Public Hearings for Voluntary Annexations

The City Council is considering six voluntary annexations at the July 8th and July 22nd meetings. Council will consider action on these items on August 12th and a second reading to be determined. Most of the described properties below are being annexation in anticipation of future development.  Below are the properties with a location map of each:

  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 753.3 acres in the Perry, Thompson, Donagan, and Stubblefield Surveys, to be known as Wolf Ranch Hillwood, generally located at West University Avenue and Wolf Ranch Parkway. ANX-2014-006_Location
  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 406.3 acres in the Eaves Survey, to be known as Sun City, Queens Tract, located on Highway 195 near Sun City Boulevard. ANX-2014-005_Location
  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 768.9 acres in the Foy and Dyches Surveys, to be known as Sun City, Somerset Hills Tract, located near CR 245 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. ANX-2014-004_Location
  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 54.54 acres of right-of-way for the future Southwest Bypass and Wolf Ranch Parkway. ANX-2014-003_Location
  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 10.76 acres in the Stubblefield and Thompson Surveys, located near DB Wood Road, for First Baptist Church Georgetown. ANX-2014-008_Location
  • Public Hearing for the Voluntary Annexation of 41.57 acres in the Roberts Survey, located off of Shell Road, to be known as the Hills at Georgetown Village. ANX-2014-007_Location

Vaccine Protects Dogs from Parvo Risk

Recently a number of dogs that were picked up in the southeast side of Georgetown have tested positive for parvovirus, a serious, often fatal canine disease.

dogs of week 06-14-14-250In the past two months, five dogs have tested positive for parvovirus. All were picked up by Georgetown Animal Services in the southeast area of Georgetown. Dogs that are not confined to a yard can roam and spread the disease through contact with other dogs.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can be passed from one dog to another. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of parvovirus infection, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The parvovirus vaccine is highly effective in preventing the disease. Georgetown Animal Services reminds residents with puppies that the first round of vaccinations should be given at six to eight weeks. A common vaccine called a 5-in-1 protects dogs against parvovirus and four other common diseases. Puppies typically receive a series of vaccinations at three to four week intervals after the first shots. All dogs should receive regular vaccinations after the first year.

As with all animals in their care, Georgetown Animal Services employees take several precautions to prevent the spread of disease among dogs at the shelter.

According to petmd.com and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the type of parvovirus that affects dogs cannot be transmitted to humans.

For more information on parvovirus, including symptoms, prevention, and treatment, go to the ASPCA site at www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/parvovirus.

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

Mosquito Team Aims to Zap West Nile Risk

A joint effort to trap mosquitoes, identify potential risk from West Nile Virus, and inform residents continues this summer in Georgetown. The City of Georgetown and the Williamson County and Cities Health District started trapping mosquitoes in early May. So far this year there have been no positive tests for West Nile in mosquitoes collected in Georgetown. Testing will continue through the fall.

Each week, traps are placed in different locations in Georgetown by City employees in Transportation Services. The traps are collected by an employee with the Health District and taken to Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin for analysis. The Health District also is trapping mosquitoes in other parts of Williamson County this year in an expansion of the monitoring effort. Results are posted to the Health District website at www.wcchd.org.

The Health District brings new expertise to the team this year with the addition of Catherine Zettel Nalen, an integrated mosquito management program specialist. Zettel Nalen is identifying trap locations, analyzing sampling data, and leading community outreach efforts to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus in Williamson County.

At a recent talk in Georgetown, Zettel Nalen emphasized the important role that each resident can play in reducing mosquito breeding areas and increasing personal protection against bites. “Check your yards and empty any container that can hold water,” she said. That can include clogged gutters, wheelbarrows, drain pipes, or toys left in the yard. Bird baths and plant saucers should be emptied twice weekly to prevent the formation of mosquito larvae.

For rain barrels or low-lying areas, Zettel Nalen suggested the use of larvicides such as mosquito dunks. They contain a naturally-occurring bacteria that is harmless to people, pets, fish, wildlife, or other insects. The larvicide disks are available at local hardware stores.

While the City is using the larvicide disks in drainage ponds and areas with standing water, Zettel Nalen highlighted the role each resident plays. “Studies have found that 25 percent of mosquito complaints can be traced to the caller’s own property.”

So far this year, there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus in Texas. The peak of West Nile Virus activity in mosquitoes and in human cases tends to be in the late summer or fall.

According to the Health District, 80 percent of those who become infected with West Nile Virus do not have any symptoms. Of those who become infected, only 1 in 150 cases have the most serious symptoms.

The City and Health District continue to promote these four steps to reduce mosquito populations and Fight the Bite:

  • Dawn and Dusk are times to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors (especially at dawn or dusk).
  • Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitos don’t have a place to breed.
  • Defend against mosquito bites with an EPA-approved insect repellant.

