Donate to Summer Fan Drive

Fan Drive 2015 logo 350The Georgetown Fire Department and The Caring Place are teaming up with Family Eldercare for the 2015 Summer Fan Drive. The goal of this 25th annual event is to collect new fans for low-income residents including seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.

The fan drive started May 1 and continues through August 31. The fan drive delivers more than 5,000 fans to households in 11 counties in Central Texas.

Donations

New fans can be donated at all five Georgetown fire stations:

  • Fire Station 1, 301 Industrial Avenue, 78626
  • Fire Station 2, 1603 Williams Drive, 78628
  • Fire Station 3, 5 Texas Drive, 78633
  • Fire Station 4, 4200 Airport Road, 78628
  • Fire Station 5, 3600 DB Wood Road, 78628

Other fan donation locations can be found and monetary donations are accepted on the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org.

 

Eligibility

Those eligible to receive a fan are low-income residents. In addition, they must be seniors who are over age 55, or persons who are disabled, or families with children under 18. To apply to receive a fan at a location other than The Caring Place, go to the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org. For more locations to apply, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org. To request a fan or get more information, you may call the Fan Drive phone number at (512) 459-4326.

Georgetown Pickup

In Georgetown, people who are eligible may apply at The Caring Place Annex and pick up a fan at the same time. Bring documentation of low-income status to The Caring Place Annex, 2001 Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, TX, 78626. At this location, the Fan Drive started on June 3 and is every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, this location will be open from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month (June 11, July 9, and August 13). Distribution at The Caring Place ends on August 13.

For details, or to donate to the Summer Fan Drive online, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org.

Second Street Improvements Public Meeting June 16

The City of Georgetown will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, June 16 to provide project details for Second Street rehabilitation and utility improvements. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the office of KPA Engineers at 1008 S. Main Street.

The proposed improvements include the reconstruction of Second Street from Austin Avenue to S. College Street. Work will include a new asphalt roadway with curbs, drainage inlets, and storm drains, as well as a sidewalk with pedestrian ramps on the south side of Second Street. The project also includes a new 8-inch water line to span the length of the project. Improvements will be constructed within the existing right-of-way for Second Street.

The nine-month project is expected to begin in early July. Start and completion dates depend on weather conditions.

Second Street will be closed to through-traffic during the duration of the project. Residents on Second Street will have local access.

The City of Georgetown opened bids for this project on May 28. Joe Bland Construction of Austin was awarded the bid to construct on the project, based on cost. Representatives from Joe Bland Construction will be in attendance at this meeting as well.

Historic District Expansions Proposed at Meeting June 15

Creation of a new Forest Street Historic District and expansion of the existing Williamson County Courthouse Historic District are two recommendations of a report on the National Register Historic Districts in Georgetown. Highlights of the report will be presented in a public meeting on Monday, June 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Communication and Technology Building, 510 W. Ninth Street.

The City project to assess and update the National Register Historic Districts began in October. One goal of the project is to ensure that as many property owners as possible would be eligible for the new State of Texas tax credits for historic preservation. Previous meetings included a kick-off public meeting to introduce the project last year on November 5 and a workshop on March 17 to provide detailed information about the new tax credit program.

The City of Georgetown hired historic preservation consultant Steph McDougal, of McDoux Preservation, a Houston-area firm, to review the four historic districts that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s and 1980s. McDougal determined that the Williamson County Courthouse Historic District boundaries could be expanded to include buildings constructed in the 1935 to 1965 period known as the “highway era.”

She also has recommended the creation of a new historic district in the Forest Street area, south of downtown. That potential new district was first identified in the 2007 survey of historic resources conducted by Hardy-Heck-Moore, an Austin consulting firm. The 2007 survey also recommended the creation of the Olive Street Historic District, which was listed on the National Register in 2013.

McDougal and City Historic Planner Matt Synatschk will be on hand to explain the project, findings, recommendations, and next steps. They will answer questions and have handouts about the proposals.

The new State of Texas franchise tax credit for historic preservation became available in January 2015. The state tax incentive allows property owners to receive a tax credit worth 25 percent of the qualifying expenses associated with rehabilitating a historic building.

In the past, many Georgetown property owners have taken advantage of the federal historic tax credit for historic preservation, which equals up to 20 percent of qualifying project expenses. In order to qualify for the federal program and the new state program, properties must be individually listed on the National Register or classified as “contributing” to a national register historic district.

When the four Georgetown historic districts were listed on the National Register in the 1970s and 1980s, many buildings were either excluded from the district or listed as non-contributing because they were not yet 50 years old. Today, that period can be extended by 30 to 40 years to 1965, potentially enabling many more Georgetown property owners to take advantage of the tax credits.

