Southwest Bypass will get new extension, police citizen academy opens signups and 3 other things to know this week in Georgetown, July 30-Aug. 5

The Southwest Bypass project broke ground in Georgetown in 2016. The new roadway will eventually connect Hwy. 29 with I-35.

The Southwest Bypass project broke ground in Georgetown in 2016. The new roadway will eventually connect Hwy. 29 with I-35.

Here are some news items to know about this week in and around Georgetown.

1. Southwest Bypass will add another segment

Georgetown City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $5.6 million construction contract to help build a new segment of a roadway known as the Southwest Bypass that will eventually connect Hwy. 29 with I-35 near the south edge of the city. Along with an additional segment that will be built with funding from Williamson County, the project will extend the Southwest Bypass to eventually create a new route to I-35 from both Hwy. 29 and Leander Road, according to city documents. Once completed, the bypass will also connect to SE Inter Loop and allow drivers to reach SH 130 via Sam Houston Avenue.

2. Georgetown citizen police academy opens registration

Georgetown residents interested in this year’s citizen police academy have until Aug. 14 to apply. The 10-week course, which begins Aug. 24, teaches participants about all aspects of the Georgetown Police Department, including sessions of police history, criminal investigations, officer safety, police weaponry and community support services. Participation is free, but there are limited spaces available for the fall class series. Applications are available at the reception desk at the Georgetown Police Department, which is located at 3500 D.B. Wood Road, Georgetown. Requests for applications and additional information can also be made by sending an email to [email protected]

3. I-35 corridor cities form legislative coalition

Georgetown has joined Buda, Round Rock and San Marcos in a new coalition of I-35 corridor cities to lobby lawmakers in the 85th Texas Legislature's special session. The coalition, which was spurred by San Marcos officials, seeks to create a combined voice to state lawmakers and address various concerns that are shared by the coalition cities. After corresponding largely via email, the cities met in person for the first time Tuesday with Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, who represents San Marcos and Buda residents, and Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, who represents the cities north of Austin. Read more here.

4. Williamson County sheriff’s office worries budget allocation will not be enough

Williamson County Commissioners Court voted, 3-0, on Tuesday to allocate an additional $60,000 to the county sheriff’s department fiscal year 2016-17 budget to cover pay for law enforcement overtime hours (Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook and Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long were absent). However, Chief Deputy Tim Ryle told commissioners he was not confident the money would be enough to sustain the sheriff’s office’s overtime costs for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

The sheriff’s office has initially asked for $211,000 to cover overtime worked by law enforcement officers, but Ryle said Tuesday he was not confident the sheriff's office could get by with $140,000. The request prompted Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey to say, “I’m encouraging law enforcement, and everybody, to stay within the budget you’re given."

5. Pickle Research Campus will house top supercomputer

Pickle Research Campus at The University of Texas will soon be the site of the most powerful supercomputer at any U.S. university and the 12th-fastest in the world. Researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which is located at the Pickle campus in North Austin, dedicated the first phase of the supercomputer called Stampede2 on Friday. Phase 1 of Stampede2 has two-thirds of the final capacity of the supercomputer. TACC will add another processor to it in the fall. Read more here.