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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 26, 2013     Hays Free Press
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June 26, 2013
 

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Hays Free Press * June 26, 2013 NEWS Page 3A BY MOSES LEOS III which will be near the intersec- tion of Goforth Road and South moses@haysfreepress.comRM 967, beneath the water tower. Jackson Tyler Norris was an But, budget issues hindered avid skater. Every day, the Hays the project from moving for- High student and Budaresident ward. took his board out and shred- The plan for the park, pro- ded the sidewalks, enjoying the duced by Action Sport Design, thrill of the moment, was a 10,000-square Even bad weather foot area. Total cost couldn't keep him of the project was from his hobby. !~ $50,000 over the His mother, Re-~!'.!~'i~~ ' original budget. As becca Norris, always [~~ a result, the city at- knew her son was~ tempted to downsize enamored with the the skate park, but popular extreme had the measure was sport ..... ~' turned down; the "Jackson enjoyed ~:' city stuck with the skateboarding. He 10,000-square-foot skated every day," NORRIS plan. Norris said. "When a "Features for the small snow storm hit skate park include: the area three years ago, he still jersey barrier on bank with a was out there." straight and a curved exten- However, tragedy struck sion; grind bench; 3 different on June 21, 2011. On that day, handrails; bank to bank; manu- Jackson was killed attempting al pad; wedge transition; grind to cross a busy intersection of ledge; multiple banks and tran- U.S. 183 in Lockhart. sitions," Buda Parks and Recre- Since that fateful day, the ation Director Andy Czimskey Norris family wanted to find a said in an emailed response. way to honor their late son and Designs of the park were his love of the sport he cared completed and the bid process about so much. was opened on January 2013 Last summer, the city of with an amended budget of Buda answered the call, asking $333,083. According to Sidonna that a new skate park be built Faust, Buda Finance Director, and named after Jackson. On additional money added to the June 18, nearly two years to the budget came from the Parks day he was killed, the Buda City Capital Fund. Council officially awarded Joe Buda received one bid, but Brown Construction LLC the rejected it due to high cost. The bid to begin construction on city reopened the process, and the park. On ]une 27, the city received three new bids from will hold an official ground- three new companies, which breaking ceremon~ heralding included the cost of building the start of a long, drawn out the park, as well as altemate process, items, such as a park sign, a me- The idea of a skate park in morial garden and subsequent Buda surfaced before Jackson's irrigation, a parking lot and death. In 2007, the city obtained lighting: Fazzone Construction, $140,000 from the $30 million $947,904.35; Stewart Builders, dollar Hays County Parks Bond $750,302.89; Joe-Brown Con- to help with the construction, struction, $580,769.24. The city matched the amount Due to the limited cost from dollar-for-dollar, with the ini- the other two companies, the tial budget set at $280,000. city decided to work with Joe- Then Mayor Pro-tem Tom Brown Construction. However, Krause spearheaded the initia- the city brainstormed ways to five. Krause, whose sons skate- fit the park into budget. board, presented the idea and a The result was using the Pub- promotional video to the Hays lic Works Department to com- County Commissioners Court. plete the excavation portion of With the court's blessing, Buda the skate park. Those tasks in- began proceedings for the park, clude placing select fill to finish a PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III Buda Public Works crews begin the process of excavating a 10,000 square foot parcel of land near the inter- section of Goforth Road and RM 967. After many years in the planning stages, Buda will take steps to build a skate park near the city water tower. The park will be named the Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skate Park, in memoriam of the Hays student who was killed on June 21,2011. Photo by Moses Leos III the grade on the pad, installing amenities within the memorial 'Tkfter many years in the erosion controls and install a garden, planning process, ]the city] felt storm sewer, inlets and deten- "The memorial area was re- we needed to get the skate park tion pond. The city also tasked designed to be more cost ef- open," Ruge said. "We needed the department with installing fective with only two benches," to get it going." the park sign and building the Czimskey said. "The restroom However, he was adamant parking lot. is now going into an existing about the city's option to go The Buda City Council was building (originally for cell back and build many of the confident in the Public Works phone equip) instead of a new amended amenities at a later Department's ability to get the free standing structure, and the date. excavation done. Hiring em- landscape has fewer trees