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Austin, TX 78744

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In the News

Bastrop launches tourism app

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Want the scoop on fine dining, events, shopping and more in historic Bastrop, Texas? Look no farther than your smartphone. The city, which reportedly entertains up to 10,000 visitors per major community event each year, recently launched a free tourism app available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android-operated cellphones.

"I think every city or town should have [a tourism app for their area]," said Cindye Wolford, director of the Bastrop Visitor Center. Wolford, who also heads the Bastrop Texas Main Street Program Promotions Committee and helped develop the app's content, welcomes inquiries from other jurisdictions interested in producing their own version. "It was easy to do," said Wolford.

Bastrop's app, the brainchild of City Council Member Kay McAnally, offers photos, contact information and tips on various services, historic sites, entertainment opportunities and other local finds for visitors and residents. The app is downloadable at iTunes and Android websites. Call 512-303-0904 for more information.

> Visit Bastrop Texas Main Street Program online

Elgin, Hutto participants to share ideas, vision of sustainable future

Monday, September 10, 2012

Community members in Elgin and Hutto can share ideas and explore possibilities during Sustainable Places Project workshops in their area this month.

Sustainable Places Project is an ambitious regional initiative to help Central Texas cities proactively link housing and public infrastructure near job centers and services. Five demonstration sites were chosen through a competitive process to receive planning assistance and serve as best practice examples for other cities in the region.

Upcoming visioning workshops will feature conversations about the choices faced by participant cities and by Central Texas on housing, transportation, economic development, fiscal responsibility, community health and vitality, the natural and cultural environment and more. All are invited to take part in this innovative planning effort, with even more public events in Austin, Dripping Springs and Lockhart to be announced soon.

Next public workshops: 
?  Elgin – 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, Elgin High School, 14000 County Line Road.
?  Hutto – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, Cottonwood Creek Elementary, 3160 Limmer Loop.

> Learn more about the Sustainable Places Project

Austin area nears ozone-pollution overload

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Austin area is once again just a single bad-ozone day away from violating federal air quality standards. But even with the worst part of ozone-pollution season still ahead, residents and businesses can help keep the area’s air quality in check.

Ozone pollution results when emissions from industrial facilities, electric utilities, vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents are baked in sunlight. Ground-level ozone, even at low levels, can cause adverse health effects, especially for those with lung disease, and in children, older adults and people who are active outdoors.

If air-quality readings during the current season measure another eight-hour ozone concentration of 79 parts or more per billion in the monitored area, Travis County will have violated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone air quality standard for 2012. A violation could put the entire metropolitan area, including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties and possibly Burnet County at risk of being designated a “nonattainment area” area by the EPA, potentially triggering changes such as new pollution-control measures and greater requirements in regional transportation-planning to help ensure compliance with air quality standards. 

Businesses and residents can help limit ozone pollution by reducing combustion-related activities on predicted high-ozone days. Steps such as reducing electricity use during afternoons and early evenings, avoiding rush-hour traffic, postponing running errands until after sunset and offering flexible schedules that curb traffic congestion on predicted high-ozone days make a difference.

As part of the EPA-led Ozone Advance Program, a national initiative involving states, tribes and local governments, CAPCOG's Air Quality Program is working with the Central Texas Clean Air Coalition and other stakeholders on an enhanced emission reduction plan to be submitted next year. 

> Learn about CAPCOG's Air Quality Program and ways to reduce ozone pollution

State emissions reduction program accepting grant applications through Nov. 30

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is offering grant funding to reduce air pollution from fleets and equipment such as older heavy-duty vehicles, nonroad equipment, locomotives, marine vessels and stationary equipment. Applications for the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants, a program of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The grant targets projects intended to reduce nitrogren-oxide emissions in eligible counties, helping improve air quality by upgrading or replacing older trucks and machines. Vehicles or equipment primarily used for competition or recreation are ineligible. > Learn more, and apply today 

CAPCOG region aces response hurdle

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The CAPCOG region has earned a thumbs up for accurate address mapping, clearing a crucial step toward a more advanced 9-1-1 call system.

CAPCOG is participating in a statewide pilot program to develop a comprehensive geographic database that can route emergency calls with Next Generation 9-1-1, an eventual nationwide system more adapted to modern mobile technologies.

In the most recent quality assurance check to ensure that program participants have no gaps or overlaps in their mapped emergency-response boundaries, the CAPCOG region scored a perfect rating.

> Learn more about CAPCOG's Emergency Communications division

West Nile Virus - Important Information for Texas

Friday, August 24, 2012


The Department of State Health Services has asked CAPCOG to disseminate the following messages:


Take the following precautions:

  • Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters, and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • Texans who are elderly and those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to developing West Nile illness if they are bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • There is no effective treatment for West Nile Virus illnesses, so it’s important to prevent mosquito bites.


  • Help neighbors who are elderly, have disabilities or access and functional needs to repair their windows or door screens to keep mosquitoes out and with other precautions to reduce their risk of becoming ill.
  • Also remember other Texans with access or functional needs in your communities who may need assistance in reducing their risk of illness.

 For the latest information about West Nile Virus in Texas, go to: .

