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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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May 17, 2017     Hays Free Press
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+ HaysFreePress.com May 17; 2017, Page 1D BY LESLY DE LEON Jason Biemer, treatment operations division A Colorado-based manager. company has chosen Kyle "It's a matter of we as a location to conduct have wastewater and they a pilot wastewater can set up and do their treatment program that thing without interfering could save the city money with us," Biemer said. in the future. "That approach to BioDAF Water technology in water and Technologies, based out wastewater is the reason of Golden, CO, will set that we have as much up a pilot wastewater technology as we do." treatment program in The research program Kyle. The move came is an opportunity to see after the Kyle City novel technology at use, Council approved an and potentially consider agreement with BioDAF if the technology could at the May 2 city council be used in the future, meeting. Biemer said. Kyle is participating in "Seeing this technology the agreement to provide work may give us some BioDAF the opportunity insight into our next to test its technology at expansion and being no risk to the city, said able to bring some of "The process itself is WHAT'S THE IMPACT? almost opposite ofthe Kyle is planning to possibly increase capacity of its way we do it," Biemer wastewater treatment plant from 3.0 million gallons per said. day (MGD) to 4.5 MGD. The project is estimated to have The technology has a $17 million price tag for construction and is expected to potential, if approved by go online in 2019. TCEQ, to reduce cost for wastewater treatment that technology in future treatment plant. BioDAF plants when building a iterations of our waste would compare the new plant or expanding water plant expansion," wastewater before and a plant. Biemer said. after its treatment. By reducing the The research program BioDAF'S process square footage needed will take anywhere from attaches micro air for a wastewater 45 to possibly up to 90 bubbles to material in the treatment plant, the days, depending on how wastewater, dragging the technology could reduce BioDAF'S data acquisition material to the surface construction cost. goes, Biemer said. to form a froth of sludge BioDAF will gather BioDAF will pump thai is mechanically data during the some wastewater out removed, research to submit to of the city's treatment Kyle's wastewater TCEQ for approval of plant, which will then go treatment plant its technology, but the into a small clarification processes wastewater by vetting process could system, before it's setting materials at the take one or two years. pumped back into the bottom, Biemer said. Everybody gains scientific knowledge and understanding of what this technology does and doesn't do from the process, Biemer said, :: If it looks awesome and it looks like something we're interested in, then in five or ten years when we come out for another plant expansion, we have in-house knowledge of a technology that is not conventional," Biemer said. As the current wastewater treatment plant expansion is partially designed, and BioDAF's technology has not been approved by TCEQ, city officials could not consider using the technology in the immediate future. ,, , , ,/ , CURRENT NET % ('HAN&E ?011 % CttAN(It TAX PAYM[:NI MAY 2016 PAYMENIS tHOM 2011 HATE THIS PERIOD I0 MAY 2011 10 [)ATE I0 2017 values BY MOSES LEOS III " Shock and awe were the first ...... two reactions Buda resident Josh- ua Sosa had when he received his 2017 home appraisal notice in the mail this month. Sosa, who has been living in his home in the Huntington Estates How am home values annrai d?rr-------- subdivision since 2014, saw his ..... appraisal rise by $26,000 from last year's value. According to a brochure given tO Hays County residents, at least once "How in the hell do they ap- every three years, each parcel of property in Hays County is visRed and praise my home arid acid $26,000 reviewed by an appraiser in accordance with Texas Law: when I haven't done anything to During the visit, the appraiser reviews p~perty it or declared anything or added records any changes from the last review cycle. An example is add~n equity? Sosaasked. Iwasvery or removal of a shed or a barn. surprised and caught off guard." The appraiser also looks at improvements to the exterior of the i Now Sosa, along with many property as well. others across Hays County, are However, appraisers never ask to inspect a home:from the inside, ...... preparing to protest their home Typically, an appraiser validates size and types of:improvements appraisals to Hays County. notes any additions as well as construction quality of DavidValle, chief appraiser improvementsl as well as site characteristics. at the Hays Central Appraisal The appraisal district determines the market value of a pro~ U~ng District (CAD), said in a emailed three methods, if applicable: ......... response that 1,187 protests have Sales app,mach - how much p,roperties have sold f~:a~d how :'i :i so far been filed as of May 15. In much they re selling for in today s:market. : 2016, the CAD received 11,523 Cost approach - How much it would cost today an protests, strucuture on the property The last day to file a protest is Income approach - Determines value through a~ysis of in~rne May 31. and expenses to determine the market value. This is the preferred: : ' property. Val]e said the CAD expects the method when appraising an income producing number of protests to increase this year. If the "positive trends in real estate and the overall economy continue," the county could see a continued rise in the number of protests. Growth is the primary reason