Frank Campos

City council to reduce Greater San Marcos Partnership funding

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San Marcos City Council cut funding to the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) Tuesday with plans to use the remaining money for a city-led economic development team.

Council members voted 4-3 in favor of splitting the funding from $360,000 to $120,000 and using the rest to put together a staff to focus on city development. Five citizens spoke in favor of continued funding at the current rate at Tuesday’s city council meeting. Citizens asked the council members to consider how much work GSMP has done for the city.

SMCISD approves live streaming board meetings, postpones televising

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A resolution to start live streaming the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District’s board meetings was approved at the Feb. 16 session.

Officials plan to start live streaming on the Internet by next month’s meeting. Research will be conducted in the meantime to determine the cost of moving the broadcast to television.

Greg Hubenak, director of technology for SMCISD, presented research that gave insight into the cost of streaming services. His analysis detailed the financial cost of buying equipment, sustaining it and hiring personnel.

Lupe Costilla, board member, thought the board spent enough time deciding how to proceed.

Community outreach program may be at risk as city expands

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The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District board held an executive session during the Jan. 26 meeting to discuss the possibility of selling 2.5 acres of land the current administration building sits on.

The property will be surveyed and appraised to better understand the land’s value. A decision will be made at a later meeting. No one has determined what will happen to Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos (El Centro), a non-profit organization currently leasing the building adjacent to the SMCISD administration building.

El Centro is a “community beacon for the preservation, development, promotion and celebration of the Hispanic arts, culture, heritage and values,” according to the organization’s website.

City council adds permitted parking area to Ridgeway Drive

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The San Marcos City Council approved the first of two readings for an ordinance to create a designated permit parkway from the 100- to 200-block area of Ridgeway Drive at a Feb. 3 meeting.

The ordinance would allow only permitted vehicles to park in the area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ning Zou, transportation engineering manager for the city, presented a petition in favor of the parking ordinance from 18 of the 25 homes in the area to show local support.

Causes for permitting include students parking in the area and limited space, Zou said.  

Kelly Slade, a San Marcos resident who lives on the 100 block of Ridgeway Drive, spoke in opposition of the ordinance.

Electro purification contract for use of aquifer pending approval

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The Hays County Commissioner’s Court approved a resolution Feb. 3 establishing local regulation for commercial and non-exempt groundwater production in aquifer areas currently outside of the district.

The resolution is a direct outcome of a contract fulfilled by Electro Purification, LLC. The treatment and supply company based out of Houston plans to pump 5.4 million gallons of groundwater a day from the Trinity Aquifer for its clients.

Commissioner Will Conley, Precinct 3, represents the portion of the county most affected by the Electro Purification contract and presented the resolution to the court.

San Marcos to add two mental health officers after spike in cases

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San Marcos to add two mental health officers after spike in cases.

The San Marcos Police Department may soon see two new faces on the force.

City council passed the first of two readings Jan. 20 for a $266,538 grant to be added to the 2014-2015 budget for two new mental health officers.

SMPD currently employs one mental health officer to serve the entire city. Chase Stapp, chief of police, and Howard Williams, who formerly held the position, noticed a rise in mental health cases and applied for a grant in 2013 to hire two more officers.  

Mental health officers assist in crises and ensure those in need get immediate help with medication, counseling and access to facilities, Stapp said.

Commisioners Court addresses jail overcrowding

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Hays County Commissioners Court approved a new contract with Bastrop County Jan. 6 to transport prisoners due to overcrowding.

Gary Cutler, sherriff,  and Eric Batch, jail operator, presented the contract to the commissioners court for approval and emphasized the need for a backup plan to their current contract with Guadalupe County.

The maximum male capacity for Hays County Jail is 256 inmates. Sixteen prisoners have already been transported to Guadalupe County this year. The trend will likely continue, Batch said.

Decision to change car services, taxi regulations postponed

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The San Marcos City Council set guidelines Tuesday night for the San Marcos Police Chief regarding pricing and regulating taxicab companies and Uber, a rideshare service.

At the meeting, Police Chief Chase Stapp presented an independent study to the council members showing the current regulation on prices and permits compared to other major cities in Texas. The decision to change how taxicabs operate and how the city will deal with car services like Uber has been postponed until Stapp completes his study.

New year brings increased change, expansion to San Marcos

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Mayor Daniel Guerrero has big plans for the city of San Marcos in 2015 for his third term in office.

Multiple changes and increased construction marked a new chapter for San Marcos during 2014, and they will play a major role in the city’s growth this year. San Martians can expect to see a focus on public safety in the future.

Guerrero is looking confidently into 2015 and expects big things for San Marcos, especially after hiring Jared Miller as the new city manager last year, he said.

“Our biggest accomplishment of 2014 as a city was hiring Jared Miller,” Guerrero said. “He has created a great environment for our city employees and is everything we could have asked for and more.”

San Marcos celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

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Echoes of the same song sung during the 1963 March on Washington before Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech could be heard throughout San Marcos early Monday morning.

A diverse group of San Marcos residents and officials headed to the Hays County Courthouse to honor and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy he left behind. The ceremony, held on the courthouse lawn, marked over ten years of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and was held by the Dunbar Heritage Association.

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