Additional City facilities, programs opening in June

The City of Georgetown will continue to open City facilities, programs, and services throughout the month of June. The openings are in accordance with orders from the governor’s office, as well as the City’s ability to provide staffing and essential safety measures, including physical distancing and sanitization. The City will reclose any of its facilities, with notice, if safety procedures can’t be maintained or the governor alters his orders.

What follows is a detailed listing of what is opening, when, and under what conditions. These openings are in addition to previous announcements, including the Georgetown Public Library and some park amenities, which opened May 1, and several lobbies and parks and recreation services, which opened May 18.

For additional details about City services and COVID-19-related information, visit bit.ly/COVID19GTX.

Parks and Recreation

The City is opening as many of its Parks and Recreation facilities as it can, as soon as it can. Decisions on if, how, and when to open facilities and programs are informed by several factors, including the governor’s orders, staffing ability, and safety measures.

This is not a complete list of the facilities, programs, and services that are available. Information and details about those already open can be found here.

Opening June 1

  • Youth athletic field practices (one team at a time)
  • Outdoor basketball courts
  • Community Center
  • Outdoor exercise stations
  • Garey House
  • Picnic pavilions (2+ tables)
  • Playgrounds: Except for the creative playscape and play ranch at Garey Park
  • Recreation Center: By reservation only
  • Outdoor volleyball courts
  • Private/small-group tennis lessons

Opening June 15

  • Athletic field rentals (youth)
  • Outdoor pools at the following locations: Recreation Center, Williams Drive, Village
    • Open at 25 percent occupancy
    • All other outdoor pools will remain closed at this time, due to limited number of trained lifeguards
  • Camp Goodwater (50 kids/week)
  • Fitness programs

Opening July 1

  • Adaptive Camp-Georgetown ISD Campus
  • Kid City-GISD Campus
  • Recreation programs

Unknown

  • Adult athletic leagues
  • Sunset Movie Series (July and August)
  • Swim lessons

Remaining closed/canceled

  • Other outdoor pools
  • Garey Park Play Ranch
  • Creative Playscape
  • Splash pads
  • Youth athletic leagues
  • Sunset Movie Series (June)
  • Tennis camps
  • The following sports camps: Tennis, Adventure, Volleyball Skills, Challenger Sports Soccer, and Sporties for Shorties
  • All Enrichment Camps (art, hoop dance, LEGO, comic book creation, U-Tubers Unite!)
  • Junior Fire and Police academies

Municipal Court

The Municipal Court lobby, 510 W. Ninth St., will reopen June 1. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to noon Thursdays. The public is encouraged to contact the Court offices prior to coming in person. Contact the Municipal Court at (512) 930-3625, court@georgetown.org, or by fax at (512) 930-8030.

The Court is working to hold virtual docket proceedings within the month. Any essential proceedings that must be held in person will be limited to no more than five defendants at a time. People who enter the courtroom will be required to wear masks and submit to temperature checks.

Advisory Boards and Commissions

Effective June 1, City advisory boards will start meeting, either in the Friends Room of the Georgetown Public Library or Council Chambers. Meetings will be held in person, with the option for advisory board members to participate via conference call. Public comment will only be taken in person, and the public is welcome to attend. Meeting rooms will be set up to provide physical distancing among the board members and the public.

Information about and agendas for meetings can be found at agendas.georgetown.org.

 Council meetings

As of the May 26 City Council meeting, the public will have the opportunity to provide comment during Council meetings two ways: Phone and in-person, virtually from a City conference room.

Members of the public are encouraged to send written public comment filling out this form at least 15 minutes before the meeting begins. People can watch the live stream of the meetings at gtv.georgetown.org, on the Government channel 10, or the City’s Facebook page.

Special events

The City is working with the Georgetown Sertoma Club to provide a drive-in fireworks show. The annual festival has been canceled due to physical distancing concerns. Updates can be found at gtxsertoma.org.

The City will continue with its plan to hold POPPtoberfest, in the place of the annual Red Poppy Festival, from Oct. 23 to 25.

Music on the Square is expected to start in July.

