City celebrates San Gabriel Park Phase 2 completion Oct. 4

The City will celebrate the completion of Phase 2 improvements to San Gabriel Park at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 4 at the Springs Pavilion, which is near the low-water crossing and the College Street Bridge. (See Springs Pavilion 10 on the map.)

Phase 2 of the San Gabriel Park improvements project included a new basketball court, restrooms at the disc golf course, two new playgrounds and swings, additional pavilions, road improvements, restoration of two existing springs, and trail improvements—including the extension of the San Gabriel trail to the Katy Crossing neighborhood, which is expected to be completed this fall.

The $4.2 million Phase 2 project was completed by Ritter-Botkin Prime Construction Company Inc. of Pflugerville.

Future phases of the San Gabriel Park project include improvements to the remaining areas of the park. The design of Phase 3 improvements was included in the City’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

Funding for the improvements was approved by voters in a 2008 parks bond. The San Gabriel Park Master Plan, which was completed in June 2015, identified improvements to be completed in phases to limit park disruptions.

One of the springs restored in phase 2 is shown below.

Drain your pool safely this fall

As pool season comes to a close, many pool owners may decide to drain their pools for cleaning or necessary repairs. It’s important to remember a few tips when draining your pool to protect waterways and yards.

Here’s how to properly drain your pool in three easy steps:

  1. Let your pool water sit for five to ten days to allow chlorine to break down naturally. Avoid adding chlorine to the water before draining. The water pH level should be between 6.5 and 8.
  2. Stop all chemical water treatments. Avoid adding any chemicals to help reduce the water pH.
  3. Slowly drain pool water onto your lawn. If possible, drain the pool slowly onto your lawn over a few days. Avoid draining the pool water directly into storm drains and be sure to watch where the water goes to avoid flooding your neighbor’s yard.

Water from your pool may drain through yards into storm inlets, which lead to streams and rivers. Along with chlorine, pool chemicals can be toxic to fish, turtles, other amphibians, and plants.

By following these three steps, you can ensure that that water from your pool does not affect the water quality in rivers and streams or harm the plants, fish, amphibians, or other organisms that live in them.

For more information, visit transportation.georgetown.org/storm-water-plan/public-awareness.

Parks and Recreation hosts Hay Day event at Garey Park

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a fall celebration at Garey Park on Oct. 12 from 1-4 p.m.

The Hay Day event will feature family-friendly activities including pony rides, lawn games, a photo station, music, community vendor booths, a hayride, pumpkin patch, and more. Food trucks will also be onsite.

Garey Park entry fees are required, and some activities will include a fee.

For more information about the event including activity fees, visit parks.georgetown.org/hay-day.

Bethapudi announced as general manager of electric utility

Daniel Bethapudi will be Georgetown’s new general manager for the electric utility. After a nationwide search, Bethapudi was selected from more than 50 applicants to serve in the new role. He will be taking on responsibilities currently held by long-time general manager Jim Briggs who is retiring Sept. 30.

Bethapudi currently serves as the assistant director for College Station Utilities, directing and managing transmission and substation operations and overseeing strategic planning and power supply functions. While in College Station, Bethapudi successfully restructured and replaced multiple energy contracts, resulting in average annual savings of approximately $15 million. He also developed and implemented a risk management framework and governance model to equip decision makers at all levels of the organization to properly assess risk related to energy.

“It was not easy to make the decision to leave College Station,” Bethapudi said. “I moved here to attend graduate school and ended up staying more than 15 years. But Georgetown offers a unique opportunity for me and my family. I look forward to addressing the current challenges facing the electric utility, ensuring this great institution remains an asset for the community for years to come.”

In Georgetown, Bethapudi will oversee Georgetown’s electric utility which serves nearly 27,000 customers. Reporting directly to the city manager, the new general manager will have responsibility for more than 75 employees and an annual operating budget of $77.4 million.

“Daniel is uniquely qualified to lead our electric utility through its current financial challenges. He has a track record of restructuring energy contracts, improving risk management practices, and achieving financial excellence,” City Manager David Morgan said. “We’re excited for Daniel to join the City of Georgetown team. He’s a natural fit for our organization, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Prior to College Station, Bethapudi served in several roles at Navasota, Texas-based Mid-South Synergy, including the manager of engineering and information technology as well as interim chief operating officer. He concluded his time at Mid-South as the vice president and chief financial officer, directing the finance, engineering, information technology, and electric operations. During his time at Mid-South, Bethapudi oversaw the financial turnaround of the electric cooperative, implementing new strategic and financial planning processes, financial models, and technology.

Bethapudi has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India. He is also a project management professional, a certified energy manager, and a certified energy procurement professional. His first day at the City will be Oct. 7.

Proposed Voluntary Annexation of 1.123 Acres (Maravilla Offsite Road)

The City of Georgetown is considering a voluntary annexation of property into the city limits.  The Public Hearings will be held at the October 8, 2019 meeting at 3 pm and October 8, 2019 at 6 pm. City Council meetings are located at the City Council Chambers, 510 W. 9th Street.

