Natalie Berko

Q&A with Laurie Moyer, director of Engineering and Capital Improvements

Laurie Moyer was appointed the city’s new director of Engineering and Capital Improvements April 1. Moyer has held several positions with the city, and was most recently the managing director of Community Services. She will now oversee the engineering behind the city’s development, utilities and infrastructure.

NB: How long have you been a San Marcos resident?

LM: I started with the city in 1988, and I moved away for a short period of time and lived in between outside of the city limits. I would say total, I have lived in the city for 17 years.

NB: What prompted your appointment to this position?

City officials prepare for Loop 82 overpass construction, traffic

Officials hope the Loop 82 overpass will alleviate traffic caused by trains, but in the meantime the city is gearing up for its construction by holding public meetings.

Rey Garcia, senior engineer for capital improvements, said the window for construction is “a moving target” from September 2013 until May 2014. Actual bridge construction will not begin until early to mid 2014. Proposals for the construction of the overpass were presented to residents and drivers during a public hearing March 21.

Class studies controlled burning of field

Students watched attentively as flames licked the grass in front of them, and black smoke billowed into the air. 

“Anyone want to send smoke signals?” called out Joel “J.P.” Bach, ranch manager, as he fanned the flame with a blowtorch. 

A controlled burn was held Wednesday on the grassland prairie area of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. The burn was conducted by the Facilities department in conjunction with Bach’s range-management class. Brad Smith, director of grounds operations, said Bach suggested bringing his class to get a hands-on experience by observing how the controlled burn would affect the landscape of the Meadows Center field.

Noise, dust among residents' construction complaints

Some Blanco and San Saba Hall residents are saying they have paid the price for living next to a construction site and are asking for part of their money back as a result.

Domonique Gray-Berroa, president of the Blanco Hall and San Saba Hall Council, said residents have come to him throughout the year with issues resulting from construction. Gray-Berroa, political science freshman and member of Associated Student Government Freshman Council, authored a proposal in support of the Department of Housing and Residential Life reimbursing money to students affected by construction.

University explores reverse transferring

“Reverse transferring” is a growing trend among Texas students, and a nearby community college is looking to offer the process at Texas State.

House Bill 3025, which went into effect June 2011, allows for students to receive an associate degree from a community college after transferring to a four-year university. Official say this is beneficial if a student for some reason cannot complete a degree after transferring.

Noise, dust among residents' construction complaints

Some Blanco and San Saba Hall residents are saying they have paid the price for living next to a construction site and are asking for part of their money back as a result.

Domonique Gray-Berroa, president of the Blanco Hall and San Saba Hall Council, said residents have come to him throughout the year with issues resulting from construction. Gray-Berroa, political science freshman and member of Associated Student Government Freshman Council, authored a proposal in support of the Department of Housing and Residential Life reimbursing money to students affected by construction.

Donations, library budget fund Wittliff Collections

On the seventh floor of the Alkek Library is a nearly 6,600 square foot collection of Southwestern writers, Southwestern and Mexican photography and the Lonesome Dove production archive. Joan Heath, associate vice president and university librarian, said the Wittliff Collections’ costs are funded through a combination of dollars from the library’s acquisitions budget, a small piece of its operating funds and donations from outside sources.

Heath said of the library’s total $1.09 million operating budget, $257,692 is put toward the Wittliff Collections. The operating budget covers costs including supplies, rentals, machinery, marketing, speaker fees and travel, staff transportation, temporary employee wages and contract services.

Developers withdraw Buie Tract plans

Plans for a new student housing complex to be built on the controversial Buie Tract have been shelved, though the reasons why are unclear.

Lisa Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the commission received notification Jan. 14 from Ramsey Engineering that the company is withdrawing its construction project for “The Cottages of San Marcos” located on the Buie Tract off Craddock Avenue and Bishop Street. The developers did not return calls for comment on whether the plans were withdrawn for environmental concerns or business reasons.

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