Cedar Park - Leander | December 2020

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 8  DEC. 9, 2020JAN. 12, 2021

ONLINE AT

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

IMPACTS

DEVELOPMENT

DINING

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Local veterans organizations are still battling COVID19 challenges

7,850

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

live in Cedar Park and Leander, who are served by

Rick Mitchell, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, received a slew of phone calls and text messages in late March. On the other end of the line was Williamson County’s coronavirus call center sta, who contacted each of the county’s thousands of veterans. Mitchell said he was asked about his physical safety, nancial security and whether he had concerns regarding

the pandemic. “The county was very proactive in reaching out to nd out what needs were there and how they could help,” Mitchell said. While he was personally safe and nancially sound, Mitchell said the experience made him reect on the challenges facing his fellow former service members. CONTINUED ON 18

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local veterans nonprots.

A new Nurses Corps statue was unveiled at Veterans Memorial Park in Cedar Park ahead of Veterans Day. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

‘LivePD’will continue to costWilliamsonCounty despitenewsherielected

reports show. But commissioners warn they anticipate more lawsuits and therefore more fees in the future. “We’ll be paying Chody-[related] lawsuits for years to come,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook said. “They’ve only just started to come out, and more are going to.” As of Nov. 6, the county has incurred 20 lawsuits and complaints concerning allegations against the William- son County Sheri’s Oce, including Texas Commis- sion on Law Enforcement complaints, general issues within the WCSO and litigation surrounding “Live PD,” data shows. Of those, three have been settled through nancial means for a combined total of about $303,900; one has been dismissed; one is a notice of claim led;

have been brought against Williamson County involving the Williamson County Sheri’s Oce including “Live PD” involvement. Of those, three complaints have been settled totaling about As of Nov. 6, 20 LAWSUITS AND COMPLAINTS $303,900 IN PAYOUTS . See Page 22 for a timeline of events.

BY ALI LINAN

Williamson County will have a new sheri Jan. 1 after Robert Chody lost his re-election bid in November, but the ramications of Chody’s tenure, including an unau- thorized contract with “Live PD,” will continue to cost the county and taxpayers money for years to come. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 2, the county has paid out about $236,000 from its general budget in contract lit- igation fees. This accounts for at least 20% of all legal fees the county paid in 2020 so far, county auditor

SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 21

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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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Denise Seiler,

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

FROMDENISE: During this time of year my family and I try to help out the community in any way we can. We continue to see such a need for our locally owned businesses and nonprofits in Williamson County, which is what we have decided to do: During this holiday season we are going to try and keep our dollars local. Along with the local shops and boutiques are some amazing thrift stores, such as the Hill Country Community Ministries Thrift Store in Leander. Please consider helping out the businesses in your area this holiday season. Happy holidays from my family to yours! Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER

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

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Beth Burton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pflugerville, 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 five metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full- time journalists in each community we serve.

FROMSALLY GRACE: Being a journalist at Community Impact Newspaper means often finding oneself in a variety of places and situations. This month, Reporter Ali Linan attended the grand opening of the Kalahari resort and took wonderful photographs to share (see Page 11). There is also a more expansive gallery online. Meanwhile, Reporter Taylor Girtman trekked out to an old cemetery to learn how Leander locals are working to preserve their history (see Page 21). If 2020 has taught our team anything, it is to embrace the unexpected; striding into it head-on always results in the best stories. Sally Grace Holtgrieve, EDITOR

