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Rare “Star Trails over Mt. Rainier” artist proof up for auction
1 of the 8 signed, numbered prints of award winning photo selected for a U.S. Stamp will go home to the highest bidder as part of the Texas Night Sky Festival® online auction

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – The Texas Night Sky Festival® and the International Dark Sky Association-Texas Section (a Festival co-host) are proud to announce a rare metal artist proof of “Star Trails over Mt. Rainier” photo is available for auction. 

There were only eight prints produced of the famed photo that was selected by the U.S. Postal Service as a Forever Stamp to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial. The photo depicts a combined 200 exposure image of stars over Mt. Rainier.

Matt Dieterich is the award winning astrophotographer who captured the photo in 2015.  “This night was one I will never forget,” Dieterich said, quoted in a Seattle Times article in 2016. “After working with visitors at the Mount Rainier astronomy program on June 22, 2015, I noticed there was an aurora, so I drove down to Reflection Lake to capture it.”

Now, the last of his limited-edition artist proofs for this photo, number eight out of eight, will be in Dripping Springs awaiting a new owner. The 16” X 24” aluminum metal print is hand signed by Dieterich, comes ready to hang and includes a certificate of authenticity.

People interested in bidding on this unique piece can go to http://idatexas.org/auction/ to place their bid. The auction will close at 7:15 pm on March 18th, the same time that the silent auction closes on-site at the Festival. 

For information about the Texas Night Sky Festival® set for Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park, please visit http://www.texasnightskyfestival.org/



Texas Night Sky Festival®—March 18

A FREE star studded event for the whole family

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – The Texas Night Sky Festival® will shine brightly once again. Close to 3,000 people attended the inaugural Festival in 2016. Back for its second year, on March 18, at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., thousands will again come together for a celebration of the starlit skies of Texas.

This year, the Texas Night Sky Festival® will feature more activities, more booths and more speakers and entertainers for people of all ages. Families won’t want to miss going inside one of the two mobile planetariums, or taking a closer look at the sun with a special solar telescope.

If you come with an appetite, no problem. There will be several food vendors on deck serving up a variety of delicious food. Grab a bite, then sit down in front of the stage to enjoy some live music. Relax, learn and have fun by visiting the education booths, hearing from our speakers, earning either the Dark Sky or Midnight Defender Patch, and being enchanted at the Teepee by tales of the night sky from Native American and European traditions. 

Don’t forget to pick up a plant, as the Hays County Master Gardeners will be holding their annual plant sale at the Festival to highlight the needs of plants and pollinators for natural darkness.  Then, when the sun sets, the fun rises! Attendees can visit with astronomers and peer through telescopes or stargaze at the star party. Photography enthusiasts will want to stick around for the intro to night sky photography lesson and yoga lovers will want to bring their yoga mats for “yoga under the stars.” Everyone is welcome to bring a camp chair or blanket to the star party to relax and celebrate the night!

Admission including all the activities and parking are FREE thanks to our generous sponsors. To learn more about them and to see a complete schedule of activities, please visit http://www.texasnightskyfestival.org/.

The Texas Night Sky Festival® is co-hosted by the International Dark Sky Association-Texas Section, the City of Dripping Springs and the Texas Master Naturalist-Hays County Chapter.




Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce Votes to Officially Support 
City's Proposed Wastewater Expansion Proposal and Discharge Permit

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – Feb. 27, 2017 – The Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce voted last week to fully support the City of Dripping Springs’ wastewater expansion plan and discharge permit application.  At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, the full board considered and approved a recommendation of support from its Economic Development Committee.  

“We recognize how much work the City has put into developing a proposal that addresses a critical need of our community,” said Chamber Board Chair Jason McNutt.  “The board considered a variety of factors in its decision, including the City’s contracts with Caliterra and the Howard Ranch to accept close to 600,000 gallons per day of treated effluent; the letter of intent with Scott Roberts regarding a Driftwood development to accept up to one million gallons of treated effluent; and the Nov. 2016 ordinance requiring future developments to incorporate beneficial reuse,” added McNutt. “It’s become abundantly clear how serious the City is about beneficial reuse as opposed to discharge.” 

The Chamber’s official public support comes on the heels of another positive development involving the City of Austin.  Earlier this month, the City of Austin’s Watershed Department modeled the City of Dripping Springs’ proposed beneficial reuse program. Preliminary findings indicate that Dripping Springs’ plan meets the criteria by which the City of Austin evaluated potential impacts on the quality of water in Onion Creek. 

“It’s certainly gratifying to receive the support of the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce.  As a city, we are fortunate to have such an active and engaged business community.  They know better than anyone the growth we are experiencing and the challenges that come with it,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds. 




Hays County Emergency Management Seeks Storm Damage Reports for Tracking Purposes

 
HAYS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SAN MARCOS, TX – The Hays County Emergency Management Office is seeking information about the storms that brought high winds, hail, lightning and rain to much of Hays County Sunday night, February 19, into Monday morning, February 20.

“One of the ways we get accurate historical data on storms, their paths and the damage they cause is from reports from homeowners and business owners about any damage to their property,” Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith said. “If your property sustained damage – fences or trees down, shingles missing, sheds damaged, lightning strike, windshields or windows broken, rain damage – it would be helpful for us to know about it so we can accurately track the storm’s path.”

Smith cautioned that reporting damage to Emergency Management is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency. She noted that a request for assistance from state or federal agencies is not anticipated. To report your damage, send an email with your name, address of the damaged property, the time the damage occurred and the types of damage to ReportHaysStormDamage@co.hays.tx.us


Free Running Workshop
City partners with Dripping Springs Running Club for February HPHP event

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – Grab your athletic shoes, lace up, and join us at the Dripping Springs Sports and Recreation Park (behind HEB) for another Healthy Parks, Healthy People—Dripping Springs event (HPHP).

This month, the City is partnering with the Dripping Springs Running Club to host a running workshop. Set for Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginners and experienced runners alike can learn about proper footwear, stretching and how to prevent injuries. Discover the best places to run in Dripping Springs and more!

While at the park, go ahead and take a jog at your leisure, and be sure to stop by our partner’s booths for some swag like t-shirts, mini first aid kits and other freebies. Plus, just by showing up, you’ll help us get points for the “It’s Time Texas Community Challenge,” a statewide competition that promotes healthy living. If Dripping Springs wins, the City will receive an $1800 grant to use towards something fitness related, that the whole community can benefit from. 

The running workshop along with all of the City’s HPHP events are completely free, thanks to generous partners and sponsors including Five Star ER and LockTite Storage.

About Healthy Parks, Healthy People-Dripping Springs
The goal is to showcase the City’s five parks and share everything they have to offer by hosting a monthly event.
Participants also receive a Healthy Parks, Healthy People punch card that they can get stamped each time they attend an event.  After five punches, participants have a shot at winning a special prize like a Yeti cooler.
For more information about the program, please visit www.cityofdrippingsprings.com.



