Trail and Chautauqua Park Opening Photos

Mayor Dale Ross, Parks and Recreation Department staff, and other officials cut the ribbon on a new mile-long section of the San Gabriel River Trail on Friday. The event was held at Chautauqua Park, 602 Rucker Street. The new section of the hike and bike trail extends from University Avenue north to Blue Hole Park. The trail parallels Scenic Drive and goes through Chautauqua Park. (Click on photos for larger versions.)

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City officials cut the ribbon on the new section of trail.

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Improvements at Chautauqua Park include a new picnic pavilion.

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A new restroom was constructed at Chautauqua Park.

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The concrete trail is eight feet wide and follows Scenic Drive.

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The new section of trail includes an overlook near University Avenue.

Wastewater Line Upgrade Methods Reduce Disruption

The City is employing some new methods that will minimize disruptions when replacing underground wastewater lines in neighborhoods. Upgrades of more than 4.5 miles of wastewater lines are planned over the next 10 months.

One replacement method called pipe-bursting uses a boring machine with a 10-inch-diameter drill head that removes old 8-inch clay lines. As the pneumatic boring machine drills out the old pipe it pulls through new polyethylene pipe to replace it. The pipe-bursting method does not require extensive trenching to remove old lines. The work will cause some noise and excavation, but the impact will be much less than full trenching to remove and replace old lines.

A second wastewater line repair method entails even less disruption. The cured-in-place method inserts a cloth tube into the existing line. Hot steam is blown into the cloth tube, inflating it inside the line. The hot steam cures a resin material in the cloth and turns it into a hardened PVC pipe. The cured-in-place repair method uses a manhole to access wastewater lines and requires no excavation.

The pipe replacement work is part of the City’s Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone work to replace aging sewer lines.

Line inspection work prior to repairs started last week in the Oak Crest area along Spring Valley Road, Northcross Road, Southcross Road, and River Road. Line inspections in Old Town along Main Street and College Street are scheduled this week.

Starting late this year and continuing through July 2015, wastewater line repair and replacement work will be scheduled in a number of neighborhoods including Oak Crest, Old Town, Summercrest, San Gabriel Heights, San Jose, River Ridge, Georgetown South Commercial Park, and the North Georgetown Addition.

TLCC Federal Grant to Attract Foreign Companies

The Texas Life-sciences Collaboration Center recently announced a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to assist in the recruitment of foreign companies to Georgetown. The $300,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration, a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, will assist TLCC in recruitment of companies from South Korea.

2 TLCC leaders 2b-1000The grant will support a center within the Texas Life-sciences Collaboration Center to facilitate relocation of foreign life science manufacturing companies seeking to expand to Texas, with particular focus on Korean companies.

Services for Korean life sciences companies at the center could include embassy relations, foreign relocation specialists, workforce development assistance, training programs at Texas State Technology College, research assistance, and contract manufacturing organizations.

According to Michael Douglas, executive director of TLCC, the grant is part of a $600,000 project that will create an estimated 500 jobs in the next several years.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, Michael Douglas, and Congressman John Carter (pictured above) spoke at the grant announcement event on October 9.

TLCC new building-b-1000The announcement was held in the new TLCC building that is currently under construction. When completed, the new facility will include clean-room manufacturing space for the production of biotech materials, implant devices, pharmaceuticals, and other products.

DisperSol is one TLCC company that plans to expand into the new building. DisperSol has developed technology that allows for the more ready absorption of new drug compounds.

Georgetown Animal Shelter Meets No-Kill Goal in 2014

cat of week 10-11-14-200All across Georgetown, tails are wagging and the sound of purrs is emanating from every quarter, as the Georgetown Animal Shelter achieved a significant benchmark.

The City shelter achieved a live outcome rate of 90 percent for the 2014 fiscal year, which spanned October 1, 2013 to September 30. This means that the shelter met the common standard for no-kill status, which is a euthanasia rate under 10 percent. Animals are euthanized at the shelter only when they are severely sick or injured, or exhibit behavior unsafe to other animals or people.

This is the second time for the shelter to meet the annual no-kill standard. The shelter had a 90 percent live outcome rate in the 2011 calendar year. In the 2013 fiscal year, the live outcome rate was 81 percent, and in fiscal 2012 it was 85 percent.

“I’m so proud of our staff and volunteers who work so hard to find good, appropriate homes for our dogs and cats.  And we are all grateful to the public for adopting,” said Jackie Carey, animal services manager.

Other notable milestones from the year-end report include:

  • A record number of adoptions, with 904 in fiscal year 2014, 871 in fiscal 2013, and 822 in fiscal 2012.
  • A noticeable spike in cat adoptions, with 500 adopted in fiscal 2014, 371 in fiscal 2013, and 412 in fiscal 2012.
  • The highest number of impounded animals ever with 1,863 impounded in fiscal 2014—a 12 percent increase. The number impounded in fiscal 2013 was 1,664 and in fiscal 2012 was 1,671.
  • A near-record number of animals returned to their owners with 426 returned in fiscal 2014, 438 in fiscal 2013 and 318 in fiscal 2012. That is a 34 percent increase from two years ago.

dog of week 10-11-14-200According to Carey, the dramatic increase in animals being returned to their owners is probably a result of increased efforts to track down and work with owners on reclaiming their animals, as well as more animals being microchipped.

