Cedar Park Leander - Edition | June 2022

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION

2022

ONLINE AT

HEALTH CARE EDITION

VOLUME 16, ISSUE 2  JUNE 10 JULY 7, 2022

Area hospital systems invest billions in expansions to keep pace with Central Texas population boom

In the coming years, hospital systems and health care providers in Central Texas will invest almost $2.5 billion to grow their physical footprint by building new facilities or expanding existing ones. Creating capacity

BY CLAIRE SHOOP

in the nation. Andy Davis, the CEO for Ascension Texas, a major health care system that includes Ascension Seton and Dell Children’s, said based on pro- jections, within 10 years the metro area will have a 1,200-bed decit. “The great thing about Central Texas is the community is growing in every direction, and so it presents a unique opportunity for us to make sure that we’re doing all we can to be present in a way that keeps families close to home and together,” Davis said. Bringing care to the community One hospital system making a major investment in physical infrastructure is

Central Texas is on pace to gain more than 600 hospital beds in the next three years, including two new hospitals in growing suburban areas, two new chil- dren’s hospitals in Northwest Austin, a new behavioral health hospital and expansions at seven existing facilities. Combined, three major health care systems are investing almost $2.5 billion in physical infrastructure to increase access to services and meet the needs of the growing region. Hospital oŽcials said the additional space is necessary to care for the pop- ulation of a rapidly expanding region, with Williamson and Hays counties ranking as some of the fastest growing

637 NEW HOSPITAL BEDS have been announced or are under construction at 12 hospitals across three health care systems.

Ascension Texas

St. David’s HealthCare

Texas Children’s Hospital 52 BEDS AT

160 BEDS AT

425 BEDS AT

By 2032, Central Texas is projected to need an additional 1,200 HOSPITAL BEDS. 3 FACILITIES 8 FACILITIES 1 FACILITY

SOURCES: ASCENSION TEXAS, ST. DAVID’S HEALTHCARE, TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 34

In an attempt to address the growing demand for mental health care seen during the pandemic, Williamson County has partnered with provider Bluebonnet Trails Community Local initiatives aim to address mental health BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

Services to embed mental health professionals in the 911 dispatch center. Under the agreement, which has been in eect since November, mental health care is one of the emergency services options avail- able when a person calls 911 in addition to re, EMS and police. “This partnership eliminates the stigma of mental illness, recognizing it among traditional

UPPING SERVICES The demand for mental health care at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services has risen since the onset of the pandemic. The organization serves eight Central Texas counties.

Services provided at 21 Bluebonnet Trails clinics

347,050

393,382

250,737

2019

2020

2021

CONTINUED ON 36

SOURCE: BLUEBONNET TRAILS COMMUNITY SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HEALTH CARE EDITION 2022 SPONSORED BY • Cedar Park Regional Medical Center

SNAPSHOT

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TODO LIST

DINING FEATURE

IMPACTS

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More pediatric specialists in more

places across Central Texas

O n

At Dell Children’s, we are growing — just like families and the communities in Central Texas. The hospital, with the most pediatric specialists and specialty programs in the region, is expanding to deliver even more advanced and specialized care. Now more than ever, you have access to the highest level of care, close to home. • New state-of-the-art full-service children’s hospital in North Austin — opening 2023 • New 4th bed tower, adding 72 inpatient care rooms, with the ability to expand in the future — opening 2022

• New Dell Children’s Specialty Pavilion — now open • New Comprehensive Fetal Care Center — now open • New Specialized Delivery Unit* — now open • New Maternal Care Center* — now open

Learn more at DellChildrens.net/Expansion

© Ascension 2022. All rights reserved.

*For patients of the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center

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CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

Join Us For Summer Fun! Verena at Leander is ready to celebrate this summer. Join us for one or all of our upcoming events.

Father’s Day Beer, Burgers, Brats & Band Friday, June 17th • 4:00 ‐ 6:00pm Submit your favorite pic of dad with a funny story to enter to win a Samsung Galaxy® tablet and Še. CraŒ beers, burgers, brats, bops and the live sounds of Don Hubbard on guitar and vocals.

Guns & Hoses BBQ Benefit for

Leander Police & Fire Friday, July 15th • 2:00 ‐ 5:00pm Join us to celebrate and support the brave men and women of Leander Police and Fire. Tour the emergency vehicles and dance with live music featuring country band, Bret Mullins.

RSVP to 512‐591‐5121 for each event.

INDEPENDENT SENIOR LIVING 11350 Hero Way West Leander, TX 78641 www.VerenaAtLeander.com

TagAlon and save!

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, 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.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM DENISE: Every June we run our annual Health Care Edition. If you are new to the area and need to know where the closest hospital or clinic is, look no further than our health care section inside (see Page 21). Another timely issue we are facing is the baby formula shortage. Being a mother of two, I can only imagine how scary it must be to not have access to formula. Inside, we explore this topic (see Page 26). Denise Seiler, GENERAL MANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM CLAIRE: Happy June! As part of our annual Health Care Edition, I wrote a front-page story about how major health care systems are investing nearly $2.5 billion in building new facilities and expanding existing ones. More than 600 new hospital beds are coming to Central Texas in an ešort to serve the growing population. Read more inside (see Page 34). Claire Shoop, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHAT WE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

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CEDAR PARK › LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

IMPACTS

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

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KAUFFMAN LOOP

RONALD REAGAN BLVD.

