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401 W. Front St. | Hutto, TX 78634
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Hutto Highlights ~ August 25, 2009

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To subscribe to Hutto Highlights Electronic Newsletter please visit:
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Hutto Highlights
The City of Hutto’s Electronic Newsletter


Welcome to Hutto Highlights.
Please do not respond to this e-mail.
If you would like to communicate with City staff, you can e-mail us at
cmo@HuttoTx.gov 

* * * * * * *

August 25, 2009

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IN THIS ISSUE

  • The Hutto Farmers Market Returns!!
  • Open Gym Basketball
  • City Honors Representative Diana Maldonado
  • Senior Game Day Every Monday
  • City Council Approves Resolution Calling for a Special Election in November
  • After School Program Registration Continues
  • Hutto Police Department Applies for Grant
  • Youth Basketball Registration Begins September 1
  • City Council Reviews Requests for Budget Amendments
  • Punt, Pass and Kick Scheduled
  • Council Makes New Appointments to Boards and Commissions
  • Registration Deadline Soon for Adult Softball League
  • Council Establishes Goals, Sets Priorities and Adopts 2030 Strategic Plan Revisions
  • Time to Get Into Shape with Adult Boot Camp
  • Council Approves Ordinance Adopting International Property Maintenance Code
  • Adult Men’s Basketball League Registration Deadline Nearing
  • City Earns 2009 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence
  • City of Hutto Website Receives Recognition
  • City Council Approves Electrical Substation Screening Ordinance
  • Update on Legislation Prohibition of Cell Phone Use in School Zones
  • Hutto Plans General Bond Election
  • City Announces Newest Technology Innovation – Mayor’s Blog
  • Public Hearings Set on Proposed Budget and Tax Rate
  • City Council Saturday Chat Sessions Continue
  • Library’s Summer Program Ends Successful

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

WILLIAMSON COUNTY NEWS

* * * * * * *

The Hutto Farmers Market Returns!

Back by popular demand, the Hutto Farmers Market will begin its Fall Session on Saturdays beginning September 19 – November 14 from 9:00 am until noon or sellout at the Co-Op site on Hwy 79 in Hutto. A variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and other homegrown or eatable homemade items will be available.

There will not a Farmers Market day on Saturday, October 17 as the Olde Tyme Days event will take place on the Co-Op site.

Also, if you are interested in becoming a vendor please contact Julie Arndt at (512) 759-4000.

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Open Gym Basketball

The Hutto Parks and Recreation Department is offering Open Gym Basketball for adults on Monday evenings from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Old Middle School Gymnasium. From opening day, the gymnasium has been filled with individuals from Hutto and other surrounding cities such as Taylor, Round Rock, and Pflugerville. The competition as been solid and the atmosphere is great. We encourage everyone to join in and see “who’s got game!”

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City Honors Representative Diana Maldonado

City Honors
Representative Diana Maldonado

A proclamation and commemorative plaque was presented to Representative Diana Maldonado at the August 20 City Council meeting by Mayor David Begier. The Council wanted to acknowledged Representative Maldonado has she has shown a commitment to the Hutto community by providing an opportunity for the City of Hutto, the Hutto Independent School District, the Hutto Chamber of Commerce, the Hutto Economic Development Corporation and the Hutto Fire and Rescue Department to be recognized and honored by the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives during the 81st Legislative Session. The City is grateful for the many ways Representative Maldonado has given attention to the needs of the Hutto community and its citizens. The Mayor proclaimed August 20 as Representative Diana Maldonado Day in Hutto.

* * * * * * *

Senior Game Day

Senior Game Day takes place every Monday from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Hutto Parks and Recreation Department Meeting room located at 306 East Live Oak St. Come on out and enjoy cards, dominoes and other exciting games. For more information, contact the Hutto Parks & Recreation Department at 512-759-4000.

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City Council Approves Resolution
Calling for a Special Election in November

On August 6, 2009 the Hutto City Council approved a resolution calling for a Special Election to be held on Tuesday November 3, 2009. The purpose of this special election is to submit to voters certain proposed amendments to the City’s Home Rule Charter and certain bond propositions.

There are three (3) proposed amendments to the City’s charter and if approved by the voters would provide for a transition from Council terms lasting two (2) years to three (3) years; allow for relatives of council members to serve on city boards and commissions; and provide for all employees who deal with the finances of the city to be covered under a blanket crime coverage.

There are four (4) proposed bond propositions that would provide for the issuance of general obligation bonds. The voters will consider the issuance of $8,500,000 for street improvements; $3,300,000 for Fritz Park, future parks, park facilities and open space acquisition; $6,000,000 for sport complex facilities; $5,000,000 for a City / YMCA recreation center.

The last day to register to vote in the November 3, 2009 Special Election for the City of Hutto, Texas is Monday October 5, 2009. Contact the Williamson County Elections Office to receive voter registration information at either 512/943-1630 or www.wilco.org Voter registration cards are also available at City Hall located at 401 West Front Street.

For questions regarding the bond election contact Finance Manager Micah Grau at 512/759-4048 or micah.grau@huttotx.gov 

For questions regarding election procedures contact City Secretary Debbie Chelf at 512/759-4033 or debbie.chelf@huttotx.gov

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Rec ‘N’ Crew After School Program

If you or somebody you know is in need of after school care, we've got it. Cost is $150/month and participants are picked up from all five elementary schools. The program runs until 6:30 pm. Participants enjoy snacks, homework time, and plenty of activities everyday. Hurry as space is limited!!

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Hutto Police Department Applies for Grant

Over the course of the last year, the Law Enforcement Standards Education and Training subcommittee has coordinated the development of the CAPCOG members Law Enforcement Strike Teams made up of 175 Police Officers capable of responding to mutual aid situations throughout the region.