In summary, the shelter took in 12 percent more animals than in the previous year, yet both the number of adoptions and the number returned to owners increased, resulting in fewer animals being euthanized.

“This is a huge accomplishment for an open intake municipal shelter,” said Carey. “We are required by law to take in every animal surrendered or picked up at-large within our jurisdiction, even aggressive or sick animals. To accomplish no-kill under those requirements is nothing short of amazing.”

The Georgetown Animal Shelter is located at 110 W.L. Walden Street next to the McMaster Athletic Complex. The shelter website is pets.georgetown.org. Contact the Georgetown Animal Shelter by phone at (512) 930-3592 or by email at animalsvc@georgetown.org.

Business Outreach Effort Teams City and Chamber

Georgetown’s economy is growing with new residential and commercial developments, increasing population, and new businesses. Another factor in Georgetown’s growth that may be less visible, but no less important, is the success of existing businesses. The growth of existing businesses boosts the local economy as they hire more employees, add locations, or invest in facilities.

Understanding the opportunities, issues, and concerns of these businesses is the focus of the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce as they partner to reach out to local businesses. The City’s Economic Development Department and Chamber leaders are initiating a new outreach effort by contacting and meeting with business leaders from a variety of sectors. Outreach teams include City Economic Development Department staff and volunteers from the business community who have served as past chairs or vice chairs of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Volunteers have completed training in order to participate in the program.

In meeting with local businesses, the teams from the Chamber and Economic Development will be learning about company backgrounds, the impact of workforce availability, market influences, supplier proximity, and local services such as transportation, safety, and utilities. The teams will be using a survey to gather information.

Conchita Gusman, program manager for the City Economic Development Department, says, “The purpose of the effort is not just to complete a survey, but to establish and continue a face-to-face relationship. We want members of our business community to know we appreciate their choice to continue doing business in Georgetown and when they have questions about growing their business, they have access to their business retention team member.”

There are ten teams with two members each slated to conduct one visit per month. The outreach effort is starting this month with the first contacts to businesses and initial meetings.

Fire Dept Holds Hunt to Find AEDs in Georgetown

The Georgetown Fire Department is sponsoring an Easter in October AED Hunt to encourage residents to locate Automated External Defibrillators in the community. An AED is a device that delivers an electric shock to restart the beating heart of a person with sudden cardiac arrest.

Help the Georgetown Fire Department find AEDs in Georgetown area in businesses, public buildings, and churches so that emergency responders will know where AEDs are located in times of emergency.

AED on wall-500Easter in October AED Hunt

How does the Easter in October AED Hunt contest work?

First: Find AEDs in local businesses, churches, and other places in the Georgetown city limits.

Second: Make a list of all the locations in Georgetown city limits with an AED. For each location include the name of the location (e.g., business name, public facility name, etc.), street address, and the phone number for that location. Optional: Take a picture of yourself in front of AEDs you locate. (Photos may be used to help promote the contest.)

Third: Email your list of places with AEDs to the Georgetown Fire Department at EasterinOctober@georgetown.org. Include your name, email, and phone number on your list. The deadline for submissions is 12 p.m. (midnight) on October 25, 2014.

The person with the most AED locations submitted will win a $500 gift certificate.

If you have any questions about the Easter in October AED Hunt contest, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at fire@georgetown.org or call (512) 930-3473.

Contest rules: AED locations must be verifiable to win. In case of a tie, a drawing for a winner will be held. The winner will be announced October 31, 2014. A picture of the winner may be made public. Gift certificate provided by Georgetown Fire Department.

Georgetown Fire Department is Hiring Paramedics and Firefighters

Our Department is growing and so can you…consider joining the Georgetown Fire Department and take your career to the next level.

Ask yourself a few questions…

Are you a paramedic or firefighter who loves to help others?

Do you have a passion for learning, teaching and serving?

Do you want to be part of a culturally sound organization?

If you answered “yes” to the above, please consider joining our family!

We have immediate plans to hire up to fifteen (15) candidates and are actively seeking paramedics with a strong work ethic and work history.

This is a unique opportunity to join a highly respected and professional organization that is best known for providing a caring and professional service to the community.

The Georgetown Fire Department was founded in 1881 and provides a broad level of service that includes EMS, Fire, Rescue, Haz-Mat, Dive and Recovery, Rope Rescue, Swift-Water Rescue, Fire Inspection, Code Enforcement, Community Outreach and more.

Benefits

Salary: $42,502 – $55,455 (annual)

Hiring range is $42,502 + Paramedic Cert and/or Assignment Pay, if applicable.

Overtime & Longevity Pay

Competitive benefits package can be viewed by visiting benefits.georgetown.org.

More information available online.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted at georgetown.org/jobs.

