Prop A street maintenance sales tax election results

The Williamson County Elections office has posted unofficial final results for the Proposition A street maintenance sales tax election on Nov. 6 in Georgetown. The proposition is for the reauthorization of a 0.25 percent sales tax dedicated to the maintenance of city streets in Georgetown.

These are the unofficial final results:

Votes Percent
For 21,742 80.11
Against 5,399 19.89

To see a complete Nov. 6, 2018, election results, go to wilco.org/elections.

Georgetown wins $1 million in Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge

Michael R. Bloomberg today announced Georgetown as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge, a yearlong competition that challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities today.

Nine cities will receive $1 million to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity.

Georgetown was selected as a winner for their innovative approach to developing a “virtual power plant.”

Georgetown aims to lease rooftop space for solar panels and ground space for batteries from residential and commercial properties, offsetting the future need to purchase additional power from outside sources to meet growing peak power demand in this completely renewable energy-powered city.

While Georgetown is the first and largest city in Texas to secure 100 percent of its purchased power from renewable sources, there are cost uncertainty and reliability concerns related to transporting that energy over long distances. This plan will help shore up some of those uncertainties.

“Last year, the Georgetown City Council adopted a new vision statement: Georgetown: A caring community honoring our past and innovating for the future. Like all cities, we know in this radically changing world we need to be agile and innovative to remain sustainable, competitive, and resilient,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “Bloomberg’s iterative approach helped us engage with the public in a way that dramatically improved our idea. With Bloomberg’s support, we’ve developed a model with greater community support and better financial viability. We look forward to making the ‘virtual power plant’ a reality.”

Georgetown joins Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fort Collins, CO; Huntington, WV; Los Angeles, CA; New Rochelle, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and South Bend, IN as winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge.

“Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big – and achievable – new ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City. “Congratulations to all of the winning mayors, who represent cities large and small, in regions across the country. We look forward to seeing the results of their work — and to helping the ideas that prove most effective spread far and wide.”

The Mayors Challenge Selection Committee, co-chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns, is comprised of distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives, and social innovation leaders. The committee evaluated the cities applications based on their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities to choose Georgetown as among the nine winning cities.

New to the Mayors Challenge this year was a 6-month “test and learn” phase where each of the 35 Champion Cities received up to $100,000 and technical assistance to test and build support for their ideas. Cities tested core components of their ideas with residents, improved and refined their proposals, and developed a plan for implementation and impact measurement.

“The process the City has undergone to test this idea is counterintuitive to how we typically work. Bloomberg’s iterative approach allowed us to present a rough outline of an idea and solicit public feedback that dramatically shifted the concept,” said Jack Daly, assistant to the City Manager of Georgetown. “This pivot helped us structure a new concept that had greater community support and better financial viability. Already the City is using the “test and learn” method in other programs like our ridesharing pilot and the update of our comprehensive plan.”

The U.S. Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). Previous Mayors Challenge winners include São Paulo, Brazil with a program to increase farmers’ income and reduce urban sprawl; Barcelona, Spain for work to create digital trust networks that support at-risk elderly citizens; and Providence, RI, for a program to measure and reduce the “word gap” among low-income children during pivotal brain development years. For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.

Low Cost Shot Clinic for Pets Nov. 10

Dr. Puss Puss will see you now.

The Georgetown Animal Shelter will conduct its final low-cost vaccination clinic of the year on Saturday, November 10, 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 dates for low cost shot clinics in 2019 are listed here. 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.

Open house to discuss historic resources and districts survey results

The City will host an open house meeting Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 E. Seventh St., to discuss the results of surveys related to properties on the City’s historic resources survey and in historic overlay districts.

Individuals interested in providing feedback on the development process for historic properties can also sign up to meet with the City’s planning staff in 15-minute increments on Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by emailing historic@georgetown.org.

The results of the City’s outreach efforts will be used to make informed decisions regarding what is working and any improvements that are needed to the development process related to historic properties.

For more information on the current processes, visit historic.georgetown.org.

City of Georgetown water customers unaffected by Austin or Belton boil water notices

No portion of the City of Georgetown’s water service territory is under a boil water notice. The City of Georgetown’s water supply comes from the Edwards Aquifer, and two lakes that are part of the Brazos River system, Lake Georgetown and Lake Stillhouse-Hollow. At the current time, Georgetown water supply and water treatment facilities are operating normally and no special actions are required of Georgetown utility customers.

Any changes to the current status or updates will be posted at Georgetown.org.

Georgetown Water Service Territory

The City of Georgetown serves about 44,000 water accounts representing about 110,000 customers in a 450-square-mile service area that includes Georgetown, western Williamson County and north into Bell and Burnet counties.

City Vendor Meet and Greet on Nov. 7

Do you have a business in landscaping, printing, plumbing or electrical services, graphic design, road construction, automotive maintenance, civil engineering, or architectural services? Do you sell vehicles, gravel, asphalt, medical supplies, or specialized software?

If so, you may have an opportunity to do business with the City of Georgetown.

