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Commissioners Court Honors Volunteer Groups Who Distributed Water During Austin Water Boil Advisory

Part of the water distribution included the Williamson County Austin area in Commissioner Cook's Precinct (1)

  • 4 December 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1816
  • 0 Comments

Volunteers stand at the front of the courtroom with County Commissioners and County Emergency Management Staff after receiving honorary certificates for their contributions.

On Dec. 4, 2018, the Williamson County Commissioners honored local volunteer groups who assisted with water distribution activities who were called upon by the Wilco Office of Emergency Management during the City of Austin water outage resulting from floods that prompted city officials to issue a water boil for residents.  Collectively they distributed 1,250 cases of bottled water to 80,000 residents.

As a preemptive measure, Austin Water issued a self-imposed, city-wide boil water notice on the morning of Monday, Oct. 22, advising customers to boil water before use. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Austin Water experienced a brief spike in turbidity levels which triggered an official mandatory boil water notification, as required by state law, and notified its customers. The spike in turbidity did not require any change to precautionary measures already in place and did not put the public at additional risk. Approximately 80,000 Williamson County residents receive their water from Austin Water, either directly or through the indirect purchase, with an example being purchased through a Municipal Utility District (MUD). Other water sources in Williamson County, including water from other cities, were not under the boil water notice.

The groups recognized were the TEXSAR, Cedar Park Community Emergency Response Team, Georgetown Volunteers in Policing, Round Rock Seniors and Law Enforcement, Jarrell Community Emergency Response Team, Austin-Lakeway Community Emergency Response Team, the Knights of Columbus, and the Austin Disaster Relief Network.  Collectively they volunteered over 760 hours in support of this effort.

Sage Advice and Information for Those Pondering College

Oped by Commissioner Terry Cook

  • 15 November 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1872
  • 0 Comments

Pictured left to right are Jim Johnson, WGU Community Relations Manager; Nancy Fitzgerald; WGU Texas Office Manager; Commissioner Cook; Emily LaBrecque, WGU Enrollment Counselor, Business College; and Ann Cruz, Enrollment Counselor, Business College.

If you’re a Wilco resident with a high school diploma or GED looking for a more flexible and much more affordable degree or certification program, I recommend two unbeatable options.

Last fall, I toured and wrote about the East Williamson County Higher Education Center in Hutto. Texas State Technical College, Temple College, and Texas A&M University-Central Texas that comprise EWCHEC, which formed a partnership with the Hutto community.

EWCHEC, through its three colleges, provides an opportunity to obtain associate degrees, coursework to finish bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and certification/licensure in programs like industrial maintenance, precision machining, welding and even cybersecurity.

EWCHEC’s campus buildings and programs continue to expand and excel. For more information, please visit http://ewchec.net/ .

Now Wilco residents—particularly working adults—can finish or obtain degrees from an accredited and reputable online university.

Who Is In Charge Of Elections In Texas

Video by the Texas Association of Counties

  • 31 October 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1820
  • 0 Comments

Premiered Oct 26, 2018

Did you know? Counties make sure your vote counts! No matter what you're voting on, your county handles the election.

For video of who is in charge of elections in Texas, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL_4pdF3IBI

Learn more about how your county serves you at http://www.TexasCountiesDeliver.org

Keeping Williamson County’s History Alive and Recorded

by Commissioner Cook

  • 18 October 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1935
  • 0 Comments

If you’re curious about anything historical regarding Wilco, just check with the Williamson County Historical Commission.

State law directs county historical commissions to initiate and manage preservation programs for their counties. CHCs must also follow recommendations of their County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission. 

According to the THC, in 1953, the legislature created the Texas State Historical Survey Commission and in 1973 changed the agency’s name to the Texas Historical Commission. Most counties, including Wilco, also called their organizations historical survey commissions and removed “survey” from their designations after the THC did.

This year, to increase geographic diversity on the WCHC, we appointed 10 new members, and I was privileged to select two highly qualified people from several—also highly qualified—applicants to represent Precinct 1. I want to thank all who showed an interest in serving and encourage them to volunteer with the WCHC.

Commissioner Cook and the WCHC Board members are pictured at the front of the Williamson County Historic Courthouse at one of their meetings.

My two recommendations were Round Rock resident Jane Digesualdo, historian, author, community volunteer and a former member of the WCHC. The other Round Rock resident and native I recommended, Tina Steiner-Johnson, is a middle and high school teacher, and has been involved with the Round Rock Preservation Committee, as well as numerous other community organizations.

Formerly nine Georgetown residents, two from Taylor and one from Cedar Park comprised the WCHC. Now nine are from Georgetown, four from Round Rock, one from Leander, two from Cedar Park, three from Taylor, one from Hutto and one from Circleville for a total membership of 21 and one ad hoc member.

Texas law requires that at least seven residents on a CHC be from the county, and currently all 21 members are. It also requires that members of a CHC be individuals who broadly reflect the age, ethnic and geographic diversity of the county, and we’ve broadened this diversity!

Eloise Brackenridge from Taylor, originally appointed to the WCHC by Commissioner Larry Madsen of Precinct 4 in 2015, was elected chair by the WCHC members this past February and approved by the Commissioners Court. She hit the ground running.

She immediately garnered every member’s support in selecting two primary goals for the WCHC to address, in addition to several ongoing projects. One was to identify the most significant historical sites in Williamson.

The sites they’ll consider currently may not bear historical markers (or plaques) but they will also include those already marked.  Buildings, cemeteries or even empty fields can be considered historical sites. Sometimes fields were sites of significant battles or other human events. Once these sites are all identified, the WCHC will publish this information and post it on their website at http://tinyurl.com/yclbej8m.

Commissioner Cook attends FM 734 (Parmer Lane) Proposed Expansion Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

The expansion would be from RM 1431 to SH 45

  • 27 September 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2626
  • 0 Comments

FM 734, more commonly known as Parmer Lane, is a heavily traveled roadway, serving as a major thoroughfare between RM 1431 and SH 45. The puropse of the proposed expansion project is to reduce congestion and improve mobility by providing additional roadway capacity to meet future traffic demands from population growth and increased traffic volumes.

Commissioner Cook studies a chart with the proposed expansion from Avery Ranch to SH 45.The Texas Department of Transportation Austin District is proposing these improvements to a 4.4-mile segment of Parmer Lane in northwest Austin and Cedar Park.

Commissioner Cook studies schematic drawings on a long table depicting the entire Parmer Lane expansion project proposal.The proposed project would:

1. Expand Parmer Lane from four travel lanes to six travel lanes, three in each direction within the existing right of way.

2. Improve intersections with additional turn lanes, where necessary.

3. In cooperation with the city of Austin, improve water quality for stormwater runoff.

4. Provide sidewalks throughout the corridor and a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian path connecting Parmer Lane to the Brushy Creek Regional Trai.

For more information, visit http://www.txdot.gov and enter the search keywords FM 734 from Rm 1431.

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