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LEANDER

ST. DAVID'S LOOP

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LocoSnoCo

Leander Modern Dentistry

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COURTESY LEANDER MODERN DENTISTRY

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vors including Tiger’s Blood, bubble gum and pina colada. The snow cone stand also has sugar-free and dye-free options available. Customers are able to get up to three ‘avors per snow cone. LocoSnoCo is located at 1580 Cypress Creek Road, Cedar Park. www.locosnoco.com 3 Austin Diagnostic Clinic , a multispe- cialty health care provider, opened March 3 in Leander, making it the rst new o“ce in six years. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Austin Diagnostic Clinic has 10 lo- cations in Central Texas. Currently, at ADC in Leander, Dr. Paul Carothers is seeing patients in family medicine, and Dr. Jaclyn Marroquin is seeing patients for pediatrics. Austin Diagnostic Clinic Leander is located at 505 St. David’s Loop, Ste. 320, Leander. 737-843-7533. www.adclinic.com 4 Leander Modern Dentistry opened May 9 at 19368 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. 150, Georgetown. The practice o˜ers a variety of dental services, including dental veneers, teeth whitening, cavity lling, same-day crown llings and online dentistry appointments. The o“ce also provides 24/7 emergency dental care via telephone. Practicing dentists at this lo- cation are Dr. Zhixin Guan and Dr. Esther Yang. Guan owns another dentist o“ce in Cedar Park called Cedar Park Modern Dentistry. 737-843-4226. www.leandermoderndentistry.com 5 Elevate Fitness & Physical Therapy opened a more than 3,700-square-foot gym in Leander on May 1. Elevate Fit- ness o˜ers strength and cardio training, physical therapy, stretching sessions, personal training and group training. The gym is run by husband and wife Cody and Carolyn Luttrell. Cody, who is

the head coach and owner of the gym, is also a physical therapist. The gym has a complimentary kid zone separate from the gym ‘oor with swings, seating, toys and activities. Elevate Fitness Leander is located at 11880 W. Hero Way, Ste. 402, Leander. 737-757-0130. www.elevatetnessclub.com 6 Great Clips opened a second Leander location in early June, after press time. The salon o˜ers a variety of hair services including cuts, trims, shampoos and styles. The new Leander location is owned by franchisee Bill Davenport, who is also the owner six other locations in the Greater Austin area. The new Leander Great Clips is located at 19372 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. 330, Leander. 512-528-4280. www.greatclips.com 7 Hampton Inn & Suites Cedar Park North Austin opened at 700 Central Park Drive, Cedar Park, on May 5. The hotel has 110 rooms and roughly 1,000 square feet of meeting space. There will also be a bar on the property, which is on less than 1% of Hampton Inn properties in Texas, General Manager Je˜ Nelson said. 512-866-9200. www.hilton.com/en/ hotels/auspnhxhampton-suites- 8 Construction on Unity Clinic of Texas , a nonprot organization, is underway in Leander. The clinic, which is expected to open in the fall, will provide free medical care to low-income residents of William- son County and surrounding areas who are uninsured or underinsured. While physician consultations and lab services are free, medicine will be the patient’s cedar-park-north-austin COMING SOON

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NOW OPEN 1 After a re at the storage unit where the bulk of the restaurant’s furniture and equipment was being kept, Z’Tejas opened in Avery Ranch on May 23. This location—at 14900 Avery Ranch Blvd., Ste. B100, Austin—marks a return for

Z’Tejas to the area. Z’Tejas serves a vari- ety of Southwestern and Mexican dishes, such as fajitas, enchiladas and tacos. 737-973-2005. www.ztejas.com 2 Hawaiian shaved ice and snow cone stand LocoSnoCo opened May 12 in Cedar Park after several delays due to the pan- demic. LocoSnoCo has over 30 classic ‘a-

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

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Elevate Fitness & Physical Therapy

The Quarry Splash Pad

COURTESY ELEVATE FITNESS & PHYSICAL THERAPY

COURTESY WILLIAMSON COUNTY PARKS & RECREATION

responsibility, board member Lakshmi Atkuri said. To keep costs low, all employ- ees and doctors at Unity Clinic of Texas are volunteers. The Leander o“ce is the rst and only location of Unity Clinic of Texas. Unity Clinic of Texas will be locat- ed at 906 S. West Drive, Leander. http://unityclinictx.org 9 Small animal veterinary practice and luxury pet resort Mercy Veteri- nary Hospital is anticipated to open in January in Leander. The privately owned, 15,000-square-foot hospital will provide preventive care, vaccines, testing and diagnostics, dental services, orthope- dic surgery, and urgent and emergency care. The boarding facility will include day care, overnight suites, training and grooming. Mercy Veterinary Hospital will be located at 18109 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Leander. 512-786-8057. www.mercy-vet.com 10 Floor King signed a lease at the Brushy Creek Corporate Center—located at 1200 BMC Drive, Cedar Park—for a 61,257-square-foot warehouse space. The company plans to relocate from its exist- ing Austin warehouse to Cedar Park in the late 2022, creating about 100 new jobs. Floor King is a local chain that specializes in ‘ooring, including rugs, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tiles and carpet. There are four Austin-area Floor King retail