Mobile Field Force is a Law Enforcement tactic designed to address civil unrest and/or crowd management with the intent of minimizing injury and/or property loss during these critical incidents. Law Enforcement Strike teams implement Mobile Field Force operations during planned and unplanned mass events such as protests or riots, evacuations and crowd/traffic control during natural disasters, perimeter and crowd control at large accident scenes, crowd control at large crime/terror scenes. Mobile Field Force is an expected capability of the Law Enforcement Strike Teams.

Law Enforcement Strike Teams cannot effectively fulfill this mutual aid function without the required equipment. Grant funds will provide and enhance Mobile Field Force capabilities across the region by providing equipment to each of the Law Enforcement Strike Team members. The Mobile Field Force equipment will consist of protective gear, chemical agents, riot baton and shield.

Some of the larger agencies participating include the Austin Police Department, the Round Rock Police Department and the Williamson County Sheriff’s office along with many other CAPCOG regional law enforcement agencies.

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Youth Basketball Registration Begins September 1

Hutto PARD will soon be taking registration for its fifth consecutive season of Youth Basketball. Registration is open to boys and girls ages 6-14 as of September 1, 2009. Fee is $80 for residents and $85 for non-residents. Practices will begin in late November with games beginning in January. Parents don't forget about the S.M.A.R.T. Program. Parents registering their children in 8U and 10U divisions must complete the S.M.A.R.T. program before watching their child play. Also new and returning coaches must complete a coach's certification program!

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City Council Reviews Request for Amendments to Budget

On August 20th, the City Council approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 08-023-04, amending the 2008-09 Budget. This represents the fourth budget amendment for the current fiscal year.

The amendment will enable the Hutto Police Department to purchase a replacement patrol vehicle. The purchase was included in the proposed 2009-10 Budget; however, the City can save an estimated $1,500 to $3,000 by purchasing one of the remaining 2009 models. The General Fund amendment is for $22,000. Police cars typically have a lifespan of 5-7 years. The purchase will replace a 2002 model. Older patrol vehicles are transferred to the School Resource Division where less driving is required. Doing so extends the life of the vehicles.

Part two of the amendment will increase the Capital Improvement Projects Fund, specifically the Front Street Sidewalk project, from $100,000 to $110,000. The Downtown/Co-Op Master Plan budget will also increase from $243,839 to $261,479 due to reimbursable expenses and preliminary engineering work not covered in the contract with ERO.

The master plan was adopted by the City Council early this spring and can be found on the City’s website www.HuttoTX.gov. The second reading of the amendment is scheduled for the September 3 City Council Meeting.

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Punt, Pass & Kick

NFL's Punt, Pass & Kick is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9th and is open to boys and girls ages 8-15 as December 31, 2009. Come on out and showcase your skills in punting, passing and kicking. Registration begins at 5:30 pm and competition is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm at the Old Hippo Stadium located at 100 Park Street across from the Old Middle School.

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Council Makes New Appointments to Boards and Commissions

The Hutto City Council recently approved the following appointments to various city boards and commissions:

Ethics Commission
Members of this commission render advisory opinions on potential conflicts of interest or violations of this section at the request of a City official subject to the Ethics Ordinance. Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.

Camille Baptiste and Robert Koschade were re-appointed to serve a two (2) year term from July 2009 through July 2011.

Keep Hutto Beautiful Commission
Members of this commission make recommendations to Council in regard to beautification of the City and shall assist City Council in establishing city-wide policy decreasing amount of loose refuse, enhancing and preserving city’s natural beauty and encouraging use of landscaping and improvement of deteriorating features. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Parks Office located at 306 E. Live Oak Street in Hutto, Texas.

Robert Clark and Sherry Miller were appointed; Jeff Svoboda was re-appointed. They will serve two (2) year terms from July 2009 through July 2011.


Planning and Zoning Commission
Members of this commission make recommendations to Council in regard to zoning changes as well as the growth and development of the City. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers located at 401 W. Front Street in Hutto, Texas.

Paul Prince and Lou Ward were re-appointed; Connie Gooding was appointed. These members will serve two (2) year terms from July 2009 through July 2011.

Maureen Rooker was re-appointed to serve with a term to expire in July 2010.

Zoning Board of Adjustments
Members of this commission hear and decide on appeals made in regards to complaints made toward a City Administrative Officer, department or board. Also acts on applications submitted for variance or special exception to City zoning regulations. Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.

Franklin Anderson, Linda Mager, Nancy Olguin, Deborah Phillips and Ed Schmidt were appointed to serve with terms to expire in July 2011.

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Adult Fall Softball League Registration Deadline Soon

Fall softball registration is underway and is open to Men and Co-Rec teams. Entry fee is $300, which includes an eight (8) game season with playoffs, ASA and TAAF fees, light fees and umpires. Games will be played at Holmstrom Field located at Hwy 79 and Park Street. Deadline to register is September 4 and games are slated to begin in mid September. Let’s play some softball.

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Council Establishes Goals, Sets Priorities
and Adopts Revisions to 2030 Strategic Guide

The Hutto City Council met on June 20, 2009 to review their accomplishments, goals and priorities for the Strategic Guide which will allow the City Council and City Staff to obtain the vision of the citizens for a sustainable community by the year 2030. Major accomplishments over the last year included:

New amenities: Hutto Public Library, Holiday Inn Express, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, new office complex, Walgreens, Lowes, Wag-a-Bag convenience store, Texaco Gas Station on FM 1660 South, and the Alxian Apartments.

Additional new benefits offered to the community include the completion of the Hutto ISD Performing Arts Center, the opening of Hutto Lake Park, the acquisition of the Saul Property, the opening of Creekside Park, offering curbside recycling to citizens, a new Emergency Medical Services station was opened at the Hutto Fire Department location and the Williamson County Symphony has performed several times within the city.

