Cedar Park - Leander | November 2020

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 8  NOV. 4DEC. 8, 2020

ONLINE AT

South SanGabriel River residents are stuck inmuck after violations Wastewater treatment plant’s eects lead to lawsuit

3,108 A federal Clean Water Act lawsuit seeks enforcement on permit violations.

IMPACTS

6

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

Gabriel River, and it holds a history of state water quality violations. Photos provided to Community Impact Newspaper by residents who live near the river show a stark dierence in the quality of the river on the east and west sides of the discharge site. In June, the plant has earned seven complaints spanning 455 days from the Texas Commission on Environ- mental Quality. Complaints include failure to prevent an unauthorized discharge, failure to properly collect euent samples and failure to take all reasonable steps to failure to authorize stormwater discharge. “Human health or the environ- ment has been exposed to signicant amounts of pollutants as a result of the violation,” state two of the TCEQ viola- tions from 2018 and 2019.

Access to the South Fork San Gabriel River was a selling point for Carolyn Dixon and her husband when they bought a house in the newly built Valley Vista Estates neighborhood in April. About one month after they moved in, the river was noticeably lled with more green algae than it was when they rst saw it. They assumed it was typical, she said. “[The algae] progressively got worse and worse and worse to the point where you couldn’t go down to the river,” she said. “It was everywhere.” In September, she learned of the wastewater treatment plant located upstream. Northeast of US 183 and the river lies the Liberty Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant discharges its processed water into the South Fork of the San

Leander to see 4-acre lagoon development

DEVELOPMENT

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“THIS IS OUR WATERWAY. THIS ISWHERE OUR CHILDRENPLAY, AND I’MSICKABOUT IT.” PAM SYLVEST, LEANDER RESIDENT

FIRST LOOK

21

CONTINUED ON 24

COURTESY STEPHANIE MORRIS

Locals shaken by rockmining industry, push for reform

Rock mining IN TEXAS

7 Number of states that operate with no comprehensive mining regulations, including Texas.

8 Number of major aggregate production operations working in Texas.

DINING

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BY ALI LINAN

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Williamson County is home to the most rock mining oper- ations in Texas, which has led community members to seek stronger regulations as the negative impacts of the industry move closer to home. The county currently has 34 such operations, accord- ing to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality data, and these operations are continuing to grow at a rapid rate across the state. CONTINUED ON 26

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SOURCES: GEORGETOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE, TEXAS FOR RESPONSIBLE AGGREGATE MINING COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 1,900% Percent increase in registered quarries and other aggregate production facilities in Texas from 2015 to 2020.

COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Complete 2020 by joining your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper 's hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . Contribute today! Snap or visit

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2401 Grandridge Trl, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Carlos Benavides | 512-924-2329

20308 Continental Dr, Lago Vista, TX 78645 Debra Jennings | 512-796-0187

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3,123 sq ft

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3.5 ba 2,824 sq ft

110 Driftwood Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Carlos Hernandez-Ojeda | 512-496-5234

105 Permian Ln, Liberty Hill, TX 78642 Cheri Wightman | 512-791-4176

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14100 Avery Ranch Blvd #1302, Austin, TX 78717 Shelly Hall | 512-577-1026

13117 Fawn Valley Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Justin Phillips | 512-779-7334

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5 bds

3 ba

4,300 sq ft

2724 Grand Oaks Loop, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Schaffer Team | 512-202-9643

113 River View Rd, Liberty Hill, TX 78642 Amy Gandy | 512-589-9005

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Dell Children’s is here for your child, don’t fight cancer alone We’re the only comprehensive children’s cancer center in Central Texas

Raising a child can come with coughs and colds, but Alex Torres never expected to hear that her son, Max, was diagnosed with cancer.

“We have a team behind us that’s going to take care of Max. If anyone is going through this process, Dell Children’s is the place to be.”

— Alex Torres

Alex was scared, with no idea what to do, when she found out her son, Max, had cancer. But as soon as her family walked through the doors of Dell Children’s Medical Center, they were greeted with smiles and a sense of reassurance. The Dell Children’s team explained every test and procedure that was going to be performed. Now, the Torres family is no longer afraid of Max’s diagnosis, knowing that they are not alone. If your child or a family you know has been affected by cancer, Dell Children’s is here for you and your child.

Let us give your child the care they need: ascension.org/dellchildrenscancer

© Ascension 2020. All rights reserved.

