed property tax rate is 42 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which is 0.4 cents lower than the current rate of 42.4 cents. The average homestead property in Georgetown has increased in market value by 5 percent, up from $253,320 in FY2017 to $266,598 in FY2018. Due to higher assessed values, it is anticipated the average home in Georgetown will pay $47 more in property tax in the upcoming year.

The value received for those tax dollars includes funding for major transportation projects like Rivery Boulevard extension, Northwest Boulevard Bridge and FM 971 alignment, and the completion of the FM 1460 project. The first year of the GoGeo fixed-route bus service also is included, as well as a Bike Master Plan.

Public safety investments include the design and construction of Fire Station 6 and the design of Fire Station 7, as well as the addition of two police patrol officers and one school resource officer.

Parks and recreation enhancements include funding for operations of Garey Park (shown above) and the next phase of renovations to San Gabriel Park. Resources for planning, permitting, and engineering to aid in the City’s high growth development period also are funded.

Water and electric rates are proposed to stay the same. Utility revenues will fund projects converting residences to automatic meter reading, the expansion of the Lake Water Treatment Plant, the construction of an elevated storage tank in the Western District, and electric infrastructure for new development. Georgetown Utility Systems will add one position to allow the Customer Care office to service customers for an additional hour.

Additionally, the City plans to retire some debt early, resulting in both interest rate savings and lessening the impact of the tax rate for the remainder of the voter-approved parks and transportation bonds. Over the past three years, the City has worked diligently to turn around the financial operation of the Airport. The proposed budget includes the ability to cash fund some capital projects at the Airport and establishes a contingency reserve.

The total operating and capital budget is $337 million, including an additional 19 new full-time and 4 part-time positions and performance-based merit increases for employees. The proposed budget is available at finance.georgetown.org.

Public hearings on the budget and property tax rate will be held August 8 and August 15. Council votes to adopt the budget on August 22 and September 12.

City Receives Recognition for Transparency from Texas Comptroller

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the City of Georgetown is the latest local government entity to achieve specific transparency goals through the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program. Georgetown received a star in the area of Traditional Finances, which recognizes entities for their outstanding efforts in making their spending and revenue information available.

“By providing meaningful financial data in addition to visual tools and analysis of its revenues and expenditures, Georgetown has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by my office’s Transparency Stars program,” Hegar said. “I am pleased to award Georgetown a star for its accomplishments.”

Transparency Stars recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to important financial data. Georgetown is one of 105 entities and one of 43 cities who have completed the requirements.

Georgetown’s financial transparency website is finance.georgetown.org/financial-transparency. The site features access to financial reports, graphs of financial information, and downloadable data on the budget and check register.

City Manager David Morgan said, “We’re pleased to be recognized and it reinforces our commitment to transparency in order to encourage our residents to be informed about the financial stability of the city.”

The Comptroller’s office launched the Transparency Stars program in March 2016 to recognize cities, counties and school districts making important strides to greater government transparency. Local government entities can apply for stars in the areas of traditional finances, contracts and procurement, economic development, public pensions, and debt obligations.

After receiving an initial star for Traditional Finances, remaining stars may be awarded in any order. For more information on the program, including specific guidelines and information on how to apply, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website.

Flood Study Open House on July 26

An open house meeting to solicit public input on flooding issues and flood-prone areas in Georgetown is Wednesday, July 26. The open house by the City of Georgetown, in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, is at 6 p.m. at the Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Avenue, Georgetown, Texas, 78626. This is the third of three public meetings for public input on flooding issues in Georgetown.

The purpose of the meeting is to solicit comments and information from the public with respect to flood-prone areas and flooding issues as part of a regional flood protection planning study. The goal of the study is to identify areas of flooding and develop mitigation strategies such as drainage maintenance and potential future drainage projects.

At the meeting, results of floodplain mapping will be available showing where flood-prone areas are located, including homes that are within the floodplain. Representatives from the City of Georgetown and the Texas Water Development Board will be at the open house to provide information and answer questions.

The meeting will be an open house in a come-and-go format. No formal presentation will be made.

For more information, contact Wesley Wright, systems engineering director for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 931-7672 or at Wesley.Wright@georgetown.org. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may contact Wesley Wright by email or phone to report on areas where flooding occurs.

Downtown Lowdown meeting July 19

Come find out about upcoming City projects and event updates at the next quarterly Downtown Lowdown meeting on Wednesday, July 19.

The informal meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at Roots Bistro, 118 W. Eighth St. Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided. There will be updates from City staff on:

  • Art Center and Library events
  • Historic Resource Survey update
  • New City Hall and Council Chambers/Municipal Court
  • Austin Avenue Bridge update
  • Downtown sidewalk projects
  • Founders Park and VFW Park update
  • New downtown development manager
  • Downtown sales tax trends
  • Main Street Star Award

Also, find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, to Jackson Daly at (512) 819-3115 or at jackson.daly@georgetown.org.

Sunset Movie “The Jungle Book” July 14

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department presents “The Jungle Book” (PG) on Friday, July 14 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 7:30 p.m. with a Parks and Recreation Month celebration featuring free popcorn, treats from Edible Arrangements, and activities and games for the kids. The movie starts at sunset, around 8:30 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and picnics.

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

Upcoming Movie:

August 18
“Zootopia” (PG)
San Gabriel Park