Georgetown | November 2020

GEORGETOWN EDITION

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 3  NOV. 12DEC. 15, 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

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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 earned seven com- plaints spanning 455 days from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Complaints include failure to prevent an unauthorized discharge, failure to properly collect euent samples, failure to ensure safety of individuals at the plant and failure to obtain authorization to discharge stormwater. “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 Val- ley Vista Estates Leander neighbor- hood 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

CITY & COUNTY

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“WE’RE NOT AFTER ANYTHING BUT CLEAN WATERSAFEWATER.” LAWANN TULL, GEORGETOWN RESIDENT

BUSINESS FEATURE

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CONTINUED ON 20

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 FEATURE

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BY ALI LINAN

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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 has 34 such operations, according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality data, and these operations are continuing to grow at a rapid rate across the state. CONTINUED ON 22

Find deals in a snap: Point your camera to the QR code or visit communityimpact.com/deals .

SOURCES: GEORGETOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE, TEXAS FOR RESPONSIBLE AGGREGATE MININGCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 1,900% Percent increase in registered quarries and other aggregate production facilities in Texas from 2015-20.

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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All information (including, but not limited to prices, availability, incentives, floor plans, site plans, features, standards and options, assessments and fees, planned amenities, programs, conceptual artists’ render- ings and community development plans) is not guaranteed and remains subject to change or delay without notice. Maps and plans are not to scale and all dimensions are approximate. Photos and descriptions of any planned improvements, features or amenities are not an actual representation and are for illustration purposes only that remain subject to change. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. At least one resident of household must be 55 or better, and additional restrictions apply. Some residents may be younger than 55 and no one under 19 in per- manent residency. Please see a Taylor Morrison Community Sales Manager for details and visit www.taylormorrison.com for additional disclaimers. © nov., 2020, Taylor Morrison of Texas, Inc. All rights reserved.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

ve me a call and I can help answer your Medicare estions so you can find the UnitedHealthcare® edicare Advantage plan that fits your needs. LocalhelpwithyourMedicarequestions. Takeadvantageof it. MEDICARE 2021 ANNUAL ENROLLMENT IS HERE! Before you enroll in a Medicare plan, visit us at the United Healthcare Enrollment Center. Enrolling in a Medicare plan that fits your needs starts with find- i g the right information. Stop by when it fits your schedule to speak with a licensed agent one on one and get the answers to your Medicare questions. We will help you compare plans and will ensure your enrollment is complete. Take the confusion out of Medicare Get help comparing plans

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m Adela Nino-Cochrun The Cochrun Group, a licensed sales representative in Austin and urrounding areas. hen it comes to Medicare, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. What works well for your neighbor may not be the best fit you. And what met your needs last year might not be the best fit this year. Take advantage of this time to explore your edicare 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 lp make it easier for you to understand too. o 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

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

6

Now Open, Coming Soon &more CITY& COUNTY

FROMDENISE: As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I cannot help but share what I am thankful for. I am so thankful that even with the current situation, we still have businesses that are thriving. One example is Georgetown Interstate Transmission. They have been able to stay socially distanced while keeping a steady ow of business. As the holiday season approaches, I highly encourage you to support our local businesses when you are shopping for your loved ones.

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Denise Seiler,

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The latest local news

dseiler@communityimpact.com EDITOR Sally Grace Holtgrieve REPORTER Ali Linan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Ann Miller 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 Pugerville, Texas. 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 ve metropolitan areas providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER

FROMSALLY GRACE: Community Impact Newspaper is unique because it informs residents on what is happening in their own backyards. Not in an “Austin metropolitan area” sense, but specically what a Georgetown resident needs to know about this city, its 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 (see Page 22) explains all you need to know about the fact Williamson County has more quarries than anywhere else in the state. Reporter Taylor Girtman’s story (see Page 20) answers the question, “What is that green stu in sections of the San Gabriel River, and is it going to get worse?” I hope these articles allow you to be a more well-informed citizen. Sally Grace Holtgrieve, EDITOR

BUSINESS FEATURE Bualo Seven DINING FEATURE

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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

MESA DR.

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1

316

5

13

35

972

329

130 TOLL

LAKEWAY DR.