4

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Denise Seiler,

BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM/CIPATRON CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1 Pflugerville, TX 78660 • 512-989-6808 PRESS RELEASES lcpnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

FROMDENISE: As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I cannot help but share my gratitude: I am so thankful that even with the current situation we are in, we still have businesses that are thriving. They have learned to adapt and change some of their normal business practices and have been made more accommodating and safe for their patrons. For example, Casa Costa Bakeshop in Leander has changed the way they do curbside delivery and online services, and their business has been doing very well. As the holiday season draws near, I highly encourage you to support our local businesses when you are shopping for your loved ones. Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER

dseiler@communityimpact.com EDITOR Sally Grace Holtgrieve REPORTER Taylor Girtman

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Beth Burton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pflugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today, we operate across five metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full- time journalists in each community we serve.

FROMSALLY GRACE: Community Impact Newspaper is unique because it informs residents on what is happening in their own backyards—not in a “Greater Austin” sense, but specifically, what a Cedar Park or Leander resident needs to know about this city, these taxes, and the businesses and trends just down the road. I especially enjoy this issue because you can learn more about what is happening in your backyard in the most literal sense: This month, we are looking at the land and river that is the foundation of everything built upon and around it. Reporter Ali Linan’s story explains all you need to know about the fact Williamson County has more quarries than anywhere else in the state (see Page 26). Reporter Taylor Girtman’s story answers the question, ‘What is that green stuff in sections of the San Gabriel River, and is it going to get worse?’ (see Page 24). I hope these articles allow you to be a more well-informed citizen the next time you step outside. Sally Grace Holtgrieve, EDITOR

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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INDIAN APPLE WAY

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183

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LEANDER

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The Prep School of Journey Parkway

COURTESY THE PREP SCHOOL OF JOURNEY PARKWAY

183A TOLL

in July. The restaurant has two other locations in Cedar Park and Georgetown. www.bluecornharvest.com 7 Leander is set to have its rst Dairy Queen location in early 2021, accord- ing to a company representative. The restaurant, which is to be located at the corner of US 183 and Metro Way, will serve burgers, sandwiches, DQ Originals, Blizzard treats, Tex-Mex food items and more, according to the Dairy Queen Texas website. The location will have a drive-thru, according to the website. https://dqtexas.com 8 Slackers Brewing Co. will open in spring 2021 as the rst brewery in the Anderson Mill area. The family-run brew- ery will be at 12233 N. RM 620, Ste. 204, Austin, and it will sell craft beer, coee, 9 Sweetwood , a 60-home single-fami- ly neighborhood, has begun construction in the 530-acre Bryson master-planned community, according to a Sept. 23 release from builder Trendmaker Homes. Home sizes range from 1,800-2,600 square feet and will be priced from the high $200,000s, according to the release. Home sales will begin in early 2021. The model home address is 1829 Indian Apple Way, Leander. http://trend- makerhomes.com/LiveAtBryson sandwiches and baked goods. https://slackersbrewing.com 10 The Thirsty Chicken , a daiquiri and wing restaurant, will open in January at 104 W. Willis St., Leander. The restaurant will serve wings, chicken strips, chicken sandwiches, daiquiris, beer and more with dine-in and to-go service. Outdoor seat- ing, karaoke nights, music and a dance

1431

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183

NEW HOPE DR.

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1

2

3

1431

ANDERSON MILL RD.

CEDAR PARK

45 TOLL

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MOPAC

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Cajun Skillet opened its restaurant Sept. 25 as an addition to its food truck and catering service. Owners Steven and Shantrese Gillam said their New Orleans-style restaurant serves gumbo, po’boys, fusion tacos, bread pudding varieties and basil lemonade. The restau- rant is located at 251 N. Bell Blvd., Ste. 101, Cedar Park. 512-243-5290. www.cajunskillet.com 2 Cedar Park Barbershop opened Sept. 15 and oers haircuts, beard trims, hot shaves with a straight razor and head shaves. The barbershop is located at 401 Cypress Creek Road, Ste. 300, Cedar Park. Appointments can be made on the website. www.cedarparkbarbershop.com

3 Salerno Cucina Italiana opened Sept. 26 at 1310 Cypress Creek Road, Ste. 120, Cedar Park. The Italian restaurant serves pasta, pizza, subs and more. The restau- rant and patio are open to diners, and to-go orders are available. 512-351-9580. www.facebook.com/salernocedarpark 4 The Prep School of Journey Parkway opened Sept. 15 at 3421 Journey Park- way, Leander. The private preschool is enrolling ages 6 weeks to kindergarten with after-school and summer camp programs. The school provides early childhood education to fulll students’ individual needs, according to owner Cynthia Polnaszek. 512-546-7737. www.theprepschools.com/locations/ journey-parkway