CITY OF AUSTIN EVALUATES DRIPPING SPRINGS’ DISCHARGE PERMIT AND ITS

PLANS FOR BENEFICIAL REUSE AND STORAGE 
Watershed Protection Department’s Preliminary Findings Signal Good News for Dripping Springs

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – January 31, 2017 – The City of Dripping Springs today provided an update relating to its ongoing conversations with the City of Austin in regard to its draft TCEQ wastewater discharge permit and its plans for beneficial reuse of treated wastewater effluent.   For the last several months, staffs of both cities have been meeting regularly to discuss and evaluate Dripping Springs’ proposed wastewater management strategy. 

The City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department modeled the City of Dripping Springs’ proposed beneficial reuse program. Preliminary findings indicate that Dripping Springs’ plan meets the criteria by which the City of Austin evaluated potential impacts on the quality of water in Onion Creek. 

“We are grateful to the City of Austin for working with us to further evaluate our plans for beneficial reuse and storage.  Mayor Adler and the Watershed Protection Department staff, in particular, have been incredibly helpful,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds.  “The City of Dripping Springs remains as committed as ever to this strategy; it has never been our intent to discharge. We are on the record that beneficial reuse and direct potable reuse are our long-term goals.” 

“I am excited that our two cities are working together to find solutions to accommodate the region’s rapid growth, while protecting water quality,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
Dripping Springs has signed reuse contracts with the Caliterra and Howard Ranch developments to accept close to 500,000 gallons per day of reclaimed water.  This, combined with plans the City has to irrigate city-owned land, accounts for approximately 600,000 gallons per day, which puts a significant dent into the proposed allowable maximum of 995,000 gallons-per-day.   The City Council also has signed a letter of intent with local landowner Scott Roberts as it relates to a proposed development in Driftwood.  A feasibility study will now be conducted to evaluate that development accepting up to one million gallons of treated effluent for reuse.

To further bolster its efforts, the Dripping Springs City Council approved an ordinance at the end of 2016 that will require future developments to incorporate beneficial reuse or contribute funds to wastewater management reuse strategies. “As we’ve said from the very beginning, wastewater disposal is not what we’re after; treated effluent reuse is where we are going, and we’re already well on our way. It’s too important to the long-term sustainability of our community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Foulds.




Partial Lane Closure Notice

Sections of RR 12 will temporarily close for drainage work

Ranch Road 12 between Old Fitzhugh Road and Summit Drive will be partially closed beginning on January 31 and ending on February 3. 
The temporary closure is due to the installation of a drainage pipe across RR12. To minimize the traffic impact, the construction work will occur during the overnight hours of 8:00 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Two-way traffic control will occur during the scheduled period of construction. Please exercise caution when driving through the area.



Hays County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Dripping Springs residents asked for input regarding natural hazards

Dripping Springs area residents are encouraged to provide feedback regarding natural hazards through participation in a survey for the development of the Hays County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

A Hazard Mitigation Plan is a document that outlines actions that can be taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risks to people and their property from hazards. It is an effective tool in identifying risks and vulnerabilities to natural hazards, allowing communities to take action to protect their people and infrastructure before disasters occur.

The plan is updated every 5 years and the current plan expires on November 28, 2017.  The public can become involved and offer their input by participating in the Hays Hazard Mitigation Planning Public Opinion Survey. The questionnaire can be completed on line by visiting the Survey Monkey link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HaysHMPUpdatePublicSurvey.

Paper copies of the survey will also be available at City Hall (511 Mercer St.) during normal business hours, for those who prefer not to fill out the questionnaire online.  Survey responses will be collected through February 15, 2017 and a draft plan is expected to be completed sometime this spring.




It's Time Texas Community Challenge

Dripping Springs steps up for statewide health and fitness competition

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – January 17, 2017 –  Dripping Springs is proving the community is fit and active through participation in a statewide healthy competition.

The City has stepped up for the “It’s Time Texas Community Challenge” presented by H-E-B. It’s Time Texas Community Challenge is a free, statewide competition currently underway, in which communities compete to demonstrate the greatest commitment to healthy living.
The communities with the most points at the end of the challenge on March 31, can receive a grant to go towards parks improvements or a healthy living initiative.

Points are earned simply by registering, pledging support and documenting actions like healthy eating, working out, etc. More details about how points are earned are available on the challenge website—https://ittcommunitychallenge.com/
A “Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council” has been established as part of the challenge and is chaired by Carrie Isaac with Mary Jane Hetrick serving as Vice Chair.

For more information about the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council, you can visit the City’s website at www.cityofdrippingsprings.com as well as the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ITTDS



Filing Period Opens January 18 for City Council Election


DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS –  Candidate filing begins on Wednesday, January 18 for three City Council seats that will be on the ballot for the May 6, 2017 Election.  
To file as a candidate, a completed application must be submitted to the City Secretary by Friday, February 17, 2017. Applications can be found on the City's website at http://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/default.aspx?name=city.secretary2 or picked up at City Hall (511 Mercer Street). 

To be eligible to run for City Council, Candidates must (under local Gov’t Code, Section 22.032):
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have been a resident in the City for at least one year prior to election day
- Have been a resident in the State for at least one year prior to the filing deadline
- Be a registered voter in territory elected from by the filing deadline.

Currently, the at large positions are filled by Santos Alba, Charlie Busbey and Bill Foulds. More information regarding municipal elections can be found on the Texas Secretary of State website http://sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/local.shtml.

Christmas Tree Recycling
City to offer free mulch through tree recycling program
Dripping Springs area residents can easily recycle their holiday trees with the City of Dripping Springs.

From now through January 10, trees can be dr
opped off anytime at the concrete slab on the west side of “the triangle” (RR12/U.S. 290). Please remember to remove all lights, wire, tinsel, decorations and stands from the trees. Trees with flocking (artificial snow) are not accepted. The collected trees will be turned into mulch and made available to the public at “the triangle” from January 11 through January 15, on a first come, first served basis. Please bring your own tools and storage containers for loading and transporting the mulch.


Entries now open for the Texas Night Sky Festival® Writing Contest

Thirty days remain to enter the Texas Night Sky Festival® Writing Contest and a new category has been added! In addition to Adult and Youth categories, the contest is now accepting entries from Published Authors.   The Festival, to be held March 18, 2017 in Dripping Springs, is part of an international program to preserve and protect the night skies by reducing artificial illumination.


The Texas Night Sky Festival® has also announced the titles of the writing contest awards. Winners will be presented the Polaris, Comet and Orion Awards.  The contest encourages poets and writers to express the importance of protecting the wonder and beauty of the night skies.  Cindy Luongo Cassidy, leader of the festival said, “Our goal is for participants to inspire us with their writing about the natural wonders of nature after dark or how to protect it.” 

Poets and writers of all ages, published and unpublished, can join the effort to create awareness throughout Texas of the relationship between daylight and the darkness.  Cassidy said, “Few stop to think that after the sun sets, there are plants and creatures who depend on the natural light of the stars and moon at night to survive.”  As part of the writing competition, with both poetry and essay entries, the festival has worked with local writers.  Nancy Fierstien, creator of Thirsty Thursday, a local poetry group, and Doyle Morgan Fellers, Poet Laureate of Dripping Springs, will oversee the contest.  

