San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 6th, 2008
Buda council to look at cops costs, highway annexation

By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large

BUDA – The prices for oil and food have been increasing, so, it would figure, the price for law enforcement would go up, as well.

The Buda City Council is expected to renew its agreement with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Tuesday night, with the HSCO receiving a 14-percent increase to cover the rising costs associated with providing the service.

Under the agreement, the city would pay the HSCO $35,373.24 on the sixth day of every month, up from the $31,000 monthly rate presently in effect. The new monthly rate would precisely cover the $424,478 annual cost projected by HCSO and Hays County Auditor Bill Herzog.

For that cost, the city will continue to receive the dedicated services of one captain and four deputies. The cost of the captain comes to $114,612, including a salary of $76,785. The cost for each deputy is $74,899, including an average deputy salary of $41,627.

Following years of debate about how to provide better police protection in Buda, the city reached agreement with the HSCO for a dedicated unit on April 17, 2007. The agreement is renewed annually on every Sept. 30.

The council also will hear from citizens on a proposed annexation of 34.41 acres on the west side of Interstate-35 between Cabela’s and Goforth Road. The city is flexing its new powers to initiate annexation provided by a voter-approved charter when the city reached home rule status last November.

Once the tract is annexed, the city will receive property and sales taxes from the land, which presently is occupied by the Crestview RV Park and Sales Center, as well as several construction-related businesses.

City Planner Ed Theriot told the city council that city water and wastewater services already are available on the property. A service plan for the area says improvements in water, sewer, street and drainage facilities will be substantially complete within 30 months of the annexation.

The city council will hold public hearings on the annexation proposal Tuesday and on Oct. 21, then consider adopting the annexation on Nov. 3.

The city council also is expected to approve an inter-local agreement with Hays County concerning development within the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The county approved the agreement at its meeting last week. Under the agreement, Buda would retain authority over subdivision plats, while the county would be in control of roads and drainage.

The city and county originally signed a similar agreement on Sept. 3, 2002, but it expired on Dec. 31, 2007. The two parties have continued to follow the agreement while negotiating the new version, which will renew automatically every year. However, the new agreement may be terminated with 30 days of written notice by either party.

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