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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 20, 2011     Hays Free Press
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Page 6A llEWS Hays Free Press July 20, 2011 + Kyle Train Depot Continued from pg. 1A combination of city hotel occupancy tax revenues and grants, including $75,000 from a private foundation overseen by Johnson's husband. Work during the first of three phas- es would include the construction of a new foundation; lowering the build- in~ replacing the leaky roof with a period-accurate metal one; and de- molishing a chimney, fireplace and upper level that were not part of the depot's original layout. Little said that hewing closely to the original layout ,would give the depot a better chance of landing on the National Register of Historic Places. =We're doing everything we can to comply" with the registers guidelines, she said. Little estimated the first phase of restoration would take about six weeks. The project must begin nq, later than December, board men~-rs said, or the depot project would forfeit a $25,000 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. All told, the early estimate for the five-month project is about $770,000. Subtracting funds already in hand as well as final costs associated with site improvements, board members would need to raise about $360,000 to "get back in the building" according to Little. Board members on Tuesday discussed fundraising ideas and not- ed that city staff was helping to write grant applications. "I'm pretty confident that we can do this," Johnson said. OF gOMl PLUS The depot has been sitting at the comer of Center and Front streets since 2003, when the building and its accompanying caboose were donated Auto tycoon Chuch Nash bought the Kyle train depot odginal location on Front and Center Streets in 2003. "The building itself is a treasure and certainly a landmark to our history, our present and in some ways our future..." -Ray Herrmndez, Director Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce to the city. The Kyte Area Chamber of COm- According to Httle, construction merce andVisitors Bureau uses part of will keep the chamber away from the the building for its operations. During depot for about four months. When the chamber employees move back the construction period, the chamber in, they will move from the south end will have to find a temporary home of the structure, which faces Center I~ FREE PRESS RUE PHOTO in 1962 and moved it to his ranch east of Kyle. He returned the depot to it's eLsewhere. "We haven't nailed down where Street, to the old freight room on the we'll be set up," said Ray Hernande~ north end. The south end of the building will , Pill'0 BY ~ Flmg~SON the chamber's executive director, be returned to its 1917 layout, which A sketch presented by architect Emily Little shows a bird s-eye view of a preliminary He said he hopes to find a place on induded segregated waiting rooms plan to restore the Kyle Depot. the "front porch of downtown," near for white and black people. The m~, the depot, and that a portable build- wailing roomwillbe used as avisitors and moved it tohismzmh east of Kyle. red caboose. During summers at the ing is also being considered. He and center. The smaller room where black He thought the structure would make ranch, Nash lived with his wife and his staff don't mind waiting while the people were requited to wait will be a a perfect farmhouse, according to his daughter in the renovated depot. depot is restored, he added. "The first concern of ours is to uti- lize whatever time is needed to ensure the work is done correctly," Heman- dez said. "The building itself is a treasure and certainly a landmark to our bistor~ our present and in some ways our fu- ture as well," he said later. "It reminds folks that the industry that created Kyle is alive and well." Dry Land Fanning Continued from pg. iA museum celebrating black history in son, ChucL The teenage Chuck, meanwhile, the area. "People in Kyle were upset when he slept in the caboose. The stationmasters office will be bought the depot," Chuck Nash said. "It rocked a little bit when the wind converted into a railroad museum .... But all the windows were bmken out, got going," he said. "It was like .you all sorts of writing on the walls. It was were being pulled by a wain gomg ON TIE ~ almost a tear-down situation." down the tracks." This isn't ~e Kyle I)epofs first m.ajor Instead of tearing down the historic Nash told his sen that someday he renovation. : building, Nash restored it and made would give the depot back to the city In1962,AiistlhaufbtycoonChades numerous modifications to it. ~ ofKyle, and so he did. The elder Nash Nash purchased the depot for $1,200 railroad company even gave tffn~ diedinMarch2011attheageof87. "Conditions are not improv- about 20 percent of what we ing, so we're just getting deeper made last year," he said. and deeper into a rainfall deft- With