Think Before You Surrender a Pet

“I’m moving tomorrow, and I can’t take my cat.”

“My dog keeps escaping from the back yard.”

“The kids don’t play with the guinea pig anymore.”

These are familiar refrains at the Georgetown Animal Shelter, the City’s municipal open-intake animal shelter. But animal shelters should be the last resort for pets that depend on their humans to take care of them.

Beginning in February, the shelter will direct people wanting to give up their pets to make appointments.

“We hope to give people extra time to think about their decision and whether an animal shelter is the best place for their companion,” explained shelter manager Jackie Carey. “Shelters are stressful places even for easygoing dogs and cats.”

If you determine that surrendering your pet is the only option, call 512-930-3592 to make an appointment. Bring any veterinarian records and proof of residency. (As a tax-supported city department, the Georgetown Animal Shelter only accepts animals from people who live within the city limits.)

Be prepared to spend a half hour at the appointment. You’ll be asked to talk to a staff person, complete a profile on the animal, and sign over your rights to make decisions. It’s possible that staff can suggest other alternatives to surrendering the pet.

“We want to see if by talking to people and offering help they will not have to surrender their pets – for example, help fixing their fence, help getting their pet altered, help with training or offering a crate. But if someone is already at wit’s end, we understand and will take their pet without trying to talk them into keeping it,” Carey said.

Appointments will be scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. On weekends, appointments will be available from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Public Safety Operations and Training Center Move-in Feb. 2

PSOTC entry1b-1000The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration move to the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on February 2. The center is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.

The new facility is the home for the Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration. Police Department offices, including Code Enforcement, as well as Fire Department Administrative offices, including Fire and Life Safety and Fire Plans Review, will move to the new facility.

In addition to office and indoor training areas in the 76,204 square-foot main building, the center also includes a driving track and a training building with 3,897 square feet of office and outdoor classroom space and a 12,800 square-foot unfinished training bay with movable partitions and observation catwalks.

Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.

A public open house for the Public Safety Operations and Training Center will be held in March. Details will be announced in February.

Filing Period for Council Election Starts Jan. 28

The filing period starts today for candidates seeking one of two places on the Georgetown City Council. The May 9 election includes races for City Council candidates from District 1 and District 5. The last day to file for a place on the ballot is February 27.

A packet of information for prospective candidates is available at City Hall at 113 E. Eighth Street. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Patty Eason is the current City Council member for District 1 and Jerry Hammerlun is the City Council member for District 5. Both have announced that they do not plan to seek re-election.

To see maps of council districts, go to files.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. A candidate for city council or mayor must be 21 years of age and a citizen and qualified voter of the state of Texas and the City of Georgetown. Candidates for council district seats must be a resident of the council district the member would be representing for a period of twelve months as of the last legal date for filing.

The last day to register to vote in the May election is April 9.

Early in-person voting will be April 27 through May 5. In the Early Voting period, voters may cast ballots at any Early Voting location in Williamson County.

On Election Day, voters may cast ballots at any vote center location in Williamson County. Polling places, dates, and times are listed at wilco.org/elections.

For details about the city election, contact Jessica Brettle, city secretary for the City of Georgetown, at Jessica.Brettle@georgetown.org or (512) 930-3652.

Breakfast Bites on Feb. 11: Show Me the Money

The Breakfast Bites panel on February 11 will discuss crowd-funding strategies for small businesses. Breakfast Bites is a quarterly business development event by the Georgetown Main Street Program.

The February 11 panel will include three professionals, each with a unique perspective on crowd-funding for small businesses. Mark Thomas, economic development director for the City of Georgetown, will serve as moderator. Panelists include these business professionals:

Hall Martin is the founder and CEO of Texas Entrepreneur Networks, the largest crowd-funding portal in Texas. To date the TEN Funding Program has helped entrepreneurs raise more than $141 million for startup and growth companies. Martin also is the creator of WilcoFundingPortal.com, a local crowd-funding resource.