ini- TheNorrisfamilyalsounder- ployees who have done previ- tidily with plans to add others stands the budget constraints ous work in excavation and re- later." of the city. While the park will pavement jobs will further the The city expects to spend a not initially have everything process, total of 91,328.70 through the they hoped, they are happy the "During the recession in Public Works Department. Joe facilityis finally seeing the light 2008-2009, [the Public Works Brown Construction will be of day. Department] hired men and tasked with building the perim- "We are grateful the city has women who had previously eter fence, planting and irriga- kept usin theloop, andlistened worked at construction com- tion, memorial garden ame- to our concerns," Rebecca said. panies,"MayorToddRugesald, nities and building the skate "We are excited and honored "These are very qualified indi- park at a cost of $226,247.45. that the city decided to name viduals, who have helped with With $8,000 spent on bidding the skate park after Jackson. We the Sequoyah neighborhood, invoices and construction ad- are so thrilled." among other projects. I have ministration, as well as a con- Mostly, the family under- complete confidence they can struction survey done, the city's stands just how much this do it." overall price tag for the project would have meant to Jackson. In the past, the city also pur- comes out to $333,076.15. "We would have looked for- chased grading, repaving and While the memorial garden ward to this moment," Rebecca excavation equipment for the will not have the "bells and said. "We will he there every- Public Works Department for whistles" in the original design, day, taking pictures, and seeing these types of projects, the goal for the city was to get the changes it will go through The city also cut back on the the park back on track,in the future." Office in Peril Continued from pg. 1A An August 2012 tax law- suit against Selbera and her siblings alleges the council member and her family owe $4,265.60 in property taxes for years 2011 and 2012 on two other properties. In that case, Selbera told the Hays Free Press she no longer owned the two properties. Selbera said she signed over ownership to her father on a piece of pa- per, though she is unaware of where he left it. She does not have a copy of the document. Selbera's father passed away in March 2013. The deeds, however, state that Selbera and her sib- lings - Mary S. Martinez, Reynaldo Selbera, Ill, Hope Selbera, Olga S. Flores, Silvia Selbera and Alicia S. Reyna- were sold the two properties by their parents in 1998 for 10 dollars "and other valu- able consideration includ- ing the love and affection we have for our seven chil- dren." The properties named in that lawsuit are 501. W Thiele, valued at $67,380, and a second property at M. E. Moore, Block 1, Lots 2, 3, 4 and 5, valued at $14,000. Kyle is owed $805.51 in back taxes on that case. Selbera and her siblings were also sued by Hays County in 2002 for back taxes owed on the same properties named in the Au- gust 2012 lawsuit. That case was settled in 2004 after the county received a $567 pay- ment, records show. Kyle's website lists Sel- bera's legal residence as 301 W. Thiele, a property her late father owns. It, too, is in property tax delinquency. County records show that $2,584.34 is owed in back taxes for that property. Assistant I(yle City Attor- ney Cody Faulk said his of- fice is investigating Selbera's property tax situation and its correlation with elected officer requirements per the city's charter. He said his of- fice would be updating and making a recommendation to the city council in the coming days. The next regular council meeting is July 2. Privatized Medicine Continued from pg. 1A to come into safety vestibule; they get water, their ID and then get in line. If no one else is in line, we close that door and move on to next area. [If they don't get in line] it's almost as if they are refusing." However, Batch added that medical personnel will make sure if an inmate needs a particular medicine, such as blood pressure or psychotro- pic drugs, he or she gets it. "They'll get it if they're on the list. We'll even wake him or her up if we know they need it. We want them to get their medication because if they don't, then we have other problems." Batch said an officer will stand with the medic, who asks inmates to open their mouths and lift their tongues. "They can find ways to hide it and we've done some searches and found some in- mates hoarding medication," he said. Why would inmates not take needed medication? It may be the side effects, Batch said, such as feeling nauseous or drowsy. "But the biggest reason I've seen," Batch said, "is they think they're better and no longer need the medication. But then once it's out of their system, the problems start all over." The decision to privatize the infirmary, according to Hays County Commissioner Pct. 2 Mark Jones, was to save the county money if possible but also to provide mental health services for inmates. The fa- cility has not had a mental health provider on staff since early 2012 when the previous doctor passed away. Based on a review of