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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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September 4, 2003     Hays Free Press
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September 4, 2003
 

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SePtember 4, 2003 Current Events Page 3 The Free Press BIG grants gathering little response BY DANIEL lVh Staff Writer Owners of Old Main Street Station, Donna Lewis and Sandra Grizzle, received a $5,000 grant from the Economic Development Council to fix up the exterior of their business on Main Street, Buda. (photo by Daniel Michael) UDA-The Buda Economic Development Corporation (El)C) recently sent checks in the amount of $5,000 and $2,000 from the Buda Improvement Grant (BIG) program to two local businesses. Why more downtown mer- chants aren't taking advantage of the program, which offers matching grants to improve the attractiveness of downtown businesses, remains a mystery to Buda EDC Director Warren Ketteman. Donna Lewis and Sandra Grizzle, owners of Old Main Street Station, were given $5,000 by the EDC, while they put up a $1,000 in State suggests HCISD changes Texas Comptroller Carole Keetot Strayhom's review of the Hays CISD turned up numerous recommen- clarions for savings in the school district. Listed below are the specifics of her proposal. Numbers placed in parentheses indicate adjustments that would cost the school district money. Recommendation 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 Educational Service Delivery Develop scope and sequence documents for all HCISD course and subject areas: ($5,640) ($5,640) ($5,640) ($5,640) ($5,740) Implement an online curriculum management program: ($15,000) ($8,000) ($8,000) ($8,000) ($8,000) Create benchmark tests to periodically evaluate the academic progress of students in the Bilingual/English as a Second Language program to improve Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills scores: ($14,520) ($14,520) ($14,520) ($14,520) ($14,520) Totals ($35,160) ($26,160) ($28,160) ($28,160) (128,260) Personnel Management Reorganize and re-align human resource functions in the division of Human Resources and Administration and eliminate unnecessary positions: $8,932 $151,878 $151,878 $151,878 $151,878 Align district staffing guidelines with industry standards and reducestaff accordingly: $174,167 $261,250 $261,250 $261,250 $261,250 Implement and monitor a controlled retirement incentive plan: $0 $122,584 $122,584 $462,435 $462,435 Totals $183,099 $535,712 $535,712 $875,563 $875,563 Facilities Use and Management Establish and implement a replacement policy for maintenance vehicles: $0 ($100,000) .($100,000) ($100,000) Establish and consistently apply custodial staffing formulas that meet industry standards: $71,520 $119,200 $119,200 $119,200 Develop and implement a districtwide energy management program using the State Energy ConserVation Plan: $158,318 , $316,636 $474,953 $474,953 $474,953 r Totals ...... $229,838 $335,835 $484,153 $494,153 $494,153 Financial Asset and Risk Management Offer annual continuing education training to all Finance support staff: ($1,008) ($1,008) ($1,008) ($1,008) ($1,008) Segregate the functions associated with establishing and changing employee wage and deduction information from the payroll calculation functions and hire a new payroll clerk: ($15,648) ($23,473) ($23,473) ($23,473) ($23,473) Reduce general operating disbursement frequency to twice per month: $15,380 $18,456 $18,456 $18,456 $18,456 Totals ($1,276) ($6,025) ($6,025) ($6,025) ($6,025) Food services Design and implement strategies to identify all students eligible for the free and reduced-price mean program: $0 $371,412 $371,412 $371,412 $371,412 Increase breakfast participation by using alternative methods of serving breakfast: $43,567 $87,314 $87,314 $87,314 $87,314 Establish a board policy to eliminate competitive food sales in the school cafeterias during breakfast and lunch periods: $32,877 $65,764 $65,764 $65,754 $65,764 Totals $76,534 $534,480 $524,480 $524,480 $524,480 Computers and Technology Consolidate HCISD technology-related functions: $29,768 $44,652 $44,652 $44,652 $44,652 Totals $29,768 $44,652 $44,652 $44,652 $44,652 Transportation Reorganize the Transportation Department, redefine the responsibilities of key positions and eliminate unnecessary positions: $153,224 $229,837 $229,837 $229,837 $229,837 Use the existing