San Marcos - Buda - Kyle | April 2021

SANMARCOS BUDA KYLE EDITION

VOLUME 10, ISSUE 12  APRIL 12MAY 9, 2021

ONLINE AT

INVESTING IN

The Texas Department of Transportation is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into improvements to the I-35 corridor throughout Hays and Comal counties.

upcoming projects

projects underway

Hays County

Comal County

$67.6M $106.8M

$107M $400M

IMPACTS

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$681.4M TOTAL :

Dacy Lane in Kyle getting an upgrade

SOURCE: TXDOT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TRANSPORTATION

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INSIDE

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Crews carry out work on I35 as part of the FM 306 to Hays County line project.

WARREN BROWNCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

PUBLIC SAFETY

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AMAZON EXPANDS Amazon is the largest employer in Hays County with more than 5,000 employees. San Marcos facilities will add to its percentage of those jobs this year, when Amazon opens a second facility in the city that will become the county’s fourth.

Hays County is consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing in the country, and a key indicator of the county’s growth is Amazon, its largest employer, which will expand by the end of this year with a 1,005,000-square-foot delivery center in San Marcos. The new delivery center, known as SAT6, will be the fourth and largest Amazon operation in the county. The rst, an 855,000-square-foot fulllment center in San Marcos called SAT2, opened in August 2016 with initial employment estimates ranging from 350-1,000. However, those estimates proved conservative. CONTINUED ON 24 Jobs, tax revenue and unknowns highlight Amazon’s local growth BY WARREN BROWN

Eco-friendly buses coming to Hays CISD

2016 San Marcos FULFILLMENT CENTER

EDUCATION 2021 LOCAL VOTER GUIDE SAMPLE BALLOT

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101 acres

855,000 square feet

Full-, part-time positions: 4,400

2021 San Marcos DELIVERY STATION

Hundreds of full-, part-time positions

70 acres

1,005,000 square feet

SOURCES: AMAZON.COM SERVICES LLC, GREATER SAN MARCOS PARTNERSHIP, HAYS COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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and trust use.

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SKATE NIGHTS AT ASH PAVILION Family Skate Nights are a great opportunity to get the family out together and skate to awesome music at Ash Pavilion. Music, lights & concessions are all a part of the fun. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Location: Ash Pavilion at Gregg-Clarke Park, 1231 W. Center St. Times: April 23, May 21, June 18 and July 16 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. For more info, visit www.cityofkyle.com/recreation

First day of Summer Camp is May 31, 2021!

MARKET DAYS Local vendors, arts & crafts, farm to market items, live music and MORE! Location: Gregg-Clarke Park, 1231 W. Center St. Time: Every second Saturday of the Month May thru August from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. September 12 - Squeeze Box Market Day Featuring Accordion Music, 9 a.m - 7 p.m. 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS Join the City of Kyle in celebrating the Fourth of July with the Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Show on Sunday, July 4.

KYLE NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUP Bring your bags, bulky waste and the junk piling up in the corner and drop it off for free! Location: Gregg-Clarke Park, 1231 W. Center St. Time: June 5 from 8 - 11:30 a.m.

HEROES MEMORIAL PARK GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION Join us for the groundbreaking of the new Heroes Memorial Park located at FM 1626 and Kohlers Crossing on Memorial Day!

SUMMER MASS FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENTS Drive-thru food drive is free for all while supplies last

April 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. May 22, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. June 26, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Located at ACC Hays campus 1200 Kohlers Crossing

The fireworks will be launched at sundown, approximately 9 p.m.

KYLE PUBLIC LIBRARY Virtual Summer Reading Program: Bounty of Books! Pirate-themed reading, ahoy!

