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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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December 29, 2010     Hays Free Press
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December 29, 2010
 

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i]NI]!B!LIIIHLI If I lUlanm Page 4A # NEWS Hays Free Press December 29, 2010 + Buda Year in Review Continued from pg. 1A U.$.FOODSSAGA . A September groundbreak- hag ceremony marked the end of a long and contentious road in U.S. Foodservice's two-year fight to build its $50 million regional distribution center east of Buda in the Sunfield development. Members of the group BudaFirst sued the city of Buda last year, arguing that councilmembers violated the citizens' rights when they re- fused to honor a petition call- hag for a referendum election opposing the development. After lower courts threw out the lawsuit, the state Supreme .,d mied the suit without ~j~e ease; giving U.S. 9 !i tto BUDA FIREDEPT. FIRED UP 2010 saw the culmination of several long-term goals for the Buda Fire Department. In~ober, Fire Chief Clay Hgckaby brought EMS ser- vi#es in-house, taking over afnbulance services from the contracted San Marcos/ Hays County EMS. And over the summer, after five years of preparation, Buda's Public Protection Classification (PPC), a ranking which measures how well a fire department can pro- tect property, improved from a 7 to a 3, resulting in savings of up to 30 percent on property insurance. The department also opened the city's third fire station, located on the east side in the Sunfield development. OUTSOURCED One of Buda's oldest and largest industrial employ- ers, Danfoss Chafleff LLC, announced this summer that it would shutter the Buda Mayor Bobby Lane, with Chief days a week. 62,000-square-foot Goforth Road plant and outsource 120 jobs to Mexico. The Company builds cooling and heating components. In 2007, the Denmark-based company Danfoss bought Chatleff Con- trois from Austin couple Ray and Carolyn Henderson, who built the Buda plant about 25 years ago. The family main- tains ownership of the land and plant. WOELFEL MURDER Buda's first murder in recent memory culminated in a manhunt and SWAT stand- offin the Ozarks. Mark Da~d simmons, 51, is expected to plead insanity in the April murder of his business part- ner Steven WoelfeL Simmons allegedly shot Woelfel, 55, a week before setting the slain PHOTO BY JEN BIUN90 Bo Kidd beside him, sveears in the first Buda Police Department. The new officers will work 12-hour shifts, seven man's Buda home o,n fire, and PARKS ARE BUDA-FUL rigging the kitchen ~tove to 2010 was a good year explode just as firefighters for parks in Buda. Though arrived on the scene. No first you couldn't tell it from the responders were injured, steady stream of visitors Simmons' mother, who de- slipping around the closed scribed her son as an unmedi- gate, the long-delayed cated paranoid scb_izophrenic, Stagecoach Park officially said Simmons stole her Hyundai Sonata before the alleged murder. The vehicle was linked to armed robberies in Branson, Mo., where police arrested Simmons iin June after an eight-hour standoff. He was extradited t~o Hays CounW, wbere he remains in jail. Simmons also faces un- related charges for being in possession of a firearm while on probation for a previous weapons charge in College Station. He told police he was stockpiling weapons for the upcoming racial war. opened in March, two years behind schedule, follow- ing contractor issues and a lawsuit. The rustic 52-acre nature park features hik- ing trails, a fishing pond, a windmill attached to a splashing water cistern, pavilion, playscape and wildflower areas. The park is named for the historic stagecoach stop on the property. However, Buda's next park in the works will feature less nature and more concrete. In September, local teenag- ers organized and urged the council to build a skate- board park. Two months lat- er, Buda secured $140,000 in county park bond funds for the proposed 10,000-square- foot skate park on south FM 967 (South Loop 4).The county also allocated $310,000 for improvements to the Bradfield Park trail, including one mile of trails and one mile of sidewalks to link Goforth Road and Brad- field residents to Stagecoach Park and Main Street. The county also finalized a $9.9 million conservation easement on the Dahlstrom Ranch just west of Buda. The deal will preserve in per- petuity 2,254 environmen- tally sensitive acres on the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, including about 200 acres that will be open to the public. GOOD TIMES IN BUDA Buda's festival and enter- tainment scene got a boost from the city's recently-hired tourism director, Alisha Bur- row. A crowd of thousands turned out to the historically laid-back Boo-dah Halloween Festival, while other events also saw high turnout. The year also saw a resurrection of the Buda Farmers Market, with local farmers and vendors gathering several times a month to sell fresh produce, jams, baked goods and more. To help keep the tourists coming, the city commis- sioned a $25,000 branding campaign from Dallas-based advertising firm Ariamedla, to research and design a brand- ing campaign for the city, including elements like logos, taglines and a marketing com- munications plan. ROADWORK This year saw a flurry of roadwork throughout the county, and Buda was no exception. Work is underway on a new bridge at the south-. em terminus of Buda's truck bypass. Officials hope the new bridge will help alleviate traffic headaches caused when interstate access roads were converted from two-way to one-way this spring. With no overpasses between FM 2001 in Buda and Dry Hole Road in Kyle, motorists and heavy commercial trucks heading north on Interstate 35 must now detour