Kacee Letbetter

Residents pushing for non-fluoridated water in city

The Communities for Thriving Water Fluoride-Free San Marcos coalition has been working to end water fluoridation in the city, and its wish might be granted by the end of May.

The group’s goal is to have water fluoridation on the city council agenda by the end of May, said Kathleen O’Connell, coalition coordinator. After water fluoridation is on the agenda, the group will await the approval of the resolution and an ordinance to take industrial fluoride chemicals out of water by June 30 this year, O’Connell said.

“We want to make a difference and get this out of our water as soon as possible,” O’Connell said.

Consulting firms planning, seeking input for student center renovation

Planning is underway for renovations and expansion to the LBJ Student Center as consultants look to students for input on the changes.

Jack Rahmann, LBJ Student Center director, said consultants from an architectural firm are holding a series of meetings and taking surveys to understand the needs of students, guests and staff who use the student center. As enrollment continues to increase, the age of the building has become more apparent, Rahmann said.

“We are taking a two-phase approach,” Rahmann said. “First, we need to find out what the building needs, and then how it should grow.”

Randy Vetter Memorial Highway signs unveiled

The Hays County Commissioners Court digressed from its normal meeting format Tuesday as those in attendance gathered to honor a trooper who was killed in the line of duty almost 14 years ago.

The meeting was adjourned to unveil the Randy Vetter Memorial Highway signs, which will be displayed along Interstate Highway 35 in San Marcos. Vetter was killed in a routine traffic stop in 2000 when an elderly man he pulled over for a seatbelt violation opened fire.

Approximately 100 guests attended the Commissioners Court meeting, including Vetter’s wife and 16-year-old son.

Next Common Experience theme based on university’s integration

The Common Experience theme for the 2014-2015 academic year will honor the 50th anniversary of the university’s desegregation.

Five black women were integrated into the Southwest Texas State College in 1963. The university will celebrate their integration and reflect upon other situations that have “come into play since then,” said Pam Wuestenberg, Common Experience co-chair. The Common Experience will address the progress Texas State has made as a society and culture, she said.

Some officials, students say trams experiencing mechanical issues

Texas State will receive a new fleet of buses in the fall, but students and administrators say the trams currently servicing the university are showing symptoms attributed to operating past their life spans.

First Transit, the university’s bus provider, will remain responsible for the current fleet until Veolia Transportation takes over the Bobcat Tram services in August, according to a Nov. 20 University Star article. The contract with Veolia includes a fleet of 43 new buses.

Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the majority of Texas State’s buses are “well past their youthful life.”

On-campus complexes to be razed as university focuses on new freshmen

University officials will soon implement plans to demolish all on-campus apartment complexes except Bobcat Village, leaving many students searching for off-campus housing options for the upcoming summer and fall semesters.

Clear Springs Apartments, which has been vacant since September, will be demolished by fall 2014, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities. Campus Colony and Comanche Hill on Comanche and Wood Streets and Riverside Apartments, located next to Strahan Coliseum, will close and be torn down at some point in the future, said Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for Finance and Support Services Planning.

Bike lanes, sidewalks to be added during Ranch Road 12 expansion

San Marcos will gain more bike lanes and sidewalks once expansions to Ranch Road 12 are complete in the fall.

The expansion is expected to begin in late fall and end in early 2016, said Project Manager Janae Ryan. Plans for the project are 60 percent complete at this time, Ryan said in a public meeting held Feb. 6 at the San Marcos Activity Center.

Construction will span from Craddock Avenue to Holland Street along Ranch Road 12, said Mary Mazzei, project manager for Halff Associates, the design firm working on the project. The plans include leveling the road in certain areas, creating sidewalks and bike lanes on each side of the road and adding new water utilities, Mazzei said.

Downtown office space purchased to hold Texas School Safety Center

University officials have purchased a downtown San Marcos office building to house the Texas School Safety Center, which will have to vacate its current location to make way for a new residence hall in West Campus.

The safety center, which serves as the central location for the dissemination of safety and security information for K-12 schools and junior college throughout the state, is currently located in Canyon Hall. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said Canyon Hall will be demolished in June for the construction of the new residence hall, prompting the need for the safety center’s relocation.

Community feeling effects of flu virus

With the average influenza season in Texas typically lasting from October to May , San Marcos is already starting to feel the effects of the virus, which is hitting residents harder than in previous
seasons.

Strains of the H1N1 flu are predominantly circulating this season, and experts say effects of the virus are already apparent. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 138 to 145 million doses of the seasonal influenza vaccine were reported to the CDC for distribution in the U.S. Health care professionals in San Marcos agree this flu season will be particularly severe on those who contract
the virus.

San Marcos commits to Lone Star Rail District

San Marcos is one step closer to becoming a future stop on the Lone Star Rail District after city councilmembers signed a funding agreement for the passenger rail service during their Dec. 17 meeting.

The rail project is expected to provide transport from Georgetown to South San Antonio. Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, said the contract will set up a mechanism to help save funding needed to begin construction on the project, even though trains on the Lone Star Rail District are not expected to run until 2019. An environmental study expected to be conducted later this year will help better determine the total amount of funding San Marcos officials will need to raise for the project.

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