As a goal, the Council implemented a mentoring plan that involves the elder council members mentoring the newly elected council members regarding: parliamentary procedure, the Council Relations Policies, and general accountability practices to the citizens.

The Council established the following priorities: the continuance of the Saturday Chat Sessions which allow citizens to visit with one council member each Saturday morning to address any community concerns; the production of a city staff directory which will allow council members to know the faces and names of city staff; review the success of the mentoring program on a regular basis; and update and re-adopt the Strategic Guide.

On August 6, 2009 the Council formally adopted this 2030 Strategic Guide by resolution.

* * * * * * *

Time to Get into Shape with Adult Boot Camp

It's that time again! If you missed out on the Parks & Recreation 1st Adult Boot Camp, you get another opportunity to begin your journey to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. We provide you with the opportunity to exercise at your own fitness level, but gradually moving out of your "comfort zone" to achieve your goals. Class starts in mid September. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Council Approves Ordinance
Adopting International Property Maintenance Code

At the August 6, 2009, the City Council passed an ordinance adopting the 2006 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code. The City Council passed a considerable number of the International Code Council (ICC) codes in September 2006 but did not include the Property Maintenance portion of the ICC. To complete the needed international code package, the City Council adopted the Property Maintenance portion of the code.

The International Property Maintenance Code is a compilation of the other ICC codes which include building, residential, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire, fuel gas, etc. In other words, those codes were already enacted through other ordinances but the Property Maintenance portion puts all codes with regard to maintenance into one code that can be enforced by a code official.

The International Property Maintenance Code will have some impact in certain areas of the city which have not been maintained up to minimal standards. There will be some properties that will have to be brought into compliance by repairing or demolishing dilapidated buildings however those properties will be limited in numbers. The staff anticipates the largest impact will be with regard to maintenance of fences which will be required to be brought up to standards city wide.

* * * * * * *

Adult Men’s Basketball League Registration Deadline

Hutto Parks & Recreation would like to invite you to play in the city’s first Men’s Basketball League. Games will be played on Monday nights at River Horse Academy, also known as the Old Middle School. Entry fee is $300, which includes an eight (8) game season with playoffs, TAAF fees, HISD facility rental and officials. Deadline to register is September 4 and games are slated to begin in mid September. Do you got game?!?!

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City Earns 2009 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence

City Earns 2009 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence

The City of Hutto has been awarded the 2009 American Planning Association – Texas Chapter’s “Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence”.

This certificate recognizes the professional planning standards demonstrated by the planning staff and the funding and support exhibited by our City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. This is Hutto’s third Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence (2006, 2008, 2009). A framed certificate will soon adorn the walls of the Council Chambers.

* * * * * * *

City of Hutto Website Receives Recognition

City of Hutto Website Receives Recognition

The City of Hutto website received recognition in two categories at the 2009 Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers conference. Most notably was the Silver Star award for best website under the population of 70,000. The TAMI awards are held annually and recognize cities for innovation in their ability to share information with the public. The City of Hutto was recognized for the overall design of its website and the website homepage. To find out more information on the TAMI award please visit http://www.texastamio.org/tami.html.

The City’s new website went live in June of 2008 and has over 10,000 visitors each month. In June 2009, the City updated the layout of the website and added new features to the Help Center. The goal is to provide as much information as possible and make it easy to find so that visitors can access what they need in an efficient manner. You can visit the City’s website at http://www.huttotx.gov/.

* * * * * * *

Electrical Substation

City Council Approves
Electrical Substations Screening Ordinance

On Thursday, August 6, the Hutto City Council approved the new ordinance improving standards for electrical substations. The language will be placed as a new section under the current zoning ordinance. Elements in the ordinance include regulations for screening, noise, vibrations, equipment location, electrical disturbances, etc.

The Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council both recommended and approved higher screening heights than what was originally drafted. The new ordinance will apply to all new electrical substations in the Hutto city limits.

* * * * * * *

Update on Legislation
Prohibition of Cell Phone Use in School Zones

Recently passed legislation, H.B. 55, now makes it a state offense to use a cell phone in a school zone under some circumstances. The bill makes the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle within a school crossing zone a class C misdemeanor, unless the vehicle is stopped or the device is being used in a hands-free mode.  Further, the bill requires cities that enforce the prohibition must post a sign that complies with standards adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation at each school crossing zone in the city in order to inform an operator of a motor vehicle of the prohibition. Additionally, the bill provides that the prohibition does not apply to an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle if the operator is using the device in an official capacity, or to a radio frequency device operator who is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. Finally, the bill provides for the preemption of all city ordinances that are inconsistent with specific provisions of the bill.

City of Hutto’s Public Works Department and Police Department are diligently working together this week to install and enforce “No Cell Phone Use” signs in the HISD school zones. The new state law goes into effect September 1 and authorizes the prohibition of cell phone use in school zones.

For additional information please contact the Hutto Police Department at 846-2200.

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Hutto Plans General Obligation Bond Election

The City of Hutto is planning its first General Obligation bond election. On August 6th, the City Council set the election for November 3, 2009.

A General Obligation bond is a common type of municipal bond that is secured by tax revenues. Bonds are generally used for public projects including streets, drainage, sidewalk, building and park improvements. General Obligation indebtedness is repaid using taxes generated by the interest and sinking portion of the tax rate. The interest and sinking tax rate is calculated based on the amount of debt service payable in a particular fiscal year.

The bond package totals $22,800,000 and includes four propositions.

