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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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April 3, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press April 3, 2013 Edward MAKING SENSE OF INVESTING + 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, TX 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 brought to the attention of the publisher. DF_ADLINES 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. LETTERS 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 I 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 csb@haysfreepress.com HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Ky/e 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-yeer history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Bud& Hays County to medical services in jail Hays County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a $1.135 million contract with Correct Care Services (CCS) of Nashville to provide medical services for inmates and detain- ees housed at the Hays County Jail. The move, according to Capt. Mark Cumberland who oversees the jail, is to provide more efficient medical services. In particular, Cumberland said CCS will bring "much needed" mental health professionals to deal with the myriad of issues experienced by the jail's resi- dents. Both Cumberland and CCS representative JeffTrac- zewski said current employees who are competent and meet the hiring requirements of the firm will be rehired. "We're not taking jobs away" Traczewski told the commissioners. One current jail employee, Adrienne Evans-Stark, a medic, spoke during the public forum. She cautioned that there were hid- den costs in the contract and asked commissioners to hold off on voting until there was more public involvement in the discussion and more time to review the contract details. Commissioners voted to move forward with a 16-month con- tract. Applications for Kyle's community support dollars due April 30 The city of Kyle is taking applications for community support dollars to be consid- ered as part of the City's budget deliberations for the FY 2013- 2014 fiscal year. Applications must be submitted by April 30. The City of Kyle Community Relations Committee will review the applications and submit their recommendations to the city manager for inclusion in his budget submittal to the council In June. If approved, the grants will be awarded in October 2013. Application forms can be downloaded at the Cityof- Kyle.com. The forms are also available at the Kyie City Hall, Kyle Public Library. For more information, contact the City of Kyle Community Development Department at 512-262-3921 or jhendrix@cityofkyle.com. Hays County takes gold in financial Shortly after Sunshine Week, Hays County received the Texas Comptroller Office's Gold Leadership Circle for financial transparency. The accolade recognizes local governments across the state that present specific financial documents online in an easy-to-access format. Gold is the highest of three desig- nation levels and "high~ghts entities that are setting the bar for transparency," according to the comptroller's office. "We've made great strides in transparency of all kinds since I first joined the Commissioners Court," Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley said. '~,s few as nine years ago, meeting notices were posted only at the County Courthouse, and that was the end of it. We met the basic re- quirements of the law. Now, we ensure that all of our notices are online and the we take advan- tage of various means to let the public know what is happening and howwe are spending our taxpayers' money." Commissioners accepted the award March 26, shortly after Sunshine Week- a national initiative that celebrates and focuses on government trans- parency and open government - came to a close. The March 11 week marked this year's Sunshine Week. t "Our financial information is certainly among the most important information we can share, and we're pleased that the Comptroller's Office has recognized our efforts," Conley said. The Hays County Auditor's Office, along with Conley's of- rce, prepared the application for the award, which required the county to meet criteria such as creating a dedicated fi- nancial transparency web page with three years of audits and searchable annual budgets, the county's current check regis- ter and links to tax rate data, treasurer's report and many other finance-related docu- ments - all within three clicks of the mouse. "This information has always been available, but not necessarily in an easy-access format," County Judge Bert Cobb said. "I applaud all our elected officials and staffs for recognizing the need for trans- parency and public access." 468-4451 122 Main Street Downtown Buda at the traffic light Open every day 295-600B 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 www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC Shidey C Malone Financial Advisor 203 Railroad Street Suite 1B Buda, TX 78610 512-312-2332 s to BY ANDY SEVILLA an investor-owned utility investor-owned water com- company," Pct. 1 Commis- pany, Monarch, which servic- andy@haysfreepress.com sioner Debbie Ingalsbe said. es their water and sewer, ac- "Many of those companies cording to Kyle city officials. The years-long battle pit- have aggressively raised rates Last summer a Kyle news ting ratepayers against inves- over the past few years, and release stated that Monarch, tot-owned utilities is heating the average citizen does not a subsidiary of the Califor- up at the Texas legislature, have the financial resources nia-based SouthWest Water and Hays County is backing to hire lawyers and consul- Co., "is not welcome in the bills that would balance the tants to argue against those city" and officials have taken interests of thoseinthe fray. rate raises before regulatory steps to come to an agree- Hays County Commis- agencies." ment with the water com- sioners unanimously voted lngalsbe also said issues pany that would limit rate March 26 in support of Texas have been raised about er- hikes and mandate quality Senate Bills 567 and 1164, and ratic water service as well as customer and water service. Texas House Bill 1457, which, discontent with the color and In exchange, the city would according to them, would smell ofthewater, not pursue dual certifica- balance the interests of rate- And those issues hit close tion, stricter regulations, or payers and private utilities in to home for about 900 resi- potential condemnation. water and sewer ratemaking dents in Kyle's northeast cor- That agreement has yet to be proceedings, ner. For years, residents who signed. "Many residents of Hays live in the Amberwood and Investor-owned utilities County live outside of mu- Indian Paintbrush subdivi- are