Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 20, 2013     Hays Free Press
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March 20, 2013

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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press March 20, 2013 + The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, FX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do too! Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfreepress. com Mail: P.O. Box 339, Buda, Texas 78610 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being br ought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETrERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller Streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. BY MOSES LEOS III In his first State of the City address since being elected mayor on Dec. 12, Todd Ruge made well known that Buda is growing- fast. Ruge made the presentation to the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce monthly kmcheon last week, showing statistics from the Capital Area Metro- politan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Growth Monitoring Report. The report, compiled from 2007-2011, shows Buda as the fastest growing city within PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS M the Austin metro region, with residential growth increasing by Buda Mayor Todd Ruge focused on the city's growth during his 45 percent during that thneline, first State of the City address to the Buda Area Chamber of Com- merce last week. Ruge laid out the city's plan for transportation, "Were a growing city. We're safety, city hiring andbusiness growth. a growing community," said Ruge touted quite a few top- ics - including road improve- ments, city facility expansions, low tax rates and economic development- in his presenta- tion. Ruge, who unveiled Buda's willtake semi-trucktmffic away rmssmn statement to aid with from the downtown area. Addi- growth, "Meeting the needs of tionally, Budalooks to complete the citizens." a widening and repaving project He ~aid improving existing roadways is a large part of how Buda ~tims to aid residents. on FM 967, as well as continue improvements along FM 1626. The FM 1626 widening is a county-state project that is well underway and was passed dur- ing the last cotmtywide bond package. Buda's transportation plan also contains improvements along the service road of In- terstate 35. New entrance and exit ramps, as well as planned "Texas Turnarounds" are in the works, which will create easier access to IH 35. "This is exciting news," Ruge said. "This would bring some relief for our roads." However, he cautioned, "This is going to take some time. This will not happen overnight." Another Buda project under- way deals with safety, Ruge said. Within the past year, Buda has hired four new police officers, purchased additional vehicles for law enforcement, and has streamlined ticketing with an electronic system. It was the need for more officers that was of large importance with Ruge. ?~s our population grows, we need to add more officers. We want to stay as close as we can The city has worked with Hays County, as well as the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), to create a Master Transportation Plan. The plan calls for a truck bypass, which to national, state and local aver- ages (of police officer per popu- lation ratio)." Another safety program comes from a federal grant to create the "Safe Route to School" program. The goal aims to fix sidewalks and walkways around area schools. "This is going to help beautify the area," Ruge said. "Most importantly, it gives our children a safer route to school." Continued commtmity de- velopment remains a focal point for the city in the coming year. In 2011-12 fiscal year, the Eco- nomic Development Corpora- tion (EDC) gave out $20,000 in Buda improvement grants to revamp the downtown. In ad- dition, maintaining downtown code compliance is a priority for a city that has seen tourism jump recently. Ruge announced the hiring of Andrew Simski as the new Parks and Recreation director for the city. Simski will oversee the city park expansion. In the master plan, Buda's improved park proposes an amphithe- ater, swimming pool, fishing pond with pier, disc golf course, an improved trails system and overhauls in parking space. Plans for expanding the city library are also in the works. "For a city our size, we need a larger library," Ruge said. An LED marquee is also planned for the city. Pedemal- es Electric Cooperative (PEC), which recently discontinued banners along power lines, will pay up to $25,000 for the display to be located near the intersec- tion of Old San Antonio Road and North Loop 4. Ruge said that maintaining low property taxes in Buda is one of the city's draws. Buda's current property tax is 27 for every $100, which is 48 percent lower than other cities along the 1-35 corridor. Ruge said the city has kept the property taxes low by seek- ing out grant money, as well as keeping maintenance projects "in house." Buda has received $39.5 million in state and fed- eral grants for transportation, sewer/water as well as parks and public facilities. These ad- ditional funds have helped save $2.45 million from the public works department. Road improvement in the Se- quoyah neighborhood as well as maintenance of the pond in Stagecoach Park have also been done by the city, saving Buda the need to go through any bid process. "If you look at any city along the 1-35 corridor, Buda has the lowest property tax rate. This is very appealing for new busi- nesses to come in and to ex- pand," said Ruge, who pointed to 24 businesses in the city that are new or have expanded in the past year."