Garey Park to open June 9

The City will celebrate the grand opening of Garey Park on June 9.

At 525-acres, Garey Park is one of the largest city parks in the state and is roughly 1.5 times the size of Zilker Park in Austin.

The park, which is located along the South San Gabriel River at 6540 RM 2243, was donated by Jack and Cammy Garey in 2004 along with $5 million for park development. In 2008 voters approved a bond for an additional $10 million for the park’s construction.

“The City is thankful for this tremendous gift from the Gareys that has become a public park for all of us to enjoy,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Garey Park will be a regional destination for outdoor recreation as well as a beautiful Hill Country setting for special events. With features similar to those found in state parks, this park is surely a gem for the City of Georgetown, and one that our residents and visitors will enjoy for many years to come.”

Amenities at the park include a playground, a splash pad, a dog park, an equestrian arena, the Garey House event space, pavilions, 3 miles of hiking trails, and 6 miles of equestrian trails.

Other facilities include an entry gate, restrooms, and a maintenance facility.

“I am looking forward to the seeing the finished project and enjoying the park,” Jack Garey said. “There is a lot for everyone to enjoy.”

The City broke ground on the park in March 2017. Construction was completed by Ritter-Botkin Prime Construction Co. of Pflugerville and Austin-based Halff Associates completed the park’s design.

Details for the grand opening celebration are still being finalized.

Early voting for City Council race begins April 23

Early voting starts Monday, April 23, for the City Council Election in Georgetown. The early in-person voting period is April 23-28 and April 30-May 1. Election Day is May 5.

For voters in the City of Georgetown, the May 5 ballot includes the District 1 seat. Incumbent Anna Eby and Mary Calixtro will be on the ballot.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing single-member districts. To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

To see early voting locations or vote center locations on election day, go to wilco.org/elections. Voters may go to any early voting location in Williamson County to cast a ballot during the early voting period. On election day, voters may cast ballots at any Vote Center location in Williamson County.

Earth Day programs focus on Monarch butterflies

The Georgetown Public Library along with the Southwestern University Environmental Studies Program and Smith Library Center are co-sponsoring a group of Earth Day events at the Georgetown library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The library will also host two stand-alone discussions on Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior.” Southwestern University Economics Professor Emily Northrop and Georgetown Assistant Library Director Sally Miculek will lead a book discussion Tuesday, April 17. The second book discussion Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. will be led by Smith Library Center Director Carol Fonken and Georgetown Fine Arts Librarian Dana Hendrix.

On Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m. David Wolfe, director of conservation strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund, will present “Monarch Butterflies: Threats and What You Can Do to Help.” Northrop will also present a talk on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. titled “Reducing CO2 Pollution for Monarchs and Humans.”

For more information, visit library.georgetown.org/flight-behavior.

 

Williams Drive Study projects considered for federal funding

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will host a public meeting Tuesday, April 10, to seek public input on its Regional Arterials Plan and its 2019-22 Transportation Improvement Program, which includes a recommendation for $1.38 million of federal funding for access management improvements on Williams Drive in 2019.

The meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. in the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The projects proposed for federal funding came from the Williams Drive Study adopted by City Council in 2017.

Since the plan’s adoption, the City completed an update to the City’s traffic signal coordination system as well as installed flashing yellow arrows along Williams Drive, from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road to alleviate turning conflicts and improve light wait times.

Work will commence this summer on the Rivery Boulevard extension project and expected to be completed by mid-2019, creating additional connectivity to Northwest Boulevard and eventually over I-35. Recommendations resulting from the Williams Drive Study have been incorporated into the design of Rivery Boulevard. Following the completion of Rivery Boulevard in mid-2019, the City will begin constructing the Northwest Boulevard Bridge, which will provide a parallel route to Williams Drive from Austin Avenue to Lakeway Drive.

The City has begun work to incorporate the land use findings from the Centers Area of the Williams Drive Study as part of the update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan update, which will include additional outreach opportunities.

Visit campotexas.org for more information and to take the online survey. Comments can also be emailed to comments@campotexas.org. These opportunities will be available until Friday, May 11.