Snow Dazed menu also includes shaved ice stu˜ed with ice cream. The signature menu items are movie-themed, featuring ‘avors called “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Top Gun,” and “Jaws Attack.” The shaved-ice stand also o˜ers pup cups for dogs. Snow Dazed Shaved Ice is located at 10210 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Lean- der. 512-229-0705. www.facebook.com/ snowdazedshavedice 12 Austin Habitat for Humanity cele- brated the 30th anniversary of its dona- tion and retail center, ReStore , in May. The shop provides ongoing funds for the nonprot’s a˜ordable housing program. Austin Habitat for Humanity launched the nation’s rst ReStore on Comal Street in 1992, according to a release. In 2015, Austin Habitat for Humanity consolidated its corporate headquarters and retail operations to a larger space at 500 W. Ben White Blvd., Austin. In November, the organization opened a second Austin ReStore location at 13804 N. US 183, Austin. www.austinhabitat.org/restore IN THE NEWS 13 Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures is now open for the summer season until the end of September. The excursion rate is $63, which includes a boat ride to Adventure Island, a one-hour time slot on the 600-foot Pulse Pounding Obstacle Course Track, unlimited access to four water obstacles and beach ame- nities. Participants must be 7 years old and 45 inches tall for entry. Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures is located at 14529 Pocohontas Trail, Ste. A, Leander. 512-614-1979. www.waterlooadventures.com

Mobility City Cedar Park opened April 7.

COURTESY MOBILITY CITY

Kral abide by the saying to “help people get going again.” Gary said the local, family-run business focuses on providing high-level care and truly wants to help its customers become more mobile. Mobility City has roughly 30 locations in the U.S. and six locations in Texas. The Cedar Park Mobility City is the ’rst location in the Austin area. 512-646-8300 www.centraltx.mobilitycity.com

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Mobility City opened at 11066 Pecan Park Blvd., Ste. 409, Cedar Park, on April 7 after renovation work began on the building in October. The business is a mobility equipment supplier that specializes in repairs, battery replacements for power wheelchairs and scooters, equipment sanitization, delivery and setup. The store also sells and rents a variety of medical assistance equipment. The 2,880-square-foot space building was previously a jewelry store, which was vacant for about four years. Franchise owners Gary and Ginger 14 The Quarry Splash Pad at Williamson County Southwest Regional Park opened for the summer season May 28. It will remain open through Sept. 5, and it will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays with the exception of Labor Day. The water park, surrounded by natural rock, has sprinklers, fountains, a waterfall, water cannons, a climbing wall, a slide and more. Daily admission is $2 per person for adults and children. The Quarry Splash Pad is located at 3005 CR 175, Leander. 512-943-1920. www.wilco.org

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On April 25, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area board of directors named Gordon Butler as the next CEO, which went into e˜ect May 16. BGCAA’s previous CEO was Misti S. Potter, who announced her retirement in March after 25 years with the organization. Currently, Butler works for Carroll ISD as the assis- tant superintendent for sta˜ and student services. Five years prior, he served as the principal of Lake Travis High School in Austin. www.bgcaustin.org

locations. www.‘oorking.net ANNIVERSARIES

11 Snow Dazed Shaved Ice in Leander will be celebrating its one-year anni- versary June 18. The shaved ice stand has more than 50 ‘avors available with sugar-free and dye-free options. The

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CEDAR PARK ‚ LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

TODO LIST

June & July events

ATTEND SHAKESPEARE IN THE VILLAGE SMOOTH VILLAGE STAGE

JUNE 1019

JUNE 19

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE CEDAR PARK DEPOT

Way OŠ Broadway Community Players is hosting “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare. The show begins at 7 p.m. on June 10, 16 and 17, and 3 p.m. on June 12 and 19. $15. 203 W. Broade St., Leander. www.wobcp.org

The Austin Steam Train Association will host an adults-only, two-hour vintage train ride through Texas Hill Country for Father’s Day. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $70 and up. 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. C-100, Cedar Park. 512-915- 2340. www.austinsteamtrain.org

COURTESY WAY OFF BROADWAY COMMUNITY PLAYERS

COURTESY AUSTIN STEAM TRAIN ASSOCIATION

JUNE 11 JAM TO ‘60S MUSIC The Drifters, The Platters and Cornell Gunter’s Coaster will come together at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park as part of the Sounds of the 60’s Tour. Some hits the groups will perform include “Charlie Brown,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “Under the Boardwalk.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $44.50. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com 11 KICK IT ‘90S STYLE The Crossover is hosting Summer Bash, a family-friendly ‘90s-themed party featuring band, Zoodust. The event will have ‘90s-themed drinks, food trucks, in”atable slides and bounce houses, face painting, a photo booth, and a dance o•. Cornhole boards and the volleyball area will be open. Zoodust will perform from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress in ‘90s-themed attire. 5-11 p.m. Free. Fieldhouse at the Crossover, 1717 Scottsdale Dr., Cedar Park. 737-239-1932. www.the—eldhousetexas.com 18 CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH The city of Leander is hosting its —rst-ever Juneteenth Jubilee celebration in partnership with Sunset Music Series. The Juneteenth celebration will include a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, face painting, dominoes and spades tournaments, a Juneteenth history reading, musical performances, carnival attractions and food trucks. 4-8 p.m. Free. Leander Old Town 100 N Brushy St., Leander. 512-528-9909. www.leandertx. gov/parksrec/page/juneteenth-jubilee 18 SEE CRYSTAL GAYLE IN CONCERT Country singer Crystal Gayle will be performing live at Haute Spot as part of her concert tour. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50. Haute Spot, 1501 E. New Hope Drive,