5 A family and cosmetic dentistry oce, #thesmiledoc opened Aug. 10 at 1633 N. US 183, Ste. 110, Leander. The general dentistry oce will have modern amenities such as heat and massage chairs, TVs and music in every room. The practice is led by Dr. Armando Reid, who has more than a decade of experience, according to the dentistry. 512-240- 7200. www.thesmiledocatx.com COMING SOON 6 Blue Corn Harvest will open a third location in spring 2021 in Leander, ac- cording to an Oct. 14 announcement. The restaurant will be at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander, which is where Cherry Creek Catsh was located before closing

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

6

9

Blue Corn Harvest

Sweetwood at Bryson

Leander residents will see a second HEB open in town.

BRIAN PERDUECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY TRENDMAKER HOMES

COURTESY HEB

oor will be part of the Old Town Leander restaurant. A grand opening is planned for Jan. 29, according to owner Sandra Lott. www.thethirstychicken.com RELOCATIONS 11 Intrinsic Trading opened its Cedar Park showroom Oct. 20 after relocating from Round Rock. The showroom, located at 11751 W. Parmer Lane, Ste. 100, Cedar Park, sells “natural gemstone beads, pen- dants and ndings for jewelry making,” according to the business, which was pre- viously located at 900 Round Rock Ave., Ste. 309, Round Rock. 512-828-0540. https://intrinsictrading.com 12 My Steel Magnolia , a women’s bou- tique, relocated from Old Town Leander to Northwest Austin on Oct. 13. The bou- tique sells clothing, a broad gift selection

and a variety of other products. The busi- ness has recently expanded its products with baby gifts, pet gifts, housewares and custom printing. The new address is 11416 N. RR 620, Ste. J, Austin. 512-777-3100. www.mysteelmagnolia.com EXPANSIONS 13 Renovate Church added an online Spanish-speaking service to its Sunday morning services Sept. 13. The service, led by Nelo and Wanda Velez, starts at 11 a.m. on Facebook Live and YouTube Live, according to Lead Pastor Dave Jamerson. The church will start in-person services in 2021 at 1315 E. New Hope Drive, Leander. 512-550-8075. https://renovatechurch.com

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON H-E-B ocially announced plans for a second store in Leander on Oct. 9. Spanning more than 102,000 square feet, Leander’s newest H-E-B will be located at 19348 Ronald W. Reagan Blvd. in the new Bar W Marketplace. Construction is slated to begin early next year with a grand opening planned for fall 2021, a news release said. The store will include: H-E-B curbside and home delivery; a pharmacy with a drive-thru; a full-service scratch bakery and tortilleria; a deli featuring in-house roasted meats; a wine and beer department; organic foods and an expanded healthy living

department; a oral area; a full-service meat market and seafood counter; a Meal Simple area; sushiya; Texas Backyard oering products for grilling, gardening and outdoor entertaining; a business center; and large self-checkout area with self-checkout options. www.heb.com

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

TODO LIST

Local events in November and December

NOV. 58

SWEET BERRY FARM MARBLE FALLS

NOV. 68, 1315

BARTONHILL FARMS FALL FESTIVAL BASTROP

NOV. 8

SWEET EATS FRUIT FARM GEORGETOWN

Stu a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin or pick owers at Sweet Berry Farm’s Harvest of Fall Fun. 1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls. Free (admission). Prices vary. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Thu.-Sat.) 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.), 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Mon.-Tue.); closed Wed. 830-798-1462. www.sweetberryfarm.com

Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October and early November, Barton Hill Farm oers a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, live music and family activities. Barton Hill Farms, 1115 FM 969, Bastrop. Prices vary. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Fri.), 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sat.), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sun.). 855-969-1115. www.bartonhillfarms.com

The 80-acre farm boasts a corn maze; a pumpkin patch with over 40 dierent varieties of pumpkins; food trucks; live music; and activities, such as pony rides, a petting zoo and a hay maze. $16 (single ticket); free (children under age 2). 14400 E. Hwy. 29, Georgetown. 512-766-3276. www.sweeteats.com

COURTESY SWEET BERRY FARMS

COURTESY BARTON HILLS FARMS

COURTESY SWEET EATS FRUIT FARM

14 EAT CHILI , HELP ANIMALS Visitors are invited to try and to vote on their favorite chili recipe at the 11th annual Texas Humane Heroes Chili Cooko. The dog- and kid-friendly event will be held on 22 acres with lots of space for social distancing. All proceeds will benet animals in need at Texas Humane Heroes, 10930 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander. For information about becoming a sponsor or chili chef, contact Teryl McFerrin at tmcferrin@txhh.org. 1-4 p.m.