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon or closing

11340 183A Toll, Leander. The conve- nience store and gas station includes a deli, Weikel’s Bakery location, craft beers, wine, gelato and coee. 512-456-7448. www.weikels.com 4 HTeaO , an iced tea house, opened its Cedar Park location Dec. 4, according to owners Marcus Dawes and Randyn Tenery. The store sells 24 types of iced green and black tea with avored and unavored options and a fresh fruit bar to add fruit to the tea. Orders can be placed inside the store or at the drive-thru at 804 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park. The location is also a licensed Yeti retailer. 254-892-0213. www.hteao.com/cedarpark 5 La Joie , a Creole oyster bar restau- rant, opened Nov. 19 at 1500 E. White- stone Blvd., Ste. 200, Cedar Park. The menu features a raw bar, shrimp and grits, gumbo, boudin balls, po’boy sandwich- es, desserts and more. The restaurant is opening with a dinner menu and will later expand with lunch and brunch service. Dine-in and takeout options are available. 512-986-4300. www.lajoieaustin.com 6 Rockin J Piano Bar , located in The Railyard Shopping Center, held its grand opening Oct. 23. The piano bar will hold live piano shows on Friday and Saturday nights and is located at 601 E. Whites- tone Blvd., Ste. 720, Cedar Park. 512-986-7929. www.rockinjpianobar.com 7 Slapbox Pizzicheria opened its newest location in far Northwest Austin at 9900 W. Parmer Lane, Ste. B100, Austin. Slapbox, which held its soft opening Nov. 5, sells hand-tossed New York-style pizza by the slice and by the pie. This newest lo- cation will have 16 taps dedicated to craft beer and a full bar with craft cocktails. 512-994-2725. www.slapboxpizza.com 8 Zygo Sport and Spine , located at 10824 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Ste. 302C, Leander, opened Nov. 2. The center oers manual therapy care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, corrective exercises and full-body Active Release Techniques, according to owner Dr. Matt Centofonti. It is located inside Innovative Solutions Massage Therapy. 512-270-8351. www.zygosportandspine.com DRM Cutting and Engraving opened its Ce- dar Park-based business in July. The retailer oers custom laser engraving on stainless steel tumblers, cups and gifts. 512-293-

9345. https://drmcuttingengraving.com COMING SOON 9 Round Rock Donuts is planning a second location in Cedar Park, according to Sept. 21 permit request records rst reported by the Williamson Reporter . According to permit requests, the location would be at 1614 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ce- dar Park. The pending permit request is for a 6,000-square-foot bakery with an exte- rior walk-up and drive-thru. No informa- tion has been conrmed yet on an opening or construction timeline. The bakery is known for its Texas Sized Donut weighing 2 pounds and can trace its history back to 1926. https://roundrockdonuts.com 10 The Good Lot , a family-friendly beer garden, is planned to open in 2021, accord- ing to owner Alex Ehrlich. The beer garden, located at 2500 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park, will serve local and specialty craft beers, wine and cider. It will also have food trucks, covered seating and nonalcoholic drinks. www.thegoodlotcp.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 Atiana’s Boutique reached its one- year anniversary Nov. 1. The store sells formal wear for proms, weddings, sweet 16s, quinceaneras and more. It is located at 1335 E. Whitestone Blvd., Unit H400, 12 Collector’s Crossroads celebrated its one-year anniversary Nov. 21. The business sells antiquities, art, books, games, comics, handbags, maps, militaria, records and more. It also buys and con- signs unique collections. It is located at 11066 Lakeline Mall Drive, Ste. 9-L, Cedar Park. 512-593-5930. https://collectorscrossroads.com 13 Core Progression reached its one-year anniversary Nov. 9. It is located at 9800 N. Lake Creek Parkway, Ste. 100, Austin, and oers tness training and group classes. 512-967-0817. www.coreprogression.com/north-austin-tx 14 KidStrong Cedar Park celebrated its rst anniversary Nov. 1. The program is a private child development training center that focuses on brain, physical and Cedar Park. 512-872-2701. www.atianasboutique.com

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NOWOPEN 1 AustinMD Aesthetics and Wellness opened Aug. 25 at 13635 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. 200, Cedar Park. The aes- thetics and wellness center practices functional medicine and uses supple- ments and nutrients to restore wellness, according to the business. The center of- fers ozone therapy, an IV vitamin lounge, skin laser treatments, Botox, llers and more. The center is located at 13625

Ronald Reagan Blvd., Bldg. 10, Ste. 200, Cedar Park. 512-593-5605. https://austinmdclinic.com 2 Banh Mi Galang opened Oct. 30 at 11301 Lakeline Blvd., Ste. 100, Austin. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves health-forward Vietnamese dishes, including banh mis, vermicelli bowls and soups. 512-584-8391. www.banhmigalang.com 3 Foodie’s Corner opened Dec. 2 at

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

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The Crossover facility is located in Cedar Park.