The area being considered for voluntary annexation is approximately a 1.123-acre tract of land situated in the J.B. Pulsifer Survey, Abstract No. 498, generally located at 34 Skyline Drive, to be known as Maravilla Offsite Road.

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

National Night Out on Oct. 1

National Night Out, an annual event to support safe neighborhoods, is on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Georgetown. Block parties are being organized from 6 to 9 p.m.

Last year there were more than 100 registered National Night Out events in Georgetown. Georgetown Police Department officers as well as other local law enforcement officers, elected officials, Georgetown firefighters and EMS technicians, and other City employees attended block parties in Georgetown.

The Georgetown Police Department is hosting a reception for hosts of NNO block parties at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B Wood Road.

For details about National Night Out in Georgetown, go to pd.georgetown.org/national-night-out.

Partnership hosts readiness fair for GISD high school students

The City of Georgetown Economic Development Department is partnering with Georgetown ISD, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce to host a Future Readiness Fair on Sept. 24 for Georgetown ISD high school students.

The fair will feature colleges as well as vocational programs, representatives from military branches, careers in manufacturing, representatives from local public safety organizations, and other job providers. Students will be able to meet representatives from different career paths, and discuss the admissions process, funding options for college, and other paths to success.

The event will be at East View High School, 4490 E. University Ave., from 6-8 p.m. All GISD high school students are invited to attend.

For more information, visit georgetownisd.org.

Bag-the-Bag program pick up locations added

The City of Georgetown’s Bag-the-Bag program, which allows residents to recycle film plastics such as plastic grocery bags and other pliable plastic wrappers, has been expanded to include more yellow collection bag pick up locations.                                             

Georgetown solid waste customers can pick up two yellow bags each month from any of these five locations throughout the City:

  • Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.
  • Georgetown Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.
  • Sun City Social Center monitors desk, 2 Texas Drive
  • Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Road

The yellow bags are specially designed to compact when compressed in the back of the collection trucks. Other bags may “pop” when compressed releasing their contents into the back of the collection truck. Additionally, the bright yellow color makes the bag easy to spot, and sort, on the sorting the line at the material recovery facility.

Items that can be recycled through the program include:

  • All types of clear or opaque common film plastics
  • Single-use and reusable plastic bags with handles
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Meat and produce bags (free of food residue)
  • Bread bags
  • To-go food bags
  • Ziploc-type bags
  • Plastic wrap and cellophane products
  • Six-pack rings
  • All types of plastic wrap encasing products such as paper towel rolls, toilet papers, napkins, and paper plates

Once the yellow bag is full, tie it shut and place it in the recycling bin.

Find out more at recycle.georgetown.org/single-stream-recycling.

Rivery Boulevard ribbon cutting, Northwest Boulevard groundbreaking Sept. 13

The City of Georgetown will hold a joint ribbon cutting for Rivery Boulevard and groundbreaking for Northwest Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 13. The event is at 9 a.m. near the roundabout at Rivery Boulevard and Park Lane.

When complete, both projects will provide a new connection from Interstate 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 I-35. The Rivery Boulevard and Northwest Boulevard projects provide an alternate to Williams Drive, which is one of the busiest roads in the city. The City plans to complete this bridge before the Texas Department of Transportation begins work on the new Williams Drive bridge spanning I-35 in 2021.

Rivery Boulevard

When complete, Rivery Boulevard 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, a divided median, and two roundabouts. The road is now open to the first roundabout at the intersection with Park Lane.

The construction cost for the project is $5.1 million. The 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.

Northwest Boulevard

The Northwest Boulevard project reconstructs the road from Fontana Drive to Austin Avenue and includes a new bridge spanning I-35. The bridge will be a new east-west connection over the interstate and an alternative to Williams Drive. The project connects Rivery Boulevard to the west and FM 971 on the east.

The construction cost for the project is $8.2 million. The Northwest Boulevard project was approved by Georgetown voters in the 2015 transportation bond election. RPS is the design engineer on the project and Chasco Constructors is the contractor.

Candidates file for special City Council election in November

The candidate filing period for the special City Council District 1 election in Georgetown on Nov. 5 ended yesterday at 5 p.m. Mary Calixtro, Alex Fuller and Stevie Nicole Jones filed for the District 1 race.

The candidate elected to fill the vacancy created when Anna Eby resigned from the council on Aug. 2 will complete the remainder of the term ending in May 2021.

Georgetown City Council members typically serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

The drawing to determine the order of names on the ballot will take place Friday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. in the lobby of City Hall.

The last day to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 7.

Early in-person voting is Oct. 21-Nov. 1. In the early voting period, voters may cast ballots at any early voting location in Williamson County.

On Election Day on Nov. 5, voters may cast ballots at any vote center location in Williamson County. Polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.