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: 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.

Georgetown community vision: Give us your ideas

Georgetown is creating a vision statement to capture our city’s identity and aspirations. What is the community’s vision for the future of Georgetown? The City is seeking ideas and input from Georgetown residents as we work to craft a new vision statement for our city. The goal of the visioning process is to write a brief vision statement expressing our common identity and our direction as a community.

Please take this quick three-question survey to help guide the formation of the vision statement: The survey should take one to two minutes. Your input is important!

The survey is the first step in a process to develop a vision statement for Georgetown.

Results of the survey will be shared at a community visioning session on Sept. 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. At the visioning session, community members will review the results of the survey and work through a process to identify key ideas for a vision statement for Georgetown. Childcare will be provided in a separate space where kids can work on their own ideas about a vision 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.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at San Gabriel Park Sept. 16

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department and the Georgetown Public Library present “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (PG-13) on Saturday, Sept. 16 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 family-friendly, free community event for all ages. Pre-show crafts and activities will start at 6:30 p.m., and the movie starts at sunset, around 7:45 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and picnics.

For details, visit

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

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

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

Residents are encouraged to register mobile and landline phones to receive emergency alerts from the City or Williamson County at, 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 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

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.