News

Mon
08
Sep

Cottonwood Shores looks to grow through more taxes, development

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

To make ends meet, Cottonwood Shores needs to attract new growth into the city and increase property taxes, an official said at a regular city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Council members unanimously approved the property tax increase to $.5438 per $100 property valuation, which essentially amounts to a $26.60 increase for every $100,000 worth of property. (The previous rate was $.5172 per $100 valuation.)

Property owners can expect to see the tax increase reflected in their October statements.

Although Mayor Donald Orr conceded that not everyone in the city is eager to grow, city officials are encouraging economic growth, and, along with it, new residents, developers and businesses.

Sat
06
Sep

Brother, sister die in another deadly accident on US 183 near Oakalla

A brother and sister believed to be on their way from college to their home in Round Rock died in another horrific accident on US 183 late Friday njear Oakalla.

Burnet County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead said the two died at the scene.

The deaths are the third traffic fatality in the area in less than a week and there have been several others on US 183 in recent months.

A 24-year-old Kempner man died early Monday (Sept. 1) when the car is was riding in failed to negotiate a curve on CR 223 and struck a tree.

See Tuesday's Highlander for the complete story.

Fri
05
Sep

Christ-Yoder makes funding plea

by Alexandria Randolph

The Christ-Yoder Animal Shelter may soon have to close its doors if donations continue to decline.

Founded in 1985, the shelter has taken in 38,954 animals from the Burnet and Llano county area, said charter member Lin Christ.

“We are an open admission facility. We take in all animals brought to us,” she said. “We also are a quarantine facility for both counties.”

Christ said the facility’s donations and volunteer rates have dropped significantly over the last few years.

“Right now we have exhausted our funds,” she said. “Our donations have dwindled, membership in the Humane Society has dwindled. If we don’t get people and our membership more involved, we may have to close our doors.”

Christ said the facility is committed to staying open one more year at minimum, and if necessary, dip into endowment funds that were set up at the establishment of the organization.

Thu
04
Sep

Way Finding Manual deserves continued discussion, city says

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Marble Falls Director of Development Services Caleb Kraenzel presents a graphic to illustrate a possible city welcoming sign.

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Council plans to continue its discussion about a Way Finding Manual – a plan to direct visitors toward city assets like historic Main Street and the parks.

The decision was made following an inconclusive discussion during the council’s meeting Tuesday evening, Sept. 2. The Way Finding Manual was developed by city staff members at the direction of the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission.

Marble Falls Director of Development Services Caleb Kraenzel said the staff was tasked to create a way-finding system that would not exceed an expense of $50,000. The plan includes information kiosks, several different signs – the largest of which, a vehicular directional sign standing 12 feet tall to be viewed by highway motorists – banners for the light posts on Main Street, and event banners for annual festivities such as Lakefest, the Walkway of Lights and Sculpture on Main.

Thu
04
Sep

Victim of plane crash identified: Investigation ongoing

by Alexandria Randolph

The young man who died in a single-engine airplane that went down just east of the Burnet County line on Saturday morning, Aug. 23, has been identified as 24-year-old pilot John Sasser, of Cedar Park, Texas.

The incident was also responsible for igniting a brush fire that burned some 30 acres.

Initial reports are that the pilot may have been flying too low and struck a power line or trees, according to Travis County ESD 1 Chief Donnie Norman, who added the investigation is being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)

All three entities will continue independent investigations, per protocol, Norman said.

Thu
04
Sep

Madlyn’s marking milestones

Contributed
Madlyn’s, a family-operated women’s retail business with stores in Marble Falls and Fredericksburg, celebrated the Fredericksburg shop’s 50th anniversary during the Gillespie County Fair Parade on Friday, Aug. 22.. The shop is owned by David Hoffmann, Madlyn’s son (far left,) his daughters, Becca Clark and Trisha Greenfield (left and right of center,) and Madlyn’s daughter, Brenda Durst (center.) Also pictured are Greenfield’s sons and Madelyn’s great-grandsons, Colton and Siden (front left and right, respectively.)

by Alexandria Randolph

A Marble Falls business and staple of the Hill Country community is celebrating two anniversaries this month.