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FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Several tenants have opened at The Crossover in 2020 with more openings planned for 2021, according to the facility’s developer, Perardi Development. HK Taekwondo and The Truth Family Fitness & Performance Sports plan to open in December and January, respectively. The facility will teach martial arts classes and competitive Olympic Taekwondo and provide after- school programs and summer camps. The Truth will oer personal training, group tness classes, and a recovery care and wellness program. MUV Dance & Fitness also plans to fully move to the facility in December.

character development in ages walking through 11 years, according to the busi- ness located at 3219 E. Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park. 512-596-5678. www.kidstrong.com/cedarpark 15 Perky Beans Coee reached its one- year anniversary in Leander on Nov. 2. The coee shop sells coee and espresso beverages, sandwiches, breakfast items and more. It is located at 2080 US 183, Ste. 210, Leander. 512-548-5050. https://perkybeanscoee.com IN THE NEWS 16 Home Builders of Greater Austin will build its second Benet Home this year. It will be built in the Bryson community and should be complete in ve months. Projects are built mostly from HBA donations. Home sale proceeds

will benet the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and HomeAid Austin. www.liveatbryson.com CLOSINGS 17 Snap Kitchen closed its Avery Ranch location, located at 10526 W. Parmer Lane, Austin, as part of a 14-location closure, according to the company. The Arboretum, Clarksville and Arbor Trails locations will remain open in the Austin area. www.snapkitchen.com 18 Stein Mart , located at 14028 N. US 183, Austin, is closing. The store chain will close all stores by the end of its fourth quarter, and stores are holding liquidation sales, according to the com- pany. www.steinmart.com

Four more sports and wellness tenants opened earlier this year, including ROI, The Vessel IV Bar, Chaparral Ice and D1 Training.

The Crossover is located at 1717 Scottsdale Drive, Cedar Park. https://crossovertx.com

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

UPCOMING PROJECTS 1 CR 290 intersection improvements County Road 290 will be widened at Hero Way West as part of the Leander Capital Improvement Project. The project will allow westbound cars to turn onto Hero Way West when there is another vehicle at the intersection, per the city. Leander City Council approved a construction contract with Austin Underground Inc. on Nov. 5. Timeline: TBD Cost: $236,701.50 Funding source: Leander Capital Improvement Projects fund 2 New Hope Drive extension Cedar Park City Council added the New Hope project to a new cost-share agreement with Williamson County Sept. 24. Funding for the New Hope project was deferred by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in June, so the un- needed 183A Toll frontage road funding can be transferred to the New Hope extension. The extension will span from Ronald Reagan Boulevard to Sam Bass Road. The city will pay half of the construction costs. Timeline: spring 2021-late 2022 Cost: $18.4 million Funding source: 2015 general obligation bond

ONGOING PROJECTS 3 Bell Boulevard realignment Cedar Park staff, council members and project contractors held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 8 to mark the start of the project. The realignment relocates the part of Bell between Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Cedar Park Drive to the alignment of Old US 183. Traffic will shift to the new alignment once construction is complete. Timeline: fall 2020-late 2021 Cost: $11.9 million Funding source: 2015 general obligation bond 4 Raider Way and East Woodview Drive roadway improvements Leander City Council authorized a $184,300 contract with Walker Partners Engineering Inc. on Oct. 1 for the fourth amendment on the project to improve traffic near Wiley Middle and Rouse High schools. The project was approved in 2016. Timeline: TBD Cost: $1.3 million Funding source: Leander general obligation funds ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UP TO DATE AS OF DEC. 4. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LCPNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT

Kalahari resort inRoundRock celebrates openingwith a bang

BY ALI LINAN

Morgan said the resort only moves the city closer to that goal. “This is the new entertainment area for Round Rock, Texas,” Morgan said. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell also made note of the impact the resort will have in the county. “This is a place where dreams are going to come true [for] families,” he said. “What Kalahari has done in Round Rock is going to be the gold standard for the rest of the world, and it’s really quite amazing.” Kalahari Executive Vice President Bill Otto told Community Impact Newspaper that with exception of the pools, which are reserved for resort guests only, everything at Kalahari is open to area residents. For example, all of the restaurants have outside access, and the facility sells day passes to the water park. This is the fourth Kalahari resort; there are other locations in Wiscon- sin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. “This isn’t just a win for the city of Round Rock but also for the entire state of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a video. “Texas is the premier economic destination in America, and that’s because of companies like Kalahari that choose to invest in our top-notch locals, our world- class infrastructure and the thriving business economy that we have.”

