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2021 R E A L E S T A T E E D I T I O N
VOLUME 14, ISSUE 11 JULY 15AUG. 18, 2021
Central Texas housingmarket explodes
NAVIGATING A SELLER’S MARKET Multiple oers, closing costs well over asking price and drastically diminished days on the market are all trends in the local homebuying market.
IMPACTS 2021 REAL ESTATE EDITION
MATERIAL COSTS BOOM The prices of lumber, brick and other materials have increased rapidly as developers and builders deal with the changes.
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Garden Homes at Verde Vista is one example of the growing house market. (Fernanda Figueroa/Community Impact Newspaper)
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GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
LET’S SAFELY GET BACK TO:
The Talking Book Program provides a free library service to qualifying Texans with visual, physical, or
reading disabilities. Join the thousands of Texans who are enjoying books. For more information, visit www.TexasTalkingBooks or call 1-800-252-9605 .
After a year of being told to keep our distance, it’s time to join together and get the vaccine. Getting vaccinated helps us all. The doctors right here in our community will tell you: it’s safe and effective. And now, with COVID-19 still spreading in our community, it’s more important than ever before.
WILLIAMSON COUNTY AND CITIES HEALTH DISTRCT 512-943-3600 | WWW.WCCHD.ORG
When is the right time for joint replacement? Schedule a consultation with an orthopedic doctor Climbing stairs, walking outdoors, and enjoying time with family shouldn’t mean worries about falls and pain in your knees and hips. If you’ve been living with joint pain, talk with an orthopedic specialist who listens. For some patients, surgery options using enhanced technology may mean faster recovery and less pain. Ask about virtual visits for some appointments.
Schedule an appointment at ascension.org/SetonOrtho or call 512-877-4978.
Ascension Medical Group Georgetown 3721 Williams Drive Georgetown, TX 78628
Ascension Texas © Ascension 2021. All rights reserved.
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Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.
FROMDENISE: At Community Impact Newspaper , our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. I will occasionally mention this in my note from time to time because it is so important that we not forget that. We always want to keep our mission top of mind. That is why it is so important to write about issues such as health care, education and our local real estate economy. This month we are not only highlighting the state of our local real estate market, but we are also reporting on a growing concern of residents of Georgetown becoming victims of roong scams. After a recent hail storm, many are still dealing with the aftermath, which includes damaged roofs. You can read about the concern local homeowners have regarding roong businesses inside (see Page 19). Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER
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CORRECTION: Volume 14, Issue 10 On Page 1, in the “Private land, public use” story, the number of acres the city of Georgetown acquired through eminent domain since 2016 is about 12. Information in a chart on Page 38 also includes an incorrect number of acres taken by the city through eminent domain for area projects.
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GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding
locations across the country. 737-356-0500. www.romeospizza.com Gypsy Ice opened in Georgetown in May. The business offers a variety of naturally flavored shaved ice, including cherry, lemon-lime, passion fruit and strawberry. The business can be found at different locations in Georgetown and is available for events. 512-855-2330. www.gypsyice.com COMING SOON 5 Amberlin Georgetown , an active adult community, is expected to open by summer 2022. The active living communi- ty will have 188 residential units for resi- dents 55 and older. Amberlin Georgetown will also feature resort-style amenities. Rent is expected to be between $1,500 and $2,500 per month. Amberlin George- town will be located at 5101 N. Mays St., Georgetown. https://sparrowliving.com/ communities 6 Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation Outpatient Thera- py-Georgetown Southeast opened at the end of June and is located at 1225 S. I-35, Bldg. H, Ste. 120, Georgetown. Outpa- tient therapy is a clinical service provid- ing preventive and rehabilitative services that improves function and well-being. People typically seek this kind of clinical service after a debilitating injury or illness. The new clinic will offer physi- cal therapy, orthopedic rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, COVID-19 re- covery, and reconditioning and treatment for sports injuries. 