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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
September 8, 2010     Hays Free Press
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September 8, 2010

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IJ[ IIIII1| UGHTS OUT, BEARS Lobos leaves San Antonio Edison unplugged after first victory. - Page 1B PHOENIX AWARD Local emergency personnel recognized for life-saving efforts. - Page lC @Barton Publications, Inc. 108* No. 22 00:ii!!ili0000 i i! Serving Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County 75 Kyle council approves new budget, tax rate decrease BY SEAN KJMMONS In a financial twist, Kyle residents will now pay almost four cents less in prop- erty taxes next year compared to the three-cent hike first proposed in luly. On Tuesday night, the Kyle City Council approved a revamped Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget, which lowers the tax rate to 41.54 cents per $100 property evaluadon. The first proposed budget had a taxrate of 45.39 cents and the cur- rent tax rate is 42.4 cents. "Nowwe'relooking at a tax decrease," Interim City Manager ]ames Earp told the council. The lower tax rate was made possible in part from the cotmcirs earUer deci- sion to reapply $2 million bond from a 2008 bond to buy land for an economic development park. The funds will be re-appropriated and include $400,000 to help pay for the new library infrastructure and Bur- leson Road sidewalk project. In addi- tion to the impact seen in this year's tax rate, the move also allows for a 3.2 cent decrease in property tax_es over the next four years, officials said. Seemingly a win-win situation, the decision still worried a few coun- cilmembers who wanted to rein in spending even further. "This is a good option. However, , J i it brings about some big concerns," Councilmember Brad Pickett said. Pickett, who voted against the move along with Councilmember laime San- chez, said that he was wanting to put money away in escrow to pay off fu- ture debt and is concerned about the restrictions that forbid the council to pay off debt already accumulated. Plus, councils, years from now, could tap into See KYLE BUDGET, pg. 3A BytlU mlmbt00,,. CITY OF KYLE TAX RATE 2010/11 - 41.54 cents 2009/10 - 42.40 cents 2008/09 - 37.31 cents 2007108 - 27.07 cents 2006/07 - 27.24 cents 2005/05 - 27.77 cents 2004/05 - 28.71 cents Stormy weather Flash floods wash over Hays County BY JEN BIUNDO Tropical Storm Hermine tracked a soggy path through central Texas Tuesday, dumping several inches of rain on a thirsty region that had declared a bum ban just seven days earlier. As of press time Wednesday morning, a flash floodwatch from the National, Weather Ser- vice remained ir nbon. But lo- ordinators said the storm, which soaked northern Mexico and the Rio GrandeValley before skirting west of the Austin area, didn't cause any large-scale problems. 'As far as any significant flooding there has been none," said Hays County Emergency Services Coordinator leffTumer. "We've got a few roads dosed in the Wunberley area and the typi- cal spots in Kyle." Original projections suggest- ed Hermine could dump a foot of rain on Central Texas. As of Wednesday moming 5.87 inch- es of rainfall had been record in Kyle and more rain forecasted for today. Buda and Kyle saw several road closures at low water cross- ings, including Burleson Road south of U-I-35, Dacy Lane, Plum Creek Lane, Post Road, Cimar- ron Park, Cole Springs Road and Robert S. Light Blvd. Hays CISD monitored the storm throughout the da but didn't release students early, said Hays CISD spokesperson ]ulie Jerome. Local fire departments also spent the day with an eye on the radar, but the storm brought little in the way of emergencies. Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby said he wasn't aware of any ma- jor flooding in the area, and said RI01 ! UI IgMM0 Recent rains caught locals by surprise as witnessed in the Kyle HEB parking 10t where shoppers were seen racing to their cars. his flreflghters didn't respond to any weather-related accidents. ""Right here in the Buda area, it was pretty uneventful," Huck- abysaid. The Kyle Fire Department also didn't report any major incidents, said Battalion Chief Marco Wren. "The storm didn't come in like they thought it would," Wren said. With rainfall expected to con- tinue through Thursday, Kyle Deputy Fire Chief Rick Beaman said the department would con- tinue to monitor levels in local waterways. 