All other special events in Georgetown facilitated by other organizations must follow the governor’s guidance on physical distancing and go through the regular Special Event Permitting Process. 

GoGeo

Regular GoGeo bus service will resume June 8. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no Saturday service.

GoGeo buses will begin collecting regular fare July 1.

The following rules for passengers remain in effect:

  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • Face coverings are required. Scarves, bandanas, or other non-medical coverings that cover the nose and mouth are acceptable.
  • Passengers without face coverings will not be allowed to board. Please bring your own face covering.
  • Practice physical distancing by seating yourself as far as possible from other passengers.

CARTS will continue to provide needed medical trips for dialysis and other critical medical needs for pre-scheduled trips. Rides for qualified paratransit riders can be requested online or through the CARTS Reservation Center by calling (512) 478-7433.

Fee waivers and Customer Assistance Program

In an effort to support individuals, families, and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council at its April 14 meeting voted to waive certain City fees through May 31. The Council on May 26 directed staff to continue waiving these fees through June.

  • Temporary sign permit application fee
  • Security systems false alarm fee
  • GoGeo transit fares and para-transit fee
  • Utility billing late fees

City Council also approved a $1 million COVID-19 customer assistance program to help people pay their utility bills. The program will be managed by Opportunities for Williamson and Burnet Counties (OWBC) and is funded by unanticipated income and special revenue in the City’s electric and water utilities. People can apply through OWBC.

 Safety changes

As announced in May, and unless otherwise stated, the public can expect the following changes when visiting City facilities and interacting with staff:

  • Occupancy limits
  • Face coverings, strongly encouraged but optional
    • Unless physical distancing cannot be maintained, in which case, masks will be provided or other accommodations will be made.
  • Minimizing touch points
  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Sanitization schedules
  • Signage indicating occupancy limits and directions for self-screening before entering the building
  • Safe-spacing, floor markers
  • Limited seating
  • Limited hours
  • Physical distancing

In addition to the steps listed above, City employees will be required to take their temperature before and when they arrive at work. Employees also will be required to wear masks when interacting with anyone, staff or public, if 6 feet can’t be maintained. Employees exchanging items with the public, like cash, will wear gloves. The City continues to prioritize telecommuting, virtual meetings, and working in shifts, limiting the number of people in the building at one time.

Mayor Pro Tem Nicholson resigns due to planned move

Georgetown Mayor Pro Tem and District 2 Council Member Valerie Nicholson will resign from her position effective May 31, because she and her family are moving out of the district.

“While this is not an ideal end to my term, I’m honored to have served in Georgetown and look forward to the future,” Nicholson said in her letter of resignation. “I’d like to thank council members, past and present, for their leadership, along with City staff for their professionalism and teamwork. I appreciate the District 2 constituents and community members who entrusted me to represent them and their interests.”

Nicholson is serving her first term on the Georgetown City Council, after being elected in May 2017. Although her first term would have expired this month, the May 2020 election was moved to November because of the Coronovirus pandemic. The Council elected her as mayor pro tem in May 2019.

The Council will elect a new mayor pro tem at its June 9 meeting. The District 2 seat will remain vacant until an election. According to the City’s charter, an election to fill a vacant position must be held within 120 days of the vacancy. However, the City is waiting on clarification from the Governor’s Office about whether the City can delay filling the District 2 seat until the Nov. 3 election.

“Valerie’s legacy will be that she left the city better than she found it,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “She put her heart and soul into her service here. She absolutely loves Georgetown, and it showed in everything she did. She was a huge asset to this Council, and I wish her all the best.”

Nicholson served on multiple boards during her time on the Council, including the boards for the Georgetown Economic Development Corporation (GEDCO) and the Rivery Park and Williams Drive tax increment reinvestment zones. She volunteers for and is a member of the Economic Vitality Committee for the Main Street Program and is a former member of the Georgetown Commission on Aging.

While a member of the Georgetown City Council, Nicholson was committed to leading “with an open mind and a servant’s heart.” Her priorities related to keeping Georgetown safe and vibrant during a time of significant growth.

A native of central Texas and Georgetown resident since 2009, Valerie and her husband Blake have three sons. Nicholson has nearly 20 years of experience in public sector, primarily in K-12 education, consulting for educational technology, and operating a small business with consistent support of local nonprofits since 2014.