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Juan & Lupe’s Kitchen

COURTESY JUAN & LUPE’S KITCHEN

Boutique. Shoppers can find women’s and children’s clothing, skin care products, bags, accessories, gifts and more. 512-864-9822. www.baretreesboutique.com 4 Texas Outlaw Boots is sharing a pop- up space with Bare Trees Boutique. The popup is located at 109 W. Seventh St., Ste. 115, Georgetown, above The Exchange of Georgetown, Consignment Boutique. It sells family-made boots for women, men and children. The business also has a loca- tion in Austin near Lake Travis. 512-876-5341. https://texas-outlaw-boot- and-fashion.square.site/ 5 Platinum Resorts Assisted Living & Memory Care is now open. While the home celebrated its ribbon-cutting cer- emony with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8, it began welcoming its first residents Nov. 2. Platinum Resorts is a 16-bed luxury home designed to pro- vide for residents’ needs. It is located at 208 Mesa Drive, Georgetown. 512-580-8037. www.platinumresortassistedliving.com 6 Versona opened its latest location Oct. 8 in Wolf Ranch Town Center at 1021 W. University Avenue, Georgetown. The women’s fashion boutique sells apparel, jewelry and accessories. The Georgetown store manager is Zimbri Cruz, and hours are Mon.-Sat. noon-6 p.m. and Sun. 1-5 p.m., according to a press release. There are 19 Versona stores in Texas. 512-819-1992. www.shopversona.com 7 Adult 55-plus living community North- Star Georgetown opened Oct. 26. The facility offers several amenities, including a clubhouse, a pool, a dog park and pickle ball courts, among others. NorthStar will cater to individuals 55 years of age and

RIVERY BLVD.

5TH ST.

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7TH ST.

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8TH ST.

GEORGETOWN

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

NOWOPEN 1 Cen-Tex Mini Golf opened Oct. 29 at 5020 Airport Road, Georgetown. The 18- hole course will hold mini golf tournaments and will have league play for different age groups, and concessions are available on- site. The fall 2020 hours are: Thu. 3-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. closed Mon.-Wed. Play must begin 45 minutes prior to closing of the golf course, and all hours are subject to change due to

3 Originally located in Waco, Bare Trees Boutique relocated to Georgetown with a pop-up shop on the Square. The women’s clothing boutique, which opened Nov. 1, will share the space with Texas Outlaw Boots at least through early December, owner Charlene Blasi Chirum said. Chirum added that she hopes to find a permanent home in Georgetown for her store in the future. The pop-up shop is located at 109 W. Seventh St., Ste. 115, Georgetown, above The Exchange of Georgetown, Consignment

weather conditions, events or restrictions. 512-813-1350. www.centexminigolf.com 2 Mexican restaurant Juan & Lupe’s Kitchen is now open in Georgetown. The new restaurant, located at 4701 Williams Drive, Bldg. 2, Georgetown, held a soft opening Oct. 13. Menu items include tortas and tacos as well as various types of salsas. 512-819-1258. www.juanlupeskitchen.com

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6

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE & ALI LINAN

Georgetown. “It will be a studio com- plete with lighting equipment, sound equipment, props, and a hair and makeup area for photographers, video bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers to either bring their clients or create for themselves,” owner Nick Austin said. “It is also a place that will have photography classes for adults and children to learn all aspects of photography, and there will be a place for creative planning meetings complete with a kitchen area.” The location is in the pro- cess of being painted and outfitted with equipment to get it ready for the grand opening, and spaces can be reserved online now, Austin said. www.celticvikingstudios.com 11 Texas Born , a convenience store and quick food operation, plans to open a Georgetown location in June 2021. The store will offer grab-and-go snacks as well as fresh food items, such as meat, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread, cold-pressed juices and more. The restaurant will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner tacos made with handmade tortillas. Texas Born will be located at 1402 Williams Drive, Georgetown. 903-583-7484.

of Austin, St. David’s Georgetown Hospi- tal and St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital. Stutts joins St. David’s after most recently serving as the CFO with HCA Virginia Health System. St. David’s Georgetown Hospital is located at 2000 Scenic Drive, Georgetown. 512-943-3000. www.stdavids.com SCHOOL NOTES Jarrell ISD named Toni Hicks as its new su- perintendent Oct. 29. Most recently, Hicks served Liberty Hill ISD as the assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and accountability, according to a news release. Hicks was one of more than 70 candidates for the job. She replaces out- going Interim Superintendent Keith Boles. www.jarrellisd.org CLOSINGS 13 Central Texas Olive Ranch perma- nently closed its tasting room and event center Aug. 30, according to an announce- ment on the business’s Facebook page. The ranch was the first and largest olive orchard in Williamson County. It was locat- ed at 5251 FM 972, Georgetown. 14 BB’s Home Cooking closed Sept. 20 after more than 15 years of business. The restaurant, known for its Southern, home- style plates, was located at 1500 Rivery Blvd., Ste. 2105, Georgetown, in The Summit at Rivery Park.

