Census: Georgetown is Second-Fastest Growing City in U.S.

Nero 5k start-600Georgetown is the second-fastest growing city in the U.S., according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday. For cities of 50,000 residents or greater, Georgetown had the second-highest rate of population growth in the country.

The Census estimates that Georgetown grew from 54,934 to 59,102 in the period from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. That’s an increase of 4,168 residents and a growth rate of 7.6 percent for that year. The Census estimates are based on sampling data. The Census city growth rankings for 2013 to 2014 can be seen at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2014/index.html.

Georgetown’s population growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to the City’s Planning Department, another 1,214 single-family homes have been platted in the city limits and another 1,116 apartment units have been recently completed or are near completion. Another 7,855 single-family homes in the city limits are in the planning stages, with an expected build out period of five to 20 years.

All of those residences currently in the development pipeline total 10,185 homes or apartments. With an average household size of 2.46 according to the Census, Georgetown can expect another 25,055 residents in the next decade or two.

Georgetown’s growth in recent years also is evident in key economic indicators. Since 2010, the total assessed value of property in the city has grown by more than 25 percent to exceed $5.2 billion in 2015. City sales tax revenue has increased by more than 55 percent since 2010. Yet the city’s property tax rate at 43.4 cents per $100 valuation remains one of the lowest in the region.

Election Canvass and Council Member Oaths May 20

Ty Gipson and Anna Eby each will be sworn-in to begin new terms as council members at a special Georgetown City Council meeting on May 20. Gipson won the District 5 election held on May 9. Anna Eby was unopposed for District 1.

Results from the District 5 election as well as the transportation bond election will be canvassed by the City Council at the special meeting. The transportation bond was approved by Georgetown voters in the May 9 election.

The special meeting on May 20 will be at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chamber, 101 E. Seventh Street. (See map below.)

To see a complete May 9, 2015 election results, go to www.wilco.org/elections.

Building Standards Commission Vacancy

The City of Georgetown is recruiting highly qualified and dedicated individuals with Building Experience to serve on the Building Standards Commission, an important advisory board for the City. The Building Standards Commission hears appeals and renders decisions on rulings by City Building Inspectors or Officials in regard to code interpretation, enforcement, and substandard housing or structures within the City.

The City Council depends on citizen board members to assist in evaluating local issues to enrich and promote the community. This board would benefit with members experienced in electrical contracting, real estate profession, architecture, engineering, building construction, fire protection, mechanical contracting (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, hvac) or plumbing.

If you are interested in serving on the Building Standards Commission and have pertinent experience, please complete the 2015 Building Standards Application. You may also attach a resume (no more than 2 pages).

Please mail applications and resumes to:

Shelley Nowling
City of Georgetown
P.O. Box 409
Georgetown, TX 78627

or

Email it to shelley.nowling@georgetown.org

The deadline to submit an application to the Building Standards Commission is June 12, 2015.

Please contact the City Secretary’s office at (512) 930-3651 with any questions.

Transportation Bond Approved, Gipson Wins District 5

Georgetown voters have approved the transportation bonds on the May 9 ballot.  These are the unofficial final results for the transportation bond election from Williamson County Elections:

Votes: Percent:
For:  2,281  75.18%
Against:  753  24.82%

These are the unofficial final results in the District 5 City Council election from Williamson County Elections:

Votes: Percent:
Ty Gipson  456  68.67%
Paul Nadeau  208  31.33%

To see a complete May 9, 2015 election results, go to www.wilco.org/elections.

Sidewalk Rules Aim to Ensure Accessibility

A City ordinance defining accessibility standards for sidewalks in Georgetown went into effect this month. The new rules aim to ensure ADA-compliant walkways, especially around the Square, in areas where tables, merchandise, and other items are placed on sidewalks.

The new rules require a path that is three feet wide without obstructions on sidewalks. Tables, chairs, planters, signs, merchandise, or other items should be placed so as not to obstruct a path that is three feet wide for pedestrians, wheel-chair users, or others.