SAVE THE DATE FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND! Join us Labor Day Weekend for the Pie in the Sky Hot Air Balloon Festival. Festivities include hot air balloon events, live music, local vendors, a pie baking contest and pie eating contests, and the Gathering of the Kyles — our annual Guinness World Record! For more info, visit www.pieinthesky.com

Follow us on social @cityofkyletx

For more information on events and programs, visit cityofkyle.com/calendar

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SAN MARCOS - BUDA - KYLE EDITION • APRIL 2021

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMHEATHER: The I-35 corridor is undergoing a multibillion-dollar renovation throughout Central Texas, and a sizable portion of those upgrades are taking place from the northern border of Hays County to the southern border of Comal County. This issue provides an update on how the numerous projects spanning that length of I-35 are going as well as what we can expect from future projects. Heather Demere, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMBRIAN: If you have lived along the corridor that includes Buda, Kyle and San Marcos for the last several years, you have no doubt noticed the ever-growing presence of Amazon distribution and sortation centers. In this issue, Senior Reporter Warren Brown takes an in-depth look at the economic eects that are ongoing and will continue to happen as a result of Amazon’s residence in our community. Brian Rash, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Heather Demere EDITOR Brian Rash SENIOR REPORTER Warren Brown GRAPHIC DESIGNER Rachal Russell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Adrian Martinez METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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SAN MARCOS  BUDA  KYLE EDITION • APRIL 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

BRIAN RASHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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ness attire. 512-754-9983. Facebook: Suit Gallery 7 Wild Rice Studio , located at 136 S. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, held its rst soft opening event March 21. The yoga and tness studio welcomes students of all ability levels and oers a diverse group of teachers and classes. 512-216-6976. www.wildricestudiosmtx.com COMING SOON 8 Apple partner store Simply Mac , which provides new and preowned Apple products and accessories as well as customer service, signed a lease in March to operate at 200 Springtown Way, Ste. 122, San Marcos, within The Lyndon at Springtown. A specic date has not yet been released for when the store will open. www.store.simplymac.com RELOCATIONS 9 AquaBrew Brewery & Beer Garden , which celebrated ve years in business March 16, has relocated to 110 E. MLK Drive, Ste. 130, San Marcos, at the former Hops & Grain location. AquaBrew moved into the new location March 5, and it oers up to 25 dierent beers and continue to release new styles. 512-353-2739. www.aqua-brew.com EXPANSIONS 10 Cabana Clean , located at 100 Com- mons Road, Ste. 11, Dripping Springs, expanded its services April 1 to Buda, Kyle and San Marcos. Services oered include a high-quality, single-service

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WONDER WORLD DR.

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NOWOPEN 1 National restaurant chain Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen opened Feb. 8 at its newest location at 2540 S. I-35, San Marcos. Cheddar’s oers a range of menu options, including baby back ribs, large salads, appetizers, burgers, chick- en-fried steak, seafood and desserts. 512-392-5308. www.cheddars.com 2 After undergoing new ownership this year, Great Tans , located at 1515 Aquarena Springs Drive, Ste. 104, San Marcos, had its grand reopening at the beginning of April. The salon oers a va-

riety of ultraviolet tanning packages as well as MyMyst HD UV Free and Califor- nia Tan airbrush tanning. 512-805-8267. www.great-tans.com 3 Hamburger and shake eatery Johnny Rockets opened April 2 at its location within the San Marcos Premium Outlets at 3939 I-35, Ste. 900, San Marcos. The restaurant serves various kinds of burgers, shakes, salads, sandwiches, kids meals and appetizers. 512-392-5575. www.johnnyrockets.com 4 National chain Marco’s Pizza opened a location at 1104 Thorpe Lane, Ste. B, San Marcos, at the end of 2020. The

restaurant has a variety of pizzas and other menu items, including pizza bowls, subs, salads, sides and desserts. 737-266-2700. www.marcos.com 5 Olivia Pressley Hair Co. , located at 1520 Old RR 12, San Marcos, opened for business March 22. Olivia Pressley is a full-service salon that provides a number of services, from the latest haircut styles to balayage coloring. 512-214-8141 6 Suit Gallery opened at 3939 I-35, Ste. 302, within the San Marcos Premi- um Outlets, at the end of March. The store specializes in suits and tuxedos as well as accessories for formal and busi-

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN & BRIAN RASH

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AquaBrew Brewery & Beer Garden