737-356-0002. www.bswrehab.com/outpatient 7 Arbor Academy , a small private school focused on project-based learning, will open at 412 E. 19th St., Georgetown, inside the Getsemani Community Center. Project-based learning is a model of teaching combining real world experi- ences with curriculum, according to the school. School leaders aim to provide children a small and engaging community to learn as opposed to larger traditional classrooms. The school is now enrolling students in kindergarten through fifth grade and will open in August. 512-884-0271. www.arboracademy.org 8 The Fairfield Inn and Suites George- town location is expected to open by
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NOWOPEN 1 All Star Liquor opened its second Georgetown location June 15 at 5721 Williams Drive, Ste. 120, Georgetown. The store is in the Randalls Shopping Center and sells liquor, beer and wine. 512-948-7208. Facebook: All Star Liquor Georgetown TX 2 Anthony Medical & Chiropractic Cen- ter opened a new Georgetown location May 12 at 101 Cooperative Way, Ste. 235,
Georgetown. The clinic offers various treatments including therapy, acupunc- ture and pain management treatments. 512-630-0060. www.anthonychiro.com/georgetown 3 Georgetown Pediatrics celebrated its grand opening June 26. George- town Pediatrics staff help with ADHD/ ADD, asthma, allergies, annual wellness checks, behavioral health, breastfeeding, concussion and injuries, fever and sick
visits, newborns, nutrition and obesity, sports physicals and vaccines. The clinic is located at 4841 Williams Drive, Bldg. C, Ste. 105, Georgetown, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 512-730-3957. http://georgetownpedi.com 4 Romeo’s Pizza , a national pizza chain, opened its location June 21 at 5731 Williams Drive, Ste. 101, Georgetown. Romeo’s Pizza offers hand-crafted pies using fresh ingredients. It has over 40
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TXB Market & Fuel Center
COURTESY AMBERLIN GEORGETOWN
COURTESY TXB MARKET & FUEL CENTER
RELOCATIONS 10 Central Texas commercial construc- tion firm Cockrum Commercial has relo- cated from 200 Sedro Trail, Georgetown, to 4879 Williams Drive, Bldg. 1, Ste. 105, Georgetown. The company moved in late March, and services offered include design, construction and completion of commercial projects. Cockrum Commer- cial is currently overseeing the develop- ment of Sedro Crossing Business Park in Georgetown. 512-868-1011. www.cockrumcommercial.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 The two H-E-B stores in Georgetown celebrated their 55-year anniversary June 26. Both stores—located at A 4500 Williams Dr. and B 1100 S. I-35—are open daily 6 a.m.-11 p.m. www.heb.com
spring 2022. The hotel will have 96 rooms and amenities such as a fitness center, workspaces, a swimming pool and outdoor spaces. The hotel will be located at 930 W. University Ave., Georgetown. https://fairfield.marriott.com 9 Food market and convenience store TXB Market & Fuel Center is expected to open in July. The store will offer fresh food, such as tacos and tenders pre- pared on-site as well as locally sourced products, such as water, tea and beef jerky. The store will also provide a variety of coffees. Artisan products will also be offered. This store will be the company’s first location after its rebranding from Kwik Check. The store will be located at 1402 Williams Drive, Georgetown. https://txbstores.com
McCasland Christian Academy expects to open a second location in Georgetown by 2022.
COURTESY MCCASLAND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON McCasland Christian Academy expects to open a second location at 3309 Shell Road, Georgetown, by 2022. Among other features, the new campus will contain multiple classrooms, an administrative building, a basketball court and a soccer eld. The school’s other Georgetown location is at 915 Rockmoor Drive. Established in April 2020, MCA is a private Christian school that provides a foundation of faith and instruction with a 15:1 student-to- teacher ratio. The academy is accepting
applications for admission for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. 512-868-9903. www.mccaslandchristianacademy.org
SUN CITY BLVD.
BEAT THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL RUSH AND SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW! SCHEDULE Y UR AP INT ENT TODAY!
