Planning to evaluate and develop a bond election in November for the city of Georgetown is underway as officials will begin reviewing potential projects to fund in May.

The city has performed various studies to identify community needs and determine what projects could be included in a bond referendum. Assistant City Manager Laurie Brewer said in an April 11 workshop with the Georgetown City Council that councilors will have work sessions over the next couple of months to look at capital improvement projects and the city’s budget. The primary areas funded through tax-supported debt include parks, facilities and transportation.

Meanwhile, bills have been filed in the State Legislature to limit how local governments may take on new debt to fund projects. Brewer said legislators have interest primarily in eliminating certificate of obligation bonds.

“Those are bonds that are voted on by the council by providing notice to the voters,” she said. “General obligation bonds are the ones that are voted on by [citizens].”

Here are the potential bond needs identified:

  • Animal Shelter: With capacity concerns at the Georgetown Animal Shelter, the City Council directed staff in May 2022 to evaluate a partnership with the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter and provide funding for an expansion of the facility the city could operate out of. A feasibility study to determine costs and logistics is underway.
  • Parks and Recreation Master Plan: The council adopted a plan in February 2022 to prioritize parks and trails improvements. Among the highest priorities include improvements to Bark Park and the pickleball courts at McMasters Athletic Complex.
  • Recreation Center: The parks master plan from 2022 identified specific recommendations to either renovate or expand the existing Georgetown Recreation Center, or build a new one. A study is underway to further evaluate the project.
  • City facilities: City staff and elected officials have discussed the need for an 80,000-square-foot facility to serve as a one-stop visit for development activities, such as engineering, planning and inspection services.
Tax impact
  • Brewer said planning staff has looked at how the city can utilize growth to maintain its current tax rate. The fiscal year 2022-23 property tax rate is $0.374 per $100 valuation. According to the city, estimates for FY 2023-24 show the city could generate $50 million annually through new development and increased property values.
History of Georgetown bonds

  • $35.5 million for parks, 58% approval
  • $46 million for roads, 65% approval


  • $29.5 million for public safety facility, 59.5% approval


  • $105 million for roads, 75.18% approval


  • $90 million for roads, 66.99% approval
Bond planning schedule:
  • May-June: City Council will review proposed projects.
  • July 11-12: The council will conduct budget workshops.
  • Aug. 8: The city manager will propose a new budget.
  • August-October: The city will conduct outreach and education initiatives.
  • Aug. 9-21: The council must decide whether to call a bond election to put it on a November ballot.
  • Nov. 7: Election Day