Naomi Shihab Nye, an internationally known poet from San Antonio, will serve as juror.   Local sponsors will provide the cash prizes, which will be presented to winners at the Festival. For more information on poetry and essay guidelines and rules, go to www.TexasNightSkyFestival.org and select Writing Contest.  The Festival Writing Contest is now open for poetry and essay entries from both youth and adults. Entries will be accepted through January 15, 2017. To submit your entry, go to texasnightskyfestival.submittable.com.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY SEEKS INFORMATION REGARDING; CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS’ DISCHARGE PERMIT
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – December 13, 2016 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted a letter to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), outlining its questions related to the City of Dripping Springs’ draft wastewater discharge permit. The EPA is seeking additional information to ensure the City’s draft permit conforms to the guidelines and requirements established by the Clean Water Act. The City anticipated the inquiry from the federal agency and will work to provide all requested data. “We knew the EPA had an interest in learning more about our permit,” said Mayor Todd Purcell. “We will, of course, share any information we have to better inform the decision-making process. We’re committed to being completely transparent and welcome the questions.” In September, TCEQ issued Dripping Springs a draft wastewater discharge permit with a capacity of 995,000 GPD, a major milestone in the expansion plans of its South Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. The permit allows for discharge of highly treated effluent into Walnut Springs Creek within the Caliterra subdivision. A component of the permit will allow the City to deliver recycled water to reuse customers for irrigation of open areas, parks, sports fields and eventually for direct potable reuse. The wastewater treatment and reuse pump station will be located at 23127 RM 150. TCEQ has preliminarily determined that existing water quality uses will not be impaired by this permit action, nor is significant degradation of water quality expected in Onion Creek. This permit will be one of the strictest of its kind in the State of Texas, according to TCEQ’s rules for effluent limitations, monitoring requirements and other conditions set forth.

Live Cowboy Nativity

December 17th at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – December 5, 2016- The Cowboy Church of the Hill Country will present a Live Nativity as told by the cowboys on Saturday, December 17th at Dripping Springs Ranch Park and Event Center. There will be performances at 6:30pm and 8:00pm in the covered arena. Bleachers will be set up for guests to sit on and enjoy the show. Stay after with the family and enjoy a petting zoo, warm beverages, cookies and other treats. You can also get your picture taken with a real 1880s Studebaker chuck wagon. There is no charge for entry, but donations to offset the cost of the production are appreciated.

Christmas on Mercer
Dress warmly and bring an umbrella because Christmas on Mercer Street will go on RAIN OR SHINE on Saturday, December 3rd.  According to the National Weather Service, there will be light to moderate, intermittent rain on Saturday. Chances of thunderstorms are low.  With the temperature high's being in the 50's, you will want to wear your Merriest Christmas Sweater too! (There will be four chances to win in the Merriest Christmas Sweater Contest at 1 pm on the Main Stage!!!) So bundle your kids up and see you Saturday! For more information about the festival click here.


Hays County Reinstates Burn Ban for Unincorporated Areas of the County
Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., has reinstated the burn ban for unincorporated areas of Hays County effective immediately. After consultation with Hays County Fire Marshal Clint Browning, the decision was made based on continuing high winds and low humidity through much of the county. Dry grass fuel, similar to what was involved in a 150-acre grass fire near Kyle on Monday, has been observed in other parts of the county. Grills with lids are allowed to be used, but not burn barrels even if they have a lid. Violators can face a fine of up to $500.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ)
City of Dripping Springs exploring new funding mechanism, public hearings set for November 29th

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS –– The City of Dripping Springs is moving forward with the potential creation of two Tax Increment Reinvest Zones or TIRZes. A TIRZ works by locking in the dollar amount on property tax revenue received by the City for the specific zones drawn by the city by ordinance When property values increase rise over that locked in figure, then a predetermined percentage of the tax revenue in those zones is redirected to a TIRZ fund controlled by an appointed board and used for planned projects. As a result, money is available for transportation and infrastructure improvements that benefit the two zones from where the tax revenue is collected. Proposed projects include but are not limited to: drainage improvements roadway improvements public parking downtown The City of Dripping Springs has identified two areas or “zones” in the City that would serve as a TIRZ. On November 8th, City Council approved the preliminary project plans for TIRZ#1 and TIRZ#2. The plans can be viewed on the

City’s website (www.cityofdrippingsprings.com) by clicking the links attached to the public notice regarding the TIRZ public hearing.

The public hearing regarding TIRZ#1 and TIRZ#2 will take place on November 29, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Questions can be directed to Ginger Faught, Deputy City Administrator, at gfaught@cityofdrippingsprings.com  or  Michelle Fischer, City Administrator at mfischer@cityofdrippingsprings.com. You can also call City Hall at (512) 858-4725.

CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS ISSUES PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT 

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – November 15, 2016 – City of Dripping Springs officials tonight issued a public service announcement. An event was reported at the City’s South Regional Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Disposal Facility.  The treatment plant operator estimates that approximately 25,000 gallons of highly treated effluent migrated from one of the city’s drip irrigation fields onto neighboring property. 

Upon notification, the City immediately informed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and is currently working with the treatment plant operator to determine the cause of the issue.  The City is following all appropriate procedures and will continue to evaluate the situation.  

City officials want to assure the community that there are no safety or public health risks associated with today’s development.  “Our responsibility is to keep the community informed,” said Mayor Todd Purcell.  “Although the City is not required to notify the public when this type of issue occurs, we believe it’s the right thing to do.”

If you have questions or concerns, please call Deputy City Administrator Ginger Faught at (512) 858-4725.  



City Attorneys recognized with prestigious awards
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – November 11, 2016 – The City of Dripping Springs congratulates City Attorney Alan Bojorquez and Deputy City Attorney Ryan Turner for receiving prestigious awards from two organizations.


Alan Bojorquez, City Attorney

Bojorquez in September of this year, was awarded the “Marvin J. Glink Private Practice Local Government Attorney Award” by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). The award recognizes a private law practitioner who has provided outstanding service to the public and who possesses an exemplary reputation in the legal community, the highest of ethical standards and who revels in maintaining a life that balances a passion for professional excellence with the joy of family and friends.

Alan has been in private practice for over 13 years and is currently the Principal and Founder of Bojorquez Law Firm, PC where he represents municipalities of all sizes across Texas, including Dripping Springs.

Ryan Turner, Deputy City Attorney

In July, Turner was presented the “2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer Award” by the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award goes to a practicing lawyer employed by the government or employed in a government-law related business who has made an outstanding contribution to government service. The recipient exemplifies the ideals of dedication, professionalism, and ethics in service that have benefited the public or a governmental entity. 

Turner has worked with the City of Dripping Springs since 2003. In addition, he also serves as General Counsel and Director of Education for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center in Austin.

Turner and Bojorquez were recognized and thanked by City Council at the November 8 council meeting.