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Unboxed Picnic

Celtic Viking Studios

COURTESY UNBOXED PICNIC

COURTESY CELTIC VIKING STUDIOS

older. It is located at 2401 Westinghouse Road, Georgetown. This is the first phase, and it includes approximately 50 units; there will be a total of 210 units when the project is fully built-out. 512-525-8123. www.northstargeorgetown.com 8 Texas Medicare Shop opened in Georgetown in August. The business is an independent insurance agency specializing in Medicare insurance plans, and it has over 25 years of experience in the Medicare insurance world. Texas Medicare Shop provides assistance in navigating the Medicare process and educates clients to help them better understand their coverage options. It is located at 3010 Williams Drive, Ste. 138,

full-service butcher shop and restaurant features fresh-cut meats from sustainable Texas ranches. House-made sausages, jerky and charcuterie are available, as are beer, wine, and other fine artisan foods. 512-876-9340. www.tejasmeatsupply.com Unboxed Picnic , a picnic service business, provides a unique and creative way to celebrate any occasion, and it handles the setup and clean-up. All public picnics are located in San Gabriel Park or Chandler Park in Georgetown. The business can also set up a picnic in a backyard or living room. Unboxed Picnic launched Oct. 8. 512-893-0433. https://unboxedpicnic.com/ COMING SOON 10 Celtic Viking Studios plans to open Dec. 3 at 110 E. Seventh St., Ste. 308,

http://txbstore.com IN THE NEWS

Georgetown. 512-887-1030. www.texasmedicareshop.com

12 St. David’s HealthCare announced Oct. 1 that Miah Stutts is the new chief financial officer of St. David’s Medical Center, which includes the Heart Hospital

9 Tejas Meat Supply opened at 101 E. Seventh St., Georgetown, in October. The

In a month that centers around a spirit of thankfulness, we want to pause and say THANK YOU! The success of our practice is due entirely to the loyal support of our patient families, and for that we are grateful beyond words. This year has been a challenge to say the least but your support and understanding has made all the difference. Since opening our doors in 2008 we’ve watched infants mature into 8th graders, and some of our first kindergarten patients back are now driving themselves to school! Watching your kids—and ours—grow continues to be a blessing. As parents, small business owners and fellow Georgetown residents, we are thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve you and your family. THANK YOU!

Dr. Aaron

Dr. Lisa

Dr. Aaron White | Dr. Travis Hildebrand | Dr. Lisa Jacob | Dr. Kenny Havard

Dr. Travis

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4507 Williams Drive Georgetown • 512.869.4100 GtownKids.com

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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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8

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 Nov. 6.

Williamson County continues to distribute COVID-19 relief funds

Unallotted: $17 million

Small business grants: $35 million

BY ALI LINAN

allocated; $85,000 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 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. As of Oct. 30 the county had also distributed about $500,000 to cities, to which $8 million is currently

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 and the City of Austin 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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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

10

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Fewer Georgetown ISDhigh school students return to on-campus learning in the second9weeks of school

BACKTOVIRTUAL LEARNING The district saw a decline in on-campus learners at the high school level in the second nine-weeks of school. Here are how many students participated in on-campus learning between the rst and second nine-weeks.

BY ALI LINAN

district heavily prioritized its remote learning plans and curriculum to ensure it was equivalent to what students would receive in the classroom, so this may be why high school students are opting to stay home. “When you’re accustomed to being all things for students and having school that way, you’re geared towards thinking they all should want to come back, and if they’re not all coming back, what are we doing wrong?” Brent said. While the district saw a decrease in on-campus learners at the high school level, it did see an increase at the elementary and middle school levels. And overall, the district had 1,200 more students coming to campus in the second nine weeks than the previous nine weeks, accounting for about 65% of its student population returning to in-person learning, the district said. The second nine weeks began Oct. 19. GISD also altered its school calendar, allotting ve extra student holidays throughout the school year to allow for teachers to have more time to plan lessons. “We have teachers doing both remote and in person, and one thing that we know is this is not sustainable,” Brent said. “It’s not sustainable to have this volume of work for all of our teachers.”