The new rules, which went into effect on April 8, apply to all sidewalks in the city, including those in the downtown area.

Other new rules require City approval for signs, artwork, promotional items, or publication boxes on the sidewalk. Outdoor displays of merchandise are allowed only during regular business hours in the Downtown Overlay District. Permanent displays are not permitted. City landscape features or planters may not be used for display or promotion, such as lighting or signs placed by businesses.

Within the nine-block area around the Courthouse in the Downtown Overlay District, smoking is prohibited within 10 feet of any public entrance.

City Annual Report for 2014 Available

Georgetown_AnnualReport_13-14 cover-450An annual report for the City of Georgetown for the 2014 fiscal year is now available online and in print copies. The report, titled Shaping Our Future, highlights projects, initiatives, and financial information for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year that started on October 1, 2013 and ended on September 30, 2014.

The report includes profiles of five focus areas, including economic development, public safety, signature destination, transportation, and utilities. A financial section includes details on revenues, expenses, assets, assessed valuation, and taxes.

The report is available online at files.georgetown.org/annualreport. The report was designed by Steve Bracamontez and Samantha Smith with photography by Rudy Ximenez.

A limited number of free printed copies of the annual report are available at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. Pick up a copy near the book drop in the lobby or at the Reference Desk on the second floor.

The report provides a brief overview taken from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which is a much longer fiscal report. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available online at files.georgetown.org/comprehensive-annual-financial-report.

Classical Guitarist Peter Fletcher Performs May 17

PETER FLETCHER 6687 8X10 croppedClassical guitarist Peter Fletcher plays next in the Georgetown Public Library’s popular “Live Music at the Library” series. He will perform on Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m. in the library lobby.

This concert is part of a nationwide tour to promote Fletcher’s new Edvard Grieg CD, released in 2014 on Centaur Records.

Fletcher will perform selections from this new CD, an all-Grieg album for which he wrote the guitar transcriptions. CDs will be available at the concert. He performed this same concert at Carnegie Hall in April.

Other works on the program will include Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s DesiringCourante from the Third Cello Suite, and Prelude in C minor and Fugue in G minor, BWV 999 and 1000.

Fletcher will also perform music from Michael Praetorius’ Terpsichore; Prelude No. 1 by Villa-Lobos; a Fandango by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, and two Catalonian folk songs arranged for guitar by Miguel Llobet.

In addition he will perform a very special version of the traditional Shaker Hymn Simple Gifts, transcribed by John and B.J. Sutherland. The last half of this guitar setting modulates down a step to C major. To accommodate this key change, the bass string of the instrument must be tuned down one whole step in performance, producing a sound reminiscent of a country fiddler.

The final work on the program will feature Fletcher’s transcription of Paganini’s dazzling Caprice no. 24.

For more information about Peter Fletcher, visit peterfletcher.com.

Free and open to the public, this performance is a gift of the Friends of the Georgetown Public Library. Peter Fletcher’s tour is conducted under the auspices of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists. Come and go, or have a seat in the library lobby and enjoy the concert. For more information, contact Dana Hendrix, GPL Fine Arts Librarian, at (512) 930-3624.

The Georgetown Public Library is located at 402 W. Eighth Street in Georgetown.

Aquatics Lifeguard Training Program Receives Award

Aquatics Garrett Darimont-b800The aquatics program for Georgetown Parks and Recreation recently received top honors for its lifeguard training program. The program won Aquatics International Best of Aquatics for Lifeguard Training at the Association of Aquatics Professionals annual conference in February.

Stephanie Darimont, aquatics supervisor for Parks and Recreation, received the award for Georgetown at the conference. The award recognized Georgetown’s program for “imagination, expertise, dedication, and forward-thinking.” Aquatics professionals from across the country and from other countries attended the conference.

As a result of the award, Georgetown’s aquatics program was featured in Aquatics International magazine, a trade publication with more than 90,000 subscribers.

Last year, two lifeguard teams from Georgetown placed first and second in the state lifeguard competition at the 2014 Summer Games of Texas. A third lifeguard team from Georgetown qualified for the state competition.