Find out more at the City Vendor Meet and Greet on Nov. 7, 2018. Sponsored by the City of Georgetown Purchasing Department, the event is from 10 a.m. to noon at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St.

At the event there will be an opportunity to meet with employees in the purchasing department and find out more about the City’s process to accept bids, proposals, and qualifications. A variety of City staff will also be present. Light refreshments will be provided.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Purchasing Department at (512) 930-8141.

Low Water Crossings closed along Randy Morrow Trail

[Updated: Oct. 22, 2018]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Lake Georgetown due to high lake levels caused by recent rainfall.

A release rate over approximately 517 cubic feet per second will close the low water crossings along the North San Gabriel River on the Randy Morrow Trail, including the crossings at River Road near Booty’s Road Park, the crossing under the I-35 bridge, and the crossing upstream from Rivery Park. Please do not attempt to cross any part of the trail that water is flowing over, and obey any barricades that may be present.

Visit the Lake Georgetown website at www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/georgetown to see the current release rate and check ATXFloods.com for the status of road closures at low water crossings in Central Texas.

The Parks and Recreation Department is evaluating options for the replacement of damaged sections on the pedestrian crossing over the San Gabriel River in San Gabriel Park. The bridge was damaged during flooding in September 2018.

Georgetown Animal Shelter sees uptick in Parvovirus cases

Since Sept. 24, Georgetown Animal Shelter has confirmed 12 cases of Canine Parvovirus in dogs that have been brought in from different parts of the city.

To prevent Canine Parvovirus or “Parvo” animals should be fully vaccinated. Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should not take them to public places where the virus could be living, such as grassy areas, pet shops, parks, puppy classes, dog parks, doggy daycare, kennels, and dog groomers. To protect adult dogs, pet owners should be sure that their dog’s Parvovirus vaccination is updated every 1-3 years. Finally, do not let puppies or adult dogs come into contact with the fecal waste of other dogs. Always promptly dispose of your own dog’s feces.

The Georgetown Animal Shelter will host a low-cost vaccine clinic on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30-11 a.m. Three vaccinations for dogs are available including Rabies for $5, Bordetella for $5, and Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus for $10. Vaccinations also include a free microchip. Only cash payments are accepted.

Parvo is a highly contagious disease that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. The virus affects the gastrointestinal tract and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars, leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is weather resistant and can survive in the environment for long periods of time.

Signs of Parvo include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, fever or low body temperature, vomiting, and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration and damage to the intestines and immune system, which can cause septic shock. Most deaths from Parvo occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs. If your dog or puppy shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

For more information on Canine Parvovirus, visit www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/canine-parvovirus.aspx.

San Gabriel Park and Blue Hole Park re-opened

Update, Wed., Oct. 17, 4 p.m.: Blue Hole Park has re-opened and all areas of San Gabriel Park have re-opened.

Update, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday: San Gabriel Park has reopened with the exception of access to Lower Park Road.  Blue Hole Park will remain closed until further notice. The South San Gabriel River has dropped to about 8 feet, which is one foot below flood stage. Berry Creek has dropped to just under 15 feet, which is the flood stage level.

Update, 11:15 a.m., Tuesday: The South San Gabriel River appears to have crested at nearly 17 feet.

Berry Creek and the South San Gabriel River are both currently above flood stage. As of 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, the South San Gabriel is at 16 feet and rising. Flood stage is 9 feet.

 

Berry Creek is at nearly 17 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet.

Blue Hole Park and San Gabriel Park are both closed, as are pedestrian crossings in Blue Hole Park and at San Gabriel Park.

Mosquito sample positive for West Nile in Southeast Georgetown

A mosquito trap sample collected Tuesday in southeast Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The positive test was indicated in lab results received yesterday afternoon from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.

The sample was collected from a trap on S. Maple Street on Oct. 9. The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus was Culex quinquefasciatus, also known as the Southern house mosquito. There were 52 Culex mosquitoes in the sample. The number of mosquitoes with the West Nile Virus in the sample is not known. This species of mosquito has a flight range of about one mile.

The mosquito testing is part of the City of Georgetown’s participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s Integrated Mosquito Management program. There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County. Mosquito traps are in other locations in Georgetown and across the County. The mosquitos in those traps, including the trap location on S. Maple Street, will continue to be tested for WNV this fall.

Insecticide spraying this evening

The City of Georgetown Public Works Department is planning to use a trailer-mounted sprayer to apply insecticide within a half-mile radius of the trap location. After dusk on Friday, Oct. 12 and again before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 13, the City will use a permethrin-based insecticide along the street right-of-way and in public parks, weather permitting. Permethrin is a synthetic derivative of a pyrethrum, which comes from Chrysanthemum flowers.

A map is included showing the area where application of the insecticide is planned in Southeast Georgetown. The use of the insecticide will reduce the adult mosquito population in that area. Spraying will be done if the wind speed is less than 10 mph and it is not raining.

What you can do

Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus.  As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 3 Ds of mosquito safety.

·         Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,

·         Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, and

·         Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

For more information, go to the WCCHD website at www.wcchd.org or visit the Texas Department of State Health Services West Nile website at www.txwestnile.org.