News

Tue
26
Sep

Meadowlakes council approves budget, tax rate

City hits snag on new solid waste contract

 

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The Meadowlakes City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 19, adopted a tax rate and budget and tackled a trash tote problem that challenges the pristine curbside appearance of the city.

Unanimous approval was given for the previously proposed tax rate of $0.315 (or 3.15 cents) per $100 property value. It is comprised of $0.1512 per $100 for the interest and sinking fund (I&S) and $0.1638 for maintenance and operation (M&O).

It will support a budget for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 of $3,920,055 in expenses in the general, utility and recreation funds and debt service.

Tue
26
Sep

Look sharp: rains have arrived

Burnet County still is not in the target area for the heaviest rains over the next seven days, but with a mid-day downpour, the Highland Lakes clearly are heir to those "locally heavy rains" predicted this morning, Sept. 16.
The National Weather Service says areas of localized heavy rainfall leading to flash and river flooding will be possible through Thursday afternoon with the highest likelihood near the Rio Grande Plains into the southern Edwards Plateau, along and west of US 83.

It must be stressed, says the NWS, that this will be a multi-round event and any time-frame through Thursday could have a local flash flooding risk due to repeating heavy rain cells.

Area of Concern:

Rio Grande Plains into the Southern Edwards Plateau and possibly into portions of the western Hill County. See Additional Rainfall Graphic below for more details.

Threats & Impacts:

Tue
26
Sep

Historic Fuchs House focus of HSB town hall Oct. 5

Could Conrad L. Fuchs (1834-1898) be looking from his 19th Century photographic portrait to a 21st Century future when the home he built for his familiy would become the historic centerpiece of Burnet County's youngest city? The City of Horseshoe Bay Fuchs House Advisory Committee will hold a town hall meeting Thursday, Oct. 5, to share information and hear ideas about restoration of the building, now city property.

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Sitting on a high bluff, overlooking Lake LBJ and the Colorado River in the distance, the Conrad Fuchs House (pronounced Fox) is the oldest structure in Horseshoe Bay. Built of local field stone, this pioneer-style German home served not only as the family's homestead, but also as post office and schoolhouse for a burgeoning community of German settlers in the south end of Burnet County.

Fri
22
Sep

City to replace Via Viejo storage tank

Contributed
Via Viejo ground storage tank in Marble Falls

 

The city of Marble Falls voted to fund a new way to deal with an “old way” of doing things.

At their Tuesday, Sept. 19, City Council meeting, the Marble Falls City Council awarded a bid to Tank Builders to replace the Via Viejo ground storage tank. “Via viejo” translates from Spanish to “old way” in English.

The existing 500,000-gallon tank at Via Viejo was built in the early 1960s and now has exceeded its designed lifespan. The new tank will have a 600,000-gallon capacity and is projected to keep up with the city's future growth. The project, which includes new piping and electrical work, is estimated at $800,000 and will be funded by previously issued bond proceeds.

Fri
22
Sep

Marble Falls initiates annexation, honors library

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

At the Sept. 19 meeting of the Marble Falls City Council, Mayor John Packer, right, issues a proclamation in honor of the Oct. 2-6 celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Marble Falls Public Library at its 101 Main Street location. Recognized, from left, are Joe Wizansky and Bill Gaylord of Friends of the Marble Falls Library and Amanda Rose, library director.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The possibility of a new Asphalt, Inc. rock crushing plant on the far southern outskirts of the city brought the largest contingent of visitors to the Marble Falls City Council on Tuesday night, Sept. 19.

In a meeting that opened with proclamations recognizing the 20th Anniversary of the Marble Falls Library's Main Street location and hunger awareness, the agenda included a proposed ordinance establishing the intent of the City of Marble Falls to annex into the city limits 1,242 acres of land that would place the proposed plant in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the city.

“Annexation is not a silver bullet,” said Mayor John Packer. “But it could give us some standing.”

The plant opponents seemed gratified, nonetheless, to witness a unanimous council vote in support of the ordinance.

