Collectible Christmas Ornament: Mileham Building

A limited-edition collectible brass Christmas ornament featuring the Mileham Building at 708-710 S. Austin Ave. is now on sale. The 11th annual ornament sale is a project of the Georgetown Main Street Program. A limited number of the ornaments are available.

Ornaments may be purchased at the Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St. The cost of the ornament is $20. Payments by cash, check, or credit are accepted.

The Mileham Building is one of several Mesker Brothers storefronts in the downtown area. The City of Georgetown is home to one of the largest collection of Mesker storefronts, which incorporate a crest or shell design in the columns and cornice lines.

All proceeds from the ornament sale help fund Main Street projects and the Façade Fund Grant Program.

Airport Master Plan update workshop Nov. 16

Plans for the future development and operations of the Georgetown Municipal Airport will be shared at a public workshop on Nov. 16 as part of the Airport Master Plan update. The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Georgetown Communications and Technology Building, 510 W. Ninth St. There will be a brief presentation at 5:45 p.m.

There also is a Planning Advisory Committee meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The meeting is open to the public to observe proceedings.

The Master Plan update provides a blueprint for future operations and development of the Airport, including a layout plan for future development at the Airport, a list of appropriate land uses, and a 20-year list of capital projects.

The Georgetown Municipal Airport opened in 1945. The last update to the Airport Master Plan was in 2005. Coffman Associates, an aviation consulting firm specializing in airport planning studies, is assisting the City on the current update process.

To see Airport Master Plan update documents and more information go to georgetown.airportstudy.com.

Blue Santa collects toys for children

Blue Santa’s elves are busy working to provide toys to children in need in Georgetown. Like they do every year, Blue Santa and his elves need your help.
A program of the Georgetown Police Department, Blue Santa provides toys to more than 1,500 children in Georgetown during its annual toy drive and distribution.

You can help Blue Santa by donating a new, unwrapped toy at the Christmas Stroll Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2. The parade starts at 10 a.m. New, unwrapped toys will be collected by Blue Santa Elves along the parade route, which is on Austin Avenue from Ninth to Sixth streets on the downtown Square.

In addition, toys may be dropped off in donation barrels in businesses and offices in Georgetown.

Monetary donations to purchase toys also are accepted. Checks to “CPAAA Blue Santa” should be sent to the Georgetown Police Department, c/o CPAAA Programs, 3500 D.B. Wood Road, Georgetown, TX, 78628. Donate $10 or more to Georgetown Blue Santa and you’ll receive a collectible Blue Santa Elf lapel pin.

Applications for assistance from Blue Santa must be turned in by Dec. 1. Applications are available at The Caring Place at 2000 Railroad St. and the Georgetown Police Department at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 D.B. Wood Road. Children who qualify for Blue Santa are age 18 or younger, live in the Georgetown city limits, and qualify for the free or reduced lunch program at school or meet federal poverty guidelines.

For information about donation events and donations to Blue Santa, go to BlueSanta.Georgetown.org.

City selects nine new sculptures for 2017-18 tour

The City has contracted with eight artists to participate in its Sculpture Tour, a juried year-long outdoor exhibit in the Georgetown Cultural District.

The City’s Arts and Culture Board selected the nine 2017-18 Sculpture Tour pieces from 41 pieces submitted for consideration by 21 artists. Sculptures will be installed in early November and will remain on display through October 2018.

The previous group of Sculpture Tour works will be removed by artists by Nov. 1 to make space for the new pieces.

Five of the works will be installed on Main Street, and four will be located outside the Ninth Street entrance of the Georgetown Public Library at 402 W. Eighth St.

Artists along with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department staff will install each piece.

All nine sculptures’ artists will receive a cash prize based on judging that will take place in November by the Arts and Culture Board.

Sculpture Tour artists and their selected works for the next twelve months are:
Cindy Debold, “Imagination”
Peter Mangan, “Blood Brother”
Sun McColgin, “Thor’s Hammer” and “Tanzanian Torpedo”
Mary Morse, “Kite”
Dan Pogue, “Mystic Flight”
Jay Schaan, “Ladder Man”
Dave Speer, “Barn Martian”
Anthony St. James, “Freshwater Cowgirl”

For more information, including a map of the Sculpture Tour, visit arts.georgetown.org/art/sculpture-tour.

Traffic signal changes help mobility on Williams Drive

The City is using new traffic signal technology along the Williams Drive corridor to help improve mobility on the roadway. Flashing yellow left-turn arrows are now operating and in the next week, the city will implement new traffic signal timing that will better synchronize signals along the corridor.

The signal synchronization is the first project to be implemented from the Williams Drive Study adopted by City Council in August. The study was completed in partnership with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization through its Platinum Planning Process.

The project was made possible because of the utility fiber network that the City has put into place in the past several years connecting City facilities and infrastructure.

The flashing yellow arrow signals are operational along the corridor from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road, with the exception of the Del Webb Boulevard intersection. Flashing yellow arrow signals allow drivers to make left turns while yielding to on-coming traffic and pedestrians.

In conjunction with signal operation and timing improvements, the City will also install monitoring devices and backup batteries at all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

Monitoring devices at signals allow City staff to see and adjust signal performance remotely, and the batteries will prevent traffic signals from shutting off during electrical outages in all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

New historic district street signs to be installed

New historic district street signsThe City is installing 554 new historic district street signs throughout the Old Town and Downtown historic districts this weekend, Oct. 14-15.