NOVEMBER 10 THROUGH 15 PAY TRIBUTE TO VETERANS Instead of Cedar Park’s annual veterans ceremony, the city will honor those in the community who have served in the military with patriotic lighting at the Pathway of Heroes and Monument. A new Nurses Corps statue will also be revealed in the lighting event. Evenings. Free. Veterans Memorial Park, 2525 W. New

Hope Drive, Cedar Park. www.cedarparktexas.gov 14 LEARN THE BASICS OF BACKYARD CHICKENS This virtual workshop on “Backyard Chickens: The ABCs” will teach participants how they can get started with the popular urban farming hobby of raising chickens. 10 a.m.-noon. $30. Online. 512-632-9561. www.pioneerfarms.org

$15 (admission), free (children age 8 and under). www.humaneheroes.org 23 PLAY A GOLF GAME TO FUND SCHOLARSHIPS This tournament includes golf, cart fees, lunch, contests, prizes and refreshments. Proceeds provide scholarships for recreational life-enhancement programs for Cedar Park-area youth in need. To obtain more information, email tara. mcalister@cedarparktexas.gov. 10 a.m.-

Find more or submit local events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

LIVEMUSIC

11 a.m. (practice range), 11 a.m.-noon (lunch), noon (shotgun start). $100 (per person), $150 (hole sponsorship, $500 (hole sponsorship plus golf for four); other sponsorships available. Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Drive, Cedar Park. 512-401-5508. www.cedarparktexas.gov DECEMBER 04 THROUGH JAN. 3 TAKE SELFIES WITH SANTA’S SLEIGH The city will hold photo opportunities at Heritage Oak Park with the light-lit tree and Santa’s sleigh. Visitors can come and go throughout the day, but photos are recommended at night. Free. Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park. www.cedarparktexas.gov 05 GET IN A SPECTACULAR HOLIDAY SPIRIT Every rst Saturday of December, Old Town Leander comes alive to spread Christmas joy throughout the community. This event will include the Old Town Rudolph Run 5K, a drive-thru parade, local vendors and more. Specic times will be shared as the date nears. www.visitleandertx.com

HEB CENTER AT CEDAR PARK 2100 Ave. of the Stars, Cedar Park 512-600-5000 www.hebcenter.com NOVEMBER 67 Tailgate Series: Andrew McMahon 13 Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt, with special guest Kyle Park 21 Tailgate Series: Felipe Esparza DECEMBER 6 Tailgate Series: For King & Country: The Christmas Tour SHOOTERS BILLIARDS & SPORTS BAR 601 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park 512-260-2060 www.shootersbilliards.net NOVEMBER 14 American Gypsy Band 21 Texas Deathgrip

NOV. 26

PARTAKE INA TURKEY TROT VIRTUAL

This year is the 30th anniversary of the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot, and 100% of proceeds will benet Caritas of Austin. The event will take place virtually. Registration is now open online. Event organizers are encouraging participants to complete a run or walk on Thanksgiving Day in their own neighborhood. Registration is $25 per adult participant and $12 for children. Registrants may choose the traditional Trot long-sleeved T-shirt; or choose a $10 gift card to ThunderCloud Subs, a Trot headband and wristbands, a bandana or a custom mask. This year, the event will have a socially distanced packet pickup held over four weekends at First Texas Honda, or packets can be shipped for an extra charge. www.thundercloud.com

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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Don’t put off your mammogram. Schedule now. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. The fact is mammograms can find cancer before a lump can be felt and early detection saves lives. If you have delayed getting your mammogram, now is the time to schedule. ARA’s imaging centers are set up to protect you from COVID-19 so you can feel free to get your mammogram safely. Visit ThanksMamm.com to schedule your appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

WE DON’T DO ORDINARY.