Tue
19
Sep

Llano County finalizes 2017-2018 financial decisions

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

Llano County commissioners adjusted the proposed 2018 budget downward by $1,748 before finally approving it, but only after no one showed up at a Monday, Sept. 11, hearing on the budget.

The action sets the county’s budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It’s $574,042 more than the budget set for this year, an increase of of nearly 3.9 percent.

Tue
19
Sep

Burnet County adopts tax rate, budget

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the same tax rate the county had last year — 0.3969, or 39.69 cents per $100 valuation — at their regular meeting at the Burnet County Courthouse on Tuesdy, Sept. 12.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to adopt a $37,634,576 budget for fiscal year 2018. The budget includes a last-minute increase of $1,400 for Veterans Service Officer Bill Worley after commissioners voted unanimously to increase his contractual pay from $13,000 to $14,400.

Tue
19
Sep

State house to school house: new laws affect MFISD

By Richard Zowie

The Highlander

The State of Texas has implemented new laws for public schools — including rules on school buses, bullying and graduation requirements — and area schools are working to get them implemented.

Burnet County is home to two public school districts: Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) and Burnet Consolidated ISD.

MFISD Superintendent Chris Allen, PhD, provided updates on the different laws implemented:

* New school buses must have shoulder-to-lap seat belts for all riders (SB 693). “We are in the process of gaining approval to purchase four new buses, and they will have the required harnesses,” Allen said.

* With the help of a measure dubbed David’s Law, school officials hope they will have more tools at their disposal to fight cyber bullying (SB 179). The superintendent said they have aligned rules, expectations, documentation, and training to the new requirements.

Tue
19
Sep

Hospital nears $2.5 million in EDC reimbursements

Contributed

A check $229,820 is presented to Baylor Scott & White (BS&W) by the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation (MFEDC) at the Sept. 6 meeting of the EDC board of directors. From left, are Bramer Owens, CEO for the BS&W Hill Country Region; Christian Fletcher, MFEDC executive director; Tim Ols, president of BS&W Hill Country Region; Lindsay Plante, an EDC board member and BS&W Hospital Foundation development officer; board members Chris Beck, Ryan Nash; Steve Reitz, EDC board president; Mayor John Packer, and additional EDC board members Jane Marie Hurst, Judy Miller and Mark Mayfield.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Baylor Scott & White Hospital (BS&W) on Wednesday, Sept. 6, received an annual pay-out and a year's extension on a five-year jobs performance agreement with the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation (MFEDC).

At a meeting of the MFEDC Board of Directors, a check for $229,820.58 was presented to president Tim Ols and CEO Bramer Owens of the BS&W Hill Country Region.

When BS&W came to town, the EDC focused its incentives on jobs creation and offered up to $2.5 million, based on $5,605 per new job created, first by the Wayne and Eileen Hurd Regional Medical Center and then by the hospital.

Sat
16
Sep

Gateway to the Hill Country: Imagine it in blue

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

George Cates of Native American Seed in Junction, left, identifies seeds of the Lady Bird Johnson Legacy Wildflower Mix as members of Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways (CSTH) gather to see Phase II of their Gateway to the Hill Country and Highland Lakes Beautification Project get underway Saturday, Sept. 9. They are, from left, Bradlee Mills of Mills Services in Kingsland, Linda Baker of Horseshoe Bay, Shannon Heep of Marble Falls and Soc Gonzales of Sandy Harbor.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

With Mother Nature on their side, Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways (CSTH) will see the intersection of US 281 and Texas 71 in technicolor come spring.

Bluebonnet seeds mixed with those a variety of other native Texas wildflowers were planted in Phase II of their Gateway to the Hill Country and Highland Lakes Beautification Project on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Phase I was the trimming of Live Oak trees in the median by Bradlee Mills of Mills Services in Kingsland, who has committed his donated arborist services to the site through 2018. Phase II was the planting conducted by George Cates of Native American Seed in Junction.

Cates clocked 12 acres on the planter as he ploughed through the 56 acres of land in the clover-leaf intersection. Hopes are high for timely moisture to bring forth the spring flowers in the first season, though wildflowers will sometimes save their prize for another perfect season.

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