Cedar Park - Leander | November 2020

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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