Georgetown Parks and Recreation summer camp registration begins March 26

Georgetown Parks and Recreation will offer a variety of summer camps for area students from June 4-Aug. 10. Resident registration will begin Monday, March 26, and nonresident registration begins Tuesday, March 27.

Age requirements, pricing, and schedules vary for each program. Summer camps are not licensed child care programs. All fees listed are charged per week. Students must have completed Kindergarten to register.

Participants can select from:

  • Art Camp: Ages 5-12; June 25-29, July 9-13, July 16-20, and July 23-27; $175 resident/$220 nonresident
  • Adventure Camp: Ages vary from 11-17 based on program; Weekly sessions offered from June 4-Aug. 1; Rates vary based on program
  • Brandy Perryman Basketball Shooting Camp: Ages 7-16; June 11-14; $225 resident/$280 nonresident
  • Camp Goodwater: Ages 5-12; Weekly sessions offered from June 4-Aug. 10; $140 resident/$175 nonresident
  • Circle of Friends (Adaptive Camp): Ages 13-23; June 18-21, June 25-28, July 9-12 and July 16-19; GISD students only; $135 resident/$170 nonresident
  • Georgetown Leadership Challenge: Ages 14-16; June 25-28; $200 resident/$250 nonresident
  • Hoop Dance Camp: Ages 7-18; July 9-13 and Aug. 6-10; $100 resident/$125 nonresident
  • Junior Fire Academy: Ages 12-14; June 4-8 and June 18-22; $100 resident/$125 nonresident
  • Junior Tennis Academy: Ages 11-18; Weekly sessions offered from June 4-Aug. 10; $100 resident/$125 nonresident
  • Kid City: Ages 5-11; Weekly sessions offered from July 9-Aug. 3; $10 resident/$15 nonresident; Georgetown ISD students only. Child must qualify for free or reduced lunch program within GISD.
  • Lego Robotics and Engineering Camp: Ages 5-14; June 11-15 (morning), June 18-22 (morning), Aug. 13-17 (morning or afternoon); $185 resident/$230 nonresident
  • Let’s Make Friends (Adaptive Camp): Ages 5-12; June 18-21, June 25-28, July 9-12 and July 16-19; GISD students only; $135 resident/$170 nonresident
  • Little Tennis Camp: Ages 5-7: Weekly sessions offered from June 4-Aug. 10; $70 resident/$90 nonresident
  • Sporties for Shorties Camp: Ages 5-10; June 4-8, June 25-29, July 23-27 and July 30-Aug. 3; $115 resident/$145 nonresident
  • Tennis Camp: Ages 7-12; Weekly sessions offered from June 4-Aug. 10; $140 resident/$175 nonresident
  • Volleyball Skills Camp: Ages 7-15; June 18-22 and July 16-20; $100 resident/$125 nonresident

Registration is available online or in person at any of the following locations: Georgetown Parks and Recreation Administration Office, 1101 N. College St.; Georgetown Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.; and the Georgetown Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Dr. For more information, visit parks.georgetown.org/camp or call 512-930-3596.

 

GTX Residents: Free Spay/Neuter Clinics for Cats

Spring has sprung, and love is in the air in the animal world!  The Georgetown Animal Shelter is holding the second of three free spay/neuter clinic for cats on April 28. The goal of the clinics is to reduce the cat population in Georgetown.  This is the sixth year that the shelter has offered free spay/neuter clinics for cats, and it seems to be making a difference in the number of kittens ending up at the shelter.

Spay and neuter surgeries and a rabies vaccination will be provided at no charge. Other services available at the clinic include a combo test (feline AIDS/leukemia test) for $20, an FVRCP vaccine for $5, microchip for $10, e-collar for $10, pain medication for $5, or cat carrier for $5.

Appointments are required for the free clinics, which are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are not necessarily for low-income cat owners. Cats or kittens must be at least three months old.

The clinic is offered only for cats whose owners live in the Georgetown City Limits, so bring your driver’s license or other form of ID that shows your current address.

Additionally, the shelter continues to offer low-cost vaccine clinics every few months, which are walk-up clinics for vaccinations only (not spay/neuter surgeries).  Dates for the shot clinics can be found at pets.georgetown.org/programs/low-cost-shots-and-neutering/.