Karen Soeffker is the owner of All Things Kids with locations in Georgetown and at The Domain in Austin. Karen and Christian Soeffker are in the process of expanding their business to new locations and are looking for investors and partners via non-traditional financing to help them grow rapidly.

Bradley Farrell is the creator of StitZii, a new product to absorb grease, fats, oils, and carbohydrates from prepared foods like pizza. Farrell has received crowd-funding for StitZii through WilcoFundingPortal.com.

The event on Wednesday, February 11 is from 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. in the Hewlett Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. Breakfast snacks, coffee, and drinks will be provided. Networking starts at 8 a.m.

Attendees should pre-register by contacting Shelly Hargrove, Main Street manager, by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 9 at shelly.hargrove@georgetown.org or (512) 930-2027. Main Street is a program of the City of Georgetown Downtown and Community Services Department.

Cupid’s Chase 5k and Fun Run Feb. 7

Register now for the 20th annual Cupid’s Chase 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, February 7. The chip-timed 5k run/walk begins at 8 a.m. in downtown Georgetown at Seventh and Main streets and ends at the Bark Park on Holly Street. (A shuttle will take you back to the starting line.)

Through February 4, the registration cost is $22 per person for all age groups. Registration at packet pickup and race day is $25 per person for all age groups.

The Kids Fun Run for children age 8 or younger starts at 7:30 a.m. The course is a loop around the Courthouse. Registration is $10 on or before February 4 and $15 on race day. T-shirts are not guaranteed if you register on race day.

Participants receive a Cupid’s Chase Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em T-shirt, while supplies last. Gus’s Drug is sponsoring a costume contest for Cupid’s Chase for the best three cupid-related costumes. Check in at the Gus’s Drug table at the finish line for the costume contest. Dogs on a leash are always welcome on the Cupid’s Chase course.

Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female winners and the overall male and female masters winners as well as the top three male and female finishers in each age division. Awards also will be presented to the top overall male and female City of Georgetown employee. If you are a City of Georgetown employee, be sure to indicate so when you register.

Race results will be posted after the race at cupid.georgetown.org.

In case of bad weather on race day, check facebook.com/CityofGeorgetown, facebook.com/LivePlayGeorgetown, and parks.georgetown.org for updates. There are no refunds or transfers for participants.

Cupid’s Chase is sponsored by Georgetown Parks and Recreation. Event proceeds help to fund projects at Georgetown parks. To register online or for details, go to cupid.georgetown.org.

 

Tax Return Help Starts Jan. 28

Two volunteer groups are offering free assistance in preparing tax returns during tax season. The volunteer, free tax help starts next week and continues through the filing deadline for federal returns on April 15.

Public Library

From January 31 through April 15, volunteers will offer free and confidential tax preparation assistance at the Georgetown Public Library at 402 W. Eighth Street at these times:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays, 12 to 4 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will help prepare e-file or mail-in returns, prior year returns, amended returns, or extensions and help you find answers to tax questions. Bring a copy of your return from last year if possible since, for e-filers, the AGI number (bottom line on front of 1040/A/EZ) is your verification PIN for this year. This volunteer service is provided without regard to income level. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Williamson County Financial Stability Coalition

Starting on January 28, free and confidential tax preparation help is available from IRS-certified preparers to those who qualify. No appointment is necessary.

The Williamson County Financial Stability Coalition, a community-wide effort led by United Way of Williamson County, is sponsoring the assistance. Volunteers will be available to the elderly and households earning less than $53,000 in 2014 across Williamson County. IRS-certified volunteers will be available at the sites to help individuals and families file their 2014 federal income tax returns.

Taxpayers are eligible to have their tax returns filed at no charge and specially-trained volunteers will assist in identifying tax credits available in order to maximize each person’s federal tax refund. The free tax sites will serve those whose income was less than $53,000 in 2014.