For more information on the mosquito monitoring and outreach effort, visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District website at www.wcchd.org. For more information on West Nile virus and the response in Texas, go to the Texas Department of State Health Services website at www.dshs.state.tx.us.

Georgetown Ranks Seventh on Fastest-Growing City List

The Census reported this week that Georgetown is among the fastest-growing cities in the country. According to a news release from the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday, Georgetown ranks number seven on a list of the fastest-growing medium-sized cities in the U.S.

Radiostar stage Ximenez 1-600“San Marcos, Cedar Park and Georgetown—each near Austin—ranked among the 10 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more during the year ending July 1, 2013,” according to the Census news release.

Georgetown’s growth rate was 4.5 percent from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, resulting in a 2013 population of 54,898 residents. Georgetown’s 2010 census population was 47,400. (Photo credit: Rudy Ximenez)

Housing starts have continued at a steady pace in Georgetown with 690 new home permits issued in 2013.

Growth in Georgetown shows no signs of slowing down. Housing communities in all areas of the city continue to add new residences, including developments such as Water Oak, Sun City Texas, The Brownstone at the Summit, and La Conterra. Other neighborhoods such as Wolf Ranch—a Hillwood Communities development with more than 2,000 residences—are in the planning stages.

Why is Georgetown growing so fast?

One reason is Georgetown’s location in the Austin metropolitan area, which has been the fastest-growing metro region in the nation for the past four years. The Austin metro continues to add jobs as well as retirees at a rapid pace.

Other reasons for Georgetown’s growth include the historic downtown area and Courthouse Square, parks and trails, dining and entertainment options, good schools, safe neighborhoods, and one of the lowest property tax rates in Texas.

To find out more about moving to or living in Georgetown, go to livehere.georgetown.org.

Fire Department Promotes 19 Firefighters

The Georgetown Fire Department promoted 19 firefighters on Friday in a ceremony at Fire Station 5. Those promoted moved into a range of positions including firefighter, driver engineer, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, and assistant chief. Fire Chief John Sullivan and Assistant Chief Clay Shell conducted the ceremony.

Jeff Davis was promoted from battalion chief to assistant chief. Hank Jones and Craig Krienke were promoted from captain to battalion chief. Joseph Finley, Robert Gordon, Bill Sherek, and Craig Sossner were promoted from lieutenant to captain. Gary Beyers, Jonathan Gilliam, TC Ryan, Michael Vaughn, and Travis Vinton were promoted from driver engineer to lieutenant. Daniel Bilbrey, Keith Hehmann, Garey Jackson, Mark Randall, and Wesley Seigmund were promoted from firefighter to driver engineer. Eric Lambert and James Ledbetter were promoted to firefighter after completing a year of probationary status.

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The Georgetown Fire Department Honor Guard presented the colors at the event and the Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums Band performed.

Texas State MBAs Assist City on Projects

Four teams of students in the Master of Business Administration program at Texas State University put their business analysis skills to work this spring in Georgetown. The teams worked on four projects for the City of Georgetown as part of the capstone course for their MBA degrees.

Texas St MBA group 1b-640Rather than a typical business school scenario that may involve a large corporation in another city, these projects were focused on involvement in the local community says Matt Painter, MBA program director for the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State.

“All the students working with the City were enrolled in the evening MBA program at our Round Rock campus,” says Painter, who lives in Georgetown. “These students are working professionals, most in their 30s, working a full-time job during the day and then taking graduate courses in the evenings.”

The Texas State collaboration with the City started in October when Painter and Dennis Smart, a business professor in the MBA program, met with City Manager Paul Brandenburg to identify potential projects. After getting ideas from City staff, Brandenburg worked with the students who started the projects in January. (Two of the groups are pictured.)

Texas St MBA group 2b-640One group looked at the problem of identity theft and fraud among residents of Sun City and provided a number of recommendations to help prevent these crimes. A second group conducted a downtown business survey of Georgetown and surveyed eight comparable cities to develop strategies to for special events, marketing, and the use of public areas.

The third group used modeling projections to determine the effects of different options for landscaping and water use rules. A fourth group looked at the economic impact of development in the planned South Georgetown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone along Westinghouse Road, including a planned Bass Pro Shop that borders the area.

Each project was completed in the spring semester and culminated two weeks ago when the students presented their projects to fellow students, professors, and City staff. The students graduated from the MBA program on May 8.

Reports from each group to the respective City departments contain practical recommendations, analysis, and background for City staff. These reports have practical value to the City at zero cost to taxpayers.

Weight Limit Set for Austin Avenue Bridges

weight sign Austin Ave South San-450A weight limit has been placed on the Austin Avenue bridges over the two forks of the San Gabriel River in Georgetown.

