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Project will increase reliability, safety of lines through Lockhart
About LCRA and LCRA TSC
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.
In 2002, LCRA created LCRA Transmission Services Corporation as a nonprofit corporation for transmission operations. LCRA TSC has invested more than $3.6 billion in transmission projects to meet the growing demand for electricity, improve reliability, connect new generating capacity, address congestion problems that affect the competitive market and help move renewable energy to the market. For more information, visit lcra.org.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday, May 13, that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to mask up or social distance indoors and outdoors, including crowds. You’re considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks since you’ve received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” said CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, at a White House briefing.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated, here’s what you can start to do, according to the CDC:
If you have not been vaccinated, or received your second dose, or you HAVE received your second dose but it’s been less than two weeks, the CDC advises you continue to mask up and keep your distance.
“The science is also very clear about unvaccinated people. You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or spreading the disease to others,” Dr. Walensky added. “You should still mask, and you should get vaccinated right away."
Summer is slowly creeping in with warmer temperatures, the humidity, and some unwanted visitors: mosquitoes. Here are some things you can do to keep these insects at bay, so you can continue enjoying the outdoors:
(Image courtesy: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
IF YOU SEE STANDING WATER IN STREETS OR IN DITCHES, PLEASE CALL CITY OF LOCKHART PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT AT (512) 398-6452. AREAS WILL BE TREATED TO KILL MOSQUITO LARVAE.
COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Caldwell County, but the pandemic is far from over. As of Monday, May 10, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services’ latest data, there are 111 active cases in the county; down seven cases from the day before. Community leaders, including Lockhart’s Mayor Lew White, credit increased vaccine availability.
“COVID vaccines are readily available in Caldwell County either by appointment with local providers or walk up at Adams Gym,” said Mayor White. “Vaccinating as many people as possible will help us reach herd immunity.”
However, Caldwell County is still falling behind. The Texas DSHS’ most recent vaccine numbers show that 41-percent of the county has received at least one dose, that’s 10-percent less than the state average at 51-percent.
“It is our best path to beating this virus and returning to normalcy,” the Mayor urged.
The Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with Curative, has been holding vaccination clinics at Adams Gym since Monday, May 3rd. Despite the availability of both Moderna vaccine doses, the county’s emergency manager expressed concern over the smaller turnout. Instead of vaccinating up to 300 people per day, the clinic only saw an average of 12 people per day.
As the community gradually opens, Mayor White emphasized how critical it is for people not to miss their shot.
“If you haven't gotten the vaccine, strongly consider doing so for your safety and that of your family and community,” White stressed. “We are almost there, so let's finish strong to the finish line.”
Adams Gym, 419 Bois D'Arc, turns into a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for people in need of a shot.
Moderna Vaccines are still available at Adams Gym (419 Bois D’Arc) this week, May 10-14, APPOINTMENTS NOT REQUIRED:
Mon-Wed (May 10-12): 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thurs-Sun (May 13-16): 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Also, check with your medical provider for vaccine availability. Last week, the Texas DSHS announced that weekly vaccine allocations will stop due to a decrease in demand and will only fill orders placed by vaccine providers.
Adolescents aged 12 years old and up are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency made the announcement Monday, as it amended the emergency use authorization issued in December.
“The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”
The FDA’s announcement comes days after the Texas Department of State Health Services encouraged pediatric providers to enroll in the COVID-19 vaccine program.
“Vaccinating adolescents will bring us closer to ending the pandemic and getting back to normal,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.5 million adolescents between the age of 11 and 17 got sick with the coronavirus from March 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021. Experts at the CDC said children and adolescents generally have milder COVID-19 symptoms than adults.
“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” the FDA’s Commissioner Woodcock added.
The City takes the first step in the redistricting process, a monthly music series begins at the Square, street improvements, and a landmark renovation took center stage in Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
Redistricting Process: To review the results of the 2020 U.S. Census, City Council engaged Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado & Acosta, LLP of Austin to provide legal services for all aspects associated with the redistricting process. The Lockhart City Charter requires the City to review and redraw voting district boundaries after completion of the Census every ten years. Per Section 3.15 of the City Charter, the boundaries must be consistent with the requirements for equality and equal population in each district:
“In doing so, the council shall retain, as far as practicable, the present district boundaries while remaining consistent with requirements for equality and equal population among each of the districts.”
Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado & Acosta, LLP assisted the City with redistricting in 2010.
Monthly Music Series at the Square: Lockhart will soon have its own version of “Blues on the Green,” called “Courthouse Nights.” City Council approved Rach & Rhodes Presents’ request for City support to start the free monthly musical event. “Courthouse Nights”’ lineup features bands performing diverse musical genres. Organizers requested “in-kind support” through additional trash receptacles around the courthouse, barricades, and electrical services. “Courthouse Nights” opens May 21st, 7 p.m.- 10 p.m., and will be held every third Friday until October.
Fire Station No. 1 Interior Renovations: Architectural firm, Studio Steinbomer Architects and Interiors presented City Council with recommendations on Fire Station No. 1’s interior renovations. The primary purpose of the Fire Station No.1 Condition report is to document the portions of the existing building, which may need functional updating and with more attention directed to important, life-safety issues for occupants and the better protection of the building. These improvements are intended to not alter the historic aspects of the building. City Council agreed to consider these recommendations and evaluate funding sources during the FY 2021-2022 Budget process.
Street Improvement Plan Update: In the City’s continuous efforts to improve city streets, City Council voted to amend the Capital Street Improvement Plan for FY 2020-2021. In 2019, Council approved a three-year plan to enhance several streets by allocating an additional $400,000 to use for those projects. Consequently, City staff identified that unused funds will be available this year and, with the City Council’s approval, ensured those funds will be used in this year’s street improvement projects.
On the first week of May, the U.S. Small Business Administration encourages communities to highlight local entrepreneurs and small business owners. As you may know, most of Lockhart’s businesses are considered small and every dollar you spend, not only helps local businesses stay open, but also keeps our community running.
For every $100 you spend in a Lockhart business, the City of Lockhart collects $1.50 in sales tax revenue:
"Small town businesses are the backbone of towns like ours," said Mayor Lew White, "These businesses, not only provide valued sales tax revenue to the community, but more importantly give us constant reminders of the independent thriving community that Lockhart stands for."
We appreciate our partners at the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Caldwell County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the LEDC, who remain committed to growing a flourishing economy that supports businesses in the city.
"You can't say it any better than SHOP LOCKHART!" Mayor White exclaimed.
LOCKHART, Tx—Months may have passed since Winter Storm Uri swept through Texas, but many Texans, including Lockhart residents, continue to feel its impact while in recovery. To help ease financial stress, the Caldwell County Appraisal District, along with the City of Lockhart, encourage property owners affected to apply for temporary property tax relief.
“The City is looking for all ways possible to help our citizens that had damage or loss during the winter storm,” said Mayor Lew White. “Please read the details of the possible property tax relief program to see if you qualify.”
According to state law, property owners in counties named in the governor’s disaster declaration may apply for a temporary property tax exemption. Qualified property includes homes, apartments, commercial, and industrial buildings with at least 15-percent damage to receive a tax exemption of a portion of its appraised value as shown in the table below:
Texas law also states the county’s appraisal district staff will assess the damage, which will help determine how much aid a property owner will receive.
"Caldwell County property owners will spend the next few months rebuilding their homes and businesses,” said Caldwell County Chief Appraiser, Shanna Ramzinski. “This temporary exemption can offer some property tax relief during this difficult time.”
The deadline to apply is 105th day of the Governor’s issuance of the disaster declaration, which is May 28, 2021. Click here for the application.
If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, here is your chance. Starting Monday, May 3, a FREE vaccination clinic will be held at Adams Gym (419 Bois D’Arc St), 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
That week, first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine will be available. Appointments are RECOMMENDED, but walk-ups are also welcome. Scan the QR code below to sign up:
As temperatures continue to warm up, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a new set of guidelines for summer camps. Upon opening for in-person activities, the CDC stressed the importance of masking up, social distancing, and, if eligible, being vaccinated. The CDC’s new recommendations include:
The CDC emphasized that these new guidelines are not meant to replace any state, or local safety laws camps are required to follow.
In an advisory released Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people who are considered fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks outdoors. You are considered fully vaccinated if it has been at least two weeks since you have been inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Even with this new development, the CDC still recommends fully vaccinated people to avoid or wear a mask for large gatherings, including sports stadiums and concerts. The agency still urges mask wearing in indoor spaces and gatherings.
In March, the CDC allowed fully vaccinated people to gather indoors without masks with others who also have been vaccinated, and those who are unvaccinated but are members of the same household. According to the CDC’s latest data, nearly 30-percent of the U.S. are considered fully vaccinated.
The Central Texas Vaccine Collaborative, which includes Caldwell County, announced that the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will host another mass vaccination event this weekend, May 1 and 2.
Appointments are REQUIRED. Click here to sign up.
Over the weekend, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced vaccine providers may now continue administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a thorough safety review from the CDC’s advisory committee. That committee determined the benefits outweigh the risks.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an important tool in our fight against COVID-19, and the scientific review over the last 11 days has affirmed its safety and effectiveness,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “We know some Texans prefer the simplicity of a single-dose vaccine, and the ease of storing and handling this vaccine gives providers more flexibility. Resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will prevent hospitalizations and save lives in Texas.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused April 13 after six patients developed blood clots, known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS. These cases triggered a safety review that led to the discovery of an additional nine instances of blood clots connected to the vaccine. That brought cases up to 15, out of seven million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
On top of allowing the administration of the vaccine, the DSHS also shared information on how to treat TTS. Vaccine providers were also instructed to share this fact sheet with recipients.
While TTS is extremely rare, you should seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
Starting Monday, April 26, a portion of Maple St. in front of the Cpl. Jason K. Lafleur Park will be shut down to make way for more construction, as part of the Maple Street Expansion project. The park and corresponding sidewalks will remain open, but access to the parking lot will be limited. The project is expected to take a few months before completed.
Please exercise caution and pay attention to road signs when in the area.
Starting tomorrow, you no longer need to have an appointment in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Leaders with the Central Texas Counties Vaccine Collaborative, which includes Caldwell County, say anyone over the age of 16 will qualify to get their free first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone 16 or 17 years old will need their parent or guardian with them in the vehicle upon arrival at COTA.
Hours of No-Appointment Operation at Circuit of The Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617
Friday – April 23, 2021 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday – April 24, 2021 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday – April 25, 2021 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
(Image courtesy: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Hurricane season is almost upon us, are you prepared? After much of Texas went through a historic winter weather event in February, Texans are encouraged to have emergency supplies on-hand in case of another natural disaster. This weekend, April 24-26, the state is helping you save money to purchase emergency items you may need.
"As hurricane season approaches, I encourage Texans across the state to prepare today for a safer tomorrow," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Our Emergency Supplies Sales Tax Holiday helps ensure that Texans can purchase necessary emergency preparedness supplies to protect themselves and their families in the event of future disasters."
Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
Property tax relief, a new external city financial auditor and a last-minute cancellation of a zoning change proposal topped last night’s City Council meeting.
Temporary Disaster Property Tax Relief:
A representative from the Caldwell County Appraisal District made a presentation to City Council showing how property owners can apply for temporary property tax relief due to damage from Winter Storm Uri. Because Caldwell County is included in Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration, properties that have at least 15-percent damage from the storm may receive a temporary exemption of a portion of its appraised value.
Qualified property includes:
The deadline to apply is May 28, 2021.
New City Financial Auditor:
City Council appointed BrooksWatson & Co., PLLC from Houston to be the City’s new external financial auditor in the next three years, with the option to extend another two years. That term begins fiscal year ending September 2021. Lockhart’s City Charter requires the City to rotate an external financial auditor every five years. The City’s previous auditor, Harrison, Waldrop, and Uherek, fulfilled its five-year term recently.
Zoning Change Proposal:
The zoning change applicant withdrew his request to change 11.011 acres at 1820 S. Colorado Street from a Commercial Heavy Business District and Agricultural—Open Space, to Commercial Heavy Business District and Residential Heavy Business District.
It may have been over a year since COVID-19 disrupted Texans’ way of life, but the effects of the pandemic remain apparent to people who lost their jobs and are struggling to pay the bills. Here is a reminder that help is available.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ Texas Rent Relief Program can help pay for rent and/or utilities as far back as March 13, 2020—which means you can request assistance for up to 11 months of past due bills.
To qualify, households must be at or below 80% of the area median income. Per federal guidelines, applications for households at or below 50% the area median income will be prioritized along with families who have one or more members currently unemployed. Landlords are also encouraged to apply on behalf of tenants, who must co-sign the application.
To apply or if you have any questions, call 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or log on to TexasRentRelief.com.
Caldwell county residents, along with fellow Texans in 126 counties, may continue applying for FEMA Individual Assistance until May 20th.
"Thank you to FEMA for granting this registration period extension for Individual Assistance to counties severely impacted by the winter storm," said Governor Abbott. "I encourage Texans in the qualifying counties to apply for this assistance to help repair any lasting damages from the storm."
If you are uninsured or underinsured and your house or business had significant damage from February’s winter storm, you are qualified to apply for Individual Assistance.
If you are insured and you had damage from the winter storm event, you can still get help. Contact your insurance provider to see what damages will be covered then seek government support. Visit the Texas Department of Insurance for additional tips when filing a claim.
The Texas Department of State Health Services instructed COVID-19 vaccine providers to stop administering the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine in accordance with the CDC and U.S. FDA’s recommendation. Both federal entities reported that six people developed blood clots six to thirteen days after receiving the vaccine.
Though federal and state health officials stated that blood clots are extremely rare as a side effect, they will continue examining the Johnson & Johnson vaccines to ensure safety.
So far, 500,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in Texas. No blood clot cases have been reported in-state.
Just in time for summer, the City of Lockhart and Lockhart Independent School District (LISD) launched a joint summer recreation program called “Lockhart Summer Teen Center.” The program is free and aims to fill the need for positive recreational activities for local youth aged 13-18 over the summer.
Beginning June 7, participants will be able to meet from 12 - 5 p.m. on weekdays at LISD facilities, including Adams Gym, PRIDE High School’s cafeteria, and the field behind the M.L. Cisneros Education Support Center. There, they will have options to play indoor soccer, basketball, horseshoes, cornhole, board games, and other activities. Free lunches will also be provided.
The City and LISD have a history of collaboration and partnership, as members of the Northern Caldwell County Coalition (NCCC) along with Caldwell County, communicating and meeting regularly to discuss local needs and opportunities.
Mayor Lew White and Lockhart City Council members gave final approval to the program at the April 6th council meeting. With that vote, the City agrees to contribute 50-percent of the program’s cost, which will help cover personnel, supplies, and utility expenses.
“The City of Lockhart and LISD are proud to announce a new partnership for our city's youth,” said Mayor White. “The City sees this as the beginning of a parks and recreation program to build on for the future.”
The Mayor added that summer programs, like the Lockhart Summer Teen Center, provide a much-needed safe haven for teenagers through educational support, physical activity, and socialization; while also giving working families peace of mind.
“The district is so grateful for the City’s partnership in launching this much-needed program for our teens,” said Superintendent Mark Estrada. “In Lockhart ISD, we believe in whole-child education, which means every student should be challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.”
“The development of this program, through this partnership, provides equitable access to recreational activities that directly support healthy adolescent development,” Superintendent Estrada added.
“Lockhart ISD Community Education is excited to partner with the City of Lockhart to provide a fun, safe recreation opportunity for the teens in our community this summer,” shared LISD Director of Community Education Karla Tate. “We hope many teens will take advantage of this free, fun program!”
Stay tuned for more information about the program and how to apply through the City’s and LISD’s websites and social media channels. The program continues through August 1.
A full City Council agenda led to approval of the creation of a new Parks and Recreation Department, a joint summer recreation program with Lockhart ISD, and a third-party evaluation of the Lockhart Animal Shelter.
But the biggest take away from Tuesday’s council meeting is how the City plans to pay for the additional unbudgeted $3.5M power expenses due to Winter Storm Uri.
City Council decided to alleviate the burden of the winter weather's cost impact from its customers. In doing so, the following direction was given to staff to help manage costs:
After further discussion, these items were also approved:
Animal Shelter Evaluation: Council awarded Animal Control & Care Academy a contract to conduct an independent assessment of the Lockhart Animal Services Division and Shelter. The City ensured that hiring a third party to assess the shelter is not uncommon and is a necessary means to find ways to improve operations. The ACCA report is expected to be available early summer.
City of Lockhart and Lockhart ISD joint summer recreation program: The City of Lockhart and Lockhart ISD recognized the need for a summer recreation program for local youth, aged 13-18 years old. The City and LISD partnered up and created the “Lockhart Summer Teen Center.” The free program includes activities like indoor soccer, basketball, cornhole, horseshoes, and board games. Free lunch will also be provided. The City will contribute 50-percent of the cost, which will help pay for personnel, supplies, and utilities.
“I was very pleased with the school district’s reaction to this request,” Mayor Lew White said. “They were enthusiastic and eager to get going.”
The Mayor added that summer programs, like the Lockhart Summer Teen Center, provide a much-needed safe haven for teenagers through educational support, physical activity, and socialization, while also giving working families peace of mind.
The Lockhart Summer Teen Center officially kicks off June 7.
New Parks and Recreation Department: City Council voted unanimously to create the new Parks and Recreation Department and commence the search for a new Parks director. The City determined the new Parks director will report to the City Manager, instead of the Public Works director. The new department will focus on developing a strong recreation program, well maintained, and aesthetically pleasing park and recreation facilities as outlined in the citizen-based 2018 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.
Other agenda items approved by council, include:
The City of Lockhart is looking to fill six lifeguard positions. If you're interested, you must be a certified lifeguard and also certified in CPR/First Aid Training. Lifeguards must perform swimming pool lifeguard duties, pool maintenance/operational activities and assist with concession stand operations. Pay range from $9.25 – $13.25 per hour.
**Call (512) 398-3461 to discuss opportunities to obtain certifications.
(Photo courtesy Shutterstock)
The city is also looking to hire a pool manager who is also a certified lifeguard and received CPR/First Aid Training. This position will perform and supervise employees in pool maintenance and operational activities, operate and manage concession stand, and assist with hiring other Lifeguards. Salary range from $13.75- $19.75 per hour.
You may pick up an application at City Hall, 304 W. San Antonio St., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. These positions will remain open until filled.
In observance of the Good Friday Holiday, City offices will be closed Friday, April 2, 2021.
Trash pick up stays on normal schedule.
We'll see you Monday!
It's that time of the year again! Bluebonnets are in full bloom and it's hard to resist taking photos with these beauties, especially for springtime Easter photos.
But please exercise caution before you strike a pose. Here are some safety tips from the Texas Department of Public Safety:
Also, watch out for snakes. We are in Texas, after all.
Spring cleaning continues in Lockhart with the Household Hazardous Waste collection event at City Park.
JOIN US Saturday, April 10, 2021, from 9 a.m. to noon at the park’s Main/Central Pavilion RAIN OR SHINE.
Please bring a utility bill or other proof of residence and stay in your vehicle once you arrive to the event.
We will take:
We will NOT take:
To keep everyone safe, please take these SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
This event is FREE. Call (512) 398-3461 for more information.
A Special 'Thank you' to our Sponsors: Capital Area Council of Governments, TCEQ, Central Texas Refuse, Keep Lockhart Beautiful, Plum Creek Watershed Partnership
Right as the state opened up COVID vaccine eligibility to Texans 16-years old and older, the Texas Health and Human Services launched a new website where you can sign up for a vaccine. You can access the new Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler here or call (833) 832-7067, if you do not have Internet.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management’s Chief, Nim Kidd, announced that 2-million vaccine doses are on the way to the state the week of March 29-April 2; 700 of those doses are allocated to Lockhart providers:
Aske Solutions, LLC
4001 N. U.S. Hwy 183, Lockhart, TX
BJP Healthcare, LLC
1724 S. Colorado St., Lockhart, TX
HEB Pharmacy #445
403 S. Colorado St., Lockhart, TX
Lockhart Family Medicine
1009 W. San Antonio St., Lockhart, TX
**Data provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services
Though vaccine eligibility has been expanded to most Texas adults, the Texas Department of State Health Services stressed that Texans 80 years and older remain FIRST PRIORITY whether they have an appointment or not.
As part of Governor Abbott’s “Save our Seniors” Initiative, the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management added a tab in the county’s vaccine pre-registration page reserved for people who are homebound. That means, people who are unable to transport themselves to a vaccine appointment due to limited mobility that requires the use of a walker or wheelchair, they are bedridden, they do not have family in town, or have a specific ailment.
So far, a little over 70 county residents have been vaccinated at home. If you meet the criteria, sign up here to make an appointment or call: (512)359-4637. Only the individuals themselves, or a family member, may sign up for this service. Upon registration, expect a phone call and/or e-mail from the county to verify eligibility.
Due to limited doses and personnel available for this program, the county’s emergency management team will make the final determination on who is eligible and when appointments will be scheduled.
Starting Monday, March 29, all adults in Texas will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the state expects more vaccine supplies to come in next week.
“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas,” said Imelda Garcia, Texas DSHS chair of Expert Vaccine Allocation. “We want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases.”
(Image courtesy: The Associated Press)
Even with the expanded eligibility, the state health department still advises vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years old and up, along with those who are at high risk of getting sick with the coronavirus.
This new development also prompts the DSHS to launch a website next week where you can register for a shot. The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler will identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or any participating local health department. You will also be notified when new clinics and appointments become available. The DSHS Vaccine Information page will continue to be a resource for additional providers.
If online registration poses a challenge, the state health department will also provide a toll-free number next week to help assist with appointments.
