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.

National Night Out on Oct. 3

Officer Delta Jolly and neighbors during a National Night Out block party.National Night Out, an annual event to support safe neighborhoods, is on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in Georgetown. Block parties are being organized from 6 to 9 p.m.

Online registration for National Night Out block parties in Georgetown ends Friday, Sept. 22.  Registering your block party provides the information to the Georgetown Police Department so that an officer or other City employees or officials can visit your block party.

Last year there were more than 100 registered National Night Out events in Georgetown. Georgetown Police Department officers as well as other local law enforcement officers, elected officials, Georgetown firefighters and EMS technicians, and other City employees attended block parties in Georgetown.

The Georgetown Police Department is hosting a reception for hosts of NNO block parties at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B Wood Road.

To register your National Night Out block party in Georgetown, go to pd.georgetown.org/national-night-out.

Vote for the Best of Georgetown, TX

Where can you find the best kid-friendly restaurant in Georgetown? Where is the best live entertainment? The best hotel or bed and breakfast? The best boutique?

Tell us your favorites during the month of September in the Best of Georgetown, TX contest. Vote online at Bestof.Georgetown.org from Sept. 1 to 30.

The list of winners will be posted at Bestof.Georgetown.org.

Winning businesses receive window decals as well as certificates showing their award and category. In addition, the business name will be listed on the 2017 winners flyer at the Visitors Center and on the Bestof.Georgetown.org website for one year. Winners will have access to the Best of Georgetown 2017 logo for use in their websites and printed material.

The annual Best of Georgetown, TX contest is sponsored by the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Georgetown prepares for Hurricane Harvey

The City of Georgetown is preparing for Hurricane Harvey and coordinating with other government agencies for potential flooding and infrastructure impacts in the region.

City of Georgetown staff will be monitoring the situation throughout the event. If flooding occurs in Georgetown and people are in need of emergency shelter, the City will open shelters and direct residents to them. If you encounter a flooded roadway, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

City departments including Police, Fire, Georgetown Utility Systems, and Parks and Recreation are making storm preparations, adding staffing as needed, and preparing equipment and supplies.

For information on what you should do to prepare in advance of rain and wind from Hurricane Harvey or other hazards, go to ready.gov.

Residents are encouraged to register mobile and landline phones to receive emergency alerts from the City or Williamson County at WarnCentralTexas.org, which is a region-wide emergency alert system. By registering a phone and location you will receive emergency alerts about dangerous flooding, threatening tornadoes or high winds, or other life-threatening emergencies.

Cities, counties, and school districts in the Central Texas region are coordinating to host people who have evacuated from the Texas Coast at emergency shelter locations.

No donations of items such as toiletries, clothing, or food are being collected at government offices or school locations. Monetary donations can be accepted online for disaster relief organizations.

The American Red Cross is asking for volunteers who can work at emergency shelters in the Austin metro area. Trainings will be offered on Friday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. at the American Red Cross office, 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, TX 78723. Find out more at redcross.org/volunteer or call 1-800-928-4271.

Check the City of Georgetown website as well as City social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor to see updates about emergency response related to Hurricane Harvey.

Outdoor warning sirens test delayed to Sept. 2

Warning siren close up

[Update: Due to the forecast for rain from Tropical Storm Harvey this weekend, the outdoor warning siren system testing has been postponed until 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. The City also encourages residents to sign up for text, email, or voicemail alerts from City of Georgetown 9-1-1 or Williamson County Emergency Management at warncentraltexas.org.]

Testing for the City’s new outdoor warning sirens is planned for Aug. 26. The audible testing will begin at 11 a.m. and will sound for 90 seconds. Testing will continue monthly on the last Saturday of every month, weather permitting.

The new system, which features 23 outdoor warning sirens located throughout the city, is for sending a “take cover” alert to people who are outdoors. The City’s Office of Emergency Management will activate the warning system when:

  • The National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning with destructive winds in excess of 70 miles per hour or a tornado warning for areas within or around the City.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the City of Georgetown or in areas that could potentially affect the City of Georgetown.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported hail 1.25 inches in diameter or greater.
  • A chemical emergency is present.

Warning sirenThe sirens will rotate 360 degrees sounding a steady tone for three minutes in the event of an emergency and may be continually activated until the danger passes. There is no all-clear message.

