Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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April 26, 2017     Hays Free Press
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April 26, 2017
 

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+ Page 2A J NEWS Hays Free Press * April 26, 2017 The Hays Free Press (USPS 361-430) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., nO. Box 339, 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: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 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. 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. LE1XERS 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 iin 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 csb@haysfreepress. com. 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 SAMANTHA SMITH The high cost of main- taining a large aesthetic medallion in the FM 967 and Main Street inter- section in Buda led city leaders to forgo the proj- ect, which could have cost $104,000. Buda city officials instead chose to go with a cheaper option, which ranges from $27,000 to $55,000, that they hope could beautify the side- walks near the intersection. The decision was made after city staff presented the preliminary design of a project calling for colored concrete and aesthetic features at the Main Street and RM 967 intersection. The preliminary design schematics, designed by RPS Klotz and HDR Engineering, were for improvements to the intersection as part of the Proposition 3 2014 Bond "If it's a few thousand dollars and it's aesthetically pleasing, it's not a problem ... But when you're talking about $66,000, you think about the things you could buy with it. You go through your head about things in the budget." -Todd Ruge, Buda mayor projects. Micah Grau, Buda as- sistant city manager, said while design plans were only 90 percent complete and utility relocation was still an ongoing process, he "felt confident that they were under budget." Staff had requested council direction regard- ing the use of stamped and colored concrete for a proposed intersection medallion located at the Main Street 967 inter- section. The installation of the medallion and crosswalks was projected to cost $66,000. Grau said the Buda Bond Advisory Commit- tee had agreed on rec- ommending the stamped and colored concrete over the option to stain the concrete because of future maintenance costs due to tire streaking. Council members also provided direction regard- ing aesthetic sidewalk concepts. Grau said the advisory board supported using trees, benches and planters along city side- walks, which would cost approximately $8,000. When asked about the exact cost of sidewalk aesthetic improvements, Grau said he wasn't exact- ly sure since the gener- ated numbers were only estimates. "If it comes down to it, I would rather lean toward trees and benches than colored concrete," Buda councilmember George Haehn said. But Ruge said council decided to forgo the me- dallion due to the heavy traffic that could go in the area. "It would take pressure washing and upkeep," Ruge said. But the high price tag was a secondary factor that led officials to pump the brakes on the medal- lion option. "If it's a few thousand dollars and it's aesthet- ically pleasing, it's not a problem," Ruge said. "But when you're talking about $66,000, you think about the things you could buy with it. You go through your head about things in the budget." Ruge said the city chose an option that could allow for colored sidewalks and landscape features. It could also allow the city to implement medallion designs on the sidewalks. Ruge said the city hasn't bid the project out and no exact costs have been pinned down just yet. It's unknown at this time when the city will implement the improve- ments to the Main Street and RM 967 intersection. Main Street projects are ongoing, according to city staff. Buda Trees: Protections might be cut Continued from pg. 1A "We said if they couldn't improve Main Street while preserving the trees, we would rather not do it." -Colin Strother, Buda P&Z chair talk about what they love about Buda, it's the small- town charm and the trees are a part of it," Strother said. Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said the city is trying to be a leader when it comes to the "conservation of trees, wildlife and even water." He said he wasn't surprised P&Z wanted to make penalties "even stiffer than they are now." Ruge said he was okay with the draft of the UDC at this point. He said city council has not seen changes recommended by P&Z just yet. "When it comes to de- sign and profitability, it's not as easy for (develop- ers) to cut down heritage trees without some sort of remediation or penalty," Ruge said. "They have to either pay back or replace trees." However, city leaders are waiting on the out- come of Senate Bill (SB) oaks, but Buda fought for the trees and TxDOT only ended up removing 27 smaller trees along 967. Strother also men- tioned the recent Main Street expansion project as being contingent on the survival of the ancient oaks winding along the road as well as the heri- tage tree over 200 years old that was relocated on the city's new municipal site. "We said if they couldn't improve Main Street while preserving the trees, we would rather not do it," Strother said. The draft of the new UDC is still in a develop- ment and review stage, but the recommendations from P&Z have been add- ed to the draft code and will be reviewed by City council members before the new UDC is adopted. There is no organized movement to save the trees, but when people Water Bills: where are the bills in the Texas Legislature? Continued from pg. 1A been referred to the House Status - Dead: Hinoj o- HB 4045 Committee of Natural sa will not pursue the Author:. Phillip Cortez Resources. bill, which could have (D-San Antonio) granted the Needmore SB 2254 Ranch groundwater Author:. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAIlen) What: SB 2254 would grant the Needmore Ranch Mu- nicipal Utility District No. 1 powers as a groundwater conservation district under Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code ff an election is held for such purpose. At that time, Needmore Ranch MUD No. 1 would also be removed from jurisdiction of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Con- servation District and the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 782. If the bill is passed, governmental entities cannot prohibit a land- owner from trimming or removing trees or timber located on the land. Ruge said he believed the bill is focused on property rights. It's something city leaders are publicly opposing. % lot of cities have ordinances that say, 'we'd rather you not cut down that beautiful oak tree. If you do, there has to be some remediation,'" Ruge said. "We're going to wait and see with the UDC. That piece of legislation we're not in favor of." What: Bill would allow a district to issue permits to landowners with more than 1,000 contiguous acres of land that's under two or more groundwater districts without notice or the opportunity for a hear- ing. A permit issued would be authorized based on the volume of groundwater on a per acre basis based on the greatest amount au- thorized by the district that receives the application. Status- Dead: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) said Cortez would not move forward with HB 4045. The bill had conservation district Springs). The bill had powers under Chapter 36 been filed and referred of the Texas Water Code. to the House Agriculture, according to State Rep. Water & Rural Affairs ]ason Isaac (R-Dripping Committee. Griffin is a male 2-year-old lack Mouth Cur mix who's ready to fill your life with laughs and love. Griffin is a "home-ready" dog who gets along with other clogs and cats, loves all people, knows basic commands, and is house-trained. Domino is a 1 -year-old female shorthair who's a very laid back cat with a bit of a shy side. She's cautious at first, but she's just waiting for the right person to whisk her off her feet. If you have a hole in your heart and an empty recliner, she's your gal. 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. Texas fa rm ers and ra n che rs h ave tru sted Germania to pr6te their prope y since 1896, so we understand the needs of your ranchette, including =having farm animals for + Hays Insurance Group 512-262-3388 www.Germania in su ra nce.com