PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Contact: Connie Watson FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WILLIAMSON COUNTY CELEBRATES
COUNTY GOVERNMENT WEEK MAY 3‐9, 2009
May 5, 2009 (Williamson County, TX) – Williamson County celebrates National County
Government Week May 3 to 9, 2009. National County Government Week was first held in 1991
and is sponsored by the National Association of Counties to raise awareness and understanding
about the roles and responsibilities of county government. Counties maintain records including
births, deaths and marriages; handle elections; collect property and motor vehicle taxes; operate
the jail and court systems; and maintain local roads, bridges, parks and recreation facilities, and
The environment is also important to all counties. This year’s theme is “Greening Our
Future.” Williamson County is working on preserving our natural resources for the benefit of
future county resident in several ways.
First, Williamson County is taking part in a new Ozone Action Heroes campaign to
empower, educate and encourage residents and businesses to improve our air quality. By
committing to at least three simple, yet heroic, actions such as refueling after 6 p.m., checking tire
pressure and turning off the lights, all residents can contribute to winning the battle against air
pollution. Aspiring Ozone Action heroes who will be asked to take the “Your air. Your
commitment.” Pledge online at www.ozoneheroes.com. Residents can Drive Smart, Drive Less
and Power Down in these ways:
• Leave earlier or later than rush hour to avoid idling in traffic
• Keep your car properly maintained, drive the speed limit and refuel after 6 p.m.
• Sign up at www.clearnairforce.org to receive Ozone Alerts via email to learn
when high ozone days are occurring in Central Texas na dto plan to drive less on
• Combine trips/carpool/ride the bus/walk/ride your bike/telework/use
teleconferencing for meetings
• Reduce electricity use in the late morning and early afternoon to lower your
energy bill and help meet air quality goals
• Delay electricity use until the evening to help reduce ozone formation.
To prevent the spread of toxic vehicle emissions in the air, Williamson County
participates in the AirCheckTexas program. All gasoline powered vehicles between two and 24
years old registered in Williamson County are required to pass an emissions test as part of their
annual vehicle safety inspection before being granted an inspection sticker. A vehicle will fail the
test if there is an excessive amount of hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide or oxides of nitrogen.
Low‐income vehicle owners, whose cars failed the emissions test, can receive assistance
through the AirCheckTexas Repair & Replacement Assistance Program administered through
Williamson County. Eligible vehicle owners may receive up to $600 for vehicle repairs or up to
$3,500 for vehicle replacement through the program. A vehicle is eligible if it is two to 24 years
old and has failed the emissions test, it is currently registered in Williamson County, and it has
been registered in Williamson County for the past 12 months. Household income requirements
vary depending on family size. Individuals already receiving county, state or federal assistance
through social service programs may be automatically eligible. For more information on the
program, visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/vi/index.htm. To apply for assistance in Williamson
County, call 1‐800‐978‐1766 or e‐mail Andrea Ybarra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Williamson County also is working ensure that the county has dedicated green space
now and in the future through the purchase of park land and open space for the preservation of
endangered species. Williamson County has five parks for a combined total of approximately
1,200 acres and has purchased 1,300 acres of land for two additional parks to be developed in the
Through the Williamson County Conservation Foundation (WCCF), the county has
established several important preserves for endangered species. One is approximately 200 acres
in the Williamson County Southwest Regional Park, located on C.R. 175 north of F.M. 1431.
Another is the Beck Preserve, an approximately 43‐acre preserve located along R.M. 620 and Great
Oaks Drive. Twin Springs Preserve” is 158‐acre property located near Lake Georgetown. Twin Springs
Preserve is home to three endangered species which include the Tooth Cave ground beetle, the
Golden‐Cheeked Warbler and the Bone Cave Harvestman spider. In addition, two springs that
are habitat for the rare Georgetown salamander, a species that is a can didate for listing as
endangered, are located on the property. The WCCF also purchased a conservation easement for
Cobb Cavern located north of Georgetown off of Hwy. 195. Much of this land was purchased
with grants from the federal government. Recently acquired through mitigation is Pricilla’s Well
preserve a 51‐acre karst endangered species habitat.
Established in December 2002, the WCCF is a pro‐active measure to further responsible
development in Williamson County while working on the conservation of endangered species.
Williamson County is home to several rare and endangered species including three species of
karst‐dwelling invertebrates (Bone Cave harvestman, Tooth Cave ground beetle, and Coffin Cave
mold beetle) and two songbirds (golden‐cheeked warbler and black‐capped vireo).
Williamson County encourages recycling through a recycling center to reduce the
amount of material that ends up in the county’s landfill. The Recycling Center accepts used oil,
scrap metal (including washed tin cans), cardboard, newspaper, phonebooks, magazine,
aluminum cans, plastic, cell phones for the Crisis Center, e‐waste including computers, monitors,
keyboards, mice and cables and appliances with the Freon removed. It does not accept diapers,
Styrofoam, paint, glass including auto glass, tires, chemicals and pesticides or televisions. The
Recycling Center is located north of Hwy. 79 and south of Hwy. 29 on F.M. 1660 in Hutto.
Operating hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.
Williamson County also is working together with Waste Management to reduce the amount of
construction waste that ends up in the landfill. A new asphalt shingle recycling program will
hope to remove 100 tons of shingles per day from the landfill.
You can learn more about these programs by visiting www.wilco.org. National County
Government Week is sponsored by the National Association of Counties, The Voice of America’s
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