Cabana Clean

COURTESY AQUABREW

COURTESY CABANA CLEAN

weekly, biweekly or monthly residen- tial cleaning. Cabana Clean oers fully trained professionals who focus on quality over speed. Specic pricing is available on the company’s website. 512-534-9011. www.cabanaclean.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 54th Street Grill & Bar , located at 1303 S. I-35, San Marcos, celebrated its fth anniversary March 14. The estab- lishment serves an extensive menu that includes appetizers, steaks, seafood, soups and salads. 512-396-5400. www.54thstreetgrill.com 12 The Growling Texas Beer Bar , located at 700 N. LBJ Drive, Ste. 111, San Marcos, celebrated its fth anniver- sary in mid-March. The establishment oers an extensive lineup of Texas craft beer, cider, mead and wine that can be enjoyed in-house or purchased to-go. 512-216-6044. www.thegrowling.com 13 Area swim instruction business iSwim4Life celebrated its fth anniversary March 21. Located at 4105 Hunter Road, Bldg. 15, San Marcos, the company oers swim lessons for people of all ages and experience levels, from infants through adults, and beginners through competitive swimmers. 512-641-0545. www.iswim4life.com 14 Opened a decade ago by brothers Chase and Seth Katz, Zelicks , located at 336 W. Hopkins St., San Marcos, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May. The establishment oers a variety of craft beers and cocktails as well as food specials, televisions, a pool table

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Stonebound Treasures held its grand opening event with live music March 28.

COURTESY STONEBOUND TREASURES

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN A new shop called Stonebound Treasures held a grand opening March 28 at its location at 1232 Hwy. 123, San Marcos. The business is open daily from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. and had its soft opening March 13. The shop specializes in dierent types of gems, minerals, stones, crystals, jewelry, books, incense, plants and other items, and it also sells items from its website and social media accounts. Also included in the shop’s inventory are Tarot and Oracle cards, bath The company opened its rst location in 1990 and oers recreational classes, preschool play, tumbling and dance. The gyms also have competitive and all-star cheerleading as well as a competitive gymnastics team. 830-606-0375. www.jandrgymnastics.com 16 Texas Western Wearhouse , located at 4200 I-35, Ste. 200, San Marcos, is closing permanently by the end of June. The store oers a wide selection of inven- tory that includes leather goods, Western wear and more. The Western-themed shop will still have locations open at

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COURTESY ISWIM4LIFE

area and a full bar outside that includes patio-themed seating and Texas-inspired games such as washers and cornhole. 512-757-8787. www.zelickssmtx.com COMMUNITY On March 31, a national program called 1 Million Cups , which helps connect and educate local entrepreneurs, began hosting free networking events in San Marcos on the last Wednesday of each month for business owners, innovators, funders and other interested community members. The program is active in near- ly 200 communities and was developed by the Kauman Foundation. More information on the monthly networking event’s time and locations can be found at www.1millioncups.com CLOSINGS 15 J&R Gymnastics closed its San Marcos location at 211 S. Stagecoach Trail in early February but still operates locations in New Braunfels and Seguin.

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and beauty products, home decor accessories and constellation pendants. 512-749-1388 www.stoneboundtreasures.com

several other locations throughout Texas, including San Antonio. 512-667-6440. www.texaswesternwearhouse.com 17 The Van Heusen/Izod store located within the San Marcos Premium Outlets mall at 3939 I-35, Ste. 325, San Marcos, is closing permanently in July according to information from the business. The store sells numerous items of clothing and accessories from both brands, and representatives of the store said each week prices are subject to change. 512-353-7555. www.vanheusen. partnerbrands.com/en

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SAN MARCOS  BUDA  KYLE EDITION • APRIL 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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Abby’s Crab Shack