The City of Lockhart will keep you informed once the state’s website goes live and the toll-free number is provided. Right now, if you have not already, you can still pre-register for a vaccine with Caldwell County through this website, or call (512) 359-4637. You can also dial 2-1-1 to find a vaccine clinic nearest you.
As temperatures warm up, people are enjoying the weather by spending more time outdoors. No matter how you travel to your destination, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, and the Texas Department of Transportation, along with the City of Lockhart, urge you to be mindful of both drivers and pedestrians.
In its most recent report, the GHSA saw a 20-percent increase in pedestrian deaths nationwide for the first six months of 2020. Seven states, including Texas, accounted for over half of those deaths. A trend the group found concerning, especially with fewer drivers out on the roads due to COVID-19.
TxDOT has also seen an increase in pedestrian fatalities. While data from last year has not been finalized, between 2015 and 2019, the state agency reported 3,150 pedestrian deaths. A very small fraction of that number is in Lockhart, but you are still encouraged to exercise caution while traveling.
In response to these numbers, Lockhart Police steps up traffic enforcement. Officers are out on patrol focusing on issues that cause collisions, like distracted driving and DWIs, to help reduce these incidents within city limits.
After living through the coronavirus pandemic for over a year, getting your first or, even last, COVID-19 vaccine can be very exciting. You are so elated; you want to share it with the rest of the world by posting a selfie with your COVID-19 vaccine card.
(Photo courtesy: Better Business Bureau)
However, the Better Business Bureau advises against that. While you have seen many of your friends, colleagues, and family members take selfies with their vaccine cards, the BBB warns that valuable information in those cards--including your full name, your birthday, and vaccination site--exposes you to potential scammers.
Instead, here are some ways you can mark the occasion safely via social media:
The pond at City Park is stocked and ready to go for tomorrow's Kid Fish! Two-hundred pounds of catfish have been released in the pond, with ten of them tagged for up to $100 in cash prizes.
With that being said, we ask you to refrain from fishing in the pond leading up to the event so more kids can make their catch.
Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Lockhart City Park, 504 City Park Road
Register when you get there!
Fishing poles and bait are provided. Bring your own snacks!
Also, don't forget to wear your mask and social distance for a safe and fun event!
Rezoning for high-tech farming, the city’s annual financial report, new language for the animal shelter, and an update on the American Rescue Plan Act are among the highlights of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Iron Ox Rezoning: City council rezoned a 24.5 acre property on 1205 Reed Drive from Agricultural-Open Space to Industrial Light District. Initially, Iron Ox—a high tech hydroponic farming company—wanted to construct a 200,000-250,000 square foot facility. The zoning change will allow them to double it. The City Planner said no opposition was expressed against the rezoning. An Iron Ox representative said plans are to break ground by April and operations to begin by the end of the year. “We appreciate you choosing Lockhart,” said Mayor Lew White. “We’re looking forward to this partnership.”
City of Lockhart & LEDC Annual Financial Audit: City council also accepted the FY 2019-2020 Annual Financial Audit. Harrison, Waldrop and Uherek, CPAs from Victoria, Texas, commended the city’s financial reporting. Lockhart’s city charter requires an annual financial audit from an external auditing firm, along with a change of firms every five years. The City, which received a “clean” audit opinion, which is an indication that the city’s financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects and conform to generally accepted accounting principles.
Animal Shelter: The City Attorney recommended language to amend city ordinances to align with a 2016 Texas Supreme Court decision. The amendment clarifies that a pet owner’s failure to reclaim an animal within a specified time transfers the title of a dog to the shelter and then to an adopter. This change ensures future animal adoptions from the shelter are valid.
City Manager Report: The City Manager addressed how the approval of the American Rescue Plan Act will impact Lockhart. He said the city will receive $3.08M. The Texas Municipal League cautions it will take time to fully understand the stipulations of that funding. The U.S. Treasury Department is anticipated to release guidance on how the money can be spent. The deadline to spend ARP funds is December 31, 2024.
Public power utility: Staff was directed to prepare payment plan options to address a potential $3M financial exposure created by Winter Storm Uri.
Solid waste collection/recycling agreement: City agreed to extend current contract with CTR for an additional two months to complete contract negotiations for a possible extension of the current agreement.
A new phone system has been installed in some City of Lockhart offices. Direct phone numbers to city buildings have not changed:
City Hall: (512) 398-3461
Municipal Court: (512) 376-9469
Lockhart Fire and Rescue: (512) 398-2321
Dr. Eugene Clark Library: (512) 398-3223
Public Works: (512) 398-6452
However, the Utility Department has a new direct number: (512) 376-2475
Phone extensions to contact city departments and personnel have also changed. Here’s the updated list.
If you had any property damage due to February’s winter storm, you may be eligible for a temporary property tax break.
Because Caldwell County is included in Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration, properties that have at least 15-percent damage from the storm may receive a temporary exemption of a portion of its appraised value—which is determined by the county’s chief appraiser.
To check if you may be eligible, click here.
For the application, click here.
The deadline to apply for a temporary exemption is May 28, 2021.
Starting Monday, March 15, Texans 50 years and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Texas Department of State Health Services made the announcement Wednesday, marking Phase 1C of vaccinations.
State health officials say people aged 50 and older account for 93-percent of COVID-related deaths.
“We’ve seen a remarkable decrease in the number of hospitalizations and deaths since people 65 and older started becoming fully vaccinated in January,” said the state health department’s Imelda Garcia. “Expanding to ages 50 to 64 will continue the state’s priorities of protecting those at the greatest risk of severe outcomes and preserving the state’s health care system.”
Click here to check if you are in the 1C group.
Click here to pre-register for the vaccine in Caldwell County, or call (512) 359-4637.
Starting Wednesday, March 10th, the City of Lockhart eases its COVID-19 protocols to allow the public more access to its facilities. Here’s what we’re doing:
Lockhart City Hall:
Dr. Eugene Clark Library:
Lockhart Police Department:
It’s that time of the year again! The City of Lockhart, in partnership with Central Texas Refuse, is helping you do some spring cleaning through its city-wide clean up Saturday, March 27, at 8 a.m..
In this event, bulky item pickup charges will not be applicable on certain eligible items, including:
Non-eligible items include:
All loose materials must be in bags or in containers that cannot weigh more than 60 pounds. All trash must be out at the property line by 8 a.m. the day of the cleanup.
We also ask you not to put material out on the street, where it could pose a traffic hazard. Call Central Texas Refuse at 1-800-664-2833 for more information.
A permit is required to remove “protected” trees in Lockhart. According to Lockhart city ordinance, a “protected” tree is any tree that has a trunk circumference of 72 inches or more, measured at 4 ½ feet about natural grade level, and is one of the species listed below:
A permit is not necessary for a small trim or minimal pruning for these trees, but it doesn't hurt to check with Development Services at (512) 398-3461. However, if you’re looking to remove a considerable amount of tree limbs, make sure you apply for a permit.
Take note: If a tree is located on private property, it’s up to the property owner to trim or remove the tree—unless they couldn’t be located or failed to remove the tree after being given notice that the tree was found to be a safety hazard, dead, or diseased. For a more detailed explanation, click here.
The City of Lockhart have these rules in place to maintain the city’s urban forest. The U.S. Forest Service stressed that trees in a populated area provide critical benefits to both residents and native wildlife.
“Urban forests help to filter air and water, control storm water, conserve energy, and provide animal habitat and shade,” the Forest Service stated. “They add beauty, form, and structure to urban design.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines allowing fully vaccinated people to gather indoors without masks and physical distancing. "Fully vaccinated" means you have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least two weeks ago.
However, indoor gathering without masking up or distancing is only safe if you are getting together with others who are fully vaccinated, or low-risk unvaccinated individuals.
(Image courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
You are still advised by the CDC to:
The City of Lockhart further examined Governor Abbott’s executive order as it pertains to indoor and outdoor public events.
Right as the order goes into effect Wednesday, March 10—lifting statewide COVID-19 restrictions, and mask wearing—so does the requirement for city approval on how many people can participate in outdoor events.
These events have not required city approval, even during the pandemic. Participation will be left at the business’ discretion, along with its decision to enforce their own COVID precautionary measures.
However, just as the governor’s order states, if hospitalization rates increase to 15-percent for seven consecutive days, the county judge may step in and impose restrictions. That includes limiting capacity for businesses and other establishments no less than 50-percent.
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive expanding vaccine eligibility to teachers, school staff, bus drivers, and child care workers.
The letter received by the Texas Department of State Health Services stated:
"All COVID-19 vaccination providers are directed and required to make available
and administer, as one of the currently eligible groups, COVID-19 vaccine to those
who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start
and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and
those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and
family care providers."
(Courtesy Getty Images)
People in previously established 1A and 1B groups, especially older adults over 65 years old, are still prioritized in receiving the vaccine.
If you are now eligible for the vaccine and have not pre-registered, call (512) 359-4637 or sign up here.
The City of Lockhart was surprised and disappointed about Gov. Abbott's decision to lift the statewide mask order. Our trauma area hospitalization rate may be diminishing and our vaccination numbers are increasing, but only 10% of the state's population have been vaccinated. Our nation's health experts are still encouraging caution and the continuance of safe COVID health practices in light of upcoming potential surges of the virus and possible new variants.
Please don't let your guard down. Wear your masks and practice social distancing until we receive the assurance of health experts that it is safe to open back up.
In an executive order issued Tuesday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ended statewide COVID-19 mandates, including mask orders, effective next Wednesday, March 10. Businesses have also been given the green light to operate at full capacity starting that day.
Governor Abbott credited low COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates statewide, along with high recovery numbers, to his decision.
“Personal vigilance is still needed to contain COVID,” he said. “People and businesses don’t need the state to tell them how to operate.”
(Photo credit: Dallas Morning News)
The governor also acknowledged concerns local governments may have over his order. It states that if COVID hospitalizations rise above 15-percent capacity for seven consecutive days in a Trauma Service Area, the county judge may use COVID mitigation strategies. However, per the governor’s order, those who violate that area’s mask-wearing or social distancing requirements may not be penalized or jailed, and that businesses be allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity at minimum.
Starting Tuesday, March 2, the sidewalk along Maple Street,
between the soccer fields and South Mockingbird Lane, will be shut down due to
construction on a residential development project. For safety purposes this
area will remain closed during the duration of the new street construction.
We are aware that the sidewalk is frequently used by
Lockhart Jr. High School students. Please find alternative routes and watch for
signs and closures.
Over the weekend,
President Biden partially approved Texas' request for a Major Disaster
Declaration. Residents and business owners in 77 counties, including Caldwell
county, may apply for Individual Assistance through FEMA. That means, if you are
uninsured or underinsured and your house or business had significant damage due
to last week’s winter storm, you are qualified to receive federal help.
That may include:
here to apply: Individual
Assistance | FEMA.gov
you are insured and you had damage from the winter storm event, you can still
get help. Contact your insurance provider to see what damages will be
covered then seek government support. Visit the Texas
Department of Insurance for additional tips when filing a claim.
assistance is also available through the Small Business Administration in the
form of low-interest disaster loans for businesses, homeowners, and renters.
Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or sign up here.
Click here to see how you can address the issue. You have 60 days upon receipt of the letter to take action.
Nearly a week after a boil water notice was put in place, the water is now safe for consumption in Lockhart.
But, before drinking from the tap, you need to do a few things:
Also, here are some Frequently Asked Questions from the CDC should you run into some additional issues after a drinking water advisory:
You have air in your lines. Turn on the tap slowly and run the water until the sputtering stops.
The water is discolored. What should I do?
Flush water pipes by running the water until it is clear. Don't wash clothes if the water is discolored. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap. Wash a load of dark clothes first.
Why does my water have a strong smell?
The smell is probably chlorine. Often, water systems will increase chlorine levels to disinfect the pipes.
What should I do if my water pressure is low?
Check the faucet screens for trapped particles. Remove the screens and clean out any particles. Put the screens back on the faucet.
Do I need to clean out my faucets?
Yes. You should flush your faucets after the drinking water advisory.
Do I need to clean appliances?
Yes. Read the owner's manual for directions to clean appliances such as water softeners and filter units.
My refrigerator has a water dispenser/ice maker. Do I need to clean them?
Yes. Water dispensers and ice makers are connected to your water line. You need to flush and clean them.
Follow the directions in the owner's manual or:
Do I need to do something for the water softener?
Yes. You may need to run through a regeneration cycle. Follow the directions in the owner's manual.
I have a water treatment unit for the house. Does it need special care?
Yes. Change the filter cartridges. Some unites need disinfecting. Follow the directions in the unit's owner's manual.
Lockhart City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 23.
Council members can meet in council chambers while practicing social distancing or participate via phone or video conference. Individuals who wish to make a public comment have the option to participate virtually from their homes. The format is in accordance with executive orders by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The meeting will be televised live on Spectrum Channel 10 and online at http://lockhart-tx.org/page/gov_meeting_videos.
For information about how to participate virtually and see the agenda for Tuesday, February 23, click here.
UPDATE (9:18 a.m. Monday)
Lockhart’s water pressure and the amount of water flowing into its system have returned to usual levels. The city is lifting its call for conservation but reminds customers that the boil water notice remains in effect while the city awaits lab results.
The following is the plan for Residential and Commercial customers.
Friday 19th and Saturday 20th - No service.
Monday 22nd Thru Friday 26th - We will be back on schedule servicing Trash only and provided limits for your area. – No Recycling Next Week.
We will resume normal Recycle schedule beginning March 1st.
Friday the 19th No Service
Saturday the 20th - Trash ONLY Service. Critical infrastructures: Hospitals, Shelters,
We will resume normal service including Trash and Recycle beginning Monday the 22nd.
No Service on Sunday – Landfill closed.
We appreciate your understanding during these difficult and trying times. CTR is committed toward getting your area serviced SAFELY.
As directed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the City of Lockhart will experience rotating outages intended to manage the current high demand for electricity due to the Arctic weather event.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a statewide power emergency?
ERCOT issues an EEA 3 – Rotating Outages in Progress,when there is not enough electric generation available to keep up with consumer demand. In an EEA 3, ERCOT instructs utilities to begin rotating outages according to predetermined emergency curtailment procedures. Here is more about ERCOT’s emergency procedures.
How often are rotating outages ordered?
As of May 5, 2020, ERCOT has ordered system-wide rotating outages three times – Dec. 22, 1989, April 17, 2006, and Feb. 2, 2011.
Why is my power off?
Your power is temporarily off because ERCOT has required electric providers to begin rotating outages.
How long will my power be off?
Power will be restored as soon as possible.
My power was off recently in a rotating outage. Am I safe for the next one or could it go off again?
During a period of rotating outages, it’s possible your power may go off and on more than once.
My power has been out a long time and I need to know when it will come back on. Who do I call?
Call the City of Lockhart’s Electric Department at (512) 398-6117 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding holidays), and (512) 398-4401 outside of normal business hours.
The power outage has caused a life-or-death emergency in my home or business. What do I do?
Call 9-1-1 immediately.
According to the National Weather Service, the cold front that has settled across our area is projected to cause temperatures to dip into the teens on Sunday and Monday night. This weekend, we may experience a wintry mix across Lockhart.
Freezing temperatures mixed with precipitation has the potential to cause outages due to ice accumulation on power lines and tree limbs. The City is monitoring the weather and temperature and crews are preparing to respond to possible power outages. To report an outage, please call (512) 398-4401.
It is hard to predict the impact that potential wintry precipitation may have on the City of Lockhart’s equipment or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. Additional conservation measures may be necessary to ensure sufficient power generation capacity during extreme cold weather conditions across Texas.
The City of Lockhart is asking utilities customers to prepare by implementing some low-cost energy-saving measures that may help minimize the impact on the Texas grid. These measures may also help customers avoid higher than expected utility bills:
Here are some tips to ensure your water supply is protected from freezing temperatures:
Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, February 9 announced that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has launched the Texas Rent Relief Program — a statewide rent and utility assistance program for qualifying households throughout Texas.
To qualify, households must be at or below 80% of the area median income as well as meet other criteria. Per federal guidelines, TDHCA will prioritize applications for households at or below 50% of the area median income level and households where one or more members are currently unemployed and have been for at least 90 days. Landlords are encouraged to apply on behalf of tenants, who must co-sign the application.
The Texas Rent Relief Program can help renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020 (this means you could potentially request assistance for up to 11 months of past due bills):
Beginning February 15, applicants can submit their application by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at TexasRentRelief.com. The call center will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
This program has been created to administer the more than $1 billion allocated to Texas through the latest federal COVID-19 stimulus bill. TDHCA will begin accepting applications for the program on Monday, February 15th, but Texans can visit TexasRentRelief.com starting today to learn more about qualifications, required documents, and the application process.
Read the full press release about the program on the governor's website.
Caldwell County is currently focusing on providing the vaccine for vulnerable populations and communities.
At this time, the supply is limited. There is not enough vaccine to cover all of the people who meet the criteria for eligibility, but residents are encouraged to pre-register to facilitate distribution as supply allows.
The link to the county's pre-registration can be accessed from the Caldwell County homepage or by following this link.
Those with any questions may call the County's COVID-19 hotline. The number for that is 512-359-4637.
Each year, the City of Lockhart publishes an annual report. The annual report is a way for our many city departments to highlight how they help make Lockhart a better place to live and increase awareness of how their work contributed to progress seen during the past year.
Click here to view the 2020 Annual Report.
On Tuesday, February 2, the City of Lockhart will begin reopening its facilities to the public while taking precautions to ensure the safety of individuals.
The percentage of COVID-19-related cases in the hospital for TSA Region has maintained a level below 15 percent for seven consecutive days, contributing to the city’s decision to reopen.
Per Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, face coverings are required wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. City of Lockhart employees are following strict social distancing practices and will be wearing masks or face coverings to protect the public and co-workers.
Below is a summary of the updated operational status of city departments. City leadership will continue monitoring COVID-19 statistics locally. Future operations are subject to change:
Utilities customer service windows will reopen, but using other available methods of payment are still highly encouraged. Wearing a mask or face covering is required.
The following options remain available:
Dr. Eugene Clark Library
The hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area (TSA) O, which includes Lockhart and Caldwell County, has remained below the 15% mark occupied by COVID patients for 7 consecutive days, allowing more restrictive components of the standing Governor’s Order (GA-32) to be lifted.
GA-32 (issued October 7, 2020) allows most facilities to operate at 75% capacity, unless they are located in a Trauma Service Area with high COVID-19 hospitalizations. An “area with high hospitalizations” is defined as “any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.”
Restrictive components of GA-32 being lifted include:
Letter from County Judge with regard to Trauma Service Area O
COVID-19 hospital occupancy (select Trauma Service Area O)
The 5-siren outdoor warning system emits a steady, loud noise to alert Lockhart residents who are outdoors of approaching or existing hazardous conditions which require immediate protective actions in order to save lives. These systems are often mistakenly referred to as "tornado sirens," but that term fails to acknowledge all applications for activating sirens. We refer to these sirens as Outdoor Warning Sirens to reinforce the multiple conditions for which the sirens are activated.
If you are outside when you hear the Outdoor Warning Sirens, you are urged to move indoors and seek shelter on the lowest floor and an interior room with no windows and seek additional information from local TV
or radio stations.
The Outdoor Warning Siren activates in the following scenarios :
THE SIREN IS TESTED MONTHLY
The sirens are tested on the first Monday of each month at 1 p.m. Sirens will not be tested during a severe weather event or if a special event is being held. Canceled tests will not be rescheduled.
HOW TO RECEIVE INDOOR WARNINGS
The siren system is not intended to notify residents who are already indoors. We encourage you to sign up for the Warn Central Texas Notification System. This is a Regional Notification System developed for Central Texas and administered by the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG). The warning system will notify citizens of Lockhart by phone call, text or email for emergencies such as; Tornados, severe weather, flooding, and local emergency information.
You may register to receive the free emergency alerts or community information via text, e-mail, or phone at warncentraltexas.org
For questions regarding the new system or siren testing, please contact City Hall at (512) 398-3461 or the Police Department at (512) 398-4401. Click here for a map of the siren coverage.
The AARP's Tax Aide service will again be available this year beginning Feb. 1 at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library. This year, the service will be offered curbside. See the attached graphic for details:
City of Lockhart offices are closed today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
City offices will resume modified operations at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 19.
The City of Lockhart’s indoor facilities will remain temporarily closed to walk-in traffic to help lessen the chance of spreading COVID-19 among employees and the community.
The closure to walk-in traffic remains in effect due to the number of COVID-19 inpatient cases in hospitals in Caldwell County’s region. The closures apply to City Hall, The Dr. Eugene Clark Library and the Municipal Court.
During the temporary closure, please call (512)398-3461 if you need assistance.
Making utilities payments
Processing materials may be dropped off at the gray basement door of Lockhart City Hall. Call (512)398-3461, ext. 237 for staff assistance or to make an appointment to speak with a Development Services representative.
The Dr. Eugene Clark Library is suspending its Grab and Go service and closing its doors to walk-in traffic.
The library has also suspended access to the technology center.
The library will continue to offer access to materials, services and technology in the following ways:
Phone service and email: Community members may contact the library information desk by telephone at (512) 398-3223 or via e-mail from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For a list of library staff e-mails, visit https://www.clark-library-lockhart.org/about-us/contact-us.
Curbside Service: Patrons can call or reserve their material online at https://clarklibrary.biblionix.com/catalog/ or by phone. To pick up materials, patrons will arrive at the Library, dial the main number, and remain in their vehicles. Pick up hours are 8:30-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Library staff will bring their materials to curbside-designated parking spots will be located adjacent to the library on Prairie Lea Street.
The library has many online services, including eBooks, downloadable magazines, and audiobooks that are available for free using your library card at https://clarklibrary.biblionix.com/catalog/. The library also has a YouTube channel that includes regularly updated children’s programming.