Proposition 1 is for the issuance of $8,500,000 General Obligation bonds for street improvements. The proposed projects include installation of underground drainage, sidewalks, and streetscaping to downtown streets including Farley, Taylor, East, West, and Metcalf Streets. Other projects include improvements to the Jim Cage/Front Street intersection, sidewalks, and aesthetics along major arterials.

Proposition 2 is for the issuance of $3,300,000 General Obligation bonds for Fritz Park, future parks, park facilities, and open space acquisition. The bond proceeds will be used to construct improvements at Fritz Park as well as set aside funds for future parkland or park facility acquisition.

Proposition 3 is for the issuance of $6,000,000 General Obligation bonds for sport complex facilities including soccer, baseball, and softball fields.

Proposition 4 is for the issuance of $5,000,000 General Obligation bonds for a City/YMCA Recreation Center including indoor swimming pool. The City will partner with the YMCA to construct a 25,000 square foot facility that includes an indoor swimming pool.

More information about the proposed General Obligation Bond Election can be found by visiting www.HuttoTX.gov/bondelection.

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City Announces Newest Technology Innovation – the Mayor’s Blog

The Mayor’s Blog, the City’s newest technology innovation and communication tool, is now live and offers visitors the opportunity to stay current and in the know about important information relating to our City, its services and programs. Visitors to the blog may interact, share ideas, offer suggestions, tell success stories, share what they love about Hutto while interacting with city staff and other visitor’s to the site. The blog is designed to stimulate and encourage our visitors to stay engaged in the important issues that have an impact on our city.

You may visit and participate in the Mayor’s blog at www.HuttoTX.gov/MayorBlog.  Whether you are a citizen or just considering it, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Public Hearings Set on Proposed Budget and Tax Rate

Citizens are invited to attend the following public hearings to make comments on the proposed budget and tax rate.

  • September 3: 1st Reading of Budget, 1st Reading of Tax Rate, 1st Reading of Tax Rate Increase
  • September 17: 2nd Reading of Budget, 2nd Reading of Tax Rate, 2nd Reading of Tax Rate Increase

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Hutto City Council

City Council Listens to Citizens at Saturday Chat Sessions

One member of the City Council is now available each Saturday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am in the Hutto City Council Chambers located at 401 West Front Street to listen and discuss citizen concerns. These “Chat” sessions allow citizens to speak directly to a councilmember to express their ideas and concerns regarding the city. If you are asked by a citizen how they can speak to a Councilmember, please let them know this opportunity is available to them.

August 29 - Anne Cano

If you have any questions, contact Debbie Chelf, City Secretary at 759-4033. A complete schedule is posted on the City’s bulletin board in the front of City Hall.

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Library Summer Program

Library’s Summer Program
Ends Successful

Hutto Public Library completed another very successful Summer Reading Program . The program started early June and ended July31st with a performance by Mr. Leebot, the robot dancer. More than 415 kids enrolled and came to the library regularly for story times and crafts and to collect their weekly rewards for being a part of the program. Special Performances every Friday morning drew big crowds. Joe McDermott, a popular musician had an attendance of more than 300 people. Kids along with their parents and caregivers enjoyed performances by artists like Lucas Miller, the singing zoologist, Bob Abdou, the ventriloquist, Elizabeth Kahura a local artist who introduces kids to the music and stories of Africa, and magic by Kent Cummins.

The library has extended its hours of operation to 30 hrs./ week and will continue to have story times for pre-school kids every Thursday morning at 10:30 am. The library will also have special Fall program on October 29th at 10:30 am . Mr. Puppet will present a special Thanksgiving program on November 20th at 6:30 pm. Keep checking the library web page at www.huttotx.gov for programs and the library catalog at www.biblionix.hutto.com for new materials at the library every week.

New Library Operating Times

Tuesdays 1:00 - 8:00 pm
Wednesdays 12:30 - 6:00 pm
Thursdays 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fridays 12:30 - 6:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Children’s Story Time is now on Thursday’s at 10:30 a.m. for children under 5.

* * * * * * * 
 

Calendar of Events

Monday, August 24
Senior Game Day
1:00 – 4:00 pm Parks and Recreation Department

Monday, August 24
Basketball Open Gym
5:00 – 8:00 pm Old Middle School Gym

Tuesday, August 25
Hutto Historic Preservation Commission
6:30 p.m. Development Services Department
(formerly Community Development)

Saturday, August 29
City Council Saturday Chat Session
9:00 – 11:00 am City Council Chambers

Monday, August 31
Senior Game Day
1:00 – 4:00 pm Parks and Recreation Department

Monday, August 31
Basketball Open Gym
5:00 – 8:00 pm Old Middle School Gym

Tuesday, September 1
Centennial Celebration Committee Meeting
6:00 pm City Council Chambers

Tuesday, September 1
Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting
7:00 pm City Council Chambers

Wednesday, September 2
Keep Hutto Beautiful Commission
7:00 pm Parks & Recreation Administrative Offices

Thursday, September 3
City Council Meeting
7:00 pm First Reading of the Budget
First Reading of the Tax Rate
First Reading of the Tax Increase
City Council Chambers

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Williamson County Burn Ban Continues

 

Effective immediately, County Judge Dan A. Gattis has instituted a burn ban for all of Williamson County. This will remain in effect until further notice. A person violates this order if he burns any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks, or orders such burning by others. The burn ban prohibits the burning of household yard waste, such as leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings. It also prohibits burning to clear land of trees, stumps, shrubbery, or other natural vegetation. The purpose of the burn ban is to mitigate the hazard posed by wild fires during the current hot, dry weather by curtailing the practice of outdoor burning. This order may be enforced by any duly-commissioned peace officer.

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This complimentary message is being sent to opt-in subscribers who might be interested in its content. If you do not wish to continue receiving these messages, please accept our apologies, and unsubscribe by following the instructions at the bottom of this message.

