$166M school bond and 4 other things to know in Georgetown, Aug. 20-26

Here are some things to know this week in and around Georgetown.

1. Georgetown ISD trustees send bond package to voters

GISD voters will decide a $166 million bond package Nov. 6 that includes funding for two new elementary schools and the expansion of Ford Elementary School. A second proposition would provide $15 million for a new swimming facility.

District trustees accepted all recommendations from a citizens bond committee last week ahead of the start of the new school year on Aug. 16. The bond election does not include an increase to GISD’s property tax rate, according to the district.

2. Changes proposed to Georgetown's Historic and Architectural Review Commission

Georgetown City Council voted 5-2 last week to have the city attorney draft an ordinance to change bylaws of the city’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission, or HARC, regarding the granting of certificates of appropriateness for changes to historic buildings. Rather than have HARC continue to grant certificates, the proposal has the commission make recommendations to City Council, which would have final say.

Council members heard from more than 20 people last week who opposed changing HARC’s authority. A council workshop on the matter is expected later this fall.

HARC’s next meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Georgetown Municipal Court building, 101 E. Seventh St.

3. Hearings set for Tuesday on Georgetown's proposed budget, tax rate

City Council is considering a $354 million municipal budget for fiscal year 2018-19, which includes spending requests for roadwork, utility upgrades and hiring new firefighters to staff the city’s future Fire Station No. 7 near Hwy. 29 and Inner Loop. Georgetown’s proposed property tax for the city’s next fiscal year is 42 cents per $100 of valuation, which is unchanged from FY 2017-18. With continued increases in property values in Georgetown, the city estimates an average homeowner would pay about $57 more in property tax in 2019 than the previous year.

Public hearings on the budget and tax rate are scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Council chambers at 101 E. Seventh St., Georgetown. The council is scheduled to hold votes Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.

4. GISD receives overall B grade from Texas Education Agency

The TEA gave out its latest round of A-F ratings for school districts and individual campuses last week. The agency's ratings are designed to identify where districts can improve education quality in categories of student achievement, school progress and closing gaps between student populations. Along with its overall B grade, GISD received a B for student achievement, a C for school progress and a C in closing student gaps, according to the TEA. Read more here.

5. Natural Grocers will open Sept. 5 in Georgetown

The Colorado-based organic grocery chain has set a Sept. 5 opening date for its future location at 1301 W. University Ave., Georgetown, near the Wolf Ranch Town Center west of I-35. Along with organic produce, Natural Grocers sells dietary vitamins and supplements.


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