At 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, January 13, the provisions of Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 that suspend elective surgeries, close bars and reduce business capacity to 50 percent go into effect in Lockhart and Caldwell County.
This is occurring because under GA-32, these specific provisions take effect when a Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total capacity exceeds 15 percent. This has been the case in Trauma Service Area O, which includes Caldwell County.
These provisions will be lifted once our Trauma Service Area’s COVID-19 hospitalized patient ratio remains below 15 percent for seven days.
While we wait for the population to receive the vaccine, it is imperative that we continue to take care of ourselves and each other by socially distancing, wearing face coverings in public, and practicing good hygiene. Stay safe and please, be patient. Over time, the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter as we move closer to the pandemic’s finish line.
The hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area (TSA) O, which includes Lockhart and Caldwell County, has remained above the 15% mark occupied by COVID patients for 7 consecutive days, activating more restrictive components of the standing Governor’s Order (GA-32).
GA-32 (issued October 7, 2020) allows most facilities to operate at 75% capacity, unless they are located in a Trauma Service Area with high COVID-19 hospitalizations. An “area with high hospitalizations” is defined as “any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.”
Restrictive components of GA-32 now in effect include:
COVID-19 hospital occupancy (select trauma region O)
The DSHS is now maintaining a vaccine information page on its website, which includes updates about the vaccine distribution schedule. Visit here for up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas:
Lockhart city offices (including Lockhart City Hall and the Lockhart Municipal Court building) will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for the Christmas holiday. Offices will reopen on Monday, Dec. 28. City offices will again close for Friday, Jan. 1 and will reopen on Monday, Jan. 4.
GARBAGE COLLECTION: If your usual garbage pick-up day is Friday, it will be collected on Saturday this week and next week.
We at the City of Lockhart wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!
Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday, December 17 held a press conference where he provided an update on statewide COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
This week, about 95,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to 23 different sites throughout the state of Texas. An additional 129,675 doses will be delivered to 87 sites today — bringing the total number of doses to over 224,000 across 110 providers (hospitals and medical schools) in 34 counties.
The governor said that number will increase significantly as more vaccines are produced and with the upcoming distribution of the Moderna vaccine, which could get emergency clearance from the FDA as early as this week.
"It is a historic week in the Lone Star State as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrive in our communities," said Governor Abbott. "We are swiftly distributing these vaccines to health care workers across the state and will continue to ensure that Texans on the front lines have access to these live-saving immunizations."
By the end of the month, the governor said more than a million vaccines will be distributed to a variety of providers including hospitals, health centers, clinics and other medical practices, pharmacies, freestanding emergency rooms, urgent cares, long-term care facilities, local health departments, state hospitals, state supported living centers, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities.
Additionally, DSHS will begin reserving doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week for the federal Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership. This program will begin the week of December 28.
The deadline to apply for assistance through the Emergency Utility Relief Grant program, which helps utilities customers experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardships pay their utility bills, is Friday, December 11.
Billing cycles eligible for consideration include March 2020 through December 2020.
City utility customers must meet the following requirements identified below to qualify for financial assistance through the program:
Eligible utility items include:
The funding source for the Emergency Utility Relief Grant program is from the City of Lockhart’s allotment of Coronavirus Relief Fund from the Texas Department of Emergency Management authorized under the CARES Act.
For more information and to access an application, call Lockhart City Hall at (512)398-3461 or click here.
In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order GA-32 dated October 7, 2020, outdoor activities within the City of Lockhart involving more than 10 people shall be presented to the mayor for approval. Additionally, all events, indoor or outdoor, may also have occupancy limitations and are subject to COVID-19 health protocols as set forth by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS-19).
For more information and to download a Special Activity COVID-19 Protocols Application, visit the City of Lockhart COVID-19 page by clicking here and looking for the section titled “Special Events.”
The Lockhart Economic Development Corporation has been granted authorization to move forward with purchasing a tract of land located along SH 130 to develop an industrial park suitable for the types of large industrial, manufacturing and distribution prospects identified as targets in the city’s economic plan.
The new industrial park located near the intersection of SH 142 and FM 2720 will make shovel-ready sites available for purchase. The development of the 75-acre park is a key component of the Lockhart EDC’s new Target Industry Strategy adopted in October, which prioritizes developing land to be ready for prospects.
Read more at the Lockhart EDC's website.
The City of Lockhart has received the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
The City was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2019. The GFOA has designated the CAFR as the model in superior financial reporting, and this is the first time the City of Lockhart has received the honor.
Additionally, City of Lockhart Finance Director Pam Larison received the GFOA Award of Financial Reporting Achievement (AFRA), which is presented to the individual designated as instrumental in achieving a CAFR.
GFOA's full press release
GFOA's letter to the mayor
Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting
Award of Financial Reporting Achievement
The fist bump has become the new congratulatory handshake amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was on full display Tuesday night as three Lockhart officials were sworn in after being re-elected to new three-year terms.
At Tuesday night's Lockhart City Council meeting, 421st District Court Judge Chris Schneider administered the oath of office to Mayor Lew White, District 3 Council Member Kara McGregor and District 4 Council Member Jeffry Michelson.
The next municipal election will be in 2022 for two at-large council member positions, District 1 council member and District 2 council member.
Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, the CDC has issued guidance on Thanksgiving gatherings. To sum it up, the CDC is urging the public to consider modifying holiday plans to help fight the spread of the virus. Just as it did for Halloween, the CDC's tips include categorizing activities into low, moderate and high risk.
To read the CDC's guidance, follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
A six-month study and analysis conducted by an independent firm will provide a road map for economic development in Lockhart, enhancing the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation’s strategy for attracting companies that will bring jobs to the Caldwell County seat.
The study helped Lockhart Economic Development Corporation and the City of Lockhart adopt a plan that involves developing its assets (training the workforce and streamlining administrative processes) and promoting its brand (developing local and regional partnerships and strengthening marketing), Lockhart EDC director Mike Kamerlander said.
In January 2020, the City of Lockhart and the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation hired Garner Economics to help prepare the backbone of its new economic plan, which has been adopted by both the LEDC and the City of Lockhart. The Competitive Realities Report and Target Industry Strategy, or TIS, that Garner prepared will assist the city and LEDC in focusing on efforts that leverage the community’s strengths.
“This is the first study of this kind for the LEDC or the City of Lockhart, and it will frame Lockhart’s growth over the next five years,” Kamerlander said. “The study’s analysis provided answers to what key forces are driving Lockhart’s economy and what assets and challenges are apparent to site-location advisors that facilitate investment decisions. It also suggested business and industry segments that best match Lockhart’s competitive advantages to the needs of particular industry sectors.”
For each of these sectors, the community’s competitive advantages were presented, along with national trends and projections of the targets. According to the study, businesses in the following four fields should consider Lockhart when looking for a home base:
“Lockhart is positioned to offer businesses of all sizes the ability and opportunity to profit and grow in a very dynamic region,” said Jay Garner, president of Garner Economics and one of the report’s authors. “The leadership of the City is committed to be a valued partner to promote investment, and that alone is a recipe for success.”
To learn more about opportunities in Lockhart, visit lockhartedc.com.
The Lockhart Economic Development Corporation, a department within the City of Lockhart, is designed to provide a range of business and economic development assistance. Director Mike Kamerlander can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, October 20 voted to extend a program that helps utilities customers experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardships pay their utility bills.
Billing cycles eligible for consideration under the city’s Emergency Utility Relief Grant program now include March 2020 (cycle 2) through December 2020 (cycle 1).
The Council’s action on Tuesday also eliminated the requirement that an applicant’s household income be at or below the federal threshold for low income and expands the program’s eligibility to all City of Lockhart utility accounts.
Despite the removal of the income requirement, city utility customers must still meet all requirements identified below to qualify for financial assistance through the program:
For more information and to access an application, call Lockhart City Hall at (512)398-3461 or click here.
On October 8, 2020, the City Council of the City of Lockhart reinstated utility disconnections due to non-payment and reestablished late fees, provided customers are given a 30-day notice of the decision.
On March 24, the Council directed the City to halt late fees and non-payment utility disconnections during the Coronavirus Pandemic. In August, the Public Utility Commission informed utility providers that reestablishing late fees and disconnection of services was acceptable with the requirement that providers give a 30-day notice to customers of their intent to do so. During the October 8 Council meeting, Council directed the City to proceed with disconnections and late fees with the following conditions:
It is recommended that any utility customer who has been affected by COVID-19 contact the Utility Customer Service Department to discuss applying for assistance to pay their outstanding balance through the Utility Relief Program designed with funding made available by the CARES Act.
Lockhart city officials are sharing guidance for Halloween concerning trick-or-treating and outdoor gatherings.
The City will not schedule times or dates for trick-or-treating. Whether to trick-or-treat or hand out candy is up to each individual.
While the city will place no restrictions on trick-or-treating, those who participate are urged to take care and do their part to avoid spreading COVID-19.
Trick-or-treaters should walk in small groups with people from their immediate households, keep at least six feet of distance from people not in their immediate households, and wear a facial covering over their noses and mouths, Lockhart Mayor Lew White said.
“We want everyone to have a safe, fun Halloween, but we need people who choose to participate in trick-or-treating and Halloween festivities to behave responsibly and make good decisions,” White said. “If you go trick-or-treating, we ask everyone to wear a mask, practice social distancing from people who are not in their immediate households, and make sure you wash your hands once you get home. And if you are sick or not feeling well, please stay home.”
As for how to safely distribute treats, the CDC recommends one-way trick-or-treating, which involves placing individually-wrapped goodie bags at the end of a driveway or edge of a yard for families to grab and go, or a bucket of candy from which trick-or-treaters can help themselves.
In either case, placing a container of hand sanitizer on the table is recommended.
“If you want to hand out candy, please do it responsibly, and if you’re feeling ill, please do not hand out candy,” White said. “If you’re healthy and you wish you to participate, turn on your porch light. If you don’t, leave the light off. As far as signaling participation goes, it’s the same as it was before the pandemic.”
In accordance with an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.
“Gov. Abbott has loosened some restrictions, but his executive order that limits outdoor gatherings to 10 people or less remains in effect. It is easy for us to tell when there are more than 10 people gathering,” said Lockhart Chief of Police Ernest Pedraza. “Please follow proper protocol if you are gathering with others.”
“And, even when outdoors, all individuals must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth whenever it is not feasible to maintain social distancing from others,” Pedraza added.
CDC Guidance for Halloween
According to the CDC, traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. The CDC says Halloween activities fall into one of three categories – lower risk, moderate risk and higher risk. To see the CDC recommendations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween.
Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden said Friday that bars in Lockhart may open at 50 percent capacity beginning Wednesday, October 14.
In order to open, bars must follow the recommended minimum standard protocols:
The COVID-19 safety protocols will be enforced through spot checks by law enforcement and county officials. If an establishment is not following Governor Greg Abbott's safety protocols, it will be closed by the County Judge until further notice.
Read the judge's letter to businesses here.
Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order to open bars and similar establishments at up to 50% capacity in conjunction with county officials. In hospital regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations, County Judges will be able to opt their county into opening bars beginning October 14th, provided they assist in enforcing health protocols. The Governor's Executive Order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75%.
For Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% of hospital capacity, a County Judge may authorize the opening of bars and similar establishments at 50% occupancy. If a County Judge authorizes the opening of these establishments, certain protocols must be followed. As recommended by trade associations representing bars, dance floors at bars and similar establishments must remain closed. Consistent with protocols for restaurants, all patrons must be seated while eating or drinking (with limited exceptions for sampling at breweries, distilleries, and wineries), and must wear masks when they are not seated at a table. Additionally, tables must be limited to six individuals or less and all establishments must follow specific curfew guidelines.
Beginning Wednesday, October 14, all counties where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% of hospital capacity can open all businesses other than bars to 75% capacity.
Additionally, the Governor released a web video with his Executive Order, encouraging Texans to continue following best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. The video can be viewed on YouTube.
View GA-32, the newest executive order, here.
The Lockhart Police Department has canceled its 2020 National Night Out, which was originally set for October 6.
The LPD cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the cancellation. The move mirrors that of many other neighboring police departments in Central Texas, which have also canceled their events.
“This was not a decision that was made lightly, as we understand that connecting with neighbors and community during these uncertain times is important,” said Chief Ernest Pedraza with the Lockhart Police Department. “We appreciate your understanding, support and patience during this period and look forward to hopefully attending National Night Out events in 2021.”
The national celebration, which was first officially observed in 1984, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and began with people simply sitting on their front porches with their porch lights on.
An estimated 38 million residents in 16,000 communities in the United States celebrate National Night Out each year. Lockhart’s participation in the campaign is one of multiple ways the city’s police force interacts with the citizens it protects, also presiding over regular events such as Coffee with Cops, civilian training sessions and police Q&A forums.
On Monday, September 28, the City of Lockhart will begin reopening its facilities to the public while taking precautions to ensure the safety of individuals.
The City closed many of its facilities to walk-in visitors on July 1 due to a local and statewide rise in COVID-19 cases. Although the number of COVID-19 cases are declining in Caldwell County, it is still important to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing to keep the community safe. Please stay home if you are sick.
Per Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, face coverings are required wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. City of Lockhart employees are following strict social distancing practices and will be wearing masks or face coverings to protect the public and co-workers.
Below is a summary of the updated operational status of city departments. City leadership will continue monitoring COVID-19 statistics locally. Future operations are subject to change:
The City Hall lobby at 308 W. San Antonio Street will reopen to utilities customers on September 28. However, using other available methods of payment are still highly encouraged. Wearing a mask or face covering is required.
The following options remain available:
Lockhart Police Department
Lockhart Animal Shelter
Parks and Recreation
Governor Greg Abbott today issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levels for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas. The Governor also announced new guidance related to visitations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state.
In addition, the Governor implemented the use of data driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts to help guide the state’s ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19 and expand occupancy for businesses and services. This metric focuses on areas with high hospitalizations — referring to any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients exceeds 15%, until such time as the TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients is 15% or less. A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained at www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.
Using this metric, 19 of the 22 TSAs in Texas qualify to increase occupancy levels to 75% for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries beginning September 21. In addition, these 19 TSAs can also resume elective surgeries. Three of the 22 TSAs (S-Victoria, T-Laredo, and V-Lower Rio Grande Valley) must remain at 50% occupancy and continue postponing elective surgeries until the hospitalization metric requirements are met. These three TSAs contain the following counties: Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria, Jim Hogg, Webb, Zapata, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy.
"With the medical advancements we have made and the personal hygiene practices we have adopted, Texans have shown that we can address both the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 while also taking careful, measured steps to restore the livelihoods that Texans depend on," said Governor Abbott. "Achieving both goals requires safe standards that contain COVID-19, emphasize protecting the most vulnerable, and establish clear metrics that the public can depend on. That is why today we have announced expanded occupancy standards for a variety of services. But, Texans should remember that a steady and significant decline in COVID-19 cases is not a sign to let up in our vigilance against the virus. Instead, Texans must continue to heed the guidance of medical experts by wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing proper sanitation strategies. By maintaining health and safety standards that are proven to mitigate COVID-19, we can continue to slow the spread while opening up the Texas economy."
The Governor announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Thursday, September 24. Under the new rules, residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers who will be provided necessary training to allow them to safely go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including in the resident’s room. Designated caregivers will not be required to maintain physical distancing, but only one caregiver can visit a resident at a time.
A long-term care facility resident (or legal representative) can designate the essential caregiver, who can be a family member, friend, or other individual. Facilities are required to train essential caregivers on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection control measures. Proper PPE must be used at all times during these scheduled visits, and the caregiver must test negative for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days before the initial visit.
For general visitors who are not a designated essential caregiver, these updated emergency rules will allow approved facilities to schedule outdoor no contact visits, open window visits, or indoor visitation with the use of plexiglass safety barriers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical contact between residents and general visitors is not permitted. Facilities also must continue to meet all additional visitation requirements outlined in the emergency rules.
View the Governor's Executive Order related to expanded capacity of certain services.
View the Governor's Executive Order related to hospital capacity.
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, September 15 approved the annual operating budget and tax rate for the fiscal year of October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.
“The primary focus of this operating budget is to fund the continuation of existing programs and service levels and properly respond to the increased demand for services and capital improvements from a growing community despite the presence of a pandemic that has endured for more than six months,” Lockhart City Manager Steve Lewis said. “The budget allows for improvements to our streets, sidewalks, parks and public safety that will work to maintain and better the quality of life of the city’s residents.”
The budget includes $34,791,079 in planned expenditures from all funds and is balanced with revenues exceeding expenditures by $618,887.
The 2019-2020 city tax rate of $.6842 per $100 valuation decreased by 4.88 cents to $.6354 per $100 valuation.
“With respect to the financial challenges many residents have faced due to COVID-19, the city’s budgeted amount for property tax revenues reflects a no new revenue tax rate.” Lewis said.
Read the full press release here.
See the budget here.
City of Lockhart utilities customers can now access account information and pay by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 855-340-0595.
Here's how it works: Call the number, enter your information securely through an automated system, and follow the prompts to access your account, make payments and hear real-time balances and due dates.
For more information about available payment options, visit https://www.lockhart-tx.org/page/utility_home.
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, September 1 approved Resolution 2020-20, which renews and adopts an order requiring businesses to have all employees and customers to wear facial coverings over their noses and mouths while on the premises, with few exceptions.
Effective immediately, businesses must post a notice in the form attached at the entrances (or in conspicuous locations) to remind employees and visitors of the facial covering requirement.
The facial covering requirement is not unique to Lockhart. Since July 3, the state has required all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.
See the resolution and download and print the required notices here. You may also contact City Hall at 512-398-3461 to arrange pickup of copies of the notice.
City of Lockhart offices will be closed on Monday, September 7 in observance of Labor Day.
Additionally, the city's recycling center will be closed on Saturday, September 5.
Lockhart's modified city operations will resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday, September 8.
Qualifying Lockhart businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can again apply for one of 10 available grants of up to $2,500 through the city’s COVID-19 Economic Relief Grant Program.
Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, August 18 voted to transfer $25,000 from the Lockhart COVID-19 Recovery Loan Program to provide additional funding for the grant program, which was originally started by the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce and the Caldwell County Community Services Foundation.
The program previously awarded one-time grants in May to 10 businesses.
Businesses that have previously received a COVID loan or grant from the city prior to this round are not eligible. Other eligibility requirements include:
Applications can be mailed or delivered to Lockhart City Hall or submitted electronically to email@example.com.
Access an application and read COVID-19 updates relevant to economic development, including links to available financial resources, by visiting https://lockhartedc.com/coronavirus-updates.
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, August 18 gave approval to a program that helps residents experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardships who were unable to pay their utility bills from March through June.
The funding source for the new Emergency Utility Relief Grant program is from the City of Lockhart’s allotment of Coronavirus Relief Fund from the Texas Department of Emergency Management authorized under the CARES Act.
“The City’s utility services are considered essential services to meet basic public health, sanitation, welfare and public safety needs of the city’s residents,” Mayor Lew White said. “We are pleased to be able to offer this program to help residents who have been hit hard financially due to the pandemic.”
For more information on the new Emergency Utility Relief Grant program and to submit an application for assistance, go here.
Police have arrested a Lockhart man who reportedly discharged a firearm during a disturbance late Sunday night in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
Full press release here.
The City Council of the City of Lockhart and the Board of Directors of the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation will hold public hearings on the proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 on August 18, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. and September 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers, Clark Library Annex, 217 South Main Street, 3rd Floor, Lockhart, Texas.
Copies of the budgets are available for public inspection at the desk of the City Secretary, City Hall Lobby, and at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library. Ordinances establishing the budget and property tax rates for the year October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 will be considered on September 15, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers, Clark Library Annex, 217 South Main Street, 3rd Floor, Lockhart, Texas.
All interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend the hearing.
To see the full public notice concerning the hearings, click here.
View the 2020-2021 proposed annual operating budget here.
The Lockhart City Council has appointed an experienced local attorney to preside as judge at Lockhart Municipal Court.
Red Rock lawyer Darlon Sojak, whose work as a lawyer includes serving the public as a court-appointed defense attorney in Caldwell County and managing his own law firm for more than a decade, was appointed as presiding judge for the Lockhart Municipal Court at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lockhart City Council.
Sojak’s law experience also includes working as a municipal court prosecutor for the City of Sundown, Texas.
“Judge Sojak was a clear and excellent choice for the position, given his work as a court-appointed attorney and as a municipal court prosecutor,” Mayor Lew White said. “He holds himself to the highest standard, and I have no doubt he will serve diligently to ensure fair and equal treatment of everyone who enters his courtroom.”
Sojak, who graduated in 1993 from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, taught ninth-grade English for five years before pivoting into law. He graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2002.
“During my time in as a teacher in the Rio Grande Valley, I encountered many troubled youths and always tried to counsel them to make better choices and take accountability for their actions,” Sojak said. “Becoming an attorney allowed me the opportunity to advocate even more on the behalf of juveniles and others in the community.”
The teacher-turned-attorney made the move to Caldwell County with his wife and three children seven years ago. Sojak said he believed Caldwell County and Lockhart are truly blessed to have so many who are dedicated to the community, not only in the district attorney and judgeship positions, but also serving the Lockhart Police Department and Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, as well as residents who live in the community.
“Upon finding there was an opening for the position of municipal judge, I felt eager to be part of such a great network,” Sojak said. “I feel that my prior experience as a high-school teacher and defense attorney will enable me to deal effectively and fairly with the issues that often appear in municipal court, such as truancy, contested situations and other disputes.”
Sojak will succeed Frank Coggins, who recently retired.
“I am looking forward to working with Judge Sojak as the court is a vital and independent part of the larger organization,” City Manager Steven Lewis said. “The court contributes to missions of the other city departments such as the code enforcement, police and planning departments as well as assure Lockhart’s quality of life.”
