The year 2017 brought about many changes for our growing city. Just a few of the new highlights of change include the Dripping Springs Tiger Football team having the first undefeated season in 68 years. The team beat Marble Falls on December 22 and claimed a 10-0 season and an eighth ranking in the state. The last year that the Tiger team reached this high was in 1949.
The EPA withdrew their objection to the City’s discharge permit application, which is the plan to expand the wastewater treatment center. The EPA determined that the proposal successfully meets their rigorous standards. Their findings were that with the growth in the area a new facility will be needed to maintain high-quality water in Onion Creek. The discharge from this facility will be reused as surface irrigation and will, therefore, have much less discharge than what is permitted.
The city hired a new planner and secretary. Megan Wills was hired as the new city planner and previously served as Senior Planner for the City of Fort Myers Beach, Florida for two years. Her responsibilities include the predevelopment process before buildings are constructed. Andrea Cummings is the new city secretary. She previously worked as the Assistant City Secretary for New Braunfels for approximately four years. Her position has her working on posting agendas, notices, and minutes, filing ordinances, resolutions, contracts and record management.
The Tiger Marching Band brought home the silver in UIL. The approximately two hundred member band performed the program “Reflections: See What’s Inside” at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 8, 2017.
The city’s visitor bureau became an independent non-profit organization. Established in 1984, the bureau was previously supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Pam Owens, the bureau director since 2012, was named the President and CEO of the new independent non-profit 501©3 organization. She plans on restructuring the bureau to support the specific needs of area businesses that focus on tourism and travel in Dripping Springs.
Real Estate in the Austin area has had over sixty percent appreciation in the last ten years. Although sales have slowed down a bit, it has been very little. In the past year, the top sales in Austin, and surrounding areas peaked between May and June. Home sales around that time topped out around approximately 3,800. The Greater Austin median home price in 2017 was around $290,000.
Commercial real estate values continue to be strong in all Texas metros areas, with the exception of Houston. This slowing for Houston was due to the oil downturn (Pre-Harvey). Most commercial real estate is showing occupancy at approximately ninety-percent. This is a great display of how we are living in a healthy market.