Lakeway mayor talks county funds, July 4, continued social responsibility in latest weekly address

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox updated residents during a live address via the city's Facebook page June 11. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)
Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox updated residents during a live address via the city's Facebook page June 11. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox updated residents during a live address via the city's Facebook page June 11. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox updated residents during a live address June 11 via the city's Facebook page and discussed several topics, including the latest infection rates of COVID-19 in Travis County.

As numbers have been spiking in the last three days, Cox said there are a number of ways to look at the new data. She said she had a phone call with Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority, who said the positive test rate has been 9.2% of late and that the hospitalization rate has also increased to more than 100 per day.

"So what does this mean? The answer is we really don't know yet," Cox said.

Whether it is increased socializing during Memorial Day or other factors, the fact remains that residents must remain responsible and engage in behaviors that slow the spread of the virus, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing hands, she said.

As of June 11, the Lake Travis area had a total of 57 cases, she said, which includes about 10 active cases.

Cox also pointed out that the Travis County data dashboard has recently modified its recovery category to be in line with the state's method of counting those points of data, and said since restaurants can open to 75% dine-in capacity starting June 12, that is another reason to remain cautious.

"If you're watching the city [of Lakeway], we're being very cautious and taking deliberate steps as we open back up," she said.

In other news, the Swim Center in Lakeway has opened at 50% capacity this week, and the Lakeway Activity Center has a number of classes that have opened up recently, Cox said.

"We've also opened up Movies in the Park," Cox said, which will begin with a showing of "The Secret Life of Pets" on June 12. "It's out on the lawn. You have ... plenty of space ... to be far enough apart and still see the movie."

Cox said officials have not been able to figure out a safe way to commence the annual Fourth of July parade for 2020, but the city will still put on a show.

"We decided we are celebrating July 4. It's in our DNA," Cox said. "We're bringing back fireworks."

Cox explained that even though fireworks had previously been banned due to an ongoing drought, this year, a display will be held in the Rough Hollow area of Lakeway, which is a location officials chose because residents will be able to see it from their homes, their cars or even from the water on Lake Travis.

"This was our way to say we're still celebrating July the Fourth ... in a way that we used to do it," Cox said. "And it's going to be a lot safer."

Cox also discussed CRF, or Coronavirus Relief Funds provided through the federal government, and what the city is doing with the monies, including working on installing some no-touch features in its administrative facilities, among a number of other initiatives.

More money will still be coming to Lakeway through the CRF, but the amount is still being worked out because four weeks ago, the state of Texas deemed Travis County the controller of fund dispersal to the numerous cities within the county.

"We're working with Travis County to try to find a solution, but the reason I harp on this is because the city of Lakeway has not received those funds yet," Cox said. She added that the city has been working on a program for how to use the money once it is distributed from the county.

Cox also urged Lakeway small business owners to take advantage of a $10 million program from Travis County to help small businesses, the deadline to apply for which is July 3. The county is looking for some of its lower-income and struggling businesses to be prioritized with that program, called TCTX Thrive, but Cox stressed that Lakeway business owners must not be scared away by that stipulation. A link to apply for those funds will be made available on the city's website on its resource page, she said.

"We've got to utilize some of those shared funds that are available through the county," she said.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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