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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 6, 2003     Hays Free Press
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March 6, 2003
 

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March 6, 2003 Current Events Page 3 The Free Press a BY Brae PETE ON the east side, a new city adminis- Editor tmtion building and the restora- tion of the historic city hall. K recYLE--Attempting to put Council will have to decide ent strife in the city's rear before the end of the month if the view mirror, Kyle City Manager city is going to purchase the for- Tom Matfis spoke at length about met Ben Ton property at Center infrastructure and capitaland Front Streets. The city's improvements "to begin Tuesday option on the property expires on night's Kyle city council meeting. Maxch 21. While water issues have domeThough the city appears to be inated the council's attention of leaning toward the Ben Ton site, late, the city also is underway some councilmembers and citi- with $5.1 million in Capital zens believe the city ought to save improvements, including a public the comer for commercial devel- swimming pool, a fire station on opment. Others say an adminis- tration building on the comer The proposed site is on prop- would stimulate downtown Kyle, erty belonging to the Gregg where some commercial spaces Family, but is not part of the are empty. Home Town Kyle land. It is zoned Last month, the council heard for commercial use. a feasibility study that found an Etheredge said develOpers administration building on the may be interested in donating the comer could serve the city's needs land for a city administration for 15 years at around $1.5 mil- building site just north of Gregg lion. Tuesday night, Jeff Clarke Park. The site would be Etheredge of HBC in Austin modelled on a town center con- showed council a conceptual plan cept, with homes and small busi- for a site that would lie between nesses in the vicinity. However, Gregg-Clarke Park and the pro- the project surrounding the pro- posed Home Town Kyle develop- posed administration si.te is in the ment west of SH 150. earliest stages of conception. Regardless, opposition to the the capital improvements, consid- Ben Ton site came out Tuesday ering the state of the economy arid night when Maxine Weatherford, the uncertainty that comes with who has been active in historic the possibility of war. Mattis preservation in Kyle, asked if the replied that the Certificates of city has had an appraisal done on Obligation, at a rate of 3.83 per- the land. Mattis said there had cent Over 22 years, pose a negligl- been no appraisal, ble risL ' "How can we know if we're Mattis presented a payme nt paying a fair price for it if we schedule based on conservative haven't done an appraisal?" growth estimates. The toughest Weatherford asked, tax bite for the projects, he said, "We haven't bought the site" would come next year, assuming Mattis answered, a growth rate of 19.96 percent in Weatherford also questioned the wisdom of going forward with Bon Ton or Bust, pg 5 BY BILL PETEIISON Editor K~eYLE,-As if to put a period on city's long-running feud ! with the Barton Springs/Edwards i Aquifer Conservartion District i (BS/EACD), the Kyle city council ! voted Tuesday night to send a let- ter to residents describing the i affair, and also to release a confi- i dential memo from city attorney i Barney Knight about the city's i dealings with the aquifer board. [ Some city officials believe they have received adverse publicity from the controversy, which per- sisted for nearly six months before : council agreed on Feb. 14 to pay the entire $129,124.71 fine for i exceeding its 55 million gallon water pumping permit by 89 mil- lion gallons. Council voted, 5-2, to release the l er and Knight's memo. Cris Martinez and Lon Taylor dissent- ed. Troy Bearden was absent from the meeting. Knight said nei- ther ,theeit ,: 06tmcil, the mayor, nor the city manager had violated the Texas Open Meetings Act dur- ing a Feb. 4 executive session or a special open session on Feb. 14. A group of Kyle residents called "Concerned Citizens for Good Government" has alleged open meetings violations as the basis for its efforts to recall Kyle Mayor James Adldns. In the memo, addressed to City Manager Tom Mattis, Knight said Mattis advised the council during the executive session that he intended to follow legal advice to pay the fine and end the matter. "However, as always, it was clear that any member of the coun- cil could make any motion or vote that they thought advisable, and obviously the city council could have by motion and vote directed you and the attorneys to take a dif- ferent action than the action you intended to take" the memo said. 'q'here was absolutely no polling of council members, etc or even the appearance of a violation of the Open Meetings Act during the executive session" Knight also said the special session called for Feb. 14 constitut- ed no violation of the open meet- ings act The memo made no mention of "threats" that had been described by Councilmember Cris Martinez in the Feb. 14 open ses- sion. Sources said the Feb. 4 exec- utive session included a brief dis- cussion about a confidential memo that had been leaked outside the council. The cotmcil was reminded that the city charter provides that council members who mishandle council business can be voted off the council by the other six mem- bers. In the memo, Knight said the BS/EACD has historically given Kyle difficulty, adding that "the district was purposely generating negative publicity for Kyle, and the district's Board was using Kyle to further its other agenda." Knight added that the aquifer board's political tendencies aren't limited to Kyle. Knight said he has dealt with the BS/EACD as a city attorney since its inception in 1987. "(M)y personal experience Bowlen) so long as Board involve- "Given the applicable facts and with the BSEACD since 1987ment was not required. However, the law, I thought the application caused me to believe that (even if my experience (from the begin- should be routine," Knight said in great patience and professional ning) is that any issue that reaches the memo. "However, immediate- skills were employed by the city) the Board is handled as a political ly after the relevant agenda item any attempted reasoning with the matter rather than with any sem- was read at the BS/EACD Board BSEACD would likely be unsuc- blance of a standard administrative meeting, one of the BS/EACD cessful" Knight said in the memo. process." Board members stated in a loud " It was possible to transact busi- Kyle first went to the voice that 'I am outraged and ness reasonably with the prior gen- BS/EACD for pumpage permit- eral manager of the district (Stovy ling in 1998. Water Controvemy, pg. 7 C3199 C3037 *15% Down+TTk 72 Mos at 4.75% WAC on select makes & models NOW Ram 1500 Reg Cab Building Your Financial Future COOPER INVESTMENTS AND SAM C. COOPER, CPA, CFPTM Payroll Serves ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH IN TAXES? "1 can help with all your financial needs." Buda San Marcos 512-295-8180 512-353-0800 Sam C. Cooper, CPA, CFP, Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with and Securities offered through Intersecudties, Inc. LD4083-O&~2 budadenta PROFESSIONALS are thrilled to announce the opening of our new office in downtown Buda, right across the street from the public library. 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