Watch school zones as classes start on Aug. 16

The first day of classes for schools in the Georgetown school district is Thursday, Aug. 16. The Georgetown Police Department reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. As students go back to school, police will be monitoring school zones throughout the city.

Look for the school zones at most of these Georgetown ISD schools:

•  Carver Elementary, 4901 Scenic Lake Drive
•  Cooper Elementary, 1921 NE Inner Loop
•  Ford Elementary, 210 Woodlake Drive
•  Frost Elementary, 711 Lakeway Drive
•  McCoy Elementary, 401 Bellaire Drive
•  Mitchell Elementary, 1601 Rockride Lane
•  Pickett Elementary, 1100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
•  Purl Elementary, 1953 Maple St.
•  Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons
•  Benold Middle School, 3407 Northwest Blvd.
•  Forbes Middle School, 1911 NE Inner Loop
•  Tippit Middle School, 1601 Leander Road
•  Wagner Middle School, 1621 Rockride Lane
•  East View High School, 4490 E. University Ave.
•  Georgetown High School, 2211 N. Austin Ave.
•  Georgetown Alternative Program, 502 Patriot Way
•  Richarte High School, 2295 N. Austin Ave.
•  Williamson County Academy/Lott Juvenile Detention Center, 200 Wilco Way

School zone speed limits are in effect during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing. The fine for speeding in a school zone is $10 per mile over the limit, plus state court costs. This would mean a $100 fine plus $129 in state court costs for driving 30 mph in a 20 mph zone, for example.

State law prohibits the use of a wireless communication device in a school zone during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing.

Arts and Culture Board seeks artist proposals

The City of Georgetown’s Arts and Culture Board has issued a call for artist proposals for the new City Hall and Council and Court buildings, located at MLK Jr. and Ninth streets. Three areas have been identified for artwork.

A theme has not been selected for the spaces to allow each artist an opportunity to present their own vision for the spaces.

Areas selected for artwork include the City Hall rotunda, the area above the Municipal Court transaction window, and the Council and Court Building lobby wall.

The call for art includes a $3,000-$5,000 for each award. Proposals are due by midnight September 30. Artists may submit up to two proposals per area. A separate proposal must be submitted for each area.

The artist will be selected by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board and notified by Oct. 19.

For more information about the project, including submittal requirements, go to arts.georgetown.org.

2019 City budget responds to growth

Roads, firefighters, and upgraded utilities are among the key requests for the fiscal year 2019 budget. The proposed spending plan maintains the current tax rate while preparing the City for the incredible growth that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

The City’s property tax rate will remain 42 cents per $100 of valuation. This is one of the lowest rates in Central Texas. However, home values continue to rise, so the average homeowner will pay approximately $57 more in property taxes to the City. These increases go directly towards maintaining and improving Georgetown’s quality of life.

Even with incredible growth, maintaining Georgetown’s high standards for safety is critical. Fire Station No. 7, located near Hwy. 29 and Inner Loop, is under design. Fourteen new firefighters will be hired to help staff Fire Station 7 to maintain response times across the City. Additionally, a school resource officer will be hired for Wagner Middle School. This ensures an officer is located at each high school and middle school in Georgetown.

Traffic and parking are always key concerns highlighted by citizens. This budget includes the design work to widen three roadways, including Leander Road, Southwestern Boulevard, and SE Inner Loop, to help improve mobility. Voters approved these projects in the 2015 road bond. The City is also planning to construct a new parking garage at Sixth and Main streets and a new parking lot across from the Public Library.

The City owns and operates water and electric utilities. Once again, water rates will remain stable for the coming year. While maintaining rates, the City will be investing significantly in the water system. These investments include improvements to the intake structure at the Lake Georgetown Water Treatment Plant, new water lines to increase water distribution capacity, and new pump stations in areas west of Georgetown and north of Liberty Hill to increase pumping capacity.

There will be a $1.35 increase in the monthly wastewater fee to help cover the cost of new wastewater lines, expanding a treatment plant, and reducing our environmental impacts on the aquifer. Even with this increase, Georgetown has one of the lowest combined water and wastewater bills for the average user in the region.

The city’s electricity is now purchased from 100 percent renewable energy sources. While purchased power costs are fixed, this year the City will increase the monthly base electric charge to cover costs related to needed improvements in the electric system, including replacing poles, relocating electric lines, and increasing system capacity. Georgetown electric customers will see an increase of $4.80 on their monthly bills. This increase helps Georgetown maintain one of the most reliable electric systems in the state.

The City is also taking steps to plan for the future. The budget includes a position to enhance information technology security, a position to expand the business process improvement team, and increases to financial reserves across the City. This budget includes the first full year of operations for Garey Park, as well as a new parks maintenance position. Resources for planning, permitting, and engineering to help respond to the City’s growth also are included.

The total budget is $354 million. This includes 31 new positions, as well as performance-based merit increases for current employees.

The proposed budget is available at finance.georgetown.org. Public hearings on the budget and property tax rate will be held Aug. 14 and 21. The City Council is expected to vote on the adoption of the budget on Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.

NE Inner Loop closed overnight Aug. 14 and 15

NE Inner Loop will be closed to traffic in the overnight hours on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 for road construction work.

The segment of NE Inner Loop from Farm to Market 971 to Highway 29 will be closed on both days starting at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day.

The closure is for the rebuilding of the Georgetown Rail Road crossing on NE Inner Loop that is about 0.5-miles south of FM 971.

Traffic will be detoured to Austin Avenue during the road closure. This construction work is weather-dependent.

Map of closure on NE Inner Loop

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.