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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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August 2, 2017     Hays Free Press
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Page 2A NBNS Hays Free Press August 2, 2017 + The Hays Free Press (USPS 361-430) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., RO. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. Peri- odicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing of- rices. 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 tool Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfreepress. com Mail: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflec- tion upon the charac- ter, standing or reputa- tion 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 pub- lication. 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. uE' D ERS ELINES 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 verifica- tion. LetterWriters are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@ haysfreepress.com. 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 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. BY SAMANTHA SMITH Dissenting opinions on possible addition of a drainage fee to utility bills led city leaders to take pause on the matter. The idea of a proposed drainage fee was brought up during the city's budget workshop discussion, which was held at the July 18 city council meeting. While no action was taken, city council members were split on whether the fee was a good idea. "The idea that we need to add another fee is ridic- ulous," council member George Haehn said. Grady Reed, a repre- sentative with HDR, said the drainage fee is some- thing the city "can collect and spend however it wants," but can only be spent on capital improve- ment projects and oper- ations and maintenance that deal with water and stormwater. Reed said the city's Stormwater Utility Feasibility study was started in late 2014 and was suspended after a public survey in 2015 showed an unfavorable response to the fee. Reed said there were a total of 300 responses to the survey, in which 66 percent of respondents said "No" to a drainage fee. Only 33 percent were in favor of a possible fee. Reed said survey respondents were asked what kind of a fee would be reasonable if such a fee were adopted. Respon- dents felt a range of $4 to $6 a month would be acceptable. Reed said if adopted and utilized, the fee would "be levied upon every parcel in the city limits," meaning residential and businesses alike. Reed broke down the fee for council members, explaining $1 for each Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), which equates to one single-family home, per month could net $100,000 in revenue for the city. Reed said residents may only have to pay $1 per month towards a drainage fee, while commercial residential units, such as apartment complexes that measure 10,000 square- feet, would be charged five ERUs. Revenue from the pro- posed drainage fee could not be used for water projects already under construction or anything done in the past. Council member Eileen Altmiller, who was the lone supporter of the drainage fee, said funds for drainage projects "don't always happen," as drainage can be cast aside to make way for more in- teresting capital improve- ment projects. "There's a definite need for this," Altmiller said. Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lane and Mayor Todd Ruge were interested in a possible compromise instead of adopting a specific drainage/storm- water fee. Car Accidents: String of wrecks, including fatalities Continued from pg. 1A be conducted during an ordered autopsy on Ortiz. Authorities also didn't see signs of intoxica- tion or impairment on Tijerina, but, per proce- dure, a blood specimen was collected for further analysis. Roughly a day earlier, Kyle emergency officials extricated a man who was pinned in his vehicle fol- lowing a rollover accident on 1-35. Authorities were dispatched to the 24000 block of southbound 1-35 around 11:44 p.m. July 27 for the wreck, which involved a 2004 black GMC Sierra pickup driven by Alcadio Sanchez, 54, of San Marcos. Barnett said the truck was traveling southbound when it collided into a crash cushion of a tem- porary concrete barrier. The truck traveled on the barrier, then returned to the roadway before rotat- ing and rolling over. The driver, later iden- tified as Sanchez, was extricated roughly 15 minutes after emergency crews arrived, Barnett said. Sanchez was airlift- ed by STARFlight to an Austin-area hospital in serious condition. Meanwhile, an inves- tigation continues into a July 29 incident where a vehicle plowed into the side of a building on Kyle Crossing. Barnett said Kyle Police was dispatched around 10 p.m. July 29 for a report- ed hit-and-run near the Chase Bank in the H-E-B Kyle Parking lot. The incident involved a black 2008 Ford Mustang and a Lexus IS 250, he said. While authorities responded to the hit- and-run, Barnett said the Mustang drove off and continued north on Kyle Crossing when it approached a right-hand curve. The Mustang contin- ued through the curve and on to property in the 3600 block of Kyle Cross- ing. The vehicle con- tinued driving through the property, where it Judge Cobb: Leukemia diagnosis given Continued from pg. 1A heart and my mind will senior member on the said Laureen Chernow, be with Hays County." Commissioner's Court,Hays County commu- According to a Hays will conduct court activi- nications manager. County press release, ties in Cobb's absence. Cobb said he also plans Cobb would be absent While Cobb is not to communicate elec- for an indefnite period of physically at the Hays tronically with staff and time as he starts his treat- County courthouse, he is elected officials during ment. Hays County Pct. expecting he will watch his absence. 