Highlight from the last year with the Georgetown City Council

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Georgetown City Council: Ty Gipson, District 5; Mayor Pro Tem Steve Fought, District 4; Keith Brainard, District 2; Rachael Jonrowe, District 6; Mayor Dale Ross; Anna Eby, District 1; John Hesser, District 3; and Tommy Gonzalez, District 7.

This year was a busy one for the Georgetown City Council. Take a look back at some of the big decisions made in 2016 and what is coming in 2017.

A question for David Morgan, Georgetown city manager:

Q: With all of the growth happening in Georgetown, transportation continues to need updating. What is the council doing to move it along?

A: We should have three major roadway improvement projects completed within the next year. [In] the citizen survey we were not highly rated in traffic and mobility, which is not unique. But it is going to be important to show that we are in sync with what people are wanting, and as we have record-pace growth, show that we are able to keep in line with those projects.

Big decisions made in 2016:

  • Affordable housing prioritized

The city has approved three affordable housing projects on Williams Drive within the past year. Morgan also said the city is working to make available more housing products that cost less than $300,000 in the Casper and Saddlecreek developments as well as an improved affordable housing credit approval process for Georgetown residents.

  • Transit system planned

In August the council voted to move forward with a fixed-route bus system that consists of four proposed bus routes. Morgan said the city is planning to have the system activated and laid out by the time school starts in August.

  • Solar energy delayed

Plans were put on hold for the city of Georgetown to become 100 percent renewable when SunEdison, the company building a solar farm for the city, filed for bankruptcy in April. City Council worked to approve a new agreement with NRG Energy Inc., that will continue through 2042. that will bring solar energy to Georgetown in July 2018. The solar energy will be provided by farm in West Texas that will provide a daily maximum output of 150 megawatts of solar-generated power. The solar power will accompany wind energy coming from Amarillo to help the city achieve 100 percent renewability.

Top issues for 2017:

  • Garey Park progress

In 2004, Jack and Cammy Garey donated their 525-acre ranch and house to the city to be developed into a city park. In 2016, the city completed a design and went to bid for construction. The bid did not get much feedback and has been rescaled and repackaged for sale in 2017. Morgan said the park should be under construction in the next year.

  • Williams Drive study

A corridor study that looks into transportation and development along Williams Drive got underway in 2016 and is about halfway complete as of January. Morgan said the city recently finished a charrette, or a process that allowed the public to contribute to the planning of the corridor. Attending residents expressed an interest in improving efficiency on the roadway through smart land use in addition to adding pedestrian and bicycle corridors, Morgan said. The technical review should be completed by mid-2017. Morgan said he hopes the study will provide the city a mix of one- to five-year options.

  • Transportation updates

Morgan said the city began construction in 2016 on the largest transportation project in the city’s history, the Southwest Bypass, and it should be ready in 2018. The city is also working on FM 1460 and Mays Street, which Morgan said should lead to the completion of significantly expanded roadways within the next 12 months.

For more information on the Georgetown City Council check out its website.