Groundwater, 5G, school and state ballots: 4 things to know in the Lake Travis-Westlake area this week

From left: Lake Travis ISD trustees Bob Dorsett Jr., John Aoueille, Kim Flasch, Lisa Johnson, Alex Alexander and William Beard pose Jan. 23 with shirts received for School Board Recognition Month.

From left: Lake Travis ISD trustees Bob Dorsett Jr., John Aoueille, Kim Flasch, Lisa Johnson, Alex Alexander and William Beard pose Jan. 23 with shirts received for School Board Recognition Month.

Here is a look back at the most notable Lake Travis-Westlake headlines from the past week.

Commissioners debate the creation and funding of a groundwater conservation district in southwest Travis County
Commissioners debated Tuesday over whether to hold an election to create and fund a conservation district that would regulate, protect and conserve the groundwater supply derived from the Trinity Aquifer, one of nine major aquifers in the state.

In January 2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, recommended to the 85th Legislature that a regulatory entity be created to protect an area over the Trinity Aquifer which is not covered by any groundwater conservation district. State Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, filed House Bill 922 on Jan. 11, 2017 to establish a groundwater conservation district in the area, his third such attempt in three legislative sessions.

The Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District would encompass all of the county south of the Colorado River and west of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s border, which runs southwest from the Colorado River along Westlake Drive and Camp Craft Road in West Lake Hills. The district would cover roughly 200 square miles, making it smaller than many in the state.

AT&T to open 5G lab in Austin this spring
In preparation of launching its 5G mobile network in 2018, AT&T Inc. announced Feb. 21 it will open a 5G lab in North Austin this spring, a company representative confirmed.

The first dozen cities to get mobile 5G include parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco. AT&T began doing 5G field trials in 2016 and tested the service with some residential customers as well as small and large businesses and high-traffic retail areas.

The 5G lab in Austin will allow AT&T workers to conduct tests to deploy the 5G mobile network. Engineers will be able to build and test solutions and run stress tests based on real customer experiences.

Lake Travis ISD draws multiple candidates for May 5 trustee election
Lake Travis ISD will have three contested school board races on May 5, with multiple candidates filing to run in the election.

According to information from district spokesperson Marco Alvarado, six candidates filed for places 1 and 2 before the close of the filing period on Feb. 16.

In the special election to fill the final year of Alex Alexander’s term in Place 3, four candidates have filed for the position as of the morning of Feb. 20, Alvarado said. The candidate filing period for the special election is open until March 5.

What Travis County residents need to know about casting a ballot in the March 6 primary election
Voters will cast a ballot for races ranging from local seat races, such as county judge, county commissioner and county clerk, to statewide seat races, such as governor, state representative and land commissioner.
County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir is anticipating about a 20 percent turnout and estimated the election to cost about $1.14 million.

See this guide for more information on how to vote in a primary election and how a candidate is selected.

Early voting runs Feb. 20-March 2. Election day is March 6. If needed, a runoff election will be held May 22.


Photo of a doctor with a pregnant woman
Austin health experts warn delta variant could pose higher risk for pregnant women

Maternal medicine doctors across Central Texas have seen increasing numbers of pregnant women coming to the hospital with breathing issues and pregnancy complications as a result of COVID-19.

Hill Country Galleria earned a recognition in the shopping center industry in July. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
Hill Country Galleria earns industry honors for creative initiatives, including Buzzfest

Hill Country Galleria earned several honors during the International Council of Shopping Centers 2021 Global Awards.

Wayback Burgers makes cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
6 eateries open or coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Trudy's North Star reopens in Northwest Austin and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including Tiff's Treats opening in Hutto.

student writing on paper
Texas Legislature allows parents to opt for students to repeat grade levels or courses

Senate Bill 1697 is effective for the 2021-22 school year.

Photo of medical professions in a hospital
Health officials warn ICU space is critically low as Travis County sees its 900th COVID-19 death

As the delta variant drives transmission rates up, local hospital systems warn that ICUs are strained.

At Blue Gecko, a Texas Taco comes with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese and bacon. (Courtesy Blue Gecko)
New taco spot opens in Four Points; roadwork for Austin's Zilker Eagle continues and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including news on when Lou Neff Road will open in Central Austin.

Water retention ponds and flood control features can now be seen on the site of the 80-acre Village of Spanish Oaks development. (Courtesy CCNG Inc.)
Permanent features take shape at Village at Spanish Oaks

The Village at Spanish Oaks will feature a boutique inn as well as retail and office space.

The Oaks at Slaughter development will have several new businesses opening by the end of 2021. (Deeda Lovett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shopping coming to Congress Ave.; Pflugerville preps tract near Living Spaces and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area, including news on four businesses coming to Hutto.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Leander ISD 'highly recommends' masks; tax-free weekend tips and more Austin-area news

Read the latest business and education news from the Central Texas area.

Sinaloan seafood restaurant El Coco Pirata is now open in Northwest Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper)
New Mexican seafood spot El Coco Pirata now open in Northwest Austin

El Coco Pirata serves classic Sinaloan seafood dishes.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.