Community news: Austin to host regional spelling bee


The city of Georgetown will begin construction this month on a water tower in Sun City.

The Buda City Council has approved an agreement to buy equipment for the Flood Early Warning System project.



Austin to host regional Spelling Bee

Austin will host the 2018 Regional Spelling Bee on March 25 at the Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.

The event will feature 40 to 50 of the area’s top student spellers, grades four through eight, from Austin and Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis and Williamson counties. The deadline for school enrollment is Friday at

Participants will be determined by local level bees run through schools in the 10-county zone — an area encompassing 614 public schools. The West Austin Chamber Austin Spelling Bee program is open to public and private school students and home-schooled children.

The Austin Regional Spelling Bee will crown one winner who will be guaranteed participation in and an all-expenses paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in June 2018.

— American-Statesman staff


Med school seeks art ideas

The Livestrong Cancer Institutes at Dell Medical School is seeking ideas for artwork using the yellow Livestrong wristbands for the institute’s Community Art Competition.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 2.

Idea submissions should illustrate the cancer experience and support those who have faced it. Anyone can submit a proposal, and finalists will receive as many as 25,000 Livestrong wristbands to create their piece. Finished pieces will be exhibited at an event in April, and the winning piece will be installed in Dell Med’s Health Discovery Building.

For rules and to submit an idea:

— American-Statesman staff



Sun City to get new water tower

The city of Georgetown will begin construction this month on an elevated water storage tank, commonly known as a water tower, in Sun City.

Construction on the water storage tank is expected to start in the next two weeks and be completed by early 2019. Construction hours will be limited to Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a few times during the process when hours will extend beyond those times, such as during the concrete pouring process for the pedestal.

The existing 400,000 gallon water tank was built in 1995 when Sun City was expected to contain 6,500 homes. However, Sun City is expected to have more than 10,500 homes at final build-out. A larger tank is needed to support the demand from the homes and the surrounding area.

The new tank will help regulate and maintain a more consistent water pressure throughout most of Sun City, as a result of less fluctuation in the tank’s water level.

The new storage tank will have a capacity of 2 million gallons and be the same height as the existing tank, which is 165 feet tall. The new water tank will cost $3.2 million, funded by water utility revenues. Construction is expected to take up to 400 days.

— American-Statesman staff



Holiday goods at market

The Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market, at 1302 Chestnut St., will feature artisans and gifts for the holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The market will include more artisans than usual presenting goods such as jewelry, clothing items, children’s items, wood crafts, painting, pottery, bird baths and feeders, wind chimes, lamps, soaps, candles and furniture.

The market will offer regular fare like vegetables, eggs, meats, honey, jams, flowers, herbs and baked goods.

Local nonprofits, including the Down Home Ranch and the Bastrop County Animal Control and Shelter, will raise funds and collect donations; and music and entertainment will be provided during the market.

— American-Statesman staff



Warning gear to be bought

The Buda City Council has approved an agreement with Water & Earth Technologies Inc. to purchase equipment for the city of Buda’s Flood Early Warning System project.

The project will enhance the Hays County FEWS through the installation of five automated signals at Onion Creek Bridge, Cole Springs Road and Garlic Greek Culvert on RM 967; Bluff Street at FM 2770; and Main Street at Bradfield Park.

These flood prone locations were identified as a result of flood events. The warning system will monitor precipitation, stream levels and rising water at the five designated crossings at all times, and residents will be able to monitor those locations online.

In August 2016, the city received a $585,780 grant from the Texas Water Development Board that will help pay for the new warning systems. The grant will be used to support the construction of permanent FEWS installations along flood-prone public roads in the city.

— American-Statesman staff

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