City hosts Halloween Festival on Oct. 25

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Halloween Festival on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St.

The Halloween Festival, now in its 24th year, will feature a free Trick-or-Treat Village, as well as carnival-style games and food.

Attendees are encouraged to participate in the free costume contest, sponsored by Suddenlink. The contest will be held by age group: newborns-age 2 at 6 p.m.; ages 3-5 at 6:30 p.m.; ages 6-8 at 7 p.m.; and ages 9-10 at 7:30 p.m.

Carnival games are 25 cents per ticket, and one or more tickets are required for each game, activity or concession. Pumpkin painting tickets are $2. Only cash will be accepted, and quarters and small bills are appreciated.

Music will be provided by the Georgetown Project in partnership with the Assets After-school Alliance as part of the national Lights On Afterschool 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.

Low Water Crossings closed along Randy Morrow Trail

[Updated: Oct. 22, 2018]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Lake Georgetown due to high lake levels caused by recent rainfall.

A release rate over approximately 517 cubic feet per second will close the low water crossings along the North San Gabriel River on the Randy Morrow Trail, including the crossings at River Road near Booty’s Road Park, the crossing under the I-35 bridge, and the crossing upstream from Rivery Park. Please do not attempt to cross any part of the trail that water is flowing over, and obey any barricades that may be present.

Visit the Lake Georgetown website at www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/georgetown to see the current release rate and check ATXFloods.com for the status of road closures at low water crossings in Central Texas.

The Parks and Recreation Department is evaluating options for the replacement of damaged sections on the pedestrian crossing over the San Gabriel River in San Gabriel Park. The bridge was damaged during flooding in September 2018.

Georgetown Animal Shelter sees uptick in Parvovirus cases

Since Sept. 24, Georgetown Animal Shelter has confirmed 12 cases of Canine Parvovirus in dogs that have been brought in from different parts of the city.

To prevent Canine Parvovirus or “Parvo” animals should be fully vaccinated. Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should not take them to public places where the virus could be living, such as grassy areas, pet shops, parks, puppy classes, dog parks, doggy daycare, kennels, and dog groomers. To protect adult dogs, pet owners should be sure that their dog’s Parvovirus vaccination is updated every 1-3 years. Finally, do not let puppies or adult dogs come into contact with the fecal waste of other dogs. Always promptly dispose of your own dog’s feces.

The Georgetown Animal Shelter will host a low-cost vaccine clinic on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30-11 a.m. Three vaccinations for dogs are available including Rabies for $5, Bordetella for $5, and Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus for $10. Vaccinations also include a free microchip. Only cash payments are accepted.

Parvo is a highly contagious disease that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. The virus affects the gastrointestinal tract and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars, leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is weather resistant and can survive in the environment for long periods of time.

Signs of Parvo include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, fever or low body temperature, vomiting, and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration and damage to the intestines and immune system, which can cause septic shock. Most deaths from Parvo occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs. If your dog or puppy shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

For more information on Canine Parvovirus, visit www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/canine-parvovirus.aspx.

San Gabriel Park and Blue Hole Park re-opened

Update, Wed., Oct. 17, 4 p.m.: Blue Hole Park has re-opened and all areas of San Gabriel Park have re-opened.

Update, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday: San Gabriel Park has reopened with the exception of access to Lower Park Road.  Blue Hole Park will remain closed until further notice. The South San Gabriel River has dropped to about 8 feet, which is one foot below flood stage. Berry Creek has dropped to just under 15 feet, which is the flood stage level.

Update, 11:15 a.m., Tuesday: The South San Gabriel River appears to have crested at nearly 17 feet.

Berry Creek and the South San Gabriel River are both currently above flood stage. As of 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, the South San Gabriel is at 16 feet and rising. Flood stage is 9 feet.

 

Berry Creek is at nearly 17 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet.

Blue Hole Park and San Gabriel Park are both closed, as are pedestrian crossings in Blue Hole Park and at San Gabriel Park.