south about four miles. The new overpass will provide fast access to the northbound interstate. The city originally had planned to build a connector road linking Goforth Road to northbound IH-35 prior to the one-way conversion of the access roads, but later decided the cost was too prohibitive. Kyle Year in Review Continued from pg. 1A temporarily filled by Assistant City Manager James Earp after former City Manager Tom Mattls resigned in April among concerns about his performance. As part of his contract, Mattis was expected to receive up to $250,000 in termination pay. CITY COUNCIL SHUFFLE At the age of 26, Coun- cilmember Lucy Johnson became the youngest mayor in Kyle history following a Feb. 13 special election. Coun- Cflrnembers Russ Huebner and Jaime Sanchez also won enough votes to be elected to fill in Johnson's councilmem- ber role as well as former councilmember Ray Bryant's slot. Former mayor Mike Gonzalez had resigned to vie for the seat of Hays County Pct. 2 commissioner. In May, councilmembers Diane Her- vol and Brad Pickett won their elections to replace former councilmember David Salazar, who did not seek re-election; the other slot belonged to for- mer councilmember Michelle Lopez, who resigned to run for mayor. KYLE COP RRED IN PEDOPHILE CASE After an arbitration hearing, a hearing examiner upheld the firing eta police officer who let an alleged pedophile drive away with a 14-year-old runaway during a traffic stop in February. Police Chief Michael Blake terminated Officer Karl Cranek for not properly in- vestigating the scene when he stopped Kyle resident Dustin McFall, who had the minor in the car. McFall, 33, and the boy were eventually detained upon re-entering the U.S. from Mexi- co. McFall is currently in prison awaiting trial on two counts of sexual assault of a child, as well as an earlier assault causing bodily injury charge. His trial has been pushed back to lan. 10 at the 22nd District Court in San Marcos. INFANT DIES,,CARETAKER ARRESTED Christina 8 annc Ly- ons, 32, turned herself in to authorities in late November after the Hays Co ty District Attorney s Office~ ~i bail to $500,~ to the death of a i baby and chest injuries at her home daycare in Kyle. Lyons is cur- rently in jail for first-degree felony of injury to a child. WASTE'WATER:LEAK Roughly one million gallons of untreated and undertreated wastewater spilled into an unnamed tributary of Plum Creek on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 when a pump at the intake area at the Kyle wastewater treatment plant failed to en- gage, causing a backup of sew- age. When the problem was discovered, workers turned on booster pumps which sent the backed up wastewater into the plant and caused under- treated effluent to spill out the other end into the creek. The spill is blamed for the death of about 2,000 fish in the creek between the plant and Plum Creeks crossing at Texas 21. Aqua Texas, the contractor that operates the plant for the city, faces fines from the Texas Commission on Environmen- tal Quality. KYLE'S NEW UFELINE The mammoth 21,000-square-foot Kyle Fire Station #1 on Main Street opened earlier this year, boasting enough room for six fire and rescue vehicles in its three large bays and 13 bedrooms for firefighters on rest between calls. The $3.6 million building also has a large classroom for training purposes. TAX CUTS IN BUDGET A, frugal city council allowed Kyle residents to pay almost four cents less in property The new $2.6 million Kyle Public Works grown drastically over the past year. Department site adds roughly 10,000 square PH01~ BY SEAN KIMMONS feet of workspace to the maturing department, which has taxes this fiscal year compared to the three-cent hike first proposed in July. In Septem- ber, the council approved a revamped FiscalYear 2010-11 budget, which lowered the tax rate to 41.54 cents per $100 property evaluation. The first proposed budget had a tax rate of 45.39 cents and last year's tax rate was 42.4 cents. The lower tax rate was made pos- sible in part by the council's decision to reapply $2 million from a 2008 bond which was to be used to buy land for an economic development park. The council also spent hours in budget workshops trim- ruing the proposed budget by more than $257,000. The city still has an outstanding debt of $68.7 million. KYLE CEMETERY DESECRATEO In June, the Kyle Cemetery had at least 33 gravesites vandalized, including those of the grandparents of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kath- erine Anne Porter, confeder= ate soldiers Charles Word and Major Edward Burleson, members of the Kyle, Groos and Whisenant families, and Ed Green, a prominent San Marcos politician and great- grandfather of actor Robert Redford. The cemetery is the oldest community cemetery still in use in Hays County and is maintained by a volunteer committee. Hays County Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 cash reward in August for any information leading to the arrest of the vandals. PUBLIC WORKS GETS THE WORKS In August, the maturing Kyle Public Works Department moved out of its deteriorat- ing headquarters into a new $2.6 million site on the city's eastside. The 14,000-square- The large, eco-friendly maintenance bays at the site include top-lit win- dows to provide natural lighting. foot site added roughly 10,000 square feet of workspace compared to its previous ag- ing metal hanger shop, a few miles down the road on FM 150. The new site, comprised of two buildings, is home to the public works administra- tion and maintenance bays. The department maintains city streets, water systems, wastewater systems, and drainage systems as well as other responsibilities. + 295-9444 Station Open Everyday Buda 295-6008 Get Your Flu Shot Before the Flu Gets You! lhe Hays Free Press will be closed Friday, Dec. 31 for New Years. ': +