Memorial Mini Golf and Museum

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COURTESY ABBY’S CRAB SHACK

COURTESY MEMORIAL MINI GOLF AND MUSEUM

844 Kohlers Crossing, Ste. 220, Kyle. The business oers comprehensive orthodontic treatments for children, adolescents and adults with the latest technology and research. The company also makes a priority of minimizing its en- vironmental impact by using eco-friendly products around its oces, both in con- struction and amenities. 512-549-4405. www.bossorthodontics.com 4 Military-themed Memorial Mini Golf and Museum , located at 1710 FM 1626, Buda, had a soft opening April 2 and is having two grand opening events on the weekends of April 17 and April 24. The establishment is dedicated to the historic education and preservation of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam- era veterans, memorabilia, aircraft and military vehicles, while the mini- golf course adds a counterpart to the museum. 512-595-3101. www.militarymuseumandminigolf.com COMING SOON 5 The mobile cafe known as Parasol will bring its unique brand of sand- wiches to downtown Buda at 400 N. Main St. at the Railswitch in April. The food truck’s featured menu items include the Chimichurry Steak Salad, Pork Karate Schnitzel Sandwich and a cornake-crusted “PBJ”. 512-333-4543. Facebook: Parasol 6 Suds Deluxe plans to open a car wash at Kyle Town Center near I-35 and Kyle Crossing this fall. Suds Deluxe oper- ates in Houston and Lakeway and oers exterior and interior washes as well as detailing services. Additionally, Suds De-

luxe provides car maintenance services, such as inspections, tire rotations and oil changes. www.sudsdeluxe.com 7 Village Orthodontics has begun scheduling patients for its April 19 opening date. Located at 22420 I-35, Ste. 201, Kyle, the business oers a range of services that include braces for children, teens and adults as well as Invisalign and retainers. 512-883-0764. www.orthoatthevillage.com RELOCATIONS 8 Kyle Vision Source relocated March 29 to 5581 Kyle Centre Drive, Ste. 101, Kyle. The clinic oers comprehensive eye exams for children and adults as well as care for various eye conditions. Kyle Vision Source also sells designer eyeware and contact lenses. 512-268-7600. www.kylevisionsource.com 9 Zoi Market is moving to a new loca- tion at 200 Main St., Buda, and will open to customers April 15 in the lead up to a June 5 grand opening. The expanded store will include a juice bar from Willow Gardens Juicery and will also oer fresh breakfast and lunch alongside its baked goods. Fresh produce will be available in a grocery section, which will also sell Texas-sourced meats. 512-361-0033. www.thezoimarket.com EXPANSIONS 10 Buda Full Foods , a food truck and catering company that specializes in pub food, including burgers, charred brats, sliders, fried pickles and brat bites, has taken over the kitchen menu at Willie’s

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NOWOPEN 1 Abby’s Crab Shack opened its newest location in Kyle at 5695 Kyle Parkway, Ste. 100, on March 24. The restaurant has several other Central Tex- as locations and specializes in Cajun-in- spired seafood that includes a number of menu items, from blackened catsh to snow crab to crawsh combos and more. 512-268-9402. www.abbyscrab.com

2 Amazing Lash Studio opened a new store at 5401 FM 1626, Ste. 200, Kyle, on Jan. 21. Licensed lash stylists provide per- sonalized lashes of dierent lengths and thickness in private suites. The studio also oers eyebrow tint services, facial waxing and brow lamination. Appointments are available and can be booked online or by phone. 512-675-3800. www.amazinglashstudio.com 3 Boss Orthodontics opened its second location in mid-January at

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN & BRIAN RASH

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Parasol

Buda Full Foods

Atomic Jiu Jitsu held its grand opening event April 10.

COURTESY PARASOL

COURTESY BUDA FULL FOODS

COURTESY ATOMIC JIU JITSU

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Atomic Jiu Jitsu, which opened in late 2020 at 911 Canyon Wren Dr., Ste. A, Buda, teaches skills that build condence in all aspects of their students’ lives. Though it opened late last year, its grand opening event was held April 10. Atomic Jiu Jitsu is aliated with World Champion Cleber Luciano and is also a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu certied training center. Co-owner Adrian Trevino said it is the only gym in the world to have both associations. The academy is also certied to teach muay thai. In addition to oering advanced jiujitsu and competition-based classes,