automated routing software to model bus routes for maximum efficiency and state reimbursement: $0 $165,032 $165,032 $165,032 $165,032 File for the full reimbursement for hazardous routes: $22,536 $22,536 $22,536 $22,536 $22,536 Implement student bus rider safety programs for pre-kindergarten through grade 3 students: ($700) ($700) ($700) ($700) ($700) Provide incentive for the mechanics to obtain professional certification in vehicle maintenance: $0 ($1,040) ($2,080) ($3,120) ($3,120) Totals $175,680 $415,625 $415,625 $413,585 $413,585 Safety and Security Require students at the high school to wear identification badges: ($2,768) ($3,076) Totals ($2,768) ($3,076) Total Savings $710,379 $1,976,540 Tote!costs ($55,284) ($157,457) Total $655,095 $1,819,083 Five-year savings: $9,971,195 Five-year costs: ($711,617) Grand Total: $9,059,578 ($3,356) ($3,358) $2,134,858 51158,777) ,976,081 ($100,000) $119,200 Five-year Total me-time ) ($28,300) $0 ($47,000) $0 ($72,660) ($1,880) ($147,900) ($1,880) $616,444 $0 $1,219,167 $0 $1,170,038 $0 $3,005,649 $0 ($400,000) $0 $548,320 $0 $1,899,812 $0 $2,048,132 $0 ($5,040) $0 ($109,640) $0 $89,204 $0 ($25,376) $0 $1,485,648 $0 $392,913 $0 $295,893 $0 $2,174,464 $0 $208,376 $0 $208,376 $0 $1,072,572 $0 $660,128 $0 $112,680 $0 ($3,500) $0 ($9,360) $0 $1,832,520 $o ($3,731) ($4,141) ($17,072) $0 ($3,731) ($4,141) ($17,072) $0 $2,474,709 $2,474,709 $9,771,195 $0 160,192) ($160,702) ($692,412) ($19,205) ,314,517 $2,314,007 $9,078,763 ($19,2051 matching funds to spruce up the out- side of their antiques and col- lectibles shop. Sue Gage, owner of Sue Ellen's, which sells plants and specialty gifts, also was given $2,000 for the improvements. Though Lewis and Grizzle own the building that houses both of the shops, each business owner quali- fies for the grants, which can only be used for exterior improvements. Grizzle said Main Street Station plans on replacing the three front doors and repainting the outside of the building. The business also plans on adding an iron fence along the perimeter of the vacant lot between the building and Main Street Caf with the grant money. Grizzle and Lewis will the do some landscaping in the lot, where they will sell outdoor furniture, planters and other merchandise. The EDC set aside $25,000 annually for the project. Applicants can qualify for as much as $5,000 in grants funds by providing $1,000 in matching funds. A business can also receive a $3,000 grant if it puts up $500, or it can receive a $2,000 grant with no matching funds. The Buda City Council approved the BIG program in May to improve downtown business's lighting, signage, windows, paint or other exterior features. Ketteman said he would like to see more appli- cants for the BIG grants. "The money is there," Ketteman said. "The board has voted for it. It's real." The EDC approved the grants at its Aug. 12 meeting and Ketteman said the checks should arrive in the hands of the recipients this week. "We're trying to provide an incentive to encourage desirable economic development down- town," Ketteman said. "We really like our downtown and we want to upgrade it. I get more positive feed- back on the downtown than any- thing else. Too many towns near the interstate have seen their down- towns disintegrate. We want to see our downtown grow. "We've got 100,000 cars a day going down the interstate," he said. "We have to give them a reason to get off the interstate and come downtown." Ketteman also said the grants would help the small business stretch their dollars, as well as help beautify the downtown area. "When you're a small business, every dollar counts," Ketteman said. "We're here to help business." Depending on the business's needs, the EDC can even contribute half of the grant money up front. Ketternan said grant recipients are required to send out for bids to contractors, or show receipts for supplies, if the business owners plan on doing the labor themselves. The EDC also asks for a before and after photograph in order to document the improvements. Ketteman said he sent applica- tions to many of the 30 to 40 down- town businesses, but he remains puzzled as to why only two have applied. He speculated that business owners night think there are strings attached. The EDC still has about $18,000 left in this year's BIG program fund. After the end of the fiscal year in October, the BIG Program will have another $25,000. "It's first come, first served," Ketteman said. [ AUTO OUTLET SAN MARCOS