Rivery Boulevard Extension ground breaking Aug. 7

The City of Georgetown will hold a ground breaking for the Rivery Boulevard Extension project on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The event is at 10 a.m. on Northwest Boulevard at Washam Drive, which is the north end of the future Rivery roadway.

The new Rivery Boulevard segment will extend from the north end of the existing Rivery Boulevard at Williams Drive to Northwest Boulevard. The 0.5-mile long boulevard includes four lanes with a divided median. The road will include a traffic circle at the intersection with Park Lane.

The construction cost for the roadway project is $5.1 million. Rivery Boulevard Extension was approved by Georgetown voters in the 2015 transportation bond election. KPA is the design engineer on the project and Joe Bland Construction is the contractor.

When complete, Rivery Boulevard Extension will provide a link from I-35 to the Rivery retail, hotel, and convention center development. On the north end, the road will connect to the new Northwest Boulevard bridge over Interstate 35, which is scheduled to begin in 2019. The Rivery Boulevard and Northwest Boulevard projects provide an alternate to Williams Drive, which is one of the busiest roads in the city.

Ground breaking location

The Rivery Boulevard Extension ground breaking will be held on the south side of Northwest Boulevard across from the T-intersection at Washam Drive.

City street maintenance projects begin this summer

Street resurfacing on city streets with hot-in-place recycling has begun and is expected to continue through late September. Additional street resurfacing projects include a double-course surface treatment beginning Aug. 6 and a high-performance surface seal treatment, which is expected to begin later this summer.

The work schedule can be affected by weather conditions, mechanical issues, and product availability.

For a complete list of projects with a map as well as an up-to-date schedule, visit transportation.georgetown.org/2018-street-maintenance-projects.


Georgetown institutes Drought Contingency Plan – Phase 1

All customers moved to new irrigation schedule

The City of Georgetown is enacting Phase 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan on Thursday, Aug. 2.  The plan calls for mandatory two-day per week watering schedule for all customers. Drought conditions, extraordinarily high temperatures, excessive water consumption, and irrigation on “No-Watering” Mondays, have necessitated the activation of the Drought Contingency Plan.

The City of Georgetown water utility serves approximately 40,000 households and businesses in a 417 square-mile area including Georgetown and areas north of Florence and Liberty Hill. (See water service area map.)

The new two-day watering schedule for irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers is based on the last digit of your street address.

Address ends in: May water these days:
1, 5, 9 Tue. and/or Fri.
2, 4, 6, 8 Wed. and/or Sat.
0, 3, 7 Thu. and/or Sun.

The new two-day schedule spreads watering over six days each week in order to balance customer water consumption.

Watering with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler should not be done between the hours of noon to 7 p.m. each day. No irrigation is permitted on Mondays. Watering with hose-end sprinklers must comply with the new schedule. Use of a hand-held hose or bucket can be any day and at any time. Other outdoor water uses such as vehicle washing or filling a swimming pool can be done any day at any time.

Violations of the irrigation schedule may result in fines.

For assistance call (512) 930-3640 or email gus@georgetown.org.

A reminder to all customers: #NoWateringMonday. Monday is a recovery day for the water treatment, storage, and distribution system.

Citizen Police Academy fall session

The Citizen Police Academy is a 12-week course taught by police officers to educate citizens about all aspects of the Georgetown Police Department. Classes in the fall 2018 academy include code of criminal procedure, accident investigations, use of force, crime scene investigations, hostage negotiations, special weapons and tactics, and victim services. The deadline to apply is Aug. 15.

Weekly classes are on Thursday evenings Aug. 23 through Nov. 8. Class sessions are 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The first class will be held in the training room of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road.

There is no charge to attend the academy, but seating is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications are available at the Georgetown Police Department reception desk at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center or by emailing a request to randy.mcdonald@georgetown.org. All applicants will be notified of acceptance via email.

City partners with Lyft on pilot

The City of Georgetown has partnered with Lyft to offer rides in Georgetown with the transportation network company. The program is a limited-time promotion to allow the City to learn about rideshare use in Georgetown.

