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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 17, 2013     Hays Free Press
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April 17, 2013

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Page 6A NI~S Hays Free Press ° April 17 2013 + + Building Kyle for Today & Tomorrow As our population continues to grow, Austin & San Antonio grow nearer, and the demand for roads, water & public safety increases, we need seasoned leaders to make informed choices for our town. Hcaring Aid Services Audiological Sc,'viccs + Windmill Way Buda City Limits Annexation Area 1 South Buda Buda Limited Purpose Annexation Area Texas Lehigh Property / plant illside Texas Lehigh Cement Company CO o I Suffiel, Smith Ln. .a BY MOSES LEOS III plant helped spur this proposed expansion, Sparks said. Until last m°ses@haysfreepress'c0myear, both the CitY and Lehigh ~"~=:~ were embroiled in a fight over If ~Buc]g,,Cqupcil idea works the land surroun~ thecement as could be more giant. The fight cefitered on the indUsLrial and commercial ex- company's requirement ofa spe- pansion within the citylimits, cial permit so that it could con- Increase in costs is another hurdle for the expansion of busi- nesses. "The 'black hydrants' stifle the development potential of [properties] by adding sub- stantially to the development cost," said Sparks In an e-mailed response. "For example, inabil- week, the Buda City tinue to use its land as it currently ity to certify fire flows at these Co~fl held the second of two does- for cement production, hydrants requires installation of m~to@ public hearings onLehigh "simply needed ad- fire suppression sprinkler sys- the~exhtionofa700-acrepar- dltionai assurances that their tems at significant expense in celofland south of the citylimits, land use could continue tin- buildings that, based on the hy- ~xation of the land has been hampered following annexa- dmnt location, might otherwise in discussion since 2010, but the tion, which was accomplished not need them if the hydrants actual plan was first introduced in February of 2012. This parcel of land extends from the area east of the Texas Lehigh Cement Compan~ west of Dacy Lane, south of WmdmillWay and north of the Kyle City Limits. Under the current annexation service plan, the proposed an- nexation area would be a mix of commercial, retail and industrial use, along with some residential lots. The area, as part of the city, would be subject to Buda's .2713 prope~ tax rate. in addition, the propo~, d annexation area would be subject to the sales tax rate of two cents, which is divided into one-halfcent increments going to HaysCounty, Emergency Ser- vice District (ESD) #8, the Buda Economic Development Corpo- ration (EDC) and the city itself. The Buda Police Department will provide protection in the areas proposed for annexation. Providing fire service will be ESD #8, while ESD #2 provides EMS protection. Water and wastewater ser- vices will be divided among three separate entities under the service plan. Currently, the annexation area falls under the Goforth Special Utility District or Monarch Utilities I LP Under the plan, both entities will con- tinue servicing their respective zones. Buda currently handles wastewater in the proposed annexation area, and will con- tinue to provide service, as well as extend service should the an- nexation be approved. In order to move forward with annexation proceedings, Buda had to acquire land in the south- ernmost area of the annexation plan, which fell under Austin's Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The city of Austin released the property in its ET] due to Bu- dab Water Pollution Control and Abatement Ordinance, adopted in 2001, which limits pollution risk to Barton Springs and ar- eas that fall under the Edward's Aquifer Recharge Zone by regu- lating development. Because of the statute, "the City of Austin was comfortable releasing ET] to (Buda)," Chance Sparks, Di- rector of Planning in Buda, said. Buda's ability to annex the land around the Texas Lehigh Cement through a special use permit," had sufficient pressure." Sparks said. "They were looking Sparks also said the inability for regulatory certainty." to ensure water flowin black fire As the annexation process hydrantscouldforcecompanies takes shape, the city has to face to install on-site water cisterns. other hurdles. One in particular The added safety measures stems from the "black fire hy- will increase expenses, which drant" situation that has been manybusinesses are not willing in place in the Monarch Utility to deal with, he said. "This has District. A large portion of the suppressed economic develop- annexation falls under this cat- ment potential in this area and egory. Black hydrants are nor- caused business prospects to mally representative of low wa- look elsewhere," Sparks said. ter pressure, which are coded to ':Annexing allows us to better inform fire departments not to represent interests in this area use them. However, that is not of the city so heavily affected by necessarily the case in the Mon- the black hydrant issue." arch district, where all of the fire Currently, members of the hydrants are colored black, city council, along with Buda Monarch, which is an inves- Fire Marshall Mike Duffey have tot-owned utility company, has testified in favor of Texas House kept the hydrants black after Bill 1797, authored by Rep. Jason ESD No. 5 rejected a memoran- Issac (R-Dripping Springs) and dum of understanding (MOU) State Bill 1086, authored by Sen. from Monarch in December DonnaCampbell(R-NewBraun- 2012. In that MOU, Monarch of_ fered to color code fire hydrants in their utility district, provided the utility company be relieved of responsibility for water pres- sure in the hydrants. As a re- sult of ESD No. 5 decision, the company's black hydrants are thought to hinder Buda's efforts to bring in new business. Safety is the primary reason why, as the city's inability to guarantee ad- equate water pressure in case of a fire, many potential businesses avoid developing in the Mon- arch district, according to Buda Mayor Todd Ruge. feb). Both bills aim to regulate water and sewage companies In the realm of public safety. The legislation would force Monarch to code their hydrants. However, the black hydrants will "not stop" the annexation process, accord- ing to Ruge. "In many cases (property own- ers) simply wanted to know how it affected them and did not ex- press an opinion," Sparks said. The next step for the city is to vote on the proposed annexa- tion, which is scheduled for a special city council session on April 30. April 28th, 2013 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. 1705 Ranch Road 165 2:00 to 6:00 P M For information: Sharon Herbert shar onher bert Andrew Czimskey, Buda Parks and Recreation director Buda hires new Parks Small Business : !ii/) i: & Rec STAFF REPORT On March 21, Andrew Czimskey was hired as the new Parks and Recreations director for the city of Buda. Czimskey, who grew up in Austin and attended Lanier High School, is a Texas A&M graduate in the field of Landscape Architecture. He has worked in a variety of parks department positions at the cities of College Station, Flower Mound, Plano and Bellaire. Kvle (:itv C, ouncil Joe Bacon's experience in business, traffic management and public service make him the right leader for right now. .Paid for by the Joe B~Col~C, am pilign MIchele G. 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