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At Brookfield Residential, we take a colorful approach to designing the best places to call home. From the distinctive curb appeal of our homes to the magnificent master-planned communities we develop. Do you love Modern Farmhouse or prefer Hill Country Cottage? Decide for yourself by scheduling a tour in one of our five communities today:

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1. Wild Rock

4. Easton Park

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From the High $300s 2. Retreat at Dripping Springs From the High $200s 3. Kissing Tree From the Low $200s

From the Low $200s

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5. Addison

From the Mid $200s

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All incentives are applicable for homes sold at promotional/ advertised pricing only and are tied to using one of Brookfield Residential’s preferred lenders. Brookfield Residential reserves the right to cancel or change the promotion at any time. Earnest money and option deposits apply. Availability of homes, pricing, plans, and specifications are subject to change without notice or prior obligation. Equal Opportunity Housing.

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

DEVELOPMENT

Proposed $1 billion development, 4-acre lagoon coming to Leander

BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

residential development are proposed for the project, according to the city. A phasing plan was incorporated into the city’s agreement to require that commercial uses be constructed proportionally with residential uses. “Our conservative approach in the Leander Springs agreement helps make this project feasible for the developers while serving as a low risk opportunity for the city,” City Man- ager Rick Beverlin said in the release. “The deal allows us to immediately share in the economic benets on a property that should provide excel- lent returns if developed to its best and highest use.” Leander Springs will qualify for tax rebate payments once certain commercial development milestones are achieved, and only tax dollars generated from new commercial properties will qualify, the city said. Additionally, because rebates are restricted to new development, existing public funds will not be used to nance the project. Leander Springs is eligible to receive rebates from the city on property taxes, sales taxes and hotel occupancy taxes collected as Leander Springs develops. Some examples from the city include the following. Phase 1 property and sales tax rebates: Leander Springs must have 35,000 square feet of commercial development and the crystalline lagoon completed by Dec. 31, 2023. No more than 400 multifamily residential units may be developed during Phase 1. Phase 2 property and sales tax

Leander Springs, a 78-acre, mixed- use project with retail, restaurants, entertainment, hospitality, oce and residential components, is on its way to town, Leander Mayor Troy Hill announced Oct. 15. Expectations are that a fully developed Leander Springs, set to be located at the southwest corner of FM 2243 and 183A, could be valued at $1 billion, according to the city. As part of an economic development agreement with Leander Springs, the city approved up to $22 million in per- formance-based tax incentives for the project, which promises to construct a 4-acre crystalline lagoon powered by Crystal Lagoons technology and surrounded by 10 acres of boardwalk and related amenities. The lagoon will be lled only once and will operate in a closed circuit to ensure sustainable use of water. The public-access lagoon will serve as the centerpiece for more than 1 million square feet of com- mercial development, plans for which include a full-service hotel and a conference center. “This dynamic mixed-use devel- opment is a game changer for our community,” Hill said in a release. “Leander Springs has a phased approach that will bring in much- needed commercial development at the beginning of the project while incorporating residential uses in a proportional manner.” In addition to commercial develop- ment, up to 1,600 units of multifamily

The public-access lagoon will serve as the centerpiece for more than 1 million square feet of commercial and residential development. (Rendering courtesy city of Leander)

DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Parkway network Residential

2243

Lagoon residential above retail Ground-oor retail Retail

183A TOLL

Commercial

Parking garage Hotel/residential Hotel Lagoon amenities

rebates: Leander Springs must have 100,000 square feet of commercial devel- opment within ve years of receiving the rst certicate of occupancy for develop- ments under Phase 1. No more than 250 multifamily residen- tial units may be developed during Phase 2. Additional property and sales tax rebates: Leander Springs must have 100,000 square feet of commercial development for every additional 250 multifamily residen- tial units developed. Proposed zoning for Leander Springs was presented to the Lean- der Planning and Zoning Commission

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SOURCE: CITY OF LEANDER COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

on Oct. 22. Leander City Council will make a nal determination during the rst and second readings of the zoning request: Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, respectively.

GRAND OPENING THE CROSSOVER FRI 11.13 TO SUN 11.15 EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS & RAFFLE GIVEAWAYS! V E S S E L I V B A R A T X I N V I T E S Y O U T O O U R 1717 SCOTTSDALE DR SUITE 120 CEDAR PARK, TX 78641 VESSELIVBAR.COM

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ECONOMY

DISTRIBUTING COVID-19 FUNDS

Williamson County received $93 million in federal coronavirus relief aid. Here is how it has been distributed as of Oct. 26.