“Above all, I want to thank my family for encouraging me every step of the way, in all things. This has been part of their life’s journey too, and I hope I’ve made them proud,” Nicholson said. “We may be forgotten in the richness of Georgetown history, but the past decade spent here and the memories made will last a lifetime for us.”

Census: Georgetown again seventh fastest-growing city in U.S.

Today the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates showing that Georgetown is ranked seventh on the list of fastest-growing cities in the country with a population of more than 50,000. Georgetown’s growth rate was 7.2 percent from July 1, 2018, through July 1, 2019, resulting in a population estimate of 79,604.

“People continue to choose to call Georgetown home, because they see what we do: Georgetown has it all,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “We are a safe community, with unparalleled parks, an award-winning library, a low tax rate, and the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. With dedicated partners like Southwestern University, Georgetown ISD, Williamson County, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, the Chamber, and Sun City, working to maintain Georgetown’s charm and character, people will keep moving here and building upon what we have.”

Georgetown was the seventh fastest-growing city in the U.S. on the list released last year by the Census. In 2018, Georgetown was the sixth fastest-growing city in the U.S., fifth in 2017, the fastest in 2016, and the second fastest in 2015.

Georgetown’s population was 47,400 in the 2010 census. According to today’s estimate, Georgetown added 32,204 residents with a growth rate of 67.94 percent from 2010 to 2019.

“This sustained growth helps the City maintain one of the lowest tax rates in the region and helps us fund the infrastructure and other services needed to keep up with that growth,” Ross added.

The news release from the Census about the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. is at census.gov.

Proposed Voluntary Annexation of 22.27 Acres (1100 & 1200 Westinghouse)

The City of Georgetown is considering a voluntary annexation of property into the city limits.  A Public Hearing will be held at the June 9, 2020, City Council meeting at 6:00 pm. Due to operational constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this City Council meeting will be held via the video conference link below. 

City Council hearing-Via videoconference 

Website: https://tinyurl.com/yalav6xz           

The area being considered for voluntary annexation is approximately a 22.27-acre tract out of the Barney C. Low Survey, Abstract No. 385, and a 1.99-acre portion of Westinghouse Road, a right-of-way of varying width general described to the City of Georgetown, Texas, generally located at 1100 & 1200 Westinghouse Road, to be known as 1100 & 1200 Westinghouse (2020-4-ANX).

After holding the required public hearings, the City Council will consider an ordinance for the annexation.

For additional information, please contact Ethan Harwell in the Planning Department, 512-930-3692 or email at ethan.harwell@georgetown.org.

Location Map

Proposed Voluntary Annexation of 36.035 Acres (Chapel Hill PUD)

The City of Georgetown is considering a voluntary annexation of property into the city limits.  A Public Hearing will be held at the June 9, 2020 City Council meeting at 6:00 pm. Due to operational constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this City Council meeting will be held via the video conference link below. 

City Council hearing-Via videoconference 

Website: https://tinyurl.com/yalav6xz     

The area being considered for voluntary annexation is approximately a 36.035-acre tract out of the Francis A. Hudson Survey, Abstract No. 295 and the John Powell Survey, Abstract No. 491, generally located at 401 Westinghouse Road, to be known as Chapel Hill PUD (2020-1-ANX).

After holding the required public hearings, the City Council will consider an ordinance for the annexation.

For additional information, please contact Ethan Harwell in the Planning Department, 512-930-3692 or email at ethan.harwell@georgetown.org.

Location Map

City offices and facilities closed for Memorial Day closings

City of Georgetown offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, May 25, for the Memorial Day holiday. This includes the following:

  • Airport Terminal, 500 Terminal Drive
  • Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King, Jr. St.
  • Library, 402 W. Eighth St.
  • Light and Water Works Building, 406 W. Eighth St.
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Municipal Court, 510 W. Ninth St.
  • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College St.
  • Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Police Records and Fire Support Services offices, 3500 D.B. Wood Road
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive
  • Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St.

Garey Park, 6450 RM 2243 will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, May 25.

