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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 6, 2011     Hays Free Press
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July 6, 2011
 

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Page 6A Nm Hays Free Press July 6, 2011 + LEGEND. STAFF REPORT The Hays County Commis- sioners Court heard welcome news Tuesday from its finan- cial consultant, Dan Weg- miller of Specialized Public Finance Inc., who reported that the county was given excellent interest rates on the sale of general obligation bonds it sold in June to fund voter-approved roads and parks. Interest rates ranged from 3.86 to 4.2 percent, far lower than the 5 to 6 percent esti- mated when the bonds were approved by voters in 2007 and 2008. The county sold $42,115,000 in Pass-Through Revenue and Unlimited Tax Bonds; $36,835,000 in Un- limited Tax Road Bonds and $9,970,000 in Limited Tax "excellent rating in this economic climate when many similar entities nationwide have had their ratings drop. Hays County competes nationwide for those ratings." -Dan Wegmiller, financial consultant for Hays County Bonds. The bonds sold to investors in less than three hours, which Wegmiller said was due to a lack of munici- pal bonds nationwide, mak- ing Hays County's excellent credit quality an attractive investment. Wegmiller noted that two rating services, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, maintained the county's strong AA bond rating and rated the county as "stable," which he said was an "excellent rating in this economic climate when many similar entities nation- wide have had their ratings drop. Hays County competes nationwide for those rat- ings." Fitch stated that "Hays County's financial position is solid, aided by prudent finan- cial management and con- servative budgeting." Both S&P and Fitch noted that the overall high debt load in Hays County was primarily due to debt loads incurred by enti- ties other than county gov- ernment, which has a mod- erate direct debt level. "An AA rating is eighth- highest out of 10 commercial ratings," Wegmiller said, "and very impressive." LAW O FFI C E 0 F : ~ ~,~':~ ...... . ...................... d :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Family L~, Medi,tor. Coll.bormve ~/morne~ ~ ::~:~:.~ :~::~il;ii::~::i~:::: . ====================== 906 CanyonWren Drive Buda, Texas ~N ,ww.yo e ,tto, ey.,om STAFF REPORT five that will improve county the projects applied for jointly US 290 from Mercer Street to roads. The deadline for appli- with TxDOT include (Precinct Mighty Tiger Trail. The Hays County Commis- cation was June 30. The coun- 1) intersection improvements County road projects that sioners Court last gave its ap- ty hired Michael Aulick of Au- at SH 21 and FM 150, SH 21 could receive funding in Pre- proval to send 15 road safety lick and Associates, a former at Cotton Gin Road and SH cinct 1 include wideninglanes and mobility projects to the CAMPO executive director, to 80 at Old Bastrop Highway; and adding shoulders on Capital Area Metropolitan help it secure the funds, purchasing right-of-way for a Dacy Lane from Bebee Road Planning Organization (CAM- The court also agreedto pro- future parkway on RR 12 from to Windy Hill Road; widening PO) in hopes of receiving a vide $40,000 from the county's RR 32 to Wonder Wodd Drive/ lanes and adding shoulders share of more than $74 million transportation department Old RR 12 and adding a hike- on Old Bastrop Highway from in federal funds. CAMPO will budget to help jump-start the and-bike trail along the same Centerpoint Road to Francis be passing on the money from environmental vetting pro- stretch of RR 12; (Precinct 3) Harris Lane and adding side- the Federal Highway Admin- cess required for one of the constructing a hike-and-bike walks near schools on Bunton istration to counties in Cen- projects, which includes add- trail on the east side of RR 12 Creek Road, FM 150, Old Bas- tral Texas and is expected to ing ramps and a turnaround between Winters Mill Parkway trop Highway and East Me- decide on the projects by late on Interstate 35 between Buda and JoeW'lmberley Boulevard; Carry Lane. A new bridge on summer, with funding avail- and Kyle in Precinct 2.The city and (Precinct 4) adding inter- Lakewood Drive at FM 1626 able at the start of fiscal year of Buda is expected to commit section improvements andin Precinct 2 will also be in the 2012. $35,000 to the project and an a new bridge on RM 1826 at running and Precinct 4 could Included are 10 projects additional $40,000 is expected Crystal Hills Drive; intersec- see safety improvements and involving state highways for from arealandowners, tion improvements to RM at least one bridge on Elder which funds will be applied in In addition to the Interstate 1826 at Darden Hill Road and Hill Road between RR 12 and conjunction with TxDOT and 35 ramps and turnaxounds, a sidewalk for the north side of FM 150. Steady Job V' Then call me, because you're Steady Residence II Proper Down Paymeut v" 1503 RIVER R(IAD - SAN MARCOS M-F, 8:30-6pm & Sat, 8:30-5pm l 1SO Market Continued from pg. 1A + Haupt also invented a seed planter and a couple of other farm implements, which he held patents. Over the years he bred horses, studied tree rings, crossed dewberries andblackberries and devel- oped new varieties of com, ~eaches and plums, before e died in 1907. Today, at Millberg Farms in Kyle, Miller grows Haupt blackberries and plums, and quite possibly Haupt fig trees. SAN MARCOS TILAPIA Across the shed from " Miller, Adam Harwood was selling tilapia filets and ver- dant basil plants, roots and all. The fish and herbs had been raised under interesting circumstances at the Lily Pad Farm in San Marcos, where Harwood said he operates the largest aquaponic system within 1,000 miles. In aquaponic systems, fish and plants work together to recycle water and re- duce agricultural waste. Put simply, when the fish poop and pee, they fertilize the plants growing on the water's surface. Those plants' roots, meanwhile, along with help- ful bacteria, absorb the waste matter and return oxygen to the water, benefitting the fish. And the circle of life goes on and on. Harwood calls Lily Pad Farm a "farm to fork" opera- tion that bypasses traditional grocery stores. "My motto is to put food in the hands of people," he said. '~ lot of farmers think they've made it when they're on the shelves at H-E-B, and that isn't it. A lot of (chain gro- cers) have asked me for fish, and I've turned them down." Not all the 150 Market vendors are farmers like Hat- wood and Miller. At the table next to Harwood, Pare King from All Mom's Cookies and Coffee was offering baskets of sweet treats. She sells plenty of cookies but is just as will- ing to barter them off with her fellow vendors. "Look, I traded for this basil," she said. "I have to- matoes here and this pump- kin plant, and all that was traded." FUNKY TOMATOES AND KIDS' CHICKENS At the back of the shed, college student Brian Bayer was selling funky heirloom tomatoes, salad greens and other colorful produce. With the help of his self- described" sidekick, his wife Holly, Bayer grows his veggies and shrubbery in a plot on site at the Michae- PILOT0 BY ~1~ R~GII$0~ Tanner North, left, and his older brother Caleb show off a couple of the chickens they raised as 4-H projects. About an hour after opening for business, the brothers had already sold five or six chickens. lis Ranch. He is graduating from Texas State University in August with a horticul- ture degree, and he hopes to one day open a retail nurs- ery where he'll offer free classes to other budding farmers in the Kyle area. "There are a lot of farm- ers markets but not as many farmers," he said. "We need more farmers." Indeed, markets have sprung up in several cities around Hays County, includ- ing Buda, Kyle and San Mar- cos. Bayer said business has been steady at 150 Market, which opened in April. (The owner of 150 Market declined to be interviewed for this story.) Mingling with the ven- dors on Saturday, admiring their entrepreneurial pluck, a visitor eventually came to a pair of young brothers who were sitting beside a big ice chest. Inside the cooler was a pile of chickens the boys had plucked, dressed and shrink-wrapped. Caleb North, 14, and his brother Tanner, 12, are both students in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District, and they raise the birds as a 4H project. A poultry operation is a lot of fun and a lot of work, they mid. "You have to wake up the thickens every three hours or o," Caleb said. "If you don't, won't eat as much. Wake them up, and they go eat." In addition to selling chickens, the North broth- ers encourage passersby to mmaple a cup of Hayes' oddly ~g lemonade. Hayes / i was born in Jamaica, grew up employer, and talking about in New York, and nowworks uses for his favored pepper, for the Texas Pie Company the cayenne. The cayenne is a in Kyle. In a faint Jamaican natural aphrodisiac, he said, accent, he touted his tropical and it's good for sore throats marinades and rubs, which and the occasional head he blends for his Island Boy rush. brand. "Eat a fresh pepper and Hayes was also peddling you get light-headed, a little a friend's homemade sal- giggly," he said. "It's a good sas, selling pies made by his buzz." CITY OF BUDA Board/Commission Vacancies The Buda City Council.will be accepting com- pleted Boards/Commissions application forms from Buda Citizens interested in serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Library Commission. Applications may be picked up at City Hall located at 121 Main, Buda, during normal business hours, Monday through Thursday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm, and on Fridays from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm or you may access the website at www.ci.buda.tx.us to download a copy of the Boards/Commissions application. Please forward your applications to Toni Milam at tmilam@ci.buda.tx.us, P. O. Box 1218, Buda, Texas 78610 or call City Hall at 512 312-0084. Completed applications will be accepted through July 12th. Thyme GARDEN CENTER ) elm