Cedar Park. 512-986-7411. www.hautespotvenue.com 22 HEAR STORIES WITH PUPPETS Nancy Burks Worcester, a children’s performer and puppet storyteller, will be back with her puppets for another Nancy & Her Friends event. She connects with children by weaving ventriloquism and storytelling together in a way that motivates children to read, helps them get in touch with their creativity, and teaches them morals and values. 3 p.m. Free. Leander Public Library, 1011 S. Bagdad Road, Leander. 512-259-5259. www.nancyandherfriends.com 24 THROUGH 26 SHOP VINTAGE STYLES Cedar Park’s H-E-B Center is hosting a three-day, vintage-inspired market shopping experience, Vintage Market Days. Participants can explore a range of antiques, handmade treasures, home decor, vintage goods, clothing, jewelry, original art and paintings, and edible creations. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets will be valid for re-entry all weekend. Free (age 12 and under), $10-$15 (adults). H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com/events/detail/ vintage-market-days-2022 JULY 09 THROUGH 10 CHECK OUT COMIC CON Greater Austin Comic Con will host two full days of cosplay contests, gaming competitions, vendors, a superhero- themed car show and entertainment for children. Comic Con guests will consist of comic book creators, movie and TV stars, athletes, reputable cosplay artists and game developers. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sat.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.). $20-$30 (ages 6-12), $35-$55 (adults). H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. www.greateraustincomiccon.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

FOURTH OF JULY AUSTIN Austin’s largest Fourth of July

LEANDER Leander’s annual Liberty Fest on July 4 at Lakewood Park will feature live music, children’s activities, food and a —reworks display. The park will open at 3 p.m., and the —rst band will perform at 3:30 p.m. OŠ-site parking for the event will open at 2 p.m. There will be buses available to transport attendees to the festival, and they will begin loading at 2:30 p.m. This year’s main performer, country artist Kyle Park, will perform at 8:30 p.m. The —reworks display will start at 9:30 p.m. 2-10:30 p.m. Free. Lakewood Park, 2040 Artesian Springs Crossing, Leander. 512-528-9909. www.leandertx.gov/ parksrec/page/liberty-fest-2022 ROUND ROCK Round Rock annual Sertoma July 4th Parade and Frontier Days this year will feature giant helium inžatables, carnival rides, racing pigs, a —rework show, music, entertainment and more. The parade starts at 8:30 a.m., and Frontier Days begins at noon. 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Free. Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. 512-218-5540. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event/ sertoma-independence-day-parade- frontier-days

celebration, The Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert & Fireworks, will include patriotic music played by the Austin Symphony Orchestra with a —reworks display over Lady Bird Lake for the grand —nale. The event will be held at the Long Center for Performing Arts and Vic Mathias Shores. 4-11:59 p.m. Free. 900 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. 512-974-6700. www.austintexas.gov/ event/heb-austin-symphony-fourth- july-concert-and-—reworks-0 CEDAR PARK Cedar Park’s July 4th Celebration will take place at the Elizabeth Milburn Park from 5-11:30 p.m., and there will be live music, —reworks, carnival rides, inžatables and food trucks. The —reworks display will be at 9:15 p.m., and there will be a movie in the park immediately after the —reworks show. Free. Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-401-5500. www.cedarparktexas.gov/departments/ parks-recreation/special-events/ 4th-of-july

Attendees gather at Leander’s 4th of July event.

COURTESY CITY OF LEANDER

Find more or submit Cedar Park and Leander 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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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

July 4

Celebration

cedarparktexas.gov/july4

For less than $1 a month, you can help support local nonprofits by rounding up your bill through PEC’s Power of Change Program. Join Power of Change today at pec.coop/change. What would you give to make a change? BRADY’S BRIDGE: POWER OF CHANGE GRANT RECIPIENT THE POWER OF INCLUSION

Live music Carnival rides

Inflatables Food trucks Washer & Cornhole tournament Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. The Lego Movie to play after fireworks show.

THANKYOU TO OUR 2022 SPONSORS:

Pedernales Electric Cooperative

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES Cedar Park celebrates Bell Boulevard realignment

UPCOMING PROJECTS

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BY CLAIRE SHOOP

WHITESTONE BLVD.

LIME CREEK RD.