Run by the Creek: Dripping Springs Running Club to host charity 5k & 10k this weekend
 
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – More than 450 runners are expected to take to the street the morning of November 13, for the 5th Annual Run by the Creek 5k and 10k race in Dripping Springs.
Hosted by the Dripping Springs Running Club, the course will have runners going from Roger Hanks Parkway down a portion of Creek Road and back.
The race is slated to begin at 8 a.m. but motorists should be aware that the following road closures will occur at 6:30 a.m.

Roger Hanks Parkway from U.S. 290 to Creek Road
• Creek Road to Dario Drive

Both roadways are expected to open at 10:30 a.m. Hays County Constable Deputies will be stationed at intersections affected by the race. For more information about the event, visit www.runbythecreek.com 

 
About the Dripping Springs Running Club

The Dripping Springs Running Club (DSRC), a non-profit organization, was created with the purpose of promoting healthy lifestyles by supporting local non-profits and public projects with similar purposes.
With proceeds from the Run by the Creek races, the DSRC has been able to support the Dripping Springs High School Cross Country Team by purchasing thousands of dollars in equipment.
The DSRC has also donated more than $2,000 to the City of Dripping Springs for park benches and trail head signage.


Healthy Parks, Healthy People—Dripping Springs
The City of Dripping Springs to launch a new parks program
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 28, 2016 – Dripping Springs is a little slice of the hill country and has five parks where people can enjoy it. Park goers can engage in a variety of recreational activities like hiking, biking, jogging, bird watching, playing on playground equipment, swimming and more. 
To showcase these parks and share everything they have to offer, the City of Dripping Springs is launching a new initiative called Healthy Parks, Healthy People—Dripping Springs.

The program will be an adaption of the one created by the National Parks Service (NPS). In fact, the organization has given our City permission to use the name and get it started here. There’s not a National Park in Dripping Springs, but the concept is the same; get people to the parks to embrace the connection between nature and health.

The goal for the program is to have a monthly event.  The City will partner with local health related businesses or organizations to highlight a health topic. Each event will be held at various city parks.  Participants will also receive a “Health Passport” that they can get stamped each time they attend an event.  At the end of the year there will be special awards for participants who reach a certain number of stamps.

It all starts on Sunday November 6, 2016, when the City of Dripping Springs will kick-off the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Program with a “Kids Ride Day” at Dripping Springs Ranch Park (DSRP) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by the Dripping Springs Mountain Bike Team. Dubbed the Mountain Bike Mash Up and Swap Meet, the team will provide bikes and gear for kids to try mountain biking for free.  

The event is open to adults and children to bring awareness not only to the sport but to the trails at DSRP as well. Attendees will be able to take laps around the trails or take part in the swap meet where families can buy, sell or trade any bike parts they’d like to bring. The event also includes a bike rodeo that will have several stations including a bike safety check, skills practice, a lap with a coach and more.

This is the first of many events and partnerships, tied to a program that is aimed at promoting health and fitness throughout our community. For more information about Healthy Parks, Healthy People—Dripping Springs, please send an e-mail to bgonzalez@cityofdrippingsprings.com.


2017 Texas Night Sky Festival® 
Call for entries for art, photography and writing contest 

*above photo by Jerry Moreno

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 26, 2016 – Calling all artists, photographers and writers! Entries are now open for several competitions tied to the 2nd annual Texas Night Sky Festival® to be held on March 18, 2017 at Dripping Springs Ranch Park.

Hosted by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Texas Section, the City of Dripping Springs, and the Hays County Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist, 2016 was the inaugural year for the festival that celebrates everything about the starlit skies.  

The event was a huge success as more than 2800 people attended and hundreds of entries were submitted for art and photography competitions.
Texas Night Sky Festival® is once again bringing back those two competitions and new this year is the addition of a writing contest.

The Festival Writing Contest Team is delighted to announce that Naomi Shihab Nye, of San Antonio, will be the juror to select the award winners from the finalist in the Writing Contest. Nye is a multi-award-winning Palestinian-American Poet, Essayist & Educator. The Texas Night Sky Festival® is honored to have her participation.

People of all ages are invited to submit an entry for the writing (poetry and short story/essay) and photography competitions. All Students, K-12 can participate in the art contest. Entries for the art and photography contests are open now. The entry window for the writing contest will open in November.

For more information and to view competition rules and guidelines, please visit www.TexasNightSkyFestival.org


About the Texas Night Sky Festival®
Held in Dripping Springs, the first International Dark Sky Community in Texas, the Texas Night Sky Festival® is a free-to-attend celebration of the Texas Night Sky!

The Festival promotes the appreciation, protection and enjoyment of one of the Earth’s most beautiful and natural resources – the night sky - and the starlit, natural environment that most forms of life depend upon at night. Join us for a fun, educational and relaxed day with your family and friends. 

This one-of-a kind event for all of Texas provides a unique opportunity to learn about and increase awareness of the need for natural darkness. Come see the types of lighting that provide needed light while saving the nighttime!

Other highlights include: a star-gazing party, live music, food trucks, vendors, silent auction, mobile planetariums, live story-telling, interactive exhibits and more.

It all happens on March 18, 2017 (the second weekend of spring break) at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park and Event Center from 2 – 10 p.m.

For updates, like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TexasNightSkyFestival
We’re also on Twitter! @TxNightSkyFest
#TexasNSF



Traffic Route Change Notice
Turns will be restricted at the Wallace St./RR12 Intersection
 

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 21, 2016 – In an effort to improve traffic flow and safety, turning movements will be restricted at the Wallace Street/Ranch Road 12 intersection.

Previously, motorists could turn on to Wallace Street from any direction on RR12 and vice versa. This would often cause congestion during peak traffic times throughout the day. To address the issue, a right in and right out only route will be implemented on Wallace Street.

Drivers traveling northbound on RR12 will no longer be able to turn left on Wallace and drivers exiting Wallace cannot turn left to head northbound on RR12.

Signage is being installed now and the route change is expected to be implemented on October 24, 2016.



2016 Dripping Springs Ranch Park Volunteers of the Year 
Cowboy Church of the Hill Country and Cowboys for Christ


DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 20, 2016 – The Cowboy Church of the Hill Country and Cowboys for Christ have been named the 2016 Dripping Springs Ranch Park (DSRP) Volunteers of the Year.

The organizations have been long time supporters of DSRP.  In 2009, they got involved with the first Wild West Fest held at the park. The group has continued to offer their assistance in many capacities from cooking, set up and tear down of events and shows, announcing, working gates and so much more.

“Dripping Springs Ranch Park could not function were it not for devoted volunteers such as the Cowboy Church of the Hill Country and Cowboys for Christ,” DSRP Manager Lynne Dickinson said.
“They volunteer their time simply to make DSRP a place for everyone to enjoy.”

The Cowboy Church of the Hill Country and Cowboys for Christ were presented with a proclamation in recognition of their volunteer efforts at City Council’s October 11 meeting.

Council calls upon residents to express their appreciation towards these organizations for the impact they’ve made at DSRP and in their community.



Chamber of Commerce Week Oct. 17-21
City recognizes Dripping Springs Chamber with Proclamation



The hard work and accomplishments of Chambers of Commerce across the state is being celebrated October 17th through the 21st, for Texas Chamber of Commerce Week.

