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Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from February 2015

ADRC of the Capital Area gets respite care grant

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) awarded a $15,500 grant to the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Capital Area to provide emergency and urgent respite services to family caregivers.

The grant will fund a project that is multifaceted and designed to provide caregivers with limited access to services, urgent or emergency respite in rural and urban areas. The project will serve Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson counties. It will target the isolated, multi-cultural, non-English speaking informal, unpaid caregivers caring for individuals of any age with any disability or condition requiring care.

The resource center is developing an outreach plan and working with DADS on program implementation.

Funds are through the 2015 Lifespan Respite Care Program Grant from the Administration for Community Living to support building sustainable community-based respite care services in Texas.

CAPCOG conducts additional criminal justice grant workshop

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Capital Area Council of Governments will hold a third and final mandatory criminal justice grant writing workshop from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 in the CAPCOG Pecan Room.

Workshop topics will focus on submitting applications for four Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division grants – General Victim Assistance, Violent Crimes Against Women, General Juvenile Justice, and Justice Assistance. Attendees will be instructed on how to write grant applications and how applications will be scored. Changes to the Regional Strategic Criminal Justice Plan also will be discussed.

This is the final opportunity for entities to attend a writing workshop for the grants. If an organization plans to apply for any of the criminal justice grants, its attendance to one of the grant writing workshops is mandatory. If an organization did not attend a workshop and submits a grant application, the application will be deemed ineligible by the Office of Governor's Criminal Justice Division. If an organization already attended a previous workshop but still has questions or needs additional assistance, it can attend this last workshop.

Seating is limited to 50 people.

CAPCOG is located at 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, Austin, Texas 78744-2306.

> RSVP for the workshop or inquire about questions with Kate Barrett or Ken May.
> Read the Regional Strategic Criminal Justice Plan.
> Discover CAPCOG’s Criminal Justice Program.

Saving on Household Hazardous Waste Collections

Friday, February 13, 2015

Costs of conducting household hazardous waste collection (HHWC) events increase with greater participation and more materials collected for disposal. A rising price-tag can cause entities conducting the events to go over budget, but Blanco County used its already available resources, recycling and reuse techniques, and partnerships to keep its 2014 HHWC event under budget.

“It is just very hard to budget for these events, because you just never know what attendance to expect,” said Blanco County Commissioner Paul Granberg.

Blanco County HHWC event budgets are based on historical participation and cost data, but resident participation can double between events. A hundred vehicles one year could be 200 the next which results in more materials for disposal causing a greater cost, Granberg said. Often government entities don’t want to turn people away, because HHWC events offer a proper way of disposing of hazardous materials, which helps prevent illegal dumping.

The county’s Oct. 25, 2014 HHWC event experienced 125 vehicles dropping off 6 tons materials.

To curb costs, Blanco County road and bridge staff and volunteers sorted materials that could be redirected for either recycling or reusing purposes. Paint for instance was one of several materials placed in a reusable area before being disposed by the contractor.

People brought a lot of usable latex paint, Granberg said. Some gallon-paint containers weren’t even opened or only half of the paint was used.

After being set aside, attending residents could take any of the reusable materials they wanted. The remainder of the good paint and the non-usable paint was given to the contractor for recycling or disposal once the collection event finished.

With items like scrap metal, oil and batteries, the county used its already established recycling program to sell the items. Computer parts were also separated from the disposal pile and given to Goodwill, which recycles the electronics.

Blanco County received $500 for selling recyclable oil and batteries. While it may not seem like a lot of money, it was money earned as opposed to a cost.

“(Recycling and reusing) is one way you save,” Granberg said. “The contractor will take everything, but every pound the contractor takes, you pay for it.”

Blanco accepted donations in lieu of charging residents to drop off material. Some people were happy to contribute, because they knew paying for disposal would cost more. 
Donations raised about $2,000, Granberg said.

The county also partnered with other government entities and organizations – Johnson City, city of Blanco, city of Round Mountain, Blanco Pedernales Underground Water Conservation District and Keep Blanco Beautiful – to help fund the event and make it a county wide endeavor.

Granberg attributed a routine schedule for HHWC and other waste collection events to staying under budget, too. Every year a bulk item collection event takes place, allowing the county HHWC events to just collect harmful materials. Focusing just on household hazardous materials limits excess materials disposed by the contractor and saves time sorting materials. The county also strives to have an HHWC event every three years so storage times between collections aren’t too long. Shorter times between events allows for less accumulation of materials.

Blanco County is one of seven HHWC events funded through CAPCOG’s Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Solid Waste Grant cycle. It was allocated $10,000 in grant monies and budgeted $23,200 for the event. The cost of the event was almost $22,600.

> Read more about CAPCOG's Solid Waste Planning Program.

AAACAP speaks at Senior Wellness Expo

Monday, February 09, 2015

Program managers with the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) will lead discussions about the benefits of evidence based programs during the Senior Wellness Expo on Feb. 24.

Evidence based programs teach people how to mentally, physically and emotionally address issues caused by becoming an older adult. For several years, AAACAP has offered Matter of Balance courses, which teach fall prevention methods to reduce the fear and risk of falling, and Stress Busting courses, which help Alzheimer’s caregivers mitigate stress.

AAACAP program coordinators will discuss benefits of two new programs – Chronic Disease Self-Management and Diabetes Self-Management. The programs strive to empower older adults to learn about nutrition, exercise choices and treatment options and effective ways to talk to doctors and family about their disease.

Information about other agency services such as Medicare benefits counseling and medication screening will be available at the expo.

The Senior Wellness Expo, sponsored by Austin Senior Resource Alliance, will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Feb. 24, at the Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway, Texas.

> Find a list of AAACAP’s services.

AAACAP is partially funded by the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities Services.

> Discover the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area.
> Learn about Austin Senior Resource Alliance.

CAPCOG assists with EDA Public Works Program grants

Friday, February 06, 2015

Local governments seeking U.S. Economic Development Administration grant projects can contact the Capital Area Council of Governments for assistance in applying to the EDA’s Public Works Program.

The EDA designated CAPCOG as the economic development district for CAPCOG’s 10-county region. Serving as the district, CAPCOG provides its local entities with technical assistance to develop and submit applications for EDA funding grant projects that strive to increase regional economic opportunities.

EDA’s Public Works Program supplies funds to communities to revitalize, expand or upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry; encourage business expansion; diversify local economies; and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs. It also can be used for acquisition or development of land and infrastructure investments needed to establish or expand industrial or commercial enterprises.

Most program projects should offer a 50 percent local match. Application scores are affected by having greater local and private matching funds and more job creation benefits.

The next two funding cycle deadlines are March 12, 2015 and June 12, 2015.

> Contact Chris Schreck, CAPCOG economic development manager.
> Find out more about the EDA Public Works Program.

CAPCOG Executive Committee appoints 2015 officers

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Elgin Mayor Marc Holm took the reins of the Capital Area Council of Governments Executive Committee as board chair in January. Holm was appointed to the position by the board after serving as its first vice-chair in 2014. Holm has served as Elgin’s Mayor since 2008 and been an executive committee member for CAPCOG since 2009. Holm also chairs the Capital Area Economic Development District.

The board appointed Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long as its first vice-chair. Long started on the CAPCOG Executive Committee in 2007. She has been Williamson County’s Precinct Two Commissioner since 2007. Long also serves on the Capital Area Emergency Communications District’s 9-1-1 Strategic Advisory Committee.

Other board appointments included:

  • Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland, second vice-chair
  • Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, secretary
  • Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw retained his role as past chair.

> Read more about the CAPCOG Executive Committee.

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