4507 Williams Drive Georgetown • 78633
Dr. Travis Hildebrand • Dr. Kenny Havard Dr. Lisa Jacob • Dr. Aaron White
GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
Curious what is selling in your neighborhood? Scan me
SOLD $166K OVER
SOLD $88K OVER
3.5 ba 3,678 sq ft
2,043 sq ft
101 Mariposa Bonita Cv, Georgetown, TX 78633 Daphne Arender | 512-965-7292
4319 Miramar Dr, Georgetown, TX 78628 James Jarvis | 512-626-6657
SOLD $85K OVER
SOLD $77K OVER
2.5 ba 2,837 sq ft
1,871 sq ft
1417 Ignacia Dr, Georgetown, TX 78626 Rylan Clark | 512-924-3104
629 Donegal Ln, Georgetown, TX 78626 Michael Langford | 512-800-2275
SOLD $70K OVER
SOLD $51K OVER
3.5 ba 3,326 sq ft
1,538 sq ft
116 Claiborne Lake Ln, Georgetown, TX 78628 Elizabeth Hirst | 512-947-3376
200 County Rd 191, Georgetown, TX 78626 Kyle McClelland | 512-850-1198
SOLD $50K OVER
SOLD $43K OVER
1,782 sq ft
128 Kavanaugh St, Georgetown, TX 78628 Mark Alexander | 512-800-4443
230 Caddo Lake Dr, Georgetown, TX 78628 Chris Humphrey | 512-803-9282
SOLD $40K OVER
SOLD $40K OVER
1,306 sq ft
2.5 ba 2,403 sq ft
2603 Sunrise Valley Ln, Georgetown, TX 78626 Betsy Gallagher | 512-431-8265
314 Dipprey Ln, Georgetown, TX 78628 Chad Proctor | 512-870-7292
Be confident and secure in selling your home. Visit RealtyAustin.com/Sell to look up your home’s value.
COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
COMPILED BY FERNANDA FIGUEROA
“Frog Eyes” by Sherry McRae
JULY 23 AUG. 22
‘BOEING, BOEING’ PERFORMANCE GEORGETOWN PALACE THEATRE
BACKTOSCHOOLBASH WOLF RANCH TOWN CENTER
ART EXHIBITS AT THE GEORGETOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.), 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Sat.), 12 - 5 p.m. (Sun.). Free. Georgetown Public Library- Cafe Gallery, 402 W. Eighth St., Georgetown. 512-930-3551. https:// library.georgetown.org July 21-Aug. 22 SUN CITY PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB: ‘THE EYES HAVE IT’ EXHIBIT The Georgetown Public Library hosts the Sun City Photography Club exhibit. The exhibit focuses on the eyes of people, wildlife, pets and even eyes of inanimate objects. The eyes shown in the exhibit will invite viewers to consider the expressiveness, depth and humor behind the windows to the soul. The club has more than 200 members from beginners to experienced photographers all using dierent equipment from cell phones to digital cameras. A reception will be held for the exhibit July 23 from 4-6 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library-Second Bridge. July 21-Aug. 22 ALEX VIETTI CONSTRUCTION EXHIBIT Alex Vietti’s exhibit will focus on construction sites and laborers who work among us to create the infrastructure we see every day. Vietti focuses on providing a dierent perspective to the world that we see in modern day society. A reception will be held for Vietti on July 25 from 2-4 p.m. at the Cafe Gallery. July 15-31 13 JEWISH DRIVERS LICENSES In collaboration with the Congregation Havurah Shalom of Sun City, “13 Jewish Drivers’ Licenses: A Tale of Nazi Destruction, Discovery and Reconciliation” tells the story of a town in Germany coming to terms with its darkest past. The licenses were discovered in 2017 when the sta of the district oces in Lichtenfels were digitizing the town’s ocial paper records. The licenses had been revoked by the Nazis in 1938.