In light of the occasion, City Council recognized our local Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce with a proclamation at council’s October 11th meeting.

“The chamber is committed to improving the economic vitality of the Dripping Springs area and the chamber’s work goes beyond economic development as they also focus on leadership training and community engagement,” the proclamation reads.

The Dripping Springs Chamber was established in 1985 and continues to grow. They are a partner with the City and a promoter of our community. 

“Their efforts have helped lay the foundation for our community, contributing to a better City for all of our Dripping Springs area residents,” Mayor Todd Purcell said.

City Council encourages citizens and business owners to join and support The Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.drippingspringstx.org.



The Artists Alliance of the Hill Country (AAHC) present The SHOW


DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 14, 2016 –Music and fine art will fill Dripping Springs Ranch Park on October 22 and 23, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. as the Artists Alliance of the Hill Country (AAHC) present The SHOW. 
It’s a two-day fine art event that will spotlight 60 juried artists. The artists will have their work on display in the 12,000 square foot air-conditioned exhibition hall with musicians performing original songs on stage throughout the event. Food and adult beverages can be purchased on location. Guest admission and parking to the event is free.

Fine original artwork will include digital, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, mosaic, paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture and woodwork from all over Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. 

Musicians on stage include Karen Abrahams, Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Rosie Flores, Warren Hood, Him and Her, Kaitlynn Curtner, George Ensle, Runaway Horse, and Nancy Scott with Creekbottom Music Sound. 

The City of Dripping Springs is a proud co-sponsor of the event.  To view the musician’s lineup schedule and details on each artist, please visit www.TheShowSpotlight.com




Pavilion now open at Charro Ranch Park



DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 13, 2016 –Charro Ranch Park patrons now have a new pavilion to enjoy, thanks to a $19,148 community development grant from Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.  The pavilion was built by local company Driftwood Builders and funded by the grant and the City of Dripping Springs.  

The twenty by twenty foot pavilion features built in benches and offers visitors a place to sit and rest or picnic in the shade. Organizations and schools will also be able to use the pavilion for outdoor educational purposes and other recreational activities.

The improvements add to what has become a popular stop for visitors wanting to enjoy nature at this 64 acre park located at 22690 W. FM 150. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently added Charro Ranch Park to its list of Great Texas Wildlife Trails.

“We appreciate and are grateful to LCRA and the Pedernales Electric Cooperative, for having partnered with the City to make the pavilion a reality,” said Mayor Todd Purcell.  “As a result of their support, our citizens and visitors can enjoy the pavilion for years to come.”

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The Pedernales Electric Cooperative is one of the LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.

More information about the program is available at lcra.org/cdpp.



Rebeca Rubio recognized during Hispanic Heritage Month


During Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 to October 15, we recognize the heritage, culture and contributions made by Latino Americans.

Locally, among those Latinos/Latinas who have helped shape our community is Rebeca Rubio.
She came to work for the City of Dripping Springs in 2006.

Rebeca was hired part time as Court Clerk before being promoted to a full time employee.  Prior to moving to Dripping Springs, she lived in a ranching community in South Texas where she helped set up the municipal court.

To this day, she continues to serve as Municipal Court Clerk for the City of Dripping Springs and is also the City’s Utilities Coordinator. Rebeca was instrumental in helping to set up the City’s sewer system.

She is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish, and has assisted with translations of City documents and communications with Citizens.

“Spanish speaking people come in to see what they need to deal with their property issues,” Rebeca said. “I am able to give them direction and help them translate and once they get that confidence with me, I   can help them with other issues.”

The City thanks Rebeca Rubio for her many years of service and for her contributions to our community.




Partial Street Closure
Old Fitzhugh Road will temporarily be reduced to one lane for waterline work



DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – October 5, 2016 –On Thursday, October 6, at 9 a.m., construction will begin to install a water line at 102 Old Fitzhugh Road. As a result, Old Fitzhugh Road will temporarily be reduced to one lane in each direction.
Flaggers will be on hand to help direct traffic.  Old Fitzhugh road is scheduled to reopen to two lane traffic no later than 4:00 pm the same day. Please exercise caution when driving through the area while construction crews are present.
 



Ring in the Holiday Season with a Hometown Festival
12th Annual Christmas on Mercer Street Set for Saturday, December 3rd



DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS
The hometown holiday glow of Dripping Springs will return Saturday, December 3rd with the 12th Annual Christmas on Mercer Street.  Admission is free to the public.
 
Hosted by the City of Dripping Springs and Dripping Springs Lions Club, the downtown festivities will feature an old-fashioned holiday celebration on Mercer Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with live music and entertainment, arts and crafts booths, kid’s games and activities, a trackless train and pony rides, photos with Santa Claus, and a festive selection of food and drinks. 
 
With Mercer Street closed off to traffic, you will see the downtown area transformed into a winter wonderland of brilliant illumination, holiday sales, and Christmas cheer. 
 
The annual Lighting of the Tree will be held at the Triangle at 6:15 p.m. Christmas carolers representing local churches and schools will serenade with heart-warming, traditional Christmas Carols at the tree lighting ceremony. 


Event sponsors are needed. Sponsorships are available at various levels of support. All of the money raised will pay for the event or go back to the community through various Lions Club programs. Admission to the festival is free because of the many sponsors and donors who generously provide festival security, sanitation, barricades, trash pick-up and other services for the event. 
Interested vendors, both food and arts and crafts, should call the City Hall at 512-858-4725 to reserve a 10’ x 10’ booth now. The fee for booths is $100. Electricity is provided at request. 
 
Sponsorship and vendor application forms are located on the City of Dripping Springs website at http://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/default.aspx?name=city.mercer_christmas or stop by the Dripping Springs City Hall on Mercer Street to pick one up today. 
 

Annual Holiday Gift Tour Returns November 26th

Back by popular demand, the Hill Country Gift Tour has been scheduled the week prior to Christmas on Mercer Street. 
Providing visitors with another opportunity to shop local at Dripping Springs stores and support local businesses, the Tour will be held on Small Business Saturday, November 26th.  Sponsored by the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Dripping Springs Lions Club, it will feature more than 25 local merchants and restaurants in and around the City. 
For only $30, you can purchase a festive holiday treasure box with a map to each participating store or eatery. At the end of the tour, your box will be filled to the brim with holiday gifts to keep or give away. With limited supplies available, please pre-register with the Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.


All Hill Country Gift Tour ticket proceeds benefit the Dripping Springs Lions Club. Those who purchase tickets to the Tour will also receive a special gift at Christmas on Mercer Street. 


Don’t miss out on two occasions, the Hill Country Gift Tour and Christmas on Mercer Street, to shop unique local businesses and restaurants and to knock out your Christmas shopping early. 


Tickets for the Tour will go on sale Monday, October 31st and are limited to the first 125 purchasers. For more information or to purchase gift tour tickets, please contact the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce at 512-858-7000 or dschamber@drippingspringstx.org.  





Public Hearing for DS Comprehensive Plan set for October 11 at City Council Meeting


September 30, 2016 –
The City’s Comprehensive Plan will go before City Council on October 11, at City Hall at 7 p.m., for a public hearing, discussion and possible approval.