Joint, located at 824 Main St., Buda, as of March 15. Popular Buda food truck Bandit Tacos, which opened July 4, 2020, also operates under the Buda Full Foods company umbrella and relocated in October 2020 from 2610 Main St., Buda, at Suneld Station to the parking lot of Willie’s Joint. 512-748-3932. www.williesjoint.com, www.bandittacos.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 Apartment community The Green at Plum Creek celebrates its fth anniversary April 15. Located at 4300 Cromwell Drive, Kyle, the apartments feature a variety of units from one to three bedrooms. Amenities include a putting green, a heated pool, a sundeck, a coee bar and a tness center. Tours of

the complex may be scheduled online or by phone, and a self-guided tour option is available. 512-268-2400. www.thegreenatplumcreek.com 12 Medical facility Kyle ER , located at 5615 Kyle Center Drive, Kyle, had its fth anniversary March 14. The emergency facility is open 24 hours and oers trau- ma care, X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, cardiac monitoring and inpatient medical detox, among other services. 512-504-9950. www.kyleer.com 13 Nate’s Coee & Cocktails is cele- brating its fth anniversary in April at 306 S. Main St., Ste. 101, Buda. The es- tablishment oers an indoor lounge that is repurposed from a century-old cotton gin as well as an outdoor patio. Nate’s serves a variety of food, beer, wine and cocktails. 512-523-8256. www.nates-buda.com

instructors also teach classes focused on antibullying and combat. 512-312-9050 www.atomicjiujitsu.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Dacy Lane improvement project begins in Kyle A project that will overhaul a roughly 3.3 mile stretch of Dacy Lane

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN

ONGOING PROJECT

COUNTY RD.

near both ends of the project in the vicinity of Chapa and McCormick Middle Schools. Other components of the project include upgrades to culvert crossings, adding new trac signals at Bebee Road and Windy Hill Road Intersec- tions, the addition of shoulders and improved roadway geometry. The intersection at Dacy Lane and Windy Hill Road will also be widened to provide left turns onto Dacy Lane as part of the improvements. Funding for the project was provided through the 2016 road construction bond. It was valued at $131.4 million, a price tag that also includes several other projects. Signage has been posted to alert drivers of construction, and Borcherding urged motorists to exercise caution in the area as the work is ongoing. “Hays County thanks residents in advance for their cooperation and attentiveness to trac restrictions during construction,” he said.

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in the city of Kyle began March 22 and is expected to last two and a half years, according to a Hays County news release. “The project will reconstruct and expand the existing two-lane roadway,” Transportation Director Jerry Borcherding said in the release. “From Bebee to Amberwood, there will be ve lanes and from Amber- wood to Hillside Terrace there will be three lanes.” Both sections of Dacy Lane that are under construction will include a center turn lane. The construction, expected to be completed by fall 2023, includes substantial changes to the roadway on Dacy Lane. Another facet of the project will incorporate the construc- tion of a new two-lane road, to be called Lois Lane, connecting Marsh Lane in the Shadow Creek subdivi- sion to Dacy Lane. Sidewalks will be constructed

RIVER RD.

N

Uhland Road Improvements in San Marcos

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 1. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SBKNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Funding sources: city of San Marcos, Department of Housing and Urban Development A portion of Uhland Road between Aquarena Springs Drive and the Hays County Jail will be closed through July 15 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The project, which began March 15, is intended to correct drainage issues along County Road, Uhland Road and parts of River Road. Uhland Road will also be widened, and a roundabout will be built at the intersection of Uhland Road and River Road. Timeline: March 15, 2021-late 2022 Cost: $8.3 million

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THE INSPECTION’S

PUBLIC SAFETY Dispute over Hays County Jail conditionsmade a public affair

INSPECTION FINDINGS The inspection found construction in an area separated from the inmate population, but found no broken walls. Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and Sheriff Gary Cutler traded barbs in March over conditions and access at the Hays County Jail, which resulted in an unannounced inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. Toilets in one of the jail’s new pods were limited as Becerra described and fixed during the inspection. No sewage smells were found by the inspector in the jail. Multiple inmates were interviewed, but individual accounts were not detailed.

FINDINGS

ALLEGED ISSUE

Becerra said he received reports of broken walls at the jail.

