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Key to the City May 1, 2020

Post Date:05/01/2020 10:00 AM

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Key to the City May 1, 2020
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City News

Reopen safely

At their April 28 meeting, City Council discussed plans to reestablish City services, programs and events in phases over the coming weeks.reopenGovernor

This comes after Governor Abbott announced a plan to reopen businesses across Texas starting May 1. Certain businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, libraries and museums may reopen with a maximum occupancy of 25%. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has provided further guidance on safe practices for reopening at http://gov.texas.gov/opentexas.

“It has been hard on us all to change our lifestyles and see the effects that COVID-19 has had not only on our physical health, but our economic health as well,” Mayor Victor Gonzales said. “Our friends and neighbors, local businesses and I have all been impacted by this pandemic. Resuming our previous lifestyles will be quick for some and take a while for others, and that’s ok. As we begin to reopen and return to our daily lives, I urge you to open safely and cautiously.  We know the disease isn’t gone, but we can open in ways that still preserve the community’s health.”

The City’s facilities that see the most foot traffic, the library and recreation center, are working on plans to reopen facilities safely, based on the recommendations of public health officials.

Beginning on Friday, May 1, the Pflugerville Public Library will offer curbside pickup. Patrons can place reserves on up to five items online through their library account. For assistance or to reserve items over the phone, call 512-990-6375. After reserving items, patrons will be notified when they are ready for pickup. Upon arrival at the front of the library, patrons can call 512-990-6381 and library staff will bring items out to their vehicle. Additionally, patrons will once again be able to return library materials beginning May 1. Curbside pickup and item returns will be available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. The library remains otherwise closed to the public until further notice.

The Pflugerville Recreation Center will remain closed, but will continue to offer virtual programming. Visit parks.pflugervilletx.gov to learn more. Summer programs and aquatic facilities are being assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be limited or canceled. City Council also discussed the feasibility of safely reopening all or part of Lake Pflugerville Park and 1849 Park, ultimately deciding that they cannot be safely reopened at this time.  Currently, outdoor sports are limited to four players or less. Therefore, the tennis court at Windermere Park and the Skate Spot will reopen starting Friday, May 1, within social distancing guidelines.

City facilities and public lobbies currently closed will remain closed until it is safe to reopen. All information on the safe reopening of Pflugerville will be posted at pflugervilletx.gov/reopen.

City Council reviews financial effects of COVID-19 

On Tuesday, April 28, the City Council held a budget discussion to discuss COVID-19’s impacts on the City of Pflugerville’s finances. The City utilized the services of both Eight20 Consulting and The Retail Coach to conduct an analysis of the City’s financial footprint in the midst of COVID-19. Eight20 Consulting examined sales tax reductions and The Retail Coach provided a Retail Impact Analysis on retail foot traffic in Pflugerville. 

“Pflugerville is resilient. We have always been,” Mayor Victor Gonzales said.  “While we’re anticipating a shortfall in sales tax and other revenues due to COVID-19, sales tax is one component of the City’s diversified revenue sources. We are continuing essential programs and services thanks to our conservative financing.”

The Eight20 Consulting report predicts sales tax revenues in Pflugerville will be down approximately 40% over previous years during the months of April and May.  Foot traffic in retail and grocery stores is a third of what it was prior to COVID-19, according to The Retail Coach report. Sales tax makes up 26% of the City’s general fund revenue, however it is one of many revenue sources, including property tax which accounts for 43% of city revenues overall.

The construction market in Pflugerville continues to be a significant generator of sales tax revenue, and has not slowed during COVID-19. Project Charm, currently under construction on FM 1825, has contributed to additional building permit revenues for the year. 

In the event the City’s revenue is significantly impacted by COVID-19, there are options for the City to mitigate impacts on the General Fund in FY20. At the start of COVID-19, the City limited hiring which resulted in salary and benefit savings. As part of the CARES Act, the City was awarded a special allocation of $158,241 in Community Development Block Grant Funding for the reimbursement of eligible activities incurred for pandemic response. In addition, the City is required by the City’s Charter to hold a minimum fund balance of 25% or three months of city operating expenditures. Through conservative budgeting, the City has built a fund balance which can help mitigate the financial effects of this COVID-19 emergency situation. 