Prior to going to council, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval at their September 27 meeting.

Since January 2016, the City of Dripping Springs Council Members, staff, community leaders, citizens and area residents have been working together on updating the Comprehensive Plan for the City.

Through a community survey and two town hall meetings, area residents have expressed goals and recommendations including traffic, wastewater, housing, economic development, tourism, infrastructure, managing growth, affordable housing and more.

The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, staff and advisory members have worked to develop a document that reflects that public input.

Once the Comprehensive Plan is approved, it will provide long range goals and a vision for future actions for the City.

A draft of the plan can be found on the City’s website, www.cityofdrippingsprings.com. If you can not attend the meeting, please submit your comments to City Secretary Kerri Craig at kcraig@cityofdrippingsprings.com

Once the plan is completed, there will be opportunities for citizens, non-profit groups and other organizations to take ownership 

of action items identified in the plan. For more information, please contact City Hall at 512-858-4725.



CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS RECEIVES DRAFT DISCHARGE PERMIT 
FROM TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
City Takes Another Significant Step in Addressing Growing Water and Wastewater Needs



September 28, 2016 –
The City of Dripping Springs announced today it has received a draft permit with a capacity of 995,000 gallons per day from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), a major milestone in the expansion plans of its South Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Once the permit is issued, it will be one of the strictest of its kind in the State of Texas, according to TCEQ’s rules for effluent limitations, monitoring requirements and other conditions set forth.  The permit allows for discharge of highly treated effluent into Walnut Springs Creek within the Caliterra subdivision. A component of the permit will allow the City to deliver recycled water to beneficial reuse customers for irrigation of open areas, parks, sports fields and eventually for direct potable reuse. The wastewater treatment and reuse pump station will be located at 23127 RM 150. 


“The City appreciates the TCEQ working with us to develop the draft permit. We have conducted years of research to identify this proposed plan as the best option to meet our growing wastewater needs.  We’ve done our homework,” said Mayor Todd Purcell. “What I want our citizens to know is that, while we are seeking this permit, it is not our intent to discharge. We are on the record that beneficial reuse and direct potable reuse are our long-term goals. The discharge permit is simply a means to that end. So, let me be clear, wastewater disposal is not what we’re after; treated effluent reuse is where we are going, and I am confident we will get there. It’s too important to the long-term sustainability of our community.”


The City is moving forward with plans to expand its wastewater system to meet current demand and proactively plan for future development. Hays County has experienced tremendous growth over the last 10 years with its population increasing by 60 percent. Substantial residential development is already underway and commercial development is also moving to the area. The City originally filed for the permit in October 2015.
TCEQ has preliminarily determined that existing water quality uses will not be impaired by this permit action.  In response to TCEQ issuing this draft discharge permit, a public meeting will be held at which stakeholders are encouraged to ask questions of the City of Dripping Springs and TCEQ about the permit. 


Who: City of Dripping Springs and TCEQ
What: Public meeting on the City of Dripping Springs draft discharge permit
When: November 10, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Dripping Springs Ranch Park, Special Events Venue Room, located at 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620


The City of Dripping Springs is seeking a discharge permit from TCEQ as it is the most environmentally sensitive and fiscally responsible option to better fulfill the City’s long-term goal of beneficial reuse, and ultimately, direct potable reuse.  A direct potable reuse system would treat effluent to drinking water standards that could be used to supplement drinking water supplies, which will support the City’s growing wastewater and drinking water needs, while minimizing discharge. The City recently signed contracts with Caliterra and Howard Ranch to accept close to 500,000 gallons per day of treated effluent for beneficial reuse.  This, combined with plans the City has to irrigate city-owned land, accounts for approximately 600,000 gallons per day, which puts a significant dent into the proposed allowable maximum of 995,000 gallons per day.




City Council Declares October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month


September 20, 2016 - Council called upon the people of Dripping Springs to work together to stop domestic violence, and to recognize and support the important work accomplished by all area Law Enforcement agencies and Hays- Caldwell Women's Center. In a proclamation, they proclaimed October 2016 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To read, the proclamation, please CLICK HERE. 


Council Proclaims September 20th as Leadership Dripping Springs Day

September 20, 2016 - City Council congratulated the inaugural Leadership Dripping Springs class on their recent graduation and honored them with a proclamation making September 20th "Leadership Dripping Springs Day." Leadership Dripping Springs is a program sponsored by the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce that provides a hands-on, interactive experience where participants are enhancing their personal and professional skills. The participants underwent a nine-month process of learning the needs and current issues of the region, sharpening leadership skills and meeting with key policy makers. To read the proclamation, please CLICK HERE. For more information on the program, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 512-858-4740. 

City Council Recognizes Marianne Simmons as
Founder of the Dripping Springs Farmers Market


September 20, 2016 - Since 2007, Marianne Simmons has helped guide the Dripping Springs Farmers Market in achieving its mission to provide a community gathering place where local agricultural and value-added product producers sell a variety of fresh agricultural and related products directly to the consumer, and where consumers may learn the uses and benefits of quality, locally grown or prepared food products and access local services and hand-made crafts. She has helped get the market certified with the Texas Department of Agriculture and developed it into a viable enterprise. Council Members honored Marianne Simmons at their September 20th Council meeting with a proclamation. Please CLICK HERE to read it in full. 


National Preparedness Month - Activities Planned

September 16, 2016 – In light of September being “National Preparedness Month,” City Council urges residents to create family emergency plans in order to be prepared for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and play.

Council members passed a proclamation regarding the initiative at their September 13 meeting. National Preparedness Month is an effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA.

The City of Dripping Springs through its Emergency Management Commission has adopted the campaign to create further outreach in our community, so that our citizens stand ready to respond should disaster strike.

The City is frequently posting emergency planning tips on the Emergency Management Commission Facebook page throughout the month of September. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/cityofdsemergencymanagement

Citizens can also visit the emergency management page on the City’s website for more information as well as sign up for community alerts through Code Red.

http://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/

To wrap up National Preparedness Month, residents will also want to mark October 6 on their calendars, as the City will be hosting a preparedness/National Night Out event in conjunction with First Thursday that runs from 5 – 9 p.m.

First Responders and Emergency Management Officials will be staged near the Stephenson Building (Old Fitzhugh Rd/Mercer St.) with equipment on hand to interact with families about being prepared for a disaster. Bring the kids to check out the fire truck!



Council Proclaims September Hunger Action Month

September 13, 2016 - Dripping Springs City Council calls upon its citizens to take action against hunger as September is officially “Hunger Action Month.”

To help raise awareness, Council passed a proclamation at their September 13th meeting and thanked the Hays County Food Bank and Dripping Springs Helping Hands for their efforts in fighting hunger. In addition, the Council agreed to co-sponsor the Helping Hands Empty Bowl Project that will be held on November 6th, during "Helping Hands Awareness Month." To read the proclamation in its entirety and learn more about how you can help, please CLICK HERE.  



