Why no disaster declaration for Atmos Energy evacuations?

The City of Georgetown has not declared a disaster during the current Atmos Energy situation. Disaster declarations give local officials the ability to exercise extraordinary powers, including providing liability protection to government agencies and emergency workers or to formally request general assistance from the state and federal governments.

“The City does not have oversight of pipeline safety,” said Mayor Dale Ross. “That role rests with the Texas Railroad Commission. Simply declaring a local disaster does not make new or different resources available that are not already being provided. The City is in regular contact with both Atmos and our partners at Williamson County and the State to ensure this evacuation is brought to resolution as safely as possible.”

“To further ensure a safe and expedient resolution, I have formally requested the Texas Department of Emergency Management to begin an assessment of this situation” said Mayor Ross. “Should the situation evolve, the City stands prepared to declare a disaster and call on additional resources from our fellow governmental agencies.”

During the current event Atmos Energy has made safety their top priority. Atmos Energy has provided hotel accommodations and food stipends for affected residents. The amount of these stipends is adjusted based on individual household needs. These accommodations far exceed what the City would be able to provide evacuees.

Atmos Energy has also paid claims to affected businesses, connected businesses with resources and facilities to continue their operations, and has committed to processing claims throughout the current evacuation and beyond. Atmos Energy has committed to ensuring the people affected by the evacuation are fully compensated for damages that result from this event. The City is also committed to connecting those businesses with resources and partners to ensure they are able to reopen quickly and successfully once the evacuation is lifted.

During the evacuation, Atmos has provided additional security from both private security contractors and off‐duty police officers. Atmos and the City of Georgetown conduct daily calls to share updates, discuss repairs, assess needs, and determine the plan of action for the day.

The City of Georgetown has numerous departments providing support as needed to Atmos Energy. The City’s efforts are focused on ensuring the safety of the public, protecting property, and providing information. The City has consulted with Emergency Management officials with Williamson County, the State of Texas Division of Emergency Management, and the Texas Railroad Commission.

Background

Late on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Atmos Energy arrived on scene at 507 River Bend in Georgetown to repair an underground natural gas leak. The Georgetown Fire Department and Atmos Energy issued a precautionary evacuation of several residences and businesses in the River Bend area as a result of the initial leak ‐ which was repaired.

Since then, Atmos Energy has worked to remove residual gas from the ground. This removal process includes venting, vacuuming, evacuation and suction. Atmos Energy has also installed a series of vent wells and retained geologists to assist in these efforts. Dense clay, moisture, and the make‐up of the soil has inhibited the evaporation of the gas.

As a safety precaution, Atmos has asked for evacuation in homes or commercial structures to evacuate if they detect an unsafe concentration of natural gas in or near a home or other structure. Atmos has requested electric service be disconnected if any measure of gas is detected inside a structure.

Fire Station 7 breaks ground March 1

The City of Georgetown will break ground on Fire Station 7 on Friday at 11 a.m. The new station on Highway 29 at Inner Loop will serve areas on the east side of Georgetown as well as areas in Emergency Services District 8.

The contractor selected to build the station is O’Haver Contractors of San Antonio. The total construction cost for the 13,000-square-foot station is $6.3 million. BRW Architects of College Station designed the station, which is projected to be complete in March 2020.

Fire Station 7 will have three truck bays and living quarters for 13 firefighters or medics. The 2019 City budget includes 11 new firefighter/medic positions to staff Fire Station 7. A SAFER grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association will provide $1.7 million in federal funding with a $1 million City match to fund 75 percent of the new positions for the next two years and 35 percent of the cost in the third year. A new cost-sharing agreement between the City and ESD 8 helps cover the costs of providing fire service.

Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 15

The 18th annual pancake Breakfast with Santa event is Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park. Georgetown firefighters will be making pancakes and sausage served with juice and coffee. The event is 7:30 to 11 a.m.

At the event, children can climb on board a fire truck, visit with firefighters, and have a free picture taken with Santa.