for appraisal values rising in Hays County. Earlier this month, the Hays CAD said in a press release the average market value for homes increased by nine percent countywide. Hays County remains one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, with cities such as Kyle experiencing rapidly rising appraisal value rates. On May 1, the Hays CAD sent appraisal notices to residents. Bill Loeb, a real estate agent in the Dripping Springs area who helps people protest their tax ap- praisals, said the county has been "very aggressive" on raising the appraisals in recent years. That was due in part to some of the "phenomenal real estate val- ue appreciation." But he claimed many people who have seen moderate appraisal increases in the past are now seeing the maxi- mum 10 percent increase per year in market values. ' E-ter two or three years, peo- ple are getting taxed out of their houses," Loeb said. While everyone is equally getting hit with rising appraisal values, Loeb said those who have the least amount of success in fighting appraisal values are in larger neighborhoods, such as Belterra off Hwy 290 toward Aus- tin. For Sosa, the increase in valuation is seen as "painful" as it could affect families on fixed in- comes and affect the elderly. While he understand how, over time, a house would increase in value, seeing appraisals rise rap- In addition, a property's market value can change ~ a result Of the economy, as well as changes to the property. A sluggish economy, slow'growth and no demand or buyers can lead to decreased property values. .... Conversely, rapid growth could cause a rapid increase in prope~ values.. Info: Bill Loeb can be contacted at bill@baymoonpropen Growth is the primary reason for appraisal values rising in Hays County. Earlier this month, the Hays CAD said in a press release the average market value for homes increased by nine percent countywide. idly places some homeowners "not in a good situation." Reactions were mixed from residents who spoke via Eacebook about whether or not they were going to protest their home ap- praisal. Ed Cooke said via Facebook he is fighting his appraisal as he claimed his taxable value is $30,000 more than the market value. Karen O'Grady said her neigh- bor might not be able to afford his home if property appraisals con- tinue to rise. She is contemplat- ing protesting as her taxes have increased $2,000 over three years and she now pays more in escrow than in principal and interest. "Taxing people out of their homes is NOT good for our com- munity," O'Grady wrote. Lisa Zambrano wrote there "was not enough improvements to warrant" a $50,000 increase over five years for her home, $20,000 of that taking place in 2016. Janice Bowden Hardaway wrote on Facebook she wasn't go- ing to file for protest, however, as houses in her neighborhood are selling for more than $100,000 over the purchase price of her home, which she bought three years ago. "Which means our value has gone up," Hardaway wrote on Facebook. "It doesn't put money in my pocket at the moment, but that appreciation doesn't come for free." Valle said whenever protests come in, the CAD receives and processes them and the appeal is opened and scheduled for a hear- ing. On average it takes 30 to 45 days for the CAD to handle each protest, depending on the com- plexity of the issue. According to Valle, the aver- age reduction from protests is $25,879. "We request that they please attempt to discuss their problem with a staff appraiser before their scheduled date to avoid a for- mal hearing with the [Appraisal Review Board]," VaUe said in an emalled response. Bufla 1.50% $546,606;03 $2,480,438.58 5.17% ~25% $19 Kyle 1.50% $695,239,76 5.09% 4.25% $2,979,439.75 8.15% 15.09% Niederwald 1.00% $3,455.44 8.10% $14,333.0714.09% San Marcos 1.50% $2,411,594.58 .1.32% $11,745,012.09 -4.89% Uhland 1.50% $14,322.99 8.95% $76,472.23 13.26% Wimbedey 1.00% $87,957,95 -2.22% $375,114.20 1.45% Woodcreek 1.00% $4,401.93 3.08% $19,246.06 10.87% Hays County 0.50% $1,545,353.71 -1.25% $7,222,268.48 0.32% II Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced last week he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $787.8 million in local sales tax allocations for May, 2.6 percent more than in May 2016. These allocations are based on sales made in March by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in January, February and March by quarterly fliers. a career is ... STAFF REPORT College graduations continue throughout the state, and those gradu- ates are desperately look- ing for work. Lucky for local gradu- ates is that Austin is the third best place in the country when it comes to starting a career. WalletHub, an online statistical company, recently ranked the 150 largest cities across the U.S., loooking at rela- tive market strength and overall livability. The cit- ies were examined based on 23 key metrics that range from the availabil- ity of entry-level jobs to monthly average start- ing salary to workforce diversity. Austin came in third with a total score of 62.21. It was ranked 6th in both professional opportunities and qual- ity of life. Salt Lake City caputures the number one overall ranking, with first in both professional opportunities and quality of life. Other Texas cities with- in the top 100 include Irving 9th, Grand Prairie 21st, Dallas 26th, San Antonio 27th, FortWorth 30th, Plano 31st, Amarillo 33rd, Corpus Christi 38th, Houston 42nd, El Paso 50th, Arlington 53rd, Laredo 55th, Lubbock 56th, Garland 71st, and Brownsville 86th. Other interesting Texas facts: Houston ranked 3rd and Austin 4th in the Highest Monthly Average Starting Salaries (adjust- ed for cost of living). Lubbock ranked 147 for the Slowest Job Growth (adjusted for population growth). Plano is first with Most Affordable Housing. SEE CHART, PAGE 40