Families gathered outside as a full reworks display lit up the sky to commemorate the grand opening of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Round Rock on Nov. 14. Kalahari founder and CEO Todd Nelson said his team knew they wanted to come to Texas. After looking for sites in Dallas and Frisco, Nelson said he discovered that was not where they needed to be. “It felt like corporate America, and we’re not corporate America,” Nelson said of the Dallas area. “I would not want to be in any place on earth besides right here [in Round Rock].” Kalahari celebrated its ribbon-cut- ting and welcomed its rst family Nov. 12. Since then, hundreds of families have enjoyed all the resort has to oer, including the country’s largest indoor water park and the Tom Foolerys adventure park, which features an arcade room, games, rock climbing, a roller coaster and more. The African-themed resort broke ground in May 2018 with an opening date set for two and half years later, November 2020, Nelson said, and it managed to stay on schedule despite a global pandemic. Boasting 975 rooms and 20 food and drink options, Kalahari brings more than 1,000 jobs to the Round Rock area at a time when many were seeking employment due to the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The travel and tourism industry has been devastated across the country, and even here in Round Rock,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. “For this to be open, it just invigorated the community.” Morgan said that with Kalahari, a family-owned business, the Nelsons have truly invested in the Round Rock community. With a $550 million development increasing the city’s tax base, Kalahari choosing Round Rock to be its home will help keep taxes lower for residents, he said. Morgan added that it has been part of the city’s strategic plan to create a live-work-play status in Round Rock. With Kalahari located across the street from the Dell Diamond,

KENNEY FORT BLVD.

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions ended its grand opening event Nov. 14 with a reworks display. (Photos by Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tom Foolerys has games, a rollercoaster, rock climbing and more.

Kalahari in Round Rock boasts the largest indoor water park in the country.

“WHAT KALAHARI HAS DONE INROUNDROCK IS GOING TO BE THE GOLD STANDARD FOR THE RESTOF THEWORLD, AND IT’S REALLYQUITE AMAZING.” BILL GRAVELL, WILLIAMSON COUNTY JUDGE

Families gathered at Kalahari on Nov. 14 to watch a reworks display.

Kalahari resorts are African-themed.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Leander ISD

STIPENDS BY THE NUMBERS Leander ISD employees will receive COVID-19 stipends in December. Here is a stipend breakdown.

Newpolicy adds protections against discrimination

$800 full-time employee payments $400 0.5-time employee payments

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

$5.4MILLION funding for payments and substitute vendor

not approve that?” MacKay said through community conversa- tions, there are identified areas that need to be looked at in LISD. Additionally, the district chose to not adopt a policy update related to University Interscholastic League activities, specifically related to transpor- tation, out-of-state trips and overnight travel. Swisher said the district and subcommittee

LEANDER ISD The board of trustees voted Nov. 5 to adopt a discrimination policy that protects employees under new Title IX regulations. LISD’s policy review subcommittee and admin- istration recommended the adoption of the Texas Association of School Boards-initiated policy update 115. The update protects employees from discrimination or firing on the basis of homo-

SOURCE: LEANDER ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

District staffget $800 stipends

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

LEANDER ISD Employees will receive $800 stipends in December to cover personal protective equipment expenses related to the pandemic. This is an alternative to the 2% one-time payment suggested in May. The 2% payment was dependent on the district reaching student enrollment criteria, which was about 1,000 students short of the 41,300 criteria Oct. 30. LISD’s board of trustees approved the stipends Nov. 19. “I think we have an opportunity now to do some- thing to help support our teachers,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing said Nov. 5. The district will give full-time employees an $800 stipend, and part-time employees will receive $400. The plan also includes the hiring of a third-party vendor to provide substitutes at a 100% fill rate. Leander ISD announced Nov. 17 a partnership with ESS, an education staffing company, to increase the substitute pool.