Traffic Alert

Flashing lights to be installed at Old Fitzhugh/RM12

September 13, 2016 – On Wednesday, September 14, TxDOT crews will begin installing flashing lights at the Old Fitzhugh Road/RM 12 intersection.

The signal includes a yellow flashing light for north/southbound traffic on RM12 and a red flashing light for the east/west traffic on Old Fitzhugh and Timberline.

Lane closures lasting longer than a few minutes are not anticipated. Please exercise caution when traveling through the area and remain aware that work crews may be present.




Traffic Alert
Construction to begin on US 290 between McGregor and FM165


September 9, 2016 – Expect possible delays on US 290 between McGregor Lane to FM 165, as road work is slated to begin September 11.

TxDOT will be repaving and restriping this section of US 290 to improve traffic safety. The project entails reducing the existing four lanes to three—two single lanes with a center turn lane.

Expect at least one lane of traffic to be closed at certain times. To minimize traffic impacts, work will be done overnight from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The project is expected to wrap up on September 22 weather permitting. Please exercise caution when traveling through this area.



“Be a Star” Award

Eight Dripping Springs businesses honored with inaugural award


August 26, 2016 – Eight local businesses have been awarded the inaugural “Be a Star” award - the Nature, Neighbor, and Night-Skies Friendly Lighting award. The award recognizes property owners who illuminate their property in a way that is considerate of their neighbors and the natural world around them.

“These property owners shield their lights to keep the light they need on their property while eliminating glare, light trespass and excess light which can cause many issues,” International Dark-Sky Association Texas Section Leader, Cindy Luongo Cassidy said.

“Yes, it benefits property owners by creating a better looking property and a lower electric bill but it also contributes to safety, to improved neighbor relations and to conservation efforts aimed at protecting our health and the night sky.”

The “Be a Star” award is administered jointly by the Texas Section of the International Dark-Sky Association and the Hays County Chapter Texas Master Naturalists. 

The first recipients of the award are:

Baker & Robertson
Broadway Bank
Central Garage, LLC
City of Dripping Springs City Hall
Deep Eddy Vodka
Five Star ER
HEB

Sleep Inn & Suites


Representatives from the above businesses were presented with a certificate and window decal at the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce luncheon on August 25.

Any property across the state can receive the award whether it’s a business, non-profit or residential.

Be one of the first in your neighborhood to earn the award and proudly display the "Be a Star" award yard sign. To download an application or for more information about the “Be a Star” award, you can visit www.IDATexas.org.






CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS SIGNS BENEFICIAL
REUSE AGREEMENT WITH HOWARD RANCH

City Takes Big Step Toward Goal of Reusing Treated Wastewater

August 10, 2016 – The City of Dripping Springs today announced it has entered into another significant beneficial reuse agreement, this time with the Howard Ranch, a mixed-use development located one-and-a-half miles south of Dripping Springs at the intersection of FM 150 and RR 12. Per the agreement, Howard Ranch will receive 300,000 gallons per day (GPD) of treated effluent from the City for irrigation within the development. This contract brings the total of committed beneficial reuse to approximately 600,000 GPD—more than half of the capacity of 995,000 GPD discharge permit that the City filed for with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in October of last year.

The Dripping Springs City Council continues to secure as many beneficial reuse agreements as possible with customers in the area. “We have said from day one our plan is to do as much beneficial reuse of treated wastewater as possible,” said Mayor Todd Purcell. “The Howard Ranch agreement, similar to the one we signed with Caliterra, should signal just how serious we are about it.”

Erik Howard, the developer of Howard Ranch, has plans to reuse the City’s treated effluent for irrigation purposes within the development. “This is a chance to alleviate pressure on our irrigation system and the Dripping Springs Water Supply as we build out, as well as provide a model for future growth in the area,” said Howard. “I have followed closely the discussion around the City’s plans to expand its wastewater system; beneficial reuse makes so much sense to me, and I’m glad Howard Ranch is in a position to step up. We will certainly put it to good use.”

The City is moving forward with plans to expand its wastewater system to meet current demand and proactively plan for future development. Hays County has experienced tremendous growth over the last 10 years with its population increasing by 60 percent. Substantial residential development is already underway and commercial development is also moving to the area.

“I am probably starting to sound like a broken record to some in our community, but this is just such an important issue,” said Mayor Purcell. “Wastewater disposal is not our goal; wastewater reuse is where we are going, and I am confident we will get there. It’s too important to the long-term sustainability of our community. The agreement with the Howard Ranch is a big step toward doing just that.”



City Creates Website Dedicated to Proposed Wastewater System Expansion


DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS
– April 5, 2016 – The City of Dripping Springs today announced it has launched a website focused specifically on its proposed wastewater-system-expansion efforts.  The site, www.wastewaterfacts.com, includes detailed background information about the City’s current wastewater system, its need for additional capacity, an outline of project milestones and timeline.

“The topic of wastewater is incredibly complex and technical,” said Dripping Springs Mayor Todd Purcell.  “Take it from me, I’ve spent the last several years immersed in the subject.  It’s also incredibly important to the future of our city, and our community needs to be engaged.  Our hope is that this website serves as a helpful resource for our planning efforts and an ongoing community dialogue.”

Also included on the website is a project description, as well as an explanation of project need; glossary of related terms; a frequently-asked-questions section; quick facts; and links to two studies:  the South Regional Wastewater System Preliminary Engineering Planning Report and the Direct Potable Reuse Feasibility Study.  Additionally, the site offers a subscription feature where visitors may sign up to receive project updates.


City of Dripping Springs Renews Contract with Vaquero Waste and Recycling

The City of Dripping Springs is proud to announce that we have negotiated a three-year exclusive Solid Waste Services Agreement with Vaquero Waste & Recycling (“Vaquero”). Vaquero has provided trash and recycling services for residents and businesses of the City of Dripping Springs for the last six years with no price increase during that time. After receiving sealed proposals from a variety of solid waste providers, Vaquero was selected to continue providing this service to our community.   

Depending on the type of service you have currently, your rates may slightly change. Click Here to see residential rates.

 

City of Dripping Springs Updates Community Service Sign Regulations
Dripping Springs City Council unanimously updated the sign ordinance regarding community service signs located on City property. Click Here to learn more about the key changes to the community service signs regulations. Click Here to read sign ordinance provisions.

 

August 12, 2014

Dripping Springs has been awarded Gold Scenic City Certification by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas! We're one of only 52 cities in Texas - quite an achievement for our municipality. Many thanks to our citizens and administrators alike, who work to make Dripping Springs a beautiful place to visit and an incredible place to live. 




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CITY OF DRIPPING SPRINGS AWARDED RIVERS, TRAILS AND

CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE

One of Five New Projects Accepted By the National Park Service

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS

 – March 11, 2014 – The City of Dripping Springs today announced it has been selected by the National Park Service (NPS) to receive expert guidance from the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program. NPS staff will assist the City in its efforts to develop a vibrant Central Texas trail system designed to link residents to parks, shops, schools and various points of interest throughout Dripping Springs. The project is one of five new projects accepted in Texas this year.  “The resources and tools the National Park Service brings to the table are invaluable and will do much to enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Dripping Spring’s Mayor Todd Purcell. “Our community is thrilled to accept this assistance.”