* * * * * * *

To subscribe to Hutto Highlights Electronic Newsletter please visit:
www.huttotx.gov [http://www.huttotx.gov/]

Hutto Highlights
The City of Hutto’s Electronic Newsletter

Welcome to Hutto Highlights.
Please do not respond to this e-mail.
If you would like to communicate with City staff, you can e-mail us at cmo@HuttoTx.gov [mailto:cmo@HuttoTx.gov]

* * * * * * *

August 25, 2009

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IN THIS ISSUE


The Hutto Farmers Market Returns!!
Open Gym Basketball
City Honors Representative Diana Maldonado
Senior Game Day Every Monday
City Council Approves Resolution Calling for a Special Election in November
After School Program Registration Continues
Hutto Police Department Applies for Grant
Youth Basketball Registration Begins September 1
City Council Reviews Requests for Budget Amendments
Punt, Pass and Kick Scheduled
Council Makes New Appointments to Boards and Commissions
Registration Deadline Soon for Adult Softball League
Council Establishes Goals, Sets Priorities and Adopts 2030 Strategic Plan Revisions
Time to Get Into Shape with Adult Boot Camp
Council Approves Ordinance Adopting International Property Maintenance Code
Adult Men’s Basketball League Registration Deadline Nearing
City Earns 2009 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence
City of Hutto Website Receives Recognition
City Council Approves Electrical Substation Screening Ordinance
Update on Legislation Prohibition of Cell Phone Use in School Zones
Hutto Plans General Bond Election
City Announces Newest Technology Innovation – Mayor’s Blog
Public Hearings Set on Proposed Budget and Tax Rate
City Council Saturday Chat Sessions Continue
Library’s Summer Program Ends Successful

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

WILLIAMSON COUNTY NEWS

* * * * * * *

The Hutto Farmers Market Returns!

Back by popular demand, the Hutto Farmers Market will begin its Fall Session on Saturdays beginning September 19 – November 14 from 9:00 am until noon or sellout at the Co-Op site on Hwy 79 in Hutto. A variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and other homegrown or eatable homemade items will be available.

There will not a Farmers Market day on Saturday, October 17 as the Olde Tyme Days event will take place on the Co-Op site.

Also, if you are interested in becoming a vendor please contact Julie Arndt at (512) 759-4000.

* * * * * * *

Open Gym Basketball

The Hutto Parks and Recreation Department is offering Open Gym Basketball for adults on Monday evenings from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Old Middle School Gymnasium. From opening day, the gymnasium has been filled with individuals from Hutto and other surrounding cities such as Taylor, Round Rock, and Pflugerville. The competition as been solid and the atmosphere is great. We encourage everyone to join in and see “who’s got game!”

* * * * * * *

City Honors
Representative Diana Maldonado

A proclamation and commemorative plaque was presented to Representative Diana Maldonado at the August 20 City Council meeting by Mayor David Begier. The Council wanted to acknowledged Representative Maldonado has she has shown a commitment to the Hutto community by providing an opportunity for the City of Hutto, the Hutto Independent School District, the Hutto Chamber of Commerce, the Hutto Economic Development Corporation and the Hutto Fire and Rescue Department to be recognized and honored by the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives during the 81st Legislative Session. The City is grateful for the many ways Representative Maldonado has given attention to the needs of the Hutto community and its citizens. The Mayor proclaimed August 20 as Representative Diana Maldonado Day in Hutto.

* * * * * * *

Senior Game Day

Senior Game Day takes place every Monday from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Hutto Parks and Recreation Department Meeting room located at 306 East Live Oak St. Come on out and enjoy cards, dominoes and other exciting games. For more information, contact the Hutto Parks & Recreation Department at 512-759-4000.

* * * * * * *

City Council Approves Resolution
Calling for a Special Election in November

On August 6, 2009 the Hutto City Council approved a resolution calling for a Special Election to be held on Tuesday November 3, 2009. The purpose of this special election is to submit to voters certain proposed amendments to the City’s Home Rule Charter and certain bond propositions.

There are three (3) proposed amendments to the City’s charter and if approved by the voters would provide for a transition from Council terms lasting two (2) years to three (3) years; allow for relatives of council members to serve on city boards and commissions; and provide for all employees who deal with the finances of the city to be covered under a blanket crime coverage.

There are four (4) proposed bond propositions that would provide for the issuance of general obligation bonds. The voters will consider the issuance of $8,500,000 for street improvements; $3,300,000 for Fritz Park, future parks, park facilities and open space acquisition; $6,000,000 for sport complex facilities; $5,000,000 for a City / YMCA recreation center.

The last day to register to vote in the November 3, 2009 Special Election for the City of Hutto, Texas is Monday October 5, 2009. Contact the Williamson County Elections Office to receive voter registration information at either 512/943-1630 or www.wilco.org [http://www.wilco.org/] Voter registration cards are also available at City Hall located at 401 West Front Street.

For questions regarding the bond election contact Finance Manager Micah Grau at 512/759-4048 or micah.grau@huttotx.gov [mailto:micah.grau@huttotx.gov]

For questions regarding election procedures contact City Secretary Debbie Chelf at 512/759-4033 or debbie.chelf@huttotx.gov [mailto:debbie.chelf@huttotx.gov]

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Rec ‘N’ Crew After School Program

If you or somebody you know is in need of after school care, we've got it. Cost is $150/month and participants are picked up from all five elementary schools. The program runs until 6:30 pm. Participants enjoy snacks, homework time, and plenty of activities everyday. Hurry as space is limited!!

