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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 27, 2013     Hays Free Press
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February 27, 2013

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CLASSIFIEDS PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY February 27, 2013 I BY ANDY SEVlLLA Kyle City Council members final- ized the refinancing of debt used to fund Kyle Parkway's extension Feb. 19 by authorizing the issuance of $13.72 million of General Obliga- tion Refunding Bonds. In doing so, the city will save $1.1 million in interest cost and will level out an expected $1 million in- crease in debt service next year to the same levels as this year. Had council not issued the re- funding bonds, Finance Director Perwez Moheet said a seven-cent increase on the property tax rate would have been necessary to cov- er the added debt load next fiscal year. And with this "good news," Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson congratulates city staff, but cautions that due dili- gence must continue. "City staff has worked very dili- gently with our financial advisor to be able to make this happen. However, even with this good news, we still need to continue looking for ways to make sure every dollar counts and Kyle residents are re- ceiving quality services." The refunding will achieve 7.8 percent in present value savings, well over the 3.25 percent threshold the city has identified in necessary savings to refund bonds. Robert W. Baird & Co. are the leading underwriters of the refund- ing bonds, with Citigroup as the secondary in that capacity. Moheet said a majority of the bonds will be sold "immediately" to large institu- tional investors, and a "small per- centage" of the bonds will be held by the underwriters until the retail channels absorb them. The debt being refinanced -- State Infrastructure Bond (SIB) Loan II and 2007 Certificates of Obliga- tion (CO) -- was issued primarily to sT,~ fund the extension of Kyle Parkway east of Interstate 35 to Dacy Lane, ~,o~ which was an element in attracting Seton Medical Center-Hays to Kyle. ~,~o In addition to the hospital, two | new professional buildings, Lowe's i Home Improvement, Walgreens ~L~oo,~ and several other businesses have 'o opened along Kyle Parkway's ex- I ~,~o~o tension, where Walmart is slated to break ground later this year $~.~o,~o Moheet said the refunding bonds have a true interest cost (tic) of sl,ooo~oo 3.0102 percent, down from the 4.25 percent interest rate the SIB Loan had and the 4.5 percent interest rate on the COs. See DEBT REFINANCING, pg. 4D Outstanding Debt Service Proposed 2013 Refunding ll~P(dncipel ~lntere~ mmmmPr~ject2013RefD4d~gerv BY MOSES LEOS III "n this day and age of Internet shopping and online transactions, . using plastic to purchase items has become the norm. Consumers have become nearly unconscious to the countless times they use credit and debit cards on a daily basis. However, with the increase in credit card use, a rise in credit card fraud has equally followed. In the City of Buda, cases are beginning to mount as to the improper use of credit card information. "It is becoming a huge problem," said Buda Police Detective Erica Sim- mons, who has followed credit card fraud cases in the past few months. According to the Buda Police De- partment, many of the cases stem from the larger chain stores, such as Cabela's, H.E.B andWai-Mart, where criminals are racking up large charges on' stolen credit card information. According to Simmons, criminals are going through many mediums of which to steal citizen's identities, or produce fraudulent credit cards. One common practice would be for criminals to go through mailbox- es, taking letters containing deac- tivated credit cards, and activating them. Said Simmons, "It is not very hard to do this, as most credit card companies only ask for the name on the card and card number to activate them. People will not realize this has happened until the credit card companies start sending late notices for payments not made, or have sent charges to collection agencies." Another practice that has in- creased as of late is "skimming." Skimming is where criminals can obtain a person's credit card infor- mation via card swipe, where the information is then transferred di- rectly to the criminal's computer, or a deactivated credit card. They do this by purchasing card readers online and attaching them over existing card readers, where consumers are not likely to realize any change. While "skimming" has not been an One practice that has increased lately is "skimming." In this kind of theft, criminals obtain a card swipe and then the information is transferred onto a dummy or untraceable card. issue in the City of Buda, Simmons made known that the trend is grow- ing, especially in larger cities. "We have noticed that there has been a rise in 'skimming' cases at