Cedar Park City Council members, sta and stakeholders gathered May 6 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of the Bell Boulevard realignment project. The $27 million transportation project moved a section of Bell to the alignment of Old US 183 between Buttercup Creek Boulevard/Brushy Creek Road and Park Street. Addi- tionally, it upgraded the section into a four-lane divided roadway with raised medians, shared-use paths and landscaping improvements. Former Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale said the need for the Bell realignment project came from community con- cerns about traŠc and safety on the old road—including a high number of driveways on the road and a former six-way intersection at Bell, Butter- cup/Brushy Creek and Old US 183. Construction began in October 2020, and cars were redirected to the new alignment in August 2021. The Texas Department of Transportation

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Anderson Mill Road reconstruction Phase 2 design of Anderson Mill Road reconstruction in Cedar Park is almost complete. From Cypress Creek Road to Zeppelin Drive and from Gaspar Bend to Whitestone Boulevard, the road will be widened from two to four lanes, and existing lanes will be repaved. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding sources: design (city of Cedar Park), construction (TBD)

This drone photo from spring 2022 shows the realignment of Bell Boulevard in Cedar Park. (Courtesy Kevin Riley and John Cummins, city of Cedar Park)

REALIGNMENT OVERVIEW A $27 million project moved a section of Bell Boulevard to the Old US 183 alignment and upgraded the roadway. SOURCE: CITY OF CEDAR PARK”COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

declared the project substantially complete in December 2021. The last step in the project will be paving a •nal asphalt layer, which city leaders said will take place in June once night-time temperatures remain above a certain point. The project was funded by a 2015 voter-approved bond that allocated $63 million for roads. The realign- ment was outlined in the 2015 Bell Boulevard Master Plan, which also calls for the creation of the $350 million mixed-use Bell District.

REALIGNMENT

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Whitestone Boulevard improvements Design work to widen Whitestone Boulevard from New Hope Drive to Bagdad Road in Cedar Park from four to six lanes began in April. The design also includes raised medians, a new curb, street lighting and intersection improvements. Timeline: design (April 2022-summer 2024), construction (TBD) Cost: TBD Funding sources: design and right-of- way acquisition (city of Cedar Park), construction (TBD)

Work to resurface US 183 through Northwest Austin kicks o

BY JENNIFER SCHAEFER

prepare for roadway resurfacing as part of the 183 North Mobility Project. According to the release, closures are occurring nightly from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Mondays through Thurs- days and 9 p.m.-8 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The work began south- bound on US 183 and will continue in 2-mile

segments. Night lighting is being used, and the noise level is anticipated to stay within guidelines. This •rst step in the resurfacing process—called Next Generation Surface Grinding—aids skid resis- tance, promotes better drainage, and makes the roadway level, according to the release.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Author- ity is staging rolling lane closures on US 183 between RM 620 and MoPac from late April through the next several months, according to a release from the authority. The closures facilitate pavement grinding to

45 TOLL

620

183

MOPAC

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 12. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LCPNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Projects underway in Leander

COMPILED BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

CRYSTAL VILLAGE Construction of the multifamily portion of mixed-use development Crystal Village is slated to begin in June. The multifamily buildings will be located on 15 of Crystal Village’s 65 acres. The development will also have 3.3 acres of parkland and include restaurant, retail, oce and medical space. Developer Koniag Real Estate—a subsidiary of Koniag Inc.—one of 12 private, for-pro†t Alaskan Native regional corporations Congress established in 1971, began construction on Crystal Village last year. “It’s not just your average real estate developer out spinning properties,” Crystal Village spokesperson Marc Rylander said. “It is an Alaskan Native

group that is investing here, and the resources that are produced will go back to support their people.” The development is located on the southeast corner of 183A Toll and East Crystal Falls Parkway near Rouse High School and the Crystal Springs neighborhood. Con†rmed businesses coming to Crystal Village include QuikTrip, Southside Market & Barbeque, Culver’s and Sprouts Farmers Market. “[The development] is going to be something that is great not only for the people of Leander ... but people who travel up and down the 183[A] Toll every day,” Rylander said. Space: 65 acres Timeline: 2021-TBD

RENDERING COURTESY HUNINGTON PROPERTIES

SHOPS AT LEANDER RIDGE

Dyer said the leases of additional businesses are pending. Shops at Leander Ridge has three available spaces, totaling 6,659 square feet, according to Hunington Properties documents.

Developers broke ground on the Shops at Leander Ridge, a 17,266-square-foot retail center, in December. Construction on the shopping center is expected to be completed this summer. The new retail center is located at 3651 N. US 183, Leander, which is adjacent to the Bryson Community, a 530-acre master-planned community. Hunington Properties, a developer with other projects in the Leander and Cedar Park area, is behind the project. Evan Dyer, a principal at Hunington Properties, con†rmed Scooter’s Co›ee, Wayback Burgers, Wink Optical, Pinetree Dental and Rock Liquor will be coming to the development.

Space: 17,266 square feet Timeline: December-July

183A

183

BLOCK HOUSE DR.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ELECTION RESULTS

Cedar Park & Leander

Leander and Cedar Park voters decided the future of city council seats and other local issues May 7. RESULTS BREAKDOWN

Leander remains in Capital Metro, Cedar Park passes bond plus other election highlights