These sites are offered in Georgetown:

The Caring Place Annex, 2001 Railroad Street
January 28 through April 15
Wednesdays from 12 to 8:30 p.m.
Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sun City Cowan Creek Amenity Center, 1433 Cool Spring Way
January 30 through April 10
Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

No appointments are needed. All returns are filed electronically and taxpayers generally receive their refunds within seven to 10 days.

Taxpayers will need to bring the following items:

  • Valid driver’s license or photo ID
  • All W-2 and 1099 forms (if any)
  • Social Security cards for taxpayers and all dependents
  • Birthdates for all dependents
  • Day care receipts and provider ID number
  • Education receipts (if any)
  • Your spouse, if filing a joint return
  • Interest and dividend statements from your bank/savings
  • Mortgage property taxes or interest (if any)
  • Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit (a voided check is best)
  • Health coverage information

For additional information on the free tax sites, visit WilcoFreeTaxPrep.org or email info@unitedway-wc.orgor call (512) 255-6799.

Ninth Street and Main Street Closures

Street closures on Ninth Street and on Main Street will start on January 21 as part of the ongoing utility and street project redesign on Ninth Street in downtown Georgetown.

Main Street will be closed on Wednesday, January 21 from Eighth Street to Tenth Street. The closure will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day to allow for trenching across Main Street at Ninth Street. Local traffic will have access to businesses on Main Street in the closure area.

Ninth Street will be closed January 26 to February 2 in the one-block segment from Main Street to Church Street. This is to allow for trenching and installation of underground conduit in that block.

The street closures are part of the overall project on Ninth Street to move overhead utilities underground, reconfigure parking and drainage, and improve sidewalks and landscaping.

Work on Ninth Street from Rock Street to Austin Avenue was substantially complete in December. Work on Ninth Street from Austin Avenue to Main Street is expected to be completed in April.

See the map below for the location of the street closures:

Collection Station Rates and Tree Recycling

New rates for materials brought to the Collection Station took effect January 1. The new Texas Disposal Systems rates are no greater than 90 percent of the gate rate charged at the Williamson County landfill in Hutto. Items such as tires, refrigerators, batteries, roofing shingles, and loads of gravel are accepted at the Collection Station for a fee. For details, go to recycle.georgetown.org.

Also, as of Jan. 1, all loads brought to the Collection Station must be secured with twine or rope, or must be tied down using a tarp. The purpose is to reduce littering and roadway debris hazards. State law requires loads to be secured. A $25 fee for unsecured loads goes into effect on Feb. 1.

The Collection Station is located at 250 W.L. Walden Drive, which is near the McMaster Athletic Fields on N. College Street. For details, go to recycle.georgetown.org.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Through January 31 at no charge, live Christmas trees will be accepted at the City of Georgetown Collection Station from in-city residents and those who live outside city limits. Trees should be free of tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands prior to drop-off. Trees brought to the Collection Station will be ground into garden mulch.

Art for Animals Postponed to May 9

logoOriginally scheduled for February 7, Art for Animals is being postponed to May 9. Renovations at the animal shelter are displacing staff for 10 days in January and requiring the shelter to be closed during that time.

“Normally we are accepting and storing a lot of art and other donations in the weeks leading up to Art for Animals, and that just isn’t practical this year,” according to shelter manager Jackie Carey.

The annual event is sponsored by the Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter and is the biggest annual fundraiser for the shelter. All proceeds benefit the animals by funding improvements to the shelter and enhancing services for animals.

The shelter’s annual garage sale will be held in September this year, instead of in the spring.

The group is still seeking donations of artwork from Feb. 2 to April 17. Donations of framed artwork and hand-crafted items such as pottery, sculpture, jewelry, and glass work are especially popular, as are gift baskets, travel packages, and other unique items or services. Donors will receive two tickets to the event.

Items that have already been donated are being stored in a secure location, and donors will receive their tickets in the mail in February.

To make a donation for the auction after February 1, contact Jackie Carey, manager at the Georgetown Animal Shelter, at (512) 930-3527, or by email at Jackie.Carey@georgetown.org.

