Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 7, 2017     Hays Free Press
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June 7, 2017

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+ Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press June 7, 2017 The Hays Free Press (USPS 361-430) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., RO. 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: 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. LETTERS 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 in 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 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 lO0-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and IE3uda. BY SAMANTHA SMITH Overages in audio and visual equipment in the municipal building and an evidence outbuilding for the Buda Police Department led city leaders to amend the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for its new city hall, library and public safety building. The amendment, approved by a unanimous vote, brings the GMP for the new facility to approximate- ly $23 million. Ray Cress- well, Buda project manager, and Mark Christopher, with J.E. Dunn Construction, assured Buda City Council members the GMP didn't exceed the original bond amount of $24.5 million for Propositions i and 2. Buda's amendment was necessary after offi- cials became aware of a $36,000-plus dollar overage for the audio and visual equipment, along with the outbuilding which is used to process evidence. Funds had to be moved to compensate for the overage. Officials said funds were moved from within a contingency fund in the bond to fill a need that wasn't included in their original GMP bid. Council had to approve the trans- fer before any funds were exchanged. "We're picking up the cost... That is the difference between the amount that was the allowance for the project and what was actu- ally bid," Cresswell said. Council members unanimously approved the amendment to the GMp but gave city staffdirecfion to ftLrther identify areas in the audio-visual equipment budget that could be mod- ified. Examples included the number and size of flat screen television monitors throughout the municipal facility to cut more costs. BY LESLY DE LEON Varying opinions on how Kyle should approach funding sidewalk improve- ments Tuesday prevented city leaders from reaching a con- crete solution to the problem. The Kyle City Coun- cil discussed sidewalk maintenance, with Councilmember David Wilson presenting three options. The first requires the city to take full responsibility, while a second option would require home- owners to maintain responsibility. A third option allowed the city to assist homeowners in maintaining the sidewalks. Wilson proposed that the city use new, cost-effective tech- nology to take full responsibility of main- taining and repairing sidewalks. Using a concrete leveling and lifting method, the city could pay $56 for repairing a 4x4 sidewalk section. Sections that are too damaged to be repaired using that method will be replaced for $248 using conventional methods. Wilson suggested a city budget of $50,000 a year over a five-year period and continuing maintaining sidewalks in the future. Much like street maintenance, side- walks would have to be repaired at a regular, gradual basis, Wilson said. "We're still wrestling with the issue," Wilson said. "We've been lis- tening to residents on the subject." Wilson said home- owners had varying opinions. As discus- sion progressed, it became clear council members did as well. Councilmember Daphne Tenorio was strongly opposed to Wilson's proposal, and Councilmember Shane Arabie had his reservations. At a meeting last April, Wilson proposed the city contract a concrete company to repair sidewalks at a reduced cost to home- owners. While discussion seemed to shift to the city taking full responsibility, coun- cil members did not reach a conclusion. It's unknown if city lead- ers will bring the item up again at a future meeting. Population Growth: Buda leads % growth in Hays County Continued from pg. 1A to build affordable hous- ing," Ruge said. "They want to make every penny they can." Kyle Mayor Todd Web- ster said his city's rise in population wasn't unex- pected. He said city lead- ers have understood for a long time "we're an area prone to a lot of residential growth." "It has more to do with geography and position- ing along Interstate 35," Webster said. Much like Buda, chal- lenges in providing infra- structure and dealing with growing pains continue to come up. Plans include expand- ing the city's wastewater plant, which is a priority in the city's 2018 budget dis- cussions. The city has also had conversations for a second regional wastewa- ter treatment plant to ac- commodate development on the southside. Discussions have also included how to possibly finance such a project. "We're planning for the next one, which is the kind of thing that needs to be going on, and not for just the next five, six or ten years," Webster said. Webster said the most important thing the city needs is "diversified hous- ing market." He said the city is focusing on execu- tive level housing. "When people come in and start out.., their families grow, and as they move up, they want to upsize," Webster said. "We want to have different lev- els of homes, so they don't have to move out of town to do it." Kill Water Bill: Not on calendar, so no vote held Continued from pg. 1A 27. The Hays Free Press reported in April a home rule municipality with a city-owned utility located in a county with a popu- lation of more than one million people could pro- vide wholesale water and sewer service to general law cities with less than 301 people upon request, ffthe proposed bill were to be approved. If approved, wholesale service could be provided if the extraterritorial juris- diction (ET]) of the larger home rule city borders the ET] of the general law ci~, and if an aquifer provides the sole water supply for the smaller town. Bill Waiters, president of Walters Southwest, who worked with Isaac and officials with the City of Hays on the bill, said he had worked "hand-in- hand" with language on the bill with Isaac, the city of Austin and its lobbying team. The bill is in conjuction with a service extension request made byWalters to Austin for a 530-acre mixed use development called Hays Commons, which is to be located at the intersection of FM 1626 and State Highway 45 Southwest at the Hays and Travis Countylines. Waiters said dialogue was "positive" with Austin officials, as well as Hays County representatives that "have been working hard on it as well." He said the dialogue was welcome and "all parties clearly understand" the want to avoid additional septic systems "I think all parties clearly understand that a central sewer and water service is the preferred methodology over septic systems and wells and other altema- fives, which are clearly negative toward the envi- ronment,"Walters said. Language in the bill is all in the same context, with all sides wanting more clarification prior to the committee vote, Waiters said. "It was a 10-0 vote, so it was a unanimous vote. I think that sends a strong message," Waiters said. But the bill is now run- ning up against the clock. With the deadline having already passed, the only way it could return is ifa special session is called. If the bill is approved, Wakers said all parties would work with Austin's water utility to move forward. He added the city of Hays "just wants to be treated fairly in a whole- sale agreement" similar to those found in Rolling- wood, Sunset Valley and Westlake. Even if the bill isn't passed, Waiters said he would like to continue to work with Austin and possibly return to the 2019 legislative session, if necessary. Harvey Davis, City of Hays Mayor, said he would hope to have conversa- tions with Austin, regard- less if the bill is approved or not. "We always want to have good interaction and con- versation with our friends at the city," Davis said. Thinking of your dream home? RBFCU is there every step of the way to help make your dreams a reality! 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