Georgetown City Council considers pulling out of $1 million Bloomberg grant

Georgetown City Council voted to consider withdrawing from the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant it was award in October during a July 23 meeting.

Georgetown City Council voted to consider withdrawing from the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant it was award in October during a July 23 meeting.

Georgetown may withdraw from the $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies grant the city was awarded in October.

Georgetown City Council voted 5-1 to allow city staff to provide an assessment of the impact of withdrawing from the agreement during a July 23 meeting. District 6 Council Member Rachael Jonrowe voted against the measure adding that she is in favor of the assessment but against the proposition to withdraw from the grant.

District 1 Council Member Anna Eby was not present during the meeting.

District 4 Council Member Steve Fought said he placed the item on the agenda in light of recent issues with the city’s utility system.

“(The solar project) is a good idea, but we really ought to be focused on fixing [Georgetown Utility Systems], not on doing experiments,” Fought said. “Maybe it’s not the right time.”

In November, GUS found its end fund balance $6.84 million short of what was projected. Elected officials have said this was due to an energy market price drop causing the city to sell excess energy at a loss.

In light of the financial issues, the city believed it would still continue with the project.

Georgetown was one of nine cities across the US to be awarded $1 million for innovative projects. The city planned to test capturing and storing solar energy at the local level by placing solar panels on homes and storing excess energy on nearby batteries for future use.

The city received $100,000 from the initial stages of the grant. Assistant to the City Manager Jackson Daly said the city would have to refund the money back to Bloomberg but had yet to receive any additional funding. Daly added that the city intended to hire a manager for the project with the $1 million, but that and all other decisions have been put on hold.

Jimmy Coffman, who spoke during public comment, said he was concerned about the costs associated with maintaining the project after the Bloomberg grant ended in three years.

“As you reconsider this, I would encourage you to get a good understanding of the cost to the city for this grant,” Coffman said. “I’m not an electrician; I’m not an engineer; but I do have some experience with solar panels and battery storage; and this particular project does not look, to me, as viable.”

Georgetown City Manager David Morgan said he is prepared to provide the assessment as soon as all council members are present in a meeting.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County has not had any reported human infections of West Nile Virus this year. (Courtesy Pexels)
Mosquito trap tests positive for West Nile Virus in Georgetown

This is the third mosquito trap that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Williamson County this week. There have been no reported human infections of the virus in the county this year.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

Georgetown's 40th annual Christmas Stroll will be held Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
40th annual Georgetown Christmas Stroll kicks off holiday season in downtown square

Georgetown’s 40th annual Christmas Stroll will be held Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 in and around the city’s historic downtown square.

The Georgetown Police Department's Blue Santa program will assist a toy drive at Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home on Dec. 11. (Courtesy Photo)
Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown to host annual toy drive

Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home is accepting unwrapped presents for their second annual toy drive.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

Rendering of Tesla's Cybertruck
Tesla officially names Texas gigafactory as its new headquarters

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows the Travis County manufacturing plant as Tesla's new home base.

Georgetown Club Manager Shaun Valdez won Club Manager of the year at the annual Anytime Fitness Conference. (Courtesy Anytime Fitness)
Georgetown Anytime Fitness wins best training club award during annual conference

Georgetown Anytime Fitness won two awards at the annual Anytime Fitness conference in Dallas, TX.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

The grant will give Southwestern University the ability to fund more programs for S-STEM scholars than the university was previously able to do. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Southwestern University receives $1.5 million grant to help students pursue STEM fields

Southwestern University is receiving $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to support low-income students and students of color pursuing STEM fields.