'As the storm moves to the north, we don't want to see any spilling of the rivers from heavy rainfalls north of us," Beaman said. Hays County, colloquially dubbed "flash flood alley," has seen a number of deadly acci- dents in recent years, With mo- torists swept away as they tried to cross fooded roads. See FLASH FLOODING, pg. 6A Buda man killed on 1-35 access BY KAY RICHTER A Buda man died after be- ing struck by a vehicle early Saturday mom- ingashe walked along the inside lane of the south - bound access road of Interstate 35 near ROBERTS Cabela's. Donald Scott Roberts, 28, was hit by a 2009 Honda Civic driven by Nathaniel Vfllegas of Buda at about 5:15 a.m. Ac- cording to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesper- son, Lisa Block, V'dlegas was treated for non-incapacitating injuries at the scene. Investigators said that Roberts was returning home from his job as a bartender at Comfort Suites in Buda. According to the victim's brother, Mike Stuart, also a Buda resident, Roberts did not own a vehicle and was plan- ning to purchase one in the near future. Roberts leaves behind his wife, Nancy Roberts, 23, and his infant son, DJ (Dorian lake). His wife described him as an aspiring musician. "He loved playing the guitar, and every morning he would play the guitar for our son," Nancy Roberts said. Stuart also described Rob- erts as a musically inclined person. "He wrote all kinds of music including rap and hip hop but his passion was always the guitar," Stuart said. Robert's mother, Carolyn Deripasak, indicated that her son often liked to walk places. See BUDA DEATH, pg. 6A ? i  ii  Buda adopts wisll list for capital projects BY JEN BIUNDO The city of Buda's official Wish list approved by councilmembers Tues- day night includes nearly $100 million in projects over the next five years. But city leaders say it's difficult, if not impossible, to speculate on how much of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) they'll actually tackle over the course of the next five years. Though some big-ticket items such as a new $4.4 million library may fall by the wayside in a tight econom councilmembers said the CIP will act as a placeholder to keep the city on track. "Sometimes things get forgotten or bypassed," said Councilmember Cathy Chilcote. "I think it's really important to keep these projects up front and or= the table." Early this year, councilmembers had considered floating a bond is-. suance to fund some of the projects.. But Buda Mayor Bobby Lane said that: after a right budget year in which the city struggled to provide services while, not making cuts, he didn't anticipate, considering any bond issuances in the next year. "When the economy starts to pick: up again I can definitely see Buda go- ing out to bond to improve the quality of life, but right now we're just in hold steady mode," said Councilmember Tom Crouse. The council approved the five-year Capital Improvement Plan unani- mously in a 6-0 vote, With Coun- cilmember Scott Dodd absent. The city's enneering firm Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam prepared the document. The biggest slice of the pie includes nearly $60 million in proposed road- work, including $1.3 million to recon- struct Bluff Street and $7.7 million to extend the Track Bypass from FM 967 to FM 2770. Meanwhile, the city is also planning to do many road improve- ments in-house. "We had $11 million worth of street work that needed to be done, and instead we bought a $93,000 truck and the staff is going to do it," Coun- cilmember Sandra Tenorio said. While there's little chance that the city, with an $11 million annual bud- get, could tackle $60 million in trans- portation spending in the next half- decade, councilrnembers say some projects could be funded through de- velopment agreements or grant fund- ing. The city is also looking to complete about $16 million each in water and wastewater infrastructure projects, in- eluding $6 million the city has commit - ted to the Hays-Caldwell Public Utility Agency for its six percent share in the construction of a pipeline that would supply cheap groundwater from the Cariz2o -W'flcox Aquifer. The CIP also includes about $3 mil- lion in debt that the council voted to issue this May for several critical See BUDA BUDGET, pg. 6A A snapshot of mixed drink sales at bars and restaurants in Hays County's corridor cities. 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