The play features a bachelor who nds himself engaged to three people and struggles to get his lies straight. The play will be indoors and seated at 100% capacity. Times vary. $24 (student with ID), $32 (senior 55+, military, student), $34. Georgetown Palace Theatre, 810 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. 512-869-7469. www.georgetownpalace.com
Enjoy games, crafts and giveaways as well as help local students receive the supplies they need to head back to school. After the activities enjoy a drive-in screening of “School of Rock.” 6-10 p.m. Free. Wolf Ranch Town Center, 1015 W. University Ave., Georgetown. 512-930-8008. https://wolfranchtowncenter.com
24 WATCH THE PRESLEY PROJECT LIVE Enjoy the songs of Elvis Presley
28 LEARNABOUT COMPANY CULTURE Attend a Lunch & Learn Development hosted by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. Attendees can learn about topics of interest to help their businesses. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $5 (member, virtual), $10 (guest, virtual), $15 (member preregistration, in-person), $25 (guest, in-person). Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, 1 Chamber Way, Georgetown. 512-930-3535. https://georgetownchamber.org 30 SECONDHAND ROSE BAND LIVE Dance to the sounds of Second Hand Rose as they perform live at Sun City. The band is composed of some of Central Texas’ most seasoned and accomplished musicians. They play traditional and new country, rock and blues. The show will have mask requirements. 7 p.m. Prices vary. Sun City, 2 Texas Drive, Georgetown. 512-948-7700. www.sctexas.org AUGUST 04 EXPLOREMOTHER NATURE Explore animals, insects and more at the Wolf Ranch Town Center Nature Day event for kids. Kids can test their planting skills at the potting station. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Wolf Ranch Town Center, 1015 W. University Ave., Georgetown. 512-930-8008. https://wolfranchtowncenter.com 07 BLAZIN’ BEER CRAWL The Georgetown Main Street Program hosts the self-paced walking event at which participants can taste the craft beer of participating downtown retail stores and restaurants. Snacks are also provided, and restaurants have event specials. Food trucks will set up around the Square. 3-6 p.m. $25 (general admission), $55 (VIP admission). Must be 21 and older to buy tickets. Tickets are limited to 350 for general admission and 150 for VIP. 512-930-2027. http:// mainstreet.georgetown.org/beercrawl
JULY 19 THROUGHAUG. 15 GET DISCOUNTS AT LOCAL RESTAURANTS Celebrate Georgetown Restaurant month with discounts at local participating restaurants throughout the city. All proceeds from this event will go toward college scholarships for high school students in the Georgetown ISD Career and Technical Education program and toward a junior leadership scholarship. A list of participating businesses can be found online. Times vary. Prices vary. 512-930- 3535. https://georgetownchamber.org/ restaurant-month 20 JOIN LIVEMUSIC EVENT FOR CHILDREN Will Dupuy performs fun and interactive songs t for children of young ages. Attendees are encouraged to bring sunblock, water and heat protection gear. Social distancing will be encouraged. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Chatauqua Park, 602 Rucker St., Georgetown. 512-930-3551. https://library.georgetown.org 21 MEET AND GREET PEDIATRICIANS Baylor Scott & White Clinic-Georgetown West hosts a virtual pediatrician meet and greet at which parents can meet the clinic’s pediatricians and ask any questions they may have about their child’s doctor. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Reservation required. 844-279-3626. www.bswhealth.com 23 THROUGH 24 LEARN THE BEST PRACTICES IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT Educators, parents and child caretakers are invited to a live training session to learn about the best practices in child development. The sessions will be held via Zoom hosted by The Georgetown Project. 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Free for Williamson County, Texas child care providers registered by June 1 using code WILCO, $20 (per day). 512-943-0074. https://georgetownproject.org
performed by The Presley Project, a 10-person band that brings to life the music of the famous artist. The event will take place indoors at the Doug Smith Performance Center. 7:30 p.m. $20 (students with ID), $24 (seniors, military and students), $26. Doug Smith Performance Center, 206 W. Second St.,
Georgetown. 512-869-7469. www.georgetownpalace.com 26 THROUGH 30
CREATE YOUR OWN COMIC
BOOKAND CARD GAME Children ages 9-14 can explore the history and lore of comic book and card games to create their very own comic book and card game. Participants will learn how to write, draw and illustrate their own stories and share them. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Prices vary. Georgetown Parks Administration- Community Room, 1101 N. College St., Georgetown. 512-930-3595. https://esteamlearninglabs.com 27 LIVE ANIMAL PRESENTATION The Georgetown Public Library hosts Wildlife on the Move, a nonprot organization focused on animal outreach and education with rescued animal ambassadors. Wildlife on the Move will present live animals and tales from the wild. Attendees are encouraged to bring sunblock, water and heat protection gear. Social distancing will be encouraged. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Chatauqua Park, 602 Rucker St., Georgetown. 512-930-3551. https://library.georgetown.org 28 DRESS UP FOR SUPERHERODAY Kids can dress up as superheroes and take a photo with their favorite superhero. Craft and activity stations will also be available for kids. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Wolf Ranch Town Center, 1015 W. University Ave., Georgetown. 512-930-8008. https://wolfranchtowncenter.com
Find more or submit Georgetown 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.
GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
COMPILED BY FERNANDA FIGUEROA & TRENT THOMPSON
to the west and FM 971 on the east. It also constructed a four-lane roadway with a roundabout and intersection improvements that connect to the new bridge. Timeline: September 2019-July 2021 Cost: $8.2 million Funding source: 2015 city of Georgetown transportation bond 3 Sun City safety projects Two Sun City safety improvement projects have been completed. The projects pro- vide increased safety on Ronald Reagan Boulevard at the intersection of Silver Spur Boulevard and Sun City Boulevard. A Improvements at Silver Spur Boule- vard include adding a deceleration lane and left-turn lane on Ronald Reagan, an acceleration lane on Ronald Reagan Bou- levard for those turning left from Silver Spur Boulevard, overhead solar trac beacons and intersection lighting to alert drivers. B Improvements at Sun City Boulevard included adding an acceleration lane for those turning left from Sun City Boule- vard and overhead solar trac beacons to alert drivers. Timeline: November 2020-June 2021 Cost: $875,350 Funding source: 2019 Williamson County road bond
Intersection changes at I-35 and Westinghouse Road Texas Department of Transportation of- cials are proposing a continuous-ow intersection, or CFI, at Westinghouse Road and I-35 to x trac issues south- bound toward Austin. In a CFI, trac crosses to the left side of the roadway to the outer lanes to turn, according to TxDOT. The project will also involve demolishing the Westinghouse Road bridge and building an I-35 overpass over Westinghouse, TxDOT public infor- mation ocer Diann Hodges said. Timeline: fall 2024-TBD Cost: $107 million Funding source: TxDOT ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 8. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT GEONEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.
MAP NOT TO SCALE N
COMPLETED PROJECTS 1 University Avenue at Hwy. 29 trac signal at Wolf Crossing This new trac signal on Hwy. 29 went live in June. The signal is located at H-E-B and the new Aldi store and is one of the Wolf Crossing retail development trac improvements. The former signal just west of the new signal at the H-E-B entrance has been deactivated.
Timeline: 2020-June 10, 2021 Cost: $400,000 Funding source: Georgetown Transporta- tion Enhancement Corp. sales tax 2 Northwest Boulevard bridge project The new bridge spanning I-35 was completed in July. The bridge is a new east-west connection over the interstate and an alternative to Williams Drive. The project connects with Rivery Boulevard
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News from Georgetown ISD
SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS GEORGETOWN ISD The board of trustees unanimously approved hiring Tosha VanMetre as the Carver Elementary School principal June 21. VanMetre has held multiple roles in education, including as an assistant principal at Forbes Middle School in GISD, before landing her current position. GEORGETOWN ISD During a special meeting June 29, the board approved hiring two more elementary school principals. Hollee Braun will serve as principal at Mitchell, where she was previously the assistant principal. Mindy Choate will serve as principal at Purl and previously worked in Eanes ISD as the director of humanities. GEORGETOWN ISD The district lost $2.4 million due to Texas House Bill 1525, a bipartisan bill passed June 16 that makes an adjustment to how fast-growth allotment is calculated. The new formula reduces the amount GISD receives from the state, GISD Executive Director for Communications Melinda Brasher said in an email. Between 2018 and 2020, GISD’s student enrollment increased from 11,537 to 12,160 students, a 5.4% growth rate. Georgetown ISD board of trustees Next meeting is at 7 p.m. July 19 in the Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning Boardroom MEETINGSWE COVER NUMBER TOKNOW The Georgetown ISD board of trustees adopted its fiscal year 2021-22 budget, which includes raising the starting teacher salary to $50,300. $50,300 QUOTEOFNOTE “WHILE I THINK TEXAS TEACHERS RESPONDED HEROICALLY TO THE REMOTE INSTRUCTION ENVIRONMENT, ITWAS JUST A VERYDIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT TO TEACH INAND TO SUPPORT STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.” MIKE MORATH, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY COMMISSIONER
District adopts $191.7Mbudget, includes 2%staffpay increase
BUDGETBREAKDOWN Georgetown ISD’s board of trustees adopted the fiscal year 2021-22 budget June 29.