Tickets are $6 per person and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or in advance at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road. Children age 12 and younger are free with a paid adult.

Breakfast with Santa is sponsored by the Georgetown Fire Department, Sun City Rotary Club, YMCA of Greater Williamson County, and Georgetown ISD.

All proceeds from Breakfast with Santa, as well as other fundraising, provides clothing, food, and gifts for children in the Georgetown area. Breakfast with Santa aims to help 180 children in need in Georgetown, provide clothing and gift cards to homeless teenagers in Georgetown served by The Georgetown Project’s NEST program, and provide help to Jarrell’s UMC Christmas outreach program.

Tax-deductible donations are accepted to help fund Breakfast with Santa. Checks should be made out to “Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation” with “Sun City Rotary – BWS” on the memo line. Mail the donation check to Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation, 116 W. Eighth St., Ste. 203, Georgetown, TX, 78626.

For details, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at (512) 930-3473.

Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 16

The 17th annual pancake Breakfast with Santa event is Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park. Georgetown firefighters will be making pancakes and sausage served with juice and coffee. The event is 7:30 to 11 a.m.

At the event, children can climb on board a fire truck, visit with firefighters, and have a free picture taken with Santa.

Tickets are $6 per person and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or in advance at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road. Children age 12 and younger are free with a paid adult.

Breakfast with Santa is sponsored by the Georgetown Fire Department, Rotary Club of Georgetown – Sun City, Assistance League of Georgetown, YMCA of Greater Williamson County, and Georgetown ISD.

All proceeds from Breakfast with Santa, as well as other fundraising, provides clothing, food, and gifts for children in the Georgetown area. Breakfast with Santa aims to help 180 children in need in Georgetown, provide clothing and gift cards to homeless teenagers in Georgetown served by The Georgetown Project’s NEST program, and provide help to Jarrell’s UMC Christmas outreach program.

Tax-deductible donations are accepted to help fund Breakfast with Santa. Checks should be made out to “Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation” with “Sun City Rotary – BWS” on the memo line. Mail the donation check to Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation, 116 W. Eighth St., Ste. 203, Georgetown, TX, 78626.

For details, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at (512) 930-3473.

July 4 Celebration at San Gabriel Park

The 34th annual Sertoma Club Family July 4 Celebration and fireworks display will be held at San Gabriel Park on Tuesday, July 4. The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Sertoma Club service organization with assistance from the City of Georgetown.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. at San Gabriel Park with live entertainment throughout the day at the gazebo. The festival also includes arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a petting zoo, classic and antique cars, and rides for children and adults.

Miss Georgetown and her court kick off the live music at the gazebo with the National Anthem. Musical performances will include Rocky Shaw, Rachel Lauren, Celeste Castillo, Valor and Lace, Southern Tropics, JJ Rapscallions, Crosstown Traffic, Caleigh and Katie, and Mike Elliot performing an Elvis tribute. Sydney Enos will sing the National Anthem to begin the fireworks show.

Hometown Parade July 4

A July 4th Hometown Parade in San Gabriel Park begins at 11 a.m. at the low-water crossing near the College Street Bridge and ends at the gazebo. Participants should gather at 10:30 a.m. at the low-water crossing. Kids are encouraged to decorate their wagons or bicycles for the parade. Motorized vehicles and pets are not permitted in the parade. The annual parade is sponsored by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Union State Bank.

Fireworks July 4

The fireworks display begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will be launched from the McMaster Athletic Fields on North College Street. Fireworks can be viewed from San Gabriel Park, VFW Park, and other areas in Georgetown. The main entrance to San Gabriel Park is via Chamber Way on North Austin Avenue.

Parking

Limited parking in San Gabriel Park includes the parking lots at the Show Barn and the Rodeo Arena. Attendees also are encouraged to park at Georgetown High School and carpool to San Gabriel Park. Limited handicapped parking is available in designated areas in San Gabriel Park.