The weight limit went into effect last week after a recent preliminary examination of the bridges by engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation. Signs listing the weight limits have been placed at both bridges.

The maximum gross weight for each bridge is 48,000 pounds or 24 tons. The weight limit for a tandem axle on a vehicle is 21,000 pounds or 10.5 tons. These weight limits apply to 18-wheel semi-trucks or other heavy trucks, but would not affect passenger vehicles or smaller trucks.

The City of Georgetown and TXDOT are evaluating any future actions that may be needed in order to insure the integrity and useful life of the bridges.

Dale Ross Elected Mayor of Georgetown

Updated: A special City Council meeting to canvass the vote will be held on Tuesday, May 20 starting at 5:30 p.m. Dale Ross will be sworn in as mayor and Keith Brainard and Rachael Jonrowe will be sworn in as council members for District 2 and District 6, respectively. The special meeting will be at the Council Chamber and Courts Building, 101 E. Seventh Street.

The Williamson County Elections office has posted the final unofficial results from today’s election for Georgetown mayor.

Mayoral Election Results:

VotesPercent
Marlene McMichael2,12244.80
Dale Ross2,61555.20

For complete May 10 election results, go to the Williamson County Elections website at wilco.org/elections.

The Georgetown mayoral election results will be canvassed by the City Council at a special meeting on May 20 or May 21. The date of the canvass will be determined this week. At that meeting, Dale Ross will be sworn in and a mayor pro-tem will be elected by the Council.

Keith Brainard and Rachael Jonrowe also will be sworn in at the canvassing meeting to serve as Council Members for District 2 and District 6, respectively. Both incumbents were unopposed.

The vote canvassing meeting will be held at the Council Chamber and Courts Building at 101 E. Seventh Street.

Granny Basketball Game Photos

sign for game-400The Texas Fire Ants from Georgetown played the Louisiana Crushers in the first official Granny Basketball game to be played in Texas. The two teams played Saturday afternoon at the Georgetown Recreation Center. The Louisiana Crushers drove nearly six hours from their home in DeRidder, Louisiana for the game.

Saturday’s game in Georgetown was the first Texas match-up in the Granny Basketball League, which started in Iowa nearly 10 years ago. The league is a revival of the six-on-six girls basketball popular in Iowa from the 1920s through the 1970s. More than 200 women over 55 now play in the senior league with 25 teams in five states in the U.S.

The league plays by the 1920s rules for girls basketball. Players may only dribble twice before passing or shooting.

dribbling 1

Here the women on the Fire Ants team in white blouses work the ball against the Crushers, in the purple vests.

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Running is not allowed in the game. Passing to an open player is a key element of the game.

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Jumping also is not allowed. The players must stay in the floor when shooting.

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Barb McPherson, who started the Granny Basketball League in 2005, served as the referee for the game. She travelled from her home town in Iowa to be here for the first Granny Basketball game in Texas. McPherson’s sister Linda Toerper lives here in Georgetown and started the Texas Fire Ants team.

Joy of Six

All the rules are covered in detail in the official rules handbook for the game called the Joy of Six.

Crushers team shot-b500

The Crushers (above), who have been playing together for seven years, won the game against the novice Fire Ants Team. But all the women on both teams seemed to have a great time playing. There were smiles and hugs among all the players at the end of the game.

Fire Ants team shot-b500

The Fire Ants (above) now have 10 women on the roster ranging in age from 55 to 77. They work on skills or scrimmage each Wednesday at the Georgetown Recreation Center.

The Fire Ants plan to compete in the Granny Basketball League national tournament in Oklahoma City on July 12.

For information on how to get involved with the Granny Basketball team at the Georgetown Recreation Center, contact Robert Staton, senior recreation program coordinator for the City of Georgetown parks and recreation department at (512) 930-1367 or robert.staton@georgetown.org.

Capital Improvement Projects Proposed for 2015

Learn about proposed transportation and utility infrastructure projects in Georgetown for the upcoming fiscal year.

Citizens are encouraged to view the proposed City of Georgetown 2015 Capital Improvement Plan summary to be presented to the Georgetown Utility Systems Advisory Board and Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board on Friday, May 9, 2014 (linked to below).

Projects in the proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2015 include street overlay and street reconstruction projects, curb and drainage improvements, water line upgrades, wastewater system improvements, and electric system improvements.

Both the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board and the Georgetown Utility Systems Advisory Board will make a recommendation on the 2015 Capital Improvement Plan to the City Council at their respective Friday, May 9, 2014 meetings. The CIP is scheduled for review and approval by the city council in June as an element of the overall 2014/15 city budget.

All Capital Improvement Plan documents can be viewed at the following location: http://records.georgetown.org/weblink8/0/fol/421931/Row1.aspx

Questions about or comments on the proposed capital improvement projects for 2015 can be emailed to cipcomments@georgetown.org.