City selects nine new sculptures for 2017-18 tour

The City has contracted with eight artists to participate in its Sculpture Tour, a juried year-long outdoor exhibit in the Georgetown Cultural District.

The City’s Arts and Culture Board selected the nine 2017-18 Sculpture Tour pieces from 41 pieces submitted for consideration by 21 artists. Sculptures will be installed in early November and will remain on display through October 2018.

The previous group of Sculpture Tour works will be removed by artists by Nov. 1 to make space for the new pieces.

Five of the works will be installed on Main Street, and four will be located outside the Ninth Street entrance of the Georgetown Public Library at 402 W. Eighth St.

Artists along with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department staff will install each piece.

All nine sculptures’ artists will receive a cash prize based on judging that will take place in November by the Arts and Culture Board.

Sculpture Tour artists and their selected works for the next twelve months are:
Cindy Debold, “Imagination”
Peter Mangan, “Blood Brother”
Sun McColgin, “Thor’s Hammer” and “Tanzanian Torpedo”
Mary Morse, “Kite”
Dan Pogue, “Mystic Flight”
Jay Schaan, “Ladder Man”
Dave Speer, “Barn Martian”
Anthony St. James, “Freshwater Cowgirl”

For more information, including a map of the Sculpture Tour, visit arts.georgetown.org/art/sculpture-tour.

Traffic signal changes help mobility on Williams Drive

The City is using new traffic signal technology along the Williams Drive corridor to help improve mobility on the roadway. Flashing yellow left-turn arrows are now operating and in the next week, the city will implement new traffic signal timing that will better synchronize signals along the corridor.

The signal synchronization is the first project to be implemented from the Williams Drive Study adopted by City Council in August. The study was completed in partnership with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization through its Platinum Planning Process.

The project was made possible because of the utility fiber network that the City has put into place in the past several years connecting City facilities and infrastructure.

The flashing yellow arrow signals are operational along the corridor from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road, with the exception of the Del Webb Boulevard intersection. Flashing yellow arrow signals allow drivers to make left turns while yielding to on-coming traffic and pedestrians.

In conjunction with signal operation and timing improvements, the City will also install monitoring devices and backup batteries at all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

Monitoring devices at signals allow City staff to see and adjust signal performance remotely, and the batteries will prevent traffic signals from shutting off during electrical outages in all 19 of the city-owned traffic signals.

New historic district street signs to be installed

New historic district street signsThe City is installing 554 new historic district street signs throughout the Old Town and Downtown historic districts this weekend, Oct. 14-15.

The architectural design detail on the signs was created by Georgetown artist Nick Ramos and was inspired by the large number of Mesker Brothers storefronts in the downtown area. The City of Georgetown is home to one of the largest collection of Mesker storefronts, which incorporate a crest or shell design in the columns and cornice lines. Examples of the design include the Georgetown Art Center and the Dimmit and M.B. Lockett buildings.

The signs are a “red poppy red” color and feature a flower as part of the architectural design. The design pays tribute to the architectural heritage of the Georgetown community and will help identify the districts and promote the historic nature to residents and visitors.

The signs, which were made in Waco and will be installed by Area Wide Protective crews, are partially funded by the Downtown tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ. The TIRZ helps fund improvement projects throughout the downtown area.

The blue street signs that are being replaced will be sold for $10 each during the Nov. 11 Market Days event on the Square. Signs will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis during the event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Library welcomes Meg Gardiner for Hill Country Author Series

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library will host a Hill Country Author Series event Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m., in the Community Rooms of the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., featuring Austin-based author Meg Gardiner. Gardiner’s newest book “UNSUB” was published in June. Lawyer turned author, Gardiner is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer who has written thirteen thrillers.

“UNSUB,” short for unknown subject, tells the story of a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier. This psychological thriller has been bought by CBS Television Studios for adaptation into a TV series.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, the WOW!mobile, online at folgeorgetown.org/event/hcas-meg-gardiner, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974. Refreshments from the Red Poppy Coffee Co. are included.

The event begins at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds are used to fund unbudgeted items and other ongoing library projects.

Outdoor warning sirens to be tested Oct. 7

The City’s outdoor warning sirens will be tested on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. The audible test of the 23 outdoor warning sirens will be for 90 seconds, during which each siren will rotate 360 degrees.

The test that was publicized for Sept. 30 did not occur due to a miscommunication with the company that programmed the siren test.

Monthly tests are now planned for the sirens for the first Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. Testing on the first Saturday of the month rather than the last Saturday of the month will allow for a more consistent testing day. Testing will continue monthly on the first Saturday of every month. No testing will be conducted during severe weather or if there is a threat of severe weather to avoid causing confusion for residents.

The outdoor warning sirens are used to send a message to people who are outside at parks, golf courses, and other outdoor areas to seek shelter. Sirens are activated to warn of tornadoes, severe weather with strong winds, large hail, or a hazardous chemical incident.

The outdoor warning sirens are one method of alerting the public about an impending hazard. Residents are also encouraged to monitor the local news media when severe weather threatens. In addition, residents are encouraged to register their phones to receive emergency alerts from the local 911 center. Sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org. You may register multiple mobile phones or landlines to receive alerts.

Walk or Bike to School Day on Oct. 4

Students in Georgetown will join those from all over the U.S. walking or riding their bike to school on Oct. 4. The annual event marking its 21st year encourages children to walk or bike to school in order to increase physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and help the environment.

A special Walk or Bike to School Day event is planned at Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons in Georgetown. Parents, teachers, and community leaders will participate in the event. After gathering at a number of meeting spots, children will walk or bike to Village Elementary and then join an arrival rally in the gymnasium at the school. Representatives from Safe Place, a Georgetown Utility Systems safety program, and the Georgetown Police and Fire departments also will be at the event to provide information on safety when walking or biking to school.