sexuality or transgender status. This only applies to district employees and does not include student protections. LISD general counsel Shawn Swisher said the change is reflective of the changes from the U.S. Department of Education.

recommended rejecting the change, retaining the current policy and review- ing the policy at a later date. He said the TASB proposed the elimination of the UIL-related policy because other policies covered the content, but the subcom-

“FORME, ITWAS A LITTLE MORE BLACKANDWHITE IN THAT ITWAS PROTECTIONS FOROUR STAFF.” BOARD MEMBER GLORIA GONZALES-DHOLAKIA

mittee disagreed with the change. Board member Elexis Grimes said her biggest concern was the Texas Education Agency bringing the district out of its lane of local control in the recommended policy changes. “For me, it was a little more black and white in that it was protections for our staff. Our employ- ees were asking for this,” board member Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said about policy update 115.

Many Nov. 5 public speakers addressed issues of inclusivity and legal issues with the policy adoption. Board member JimMacKay said the district needs to come to terms with some of the other issues discussed by the public. “This is one piece of a policy that adds protec- tions for employees, and it brings us into align- ment with current law,” MacKay said. “How do we

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Cedar Park, Leander & Williamson & Travis counties

QUOTEOFNOTE “I BELIEVE INA TRAVIS COUNTY THATWORKS FOR EVERYONE.” ANDY BROWN, TRAVIS COUNTY JUDGE anticipated population of Williamson County in the 2020 census. The 2010 census estimated 422,000 people in the county. 625,000 CITY HIGHLIGHTS NUMBER TOKNOW The CEDAR PARK Eric Boyce and Heather Jefts were sworn in as members of Cedar Park City Council on Nov. 19. They will serve in Place 4 and Place 6, respectively. Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale and Place 2 Council Member Mel Kirkland were also sworn into their second terms Nov. 19. LEANDER The city’s 2020 comprehensive plan is close to completion. The nal version will head to the planning and zoning commission Dec. 10 and to City Council on Jan. 7. Cedar Park City Council Typically meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. 450 Cypress Creek Road, Bldg. 4, Cedar Park • 512-401-5000 www.cedarparktexas.gov Leander City Council Typically meets the rst and third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. 201 N. Brushy St., Leander 512-259-1239 • www.leandertx.gov Travis County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin 512-854-9020 www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court Williamson County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1100 • www.wilco.org MEETINGSWE COVER

New librarywill be 57%bigger than current locale

BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

CEDAR PARK The development of the city’s new library progressed Nov. 5 with City Council’s approval to negotiate an agreement with an architecture rm for the design of the project. The new 40,000-square-foot, multistory library will be about 57% larger than the existing library, said Randall Lueders, the senior project manager for the city’s engineering department. The 40,000 square feet does not include the large outdoor area that will surround the building, an important design component, according to Lueders, who said the space will be used for both library

BELL DISTRICT

BUTTERCUP CREEK BLVD.

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The library will be located in the new Bell District. (Rendering courtesy city of Cedar Park)

and nonlibrary events. The library’s Bell District location is part of the Bell Boulevard Rede- velopment project, for which City Council approved a master devel- opment agreement in February. The $350 million project will transform a section of southern Bell Boulevard into a mixed-use neighborhood.

Requests for qualications for the design of the library project were issued in July, and the city received 21 in response. The top ve scoring rms were interviewed in late Sep- tember. Lake Flato Architects ranked the highest and was the rm recom- mended by city sta and approved by council.

Leander planning $228M in capital projects

Travis County Judge Andy Brown sworn in

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

POSSIBLE PROJECTS: • Old Town Park concept drawings

LEANDER In its ve-year plan, the city is looking at about $228 million in projects for its capital improve- ment project program. City sta recommendations for the capital improvement program include several project deferrals for scal year 2020-21. The 44 projects span FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25. Water projects include two with critical priority: the Sandy Creek Water Treatment Plant project for $1.07 million and the water supply study for $359,837. City Manager Rick Beverlin said the golf course is a city asset that has seen peak usage recently, thus making the $600,000 maintenance project needed, he said. City Council authorized the renovation of the driving range and short-game practice area Nov. 5.

