Breakfast Bites: Collective Success-The Power of Collaboration

The Breakfast Bites meeting on Sept. 11 will feature Judy Lester presenting “Collective Success: The Power of Collaboration.” The informal meeting opens 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.

Lester was co-owner of The Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts from 1996-2016. She now enjoys working with business owners, community leaders, and associations to enhance essential standards of practice so they can go after the success they desire. The years spent growing an award-winning Main Street business provides Lester with the perspective and experience concerning the unique challenges historic downtown businesses face. Her passion is seeing businesses thrive abundantly, instead of merely survive.

At the Sept. 11 meeting there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Arts and culture
  • Public library
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates and Red Poppy economic impact report
  • 2030 Comprehensive Plan update
  • Downtown construction projects and parking improvements
  • Small Business Saturday update

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.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Linda McCalla awarded 2019 Main Street Star Award

Long-time resident and business owner Linda McCalla was recognized as the 2019 Georgetown Main Street Star Award recipient June 22 at the Texas Main Street Reunion held in Georgetown.

The Main Street Star award recognizes individuals for outstanding activity promoting downtown Georgetown, contributions making a lasting impact on downtown Georgetown, and meeting the Main Street Program’s mission of enhancing downtown vibrancy and historic preservation. The Georgetown Main Street Advisory Board voted to recognize McCalla for her service to downtown Georgetown during its annual retreat in early June.

McCalla was the first Main Street Manager in Georgetown, helping to develop the foundation of the program and start the revitalization of downtown in 1982. Since that time, she has been actively involved in further improvements to downtown. She has served on many boards and committees, including the Main Street Advisory Board, Historic Architecture and Review Commission and as past president for Preservation Georgetown. She now serves on the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. She recently completed a restoration project on her downtown property and worked with the Main Street Program, receiving a façade grant to complete the work.

“Linda is a great steward of her own property and as a past HARC commissioner has helped enhance preservation and new construction projects in downtown,” Downtown Development Manager Kim McAuliffe said. “She was one of the first people that reached out to me when I started working in Georgetown, and as soon as we met, I knew she and I would be fast friends. She has been a great resource and supporter.”

Since the establishment of the award in 2014, the Georgetown Main Street Program has recognized seven individuals in downtown Georgetown, including. Lucas Adams, Chet Garner, Rusty Winkstern, Judy and Len Lester, and Beverly and Don Adams.

The Georgetown Main Street Program, established in 1982, is a preservation driven, economic development program within the City of Georgetown’s Economic Development Department. To learn more, visit mainstreet.georgetown.org.

Music on the Square Summer Concerts start June 14

The Music on the Square summer concerts start on Friday, June 14, on the Courthouse lawn. These free concerts start at 6:30 p.m. each Friday, with the exception of First Fridays, in June, July and August. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, grab dinner-to-go from a local restaurant, and enjoy an evening of great live music.

Here’s the lineup:

  • June 14: Georgetown Fire Department Pipes & Drums
  • June 21: Wilson String Band
  • June 28: Lexxi Garza
  • July 12: Mike Hamilton
  • July 19: Megatunes
  • July 26: Roland Waits and The Wayward Travelers
  • Aug. 9: Showmen Bluegrass
  • Aug. 16: Mike Elliot – Sincerely Elvis Show
  • Aug. 23: Porch Turtles
  • Aug. 30: Dueling Pianos

Concerts are sponsored by the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Williamson Museum.

For a complete schedule, go to the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau website at VisitGeorgetown.com.

Breakfast Bites: Georgetown Then and Now

The Breakfast Bites meeting on June 12 will feature Britin Bostick, a planner, designer, and Hill Country native, presenting “Georgetown: Then and Now.” The informal meeting opens 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.

Bostick has lived in Georgetown since 1997 and frequently works to bring new life to historic places, including the recently rehabilitated Taylor High School campus. She has also documented historic properties in Georgetown. Her presentation will showcase how Georgetown has changed in the last century and a half. Bostick will highlight what Georgetown looked like in 1848 compared to now, and hopes to foster dialogue about what the community can do to retain our historic properties while ensuring they remain keystones in our local economy.

At the June 12 meeting, there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Public Library events
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Downtown construction projects and infrastructure improvements

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.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Georgetown receives 2019 National Main Street accreditation

The City of Georgetown’s Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“In Georgetown, we are lucky to have our incredible board, volunteers and staff help us earn accreditation once again from the National Main Street Center,” Downtown Development Manager Kim Mcauliffe said. “It’s through their hard work and dedication that we are able to have such a robust program that is creating economic opportunities in our community.”

The Georgetown Main Street Program is a preservation-driven, economic development organization. In the past 15 years, the Main Street Façade & Sign Grant Program has awarded more than $469,000 to 80 downtown businesses and property owners. Most recently in May, the Georgetown Main Street Program presented Lark and Owl Booksellers with a $20,500 Main Street Façade & Sign Grant.

“Since 1981, many Texas communities have participated in the Main Street network and used its preservation-based framework to generate positive economic gains for their local economies and the state,” said Texas Historical Commission Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “These positive strides happen because of local commitment to prioritize historic downtowns.”

Accreditation is awarded to communities that build and maintain revitalization efforts, including fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

City, nonprofits celebrate Preservation Month in May

The City of Georgetown, The Williamson Museum, and Preservation Georgetown will host a series of events throughout May to celebrate Preservation Month.

