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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 25, 2015     Hays Free Press
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February 25, 2015
 

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q~ REBEL RALLY Rebel basketball moves past Westwood 70-62 - Page 1B GET AMPEB Hays County non-profits enter Amplify Austin - Page 1C Barton Publications, Inc. HaysFreePress.com .................. Vol. 118 No. 48 Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County, TX 75 suing BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com In a suit filed in dis- trict court this month, attorneys for Buda allege Microtel Inn & Suites owes the city more than $47,000 in back taxes and penal- ties. Officials now want the business' doors shut until that debt gets settled. The city is petitioning a Hays County district court, for injunctive relief seek- ing an order prohibiting Microtel from operating until it pays all its out- standing taxes, penalties, interest and the city's attomey's fees, according to the suit. "TheCity (Buda) will likely prevail at trial in this matter," attorneys Cynthia Trex no and George Hyde said in the suit. "The City would show probable injury by showing that the City is in danger of imminent harm by beIng deprived of the tax reve- nue that it is entitled to as a matter of law..." The state's tax code allows municipalities to impose a hotel occupancy tax, and Buda has levied a seven percent tax, the maximum allowed, on the cost of any hotel room that is rented inside the city's limits. The city's suit alleges Microtel Inn & Suites, located at 1285 Cabela's Drive, has collected the hotel occupancy taxes from its customers, but has failed to remit those funds to the city. "Defendant (Microtel) has regularly failed to report its sales and pay BUDA LAWSUIT, 4A PHOTO BY BILL JOHNSON Western Hays County residents showed up in protest at the corner of FM 150 near Hays City Store to stress their disapproval of Electro Purification, a private water firm, selling water to municipalities on the east side of the county. Go to www.hayefreepress,com for full coverage on Hays County water stories. ,t ( BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfte~press.com In a nod of support to western Hays County residents concemed over unregulated commercial pumping of the Trinity Aquifer, Buda Council members unanimously approved a resolution supporting groundwater protection. Buda's support, how- ever, comes with a few self-serving injunctions. The city "supports legislation that does not disproportionally and adversely affect munici- pal users," the resolution unanimously approved Feb. 17 states in part. Hays County's unanimously approved resolution supporting groundwater protection states that the commis- sioners court "supports legislation to establish the proper local regula- tion of commercial and non- exempt ground- Water production in Because weJmve n, tract ....... with EP (Electro Purification), we had to make sure the wordino of the resolution didn't violate anything in our contract." -Todd Ruge, Buda mayor aquifer areas currently outside of the respective groundwater conser- vation districts in Hays County." Buda, however, is under contract with a commercial water supplier, which plans to pump 5.3 million gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County. Council members had to be careful not to pass a resolution that frowned on that agreement. "Because we have a contract with EP (Electro Purification), we had to make sure the wording of the resolution didn't violate anything in our contract," Buda Mayor Todd Ruge told the Hays Free Press. During executive session, Buda council members hashed out the verbiage of a resolu- tion, all the while not compromising the city's attempt at obtaining 1 million gallons of water per day from EP, a Hous- ton-based commercial water supplier. The firm has contracts with Buda, GoforthWater Special Utility District and a pri- vate developer to supply a combined 5.3 million gallons of water per day from the Trinity. Kyle Yarn The Kyle Yarn Groupies meet weekly on "We felt it was that we needed to do a resolu- tion," Ruge said. 'Tknd obviously we had to bracket it in a manner. But I think, the fact that support legislation is really a fine line for us to walk." Council member An- gela Kennedy, the lone official to vote against contracting with EP in January, said her support for the resolution comes out of a desire to regu- late unregulated ground- water formations. "There was a differ- ence between our reso- lution and the one Hays County passed," Ken- nedy said. "I am a firm believer in compromises and meeting everyone's needs.., my main goal was to support that white area where EP's project is currently being implemented to be put under some sort of groundwater regula- tion." GROUNDWATER, 4A BY MOSES LEOS gl moses@haysfreepress.com Recent incidents in- volving burglars opening unlocked vehicles in neighborhoods has KyIe Police Department Chief Jeff Barnett stressing vigi- lance on the public's part. While the rate of car burglaries isn't any higher than normal, Barnett said unlocked cars give criminals an easy chance to strike. "When burglars are" successful with opening doors without noise, and with the opportunity to gain something of value for nothing, it entices them to comeback time and time again into our community," he said. According to Barnett, a burglar pulling door han- dles isn't new. The trend has hit neighborhoods across Buda and Kyle. However, recent incidents in several Kyle subdivi- sions bring the situation to light. Barnett said Kyle Police have arrested "a few peo- ple" in connection with neighborhood vehicle burglaries. Austin Police recently arrested two adults and two juveniles after recovering a stolen car with stolen items from Kyle and Buda vehicles. Kyle and Austin Police are investigating the circumstances of those crimes. In December, Kyle Police caught 17-year-old Randy Aviles of Kyle in the midst of burglarizing a car in Plum Creek. Aviles is believed to have burglar- ized multiple vehicles by pulling on door handles. Barnett said burglars often strike in the early morning hours, walking down streets to find un- locked car doors. Increasing lighting in neighborhoods is one deterrent, Barnett said. Keeping car doors locked and valuables out of sight is the best defense. That extends to garag- es and homes as well. Bar- nett said officers at times would notify homeowners if they find a garage door open in the early morning hours. Kyle Police Department has taken several steps to curb the problems. Along with increased patrols, Tuesday Plum Creek Watershed the department is asking evenings at -..--- -,.m="-t"* on Saturday officers to spend "as 6:30 at the much time as possible" in Kyle Library. Head to Steeplechase Park on Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. for neighborhoods. All skill levels the annual watershed clean-up. Community volunteers Officers have also taken of knitting with saws, axes, chainsaws and equipment to remove extra assignments and are and crochet small bushes and trees in the creek watershed are rearranging schedules. are welcome, particularly needed. Check in at the covered pavilion inlcuding for assignments. Volunteers are equipped with trash Using unmarked police beginners, bags, small hand tools and other necessary equipment units is another tactic. to clean up the banks of the Plum Creek. The clean-up The department has also usually lasts until noon. All workers are rewarded with a CAR BURGLARIES, 2A pizza lunch upon conclusion. Opinions ................... 3A Business ........... . 1-4Dll [IJ!lJ!ll!iJl]!l]lllllllltllllllllllln/l/lUlllllll 7 Sports ..................... 1-2B ' Service Directory .... 2-3D Workforce housing Education .................... 3B Classifieds ................. 2D coming to Buda i Community .............. 1-4C Public Notices, ....... .2, 4D - Page 1D Best Bets ................... 4C 7 + 7