BY WARREN BROWN

smells of sewage. Chief Deputy Mike Davenport said in an email HCSO was unaware of any major issues concerning sewage smells at the jail. Becerra said his sources of infor- mation about the jail included HCSO officers with first-hand experience, but Davenport declined to comment on Becerra’s sources without know- ing the employee’s identity. A statement issued by Cutler invited Becerra to request an inspec- tion of the facility by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. Becerra accepted the sheriff’s sug- gestion, and the judge posted a letter to his Facebook page he penned to Brandon Wood, the executive director of TCJS, on March 15, which requested an inspection of the facility. A statement issued by Cutler on March 16 said an unannounced on-site visit from TCJS found the

A strained working relationship between two of Hays County’s most powerful elected officials was again brought into the limelight in March as County Judge Ruben Becerra and Sheriff Gary Cutler sparred with each other on their social media platforms over conditions at the Hays County Jail and access to the facility. In a March 16 interview, Becerra said he believed with 100% certainty the virus was being used to shield the jail from inquests such as his. “I’ve heard numerous complaints of Hays County law enforcement not wearing masks, and no one’s had a problemwith it in the past,” he said. Cutler and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office have consistently denied the recent alleged issues at the jail, which included structural damage and toilets only able to flush a few times per hour without causing

Becerra said toilets could only be flushed three times per hour.

Becerra said three flushes resulted in sewage smells.

SOURCES: HAYS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, RUBEN BECERRA, TEXAS COMMISSION ON JAIL STANDARDS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

facility to be in compliance with “all minimum standards as required by the state agency.” Despite inviting the TCJS inspec- tion, Cutler also accused Becerra of circumventing HCSO’s “internal processes to investigate his concerns and contacted Texas Commission on Jail Standards directly.”

The report said all of the jail’s living areas were inspected, and no putrid smells were detected. Multiple inmate interviews were also conducted. There were no mentions in the report of structural damage to the jail, and on March 19, HCSO announced on-site visitations to the jail would resume March 22.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Hays CISD greenlights purchase of environmentally friendly buses

BY WARREN BROWN

purchase another 28 diesel buses for $3,386,200 if approved. Comparable diesel buses cost $117,000 under the bond and do not have grant funding. Cleaver said the propane buses have a shorter range and lifespan than die- sel buses, with propane buses lasting 150,000-180,000 miles to the diesel’s

200,000 miles, but maintenance is expected to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly. “I have to say I’m really excited about this purchase,” District 2 trustee Willie Tenorio Jr said. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for the environment and for Hays CISD.”

existing infrastructure to fuel the buses, which will cost some $800,000 to build. An additional grant may be pursued to cover roughly 60% of the cost, and a mobile fueling service will be used as a stop-gap. Trustees weighing the costs and benets of the environmentally cleaner technology ultimately decided it would be worth the investment. “We tend to be trained to think in terms of costs versus benet, the cost-benet analysis model, but some- times we’re asked to think in terms of what’s morally correct,” District 3 purchase a total of 30 propane-fueled buses to diversify the district’s eet of 226 diesel buses. With grant funding, the cost to HCISD for the propane eet and fueling systemwould be some $1.7 million, or an average of roughly $58,000 per bus, Cleaver said. Proposition A of HCISD’s 2021 bond, which will be presented to voters in the May 1 election, will trustee Michael Sánchez said. HCISD’s long-term plan is to

HAYS CISD The board of trustees voted unanimously March 29 in favor of purchasing 10 propane-fu- eled buses for the district for a total cost of $1,183,800. A Texas Commission on Envi- ronmental Quality grant will cover $708,618, and Hays CISD will pay for the remaining $475,182. Interest earnings from the district’s 2014 bond will pay $444,983, and the remaining $30,199 will be provided by HCISD’s general fund. Funding from the 2014 bond is permitted because buses were part of voter-approved expenditures, according to district Chief Operating Ocer Max Cleaver. The new vehicles will replace 10 diesel buses in the district’s eet, and the older models being replaced will be permanently disabled by drilling into the engine block mechanically or chemically, which Cleaver said was required by the grant. He also said HCISD does not have

PROPANE VS DIESEL DIESEL BUSES Hays CISD approved the purchase of 10 propane-fueled buses and intends to acquire a total of 30. This is how they stack up against the district’s diesel eet. 10 approved (30 projected) PROPANE 226 currently FLEET SIZE

LIFESPAN

150K-180K miles

200K miles

TOTAL COST PER BUS*

~$58,000

$117,000

GRANT COVERAGE

60%

0%

*INCLUDES GRANTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

SOURCE: HAYS CISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SAN MARCOS  BUDA  KYLE EDITION • APRIL 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Hays & San Marcos CISDs