Williamson County continues to distribute COVID-19 relief funds

Unallotted: $17 million

Small business grants: $35 million

BY ALI LINAN

to emergency service districts, to which $500,000 is allocated; $1 million for community rent and utility assistance, to which $4 million is allocated; and a pending $1.5 million to schools, to which $12 million is allocated, he added. Heselmeyer said he believes an extension is pending, but as of Oct. 30, any unspent money by the current Dec. 30 deadline will need to be returned to the federal government. “We want to do everything we can to help our citizens, our constituents, with these COVID-related expenses,” Heselmeyer said. “[We want to] make sure that their cities are taken care of, make sure that their schools are taken care of ... and utilize this money to the maximum extent.” While there are some parameters for how the money can be distributed, counties and cities are autonomous in deciding howmuch, when, how and to whom the money goes. Travis County received $61 million in CARES Act funding, which it allocated toward small-cities relief for entities located outside of Austin and toward rental and mortgage assistance for low-income residents. Harris County, with $426.6 million in funds, started court eviction and child care assistance programs, among other efforts. “It may be federal government tax- payer dollars, but that’s still taxpayer dollars,” Heselmeyer said. “We are still placing the same priorities on being responsible–we spend that money as we would if it was property tax money collected locally.”

Williamson County has continued to move forward with the distribution of its federal coronavirus relief aid funding and has added schools to its list of programs. In April, the county received $93 million in federal aid to support those financially impacted by the pandemic. Since then, it has distributed money to small businesses, cities, emergency service districts and nonprofits. Now, the county is set to help offset the pandemic costs for area public, private and charter schools. “I dare to say that any county in America has accomplished what we’ve accomplished in the last six months,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said during an October meeting. “We have done an amazing job through a global pandemic to help our county not only stand up but to run forward.” The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was a $2 trillion stimulus bill passed in March with the intent of financially helping people and entities devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Williamson County was an early adopter of ramping up distribution points, starting with small businesses in May. The program, which funneled money to local businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees, was allotted the largest portion of the total, at $35 million, Williamson County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said. The county has also distributed about $500,000 to cities, to which $8 million is currently allocated; $85,000

School reimbursements: $12 million

$93MILLION TOTAL

County internal expenses: $11.55 million

Bluebonnet Trails: $500,000

Cities: $8 million

Emergency service districts: $500,000

Reserve: $3 million

Community assistance program: $4 million

YMCA: $750,000

Health district: $1 million

SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COUNTY TO COUNTY Here is how other counties have distributed coronavirus relief funding. Program listings are not comprehensive.

Travis County Amount awarded: $61 million Programs: small-cities relief for those located outside of Austin, rental and mortgage assistance program for low- income residents Williamson County Amount awarded: $93 million Programs: small-business assistance, cities and emergency service district assistance, school district assistance City of Austin Amount awarded: $170.8 million Programs: Commercial Loans for Economic Assistance and Recovery Fund, Childcare Support Fund, Austin Nonprofit and Civic Health Organizations Relief Funds

Collin County Amount awarded: $171 million Programs: small-business grant program, family and individual assistance, COVID-19 testing for the uninsured Dallas County Amount awarded: $240 million Programs: emergency business assistance, emergency child care assistance, emergency housing, food pantry assistance Harris County Amount awarded: $426.6 million Programs: small-business loan program, court eviction services, rental assistance program, child care assistance program Hays County Amount awarded: $4.83 million Programs: Small business assistance program

SOURCES: CITY OF AUSTIN, COLLIN COUNTY, DALLAS COUNTY, HARRIS COUNTY, HAYS COUNTY, TRAVIS COUNTY, WILLIAMSON COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

for you.

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The future has a lot of what ifs, and it’s a good feeling to have someone in your corner and around the corner to help you plan for them. Call me today. The future has a lot of what ifs, and it’s a good Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. ® feeling to have someone in your corner and around the corner to help you plan for them. Call me today. Combine home and auto and save an average of $889. I’m ready to help you get the right coverage at the right price. Call me for a quote.

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The future has a lot of what ifs, and it’s a go d feeling to have someone in your corner and around the corn r to help you plan for them. Call me today.