1 Commissioner Debbie court proceedings online, "This came upon at Ingalsbe, who is the most but will not take part, a time when so many things are happening, but I leave you in good hands. I am proud to know I have the best commissioners court in the State of Texas," Cobb said. "These people are capable, they're smart and they have the heart of the county." HB 25: Bill could partially restore therapy services Continued from pg. 1A hag to a Texas Tribune re- port, leaving the program in a state of limbo. ECI is a statewide program for families with children from birth to age 3 who have developmen- tal delays, disabilities or certain diagnoses, such as Autism. "Disabled children don't enjoy the same fierce representation by paid advocates as the special interests who often shape the legislature's agenda behind the scenes," Rodri- guez said in his statement. "Instead, it's up to us - the members of the Texas Legislature- to set aside our differences and work together on their behalf. Every day we spend clashing over wedge issues represents a failure of leadership." He added HB 25 is an opporttmity for the legis- lature to "correct our past mistakes." The importance of ther- apy services for children living with developmental disabilities is never lost with Kyle resident and fos- ter parent Dena Dupuie. It was through those services that Dupuie helped her now adopt- ed daughter, Briaima, overcome complications from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered when a babysitter shook her ten years ago. Through ECI, Dupuie was able to receive oc- cupational, physical and speech therapies for her daughter. Dupuie was taught sign language, as well as the use of cards and pictures of items, as a way to communicate with her daughter. Occupational and Physical Therapy also provided Dena valuable tools to assist with Brianna as well. "They helped establish a solid foundation for Bri- anna to be able to get her life back on track that a typically developing child would do," Dupuie said. But Dupuie said she's also has been hindered by the severe budget cuts to children's therapy services. Her daughter lost access to physical therapy after their provider left ECI due to the cuts. However, when she called Texas Health and Human Services Commis- sion (HHSC) to find an alternate provider, she was told the nearest physical therapist would require a 1,200 mile round trip drive. "They told me that's acceptable," Dena said. "I told them they're out of their cotton-picldn' mind." Other hurdles include the possibility of services being cut altogether, which would require a parent to reapply with the HHSC. Dupuie said she waited for roughly six months before her daugh- ter's case was reevaluated. Dupuie, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the HHSC, said the legislature's cuts in 2015 were made based on what she believes was "faulty data." Now Dupuie has joined other parents in trying to get legislators to restore funding back to children's Their solution was to create an enterprise fund where money would be earmarked for drainage projects. Council member Lee Urbanovsky, who was against the fee, said coun- cil should find a way to mitigate Buda's drainage issues without generating another tax. "I don't think it's need- ed," Urbanovsky said. Reed said San Marcos and Kyle have already adopted a stormwater fee to address drainage issues. Those fees are to keep drainage needs from competing with other needs in the general fund, Reed said. "Drainage isn't as sexy as a new splash pad or parks," Ruge said. eventually slammed into the southern side of a building that housed three businesses. No one was in the structure when the incident occurred. Barnett said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene on foot. The registered owner of the Mustang told police the identity of the person to whom she had loaned the car. The identity of the driver is unknown at this time, pending investiga- tion into the accident. Cobb, who once was the Chief Medical Surgeon at Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos, is currently serving his second term as Hays County Judge. Cobb, who was first elect- ed in 2010, was reelected in November 2014. therapy services. Dupule said she's contacted Gov. Greg Abbott's office to address funding in the special session. She's also attended several commit- tee hearings regarding the topic. Dupuie and her hus- band, Scott, are also trying to help donate money to non-profit organizations such as ECI. Working as realtors in the Dripping Springs area, the Dupuies offer to give 10 percent of their com- mission to homebuyer's charity of choice. "I don't want to see (ECI) go away. We know it's in jeopardy. We want to do our part to raise money for them and ensure it stays to help children in Central Texas," Dupuie said. + Bishop is a 5-year-old male Rottweiler/Heeler mix Chrysler is a 9-year-old male shorthaired brown who loves to play with his playmates in the play tabby with white who loves to sun bathe and yards and loves other people. Look at those ears! greet you with "meow" and a loving look from his This sweet guy is almost too perfect. Bishop is bright green eyes. This senior is fit as a fiddle greet with other dogs and people of all ages. If you and would fit purr-fectly into a new family that haven't stopped by to meet him, do so today! needs a couch snuggle buddy. PAWS Shelter and Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter operated primarily on donations and adoptions. 500 FM 150 E, Kyle, TX 512 268-1611 pawsshelter.org All animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. Buda Council: Lane will not run Continued from pg. 1A chapter in my life and be open to opportunities that arise." Lane said his recent retirement has provided "changes and challenges." However, Lane thanked the residents of Buda, city staff and former and present mayors and council members for the opportunity to serve for so long. "I am sincerely grateful to all current and former mayors and council members who offered their wisdom and support," Lane said. "Thank you citizens of Buda for allowing me to serve as your council member, mayor pro tern and mayor these past 17 years. Lane said open debate and discussion on the council has provided a platform to share individual viewpoints, Get involved Filing for the Nov. 7 Buda and Kyle elections ends Aug. 21. as well as assist him and served as the Mayor Pro others to "act in the best Tem on two occasions, as interest of all of Buda's well as the Mayor. citizens and ultimately do During Lane's tenure what's best for Buda." on the dais, Buda became Lane also thanked his a home-rule city and he wife, Julie, and his family was on the dais when the for their support during city's charter was crafted. this time of transition to Lane and his family the private sector, moved from Pflugerville "I ask that you to Buda in 1995. continue to support the It's unknown at City of Buda as we move this time if Place 5 through this next election city council member cycle and know that your Eileen Almiller will seek votes and your voices reelection in November. count," Lane said. According to the city Lane was first elected website, no one has to the Buda City officially filed for the Council dais in May Place 5 or Place 6 races. 2000, according to his Council member George biography on the city's Haehn filed for Mayor website. Since then, he's this week. + / / ii !ll: ...... ii ii ]I 7- i