Mosquito sample positive for West Nile in Southeast Georgetown

A mosquito trap sample collected Tuesday in southeast Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. 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 S. Maple Street on Oct. 9. The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus was Culex quinquefasciatus, also known as the Southern house mosquito. There were 52 Culex mosquitoes in the sample. The number of mosquitoes with the West Nile Virus in the sample is not known. This species of mosquito has a flight range of about one mile.

The mosquito testing is part of the City of Georgetown’s participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s Integrated Mosquito Management program. There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County. Mosquito traps are in other locations in Georgetown and across the County. The mosquitos in those traps, including the trap location on S. Maple Street, will continue to be tested for WNV this fall.

Insecticide spraying this evening

The City of Georgetown Public Works Department is planning to use a trailer-mounted sprayer to apply insecticide within a half-mile radius of the trap location. After dusk on Friday, Oct. 12 and again before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 13, the City will use a permethrin-based insecticide along the street right-of-way and in public parks, weather permitting. Permethrin is a synthetic derivative of a pyrethrum, which comes from Chrysanthemum flowers.

A map is included showing the area where application of the insecticide is planned in Southeast Georgetown. The use of the insecticide will reduce the adult mosquito population in that area. Spraying will be done if the wind speed is less than 10 mph and it is not raining.

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 www.txwestnile.org.

Father Daughter Dance returns to Georgetown on Oct. 27

Friends of Georgetown Parks and Recreation is hosting the annual Father Daughter Dance on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 7-9 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St.

Girls age 4 and older are invited to attend with their father or another acceptable escort. The theme is Halloween Costume Ball, and attendees are encouraged to wear a costume.

In addition to dancing, the event features refreshments and light snacks. To remember the special occasion, professional portrait packages will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $15 per person through Oct. 26, and $20 per person at the door. Advance tickets are now on sale at parks.georgetown.org or at the Georgetown Recreation Center, Georgetown Tennis Center or Parks and Recreation Administration Building. Tickets are nonrefundable.

All proceeds benefit Friends of Georgetown Parks and Recreation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who supports the City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department in providing programs and facilities to promote the social, cultural and recreational well-being of all Georgetown residents.

For questions, contact Georgetown Parks and Recreation at (512) 930-3596.

Council approves agreement for Westinghouse Business Center

Georgetown City Council approved an economic development agreement at its Oct. 9 meeting that paves the way for the construction of a 98,000-square-foot business park on Westinghouse Road between FM 1460 and Mays Street.

The Westinghouse Business Center will provide speculative space for a variety of commercial uses, such as medical, technology and professional services, as well as retail space.

Mayor Dale Ross said the development aligns with the City’s target industries and meets the economic development department’s strategic goal of encouraging speculative development.

“The Westinghouse Business Center is a win for Georgetown because it meets the biggest need we have, which is available space for businesses to move into quickly,” Ross said. “We identified the need for speculative development in our economic development strategic plan, and this 98,000-square-foot business park will not only provide that but also provide the type of space that every one of our target industries can utilize.”

According to the agreement, the City will provide a $500,000 infrastructure reimbursement grant to assist with the development’s cost to install utilities and a left-turn lane.

The project will be developed by TIG Real Estate Services, which has completed a similar project—Scottsdale Crossing—in Cedar Park. The groundbreaking for the nearly $16 million project is expected to be later this month with construction taking about 8 months to complete.

“TIG Real Estate Services is excited to announce the Westinghouse Business Center, a mixed-use business park on Westinghouse Road in the dynamic City of Georgetown,” said Tom Pardee, senior vice president of TIG Real Estate Services. “The park will contain office, light manufacturing and research uses in addition to two retail pads with Westinghouse Road frontage. We would like to thank the City Of Georgetown for their support and look forward to providing an employment center and participating in the continued growth of Georgetown.”