BY CLAIRE SHOOP & ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

many of the city’s priorities that were put on hold because of the pandemic. “I’m excited to be able to serve the citizens of Leander for another three years,” Pantalion-Parker said. “I want to †nish what we started.” Meanwhile, the Place 3 and Place 5 races will head to a runo— with the top two vote-getting candidates since no single candidate in these races received more than 50% of the vote. David McDonald and Juan Alanis advanced to the Place 3 runo— with 43.1% and 23.48% of the vote, respectively. In the Place 5 race, incumbent Council Member Chris Czernek advanced to the runo— with 43.49% of the vote. He will be joined by Bill Louden, who received 29.68% of the vote. Early voting in the runo— was held May 31-June 7. Election day is June 11, after press time. In Cedar Park, three council seats and the city mayor position were up for election. Three incumbents—Mel Kirkland, Eric Boyce and Heather Jefts—were all re-elected. Place 1 Council Member Jim Penniman-Morin won the mayoral race. “I’m thrilled with the high turnout in our city election and grateful for the trust and con†dence placed in me as Cedar Park’s next mayor,” Penni- man-Morin said. “Together, we will keep inclusion, civility and collaboration at the forefront of city government.” Funding Cedar Park projects Voters approved all three propositions of Cedar Park’s $158.8 million bond package in the May 7 bond election. Proposition A provides $86.6 million in funding for the city’s roadway infrastructure, tražc signals, and bike and pedestrian improvements on several proposed roads throughout the city. Proposition B allocates $42.2 million to expand or improve facilities, parks and trails, including the Veterans Park pool expansion, Brushy Creek Sports Park athletic †eld turf improvements, Lakeline Park †nal phase and trails improvements. At $30 million, Proposition C funds the construc- tion of a training facility for †re, police and emer- gency management, which would be located on Cedar Park land. It would also house the emergency operations center for use during emergencies. “I am extremely thrilled that our citizens recognized the tremendous bene†ts of the 2022 bond package,” Council Member Eric Boyce said. “The funds raised from these bonds will allow the city to make the critical, prudent and necessary investments in three key areas, which will support our future growth, prosperity and well-being for all citizens.” The approved bond package is not expected to cause an increased tax rate for residents of Cedar Park, according to the city.

On May 7, 58.56% of Leander voters cast ballots in favor of Proposition A, which asked whether Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority services should be continued in the city. This “yes” vote means Capital Metro bus, pickup and rail transportation options will continue as normal, and the city will continue to collect a 1% sales tax to pay for services. Leander residents also voted in three City Council races and on 14 other local propositions. In Cedar Park, residents cast ballots for four City Council seats—including the mayor—and voted to approve three city bond propositions. All Texas voters were also able to vote on two statewide propositions related to property tax relief—each of which passed with more than 84% of the vote. Remaining in Capital Metro Leander voters †rst elected to join Capital Metro in 1985 and have con†rmed that decision twice— †rst in 2000 and now in 2022. Like every participating Capital Metro city, 1% of Leander’s sales tax revenue goes to the transit authority. In March, the two entities approved an agree- ment that would allow for the portion of sales tax revenue allocated to Capital Metro that surpasses the city’s cost of service to be reallocated back to the city to fund local transportation projects. This amounted to about $1.9 million in 2021, according to the city. Leander could also be awarded up to $7.4 million to fund transit-supportive infrastructure proj- ects—dollars the city is now eligible for since voters decided to remain a part of Capital Metro. “CapMetro looks forward to its continued part- nership with the city of Leander and appreciates Leander voters recognizing the vital role public transit has in the community,” a Capital Metro spokesperson said in an email. “The two-way part- nership between CapMetro and the city of Leander is important for so many people, and the impact of this collaboration will only increase as the region continues to grow.” Leander residents also voted on Propositions B“O. Proposition B was contingent on a “no” vote to Proposition A. Of the remaining 13 propositions— most of which were related to the city’s governing charter—all but three passed. Seats on council Both Leander and Cedar Park had council seats up for election May 7. In Leander, three positions were on the bal- lot—Places 1, 3 and 5. Incumbent Place 1 Council Member Kathryn Pantalion-Parker won her bid for re-election. She said she is eager to resume work on

Incumbent

Headed to runo RUNOFF

Winner

CEDAR PARK

CITY COUNCIL MAYORAL RACE 59.8% Jim Penniman-Morin

25.96% Mike Guevara 14.24% Claudia Chavez

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 2

30.3% Collin Klein 69.7% Mel Kirkland

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 4

69.71% Eric Boyce

30.29% Dorian Chavez

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 6

31.13% Tim Kelly

68.87% Heather Jefts

BONDS

3 out of 3 Cedar Park bond propositions passed with at least 68% of the vote

LEANDER

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 1

58.2% Kathryn Pantalion-Parker

41.8% Trey Schisser

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 3

20.97% Steve Hanes 12.44% Roslyn Littles 43.1% David McDonald 23.48% Juan Alanis

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 5

26.84% Annette Sponseller

29.68% Bill Louden 43.49% Chris Czernek

PROPOSITION A†CAPITAL METRO CONTINUATION

58.56% For

41.44% Against

PROPOSITIONS

Of the remaining 13 propositions, 10passed

SOURCES: TRAVIS COUNTY CLERK, WILLIAMSON COUNTY ELECTIONS DEPARTMENT‚COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER NOTE: PROPOSITION B IN LEANDER WAS CONTINGENT ON THE FAILURE OF PROPOSITION A. NUMBERS MAY NOT EQUAL 100% DUE TO ROUNDING.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

Congratulations Round Rock ISD Class of 2022! 3,537 graduates • $50,526,458 in scholarships earned • 55 students earned Associate Degrees 54 students joining the armed forces • 6,453 industry certifications earned Over one million college credits achieved

