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In the News: News from December 2018

TNRIS finishes 2018 StratMap, Capital Area Orthoimagery Project

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS) Strategic Mapping Program (StratMap) released 12- and 6-inch orthoimagery of the region from CAPCOG’s 2018 Capital Area Orthoimagery Project. CAPCOG coordinated the regional project through StratMap’s cooperative purchasing program to generate cost savings for local jurisdictions.

> Get the data.

Each year, CAPCOG acquires 12-inch orthoimagery as part of its emergency communications program to provide accurate 9-1-1 mapping across the region; local jurisdictions can participate by purchasing the acquisition of higher resolution imagery. Since orthoimagery is scale-corrected, it is a valuable tool for planning and engineering purposes depending on its resolution. Orthoimagery is the same as a map and can used to create GIS vector data. For more than a decade, CAPCOG has coordinated orthoimagery purchases through its GeoMap program, which has saved the region and it partners millions of dollars; coordinating the purchases through StratMap has realized additional savings.

The 2019 Capital Area Orthoimagery Project is in the flight preparation stages. It will be flown during winter leaf-off conditions, typically between mid-December and mid-February. This data is expected to be released in Fall 2019. CAPCOG also will coordinate the 2020 project through the StratMap Program; a call for local projects will take place in the Spring of 2019. CAPCOG recommends local jurisdictions evaluate the cost of other geospatial products such as LIDAR — laser measured imagery used for topographic mapping — through the StratMap Program for possible cooperative purchasing savings.

> Read more about StratMap and the orthoimagery project.

CAPCOG promotes caregiving programs in AARP virtual fair

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP), a CAPCOG division, participated in AARP’s Online CareFair as one of eight organizations from Texas. The virtual fair allowed family caregivers from ten states to learn about local resources available for improving their own and loved one’s quality of life.

“When we start caregiving, it is often the first time we realize we can’t do it all,” said Siena Lindemann, AAACAP assistant director. “Most family caregivers who care for older adults have many obligations, such as caring for children and working. Events like the Online CareFair show people they are not alone, and that government and nonprofit agencies can help support their caregiving experience.”

As the only Area Agency on Aging from Texas in the fair, CAPCOG shared information about services such as its Caregiver Support Program which provides caregiver respite, helps develop long-term care plans, and assess caregiving situations. CAPCOG also answered questions about its programs and directed residents to their local Area Agency on Aging during the virtual fair’s live session.

AARP’s Online CareFair gave caregivers a greater opportunity to connect with organizations such as AAACAP since people could attend from anywhere with an internet connection and directly interact with the attending organizations as well as a webinar series on topics such as “Prepare to Care: Tips for First-Time Caregivers” and “Tips for Working Caregivers”.

> View a non-live version of the fair until mid-February.
> Get information about AAACAP programs.

TWDB opens SWIFT applications

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will accept short, preliminary applications for the 2019 funding cycle of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program, which assists communities in developing and optimizing water supplies, until Feb. 1, 2019.

The short, preliminary applications may be submitted via the TWDB’s online application system or by paper copy. These applications provide information used to complete a prioritization of projects. TWBD will then invite project, which received priority, to submit a complete application including a detailed financial, legal, engineering, and environmental review.  To be eligible for SWIFT program financial assistance, projects must be recommended in the 2017 State Water Plan. 

The SWIFT program helps communities develop and optimize water supplies at cost-effective rates by providing low-interest financing, extended repayment terms, deferral of repayments, and incremental repurchase terms for projects with state ownership aspects. It also includes additional interest rate subsidies for rural and agricultural projects. 

TWDB opened the application process for SWIFT on Dec. 13, 2018. 

> Submit an online application.
> Get a paper application.
> Learn more about SWIFT.
> Learn more about TWDB.

GLO accepts HAP applications in Harvey affected counties

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Applications for the Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) are available for all eligible Hurricane Harvey affected counties on the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) website.Homeower Assistance Program Flier. Download flier.

GLO has allocated $1.098 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for rehabilitation and reconstruction of owner-occupied single-family homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Counties in the CAPCOG region in the Hurricane Harvey affected area include Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, and Lee.

> Visit the GLO website.

HAP helps homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey repair and rebuild their homes. The housing program is administered by the GLO and provides homeowner assistance through:

  • Repairing and rehabilitating homes
  • Reconstruction
  • Improving a damaged home so that it is stronger against natural disasters
  • Elevating homes above flood level
  • Temporary relocation assistance

> Get HAP applications and other information for affected counties in the CAPCOG region.
> Read the HAP Checklist.
> Read the HAP frequently asked questions.
> Pass along the HAP flier.