Food service: $5.7M Debt service: $46.3M General fund: $139.7M
BY TRENT THOMPSON
the district’s biggest expenses. Other expenses include salary adjustments and a 2% raise for all employees. The pay raise and salary adjustments were adopted in May. GISD will pay $180,040 for staffing adjustments, including for a direc- tor of teaching and learning and a bilingual learning design coach. Six $1,000 stipends will be given to sec- ondary English as a second language lead teachers for where stipends have not been previously given. Six $6,000 stipends will go to elementary bilingual interventionists, an amount equal to the stipend given to bilingual teachers.
GEORGETOWN ISD The board approved a $191.7 million budget for fiscal year 2021-22 during a special meeting June 29. The budget consists of $139.7 million for the general fund and accounts for a 6.1% student enroll- ment growth and 18.7% property value growth. In the general fund, GISD’s net revenue after making $19.4 million in recapture payments to the state is $120.3 million. Recap- ture is a set amount property-rich districts pay the state with property tax revenue to be distributed to all schools across the state and is one of
SOURCE: GEORGETOWN ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
GEORGETOWN ISD STAAR SCORES
The Texas Education Agency released spring 2021 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness scores in June. Here is a year-over-year comparison from 2019 of the percentage of students who approached grade level in each subject.
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
STAAR results show someGISD students belowstate averages
spring, a trend Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath labeled “disheartening” and one he attributes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within GISD, the percentage of stu- dents in third through eighth grades who approached grade-level STAAR scoring dropped off across nearly every testing subject area between 2019 and 2021. The depressed scores ranged from a 1% dip in third-grade reading to a 13% decline in third-grade math. STAAR achievement increased year over year for three exam sections: seventh-grade reading, seventh-grade writing and sixth-grade math.
GISD students did not outpace STAAR statewide averages in any grade or subject area, although the district equaled the state-level marks in seventh-grade reading and seventh-grade writing. District high school students fared better on their end-of-course exams, both compared with their own 2019 achievement levels and statewide figures. While biology and U.S. history scores dropped from their 2019 levels, the percentage of students approach- ing grade level was on par with state-level marks and several points above GISD performance on any other tests this year.
BY BEN THOMPSON
GEORGETOWN ISD The state released the spring 2021 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness and high school end-of-course exam results June 28, showing Georgetown ISD falling behind its 2019 perfor- mance levels, and some students scored below statewide averages. The drop in testing performance was experienced across Texas this
GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
Latest news from the area
Houstoncompanybreaksground in August on336apartments inGeorgetown
BY AMY DENNEY
A 336-unit apartment complex will open in late 2022 in Georgetown. Morgan Group, a multifamily developer based in Houston, breaks ground on the project in August. The Caroline will have 16 three-story buildings and includes amenities such as a pool, a dog park, a club- house and a tness center. The Caroline will be located on the southern side of Georgetown at 5300 N. Mays St. and will be close to HEB and Round Rock Premium Outlets. In 2020, Morgan Group opened an oce in Austin to expand into the
region. Jason Hauck, the company’s central region development partner, said the Caroline is the company’s third multifamily community in the area. “We try to deliver an elevated product at an aordable price,” he said in a news release. Hauck said he anticipates the new community to be attractive to young professionals who work in the area as well as renters wanting more space. Information from ApartmentData. com indicate the multifamily market is recovering more quickly in the Austin metro than other metros in
The Caroline will include 16 three-story buildings and build 336 apartment units. (Rendering courtesy Morgan Group)
quantiable levels. The LCRA began conducting routine testing near Travis Landing in February when ocials received a report that a dog died after swimming in the lake. In March, a second dog died, and ve others became ill, according to a previous update. Prior to the June 10 test results, every sample taken from that region contained possible dangerous cyanotoxin levels. Despite the improvement, the LCRA is still urging lakegoers to avoid contact with algae and to keep their dogs from ingesting or playing near algae in the Highland Lakes. Algae species capable of producing toxins are still present in Lake Travis. Additionally, the toxicity of an algae bloom can quickly change, according to the river authority. Caroline at Georgetown is well-ed- ucated and has strong household incomes. New jobs on the north side are continuing to pull people north,” Hauck said.