Call (512) 930-3592 to schedule your cat for surgery. All spay or neuter surgeries will be done by a licensed veterinarian. The final free spay/neuter clinic is scheduled for June 23.

The spay and neuter clinic will be held at the City of Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive near the McMaster Athletic Fields. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or by email at animalsvc@georgetown.org. The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter website is pets.georgetown.org.

Georgetown in second-healthiest county in Texas

Williamson is ranked the No. 2 healthiest county among the 242 counties ranked in Texas in the 2018 County Health Rankings, which were released yesterday. Georgetown is the county seat for Williamson County.

The county health rankings are an annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Williamson County was ranked the No. 1 healthiest county in Texas in the 2013 report and 2011 report and the No. 2 healthiest county in Texas in the 2014 report and 2012 report. Williamson has been one of the four healthiest counties in Texas every year since 2011.

The annual ranking is a report card that scores counties on a range of factors including air quality, clean water, community safety, commuting times, educational attainment, employment rates, graduation rates, health behaviors,  health provider ratios, healthcare quality, and longevity.

The annual rankings are based on a variety of data sources such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The rankings are available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Proposed annexation of Berry Creek Highlands

The City of Georgetown is considering a voluntary annexation of property into the city limits.  The Public Hearings will be held at the March 27, 2018 meeting at 3 pm and March 27, 2018 at 6 pm. City Council meetings are located at the City Council Chambers, 101 E. 7th Street, at the northeast corner of Seventh and Main Street.  The area being considered for voluntary annexation is approximately 314.54 acres in the Burrell Eaves Survey, located at SH 195 Georgetown, Texas, to be known as Berry Creek Highlands.

After holding the required public hearings, the City Council will consider an ordinance for the annexation on April 24 and May 8, 2018.

For additional information, please contact Sofia Nelson in the Planning Department, 512-930-3584 or email to sofia.nelson@georgetown.org.

Berry Creek Highlands location map

Downtown parking ambassadors to start

Later this month, two downtown parking ambassadors will start working in the downtown parking zone around the Williamson County Courthouse Square. The primary roles for the part-time City of Georgetown employees will be to provide information to residents and visitors on the Square and enforce the three-hour parking ordinance. The downtown parking ambassadors are expected to start by mid-March.

The downtown parking ambassadors will help to direct visitors to free parking lots in the downtown and also provide directions to restaurants, shops, and government offices. Free parking lots are located at 10th and Main streets, Sixth and Main streets, Seventh and Rock streets, Austin Avenue and Fifth Street, Martin Luther King and Eighth streets, and Martin Luther King and Seventh streets. There is a public four-story parking garage at Fourth and Rock streets. The free parking lots and garage do not have a three-hour limit.

The downtown parking ordinance limits on-street parking in the downtown parking zone (see map) to three hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The three-hour limit does not apply on Saturday or Sunday. A violation of the ordinance can result in a warning followed by a fine of $20 for a second offense, $50 for the third offense, and $100 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

The goal of the three-hour limit for on-street spaces in the downtown zone is to provide for the turnover of these spaces and increase the periodic availability of spaces in the zone throughout the day. The three-hour limit does not apply to disabled parking spaces in the zone. Residents who live in the downtown zone may apply for a residential parking zone permit.

To find out more about events, shops, restaurants, and attractions in downtown Georgetown, go to visit.georgetown.org or arts.georgetown.org or mainstreet.georgetown.org.

Georgetown Public Library named as finalist for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Georgetown Public Library has been named a finalist for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The library is one of 29 finalists named.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 24 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“Being named a finalist for the IMLS National Medal is truly an honor and community achievement,” Library Director Eric Lashley said. “It is exciting for our staff, volunteers, and community partners to be recognized at the national level for our efforts to engage, enlighten, and empower members of our community.”

The San Antonio Public Library is the only public library in Texas to have won the IMLS National Medal.

“The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Georgetown Public Library programs including the WOW!Mobile, the community resources coordinator, arts and culture coordination for the City, art and music programming in the library, children’s and teen programing, and the strong Friends of the Georgetown Public Library organization all helped to make the library stand out from other applications.

IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the library to share their story on social media. To #ShareYourStory, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls and use #IMLSmedals.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on May 24 in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov.