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June 5, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Section D CLASSIFIEDS, SERVICE PUBLIC NOTICES DIRECTORY HaysFreePress.com June 5, 2013 in BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com Buda's, Kyle's and San Marcos' city I~ governments took in nearly $1 mil- lion in federal grants, thus far, from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvest- merit Act. More than $78 million was invested in Hays County, according to state and federal records. The federal Recovery Act website shows San Marcos received the bulk of the funds, taking in over three-quarters 1~ of a million dollars. Buda brought in $34,754 and Kyle received $108,382, ~!i according to the federal website In a direct response to the U.S. eco- nomic crisis felt in the latter years of the post 2000 decade, the federal gov- ernment passed a $787 billion stimulus package aimed at creating jobs, saving existing ones, spurring economic ac- tivity, investing in long-term growth and fostering "unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending," according to Category Amount Education $37,390,408 Transportation $19,152,176 Health and Human Services $7,149,393 Housing and Community Development $5,404,792 Contracts $4,151,753 Research $2,869,472 Other $926,719 Energy $736,455 Public Safety $221,651 County Total: $78,002,819 i!: : iii i ! the U.S. government website. Hall and the Annex building with en- cle lane striping and signage on Spring Buda was reportedly awarded funds ergy efficient lighting and appliances. Branch Drive and the EECBG money June 21, 2010, in an Energy Efficiency Kyle received a $22,017 grant onAug, was used installing ceiling insulation and Conservation Block Grant (EE- 7, 2009 to restripe city streets and an and a return air system to improve the CBG). Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said the $86,365 EECBG on June 21, 2010. The funds were expended retrofitting City city's first award was used to add bicy- See FEDERAL STIMULUS MONEY, pg. 4D New retail complex finally coming to fruition BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.corn For the better part of 40 years, the rusted silos and dilapidated structures of i;i! 8t/OA ~t the Buda Mill and Grain Com- pany have greeted those travel- ling along south Main Street. After Mill and Grain halted production, the site fell on rough times. Gay Dahlstrom, whose fa- ther Cecil Ruby purchased the propertyin 1963, wants to keep the family name. 'Tm determined to see [the property[ developed by family or not at all," Dahlstrom said in a press release. Decades of waiting led to the $64,000 question: when will the Dahlstrom family develop the 8.75-acre property along Main Street? The walt may soon come to an end. Dodi Ellis and her son, Saenger, heeded the call of the family matriarch. They are hop- ing to turn the Buda Mill and Grain property into a hub of activity for the city. But it took more than two years to get to this point. When the Ellises began work on the properW, they had to clear the years of accumulated garbage. "It has been literally our- selves cleaning up, recycling fires and occasionally saving bees from extermination," said Dodi. "We've also had to pick up endless amounts of trash and metal." The biggest problem was the amount of tires and old cars which were left on the property, "We had 27 dilapidated, old cars on the lot, and lots of chain link fence," Saenger said. "Find- ing a place to recycle tires is a nightmare. We had one track- load with over 190 alone. We had several more track loads of tires after that." Through sweat and hard work, they got the property to a point of developing a master plan. "We want to have a fit- ness business, such as a yoga studio," Dodi said. "I also want to see a bike shop or a tour- ing company- a place where people can ride and leam about it. Possibly more events that are geared to have races." In addition, the Ellis family aims to bring in two restaurants, with the hope that increased traffic in the area allows both businesses to coexist. Ellis said her family wants the right businesses to de- velop on the property. She has turned down prospective businesses that did not fit the master plan. "We've bad 50 people call [about moving in]," Saenger said. "We tell them, 'we think that will work well somewhere, but not here.' It has been dif- ficult." One business already in the works to move into property is PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III Dolores Diaz, owner of Sweet Cakes 4 U on Buda's Main Street, puts theJcing on the cake. Diaz's business is the first to be chosen by the Ellis family to set up shop in the renovation of the Buda Mill and Grain property. "We want to have a fitness business, such as a yoga studio. I also want to see a bike shop or a touring company - a place where people can ride and learn about it. Possibly more events that are geared to have races." -Dodi Ellis, co-developer of the new Buda Mill and Grain the Buda Farmers Market- the Ellis family believes that is a way for the community to come together. Saenger talked about his lime growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the farmers market is a way of life. "We are trying to create a place that enhances your life. One of the greatest ways to do that is around people," Dodi said. "That's why we want the farmers market here, to help them expand, so we can [also] have food trailers and music, and more market vendors." The end result, she said, is a symbiotic relationship between all of the businesses, where one supports another. The goal is to have a variety of businesses. However, parking is a prob- lem that plagues many busi- nesses along Main Street. The Ellis family understands that and is working to implement a thorough