JT Reisdorph, Agent 305 S Bell Blvd Suite B Cedar Park, TX 78613 Bus: 512-219-7295 www.insuremejt.com

JT Reisdorph, Agent 305 S Bell Blvd Suite B Cedar Park, TX 78613 Bus: 512-219-7295 www.insuremejt.com

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ACC is for EVERYONE

I’m Adela Nino-Cochrun The Cochrun Group, a licensed sales representative in Austin and surrounding areas. When it comes to Medicare, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. What works well for your neighbor may not be the best fit for you. And what met your needs last year might not be the best fit this year. Take advantage of this time to explore your Medicare choices so you can enroll in a plan with confidence. I’m here to help. I know the ins and outs of Medicare, and I can help make it easier for you to understand too. Go ahead, take advantage. Adela Nino-Cochrun The Cochrun Group Licensed Sales Representative Cpl, US Marine Corps, 8 years served 512-627-3475, TTY 711 www.MyUHCagent.com/the.cochrun.group United Healthcare Enrollment Center 1150 S Bell Blvd Bldg 5, Cedar Park, Tx 78613 www.thecochrungroup.com • info@thecochrungroup.com Adela Cochrun 512-627-3475 Daniela Thomas 210-872-0984 Antonieta Graham 210-872-0873 Tim Graham 915-539-9035

Gayle Emerson 512-233-9953

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CARE TEAM THAT ACTUALLY WORKS TOGETHER. WellMed is redefining health care for people on Medicare. We do it by focusing on healthy choices. By making sure you never feel rushed. And by identifying risks early. It’s an approach we committed to 30 years ago - and one that stills sets WellMed apart today. Now, we’ve grown to meet your needs with online video appointments from comfort to your home. Your health is our number one priority. WellMed is redefining health care for people on Medicare. We do it by focusing on healthy ch By making sure you never feel rushed. And by identifying risks early. It’s an approach we comm to 30 years ago — and one that still sets WellMed apart today. Now, we’ve grown to meet you needs with online video appointments from the comfort of your home.

Your health is our number one priority. WellMed is redefining health care for people on Medicare. We do it by focusing on healthy choices. By making sure you never feel rushed. And by identifying risks early. It’s an approach we committed to 30 years ago — and one that still sets WellMed apart today. Now, we’ve grown to meet your needs with online video appointments from the comfort of your home.

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During Medicare Annual Enrollment pick a plan that gives you access to WellMed. Join us for an upcoming online Medicare event. Visit WellMedMeetings.com to learn more. For a listing of upcoming events or for more information about WellMed, visit WellMedFindADoctor.com or call 512-524-3704 (toll free). Calling this number will direct you to The Brokerage, a licensed insurance agency.*

For a listing of upcoming events or for more information about WellMed, visit WellMedFindADoctor.com or call 512-524-3704 (toll free). Calling this number will direct you to The Brokerage, a licensed insurance agency.*

Visit us on facebook: facebook.com/WellMed

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20_5612_WM_AD_AEPPROVIDER_JL_C101520 WellMed does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its health programs and activities. ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance (9355). ATENCIÓN: Si habla español (Spanish), hay servicios de asistencia de idiomas, sin cargo, a su disposición. Llame al 888-781-WELL (9355). 請注意:如果您說中文 *The Brokerage, license number 2359, works with Medicare enrollees to explain Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Prescription Dru

*The Brokerage, license number 2359, works with Medicare enrollees to explain Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Prescription Drug Plan options.

20_5612_WM_AD_AEPPROVIDER_JL_C101520 WellMed does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its health programs and activities. ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Please call 888-781-WELL (9355). ATENCIÓN: Si habla español (Spanish), hay servicios de asistencia de idiomas, sin cargo, a su disposición. Llame al 888-781-WELL (9355). 請注意:如果您說中文 (Chinese) ,我們免費為您提供語言協助服務。請致電: 888-781-WELL (9355) 。

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Cedar Park, Leander, Travis County & Williamson County

