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In the News: News from February 2018

AAACAP expands reach of St. David’s medication program

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP), a division of CAPCOG, will expand the outreach and services of its medication screening program after the St. David’s Foundation renewed the grant that makes it possible to provide the program to five counties in the CAPCOG region: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson.

“The Senior Medication Safety Program has been very successful in urban areas, and we want to continue that success into the more rural areas,” said Patty Bordie, AAACAP director. “We are currently seeking additional pharmacy consultants to join our effort in screening and analyzing older adult medication routines for high risk health issues and safety concerns.”

Screenings include a review of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and supplements taken by participating adults 60 years old or older to help them reduce the risk of potential negative interactions within their medication routine. Seniors who participate also learn to better manage their care, identify possible medication cost savings, and improve communication with their doctors. AAACAP often pairs the screening with a care coordination visit to assess care needs and recommend in-home services and supports, nutrition and transportation services or health and wellness programs to help seniors successfully age in place. AAACAP is planning medication screening education outreach events geared to providing more people individualized consultation time with a pharmacist.

> Read more about the medication screening program.
> Learn more about AAACAP.

Study lays Travis County’s new economic development plan foundation

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CAPCOG recently completed the initial data analysis for Travis County’s new Economic Development Plan. The study done by CAPCOG is really a background evaluation that lays a foundation for the county to begin developing strategies to take advantage of opportunities and address problem issues, said Chris Schreck, CAPCOG’s Planning and Economic Development director. “It is important to start with this data, because it puts people on the same page. Anecdotal information can be important, but it’s most useful in context with the available data.”

The study provided the county with precinct profiles, economic overviews, an equity and affordability evaluation, and a land use and resiliency review to accurately reflect the county’s current economic climate and show relationships between trends. These elements of the study analyzed demographic, socioeconomic, workforce and employment, education, and housing trends. CAPCOG also conducted outreach to stakeholder organizations to provide observations from local economic interest groups on how the county may better facilitate economic growth through programs. It also reviewed other economic development strategies and related plans that have been adopted throughout the county, so the county’s future strategy can align with current efforts and concerns of other local and regional institutions.

A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis closed the study by providing a framework for organizing its findings. A SWOT analysis allows the county to present the information to the community but also provides it with key reference points for evaluating progress on economic development measures. The work done by CAPCOG will feed into a broader planning process to be managed by local consulting firm TIP Strategies.

> Learn about the CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development Division.

Vote for Bastrop to get a reality-TV makeover

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Yay Bastrop! Downtowns are one of the best assets cities have for economic development, and being selected for the reality TV show “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” would be a great endorsement of the city’s efforts.

Here’s how all Central Texans can help Bastrop win a spot on the show and a $500,000 makeover of downtown:

  • Vote daily at between now and Feb. 20.
  • Spread the word of the competition on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #MyBastrop and #MyTexas.
  • Sign up for voting reminders by texting MYBASTROP to 48421.

On Feb. 13, Deluxe Corp., a small-business marketing and financial firm, named Bastrop one of the top five finalist to be the star of the show’s third season after narrowing down its possible selection from 10,000 nominations nationwide. The show will stream on Hulu and Youtube and follow the winning town’s $500,000 small-business makeover. The final selection process for winning the makeover is a public vote ending Feb. 20.

> Vote for Bastrop.
> Learn about Bastrop.
> Learn about Small-Business Revolution — Main Street.
> Read about CAPCOG’s Planning and Economic Development Division.

CAPCOG speaks at 2018 National Air Quality Conference

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CAPCOG’s Air Quality Specialist Anton Cox highlighted our region’s initiatives for decreasing air pollutions by lowering emissions as a panel participant at the 2018 National Air Quality Conference held in Austin in January. Cox discussed the Air Central Texas (ACT) initiative, which reduces exposure to air pollution through the public taking voluntary actions to decrease emissions, and the Commute Solutions program, which focuses on reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles and thus lowering emissions.