For information on COVID-19 and impacts on city services and facility operations, visit www.pflugervilletx.gov/virus

Curbside chipping service resumes week of May 4

limbs

The City of Pflugerville’s curbside chipping service will resume starting the week of May 4. The chipping schedule will be altered to accommodate staffing restrictions due to COVID-19 and the increased demand for chipping services with pickup occurring once a month for Pflugerville residents.

Visit our map so see what week your house will receive chipping services.

The May chipping schedule is as follows:

  • Week 1: week of May 4
  • Week 2: week of May 11
  • Week 3: week of May 18
  • Week 4: week of May 25

This altered schedule will continue until further notice. For more information on our chipping program, visit pflugervilletx.gov/chipping.

Weekly Pfarmers Market Returns

2020 COVID Pfarmers Market Map One Way

On Tuesday, May 5, the weekly Pfarmers Market will return to Heritage Park (901 Old Austin Hutto Road). The market will operate from 3-7 p.m. Until further notice, however, the market is following a set of rules to make it safe to attend:

  • Only fresh produce, meat and prepared foods will be available.
  • Social distancing will be enforced. Everyone must wear face coverings, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in the market at a time and there will be no samples available.
  • The market will be set up on the gravel area in front of Heritage House, and all traffic will be one way. Customers must enter the parking lot on the north side of the park (by Scott Mentzer Pool).

More details (including a larger map of how traffic will flow) can be found at pflugervilletx.gov/pfarmersmarket.

National Air Quality Awareness Week starts Monday

May 4-8 is the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the month of May is dedicated to “Improving Our Nation’s Air” by the agency as well. Air Quality Awareness Week focuses on educating individuals on air quality, what it means, where is comes from and how it affects people. Each day will cover a different topic related to air quality as follows:

  • Monday: Wildfires & Smoke
  • Tuesday: Asthma & Your Health
  • Wednesday: Where’s Your Air IQ Coming From?
  • Thursday: Air Quality Around the World
  • Friday: Air quality educational resources for children

Follow the City’s Facebook page to learn more about air quality over the course of the week and become a more Air Aware resident.

Library Curbside Pickup and Item Returns Now Available

Pflugerville Public Library begins Curbside Pickup and Item Returns on Friday, May 1. These services are available are available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. While the library remains closed to the public until further notice, they will continue to provide a variety of virtual programming for the community. The library is currently working on a reopening plan that prioritizes the safety of its patrons and librarians. More details on the library's Curbside Pickup can be found at pflugervilletx.gov/reopen

Pflugerville Library Exterior

Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month

At the April 28 City Council meeting, Mayor Gonzales declared the month of May "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month." Motorcycling is a popular form of transportation and recreation, and motorcyclists are at a higher risk of injury on the road than other drivers. It is important to know the dangers of riding motorcycles and to be aware of motorcyclists on the road. Motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as other vehicles, and they should always wear their protective gear when riding their bikes. #WatchtheRoad for motorcyclists, pedestrians and children at play. Thank you for helping to keep the City of Pflugerville safe.

National Economic Development Week

At the April 28 City Council meeting, Mayor Gonzales recognized May 4-9 as "National Economic Development Week." In his proclamation, the mayor acknowledged that "now, more than ever, local economic developers are assisting small businesses and helping keep #PflugervilleStrong during the COVID-19 pandemic." The mayor's recognition of Economic Development Week highlights the work of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation and the Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce for their hard work in creating, maintaining and expanding jobs in the city.

What's Happening

Curbside trash pickup is cart only - Waste Connections has extended "cart only" trash and recycling pickup through May, meaning any items outside trash and recycling carts will not be picked up. Residents can drop off items like appliances, brush and limbs that may normally be picked up during bulk pickup at the Recycle Center. Hours and full list of accepted items are available at pflugervilletx.gov/recyclecenter.

COVID-19 update - Governor Greg Abbott announced last week that the Texas Department of Emergency Management and DSHS have launched an online COVID-19 test collection map to help Texans locate test collection sites. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/2S5anEC.

Utility disconnects and late fees - Utility billing will not issue any late fees or disconnects through June 15.

Respond to the 2020 Census - The Census can be filled out online, by phone or by mail. Follow the instructions mailed by the Census Bureau to complete the form, and visit pflugervilletx.gov/census for more information on the Census.

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