the state, according to the release. Hauck said demand for rental units has increased in the past three months. “The population surrounding
Tests showdrop in algae toxins in Lake Travis
Aordable senior housing receives funding
BY IAIN OLDMAN
An upcoming development that will add hundreds of aordable units to far North Austin in Williamson County is moving forward after receiving authorization from the county to borrow bond funds. The Williamson County Commis- sioners Court on June 15 voted to approve issuing up to $50 million in tax-exempt multifamily housing rev- enue bonds to fund the development of Grand Avenue Flats. Capital Area Housing Finance Corp. is issuing the bonds, and Grand Avenue Flats Ltd., a subsidiary of Ohio-based NRP Group, is listed as the borrower. Grand Avenue Flats is located at 15701 FM 1325, Austin, near Loop 1 and SH 45 N in North Austin,
BY AMY RAE DADAMO
New test results from Lake Tra- vis indicate a signicant decline in the toxicity of blue-green algae, and for the rst time since the spring, only trace amounts of the toxins were present, according to a June 22 update from the Lower Colorado River Authority. Samples collected June 10 from Travis Landing show a low concentration of cyanotoxins, the toxins produced by cyanobac- teria or blue-green algae. While cyanotoxins were still present, the LCRA said the toxicity was below
according to county documents. The development will ultimately deliver 275 aordable multifamily units for senior residents. The issued bonds will not be a debt or liability to Williamson County, according to backup documents for the vote. The CAHFC, which com- prises representatives from 10 Central Texas counties, needed approval from Williamson County commissioners due to state code.
First cases of Delta variant confirmed in county
COUNTY SPREAD On July 12, Williamson County increased to the orange transmission phase as cases rose countywide.
MINIMAL COMMUNITY SPREAD
BY IAIN OLDMAN
in the June 25 news release. “The good news is that the mRNA vaccines have been proven to be highly eective against this variant. The concern locally is that we have more than half the county that isn’t vaccinated and whom are still highly susceptible to this variant.” The Delta variant of COVID-19 has increased transmissibility, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The WCCHD stated this strain is estimated to be the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S. as early as August.
The rst cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 have been conrmed in Williamson County. The Williamson County and Cities Health District on June 25 announced the county discovered and conrmed the rst cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant through lab testing in June. According to the release, three initial cases of the variant were conrmed. “It is not surprising to see the Delta variant in our community given how rapidly it spreads,” WCCHD Lead Epidemiologist Allison Stewart said
MODERATE COMMUNITY SPREAD
HIGH COMMUNITY SPREAD
UNCONTROLLED COMMUNITY SPREAD
SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTY AND CITIES HEALTH DISTRICT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
News from Georgetown & Williamson County
COMPILED BY FERNANDA FIGUEROA & TRENT THOMPSON
QUOTEOFNOTE “KENNEL SPACE ISN’T NECESSARILY THE BIGGEST CONCERN. FORUS IT’S ABOUT MAKING SUREWE ARE PROVIDING THE LEVEL OF CARE THAT THE COMMUNITY HASMADE VERY CLEAR THEYWANT US TOBE PROVIDING. IT’SMORE ABOUT LACKOF STAFFING ANDVOLUNTEER ABILITY TO CARE FOR THEM, ANDWE ARE UNDERSTAFFED.” APRIL PEIFFER, COMMUNITY PROGRAMS COORDINATOR AT THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY REGIONAL ANIMAL SHELTER CITY HIGHLIGHTS GEORGETOWN On June 22, City Council approved a request to increase the residential unit cap from 7,500 to 7,775 units that can be developed in the Sun City Texas neighborhood located near 135 Sun City Blvd., Georgetown, according to city documents. WILLIAMSONCOUNTY On June 29, commissioners approved cuts to two parks projects at Berry Springs Park in northeast Georgetown and Champion Park in Cedar Park. At Berry Springs, the county will cut a proposed RV camping site and a new visitors center from the project list to save $1.61 million. At Champion, the county will cut a parking lot expansion and lighting updates to save $232,000. WILLIAMSONCOUNTY About $2 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding will pay for 10 infrastructure and public facilities projects countywide. About $100,000 will go toward the city of Georgetown’s home repair program and $330,000 to the Georgetown Housing Authority. Georgetown City Council Meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. 101 E. Seventh St., Georgetown 512-931-7715 • www.georgetown.org Williamson County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1550 • www.wilco.org MEETINGSWE COVER
