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September 1, 2010     Hays Free Press
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September 1, 2010
 

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Hays Free Press September 1,2010 NEWS Page 3A + BY SEAN KIMMONS sean@haysfreepresslcom Buda murder and arson suspect Mark David Sim- mons was extradited back to Hays County last week after the county district attorney filed a governor's warrant to release him from Missouri, officials say. On Friday, Hays County Sheriff's Office deputies completed the extradition of Simmons, 51, who has been booked into the Hays County Iail for capital murder on a $300,000 bond set by Judge Margie Hernandez. In late ]une, Simmons sur- rendered peacefully after an eight and a half hour standoff in Missouri after police suspected that he had robbed two local motels. Simmons had tried to fight ex- tradition to Texas, where prosecutors could seek the death penalty if he is con- victed of killing his SIMMONS business partner, Steven Woefel, at his Buda home in April. He is accused of steal- ing firearms from Woefel's home after he allegedly tried to cover up evidence of the murder by burning the victim in the garage and causing an explosion in the home with a disconnected gas line to the stove and a lit candle nearby, investigators say. The sheriff's office says that it worked alongside the Texas Rangers and U.S. Mar- shal's Office to conduct the extradition. The extradition was expe- dited when the Taney County prosecutor in Branson, Mo., dropped a weapons charge against Simmons in July. Hays County District Attor- ney Sherri Tibbe then filed a "He can fight extradition, but one way or another he has to come back. It doesn't matter if he wants to or noL " -- Sherri Tibbe, Hays County District Attorney governor's warrant to retrieve an unwilling Simmons. "He can fight extradition, but one way or another he has to come back," Tibbe had said. "It doesn't matter if he wants to or not." Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell said that his office may pur- sue the gun charge and others related to the motel bur- glaries depending on the outcome of the murder trial, which has yet to be set. Simmons was on the run until the motel robberies in Branson caught up with him. Branson police say that he is suspected of rob- bing a Super 8 Motel at gun- point after unsuccessfully at- tempting to rob the Spinning Wheel Motel a few days be- fore the Iune 29 standoff. Branson police found Sim- mons' silver-blue 2008 Hyun- dai Sonata, believed to be used in the robberies, parked at the motel. Investigators ran the plates on the car and tied the vehicle to the Hays County case. Simmons' mother, Wanda Simmons, had said that her son, a paranoid schizophren- ic not currently medicated, store the Hyundai from her home in Rockport, Texas, on April 1, the last time she saw him. On April 17, Woelfel was discovered in the charred rubble of his garage. Inves- tigators say the 55-year-old had been dead for at least a week. Authorities believe Sim- mons was staying with Woelfel and started the fire to cover up his murder. It ap- pears that he also rigged the house to explode and possi- bly harm emergency person- nel called out to the fire, an arrest affidavit said. About five minutes after Buda firefighters arrived at the garage fire, an explosion blew out the windows of the home and ripped the back wall off the structure. No in- juries were reported. A strong odor of cleaning products was also detected throughout the house. The guest bedroom and bath- room in Woelfel's home were wiped clean and linens were stripped from the bed, as if the person living with him wanted to hide his identity, the affidavit says. Investigators say that bed- ding was located in the burnt garage along with a torn-up note, matching Simmons' handwriting, on how to clean up a crime scene. Sources close to the investigation say" Woelfel was shot in the head execution-style. Simmons also has an active arrest warrant out of Aransas County, Texas for illegal pos- session of a firearm by a con- victed felon. The City of Kyle conducted public hearings on August 17, 2010 and August 31,2010 on a pro- posalto increase the total tax revenues of the City of Kyle from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 2.48 percent. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised last year at last year's tax rate of $0.4240 for each $100 .of taxable value was $5,659,406. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of $0.4539 for each $100 of taxable value, excluding tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $5,552,467. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of $0.4539 for each $100 of taxable value, including tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $5,982,966. The City Council of City of Kyle is scheduled to vote on the tax rate that will result in that tax in- crease at a public meeting to be held on Septem- ber 13, 2010 at Kyle City Hall, 100 West Center St., Kyle, TX 78640 at 6:30 pm. Danfoss ChaUeff: 120 jobs gone Continued from pg. 1A Chatham and O.O. Shurtleff quickly secure a new lease started Chatleff Controls in contract. Austin about 50 years ago. Business Support Man- After being acquired by Cal- ager Tim O'Grady said the casieu Lumber Company company would wind down in thd late 1950s, the Ohio- production in Buda by the based A-T-O Inc. bought out end of the year and move to the company in 1969. an existing facility they own In the down economy of in Monterrey. 