such a dry spring, cit," said Brian Hunt, a senior Jansen decided to plant more hydrogeologist for the Barton drought-resistant mile sor- Springs/Edwards Aquifer Con- ghum than usual. His 350 acres servation District. yielded well, and the market Barring the unlikely event is strong. He also held off on of a tropical storm, the aqui- planting the cotton until late fer district is predicting the May, about a month and a half implementation of Stage III later than usual. Alarm drought restrictions in "We got a timely rain in the September. middle of May and another at "We're not expecting to have the end of June, so we went any significant rainfall be- ahead and spent a bunch of tween now and then, so it's not money trying to make the cot- looking good," he said.ton crop," Jansen said. "It could Stage III triggers a mandate- be a really, really good crop, ry 30 percent reduction in we- but with the ongoing drought ter use. Very few farmers hold it looks very unlikely." permits to use aquifer water. The bugs are not a problem Jansen, 32, and his father this summer. In the absence of Jim planted about 800 acres of rain clouds, that is about the corn and 1,500 acres of cotton only silver lining. this spring. Jansen was expect- "I think I played my cotton hag to finish harvesting the right," lansen said. "It's just the com this weeL beast of being a dryland farm- "Corn is probably making er in CentralTexas." Kyle Tax Increase Continued from pg. 1A increase in wastewater rates. The bud- get also would include a $2 per month administrative fee for trash and recy- cling customers. City council members for months have been dreading the fiscal year 2011- 2012 budget. A sizable tax increase is all but inevitable as the city makes grow- ing payments on more than $76.5 mil- lion in debt- added to as recently as last year with a $3.5 million new library. But adding new headaches to the mix before outlining his proposed budget at this week's regular council meeting, Lambert said finance direc- tor Perez Mohet had found hundreds of thousands of dollars in recurring, operational expenses. He specifical- ly mentioned wastewater treatment plant operations and payments to the Hays Caidwell Public Utility Agency that have been paid each year out of fund balances or impact fees, a prac- tice he called "highly irregular" and said should be investigated. "The problem is, we don't have mon- ey to hire an audit firm to do an inves- tigation," Lambert said. "The problem is, now all our fund balances are gone and we still have to pay for these opera- tional expenses. This budget is going to be tremendously difficult to balance because we have all these debts and programs we've created and now the bills have come due." Paying for the proposed budget would require a two-cent increase in the portion of the tax rate used for maintenance and operations and a 5.7- cent increase in the portion used for making debt payments. For the owner of a $127,380 home, the proposed Kyle increase would add about $98 to the annual tax bill. The utility rate increases he recom- mends this year - on top of a 20 per- cent wastewater increase enacted in June - are the first of three phases of rate increases Lambert is proposing to balance the utility fund. In the second year of that schedule, both water and wastewater rates would increase 20 percent and, in year three, water would increase 20 percent and wastewater would increase 10 percent. Lambert's proposal includes the addition of one new employee, a city engineer. The city currently contracts out this service. Additionally, Lambert anticipates a $114,000 increase in re- quired funding for San Marcos-Hays County EMS over last year. Finally, the city manager plans to shift only $1.6 million from the utility fund to the gen- eral fund, a reduction of abotR six per- cent from last year, and the first step in a five-year plan for making the funds self-sufficient. The council is expected to adopt a budget and set the tax rate next month ahead of the fiscal year which starts Oct. 1. We're here for good'. BuDA BANKING CENTER J 32IN. FM 1626 I 512"29~"8 J 8'531"76g KYlzBArcgrNGCErCrER [ 8ox FM ISoW. I g~2.268.2o2r [ 8'g3I'76g 1 APR = Annual Percentage Rate.. Rates effective as of 5/15/11. All terms, rates and conditions are subject to change witho0t notice. Rate shown assumes excellent borrower credit history and includes a 0.25*/, discount f0 automatic payments fron] a I Br~ I~. n.k accou~..Yoor rate may very. Add~onal.disc~nt available for m!!i~ry cu~ome~,..wt2_o" _m~t.. e/~!,bi~ ~.r~ uire men t s. Min !m uma ~ o/oa nn amount js $5~,000~ Re fio~an ~ d [~ns must be from another ffflanclaJ iflstltlJtlofl, fill loans saoJect to Cl~ff apRroval, verlnce. Ilon 811o c011a(eral O~alUatlun. uumr t;unumuu~ may nppff, u.u gm ~nlu p~ nuu~unum, u it ~ u -uan~=umuLu. ~u~t u gut dy uu IRS reportable. Other conditioms may apply. See representative for details. 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