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

TRAVIS COUNTY Judge Andy Brown was sworn in Nov. 17. Brown was elected Nov. 3 to replace former Judge Sarah Eckhardt, who stepped down in March to pursue her current seat on the Texas Senate. Sam Biscoe served as judge in the interim. “I believe in a Travis County that works for everyone. I’m condent that together we can meet the chal- lenges that lie ahead as we respond to the impact of COVID[-19] on our community and invest in working people and communities of color,” Brown said in a speech following his swearing-in ceremony. Brown touched on several of his key election platforms during the speech, including battling systemic racism.

• Fire station construction • Police station remodel • Crystal Falls Golf Club renovations

Each project will come to City Council for approval on design and construction contracts above $50,000. Program updates will be brought to council quarterly. • Senior center site analysis • San Gabriel Parkway Phase 2 • Wastewater treatment plant improvements • Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant projects • Water supply study SOURCE: CITY OF LEANDERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Williamson County sets up redistricting committee ahead of census data

RISING POPULATION The county is expecting about a 48% increase in population since 2010 in the 2020 census data.

BY ALI LINAN

now, and I know we don’t have a census until April 1, but I felt like if you guys could start meeting now you can lay out a game plan,” County Judge Bill Gravell said. The three members are Commis- sioners Cynthia Long of Precinct 2 and Valerie Covey of Precinct 3, who will also chair the committee, as well

as George Strebel, who works with Williamson County Graphical Infor- mation Systems. Gravell tasked the committee to look into legal representation to guide the county during the process, whether additional committee mem- bers will be needed and a plan for the new redistricting process.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Preparing for the redistricting process at the county level, Williamson County commissioners voted Nov. 17 to form a three-person redistricting committee to begin looking at the process and how the county should move forward. “The reason I wanted to get started

422,000

2010

625,000 (estimated)

2020

SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS FEATURE

BY SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE

“I ALSOBELIEVE FITNESS IS A FUNWAY TOBRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. IT BREAKS DOWN SOME OF THE BARRIERS AND LETS US GETTOKNOWPEOPLEWHILEWE’REALL SHARINGSIMILARGOALS.” PAMMOORHEAD, OWNER OF HEALTH AND SOUL FITNESS

PamMoorhead has spent the entirety of her career in the health and tness industry.

FREE BOOTCAMP Moorhead oers a free weekly, outdoor community class every Saturday from8:15- 9 a.m. at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 700W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park.

PamMoorhead, front left, teaches outdoor workout classes, which are also broadcast over Zoom. (Photos Courtesy Health and Soul Fitness)

Health and Soul Fitness Get t with in person or online boot camp, yoga, personal training P eople live life better when they feel better, according to Health and Soul Fitness

When COVID-19 hit and everyone sheltered in place, Moorhead said she quickly found new ways to help the community connect through tness. She switched to online classes and even created a new one for people who had been previously working out at a gym. At the end of any session, Moorhead makes a point to spend a minute or two chatting with every- one on Zoom, just as she used to do when she would nish up in-person workouts. “We talk about our healthy habits for the week, set an intention or say something positive about our- selves,” she said. Moorhead has kept all of her reg- ular clientele through the pandemic while also adding new members, she said. After shelter-in-place orders were lifted, she added outdoor workout options, which she also broadcasts live via Zoom. Even as restrictions are eased and

more in-person events may safely happen, Moorhead said she will always oer a mix of online options going forward. “There are a lot of people that prefer to do their workouts from their living room for the sake of time and convenience or comfort level,” she said. “I know there are a million oerings online people could do for free, but I watch you and coach you. I can help you safely do your exer- cises and give you encouragement.” Moorhead said she will work with any person at their level and help them safely take their mind and body to the next level. “I have been in the eld so long, and I understand the dierent complexities of health and tness,” she said. “I know it’s not all about just getting to a gym. There’s a lot that goes into the health journey, and I like to help people wherever they are and then get them to the next step.”

owner PamMoorhead. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people become healthier and improve their quality of life,” she said. “I got my undergraduate degree in exercise physiology and my master’s in corporate health education.” Moorhead spent time as a personal trainer and group teacher before she launched Health and Soul Fitness in Cedar Park about four years ago. “I started it as a way to incorpo- rate more of the whole person into health—our mental and emotional well-being as well as physical health,” she said. “I also believe tness is a fun way to bring people together. It breaks down some of the barriers and lets us get to know people while we’re all sharing similar goals.”