1975, A-T-O transferred em- Employees were surprised ployee Ray Henderson to by the move, he said, but Austin to take over the ailing the company has promised company, a strong severance pack- In 1978, Henderson and age and help finding new his wife bought out the jobs. Most of the employees 30-person operation. With live within Hays County, Austin rents skyrocketing O'Gradysaid. in the mid-80s, the family "I'm in the same boat as bought four acres of land in Buda and built the plant with a Small Business Ad- ministration (SBA) loan, ulti- mately expanding it to about 60,000 square feet. Hender- son patented several new air conditioning components that allowed Chatleffto grow rapidly. The company had 250 employees and net sales of approximately $42 million in 2006, and by 2007 the family said sales neared $50 million. During sale negotiations, the Hendersons split the company into two parts, selling the larger Chatleff component to Danfoss. Their son Randy Henderson runs the smaller Lockhart- based company now known as Henderson Controls. That company may hire a small number of the laid-off Dan- foss workers, Ray Hender- son said. The family still maintains ownership of the Buda land and plant. Danfoss has two years remaining on the five- year lease, the Hendersous said. City officials said they hoped to see the facility everybody hem," O'Grady said. "I am going to be reaching out to other local employers and trying to find good positions, because this is a very dedicated, hard- working group of people that have proven their work here. I know I would hire them." O'Grady has reached out to Buda Economic Devel- opment Director Warren Ketteman. Despite the down economy; Ketteman said Hays County's manufactur- ing base is still strong. "That's going to be the big push, to help those folks find employment in this area," Ketteman said. "That's going to be the first and most im- portant thingwe'll do." The U.S. has shed about 5.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade, due in part to outsourcing~ ac- cording to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "This did not happen be- cause of anything our work- ers did," O'Grady said. "We all need to hold our heads high. It's a business decision and it's out of our hands. Things like this happen all over the world every day." Kyle Recycling Continued from lag. 1A Some estimates show Kyle's population spiking to 90,000 by the year 2040. With rapid growth, councilmem- hers say recycling is essential to keep the strain off the lo- cal landfill, which currently handles 12,000 tons of trash a week. "I feel that recycling has become a service that Kyie residents expect," Mayor Lucy Johnson said. She looks forward to the larger, covel~t bins instead of the small 18-gallon recycling bin outside her home, which occasionally blows away along with its contents, she said. However, the extra cost and space that the tth,~-cart service would entail could be a burden to some. "I don't think it should be forced on people," Kyie resi- dent Jerry Kolacny said during public comments. Councilmember Jaime Sanchez agreed: "I can't see myself imposing the cost in this recession to people who can't afford it." Fraumann said that TDS plans to spend seven figures to roll out the program dty- wide for new trucks, bins and employees. Recyclables would be sorted through a new 100,000-square- foot recycling center slated to open this month at the 1,750-acre landfill site. The new recycling center will handle 20 tons of recyclables per hour and bring in 100 new jobs, Fraumann said. Jthough the program costs more, he believes there's value to it. The shorter a landfill's lifespan, the more it will cost residents in the future. "Over the long term, it's the less expensive wayto go," he said. Property Northeast Hays Tax Rates in #2 This notice concerns 2010 property tax rates for Northeast Hays County ESD #2. It presents information about three tax rates. Last years tax rate is the actual rate the taxing unit used to determine property taxes last year. This year's effective tax rate would impose the same total taxes as last year if you compare properties taxed in both years. This yeags rollback tax rate is the highest tax rate the taxing unit can set before taxpayers can start tax rollback procedures. In each case these rates are found by dividing the total amount of taxes by the tax base (the total value of taxable property) with adjustments as required by state law. The rates are given per $100 of property value. Last year's tax rate: Last year's operating taxes $495,767 Last year's debt taxes $0 Last year's total taxes $495,767 Last year's tax base $1,652,556,667 Last year's total tax rate 0.0300/$100 This year's effective tax rate: Last year's adjusted taxes $495,289 (after subtracting taxes on lost property) + This year's adjusted tax base (after subtracting value of new property) = This year's effective tax rate 0.0311/$100 (Maximum rate unless unit publishes notices and holds hearings.) This year's rollback tax rate: Last year's adjusted operating taxes (after $495,289 subtracting taxes on lost property and adjusting for any transferred function, tax increment financing, state criminal justice mandate, and/or enhanced indigent health care expenditures) $1,588,445,420 + This year's adjusted tax base $1,588,445,420 = This year's effective operating rate 0.0311/$100 x 1.08 = this year's maximum operating rate 0.0335/$100 + This year's debt rate 0.0000/$100 = This year's total rollback rate 0.0335/$100 Statement of Increase/Decrease If Northeast Hays County ESD #2 adopts a 2010 tax rate equal to the effective tax rate of $0.0311 per $100 of value, taxes would increase compared to 2009 taxes by $25,538. Schedule A - Unencumbered Fund Balances The following estimated balances will be left in the unit's property tax accounts at the end of the fiscal year. These balances are not encumbered by a corresponding debt obligation. Type of Property Tax Fund Balance General Fund $750,000 This notice contains a summary of actual effective and rollback tax rates' calculations. You can inpeer a copy of the full calculations at 102 N. LBJ Drive, Courthouse Annex, San Marcos, TX 78666. Name of person preparing this notice: Luanne Caraway Title: Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector Date Prepared: August 2, 2010 + HlllBiMa[| IIII|]IHIOHHI II Ii 1 " IIII1 I llllil li