Madlyn’s, a family-owned women’s clothing retail company with stores in Marble Falls and Fredericksburg, celebrated its 30th and 50th anniversary respectively.

While matriarch and founder Madlyn Hoffmann passed away in 2007, her daughter and granddaughters have carried on the tradition of good service in the women’s fashion industry.

“It’s a third-generation family business,” said Brenda Durst, Hoffmann’s daughter and co-owner of the stores. “It’s been 50 years in the same family.”

Durst said she was in the sixth grade when her mother opened the first store in Fredericksburg.

“All of us girls have grown up in the store,” she said about her sister and her nieces, who now share in part ownership in the company.

Thu
04
Sep

Benefit for Burnet woman injured in ATV accident

Contributed
Charlie Campbell, center, poses for a picture with family and friends at the Charlie Campbell Bulls and Barrels Rodeo fundraiser in March.

by Alexandria Randolph

The Second Annual Charlie Dawn Campbell Fundraiser Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Delaware Springs Golf Course in Burnet.

Campbell, mother of two and a resident of Burnet, was seriously injured on the opening day of dove season, Sept. 1, 2013, in an ATV accident on a private Burnet County ranch. She suffers paralysis and now requires continued medical and rehabilitation care.

The tournament for her benefit is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the format is a four-person scramble. Entry fee is $75 per player. Prizes will be awarded for placing teams, closest to the pin and longest drive, and raffle tickets will be sold during the day for prize items. There will be sausage wraps sold on the course and burgers will be served after the tournament for all players.

Thu
04
Sep

Volunteers are Cottonwood Shores’ ‘glue’

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

For small towns like Cottonwood Shores, volunteerism and civic engagement are the glue that holds the community together. The city of less than 1,200 people has a small library run by a volunteer, Sherry Henderson, and financed through donations. Its five parks are also maintained almost entirely by a crew of folks who labor almost every weekend because of a sense of pride in their community.

“We have a magnitude of work that was done by volunteers on the Nature Preserve, P Squared, Aspen and Community [parks] this year,” said Susan Montgomery, of the parks and recreation commission. “Volunteers also maintain the landscaping in front of the police station, which most people entering Cottonwood Shores see.”

Thu
04
Sep

MFISD supports school finance ruling

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Although it was not one of the two-thirds of school districts who sued the state almost three years ago, officials from the Marble Falls Independent School District were “encouraged” by the Aug. 28 decision by District Court Judge John Dietz, who deemed the state’s school finance system “unconstitutional” in his 400-page opinion.

More than 600 school districts (including Burnet Consolidated Independent School District), representing around three-fourths of Texas schoolchildren, were involved in the lawsuit. The school finance battle will probably continue to be slugged out in courtrooms because the case is likely to be appealed to the state supreme court.

“MFISD endorsed and supported [the lawsuit] locally, but with that many school districts already involved, we felt our energy would be better spent locally so we could make a difference here,” said Wade Stanford, assistant superintendent of administrative operations, Thursday.

Thu
04
Sep

Horseshoe Bay plans on plant expansion

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Horseshoe Bay officials are in the design and planning stages of a proposed $4 million expansion of the West Water Treatment Plant that provides Horseshoe Bay West with potable water.

In the next six months, engineers will be finalizing plans and specifications prior to a bidding process.

“Our timeline is to start construction in June 2015 and complete the project by April 2016,” aid Jeff Koska, community services director yesterday, Sept. 4.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the planning stage of the project at a special meeting Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The current, “conventional” system that was built in 2000 is able to process 1 million gallons of water a day, but the growth in population is leading to increased demand. “The majority of houses built have been in that part of Horseshoe Bay,” making it the fastest growing sector of the city, Koska said.

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