Hays CISD April 19 and April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Lehman High School, 1700 Lehman Road, Kyle 512-268-2141 • www.hayscisd.net San Marcos CISD April 5 at noon and April 19 at 6 p.m. at San Marcos High School, 2601 Rattler Road, San Marcos 512-393-6700 • www.smcisd.net MEETINGSWE COVER DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS HAYS CISD The board of trustees approved notable hires during its March 29 meeting. Buda Elementary School Principal Tim Robinson became the director of support staff for district operations. Mike Garcia was hired externally to become the director of construction and planning. SANMARCOS CISD After finishing improvements to Owen Goodnight Middle School in February, the district is now focused on renovations of Miller Middle School and Dezavala Elementary School, which are coming through financing from a $107 million 2017 bond. Miller has a completion date of Sept. 10, and Dezavala should be complete Aug. 20.

District is being reimbursed for storm repairs

Boardmember steps down from subcommittee role

SNOWSTORM REIMBURSEMENTS Hays CISD had more than $2.8 million in repairs as a result of the February winter storm. The Texas Association of School Boards insurance covered all but a $25,000 deductible. DISTRICT FACILITIES IMPACTED: 25 COST OF REPAIRS: $2,820,453

BY BRIAN RASH

BY WARREN BROWN

SANMARCOS CISD Following a February arrest for driving while intoxicated, San Marcos CISD District 1 Trustee Miguel Arredondo issued a statement in which he stepped down from a subcommittee role. Board President Clementine Cantu said there are limited options the board may pursue when a trustee violates operating procedures, and that is why it was decided Arre- dondo would step down from his role on the subcommittee. Arredondo also issued a statement on his Facebook page Feb. 20 apol- ogizing for the incident and cited addiction and mental health issues as a catalyst for his arrest. He has been an SMCISD board member since 2015 and was most recently re-elected to his post with the school district during the November 2020 election.

HAYS CISD The February snow- storm that crippled power grids and caused burst pipes across much of Texas damaged 25 of Hays CISD’s facilities, which resulted in $2,820,453 in expenses for restorations, repairs and services. The HCISD board of trustees voted during its March 29 meeting to ratify the procurement of such services from various vendors to cover the mid-February storm’s property damage. Fortunately for the district and its taxpayers, HCISD was insured under the Texas Association of School Boards. Information from the district states that means TASB will reimburse the vast majority of expenditures, minus a $25,000 deductible. “We pay everything and then

SOURCE: HAYS CISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER DEDUCTIBLE: $25,000 DIFFERENCE: $2,795,453

TASB reimburses us on a very timely 30-day type manner; they’re very quick,” HCISD Chief Operating Officer Max Cleaver said. “We will only owe that $25,000 deductible—one deduct- ible on the $2.8 million.” The largest expense was a $1,537,419 bill from Belfor Property Restoration, a company specializ- ing in storm cleanups.

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SAN MARCOS - BUDA - KYLE EDITION • APRIL 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from San Marcos, Buda, Kyle & Hays County

QUOTEOFNOTE “I’MA SOLIDYEAR IN… OFWRITINGAREPORT BASICALLY EVERY DAY ON COVID19, AND I AM SO DEARLY LOOKING FORWARD TOWHEN NOBODY CARES ABOUT THAT REPORT.” LEE URBANOVSKY, BUDA MAYOR, ON HIS HOPES THAT THE COVID19 PANDEMIC ENDS SOON CITY HIGHLIGHTS BUDA City Council on March 23 adopted a resolution allowing for submission of a grant application to the Oce of the Texas Governor for rie-resistant body armor for the Buda Police Department. If accepted, the grant will total $6,849 and allow the department to pursue various types of armor equipment. KYLE City Manager Scott Sellers on March 16 updated ocials on the Great Texas River Cleanup, which took place March 6. Sellers said the event netted a total of 1,675 pounds of trash and 660 pounds of recyclables cleaned up in areas throughout Kyle, including Waterleaf Park and Bunton Trail. SANMARCOS City Council voted to extend the suspension of certain utility disconnections due to nonpayment through Aug. 1. Disconnections were previously planned to end March 31, but the suspensions have been extended multiple times by city ocials since going into eect in March 2020. San Marcos City Council Meets rst and third Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. 630 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos 512-393-8000 www.sanmarcostx.gov Kyle City Council Meets rst and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. 100 W. Center St., Kyle 512-262-1010 • www.cityoyle.com Buda City Council Meets rst and third Tuesdays of 512-312-0084 • www.ci.buda.tx.us Hays County Commissioners Court Meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. 11 E. San Antonio St., San Marcos 512-393-2205 • www.co.hays.tx.us each month at 6 p.m. 405 E. Loop St., Buda MEETINGSWE COVER