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Hutto Police Department Applies for Grant

Over the course of the last year, the Law Enforcement Standards Education and Training subcommittee has coordinated the development of the CAPCOG members Law Enforcement Strike Teams made up of 175 Police Officers capable of responding to mutual aid situations throughout the region.

Mobile Field Force is a Law Enforcement tactic designed to address civil unrest and/or crowd management with the intent of minimizing injury and/or property loss during these critical incidents. Law Enforcement Strike teams implement Mobile Field Force operations during planned and unplanned mass events such as protests or riots, evacuations and crowd/traffic control during natural disasters, perimeter and crowd control at large accident scenes, crowd control at large crime/terror scenes. Mobile Field Force is an expected capability of the Law Enforcement Strike Teams.

Law Enforcement Strike Teams cannot effectively fulfill this mutual aid function without the required equipment. Grant funds will provide and enhance Mobile Field Force capabilities across the region by providing equipment to each of the Law Enforcement Strike Team members. The Mobile Field Force equipment will consist of protective gear, chemical agents, riot baton and shield.

Some of the larger agencies participating include the Austin Police Department, the Round Rock Police Department and the Williamson County Sheriff’s office along with many other CAPCOG regional law enforcement agencies.

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Youth Basketball Registration Begins September 1

Hutto PARD will soon be taking registration for its fifth consecutive season of Youth Basketball. Registration is open to boys and girls ages 6-14 as of September 1, 2009. Fee is $80 for residents and $85 for non-residents. Practices will begin in late November with games beginning in January. Parents don't forget about the S.M.A.R.T. Program. Parents registering their children in 8U and 10U divisions must complete the S.M.A.R.T. program before watching their child play. Also new and returning coaches must complete a coach's certification program!

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City Council Reviews Request for Amendments to Budget

On August 20th, the City Council approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 08-023-04, amending the 2008-09 Budget. This represents the fourth budget amendment for the current fiscal year.

The amendment will enable the Hutto Police Department to purchase a replacement patrol vehicle. The purchase was included in the proposed 2009-10 Budget; however, the City can save an estimated $1,500 to $3,000 by purchasing one of the remaining 2009 models. The General Fund amendment is for $22,000. Police cars typically have a lifespan of 5-7 years. The purchase will replace a 2002 model. Older patrol vehicles are transferred to the School Resource Division where less driving is required. Doing so extends the life of the vehicles.

Part two of the amendment will increase the Capital Improvement Projects Fund, specifically the Front Street Sidewalk project, from $100,000 to $110,000. The Downtown/Co-Op Master Plan budget will also increase from $243,839 to $261,479 due to reimbursable expenses and preliminary engineering work not covered in the contract with ERO.

The master plan was adopted by the City Council early this spring and can be found on the City’s website www.HuttoTX.gov [http://www.huttotx.gov/] . The second reading of the amendment is scheduled for the September 3 City Council Meeting.

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Punt, Pass & Kick

NFL's Punt, Pass & Kick is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9th and is open to boys and girls ages 8-15 as December 31, 2009. Come on out and showcase your skills in punting, passing and kicking. Registration begins at 5:30 pm and competition is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm at the Old Hippo Stadium located at 100 Park Street across from the Old Middle School.

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Council Makes New Appointments to Boards and Commissions

The Hutto City Council recently approved the following appointments to various city boards and commissions:

Ethics Commission
Members of this commission render advisory opinions on potential conflicts of interest or violations of this section at the request of a City official subject to the Ethics Ordinance. Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.

Camille Baptiste and Robert Koschade were re-appointed to serve a two (2) year term from July 2009 through July 2011.

Keep Hutto Beautiful Commission
Members of this commission make recommendations to Council in regard to beautification of the City and shall assist City Council in establishing city-wide policy decreasing amount of loose refuse, enhancing and preserving city’s natural beauty and encouraging use of landscaping and improvement of deteriorating features. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Parks Office located at 306 E. Live Oak Street in Hutto, Texas.

Robert Clark and Sherry Miller were appointed; Jeff Svoboda was re-appointed. They will serve two (2) year terms from July 2009 through July 2011.


Planning and Zoning Commission
Members of this commission make recommendations to Council in regard to zoning changes as well as the growth and development of the City. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers located at 401 W. Front Street in Hutto, Texas.

Paul Prince and Lou Ward were re-appointed; Connie Gooding was appointed. These members will serve two (2) year terms from July 2009 through July 2011.

Maureen Rooker was re-appointed to serve with a term to expire in July 2010.

Zoning Board of Adjustments
Members of this commission hear and decide on appeals made in regards to complaints made toward a City Administrative Officer, department or board. Also acts on applications submitted for variance or special exception to City zoning regulations. Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.

Franklin Anderson, Linda Mager, Nancy Olguin, Deborah Phillips and Ed Schmidt were appointed to serve with terms to expire in July 2011.

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Adult Fall Softball League Registration Deadline Soon

Fall softball registration is underway and is open to Men and Co-Rec teams. Entry fee is $300, which includes an eight (8) game season with playoffs, ASA and TAAF fees, light fees and umpires. Games will be played at Holmstrom Field located at Hwy 79 and Park Street. Deadline to register is September 4 and games are slated to begin in mid September. Let’s play some softball.

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Council Establishes Goals, Sets Priorities
and Adopts Revisions to 2030 Strategic Guide

The Hutto City Council met on June 20, 2009 to review their accomplishments, goals and priorities for the Strategic Guide which will allow the City Council and City Staff to obtain the vision of the citizens for a sustainable community by the year 2030. Major accomplishments over the last year included:

New amenities: Hutto Public Library, Holiday Inn Express, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, new office complex, Walgreens, Lowes, Wag-a-Bag convenience store, Texaco Gas Station on FM 1660 South, and the Alxian Apartments.