Events include:

  • May 1: “Women of Wilco Exhibit” on display all month at The Williamson Museum
  • May 4: Preservation Georgetown preservation fund grant workshop, from 10 a.m. to noon at Grace Heritage Center, 817 S. Main St.
  • May 11: Paint Out reception at 4 p.m. at Georgetown Art Center
  • May 14: City Council Preservation Month proclamation at 6 p.m. in the Council and Court building, 510 W. Ninth St.
  • May 18: “Marking History,” from 10 a.m. to noon highlighting historical figures around downtown, The Williamson Museum
  • May 19: Historical marker dedication from 1-3 p.m. at the Taylor-Cooper House, 105 E. Fifth St.

“The celebration of Preservation Month furthers the City’s efforts to implement the Downtown Masterplan, helping to ensure Georgetown maintains its unique character, maximizes opportunities for thoughtful development, and enhances the quality of life for our residents,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “A top-priority for this community is to preserve the small-town charm that folks like the Main Street board, the Williamson Museum, and Preservation Georgetown have worked so hard to promote and preserve.”

Preservation Month helps celebrate preservation projects throughout the city, including the rehabilitation of Grace Heritage Center and Founders Park, which were completed in late 2017.

To help celebrate Preservation Month, take a “This Place Matters” photo at a place you love and post it on social media. Download a sign at savingplaces.org. Go to williamsonmuseum.org or preservationgeorgetown.org for details on events. Be sure to use the hashtags #GeorgetownTX and #ThisPlaceMatters.

More information about the City’s historic resources can be found at historic.georgetown.org.

Breakfast Bites: Branding, Ignite Your Tribe as Easy as 1-2-3

The next Breakfast Bites meeting on March 20 will feature Grace Lanni, an award-winning branding influencer, on the topic of Branding: Ignite your Tribe as Easy as 1-2-3. The informal meeting opens 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.

Lanni will provide an overview of Branding Canvas, a personal branding survey and how it unfolds into a personal branding profile business owners can use to tell their story to prospective clients/customers online and off. Lanni is the founder of the All About That Brand platform, including workbooks, online courses, VIP programs, YouTube Channel, and a podcast.

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

  • Arts and Culture
  • Public Library events
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • City Center campus project update
  • 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Downtown sales tax
  • Transportation updates
  • City construction projects, including city buildings, parking, and the red poppy shade structures

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.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Land investment firm relocating to new downtown development

WBW Land Investments will relocate to the new Riverplace development in downtown Georgetown at Second Street and Austin Avenue.

The investment group includes WBW Construction, WBW Development, and Yalgo Engineering and is focused on developing starter and first move-up homes throughout Central and Southwest Texas.

“After more than 30 years running our business from Killeen, I am looking forward to moving our entire company to the City of Georgetown, where we expect to be a part of the community for many generations to come,” said Bruce Whitis, CEO of WBW Development and Yalgo Engineering. “We considered a number of alternatives and we were ultimately attracted by the vibrancy of downtown Georgetown and the opportunity to be a part of its future.”

Company leadership said they decided to relocate to Georgetown to help attract talent and grow their employee base.

“We appreciate all the hard work of City staff, and the generosity and vision of the leadership of the City of Georgetown, as we embark on our plans for a new headquarters building for WBW Development and Yalgo Engineering in the historic district,” WBW Development Vice President David L. Peter said.

The company is partnering in the mixed-use development that will include office, residential, retail, covered parking, and outdoor amenities, which fits in with the type of development called out in the City’s Downtown Master Plan.

“Every two years, the City conducts a citizen survey, and one of the top needs identified in the 2018 survey is continuing to recruit quality businesses and employment opportunities to our community,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “WBW is a great match for Georgetown and we are excited to have another high-quality corporate headquarters relocate to Georgetown.”

At its Feb. 12 meeting, City Council approved an agreement that includes up to $320,000 for infrastructure improvements and job creation over six years.

According to the agreement, the company is expected to create 40 jobs with an average salary of $90,000 a year and invest $3 million in capital improvements.

Breakfast Bites: Safety First, Community Awareness and Engagement in Georgetown

The next Breakfast Bites meeting on Dec. 11 will feature Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero and Fire Chief John Sullivan, on the topic of Safety First: Community Awareness and Engagement in Georgetown. The informal meeting opens 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.

Wayne Nero was appointed police chief in April 2010. Prior to Georgetown, Nero served 16 years with the Desoto, Texas, Police Department. His background includes investigations, SWAT, bike patrol, training and special events security.

John Sullivan is a 26-year veteran of the fire services and currently serves as fire and medical chief in Georgetown. Sullivan became chief in Georgetown in January 2013. Since becoming chief, Sullivan has helped expand the department’s service delivery model and created the first fire-based Emergency Medical Service system in the region.

At the Dec. 11 meeting there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Art Center and Public Library events
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • City Hall campus project update
  • 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Environmental Services update
  • Transportation updates
  • Parking updates

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.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Collectible Christmas Ornament: U.S. Post Office Building

A limited-edition collectible brass Christmas ornament featuring the U.S. Post Office Building at 113 E. Eighth St. is now on sale. The 12th annual ornament sale is a project of the Georgetown Main Street Program. A limited number of the ornaments are available.

Ornaments may be purchased at the Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St. The cost of the ornament is $20. Payments by cash, check, or credit are accepted.

The building served as the post office from 1931 until 1991 when the City of Georgetown purchased the building to be used as City Hall. The city will be selling the building in early 2019 to a private developer, who plans to repurpose the building for a ballroom, restaurant, and bar.

All proceeds from the ornament sale help fund Main Street projects and the Façade Fund Grant Program.