At a special meeting of the Granite Shoals City Council Monday, Feb. 20, members delve into options for major street repair with less than half the funding.
By Glynis Crawford Smith
Granite Shoals City Council Member Anita Hisey summed up the situation in a special called meeting Monday night, Feb. 20: “We're in a pickel.”
The meeting was called after the council heard the report Feb. 14 that major U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding of a project to rennovate the city's three main traffic arteries is a virtual impossibility.
Lengthy pre-application consults with a USDA representative indicated the city was qualified for a 55-45 match. On the strength of those talks, the city council proposed a $6.8 million, three-road project with $3 million in city bond money as a match. The citizens voted “yes” in November.
The City of Marble Falls grew by almost 76 acres Tuesday night, Feb. 21, when the city council approved the final ordinance accepting the voluntary annexation of land south of Lake Marble Falls.
For now, the property owned by the Ellison Roper Corporation and previously used for wildlife management, will enter the city zoned agricultural. However, the stated goal is to apply for re-zoning at anew Planned Development District (PDD).
The property has been part of the citys extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and part of a five-year development agreement for voluntary annexation when development was going to take place.
“Voluntary annexations do not count against the total annexation the city is allowed,” said Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel.
The council approved two cooperative agreements to benefit the city.
Election filings for the May 7 election closed Feb. 17 with a few contests going to ballot in the south county—Granite Shoals, Meadowlakes and Highland Haven.
The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees will have no election and in Marble Falls one seat drew no candidate at all. No council contest developed in Cottonwood Shores, but a special election will be held on sales tax.
In Marble Falls, Mayor John Packer filed for re-election. Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman David Rhodes filed for Place 2 and attorney Megan Klaeger filed for Place 6.
As no one filed for Place 4, the council again will have to choose a replacement. They did that in October when Richard Westerman was appointed to the unexpired term of Raymond Whitman in Place 5.
Burnet County will be the first county in Texas to take advantage of new legislation which allows property tax foreclosure auctions to be held online instead of on the front steps of the courthouse, a tax attorney assisting the county said Feb. 14.
The Burnet County Commissioners Court voted unanimously that morning to adopt a resolution permitting such sales to occur online and approving the setup of an online sales platform with assistance from the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen P.C. (MVBA), which performs delinquent property tax collections for Burnet County and other taxing entities.
Pedernales Electric Cooperative now has a new vice president and secretary-treasurer for its Board of Directors after holding elections at Monday's (Feb. 20) regular board meeting.
Paul Graf, who was serving as the cooperative's secretary-treasurer, was elected vice president, while Amy SJ Akers was elected to succeed Graf in his position.
The need for the election came about when the board voted last month to remove District 5 director and Burnet County Judge James Oakley of his vice president title and issue him a warning as its response to a complaint filed by District 1 director Cristi Clement regarding a Facebook post Oakley had made last year that brought scrutiny to the PEC.
Tenth Anniversary cupcakes await diners at the Phoenix Center Gala Saturday night, Feb. 18. Supporters contributed more than $1 million to the operation and new facility of the children's trauma treatment program.
Glynis Crawford Smith
The Phoenix Center is roughly a million dollars closer to it's five-year goal for a new $6.6 million treatment facility and program operations.
Even before the tally was complete of contributions and bids on exclusive auction items at Saturday night's 10th Anniversary Gala, it was apparent the event would top $1 million, organizers said Monday.
The presentation at the event repeated the numbers showing the six-counties served by the innovative trauma therapy program—Burnet, Llano Blanco, Lampasas, Mason and San Saba-- have twice the state average of child sexual abuse.
Since the program was established by Sarah Rosen Garrett in 2007, the number of children served has grown from 84 to 724 in a year for a total of 3,382 children and families served. More than four in five of them from low-income homes.
Mandy Mcrary goes over her group’s answers to one of three questions posed by Marble Falls ISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen during a Shape Our Schools meeting Saturday morning, Feb. 18.
By Lew K. Cohn
Area residents took part in a discussion about what and how they want the Marble Falls Independent School District to do to better educate students during a Shape Our Schools meeting Saturday morning at the central district office.
The event, which was the second of four planned meetings, was also live streamed on the district's Facebook page. Acting as moderator, Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen said the object of the meeting was to make sure that “we, as a school district, are responsive to the needs of the community.”
The City of Horseshoe Bay is cautioning residents to expect a large police and fire presence at city hall on Thursday, Feb. 23, during an "active shooter" exercise.
The drill will be conducted from 3-5 p.m. and city hall will be closed to the public during that time. Officials say residents should expect to hear loud noises, such as simulated gunshots and sirens, from numerous public safety vehicles.
"One of the primary concerns of any city council and city manager is employee safety," said City Manager Stan Farmer. That is why several months ago Farmer instructed the Horseshoe Bay Police Department (HSBPD) to spearhead a joint training exercise for city hall, and Horseshoe Bay Fire Department (HSBFD) employees, as well as Marble Falls Area Emergency Medical Service (MFAEMS) ambulance crews to better prepare for an active shooter event.
The deadline for filings for city and school board elections in Texas is today, Friday, Feb. 17, and, as of Thursday, several contests had developed for the May 6 elections in Burnet County.
The mayors seats in Burnet and Granite Shoals are contested and the Meadowlakes and Highland Haven city councils will be on the ballot.
In cases where none develops, as may be the case in Bertram and Marble Falls, elections will not have to be held.
In Marble Falls, Mayor John Packer filed for re-election but the other three incumbents, so far, are undeclared. They are Mayor Pro Tem Jane Mare Hurst, Place 2; Rachel Austin-Cook, Place 4 and Rayan Nash, Place 6.
Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman David Rhodes had filed for Place 2 and attorney Megan Klaeger had filed for Place 6.
TxDOT Project Tracker details plans for US 281 and US 183 Super 2 development.
By Lew K. Cohn
A construction project to convert the northern part of US 281 from the Lampasas County line to the Burnet city limits to a four-lane undivided highway into a “Super 2” three-lane highway has been let this month, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) area engineer Cathy Kratz P.E. said at Tuesday's Burnet County Commissioner Court meeting.
Kratz and other engineers from TxDOT appeared before commissioners to talk about plans to put convert portions of US 281 and US 183 to “Super 2” roadways, due to a high number of accidents which have occurred where vehicles have left the roadway.