Pictured in the photo (left to right) are Kimberly Garrett, parks and recreation director, and Stephanie Darimont, aquatics supervisor.

2015 Art for Animals: May 9

logoTickets are now available for the 2015 Art for Animals auction, to be held Saturday, May 9, 2015, 4;00-7:00 p.m., at the Georgetown Community Center, located at 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park.  At Art for Animals, guests will enjoy art, wine or coffee, and chocolate desserts—the perfect combination for animal lovers!

The fundraiser is sponsored by the Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter and is their biggest fundraiser.

Tickets are $10 per person (or $12 at the door), which includes light appetizers, chocolate desserts, and beverages. Wine tickets will be sold for $5 per glass.

This year there will be a silent auction and raffle, but no live auction. Themed gift baskets (e.g., golf outing, spa weekend) will be raffled at the event. For $10, each attendee will receive 25 raffle tickets that can be apportioned to the available gift baskets as desired. Drawing winners for the gift baskets will take place at 6:30, and the drawing for a $250 gift to Walmart will be at 6:45.

Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center, 103 W. Seventh Street; Georgetown Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive; or Framers Gallery, 610 S. Main Street. The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter is located at 110 W.L. Walden Drive next to the McMaster Athletic Complex. 

Floyd shows off his still life
Floyd shows off his still life

  “The proceeds from Art for Animals have a huge positive impact on the   animals at the shelter.  We were recently able to upgrade our adoption trailer to better showcase the dogs and increase their chances of finding forever families. The Friends is able to provide equipment and services to the shelter to improve the lives of the animals while they are there, and to help animals throughout the community,” said Christy Hullum, last year’s president of the Friends group.

Donations of framed artwork and hand-crafted items, such as pottery,  jewelry, and glass work, will be accepted through April 17. Other donations being accepted for the auction include gift baskets, travel packages, and other unique items. Paintings made by the animals at the shelter also will be auctioned.  Donors will receive two tickets to the event.

To make a donation for the auction, contact the animal shelter at (512)930-3592. Donations may be taken to the Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive. The shelter website is pets.georgetown.org.

Fire Department Plans for Upgraded EMS and Transport

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a plan for the Georgetown Fire Department to upgrade their capacity to provide advanced life support and conduct EMS transport. Starting on October 1, the Fire Department will become the primary EMS provider in Georgetown and in the Emergency Services District covered by the department.

According to the plan, the Fire Department will hire six additional positions later this year. The Fire Department hired 12 paramedics in February, including those with experience from cities in Texas and other states. By October 1, the Fire Department plans to have 32 paramedics on staff.

The department also will purchase two more Transitional Response Vehicles in addition to the two TRVs delivered last month for a total of four TRVs.  These dual-purpose vehicles carry equipment for fire and rescue response as well as EMS equipment for medical calls and transport of patients. In addition, Georgetown will transition its fire engines to be fully advanced life support vehicles with capability and function similar to a rolling emergency room.

In addition, emergency dispatch for fire, police, and EMS in the Georgetown area will be through the City of Georgetown 911 center. Providing emergency dispatch for EMS calls will reduce delays and call transfers and improve operational efficiency.

Changes for EMS in Georgetown are the result of two years of discussions between the City and Williamson County. The City of Georgetown initially proposed an integrated response in which the Georgetown Fire Department and Williamson County EMS shared 911 medical calls in the area. However, the City and County could not come to an agreement on such an integrated response.

“As we do every day, we will continue to work cooperatively with Williamson County,” says Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan. “For fire or medical calls to 911 in the Georgetown area, 75 percent are medical. The percentage of medical calls is even higher in areas like Sun City. This transition to an enhanced EMS response for Georgetown makes sense in providing the best emergency care for our residents. Additional paramedics and TRVs will enable a faster medical response with more responders that have a higher level of medical training than the current system.”

Georgetown has an aging population that is unique to Williamson County and Central Texas. Nearly 30 percent of the population is older than 60 years of age and the demand for pre-hospital medical services is expected to grow in the future.