Rides that originate in the Georgetown city limits are eligible for the Lyft partnership. Lyft passengers are responsible for the first $2 of the cost of the ride. The City will then pay up to $10 above that initial passenger payment. The passenger is responsible for any additional cost of the ride. The promotion allows for up to 10 rides per customer.

“The City understands that ridesharing has a role in providing reliable transportation to the citizens of Georgetown,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Transportation networking companies have become one piece of the puzzle as it relates to regional mobility solutions, and the City looks forward to partnering with Lyft during this pilot program to study how ridesharing can provide benefits to our region.”

To use the promotion on a Lyft ride in Georgetown, download the Lyft app on an iPhone or Android smartphone and set up a Lyft account using a credit card. Then add the code GTOWNTX18 to the promo section of the Lyft app before you request your ride. Note that you must be in “personal” mode for the code to apply. You will only need to enter the code one time. Once you have requested your ride, “applied credit” is displayed on the ride payment screen.

Data from the limited-time promotion will help the city to better understand ride use patterns for a transportation network company. Ride data available to the City after the pilot will not include names or addresses of riders or any credit card information.

Eric Lashley receives W.D. Kelley Leadership Award

The W.D. Kelley Foundation announced this week that it has named Eric Lashley, director of the Georgetown Public Library, as the recipient of the 2018 W.D. Kelley Leadership Award. The award acknowledges and celebrates extraordinary leaders in the nonprofit community in Georgetown.

The award comes with a grant in the amount of $20,000 to be used for the benefit of the Georgetown Public Library. When he learned of the award, Lashley said, “I was extremely surprised and humbled by this award. It was truly unexpected. I consider this an award for my entire staff. I want to thank the W.D. Kelley Foundation for this recognition.”

Georgetown attorney Dale Illig, president of the W.D. Kelley Foundation, said, “When we thought of outstanding leaders in the non-profit community in Georgetown, we immediately thought of Eric Lashley and his incredible staff and the extraordinary work that he and his staff do to make this library an ‘oasis’ for the citizens of Georgetown.”

The W.D. Kelley Leadership Award has only been awarded once before, in 2015, to Tamara Hudgins, executive director of Girlstart.

The W.D. Kelley Foundation was established in 1997 with funds from the estate of William D. Kelley (1914-1996). The foundation aims to support organizations, projects, and individuals with a proven history of strong leadership or educational innovation. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded over $6 million to nonprofit organizations primarily in the greater Georgetown area. The Georgetown Public Library has been a recipient of a previous grant from the foundation for the purchase of art exhibit panels.

Pictured in the photo (left to right) are Eric Lashley, Dale Illig, Katelyn Illig, and Carl Illig, executive director of the W.D. Kelley Foundation.

For more information about the Georgetown Public Library visit library.georgetown.org.

Georgetown Utility Systems launches new billing system

Georgetown Utility Systems is launching a new utility billing system Aug. 6 that will allow customers to manage their usage and pay bills more effectively.

The new system will allow customers to receive bills via text or email, get payment reminders and alerts, and have more control over credit card and payment data.

As part of the new system all auto-draft customers will need to create a new online account on or after Aug. 6 at gus.georgetown.org/guspay.  Please contact Customer Care at (512) 930-3640 or 1 (888) 474-4904 with questions or if you need assistance.

GUS will suspend late fees and disconnects for nonpayment in the month of August. Regular late-fee and disconnect practices for nonpayment will resume Sept. 1.

Credit card transactions on the website or via the phone system will not be accepted for utility account payments between Aug. 1 and 6.

Customers will still be able to pay their utility bills by mail or at the Utility Customer Care Center, located at 300 Industrial Ave., Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. during the transition.

For more information, please visit gus.georgetown.org.

Southwest Bypass opening July 18

The first segment of Southwest Bypass will be opened to traffic on Wednesday, July 18 after a ceremony by the City of Georgetown. The ribbon cutting event is at 9 a.m.

Southwest Bypass provides a north-south connection on the west side of Georgetown from DB Wood Road to Leander Road. The new $18.3 million arterial was one of 20 transportation projects approved by Georgetown voters in the May 2015 bond election. The contractor on the project was Jordan Foster Construction and the engineer was HDR. (Southwest Bypass bridge under construction shown at right.)