ATM's, pay-at-the-pump gas stations and RedBox kiosks across the coun- try," said Simmons, who went on to mention that skimmers have been known to place small cameras and special keypads at gas stations and ATM's to steal PIN numbers. Additionally, purchasing items on unsecure websites also contributes to identity and credit card theft, Sim- mons advises consumers to ensure that websites they visit are secured, protected sites, and to not jump onto other links. For Buda Police, they are diligently working on apprehending criminals that participate in these activities, but they realize that these issues fall within multiple jurisdictions, across vast portions of the country. Their best advice to the public is to ensure that they keep themselves safe from these cybercrimes. "We are trying our best to educate the public, but ultimately, people must remain vigilant. If they see a card reader or keypad that is loose or looks strange, do not use that termi- nal," said Simmons. Simmons also placed importance on businesses themselves to be wea- ry of credit card and identity thieves. Such vigilance has been enacted by a few of the local businesses around Buda. One such establishment would be the Buda Grocery and Grill, which has had to deal with this problem. "We have had only one instance of someone using a stolen card to PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III information through a purchase food. Since then, we have always checked ID's with credit card purchases," said manager Anthony Uresti. For some businesses, understand- ing customer behavior provides a deterrent. Sandra Vasquez, manager of Garcia's Mexican Restaurant, re- mains vigilant on that front, stating, "If we see something that is not right, we can definitely tell." Ultimately, Detective Simmons would implore people to check their bank statements, and be cognizant of what is going on, "People should regularly monitor their bank state- ments. They should not be naive when small, unknown charges are placed on their account. That is often a sign that a hacker is trying out the information, so as to place larger charges in the future." Construction continues on the ACC campus at the corner of Kyle Parkway and Kohlers Crossing. On Tuesday ACC will celebrate the topping out of the 80,000 square foot structure, so expect to see some kind of symbol at the top of the building - usually a tree of some sort. Completion is expected in early 2014. PHOTO BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON PHOTO COURTESY OF TEXAS TRIBUNE With water in the spotlight, Texas agriculture stakes its claim BY MOSE BUCHELE KUT/Statelmpact Texas When the 2013 Texas Ag Wa- ter Forum met Monday, it was no coincidence it met just a few blocks from the State Capitol. As lawmakers grapple with how to fund the State Water Plan, agricul- turai groups worry that their water needs might be sidelined this leg- islative session. There is an emerging consensus among legislators that the state should take around two billion dollars from the Texas Rainy Day Fund to put towards water proj- ects. The Senate bill to do that des- ignates ten percent of the money for rural use, but the House bill does not. The feeling among many of those at the forum was that both bills should set aside funds for ru- rai projects. "There has to be a way to marry the needs of both agriculture and municipal use, because in reality, they're married to one another, and it's just through policy and funding that we do that," Demo- cratic State Representative Eddie Lucio III, who represents agricul- tural regions in the Rio Grande Val- ley told Statelmpact Texas. One way to "marry" city and ag- ricultural spending, according to farming and ranching interests, would be to direct money to con- servation technologies for agricul- ture. Machines that monitor soil moisture, and double drip irriga- tion methods were showcased at the forum. The Haflingen Irriga- tion District presented videos on innovative conservation measures that were in part funded by state and federal dollars. Though the competition be- tween town and country over the state's limited supplies took center stage, it's far from the only threat to agricultural water use. Carolyn Brittin, the Deputy Ex- ecutive Administrator for the Texas Water Development Board, point- ed out that more and more water is being used for oil and gas drill- ing in Texas as well. The water-in- tensive drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) now accounts for about one per- cent of water use in Texas. It's not a huge slice of the overall pie, but many of the regions where drilling is booming are also some of the state's most water-starved areas. "In local areas it is huge, and has a huge impact," said Brittin. "We're seeing irrigated [agriculture] pro- vide water to fracking operations. The money is just too good. What are we doing to [agriculture] with that?" Terrence Henry contributed re- porting.