The new sirens are funded through a $416,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration and a 25 percent match of $139,000 from the City.

To receive text, email, or voicemail alerts from City of Georgetown 911 or Williamson County Emergency Management in the event of a tornado or other threatening hazard, sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org. You may register multiple mobile phones or landlines to receive alerts.

Watch school zones as classes start on Aug. 17

The first day of classes for schools in the Georgetown school district is Thursday, Aug. 17. The Georgetown Police Department reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. As students go back to school, police will be monitoring school zones throughout the city.

Look for the school zones at most of these Georgetown ISD schools:

  • Carver Elementary, 4901 Scenic Lake Drive
  • Cooper Elementary, 1921 NE Inner Loop
  • Ford Elementary, 210 Woodlake Drive
  • Frost Elementary, 711 Lakeway Drive
  • McCoy Elementary, 401 Bellaire Drive
  • Mitchell Elementary, 1601 Rockride Lane
  • Pickett Elementary, 1100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
  • Purl Elementary, 1953 Maple St.
  • Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons
  • Benold Middle School, 3407 Northwest Blvd.
  • Forbes Middle School, 1911 NE Inner Loop
  • Tippit Middle School, 1601 Leander Road
  • Wagner Middle School (temporarily in the former Williams Elementary campus), 507 E. University Ave.
  • East View High School, 4490 E. University Ave.
  • Georgetown High School, 2211 N. Austin Ave.
  • Georgetown Alternative Program, 502 Patriot Way
  • Richarte High School, 2295 N. Austin Ave.
  • Williamson County Academy/Lott Juvenile Detention Center, 200 Wilco Way

School zone speed limits are in effect during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing. The fine for speeding in a school zone is $10 per mile over the limit, plus state court costs. This would mean a $100 fine plus $129 in state court costs for driving 30 mph in a 20 mph zone, for example.

State law prohibits the use of a wireless communication device in a school zone during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing.

GoGeo bus service hits the streets Aug. 21

The City will celebrate the launch of its new GoGeo fixed-route and paratransit bus service with a ribbon cutting at noon Aug. 21 at the central transit hub at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

GoGeo has four routes serving Lone Star Circle of Care, Wolf Ranch, the Rivery, City Lights Theatres, Southwestern University, the Georgetown Recreation Center, apartment complexes and other locations. Service hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Riders can use the bus at no cost for the first two full weeks of service, Aug. 21-Sept. 1. There will be no service Monday, Sept. 4, in observance of Labor Day.

An unlimited daily pass is $2 and an unlimited monthly pass is $30. Reduced fares are available for riders with ID who are disabled, veterans and active military, riders age 65 or older, or students. Children 12 and younger with a full-fare rider can ride for free. Monthly pass and credit card purchases can be made at the Public Library. Exact change is needed for a daily pass purchase on the bus.

GoGeo paratransit service in Georgetown for those who are disabled is scheduled by appointment. Go to GoGeo.Georgetown.org for information on applying for GoGeo paratransit service.

The transit system is funded by rider fares as well as funds from the City of Georgetown, Georgetown Health Foundation, and Capital Metro. To see routes and for more information, visit GoGeo.Georgetown.org.

TxDOT to begin paving projects in Georgetown

The Texas Department of Transportation will begin several paving projects, including portions of the I-35 northbound frontage road, Austin Avenue, and University Avenue, on Aug. 6.

Repaving work on University Avenue from I-35 to Inner Loop is scheduled to begin Aug. 6 and is expected to take three months to complete. The contractor on the project is Lone Star Paving.

Repaving on Austin Avenue from Williams Drive to Lakeway Drive/NE Inner Loop and the I-35 northbound frontage road from University Avenue to Williams Drive is scheduled to begin Aug. 13, weather permitting. The projects will be completed consecutively and are expected to be completed by the end of August. The contractor is Dustrol Inc.

All construction work will be completed between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The projects will be completed using hot-in-place recycling, which grinds up existing worn asphalt and combines the grindings with new fresh asphalt for a high-quality surface.

During this road paving work, one lane in each direction will remain open to traffic. Drivers should observe posted speed limits and watch for equipment and workers in the construction zones. Flaggers may be used in some sections.

The work schedule can be affected by weather conditions, mechanical issues, and product availability.