Both the McMaster Fields parking lot and the Parks and Recreation Administration parking lot at North College Street and W.L. Walden Drive will be closed on July 4 due to their proximity to the fireworks fall zone.

 

College Street and McMaster Fields Closure

Due to the fireworks fall zone, North College Street will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, from approximately 9 to 11 p.m. between the traffic circle and Holly Street. Parking, standing, or sitting along North College Street in that segment will not be permitted during this time.

The McMaster Athletic Fields will be closed all day on Tuesday, July 4.

Fireworks Prohibited

By City of Georgetown ordinance, fireworks are not allowed in the city limits of Georgetown or within 5,000 feet of the city limits, unless they are used in a permitted display authorized by the Georgetown Fire Department. This area outside city limits includes, but is not limited to, the neighborhoods of Cedar Hollow, Crystal Knoll, Escalera, Fountainwood, Indian Creek, Logan Ranch Road, Lost Rivers, Oak Crest, Olde Oak Estates, Serenada, Shady Oaks, Turtle Bend, and Woodland Park, and areas along D.B Wood Road.

Violations can lead to fines of up to $2,000 per firework. To view a map showing the 5,000-foot boundary, go to maps.georgetown.org/fireworks-ban-area-map.

Holiday Closings for City Facilities

City of Georgetown offices and facilities will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26 in observance of the Christmas holiday. City offices also will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of the New Year’s holiday. This includes the following:

  • Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 113 E. Eighth Street
  • Economic Development, 809 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Avenue
  • Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh Street
  • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College Street
  • Planning Department, 406 W. Eighth Street
  • Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street
  • Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Police Records and Fire Support Services offices, 3500 DB Wood Road

City of Georgetown facilities with weekend or evening hours will observe these closures:

  • Airport Terminal, 500 Terminal Drive: open Dec. 23, open Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25, closed Jan. 1, open Jan. 2
  • Collection Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive: open Dec. 23, closed Dec. 24 – 25, open Dec. 26, open Dec. 31 (closing at 3 p.m.), closed Jan. 1, open Jan. 2
  • Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street: closing weekdays at 6 p.m. and closing at 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays starting Dec. 19, closed Dec. 23 – 26 and Jan. 1 – 2, regular hours resume Jan. 3
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Avenue: open Dec. 23 (closing at 6 p.m.), closed Dec. 24 – 26, open Dec. 31 (closing at 6 p.m.), closed Jan. 1, open Jan. 2 (opening at 8 a.m.)
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive: open Dec. 23 (closing at 6 p.m.), closed Dec. 24 – 26, open Dec. 31 (closing at 6 p.m.), closed Jan. 1, open. Jan. 2 (opening at 8:30 a.m.)
  • Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh Street: open Dec. 23, open Dec. 24 (closing at 12 p.m.), closed Dec. 25, open Dec. 26, open Dec. 31 (closing at 12 p.m.), closed Jan. 1 – 2

Solid Waste and Recycling Collection

There is regular solid waste and recycling collection for Texas Disposal Systems customers on all days Monday through Saturday. This includes regular collection on Dec. 23, Dec. 24, Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Jan. 2.

For questions about solid waste and recycling collection, call TDS at (512) 930-1715.

Breakfast with Santa on December 17

pancake-line-2a-webThe 16th annual pancake Breakfast with Santa event is Saturday, December 17, 2016 at the Community Center, 445 E. Morrow Street in San Gabriel Park. Georgetown firefighters will be making pancakes and sausage served with juice and coffee. The event is 7:30 to 11 a.m.

At the event, children can climb on board a fire truck, visit with firefighters, and have a free picture taken with Santa.

Tickets are $6 per person and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or in advance at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road.

Breakfast with Santa is sponsored by the Georgetown Fire Department, Rotary Club of Georgetown – Sun City, Assistance League of Georgetown, YMCA of Greater Williamson County, and Georgetown ISD.