GoGeo transit service

There will be no GoGeo bus transit service on Monday, May 25.

Solid waste and recycling

There will be normal solid waste and recycling collection for City of Georgetown customers on Monday, May 25. Carts should be at the curb by 7 a.m. on pickup day. The Collection Station at 250 W.L. Walden Drive will be open normal hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., on Monday, May 25, for the Memorial Day holiday.

City hosts virtual Austin Avenue Bridges Project open house

The City of Georgetown will share an online recorded presentation about proposed improvements to Austin Avenue from Second to Morrow streets on May 20. This recorded presentation will give the public the opportunity to learn more about the proposed improvements and give input on the Austin Avenue plans.

Recorded Presentation Details

A video presentation will be available, along with the project rendering and schematic, at austinave.georgetown.org.

The public may submit written comments regarding the proposed improvements by June 12. Any comments can be mailed to the Austin Avenue Bridges Project at P.O. Box 409, Georgetown, TX 78627, or emailed to austinave@georgetown.org.

The proposed improvements for Austin Avenue include rehabilitating the existing bridges and maintaining the railings, constructing a new 10-foot pedestrian bridge to the east and a six-foot sidewalk on the west side of Austin Avenue at the San Gabriel Village Boulevard and Second Street intersections.

The City has been studying and planning for potential improvements to Austin Avenue since 2016 and has followed the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act through their design process.

Since the project began in 2016, there have been four public meetings with significant public input and five types of alternatives evaluated.

  1. No build;
  2. Build on a new location;
  3. Rehabilitation with a pedestrian bridge;
  4. Rehabilitation with widening;
  5. Full replacement options.

For more information on the project, visit austinave.georgetown.org.

Sun City Boulevard repaving starts May 19

Updated: Asphalt paving on Sun City Boulevard will start on Tuesday, May 19, weather permitting. (The start date moved from Monday to Tuesday.) Paving work will be done in the 1.4-mile segment of the road from San Saba Drive to Highway 195.

The project will include daily lane closures. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. The paving work is expected to be completed in 10 working days, weather permitting.

City facilities opening Monday, May 18

The City of Georgetown will open several facilities and lobbies to the public starting May 18, in accordance with orders from the governor’s office, as well as the City’s ability to provide essential safety measures and enforce occupancy requirements.

“While we reopen some City facilities to provide better access to additional City services, we do so very cautiously,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “We continue to prioritize your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our staff. The last thing we want to do is contribute to a second spike of COVID-19 cases in our community. So, we ask everyone coming to our facilities to follow the safety guidelines we’ve put into place.”

What follows is a detailed listing of what is opening and under what conditions. The City anticipates opening Municipal Court and the Recreation Center as early as June 1.

The Georgetown Public Library and some park amenities opened May 1, and the Tennis Center opened May 4. For more details, see the April 30 news release. The City will reclose any of its facility, if safety procedures can’t be maintained or the governor alters his orders.

For additional detail about City services and COVID-19-related information, visit bit.ly/COVID19GTX.

Safety changes

Unless otherwise stated, the public can expect the following changes when visiting City facilities and interacting with staff:

  • Occupancy limits
  • Face coverings, strongly encouraged but optional
    • Unless physical distancing cannot be maintained, in which case, masks will be provided or other accommodations will be made.
  • Minimizing touch points
  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Sanitization schedules
  • Signage indicating occupancy limits and directions for self-screening before entering the building
  • Safe-spacing, floor markers
  • Limited seating
  • Limited hours
  • Physical distancing

In addition to the steps listed above, City employees will be required to take their temperature before and when they arrive to work. Employees also will be required to wear masks when interacting with anyone, staff or public, if 6 feet can’t be maintained. Employees exchanging items with the public, like cash, will wear gloves. The City continues to prioritize telecommuting, virtual meetings, and working in shifts, to limit number of people in the building at one time.

