FOL 6th Annual Huge Community Garage Sale!

Reserve your space at wbfriends.org for the FOL community garage sale Saturday, September 23rd from 7am to Noon in the WB Community Library parking lot, 15001 Wells Port Drive.

Sell your treasures!  Find NEW treasures!

Don’t want to be a seller?  You can donate any items you don’t need to the FOL booth; all proceeds go to library programs.

Whatever you choose, come have coffee with your neighbors and shop the many vendors all in one place!

The Best of Wells Branch!  Now on Sale!

Our 2018 Friends of the Library Calendar is on its way!  Sales start September 23 rd at the FOL Garage Sale.  Over 200 Wells Branch neighbors voted for their favorite photos at FourthFest.  Special thanks to volunteers Marie Streusand and Debbie and Tom Zimmer for their help on the 4th.  Come see if the photos you voted for are in the calendar!  After all, it is “The Best of Wells Branch!”

Annexation Relief at Long Last

by Derek Cohen, Ph.D.
Wells Branch Resident

On August 15th, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 6 into law, curtailing the authority of home-rule cities to unilaterally annex surrounding areas.

Historically, annexation was used as a mechanism for budding cities to grow organically beyond existing borders.  As unincorporated areas developed and became less distinguishable from the neighboring city, annexation provided a legal framework for extending municipal services – and subsequent tax obligations to fund them – to the annexed area.  However, after decades of dubious land grabs, unfulfilled service obligations, and manifold increases in municipal tax rates, Texans have realized that annexation is best executed when both the city and residents of a targeted area negotiate from equal footing.

This is what SB 6 enshrined into law: that residents are brought within the boundaries of a city democratically when it serves the mutual interest of both parties.  If Austin were to move to annex Wells Branch, the move would have to pass a democratic vote.

The complexity of the existing local government code and the enacted legislation has led to some confusion surrounding whether or not Wells Branch is still eligible for annexation.  Specifically, the bill exempts areas that are presently operating under strategic partnership agreements (SPA) with the annexing municipality.  Oftentimes, these agreements establish a date certain for annexation.

Unfortunately, for the residents of River Place and Shady Hollow – two outlying areas with annexation agreements in place – jurisdictions with existing SPAs are exempt from the bill’s protections.  The concerted showing of citizens from these areas during open testimony on the legislation underscored how important the issue has become.  Luckily, Wells Branch is not party to such an agreement in place with the City of Austin.  Unless we were to enter into one before December 1st, the full protections of SB 6 apply to us.

There is one lingering point of concern.  Well Branch is currently under a consent agreement with Austin to provide water and wastewater service to the District; an agreement due to expire in the not-too-distant future.  At this time, the District will have to renegotiate certain terms of its relationship with Austin, which distally affect how much water costs its residents.  As with most monopolies, there is nothing to restrain the seller from drastically increasing the price to consumers.  While the legation includes a clause that prohibits retaliatory price increases, loose language renders this measure largely unenforceable.

There may come a future date where it is in the mutual interest of the residents of Wells Branch and the City of Austin for the district to become fully and formally part of the city.  SB 6 does not prevent this from happening; it simply ensures that all of our neighbors have direct input in the process.

Get to Know Your Neighbors at the Library!

by Brittany Hecker, Adult Program & Service Librarian, WBCL

Strong communities start with strong relationships.  The people of Wells Branch are a close-knit community, with a wealth of talent and a friendliness that can’t be beat!

To celebrate and enrich this sense of community, the library is hosting a Community Meet & Greet Event on July 9th from 3:00-5:00pm.  Get to know your neighbors and develop new friendships!  Adults, families, and kids of all ages are invited to drop by to talk, play, and create with other Wells Branch residents.  We’ll have board games, ice-breakers, crafts, and a face-painter for the kids!  It’s a fun way to beat the heat and meet other wonderful neighbors in our community.  Refreshments will be served.  Whether you’re new to the area or have been here for years, come by to make some new friends this summer!

No registration needed.  For more information, email brittany@wblibrary.org or call the library at 512-989-3188.

EXTREME CLEAN  Saturday, July 8

Wells Branch Maintenance Yard • 13905 Thermal

*Extreme Clean is a joint endeavor brought to you by the WBNA and Wells Branch MUD.