The architectural design detail on the signs was created by Georgetown artist Nick Ramos and was inspired by the large number of Mesker Brothers storefronts in the downtown area. The City of Georgetown is home to one of the largest collection of Mesker storefronts, which incorporate a crest or shell design in the columns and cornice lines. Examples of the design include the Georgetown Art Center and the Dimmit and M.B. Lockett buildings.

The signs are a “red poppy red” color and feature a flower as part of the architectural design. The design pays tribute to the architectural heritage of the Georgetown community and will help identify the districts and promote the historic nature to residents and visitors.

The signs, which were made in Waco and will be installed by Area Wide Protective crews, are partially funded by the Downtown tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ. The TIRZ helps fund improvement projects throughout the downtown area.

The blue street signs that are being replaced will be sold for $10 each during the Nov. 11 Market Days event on the Square. Signs will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis during the event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Library welcomes Meg Gardiner for Hill Country Author Series

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library will host a Hill Country Author Series event Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m., in the Community Rooms of the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., featuring Austin-based author Meg Gardiner. Gardiner’s newest book “UNSUB” was published in June. Lawyer turned author, Gardiner is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer who has written thirteen thrillers.

“UNSUB,” short for unknown subject, tells the story of a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier. This psychological thriller has been bought by CBS Television Studios for adaptation into a TV series.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, the WOW!mobile, online at folgeorgetown.org/event/hcas-meg-gardiner, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974. Refreshments from the Red Poppy Coffee Co. are included.

The event begins at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds are used to fund unbudgeted items and other ongoing library projects.

Outdoor warning sirens to be tested Oct. 7

The City’s outdoor warning sirens will be tested on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. The audible test of the 23 outdoor warning sirens will be for 90 seconds, during which each siren will rotate 360 degrees.

The test that was publicized for Sept. 30 did not occur due to a miscommunication with the company that programmed the siren test.

Monthly tests are now planned for the sirens for the first Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. Testing on the first Saturday of the month rather than the last Saturday of the month will allow for a more consistent testing day. Testing will continue monthly on the first Saturday of every month. No testing will be conducted during severe weather or if there is a threat of severe weather to avoid causing confusion for residents.

The outdoor warning sirens are used to send a message to people who are outside at parks, golf courses, and other outdoor areas to seek shelter. Sirens are activated to warn of tornadoes, severe weather with strong winds, large hail, or a hazardous chemical incident.

The outdoor warning sirens are one method of alerting the public about an impending hazard. Residents are also encouraged to monitor the local news media when severe weather threatens. In addition, residents are encouraged to register their phones to receive emergency alerts from the local 911 center. Sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org. You may register multiple mobile phones or landlines to receive alerts.

Walk or Bike to School Day on Oct. 4

Students in Georgetown will join those from all over the U.S. walking or riding their bike to school on Oct. 4. The annual event marking its 21st year encourages children to walk or bike to school in order to increase physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and help the environment.

A special Walk or Bike to School Day event is planned at Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons in Georgetown. Parents, teachers, and community leaders will participate in the event. After gathering at a number of meeting spots, children will walk or bike to Village Elementary and then join an arrival rally in the gymnasium at the school. Representatives from Safe Place, a Georgetown Utility Systems safety program, and the Georgetown Police and Fire departments also will be at the event to provide information on safety when walking or biking to school.

The event is being organized by the City of Georgetown, Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown Utility Systems, and Georgetown ISD.

Learn more about events happening in places all over the country at www.walkbiketoschool.org. These events build connections among families, schools, and the broader community.

For additional local information, please contact Brian Vickers, Village Elementary School coach, at (512) 943-5000 ext.7437or vickersb@georgetownisd.org.

Georgetown, Round Rock open Mays Street extension

The Cities of Georgetown and Round Rock will celebrate the opening of the Mays Street extension with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Georgetown/Round Rock city limits sign on the new road, which is about a quarter mile north of Bass Pro Drive.

The 1.2-mile roadway, which provides a north-south connection from Teravista Parkway at Bass Pro Drive in Round Rock to Westinghouse Road at Rabbit Hill Road in Georgetown, was a joint effort by the two cities.

“This new roadway will provide another connection between Georgetown and Round Rock that will greatly benefit residents in both cities. The Mays Street extension is also a key economic development driver for properties along Westinghouse Road and will improve our ability to attract new commercial and office projects to southeast Georgetown,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “When neighbors come together in partnership, great things like this project happen, and we appreciate the City of Round Rock working with us to help make this possible.”

The $6.4 million project was funded by the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp., which promotes economic and community development by paying for streets and transportation improvements, in partnership with the City of Round Rock. Round Rock funded 27 percent of the project.

“We’re thrilled to partner with our neighbors in Georgetown in opening up this new roadway,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. “This is regional cooperation at its best, and will give motorists an alternative to I-35 that benefits both communities.”

The four-lane arterial provides a new connection from Georgetown to a retail and commercial area in Round Rock along University Boulevard. The project will also help economic development efforts in southeast Georgetown, including a proposed office project that could include up to 550,000 square feet of flexible office space that is planned near the intersection of Mays Street and Westinghouse Road.

Georgetown City Council approved a construction contract for the project in August 2016 with Austin-based C.C. Carlton Industry LTD, and the company began construction in October.