Negotiations for downtown building sales underway

The Georgetown City Council approved the real estate contract for the sale of two downtown buildings at their meeting on Oct. 9. The proposal for the historic Post Office at 113 E. Eighth St. includes a ballroom, restaurant, and bar. The proposal for the Municipal Court/City Council Chambers at 101 E. Seventh St. includes a restaurant and micro-distillery.

Earlier this year, the City of Georgetown undertook a process to solicit proposals from potential buyers for three city-owned buildings: the historic Post Office, the Municipal Court/City Council Chambers, and the Visitors Center at 103 W. Seventh St.

On May 22, City Council gave direction to negotiate with City Post Partnership for the sale of 113 E. Eight St. and to negotiate with Loyal Spirits Distilling Company / URBAN Eat. Drink for the sale of 101 E. Seventh St. City Council did not proceed to negotiate with any proposer for 103 W. Seventh St. The Council approved the proposed terms for the sale of two downtown buildings at their meeting on Aug. 7.

Tentatively, the City hopes to close on the properties in early-2019 in advance of moving to new facilities west of downtown at Eighth and Martin Luther King streets.

Last day to register to vote is Oct. 9

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Tuesday, Oct. 9.

To register in person, go to the Williamson County Elections office in Georgetown at this address:

Inner Loop Annex
301 S.E. Inner Loop, Ste. 104
Georgetown, TX 78626

The elections office will be open until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Registration forms can also be mailed to the above address if it is postmarked by the Oct. 9 deadline. Download a registration form from the Williamson County Elections page at www.wilco.org/elections. Texas Voter Registration Application forms also are available at a number of locations including Georgetown City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St. and at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

For voters in the City of Georgetown, the Nov. 6 ballot includes Proposition A on the reauthorization of a dedicated sales tax for street maintenance in Georgetown. Proposition A reads, “The reauthorization of the local sales and use tax in the City of Georgetown, Texas, at the rate of one‐fourth of one percent to continue providing revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets.” The sales tax for street maintenance has a four-year sunset provision and must be reauthorized by the voters every four years. Proposition A is the only municipal item on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The sales tax was first approved by voters in 2002. Since 2003, the 0.25 percent tax has raised more than $31 million to fund street maintenance projects in the City of Georgetown.

Early in-person voting is Oct. 22 through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

For polling locations, dates, and times in the early voting period or on Election Day, go to www.wilco.org/elections.

City celebrates Downtown Georgetown as one of five Great Neighborhoods in U.S.

The City will celebrate the recent naming of Historic Downtown Georgetown as a Great Neighborhood by the American Planning Associations with an ice cream social on the Williamson County Courthouse lawn, 710 S. Main St., on Oct. 15 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The event will feature ice cream from All Things Kids and will include a proclamation from Mayor Dale Ross.

“It is exciting to learn that Georgetown’s historic downtown district, centered around the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas, has been named one of the Great Places in America,” Ross said. “Our downtown, with art galleries, museums, our public library, and street festivals, is also a state-recognized cultural district. This wonderful recognition for the heart of our community is a tribute to our citizens who have cared for the historic buildings as well as the people who live and work and visit here.”

According to the APA, the Great Places in America Program recognizes the streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the U.S. demonstrating exceptional character, quality, and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country.

The Great Neighborhoods of 2018 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity, and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

“Great Places take decades to create, maintain and evolve into the spaces we have the privilege of enjoying today,” Georgetown Planning Director Sofia Nelson said. “It is through the leadership and work that happens every day by citizens, property owners, elected and appointed officials, city staff and the community at large that we have the Historic Downtown Georgetown we have today.”

Historic Downtown Georgetown was one of five neighborhoods to make the APA’s Great Places in America list. Other Great Neighborhoods include:

  • Canalway Cultural District – Lowell, Massachusetts
  • The Village of Shelburne Falls – Shelburne & Buckland, Massachusetts
  • Guthrie Historic District – Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • Ghent – Norfolk, Virginia

For more information about the award, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2018/georgetown.