This project is being funded in part through a certified local government grant from the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, as administered by the Texas Historical Commission.

For more information about the City of Georgetown’s historic preservation programs or the current National Register historic districts, visit historic.georgetown.org or contact Matt Synatschk at (512) 930-3581 or Matt.Synatschk@georgetown.org.

Public Safety Center is SafeTrade Site

The Georgetown Police Department announces it has joined SafeTrade, a national initiative for safely completing online transactions when meeting in person.

SafeTrade is a simple program for police departments to encourage transactions at their facilities and for users to insist on “SafeTrade” by conducting their transactions only at a local police or sheriff’s office.

“The decision to offer our facility as a SafeTrade location was a no-brainer,” says Capt. Evelyn McLean of the Georgetown Police Department. “We are in the business of protecting and this was an easy way for us to promote a safer transaction between buyers and sellers of merchandise.”

The SafeTrade logo can be used by sellers (without charge) on any ads posted to promote safety and security, and by police departments to indicate they are hosting their location for SafeTrade transactions.

In the past few months, a growing number of police departments in the U.S. have offered to host online transactions, most of them referring to sites such as Craigslist as the reason. Participating police departments can now post banners or use logos referring to their facilities as SafeTrade Stations. Additional information is available at www.safetradestations.com.

The lobby of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center is available during business hours as a SafeTrade location. The parking lot is available 24-hours.  Capt. McLean adds, “Georgetown Police Department encourages traders to conduct business during daylight hours. All sales are civil matters and officers should not be called on to intervene.”

SafeTrade banner 1000

 

Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Officer Fred Pitcher, Sgt. Jamieson Allen, Lt. Jim Seals, Capt. Evelyn McLean, Asst. Chief Cory Tchida, and Chief Wayne Nero. (Click on photo for larger version.)

The Georgetown Police Department is located at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road, Georgetown, TX, 78628.

Juneteenth Festival on June 20

The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association presents a public Juneteenth Festival on June 20 in Georgetown. This is the 63rd annual Juneteenth celebration in Georgetown. The event will be at the Community Center at 445 E. Morrow Street in San Gabriel Park.

Juneteenth Event Schedule

The Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 20 is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event starts with a program including speaker Richard Glasco, The Groovers senior exercise/dance group, guitarist Rae Gill, and a spoken word performance by Team Gravy. A barbecue dinner will follow the program.

DJ Mike Jones will provide music for the afternoon activities. Officers from the Georgetown Police Department and firefighters from the Georgetown Fire Department will be at the event. The event also includes a jewelry display and a raffle and games for youth and adults.

Juneteenth History

Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston and reported that the Civil War was over and slavery had ended. The Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves had been in effect since January 1, 1863, but word did not reach Texas for more than two years. Juneteenth was declared an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Paulette Taylor, president of GCCMA, at (512) 863-2109, or Tyrone Adams, Juneteenth chairperson for GCCMA, at (512) 968-6361.

Georgetown Among Safest Cities in Texas

50 Safest Cities in TexasGeorgetown is on the 2015 safest cities in Texas list, released last week by SafeWise, a home security company. Georgetown is ranked 27 among the 50 Safest Cities in Texas. The annual ranking is based on FBI Crime Report statistics.

According to the announcement, “Historic buildings, rows of blooming flowers, and an excellent safety record are just some of the reasons to pay attention to the city of Georgetown. For the second year in a row, Georgetown proved itself as one of the safest cities in Texas, thanks to factors like low reports of violent crime – just 71 in 2013.”

The description of Georgetown also points out the ways that the City takes care of our animals. “This city looks after all of its citizens, including those on four legs. Residents turn out in droves to support the Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter in their annual Art for Animals fundraiser. There’s no denying Georgetown is a great place to call home for everyone, even your furry friends.”

See the full list at www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-texas-2015.

Georgetown Main Street Program Recognized

The Georgetown Main Street Program was recently recognized with national accreditation by the National Main Street Center. The Georgetown Main Street Program is accredited by meeting performance benchmarks in planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer effort, preservation ethic, training, and program assessment through reporting.

Georgetown Main Street Program activities in 2014 include $28,411 in façade and sign reimbursement grants to seven downtown businesses, Ladies Nite Out, the Georgetown Swirl wine and food event, the Light Up the Square holiday lighting campaign, and the annual collectible ornament sale.

Each year, the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, announces the list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach of organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring—all within the context of historic preservation.

main st board 2015-b1000

Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Shelly Hargrove, Georgetown Main Street Program manager, and Main Street Advisory Board members Vicki Jackimiec, Jim Wilson, David Kellerman, JJ Parker, and Cindy Harrington. (Click on photo for larger version.)

For more information about the Georgetown Main Street Program, go to mainstreet.georgetown.org. For more information on the Texas Historical Commission’s Main Street program, visit www.thc.state.tx.us.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts.