parking system. They estimate a four-phase parking initiative, with ap- proximately 200 spaces for the new development. "We planned on the usage of the buildings and that dictates the parking we need," Saenger said. "It may fluctu- ate; if we had retail space, we would need less spaces than, say, a restaurant." Both Dodi and Saenger are thankful for the Buda Eco- nomic Development Corpora- tion (EDC) assistance. With help from the EDC, the Ellis family has addressed ease- ments for the parking situa- tion and ensured a loop water system that will go through the property underneath 2770, as well as placed the site on the Buda Comprehensive Plan, which ensures it maintains its historic status. The Ellis family credits the EDC with kick-starting the renovation process. It began with a $5,000 dollar Buda Im- provement Grant [BIG). At Tuesday's council meeting, the city approved a $168,000 development agree- ment from the EDC toward the loop water system. Since receiving the BIG, the family has repaired and renovated many of the existing grain buildings in an effort to maintain the city's heritage. "It would be cheaper to tear these buildings to the ground, and start over. It would be more functional," Saenger said. "Because our family has had this for 50 years and it's been a part of [the] commu- nity, it would be a large change to the landscape of the city." Renovations spurred great interest in the site. With the help of architect Ben May and engineer Hollingsworth-Pack, the family has already seen an increased amount of traffic. Sweets 4 U owner Dolores Diaz said, "I have lots of traffic, so I don't often advertise. My customers also spread my business by word of mouth. I have a lot of people asking what is going on, and I tell them what the Ellises have planned. They are excited about what is coming." Dahlstrom said the vision for the property is just what she wanted. "Gay did not want people to put storages here; she had a vision," Dodi said. "She is like our boss. If she did not like the idea, she did not want it here. This is a phenomenal oppor- tunity to be here." The Ellis family plans to develop the entire 8.75-acre property for retail use. Esti- mates on the excavation and repaying of the parking area will take five to six weeks. Hopes are that the site will be ready for use by this fall. O s? RKa/t . FOCUS Interest rates are at his- toric lows. But they will rise eventually. If you invest in fixed-income vehicles, such as bonds, what might higher rates mean for you? As is almost always the case in the investment world, there's no simple answer. First, it's im- portant to distinguish between short-term and long-term inter- est rates. The Federal Reserve is determined to keep short-term rates low until unemployment improves, but, in the meantime, longer-term rates may well rise. Depending on your situa- tion, a rise in long-term rates can present both opportunity and concern. The oppornmity: rising rates can mean greater income ifyou invest in newly is- sued bonds. The concern, if you already own longer-term bonds, and rates rise, the value of your bonds ~ fall. That's because other investors won't want to pay full price for your bonds when they can get new ones at higher rates. Even if the value of your long- term bonds falls, isn't it worth- while to hold on to them? After all, as long as your bond doesn't default- and if the bond is considered "investment grade," a default is tmlikely - you will get a steady source of income and you'll receive the hill value of your bond back at maturity. Aren't these valuable benefits? They are indeed- but they may be more relevant for short-term bonds. Longer-term bonds- those of 10-year dura- tion or 1.onger -- are more subject to inflation risk than shorter- term bonds. Of course, we've experienced low inflation for a number of years, but over time even mild inflation can add up. When this happens, and you own a long-term bond whose rate doesn't change, you could face a potential loss of purchas- ing power. One of the reasons that long-term bonds pay high- er interest rates than short-term bonds is because the issuers of longer-term instruments are rewarding you for taking on this additional inflation risk. Consequently, simply hold- ing on to long-term bonds - especially very long-term ones, such as those that mature in 30 years - may not be the best strategy. If you review your fixed-income holdings and find that they skew strongly toward longer-term bonds, you may want to consider reducing your exposure in this area. If you did sell some of these bonds, you could use the proceeds to help build a"bond ladder" - which may be one of the best ways to invest in bonds. To create this ladder, you need to invest in bonds of varying maturities. When market rates are low, you'll still have your longer-term bonds earning higher interest rates, thereby paying you more income. And when market rates rise, you can reinvest your maturing short-term bonds at the higher rates. You must evaluate whether the bonds held within the bond ladder are consistent with your invest- ment objectives, risk tolerance and financial circumstances. If you own bonds, you do need to be aware of where interest rates are - and where they maybe headed. Nonethe- less, as we have seen, you don't have to be at the mercy of rate movements. By keeping your- self informed and choosing the right strategies, you can beneft from owning bonds and other fixed-income vehicles in all interest-rate environments. Before investing in bonds, you should understand the risks involved, including credit risk and market risk. Bond invest- ments are subject to interest rate risk such that when interest rates rise, the prices of bonds can de- crease, and the investor can lose principal value ff the investment is sold prior to maturity. +