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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 1, 2016     Hays Free Press
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June 1, 2016
 

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HaysFreePress.com ~Ia~5 ~res~ June 1, 2016 Page 1D Kyle contemplates alterations to food truck ordinance BY MOSES LEOS III news@haysfreepress.com Changes could be fortt~, coming to Kyle s ordinance regulating food truck trailers as city officials look to open opportunity for the niche business. The idea of changing the city's in-place Peddler Ordinance came after council member Diane Hervol brought possible changes during a May meeting. Hervol said the current ordinance is "restrictive" and a "little redundant." During public comment on May 3, Brandon Alarcon, owner of Donut 911 in Kyle, advocated for changes to allow food trucks. He said food trucks allow business owners to build their business model up. Under the current ordinance, temporary food vendors cannot be located within 150 feet of another vendor on the same lot, nor can vendors operate within 150 feet from a residential property. In addition, temporary food vendors cannot remain on a particular piece of property for more than a nine-month period. Kyle Mayor Todd Webster believes the original ordinance was a "regulatory effort" to protect businesses from "a truck parked outside selling the same thing." He referenced those who sell food from pickup trucks. "It's real rigid," Webster said. "It's regulating one type of peddling, but we've seen a development of a different kind. It's not fitting what's happening. It's something that needs to be corrected." Howard Koontz, Community Development Director in Kyle, said the city's changes to the peddler ordinance are in their "infancy." He said the city is doing a "fair amount of research" and gathering data from neighboring communities. While the changes are a work in progress, he said there could be "significant changes" to the ordinance when it's completed. Above, Brandon Alarcon, owner of Donut 911 in Kyle, says "Them're a lot of folks who own a business, a brick and mortar, they are interested in the way [food trucks] are administered and what the effect will be ... There's a lot of interest and curiosity, but there are also more questions than answers." - Howard Koontz, Community Development Director But Koontz said there challenges include the was a level of uncertainty possibility of it becoming when it comes to food too popular, Koontz said. trucks and how it affects "Like with any a community. He said temporary or special use, there isn't much data if it becomes too popular, on how it could "affect it's then seen as a certain communities." nuisance to surrounding "There're a lot of folks property owners and who own a business, a stakeholders," Koontz brick and mortar, they said. are interested in the Placing food trucks way [food trucks] are in the downtown sector administered and what could be a focus. Webster the effect will be," Koontz said one business owner said. "There's a lot of in the downtown area interest and curiosity, has an area on the square but there are also more that could be utilized for questions than answers." potential food trucks. Koontz said the Hervol said improving temporary aspect of a the ordinance, especially food truck vendor is a taking out the distance benefit and a detriment requirement, could at the same time. Other improve the ability PHOTO BY PAIGE LAMBERT food trucks allow business owners to build their business model up. for food vendors to "enhance our downtown." "There are several areas of the downtown sector that can actually be labeled as a food court," Hervol said. "The ability to have different types of food in the downtown sector." She said the increased foot traffic in the downtown area could lead to an "honest opportunity for everyone." Webster, who said he was going to "take personal interest" in drafting ordinance changes, said ensuring food trucks are a "value add" to the community is important. He said balancing potential food trucks with the in-place businesses was key. Webster said if a food court idea were to move forward on the square, it could tie in with improvements to City Square Park. "It's making sure it's done well and becomes nice," Webster said. "My interest is to bring additional traffic (to downtown) so all commercial business comes to the area." SUBMITTED REPORT Going to work each day puts more wear and tear on the body than most people realize. And that's true even when their 40-hour work week requires nothing more than the seemingly safe activity of sitting at a desk all day. "We tend to think that people with active lifestyles - the weekend warrior types - are the only ones who have to worry about physical injuries," says Dr. Vladimir Alexander, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of Alexander Orthopaedic Associates "But sitting in front of a computer all day also can lead to numerous issues, from back problems to an aching neck. And over time, what start out as mild symptoms can develop into more serious, and even debilitating, conditions." For example, lower back pain is one of the leading causes of disability. "People working at a computer slouch, they slump with their heads leaning forward, they don't take breaks," Alexander says. "None of that is conducive to good health." He says some of the typical conditions full- time work leads to and ways to alleviate the pain include back problems. About 80 percent of the U.S. population suffers from back problems, making that one of the more common ailments people face. That percentage could seem high until you realize just about every full-time job - not just those that involve heavy lifting - can cause stress to the back. BACK PAIN, 4D as among STAFF REPORT What better time than to compare which state is the best for military retirees? Online research group WalletHub reports that the average officer is 47 years old upon retirement. So what state is the most conducive for a comfortable military retirement? It depends on what the retiree is looking for, but Alaska ranges first overall, with a number one ranking in Economic Environment Rank, second in Quality of Life Rank, and 25th in Health Care Rank. Texas comes in 15th overall, placing 7th in Economic Environment Rank, 43rd in Quality of Life Rank, and 10th in Health Care Rank. Rhode Island comes in dead last, in 51st place (District of Columbia is included in WalletHub's rankings). Possibly because of its high ranking, Alaska comes in first in the category of most veterans per capital, with NewYork having the least veterans per capita. Texas' overall rank is increased because of its high Health Care Rank. Texas actually has the most VA Health Facilities per 10,000 veterans, with New York leading that list. According to experts, there are quite a few benefits that many military retirees simply don't take advantage of. Craig Smith, director of Veteran Affairs at Thomas Edison State University, says nearly 50% of veterans eligible for VA educational benefits don't end up using them. "Depending on the benefits they qualify for, veterans have 10 to 15 years following separation to cash in on these benefits," Smith reports. Another area that many military retirees might underutilitize is legal advice. According to Richard Meyer, Director of Foreign Master of Law Program at Mississippi College School of Law, retirees tend to focus on the medical benefits gained by retiring close to a military base. They forget about the legal benefits, Meyer said. "Retirees (and spouses and dependent children) are eligible for free legal advice from active duty military and civilian lawyers. For example, they can get free wills drafted by a licensed attorney. Closer to home, Brandon Archuleta, National Security Fellow in the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft at the University of Texas at Austin, says veterans need to consider family and lifestyle, employment opportunities and tax environment when choosing where to retire. "Many veterans retire without a clear sense of what life's next advanture will be," he TEXAS, 4D -~+