“Sharing our outreach experiences and hearing others’ strengthens our ability to engage and educate the public by learning about successes achieved throughout the nation,” said Cox, who noted the Austin-Round Rock Metro area is the largest in the nation that meets all of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. “Keeping the public educated about how their actions can affect regional air quality helps us continue to meet these standards as the region grows.”

CAPCOG conducts ACT and Commute Solutions outreach through websites, e-newsletters, social media, and direct contacts to educate the public about driving alternatives, Central Texas’ air quality, possible air quality hazards, and how they can support reduction programs and reduce emissions. The conference, conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, included panels that featured some local collaborations such as CAPCOG and its Clean Air Coalition partners.

> For more on air quality, go to the ACT or Commute Solutions websites, and
> Like Air Central Texas and Commute Solutions on Facebook.
> Learn more about the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.

CAPCOG releases GeoMap 2017 orthoimagery of region

Thursday, February 08, 2018

CAPCOG has made available the most recent aerial imagery, or orthoimagery, of the ten-county region through its GeoMap program. The program provides local governments with accurate imagery for facilitating projects related to economic development, land-use planning, utility maintenance, transportation planning, floodplain mapping, 9-1-1 mapping and more.

GeoMap 2017 captured 6- and 12-inch resolution orthoimagery that provides a useful base-map display as it is spatially accurate for distance measurements and feature identification. It also can be a source for GIS data creations, including planimetrics. Since the project is complete, the imagery also is available for purchase by non-participating organizations such as engineering and development firms.

GeoMap has been a cooperative purchasing program that has saved local jurisdictions more than $11 million since it started in 2002. To provide further savings and more benefits, CAPCOG has partnered with the Texas Natural Resources Information System’s Strategic Mapping Program to collect the 2018 imagery. That project’s acquisition phase was just completed and delivery is expected later this fall. CAPCOG will coordinate the 2019 orthoimagery projects for the region in late spring and into summer of 2018.

> Find information about purchasing orthoimagery and other GIS data.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development Division.

Van Arsdale leads CAPCOG Executive Committee

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The CAPCOG Executive Committee elected Cedar Park City Council Member Corbin Van Arsdale to serve as its 2018 chair. Van Arsdale was first elected to the Executive Committee in 2015 and served as its first vice chair in 2017 when he presided over a number of meetings. He also has served as the Executive Committee liaison to the CAPCOG Criminal Justice Advisory Committee. Van Arsdale, a former Texas House representative, was first elected to the Cedar Park City Council in 2014.

Other officers elected to serve in 2018 by the CAPCOG Executive Committee included:

  • First Vice Chair – Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty
  • Second Vice Chair – Leander Council Member Andrea Navarrette
  • Secretary – Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape
  • Immediate Past Chair – Hays County Judge Bert Cobb
  • Parliamentarian – Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long

The Executive Committee meets every second Wednesday of the month and serves as the Capital Area Emergency Communications District Board of Managers.

> Learn more about the governing body.

TCEQ seeks alternative fueling stations grant applications

Thursday, February 01, 2018
Source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced a second round of grants to continue the development of a network of natural gas and other alternative fuel fueling stations. Seven counties in the CAPCOG region are in the grant’s eligibility area including Lee and Fayette counties.

Alternative Fueling Facilities Program (AFFP) grants are meant to help build a foundation for a self-sustaining market for alternative fuel vehicles in the state. Grants are available to eligible individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in 83 counties. Counties in the CAPCOG region include Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson. The TCEQ will accept applications until 5 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 29, 2018.

AFFP grants are part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) and are offered to eligible entities that intend to build, own, and operate alternative fuel or natural gas fueling stations in the Clean Transportation Zone. AFFP grants offset a portion of the cost of either the construction of new facilities dispensing natural gas or alternative fuels, or the expansion of existing facilities to provide new services or capabilities. Eligible fuels for the AFFP include compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG); biodiesel; hydrogen; methanol; propane (LPG); and electricity.

> Apply for an AFFP grant.
> Learn more about TERP.
> Learn about CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.

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