the contract, the services provid- ed by CCS will cost the county about $1.2 million annually- about $317,000 more than the $828,500 allocated for medi- cal expenses in the 2012 bud- get year. In February, the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the HCSO on behalf of Diana Riley, whose son, Eric Dykes, died at the Hays County Jail. Jail personnel found Dykes hanging in his solitary con- finement cell March 26, 2011. The lawsuit alleges he threat- ened to commit suicide and that he was not receiving his medication on a regular basis. Attorneys working on the case said he was bi-polar. Part of the issue, accord- ing to Austin lawyer Michelle Smith with the TCRE is that Dykes was transferred to the Guadalupe County Jail twice during his 14-month incar- ceration, which interrupted his medical treatment. Dykes, who was 25 at the time of his death, spent 14 months in the Hays County Jail as a pre-trial detainee. Ar- rest and court records show he was booked on charges of aggravated robbery. The law- suit places the responsibility for his death squarely on the jail supervisors, though the suit also names Sheriff Gary Cutler and other top officials at HCSO. The HCSO admitted no wrong doing in the case. A current resident of the Hays County Jail, Justin Dawes, is also bi-polar, according to his wife, San Marcos resident Chaffs Dawes. She told the Hays Free Press recently that, just like Dykes, her husband is not consistently receiving his medication. "He's been in for two months and only received his meds eight times," she said. Batch said he has not seen any grievance from Dawes. Dawes' wife, Charis, sent a request on June 16 to Texas Gov. Rick Perry to declare the prison system in a state of emergency due to what she called "hellhole conditions" at jails and prisons around Tex- as. Part of her complaint is the poor and inconsistent treat- ment of inmates with mental health issues, along with in- humane treatment including roach and rat infestations, abuse by prison guards and overheated facilities. Healthcare laws prevent the jail staff from releasing information related to an in- mate's medical treatment, but Deputy John Craigmile, who works in the jail division of the HCSO, said the medical staff keeps records of medication dispensation. In March, nurse and 19-year employee John Cavanaugh in the jail's infirmary, who was rehired by CCS, said electronic charting took about five years to implement but the jail now has an electronic record of ev- ery inmate who needs medi- cation, along with the type, dosage and time it's admin- istered. Batch confirmed the process. According to Texas law, jails must provide medical care to inmates. Hays County main- tains a 362-bed jail. The facil- ity's inmate population ranges from 300 to 320 people. About 15 percent of the Hays County Jail's prisoners are women. Medical expenses have de- creased about five percent in recent years, from $875,200 in the 2010 fiscal year to $830,600 in 2011 and $828,500 last year. County records show the jail books about 8,000 inmates each year. Not all inmates are convicted of any crimes; some are awaiting trial but cannot post bail, as was the case with Dykes. Since the implementation of the contract with CCS, Capt. Mark Cumberland, who oversees the Hays County Jail for the HCSO, said he's very positive about the change. "It's very structured, profes- sional and it addresses some of the issues we had very di- rectly," he said. When asked about the spe- cific issues, Cumberland said the CCS resolved healthcare issues in the medical unit. "[The new firm] is more modern, informed and knowl- edgeable," he said. "Law en- forcement is not the expert at healthcare." Batch agreed. "I like it. We have a higher level of expertise now work- ing in the medical facility. The employees have a wide vari- ety of experience and knowl- edge," he said. "We have more qualified people in infirmary now." He added that the infirmary can also do many procedures in house since the change. "Things we used to send inmates to hospital for, we can now do here," he said. "Things like simple sutures, high blood pressure monitor- ing and more." Batch said doing those pro- cedures in house saves the county money because trans- porting inmates is expensive. ITY OF Public Workshop Announcement Please join the Kyle City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and Long Range Planning Committee to discuss proposed amendments to the City's Comprehensive Master Plan. A workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 29th, 2013 at lOam at the City of Kyle Public Works Building 520 E RR 150 This is a public meeting open to all residents, business and property owners. The Comprehensive Plan is a guide to help the community make decisions and establish a direction to grow in a sustainable and beneficial way in the future. The amendments to be discussed are updates to the recommended zonings in each Landuse District. Please come give your comments about what you want to see in Kyle's future. For more information please call the Planning Department at 512-262-1010 or visit the City's website at www.cityofkyle.com. + I I I II J II li II i I