Additional new benefits offered to the community include the completion of the Hutto ISD Performing Arts Center, the opening of Hutto Lake Park, the acquisition of the Saul Property, the opening of Creekside Park, offering curbside recycling to citizens, a new Emergency Medical Services station was opened at the Hutto Fire Department location and the Williamson County Symphony has performed several times within the city.

As a goal, the Council implemented a mentoring plan that involves the elder council members mentoring the newly elected council members regarding: parliamentary procedure, the Council Relations Policies, and general accountability practices to the citizens.

The Council established the following priorities: the continuance of the Saturday Chat Sessions which allow citizens to visit with one council member each Saturday morning to address any community concerns; the production of a city staff directory which will allow council members to know the faces and names of city staff; review the success of the mentoring program on a regular basis; and update and re-adopt the Strategic Guide.

On August 6, 2009 the Council formally adopted this 2030 Strategic Guide by resolution.

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Time to Get into Shape with Adult Boot Camp

It's that time again! If you missed out on the Parks & Recreation 1st Adult Boot Camp, you get another opportunity to begin your journey to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. We provide you with the opportunity to exercise at your own fitness level, but gradually moving out of your "comfort zone" to achieve your goals. Class starts in mid September. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Council Approves Ordinance
Adopting International Property Maintenance Code

At the August 6, 2009, the City Council passed an ordinance adopting the 2006 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code. The City Council passed a considerable number of the International Code Council (ICC) codes in September 2006 but did not include the Property Maintenance portion of the ICC. To complete the needed international code package, the City Council adopted the Property Maintenance portion of the code.

The International Property Maintenance Code is a compilation of the other ICC codes which include building, residential, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire, fuel gas, etc. In other words, those codes were already enacted through other ordinances but the Property Maintenance portion puts all codes with regard to maintenance into one code that can be enforced by a code official.

The International Property Maintenance Code will have some impact in certain areas of the city which have not been maintained up to minimal standards. There will be some properties that will have to be brought into compliance by repairing or demolishing dilapidated buildings however those properties will be limited in numbers. The staff anticipates the largest impact will be with regard to maintenance of fences which will be required to be brought up to standards city wide.

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Adult Men’s Basketball League Registration Deadline

Hutto Parks & Recreation would like to invite you to play in the city’s first Men’s Basketball League. Games will be played on Monday nights at River Horse Academy, also known as the Old Middle School. Entry fee is $300, which includes an eight (8) game season with playoffs, TAAF fees, HISD facility rental and officials. Deadline to register is September 4 and games are slated to begin in mid September. Do you got game?!?!

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City Earns 2009 Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence


The City of Hutto has been awarded the 2009 American Planning Association – Texas Chapter’s “Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence”.

This certificate recognizes the professional planning standards demonstrated by the planning staff and the funding and support exhibited by our City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. This is Hutto’s third Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence (2006, 2008, 2009). A framed certificate will soon adorn the walls of the Council Chambers.

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City of Hutto Website Receives Recognition

The City of Hutto website received recognition in two categories at the 2009 Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers conference. Most notably was the Silver Star award for best website under the population of 70,000. The TAMI awards are held annually and recognize cities for innovation in their ability to share information with the public. The City of Hutto was recognized for the overall design of its website and the website homepage. To find out more information on the TAMI award please visit http://www.texastamio.org/tami.html [http://www.texastamio.org/tami.html] .

The City’s new website went live in June of 2008 and has over 10,000 visitors each month. In June 2009, the City updated the layout of the website and added new features to the Help Center. The goal is to provide as much information as possible and make it easy to find so that visitors can access what they need in an efficient manner. You can visit the City’s website at http://www.huttotx.gov/ [http://www.huttotx.gov/] .

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City Council Approves
Electrical Substations Screening Ordinance

On Thursday, August 6, the Hutto City Council approved the new ordinance improving standards for electrical substations. The language will be placed as a new section under the current zoning ordinance. Elements in the ordinance include regulations for screening, noise, vibrations, equipment location, electrical disturbances, etc.

The Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council both recommended and approved higher screening heights than what was originally drafted. The new ordinance will apply to all new electrical substations in the Hutto city limits.

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Update on Legislation
Prohibition of Cell Phone Use in School Zones

Recently passed legislation, H.B. 55, now makes it a state offense to use a cell phone in a school zone under some circumstances. The bill makes the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle within a school crossing zone a class C misdemeanor, unless the vehicle is stopped or the device is being used in a hands-free mode. Further, the bill requires cities that enforce the prohibition must post a sign that complies with standards adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation at each school crossing zone in the city in order to inform an operator of a motor vehicle of the prohibition. Additionally, the bill provides that the prohibition does not apply to an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle if the operator is using the device in an official capacity, or to a radio frequency device operator who is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. Finally, the bill provides for the preemption of all city ordinances that are inconsistent with specific provisions of the bill.

City of Hutto’s Public Works Department and Police Department are diligently working together this week to install and enforce “No Cell Phone Use” signs in the HISD school zones. The new state law goes into effect September 1 and authorizes the prohibition of cell phone use in school zones.

For additional information please contact the Hutto Police Department at 846-2200.

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Hutto Plans General Obligation Bond Election

The City of Hutto is planning its first General Obligation bond election. On August 6th, the City Council set the election for November 3, 2009.

A General Obligation bond is a common type of municipal bond that is secured by tax revenues. Bonds are generally used for public projects including streets, drainage, sidewalk, building and park improvements. General Obligation indebtedness is repaid using taxes generated by the interest and sinking portion of the tax rate. The interest and sinking tax rate is calculated based on the amount of debt service payable in a particular fiscal year.

The bond package totals $22,800,000 and includes four propositions.