The Lockhart Police Department discussed its policies and practices at a Tuesday, July 21 meeting of the Lockhart City Council.
In light of recent national events and with respect to the 2014 President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was created to strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, Lockhart police prepared a detailed presentation that addressed how the department’s policies and practices compare with national trends in law enforcement.
“It is a cause for concern when any segment of the community lacks confidence or trust in our public safety services,” Lockhart City Manager Steven Lewis said. “Our goal is to build meaningful, sustainable, trusting and effective working relationships.”
The presentation titled “Police Practices and Response to Resistance (RTR)” includes a report on the Lockhart Police Department’s Response to Resistance policy, which was updated in 2019.
“The use of force in response to resistance by law enforcement requires constant evaluation and is a serious responsibility,” Lockhart Chief of Police Ernest Pedraza said. “The purpose of this policy is to provide officers with guidelines on objectively reasonable response to resistance.
“While there is no way to specify the exact amount or type of objectively reasonable force to be applied in any situation, each officer is expected to use these guidelines to make such decisions in a professional, impartial and objectively reasonable manner.”
To see the full presentation and read the full Response to Resistance policy, visit https://www.lockhart-tx.org/page/police_policies.
Free COVID-19 testing will be available July 22-23 at Lockhart Junior High School located at 500 City Line Rd.
The clinic will have a walk-up format. No registration is required and test seekers are not required to be showing symptoms to receive a test.
Testing begins at 8 a.m. each day and will continue until testing kits run out.
To allow for access to the testing site, the following barricades will be in place from approximately 7 a.m.-6 p.m. both days.
Road barricades will be placed at:
TO ENTER TESTING SITE
Vehicles traveling to the site will access it by heading west on Clearfork Street, turning right to head northbound on City Line Road and then turning right on Maple to enter the site area. Vehicles will exit the testing site through the intersection of City Line Road and Borchert Drive (Northbound traffic only).
The City of Lockhart is experiencing a system-wide e-mail outage. As we work to repair the issue, please contact us by phone at 512-398-3461.
JULY 9: Governor Greg Abbott today issued proclamation suspending elective surgeries in hospitals in all counties located within 11 trauma service areas in Texas, including Caldwell County. Previously, Governor Abbott suspended elective surgeries at hospitals in the counties of Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis, and Webb.
In a proclamation that amends GA-27, the governor said he was suspending elective surgeries in those areas to ensure an ample supply of hospital beds in the state as the number COVID-19-related hospital visits continues to rise.
Read the governor's press release here.
Read the governor's proclamation here.
The City of Lockhart has rescheduled its city-wide residential cleanup for current residential utility customers on Saturday, July 18.
The clean-up, which is sponsored by the city and Central Texas Refuse, was originally scheduled for April but was postponed due to unknown health safety concerns at the time. Bulky item pickup charges will not be applicable on certain eligible items.
All loose materials must be in bags or in containers that cannot weigh more than 60 pounds. All materials must be out at the property line by 8 a.m. July 18. Please do not put your materials out prior to July 11. Do not put material in the street, where it could reduce visibility at intersections and cause a traffic hazard. Call Central Texas Refuse at 1-800664-2833 for more information.
Not eligible for pickup
The disinfectant used in Lockhart’s municipal water system is being temporarily converted to free chlorine from chloramine.
The conversion began July 3 and will end August 2. During this period customers may experience taste and odor changes associated with this type of temporary disinfectant conversion, which is an annual requirement by TCEQ.
During the conversion, the water is constantly being tested and is safe to drink. If you have any questions, contact Lockhart's water/wastewater office at (512)398-3615.
Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.
The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
Read the full press release here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-establishes-statewide-face-covering-requirement-issues-proclamation-to-limit-gatherings
Read the governor's executive order about face coverings here: https://open.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/EO-GA-29-use-of-face-coverings-during-COVID-19-IMAGE-07-02-2020.pdf
Read the governor's proclamation about limiting gatherings to groups of 10 or fewer here: https://open.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/DISASTER-proclamation-amending-GA-28-mass-gatherings-IMAGE-07-02-2020.pdf
Due to a local and statewide rise in COVID-19 cases, the City of Lockhart is closing doors to walk-in traffic to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
City Hall will close its doors to the public at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 1 and will remain closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. Please call 512-398-3461 for assistance.
In response to a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lockhart and Caldwell County, the Dr. Eugene Clark Library is suspending its Grab and Go service and closing its doors to walk-in traffic.
The change goes into effect immediately (Monday, June 29).
The library has many online services, including eBooks, downloadable magazines, and audiobooks that are available for free using your library card at https://clarklibrary.biblionix.com/catalog/. The library also has a YouTube channel now to which it has added new episodes of Virtual Storytime and allows children to enjoy a Virtual Summer Reading program.
Governor Greg Abbott today issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. This decision comes as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations have increased and the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10%, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action. The directives in the executive order are based on links between certain types of businesses and services and the recent rise in positive cases throughout the state.
The order includes the following:
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.
"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again.”
View the Governor’s Executive Order.
Lockhart Mayor Lew White at a special called meeting on Tuesday, June 23 amended the city’s declaration of a local state of disaster to include a provision that commercial establishments require customers to wear facial coverings.
As of Tuesday, June 23, there were 286 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Caldwell County.
“The CDC and the Texas Department of State Hospital Services have each indicated that facial coverings, when combined with proper physical distancing and hand washing, are key to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Lockhart Mayor Lew White. “It is important that we do what we can to help protect the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Effective as of 11:59 p.m. on June 25, all businesses in the city must require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth unless:
Businesses will be required to post a notice of the requirement for facial coverings at the business’s entrance or in a conspicuous location.
At their discretion, businesses may choose to conduct temperature checks or health screenings.
Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering. Businesses are allowed to deny entry to visitors who choose not to wear them.
Read the complete order here.
Print out both English and Spanish copies of the facial covering notice to hang in your business here.
Lockhart Mayor Lew White addressed the public before the Tuesday, June 16 meeting of the Lockhart City Council, where he shared his thoughts on racial tension in the community and around the country as well as his impression of Saturday’s “8 Minute 46 Seconds” march:
This weekend, many people from across our community came together to protest the horrific killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others.
I would like to congratulate Margaret Carter, Sterling Riles and all of the volunteers and participants. They delivered a powerful message against racism, injustice and inequality in a peaceful way.
Several city council members were present, as well as county commissioners and LISD officials. We were there to listen and interact.
I want to say that the City of Lockhart stands committed to promoting racial equality. To be upset about acts of racial violence but do nothing about it is doing nothing. We have the responsibility as leaders in this city to challenge racial injustice and inequality wherever we see it. We have got to talk face to face, not on Facebook arguing and name calling.
There are questions in this town that need answers. Some issues are complicated and take time to sort out. Not everyone is going to be happy with the outcome, but we’ve got to keep coming to the table to talk. We’ve got to keep talking and working on solutions – not just the council, the whole community.
It’s like a marriage: You’ve got to keep working at it. Sometimes the only thing you can control is what you practice, what you teach your family and how you treat the people around you.
A smart guy told me: Be the example, not the problem.
To be transparent, our police chief will be briefing us on our police training policies and use of force in the near future.
Out of an abundance of caution due to a recent statewide spike in COVID-19 cases, the Lockhart City Council has voted to cancel the annual Independence Day fireworks show.
The council’s decision came on Tuesday, June 16 after consideration of a report from the city’s health officer on the heels of five consecutive days of record high daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Caldwell, Hays and Travis counties have also increased significantly over the past week.
Prior to its vote, the council discussed a proposed format for the show that would have involved a limited number of vehicles being allowed into City Park, families being required to stay in or close to their vehicles and no food or beverage vendors.
City parks and trails will remain open during the holiday weekend. City officials want to remind residents to practice physical distancing when visiting city parks.
“Our council made this decision with regard to keeping our community safe and to make sure the residents of Lockhart and others stick around to enjoy holidays and celebrations in the future,” said Mayor Lew White. “We can still celebrate responsibly this year by practicing physical distancing or wearing face coverings when keeping our distance isn’t possible.”
The Council made clear in its decision to cancel this year’s event that it intends for its Independence Day fireworks show to return in 2021.
“This decision was not budget related,” White said. “We understand we can apply the money we have already paid the pyrotechnics company for this year to what we will budget additionally for next year’s event. We look forward to an even more spectacular show in 2021.”
A reduced speed limit on US 183 at Lockhart’s southern border is now in effect as the City works to improve traffic safety in that area.
A speed limit of 55 mph is now in effect on the stretch of US 183 that runs from just north of Summerside Avenue in Lockhart to south of CR 213. The speed limit on that stretch of roadway was previously 65 mph. TxDOT has installed signage that indicates the new speed limit.
The Texas Transportation Commission approved the city’s request for the reduced speed limit in May.
“Our goal is to reduce fatal and injury crashes, especially those attributed to speeding and distracted driving near the Summerside subdivision entrance,” Lockhart City Manager Steven Lewis said. “The Lockhart Police Department has increased its presence in that area to safeguard those who travel and live in Lockhart.”
The new speed limit is one of multiple ways the city is working to make that roadway safer.
The city plans to place two solar radar feedback signs in view of drivers traveling both northbound and southbound on US 183.
The city has also worked with Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to complete lighting upgrades near the U.S. 183/Summerside intersection.
JUNE 3, 2020: Under Phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, with limited exceptions.
Business that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
As with previous phases, the Phase III plan is based on the advice and support of the four doctors on the Strike Force to Open Texas medical team. Via Executive Order, Phase III begins immediately. A breakdown of Phase III can be found below.
Effective June 3:
All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.
Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity.
Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.
Effective June 12:
Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.
Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.
Effective June 19:
Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards. These provisions are included in the Governor's Executive Order and are also available on the Open Texas webpage.
All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov.
Reminders for those going out:
VIEW THE GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE.
Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation expanding additional services and activities under Phase II of the state's plan to open. With this proclamation, water parks, recreational sport programs for adults, driver education programs, and food-court dining areas within shopping malls can begin operations with limited occupancy or regulations to protect the health and safety of Texans.
Beginning Friday, May 29th, water parks can open but must limit their occupancy to 25% of normal operating limits. Components of these water parks that have video arcades must remain closed. Starting Sunday, May 31st, recreational sports programs for adults can resume, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15th. Driver education programs can resume operations immediately.
Food-court dining areas within shopping malls can also immediately resume operations, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals who are responsible for ensuring health and safety practices are followed, including: limiting tables to six individuals; maintaining a six-feet distance between individuals sitting at different tables; cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensuring no condiments or other items are left on tables between customer uses.
Minimum standard health protocols outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are recommended and located on the Open Texas webpage.
Read the original order (GA-23) here.
Read the proclamation here.
City of Lockhart offices will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25. For non-emergencies, please call 512-398-4401. As always, call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Lockhart police will increase traffic enforcement for Memorial Day weekend at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22.
