Operation Warm Aims to Buy Coats for Local Kids

With the holidays around the corner and colder winter days ahead, not every child in Georgetown has a winter coat to stay warm. Georgetown firefighters have initiated Operation Warm to help ensure that every child in Georgetown has a warm coat to wear.

The Georgetown Fire Department and the Georgetown Association of Professional Fire Fighters are sponsoring Operation Warm, which is an effort to provide coats for local children who need them. The Georgetown Boys and Girls Club has identified nearly 100 children who need warm coats. The greater need in the community exceeds that number.

How can you help? Here’s two ways:

Raffle Drawing

Georgetown firefighters are selling 1,500 raffle tickets in order to purchase new winter coats for kids. Raffle tickets are $5 each. The raffle drawing to determine the winner will be on December 12, so buy your tickets by December 11.

Purchase raffle tickets at any of the five fire stations in Georgetown. To find station locations, go to fire.georgetown.org/operations/stations.

The raffle winner will receive half of the raffle proceeds, which could be as much as $3,750. The remainder of the raffle proceeds will be used to purchase new winter coats for kids in Georgetown.

After the raffle drawing on Dec. 12, the winner will be announced on the Georgetown Association of Professional Fire Fighters website at gapff.org.


Donations for Operation Warm to provide coats for kids can be made at www.operationwarm.org/Georgetown. Monetary donations to Operation Warm also can be made in-person at any of the five Georgetown fire stations. All monetary donations collected will be used to purchase coats for children in Georgetown.

“We have a saying in the fire service that ‘everyone goes home,’” says Daniel Bilbrey, a driver for the Georgetown Fire Department. “We want to make sure that every firefighter goes home to their family after each shift. This year with Operation Warm, we want to make sure that each and every kid in Georgetown will go home warm this year, and each year after that.”

To learn more about Operation Warm and how you can help, go to the Georgetown Association of Professional Fire Fighters website at gapff.org or www.operationwarm.org/Georgetown.

Collectible Ornament of Old Williamson County Jail

2014 ornament Old JailA limited-edition collectible brass Christmas ornament featuring the old historic Williamson County Jail goes on sale November 8. The cost of the ornament is $20, tax included. The eighth annual ornament sale is a project of the Georgetown Main Street Program.

The old Williamson County Jail at 312 Main Street was built of native limestone in 1888 at a cost of $22,000. The jail served Williamson County continuously from 1888 until 1990. The French Bastille style was unchanged during remodeling in 1934.

The old jail is used for an annual haunted house event each October to benefit the Williamson County Brown Santa program.

Only 300 of the limited-edition ornaments are available. Payments by cash, check, or credit are accepted.

Ornaments may be purchased at the Visitors Center at 103 E. Seventh Street on the downtown Square or at the Georgetown Art Center at 816 S. Main Street. Ornaments typically sell out each year.

All proceeds from the ornament sale fund the Light Up the Square campaign to add more holiday lighting in downtown Georgetown.

Prop 1 Street Maintenance Sales Tax Election Final Results

Georgetown voters approved Proposition 1 for the street maintenance sales tax with 83 percent supporting the measure according to final results. Prop 1 is for the reauthorization of a dedicated 0.25 percent sales tax for street maintenance in the City of Georgetown.

These are the final unofficial results for Georgetown Prop 1 from Williamson County Elections:


Votes: Percent:
For: 14,604 82.45
Against: 3,109 17.55

Georgetown voters initially approved the sales tax for street maintenance in 2002 by 57 percent of the vote. The sales tax was reauthorized in 2006 by 72 percent of the vote and in 2010 by 80 percent approval. The sales tax must be reauthorized every four years according to state law.

To see a complete November 4 election results, go to www.wilco.org/elections.

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.)

trail ribbon cutting-2-1000

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

Chautauqua pavilion-2-1000

Improvements at Chautauqua Park include a new picnic pavilion.

Chautauqua restroom-2-1000

A new restroom was constructed at Chautauqua Park.

Scenic trail 2a-1000

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

Scenic trail overlook-2-1000

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.


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