NEW: Lake Pflugerville trail to reopen May 26

Under the approved motion, only the trail will be available for use at Lake Pflugerville come May 26. (Community Impact staff)
Under the approved motion, only the trail will be available for use at Lake Pflugerville come May 26. (Community Impact staff)

Under the approved motion, only the trail will be available for use at Lake Pflugerville come May 26. (Community Impact staff)

The city of Pflugerville will reopen the trail at Lake Pflugerville on May 26, following a 5-2 vote from Pflugerville City Council in its special meeting May 21. Council Members Jim McDonald and Doug Weiss voted against the motion.

Under the approved motion, only the trail will be available for use at Lake Pflugerville come May 26. All other amenities, including the beach, boat ramps, pavilions and piers, will not be opened to the public.

McDonald questioned why the meeting was being held at "the eleventh hour" to deliberate reopening the lake ahead of Memorial Day weekend. He said that while having a discussion regarding its reopening was important, doing so the day before a holiday weekend was "erroneous at best."

"I’m looking at how staff had rumors that we might be making decisions, and so they’re trying to mitigate our decisions," McDonald said.

Mayor Victor Gonzales was among several council members in favor of reopening the trail system, adding that opening it would not create a major enforcement problem for staff.


City Manager Sereniah Breland said it was a more complicated issue than that. She said she had not initially wanted to entertain the idea of reopening any portion of the lake this weekend and that despite considerations of modifying the trail into a one-way loop, not all users are interested in completing the entirety of the 3-mile trail.

Breland also said that a central concern with reopening the trail is its enforcement. Penalties for usage of other portions of the lake are minimal, she said, adding that the only criminal violation residents could be cited for is trespassing.

“I think that we are negligent [if we think] that people aren’t going to go and hang out at the beach," Breland said. "It’s not just going to be the trail. We know that.”

Both McDonald and Weiss said that they were supportive of reopening the lake June 16, following the expiration of Travis County's stay-at-home order June 15. Under this proposal, McDonald said, staff would have appropriate time to fully vet any safety considerations.

Gonzales said that with Texas' phased reopening strategies underway, waiting an additional three weeks for the county order's expiration is not the most viable solution.

“The responsibility is on the individuals using that trail," Gonzales said.

Per the language of Gonzales' approved motion, the trail is the only area of Lake Pflugerville to be used prior to June 15. Come mid-June, the city can work toward rolling out phased reopenings for the remainder of lake facilities and amenities, Gonzales said.
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

From left: Warren Hutmacher, Wayne Reed, Donald Toms and Brian Bosshardt have been named as finalists for Hutto's next city manager. (Courtesy city of Hutto)
Meet the 4 finalists for Hutto's next city manager

The city manager opening garnered 68 candidate applications from 21 states and two countries.

The temporary trail closure is related to Round Rock's Logan Street connection project, which is extending the roadway to A.W. Grimes Boulevard. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
Part of Round Rock's Greater Lake Creek Trail to temporarily close

The portion of the trail from A.W. Grimes Boulevard to Callison Elementary School will close for several months.

A teal coronavirus graphic
Travis County adds 202 new coronavirus cases Aug. 5

The county has confirmed 22,024 cases of the virus, with an estimated 20,059 recoveries.

Williamson County saw a big drop in daily reported coronavirus cases Aug. 5. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County sees big drop in daily reported coronavirus cases Aug. 5

The county did report three additional coronavirus-related deaths.

As fall semester nears, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto teachers express concerns over health, safety

With the fall semester just around the corner, school districts are at a crossroads, with administrators aiming to balance effective learning and ensure safety of students and staff.
For some area teachers, the typical back-to-school jitters of late summer have been replaced by anxiety over in-person learning in the midst of a global pandemic.

Elsie's Egg Rolls, a Hutto-based food truck, will open a restaurant in Hutto this September, serving dishes such as owner Elsie Corass' Filipino empanadas. (Courtesy Elsie's Egg Rolls)
Elsie's Egg Rolls to open Hutto restaurant this fall and 4 other business updates to know

Did someone say egg rolls? Hutto-based food trailer Elsie's Egg Rolls will bring its Filipino cuisine to a Hutto storefront this fall.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Mental health crisis calls spike as pandemic progresses in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Local therapists say isolation and acute stress are driving mental health concerns including depression and addictive behaviors.

(Courtesy Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville)
29 Montessori, private, parochial and charter schools in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Specialized schools offer various approaches to education, religious affiliations and types of curricula. This guide is not comprehensive.

A green virus graphic
Travis County health authority tells residents to 'stay the course' as cases plateau

Austin Public Health reported 273 new cases Aug. 5, higher than the seven-day moving average of 218 daily confirmed COVID-19 cases. APH also confirmed 41 new hospital admissions of coronavirus.

Here is the Williamson County COVID-19 case update for Aug. 4. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County confirms 98 new COVID-19 cases Aug. 4

The county reported no additional deaths.