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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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January 30, 2013     Hays Free Press
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January 30, 2013
 

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i:/ + CLASSIFIEDS * PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY HaysFreePress.com January 30, 2013 t- I 'O The Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce Gala at Texas Old Town this weekend drew a capacity crowd of more than 300 for the annual awards banquet. Presenting Small Business of the Year, left, to Synergy were (I to r) Chamber Presi- dent Cale Baese, Chamber Executive Director Ray Hernandez, Joe Quartucci and Terry Taylor, co-owners of Synergy, Chris Hernandez and Jennifer Taylor with Synergy, Caitlyn Pesl with Kyle Chamber and immedi- ate past Chamber President Herb Dyer. Other award winners include (bottom row, left to right) Volunteer of the Year Leata Bartlett with Pesl; Large Business of the Year, Anthony Baragas of Chick-fiI-A with Hernandez; Business Person of the Year Fox's Pizza Den's Tim Roberson with Hernandez, and Ambassador of the Year Cindy Van Wart with Sylvia Gallo. Organization of the Year Award was presented to the Kyle Economic Develop- ment committee. Courtesy photos from Kyle Area Chamber of Com- merce BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com Construction on the road improve- ment project on the northern section of FM 1626 is progressing as planned, according to Hays County Commis- sioner Mark Jones. "We're about six percent into the project and everything is on sched- ule," Jones said. Next week, the construction crew from SEMA will create a temporary detour road until the new bridge and lanes are completed. Jones said that at no time during the project will the entire road be closed to thru traffic. However, drivers should be aware that a tagger operation is in place Monday through Friday and should use extra caution when travel- ing through the construction zone. He expects the construction on the northern section to be complete by October of 2014. Jones also updated the Hays Free Press on several other current or future road projects, including shoulders and a turn lane into Ruby Ranch off of FM 967. He said Hays County is also gear- ing up to work on the ramps and turn arounds on Interstate Highway 35 in Kyle. Eventually, Jones said, there will also be a turn lane into the Hays ath- letic ball fields on FM 2770. According to Jones, the county has about $34 million in savings from a previous bond that should pay for most of the planned construction. In other news, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) recently appointed Jones, along with Travis County Commis- sioner Gerald Dougherty and Austin City Councilman Bill Spillman as co- chairs of the SH 45 project, The original plans for S.H. 45 wer~ future projects in Hays County Pre- Jones said the project will move for- for a toll road. Jones said the plan now cinct 2. The meeting will be held at ward, despite years of delays and di- is to build it as a two, three or four-lane 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28, at the new Precinct versions, county road. 2 building at 5458 FM 2770 in Kyle. He "It's not a matter of if, but how," he Jones said he is hosting a Town Hall will hold a similar meeting in Buda in said. Meeting in Kyle to discuss current and March.~ SUBMITI'ED REPORT Pedernales Electric Cooperative has two open positions on its board of directors. The utility company is accepting nominations from eligible members in PEC board districts 4 and 5. PEC's board district 4 mostly includes parts of northern Hays County, southwest- ern Travis County and a small portion of southeastern Blanco County. District 5 consists of portions of 17 counties, including most of Blanco County and smaller portions of its bordering counties, as well as the co-op's west- nomin ern service area, which includes most of Kimble and Edwards counties and signifcant portions of surrounding counties. Any mem- bers seeking nomi- nation are required by co-op bylaws to gather verifiable sig- natures from at least 100 members who live within the direc- tor nominee's board district or have des- ignated a voting resi- dence within the district for which they are signing. Petition forms and additional infor- mation are posted on PEC's website at www.pec.coop/nomiliation. Inter- ested nominees may also request the materials at any PEC office. 1 STAFF REPORT San Marcos - are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, It is commonly said that two things although the Kyie office is closed be- are certain in life: death and taxes, tween 12:30-1:30 p.m. daily and the It is that time again, and county of- Dripping Springs office is closed from ficials are urging residents to pay their 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Fridays. 2012 property taxes by January 31 Taxes can also be paid online at or face interest and penalties on the http://hayscountytax.com. If pay- amount owed beginning Friday; Feb. 1. ing by postal mail, payments should "Even ff you can't pay your entire be addressed to the Tax Office at 712 bill, try to pay as much as you can S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, TX by January 31," said Hays County 78666 and must be postmarked by Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Cara- January 31 to avoid penalties and in- way. "The penalty and interest in- terest charges. crease each month, but with a partial The Kyle tax office address is 5458 payment you will be reducing the FM 2770 at Crystal Meadow Drive amount that accrues the penalty and (Precinct 2 Office) and the Buda tax interest." office is located at 500 Jack C. Trail. Taxes can be paid at any tax of- For additional information, the rice in the county and all offices - in County Tax Office can be reached at Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle and (512)393-5545. CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS affwiuState budget gradually be attached to the amework provided by SB 1, the general appropria- tions bill authored byTommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. In a hearing spread over three days last week, the Senate Finance Committee absorbed invited testimony given by officials representing institutions of higher educa- tion, the state comptroller's office, the Legislative Budget Board, the Teachers Retire- ment System and more. John Heleman, chief rev- enue estimator with the comp- troller's office, said collections from tax and non-tax revenue sources are expected to total some $96.2 billion, minus $3.6 billion that will go into the so- called Rainy Day Fund. The figure Heleman gave increases to $101.4 billion available for general-purpose spending in 2014-2015, when a projected ending balance of $8.8 billion from the cur- rent two-year budget cycle is added. But this is only the begin- ning of a long process to deliver the Legislature's most basic obligation: the budget. Bill would reform Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, on Jan. 23 filed leg- islation that would cut to four the number of assessments upon which students must achieve a cumulative pass- ing score in order to graduate from high school. The current number of assessments that students must pass is 15. Villarreal's HB 596 also would: Limit the number of school days spent on testing students; Cut the requirement that end-of-course tests count for 15 percent a student's final grade in the course; and End the practice of using test scores to calculate the "recognized" or "exemplary" rating of a campus. Villarreal said his intent is to shift the state away from high-stakes testing in response to calls for education reform by parents, educators and busi- ness leaders. Abbott lauds EPA The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Jan. 24 denied the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's petition for rehearing of the Court's August 2012 decision to vacate the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The nile was meant to cause states to do a better job of containing toxic emissions originating mostly from power plants and drift into other states, negatively affecting air quality. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Jan. 25 issued a statement welcoming the ac- tion, saying, "The court agrees that the EPA acted lawlessly and violated federal law in its zeal to inflict job-killing regula- tions on the state." On Dec. 30, 2011, the D.C. Circuit Court issued an order stopping the enforcement of the cross-state air pollu- tion rule and in August 2012 vacated the rule. The state of Texas, the National Mining As- See CAPITAL HIGHuGHTS, pg. 4D +