QUOTEOFNOTE “IT REALLYWARMSMY HEART THAT SOMANY GOOD, QUALITY PEOPLE TURNEDOUTWITH INTEREST TO THE CITY.” LEANDER COUNCIL MEMBER KATHRYN PANTALIONPARKER ON THE PLACE 2 APPOINTMENT NUMBER TOKNOW This was the number of votes cast on the rst day of early voting in Williamson County. This represents an 8.97% turnout and is the highest turnout for the rst day of early voting the county has had in any election. 33,412 CITY HIGHLIGHTS CEDAR PARK Kevin Harris was appointed to the Place 4 council member seat Oct. 22 to serve until the new council member is elected Nov. 3. Harris replaces Mike Guevara, who resigned to run for Texas House District 136. The new council member will be sworn in Nov. 19. LEANDER On Oct. 15, the city announced $22 million in performance-based tax incentives for the Leander Springs project. The project will go through the city rezoning process in November and December. CEDAR PARK The city was named as one of the best small cities in America, according to an Oct. 20 Wallet Hub ranking article per the city website. The city was also ranked as the 11th best city to do business in Texas in an Oct. 13 ranking article from Home City. Cedar Park City Council Typically meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. 450 Cypress Creek Road, Bldg. 4, Cedar Park • 512-401-5000 www.cedarparktexas.gov Leander City Council Typically meets the rst and third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. 201 N. Brushy St., Leander 512-259-1239 • www.leandertx.gov Travis County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin 512-854-9020 www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court Williamson County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1100 • www.wilco.org MEETINGSWE COVER

City Council lls Place 2 opening LEANDER Annette Sponseller was named the new Place 2 Leander City Council member Oct. 15. Sponseller will serve out the unexpired term of Michelle Stephenson, who resigned in September. in favor. “I just have to say that this is one of the toughest things we’ve had to do,” Mayor Troy Hill said after Sponseller was appointed. Council members noted that the decision was dicult due to the number of qualied applicants. “It really warms my heart that so BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

Aected fees include city- managed programs and recreation center memberships. Cedar Park to raise its city park fees TAYLOR GIRTMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Council considered 10 applicants Oct. 15 and unanimously appointed Sponseller. She will remain in oce through the end of the Place 2 term in May. Sponseller, a Leander resident of over 10 years, currently serves on the planning and zoning commission and on the comprehensive plan advisory committee, and has served on others in the past. The vacant Place 5 planning and zoning commission seat will be open for applications soon. Three people spoke in favor of Sponseller’s appointment, and one person submitted a written comment

many good, quality people turned out with interest to the city,” Council Mem- ber Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said.

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

CEDAR PARK To align its park fees with other benchmark cities’ fees, the city will raise resident and nonresident park fees in two phases. Increased park fees for nonresidents will begin Jan. 1, and Cedar Park residents’ fee increases will be considered when the budget for scal year 2020-21 is planned.

MAY 2021 ELECTIONS

These positions will be up for re-election in May.

• MAYOR • PLACE 2

• PLACE 4 • PLACE 6

SOURCES: BASTROP, BELL, BURNET, HAYS, WILLIAMSON AND TRAVIS COUNTIES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Travis County barswill not reopen, despiteGov. Abbott’s permission TRAVIS COUNTY Bars in some counties were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity starting Oct. 14, but Travis County bars will remain closed, according to an Oct. 27 state- ment from County Judge Sam Biscoe. Biscoe said in a statement that Tra- vis County has not seen improvement in hospital bed or ICU bed utilization in recent weeks. He said the county must be mindful of upcoming week- end celebrations and added in-person learning. “For these reasons, it is my deci- sion to not open bars,” he said. The moving average of new hos- pital admissions is stabilizing with no indication of a decline, according to Dr. Mark Escott, the Austin-Travis County interim health authority. Abbott announced Oct. 7 that bars could open to 50% capacity if county judges were to opt into his plan. Tra- vis County will revisit the decision in two weeks, Biscoe said. BY JACK FLAGLER WHICH BARS CANOPEN IN CENTRAL TEXAS? COUNTIES WITH OPEN BARS: • Bastrop • Bell • Burnet • Hays • Williamson COUNTIES WITH CLOSED BARS: • Travis County

Williamson County commissioners end renting of Historic County Jail, considering selling it

BY ALI LINAN

the jail for county purposes again, which makes the return on invest- ment for upkeep and repairs too costly to keep on the county payroll. “It’s not a facility that I think [the county] will ever use again,” Commis- sioner Cynthia Long said. “It’s costing the taxpayers to have it.” The jail is a recorded historical landmark. Commissioners Valerie Covey and Russ Boles agreed to look into any restrictions surrounding the designation.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY The Commissioners Court voted Oct. 6 to no longer lease or rent the Historic County Jail in Georgetown, citing safety concerns. The jail, located at 312 Main St., Georgetown, was in use from 1889- 1989. To date, it holds a historical identication and is often used as a lming location, ocials said. The Commissioners Court said it does not have any intention to use

Williamson County Commissioners Court will consider the sale of the historic jail. (Courtesy Texas Historical Commission)

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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