The Southwest Bypass project includes the construction of an arterial roadway from State Highway 29 to Interstate 35. Southwest Bypass will provide a continuous arterial around the south and west sides of the city. The road is being designed and built in conjunction with Williamson County. In addition to the City’s 2.4-mile segment from University Avenue to Leander Road, the County is building a 1.25-mile segment from Leander Road to Interstate 35. The County’s project is anticipated to be completed in late 2019. Information about Southwest Bypass can be found on bonds.georgetown.org and on roadbond.org, a Williamson County site.

Ribbon cutting event location

From I-35, take the University Avenue/SH 29 exit and go west past the Wolf Ranch Town Center. Go to the signal at D.B. Wood Road. Turn south (left) onto D.B. Wood road at the signal. Follow the new roadway to a right turn and continue to the west. Follow the new road for about seven-tenths of one mile and take the left turn to the south in the roadway. Continue a short distance to the ribbon cutting site. The ribbon cutting event will be at one of the bridges on the roadway. Parking will be available on a wide shoulder at the ribbon cutting site. (Click on map image to see larger version.)

Southwest Bypass opening map 7-18-18

Low Cost Shot Clinic for Pets July 28

Congo wants you to know that vaccines are even more important than the visors and shades.

The Georgetown Animal Shelter will conduct its next low-cost vaccination clinic of the year on Saturday, July 28, 8:30-11 a.m. The walk-in clinic is for cats and dogs.  Help protect your pet from diseases they can pick up outside!

Pets may also get a FREE microchip with the purchase of any vaccine. No appointments. Cash or check only. The shelter is located at 110 Walden Dr., Georgetown, next to the McMaster Athletic Fields.

Dog Vaccines:
Rabies $5
DHPP Combo $10 (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parafluenza, Parvo)
Bordetella $5 (Kennel cough)

Cat Vaccines:
Rabies $5
FVRCP Combo $10 (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)

All dogs must be on a leash and cats should be in a carrier.  Payment is by cash or check only. (Debit or credit cards not accepted.)

The shelter has committed to offer several more low-cost clinics this fiscal year. The dates of the next clinics are:

  • Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • Saturday, November 10, 2018

The clinic will be held at the City of Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive near the McMaster Athletic Fields. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or by email at animalsvc@georgetown.org. The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter website is pets.georgetown.org.

Georgetown’s energy 100 percent renewable with solar plant

Georgetown will officially be powered with 100 percent renewable solar- and wind-generated energy on Sunday, July 1, when the city begins receiving electricity from the Buckthorn solar plant in West Texas.  The 154 megawatt solar farm, owned by NRG Yield and operated by NRG Renewables, provides power for the City utility, making Georgetown one of the largest cities in the U.S. to be 100 percent renewable.

At a ribbon-cutting event at the Buckthorn facility on Thursday, Mayor Dale Ross said, “Buckthorn represents more than just energy. It represents a defining moment in history when renewable energy officially became competitive with fossils fuels on the cost of energy.”

Georgetown officials were joined at the ribbon cutting by representatives from Pecos County; NRG Energy; Wells Fargo, who provided financing for the solar farm; and Swinerton Renewable Energy, who constructed the solar facility.

The 1,250-acre Buckthorn solar plant located 15 miles north of Fort Stockton contains 1.7 million solar panels. The panels are mounted on a single-axis tracking system that rotate over the course of each day to maintain a 90-degree angle to the sun in order to maximize output. The plant is in Pecos County, which has the second-highest radiance factor in the state. Radiance is a rating for available sunlight.

In addition to the Buckthorn solar farm, Georgetown’s energy providers include Spinning Spur 3, a wind farm near Amarillo owned by EDF Renewable Energy, and the Southwest Mesa and South Trent wind farms in West Texas owned by AEP.

As of July 1, Georgetown takes another step forward in continuing to provide customers with 100 percent renewable energy. Together the wind and solar contracts provide enough energy to cover the City’s electric usage. Since April 2017, Georgetown has been 100 percent renewable based on the state’s system of accounting for renewable power based on renewable energy credits.