Proposition 1 is for the issuance of $8,500,000 General Obligation bonds for street improvements. The proposed projects include installation of underground drainage, sidewalks, and streetscaping to downtown streets including Farley, Taylor, East, West, and Metcalf Streets. Other projects include improvements to the Jim Cage/Front Street intersection, sidewalks, and aesthetics along major arterials.

Proposition 2 is for the issuance of $3,300,000 General Obligation bonds for Fritz Park, future parks, park facilities, and open space acquisition. The bond proceeds will be used to construct improvements at Fritz Park as well as set aside funds for future parkland or park facility acquisition.

Proposition 3 is for the issuance of $6,000,000 General Obligation bonds for sport complex facilities including soccer, baseball, and softball fields.

Proposition 4 is for the issuance of $5,000,000 General Obligation bonds for a City/YMCA Recreation Center including indoor swimming pool. The City will partner with the YMCA to construct a 25,000 square foot facility that includes an indoor swimming pool.

More information about the proposed General Obligation Bond Election can be found by visiting www.HuttoTX.gov/bondelection [http://www.huttotx.gov/bondelection] .

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City Announces Newest Technology Innovation – the Mayor’s Blog


The Mayor’s Blog, the City’s newest technology innovation and communication tool, is now live and offers visitors the opportunity to stay current and in the know about important information relating to our City, its services and programs. Visitors to the blog may interact, share ideas, offer suggestions, tell success stories, share what they love about Hutto while interacting with city staff and other visitor’s to the site. The blog is designed to stimulate and encourage our visitors to stay engaged in the important issues that have an impact on our city.

You may visit and participate in the Mayor’s blog at www.HuttoTX.gov/MayorBlog [http://www.huttotx.gov/MayorBlog] . Whether you are a citizen or just considering it, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Public Hearings Set on Proposed Budget and Tax Rate

Citizens are invited to attend the following public hearings to make comments on the proposed budget and tax rate.

September 3: 1st Reading of Budget, 1st Reading of Tax Rate, 1st Reading of Tax Rate Increase
September 17: 2nd Reading of Budget, 2nd Reading of Tax Rate, 2nd Reading of Tax Rate Increase


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City Council Listens to Citizens at Saturday Chat Sessions

One member of the City Council is now available each Saturday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am in the Hutto City Council Chambers located at 401 West Front Street to listen and discuss citizen concerns. These “Chat” sessions allow citizens to speak directly to a councilmember to express their ideas and concerns regarding the city. If you are asked by a citizen how they can speak to a Councilmember, please let them know this opportunity is available to them.

August 29 - Anne Cano

If you have any questions, contact Debbie Chelf, City Secretary at 759-4033. A complete schedule is posted on the City’s bulletin board in the front of City Hall.

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Library’s Summer Program
Ends Successful

Hutto Public Library completed another very successful Summer Reading Program . The program started early June and ended July31st with a performance by Mr. Leebot, the robot dancer. More than 415 kids enrolled and came to the library regularly for story times and crafts and to collect their weekly rewards for being a part of the program. Special Performances every Friday morning drew big crowds. Joe McDermott, a popular musician had an attendance of more than 300 people. Kids along with their parents and caregivers enjoyed performances by artists like Lucas Miller, the singing zoologist, Bob Abdou, the ventriloquist, Elizabeth Kahura a local artist who introduces kids to the music and stories of Africa, and magic by Kent Cummins.

The library has extended its hours of operation to 30 hrs./ week and will continue to have story times for pre-school kids every Thursday morning at 10:30 am. The library will also have special Fall program on October 29th at 10:30 am . Mr. Puppet will present a special Thanksgiving program on November 20th at 6:30 pm. Keep checking the library web page at www.huttotx.gov for programs and the library catalog at www.biblionix.hutto.com [http://www.biblionix.hutto.com/] for new materials at the library every week.


New Library Operating Times

Tuesdays 1:00 - 8:00 pm
Wednesdays 12:30 - 6:00 pm
Thursdays 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fridays 12:30 - 6:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Children’s Story Time is now on Thursday’s at 10:30 a.m. for children under 5.

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Calendar of Events

Monday, August 24
Senior Game Day
1:00 – 4:00 pm Parks and Recreation Department

Monday, August 24
Basketball Open Gym
5:00 – 8:00 pm Old Middle School Gym

Tuesday, August 25
Hutto Historic Preservation Commission
6:30 p.m. Development Services Department
(formerly Community Development)

Saturday, August 29
City Council Saturday Chat Session
9:00 – 11:00 am City Council Chambers

Monday, August 31
Senior Game Day
1:00 – 4:00 pm Parks and Recreation Department

Monday, August 31
Basketball Open Gym
5:00 – 8:00 pm Old Middle School Gym

Tuesday, September 1
Centennial Celebration Committee Meeting
6:00 pm City Council Chambers

Tuesday, September 1
Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting
7:00 pm City Council Chambers

Wednesday, September 2
Keep Hutto Beautiful Commission
7:00 pm Parks & Recreation Administrative Offices

Thursday, September 3
City Council Meeting
7:00 pm First Reading of the Budget
First Reading of the Tax Rate
First Reading of the Tax Increase
City Council Chambers


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Williamson County Burn Ban Continues

Effective immediately, County Judge Dan A. Gattis has instituted a burn ban for all of Williamson County. This will remain in effect until further notice. A person violates this order if he burns any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks, or orders such burning by others. The burn ban prohibits the burning of household yard waste, such as leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings. It also prohibits burning to clear land of trees, stumps, shrubbery, or other natural vegetation. The purpose of the burn ban is to mitigate the hazard posed by wild fires during the current hot, dry weather by curtailing the practice of outdoor burning. This order may be enforced by any duly-commissioned peace officer.

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