Noah’s Ark: The Original Animal Shelter

Maybe it hasn’t been 40 days and 40 nights of rain, but it feels like it at the Georgetown Animal Shelter.

dog of week 5-30-15-500The last time the shelter had a 40 Dogs in 40 Days campaign, they did it for kennel renovations. This time, it’s due to overcrowding. Since the beginning of May, the dog population has tripled from 13 to 40 in a shelter that has only 26 kennels.

“The 40 Dogs in 40 Days program was so successful and had such great community support, so we thought we’d do a spin-off and ask for the community’s help in opening up some kennels once again,”  according to Jessie Pierce, marketing coordinator

As before, adoption fees have been decreased to $40, which covers spaying and neutering, age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipping, free vet visit and a small bag of food.

Between dogs being surrendered at the end of the school year and lots of stray dogs picked up during the storms, staff has seen a constant stream of new dogs coming in, but few dogs being adopted out.

The campaign will last until June 15 and possibly longer.

The Georgetown Animal Shelter is located at 110 WL Walden Drive and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. The shelter is closed on Wednesday. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or animalsvc@georgetown.org.

Watering Schedule Returns to Normal Limits

Outdoor watering limits in Georgetown are returning to normal for the first time in 19 months due to recent rains. Yesterday the Brazos River Authority lifted drought declarations for all lakes and reservoirs in the Brazos River basin, including Lake Georgetown and Stillhouse Hollow Lake. As a result, the City of Georgetown is exiting the city’s Drought Contingency Plan.

Rains over the Memorial Day weekend raised the level of Lake Georgetown 20 feet to 800 feet, which is nine feet above the full level. Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which is another source of water for the city, is at the full level, having risen 10 feet since Sunday.

Effective today, the watering limit for Georgetown customers returns to three times each week, according to the odd-even schedule outlined below. The City of Round Rock and Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District, each of which draw water from Lake Georgetown, also are returning to normal watering schedules today.

While drought contingency restrictions have been lifted, water conservation is strongly encouraged. Based on historical patterns, drought conditions will likely re-emerge in the future and could persist for some time.

Normal Watering Schedule

Water no more than three times each week, and follow this schedule for irrigation systems and sprinklers, based on the last digit of your address number:

Odd addresses
Tuesday and/or Thursday and/or Saturday

Even addresses
Wednesday and/or Friday and/or Sunday

Watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is not permitted any time on Monday. Violations of these restrictions may result in fines.

Watering with a hand-held hose or bucket or using drip irrigation can be done any day and any time of day. Washing a vehicle can be done any day at any time.

Recommended

Watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is not recommended during the day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The City encourages customers to set the start time for automatic irrigation controllers based on the last digit of the customer address as follows:

Last digit of street address: Start time:
0 or 8 12 a.m.
1 or 9 1 a.m.
2 2 a.m.
3 3 a.m.
4 4 a.m.
5 5 a.m.
6 6 a.m.
7 7 a.m.

These start times are only for customers with automatic irrigation controllers. Residents and business owners with movable sprinklers do not have to follow the irrigation start times, but should follow the mandatory rules for watering days, and avoid watering during the day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or any time on Monday.

Sign up for AquaAlerts

The Aqua Messenger program allows water utility customers to receive Aqua Alert emails each month at up to three water consumption levels. The trigger points are set by the customer and can be changed at any time. Sign up online at water.georgetown.org or call Customer Care at (512) 930-3640.

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

Nero 5k start-600Georgetown is the second-fastest growing city in the U.S., according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday. For cities of 50,000 residents or greater, Georgetown had the second-highest rate of population growth in the country.

The Census estimates that Georgetown grew from 54,934 to 59,102 in the period from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. That’s an increase of 4,168 residents and a growth rate of 7.6 percent for that year. The Census estimates are based on sampling data. The Census city growth rankings for 2013 to 2014 can be seen at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2014/index.html.

Georgetown’s population growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to the City’s Planning Department, another 1,214 single-family homes have been platted in the city limits and another 1,116 apartment units have been recently completed or are near completion. Another 7,855 single-family homes in the city limits are in the planning stages, with an expected build out period of five to 20 years.

All of those residences currently in the development pipeline total 10,185 homes or apartments. With an average household size of 2.46 according to the Census, Georgetown can expect another 25,055 residents in the next decade or two.

Georgetown’s growth in recent years also is evident in key economic indicators. Since 2010, the total assessed value of property in the city has grown by more than 25 percent to exceed $5.2 billion in 2015. City sales tax revenue has increased by more than 55 percent since 2010. Yet the city’s property tax rate at 43.4 cents per $100 valuation remains one of the lowest in the region.