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Leander ISD

QUOTE OF NOTE

School board approves compensation increases for 2022 23 school year

Leander ISD board of trustees Meets June 13 and 23 at 6:15 p.m. at 300 W. South St., Leander 512-570-0000 www.leanderisd.org Austin Community College board of trustees Meets June 20 and July 5 at 3 p.m. at 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Room 201, Austin 512-223-7000 • www.austincc.edu MEETINGS WE COVER $34.9 million, according to district documents. On June 23, the board will approve the ”nal budget for the general fund, debt service fund and child nutrition fund. estimates show roughly $29.01 million on a $0.05 rate increase or $36.21 million on a $0.09 increase for the 2022-23 year. LEANDER ISD The proposed 2022- 23 general fund budget shows a $5 million de”cit. This is based on the revenue with $0.09 tax rate increase as a result of a successful voter-approval tax rate election in November as well as the current $0.05 increase. Salary increases are included in this budget. The proposed budget for the next ”scal year also takes into account if the VATRE fails in November, making the revenue from the nine additional pennies inaccessible. If this happens, the $5 million budget shortfall would then grow to HIGHLIGHTS LEANDER ISD The district received the 2022 estimates of property value from the Williamson County Appraisal District and the Travis Central Appraisal District at the end of April. LISD’s overall estimated freeze-adjusted property value is projected to be roughly $38.4 billion, which is a 29.94% increase from last year’s certi”ed net freeze, according to district documents. The rising property values will cause the district to pay recapture again, but the amount will not be certain until the end of the ”scal year. As of now, recapture payment “AT THAT 2% PAY INCREASE, WE ARE BELOW MARKET, AND WE CAN’T BE BELOW MARKET … OR WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP THOSE EDUCATORS THAT WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON.” GLORIA GONZALESDHOLAKIA, LEANDER ISD BOARD MEMBER

PRIORITIZING PAY

BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

LEANDER ISD After months of discussion, the Leander ISD board of trustees approved the 2022-23 compensation plan at its May 19 board meeting. The approved 2022-23 compen- sation plan outlined the following terms: a $15 minimum hourly rate; a 5% increase at midpoint for teachers, nurses and counselors; a 4% increase at midpoint for all other eligible sta ; and the use of the LISD fund balance, if necessary, to pay for the 2022-23 total compensation plan. With the 4% and 5% salary increases for teachers and other employees, LISD would be looking at $18.8 million in total compensation plan costs. The board also approved a one- time lump sum retention payment. That payment amount will be deter- mined in future board meetings. The compensation plan for the 2022-23 school year and the one-time payment was approved by a 5-2 vote. The plan the board approved strayed from the initial recommen- dations, which included a 2% of midpoint across-the-board base salary increase to all regular employ- ees, including teachers. Additionally, the initial recommen- dations proposed an additional 3% salary increase for teachers and an additional 2% salary increase for all other employees, contingent on the board approving an increased ‰scal year 2022-23 tax rate of nine more pennies and voters ratifying the 2022- 23 tax rates in the November election. LISD is expecting to hold a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, on Nov. 8, which could provide LISD at least $20 million in revenue if approved by voters. Board members Aaron Johnson and Elexis Grimes, who voted against the compensation plan, both expressed concerns about the risks associated with 4% and 5% salary increases, even if the VATRE does not pass. “If we commit the full raise and the VATRE doesn’t pass, what’s the future? I don’t know. Have we bet the farm on the VATRE? I’m not com- fortable doing that,” Johnson said at the May 19 meeting. “If we approach

The Leander ISD board of trustees approved compensation increases for district staš

Active

this with a more modest initial raise and the VATRE doesn’t pass, still a bad situation, but we haven’t lost the farm—we can still recover.” In May, LISD conducted three listen- ing sessions with district sta about the proposed compensation plan. During the listening sessions, dis- trict sta expressed concern on how to retain LISD’s existing quality sta , signing a contract without knowing whether the VATRE will pass and how the district will e ectively communicate about the VATRE. “Between those emails, citizen comments [and] personal discussions, it was just very clear that 2%, just of an initial 2%, was just not going to work,” Board Member Sade Fashokun said at the meeting. “[Teachers] have given so much, and then now we’re asking them to possibly wait for a VATRE; it’s just too much.” Trustees also discussed other ways the district can support sta ahead of the VATRE. The board discussed a one-time payment out of the ‰scal year 2021-22 budget, putting LISD in a de‰cit, which would reduce the starting fund balance for next year. during its May 19 meeting. Initial recommendations proposed a 2% midpoint increase for all employees with an additional 3% increase for teachers and 2% increase for all other staš, contingent on the passage of a higher tax rate and voter-approval tax rate election. $15 minimum hourly rate APPROVED PLAN 5% midpoint increase for teachers, nurses and counselors $115 per day substitute rate 4% midpoint increase for all other eligible staš One-time lump sum retention payment (amount to be determined at a future date) SOURCE: LEANDER ISDŸCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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17

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION • JUNE 2022

CITY & COUNTY

News from Cedar Park, Leander, Austin & Williamson County

QUOTE OF NOTE

WilCo ups property tax exemptions for homeowners WILLIAMSON COUNTY Commissioners voted unan- imously in favor of increasing the general homestead property tax exemption as well as the exemptions for homeowners age 65-plus and homeowners with a disability during their May 17 meeting. BY CLAIRE SHOOP INCREASING EXEMPTIONS Williamson County commissioners voted to increase the property tax exemptions for all homeowners, those who are age 65 and older and those with a disability for the 2022 tax year.