Habitat for Humanity WILL NOT BE COLLECTING THIS TIME They will be back in October!


Easter Seals 8am-4pm


ATXHAW 8am-4pm

Accepting donations for those experiencing homelessness.  For a list of needed items, please visit:

http://www.austinhumanistsatwork.org/donate/


Pet Supplies for Wildlife Rescue 8am-4pm


Bulk Trash Styrofoam Metal Drop Off 

Household Waste Collection

Batteries • Paint* • Antifreeze* ONLY

*MUST be in closed container.

8am-5pm

ATTENTION:  We cannot accept ANY TYPE of OIL

(cooking or motor), car or boat batteries.

Motor oil may be dropped off at McSpadden’s Automotive

(NW corner of IH35/WB Pkwy) from 8am-4pm free of charge.

Batteries can be taken to CMC Metal Recycling

1704 Howard Lane M-F 8am-5pm.

Questions?  Call 512-656-0654.


ELECTRONICS RECYCLING* 8am-5pm

* We can ONLY ACCEPT the following items:

Computers  •  Laptops  •  Tablets  •  Computer Parts  •  Cell Phones  •  Wire (Extension Cords, Christmas Lights, Computer Cables)  •  Laptop Batteries  •  Lead Acid Batteries (Household Alkaline Batteries MUST be dropped at a different station)  •  Routers  •  DVRs  •  Cable Boxes  •  Flat Screen ONLY Monitors (Non Cracked)  •  Flat Screen ONLY TVs (Non Cracked)  •  GPS Systems

* We CANNOT ACCEPT the following items:

TVs  •  CRT Monitors  •  Printers  • Copiers  • Scanners  •  Radios  •  Stereos  •  Household Electronics (Microwaves, Coffeemakers, Toasters, Vacuums, etc.)

Questions?  Call 512-656-0654.  Text if you need us to save moving boxes; otherwise, they will be broken down and recycled.

Wells Branch is Under Construction and the CRITTERS are BACK!

Expect an increase in all kinds of wild creatures (possums, raccoons, snakes, rats, coyotes) this summer as we have several new construction projects underway in and around Wells Branch.  The best form of control for any of these animals is an integrated plan that removes access to shelter, food and water.  If you have a rat or mouse problem, then the use of rodenticides or traps may be necessary as well.  Every resident in Wells Branch can take steps to minimize appeal to these animals.  Rodent control is particularly effective when all our neighbors participate.

  • Do NOT leave food outside for your pets.
  • If your animals eat outside, give them a chance to eat and then bring the food and water bowls inside.
  • Secure all doggie-doors at night.
  • If you have a bird or squirrel feeder, bring it in at night.  Empty the birdbaths as well.
  • Seal all openings into your home and any outdoor storage units using hardware cloth and steel wool.  Mice can squeeze into a ¼” opening and it only takes ½” for a rat to gain access.
  • Clean out any debris that might provide refuge for these animals.

Coyotes:  It’s four months later and we’re still losing pets to coyotes.  Please visit the sites listed below and make sure you’re following all their tips.

  • Keep your pets inside from just before dusk until after dawn.  If they have to go out, take them on a leash – even in your own yard.  We have had coyotes both jump and dig under fences.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  They’ve been sited along the trails daily and have even followed walkers.  Keep your dog on a leash and close by.

Here are links to a great hand out from Travis County to download, the City of Austin webpage on coyotes, the Humane Society page, and Texas Parks & Wildlife page.  All cover tips on deterring coyotes and discuss how to best protect your fur babies.

Be safe, not sorry!

Snakes:

With the mild winter we’ve had and a plentiful food source, our slithery friends are out and about!  Please remember that rat snakes are our FRIENDS.  They earn their keep around here by keeping the rodent population down.  While they can get quite large, they don’t pose a threat to you, your children or your pets and are reluctant to bite unless messed with – leave them be and they’ll go on about their business.

Photo by Brad Dushkin

Unsure about which snakes are harmless and which may be poisonous?  Visit austinreptileservice.net to learn more.  This site makes it easy by breaking them down by stripes, blotches, diamonds, bands and solid color snakes.