GEORGETOWN ISD More Georgetown ISD high schoolers opted for remote learning in the second nine weeks of the school year than the rst, district data shows. All three of the district’s high schools reported a decline in on-campus learners with an average of 7% of students opting to stay home after previously attending classes in person. The greatest decrease was at Georgetown High School with a 10% decline, followed by a 9% decrease at East View High School and a 2% decrease at Richarte High School. The trend was also seen in Round Rock ISD, where 86% of its high schoolers chose to continue learning from home. GISD trustee Ben Stewart said during an Oct. 19 school board workshop meeting that he encourages the board not to take the decline as an immediate negative. “I think we should avoid the natural tendency to look at kids not wanting to come back as a bad thing,” Stewart said. “I’m not saying it’s good or bad; at this point, it’s just kids that age are starting to see ecien- cies in doing things remotely. I know I do personally.” GISD Superintendent Fred Brent agreed, saying the

First 9 weeks

Second 9 weeks

50% 41% 33% 43% 47% 49%

SOURCE: GEORGETOWN ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Georgetown is a caring community. In Georgetown, we care for one another. One way we show our love for our neighbors is through our donations to the many nonprofit and community organizations serving those in need here in Georgetown—organizations such as Blue Santa, which is taking only monetary donations this year. This holiday season may look a little different, but the kindness we show one another will never change. Please consider donating what you can for our neighbors who need our help.

#LoveWhereYouLive

Blue Santa meets with children at a past Blue Santa distribution day event. FOR MORE INFORMAT ION, V ISI T BLUESANTA .GEORGETOWN.ORG.

Show Me:What’s going on at GISD? School might look a little different this fall, but great things are still happening in Georgetown ISD Schools, and we’re bringing some of these stories to you in our Show Me series. From school lunch to bus safety and STEM engineering programs, see how students are adapting to our new “normal” and thriving.

Let us show you.

www.georgetownisd.org/showmegisd

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Georgetown & Williamson County

XX LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS Georgetown mayor Josh Schroeder 64.54% Georgetown City Council District 2 Lisa King ( 46.6% ) and Shawn Hood ( 41.38% ) will enter a runo Georgetown City Council District 6 Rachael Jonrowe* 62.49% Georgetown ISD Place 4 Stephanie Blanck 59.62% Georgetown ISD Place 5 Melanie Dunham* 66.21% Williamson County attorney Doyle “Dee” Hobbs* 53.56% Williamson County commissioner Precinct 1 Terry Cook* 57.78% Williamson County commissioner Precinct 3 Valerie Covey* 63.17% Williamson County sheri Mike Gleason 56.03% *INCUMBENT SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTY CLERK COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Georgetown City Council Meets second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 6 p.m. 101 E. Seventh St., Georgetown 512-931-7715 • www.georgetown.org Williamson County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1550 • www.wilco.org MEETINGSWE COVER

Averagemonthly water bill to increase fromabout $41 to$46

SMITH CREEK DR.

MEADOW DR.

NO. 7

NO. 6

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FOUR T RANCH

INNER LOOP

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BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

GEORGETOWN City Council approved new residential water, wastewater and solid waste rates at its Oct. 27 meeting. The new water rates include an increase of $1.50 to the average residential customer’s base rate. The change also includes reducing the number of tiers for the volumetric rate to help meet the council’s con- servation goals, a news release said. For the average water user using 10,200 gallons per month, the monthly water bill will increase to $46.25 from $40.98. The council also approved increas- ing residential wastewater rates, which for residential customers will increase to $34.85, up from $32 per month. The new water and wastewater rates go into eect Jan. 1. Council also approved a $1.37 increase to residential customer solid waste rates to help cover an increase in costs from Texas Disposal Systems, the expansion of the Transfer Station and the city’s household hazardous waste program. The updated solid waste rate went into eect Nov. 1.

City of Georgetown ocials and members of the Georgetown Fire Department gathered at Fire Station No. 7 on Nov. 2 to mark the completion of the new station.

COURTESY CITY OF GEORGETOWN

Newre stations complete construction

BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

The construction cost for the 13,000-square-foot station was $6.3 million. The station was developed in partnership with Williamson County Emergency Services District No. 8. Fire Station No. 6 on the west side began operating in October with an engine company and a medic unit, according to the release. It has three truck bays and living quarters for up to six personnel, and it will initially be staed with a combination of four reghters and medics. The construction cost for the 12,000-square-foot station was $5.5 million. As with Station No. 7, a cost-sharing agreement between the city and WCESD 8 helps to fund the station.

GEORGETOWN The city of Georgetown has completed con- struction on two new re stations to serve growing areas of the city and emergency response areas. Fire Station No. 6 on Williams Drive at FM 3405 will serve the far west side of the city, while Fire Station No. 7 on University Avenue at NE Inner Loop will serve the east side of town, a news release said. Fire Station No. 7 on the east side of the city will be staed with an engine company and a medic unit when it opens next spring, the release said. Fire Station No. 7 has three truck bays with living quarters for 11 and will initially be staed with a combination of six reghters and medics.