CAPCOG hosts elected officials emergency management course

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The CAPCOG Homeland Security Division will host the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s Public Officials Workshop which introduces county judges and commissioners, mayors and city council members, and other elected and appointed officials to emergency management in Texas. The workshop will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 9 at CAPCOG’s offices 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165 in Austin.

The 3-hour course, which is mandatory for newly elected county judges and mayors, addresses the legal authorities for emergency management in Texas; the local, state, and federal organization for emergency management; the local emergency management functions; the local responsibilities during the four phases of emergency management – mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and the emergency management program activities, such as planning, training, and exercising. There is no cost to attend this valuable training.
Contact CAPCOG Homeland Security for more information at homelandsecuritystaff@capcog.org or register at preparingtexas.org. Registering will provide a Texas Division of Emergency Management certificate and satisfies the Emergency Management requirement for public officials.

> Register for the workshop.
> Learn more about the Homeland Security Division.

CTRMA Chair receives CAPCOG Regionalism Award

Thursday, December 13, 2018

CAPCOG presented Ray Wilkerson, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority chair, with its 2018 Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award on Wednesday at its annual membership meeting.

“Ray has spent decades volunteering and making a difference in Central Texas through his work on critical regional issues,” said CAPCOG Executive Committee member and Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, who presented the award to Wilkerson. “Few people have given as much to Central Texas and beyond as Ray Wilkerson. I am honored to congratulate my friend and mentor on receiving the Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award for 2018.”

The award is named after a former Bastrop County judge who served as CAPCOG’s first chair in 1970 and then became the first president of the Texas Association of Regional Councils — the state association representing Texas’ 24 councils of governments. It honors a person who plays a pivotal role in strengthening the Capital Area through their actions and who consistently advocates a regional and multijurisdictional approach through their work with local governments and other organizations. Wilkerson has been instrumental in expanding the regional transportation network by working on projects such as US Highway 183 and State Highway 45. He also is a member of the Colorado River Foundation Tributary League Endowment and Colorado River Land Trust. He was a founding member of the Colorado River Alliance, which champions the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement, and is a former Lower Colorado River Authority chair.

“Regionalism is going to be the only success of what is going to make Central Texas work, transportation is not for one city it is for everybody…” Wilkerson said. “Let’s continue to work together, so that we understand regional is a word in everything we are talking about, and it is not just one area.”

Other Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism award recipients include Texas Senator Kirk Watson; Texas Representative Paul Workman; Dr. W. Neal Kocurek; Robert J Huston, former Texas Commission on Environmental Quality chair; former Texas Senator Troy Fraser; former Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos; and Bob Daigh, former Texas Department of Transportation Austin District Engineer.

> Read more about Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award.

Commute Solutions networking event shares strategies

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The CAPCOG Commute Solutions Program and the City of Austin Transportation Department will host the second annual Commute Solutions Networking Luncheon on Dec. 17, so program partners can learn more about reducing traffic congestion and sustainable transportation options in the Capital Area.

The luncheon will feature discussions about important updates to Commute Solutions programs, Austin’s Strategic Mobility Plan, and Capital Metro’s Project Connect and RideShare programs. It also will let partnering organizations discuss barriers/issues with promoting sustainable commuting within their organization and learn how others may have dealt with similar issues.

While CommuteSolutions.com is a one-stop resource for sustainable commuting options in the Capital Area, the networking luncheon provides our partners with a one-stop event to learn more about the future of their commutes, how to reduce traffic and transportation cost, and improve the region’s air quality by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

> Read more about Commute Solutions.
> Go to CommuteSolutions.com.

AAACAP helps care managers Untangle Alzheimer’s with seminar

Friday, December 07, 2018

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area, a CAPCOG division, will host Dr. Tam Cummings for her Untangling Alzheimer’s seminar so professional care-manager organizations and AAACAP partners can learn how to better recognize dementia related issues and recommend resources to people with dementia and their caregivers. The seminar will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the CAPCOG offices, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310 Suite 165 in Austin.

Cummings, a nationally recognized gerontologist and dementia expert, will cover topics such as the stages of dementia, the eight most common forms of dementia, behaviors of the disease, and caregiver stress. AAACAP selected such topics so care-manager organizations can have more accurate knowledge about dementia and share information about the disease in their local communities. Cummings, who has spoken at previous AAACAP events, has worked in dementia communities for more than two decades and is dedicated and passionate about helping people learn about dementia care. She has authored, “Untangling Alzheimer’s, the Guide for Families and Professionals”.

> Register to attend the seminar.
> Learn more about AAACAP.

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