Hiring Process may include:
Application Deadline: Nov. 9
Written Test: Nov. 15
PAT/Fitness: Nov. 22 – 23
Interview: Dec. 1 -12
Chief Interview: Jan. 5 – 9, 2015
Drug Test/Physical: Jan. 12 – 21, 2015
Academy: Begins Feb. 2, 2015
*Dates and times are subject to change

 

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City Budget Wins Award for 25th Year

For the 25th consecutive year, the City of Georgetown was given a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award was presented to the Finance and Administration Department for the budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year that ends September 30.

GFOA rates budget documents in four categories, including how well the budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device.

According to GFOA, “The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the government body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.”

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Finance and Administration employees pictured above include (left to right) in front row: Jodi Levie, Micki Rundell, and Lisa Haines; second row: La’Mar Kemp, Karrie Pursley, Terry McCord, and Becky Huff; third row: Chris Foster, Danella Elliott, Amy Fancher, Susan Morgan, and Paul Diaz. (Click on photo to see a larger version.)

GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving nearly 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America.

Chisholm Trail and City of Georgetown Water Utilities Consolidate Assets

Updated, Sept. 17: The City of Georgetown and the Chisholm Trail Special Utility District completed a transfer agreement on Friday that moves toward a consolidation of the two water utilities. The liabilities and assets of the district have been transferred to the City of Georgetown, according to the agreement. Chisholm Trail employees are now City of Georgetown employees.

Chisholm Trail customers are now City of Georgetown water customers charged at the out-of-City rate, which is a base monthly charge of $27.50 for a standard residential customer. Along with the monthly base charge, Chisholm customers will notice a “transition” surcharge of $4.75 on their bills. This fee covers ongoing expenses associated with the Chisholm Trail board function and will be removed once the full consolidation occurs. The volumetric rate is $1.75 per thousand gallons for the first 10,000 gallons in the month. For complete water rates, go to customercare.georgetown.org/rates.

The new water rates for 7,633 customers of the Chisholm Trail district will be in effect for the next billing period and reflected on October bills. The Chisholm Trail district office at 851 Farm to Market 970 in Florence will continue to operate as a location for making payments, submitting utility service requests, and other customer service needs. Chisholm Trail customers may continue to pay bills and find district information at the ctsud.org website or contact the district by phone at (254) 793-3103.

The Chisholm Trail district board remains the policy board for the district with the responsibility to provide water to customers in the Chisholm Trail service area. November board elections will occur as scheduled. The service area is called a CCN, which stands for “certificate of convenience and necessity” to serve in a geographic area. The service area or CCN transfer process is ongoing. The next step is a court hearing on October 27 at the State Office of Administration Hearings in Austin.

The Georgetown Utility Systems Advisory Board has been expanded to add two positions, each of which will be reserved for out-of-City members. The Chisholm Trail board will retain $500,000 for board operational expenses and liabilities.

The City and Chisholm Trail have been in discussion since 2011 about a possible merger of the two water utility systems. A feasibility study on the possible merger was conducted in 2012. A vote to consolidate was approved unanimously by the Chisholm Trail board in August 2013.

The City of Georgetown serves about 22,500 water accounts representing about 56,000 customers in a 70 square-mile service area that includes Georgetown and surrounding areas. Chisholm Trail SUD serves about 7,633 water accounts representing about 19,000 customers in a 377 square-mile service area that extends northwest from Georgetown into Bell and Burnet counties. Most Chisholm Trail customers are in or near the City of Georgetown extra-territorial jurisdiction, which includes unincorporated areas up to 3.5 miles beyond city limits.

Georgetown Animal Shelter – Where Animals are Priceless

The animals at the Georgetown Animal Shelter are priceless.  Every animal that comes to the shelter is provided basic care such as vaccinations and spaying or neutering the animals. Our shelter staff and volunteers go beyond the basics to offer a full spectrum of care, including:

Vaccines against common diseases$60 dogs, $15 cats
Spay/neuter$190 cats, $230 ave. dog
Microchipping$42
Basic obedience training for dogs$100
Heartworm test for dogs$20
Monthly heartworm preventative$6 – $20
Treatment for dogs with heartworm disease$800 – $1,400 (weight-based)
FIV/FLV test for cats (feline AIDS/feline leukemia)$38

On average, cats receive $310 worth of treatment and services, dogs receive $442 worth of care, and dogs with heartworm $1,542. Other services that are difficult to put a price on include giving baths and grooming, temperament-testing of dogs, cleaning teeth, and hundreds of hours of volunteer time with animals on socializing, cuddling, exercising, and doing agility courses with dogs.

You get all this and more when you adopt a shelter pet, plus the extra rewards of free tail wags, kitty kisses, love, and devotion. The adoption fee of $70 is very low considering what you get in return. How can you put a price tag on love?

The Georgetown shelter makes an investment in our animals. We look for adopters who understand that pet ownership is a commitment for the lifetime of the pet. Visit our shelter to discover how a priceless dog or cat can add untold value to your life!

The Georgetown Animal Shelter is located in Georgetown at 110 WL Walden Drive. Hours are Saturday and Sunday 12 to 4 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or pets.georgetown.org.