YMCA asks city for $3Mto partner on joint facility GEORGETOWN Representatives from YMCA of Greater Williamson County have asked the city of George- town to participate in a joint facility with Georgetown ISD. POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIP
close to $53 million over a 20-year period [of operating the facility after construction],” YMCA board member Mark Dietz said. “By bringing to the table our operational skills and our ability to cover the cost of equipment and maintenance, we take $50 million o that equation.” The city operates a recreational center on the east side at 1003 N. Austin Ave., Georgetown. Despite this, some council members noted a need for similar facilities on the southeast side. “Although I think this is a great idea, the southeast side desperately needs a recreation center and a pool,” Council Member Tommy Gonzales said. After a lengthy discussion, Council Member Steve Fought said the idea of a partnership is worth exploring, and the location of the facility can be discussed further, an opinion council all agreed on in the end.
The YMCA of Greater Williamson County is proposing a partnership with the city of Georgetown and Georgetown ISD to build a new facility next to McCoy Elementary School.
The proposed location of the facility would be in west Georgetown next to McCoy Elementary School. The YMCA wants to construct a recreational dry area that includes a gymnasium and tness center adjacent to GISD’s chosen site for its $15 million compet- itive outdoor pool. GISD would fund the pool, and the partnership plans to split the cost for a $6 million shared- use area that would also include an indoor pool, a lobby and locker rooms. Together the YMCA and GISD have $26 million to fund the project and are asking for $3 million from the city to help pay for the construction of the dry area. “If this was a city project alone, there would be an expenditure of
DRY AREA RECREATION YMCA & CITY
OUTDOOR POOL GISD
MCCOY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
SOURCE: YMCACOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
GEORGETOWN District 6 Council Member Rachael Jonrowe resigned from her seat for personal reasons, eective July 6. Jonrowe initially announced her intention to resign June 7 via Facebook. In the Facebook video, she cited a few personal reasons for resigning. The city charter and the Texas Constitution require a special election within 120 days of a vacancy, which coincides with the November elec- tion, according to the city. Council member resigns as of July 6 consecutive terms until at least two years have passed. The council is expected to consider the rst reading to call a charter amendment election during its July 27 meeting. If approved, the charter amend- ments would head to voters for the Nov. 2 election. Rachael Jonrowe
City increases its homestead exemption GEORGETOWN City Council unanimously approved June 29 to increase the city’s homestead exemption. The homestead exemption will increase from $5,000 or 1% of market value, whichever is greater, to $10,000 or 2%. The change in the homestead exemption is expected to result in a $389,000 decrease in property tax revenue for the city, Georgetown Finance Director Leigh Wallace said. With the change, homeowners should see a lower tax bill by $20 annually, she added. The new homestead exemption is eective for the 2021 tax year.
Other municipalities in Central Texas have property value homestead exemptions. Here is how Georgetown’s exemption compares to them.
GEORGETOWN $10,000 or 2%* LEANDER $5,000 or 1%*
WILLIAMSON COUNTY $5,000 or 1.5%*
CEDAR PARK $5,000
SOURCES: CEDAR PARK, LEANDER, GEORGETOWN, WILLIAMSON COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER *WHICHEVER IS GREATER
City holds hearing on charter changes GEORGETOWN City leaders held a public hearing July 13 to gather feedback on several proposed city charter amendments. The changes include referendum
and recall requirements, qualica- tions and vacancies of City Council, and adding term limits for council members and the mayor. Council debated term limits at its June 22 meeting. Proposed term limits could include not allowing council members or the mayor to serve more than three
GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
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