All proceeds from Breakfast with Santa as well as other fundraising provides clothing, food, and gifts for children in the Georgetown area. Breakfast with Santa aims to help 180 children in need in Georgetown, provide clothing and gift cards to homeless teenagers in Georgetown served by The Georgetown Project’s NEST program, and provide help to Jarrell’s UMC Christmas outreach program.

santa-and-boy-red-hat-2-webTax deductible donations are accepted to help fund Breakfast with Santa. Checks should be made out to “Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation” with “Sun City Rotary – BWS” on the memo line.

Mail the donation check to Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation, 116 West Eighth Street, Suite 203, Georgetown, TX, 78626.

For details, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at (512) 930-3473.

National Night Out on Oct. 4

NNO 2016 logoNational Night Out is an annual event to support safe neighborhoods held in Georgetown this year on Tuesday, October 4. Block parties are being organized for 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.

Online registration for National Night Out block parties in Georgetown ends on September 27.  Registering your block party provides the information to the Georgetown Police Department so that an officer or other City employees or officials can visit the event.

Last year there were 45 registered National Night Out events in Georgetown with an estimated 2,600 citizens participating. 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 holding a reception for hosts of NNO block parties at 6:30 p.m. on September 30 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 on the City website. There is a link to an online form to register your block party.

Memorial Stair Climb on Sept. 11 in Georgetown

in line on stairs 2 webGeorgetown firefighters and police officers will participate in a memorial stair climb at the Georgetown ISD athletic stadium on Sunday, September 11. The climb is done each year as a tribute to first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Participants will climb the equivalent of 110 stories—the height of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with an invocation by Fire Lieutenant Brad Cox followed by comments from Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan and Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero. One firefighter and one police officer will post the colors before the climb begins. The Georgetown Fire Department Pipe Band will be at the event and will play prior to the climb.

The firefighters on the climb will be wearing firefighting gear including boots, helmets, protective pants and jackets, and air packs. Police officers will carry extra tactical gear on the climb. Participants will pause for a moment of silence at the times that each of the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

The gate to the stadium opens at 7:30 a.m. for the event. Members of the public and the news media are welcome to attend the event and observe.

The Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex is located behind Georgetown High School at 2211 N. Austin Avenue in Georgetown.

(Photo credit: Amanda Chron, Georgetown Police Department)

Summer Fan Drive Seeks Donations

Fan Drive 2016 webThe Georgetown Fire Department and The Caring Place are teaming up with Family Eldercare for the 2016 Summer Fan Drive. The goal of this 26th annual event is to collect new fans for low-income residents including seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.

The fan drive started May 1 and continues through August 31. The fan drive aims to deliver more than 6,000 fans to households in 11 counties in Central Texas.

Donations

New fans can be donated at all five Georgetown fire stations:

  • Fire Station 1, 301 Industrial Avenue, 78626
  • Fire Station 2, 1603 Williams Drive, 78628
  • Fire Station 3, 5 Texas Drive, 78633
  • Fire Station 4, 4200 Airport Road, 78628
  • Fire Station 5, 3600 DB Wood Road, 78628

Other fan donation locations can be found and monetary donations are accepted on the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org.

Eligibility

Those eligible to receive a fan are low-income residents. In addition, they must be seniors who are over age 55, or persons who are disabled, or families with children under 18. To apply to receive a fan at a location other than The Caring Place,  go to the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org. For more locations to apply, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org. To request a fan or get more information, you may call the Fan Drive phone number at (512) 459-4326.

Georgetown Pickup

In Georgetown, people who are eligible may apply at The Caring Place Annex and pick up a fan at the same time. Bring documentation of low-income status to The Caring Place Annex, 2001 Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, TX, 78626. At The Caring Place, the Fan Drive distribution starts on May 25 and continues every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, this location will be open from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month (May 26, June 23, and July 28).  Distribution at The Caring Place ends on July 28.

For details, or to donate to the Summer Fan Drive online, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org.