Veterans Drive to get newsigns inMay

FORGIVING UTILITY DEBT San Marcos City Council voted March 16 to provide the city’s residential utility customers with past-due bills with up to $1,500 in debt forgiveness, with a total of $1 million available. The program aims to help customers impacted by the pandemic and February’s snowstorm.

BY BRIAN RASH

KYLE The recently dubbed Veterans Drive in Kyle—the result of a renaming eort from Rebel Drive that took several months of planning—is on its way to getting new signage. The road was ocially renamed Feb. 2, and during City Council’s March 16 meeting, ocials gave direction to install signage for the portion of RM 150 that will now be Veterans Drive, which should be done by Memorial Day, May 31. Council also voted to open appli- cations for businesses for reimburse- ment using $5,346 in city funds dedicated to address change costs. Veterans Drive will extend on RM 150 fromWest Center Street north to the intersection of North Old Stage- coach Road/FM 2770.

Residential account debt:

Number of delinquent accounts:

Maximum forgiveness per account:

$1,259,957

1,359

$1,500

SOURCE: CITY OF SAN MARCOSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SanMarcos to offer $1 million in utility bill debt forgiveness

BY WARREN BROWN

people who may game the system by not paying despite having the ability to do so. Some $2 million is expected from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, although it had not been received by March 16, which exceeds the roughly $1.26 million owed on 1,359 residential accounts. However, the majority of City Council favored retaining funds for other expenses, such as debt forgiveness for commercial utility accounts. An additional $1.16 million is owed on commercial accounts to the city, but a city ocial noted nearly $800,000 was expected to be repaid in short order from four accounts. Residents must ll out a one- page application to receive the debt forgiveness. The application will be delivered with bills sent through both physical and digital mail.

SANMARCOS City Council voted to provide $1 million in debt forgiveness to residents with outstanding utility bills due to the coronavirus pandemic and the February snowstorm. Customers will be eligible to receive as much as $1,500 in assistance through the city, and residents on payment plans to pay down bills are among those eligible. During the body’s March 16 meeting, council members debated the process and ethics of the program for roughly an hour before making multiple votes on dierent aspects of the program. “What we’re going to end up doing is we’re gonna penalize those who have been trying, and that concerns me,” Mayor Jane Hughson said. Hughson said her concern was of

FROM REBEL TO VETERANS

After much opposition to an initial eort to rename Rebel Drive in Kyle, ocials began a more inclusive process last year.

AUG. 18, 2020

City Council votes to change Rebel Drive to Fajita Drive

AUG. 25, 2020

After backlash from community, council votes to create renaming committee

OCT. 21, 2020 FEB. 2, 2021 MARCH 16, 2021

Renaming committee has rst meeting

Council votes to name road Veterans Drive

Newonline dashboard details jail population

BY WARREN BROWN

Council approves new signage for Veterans Drive to be installed by May 31

management system, and the dash- board is refreshed semimonthly. According to Jasmine Heiss, project director of Vera’s In Our Backyards initiative, the data is not intended for complex analysis but does provide an accurate percep- tion of the specic characteristics of the jail’s population. Among the data sets, numbers show that 73.1%, or 369, of the jail’s 505 inmates on March 22 were awaiting trial. However, 93.5% had been held for more than one week, and 83% had been held for more than one month.

HAYS COUNTY An online dashboard with data about the Hays County Jail inmate population created through a public-private partnership between Hays County and the Vera Institute of Justice was announced during a March 22 press conference. The dashboard shows a variety of data, which includes granular demographic information, trends, bond amounts and length of stays at the jail. Data is provided by the Hays County Jail from its data

150

1626

35

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SOURCE: CITY OF KYLE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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