guaranteed monopolies nicipalities and have water sions have lodged complaint and sewer service through after complaint against the See WATER BILLS, pg. 4A in city BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com After years of having to squeeze into their comely space, the Buda City Library is enacting plans to grow along- side the city it services. In his State of the City speech at the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce lun- cheon last month, Mayor Todd Ruge announced a rive-year long-range plan to help the Buda library meet the needs of citizens. "For a city our size, we need a larger library," Ruge said. That assessment is an un- derstatement, as library mem- bership has exponentially grown beyond the current 5,200-square-foot structure on the greenbelt in downtown Buda. According to Buda Li- brary statistics, the number of cardholders has grown to 9,705 in 2012 from 4,905 in 2007, with cardholders rang- Ing from Individual accounts to entire families. As a result of the increase in cardholders, circulation within the library has also risen to new heights. From 2006 to 2012, av- erage circulation at the Buda Li- brary was 88,450 items. During that period, cilctflationincreased by an average of 5,674 items per year, with the library completing more than 104,000 circulations in the 2012 fiscalyear. By comparison, the Kyle Public Library saw an average circulation of 82,524 items dur- ing that period. Circulation in Kyle increased by 13,018 items between 2006 and 2012, with the library circulating 125,715 items during FiscalYear 2012. The growth of the Buda area has made it difficult for the Buda Library staff to accom- modate its citizens. "The current structure was built In 1993, but it was report- ed as hdl In 2003," said Head Librarian and Director Me- linda Hodges. "We constantly have to take material out to make room for new items." The greatest challenge for the library staff has been find- ing open space to place their large collection of items. "We have to be extremely efficient with our space," said Assistant CITY OFFICIALS SAY THEY WANT TO BRING THE LIBRARY MORE IN TOUCH WITH LOCAL CITIZENS BY: Connecting to the online world - The library aims to improve the look of the website, increase computer workstations, improve and increase electronic communi- cation, increase usage of the library by distance learners and further bring Internet ac- cess to the community. Creating young readers - by improving literacy programs for young and adult readers, as well as increase the physi- cal and online material in the library. Stimulating imagination - by increasing the number of programs for children and adults in a variety of subjects; and by increasing the digital materials database. Visiting a comfortable space - by improving the interior look of the library by remov- ing low circulation items, implementing better shelving and organizational methods, and improving the exterior of the current library. Additional goals are to increase fund- raising. Librarian Martha Sanders, who showed many bookshelves filled to the brim, with many book collections on top of, or crammed into, bookshelves. The problem is exacerbated by programs the library cur- rently provides. From read- ing programs for elementary school children, to learning programs targeted to teens and adults, the need for the larger space is becoming a needed reality. "We have limits for people coming into our programs," said Hodges, describing just how complex the library's situ- ation has become. "We just want everyone in the com- muni.'ty to have access to our services. The five year long range plan, adopted by the Buda City Council in 2012, has in- cluded some solutions for the predicament. The proposed plan calls for a 26,456-square- foot structure similar to one In Harris County. The build- ing was proposed in a 2005 analysis by Catherine S. Park. AccordIng to the guideline, the facility could seat up to 210 people, with a meeting room big enough for 150 people, a 35-person study area, confer- ence room that could house 20 people, and a computer lab that would house 20 stations, with the ability to bring in up to 40 more. The plan also calls for 10,000 square feet for expansion, with 63,700 square feet of parking space. "To meet the needs of new- comers, we have to have all of the resources available," said Sanders, describing how much the city needs an expanded li- brary. "It is challenging to meet the needs of the people com- hag in." The problem, though, is where the new building should be constructed. Currently, the existing library lies on the greenbelt adjacent to Main Street in the downtown area. With the railroad track facing the east side of the building, the Gazebo on the North, ex- panding the current structure is something the staff would rather not do. "We do not have enough room to grow. We do not want to take more of the greenbelt; it is more trouble than it is worth," Hodges said. "I would rather have a new building." At this time, the Buda City Council is still in the early phases of discussing the ex- pansion of the library. "This is all very preliminary and no de- cisions have been made," Buda City Manager Ken Williams said. "The city has looked in the past in the downtown area as a possible site. Also, once, a portion of the City Park tract was considered." 'As we don't have detailed plans and drawings, we do not have a cost estimate at this time," Williams said. However, Hodges and the library staff are excited that people no longer question the need for a larger library. "It is great that we have gotten to the point where the question no longer is, 'do we need it?'" Hodges said. "Every- one now believes that we do." Expansion of the Buda Li- brary is one component of the rive year long range plan. Boy is a two year old Labrador border collie mix. He's a goofy, affectionate big boy! Throw him a toy, and he'll loyally bring it right on back. He may be big, but his gentle Iovin' would fit right in with any home. Stop by soon to see this boy! His big heart will surely win you over. Posey is a one year old Domestic shorthair mix. This graceful lady is as pretty as can be! Sometimes, she thinks she is part lion, and will pounce on anything that moves! Come in and see this pretty girl, and let the endless kitty kissing begin! For perks, she's also de-clawed! PAWS Shelter and Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter operated primarily on donations and adoptions. 500 FM 150 E, Kyle, TX 512 268-1611 pawsshelter.org All animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. sponsored by Town & COUNTRY VETERINARY HOSPITAL Bill Selman, DVM Kayley O'Foole, DVM Committed to your pet's health since 1978. 6300 FM 1327 (East of I35 and Creedmoore) Austin, TX 78747 512-385-0486 "www.TownandCountryVetHospital.com