The NPS helps communities design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreational opportunities through locally lead partnerships. Dripping Springs has already taken a number of steps to spur trail development. A committee of the City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, and city staff developed a City-wide Trail Plan and attained City Council approval in 2012. The City is currently updating its 2014-2024 Parks and Open Space Master Plan; surveys conducted as part of this effort highlight public interest in walking, hiking and biking trails. The updated Master Plan will recommend revising the Trail Plan to extend trails from the city limits throughout the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The City will partner with the NPS to develop trail standards and potential funding strategies; it will also engage the community to help prioritize trail routes and identify supporters that can assist with trail development.-MOREKEY

PROJECT CONTACT:

Michelle Fischer, City Administrator: 512-858-4725 or 

mfischer@cityofdrippingsprings.com

MORE INFORMATION:

For more information regarding the City of Dripping Springs’ Parks and Recreation Department, please visit  

www.CityofDrippingSprings.com. For more information on the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, please visit  

www.nps.gov/rtca.

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FOR RELEASE 11 FEBRUARY 2014

 
Dripping Springs Named The First International Dark Sky Community In Texas TUCSON, AZ, AND DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX, 11 February 2014 – The stars at night remain big and bright deep in the heart of the Texas – thanks to the hard work and dedication of Texas Hill Country residents. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) announced today it has designated the first International Dark Sky Community in Texas. In naming the City of Dripping Springs International Dark Sky Community, IDA is pleased to recognize local efforts to protect and preserve the character of the nighttime sky over central Texas. “Dripping Springs joins a select club as the world’s sixth Dark Sky Community,” said IDA Ex-ecutive Director Bob Parks. “They’ve embraced smart lighting through effective controls that improve visibility, while preserving the night sky.” Dripping Springs bills itself as the “Gateway To The Hill Country” and is often the first stop in Texas for visitors coming from the east. “When people enter the Dripping Springs area at night, many of them notice something is different – the skies over the city are not spoiled by light pol-lution,” explained Todd Purcell, Mayor of Dripping Springs. “This is evidence that the city and the people who live in and near the city value the natural environment, including the beauty of the Hill Country and high quality of the night sky.” Balancing Economic Growth And Environmental Protection A formerly sleepy ranching town settled before the Civil War, the city experienced massive growth in the last decade, seeing its population increase by some 72 percent between 2000 and 2010. The growth has been fueled by the economies of the nearby urban centers of Austin and San Antonio. Alarmed that future development could bring light pollution, concerned residents organized to protect the area’s famously dark night skies. Early on, the City Council became in-volved by adopting an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance (OLO) in 2000. The OLO was conceived by a group of local citizens led by the late John Gregory. Current and former City Councilmen and Planning and Zoning Commissioners then embraced and enhanced the provisions of the OLO with the assistance of City Attorney Alan Bojorquez. Since then, the city government has been a committed partner in protecting local dark skies. “We are all fortunate that the City of Dripping Springs has over a period of many years worked to reduce and prevent additional light pollution in the city,” said Cindy Luongo Cassidy, Presi-dent of Texas-based Green Earth Lighting, who led the effort to secure IDA recognition of the dark skies over Dripping Springs. Although only about 2,000 residents live within the legal limits of the city, an additional 30,000 people living in neighboring unincorporated areas are part of the community. City staffers, par-ticularly, Michelle Fischer, Jon Thompson and Jo Ann Touchstone have worked diligently to help local businesses and property owners follow the OLO and to provide information on the lighting standards for the community. This results in reduced glare, light trespass, and skyglow while increasing safety, visibility, area attractiveness, and protection of dark night skies. “Dripping Springs is well on its way to securing a place as one of the truly night-sky-friendly communities in the United States,” Former IDA Texas Coordinator Stephen Bosbach said. Protecting A Cultural Legacy “The history and culture of the Hill Country is intimately tied to its sky, particularly its night sky,” explained John Cassidy, President of the Board of Trustees of the Pound House Founda-tion, a local historic preservation group. “Whether sitting around a campfire or sitting in the darkness of their homesteads, those who went before us understood this land in a fundamental way that we must preserve. The clear view of the stars at night is a resource that must be saved and passed along to future generations.” To help pass along the value of dark skies, the city has teamed up with the Hays County Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist association to develop a light pollution education and outreach program conducted by local volunteer Naturalists. The volunteers will also carry out a plan to measure and monitor the night sky quality in the future. Residents hope that the IDA recognition for Dripping Springs will promote a movement across the Hill County to protect their exceptional night skies for generations to come. According to P. Wayne Gosnell of the Hill County Alliance, the Dripping Springs OLO is a model for similar ordinances under consideration by communities throughout the 17-county Hill Country region. In naming the International Dark Sky Community, IDA “provides incentives to other Hill County communities to follow Dripping Springs’ lead in night sky preservation,” Gosnell said. City residents recognize that the most important threats to the quality of their night skies come from beyond Dripping Springs. “Now we have to set our sights on the lights of Austin and San Antonio,” Cindy Cassidy said. “We have to look beyond our town so that we don’t simply get flooded with light from elsewhere.” Cassidy is part of a team effort to secure cooperation from cities along the Interstate 35 corridor to protect the dark skies of Central Texas by stemming the growth of new, wasteful outdoor lighting installations. She hopes other municipalities will follow Dripping Springs’ lead and in-vites them to participate in a “better lighting” symposium to be held there in September. Images Left: Backyard camping in Dripping Springs (Credit: Rob Greebon) http://bit.ly/LNaXCf Right: Dripping Springs City Planning Director Jon Thompson (left) and Deputy City Adminis-trator Ginger Faught (right) show a sample dark-sky-friendly light fixture to be used wall mount-ed lighting replacements (Credit: Cindy Luongo Cassidy) http://bit.ly/1iCItpy About the IDA Dark Sky Places Program IDA established the International Dark Sky Places conservation program in 2001 to recognize excellent stewardship of the night sky. Designations are based on stringent outdoor lighting standards and innovative community outreach. Since the program began, five communities, thir-teen parks and five reserves have received International Dark Sky designations. For more infor-mation about the International Dark Sky Places Program, visit http://darksky.org/night-sky-conservation/dark-sky-places. About IDA The International Dark Sky Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, advocates for the protection of the nighttime environment and dark night skies by edu-cating policymakers and the public on the subject of night sky conservation and by promoting environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. More information about IDA and its mission may be found at http://www.darksky.org. Media Inquiries International Dark-Sky Association • Dr. John Barentine (Dark Sky Places Program Manager) john@darksky.org; +1 520-293-3198 Dripping Springs • Ms. Michelle Fischer (City of Dripping Springs Administrator) mfischer@cityofdrippingsprings.com; +1 512-858-4725. • Ms. Cindy Luongo Cassidy, Green Earth Lighting LLC (Dripping Springs application au-thor) cindy@greenearthlighting.com; +1 512-944-7453 END # # #

Click here to watch the KEYE Hometown News video on Dripping Springs

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