(Buda) is a good place to have a business; (businesses) have the ability to grow." Conflict Of Interest Continued from pg. 1A ESD5 commissioners last press the prohibition of a P&Z month delayed pursuing a commissioner from holding sales tax election in May after certain second offices. The city officials described being only example offered, how- "blindsided" by plans to call ever, is that a P&Z member for the election without dis- cannot also be a director of a cussing the matter with them, mtmicipal utility district. which would affect future col- With that specific mention, lection of city taxes, the pamphlet may identify the ESD5 commissioners then P&Zasapublicoffice.AnESD5 decided to enter into discus- commissioner is a member of sions with Kyle on the service a taxing entity, which exer- district's plans to call for a cises governmental power for sales tax election for Novem- the benefit of the public and ber2014, also has independence from In state law, the conflict- control of other governmental ing loyalties prohibition "pre- entities- a public office. vents a person from holding Generally, according to the two public offices when the pamphlet, an individual also interests of the two entities may not hold offices on two may conflict and when voting governing bodies if the geo- on behalf of one public entity graphic boundaries of the two would possibly compromise overlap. the interests of the other pub- "The fact that the boundar- lic entity," the pamphlet says. ies of the two entities overlap However, "for there to be raises the potential for con- a conflicting loyalties issue, flicting loyalties," the pam- both positions must be 'pub- phlet says. "If both entities lic offices,'" the pamphlet cau- have the power of taxation, tions, the attorney general has held A public office is defined in that the potential for conflict the pamphlet as "first, the of- is insurmountable." ficeholder's authority to exer- Whether the holding of two cise governmental power for public offices would violate the benefit of the public; and common-law incompatibility, second, the officeholder's in- conffictsofinterestorconflict- dependence from the control ing loyalties requires a factual of other governmental entities consideration of the duties of or officials." each position and is dealt with But, the pamphlet does ex- on a case-by-case basis. Frontage roads in Kyle turn from two-way to one-way in April Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones said the Interstate 35 frontage roads in Kyle from FM 150/Center St. to FM 1626/Kyle Parkway will switch from two-way to one-way on April 9. Truck tolls to be reduced for one year in pilot In an effort to reduce traffic congestion on Interstate 35 and make Central Texas roadways safer, the Texas Department of Transportation today announced it is reducing tolls for one year, starting April 1, 2013 and going through March 30, 2014. Under this pilot program, the discount will apply to trucks on State Highway 130 segments 1-6 and State Highway 45SE. The program is subject to approval by the Texas Transportation Commission later this month. Find all the latest news for Buda, and surrounding communities at www. ' BSEACD, in collaboration with the Texas Well Owner Network and AgriLife, is offering a free water well screening day for area residents. Samples from private water wells will be screened for common contaminants: - fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates, and salinity BSEACD will cover the analysis cost for private wells within its boundary. Samples must be turned in to the BSEACD office. :or details and sampling instructions visit: www.bseacd.orj and click on the Water Well Check-up Spotlight. Lots of times, changes in life also affect your investments. That's why there's never been a better time to schedule your free portfolio review. We'll talk about the changes in your life, and help you decide whether it makes sense to revise your investments because of them. A portfolio review will help ensure your investments are keeping pace with your goals. Call your local financial advisor today. Janet Ross Financial Advisor 251N FM 1626 Bldg 2 Ste B Buda, TX 78610 512-312-2840 Member SIPC Shirley C Malone Financial Advisor Edward MAKING SENSE OF INVESTING 203 Railroad Street Suite 1B Buda, TX 78610 512-312-2332