Lobbies opening

The following facilities will open their lobbies to the public, under the safety guidelines listed above, including removal of seating, safety spacers, and face covering requirements when a safe physical distance cannot be maintained:

  • City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King, Jr. St.
  • Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St.
  • Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road, including the medication collection kiosk
  • Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
    • iPads and seating will be available in the lobby for people who need to access the internet to connect or disconnect utility service.
  • Georgetown Municipal Airport terminal, 500 Terminal Drive

Parks and Recreation

Staff will continue to monitor orders from the governor’s office and work to open additional facilities and services, including pools and summer programs, as soon as is feasible. The City hasn’t yet made a determination on all summer camps, but so far has cancelled the Junior Fire Academy and all Tennis and Adventure camps, as well as the Adaptive camps for June. Georgetown Police Department also cancelled its Junior Police Academy.

The City anticipates opening the Recreation Center as soon as June 1. Although the governor’s orders allow gyms to open at limited capacity on May 18, the Center will be used through May 28 to offer childcare to the City’s essential employees.

Open by May 18

  • Garey Park, with new fees
  • Garey House: Private tours and outdoor photoshoots
  • Bark Park
  • Pavilions with one table
  • Drinking fountains
  • Restrooms: Except at VFW Park and the McMaster Athletic Complex
  • Skate Park
  • Blue Hole Park
  • Parks administrative offices: By appointment only
  • Tennis courts and pickleball courts at McMaster Athletic Complex: Limit to four players per court
  • Georgetown Tennis Center: Reservation only

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has opened the Georgetown and Granger Overlook and the Georgetown and Granger Stilling Basin.

Remaining closed

  • Pools
  • Playgrounds and splash pads
  • Pavilions with more than one table
  • Exercise equipment
  • Basketball courts
  • Volleyball courts
  • VFW Park
  • McMaster Athletic Complex
  • San Gabriel Park baseball fields
  • Recreation Center
  • Community Center
  • Parks Administrative Offices, by appointment only

Garey Park

Staff will be working at the gatehouse window starting 8 a.m. Monday, May 18. The interior of the gatehouse remains closed to the public. Park hours remain 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice. Playground and splash pad remain closed.

Annual passes sold prior to May 18 will continue to be extended for the duration of the Play Ranch closure. Equine passes will no longer be extended once the gatehouse open.

The following park fees will go into effect May 18:

Daily entrance fees:

  • Per person: $2/resident & $4/nonresident
  • Equestrian rider: $6/resident & $8/nonresident
  • Children 3 years and younger: Free

Annual Passes:

  • Annual park pass (no change):
    • $100/resident individual
    • $150/nonresident individual
  • Annual equestrian pass:
    • $125/resident rider
    • $200/nonresident rider

    A 50 percent discount will be offered on Tuesdays from October 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

    For complete details or updates, visit parks.georgetown.org.

    Municipal Court

    In accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court of Texas, and under the guidance of the Office of Court Administration, Municipal Court will not conduct any in-person proceedings, including the lobby transaction windows, until at least June 1. Any essential proceedings that must be held in-person will be limited to no more than 10 people.

    The Municipal Court lobby will remain closed, but staff will be available to assist customers by phone, fax, or email during regular business hours. Contact Municipal Court at (512) 930-3625, court@georgetown.org or fax at (512) 930-8030.

Strategic Partnerships for Community Services grants: Apply by June 1

The City of Georgetown is now accepting applications from eligible nonprofit agencies for Strategic Partnerships for Community Services grant funding for the City’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year, which begins Oct. 1, 2020.

“We are excited to provide this opportunity to partner with our local nonprofits to help meet needs in our community,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Now more than ever, we are aware of the critical role they play in providing a safety net of support for our residents.”

Application forms and supplemental materials should be filled out and submitted no later than 5 p.m. June 1, 2020. Funding decisions will be made by the City Council in compliance with the policy and funding guidelines subject to the availability of funds. Grants will be awarded in a range from $10,000 to $50,000.

The Strategic Partnerships for Community Services Advisory Board, which is appointed by City Council, will review the applications received. The board will then make funding recommendations to City Council for potential approval in the 2020-21 Fiscal Year.

Applications, supplemental materials, and more information is on the City website at government.georgetown.org/city-management/strategic-partnerships-for-community-services-grant-funding.

For questions, contact Shirley Rinn in the City Manager’s Office at shirley.rinn@georgetown.org or (512) 930-3723.