CITY HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN Local nonprot Foundation Communities is WE ARE LIVING IN ONE OF THE MOST ECONOMICALLY PROSPEROUS REGIONS OF THE WORLD.” BILL GRAVELL, WILLIAMSON COUNTY JUDGE “WE’RE SEEING UNPRECEDENTED TAX BILLS BECAUSE raising $30 million to fund eight aordable housing communities over the next three years. The new communities—including one located near SH 45 N and US 183A Toll—will provide housing for those transitioning out of homelessness. CEDAR PARK & LEANDER Both cities have sworn in council members elected during the May 7 general election. This included Cedar Park’s new mayor, Jim Penniman-Morin, who previously served as Place 1 council member. Council is in the process of appointing someone More than $72 million from the American Rescue Plan Act will fund water and wastewater infrastructure in Williamson County, according to a plan approved by Commissioners Court on May 24. Among the proposed projects is a $5 million replacement of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority Lake Travis water intake structure and $4 million for miscellaneous improvements in both Leander and Cedar Park. to ll the Place 1 vacancy. WILLIAMSON COUNTY Cedar Park City Council Meets June 23 at 7 p.m. at 450 Cypress Creek Road, Bldg. 4, Cedar Park • 512-401-5000 www.cedarparktexas.gov Leander City Council Meets June 16 and July 7 at 6 p.m. at 201 N. Brushy St., Leander 512-258-2743 • www.leandertx.gov Travis County Commissioners Court Meets June 14, 21 and 28 at 9 a.m. at 700 Lavaca St., Austin 512-854-9020 www.traviscountytx.gov Williamson County Commissioners Court Meets June 14, 21 and 28 at 9:30 a.m. at 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1100 • www.wilco.org MEETINGS WE COVER

The greater of 1.5% or $5,000 The greater of 5% or $5,000 General exemption

Homeowners 65 and older

Homeowners with a disability

The motion, which passed with a vote of 4-0, increases the existing tax exemption for residents age 65 and older as well as residents with a disability to $125,000. The general home- stead property exemption was increased to 5% of assessed value or a minimum of $5,000. The increased exemptions will be in ežect for the tax year beginning Jan. 1, 2022. This action comes after Williamson County voted last year to increase exemptions for residents age 65 and older to $90,000 and exemptions for residents with a disability to $75,000. In 2021, the court established the general home- stead property tax exemption at 1.5% or $5,000, whichever was greater. Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long, who spearheaded the ežort to increase the exemptions, said this is the county’s opportunity to help reduce residents’ property tax burdens. Additionally, Long said she also expects the county to lower its tax rate during the budget cycle later this year. These exemptions only apply to taxes assessed by the

2021

$90,000

$75,000

2022

$125,000 $125,000

SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTYœCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

county. Residents in Williamson County also pay taxes to other entities, including school districts, cities, municipal utility districts and emergency services districts. Due to rising property values, County Judge Bill Gravell encouraged other entities with the ability to ožer homestead exemptions to do so.

Cedar Park Fire Station No. 2 to be remodeled

Councils approve next phase in BCRUA water project

APPROVING BCRUA CONTRACTS All three cities approved the construction contract for the second phase of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority deep- water intake project in May.

BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

CEDAR PARK On May 12, City Council approved a $498,200 construction agreement to remodel Cedar Park Fire Station No. 2. The remodeling of Station 2 will include the construction of additional bedrooms to accommodate sta–ng needs, converting the training room to a day room and upgrading out- dated parts of the building. Construc- tion is expected to take 90 days. REMODELING REASONS Because Cedar Park Fire Station No. 2 has seen an increase in medical calls, the department is hiring additional employees and expanding the station to better accommodate them.

BY ZACHARIA WASHINGTON

CEDAR PARK & LEANDER Construction contracts for the second phase of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority deep-wa- ter intake project have been approved by all involved cities. The project will help the resil- iency of the area’s water supply during droughts, Mike A. Huber, Cedar Park utility engineering manager, said during a May 26 City Council meeting. All three member cities of the BCRUA partnership—Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock—needed to agree on the contractor. The approved contract is a $224.78 million joint venture between Thalle Construction Co. and SAK Construction. Cedar Park approved the construction agreement May 26, pledging $65.09 million. Leander City Council approved the contract at a May 19 meeting, with its cost totaling $96.32 million. In March, BCRUA received six

Leander: May 19 Cedar Park: May 26 Round Rock: May 26

SOURCES: CITY OF CEDAR PARK, CITY OF LEANDER, CITY OF ROUND ROCK† COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

project proposals from contractors. Thalle/SAK JV was the highest ranked šrm with the lowest cost, Huber said. Cedar Park’s portion of the funding for construction costs will be provided through the State Water Improvement Fund for Texas, or SWIFT, which is included in the city’s šscal year 2022 budget. The city of Leander will also be using SWIFT loan funds, which are approved in the current budget. The next phase of the deep-wa- ter intake project will take the daily water capacity from 32.5 million gallons to 144 million gallons, Huber said. Construction will take roughly šve years to complete.

Project cost: $498,200

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SOURCE: CITY OF CEDAR PARKœCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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