The Texas Clean School Bus Grant Program Accepting Applications Through November 30

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering grant funding through the Texas Clean School Bus Grant Program. This grant program is designed to improve the health of school children and bus drivers by reducing emissions of diesel exhaust from school buses. The TCEQ provides grant money to purchase and install devices on school buses to reduce emissions. All sizes of diesel-powered school buses are eligible. The bus must operate on a regular, daily route to and from a school and have at least five years of useful life remaining.

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through November 30, 2012. While there is not a limit on the amount of funding that can be applied for, the amount award is at the discretion of the TCEQ. Download the Request for Grant Applications at and get your school's buses in line for these retrofits!

Regional Law Enforcement Academy Update

Thursday, August 16, 2012

RLEA Update

CAPCOG’s Regional Law Enforcement Academy (RLEA) is accepting applicants for the day and night Basic Peace Officer Course (BPOC) academies scheduled to begin in October, 2012. In-service training schedule including course descriptions, dates and times are posted to (

CAPCOG’s state of the art training tool, the “Use of Force” simulator is available to communities throughout the region. The system  is a firearms simulator and  judgment  tool designed to effectively prepare law enforcement personnel to react appropriately in a variety of situations.

Elgin Mayor Marc Holm Selected Chairman of the Capital Area Economic Development District

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Capital Area Economic Development District, the board that oversees CAPCOG’s economic development program under designation of the Economic Development Administration, elected Elgin Mayor Marc Holm as the new chairman and former Lockhart Mayor Ray Sanders and Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland as vice chairs.  Its members are drawn from local governments, economic and workforce development organizations, educational institutions, labor interests, and the private sector. The district board meets quarterly to discuss regional economic development issues. Additionally, the district board guides the development of the Capital Area’s comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS),  which benchmark’s the region’s competitiveness and identifies policies to improve economic dynamism throughout Central Texas.

CAPCOG Recommended for Diesel Emission Reduction Act Funds

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

CAPCOG received notice that the Environmental Protection Agency recommended full funding for CAPCOG's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance proposal. This would provide partial funding for replacing 27 older trucks owned by the Cities of Austin, San Marcos, Travis County, Williamson County and others with newer, lower-emission trucks, as well as electric airport ground support equipment and electric motors replacing older diesel-powered equipment at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. CAPCOG estimates that these projects will reduce 71.2 tons of nitrogen oxides emissions, 4.8 tons of particulate matter emissions, 6.7 tons of hydrocarbon emissions, and 33.8 tons of carbon monoxide emissions, with an estimated $441,400 in annual health benefits from the reduced particulate matter emissions.

Disaster Debris Management Workshop a Success

Thursday, August 02, 2012

CAPCOG’s first Disaster Debris Management Workshop was a success with 50 attendees representing more than 20 organizations. Participants received an overview of planning for and recovering from debris generating disasters, contracting for disaster debris management, state and federal guidance, and a case study of Bastrop County’s response to the September 2011 wildfires. The workshop was taught by experts in the field representing SAIC/Beck Disaster Recovery, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, CAPCOG, and Bastrop County.

A Matter of Balance Classes to Begin in August

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) is offering "A Matter of Balance" (AMOB) classes for individuals age 60 and over. The class, offered at no charge,  is designed to help prevent falls and to help older adults reduce their fear of falling through group discussion, problem-solving strategies and increasing the physical activity levels of those who have concerns about falls. A Matter of Balance falls prevention class consists of eight, 2-hour sessions taught twice a week for four weeks, or once a week for eight weeks.  AAACAP also provides a free 8-hour coach training and materials for AMOB volunteer coaches who want to work with seniors in preventing falls.

  1. Seton Northwest Hospital in Austin, August 17th-October 5th, call Gail Gorman at 512-324-6052 for class details and registration.
  2. First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, August 30th-September 25th, call Amy Flanigan at 512-916-6180 for class details and registration.

Burnet County Receives Texas Citizen Corps Custom Trailer

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC) announced that a new 6' X 10' CargoMate Citizen Corps Custom Trailer has been awarded to the Burnet County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) serving within the Capital Area Council of Governments region. This award is given in recognition of outstanding community outreach work by the Burnet County CERT Program, under the direction of Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Barho.

Regional Law Enforcement Academy (RLEA) Training Update

Friday, July 13, 2012

CAPCOG’s Regional Law Enforcement Academy (RLEA) is now accepting applicants for the day and night Basic Peace Officer Course (BPOC) academies scheduled to begin in October, 2012. The day BPOC will be held at the Cedar Park Police Department and the night BPOC will be held at CAPCOG. RLEA’s current BPOC classes are both scheduled to graduate on September 21, 2012.

The RLEA’s  in-service training schedule including course descriptions, dates and times are posted to the website. Agencies in our region are encouraged to make plans to send their investigators to the Sex Crimes Against Children course on August 7- 8, 2012. The two day course will examine the developmental foundations of various types of sex crimes against children, including a detailed analysis of deviant sexual preferences and classification types of offenders, both clinical-forensic and law enforcement. The cost for this class is $175.00. Click here for more detailed information.

The “Use of Force” simulator is available to communities throughout the region. The system is a state-of-the-art training tool that is designed to effectively prepare law enforcement personnel to react appropriately in a variety of situations. Not only is it a firearms simulator but also a judgement evaluation tool that will enable your participants to train for all force options. To schedule the simulator, contact Mike Jennings.

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