Health and Soul aims to include people of all tness levels.

Taking time to talk post-workout is important to the group.

Health and Soul Fitness 512-574-5660 www.healthandsoultness.com

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

ZIGGY’S PIEROGIES The Szymczyks like to add creative twists on the traditional pierogi. Pineapple, blueberry and bacon are recent pierogi specials, but these are avors that are always available. They also sell frozen pierogies to be cooked at home. • Potato bacon cheddar • Potato onion • Potato cheddar • Sauerkraut and mushroom • Minced meat

The Szymczyks make their pierogies in house.

Susie and Andy Szymczyk opened their restaurant in August 2019. (Photos by Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Minimus sandwich, $7, includes kielbasa brat with house mustard and sauerkraut

Sausages are made with 100% sustainable pork.

Ziggy’s KielbasaHouse Family-run restaurant brings Polish bites, marketplace to Leander T he Szymczyks said they love hosting friends and cooking new international cuisines for their weekly guests. In 2019, they decided to open a restaurant to share international avors with everyone. BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

moved to New York City. Many recipes come from Andy’s mom and grand- mother, the owners said. Every day, Andy’s mom cooked full dinners for his family with soups and main dishes, and his mom would send Andy to the grocery store to buy that day’s ingredients. He said he learned most about cooking during the holidays. “I never thought I would be a restaurateur or a sausage maker one day,” he said. “Never did I imagine that.” The Szymczyks said people have traveled across Texas to get avors often not found outside the Northeast or Chicago. They said their customers make their work worthwhile. The duo run the entire restaurant with the help of their three daughters. Frommaking kielbasas to lling pierogis, they do it all. The restaurant is closed Mondays and Tuesdays for time to prepare food for the week. “The most rewarding thing is having them tell us that these are avors they haven’t had since their childhood,” Susie said. “It brings them back. We had a 90-year-old woman sitting at one of our tables once, practically in tears because she was brought back to her childhood and how her grandmother used to cook for her.”

Susie and Andy Szymczyk opened their Polish restaurant as a way to bring the avors of Poland to Texas. When living in New York City, they easily found Polish food, but kielbasas and pierogies are less available in the Austin metro. After moving to Texas, they missed the Polish avors, so they began experimenting. “At one point, I found myself in my kitchen sur- rounded by 90 pounds of meat, and I didn’t know what to do with it after I smoked it,” Andy said. Friends wanted to buy their meats, so the idea of a sausage stand or food truck outgrew itself and turned into a Polish restaurant. Ziggy’s Kielbasa House oers a to-go menu of sandwiches, meats, pierogies and more. Recently, the owners started a Polish marketplace in the space that used to be the dining room. Items are imported from Poland and are likely not found elsewhere in Central Texas. Andy’s family immigrated to the United States from Poland when he was 6 years old. The family won a lottery-type system for green cards and

Pierogies with potato cheddar and sauerkraut mushroom are served fried with sour cream for $2.

Ziggy’s KielbasaHouse 2403 US 183, Ste. 104, Leander 512-528-5603 www.ziggysatx.com Hours: Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HISTORY Fisk-Cashion Cemetery Residents working to protect local graves D own a quiet path on the outskirts of Leander is a cemetery where the family

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

“ITWAS AS IF SHE CAME INTOME AND SHE SAID, ‘DO SOMETHINGABOUTME. DO SOMETHING ABOUT US. WEWANT TOBE REMEMBERED,’” MARIANN LAUGHLIN, DESCENDANT OF GREENLEAF FISK AND MARY ANN MANLOVE FISK