The increased enforcement wave will continue through 5 p.m. Monday, May 25. The enforcement will focus on speeding, distracted driving, and driving while intoxicated.
During the weekend, heightened enforcement for speeding and distracted driving will continue on US 183 near the Summerside subdivision at the south side of town.
The enforcement period is a "no refusal" weekend for suspected DWI drivers.
Lockhart City Hall reopened its doors to the public on Tuesday, May 26 while taking precautions to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
City Hall closed its doors to walk-in traffic at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 in an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
“The state is now operating in Phase 2 of Governor Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas, which allows all businesses and office buildings to resume operations at 25 percent occupancy,” Lockhart City Manager Steven Lewis said. “To serve the public, we will reopen our doors while continuing to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
The following precautions are being taken at City Hall to ensure a smooth, safe transition:
Wearing face coverings is encouraged, but not required.
While the lobby is open to utilities customers, using phone and online methods of payment are still highly encouraged. The following options remain available:
For a complete list of Lockhart city government closures and reopenings related to COVID-19, visit lockhart-tx.org/page/Coronavirus_info.
As the area enters its rainiest month, Lockhart officials are reminding residents who live within the city limits to maintain their properties to adhere to city code and avoid penalties.
City ordinances prohibit property owners and occupants from allowing stagnant water to accumulate on their properties and require grass and weed heights not to exceed 12 inches in yards and vacant lots.
“Not only are high grass and weeds unsightly, they pose hazards that include increased risk of fires and creating a habitat for pests like rodents, snakes, mosquitoes and chiggers,” said Mayor Lew White. “Please take the time to maintain your yards and keep the pest population at bay.”
If your grass is taller than 12 inches, a code violation notice will be sent regular mail and a placard will be placed on the lot. The owner or occupant will have 10 days to comply.
Consequences for failure to comply can range from the city mowing the lawn or lot for a fee to a complaint being filed in municipal court.
In most cases, if the owner does not comply within the 10-day period, the city will send a contractor to mow the property and send the owner the bill. The average fee to mow a residential lot is approximately $190. The owner has 30 days to pay the bill to avoid a lien being placed on the property.
If a complaint is filed in municipal court and the owner or occupant is found guilty, the fine ranges from $500-$2,000 and can be assessed for each day the property is in violation of the ordinance.
Texas A&M’s Agrilife Extension recommends taking the following steps to help prevent mosquitoes on your property:
Governor Greg Abbott on Monday, May 18, 2020 announced the second phase of the State of Texas' ongoing plan to open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Additionally, the governor announced that public schools in Texas have the option to provide in-person summer school so long as they follow social distancing practices and health protocols laid out by DSHS. These classes may begin as soon as June 1.
Via Executive Order, the following services and activities may open under Phase II.
All sporting and camp activities are required to adhere by special safety standards, and minimum standard health protocols have been established for all newly-announced opened services and activities. Businesses located in office buildings may also open but must limit their occupancy to the greater of 10 employees or 25% of their workforce.
Additionally, restaurants may expand their occupancy to 50% beginning May 22. Bars—including wine tasting rooms, craft breweries, and similar businesses—may open at 25% occupancy but like restaurants, these occupancy limits do not apply to outdoor areas that maintain safe distancing among parties.
Opened services and activities under Phase II are subject to certain occupancy limits and health and safety protocols. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit www.gov.texas.gov/opentexas.
Read the full executive order here.
Read the proclamation expanding this order (on May 26) here
Ten Lockhart businesses have been awarded one-time grants of up to $2,500 following action taken last week by the Lockhart City Council, continuing a program originally set in motion by the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce and the Caldwell County Community Services Foundation.
Lockhart City Council on Tuesday, May 5, voted to carve out $25,000 from the approximately $130,000 remaining in the Lockhart COVID-19 Recovery Loan Program to provide funding for the grants, picking up where Caldwell County and the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce left off with the “Lockhart Chamber of Commerce and Caldwell County Community Services Foundation Business Grant Assistance Program,” which provided grants of up to $2,500 to area businesses.
The City awarded the grants to the first 10 brick and mortar applicants that remained in queue for the Chamber’s loan program and had not received prior assistance from the city’s COVID-19 Recovery Loan Program. The deadline to apply for that program was May 1.
A total of 29 businesses have received assistance between the two grant programs.
“The Chamber of Commerce is to be commended for starting a grant program to help area businesses and we are pleased to help it continue,” said Lockhart Director of Economic Development Mike Kamerlander. “While this means the city has completely used the $25,000 it allocated, we highly recommend new applications should more funding become available.”
There were 78 total applications for the grants that were available through that program, with 41 of those applications coming from Lockhart businesses.
Priority will be given to future applicants that:
The city’s new grant program does not replace the COVID-19 Recovery Loans, which will remain available. The COVID-19 Recovery Loan program was created on April 7, making zero interest loans of up to $5,000 or $7,500 available to non-essential businesses. The loans are intended to help businesses pay rent and cover overhead costs while looking for additional sources of funding. To date, COVID-19 Recovery Loans have been made to 14 companies for a total of $82,500.
For COVID-19 updates relevant to economic development, including links to available financial resources, visit https://lockhartedc.com/coronavirus-updates.
Your local government depends on committed volunteers to serve on its boards and advisory committees.
The City of Lockhart has 15 boards and committees that advise the Lockhart City Council on a wide range of matters. To serve on a board or advisory committee, simply submit an application for consideration by the seven-member city council, which votes on appointments.
At this time, there are opportunities to serve on the Historical Preservation Commission and the Planning & Zoning Commission.
To learn more about what each board or advisory commission does, click here.
To apply, download an application here.
Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference where announced that he will be issuing an Executive Order to expand openings of certain businesses and activities. The Governor also announced new guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on graduation ceremonies and the creation of Surge Response Teams to combat any COVID-19 flare ups in Texas.
Per the Governor’s announcement, wedding venues and services required to conduct weddings may immediately open. Weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship must limit occupancy to 25%. Wedding reception services may also resume, but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25% of the total listed occupancy. These occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions.
Beginning May 8, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade, may open, but all such salons, shops, and establishments must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations. Tanning salons may also reopen under the same limitation. Also starting May 8, swimming pools may open subject to certain limitations, including on their occupancy or operating levels.
Beginning May 18, office buildings may open with the greater of five or less individuals or 25% of the total office workforce. These individuals must maintain appropriate social distancing. Gyms, exercise facilities, and exercise classes may also open on May 18, but must operate at 25% occupancy. Locker rooms and shower facilities will remain closed, but restrooms may open. Non-essential manufacturing services may also open on May 18 but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25%.
These newly opened services are subject to recommended minimum standard health protocols outlined by DSHS. These protocols will be available on the Open Texas webpage.
Details have been provided on the newly formed Surge Response Teams. These teams are led by TDEM and HHSC and include representatives from the the Texas Military Department, DSHS, the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, and BCFS Health and Human Services. Surge Response Teams will serve nursing homes, prisons, packing pants, and other facilities that experience flare ups of COVID-19 by providing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, onsite staffing, and assessment assistance. These teams will also work with local officials to establish health and social distancing standards to contain these flare ups. Several Surge Response Teams have already been deployed to locations across the state. Chief Kidd and Commissioner Wilson's presentation is available here.
TEA Commissioner Morath also provided new guidance on class of 2020 graduation ceremonies for Texas school districts. The TEA is providing four different pathways for schools to celebrate their graduating seniors, and each district is at liberty to determine if any of these options best serve the needs and desires of their community:
Outdoor in-person ceremonies, which are currently permitted for counties as follows:
Full details of the TEA's graduation ceremony guidance can be found on the TEA website.
The Governor's full executive order can be accessed here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-to-expand-openings-of-certain-businesses-and-activities
In an effort to serve the public, Dr. Eugene Clark Library will resume limited operations during the first phase of Governor Abbott's plan to reopen Texas. Effective Monday, May 4, the library will offer access to materials, service and technology in the following ways:
Phone service and email: Community members may contact the library information desk by telephone at (512) 398-3223 or via e-mail from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For a list of library staff e-mails, visit https://www.clark-library-lockhart.org/about-us/contact-us.
Curbside Service will begin on Monday, May 4. Patrons can call or reserve their material online at https://clarklibrary.biblionix.com/catalog/ or by phone. To pick up materials, patrons will arrive at the Library, dial the main number, and remain in their vehicles. Pick up hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Library staff will bring their materials to curbside-designated parking spots will be located adjacent to the library on Prairie Lea Street. Please do not return materials at this time. Borrowers who have checked out materials will not be charged late fees.
The library has many online services, including eBooks, downloadable magazines, and audiobooks that are available for free using your library card at https://clarklibrary.biblionix.com/catalog/
The technology center will be available by appointment. Proper social distancing as advised by the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) will be maintained. Computers may be reserved for 45 minutes per day.
"Good morning. We are gearing up to slowly reopen businesses in Lockhart tomorrow, Friday, May 1.
The Governor's new order is posted here on the city website (lockhart-tx.org/page/article/72) concerning who can open with what restrictions. Please continue to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, and wear a mask in public.
I know many are fearful to get out and many think that this is a complete reopening and no restrictions are needed. The Governor made it clear that people will not be penalized but disregarding these precautions would be to everyone's detriment. Patrons and businesses: Be safe; be smart! We have a ways to go yet!"
Governor Greg Abbott on Monday, April 27 said all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls are allowed, but not required, to reopen on Friday, May 1.
The governor said he would not renew his Essential Activities and Services order, effectively a "stay home, stay safe" order, which expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 30.
Under GA-18, these services must limit their capacity to 25% of their listed occupancy. Within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
All museums and libraries may open under the same 25% occupancy limitation, but interactive areas of museums must remain closed. State libraries and museums will open by May 1, and local public museums and libraries may reopen only if permitted by the local government. Single-person offices may reopen as well.
Churches and places of worship remain open. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume so long as no more than four participants are playing together at one time. Certain social distancing practices must also be followed. Local government operations, including county and municipal government operations relating to permitting, records, and document-filing services, may reopen as determined by the local government.
Essential services such as as farmers and ranchers, grocery and drug stores, banks, and gas stations will continue to operate.
The governor said public swimming pools, bars, gyms, cosmetology salons, massage establishments, interactive amusement venues, such as bowling alleys and video arcades, and tattoo and piercing studios will remain closed through Phase I. Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities must remain closed to visitors unless to provide critical assistance.
The governor said GA-18 supersedes all local and county government orders.
The governor has also relaxed certain restrictions related to health care professionals and issued amended requirements related to hospital capacity. Under an Executive Order (GA-19) issued today:
• All licensed health care professionals shall be limited in their practice by, and must comply with, any emergency rules promulgated by their respective licensing agencies dictating minimum standards for safe practice during the COVID-19 disaster.
• Every hospital licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health & Safety Code shall reserve at least 15% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, as determined by HHSC.
Additionally, the governor has issued an Executive Order (GA-20) to eliminate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. Under GA-20, the mandated 14-day quarantine for travelers from the following areas remains in place: California; Connect