Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 6, 2003     Hays Free Press
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February 6, 2003

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FEBRUARY 6, 2003 VOL. 30 NO. 6 q BY BILL PETERSON Moore motioned to table Editor Marsh's presentation, adding that the aquifer board was to KMYLE--The look on Floyd direct all its communications to arsh's face said enough the city manager and city staff, as he brought together his the rest of the council loudly belongings and exited Kyle City assented. The action all but Hall during the middle of removed any possibility that the Tuesday night's city council city will pay a penny less than meeting. But the words said a lit- the $129,124.71 assessed by the de more. aquifer board for overpumping "What an insult," Marsh its 55 million gallon permit by said. 89 million gallons in the year Marsh, the Barton Springs/ ending last Aug. 31. Edwards Aquifer Conservation "It only seems logical that District's (BS/EACD) General payment of the amount sought Manager, had just been inglori- by the BS/EACD in full settle- ously dropped from the council's ment is the best way to a quick agenda shortly after the body and final solution that will allow returned from executive session the city to move forward and and just as he was about to pre- properly give its full attention to sent the aquifer board's proposal future water development and to settle a $130,000.f'me against resource management issues," the city. When Councilmember MikeKyle Pumpage Fine, pg. 3 Kyle City Manager Tom Mattis points out to city council the differences between the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. (photo by Bill Peterson) BY BILL PETER,SON Editor BUDA--It's back to the draw- ing board for Buda's city gov- eminent after voters in Buda over- whelmingly turned back a proper- ty tax increase of more than 50 percent in last Saturday's election. By a margin of 227-98, Buda voters elected to force the city government to tax property at the Fiscal Year 2003 rollback rate of 13.1 cents per $100 of assessed value, down from the rate of 21.99 cents approved by the city council last September. Buda City Administrator Bob Mathis said the city is forced to trim more than 10 percent of its general operations budget as a result of the vote. Mathis and council will have to save $180,000 out of a general operating budget of $1.7 million, which doesn't include water and wastewater ser- vices that are supported by fees. Mathis said the city either will be forced to cut services, dip into a reserve fund of tittle more than $500,000 or forego capital pro- jeers, such as a wastewater reten- tion pond that had been included in the budget. "That's not one of those things we can put off," Mathis said. "Our facility is sitting next to the Onion Creek," 2. m Local agitator Tommy Peer checks out front door of Buda City Hall prior to (photo by Bill Peterson) the public postings on the the tax rollback election. The election was the first of two major tax elections scheduled for the area in February. Presumably, the result in Buda casts doubt on the prospects for a $105 million bond election called by the Hays CISD for Feb. 22. But Hays CISD interim Superintendent Marvin Crawford remained hopeful that the voters will see the school district's appeal differently. 'q'hey're defmitely separate issues, completely," Crawford said. "I think our voters in the dis- trict will look at the situation and Tax Rollback Election, pg. 12 BY BILL PETERSON ing and others are growing faster. Editor While those numbers are daunting, the Hays CISD is in the HAYS CISD - The rhetoric isagonizing position of being the blowing hotter than ever now state's 118th-fastest-growing dis- that early voting has begun on a trict from 1996-2001, according to $105 million school bond sought the Texas Bond Review Board, by the Hays CISD. Lots of statis- even though its property wealth tics are being ~`<~:~:~.~,~,:~ ranks 586th out of ~i:~iii::!~ ~!~ i~i~i 1,034 school dis- o ered to the pub- i " lic. of course, you iBi tricts in Texas. can make statistics That's a combina- say just about anything you want. tion that almost guarantees high Below, we attempt to pick debt, and it definitely points to the through some of the issues and need for more local retail business arguments brought forth in the and industry. debate. High debt is a common prob- Opponents of the bond issue lem for high-growth districts, even say the Hays CISD's debt per stu- though faster growing near-by dis- dent, which has soared to $21,552, tricts - like Pflugerville, ranks ninth in Texas. The school Georgetown and Boeme - aren't district doesn't dispute that figure, nearly as burdened as Hays. Then Bond opponents say passage of again, they have more property the bond issue will push debt per value, which, in turn, helps them student past $26,000, compared support debt. Frisco, the state's with a state average of $5,697. fastest-growing school district, The use of a "state average" ranks 122nd in property wealth doesn't truthfully depict the Hays and has a debt rate per student of CISD's performance relative to $30,589. But Frisco grew 167 per- other districts in its circumstances cent from 1996-2001, compared - and that's not to say the Hays with 29 percent growth at Hays. CISD has been a sterling per- Leander's debt per student rate former in that regard, either. Bond stood at $16,257 before voters debt is tied to anticipated growth, approved a '$189 million bond Some districts are going through stagnant growth, others are shrink- Bond Package O00onen~ I~. 2 BY BRENT STRONG property taxes, developer through bonds that are Staff Writer The area called MUD #1, repaid through the property tax as which is located on valuable land the district continues to near flail B UDA " The possibility of a just off of IH-35, would mean build-out- Mathis expects a 15- mall coming to Buda could 1,100 multi-family and single- year build-out, assuming the mar- rely almost entirely on the estab- family homes along with 300ket and economy support that rate. lishment of four Municipal Utility retail locations. That not only When a city annexes land that Districts (MUD). would give the city a boost in its is part of a MUD, the city assumes These districts would bring in tax base, but it would also mean all the debt of the district The city people around the proposed site of more jobs for the city. is trying to avoid taking on a debt the Simon Mall, which would, in If the city decides to not honor of that magnitude. turn, create more interest from the the petition to establish MUDs, it "Acity should not ever assume mall to come to the area. The must deriver city services to the the debt and create a negative MUDs are the brainchild of devel- homes requesting them. draw on its revenue base," Mathis oper Steve Bartlett, who was Property tax rates for people said. "A city should only do it involved in the Circle C properties living in the MUDs will be any- when it's economically feasible." of Gary Bradley fame. where from 70 cents per $100 of Buda is waiting on Bartlett to If Buda accepts the petition to assessed value to $1.00 per $100 file a petition requesting water and establish the MUDs, it would like of assessed value, according to wastewater service from the city. to establish what is called an "in Buda City Administrator BobBuda will then prepare an engineer- city" MUD for the proposed com- Mathis. That rate is significantly ing report detailing its ability to pro- mercial land in MUD #1. The "in higher than that of Buda, which vide water and wastewater service CIty"MUD allows the city to col- rests at 13.10 cents per $100 of to the MUD. Negotiations would lect sales tax from the property assessed value, then begin as to whether or not while the developer collects the MUDs are funded by the Buda will have an "in city" MUD. The above map shows the location of the five local Municipal Utility Districts and the site of the proposed Simon Mall.