WilCo ranks among Texas' healthiest counties and 4 other things to know this week in Georgetown, March 18-24

Five Central Texas counties rank within the top 25 healthiest counties in Texas, according to a 2018 study.

Five Central Texas counties rank within the top 25 healthiest counties in Texas, according to a 2018 study.

Here is what you need to know this week in and around Georgetown.


1. WilCo ranks as one of Texas' healthiest counties


Williamson County ranked as the second-healthiest county in Texas, according to annual survey results released last week. County Health Rankings, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and evaluates a county’s public health by collecting data on a number of health factors, such as access to healthy foods, rates of teen births, smoking and obesity. Four other counties in Central Texas—Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Travis—ranked in the top 25 healthiest counties of the 242 Texas counties that were included in the survey. Williamson County has seen little fluctuation and has remained within the top five counties in the survey since 2011.





2. City Council District 5 election canceled


Georgetown City Council voted last week to cancel the May 5 election for the council’s District 5 seat as only one candidate, BBVA Compass bank President Kevin Pitts, has filed to run. Incumbent District 5 Council Member Ty Gipson is not running for re-election. The May 5 election will still include a contested race for the council’s District 1 position when incumbent Anna Eby faces Mary Calixtro for the council seat that represents an area of Georgetown located to the east of I-35 and south of University Avenue and includes portions of Old Town and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Early voting will begin April 23 and continue until May 1.





3. County explores highway bypass in southeast Georgetown


Williamson County is in the midst of an 18-month study—called the Corridor C study—to determine the best route for a future roadway that would begin at the intersection of Sam Houston Avenue and Patriot Way in Georgetown and extend east of SH 130 to Hwy. 29 near CR 120. Georgetown and Williamson County officials have said the roadway, which would extend for roughly 3 miles in length in southeast Georgetown, could help relieve traffic through the city’s downtown and improve east-west vehicle travel through the county. Read more here.





4. Georgetown Chamber names new president


The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has new leadership. The chamber announced March 9 that its board of directors named Jim Johnson as the organization’s new president. Johnson, who previously served as president and CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, takes over for Karen Sheldon, who was the Georgetown chamber’s president for four years before retiring in December.





5. SXSW wraps up in Austin


The annual South by Southwest Conference & Festivals ends Sunday in downtown Austin. The conference drew thousands of people to Central Texas for events and panels on film, interactive media and music. Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage of SXSW can be found at www.communityimpact.com/topics/sxsw.

Some highlights from last week:





MOST RECENT

Some Georgetown facilities are open now, while others will open June 15 or later. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
LIST: What Georgetown facilities are open now, when the rest will open

A drive-in celebration is being planned for the 4th of July, where guests would watch entertainment from their cars similar to a drive-in movie theater.

Utility billing late fees, including water, electric, sanitation, stormwater and wastewater, have been temporarily waived. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Georgetown utility bill late fees waived through June; disaster declaration to continue

City Council agreed to maintain the disaster declaration despite Williamson County ending the countywide declaration May 19.

About 50 hospitals and more than 800 patient care sites fall under the Baylor Scott & White umbrella, including this hospital in Frisco. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White)
Baylor Scott & White Health to lay off 1,200 after reporting 'drastic drop' in visits

The layoffs represent 3% of the health system’s workforce.

Starting May 19, water parks will be able to open up to 25% capacity. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott issues proclamation allowing water parks to open

Starting Friday, May 29, water parks will be allowed to open but must limit guests to 25% of their normal operating capacity.

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Texas schools may begin hosting sports workouts, band practices June 8

The University Interscholastic League released guidelines for allowing sports workouts and marching bands to practice.

Williamson County Commissioners Court approved two grant programs for specialty courts during a special meeting May 26. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County Court at Law 2 seeks grant funding for veterans and DWI/drug treatment specialty courts

The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the grant applications during a special meeting May 26.

Here is a noncomprehensive timeline of coronavirus-related events in Georgetown March 3-May 26. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: See a Georgetown-specific timeline of coronavirus events March 3-May 26

Here is a noncomprehensive timeline of coronavirus-related events in Georgetown.

Georgetown's Southwest Bypass officially opened May 26. (Courtesy Williamson County and city of Georgetown)
Georgetown's Southwest Bypass officially opens

The new roadway connects Hwy. 29 to RM 2243 to the southbound access road of I-35 at SE Inner Loop.

The Goodwater Trail around Lake Georgetown is one of two Texas trails with an International Mountain Bicycling Association Epic designation. This distinction means a trail is considered technically demanding, physically challenging and set within a landscape that is beautiful to behold. (Courtesy Paul Littlefield/Georgetown Cyclewerx)
Slaying ‘The Dragon': Goodwater Trail at Lake Georgetown draws adventure-seeking cyclists

The trail is one of only two in Texas with an International Mountain Bicycling Association Epic designation.

Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community have sewn more than 100 masks for essential workers and have donated them to The Mask Brigade of Williamson County. (Courtesy Mubaraka Malbari)
Austin Islamic community Dawoodi Bohra provides financial assistance, face masks during pandemic

The Dawoodi Bohra community of Austin has worked to provide financial assistance and offered support to first responders and essential personnel during the health crisis.