HistoricallyredWilliamsonCountyvotes JoeBiden

Expect changes toannual Lightingof theSquare

BY ALI LINAN

BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

The weekend after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27-29, the Square will have hot chocolate and kettle corn vendors. People coming to the Square must comply with local and statewide orders, including wearing a mask wherever they are unable to keep 6 feet of distance from people outside their household.

Gilby said that while Republicans predominantly held their seats at var- ious levels, gaps within the races were closing and even competitive in a few. The WCDP also managed to pick up a constable seat in Precinct 1, with Mickey Chance unseating incumbent Vinnie Cherrone, and kept two of three state representative seats. Gilby said that much of the night’s success came from the party’s ability to recruit quality candidates to run, something she said it previously lacked, as well as high turnout—Wil- liamson County had a 75% voter turn- out, the highest it has ever had—and the county’s changing demographics. The state as a whole went to Trump, earning him 38 electoral col- lege votes. A representative from the Williamson County Republican Party could not be reached for this story.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY The historically Republican-dominated community of Williamson County leaned blue in the 2020 election, election results show. About 49.52% of ballots cast for president went to Democratic candidate Joe Biden versus 48.19% for incumbent Donald Trump with all polling locations reporting. The county also ipped in the race for sheri, with Democratic candidate Mike Gleason defeating incumbent Republican candidate Robert Chody. Gleason won with 56.06% of the vote. “It was a very exciting night for us,” said Kim Gilby, chair of the William- son County Democratic Party. “We always talk about, ‘This isn’t a sprint; it’s most denitely a marathon.’ And it was huge for Joe Biden to win WilCo.”

GEORGETOWN The lights around the Square and the Wil- liamson County Courthouse will be turned on in mid-November, which the city of Georgetown will capture and share on social media through a video featuring the countdown, lighting and music, ocials said.

The Square will light up each night through Jan. 2. (Courtesy Rudy Ximenez)

13

GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

7 perfection in the Bible, and she runs her company with seven guided principles: • God rst • Love always • Have a tough hide • Cherish wide open space and protect the land • Have a strong spirit, but remain kind • Roam wild and free, but always remember Texas is home • Enjoy the simple comforts BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE NAME ORIGIN Owner Kris Stevens loves bualos. Seven is the number of completeness and

BUSINESS FEATURE

Merchandise is made by Stevens or comes from other artists, vendors or wholesalers.

Camping and RV-themed items are trendy right now, Stevens said.

Despite growing up in Austin, where there are no bualos, owner Kris Stevens said she has always loved the animals. (Photos by Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bualo Seven

Georgetown boutique oers clothes, jewelry and a place to gather A fter 20 years in corporate marketing, Kris Stevens lost her job. “I cried for an hour, and then I said, ‘God, I have forced this career the building up for sale, Stevens bought it. “Never in my life did I say I wanted a boutique,” she said with a laugh. “But here we are.” could supply something people needed while also getting an income—I had essentially lost my job [when the boutique closed] and had my personal and business bills stacking up.”

Stevens continues to take goods to market days as well.

Bualo Seven 415 W. 10th St., Georgetown 512-553-5571 www.bualoseven.com Hours: Wed.-Sat. noon-6 p.m. closed Sun.-Tue.

long enough; I’m going to start doing what I love, and direct my steps; I’m going to listen to you.’” The decision would, even- tually, lead to opening Bualo Seven, a clothing, accessories and decor boutique in downtown Georgetown. Stevens began making items that she loved and would wear herself. She sold them at market days throughout Central Texas with success. Two years later when the owner of a retail store put

The reception was great, Stevens said, until the pandemic. She closed the shop March 17 and immediately began making face masks. A lifelong seamstress, Stevens’ masks with prints were a hit at a time when it was hard to nd even basic masks. After Spectrum News did a story on her entrepreneurial shift in business, orders came in by the hundreds. “I was making face masks 12 hours a day for two and a half, three months,” she said. “But I

Bualo Seven reopened June 17, and Stevens said she has been delighted to see patrons and the store’s sense of community return. “There’s a group of women that have become friends because of this place,” she said. “We used to [pre-pandemic] play bingo once a week, and gather after the holidays to drink champagne and talk and shop. My favorite thing about the store is watching the connections made here.”

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GEORGETOWN EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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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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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

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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 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) 。

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