The event is being organized by the City of Georgetown, Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown Utility Systems, and Georgetown ISD.

Learn more about events happening in places all over the country at www.walkbiketoschool.org. These events build connections among families, schools, and the broader community.

For additional local information, please contact Brian Vickers, Village Elementary School coach, at (512) 943-5000 ext.7437or vickersb@georgetownisd.org.

Georgetown, Round Rock open Mays Street extension

The Cities of Georgetown and Round Rock will celebrate the opening of the Mays Street extension with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Georgetown/Round Rock city limits sign on the new road, which is about a quarter mile north of Bass Pro Drive.

The 1.2-mile roadway, which provides a north-south connection from Teravista Parkway at Bass Pro Drive in Round Rock to Westinghouse Road at Rabbit Hill Road in Georgetown, was a joint effort by the two cities.

“This new roadway will provide another connection between Georgetown and Round Rock that will greatly benefit residents in both cities. The Mays Street extension is also a key economic development driver for properties along Westinghouse Road and will improve our ability to attract new commercial and office projects to southeast Georgetown,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “When neighbors come together in partnership, great things like this project happen, and we appreciate the City of Round Rock working with us to help make this possible.”

The $6.4 million project was funded by the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp., which promotes economic and community development by paying for streets and transportation improvements, in partnership with the City of Round Rock. Round Rock funded 27 percent of the project.

“We’re thrilled to partner with our neighbors in Georgetown in opening up this new roadway,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. “This is regional cooperation at its best, and will give motorists an alternative to I-35 that benefits both communities.”

The four-lane arterial provides a new connection from Georgetown to a retail and commercial area in Round Rock along University Boulevard. The project will also help economic development efforts in southeast Georgetown, including a proposed office project that could include up to 550,000 square feet of flexible office space that is planned near the intersection of Mays Street and Westinghouse Road.

Georgetown City Council approved a construction contract for the project in August 2016 with Austin-based C.C. Carlton Industry LTD, and the company began construction in October.

Retail for Tails event raises funds for animal shelter

The Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter is hosting a community retail sale Sept. 22-23 to raise funds for the Georgetown Animal Shelter.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at the Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park. There is no admission fee.

A variety of vendors will be selling everything from plants to handmade gifts and vintage items. Child-friendly, light snacks will be available for purchase.

Only service animals are allowed in the Community Center.

Contact the Animal Shelter at (512) 930-3592 or at animalsvc@georgetown.org for more information.

Plan for emergencies during National Preparedness Month

(From left) Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida, Emergency Management Coordinator Chad Berg, Fire Chief John Sullivan and Mayor Dale Ross at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting.In recognition of the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency, Mayor Dale Ross proclaimed September National Preparedness Month in Georgetown during the Sept. 12 City Council meeting.

Each of us can take action to prepare, and there are many things residents can do to prepare for an emergency such as a fire or flood, including making and practicing plans yourself, friends and family as well as participating in preparations for neighborhoods and communities.

Emergency experts encourage you to put together a go-bag or disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information. Also, think about the supplies you have on hand. You may not need to evacuate, but what if you had no electricity or no water? Extra canned or boxed foods, water, and pet food can help your family be self-sufficient for a few days, if necessary. Write out your plan, think of evacuation routes and shelter plans, and practice your plan with your household. For more information, including checklists and tips, go to ready.gov, a website of the Department of Homeland Security.

Could your 911 center contact you in an emergency? Georgetown residents can sign up for emergency alerts from the City or Williamson County at WarnCentralTexas.org, which is a regionwide emergency alert system. Alerts about flooding, tornadoes, or other life-threatening emergencies are sent by text message or by voicemail.

In an emergency, the best sources of local information are often local TV and radio stations and local media websites. Drivetexas.org is a site by the Texas Department of Transportation with real-time data on road closures across the state. To find out about road closures in the Austin metro region, including Georgetown, go to ATXfloods.com, a site with real-time information on road closures due to flooding.

The City of Georgetown uses a number of social media platforms to inform residents, including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor. Follow the City of Georgetown at  facebook.com/CityofGeorgetown and twitter.com/GeorgetownTX. Nextdoor is an effective way for the City to send alerts about emergencies or other urgent issues such as power outages, water outages, or road closures. Sign up at Nextdoor.com.

Being prepared in case of an emergency can help first responders by knowing how to respond during an emergency and what to do if there is a disaster as well as how to help yourself and others until help arrives.

Breakfast Bites: Inside the Millennial Mind

Matt Glazer headshotThe next Breakfast Bites meeting on Sept. 20 will feature Matt Glazer on the topic of Inside the Millennial Mind. The informal meeting starts at 8 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The talk will start at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided. Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program.

Glazer’s talk will provide a deeper understanding of myths surrounding generational workforces, tips on how to engage diverse age groups within our economy, and knowledge of trends in Central Texas. Glazer is an entrepreneur, a community engagement expert, and the former executive director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce.

With this meeting, the Breakfast Bites event is now combining with the Downtown Lowdown meeting. The new meeting format includes a speaker on a downtown topic followed by updates on events and initiatives in the downtown. The new combined meeting will be scheduled quarterly.

At the Sept. 20 meeting there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Art Center and Public Library events
  • Historic street signs update
  • Austin Avenue Bridges update
  • Downtown sidewalk projects
  • Founders Park update
  • Best of Georgetown and Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • Downtown sales tax trends

Also, learn about updates from downtown partner organizations and find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.