 

Main Street Façade and Sign Grants Fall 2014

The Georgetown Main Street program has presented a number checks this year to businesses for Façade and Sign Grants. The Main Street Façade and Sign Fund is a matching grant program for commercial buildings in the historic downtown area. (Click on photos to see larger versions.)

Escape check-b640

The Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts at 713 S. Main Street received a $5,678 grant for new signs, painting of the building façade, and replacement of wooden windows. Pictured (left to right) in the photo are Jim Wilson, Julie Laderach, Marcy Urban, Shelly Hargrove, Judy Lester, Cindy Harrington, Len Lester, Vicki Jackimiec, and David Kellerman.

Bucking Bronco check-b640

Bucking Bronco, LLC received a $10,000 check for the façade work on the renovation of 108 W. Eighth Street, which is the location for La Bella Casa, a home furnishings store. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are David Kellerman, Marcy Urban, Julie Laderach, Bill Hart, Vicki Jackimiec, Cindy Harrington, Jemme Lynn Wilks, Ken Horack, Jim Wilson, and Shelly Hargrove.

Roots Bistro check-b640

Roots Bistro at 118 W. Eighth Street received a $2,496.14 grant for painting of the façade on the building. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are David Kellerman, Marcy Urban, Shelly Hargrove, Jim Wilson, Cindy Harrington, Rebecca Huggins, Bill Hart, Bob Weimer, Julie Laderach, and Vicki Jackimiec.

Screen Door check 1000

The Screen Door at 1003 S. Austin Avenue received a $928 grant for signs and awnings. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are David Kellerman, Julie Laderach, Vicki Jackimiec, Cindy Harrington, Marta Schrader, Matt Synatschk, Laurie Brewer, Marcy Urban, and Jim Wilson.

600 degrees check 1000

The building owner for 600 Degrees Pizzeria and Drafthouse at 124 E. Eighth Street received a grant for $10,000 for façade work on the building. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are David Kellerman, Julie Laderach, Marcy Urban, Cary Rabb, Sammy Marsden, Jeff Marsden, Laurie Brewer, Cindy Harrington, Jim Wilson, and Vicki Jackimiec.

Pink Poppy check 1000

Pink Poppy Artisans Boutique at 114 W. Eighth Street received a grant for $1,526 for façade work and signs. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are Marcy Urban, Jim Wilson, Laurie Brewer, Vicki Jackimiec, JJ Parker, Jeff Parker, Kay Briggs, Cindy Harrington, Julie Laderach, and David Kellerman.

Escape facade-b1000

The Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts is at 713 S. Main Street. Find out more about The Escape at TheEscapeGeorgetown.com.

La Bella Casa facade-b500

La Bella Casa is at 108 W. Eighth Street. Find out more about La Bella Casa at www.facebook.com/LaBellaCasaGeorgetown.

Roots Bistro facade-b600

Roots Bistro is at 118 W. Eighth Street. Find out more about Roots Bistro at www.rootsbistrogtx.com.

Screen Door facade-b1000

The Screen Door is at 1003 S. Austin Avenue. Find out more about The Screen Door at www.thescreendoor.com.

600 Degrees facade-b1000

600 Degrees Pizzeria and Drafthouse is at 124 E. Eighth Street. Find out more about 600 Degrees Pizzeria and Drafthouse at 600degreespizzeria.com.

Pink Poppy facade-b1000

Pink Poppy Artisans Boutique is at 114 W. Eighth Street. Find out more about Pink Poppy Artisans Boutique at www.pinkpoppyboutiquetx.com.

The Main Street Façade and Sign Fund provides reimbursement grants to business owners in the historic downtown area for a portion of improvements made to building facades and new signs. Sign matching grants are for up to $500 and façade matching grants are up to $10,000 for exterior work on a historic building.

Georgetown Main Street promotes historic preservation and economic development efforts in the historic downtown. Main Street is a program of the City of Georgetown Division of Downtown and Community Services. Learn more at mainstreet.georgetown.org.