Laughlin said she knelt down at her great-great grandmother’s grave. She heard Mary Ann Fisk speak to her, she said. “It was as if she came into me and she said, ‘Do something about me. Do something about us. We want to be remembered,’” Laughlin said. “I had this warm feeling all over, and I get back to my car...and I got in, and I started to weep.” Laughlin was inspired to determine who is buried in the cemetery and began compiling information from Williamson and Bastrop counties, the Brown County Historical Museum and from her family’s oral narratives. There are 15 graves in the cemetery, including Mary Ann Manlove Fisk, Greenleaf Fisk’s rst wife; Avarilla Perkins Manlove, Mary Ann Fisk’s mother; James Bartholomew “Bat” Manlove, Mary Ann Fisk’s father; Margaret Jane Manlove Lane Fisk, Greenleaf Fisk’s second wife, and their baby; Sarah Anne Fisk, a daugh- ter of Greenleaf Fisk and Mary Ann Fisk; Margaret Jane Fisk, a daughter of Greenleaf Fisk and Mary Ann Fisk; a girl who died of a snakebite; a family of ve settlers; and two male ranch hands who died in a shootout. She is planning to add cenotaphs to each of the graves as a remembrance of who is buried. In the future, she hopes to see the cemetery and cabin site turned into a park with historical tours and picnic areas. The park’s future now lies in the hands of the city of Liberty Hill for how it will be developed and preserved. The site is also next to the Milestone Community Builders’ new Larkspur Park subdivision. The homebuilders have worked with Laughlin and donated the current fences surrounding the graves and cabin site. Laughlin said when she begins to give up hope on her dream to preserve the family’s history, new people, such as Crabtree, join her mission. She calls it a “16-year over- night success” and said her ancestors are determined to have something done. “All of a sudden there is new life that is breathed into my dream,” Laughlin said.

of Williamson County’s rst judge lies, along with other former resi- dents of the area. The Fisk-Cashion Historic Cem- etery is located in a Liberty Hill extraterritorial jurisdiction north of the South Fork San Gabriel River. The land was previously owned by the Cashion family before it was sold to Milestone Community Builders for homebuilding. Leander resident James Crabtree and his family discovered a trail leading to the cemetery while going on walks earlier this year. They saw the black fence and overgrown grass surrounding the graves and thought they were in someone’s backyard until they saw a headstone belonging to Mary Ann Fisk. “It’s only a half-mile from our house. So we’ve got all this suburbia growing around it,” he said. “But when you’re out there you really feel like you’re out a long way.” Crabtree said he went home and researched the name Mariann Fisk, who has the only marked grave. His research led him to Mariann Fisk Laughlin, a living descendent of Greenleaf Fisk, Williamson Coun- ty’s rst judge, and his wife, Mary Manlove. Since discovering the site, Crabtree has taken on the role of a caretaker for the cemetery. He removed the overgrown brush and goes out monthly to maintain the area. Some- times he sees people walking nearby on the trail while mowing, and when they ask about the cemetery he is able to share the stories of who is buried there. “It’s such a neat story, and we want it to be preserved,” he said. “There are so many people in our neighbor- hood that don’t know it is there.” Mariann Laughlin has worked for the last 16 years to preserve her family’s cemetery, the nearby Fisk family cabin and the stories of her ancestors, which were passed down at annual family reunions. When she rst visited the site, after knocking door to door in the commu- nity for help nding the cemetery,

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KAUFFMAN LOOP

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The Fisk-Cashion Historical Cemetery is located in a Liberty Hill extraterritorial jurisdiction near Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

WHOWAS GREENLEAF FISK? Greenleaf Fisk was the rst judge of Williamson County, which was the position of chief judge at the time. He was born in Albany, New York, and moved to Bastrop, Texas, in 1834, where he served as chief justice of Bastrop County. He fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and was elected to the Republic of Texas Senate. Fisk and his family moved to a log cabin, near the Fisk-Cashion Cemetery, in the 1840s. According to the Texas Historical Commission, he often walked 11 or 12 miles to the county courthouse in Georgetown. Fisk later moved to Brown County and served as the county judge, among other oces. He donated 60 acres to the townsite of Brownwood and more acres to the county. He died in 1888 and is buried at Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood. He was married twice and had 15 children. SOURCE: TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

James Crabtree and his family have continued maintaining the cemetery and surrounding area since discovering it earlier this year. (Courtesy James Crabtree)

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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